Two Years with One Girl

My little Faith,
As I type these words, you are upstairs sleeping soundly in your bed...or in our bed....or maybe in the hallway. It's been a month and a half since we transitioned you from the crib after the leg dangling incident of 2012. So far, not so good. In addition to getting up approximately 16.4 times per night ("one more book," "I need raffe," "biiiiinky") you recently started coming into our bedroom at exactly 6 a.m. and sticking your arms in the air to be lifted up and onto the bed. While your dad and I would love the extra hour or so of sleep, I know it won't be long before all the sudden one day, you stop coming in to snuggle every morning.

That's what brings me to this letter. You are growing up so fast, so fast my blogging can't keep up with you. I wanted to write a letter to you for a couple reasons. First and foremost, for you. Your grandma kept what can only be described as an "extensive" baby book for me and I can't tell you how many times I've referenced it in the last two years. I hope someday when you're a mom, my insight into you will bring you laughter, fond memories of childhood, and a few 'aha' moments. And secondly, I'm writing this for me...and your dad. Our memories are short and I don't want to forget that you love to say "kangarooooo" or the way you say "mac and cheese a roni" or  your genuine smile. That smile gets me every time.

So....You. You are a girly girl. I don't know how this happened as I suck at all things girly. Not you. You love wearing "purdy desses" and if it's not pink or purple, it's not worth wearing. If I try to put you in anything but a dress, you claim "it too tight." You've never been a fan of hair bows or barrettes, but the other night you let me place about 7 in your hair at once. It was cute, but I purposely avoid giant bows in pictures because I want your face, and your beautiful curly hair that you got from your dad and my mom, to be the focal point of the photo.

As your mom, I feel the need to expose you to so many new adventures - the park, the library, the pool, but find I am happiest and enjoy our time the most when it's just you and me at home playing a game you made up. Your creativity reminds me how fun it is to be a kid. The other day you found these sheets of bunny paper and decided that you were going to rip them into pieces. You repeatedly asked me if I wanted a "piece of bunny" and then would return to rip some more pages. You also like to sing karaoke with your arm around my shoulder. College is going to be fun for you!

I could listen to you talk all day. Your speech and the number of words you can say is probably the most entertaining thing for your dad and me. Today at the grocery store, dad took you down the aisle with all the salad dressings and you said, "Wow, look at all the dip dip." (Ranch dressing just might be your favorite food as we constantly have to remind you to actually dip something in it other than your fingers.) You've also been obsessed with the words "dithday party" ever since you turned two and you are constantly singing the happy birthday song and playing with your plastic cupcakes and tea set. At your actual birthday party, I was too busy running around like a crazy woman to really take in the fact that you were turning two. It didn't hit me until about 30 family members and friends sang "Happy Birthday, Dear Faithy" did I really take a minute to look at you. You just had a look of pure joy like I've never seen from you before on your face and immediately the lump rose in my throat and tears welled in my eyes. I don't ever want to forget that moment. It made every second of the party planning stress worthwhile.

Let's see here. You are always smiling, happy go lucky and quick to laugh, except when we took our family pictures. It wasn't your fault thought, we had woken you from your nap. Apparently that "never wake a sleeping baby" thing applies to 2 year olds too. We did manage to get a few good ones, but none of you and your tea set. Of course, the minute we got home, you were playing with it and looking as cute as can nothing but your diaper. I guess I'll just have to try to keep a mental picture of that one.

As much as we love you, you're not perfect.You can be emotional when it comes to sharing your toys and throw a pretty impressive tantrum if we turn off Mickey Mouse or Doc Mcstuffins. Usually you're OK with transitioning to another activity, but sometimes you can be stubborn. Tonight at the park for example you were sitting on a giant ceramic squirrel when a little girl came up to you and told you that squirrel was hers. You didn't move and just smiled at her. I know you knew what she was saying, and I applaud you for holding your ground, even if it was more out of stubbornness than standing up for yourself. You're going to need to do that a lot in life and I think you're off to a good start.

We are about to embark on the wonderful joy that is potty training -- said no one ever (that's a popular phrase here in 2012 in case you're reading this is 2032). I went to a class last week and started getting teary-eyed when I realized you really are ready for it. After potty training, I feel like you'll need me less and less. I suppose I'll still need to cut up your meat and help you cross the street, but after that? Oh yeah, driving. You're going to need me a lot now that I think about it. I still call my mom once a day, so hopefully you do that too.

I have to keep reminding myself not to underestimate you. We went to a baseball game last Friday night where they have a play area for kids. I kept accompanying you up the steps to get to the slide because I thought you needed me. There were some 12 year old boys who were running around in there and I was worried you'd get your little foot and hand smashed, but thankfully that never happened. I need to practice letting you fly on your own a bit more.

I've tried not to make this like a 24 things post, but alas that's kind of what it's become. I forgot to mention what currently makes you laugh. My burps. And when I'm out of real ones, I resort to fake ones. (Ladylike, I know.) Anyway, if I want you to get the giggles, this is a surefire method. So last but not least, Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrpppppp! Hopefully that made ya smile.

Love you always and forever,

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