She's nearly 2.5 and full of so much life. Since the weather has been nice, every day she will ask if she can go, "oow-sigh?!" We are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of five different playgrounds as well as a beautiful walking path, so while we don't have much of a back yard to speak of, there is always something to do and somewhere to go in the great outdoors.
I noticed last week while walking the big hill behind the zoo (KILLER hill) that there is a great little stream that we may have to investigate together soon. Growing up, I spent hours every day in our many acres of woods and creeks and I can't wait to teach her how to hunt for crayfish and build little dams. I wish we had our own land that I could let her out on by herself, but that just isn't to be for us.
We just got a little sandbox so that when she is in our yard, she has something to do. It's the greatest little sand/water table and she has had a blast making all kinds of mushy messes out there. She scoops, pushes and drives her little car over the ramps. Here she is saying, "No cheese!" by which she means, "no more stinking pictures, Mama!"
This year she got to ride on a bunch of the rides at the annual carnival down the street. Every day we would watch as they set up more of the rides and games until finally Friday we got to ride a few. She wasn't tall enough for many, but loved the ones she could. It's funny because sometimes she is so very brave and other times, she is super shy and won't try anything.
Like her gymnastics class. Here she is posing in her little leggings ready for class. For the past six weeks, every Monday morning she would go with her Daddy to a parks and rec sponsored Tiny Tots gymnastics time. Some days he said she wouldn't do any of the little tricks they were learning and other days she would do them all and some she would do over and over. When she got home I always asked her what new tricks she learned, like the spider or the donkey or her pizza stretches. After she would show one, she would always say, "ta dah!" which generally sounded more like just, "dah!" but was darn cute nonetheless.
She will spend quite a bit of time happily playing with her little people or kitchen or legos. Or a porcelain frog. For some reason, she just attaches herself to something different each week and takes it with her wherever she goes. One day it was a little gnome. Then a few days later she will hardly look at that object.
I know she has way more toys than any kid needs but she is generally pretty good about picking up when told to and making good use of everything. Every day we read piles of books and I'll admit to sending her to her father when I'm tired of reading the same one again. "Here, have someone else read this to you now..."
Daily she is adding new words to her vocabulary and extending her sentences into something we can (usually) understand. She is still taking fantastic naps, often three hours or more and sometimes even lays herself down for said nap. We can always tell when she is tired or hungry because the whining becomes a bit more excessive. The girl definitely acts like a true two-year-old!
Her pony tails kill me. She is so great about letting me put her hair up to keep it out of her face and I just love the cuteness of the little fountain-like stubs. Currently, since we have been playing memory-matching-type games all of her clothes have to match in some way. There are days when I have to stretch a bit to get her into something I think is cute. "See, they both have stripes! They match!"
She loves to put her arms around you and give hugs, often patting you on the back as she does so and then leaning in for a kiss. This kid is the most affectionate girl around and I love it. Whenever her baby brother is crying she'll go hug and kiss him first and then look for his paci to try to rectify the situation. Every night before bed we'll read books and pray and then give kisses to everyone. Including whatever toy she is sleeping with that night. So often I feel bad that her brother is screaming while I'm tucking her in, but she rolls with it and seems to just be used to it now. "No worries mama, just kiss this here lego man, please." Many nights we have to remind her that she has to actually stay in her bed. I'll be downstairs and hear a mysterious noise to find her sitting at the top of the steps playing with something. She hates her door shut (even though she has a night light) but unfortunately for her, when she doesn't stay in bed, that is the consequence.
Recently, I did her first mani-pedi and she just loved it. Her nails are just perfect and so easy to paint. I got some insta-dry polish so she only has to hold still for a couple minutes before she can run off again and she does great. She's so very proud of her pretty pink nails and, "puh-puh" toes. Especially when she is wearing her little flip-flops and can show them off.
Randall loves her little brother and while there are times when his crying definitely seems to set off her whining and she hates to wait for me to finish feeding him before I can help her with something, she is fantastic with him. Though lately she has been trying to pick him up on her own, she's usually good about knowing that that is one of Mama's jobs and not hers.
She tells the cat all day long that, "kitty no outside"; she loves to listen for things like the busses, birds, dogs or the church bells; she knows that it is her job to throw away the dirty diapers and holds her nose the whole way to the trash can; she tells me every day when she gets up from her nap that she is dry, even on the rare occasions that she is not; she would eat oatmeal or cereal for every meal and loves her fruits but I can't get her to eat any veggies without trickery; she loves to smell flowers, hates bugs and her favorite toys are her dollies. In short, she is 100% girl. My girl.