HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY!!!
Somehow I blinked and the calendar tells me you're TWO YEARS OLD TODAY! Oh, man, this one feels so much older than 1 did. Maybe because you're a running, talking, singing, "reading," opinionated little lady now. I don't even know where to begin with an update. You are changing and learning so quickly all of a sudden that it's hard to keep up. So maybe I'll just tell you some of my favorite things about you at age 2:
1. You like to read books to me now. Apparently you were blessed with Mama's good memory, because you "read" (recite) page by page upwards of 7-8 different books now. The other day, you recited the entire "You are my cupcake" book without even having the book in front of you. It's so sweet to hear your rendition of what we've read to you and to watch you point and say "what's that?" expecting an answer because that's what we do with you. My favorite is when you mess up a page on purpose, then say (for instance) "no silly, that's not the cutie pie! That's a sweet pea!"
2. You can sing the ABC's. And to be honest, you say it pretty clearly. Sure WX is sometimes "double X, Y and Z" but you definitely get the gist of it these days. I sang it to you every night for probably 2 weeks before you finally decided to sing along one night. I was amazed how much you knew when you finally decided to try - and here I assumed you weren't paying attention. Daddy says you just hate to be wrong like me, so you wait until you've mastered something to do it.
3. You love to sing and dance - like all the time! Some of your favorite songs to sing are "Soft Kitty" (from The Big Bang Theory), "Old Mcdonald", "Skip to my lou" (especially while holding both Mama/Daddy's hands and skipping around the kitchen island), "Rockabye Baby" (which you sing to your baby dolls), and lots of other made-up songs and tunes you like to sing. Dancing continues to be a favorite, especially in the kitchen with Daddy. You like the more upbeat songs, but also like to slow dance when he picks you up.
4. You love classic Disney cartoons. We found a volume of old Disney cartoons on Netflix (as in they were old when I used to watch them as a kid!). You love Lambert the Sheepish Lion and the Three Little Pigs (both of which your favorite parts are the big bad wolf... I kind of worry about you sometimes, kiddo. Hopefully you're just trying to see the best in people, not rooting for the bad guys... yea, we'll go with that). We like them because they are so much better than modern kid shows and they're each only about 8 minutes long, so it's an easy request to fulfill.
5. You're starting to watch Disney movies with us. Your hands down favorite is The Lion King (you spend a lot of your day running from hyenas or 'ninas' as you call them, looking through the house for ninas, talking about pushing your baby sister in a stroller to run from the ninas, etc. Again, you have a soft spot for the bad guys...) Along those lines, you've recently discovered Lilo & Stitch and like it simply because you're convinced that Stitch is a "baby blue nina" - we decided to let you have that one. Another recent favorite was Brave and we laugh because the part of the movie you talk about all the time is the blue wisps in the woods. You also like the bear, but the blue wisps definitely make the movie for your silly little self.
7. At the ripe old age of 2, you've already mastered sarcasm. And use it correctly. It's hilarious and scary all at once. But makes for some pretty funny moments, especially in combination with your overabundance of facial expressions, voice inflections, and funny little sayings. Funny having a little mirror of how we act/talk - you never realize what you say until you have a little parrot repeating it all the time.
8. You are the perfect combination of strong and girly. You can fall/crash/tumble and not bat an eye, yet you love to wear dresses, paint your toes, put on "makeups", and strut around in your bright pink Nike shoes. You baby your stuffed animals and dolls, hugging and kissing all over them, then tell us which animals are going to eat the others. While admiring a monkey painted on the wall at your doctor's office, the nurse asked you if you liked it. You petted his head, then proceeded to pretend to "eat" the monkey and turned to show us how you were chewing him up (too many documentaries with Daddy?). Above all, you have this incredible confidence and carry yourself so proudly for such a little thing. I really hope you never lose that.
9. You've become such a snuggle bug! Lately you've gone from the girl who never sat/slowed down, to asking to cuddle under a blanket. You will lay on my chest and watch cartoons or our latest mutual obsession - the Food Network (ladies cooking as you call it). Like Mama, you like to watch The Pioneer Woman because there's always lots of kids and animals on the show. You also really like Cupcake Wars but always end up wanting to eat/make some. Which is why Mama made you cupcakes this year for your birthday. Pink ones.
All in all, it's been a big year for you, Peanut! You mastered walking/running, talking, climbing, doing "tumbles," colors, following directions (though you choose not to most of the time), and singing songs. You can carry on conversation like a real little person now - you have thoughts, feelings, opinions, and answers that we just never see coming. You got to be a flowergirl in Uncle Travi's wedding. You learned that you're going to be a big sister, but have no idea what it really entails yet. You know places - home, Mommy's store, Daddy's school, Target, the zoo, and Grandma/Grandpas' houses. You know all the special people in your life - Mama, Daddy, Mickey, Grandma/Papa, Grandma/Grandpa Eddie, Lindsey, Aunt Emmy/Uncle Aaron, Travi/Mal, Josh/Ravelle/Chloe, Brian/Shannon/Theo/Eli (you especially love seeing/looking at pics of your three cousins), Shawna/Dan/Remy, Jess/Derek, Jeff/Kinzie (those past few you always expect to see in pairs), Uncle Fun (Andrew), Aunt Tammy (my partner at work), and all of their dogs by name. You bounce when you walk and it's often described as "walking with a purpose." I just love that phrase to describe you. Even now, it seems like everything you say/do has such a sense of purpose. It's like you know exactly what you want and are figuring out how to get it. You're a little problem solver already and are drawn to the spotlight - you can hold the focus of a whole group of people with your storytelling alone. Sure this is coming from your mama, but you are truly a beautiful little person, inside and out. Each year might bring more challenges, but that's what makes us who we are. Embrace the challenge, baby. I'm pretty sure my little wolf cub can take it ;)