December 2009/January 2010

Dear Rachel and Emily,

What a couple of months. Things change so quickly around here that by the time I get to the end of a month, I have a hard time remembering what happened at the beginning of the month. Or the month before. Or maybe I’m just getting old.

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I want to start off by apologizing to both of you for skipping December and combining these two months. We’ve had so much going on that before I knew it, it was the middle of January and I hadn’t finished you letter. Then it was February, and well, here we are halfway through the month. I promise I’ll do a better job of writing to you for the rest of this year.

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Anyway, Big Changes is the theme for the past 2 months, and the biggest change of all is that your Grandpa Rick and Grandma Connie are here for the winter. We’re very excited to have them here and they have been a huge help with the two of you over the past couple of months. We are a little worried about what’s going to happen when they leave at the end of March, because Rachel, you ask for them every single day. If there is a day that goes by that you don’t see your Nana and Dodd, you get very pouty and tell us that you miss them.

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Christmas was a huge hit with both of you. Rachel, you finally “got” that Santa was coming to our house, but only if you were a good girl, so you were on your best behavior leading up to Christmas. You asked every day how long until Santa came to our house, and we used a paper chain to help you keep track of the days. You really loved all of your presents.

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Emily, you had a good Christmas too, even if it was just as much fun for you to play with wrapping paper as it was for you to play with your toys. You were perfectly happy to just explore all of the colors and crinkly things that were left laying within your reach.

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Rachel, you have been enjoying school so much, and you’re getting really good at writing you letters. You have even started “reading” on your own, and showing us all the pictures will you read through your books. It’s funny, though, because in books that you haven’t completely memorized, you’ll “read” the first few pages, then turn to one of us and say, “What does it say on this page?” at which point one of us will take over reading. You read to your sister, your dolls, the dogs, whoever is around. We think it’s wonderful that you enjoy reading so much, but we really wish you’d pick a different book…we’re getting a little tired of Cinderella 2: An Uncommon Romance.

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You’ve also taken to telling us about the letters that you’re learning each week in school. It’s a lot of fun for us to listen to you talk about each of the letters and name off words that start with those letters. Inevitably, you’ll throw in a word that ends with the letter we’ve been talking about, and we’ll have to go through and explain why that word doesn’t start with the letter, even though the letter is in it. I even recorded you telling me about it a couple of weeks ago:

Listen!

Emily, your growth has been just amazing over the past couple of months. I’m sad that I’ve waited this long to talk about it because you are just growing and learning and exploring more and more every day.

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This is by no means the extent of what you’ve started doing, but over the past two months, you’ve started holding your own bottle, learned how to transfer things from one hand to the other, you are sitting up all by yourself, you are ticklish, you’ve started eating all kinds of solid foods, and you’ve gained all kinds of weight. In fact, you went from 17 1/2 pounds at your 6 month checkup, to 18 1/2 pounds just 2 weeks later.

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Your Aunt Sarah and Uncle Britton came to visit us in January for a few days, and you were both very happy to see them, too. We don’t get to see them nearly often enough, so we let them have a lot of time with both of you. It was the first time either of them had even met you, Emily, so it was an extra special trip.

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The two of you love each other so much…it is so much fun to watch you play together. Rachel, you will snuggle up with Emily and talk to her, and play with her toys with her, and Emily will just smile and giggle and get so excited. I can tell that the two of you have a very special connection, even though you are both so young.

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We love the two of you more than words can express, and we are so thankful that we have such wonderful children to brighten our lives every single day.

Love,
Daddy

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