A week ago I picked up an adorable little ATV for Ana. Based on her play date with Michael a month back, I knew she would love it. At the garage sale she kept walking over to climb up and sit on the tiny seat and I knew I couldn’t leave without it. I’d have to say it was the best $15 I ever spent. See for yourself:

Tulip Festival

Yesterday was the most beautiful day we have seen in a long time. To take advantage of the break from the rain, we decided to take a trip down to the Woodburn Tulip Festival. It could not have been a more perfect day to wander through the tulip fields. Ana was very excited to see so many beautiful flowers. She kept pointing and saying, “pretty, pretty, pretty!” and it took all our power to keep her from touching every single flower we came across.

It was a beautiful day and we were able to get some amazing pictures. You can see them all here. Enjoy!

Two Stories of Cuteness

1) This morning Ana and I were eating our breakfast and I had a bite of yogurt halfway to Ana’s mouth when she stops and says, “No…Se’f.” It took me a minute to figure out what she was saying. Se’f? Oh! SELF! So I asked her if she wanted to feed herself and she got all excited and shouted, “Yeah!” I handed over the yogurt and spoon and she proceeded to eat her breakfast.

2) I was sitting at the computer checking my email when I hear Ana in the other room saying, “He’p. He’p.” So I look down and see she has her shirt half off but it’s stuck on her head. She was very calmly walking over to me asking for help despite the fact that she couldn’t see anything.

A Letter: Sixteen Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn sixteen months old, but I swear sometimes it feels like you are going on sixteen years. You have developed these facial expressions that would do your 16 year old self proud! Looks that clearly say things such as “Dad you are totally clueless” or “Mom you are so embarrassing.” Ahh, it’s just like looking into my future.

The older you get the more obvious it is just how much you take after your parents. In particular, you are showing more and more signs that you might have just a teeny tiny touch of my OCD. Ok, so that might be putting it lightly. You are quite the stickler for keeping things in place and putting things where they go. If I set your sippy cup on the wrong side of your high chair tray, you give me A LOOK and promptly move it to the designated cup-holding-area. (Sorry if I moved it out of the way for five seconds to take a picture. It won’t happen again!) But your cleanliness obsession goes even beyond mine because you have a thing for washing your hands. You love sinks; real or pretend. A couple weeks back we took you to OMSI and your favorite thing in the entire museum (including the kid’s area) was the automatic sink in the bathroom. You were fascinated with the fact that the water “magically” came on each time you put your hands under the faucet. Finally we had to drag you out of the bathroom to go and play with the toys. I can honestly say I doubt that has ever happened to anyone before. Ever.

While you love to clean things up, you are not above making a mess. In fact, anytime I am in the kitchen cooking you enjoy emptying the content of the drawers in which you are allowed to play. Your current favorite is the drawer with my aprons, spare bibs and extra washcloths. You like to “dress up” in anything and everything you can drape around your shoulders or hang from your neck. Then, in a game I can only imagine is something like Cinderella, you get down on your hands and knees and scrub the floor with the washcloths. I assume you watched me clean up a spill once in this manner, because even I don’t clean floors on my hands and knees. But off you go again, slaving away on the housework.

Your overly domestic nature doesn’t stop at cleaning. You are also very into caring for your baby dolls. This is a new development because until recently you couldn’t care less for your babies and would toss them aside without a backwards glance. But now you are very concerned about your dolls. Taking great care to strap them in to the swing or chair, take them for walks around the living room in the stroller, and covering them with blankets as you tuck them into bed. You even tried to get me to feed Baby the other day! You were nursing first thing in the morning when you suddenly climbed off my lap, ran over and got your baby, handed her to me and said, “boob?”

Your quirkiness extends beyond your imagination and ideas of entertainment into the physical realm. Several times I have mentioned your “thinking tongue” that emerges when you are focusing really hard on something, but you have recently started crossing your fingers as well. Now I believe it’s more of the fact that you just discovered this was something you could do rather than you hoping for good luck, but I have noticed you do it more when you are zoning out or when you start to get sleepy. It took me weeks to capture it on camera, but knowing some people need to see it to believe it, I wanted to show you just how cute your quirks can be. Plus a little extra luck never hurt anyone, right?

Now I know I have said what a great talker you are time and time again, but even I didn’t realize just how well you could speak. Your Nana was up over the weekend and ran a developmental screening test on you (just one of the many perks to having a grandma who is a pediatric nurse!) and when she asked me how many words you could say I guessed about 40 (putting you at a 22 month old level). The last time we counted it was around 30 and I figured it was safe to guess you had added 10 words to your vocabulary. However, last night in preparation for writing this letter I wrote down all the words you can say–with your help, no less–and clearly understand the meaning (granted, not all words are perfect pronunciation, but not being able to pronounce the letter “L” does tend to slow one down a bit) and came up with…drum roll please…80! EIGHTY! Yikes! I was only giving you credit for half of your vocabulary! Your father and I were shocked, but quickly calmed down and decided we should probably locate ourselves a Harvard early admissions application. STAT!

The most significant development this month has to be the one that I wasn’t even expecting. It started a couple weeks back when you looked at me and said, “poopy” out of the blue. Thinking nothing of it, I went about my business but sure enough, a few minutes later it was obvious you had pooped. I felt optimistic that this was a great sign for future potty training efforts. I mean to say, the fact that you told me you were going to go BEFORE you did was pretty impressive for someone of your age. But your “potty surprises” didn’t stop there. You became obsessed with the toilet. So much in fact that one evening while we were getting you ready for your bath I gave in and set you up on the potty. You were delighted! You sat perched precariously upon your throne and ripped off tiny pieces of toilet paper to wipe (mostly your tummy) then drop the paper into the toilet. You would periodically peer down into the potty and seemed quite surprised that nothing was there. But from that moment, I knew you were ready to start potty-training.

Over the weekend your Daddy, Nana, and I took you to the store to pick out a potty of your very own. You were excited by the newest addition to your bathroom, but you were just as happy to sit on the potty fully clothed as you were to actually try and use it correctly. But after having the potty for barely a day, you indicated that you needed to potty and I whisked you up to the bathroom. We sat down for quite some time, talking and reading to help you relax, and finally it happened. SUCCESS! You pooped on the potty! After you went, it was a little anti-climatic. You were so happy to have gone, but when you looked into the potty your face fell, like “That’s it?! That is why we are so excited?” but as soon as you realized I was SO PROUD of you, you were quickly clapping and cheering along with me!

I am sure you will think it’s gross or embarrassing, but I think the milestones you accomplish deserve to be recognized, regardless of social norm. So don’t worry, my little Super Pooper, if anyone tries to tease you, you can just tap into your seventy some-odd word vocabulary and tell them a thing or two. Because I love you more than anything and I am not ashamed of who knows it!

All my love,