You and me and dad..alone...for a few more days.
You turned two only a month ago, and yet thinking of you as a big sister makes you seem a hundred years old.
Everything about you is fun and happy and full of light.
I would say the most noticeable change you have had these last few months is your language skills. You talk talk talk!
"Was dat mommy?" as you point to an old orange rind, a ladybug, a panty liner. I give you the answer and you repeat back word for word whatever I say to you.
Other favorite phrases include, " I dow want to mommy," "Scawee, scawee (scary), OK, mommy daddy got you," "happy or sad?" ....and the best one by a landslide is "I wuv you mommy"...as you wrap your arms tight around my neck and proceed to kiss me so hard you are shaking.
As we get closer and closer to baby brother being here your awareness of what's going on really surprises me. I actually think you understand that I am growing a baby in my belly. One day, all on your own, you kissed and hugged my stomach and said., " I wuv you baby bruda". And since they you have been asking for my bare belly and kissing, hugging and expressing your love for him daily. You even include him in snack time sometimes by sharing your drink with him or your piece of cheese. "Yummy baby bruda".
I wonder if you are old enough to understand what love really means..but then again I wonder if any of us really are. All I know is when you say it, I feel it..and I know your brother does too.
You have a special kind of life because most of your days are spent with both your mom and dad. We both wake up with you in the morning, we eat our meals together, we put you down for a nap together, bathe you together, put you to bed at night together. We know this is rare and treasure these seemingly mundane moments together.
You are a creature of habit and love the consistency we have tried to give you with your schedule.
You don't fight naptime or bedtime (at the moment) and, I daresay, you're excited about both.
Bedtime consists of finishing dinner and then you immediately running to the bath. You first have to grab your bath baby. Usually you only want mom to help you out of the bath, but only with one hand becuase you are a big girl and can do it yourself. "Me do it". I then wrap you up in a towel and help you brush your teeth with your Dora toothbrushes. You prefer 2 toothbrushes and we roll our eyes and oblige. Then I brush your hair, scoop you up in my arms and we look at ourselves in the mirror as we tell the bathroom goodnight. Then I smother you in kisses before you turn off the bathroom lights. Lotion, diaper (you always ask for cream or baby powder), jammies and then reading time. You prefer to have mom sit in the rocking chair and dad lay on the floor...and you split your time sitting in your rocking chair next to me or crawling over dad like he is a jungle gym. We read try to read only 3ish books but you want more and more and more. You prefer mom to do the reading which means I get to read and re-read Puppy Boo everyday at least 4 times. Then lights out, you slam the door so it is pitch dark and then we all fumble around while you try and tuck Aspen in to her bed, throw as many animals as you can into your crib (favorites include, dino, muno, 2 babies, bear, dog and sometimes the hard plastic cow). You want me to pick you up but it is getting harder and harder in my state so I pretend I am the one lifting you while dad does all the work. We then discuss our day briefly, talk about what to look forward to tomorrow and then whether you are happy or sad about bedtime, you give both of us giant hugs and kisses while you tell us you love us. We count to 5 and into bed you go. 2 cookies and a half a vitamin c later, and we are outta there. After we leave you call out loudly " I love you mommy, I love you daddy." And you wait for our answer back... "We love you Nova." Then we look at each other and shake our heads because it is ridiculous how much we really do.
You had a brief moment a few months ago when we thought we were going to have to transition to a toddler bed, but since moving into our home and putting you back in a real crib you are fine sleeping in one again. Even though you prefer to climb out on your own you will call for us in the morning and kind of refuse to climb out until we are in there watching. We are NOT complaining. I also love when I come into you in the morning and you say, "I'm awake mommy"...with a little grin on your face. Then you proceed to talk non stop telling me all about your babies and animals and bed and dreams (no doubt). We had missed 12hrs together so we have a lot to catch up on.
Lets talk about Aspen. She is a doll Grandpa Lloyd bought you for Christmas and she is your best friend. She eats with us in the booster seat for every meal. She comes with us on most errands. She is usually wherever you are and she is starting to smell. Every other doll is named Aspen as well...but we all know there is only one REAL Aspen. Affectionally named after your baby cousin Aspen. Your first imaginary friend.
I am so impressed at how well you play make believe already.
I am so impressed with pretty much everything you say and do.
You are gaining a lot of interest in emotions and what they mean. We have numerous conversations each day about whether someone is happy or sad and what that means. I hope you are learning it is OK to feel everything.
If I am ever leaning my head down against the table or maybe I really am sad and you see tears, you will pat my back and say "it's ok mommy, I've got you". How can that not make me feel better?
You are a great eater but still prefer anything over meat or breads. Milk products you go nuts over though. "Yogie" (yogurt), cottage cheese and milk being your favorites. You accidentally learned what whipped cream was when I squirted it in your mouth and have recently gotten confused when asking for it. "Cream of wheat mommy, pease?" We like to eat cream of wheat together for breakfast sometimes but I couldn't get why you were asking for it at lunch time. Oh! You mean whipped CREAM.
Honey is also something you ask for everyday. Man, you are adorable.
You are a lover and want to kiss and hug everyone we say goodbye to. But not just any kiss, has to be a lip kiss. Lately you have been telling everyone you love them as you say goodbye as well.
You also like to point out when you think something is funny. How you pick up on humor is beyond me.
We still have lots of nicknames for you...pickle and noodle being our main ones at the moment.
With all the words you say, you still aren't very interested in saying your own name. You have...but when we ask you to you give us kind of a blank stare. Like you are thinking why in the world do I have to say my own name all the time. We think we are in part to blame for calling you pickle all the time.
Potty training we don't push but you do come to us and let us know when you want to use the toliet. It's awesome. Today alone you told us four different times you had to go "poo poo" (which means both) and we rushed to the toilet and every time you went! Proud parents. So far you have made the start of toilet training very easy for us.
You love playing in water, in your new toyhouse with daddy, playing basketball, nunning (running), swinging and jumping! When you go to your my gym classes you spend most of the time jumping to your heart's content on their 6ft trampoline. When you land on your bum you yell out "BUM!".
You recognize your street and other landmarks as we drive around and always announce you are home once we pull in the driveway.
Not our proudest moment but you now ask to watch shows or play games on the computer.
You have always been musically minded and remember melodies so well. We often catch you singing the wonder pets theme song, or the Dora theme song. We watched sound of music the other day and you recognized a couple songs we already sing to you and the last few days we have caught you singing edelweiss to yourself.
I can't forget to tell you we went and saw your first movie on your birthday. We watched Wreck it Ralph and you sat through the entire thing with sippy cup and cracker cup in hand. It was a proud moment for us.
We also taught you that while on chairs you need to be on either your knees or bum and you repeat "knees or bum" over and over again while testing your limits on chairs.
Your independence is growing and growing and I can see so much pride and sense of accomplishment everytime you figure something out on your own.
I could write and write and write about every little thing you are. I want to. I don't ever want to forget anything...and yet I know I will. It is reality that I will keep feelings and small, meaningful moments in my mind and the rest will float about only resurfacing if needed. The problem is, I feel like all my moments and memories with you are needed.
Changes are coming for you my sweet baby girl. In a few short days you will become a sister. I know your dad and I are giving you one of life's greatest gifts, a sibling. I know this and yet I find my eyes welling with tears when you let me rock you in my arms. I have loved having you as my only child. You won't really remember any of what has happened up to this point but I KNOW it has shaped your mind and heart. Recently a friend and fellow mother that I photographed wrote something to the effect, "...more than what it's done for me is what I hope it has done for you. I found time to carve out space for you in my life daily and I hope you know I will continue to do that forever..."
I will Nova. I will always have space for you...as much as you need. That is a gift that all mothers have...infinite space. I am just starting to realize that as I open my heart more and more for your brother. The space is endless. He is not taking yours, he is getting his own. This makes me sigh with relief.
Happy two years to my baby girl the color of lemons. And as the lullaby I wrote you sings, "You're part girl and part the sun." My shining star.