You're 19 months old now! Fully embracing your toddler status, you're quite the handful these days. Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way -- it's fun to watch you discover the world around you, even if it means I can't take my eyes off you for even a second.
This month, you started climbing things like a monkey. I turn around for an instant to find you sitting on top of the dining room table, or sitting on Tory's bed. You've figured out how to use your arms to pull your body up onto things -- like the toilet, for example. Once you're there, you'll pull up onto the bathroom countertop in the same manner and turn on the faucet to play in the water. Telling you "no!" or "stop!" only excites you; you'll simply flash me a smile and laugh, and climb up all over again the second I put you down on the ground. Since hiding the dining room chairs or the toilet isn't an option, I'm stuck in the stage of watching you like a hawk and helping you back to the ground when you need it.
Now that it's summer, you're also quite the gymnast at the playground. You're not afraid of anything and will climb up the highest set of stairs or walk right off a platform if I'm not one step behind you. I'm delighted you're walking on two feet now and able to play at the park with all the rest of the kids, but it sure is exhausting following you around all day. No wonder you've been taking such great naps and sleeping in so late in the mornings! You must be tired from all the sunshine and fresh air, too.
You're a little fish, Aden -- you absolutely love the water. This summer, you're enrolled in Baby Backfloat swimming lessons and are the shining star of the class. You love to float on your back and will do it for 1-2 minutes at a time. You don't mind submerging your face underwater and will willingly jump into the water from the side of the pool. You even started diving underwater for rings on a platform the other day! You're a big fan of playing on the beach at the lake cabin as well, and like to throw rocks into the water and dig and scoop in the sand.
A few other favorites of yours this month are books (especially "lift the flap" and "touch and feel" ones) and your blanket and pacifier. You've started verbally saying "blanket" and also call for your "pa" (pacifier). You're still drinking a bottle of soy formula twice a day as well, once before nap time and once again before bedtime. I thought you were weaning yourself off the bottle around 18 months, but then we traveled to Nebraska for two weeks and it seemed like you needed/wanted it more than ever.
I'm amazed by how much you're really beginning to talk now. I counted the other day and you can say about 45 words (the newest words being wa-wa (water), cracker, dog, uppa (up), beep, apple, night night and potty to name a few). This month, you even began saying two word sentences like "peek boo," "thank you" and "oh baby" (what you say when you give one of Tory's baby dolls a hug). I'd forgotten how wonderful of an age this is, watching the lightbulb turn 'on' in the eyes of a toddler. Of course, I knew you were always listening and learning but it's awesome to hear the words actually coming from your mouth as you communicate.
Along the lines of talking, you also love singing and music in general. I'm so surprised by this as I wouldn't call anyone in our family especially musical. Often, you can be heard singing the ABC's, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. That's right, you actually sing those songs! I hardly believe it myself. Of course, you can't say all the words perfectly but the tune of the song is clear enough to understand what you're saying. I find it interesting to see the benefits of having an older sibling in tangible form. Tory and I sing a lot of songs throughout the day and you've obviously picked up them while we do so. I wonder how much of your love of songs is due to exposure, and how much of it is your nature tendency. Will you be especially drawn to music all your life? Only time will tell.
I feel like I could ramble on for days about all the new things you're doing these days, but I'll stop for now and close by saying what an absolute joy you are in our lives. Aden, you hold a very special place in my heart. Sometimes, it feels like my heart might burst I love you so much.
XOXO, baby boy.