Dear Everett,

Happy 18 months, Evie bear! The last six months have flown by, and I cannot believe that you are a toddler now. I am loving this season, because you are smart, sassy and showing off new abilities each day. You are such a sweet and gentle soul, and I look forward to seeing your smile each morning.

You have a big personality, Everett. When you are happy, you let everyone know it. You give sweet hugs and open mouth kisses, and you sing and dance all over the house.

When you are not happy, you also let everyone know it. Good grief, Ev, you are a screamer and world class tantrum thrower. One of your biggest fits was at your first hair cut. Right before 18 months, we took you to the salon, and you cried and wrestled the hair stylist so much that your hair looked worse after the cut than it did before. The haircut was so bad that Dad took clippers to it when we got home. Here’s to more smiles and fewer fits in the next six months. Please and thanks.

Speaking of thanks, you say many words now, including “thank you,” “blue,” “bye,” “bath night” and “cheese.” When I ask you to say “cheese,” you stop whatever you’re doing and give the biggest, cheesiest smile. It’s ridiculously cute. You also love saying animal sounds, and reading time is especially fun when you act out the animals.

Many of your favorite activities at 18 months involve water. You love baths, swimming in the pool, bubbles, playing in the water table, and splashing in puddles. The amount of dirty water you drink is truly disgusting, but I enjoy encouraging your love of water because it’s one of the few activities you’ll enjoy for more than a few minutes.

I hinted at it before, but I’ll elaborate now. You flit from one activity to the next every minute or so. It’s tricky, because I cannot take my eyes off of you. Why, you may ask? Because when you’re not playing with water, you’re typically climbing. You, my love, are a climbing machine. There is nothing you will not climb. Kitchen tables, chairs, stairs, into the bathroom sink to turn on water, you get the picture. As a result, your poor baby body has taken a beating over the last six months. You’ve had a number of goose eggs as well as a broken collar bone. That’s right, on July 27th, you rolled off an ottoman at just the right angle, and broke your collar bone. I will say, because you fall so frequently and get back on your feet again, it was easy for Dad and me to know that something was wrong because you wouldn’t calm down. After a trip to the ER, we had the x-ray proof. The injuries have calmed over the last few weeks, and I’m hoping your newfound stability is here to last. Now if only you’d stop climbing everything in sight.

Your brother started preschool a month ago, and you and I have been enjoying one on one time together! We go to the library for story time and Pinkerton Park to play. Sometimes we even take walks around the neighborhood so that you can wander wherever you want. This time is so special to me, and I look forward to it every week.

When Denver is not at school, you two are inseparable. You chase each other around the house, pretend to be bears, dance to the “Paw Patrol Theme Song,” and get into all the mischief manageable. Watching your friendship grow is one of the best parts of my days, and I hope that your bond will continue to grow as you get more words and can interact even more closely.

You love your Dad and miss him when he’s at work. You often stare at pictures of him on the walls, point, and say “Dad.” When he comes home, you run to greet him, and I know he loves it.

We took another trip to the Chattanooga Aquarium in September, and you loved running all around and yelling “fish.” I think Dad and I spent more time chasing you and Denver than actually looking at the animals! It was definitely a fun family day, though. Pappy also came to visit, over the summer, and took you out to catch fish. While you are still a bit too young to do the actual fishing, you were brave and touched a fish! You were so happy at the pond, and I look forward to taking you back again soon.

Everett Isaac, you are such a happy and handsome boy. Dad, Denver, and I all love you and are so grateful that you are part of our family. You fill the days with laughter, and you certainly keep us on our toes. Happy 18 months, Everett.