Lilly June, you are TWO!
How is my sweet tiny firstborn baby TWO already!? (warning: much mamabragging ahead)
It really does seem like she’s been with us longer than that — like we’ve always had her here. Our lives have so nicely and seamlessly blended together that I don’t think either Jason or I can really remember what life was like without her.
Lilly June, we are so lucky to have you. You bring such incredible joy to our lives. When people talk about the second year of life, they usually call it the “terrible twos” due to the intense emotions that accompany this portion of your life and the inability to control those emotions. What we’re finding, though, is that we haven’t been warned of the flipside of this: the INCREDIBLY happy, giggly, out-of-control moments. Those are the moments in which it is impossible for your dad and I NOT to join in your enthusiasm, and fortunately for us, the smallest of things triggers your incredible happiness. You may be the happiest two year old we’ve encountered!
You are rarely truly unhappy, and (knock on wood) you don’t really throw tempertantrums. Certainly, you don’t always like it when daddy or I tell you that we don’t want you to watch another bear show or that it’s not time for whatever snack you desire at that very moment, but you whine for a moment and get over it. You are very easy going. Your dad and I have noticed that you seem to thrive on predictability — you seem to want to know what will happen next in your life. For example, warning you that mama will read “two more stories” and then “one more story” before bedtime seems to make it easier for you to transition to the next activity: bedtime. We always try to tell you about what needs to come next: we’ll sit on the potty, then put the dogs in their kennels, then leave the house. And you seem to go with our plans most of the time.
You are so very caring and sweet. You give the best hugs, pair every kiss with a “muh” noise, and say, “I love you!” Your daycare provider, Ms Tara constantly tells us just how sweet you are, and we certainly agree. You seem to love your mama and daddy equally, but the times you are most excited and happy is when all three of us are together. You get so very excited when daddy gets home from work, often running towards the door to give him a big hug, giggling, and saying, “Lilly June daddy home!” and spending the next 5-10 min looking at your daddy with admiration and saying, “Lilly June daddy” and “daddy come home!” (If you’re with daddy, you do the same to me and it makes me feel so incredibly happy and loved!) Occasionally, you stroke his face and tell him that he’s fuzzy, too. It’s one of the sweetest parts of my day – to see you loving on the man that I picked to be your daddy. I picked him just for us (and your sibling), and I’m glad that you seem to think I made a good choice.
You are going to be a wonderful big sister, and I am so looking forward to seeing you dote on your tiny baby brother/sister. Ms Tara told me one day that you are the only kid she really trusts to be gentle consistently around the babies at daycare. You are so very interested in the baby in mama’s tum – you want to talk to the baby, hug the baby, cuddle the baby, peck the baby (like a bird)?, and feed the baby. We often talk about what to do with the baby when it comes out of mama’s tum, and you are proud to tell me that you will hold the baby and rock the baby. You also like to remind us that “Lilly June paint baby’s room blue!” and although I wasn’t sure about giving you a paintbrush full of latex paint at the time, I am so so so very glad that we involved you in that part of preparing for the baby. We continue to try to involve you in what is going on with our baby because we want you to know that you are an important part of this process. I really hope the transition from only child to big sister will be easy for you.
Your language skills are incredible. It seems like most people can understand much of what you’re saying, too, because you tend to speak pretty clearly (unless you are tired – then you mumble and we have difficulty understanding you!). I think that your ability to communicate with us verbally has really headed off any terrible twos — you tell us what you want and we either help you get it or tell you why you can’t have it. You do have ideas about exactly what you want (“chocolate shakes” or actually, milk, almost always must be consumed from the straw cup with the bears on it, but you use the same glasses for water and other drinks that mama and dadddy use; you will ask to eat a particular snack from a particular bowl, etc). Since you’re great at telling us what you want, it’s easy to get you exactly the right things. In our new kitchen, I hope to set up a low snack station for you so that you can just help yourself when you’re ready for a snack, without asking! You recently started using “you” appropriately, and we’ve heard “I” once or twice… both really surprised us.
You seem to remember EVERYTHING. And you say the funniest things to us as a result. The other day we stopped at Lowe’s and daddy ran in while you and I sat in the car. After daddy got out of the car, you yelled, “be really careful, daddy, cars hit you!” Must have heard that warning from mom and dad once or twice. 🙂 Also, I’ve heard, “Be really patient, mama!” It’s funny to hear you say things to us that we’ve said to you – and now is when we learn what exactly we’ve been telling you all this time. You remember all of the things we’ve been doing to our house lately, and you like to talk about them — “Dada friend bring new couch!”, “Dada paint baby room ceiling white! roll white paint!”, and “mama friend make new kitchen!”. You also have told me, when playing with your wooden pretend knife, “Mama be really careful. knife too sharp for mama. Lilly June cut with knife.” It’s so cool to get a peak into the way that your brain works, what you’re thinking about and noticing.
You are so interested in animals right now. Bears, birds, and worms seem to top the list. You were amazed to recently discover that daddy is fuzzy like a bear, and so is mama, and SO ARE YOU! Your tiny arm hair has been topic of many discussions. 🙂 You love that the birds come to the feedersat the window and we talk about how different birds eat different foods — some birds eat bird seed, some drink nectar, and some eat mice! We spot hawks flying over the house occasionally, and sometimes when you’re up super-late you can even identify the owls hooting in the woods outside. You often ask daddy and I to dig up worms in the yard, but you won’t touch them. You hold out your hands and say, “come here worms!” but when we hold one to your hand, you move them away. I feel obligated to pick them up and show them to you, show you that it’s okay to touch them, but know that I am squirming inside… this is not my favorite outdoor activity!
Of course, you also love your dogs and have quickly taken to talking to them like mama and daddy talk to them. You run to them in the morning to pet them, you call, “come downstairs Jezbel” when Jezzie is sleeping and you’re ready to play downstairs. You direct the dogs to lay in the dog bed in your room if we’re playing upstairs. You like to help feed the dogs, scooping the food from the container (not the correct measurement of food yet, but we can work on that soon) and dumping it into their bowls, then carrying the bowls to the right spot and directing the dogs to, “sit!” “stay!” then “done!” in the exact same way mama and daddy do it. You love to give the dogs treats, especially when they go in their kennels. This is so cute and very helpful when mama doesn’t feel like bending down. You like to tell the dogs about their features, often crouching down to look them in the face when you tell them, “You have floppy ears, Jezbel!”, “You have paws, Barley!”, “You are fuzz!”.
Your imagination is incredible, and you are often chopping, picking, mixing, and then handing things to us. We’re not always sure what you’re giving us, but I think it’s usually something to eat. You pass off the imaginary thing in your hand with a cheerful, “here go mama!” We haven’t been doing much with numbers or letters yet, but you seem to have picked up at least parts of the ABC song and can pretty reliably count to ten when prompted. You definitely know the difference between 1 and 2, and we often hear you ask for “just one cookie” — “TWO cookie” (and your eyes get big and excited when you upgrade that one to two request). Too funny.
You were in the 75% for height and 50% for weight at your two year check up and you cried for only a second when you got your shot. You actually sat on the doctor’s exam table, pumped your fists and yelled, “Lilly June go to doctor!” excitedly (accompanied by a hilarious fake giggle) for about half the visit. It was so silly.
We love you so much little peanut, and we can’t wait to see how you continue to grow and change in your third year of life! Thanks for making our lives just that much more fun and interesting!