How is it that 2 years have passed since you first joined us in the world? Even though you are our second child, I'm still in awe of how quickly you've grown and how much you've learned. Your personality hasn't changed too much since you were a tiny baby. You still smile most of the time but have a fierce temper that comes on quickly.
|Such a busy Birthday girl, carrying your sand toys to the new sandbox.|
You are tough as nails, little girl. At times I see you fall or bump into something and I'm certain that any other child (including Eli) would be in tears. You never slow down, pick yourself up, and keep going. You take flak from no one (especially not your big brother) and can easily stand up for yourself. Sometimes you even stand up for yourself a little too strongly and hit your big brother. Be careful with this, sweet girl, for all that strength and your headstrong ways may sometimes make you less approachable.
I love that you rarely, if ever, meet a stranger. You smile and jabber with people we meet wherever we go. Grocery shopping with you is always an adventure because I catch you smiling and playing with all the people we pass by. Your smile is completely contagious. Don't ever lose that.
Similarly, you are as adventurous as they come and show no fear. You want to keep up with the older kids (Eli and Audrey) so much that you simply will yourself to run, climb, and jump just like they do. You don't always manage to go as fast, jump as high, or climb as far as they do, but you dang sure try.
I love how close you and Eli have become. Ya'll are the best little buddies anyone could ask for. If for some reason one of you doesn't go to daycare, the other cries for their missing sibling. The child who stays home or isn't in daycare routinely asks where the other one is and what he/she is doing. I'm glad that you are so close and that you take such good care of each other.
|That look between you two tells me I'm in big trouble! You've got each other's back.|
You're also a bit of a Daddy's girl and that is completely fine. I hope you realize that you have Daddy completely wrapped around your finger. He would never have dreamed of allowing Eli to sleep in our bed most of the night at 2 years old. In fact, Eli hasn't routinely slept in our bed since he was 3 months old. You, on the other hand, are Daddy's cuddle-bug and still sleep most of the night right next to Daddy. When you aren't there, he tells me how he misses your cuddles. He loves you so much.
|Resting in Daddy's arms at just 1 day old.|
The only thing you really insist on having by your side every minute of the day is your "manket" (blanket) - the rag quilt Granny Reba made for you and you sleep with every night. We make you leave it at home during daycare but from the minute we walk in the door to the minute we leave the next morning you want it by your side. You are like Linus with that thing. We have to work hard to keep it away from the table at mealtimes and if it gets dirty, it gets washed immediately. You have to have your "manket".
One other time when you express a real opinion is when it comes to me carrying you. Lately you've been extra clingy. I wonder if you are getting your 2-year-old molars? It's become almost impossible for me to cook, clean, or do anything without you on my hip. When Eli was small he would ask "Go with?" if he wanted to come with me to the fridge for more juice or into the other room. When you know that I'm about to walk away from you, you climb forcibly into my lap and declare "My comin'!" And 95% of the time, you do come. I'm sorry for the times I've had to insist that you get down off my hip so that I can finish supper, or sweep the floor, or fetch your clothes, or whatever. When I force you to get down, you typically follow me around screaming bloody murder. This causes my stress levels to go through the roof and I'm sometimes short or impatient with you. I hope that you'll forgive this. I know that I should enjoy these times when you want to be with me because there will come a time when you will just want me to go away. But, baby girl, as great as these times are they can be hard too. You'll understand someday and I hope that you'll be better equipped to handle those tough stressful moments. In the meantime, I just hope that I can make up for all those mistakes I made with some extra kisses at bedtime.
|Loving your first taste of Shaved Ice and being a little silly... Food is Yummy!|
I hope that you have had the happiest birthday ever and have had more fun that you can imagine playing with your friends today. I'm bringing home one of your favorites, pizza, for supper tonight just because it's your birthday and you love it. I know you'll eat at least 3 pieces and it will be everywhere and that's okay. When we're done with the pizza we're going to break out the leftover birthday cake from the party and have some of that too. Birthday calories don't count, anyway.
I love you to the moon and back, Happy Girl!