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To the shortest one in the house,

We just started letting you watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and you love it.  Just a few minutes in the morning and it helps me get everything ready to go.  The funny thing is you call it the “puppies” show.  You wake up asking for puppies and point to the TV. You don’t sit watching it long but if they yell “Oh toodles!” then you yell it.  When the intro comes on and everyone waves, you wave right back.  At the end you dance your heart out to that hot dog song.

We just broke down and bought an Ipad, not for you but to you know, join the world.  You do enjoy watching puppy and baby videos on there instead of our phones.  Which has always been the only way you will sit still long enough to let us cut your nails.

Can you see the obsession with puppies yet? You and your puppy are two peas in a pod. You really love all dogs except for the neighbors boxer, Bacon, that comes to visit everyday.  You tell him to “home night night!”

You have been really good with your words for awhile now but everyday new ones just fall out.  You have more words than babble at this time and sign right along with it.  Unless of course your Grandparents are over, then you tuck away that signing like they are the ones who need it the least.  But kid, they are the reason you are learning to sign, they can’t hear you:)

You are super into coloring and your favorite color is yellow.  We buy a cheap pack of cards for each holiday and while I make dinner, you sit and color your heart out on those cards.  You also ask for a few stickers to smash in the card and we eventually pick a few friends or family members to mail them to. Sometimes I have caught you randomly licking the cards so that is nice of you.

You are becoming more and more helpful around the house. You know where to put your dirty laundry and that your shoes go next to the door.  You like to pick up your toys and wipe down your high chair when you are done eating.  Don’t even get me started on your love of switching the laundry and vacuuming. I mean, you hug and kiss the vacuum every time we pull it out.  You LOVE that thing.

You are starting to know how to put on your own pants, shoes and socks.  You know where the shirt goes but aren’t quite there yet.  Unfortunately you also know how to take your clothes and diaper off.  You LOVE to be naked and wipe your own bum.  Thank God for onesies.

Recently you discovered dirt and a shovel.  You have decided that you can put a hat on just like daddy and do the things he does.  Be still my heart when you were out there working right next to him, all red cheeks and sweaty hair, stuck with dirt.  You love being outside, thank goodness.  You sit happily in your swing, play fetch with your puppy and pick flowers.

The weather has finally warmed up enough for us to get back to our walks, down the mud road.  It has been a few months since I’ve thrown you in the Ergo and let me tell you, I can’t front carry you any longer.  So with a lot of practice, laughter, and tipping over, I finally got you in the back carry.  I think I need to adjust it more but you seemed fine with it.  You did keep patting my front and trying to climb up on me to get back to the spot you are used to.  Your little feet and legs aren’t ready for our hiking adventures quite yet:)

Every Friday we have swim lessons and you walk into the place like you own it.  Waving at the now familiar faces and going about your routine.  Then, every Monday we have been going out to a place just for you.  The gym, the zoo, children’s museum.  Some sort of kid thing.  You still aren’t good about other kids and you really hate all adults.  You like to stand back and watch kids, maybe wave at them but you aren’t one to join in.  I was the same way.  I was a stand back and watch person so I don’t shove you in to play.  I let you go at your own pace.  But when you do find a friend you like you are quite sweet.  Most of the time you do share your toys and play nicely.

Our food fights come and go.  Something I see be so normal for some families and yet we have a weird struggle.  You don’t eat meat and we live in the Midwest for gosh sakes.  You do have a love for pasta, peas and mandarin oranges.  I can tell you that you swallow those peas whole and you do not chew them.  It is as gross as you think.

Your Daddy is your world and you are realizing he is gone more than home.  Come Monday mornings, you don’t like to accept this fact.  Every time you hear a truck, mower or really anything with an engine, you assume it is Daddy.  You are starting to follow him around and want to help him more.  You let him do all sorts of things with you and you don’t fight him on it.  Examples, changing your diaper, clothes, putting on shoes or really anything.  Sigh.

Your Aunt is your best buddy and when she comes home you are so excited to go downstairs with her and chase the cats around.  You know how to say her name but have decided to call her Aunt Mamma all on your own.  Don’t know where you got this from but it cracks us up.  She pretty much will answer to you no matter what.

You are in 18 months clothing and look to be there for the foreseeable future.  At your 18 month appointment your doctor was quite happy to see you finally making strides in the weight gaining department.  22lbs! You are finally in the 26th percentile! Man, these little things we worry over.

A few weeks ago you fell at Grandmas for the first time and busted open your lip.  You did about 3 seconds of crying, while blood poured out of your mouth, and then realized licking a washcloth is fun.  Two minutes later you were off and running again.  If we make it till you are 3 without an ER visit, I’ll be shocked.

You are also super into buckles right now.  Any and everything you can buckle makes you happy.  Car seat included and you are darn close to getting it unbuckled yourself so that will soon be a problem.  We give you Fenway’s collars to walk around and work with because it is the easiest thing not attached to something.  Well, you try to then attach them back to Fenway which pisses her off.  You have your Dad’s brain when it comes to this stuff and it scares me how quickly you figure out how things work.

You are now a full on toddler, with an opinion and fight for everything. I want you to be a strong willed woman but raising it is a whole different ball game.  It actually surprises me how much I can get down to your level, reason with you and you KNOW what I’m talking about.  I see your brain working on whether or not you then want to follow through with your actions or not.  I have to say this does help, this communication, or I would probably be drinking way more:)

But kid you are our world and I’m truly loving this phase.  For the most part, each day gets easier and I do soak it all up.  I love being able to get you and take you places.  I love watching you learn and explore the world around you from the big things to the little things.  I love seeing you gain preferences for certain things.  More than anything I love watching you become your own little person.  This parent gig is a pretty damn great thing to do with you.