It's been almost three months since I last wrote to you. You've grown in so many ways since your second birthday and experienced many big changes in your little life since then, so I wanted to take a few minutes to document what's new with my favorite little girl (that's you!).
You've grown quite a bit since your last doctor's appointment at 24 months old. You continue to be on the petite little thing, weighing about 25 pounds (up a pound since your last check-up) and now measure 34 inches (which is up 2 inches!). I could tell you were growing taller as many of your 18 Months and 2T pants are too short or now just the right length. Your hair is growing long and now reaches down to your shoulder blades. Your beautiful baby curls are still there, but they're turning into more waves now. I suspect they'll eventually give way to straight hair eventually. Overall, you looking more like a little girl (and less like a baby) every day.
One area you've grown leaps and bounds is speech development. It seriously amazes me listening to you communicate with us. You're speaking in full sentences and conversations now (broken toddler sentences minus the proper use of pronouns and prepositions, of course). I think this is Daddy's favorite stage because you'll repeat any phrase he tells you to say. We have quite the laughs at your expense - sorry kid. I'm in awe of the things you associate and remember to tell us later. You speak fairly clearly for a child your age. The only time it's a little difficult to understand what you're trying to say is when you get too excited about something or try to string together several sentences or a story together.
Some of the things I want to remember are the way you apologize for everything -- even when things aren't your fault. "Oh, I sorry!" you'll say. I guess you're a true Midwesterner! You also say "Mommy, need hug," very sad face-ish, when you're upset or looking for attention. A big squeeze can usually cure the worst case of grumbles. You want to do everything yourself and scream "Nooo! Tory do it!", "Tory choose!" or "Tory help, too!" in regards to all things including making breakfast, picking out a sippy cup and loading yourself into the car seat. "Phew! Tough one!" sometimes follows on particularly difficult tasks. You call everyone "honey" as in, "Hi Baby Aden, hi honey, hi Baby Aden, hi, hi" (which is exactly the way you greet your brother). And, one of my personal favorites -- the way you cutely suggest "store?" in response to anything you can't or don't have. If we're out of yogurt, for example, you'll suggestively ask "store?" You're apparently growing up in a world where everything is simply a purchase away. (No surprise given your father's buying habits on Amazon.com. Ahem).
You have an excellent memory just like your mama. You don't forget a thing, especially if we tell you we're going somewhere fun or you've had a good experience doing something of the like. Many times, I find myself not sharing fun details like grandparents visits with you until right before they happen because you'll ask about it over and over again. You can't quite understand the concept of time, so saying something like, "No, tomorrow we're going on an airplane" means nothing and you'll ask about it all over again 10 minutes later.
I'm happy to report we're moving in the right direction in this category. (Either that, or you've finally worn us down to the point where one nightly wake-up is deemed a success). We transitioned you to a big girl twin-size bed in September in preparation for Aden's birth and his use of the baby crib. The first two months were rough-going; you hopped out of bed just as quickly as we laid you in there and I spent many (many, many, many) hours of the night perched on the side of your bed. Surprisingly when Aden was born, Daddy began putting you to bed and you started sleeping (mostly) through the night. Four months after the big girl bed transition and you usually wake up once or twice a night, but fall back asleep quickly if we rush in to soothe you right away. If we could just teach you how to roll over and go back to sleep when you wake up vs. shrieking for baby dolls and sippy cups, we'd be set. Tory, you've always been a light (and somewhat, crappy) sleeper and I think we've finally come to terms with it. I'm still holding out hope you're love to sleep ... someday.
It's been a few months of big milestones for you. Shortly after your second birthday, you declared your desire to be potty trained and took to the concept almost immediately. I wasn't so hot on the idea of toilet training you right before Aden's birth, but I let you lead the way and you did fantastically. Sadly, I'd like to say you have the same gusto for using the big girl potty these days, but that's for another post.
You became a big sister since I wrote to you last, and you absolutely love your baby brother. You're a very good helper and always willing to run and get diapers or burp cloths to help Mama. You love to hold Aden and are surprisingly gentle when doing so. You're still learning how to touch him softly (vs. poking him in the eyes or squeezing his hand until it turns colors), but we're working on it and you're getting there with time. I love the way you repeat phrases I say to him such as, "Hold on, Baby Aden" and "Have a good rest, Baby Aden?" The other day you told him, "Tory won't hurt you" though I suspect he wasn't so sure. I can't wait to witness the sibling relationship unfold between you two. Soon enough, he'll be old enough to play around and
You're still very interested in baby dolls and playing "Mommy." We gave you a play diaper bag, complete with baby wipes, diapers and bibs, for your Big Sister gift at Aden's birth and you play with it daily. You also enjoy playing kitchen with pretend food and you love, love, love Minnie Mouse. Soon after your second birthday, you developed an interest in playing dress-up and can be seen bopping around the house in tu-tus and ballerina costumes most days. You like to watch Dora the Explorer episodes and play doctor just like Doc McStuffins on Disney Jr.
THINGS TO DO
You're one busy girl in the activities department. This fall, we enrolled you in your first "school" experience at a Early Child and Family Education toddler preschool class within the school district. It was a tough transition for you for the first several weeks. You did not like to be separated for me in the least bit and cried to and during school most days. Finally, something clicked and you really started to enjoy the class. Now you happily bounce into the classroom, play with your friends and the many toys in the room. It's so good to see you grow and transition in this way. I knew we made the right decision by signing you up for the program when we did.
You also attend music class once a week with several friends of ours and you absolutely love it. It's 45 minutes of singing and dancing around, and you talk about it all week long. I have to be honest, I love it, too. It's so fun to see you so engaged and energetic in a social setting.
Still the same favorites here -- toast, yogurt, cheese, sandwiches and applesauce. In the last few months, you've developed a new taste for meats and will usually eat several good bites of chicken or pork. Fruit can be hit or miss with you, with some of your "favorites" being bananas and blueberries. Your obsession with dips is still strong -- you're a girl who loves sour cream, Ranch and ketchup -- and now we can add butter, peanut butter and jelly to that list. "Put on my finger!" you shout anytime one of those three condiments is in eye sight.
PLAYMATES, FRIENDS and FAMILY
You're starting to become very interested in your "friends" and will ask about them often. Some of your favorite people are Ashley from music class and Hannah from the lake cabin. You love "Call" (McCall) from the cabin as well and ask to see her the minute we arrive there each weekend. McCall's a freshman in college, by the way, but she's always so good to play with you while we're socializing with her parents.
Nana and Papa came up to stay with us for a week after Aden's birth and you had a blast spending quality time with them. One of your favorite people in the world is Grandma Janie and you just light up when you see her.
You are definitely loved by many and it's fun to hear you refer to our loved ones in conversation now, or get as excited to spend time with them as we are.
Tory, you're such a delight to be around. There's never a dull moment with you in the mix, that's for sure, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We love you to pieces.