Fifty things that Penelope learned how to do over the course of this last year:
Breathe in air. Cry. Nurse. Hold up her neck. Scratch her head. Control her arms, hands, legs and feet. Eat. Drink. Feed herself. Hold a cup. Hold a spoon. Feed the dog. Sit up. Roll over. Crawl. Stand. Squat. Walk. Smile. Laugh. Wave. Point to her head. Point to her toes. Pet the dog. Understand words. Call the dog by some sort of name (meeeeh-d for "Maddy.") Understand "no." Say "da-da." Say "ma-ma." Recognize people. Recognize places. Tolerate the bath. Enjoy the bath. Play with toys. Play with Maddy. Play at parks. Go on swings. Go on slides. Carry things. Carry a purse. Hide things. Reveal hiding places. Cause mischief. Look guilty. Enjoy a book. Turn a page. Request a story. Give hugs. Give kisses. Make people laugh.
Watching Penelope achieve these milestones has been the most amazing, wonderful and bittersweet moments of my life. With each achievement, we move on to the next and she becomes more and more her own little person.
Of all of these, Penelope's ability to intentionally try to make us laugh leaves me most delighted. This little person who had no personality a year ago has now decided that she loves to see us smile and laugh and will do silly things to accomplish her goal. This is a pure joy generator -- one that is hardly matched by anything else on earth.
Happy Birthday, Fuzz!