Thursday, November 14, 2013

Letter to Anna: Month thirty

Dear Anna,

You’re two and a half years old and I’m in denial that in six short months I’ll have a three year old under my roof!  I’m pretty sure that I’m living with a pre-teen these days as you seem to be two and a half going on twelve with your vocabulary, observations of the world, and general attitude some days.  Luckily you still love to give big hugs, kisses, and need Mommy-snuggles when you’re sad or hurt. 

You are a little bit OCD (gosh, can’t imagine where you got that from) and love to make sure things are “just so” in many situations.  This includes closing doors around the house (pantry, bathroom) on a routine basis, arranging your toys, and you’ve even started to use a wipe, tissue or washcloth to start cleaning around the house.  Unfortunately most of this happens when we’re in a hurry or trying to actually clean-up, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that the actions line up with the need sooner rather than later. 

You’re talking up a storm.  Full sentences, correct tenses, plurals ... the works.  It’s amazing to hear you form your thoughts into words and although we hear a lot of “what happened?” and “why did you do that?” we also hear a lot of declarations and original thoughts.  You are pretty spot on most of the time, with a few mixed up words that result in some pretty funny sentences.  Like the other night when I was putting Charlotte to bed and you closed the door for me (your new thing) and asked “are you going to eat her, Mommy?”  It took me a minute, but (without laughing) I replied “she’s going to eat and I’m going to feed her.”  You just looked at me blankly and said “Ok, Mommy, have fun eating her” and left the room. 

Just because you’re a chatty girl, it doesn't mean we always like what we hear.  You’ve started to throw out the line “because I said so,” and know exactly when to use it.  Such as when I suggested Daisy was our “Halloween cat” given her orange marking and you note that “no she’s not, because I said so.”  I almost fell out of my chair as we ate breakfast and we’ve since heard that reasoning on MANY other occasions.  That steel trap of a mind bites us in the rear sometimes, too, and we have to be careful with consistency among answers to your repeated questions. 

Your leisure time activities include dancing up a storm, leading a family dance party, thinking up new dances, reading, reading and more reading, and dressing up with your 12 purses.  You love to bust a move and routinely do so after pressing the button on any toy that makes music.  You also like to encourage others to dance and regularly ask one of us to join you, or worse, you make us dance by ourselves while the rest of the family watches.  When you’re not dancing, you can be found reading.  You love books and you love to read, something I hope carries you far throughout your life.  You’ll plop down next to one of the bookshelves that hold your MANY books and will entertain yourself for quite a while.  Sometimes, the stars align and I get a few minutes of productive silence when you’re reading or entertaining yourself AND Charlotte is doing the same, OR you’re doing it together. 

You’re very aware of where I am and what I’m doing and understand what each action means.  You know that when I leave for work it means you’re going to school, and you demand a big hug, a little hug, and a kiss.  And then again.  And the same at bedtime; since I’m the only one that is allowed to physically carry you to your crib, I get the honor of the last hugs and kisses of the day.  As independent as you are, if you’re frustrated or scared or just need a hug or affirmation, you certainly know I’m just a holler away, and aren’t afraid to call.  And likewise, there are special instances where only Daddy will do and I’m relegated to being Charlotte’s keeper.  I love the special bond you have with both of us and can’t wait to see it continue to blossom. 

You’re an animal lover and we had a great time taking you to Keeneland to watch the horses workout last month.  I haven’t seen you stand still for as long as you did trackside, ever.  You quickly figured out that the horses were racing and cheered them on as they galloped by.  You love to explore and weren’t afraid as we approached several horses in the stalls on our way out.  You still have a shy and tentative streak about you, but with the right circumstances and encouragement, there’s no stopping your curious mind. 

I could sit and write about your sweet mannerisms, clever comebacks, loveable personality, and kind heart for days, but it all boils down to the fact that you’re just one of the most special people I know on this earth.  Your Dad’s cousin gifted you and Charlotte a very sweet book this past summer and I love the message.  “On the night you were born” tells of how special your arrival into the world was for so many people, and I can’t echo those sentiments to you enough.  Your arrival in my life changed things forever, in the best possible way.  You brighten my days, wear me out, challenge me mentally and physically, but most importantly, you make everything I do worthwhile and important, because it’s all for you.  I hope you always know what a light you are in my life, in everyone’s life you touch in this family and beyond; you are special and wonderful and we will always rejoice that we have an Anna in our lives. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Snot happens

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Case of the missing sock

She's equal opportunity when it comes to sock-chewin' ... seen here going after big sister's...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Growin' like a weed (again!): Month eight

No official stats until next month, but we had to stop in to see the doctor due to a nasty cold and cough a little over a week ago and "clocked" her at 15lbs even.  Miss Charlotte is a little shorter than Anna, but has kept the same weight range, so although we think she's the bigger girl, she's just growin' a little differently.

This month's photo shoot was challenging with the wiggle-factor at 110%, thank goodness I had two great helpers and a back-up photographer on hand!

Being eight months old is the BEST!!

Wiggles, giggles, and repeat ...
My backup photographer, such a big helper!
And, my back-up model!  

Two happy girls!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The big cheese

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Letter to Charlotte: Month eight

Dear Charlotte,

You have turned into a literal mover and shaker this month.  You are scooting around the house, waving your hands like you just don’t care, and are itching to explore every inch of the world around you.  I love your sweet smiles, giggles, and even when you “yell” at me, because I know it means you’re finding your voice in this world.  You are at one of my favorites stages right now; you’re not totally mobile, can somewhat indicate what you want and when you need it, but still love a good snuggle and hug. 

You cannot wait to be totally mobile and I wouldn't be surprised if you’re officially crawling by next month.  You are scooting with reckless abandon, but can’t quite figure out how to coordinate those knees and feet with your hands.  Watching you move around a room is like watching a Cirque du Soleil production; your movements are a combination of rolling, scooting backwards and sideways and using your arms to inch your entire body into a position.  And then you have to stop to chew on your toes or socks for a minute, naturally. You routinely get yourself stuck under a chair, or the TV stand, or between the coffee table and the diaper basket and it’s funny to look over and see those arms and legs doing their best, but going nowhere.  

Outside of rolling around a room, nothing makes you happier than sitting upright with a bin of toys.  We have a small bin or basket of your toys in most rooms in the house and simply pulling them out, a quick stop in your mouth, and then throwing to your side or maybe putting them back in the bin, can keep you entertained for quite a while.  You can pass the toys from hand to hand and even lean quite far if one is too far out of your immediate reach.  And when you’re ready to move to another activity, or if you’re dying to see more of whatever your sister is getting into, you’ll topple yourself over and start the scoot.

Related to that, we had a “buy one, get one” coupon to a local shoe store, so you have your first pair of (soft-soled) shoes.  The reasoning behind getting shoes for a baby that can’t walk was two-fold:  I knew those socks would take  a beating as soon as you were crawling as I remember vividly with your sister, and you have a love affair with your feet and socks.  You wouldn't even need toys if we’d let you chew on your socks all day; and I’m serious when I say that would likely be your preference.

You’re still a very happy baby and have recently started using your arm and hand motions to let us know when something pleases you, or when you’re about to issue a warning cry.  It’s adorable to see those little arms start to wave around and the big smile creep push those chubby cheeks upward.  Your giggle is still one of my favorite sounds in the entire world and I’m pretty sure that the sound of you and your sister laughing at the same time is akin the voice of an angel.  You also get those hands going, clenching and unclenching your fists (aka jazz hands) when you are ready to let us know something is about to upset you.  Most often this happens when we put you in your high chair, but don’t have your dinner immediately ready and on the table.  Or when we’re approaching the last bite of food in your bowl, but you’re still hungry; I don’t know how you can sense that, but you can, and you let us know if “madam requests more.” 

You’re growing physically as well and that belly seems to get rounder, those legs longer, and those cheeks chubbier by the day.  You lost most of your baby hair and it’s being replaced with blonde locks that you love to play with, especially when nursing.  Often times you’ll play with an area of hair in the same place on each side of your hair and when you’re done nursing will have a bit of a mad scientist look about you.  You seem to have either more or darker hair in the front and because of how you play it’s often pushed forward a bit, making you look slightly like you’re rocking the Justin Beiber look from 2-3 years ago.  We had family pictures taken a few weeks ago and you wore a teeny tiny bow for the first time and looked so cute.  It hardly phased you, but with as much moving and shaking as you do, I think we’ll wait before making it a permanent fixture. 

You still utterly adore your sister and the times when you see her for the first time after any sort of absence are amazing to watch.  She runs to you in your room at daycare each afternoon and you gets those arms flailing as soon as you see us; the best part is when you two exchange a big hug.  Although Anna is a little jealous of some of your new / her old toys, you love nothing more than to watch her play and you squeal with delight when she’s around.  It has been nothing short of a pure pleasure to watch you start to find your personality, and I’m thrilled that I have another happy girl on my hands.  You had a little bout of a cold this past month and even through the snot, the coughing and the mild fevers, you still mustered smiles, coos and laughs.  You’ll continue to have good days and bad days, but I hope you’ll always remember to smile, because a positive attitude will take you far in life (ask your Gigi).  And on those bad days, if you can’t smile, I’ll always be here to help you find one.