Saturday, September 19, 2009

14 months


Dear Noah bear~

It’s hard to believe that you are now 14 ½ months old. I wish I had written to you more this summer, but life has been even crazier than usual.

You continue to bring us incredible joy. You are so full of love, energy, giggles, strength, and determination. You are astonishingly active—basically you never stop moving, and most of the time you are either running or climbing, trying to see just how high you can get. We have to keep all the dining room chairs pulled back away from the table, because you climb up there every chance you get. You giggle and dance and smile at us proudly (and a bit mischievously!) every time—it’s the same satisfaction you get when you sneak by the accidentally-left-open baby gate at the bottom of the stairs and get halfway up them before we catch you. I have a feeling you will always take great delight in pushing limits—not only the ones we impose, but also your own. I imagine you will be the most “extreme” of our children, and that you’ll be the one sky-surfing and climbing the highest of mountains. Already you have mastered using the dishwasher rack to climb onto the counter, and you tried to continue to climb into the cupboard by stepping on the drainer. Who knows how high you would have gotten if I hadn’t gotten in your way!

You also love music and dancing. When we’re driving in our new minivan and you hear the first notes of Margaritaville (Mariah’s favorite song) your face lights up, you begin to bounce up and down in your seat, kick your legs, and clap. At home we crank up Pandora and dance to the Laurie Berkner station, or slow dance to your “Music for Rest” cd from Kristy to get you down for a nap.

What’s really blowing me away lately is your ability to express yourself. Your verbal ability and language are exploding and you’re finally starting to sign! I’ve been so excited to get to this stage, when we can really communicate in this new way. You mimic our words, and have some of your own that you use consistently. My latest favorite is “dee-doo” which is your way of saying “thank you”. You say it so sweetly every time we hand you something (especially food)—and today you did the sign for “thank you” right along with it for the first time. You’ve also signed “more” (when Grammie was feeding you kiwi fruit) and “all done” (after eating in your highchair), though you haven’t done either sign very consistently yet. I’m really looking forward to you using “milk” and other signs to tell me exactly what you want.

You are loving animals now more than ever and get so excited when you see them. You’re starting to make animal sounds. “Dee-Dee”s say “eee-oww” and “Daw-dee”s say “woo woo”. Most animals that you see are “dee-dee”s by default, and at the zoo you make a lot of “eee-oww” sounds and wave at the animals gleefully.
You are really enjoying books and discovering new parts of the world. Every time you hear a plane you look up and point at the sky. At night you point out the moon (“moo”) and stars (“dow”). You also love to watch the birds, and eat tomatoes right off the vine.

You have a bit of temper and you’re learning to throw little tantrums. You stomp your feet and squish up your face and yell—sometimes you flail your arms, or run away, or throw yourself on the ground. It makes life challenging at times, but I’m glad you feel safe expressing your full range of emotions. Plus all of that is overpowered by all your yummy lovingness. When I say goodbye you blow me kisses and when I ask for a snuggle you squeeze me tight. You are simply the sweetest and the most joyous little being we could ever hope to have, and I am so glad you joined our family.

There are so many things you do everyday that make me smile and warm my heart, I can’t possibly begin to list them all. I’m trying to capture some of it in these letters, in video clips and photographs, and to burn them into my memory—but it can be difficult to find the balance between capturing the moment and actually living in it... Your babyhood is slipping away and you are more boy-ish every minute. It’s hard for me knowing that you’re the last baby I’ll have, so your growing up is really bittersweet—but it brings me so much happiness to watch you grow, master new skills, and discover new things in the world that I welcome each new day and each new milestone.

Today is a really special day because we’re heading out to the coast (you’re buckled in your seat, so I finally have time to write, instead of constantly trying to chase you around and keep you safe!) The ocean is really important to me, and with all that’s been happening this year we haven’t been there enough. You haven’t seen it since you were only 3 months old. I can’t wait to watch you walk in the sand and splash in the water. I’ll dance with you as we smell the salty air and smile as you try to catch the seagulls and let the doggies lick your face. I love you completely—always and forever, no matter what.