Friday, August 30, 2013

Letters to Tory: 24 Months

To quote one of your very favorite phrases lately ...


You're two years old, Tory! It hardly seems believable we've shared our lives with you for two years now. Part of me can't remember life without you and another part of me feels like you were born just yesterday. (Maybe it's because I'm pregnant with your little brother and reminded daily how I was feeling with you not long ago). I've always known I wanted to be a mother and you made me one, little girl. You have helped surpass every dream I had of raising a little girl. Staying at home with you everyday has been a complete blessing and I really do cherish the time we spend together. I love being the person who knows the most about you, your likes and dislikes and your personality. You're a mama's girl, for sure, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how much you've changed in the last year. Have you evolved more from 0-12 months or 12-24? Obviously, your changes in physical development were greater in the first year of life (growing from a tiny seven pound newborn to a mobile 20 pound toddler) but your mental leaps have been remarkable to witness in your second year of life. I'm amazed everyday how smart and compassionate you are; you're polite and couteous to others, and you have absolutely no fear when it comes to trying something new. (Well, this no-fear attitude applies more to physicality than it does to say, tasting new foods). It truly has been a joy to watch you grow into the little person you are, and I hope you know just how much you are loved. So much, Tory Girl, so much. You mean everything to Daddy and I.

I've been going back and forth about whether to continue writing these monthly letters to you. Personally, I'm a sucker for taking time each month to reflect on your monthly milestones, but I also can't commit to writing letters to you until your 50. I'm thinking I'll scale back to a quarterly letter so I can still capture the essence of your personality at each stage without being too much of an obsessed mom. I hope one day you'll enjoy reading these letters and blog posts about your daily life as much as I love documenting them. So, let's do a big update on all things Tory, shall we?

Though we won't have an official measurement of your height and weight until your two year doctor's appointment next week, I'd estimate you to weight about 24 pounds. You're quite the little peanut compared to other kids your age and barely have an ounce of baby chub on you. For the most part, you're wearing size 18 months in outfit sets, dresses and pants, size 2T in some shirts and size 5 in shoes. This past week, I advanced you to size 4 diapers and while you seem to be swimming in them, the size 3's were getting just a little too small ... specifically when it came to poops.

**Updated statistics from your 2 year doctor's appointment: you officially weigh 24 pounds (15%) and are 32 inches tall (22%).

Your hair has really grown the last six months! It's a beautiful shade of light brown with the perfect amount of wavy curl which we think you inherited from Nana. You've had a few haircuts in the last few months, but nothing more than a trim. I love styling your hair with "hair pretties" and in "piggies" and "ponies" every morning. And, for the most part, you're very patient in letting me comb and style it.

At two years, you have all of your teeth except for your two-year molars. I think you're working on pushing these last four teeth through. While I can't feel any bumps on your gums, you've been telling me lately that your "cheeks hurt" and that you need "medicine." Dad and I laugh every time you say that because we really don't give you medicine all that often. Sometimes, I think you're completely fine and it's just a bedtime stall tactic.

The many faces of Tory

Oh, sleep. I'd love to say at two years old, you've finally tackled this bad boy and developed into an awesome sleeper ... but alas, you have not. This past month, you've been waking up several times in the night, screaming for "mama." I associate the poor sleep back to those two-year molars or maybe to your giant leaps in language development lately. Honestly though, I've given up figuring out sleep issues with you. We've been on the go quite a bit this past month, with trips to Nebraska and to the cabin every weekend. Sometimes I wonder if the "sleeping in new places" thing gets you jumbled up or maybe that it's summertime and bedtimes are sometimes later than usual based on evening activities. Who knows. Teenager Tory: someday you will love sleep, I promise you!

To give you a sleep snapshot, an average day has you waking up around 7:00am, taking one nap from 1:30pm - 3:00pm and bedtime between 7:30pm and 8:00pm. I do appreciate you snoozing longer in the mornings lately, although that's not always a given. Some days, you have a really hard time making it until 1:30pm for an afternoon rest and if you're late going down for that nap, you're an absolute wreck. You thrive on a schedule, that's for sure, which is usually fine on most days but a difficult adjustment when we're traveling or busy with activities on the weekends.

You're a running, climbing, active little thing, Tory Girl. You can navigate the stairs by walking up and down them, and sometimes you don't even hang onto the railing. This month, you tackled the big slides at the park and will go down them with absolutely no fear. In fact, before you go down the slide you usually make a monkey sound and swing from the bars overhead! You often twirl around in place when you're wearing a dress or skirt and love to "hop" in place. You're not one for dancing which I think is kind of funny. Neither Daddy or I are big dancers either, so when I ask you to dance to music you usually say no.

You recently completed the Backfloat Baby 2 level at swimming class. This means you can backfloat with little assistance and can "zoom" underwater for 5 seconds. As much as you like the water and enjoy playing at the beach at the lake, you're not fond of having water on your face. Some kids in the class voluntarily dunk their faces in the water or splash and carry on, but you're not really that way. When the teacher asks you to jump off the side of the pool or "hide your face in the water," you usually fuss and squirm before finally doing it.

Let's see, what else? This month, we transitioned you into a big girl bed at the cabin. You were climbing out of the pack-n-play crib we had for you there, so moving you to a safer sleeping arrangement was needed. It's been a rough go, little girl. You do not like sleeping in a real bed by yourself. The last few weekends at the cabin have ended with you either sleeping in our bed or Mommy sleeping in your room at the cabin. I hope this gets better. Eventually it has to, right? We have yet to move you into a big girl bed at home but this change is coming in the next month as we near Baby Brother's arrival.

You traded in your high chair for a seat at the big table this month. I loved having you sit in your high chair as long as you did because it really contained a lot of the food mess, but one day recently you refused to sit in there and asked to sit at the table by Mommy. We toyed with the idea of buying you a booster seat, but I don't think you'd sit in it. You're a big girl now!

Finally, your language development is truly remarkable. You're fully talking now and can repeat anything we say to you. Sometimes it takes me a few seconds to understand what you're trying to communicate or the words you're pronouncing. My favorites are the way you say slippery ("flipfrey"), rainbow ("rainmow") and the way you want to do everything yourself ("self").

You've developed a real love for Mickey and Minnie Mouse as of late. Your favorite Minnie doll does everything with you these days -- eats with you, diaper changes, etc. Although Daddy and I swore we'd never be those parents, I see us sliding down the slippery slope of buying you cartoon character accessories all the way to taking you to Disney World someday. It's so hard to tell you "no" when Minnie seems to make you so happy.

You still love to read and have become fairly good at reciting the words in your favorite stories. Some of your favorite books are Wheels On The Bus, Curious George, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Ladybug Girl and Little People Go To The Zoo.

You continue to love baby dolls. Quite often I see you swaying from side to side with a baby doll in your arms or pretending to change your baby's clothes or diaper. A baby doll is a must-have companion anytime we leave the house on an errand or during naps and bedtime. You also love all things cooking. I let you help me in the kitchen baking cookies or making dinner and you're always so content to stir ingredients in a mixing bowl or dump things together. Grandma and Grandpa have a play kitchen which you just love. At the cabin on the weekends, we often play "kitchen" by filling up buckets with water and stirring them to make "soup" on the beach.

As much as you enjoy babies and cooking, you also love all things transportation. You'll be the first one to stop and say "listen" when we're playing outside to point out a passing airplane or train off in the distance.

This month, you've been very interested in painting with watercolors and ask to do this activity on an almost daily basis. It usually ends with you dumping water all over the table which ruins your picture, but I'm not sure you're really into it for the finished product anyway. You still love stickers and coloring with markers.

You love all animals especially sheep, ducks, monkeys, dogs, penguins, fish and goats. We have taken many trips to the zoo this summer which you always enjoy. I was surprised this month when you started to remember our visits and recite what you saw back to Daddy and Grandma. You're still talking about Sparky the Seal at Como Zoo and the tricks he did like balancing a ball on his nose. We've also visited farms around the cabin to see barnyard animals up close. You particularly like our ATV "truck rides" on the country roads at sunset when all the wildlife are most active.

We took your very last flight as a "lap child" this month. At two years old, you'll earn your own airfare ticket and seat on the plane. We've been talking a lot about it means to sit on the airplane (namely, sit seated with your seatbelt fastened) so I hope you're prepared when the time comes. You're such a great traveler and seem to know the drill by now which really helps things go smoothly. I hope this trend continues!

I used to think you weren't much of an eater but when we were visiting family in Nebraska this month, Nana and Papa just couldn't get over how much you ate at every meal. So, maybe the better way to describe you is a picky eater. Your "always acceptable" foods are yogurt, toast, scrambled eggs, applesauce, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas and waffles. This month, you've been interested in fruit for seriously the first time in your life (specifically strawberries, bananas and peaches) and you've actually consumed baked chicken, pork chops and corn on the cob at your own free will. Of course, every meal must be accompanied by a dipping sauce. Your favorites are ketchup and sour cream, which if we're not careful, you'll eat a meal entirely of those two sauces.

This month has been the first time I've heard you talk about friends and family. Lately, you seem to remember places we go and people we see. Specifically, you talk about your cousins Neeley and Brooke on a daily basis and you can't get enough of those girls whenever we see them. You ask about Nana and Papa, Grandma and Grandpa quite a bit and have started telling me most mornings that Daddy is at "work" or on a "plane."

Your best friend is Ashley who you met at swimming class last summer. You two are like peas in a pod and almost look like sisters with your light brown hair and similarly built frames. It's been fun to go on so many play dates with your little friends this summer.

Love you, Tory Bean. Happy 2nd birthday.



  1. Happy Birthday Tory!!! I love reading all of her updates, she is growing so fast : ) What a fun little girl.

  2. I just love reading Tory's letters - she is just too sweet! I can't believe she is already two...that just means Cruz is not far behind! Tory is such a smart little girl and seems to be picking up everything - love those pig tails and every single pic of her on here. Happy birthday Tory girl!