My busy, animated, sweet, confident Andie . . .
2 years old. I can't believe it's been 24 months since I saw your little tiny body for the first time and you made me a mommy. Your cheeks are still chubby. Your lips still are luscious, your hair is still platinum blond and your eyes are still sparkly blue just like the first day I saw you. You are not tiny anymore, in fact, you're taller than average and your weight is right where it's supposed to be. You have the sweetest little voice and my goodness, you are talking so well. Communicating with you has gotten more and more fun because you can tell us what you need and want and you are speaking in full sentences. You even starting using your manners "please, thank you & you're welcome" on your own at about 22 months.
It's been a big 3 months for you. You are so full of life and a very happy kid. You come across as serious because you don't just smile all the time, but you are bouncy, fast, and busy and love interacting with other people. We transitioned you into your toddler bed on March 2nd because you started consistently climbing out on February 21st. After a lot of consistency (it wasn't easy) we were able to get you sleeping through the night again in your own little bed after about 2 weeks. We just had to keep telling you to stay in bed... sometimes it would take 7 or 8 times of putting you back in your bed... but you did it! Daddy had the hardest time and ended up sleeping next to your bed on the floor because he wanted you to feel safe a couple nights - you have him wrapped around your finger. You also learned how to trick him, you would cry "dada" and when he would go down to get you, you told him you had pooh-pooh so he brought you upstairs to change you, and you didn't! You little trickster! He also found a wonderful "Anna & Elsa" nightlight for your room that you love, it projects their picture on to your ceiling.
By about 22 months old, you knew most of the words to the Frozen movie songs and sing them and dance to them all the time. You still love Minnie & Mickey, but Elsa & Anna are also your favorites! You love going to the little zoo by our house, mostly to see the other kids, but the animals are a nice bonus. You know all of your animal sounds, can point out animals, characters, and items in books, and can count pretty well. Just a couple weeks ago you saw two bottles sitting on the counter and you said "two babas". You love other kids so much and will run up to strangers, hug them, kiss them, and hold their hands to dance with them.
You started swim lessons on March 3rd and absolutely loved them. Your teacher told me that the majority of the kids who come through for private lessons cry when left alone in the pool for the first time... but not you. My fearless little girl, you went right in and cried when I came to take you out. You love the water and are thriving in your lessons. It is so much fun to watch you in there and I am so proud of you. I hope you know you are capable of anything you set your mind to!
You are still doing really well at napping. Typically, we put you down around 2pm and we wake you up by 4pm. Your bedtime at night is around 8pm and you will usually sleep until about 7am. You are wearing size 2T and 3T clothes, size 4 diapers, and size 5 shoes. Your favorite possession is your blanket(s) from Gramz. They are your comfort and you need them to fall asleep. Your favorite toys are your figurines, Frozen characters, books, stroller, and babies. You eat pretty well, but go in phases. You love fruit, broccoli, carrots, peas, cheese, and chicken nuggets. Your favorite is Chick Fil A, but mostly because you love to go and see the cow. We go almost every Tuesday and the cow in there knows you :)
We celebrated your 2nd Easter and you had a big weekend. At an egg hunt on Saturday, you tripped and fell and hit your head on a concrete step and immediately had a golf ball sized black and blue bump on your head. I cried and held you and felt so bad - but, like the tough girl you usually are, you were up and running around a few minutes later. Easter Sunday, you had so much fun interacting with all of your extended family. You love other kids and it is so much fun for you to be around your cousins. You did so well with your Easter egg hunt and I was shocked at how many eggs you were able to collect in your little basket. You looked adorable in your dress. Holidays are so much fun watching you learn from the new experiences.
Along with you being one of the sweetest little girls I know, you also have a feisty side. The most memorable of your tantrums in the last few months have been a particular trip to toys r us. We went to get a little table for your playroom. I had Nolan in the front pack and I decided to let you down to walk because you had been pretty good. After about 15 minutes of letting you play on the doll aisle, I knew it was going to be trouble getting you out of the store. You threw the biggest tantrum, kicking, screaming, crying... all while being over my shoulder. I had to pin you against the check out counter with my leg and everyone was staring at me. I was "that mom", and in the moment, I knew we were going to get through it and I just had to suck it up and do the best I could. You didn't want to buy any toys, you just wanted to stay and play - but we were approaching your nap time and we needed to go. You were fiery and determined and you did not want to leave. When I finally got you buckled in and calmed down in the car, I told you I was disappointed in how you acted and you made eye contact with me and started to cry again. I knew you understood and felt bad. You have big tantrums, but for the most part - you are a good little girl.
You are smart, Andie. It's amazing what you understand and can communicate to us. You have such a loving heart. Sometimes you will grab my cheeks and say "I love you, mama". You randomly give us kisses and you love your cousins and family. It is so much fun to see you interact with Gramz and Pops. You call Gramz "Gamz" and light up when you see her. And you and Pops have a very special relationship. You will never deny him a kiss when he asks. One of your favorite people in the world is your cousin, Ryan. You hang all over him when you see him and love following him around, kissing him, and doing what he does. You also love your Uncle Joe. He loves you and plays with you and you two have a wonderful bond that I have loved getting to see grow! You like pointing out all of our family in pictures in our house - it's amazing how you know who each person is and can say who they are.
One of my favorite relationships that I have loved watching blossom is with your daddy. From day one, he has been smitten for you - but in the last few months as you've gotten old enough to really play and love on him, you two have become the best of friends. He loves chasing you around, throwing you in the air, singing with you, playing with you, and snuggling with you. Your love for each other radiates from both of you when you're around each other. It is one of the most precious things I have ever witnessed... and I know it will only grow stronger. You are a very lucky girl to have him, and you look so much like him!
Last week, to celebrate your 2nd Birthday, Gramz and Pops took us to Disneyland. My goodness... it was so much fun to see you there for the first time, especially with your love of Disney. You were in awe of all of the characters, hugging and kissing them, giving them high fives, and in total disbelief that you were meeting them. It was heart-warming to watch and I will cherish those memories forever. You loved watching the parades, riding the rides, and running around like a wild woman - nothing scared you. We all had so much fun being there. It was a very special trip!
I am in awe of you. I look at you at least once a day - I study your compact little body, your little hands (they look just like mine), your eyes & face... I can't get enough of you. I have hated how fast the time has passed since you were born but it is so much fun to see this little person you are becoming. You have so much personality, a love of life, people, animals, and your family. You are a happy girl - full of hugs for everyone you meet. You are confident, tough, determined, adventurous, and free spirited. You are beautiful, inside and out. I am so proud to be your mommy. It makes me feel so special that when you are sad or scared or hurt, it is me that can make you feel better. Your dad and I talk about you all the time... we feel so lucky that you are our baby girl. You are building such a strong relationship with both of us and I know you will always be one of my best friends. I have so many special memories from the last 2 years. I feel beyond blessed - you are so unbelievably loved. What a privilege and thrill to get to watch you continue on this adventure through your life. You are such a gift.
I love you forever and ever, my daughter. Happy 2nd Birthday!