Tonight, as I read Love You Forever to C while rocking her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until her eyes grew heavy, I had a flash back to over two years ago. As my belly grew and due date neared, I would often spend the evening reading that very same book to her. I would sit in the glider in her nursery, admiring the chandelier Husband and I had just installed, and rock back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, while reading to her, wondering what it would be like to hold her in my arms.
Fast forward over two years and I am holding a tired toddler in my arms. Her eyes flutter as she fights the inevitable, a night of heavy sleep following a day of running and jumping and giggling with a friend. Two years have passed since her birth and I am still in awe every single day of her existence.
I still smile as I watch her sleep. I still tip toe into her room late at night and hold my hand just above her nose to make sure she is breathing. After two years, I still pinch myself every day to make sure I'm not dreaming. Our baby is here with us and she is amazing.
At two years old, she is doing and saying so many things. We have a tiny person walking around with us in the morning, chatting while we get ready. There are opinions about shoes and clothes and acceptable breakfast options. She tells us when she wants us with her by grabbing our hand and saying, "come"; and calls herself "super Catherine" while jumping up and down on our bed. She sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night just to talk to us.
Her vocabulary really has blossomed into that of a conversationalist. Most of the time, we can actually understand what she's saying and carry on a conversation with her. She says too much to list it all, but these are some of my favorite Catherine-isms right now:
- "All done" and "all clean." She uses these appropriately (at dinner or bath time) but also when she just doesn't want to do something (as soon as she gets in the bath).
- "I scared" or "scary monster" - We're not sure she's afraid of monsters because she loves the movie Monsters, Inc. But, she says this a lot whenever something is an odd shape.
|She turns this ballerina over and calls it a "scary monster"|
- "Oh no! Gwankie!" (Translation: blankie) Whenever she realizes she doesn't have her blankie with her - usually when she's tired.
- "This is..." - She uses this to ask for something she wants while pointing to it (milk, Elmo, slide). It is usually followed by a "peease" (please).
- "Yay! I dancing!"
- "Biiiiiiiinks (Banks)! Puppy come!"
She counts to 13, knows all of her colors, and sings all day long. She strings together Twinkle Twinkle, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Row Row Row Your Boat, and Wheels on the Bus into a never-ending sing-a-long. She loves animals - every single one of them. She grooms her stuffed animals before bed. Banks is still her best friend. She won't go to bed unless he is in the room.
Even though she has a pile of books, she chooses the same ones to read every night before bed - The Cow Loves Cookies and Smooch Your Pooch. Lately, Pete the Cat has made it into the mix a few times, but only as an addition, never a replacement. We sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together before bed. Sometimes she lets me sing with her. Sometimes she tells me, "shhhh, stop it. Night night."
Her favorite shows are still Sesame Street ("Elmo") and Winnie the Pooh ("Watch Pooh"). Her favorite movies are Finding Nemo ("Memo"), Happy Feet, Monsters Inc ("Scary Monsters"), and Cars. If she wants to watch something and thinks you don't hear her, (ie: we don't turn it on) she starts naming all the characters for clarification. She will point to my iPad and say, "this is Pooh" because we use it in the car.
She plays contently with stuffed animals, dolls, and babies, rocking them, wrapping them in blankets, and telling them goodnight. She kisses and hugs them. She also throws them on the floor. I'm not quite sure what to think about that! Sometimes she calls one stuffed animal "Mommy" and one "Daddy" and makes them kiss. She loves princesses and calls any female on tv or in a movie a princess.
She loves making music and dancing. She loves the loudest instruments most, favoring the drums and the cymbals. Coincidentally, we have recently learned that Banks is terrified of cymbals.
She likes to cook in her play kitchen. This mostly involves "mixing" and "stirring" until everything ends up on the floor. She recently discovered play-doh and makes a lot of "pasta" (aka monsters or worms). She likes to color, but loves to paint; and bath crayons just made bath time way more fun.
She would play outside all day if we let her, rain or shine. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, swings, slides, and just running around, throwing sticks to Banks. Luckily, she has her new swing set to entertain her! Sliding is her favorite.
She is the sweetest, funniest, smartest little girl and I simply can't believe it's been two years since she entered our world and we were forever changed.
I only hope she knows how much she is loved and that we are thankful for her every moment of every day.
Happy birthday, Angel. You make me happy every day.