It’s a couple weeks past your second birthday, and we marvel at you. You have such spunk, such sweetness, such vocabulary!
You narrate your life as it happens and sing your way through your days. “Jesus Loves Me” is a common favorite, as is “My Lighthouse” by Rend Collective. Other songs you know include “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” and “Be Thou My Vision,” plus the usual “Twinkle, Twinkle,” the ABCs, and several Daniel Tiger songs.
Jack is your best friend. “That my bwuddoe. I his sistoe,” you say. Now that you’re sharing a room, you like to keep tabs on him even when you wake in the night. “Where Jack?” you ask sleepily. “He’s in his bed,” I whisper back, and that’s all it takes to reassure you.
You follow Jack and try whatever he’s doing. We’re convinced that your drive to keep up with him is part of why you talked so soon, knew your colors so early, etc. We are totally reaping the benefits of having you two so close together—what terrific playmates you make. Sharing toys, imagining together, helping each other, tickle and wrestle parties are part of our everyday life. Nothing makes my heart sing more than hearing you two giggle together.
We are all getting excited for baby 3 to join us in June. We talk about this pregnancy in terms of seasons—since we told you about the baby in the fall and waiting through winter and spring—and you and Jack talk about how the baby comes in summer. You both change your minds regularly about whether this baby is a boy or a girl (I just asked; today you think it’s a girl). We are so excited to find out; I am so excited to see you as a big sister. I think you’re going to do great. And when it’s hard, I feel peace knowing you can communicate your feelings to us using words.
Your ability to communicate has really changed how we relate to you. You are free to describe situations, express frustration and delight, and show affection. We hardly ever wonder what you’re thinking—you make it plain. You’ve been dealing with some chronic ear infections the last couple months and on the practical level, it’s so helpful that you can tell us (amidst your tears at 3:00AM) that your “eeh hotes.”
You have such incredible relationships with others: little friends from childcare, caregivers in the nursery, our church community. On Ash Wednesday, we sat in the Great Room as people came in for the service and you pointed and called out names: “Mitch! Sawah! Rich! Jody! Jeni!” and “Cwobby,” our senior pastor John Crosby. You have so many friends and are already so good with names. What a fun discovery about how God has wired you!
We see the gift of encouragement in you—you use your words and physical affection to encourage us. You regularly give compliments like “I like your ______,” “You’re byooful, and “Pwetty _____.” You tell us that you love us (and how much—”THIS much”) and give full-body hugs and kisses to just about everyone, even the unexpecting! Your compassion is deeply felt, Peanut. Just this morning, Jack was having a hard time while we were preparing breakfast and you observed, “Jack crying.” You went up to him on the kitchen floor, hugged him around the neck, took his hand, and said, “Come wiss me, Jack. Come here,” trying to lead him to his spot at the table. We just marveled at how you tried to help him through a time of really big feelings. You are a perceptive, sensitive little one.
You are also incredibly patient, and have been since birth. We’ve mentioned previously how you just slid right into our family and pretty soon, we could barely remember life before you. You’re still just as easygoing and longsuffering, and in this family, what a gift that is.
While we’re talking about gifts, it should also be noted that you easily transfer from the van to your crib for naps. Talk about a gift (to us)!
Around the time I last wrote, we finally pieced together that you are slow, deliberate eater. A testament to your laid-back personality, you had never protested when we removed you from the table to move on to the next thing, but as it turns out, you weren’t finished—not even close. We’re so sorry, sweet pea! Once we figured out that you need way more time at meals than the rest of us, you began to pack on the pounds: 4 in the last 6 months! You developed a double chin and toddler tummy, and jumped from 2% to 25% in weight percentiles. Way to grow, Grace Amelia! It is now not unusual for you to eat 1-2 eggs at breakfast, and to eat two rounds of lunch at daycare (one before and one after your nap).
We saw changes in your napping, too—from about 35-45 minutes to 1-2 hours. You still wake in the night (at least once or twice), and don’t usually settle for anyone but Mama. You weaned right around Christmas (We made it 21 months, baby! Way to go!), but still love to be rocked to sleep, preferably with a hand down my shirt! I don’t mind, but I have to remind you not to pinch.
You are becoming more comfortable with the toilet, happily giving it a try whenever your diaper comes off. You’ve become aware that your diapers are different from Jack’s underwear, as well as other pieces of clothing. As it turns out, you have quite the fashion preferences! Nana Audrey took your shopping recently for a birthday dress and you came home with two complete outfits plus a pair of gladiator sandals you apparently insisted on! You show a preference for shoes, and have 6 pairs you have somehow accumulated from which you like to choose! You and I are different in this way, sweet girl!
You love to read all books, and especially our family photo books, where you can point to people you recognize and say their names. You do the same with our family calendar and ask me to take it down, saying, “C’I see it?” In general, you’re a curious little girl, asking questions like: “What that? I hold it?” or “What doing? C’I watch you?”
We love seeing you grow, Gracie, and discovering how God has made you uniquely. We love having you part of our family.