Today is your 18-month birthday, you are 1 1/2. No longer a baby, but fully entrenched in toddler-hood. Things this year are so much more fun with you because everything is new to you. You were just too young last spring to notice the changes in the world around you, but this year you are enjoying the view as the world comes back to life. There are great big trees along both sides of the road in our neighborhood, they are home to droves of squirrels and every time you see a squirrel you make a noise of surprise and delight as though you just can't believe such awesome little critters are running around in your yard!
You have been very interested in all of the different flowers popping up all around our house and regardless of where they are growing you are determined to investigate. You listen intently when I tell you what kind of flower it is and what color the petals are. You are usually very gentle and only use one finger to touch the petals, leaves and stem. However. We also have weeds growing in our yard, yellow weeds that you seem to think are very pretty. Eventually these weeds go to seed and then you feel the need to blow their seeds all over the place, thus creating more weeds. When you grow up you will call them dandelions and hopefully you will stop your quest to help them take over the universe. You play this little game at grandma's house too, but grandma's yard has a pretty slide to distract you.
Anytime we are over at grandma's you request that someone come with you outside, you want to slide. We used to have to lift you up onto the platform and then you would hold our fingers as you cautiously slid back down to the ground. Rinse, repeat...over and over again. No more! You have figured out that your little tennis shoes provide enough traction to climb up the slide, so now you crawl up on your hands and feet. And, just the other day I watched as you went down the slide with your feet tucked under you. I like to call this James-Brown-style. Your uncle encourages your adventurous streak and I love watching the two of you play together.
Although you seem to have no fear when it comes to playing, your sense of personal hygiene is well intact. You love to brush your teeth with me in the morning as we are getting ready for the day and you enjoy the warm washcloth I use to clean your hands and face after each meal. If you find some dirt on your hands you say "Eiw" and ask that I remove the offending particle. You have taken it to a whole new level with your feet though. I often find you removing your shoes and socks (you still need a bit of help with your socks most of the time) and examining your feet for foozles. Other people call it toe jam or sock lint, but we call it foozles, a term coined by your father's cousin which I adopted because it just fits perfectly.
I hope you know how proud I am of you every day, you remind me to enjoy the season and to take the time to appreciate the world around me. You have helped make me a better person, you made me a mother.
23 hours ago