last month you turned two. to say you have grown would be an understatement. you are suddenly such a big girl! you are lanky and those little rolls on your legs and arms have disappeared. your vocabulary is also expanding in big ways. on saturday your dad turned to me and said, "so she can pretty much say anything she wants now." yes. you love to strike up conversation with anyone who will listen and we love to hear your thoughts each day. you observe everything. you forget nothing.
for your birthday we kept things simple. no party, just family, a cake, and your requested dinner (spaghetti and meatballs). when you awoke on your birthday, you followed a trail of balloons to the living room and opened some gifts. there were birthday pancakes and candles. in the afternoon we took out a box of photos and looked back on our favorite memories of the past two years. it was the perfect weekend.
i've been thinking a lot about the months being pregnant with you. something about winter will always remind me of those cold, quiet days leading up to your arrival. i remember the days right after we brought you home. they were the coziest, most surreal days. just the three of us. fast forward to last winter. we were outgrowing our tiny apartment, just considering the possibility of moving. i was completely wrapped up in freelancer deadlines. it was a stressful time. and yet the days were mild. they were warm enough to allow for walks, you and i bundled up, holding you close to my chest.
this winter has been brutal. we have been buried under snowstorm after snowstorm. each weekend brings more snow and bitter cold temperatures. all of us are anxious for spring to arrive. i can't wait to return to walking everywhere, longer days spent outside, and evenings filled with sunlight. a few weeks ago we saw a one day reprieve from the cold and took note. wasting no time, we put on our rain boots and headed out. we walked and walked and walked. we held hands and looked for birds, squirrels, dogs, the remains of christmas decorations. i use to daydream about doing this with you, walking hand in hand, talking with each other. the sun warmed our faces and we ran from puddle to puddle, stomping through every one. when we got home we put on warm socks and recounted every detail from our walk.
// your current loves:
dance parties in the living room
making lists with a pen and pad of paper
brushing your teeth
painting, stamping, coloring
helping prepare dinner
jumping and hopping
putting your dishes in the cabinet
ring around the rosy
playing board games
looking for the moon each evening
going to the library
helping with the laundry
stickers and temporary tattoos
listening to music
giving high fives
playing with your dollhouse and animals
saying prayers at dinnertime
going to restaurants (in particular, ordering your food)
helping to dress and undress yourself
pushing the little cart at the grocery store
// recent phrases:
"remember summer? remember the zoo?"
"daddy is a really good daddy."
when handed a mug of hot chocolate, "oh boy, oh boy! i looovvveee it!"
"that baby is crying. just take deep breaths baby, it's okay."
"i'm making coffee. emerson doesn't like coffee. mama loves coffee."
"we have to bundle up. it's freezing outside!"
upon entering a public restroom anywhere, "don't touch anything!"
"i'm really working. daddy is working just like emerson."
'let's run errands and go to a restaurant."
while listening to any jazz, "it's charlie brown music!"
when asked if you would like some carrots, "no, i'm good!"
"mama needs to turn the record."
while walking into the splits position, "i'm doing yoga. stttrrreeeeettttcccchhh."
"remember yesterday? when i put my feet on the table?"
"mama's a good eater."
when you do not care for what we're listening to, "emerson wants to listen to other music."
pointing to hot sauce on the table, "that's too spicy for emerson. daddy loves it."
after an older gentleman said hello to you at the grocery store, "emerson is shy to that old grandpa."
you leave us in wonder every single day, my love. you make us laugh and cry and constantly surprise us. you still like to cuddle and give the best hugs. you pat my back when we say goodnight. we miss you when we put you to bed at night. each age brings its own challenges and beautiful moments, but this period has been especially fun. as each month passes, your dad and i will say to each other, "this is my favorite age, hands down." truly, this feels like such a remarkable, wonderful time in your little life.
happy second year beautiful girl!