18 months. A year and a half. While it feels like just yesterday we were bringing you into the world, after a lonnnng 22 hours of laboring, it also feels like you’ve always been a part of our family. Life without you is unimaginable. You are just a light in our lives, a tiny ball of fun, beauty and love. You truly make our family whole.
Oh, Andrew. There’s so much love I have for you that words just cannot begin to grasp. There’s no way to express how much you mean to me but I’ll try. You are this loving, laughing, cuddlebug who adores being around others. You say hi to everyone and everything you encounter, with a giant smile on your adorable little face, still sporting the same 12 teeth you’ve seemed to have forever. Your big brown eyes light up when people respond to you, as you stand there waving your tiny hand above your head as if it’s a hat. You can constantly be found sitting or standing at the dormer window in our living room, looking out at people, dogs and cars passing, waving and saying hi or “buh bye”. You are such a friendly little boy.
You love dogs. If there is one anywhere within a mile of you, you’re sprinting off without hesitation to chase it down for a hug and a kiss. You yell “dah! dah!” as you go and squat down as soon as you reach it, wrapping your tiny arms around the dogs girth and kissing it on the snout. Even if it’s 4 times bigger than you, you bend down and give it all your loving. You giggle when they kiss you back. You love all animals and get especially excited for our trips to the zoo and animal park. You have no fear when it comes to petting strange birds, emos, cows or any other animal you get the opportunity to encounter. Your love for them almost got you killed when you walked straight after a duck, into a duck pond at the animal park last week. But that’s a story for another day and a memory I’d rather soon forget.
Your love for your big brother is immeasurable. You have some similar mannerisms as him, that are so fun to see since you are such completely different little men. Whatever he is doing, you want to do to. You love to mess with him and start wrestling wars, especially when he’s watching a movie. You taunt him, wrestle him, tease him and love him with everything you are.
Your quick to give hugs and kisses, especially to Jackson. You pucker your tiny lips and make a kissing sound when you want a big slobbery kiss and outreach your arms when you’re looking for a sweet embrace. You’re vocabulary has taken off, with your favorite words being “hi”, “buh bye” and of course “no”. But at the top of the list are also “please” and “thank you” which I couldn’t be more proud of. Or smile at because your tiny rendition of both are so darn cute. “peas” and “tank ew”.
You also have started to repeat “eww” when something is gross and aren’t afraid to ask for a “bite” of whatever we’re eating. Your appetite is insatiable. You’re always eating, always hungry and thankfully, always up for trying new things. Your favorites lately are soup and oatmeal because you get to use a spoon and make a colossal mess. But it’s all in the name of learning and dinner is often followed by bath time.
Like brother bear, you’re obsessed with being outside. You love trucks, tractors, dirt, rocks, flowers, picking unripe vegetables or overly ripe vegetables off the bushes. And everything inevitably ends up in your mouth. We are constantly yelling at you to spit out the handfuls of mulch, dirt and sand you seem to find everywhere we go.
I wish I could clone you. You’re the world’s sweetest babe and your sleep schedule is enviable. You wake up between 7-8am most mornings (though occasionally you try to keep up with big brother and wake up earlier, which almost always leads to overtiredness and a realization that you made a mistake and sleep is way better than 5am wakeups). You go to bed at the same time as brother, about 7/7:30 every night. You nap when he does, from 1:30-3:30/4pm most days and occasionally will take a cat nap in the mornings if we’re in the car or on a run. You’re incredibly adaptable and I don’t know if it’s because you’re the 2nd child or just perfect ;)
You LOVE music. LOVE IT. Whenever a song comes on the radio you can be found grooving along to the beat in your carseat. If it’s on the TV or we’re home, you do a wiggle dance, shaking your tiny booty. You love to move and groove. You’ve started to do this really funny gallop and usually walk on your tippy toes to get places. At the farm the other week you went after the monkeys, galloping sideways to them, with your hands at your armpits saying “ooh ooh!”
You love babies and are quick to embrace them in a hug and attempt to slobber kiss their faces. When you encounter one in a carrier or carseat, you always attempt to find your way in alongside them, so you can give them a big hug. At big brother’s birthday party, our friend’s brought their newborn. You spent no less than 15 minutes holding her and resting your head on her tiny belly. There’s no doubt you’re going to love being a big brother, and you’re going to be a wonderful one at that.
You’re such a big help lately too. When we open the living room baby gate at night to go have bath time, you run out giddily laughing and head straight for the changing table to grab diapers for you and Jax. When we clean up toys at night before bed, you run around happily grabbing one toy at a time and chucking them into the nearest basket with enthusiasm…and then you commence in self-clapping for yourself and smiling brightly. You’re too much sometimes and never fail to make us all laugh and smile constantly.
People often ask if you’re “always this happy” and the resigning truth is, YES! You seriously are this constantly happy, easygoing, smiling and laughing kid. You rarely cry and when you throw a “tantrum” it consists of getting this pouty tip, throwing down whatever is in your hand then throwing yourself onto the nearest pillow/rug/blanket and rocking for a few seconds. Then you stand up, turn around and go about your business.
Watching you with Jackson is my favorite thing in the world. The bond the two of you share is something I couldn’t have dreamed of. You are so close, so in love with one another and though there are occasional times you fight over toys or get too rough with one another when you play, there is overwhelmingly more laughter and happiness. I can’t imagine either of you as only kids and am so grateful for the bond you two share, and for the opportunity to watch you grow together. I love you both so much and can’t even imagine how Kyle will fit into the mix come January. But I know he’ll find a perfect place, just like you coming in our lives.
You are so very loved, with every part of my being. You’re my heart, my soul, my everything and there isn’t a moment of any day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that I get to be your mama.