Hey, it’s me again! I’ve been busy cooking up an awesome new project around here, which I will reveal soon. I’ve taken most of my Jonah and parenting musings off-line lately in favor of more in-person communication with loved ones, and the time I do have to myself has been devoted to this new project and to my own self-care.

But I did want to pop back in and give a little update, because oh-my-word, the changes and growth we’ve experienced these past few months! It’s been amazing. It is SO FUN to be a mom to a toddler. It’s also exhausting at times. But I love summer, and we have been having a blast going swimming, playing outdoors, staying up late, going to the beach, playing with friends, etc. So here’s a snapshot of Jonah at 20 months…

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Words, words, words! My sweet child, you have had a literal explosion in language development. All that signing I did for months without any real reaction from you has actually paid off. You pick up new signs every day now. It’s wonderful to be able to communicate so clearly in this way as you work on developing spoken language! And your speech has become so much clearer in the past few weeks. Your pleeeeeease is adorable, as you both say and sign it, and look up longingly hoping for a yes to whatever you are requesting. You sign “one more!” and thank you and bath. Cracker, milk, eggs, cheese. Baby, night-night, poop, potty, water, again. And many more I’m forgetting. You know so many animal sounds! You prefer to read books with animals, and you also prefer to call them by their sounds instead of their names (and/or sign them), so cat is “maow maow”, dog is panting, rooster is “cock-a-oooo-oooo”, lion is “raaaaawrrr!”… and the list goes on. The one exception is horse, where you combine both the word horse and the neiggggh sound for a “huhhhhorrrrrrssse!”

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You are very interested in babies, and your face crumples when they are crying. You also think that babies mostly sleep, and say/sign night-night whenever you see one. You would play in water ALL DAY LONG if I let you. You have gotten so brave, running through big fountains at the splash park, jumping into the pool and practicing swimming, dunking your head under the water and coming up laughing, running into the ocean with pure joy on your face. I love your courage, I love your sheer delight in the world around you!

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You give us kisses now, and it melts my heart every time. You are so full of love and wonder. You have an amazing sense of humor and crack me up all the time. You bonk your head on the wall on purpose so that you can play with the ice pack from the freezer. You surprise me regularly with how much you understand, how closely you pay attention to even passing conversation. Last night you were fussing a bit and I was saying “shhhh-shhh-shhhh” as I rubbed your back, and you brought your little finger up to your lip and “shhhhh’d” yourself back to sleep.

You still study things intensely. You are cautious at first. But once you feel comfortable, you go forth with a confidence and independence that inspires me to face the world in the same way.

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You are 20 months old and I love you beyond words. Forever and ever.