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Dear Mabel–

Dad­dy trav­eled to Chica­go this week (for just one day). You and I had so much fun, I had to write Dad­dy a let­ter to tell him all the things you learned. Dad­dy loved his let­ter so much, he asked that I write more. Today, I write one to you!

Cur­rent­ly, you are want­i­ng to take only one nap/day, but not quite ready to get there. I’ve had to put you to bed at 5:30 pm because you’re so tired. You’re sleep­ing at 9 am for 30 min­utes, and then 45 min­utes to 1 hour at Noon or 1 o’clock. Mama’s goal is to push your nap back to about 11, and you’ll hope­ful­ly sleep 2 hours once we get there. We’ll have so much fun when you’re down to one nap/day, since we’ll get to go places that require longer dri­ving (like mama’s co-ops. wheeeeeee!) 

Late­ly mama has been decid­ing how to direct you and help you grow and flour­ish in your own lit­tle body, in our home. Dad­dy even gave mama a bless­ing to help mama clear her head. Mama is feel­ing very peace­ful about set­ting up a Montes­sori-style home. In fact, mama is super excit­ed to do it!! I’ve made lists and lists and lists (I got that from Grand­ma…) of how we’re going to get there! Already, you are sit­ting at your own lit­tle din­ing table in your own Mabel-sized chair drink­ing out of a glass and eat­ing off your plate. Next up, sil­ver­ware! It’s been fun to have you help me pre­pare your food. When you’re ready, Mama will teach you how to wash your dish­es and put them away. Montes­sori can be summed up: “Teach me to do it Myself” And dear Mabel, that’s what mama and dad­dy will do!

We went to the park (as we do near­ly dai­ly), but your favorite activ­i­ty was occu­pied (the swing), so I placed you in the sand box. The sand box intrigues you, but you’re more inter­est­ed in the things that don’t belong there. Such as, the dead wasp that you were intent to dis­sect. Next came the lit­tle green worm (cater­pil­lar?) that you des­per­ate­ly want­ed to put in your mouth. Mama tried and tried to show you that it was alive, and to observe it. Appar­ent­ly the fla­vor of it is all you could think about. Mama gave him a new home in the grass. Then, your swing was free, so mama pushed you in the swing for about 30 min­utes. Pure bliss.

You adore your friend Lex­ie and offer her hugs each time you see her. Lucky for you, she knows sign-lan­guage as well, so you two can share signs. Lex­ie asso­ciates you with “table” and signs “table” when ask­ing to see you. You adore play­ing in the water with her at her house, or eat­ing pan­cakes at your house. No mat­ter the activ­i­ty, you two trade places fol­low­ing each oth­er around. For being 8 months dif­fer­ent in your ages, you two are quite a pair!

The last few days, mama has real­ized that you might be ready for potty-training…at least the begin­ning stages. You are well-aware when your body has passed some­thing, and call to mama. When time to change your cloth dia­per, you love to hus­tle up your stairs and lay on your mat. You are a won­der­ful­ly obe­di­ent girl, so eager to help mama and learn. Very appro­pri­ate for the Montes­sori teach­ing style!

You have a sin­gle book that you will *only* read with your dad­dy. It is called “My First 100 Words”; you sign “more” con­stant­ly when dad­dy reach­es the last page. When mama reads it to you, you quick­ly become dis­in­ter­est­ed. When mama sits at the com­put­er, you call sign to mama that you want to be on my lap—over and over. Some­times when dad­dy comes to get you in the morn­ings, you ask for mama. When dad­dy leaves for work, you ask for dad­dy. Upon hear­ing “bye,” not only do you wave “bye-bye,” but offer kiss­es to all who will bow their cheek to you. Even peo­ple we’ve just only met. You are very lov­ing and offer hugs to many who stand still long enough—although, you did tack­le your friend Evie to the ground while she was try­ing to evade your hug. You won. 

Your favorite toys are stack­ing things and opening/closing either mama’s or dad­dy’s wallet—after emp­ty­ing them com­plete­ly. I ful­ly blame you for my miss­ing tem­ple recommend…ha! 😉 We are lucky that Lex­ie’s mama, Mrs. Mueller, is my dear friend, and a for­mer kinder­garten teacher. She offers lots of sug­ges­tions and advice of new fun things for us to do. Includ­ing your swim­ming lessons—from which you just grad­u­at­ed!! You have real­ly tak­en to the water, and could­n’t be hap­pi­er in there. Your teacher, Miss Karen, is con­stant­ly sur­prised at how calm you swim under­wa­ter and how much excite­ment you show for each new activity.

Dear Mabel…we are so grate­ful you have joined our home. We hope to always lead you, guide you, and walk beside you in righteousness.

Love, mama and daddy.

Oh, what a won­der­ful mama’s day!! I have been hop­ing for a com­bo for a while, look­ing at garage sales, craig’s List, con­sign­ment, etc. Appar­ent­ly I’m too slow. I kept hear­ing repeat­ed­ly “it already sold.” *sigh* Such a great thing, this Learn­ing Tow­er. My friend Mandy (stay-at-home mama, for­mer Kinder­garten teacher) is my life-line to these great things. I’ve been cov­et­ing one for a while. 

Then, I thought the KitchenAid Glass Mix­ing Bowl would be the best companion…since Mabel loves to see things hap­pen­ing inside the mix­er bowl. Boy, was I right! 🙂

We gave it a whirl today, and I found this lit­tle sce­nario after retriev­ing the choco­late chips.

P.S. This is Mabel’s new out­fit I made her 🙂

Cloth dia­pers have been great. I real­ly like them. The only real prob­lem is that pants don’t fit. So, mama had to put her tal­ents to good use, and made some cute capri-style jeans for Mabel. This is Mabel’s first time sit­ting on grass. She loved it, of course.

Mama (aka East­er Bun­ny) made Mabel new hair clips and a pur­ty new dress. Mabel was hap­py to model!

She is now 20 lb on the nose. Hooray! Tenth per­centile, baby girl! She is 29″, as well. Again, tenth percentile. 🙂

Mabel *loves* climb­ing the stairs. Again. And again. And…again.

Today, Mama put a chair in front of the stairs (sideways)–as she always does–to pre­vent Mabel from going up/down the stairs with­out me notic­ing. How­ev­er, today she real­ized she is quite capa­ble of mov­ing the chair her­self, the con­tin­u­ing to climb. Yikes!

Then, she kept try­ing to climb into her toy box (and falling and bang­ing her head). Mama thought, “hey! I’ll just pull out her favorite toys and close the lid!” Ummm, fail.