Tuesday, May 7, 2013

letters to duke - 18 months

April 22, 2013

Dear Duke,

These past 2 months have been absolutely full of precious moments.  I've enjoyed watching you learn and figure out so many new things.

You love carrying keys around and holding them up to doorknobs to unlock them.  Your dad and I found this incredibly fascinating since we never really unlock/lock doors that way.  One of your new favorite activities is to go stand in this corner of our living room.  Once we say, "3-2-1-blastoff," you run out from the corner, slightly bent down with your hands behind you.  You love it!

The amount of language that you understand is just mind-blowing to me.  We can ask you to put your drink on the table or go find a specific toy and you'll do it!  You intentionally say these words and know exactly what they mean:  mama, dada (or daddy), hot ("ha"), cold ("co"), hi, bye, no, dog, go, gee ("again"), dah (which means "please" based on your sign language), shoe, and cookie.  Sometimes I'll ask you to repeat sounds or words after me and you can do it.  When you're really excited (usually about eating) you'll say, "nah-no, nah-no," over and over.  Another one of your favorite phrases to say is, "goo goo goo GAH," with "gah" going up really high at the end.  You also pick up on little cues - like when we start whispering, you'll whisper too.  Your dad and I think it's so cute!

We can't talk about "going" or leaving the house until we are ready to walk out the door.  Otherwise, once you hear the word "go" you run straight to the door, hold the doorknob, and yell "go!  go!  go!"

You love playing the drums and every Sunday after church, it's pretty much a requirement that we take you up to play the drums on stage.  You and Cooper have a great time doing this together.  You love humming and just this past week, you sang for the first time!  Duke, I almost passed out from experiencing so much cuteness.  Yes, you've been singing intervals of a 3rd (so-mi) for many months with songs like "Round and Round" or "Rocking, Rocking."  But this was the first time you actually followed a melodic line!  I was playing "Twinkle, Twinkle" and you were sitting on my lap.  Out of nowhere, you decided to start singing.  My heart nearly exploded hearing your sweet little voice sing.  I wanted to cry, scream, and laugh all at the same time!

I'm so glad the weather is getting nicer because you love playing outside.  You play with sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles, and carry sticks around.  You are still fascinated with airplanes and say, "bye," to them as they fly by.  The dogs love when you come out to play.  Bagheera especially loves playing with and licking you.

You love people are always such a ham, but you've started a new thing.  If you're not quite sure about someone or just aren't in the mood to be friendly, you say, "no, no," to them while flapping your hand (as if to say, go away).  Secretly, I think it's really funny.

We introduced the concept of time out to you.  When you have to go to time out, we take you over to the area by the front door.  We sit you down and talk with you about what you did wrong.  After you sit still for 30ish seconds, we grab your hand and walk with you out of time out.

You sleep 12 hours at night with an occasional 13-13.5 hour night.  You take one afternoon nap that lasts 2-2.5 hours.  You're still a pretty good eater, but we've experienced more difficulty with eating these past couple months.  One day you'll love something and the next day you'll hate it.  With lunch and dinner, I try to put 3-4 things in front of you to give you options.  You're always a good breakfast-eater no matter what which is nice.  Finicky eating definitely comes in phases though.  I know I can just wait a few days and then you'll eat everything in sight.  

But really, we don't have to worry about your eating because it's obvious that you're still growing like crazy!  At the doctor, you weighed 26 lbs. 6 oz. (77th percentile) and were 34 in. long (92nd percentile).  As far as teeth go, you got 3 molars in at the same time around 16.5 months.  It was miserable for all involved.  It seemed like those teeth would never come in, but they finally did.  Right now you have 4 molars, 4 front teeth on top, and 4 front teeth on bottom.

We introduced you to the idea of dipping foods into sauces like ranch, honey mustard, and ketchup.  Because I wanted to avoid the mess of you sticking your whole hand in a pile of sauce, I came up with a little something we say when we dip.  We say, "boop, boop, boop," to encourage just little, tiny dips into the sauce.  So far, it's worked pretty well!  Sometimes when there isn't any sauce in front of you, you'll say, "boop, boop, boop," as a way of asking for some.

There are two funny things you've done the past couple of months that I feel like are worth mentioning.  When we're in the bathroom together, you'll get the toothpaste out of your dad's drawer.  You'll touch it at the tip and then pretend to rub something in your hair.  The first time your dad and I saw you do this, we laughed so hard!  We're not sure where you picked up on this.  Maybe you think it's a hair product?  Either way, it's really funny.  Another thing is that one of your crib sheets has blueberry stains on it.  (One night you threw up blueberries when you were teething like crazy.)  Almost every morning when I come in to get you, you sit up, point to the stains, and say, "no, no, no, no," to them. 

We still are reading lots and lots of books.  One day I tried to read "The Giving Tree" to you and started crying after just a few pages.  Oh, Duke, I want you to know how much I would give and do for you.  You are worth it all.  I am constantly taken back by how deeply I love and care for you.  It's an incredible gift to be your mom.

Hearing you call your dad and I by name is the most beautiful music to our ears.  I love the way you cling to me in new environments or run to me the second I pick you up in the nursery.  The times you gladly obey me when I tell you to do something give me such joy.  I could listen to you giggle on repeat.  Watching you pick up the laundry I dropped and bring it over to me makes my heart melt.  Duke, I hope you know I could go on and on about you.  Forever. 

It is such a blessing to watch you grow up.  We are so thankful that God gave you to us.  I love you so much, sweet baby.


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