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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dear 18-Months Addisyn,

Dear Addisyn,
You are now officially a toddler. At least I think that's what we call you now that you're 18 months old. A year and a half old. Wow. Time is flying, that's for sure. It really is true what they say, "when you're having fun..." We sure do have fun with you. I have hundreds of moments when I stop and smile at something you are doing and think to myself, "What did we ever do without you those first two years as parents?" Our life is so full and rich with you in it, silly girl.

You are funny and make us laugh more than we could imagine. You say the silliest things. You say everything really. You know how to repeat the letters A through O... you stop at O because your brother's name is Owen and you just start looking for him when we get to that letter. We think it's cute... yet still hope someday you'll make it to the letter Z!

You talk so much. Like a lot. More than any little girl your age we've known. It's astounding. Everyone tells us so. You take a little bit to warm up to talking to everyone though, so not everyone sees it right away. You say "Bless you" if we sneeze... not sure who even taught you that, but it's so sweet. You repeat everything we say. It's like having a parrot around, but a cute one that's not annoying.

Two months ago I counted and you said more than 50 words... no idea where you are now, but it's a lot. And I have to say I LOVE it. I could listen to you talk for hours.

You idolize your big brother. You are always together. You chase after him... running faster than your little Converse-covered feet can take you. But you never seem to get too far behind. Owen stretches out a hand to help you down the hill or up if you fall... it still brings tears to my eyes when I see you two becoming lifelong friends right before me. It's pretty awesome. You are sometimes a Diva to him, screeching if he comes near your trucks with dolls inside them, but overall you really love your big bro.

You say his name so cute, too... "Oooo-when." I don't think I'll forget how you say that. I'm trying to memorize so much these days, as I know it's flying by too fast. That's one thing I won't have to try hard to remember... that sound of you calling to your brother.

I watch you trying to be like him, to follow all that he does, to learn from his every move. I'm a big sister myself, so I know how awesome this is for Owen. He's going to be annoyed by you, of course, but someday, maybe even already, he'll know how cool it is to have a little sister following him around. I pray you two are best buddies for a long, long time. 

You're one of those girls who I admire. You wear lots of dresses, pinks and purples. You have bows for your non-existent hair. You adore dolls, kiss and hug them. You love to cook and play in your doll house.

And yet you go to sleep in camouflage John Deere tractor pajamas your brother passed down to you. You play with tractors and trucks, saying "broom broom" all day. You get dirtier outside in the sand and mud, water puddles and use shovels more than your brother does. We can't keep you away from bikes and leaves these days.

I love this about you. I love that you are daring, adventurous, fearless. I love that you seem confident, sure of yourself. I hope this stays with you into your moody teenage years.

I hope you know how loved you are, Addisyn Rose. You are definitely a light in our lives.

Lately you are obsessed with Elmo... but really you mean Cookie Monster. You won't say it though, it's all Elmo. Love it. You're definitely an individual. Unique.  Creative. Oh, little one, stay that way forever, this I wish for you more than anything else. Be unchanged by others. Make things up as you go along. Be you... the wonderfully awesome you that we know already at 18 months, just be her forever.

Dad has already chosen his father-daughter dance song for your wedding someday... and it's so YOU...

"I believe the light that shines on you will shine on you forever. And though I can't guarantee there's nothing scary hiding under your bed, I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a golden retriever. And never leave till I leave you with a sweet dream in your head... I'm gonna watch you shine, gonna watch you grow, gonna paint the sign so you'll always know, as long as 1 and 1 is 2... there could never be a father loved his daughter more than I loved you..." - Paul Simon

I find myself wanting to keep up with how fast you are growing lately. I want to remember how you giggle right this second, because it's high pitched and different than it was six months ago. I want to video tape how you learn each new syllable because soon you'll be putting two and four and five words together and it'll blow me away how you went from saying "mama" and "O" and dddddada" to real things like "I don't know" or "where'd he go?" like you learned yesterday.

It's like we get to meet you all over again every day or week it seems. You learn something new so quickly.  When you were a baby I wanted to slow time, now that you're becoming this little individual I can't wait to see what you'll learn, do, be next!

Thanks for the laughs, little one. 18 months... time is an amazingly fleeting thing. I adore all about you and who you are becoming. Let's have a blast these next 6 months before you reach the Total Diva Stage, aka Terrible 2s... oy ve, I really dread the 3rd year with its ups and downs and teenage-like moodiness. I survived it with your brother though, so I'm sure we can handle whatever is coming from your brain growing. We've got this.

Until then though, let's just enjoy the silliness and learning new words phase you're in. I love that. A lot. You go girl.

Love, Mama

"This girl is on fire! This girl is on fire! 
She's walking on fire! This girl is on fire!
Ohhh we got our feet on the ground and we're burning it down.
Ohhh got our head in the clouds and we're not coming down.
This girl is on fire!"
 - Alicia Keys

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