Friday, January 31, 2014

Letter to my wild bird: 2 years

Darling girl, 

I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU. Every morning, when you wake up with hair that defies gravity and you snuggle into my arms for a morning cuddle, I marvel at you and am hit with an overwhelming sensation of love. Every afternoon when we build (and then destroy) Lego castles or kick the soccer ball at the park or cut out fun shapes with homemade glitter play-doh I am amazed by you. Every evening when we snuggle in our chair to read the millions of books you have picked out before bedtime and I skim the top of your head breathing your freshly bathed scent, I am thankful for you. And I love you. 

Over the last few months, your personality has really started to shine through, and my love you, are hysterical.  As well as independent, adventurous, outspoken, fiercely loyal and my favorite, so very loving. We are of course, still working on your patience, but that’ll come love, that’ll come. We have entered the dreaded “terrible twos” stage - complete with loud, public temper tantrums when things don’t go your way; however, you are the BEST little sharer, and willingly share your toys with your sister or friends or strangers at the park when asked. You are determined to do everything with “no help.” Climb into your carseat and buckle the top clip: “No help, Momma.” Walk across the balance beam at gymnastics class: “No help, Momma.” Drink from a water fountain that you can’t quite reach. Instead, you look around for a couple of items to pull near the fountain, stack them up, climb up and drink all by yourself: “No help, Momma.”

Another big development over the past few months has been your comprehension and language development. Every day you make associations that stun me. You love to organize things in clusters of two or three and then name them. You also make color associations. You can identify most colors, but you only communicate the word blue. You wash yourself in the bath, following your father’s directions: shoulders, face, elbows, feet, meticulously scrubbing each body part with a huge grin on your face. 
 You, my love, are getting inceasingly more difficult to photograph, and as such have very few pictures of you. I am working hard at trying to take your 24-month photos.  

You are entering into the repetitive stage of verbal development and as such I have completely lost track of how many words you use. But, my favorite word so far is PLEASE (which, ironically sounds like “peas”). You have also learned that if you use the word PLEASE in conjunction with your beautiful smile, I will grant you anything you wish. More juice, look at me with that grin and your sparkling brown eyes with a giant “peas Momma” and you have another cup. Want to listen to your favorite Mickey CD for the billionth time today, as long as a “peas” follows “more HI” - your wish is my command. But, darling, I just can’t help it….you are so darn cute. 

Yesterday was your second birthday, and I can barely believe it. We spent the morning kicking a soccer ball around the soccer field in our community soccer class (although, honestly I think your favorite part is the water break) and met Daddy for a mid-morning brunch sans sister. We read every book you fancied all pressed together before our afternoon nap and sang every nursery rhyme we know at the top of our lungs. We ate dinner together as a family of four and feasted on roasted chicken, spinach and corn enchiladas with avocado, tomatillos salsa and your absolute favorite, sour cream. We topped it all off with homemade chocolate cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles. 
Rockin' it in your Minnie Mouse sunglasses, shirt and shoes. Obviously, there are few things you love more than Minnie (aka: "Hi")

Lily, my love, I have always loved you madly, but every evening when we sit and snuggle one final time before bed I think I love you a bit more than I did the day before. And last evening, thinking on it, I realize that I only love you two years over. I cannot wait to find out what it feels like to love you three years over, or twelve years over, or thirty years, and even fifty years older. You are my brilliant shining light. 

I love you more than all the stars in the sky and the water in the ocean. 

Love, Momma 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two special people

I have to say that I honestly love my in-laws.

At first, I wasn’t so sure. When we first met, my mother-in-law said about three words to me, and I’m pretty sure they were in reference to J’s ex-girlfriends. And then there was that time after the honeymoon she called in tears because the song she and J danced to for the mother-son dance was playing on the car radio. Red flags were everywhere.

But, I really do love them. I love that they drive 100 miles twice a week to baby-sit their granddaughters while I am at work, and they do so happily. I love that they always run a load of laundry while I’m gone. I love that they always unload the dishwasher as well. I may not love having to hunt for everything the next day, but I love how they do it to help. I love that they buy fleece pajamas for the girls in the fall and cute sundresses for them in the spring.

I love how they make blueberry muffins and always have coffee creamer for me whenever we come to their house to visit even though they drink their coffee black and out-of-season blueberries are expensive and hard to find. I love that my father-in-law is a good man, a reliable man; an honest man. I love that my mother-in-law is loyal and dedicated to her husband. I love that they remind me to not take life too seriously. I love that they are intelligent and thoughtful and considerate. I love having them in my life.

But, the one thing I love more than anything is seeing how much they love on their grandchildren. I love when Lily runs into Papa’s arms after a surprise visit. I love how Grandma Jo lets Daisy make a mess with the rainbow sprinkles when they bake cupcakes. I love how Grandma Jo lets Lily decorate her with stickers. I love how Papa entertains Daisy with princess stories. I love how they brag about their grandchildren to everyone they meet.

But mostly, I love their devotion to the family they created.