Today you are 16 months old.
I can't believe that a year ago you looked like this...
And now, you look like this...
It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that those two pictures are of the same baby. No, not even a baby anymore, more like a toddler.
The most significant change I've seen in you recently is your ability to pretend play. Not so long ago, "playing" consisted of drooling on things and banging on things. Now, your play is becoming much more complex. For example, you know that there's a Mumma, Dada, and Baby that live in your Little People house. When you play with them, their plastic lives imitate ours. They sit in their chairs, they lie in their beds, they go out the front door.
A few days ago I noticed you walking around the house with your toy cellphone up to your ear. You were babbling away and then pausing as if you were having a real conversation with someone on the other end.
Even your dreams have become more imaginative. Sometimes you talk in your sleep. We've caught you saying the names of your friends at daycare, and we've caught you saying, "outside."
You had your first real, nasty nightmare the other night. You screamed to high heaven, and when I went in your room to check on you, you were huddled in the corner of your crib looking around the room wildly as if you expected a monster to leap out at you. We brought you into bed with us, and it took you a long time to calm down and fall asleep.
There's lots of stuff going on in that head of yours. I wish that I could peak inside.
Meanwhile, you've been obsessing over bears recently. You notice them everywhere. You call, "Bear, bear, bear!" before bed when you see the teddy bears in your room.
Chairs have also been a favorite recently. You love chairs that are child sized. You sit in your rocking chair everytime you go out on to the porch. Nana and Poppy brought you Dada's old desk and chair from when he was a baby. You're obsessed with it.
We joke that you've somehow developed a Boston accent because you drop the R's on most words. It's not "beaR;" it's "beah." It's not "chaiR;" it''s "cheah." Pretty cute.
A new favorite game of yours is to hide from us. You like to hide in the laundry nook the best. Sometimes you hide under tables. Sometimes, if there's no place better to go, you just press yourself flat up against a wall as if we can't see you.
Your favorite TV show is Sid the Science Kid. I know we shouldn't let you watch TV, but when we're getting ready for work in the morning, you like to sit on your floor pillow with a bowl of Cheerios and watch Sid for a few minutes. Of course, you're still obsessed with Elmo as well.
Your favorite foods are pasta, cheese, yogurt, and fish sticks. You haven't been crazy about veggies recently, and you won't eat anything you don't recognize as a regular food choice.
As for books, you're new favorite is called, "Where, Oh Where, is Huggle Buggle Bear?" You bring it to us at least three times a day to be read aloud to you.
We're going to stop your bedtime bottles soon, and we know it's going to be a challenge. You strongly associate bedtime with your bottle. You cry for "Bubba!" every night when we change you into your pajamas. Mumma and Dada feel like chopped liver compared to the comfort you get from that bottle. I know it's going to be rough, kiddo, but it's for the best. You're a big girl now.
Speaking of big girls, you'll be moving to the toddler room at daycare permanently toward the end of the month. How crazy is that!? You'll miss your teachers a lot, but you'll learn to love your new teachers too. Luckily, a lot of your friends from the infant room will be moving up soon too, so you'll have lots of familiar faces to play with.
You make our life so bright and fun. It's like we get to see the world through new eyes all over again.
We love you, little Maddie Bear.