Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Visit with Santa

I cannot believe a year has passed since last holiday season. And what a year it's been. If you recall, Maddie got her prosthesis last year just before Thanksgiving, and she was just learning how to manuever on two legs. Now, she's four inches taller and already on her second "special" leg. She can walk across a balance beam at gymnastics with very little assistance. She can tap dance, and she worked very, very hard to learn position one in easy task when you have one artificial leg. Besides dance and gymnasatics, Maddie loves to sing. She knows lots of song by heart from "Amazing Grace" to the Black Eyed Peas. Her favorite birthday present, which has been getting lots and lots of use, is a kids' MP3 player with an attached microphone. We were able to load it up with all of her favorite songs, and she can often be heard singing her little heart out, mike in hand. Maddie's English continues to flourish. At her recent parent/teacher conference, her teacher told us that Maddie speaks far better than many of her classmates, all of whom have spoken English all of their lives. We are also pleased that Maddie has developed into a very caring, emphathetic child. Just last night, I was talking to my mom on the phone who has been suffering from a nasty cold. Maddie came into the room and asked, "How is Grandma's cold? Is she feeling better?" And she is so polite. We hardly ever have to remind her to say please, thank you, you're welcome, or excuse me. She loves school. She loves Sunday school. She continues to love dresses and dressing up. She is a happy, smart, funny, talented, amazing kid. We are so lucky to have her as a part of our family. I cannot imagine life without her.

Miss Ibby is the most affectionate human being I have ever known. I cannot count how many hugs and kisses I receive throughout the day or how many times I hear, "I love you, Mom." "You're my best friend, Mom." And talk about happy! It is very rare to see her without a smile on her face. She loves puzzles and coloring and painting. Her teacher says she excels in the visual/spatial/mathematical areas. A budding architect, perhaps? She's such a little peanut...we like to use the term "petite"...that she looks younger than she is. It's so funny to hear big vocabulary words like "ridiculous" or "frustrated" in her adorable little voice. Isabel is a cuddler, and if she's not hugging a family member, she can be seen clutching one of her many stuffed animals, all of which must go to bed with her. There is hardly enough room in bed for the girl! Isabel is a sensitive soul...a little scared by the intense moments in films (she and I had to leave "Tangled" for a few moments near the end when things got a little pun intended), heartbroken if she's ever scolded, and so in tune with the feelings and moods of others. She loves her sister and her friends. She delights in school and Sunday school. Independent, smart, funny and athletic are all good words to describe her. She loves to run, ride bike, hold hands, sing, dance, "read" books to herself and others, and tell stories. She is full of love and laughter, curiousity and kindness. We are so proud of the person she has sweet, so caring, so polite, so loving. She brings great "joie" to our lives. (Her middle name is certainly fitting.) She makes us better people, better parents, and our lives are immeasurably better because she is our daughter. She is a wondrous, wonderful girl.

As many of you know, I love the holiday season, always have. These days, the holidays are brighter and merrier than I could have ever imagined. I am blessed. I am blessed. Happy Holidays!