Dear Sugar Shells,

IT'S NIECE TIME!  About a month ago I wrote you a letter on my darling nephew's birthday, promising that my darling niece would soon have her very own Flash.  Well, today is that glorious day.  Wheeeee!

Nobody knows exactly how or why it happened, but she was nicknamed The Pooza Baby (by my nephew), and that cutie name has stuck.  

So:  please meet The Pooza!  You can scroll down to see her in this week's 
Fun Family Photo.  

I got to spend last weekend with this precious sugar monkey on our family beach camping adventure. The photo shows us dutifully helping to unpack the RV and set up camp.  

Can you see how far back she has thrown her little head??  As soon as I pick her up, she twists and leans herself into this position for an upside-down spin.  (Normally her arms would be completely hanging down, but, you see, there was a pretzel.)  We fly until I get the dizzies, at which point she says, "Again!" and off we go.  

My niece is two years old and knows what she wants.  

The Pooza also knows what she doesn't want.  And, thanks to supportive parenting, she doesn't hesitate to say so.  

She says NO like a champion.  I get that this word comes with the territory of two-land, but her impressive "No!" accompanies a scrunched-up nose, knitted eyebrows, and a direct eye gaze.  Intensity!

Yes, my beloved Pooza is a sweet and tender girl; yes, she sings and dances spontaneously (for her own entertainment, mind you); and yes, she unabashedly loves dolls and puppies.   Which is all impossibly, hopelessly adorable.  BUT:  what I love best about my niece - in this moment - is her sense of power.  

She's clear, assertive, and so, SO fierce.  She may be short right now, but to me she's a colossus.

It almost goes without saying that I love love love being this monkey's Aunty.  Almost. :)  And I suspect that she'll inspire me forever.

Welcome to another piece of my heart space,