17 months

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Dear Tallula Violet,

We travelled to Michigan today. Through the rain, on the eve of the great Ice Storm of 2013. We made it to London before we stopped for dinner. Although your new favorite thing to eat is toast dipped into egg yolks, you wanted to explore. So Daddy took you for a walk while Seb and I ate dinner. And then we laughed with you a bit more when you returned, especially Sebastian. He’s your biggest fan.

Now you are 17 months! What a busy month it has been too. This is our second time travelling to Michigan in the same month. First we went for American Thanksgiving. And we celebrated your cousin, Ethan’s 13th birthday at the Rollerama. Before that we snuck in a visit to meet Santa, pick out our Christmas tree, AND decorate it. You helped me try on glasses and were a star while I had my eye exam. We spent a lot of time hanging out at home with Sebastian as he was sick before the holidays. We both secretly loved it. We would keep him all to ourselves if we could most days. We baked and wrapped gifts. We went to babies group and you climbed up and slid down and danced danced danced. You had many milestones this month; here are some of the once I want to make sure I remember.

You ARE you. And we love you so very much.

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The fashionista. First, you were patient. You sat in your stroller and read books on the iPad. Then you took photos with my phone. You explored the little room and waited in the mostly dark right next to me while I got my eyes examined. The optometrist put drops in my eyes and then we went to try on several pairs of glasses. We laughed and sent daddy photos of us. I couldn’t read my phone so the girl helping us did it for me since my eyes were dilated. It was a very odd sensation not being able to see close-up. In the end I left without choosing because the price tag was too big. I was so proud of what a big, helpful girl you are. We had so much fun.

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The greeter. You met Santa. You thought he was interesting enough. You wanted the cookies in his basket that he was handing out to the kiddos. You stayed close to Seb and Santa spoke with both of you. There was no pressure to sit on his lap since Seb was already in his Red Racer. I liked that. No big deal.

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The decorator. You loved decorating the Christmas tree. We have a half dozen or so ornaments that are non-breakable and you took great pride in placing them at the base of the tree. Some you put on and took off only to put them on again. When I was packing them up after Christmas you took a liking to the Santa ornament and didn’t want me to put it away. You carried it around very gently, repeating ‘Santa’. (A little perk to writing the post so late, post dated material.)

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The artist. This photo is pure awesomeness. I did manage to grab the marker before you colored your eyeball with it. Phew! Washable markers are the best. Though we do try to teach you not to draw on walls or furniture, or the floor, or toys; it’s not a huge deal. You like using a big sponge to wash up after yourself anyhow. And I secretly love it. I like to draw on walls too.

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The writer. I just love this photo. You found the extra keyboard and went to work. I love watching you play and use your imagination.

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The builder. I remember reading about how you should be building with blocks and then you started doing it. Every time you reach or pass a milestone it never ceases to amaze me.

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The baker. You love to help in the kitchen. We made Christmas cookies with Sebastian. Since he was home sick the week before Christmas break we took advantage of long afternoon naps and Christmas treats. You like to sit on the counter to help. I gave you the cup of flour to pour into the mixing bowl. I’m not even sure half of it went in! I thought, ‘no problem. She can do this.’ You are still clearly working on your fine motor skills. But I don’t care about messes. We had fun. And I just filled the cup up again!

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The explorer. We celebrated American Thanksgiving this year. We travelled to Michigan and enjoyed family, football, and a delicious dinner at my uncle’s house. Everyone was very interested in the adventures you got up to. You especially loved Aunt Kathy’s dog and even spent some time hanging out in his kennel. You certainly won the hearts of everyone, especially your older cousins. Your sweet, and sometimes mischievous, smile is contagious.

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The ‘roller skater’. We celebrated your cousin Ethan’s 13th birthday at the Rollerama. You were too small for skates but that didn’t stop you from having your own fun. You especially loved the arcade area, dancing and ‘driving’ cars.

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The graduate. You graduated to a toddler bed! You love climbing onto Sebastian’s bed and hanging out. We decided it was time for you to be able to climb up onto your bed; move into the direction of climbing into bed and going to sleep independently. There is still room for me to sit or lay next to you to help you fall asleep. I got you a special green owl night-light so you can see when you wake up at night. Sometimes you stay in bed and call for me. Sometimes you grab your baby doll and pitter-patter into our room to get me. I used to dream Sebastian would do both. I even thought I heard his voice in my sleep. So hearing your voice or your feet; there aren’t really words for me to express how my heart fills up with joy in these moments.

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The Little-Big Sister. You love your big brother in ways which are not measurable. You call him ‘Babby’s’ and he smiles every time. You climb up to sit with him or even on top of him in his new recliner. He loves you the same so getting a bit squished is nothing! I love how you wake in the morning and want to run to his room to say good morning. You see the things we do to help Sebastian and you want to do them too. You want to feed him his dinner and reach for the spoon. You hold his hand and lean on his shoulder when watching a podcast on the iPad. You bring his iPad over so he can use it to say goodnight. You always give kisses before he goes to school and when we greet him in the afternoon. Hanging out with you two is among my favourite ways to spend my days.

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You have given us such a great gift. All of us. Me. Your daddy. And Sebastian. You make us laugh and sometimes we look at each other wide eyed in amazement at the simple and complex things you achieve. You have opened up our world tenfold. Watching you grow and develop is mind blowing and entertaining. Our hearts burst with love for you. And you make us laugh. A lot.

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