You are so incredible. Every day you awe us with something new you taught yourself or learned from us. We can't help but smile when you show your squinty-eyed grin that takes up your entire face. No thanks to our novice parenting skills, you are growing in so many ways. Physically, you had a small growth spurt over the past few months and are now in the 60th percentile (32.5 in) for height but still hover in the 40th percentile (25 lbs) for weight. You still don't let your short legs keep you from running, jumping or kicking. Your daddy has a secret dream of you playing in the US Open because of your 'soccer' skills, but we all know he'll be happy with you playing any and all sports. Many times when you are walking with a purpose, you tuck your chin into your chest and stick out your belly. It is a sight to see.
You are so full of life and love. There are many things that bring joy to you. Your dogs always bring a smile to your face and you love to give Maddy a kiss and wave goodbye as we walk out the door. You are drawn to books, though you insist on reading them yourself nowadays. Before every naptime and bedtime you take a book to bed with you and 'read' it until you fall asleep. Upon waking, you pick up the book right where you left off and flip through it until I come and get you. You love water, especially baths, and seem your happiest and silliest right after you soak in the tub.
Playing with you is more and more fun with each passing day. You "zoom zoom" your cars around the house. Every day you come up with a new creative game to play and are content playing it for a good hour, from hockey with your toy rake to sliding flashcards down your slide. Yo Gabba Gabba is still your favorite, though mama is trying other shows, and you stomp, dance, clap and spin in circles just like your Gabbaland friends. Every ball you see you have to have. We have quite the ball collection growing at our house.
It is not all fun and games, though, as you are discovering your own opinions and dislikes. You hate grocery shopping (as do I now) and much prefer a booster seat in restaurants over a high chair. You don't like being left in nursery, but you cheer up after only a minute and are all smiles and grins when we pick you up. Your favorite word is "no" and it gets used very frequently.
Your vocab is amazing - over twenty words and counting - and you try to imitate much that we say. You have started saying words in the right context. Just last week, we pulled up to Nanny and Papa's house and you immediately said "Dog. Nana." Though Nanny wasn't there to greet you, the three dogs were happy to see us. My favorite word that you use on your own is "thank you." I've overheard you tell your friends 'thank you" when they hand you a toy and my heart melts. You've even started saying a few two-word combinations.
18 months today. Wow. I see you and your big boy-ness and can't believe it but wouldn't have it any other way. As you get older, our desire for you to grow into a boy and then man of Christ-like character grows stronger too. We pray for your future and for our wisdom as your mama and daddy, but most days we just thank God immensely for the blessing He gave us 18 months ago.
We love you through and through, Mason Samuel.