My cheeky delight. It's hard to believe that this time next year I was lumbering heavily with you within, waiting so impatiently to meet you - and here you are now - so very you, so very here.
In the last month your mischievous side has been fully unleashed. You crawl quickly, with great determination to the puppy's water bowl, turn to give me a nose-crinkled grin, then empty it. (And on that subject your favourite food is dog food - I have to be crafty about when I feed our puppy as you have a talent for sniffing it out.)
You spend the entire time we're at the supermarket trying to get out of the trolley seatbelt to stand up like the little Boadicea you believe yourself to be.
You have begun throwing spectacular mini-tantrums if denied the items you believe to be rightfully yours - mobile phones and bank cards are your favourite.
You remain entirely adorable. From the way you say 'up, up!' as you lift your arms to me, the softness of your warm fingers as they close around mine, to your giggling delight as you play with your sister or bask in any time your brother choses to give you, you are perfection. The way you optimistically throw your chubby knee up on everything remotely climbable. You're not walking yet - although standing and doing little bouncing dances - but o boy are you a climber. I thought one in the family was bad. Deep sigh at two.
When you nurse you curve one hand protectively around the milk, while the other explores my teeth or the bones of my neck.
You are incredibly curious, always peering around my shoulder to see what's happening, observing solemnly in a perfect Queen Victoria face of judgement until breaking into your great belly-laugh. You still grunt and growl more than any baby I've ever met. (And I've met quite a few!)
This month has been a month of change - we've moved into our new house, we've sold our house in Victoria, severing the last tie of the past four years of study, and we have a beautiful new puppy. Your daddy was determined on a large dog, as the area we've moved into is a tad rough (he grew up here) and we settled on a swiss shepherd as they're supposed to be good with children and quite mellow.
It was only after we got out puppy that your nana reminded us that her mother had two white shepherds in Romania, before the second world war, and had lost them when the Russians advanced. (I am still getting my head around half your daddy's family seeing the war from the other side.)
We love our new house, little one. I wonder if you'll have memories of it, or if we'll move on too soon. It is light filled and open, and after our tumble-down fibro amazingly low maintenance. Your daddy and his cousins gave it a coat of blinding white and it now smells delightfully new-house-y.
But that bit about the area being a tad rough? The morning after we moved in I got back from the school run to realise that three palings were missing from the fence and there was a hole in the laundry security door right by the lock. Neither of those things had been there when we'd played with our puppy in the garden before school that morning and although nothing was missing it was still unsettling.
Your big brother was devastated he forgot to ask the policemen who came over to see their handcuffs and called out to all his new friends in the street 'Come and see our robber-hole! We have a robber-hole!' And your daddy sprained his ankle coming down from the attic where he'd been putting in all the security cameras he deemed necessary. Which have actually been handy for adjudicating fights as we've been descended upon by hoards of not-too-gentle neighbourhood kids.
My sweetness, you sleep now beside me, the soles of your little feet resting on my leg, sprawled out, your head on your daddy's leg, your fingers, palm up, slowly moving. You hear a noise - your legs draw up, and then you stretch out again, your arms flung up above your head.
Giggle-bear, we're so glad you're here, we're so glad you're ours.