Dear Little Bear,
You turned 15 months old on Sunday, and since I failed to write to you on your 1st birthday (in my defense, please see the ridiculously time consuming rainbow cupcakes I made for you; that was 5 layers of LOVE right there- love with homemade frosting), I thought I would address this one. Because to fail to record your awesomeness right now would be a tragedy to my future muddled memory. You are fabulous Little Bear, 24.5 pounds and 31 inches of smiling, clapping, absolutely fearless fabulous.
You have surprised us from day 1 with how easy you've made parenting. I think that's going to change soon (I'm not criticizing, but while your brother has mild preferences, you already have OPINIONS, strong ones), but you breezed through your 15 months as by the book, or ahead of the book, as possible. You slept 8 hours at night at about 5 weeks, you slept 12 hours at night by 12. You took to table food immediately and you completely dropped bottles one day before your 1st birthday. Since then, you have drunk all your whole milk from sippy cups, you eat everything we do (including the exotic and spicy; it's possible you eat a wider range of foods than I do), you run, you put yourself to sleep, you follow directions, you understand everything, you communicate better than half the opposing counsel I work with, you assume dominance of kids far bigger than you, and you wave cheerfully to everyone we meet. And then, in true Claire form, you wave bye bye and blow them kisses as soon as you're done with them- which, as was evidenced at this morning's 15-month check-up, is frequently before they are done with you.
Bear, you are a Force. As your besotted father frequently says, you are me in mini form. I take that as a great compliment. But along with your dominant side, you are still our wonderfully sweet and smiley baby. You hug (on request and on your own volition), you give kisses, you cuddle, you dance, you SMILE, and you love a party. You and I take a bath together every night, and in between bouts of splashing and carefully and methodically reorganizing the bath toys, you will suddenly sit on my tummy and lay yourself down on my chest, pressing your cheek against my skim, and wrapping your arms around my side in a tight hug. Then you sigh and close your eyes, sometimes just for a second before popping back up again, but Claire, in those moments, I love you so much it actually hurts.
Your brother remains completely enamored with you, and you rule that relationship. He delights in your every achievement, and there is nothing that makes him happier than trying to get you to like something he does. Any time he gets a special treat he asks to give you some, and if he's allowed to share, he gets so excited when you love it too.
I think I'll close by describing one of my favorite things you do. It's when you see your daddy or me at the end of the day and you go a little crazy Bear. You let out this high pitched squeal, your hands fly up in the air, you run as fast towards us as your deliciously chubby legs can carry you, and you chant "MamamamaMAMMEEEEEEE" (or, "DadadadaDEEEEEEE") the whole way. It is awesome.
As are you.
We love you so much baby girl,