Happy half birthday! Or, as you would say (imitating a talking birthday cake toy you have), "Happy, happy, happy.... Happy!" You have so many things to say these days. We understand more of it than ever- you have a vocabulary that grows daily and is now far too long to list- but you also spend a great deal of your time jabbering. Recently, you've been cracking us up with your new facial expressions, like your "shocked" face, with eyebrows raised as high as possible and mouth wide open. As you learn to imitate our expressions more precisely and use them appropriately, your ability to communicate is enhanced. We've been adding more signs, too, which helps, and your attempts to sign banana are precious.
Several weeks ago, our trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo became a turning point for you. We were lucky enough to be able to stand next to the window when the male lion was pacing inches away from us on the other side. After several minutes, he stopped and roared. Suddenly, my repetitive "What does a lion say? Roar!" monologue clicked, and you began roaring back at the lion. For the next 30 minutes, you stood in front of the lion exhibit roaring at the lions. I'm not sure if this convinced you that some animals say something other than "woof," or if you made that connection separately but on the same day, but suddenly we could ask you what a variety of animals say and you would tell us the right sound. Perhaps the cutest is the restraint you use to very quietly meow, especially compared to your loud, breathy roar.
You also have a new bike! You love pushing yourself along with your feet and you've picked up steering incredibly quickly. I think you're also really excited to finally have your own "bi" after admiring Daddy's for so long.
Watching you grow is such a joy, Tye. Hearing you sing, seeing you ride a bike, watching you navigate the playground easily, I can't help but be amazed that my baby is doing such grown up things. You fill each day with so much happiness, from your sleepy morning smiles to your sweet goodnight kisses. Thank you for the best year and a half of my life, Baby Girl. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.