Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eighteen months

My dear Jackson boy,

Today you are one and a half! I used to write these letters once a month. I'm not sure where I ever found the time for that! I haven't written since your first birthday. I decided that I would write again at eighteen months and then just every birthday after that.

I can't believe it's already been six months since your first birthday. On March 19, 2007, we celebrated your first year of life. Time goes so quickly and I know that before we know it, you'll be going off to kindergarten or college or getting married. Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. But really, I need to be prepared for how quickly your childhood is going to go. If the first year and a half have gone this fast, then watch out! We're in for a wild ride. :)

You had already been walking for a little over a month when you turned one. But you continued to get more comfortable with the action and eventually started running and climbing more as the spring went on. You loved stairs, and you are still entirely too confident on them. (In fact, you just took a trip down an entire flight of stairs the other day and have the rug burn on the nose to prove it!).

Now, this is a topic that you could probably do without chatting about (especially if you actually read these later in life), but I'm going there anyway. About a month after your first birthday, I weaned you from nursing. Now, we were definitely getting to that place, but I had no idea it was actually going to happen when it did. It was Easter weekend and we were down to two feedings a day. On Easter morning, it just worked out that we missed the feeding after your nap. So I figured we would just move to one feeding a day. Well, with our schedule on Easter, it just worked out that we missed the second one too. And just like that, you were weaned. Again, not something you needed to know about, but still worth mentioning. On a serious note, the one thing I regret is having nursed you for the last time without realizing it was going to be the last time. :(

You got more and more active and loved to be outside. It was good timing, too, because by the time summer came and we could be outside all the time, we had so much fun! We spent a few summer days at the Maple Grove pool. You love the water and it was a nice chance for me to cool off too. :) We also had a small pool on the deck which you loved to play in. But I think your favorite "new" toy of the summer was your slide! It's a plastic slide from Mimi and Poppa's next door neighbor, and we put it in the lower level. Dad is pretty sure you could go up and down that slide for a half hour without getting bored of it. And you are so excited about it the whole time! You happy kid.

In the middle of the summer, we took a trip to Door County, WI with Mimi, Poppa, and Sean. We had a fun time, but the 6+ hour long drive was a little too much for you to handle. We promise not to do that to you ever again! We did have fun meeting and feeding farm animals and playing at the beach. And given all circumstances, you were quite a trooper! And it was nice to get away from home for a little while. If anything, it made us more thankful for our home and predictable routine.

Also over the summer, we got in the habit of going to the club every morning. It didn't take you long to get used to the childcare center. After a few mornings of clinging me with tears in your eyes, you started to love being there. Sometimes you don't even want to come with me when I come to pick you up! Silly goose.

One of your good friends is Eli. And since Corinne went back to work last month, I have been taking care of him a few days a week. You LOVE when he comes in the morning and always want to hold him. You are good at playing with Eli and making him smile. You even put his toys in his hand when he drops them. I'm sure you'll be a fabulous big brother someday and you'll love having a baby in the house. Just not yet. :)

Last week you took your second plane ride. Our family took a trip to Connecticut to visit some family. Mimi grew up in Connecticut, and her Mom (MY Mimi!) still lives there, along with five of her siblings. You had so much fun with all of your little cousins. They just loved you! You were the star of the weekend. We could have done without the flights, but you were such a good boy. On the day we left, we had to get you out of bed at 3:30 in the morning. Poppa took us to the airport and our plane took off at 5:30. We had a layover in Philadelphia and then took a plane to Hartford. We got so many compliments on both plane rides. People were so impressed with how well-behaved you were! On the way home, we had a layover in Chicago. It ended up being a little longer than it was supposed to because the weather in Minnesota wasn't good enough to land. Then it was delayed more and more. We didn't land until after 10:30 and you didn't go to bed until midnight! It was definitely the latest I've ever put you to bed.

And here we are today, and you are one and a half. You're a big boy! It's such an amazing thing to watch you grow and learn new things. You have such a wonderful smile and laugh and personality. And it develops more and more every day. It's awesome! I'm sure we'll have trials more than enough times down the road, but I can't help but think that this parenting thing is only going to get more fun and more incredible. You are a joy to parent. Thanks for being such a fantastic little boy. We love you so much and thank God for letting us take care of you on earth.