dear baby z: my love for you is so big, i can't even describe the feeling

Dear Baby Z,

Where do I even start?  Not only am I in complete denial that my baby girl is growing up before my very eyes but last week, at 17 months, you gained the long awaited confidence to let go of the sofa {or chair or table} and try to walk towards another object - all by yourself!  You're also toying with the idea of standing by yourself without holding onto anything and you love using your big brother's old walker!  Just watching you discover your balance and newfound freedom is so entertaining!

In addition to your exciting milestone, I love that your personality is blossoming every single day.  I see a lot of your siblings in you:  from your sense of humour in being able to find every single situation funny, to your patience in trying to figure things out {this trait is one you definitely share with your brother}.  You also have a calm air around you {which your brother used to have and then he turned two...} and your smile is just so darn infectious.  I love that you fling yourself onto your back as soon as I sit you down on our bed and that you'll try anything that's edible {or not edible - we need to work on that one}.

Another thing you do that just melts my heart?  You love to hug and you just started to kiss me back.  Our new nighttime routine is to give each other kisses on the cheeks and lips.  I can't get over how cute your version of a kiss is:  you love to press your cheeks as hard as you can on my lips and it's such a sweet gesture.  So cute.  Your favourite spot for me to kiss you is on your chin.  We do that at least ten times before you lay your head on my shoulder and I rock and sing you to sleep.  While I don't have much of a vocal range, singing {and just songs in general} have always made you feel at ease.  I hope you don't mind my limited playlist of I love you, you love me... {yes, the same one that purple dinosaur sang} and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Sometimes I'll mix it up and sing Hush Little Baby or some preschool song your brother likes to get stuck in my head.

Most nights you go with the flow of our usual nighttime routine.  Other nights can be a little more difficult and we end up laying down together on your brother's bed.  We look into each others eyes and then I close mine and pretend to sleep.  When I open my eyes, your face is right in front of mine with your big eyes just gazing over me.  Then you like to put your arms around me and pull me closer.  Or if my head isn't down on the bed, you like to push it down and make sure I'm "going to sleep".  That totally amuses you.
If I could spend all day every day with you, I would.  If I could hold you in my arms while we hug each other for infinity, I would.  If I could freeze every single moment I spend with you in time, I would be so, so grateful.  But I can't, and while we live in the moment, I'm just so, so happy I get to live each and every moment with you.

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