We are rapidly approaching your birthday month and it's got my mind swirling. I look back at pictures from a year ago and you were still nestled safely in my belly, which seems like such a short while ago. But you've already accomplished so much in eleven short months that in some ways it's hard to believe you've been with us less than a year. You've been walking for two - yes, two - months. You're extremely talented at mimicking sounds and you communicate pretty well for such a young baby. Your personality is about ten times too big for your body and you like to think that you're the alpha dog wherever you go, no matter that everyone else is 3-4 times bigger than you. You're my little Napoleon conqueror. Anything off limits immediately has to be broken into and ransacked. We may have thought we had this parenting thing down by the time you were born, but you quickly proved that you're your own person and our old tricks weren't gonna work on you. We had to quadruple our child proofing efforts this time around. You're a wanderer that would gladly follow another family home if we aren't a step behind you at all times. You're quick to laugh, quick to scream, quick to cry loud, sobbing, dramatic tears, and then you go right back to laughing. You give the distinct impression that even you don't know what you have in store for us, but it's most likely a whole lotta trouble.
Bedtime is your nemesis and you fight a good battle against sleep every single night. Several times a night even. The toy battles have begun in earnest with your brother and even though he's got you beat in size you're wiley and you're loud so I think you guys are pretty evenly matched. Anytime anyone walks upstairs without you your whole world ends. Ez always makes sure to tell you, "don't worry Deckles, we'll be right back," which you don't find the least bit comforting. But as soon as we walk back down the stairs your face lights right up and you give us the warmest welcome as if we've been gone weeks. You have a habit of loudly and angrily chattering at us whenever your grievances aren't being answered fast enough. It makes me a little scared to know what you're going to say when you know real words.
On the flip side, nothing makes you happier than the sound of bath water running. You run right to the tub and bang on the side while screaming excitedly. You love following your brother around and doing whatever he does. I've even caught you trying to do his puzzles and you're actually pretty good at them. You skipped right over baby toys and went straight to cars, which you now drive through the air while making vroom vroom sounds. Every Saturday at your brother's soccer practice you swipe a ball for yourself and kick it all over the field. It's crazy to think you weren't even walking when Ez first started soccer and now you're nearly as good as the three year olds at kicking a ball around. Seriously. I know I'm a little biased, but all the other parents comment on it too. You also love shooting baskets in our little kitchen basketball court. Anytime daddy picks the ball up you run right over all giddy with excitement.
As far as food goes, you demand samples from anything anyone else eats, but you're still a fan of chewing the food to mush and spitting it back out. Cheerios, yogurt, avocado on tortilla, and plum organics pouches are your favorites. Whatever you're eating seems to be working though because you're now wearing size 12 months.
Some of my favorite current traits are when you snort at me like an angry little bull, walk around with one arm straight in front of you like Frankenstein, squeal every time someone gets points on family feud, clap for yourself, and you give us the biggest smile right before you do something mischievous, like rolling up one of my magazines and chewing on it like a bad little puppy. My least favorite quirk is your habit to bite, especially my toes and legs.
Everyday with you is an adventure and your daddy, brother, and I are so happy to be along on this ride with you. We love you more than you'll ever know.