Dear Nora,

       My sweet baby girl.  You are not so much a baby any more.  Not when you are already pretending to be a baby and taking such good, diligent care of the baby doll that used to be mine.  No, you're a little girl now.  Most of the time anyway.  But as they say - you'll always be my baby.

       Today you turned 20 months old.  We celebrated by singing you Happy Birthday almost as many times as you said 'again?'  You joined in with the hooray part of hip, hip hooray with double fist pumps to the sky and big grin.   I shouldn't be surprised by your enthusiasm for the song.  You're enthusiastic about nearly all music.  All through each day you ask 'dance? dance?' and do your little dancing arms to request I put some music on for you to enjoy.  You stand next to me as I play the start of 10 different songs and get told 'no' until you finally hear one you like enough to dance to.  It's different every time. When we get to the right one you run to the rug and carve it up. Oh baby have you got some good moves! Twirls, hip shaking, arm waving, stomping and, just this week, jumping.  You really, really love to jump.  You have been trying to jump for the last few months and now that you've got it - all the time -'jump! jumping! jump!'  Clever thing.

       It just goes to show how determined you are.  You get an idea into your head and work so hard to make it happen.  And you're pretty fearless.  Except for loud noises.  Then you run to us and say 'care', meaning 'scare', with a very anxious expression.  You aren't overly stubborn though which is nice.  You ask for help.  It makes me proud to hear you stop your frustration about something by asking for someone to help you out.  I hope you keep that skill and don't become too proud to ask when you need to.  Mind you, sometimes you do things that you really should be asking for help with and the answer would be no so you don't ask and you do it anyway.  Like all the climbing you do to reach things you aren't supposed to get to.  You can get onto the kitchen counter to get Morgans food, you can get onto my desk chair to play with my computer, you climb on to the lounge in our room to play with the precious things on our dresser and I had to rearrange your bedroom because you could climb onto your dresser too.  It's quite impressive.  You're very confident.  I don't like to stop you but I also can't let you do it when I'm not there to catch you so I let you play there for minute then take you down.  Dada calls you Dauntless.  You will need to read the Divergent by Veronica Roth when you're bigger to know where he got that from but he's right. You are Dauntless.

       You're also very smart.  I sat down to write out the things you could say thinking it wouldn't take me long but I filled up a page with over 70 words and by the end of that week you could say a whole lot more! You speak most of the words you know but know the Auslan sign for for 20+ of those and another 10 or so that you just sign.  Some words are not very clear unless we know the context but others are perfect in diction and easily understood by anyone.  You have started putting all sorts of words together into sentences or strings of words to explain things and ask questions.  Today you decided to start saying 'naughty nana'.  I'm not sure why! You think things through, process it all carefully and come out with some very observant comments.  And you say some super gorgeous things.  Some of my favourite are:

Yes Mama
Tak oo (thank you)
Bye bye! (You say this to everything, even the bath when you're finished.  Often adding the thank you as well)
Lah - you Mama (love you)
Yummy Ekk (egg)
Hat? Shoes? Out?
Happy Day (usually sung)

I could go on... Needless to say you are captivating and so so sweet.  Today you even said 'Mama pretty'.  Well. What sort of pony did you want again?!

       You have learnt some of Morgans commands and have started getting him to sit, stay, lie down and roll over.  Sometimes he obeys but then you only give him his reward sometimes too, preferring to hold onto it because he follows you around when it's tucked in your little fist. I think you would play with him all day if he could trust you to not be quite so rough.  He makes you laugh so hard!

       Another milestone for this month is that you have started toilet training and are doing a fabulous job.  4 'wee-wees' in the potty today and the last three were all when you asked to go.  Amazing.  All dry by the time you are 2?!

       Precious Nora, you are such an incredible joy in our lives.  You entertain us with your comedy and magic routines (very sneaky hand moves and hiding there babes!). We are ridiculously proud of you and don't care at all if we're obnoxious in thinking you're the most clever of all the babies.  We are sure you're the cutest!

       We love you. That great big, can't be contained in a word on page, in a day of the week or a single act love.  We love you with every 5 course meal we feed you, with every smear we wipe of the floor, with every time we say no to something dangerous, with every cuddle in the middle of the night, every tiny piece of clothing that gets soaked, rinsed washed, dried, folded and dirtied, every nappy time battle, every story, every time we read the same story 10 times, every time we pick you up from falling over your too fast feet, every toy we return to its place after you're in bed, every time we bite back our own frustration at having 'life interrupted', every time you grin, run, jump, remember something... we love you.

  Yes darling girl - we're kind of crazy about you. And always will be. 

With so much of the every moment kind of love, your mama always. xx

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