What a crazy summer it has been. Even though you are not considered a toddler yet, I feel like you have all the characteristics of one. You scream MINE when we take something away from you, you throw dramatic fits when you don't get your way, and you still embrace your independent streak and challenge the rules that we set for you. We know it's a phase, and secretly, when you get really upset and open your mouth wide and belt out a cry, you look so darn cute, I can't help but secretly smiling to myself.
When you aren't acting like a toddler, you are the sweetest little girl in the world and you remind us you are still a baby. As of lately, you like to cup our faces with both hands and kiss us right on the lips. And you aren't done. Because after you kiss our lips, you twist our face and kiss both cheeks. You scream cheek, cheek, and you smack a big one on us. We melt! You can't form sentences yet, but you repeat almost all the words daddy and I say, and you have perfected many of the older words you first started to speak. You eat off a plate now, and soon enough you will be transitioned to a booster seat and out of your high chair. You use a fork and spoon and request these at dinner time. You are obsessed with flip flops, or as you like to call them, "flops." You want to wear them ALL the time, plus when you wear them, you require that mommy and daddy do too! So you run to the closet and pull out our flops and set them down by our feet demanding we put them on. You remain focused at swim lessons and are becoming a water lover. Sometimes it scares me how much you love the water, and the swim instructor was so impressed with you in the lessons she predicted you would be water baby for life. We have a blow up pool and water table in our backyard that you love to play with during the hot summer evenings and we spend a ton of time outside on the weekends. You have your friends, Oden, Colton, John and Ava over to help you enjoy these fun toys. Your baby side still comes out when you reach for your blankie. You love to put blankie in your mouth to help sooth you, and he is a staple where ever we go. Daddy hates how dirty it gets, but mommy understands the love you have for your blankie because I still have mine. You gotpotty in the big toilet a few times a week. We are trying to get you to tell us when you have to go potty or poo poo, and although it's not consistent, it's a start.
You went through a phase around 16 months where all you wanted was "mommy." I wouldn't call it separation anxiety, because you always like to do your own thing, but when you wanted me, nothing would get in your way until I would pick you up and hold you tight.
You put us through a HUGE scare at 20 months. You pulled out the comet toilet bowl cleaner from under the kitchen sink. It was the powder kind, and your curiosity got the best of you when you decided you wanted to taste it. We saw white powder all over your face, and panicked. Of course my shrieks and crying only made it worse, because once you picked up on our fear, you started to sob. Luckily, you had just learned to spit, so I made you drink water and then spit it out. I also thought it would be a good idea to have you brush your teeth with water and spit again, so we did that while daddy called 911. 911 transferred us to poison control where we put at ease. The operator told us we did everything right, and to check the mouth for sores. They advised us if any vomiting occurred to rush to the hospital, but the amount that was probably swallowed was so little that there was no harm.
You are a road warrior! You handled a 10 hour road trip to and from Lake Tahoe like a champ! You may have cried a few times, but honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better baby. You played with your toys, watched the scenery change outside and we sang along to your toddler cd. You got to hang out with my side of the family in Lake Tahoe, and while you are the most outgoing baby I know, you were a little shy and hesitant with all these unfamiliar people. You clung to me more than you ever have, but the last night there you finally ventured out of your shell and became the Jillian we knew. You had a melt down on a boat tour, and screamed for an hour. I tried to rock to you sleep, but you were stubborn and kept on crying. It was hard on me to see you so tired that you couldn't do anything else but cry, but the saving grace was my cousin, Slater. He sat with you, and played you music, and danced for you. You sat sobbing in my lap for a bit, but soon enough that smile emerged and you started to feel better.
These summer months aren't over yet, and we still have one big vacation left. We leave for Hawaii soon and this will be your second flight. We hope that you have zest for traveling like your mommy and daddy, because we love taking you everywhere with us. You are such a great baby, even through the minor fits, and we feel complete when we are all together.
If I had to sum up your personality traits with three words, I would say that you are Independent, Smart, and Social.
I just know you are going to be the best big sister when baby #2 comes, and I can't wait to see all your accomplishments in this new role. You really are becoming your own person.
Mommy (and daddy too).