one and a half

Today, this little miss is one and a half years old.

Baby of mine, you may be child number two but you are no one's second fiddle. You are a serious, take-charge little beauty. Often you won't relax or have a good time until you've completely understood a new situation and then demanded this or this be changed to your tastes before you let your guard down a little and grace us with a laugh or grin. This isn't about being timid, it's about making sure the world is on your terms before you are willing to enjoy it. You remind me of me, only bolder and stronger, I hope you never lose that boldness or strength, it is so impressive (if exasperating to your poor old Mom and Pop at times).

You're also so incredibly physical. Where you are slow to warm to new situations or people, you are also fast to risk life and limb for a thrill. You love to throw your body around, run fast, swing, slide, anything that puts the wind in your wispy strawberry blonde hair.

You are a stinker and often do things you know are against the rules, on purpose, and then when we say, "Oh my, Etta, what is this?" you put your little chubby hands under your chin and make the most surprised little "O!" face we can imagine as if to say, "Ain't I a stinker?" then smile and run away.

You love crackers so much. Let's just memorialize this.

You also say, really almost whisper, "Yeah, yeah," while nodding your head in a way that I want to always remember. Like if you fall down and we ask, "Are you ok?" you will reassure us my whispering, "Yeah, yeah."

You love to cuddle your dolls and especially stuffed animals. You will cuddle one in the crook of your elbow while sucking your thumb.

You pick out your own shoes every day and if I try to skirt around your choice there is hell to pay. Last week you wanted to wear your blue dock shoes but they were wet from the yard so I grabbed your red mary janes and we were off to the sitter. When I picked you up I heard about how you chewed her out all day long every time she tried to put your shoes on. You were irate and gibbering in long sentences about how those red shoes were absolutely unacceptable! We both laughed at your spitfire spirit.

You are a born dancer and love baths. These are both things that will put you in a happier mood when you are feeling a bit on edge.

I have a feeling words, words, and more words are coming soon and that, like your brother, this will be a turning point in your development because once you can really vocalize exactly what you want, are thinking, and feeling you will feel more in control. It was around this time, maybe closer to 2, that Otto went from super serious baby to a more relaxed little guy. Although that is about the end of your similarities. Still I am excited for the words to come. You already have quite a few, but it seems you're on the brink of just sitting us down and giving us a real earful.

I love you. That's the biggest thing. I love you and cherish you and can't believe eighteen months have gone by since the day we welcomed you into our family. Our Loretta Cecille. Eighteen months. Unreal.

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