You are smart and sassy. Independent and opinionated. Stubborn and sensitive. Silly and oh so sweet. You are a storyteller and an artist. And such a love bug. You are two!
At your two-year check-up, you weighed 26 pounds and measured 34.5 inches. You allowed the doctor to check your eyes, your ears, your mouth, and your belly without shedding a single tear. You told her about the baby in Mommy’s belly and how Aunt Kirsten painted your pretty purple nails. You jumped and touched your toes on command and exceeded every expectation listed on the “what to expect” worksheet.
You say more words than I can count and surprise us with new ones every day. You speak in full sentences and tell imaginative stories about needing an umbrella to keep your hair dry when we play in the rain; about having to rescue Minnie from the hot lava; and about the stars and the big moon outside. You have memorized the words to all of your favorite books, including May I Please Have a Cookie, Alfie? and every book in the Gossie and Friends series. You even imitate Mommy voices and deep Daddy voices when you read. You sing songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and The Wheels on the Bus. You can count the groovy buttons on Pete the Cat’s shirt and identify the colors of his shoes. You are basically a little sponge, soaking up everything you see and hear every moment of every day.
We celebrated your birthday with a family brunch at Nini’s and Poppy’s house. You were so spoiled by grandparents and aunties and uncles and enjoyed being the center of attention. You clapped when we sang “Happy Birthday to Nora” and blew out your candle — with a little help from Sam. You opened your gifts while everyone watched and had a cute reaction to almost every new book or toy or article of clothing. In fact, you insisted that you immediately put on a new pair of pants, a new skirt, a new t-shirt, a new hoodie, and your new Under Armour sneakers. Then you danced for your audience and showed everyone two fingers when we asked “How old is Nora?”
You run up and down the stairs, walk on tip-toe, spin in circles, climb onto beds, and jump from one piece of furniture to the next. Thanks to Little Gym, everything has become a balance beam or a set of monkey bars, and you do forward rolls every chance you get. You can kick and throw balls, ride Sam’s scooter around the deck, and much prefer the big kid swings and slides to the toddler ones. You love to play hide-and-seek, and I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I have lost you in our little house. Your favorite spots are under your crib, or in my closet behind my hanging clothes.
You play creatively and independently. You like everything from baby dolls and princesses to matchbox cars and swords. You build LEGO towers and block castles and Magna-Tiles spaceships. You have mastered all of your chunky puzzles, and we have moved onto simple wooden ones. You love to draw and paint and use glue sticks and play with kinetic sand – you will often spend more than 20 minutes completely engrossed in an art project. We have tea parties and bake pretend cookies in your kitchen. We race trucks around the house and run away from pretend zombies. I love that are you are exposed to all types of toys and all types of play, thanks to big brother. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find you wearing a tutu, a superman cape, a firefighter hat, and a pair of light-up heels.
You wash your hands and brush your teeth. You can remove every article of clothing, including your diaper. And you insist on trying to dress yourself every morning, which adds at least 10 minutes to our already hectic routine. You tell us when you have to go potty – sometimes we get there in time and sometimes we don’t. I suspect (and hope!) that you will be potty trained before baby brother or sister arrives.
Speaking of the new baby, you love to kiss Mommy’s belly and speak to him/her in a whispered voice. You have accompanied me to several doctor’s appointments and are so fascinated by the sound of the itty bitty beating heart. Both you and Sam are convinced that we’re having a girl and that her name should be Baby Margaret (thank you, Daniel Tiger!). I know that you are going to be a fantastic little momma helper. You love to feed your baby dolls and change their diapers and sing them lullabies. I’m getting excited to see you in your big sister role! Although … every time we refer to you as a big girl, you quickly correct us: “No, I’m Daddy’s baby.” Oh, Daddy is in trouble!
You most definitely exercise your independence and test your boundaries on a daily basis. You say “No, I got it” at least 20 times before lunch – from putting on your boots to climbing into the car to buckling your seat belt. And if I try to help, or if I do it the wrong way, then we have to start all over. Whew. It’s exhausting! Fortunately, the tantrums over the wrong pair of socks or the wrong color toothbrush or the wrong water cup have already decreased.
You are a girl who thrives on routine, especially at bedtime. Bath is always followed by brushing your teeth, spitting into the sink, and taking a sip of water. Then we move into your bedroom to put on lotion and PJs and comb your hair. You say “beep, beep” and insist on sitting on the chair beside me, rather than on my lap, for story time. We read at least three books and always sing “Rock-a-Bye, Nora.” Then we have to stand up, and I cradle you in my arms while we sing it again. Finally, it’s into bed with your pink blanket and three binkies. One more sip of water, one more song, a big hug and a big kiss, and lights off. Daddy has finally figured out the order of events after several attempts that resulted in you screaming for Mommy. You are typically in bed between 7:30 and 8pm and sleep until about 7:15am. And you nap like a champ every afternoon. We have plans to move you into your big girl bed this spring, and I sincerely hope that the transition doesn’t affect your stellar sleep habits.
You love to eat pretzels with hummus, cucumbers with Ranch, and waffles with syrup. Your favorite snacks are raisins, marshmallows, gummies, popcorn, and applesauce. You can eat an entire apple, all the way down to the seeds, and will often eat two bananas in one sitting. You still don’t care for milk (unless it’s poured over cereal), but you eat lots of cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
You love Daniel Tiger, Mickey Mouse, and Pete the Cat. You can identify all of our family members and friends and their pets by name. And when asked, “What’s your name?” You say, “Nora Wiley.” You say “Hi” and “Bye” to strangers and will give a hug to anyone who asks for one.
My heart melts a little bit every time you say “thank you, Mommy” and “I love you, too.” I savor your squeezes and kisses. Gosh, this is such a fun age. And I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. I love you, sweet girl!