Happy birthday, my lovebug

This is a picture that, to me, sums up my daughter pretty well:

That's from a couple of days ago. She has a cough, cold, double ear infection, and sore throat. You can see that one eye is more closed than the other. And still, she is so grinny and so full of love.

This is today:

For her one-year birthday, she decided to just talk up a storm. I'm sure I'm leaving some out, but here are the words she now says, in approximate order of when she said them:

mama, baba, cat, dada, ball, girl, "bo" (almost boy), uh-oh, coat, good girl, boom (or bummmm!), moon, comb, car. She learned "comb" and "car" today.

I should add, though, that she still doesn't know who "mama" is. I thought she did, but alas, then she pointed to the photo of a black 4-year-old girl and said "Mama!" Hoping it was a brief case of amnesia, I forgave her. Next she pointed to a little blond boy and declared "Mama," too. Then a turtle. I give up.

She is walking all the way across the room, turning, and coming back. Today, she's doing it sort of sideways and drunkenly because she's on so many medications.

I'm trying hard not to think about the idea that she's officially no longer a baby now. I think I reject that notion. She's still my baby! But she certainly is "toddling."

I have never been more certain of anything in my life than that this little girl was meant to be mine. She is so much more than I hoped for. I wish I had something poetic and profound to say, but I feel like I've been at a loss for appropriate words since the day she was born. She turned me into a hack writer. Everything I want to say about her sounds like melodrama, or cliche. But all those greeting card sentiments are true... she does give my life meaning. She is everything to me. I am so lucky to be her mom.

Sarina, my sweet, if you ever read this blog, know that you brought your mommy, and so many other people, so much joy this year. I hope I can do the same for you. 'Cause you're stuck with me, kid. ;)

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