- You can still squeeze into many of your 18 month clothes, but since the weather has finally warmed up, you're primarily wearing your 24 month and 2T spring and summer wardrobe. (Except for the 18 month Christmas pajamas that you wear when Mommy hasn't done the laundry. These things happen.) The 24 month shirts are a bit short...and the 2T pants are a bit long. But, they're all adorable.
- You love visiting the park, and have shown very little fear in going down the big slides all by yourself. They are by far your favorite piece of playground equipment, and it's so fun to watch you discover and play.
- You are so very conversational, and quite easy to understand. To have actual conversations together and be able to get our mutual points across is a really cool thing, and makes spending time together that much more enjoyable. You're such a good companion and really fun to be around.
- You are a great grocery shopper these days. You usually request a piece of produce to nibble on during the shop (often a Roma tomato) and I oblige. For the record, we pay for the practically-stolen goods at the end of the shop. It makes me happy to see you already choosing healthy foods. You're usually ready to watch a YouTube clip of Curious George on the iPhone while we wait in the checkout line. We have a good routine going! We've come a long way, little girl!
- Daddy has been eating a little handful of gummy bears after his morning time at the gym. (I don't really understand the logic but it seems to be working for him!) He started surprising you with one or two from behind your ear (magic!) which absolutely delighted you. Now, you request them, by color, when you see him in the morning. "Red bay-uh." Not exactly a breakfast of champions (and it ISN'T your breakfast), but it is an adorable little ritual you two have.
- You have developed an attachment to your stuffed bear, appropriately named "Bay-uh"...(that is, "Bear".) Of all your stuffed toys, for whatever reason, you chose him, and although your baby doll ("Amy") and the little hippo ("Henry") from Grandpa sleep in your bed with you, too, it's "Bay-uh" that you need to have and hold tight to as you sleep. I love that you have something that brings you comfort.
- During one night of rough sleeping, you taught yourself to say "Mommy" in the midst of your calls. And, Mommy and Daddy are your go-to names for us now...which is both precious and a little heartbreaking at the same time. Your days of calling me "mama" are largely over.
- You are sleeping much, much better at nighttime. We've stretched your bedtime a few times (for socializing and enjoying the spring weather) and you've done wonderfully. It's nice to be able to have a little bit of leeway in that schedule these days. But, we still stick to our routine: a bath (every other night), pj's, brushing teeth, a quick clip of Daniel Tiger while you nurse, read three books (three being the limit, to your usual disappointment), goodnight hugs for Daddy, then a prayer, cuddles, and a lullaby with Mommy in the rocking chair. But, after your get your "pea bed" (piece of bread) to have in bed with you, you fall asleep quickly and we don't usually hear from you until 6:30 a.m. or so. It's so, so great.
- When you do need Mommy in the middle of the night, you usually call "Hode you, Mommy." ("Hold you, Mommy.") Or, "hug you, Mommy." Obviously, I have no choice but to oblige when that happens. Melt my heart.
- Speaking of brushing teeth. You've lost a lot of your initial, positive and productive interest in that routine. You now take the toothbrush, suck off the toothpaste, and immediately say "aww duh" (all done). Of course, that isn't sufficient, and sometimes we have to work together for a time (sometimes, a very long time....) before you allow Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth for a bit. It's a learning process, but we're getting it figured out.
- Grandpa taught you to (gently) bump your "noggin" with someone else's. You enjoy requesting that little game with Grandpa or Daddy. I don't know many almost two-year-olds who call their head a noggin, but you do, and it's pretty cute.
- What little interest you displayed in going to the potty a few months ago has passed. We regularly suggest that you try to go to your potty chair, to which you say quite simply "no". You're not ready for that yet, it appears, and that's okay. But, it's also okay if you are! Just keep that in mind.
- You are nursing very little now. I never would've guessed that I'd be nursing you this long, but I love that we've been able to take weaning at your pace and on your time frame. I think it's spared us both a lot of heartache. You always want at least a "lil bit" of "nook" (milk) when you wake up, and then it's on to a couple graham crackers and milk to "dip". (This isn't your entire breakfast, but it was a habit that developed during my morning sickness days, to buy me a little more time on the couch when I was queasy and needed a cracker to start the day.) Very rarely do you nurse during the day, and usually when you do request "nook", all you want is to check-in...a quick taste and you're off and running again. We nurse again right before bed, but that's more of a comfort thing than anything else, and I think your interest in that is lessening significantly, too.
- You are really taking to your daddy now, Emerson. It makes me so happy to see your relationship together grow. He loves you more than you will ever know. You give him a big hug when he leaves for work in the morning, we wave as he drives away, and you're ready to play when he comes home at night. You two are going to have such fun together in the days ahead!
- You recognize and can name almost all of the letters in the alphabet. It amazes me. You definitely recognize your written name, too, and have begun to spell part of it..."E-M-E...."
- When you count with someone, you usually say "1, 2, 1, 3". You'll get it! Daddy's favorite trick of yours these days, however, is that when you count, you'll say "ah-ah-ah" afterwords, like the Count from Sesame Street does. It makes us all smile!
- Although I do my best to call Daddy "Daddy" around the house, occasionally I'll say "Bobby" or "babe"...which you usually repeat, to his dismay. We're working on that. It is quite funny to hear you say it, but he is "Daddy" to you, after all.
- It took a bit of time to teach you to say "knees" (please) without prompting, but now you do it almost all the time. "Tank you" (thank you) came about on its own, and you use it constantly, almost never with prompting...not only when given something, but sometimes, even, when someone has done a service for you. Grown-ups aren't even always so polite. We are so proud of your incredible manners, Emerson. What a sweet little girl you are.
- There have only been a few occasions where it has been made clear that "two" is right around the corner. Usually it's something very small that turns into a larger problem when you're trying to exert your independence. You do have a strong will sometimes. But, so does Mommy. I'm learning that these episodes can be quite entertaining (sorry, darlin') with the right frame of mind. I'm so thankful that, for the most part, there's rarely anywhere we have to be at a certain time so that we can take our time with these learning experiences. You're so precious even in the midst of your frustration, and I love helping you grow through them.
- Your hair is so long! You let Mommy put in a ponytail more often than not...although I could still use a little more time to actually get it brushed more thoroughly. Baby steps! It has just the right amount of curl at the ends and it's gotten so much lighter as the months have passed. What a beautiful blonde you are!
- You say so many things over the course of a day, but there are several phrases that you use regularly. And, ones I want to remember.
- "Awww...cuuuutttteeee"...when there's an animal or a baby that's cute.
- "Little bit"...of milk, of a treat, of playing. You take your thumb and pointer finger and pinch them together to show just a little bit of whatever you're after. Hard to resist, I tell you!
- "Hmmm, yes"...when you're agreeing to something, often with your head tilted and lips pursed.
- "Bummer, dude" and "no way, dude". I don't know whether Daddy or I started those phrases, but it's pretty adorable.
- "No pah-bah" (no problem). Daddy said "no shirt, no shoes, no problem" at the dinner table one evening, and it stuck.
- "Big pah-bah!"...the opposite of "no pah-bah".
- "Ta-da!"...when you're done with something, usually when you think you're done brushing your teeth.
- "Dirt evvveyyy-wheh" (dirt everywhere), or whatever else is all over the place. You often say this after you've taken out the Swiffer from the laundry room and begin to clean the kitchen floor. The bad thing is, you're never wrong.
- "(fill-in-the-blank) nice"...when you want something. "Cookie nice". " Swing nice". "Mommy nice."
Watching you become a "big girl" amazes me daily.
You are a treasure, and bring unspeakable amounts of joy to my life.
I love spending my days with you, and I hope you always know what a treasure you are.
I love you, precious.