I always love writing blog posts that can be helpful to someone out there. A yummy recipe I want to share, or a DIY I think others might want to try themselves. But this blog post is written mainly for me. And for my two-year-old daughter, Ava.
So I can remember how special this time of your life is, sweet Ava June. Before it escapes me, and you are taller and wiser and saying new things and doing new things and finding more and more independence. And I'm sure I'll love that next phase of your life too - maybe even more than the last, but I don't want to forget this one. So I guess this is a two-year update of sorts. But more than anything, it's a journal entry in your digital baby book. Mainly for me, and one day for you.
Y O U L O V E
You love going to music class on Tuesdays. You love when they bring out the drums, and when we dance with scarves. Each kid gets two, but you go collect the extras and dance with 8. And I don't even stop you. You love the song 'Rivers and Roads' by The Head and the Heart, but you love it even more when me and your dad sing it as a duet with the guitar. Sometimes you'll bring dad's guitar to him, or grab my hand and bring me over to Dad while he's playing his guitar, so we can sing. And when we sing, you stare with wonder. Looking back and forth between the two of us like you are unsure of how these pretty sounds are coming out of our otherwise talking-in-boring-sentences mouths. You also love playing the piano -- you'll grab my hand daily and guide me to the piano. It's not enough to just open the keylid so you can play. You'll pull me up to sit next to you, so we can play together. It's very sweet and I so thoroughly enjoy those moments together.
You also love strawberries. And ever since you were a baby, you would smell like sweet strawberries for hours after eating them. So even though they aren't their own food group, you get them at almost every meal. You love bath time with dad. This is your special time together. And I smile from down the hall as I listen to your non-stop giggles and dad's goofy and sometimes inaccurate animal noises (why the turtle gobbles like a turkey, I may never know). You love the movies Frozen and Coco, and sometimes when the intro music starts, you'll smile and lean up to kiss me, as if you're saying thank you. And it melts my heart every time. You love stacking, and compiling, and collecting, and it is rare that you have less than 3 items in each hand. You love grabbing my finger with your hand and showing me what you want... but sometimes you'll just grab it to walk around with me. You love Bunny and Rabbit, Pearl and Blanket. Your four sleeping companions who have earned celebrity status in our little household. You love your family, and right now, me and your dad are your world. You get so excited to see us, and give us spontaneous kisses throughout the day, just because.
Y O U D I S L I K E
Being put in your stroller after walking around on your own. And you really hate leaving the park. Vegetables (with the exception of zoodles and the occasional sautéed bell pepper). You recently started hating getting your teeth brushed (too bad, kid), and don't even get me started on the snot sucker. You don't like open doors or gates, so you'll go around and close all of the gates on our walks, and all of the doors in our hallway. You don't like being told no but you're bound to get used to this one eventually. You don't like when I do your hair - you'd think I was torturing you by the way you squeal and squirm while I put your cute curls into pigtails. You'll get use to this one too my little love.
Y O U ' R E J U S T L I K E M A M A
You're very organized - loving to put things back in their place or their designated box. You're also stubborn like mama. When you don't want to do something, you make that known. It's challenging to be on the receiving end, especially when you don't have all of the words to express why you're upset, but my own mom keeps reminding me that I was exactly the same way as a little toddler. Stubborn toddlers turn into independent and unstoppable women, so I'll weather the storm now, knowing it will serve you later on. You stick out your tongue when you're concentrating. We've both done this our entire lives. You are also becoming quite the artist. You have a set of markers and crayons that are kept in a little box above your kitchen. Every day you reach for that box and proceed to put your paper on your easel and color away. It makes my little crafty heart happy to see you find joy in creating, the same way that I do.
Y O U ' R E J U S T L I K E D A D A
You're goofy as heck and will continue to do something silly if you see it gets a laugh. You like making others smile. As active as you are, you also love to lounge, and when a movie or the golf channel is on, you'll nestle under dad's arm and make yourself at home. You truly love golf, the golf store, and practicing your 'swing'. Some days I'll think it's suspiciously quiet, and walk into the living room only to find you whirling your plastic club around, trying to make contact with the ball. You wear your emotions on your sleeve. There is no hiding how you're feeling in any given moment. You hold bites of food in your mouth for much longer than what is deemed socially acceptable (luckily your dad grew out of this one). And you love the guitar. Something about listening to your dad play makes you so so happy. And when you sit on his lap to strum the keys as he holds each cord... it makes me pretty dang happy too.
Y O U ' R E G R E A T A T
Playing independently - your tinker toys will keep you busy for hours. And you're even better at cleaning up afterwards. It amazes me that (95% of the time) you could be SO attached to something, but the moment we tell you to 'clean up' or 'put Bunny away', you actually do it, and you're pretty proud of yourself afterwards. You are an excellent sleeper and are in your crib from 7:30pm to 7:30am every night. Even if you don't fall asleep right away, or wake up before us, you'll play quietly with your stuffed animals in your crib and it's an absolute Godsend. Me and your dad are much appreciative of this. You know all your animal noises, adding new ones to your repertoire each week. The newest additions: Snake, bird and lion (with the smallest and cutest roar I've ever heard). You're also great at your ABC's, and will proudly recite every letter (and then clap for yourself, alongside your very proud parents) at the end.
My little Junebug, you bring SO much happiness and joy to our day-to-day lives. Your unique personality is so sweet and special and I love watching you develop into this little person who's a little bit mom, a little bit dad, and a LOT of Ava June. This birthday was a little bitter sweet, because it's the last where you'll be our only child. But I want you to know that you will always be my baby, my sweet peanut, and my pride and joy.