You turned 18-months in Thailand this weekend, which is appropriate since you are such a world traveler. You keep growing up so fast, and it is hard for me to believe that the little boy running down the airport terminal yelling, "Airplane! Airplane! Airplane" is my tiny baby.
While your coordination, vocabulary, awareness, and knowledge have grown exponentially over the past six months, your sweet disposition hasn't changed at all. You shake your head and tell the T.V. "No. No fighting," whenever there is an action scene or argument depicted. You willingly share even your most precious toys with friends that visit. You are quick to say "Uh oh--Sorry!" whenever you make a mistake or do something you know you shouldn't have, and then you always try to make it right. You sweep up your spilled snacks with your little broom, and you shove the toilet paper back onto the roll right after you pull it all off. You have a beautiful smile that charms anyone who is funny enough (or lucky enough) to get one out of you. You've recently learned to pray, and you like to say your own little prayer after we finish our family prayer. We have no idea what you've said between announcing "I pray," and your enthusiastic, "AMEN!" but we're positive Heavenly Father understands every word.
You've grown to be so expressive, yelling "Yay! Daddy!" when your Dad comes home from work, asking us to "Get the ball, please," or pointing to your breakfast cereal and sweetly but firmly declaring, "No. Hot soup, please." We can't help but laugh when you look at one of us and say, "Outside? Yes. Play." And we love to hear you sing your variation of the opening song to your sign language movie.
You're also very observant and very aware of people. You learn people's names very quickly, announcing to us when "Sehge," "Suhsehsah," and "Ate" get to church (Sage and her parents, Jessica and Nate), and telling me all about your day with "Ahnni fwend," "Toy," "Wibby," and "Tohl" (Anni "your friend," her dad Troy, her sister Livvy, and her mom Nicole). You have learned by pure observation to say "Thank you" to white people, and "Xie Xie" to Asians. You are keenly aware of any other baby crying, and say to me with a deeply concerned look, "Baby sad. Baby so sad."
Your favorite foods lately are oranges, grapes, apples, raisins, beans (for which you ask, "moh beens!"), soup, cereal, and fruit leather. You are very particular about the temperature of your food, asking for "hot soup," or "hot cereal." When I offer you an orange, you ask if it's "cold" (and you pretend to shiver by shaking your fists next to you). If I say "yes" and pull one out of the fridge, then you tell me "Orange. Cold. Yes." If I say "no" and pull one off the counter, you shake your head and say "No." You like your Cheerios cold, your juice warm, and your beans hot... and you are not too shy to say so. You've also started to understand when we give you choices, and when I ask if you want fruit or cereal for breakfast you put one finger to your chin, look out the corner of your eye, and then you say, "I dink... cereal."
You love music: you stand with perfect posture at the piano and play the same tunes you've made up over and over again, you hold the guitar correctly, and you can keep the beat of any song we play with your foot or your little toy hammer. You love animals, especially new ones you've never seen or heard of before, but your very favorite is always the "puppy..." and you're so close to selling your dad on getting one when you're bigger! You love books, playgrounds, swimming, busses, boats, airplanes, and cars. And you love danger... much to the chagrin of your poor worrying Dad.
Most of all you love, love, love to cuddle, which makes me so happy. When you wake up, you climb off the bed and walk around the house looking for me, yelling, "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?" until you find me and then you run straight into my arms for our morning snuggle. I know that one day you will grow out of it, which is why every morning I take in that first cuddle like it's my last: I press my cheek against your perfectly soft one; I run my fingers through your sweet baby hair; I nuzzle your little button nose; I wink and blink until I get you to smile; and then I tell you just how important you are to me. You are the world to your dad and I. You are what we think about, what we work for, what we laugh about, what we hope for.
You are so special, and so loved. Thanks for the last 18 months. They've been awesome!