We are encouraging Noah's toddler independent streak. He can do so many things for himself now! We bought a couple different step stools to use around the house, and one of his favorite things to do now is wash his hands - all by himself. He absolutely hates it when we look over his shoulder to see what he's doing, or try to speed up the process! We are currently working on the idea that the soapy bubbles need to be rinsed off before you're done washing your hands.
We lowered Noah's highchair so he can get in and out by himself. It's so much easier like this, but the major disadvantage is that his tray is right on Emma's level - it's like a private dining tray just for the dog. We need to put Emma in a different room when he eats now.
Other newly independent activities are getting in and out of the car by himself (he still needs a little boost to get into his car seat), and getting in and out of his crib with the use of a step stool.
Here's some pictures of Mr. Independent.