Letter to My Daughter – Happy Second Birthday!

by Cate on February 11, 2010

Day 2-1

One day old

Dear Madeline,

Oh those chubby little cheeks!  Even though you’ve been with us for two years now, I’m still tickled when I say “my daughter.”  Heck, your brother has been with us for nearly 8 years, and I’m still tickled to say “my son.”  That feeling never changes, and I love it.

I can hardly believe you turn two today!  And rest assured, I will be saying this for every birthday you and your brother have for the rest of your life, so you might have to get used to it.  I still remember vividly the day you were born.  As soon as the doctor held you up, I burst into tears and kept saying “thank you, thank you, thank you” over and over and over again.  I was so happy to see you and as much as I love being pregnant, yours was a bit of an emotional one and I was elated to have it over so I could breathe again.  In more ways than one.

This last year, it has been such fun to watch you really grow into your personality.  You may be a little peanut, but your personality is anything but.  You are fearless, thoroughly impish, fiercely independent, and full of happiness and sunshine.

Your vocabulary is fast and furious, and, although you get mad sometimes, I’m still working on decoding some Madeline-speak.   You say coo-gee for “excuse me,” milk used to be milt and put-put is pretzel. You learned to say thank you a few weeks before Halloween and darn it if you didn’t say thank you to every single person that gave you candy when we went trick or treating.  Love the manners!  The past week or two, you have loved saying the word hug and giving them.  “Hug ME!”  “Hug Nick!”  Hug Mommy!”  Unfortunately you’ve been waking up in the middle of the night, asking for hugs.  You have a little crush on one of the boys in carpool and say “Hug, Mac!” every time you know we’re going to pick the kids up from school.  When I come into your room in the morning, you usually say “morning,” a great start to any day.  If it’s not “morning,” it’s “eat!”  My kid, through and through.

Taking Care of Baby

Four days old, first Valentine’s Day

You need a stuffed animal intervention, just like your brother.  I told Gigi that she could go through your collection and pull out anything that wasn’t a dog, cat, cow or monkey and that we would donate them.  She laughed and told me that applied to some 95% of what you had!  We have frequent conversations about which puppy needs to go for a ride in the car, which kitty needs nap time, which puppy needs medicine, and believe me, others might not think there are differences between puppy 1, 2 or 3, but there are and I’ll pay the price for fetching the wrong one.

An old friend who knew has known me since I was 12 said that you are like my “cursed child.” I didn’t know what he meant at first, but he said it’s the child that is payback for how I was when I was a kid. If that is the case, the teen years are going to be fun.

You freely blows kisses to everyone, and I do mean everyone.  The gas station attendant.  The cashier at Staples.  Cars in the pick-up line at your brother’s school, and me when I put you to bed.

Princess Madeline

One Week Old

Your favorite books are Goodnight Moon and Good Morning, Farm.  Goodnight Moon was your brother’s favorite book when he was your age too, and I love that we’re reading from the same copy I read to him.

Like Nick, you don’t “do baby.”  There was no rocking once you learned how to protest and wriggle free, but you show affection in different ways.  This afternoon, you kept running up to Nick and throwing your little arms around his neck to give him a big fat hug.  And then running back for kisses.  He was loving it.

You are one of the most independent people I know.  I’m sure I will pay dearly for this at some point later.  You know what you want and will demand it until you get it.  Even if it takes a little foot stomping or pouting.  No, of course, you don’t always win; sometimes I even get to be the mom!

Happy Baby

Six Months Old

When you were sick recently, I carried you to the elevator as we were leaving the building and we rode down to the first floor.  When the door opened, I heard “down, Mommy!”  I put you down but told you to hold my hand and stay with me since we were going into the parking lot.  You pulled your hand away and refused to hold mine.  And then, of course, refused to let me pick you up.  “Go, Mommy, go,” you said pointing to the walkway, stomping your feet for good measure.

Your independent streak applies to fashion choices as well.  I’ll take clothes out and you’ll refuse to wear them.  “No pants, no!”  So I pull out a dress and because it’s cold, tights as well.  “No tights, no,” you say, pulling your legs away from me.  That day we ended up compromising on leggings, but oy.  I thought I would have control over your clothing for just a little bit longer.  I was mistaken.

I'm a big girl now

One Year Old

You love our pets and call our cat, Luke, kook, which cracks me up. You call Eli, Eyi.  Nick used to call him Eya.  Poor dog.  He gets paid back ten-fold sitting under your seat at dinner time.

You love watching Dora, just like your brother, and frequently answer Dora’s questions correctly.  You also like watching The Fresh Beat Band.  “Kiki, Kiki!”  You recently discovered your brother’s old Doodlebops DVDs, and that’s a new favorite as well.

You love listening to music and our after-dinner dance parties, bopping around so hard that your shoes often go flying.  One of your favorite songs in our rotation is Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, and as soon as you hear it, you yell “Gaga!  Gaga!”  Love that.

You have your Dad’s eyes and long eyelashes, my dimples and a blonde streak in the back of your head inherited from both sides of the family.  You still suck fingers Number Three and Four, just like I did when I was a kid.  Hopefully you’ll grow out of it sooner than I did.  I was well into grammar school before the bumps on my fingers disappeared.

Miss Monkey Pants

First Birthday Party

When it comes to food, you are a grazer like your brother.  You love fresh fruit, pasta, black beans and ice cream.  You have a crazy sweet tooth, just like your grandmother, and have the freshest breath of any two-year-old that I know since you keep swiping my mints.  You love your Daddy’s roast chicken and his rice and beans.  Any time I come home with a drink in my hand, you make a beeline for it, yelling “Juice, me!  Juice, me!”  Luckily, it’s usually Starbucks.

You love to cook in the kitchen that’s in your playroom.  The same kitchen that your brother cooked on when he was little.  When you see me and Nick in the kitchen, you drag your little chair over to the counter to squeeze in between us.  “Me cook!  Me cook!”

You are constantly climbing.  Usually things that you have no business climbing.  You will use a chair, an empty box, the dog, whatever you can find to get to what you want.

The Big T-W-O

Today! My sister got Madeline this shirt, and I love it.
This was the best shot she would let me get today,
and it was just about perfect since her hands are covering
up a small orange sherbet stain she got on it this afternoon.

You are quite the little spit-fire in our house and we are all eternally blessed to have you in our lives.  You bring light, sunshine, happiness and mischief to us on a daily basis.  We love you, little monkey.  Happy 2nd birthday!


Love, Mom

Project 365
February 11, 2010, Photo #41

Worst Breakfast Sandwich Ever

This picture, in my Flickr stream, is titled The Worst Breakfast Sandwich Ever, and with good reason. I missed the part about the “maple syrup” and “cinnamon toast” on the box description, words that are much smaller print than the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Panini Breakfast Sandwich title. This is one of only two breakfast sandwiches that Lean Cuisine offers, and if it’s any indication, they need to quit now. When it was nuking in the microwave, Nick came into the kitchen to asked what smelled so bad. The maple flavoring is so overly and cloyingly sweet, the sandwich is nearly inedible.  The only reason I actually ate it was because I hate to waste food. Consider yourself warned.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey February 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

That rainbow tutu is darling!

Sweet Madeline…..happy day little one!


Joanne February 12, 2010 at 7:13 am

This is the sweetest thing I have ever read Maddie is gonna love reading these when she’s older. Great idea.

And happy birthday to the little princess!


The Sister In-Law February 12, 2010 at 8:31 am

Happy 2nd Birthday Maddie!!

Love Titi


Cathy February 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

Beautiful letter Cate!


Kris #40 February 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

Happy Birthday Madeline!

Love your letter Cate!


Jen February 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

awesome post, she is so pretty, what a baby, awww I hope for a little girl some day.


The Neighbor Husband February 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Happy Birthday Maddie :)


Magda February 12, 2010 at 9:55 pm

it all goes so fast…

Happy Birthday Sweet Maddie!


The Teacher Cooks February 13, 2010 at 9:29 am

I love the tu tu! The letter was so sweet. As a mom it made me cry!


Jen February 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm

What a beautiful letter to your daughter! My daughters are now 17 and 19 – I can’t believe how fast time went. I love being a mom and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of their milestones. With each birthday, I would proclaim “this is the very best age!” The teenage years have been just wonderful – believe it or not! We are closer than ever!

Happy second birthday to Madeline! She is a cutie!


Easy Family Meals February 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Nice photos. Happy second BD Madeline. What a great way to celebrate. Make sure you back these up for her.


pamela February 15, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Awww…happy belated birthday number 2 to miss Madeline!! Can’t believe she’s 2 already!


Ramona February 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Awww so sweet.


Meg February 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm

What a sweet letter for your daughter! Happy (belated) birthday to her!


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