Twenty-three months. The time passes so quickly! It's funny - sometimes when the day is gone and it's time for a bath and getting you down for bed, I think "I want more time with her!" But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that on some nights, I'm so grateful for the peace after you've gone to sleep.
As I write this, you are napping. You and I have recently been reading Christmas books before your nap. It started with just one or two books, but now we're up to four. And sometimes we read them more than once. I can't help it, though. It's fun to snuggle next to you while we read about snowmen and penguins and Santa. After we read today, we cuddled under the covers and you said "Happy Mommy!" I wonder if you were telling me you're happy, or if you were just commenting on the smile on my face...
You really love reading. We borrowed a book from the library called Katy Duck, and it's your favorite. Katy Duck is a ballerina who twirls and spins. You'll bring the book to me and say "Katy Duck! Tutu!" So we go in your room and put one of your tutus on. As I read you spin around in giant circles and yell "Quack, quack!"
You love playing dress-up. You like wearing your tutus, but you really come up with some odd attire combinations. I've seen you in a gaudy beaded necklace, sunglasses, a bucket hat, and a cat tail from an old Halloween costume. You've worn pjs, a tutu, and a furry winter vest from last year. Hats and necklaces accessorize anything. And anything can be a purse. If it has handles, you loop it over your arm and say "Bye bye."
You have your favorite "everyday" clothes, too. I bought you a shirt from the Gap a couple months ago that says Candy Girl. You also have a blue shirt with a penguin and peppermint candy that you call your "Blue Candy Girl Shirt." You ask to wear these shirts everyday. If I tell you they are both dirty, you demand "Wash!" GaGa came over this afternoon and we listened to Sugar Sugar by The Archies. You love it, just for the line "You are my candy, girl."
You are speaking so well, and SO MUCH! I really can't believe the progress you're making. Last weekend you said your first sentence, "Daddy loves garlic!" You're at the point where you can communicate just about anything you need. I still marvel over the words you pick up - water tower, appetizer, clementine. When Daddy and I were on our honeymoon at the Vidafel Resort, we bought this little turtle and named him Vidafel. You've recently discovered him and ask for him by name many times each day - "Vidafel! Hold Vidafel!" You only have to hear a word once and it's in your memory. The other day, Daddy was impatient because another car was trying to turn in front of us in traffic. From the back seat, your little voice piped "Go, Buddy!"
You become so excited over little things. It's so fun to see your reaction to the ordinary. You'll clap your hands and say "Yea! Black beans!" or "Yea! Christmas Lights!" or "Yea! Santa!" or "Yea! Snowman!" or even "Yea! Band-Aids!" The other day we were in Target and I decided to pick up milk while we were there. You screamed "Yea! Milk!" and clapped your hands loudly. I swear, people must have thought you haven't had milk in years.
Your favorite drink is strawberry milk. Sometimes, just to tease me, you ask for white milk. As I hand it to you, you'll get a naughty look and say "Pink milk!" You love pomegranate, oranges, pizza, popcorn, and edamame. The other day you asked to eat at McDonald's! You haven't been there more than ten times ever, but you are hooked already. It must be the fries.
You are such a good little girl. You already have a chore - when I empty the dishwasher, you put away the forks and spoons. When you're finished, you always beg for more utensils! And you are very polite. You always say "Please" and "Thank you." I often see people look impressed when you say "Thank you," and it makes me feel like I'm doing something right.
You love praying and we usually have to pray twice before each meal. You insist. You also notice Baby Jesus everywhere, so close to Christmas. He's in a little walnut shell on our Christmas tree, as you're fond of showing me. He's on a magnet on the fridge. He's in the nativity in your room and we saw Him in the Christmas drama at church. As you grow up, I hope you continue to remember He's with us always.
There's a line I heard in Sugar Sugar that resonated with me today, "I just can't believe the loveliness of loving you." It really is lovely to love you.
I have been married for more than 11 years to my fantastic husband, Chris, and we have two beautiful and energetic children. Evie is 5, and full of spunk and sparkle. Ethan is 2, and has taught me about trains and construction vehicles and Buzz Lightyear - and about sweet boy cuddles.
I strive to be gentle and kind - a reflection of the love Christ has shown to us. I don't always live it perfectly, but I am working towards a life of gratitude, joy, and love!