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Dear Owen,

You are 18 months old! A  year and a half as flown by since you were born. I always say that whatever age you currently are is my favorite, but I really, REALLY mean it this time. This age is just so much fun, and you have such a personality.

I feel like I should say this in hushed tones so as not to jinx myself, but Owen, you’re just so good. Parenting is a hard job, but really, these last few months have been, dare I say it…pretty easy. Save for a small sleep regression a few weeks ago, you go to bed between 7 and 7:30 every night, and we don’t hear from you again until 7:30 the next morning. Sometimes even 8! (Although, that’s rare.) You start the day with kisses for Mama, and as soon as we’re done changing your diaper, you run into my room to kiss Dada good morning. And then immediately, you tell me it’s time to “eeeaaaattt!!!”

Because you DO tell me that. A lot. You love to eat, and would do it all day if I let you. You’ve become really proficient at using a fork and spoon, and it still surprises me to see you eating something like cereal and blueberries like a big kid. You will eat almost anything I give you, although your distaste for green beans remains. You do however love zucchini and broccoli, which I hope continues.

Your language has just exploded over the last few months and you never stop talking. You have so many words! Sometimes we can only understand them in the context of a situation, but most of the time we know exactly what you’re saying. Of course, you’re still learning, and sometimes get frustrated with me when I don’t know what you’re asking for. Most of the time a request to “show me” will solve the problem, but on at least one occasion you were repeating a word over and over with no solution. Learning to talk is hard!

Your first sentence was “Oh, my Dada!”, which has expanded to “Oh, my Mama (or any of your relatives)” and most recently, “Oh, my cheese.” I wasn’t kidding about you liking to eat. When we go to the grocery store you point out all the foods as we pass them by. You say please (“mease”) when you want something, although still have to be asked, “how do you ask?” to get you to do it sometimes. Recently you’ve discovered that asking of me specifically gets a much faster response, so many requests now sound like, “Open, Mama!” or “More, Mama!” You love animals and can name so many obscure ones (ostrich, dolphin, ram), but you don’t really like many in real life and tend to shy away from them. Except for Kodiak, of course. You LOVE Kodiak, and have recently discovered that you can feed him things like Goldfish crackers, much as we don’t want you to. I think Kodiak loves you even more now!

You’ve inherited the music gene and love to shake your stuff to any beat, play the piano at grandma’s house, and love the toy xylophone, drum and guitar. I hear you singing to yourself in the morning, and recently you’ve begun to sing “Five Little Monkeys” and “Ba Ba Black Sheep”. You can count to ten…sort of. It goes like this: “1, 2, 3, 4…gibberish…8, 9, 10…yay!” You can also recognize some letters, especially the letters O and E. You are obsessed with trucks and buses and tractors and can already decipher between things like a backhoe vs. a tractor vs. a dump truck. Mama is in trouble, because I would basically just call them all trucks.

You’re going to be a big brother this summer. If we ask you where the baby is you will pull up my shirt and kiss my belly, but I don’t think you really know what that means. If we ask if you want a brother or a sister, you’ll answer a broda-sisser. I think you’re going to be a really fantastic big brother.

Mostly, Owen, you are just so happy and loving, always offering a kiss and a hug, playing with your toys or sitting in your room surrounded by books, paging through them happily. You fill our hearts with joy every day and I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow.

I love you, little boy.

Love,

Mama

 

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O Baby,

It’s time for your quarterly newsletter already. How is that possible? I swear, we were just celebrating your first birthday. The time since my last letter to you has brought such change — you are no longer a baby, that’s for sure. You are a toddler, and an active one at that.

You took your first steps about a month ago, but still aren’t full-blown walking. You totally could, though. You just don’t want to. If we barely hold onto your finger, you are walking all over the place (and telling us you are, “Wak, wak, wak!”), but the minute we let go you stand for a moment, then lower yourself back to the ground. I’m not discouraged by this, because I have learned that you do things at your own pace and then once you do them, you take off like a rocket. For now, we continue to watch you crawl around, pull yourself up onto and climb over everything like a monkey, and “wak, wak” when you feel like it.

Your walking might not be off the charts right now, but your talking is. You have so much to say! Every day you’ve found a new word, and if you haven’t completely learned it yet, you at the very least repeat what we say with shocking accuracy. Yesterday you walked around the yard with me and pointed out all the pretty “fow-ers” You also know all your “people” now, and sometimes like to list them off for no reason. “Mama. Dada. Dog. Nah Nah (that’s your auntie), Mema, Gaaah pa, Gaaaam ma, Oma…Dog.” You like the end with Dog. I think one of my favorite things you say is cheese – “chzzzz”. You enjoy saying it and always laugh.

Speaking of laughing, oh baby, you are such a happy kid! Strangers always remark on your infectious smile and outgoing personality. I joke that it’s a good thing you weren’t born to shy parents, because you force us to talk to so many people each day. Everywhere you go you make friends, young and old. You say hiiiii and blow kisses at the speed of light, one right after the other. “Mwah, mwha, mwhamwhamwhamwhamwha!”

As you come into your own, you’ve become very demanding. You want your milk cup AND your water cup on the high chair. You want to eat your oatmeal with a spoon, not have it fed to you. You want bread “breaaaaah” at every meal. You about a week away from becoming a loaf yourself. You use your words pretty well to tell us what you want, but if you can’t, you point at “THAT!”, or resort to screeching until we figure out what you need. The screeching? Mama does not like the screeching. Apparently this is common for around this age? I don’t care, knock it off, ok?

You do enjoy so much now. You love to go to the playground and swing or walk by the river. You love to go shopping and ride in the cart. You love walks in your stroller around the neighborhood or by the beach. You love the ocean. You love your blocks and your books and riding on your tractor. You still love Elmo. And kid, you LOVE your Dada. You may still be a Mama’s boy, but the minute you see your father you shriek with happiness and delight. In the morning, you crawl down the hallway to find him, calling “Daaaada! DADA!” And Owen, I can’t tell you how happy that makes him.

You sleep through the night now. Like, really sleep through the night. Thank you! Naps have been tricky lately as you transition from two to one, but over the last few days I’ve taken the advice of other moms and pushed your morning nap closer to lunch. It seems to be slowly doing the trick, and I hope in another few weeks you will be back to napping normally. You are completely night weaned, and now nurse only about twice a day – once before nap and again before bed. It’s a comfort thing for you that you’re just not ready to let go of completely, and that’s ok.

For the sake of keeping record, I’m guessing you weightabout 25-26 lbs (you were 24 at your one-year visit) and are about 32 inches tall. Your hair is golden blond and your eyes, while darker, are still hazel. You have a ton of teeth, maybe 10? It’s hard to keep track. You’re still working on your molars, though.

You are my light, my heart, my world. You are my monkey, my O-Baby, my Owen.

I love you, little boy.

Love,

Mama