24 things at 18 months

People who've never met Faith tell me that they feel like they know her from this blog. While some parents might be hesitant to overshare as much as we do about our daughter, I couldn't be happier she has touched some hearts through the Internet. May the happiness she brings to our lives reach far beyond the walls of our household in 2012 :)
Happy New Year! And with that, I give you 24 more things: my letters to Faith.

1. You know all the Sesame Street characters by name including Cuukie, BiBa, AbbEEE, Growo, Cown, Ahkur and most importantly, Emo (for non-parents of toddlers: Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Count, Oscar the Grouch and Elmo). We want to capture this on video, but every time we try and ask you a character name with the camera rolling, all you say is "No."

2. You are such a mommy's girl these days, most likely because Daddy is gone at nights with basketball so we get our bonding time in. You love to say "Mom-eeee" and hand me stuff that's mine. You also like to hand your Dad his shoes and say "Wob" (Rob).  Guess I need to start calling him Dad more often.

3. You are obsessed with your snowboots. If you see them and they aren't already on your feet, it's tantrum time. Since there hasn't been any snow on the ground, there's been no need to wear them, but you do look like a cute lil' ski bunny with them on.

4. You talk. A lot. You pretend to read your books (sometimes upside down). You are babbling at Mickey Mouse (also known as MiMo as I type this). You know what you're saying and most of the time, we do too. I never thought I'd be one of those parents who understood jibberish, but I officially feel like I've earned that badge now.

5. I don't let you splurge very often and I regulate your meals so that they incorporate a vegetable or fruit better than I do my own, but we shared a hot chocolate chip cookie recently and to say you liked it would be the understatement of the year.

6. You are a little acrobat these days. You can climb up on the couch by yourself, scale the stairs and tumble all over. Dad roughhouses with you while I nervously watch in the background.

7.  I know all kids love Howie because of his small size, but you get to have him all the time. Still, you are constantly looking for him and calling his name, "Hooobie." We taught you to "pet him nice" and now he likes playing with you too.

8. Apparently you're a big Iowa State fan. The first time I tried to take off your Cyclone sweatshirt to give you a bath, you threw you first/worst tantrum. We're talking sobbing. I just held you in my arms til you got over it.

9. So far, you've been bitten twice and scratched once at daycare. Being a first-time mama, I was irate before I learned this is more common than I thought. I wish I could teach you to bite back, but I'm sure you'll learn to retaliate soon enough.

10. You had your first timeout on Christmas. Honestly, it was hard not to laugh because you had no clue what was going on. Tears were streaming down your face, but you still sat there for about a minute before we came to tell you it was over. Trust me, it was harder on us.

11.  You love to smooch...especially people your age. Mostly you're on the receiving end, but today you went after Liam guns hot.

 And you give - hands down - thee best hugs in the world. Feeling your little hands pat my back makes those 5 a.m. wake up calls well worth it.

12. You still use a binky at night and for naps. Hopefully that isn't the case by the time you turn two, but now that you can ask for it by name it's gonna be a battle royale to take it away.

13.Though exhausting, our nighttime routine is my favorite. After our ice cream snack, we go upstairs, brush our teeth, read three books of your choice, turn off the lamp and say our prayers for Bubba's babies and other infants. Most nights I put you in the crib, tuck a stuffed giraffe under your arm and cover you with a blanket. Some nights you stand back up like "wait a second, lady, I ain't goin' down this easy." I don't mind holding you until you're snoring because it reminds me of when you were little.

14. Favorite foods: Mac n Cheese. Grilled Cheese. Shredded Cheese. Sliced Cheese. String Cheese. Cottage Cheese.

15. You have no idea how many people love you. Grandpa John comes to visit you every Saturday and your Granny Janny would kidnap you nightly if she could. I assume there are a lot of people that would. You are partial to the people that you see on a regular basis.

16. You are finally learning how to go down steps. We still use the gate when you're upstairs though. We don't want what goes up to come down with a bump on her head.

17. Your Papa Stevie taught you to say Hawkeyes. Mommy's trying to teach you to say "Boooo."

18. You and your cousin Cam had your pictures taken together for Christmas. You didn't smile in a single shot. While you did sit very still while Cam ran around you in circles, I would've preferred at least a smirk instead of the frowny face. I'm kind of glad you don't just say cheese for the camera, so that when you do smile, I know I'm truly capturing your happiness.

19. I keep trying to put your hair in pigtails, but daycare keeps reminding me off all the hair-ties in your cube. I will win this one.

20.You are learning pretend play. Fake tea parties and watching you feed a baby a bottle are the reasons I wanted a baby girl. We left a specific nativity scene at your height just so you could play with all of the figurines. And your plush Elmo has Fruit Loop crumbs in his mouth still from you feeding him.

 21. One of your favorite pastimes is to watch videos of yourself on my phone. I just wish I knew if you knew it's you.

 22. For some reason, you are obsessed with the bathroom. Hopefully you'll be obsessed with cleaning it someday.

23. You have a wonderful sense of humor. Even if you don't get the joke you laugh. Kind of like your mom. If you know the room is laughing, you'll join in. Dad can always count on you for a smile when he tells a bad joke.

24. You are beautiful. Seriously, I could stare at you all day long. Except for when you're taking a nap. Then I stare at the back of my eyelids. We just took your 18 month pictures (password: faithiscute) today and I got choked up realizing how much you've grown up.You're a kid now. It's crazy, but I love it.

This past year and a half has been the most rewarding, tiring, rewarding year and a half of my life. Thank you for being you :)

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