We are drawing near the end of your second year and goodness, I am going to miss this age. A lot. I can only hope your third year is as magical as the second because the last few months with you have been the best.
|Fun at the beach, March 2014|
You are so funny these days - so funny. You'll repeat anything we say (fortunately, thus far we haven't had any "incidents" with inappropriate words) and it's especially cute to hear you say adults phrases like, "Does that sound like a plan?" and "Okay, carry on." Your imagination has blossomed the last few months, most evident when you play dollhouse or dress-up. You'll put on pretend shows and say, "Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls!" before jumping off the couch cushions. One of your favorite games to play is "fashion show" where you model princess outfits by the light of a flashlight.
You're very nurturing, especially toward Aden. Everywhere we go you proudly announce, "This is my brudda! This is Aden." The two of you light up with glee when you see each other first thing in the morning and it warms my heart watching you sing songs and share toys with him. When Aden cries, you'll burst into a rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and it calms him down every single time. Seriously, why wouldn't it? Your little off-key voice is absolutely adorable to hear. You're constantly rooting for Aden during tummy time practice and showing him how to sit by saying, "Watch me do it, Aden. Watch me!" "Someday when Aden gets bigger, he can play with me," you say often. You simply cannot wait for the day it happens.
Tory, you've grown to be a great listener and are (surprisingly!) well behaved in public, walking right alongside me when we're out and about. Not so long ago, I had to wear you in a carrier every place we went because you couldn't be trusted on your feet for even a minute. Now look how responsible and well behaved you are!
|Playing in the snow at the lake cabin, April 2014|
Let's see what else is up with you at 2 3/4 years old:
These days, you weigh around 26 pounds and are 36 inches tall (based on our at-home measurements). You haven't grown too much in weight or height because you still fit into all the 2T clothes you wore last year. This is very convenient as summertime rolls around, as you can wear all the adorable dresses, skirts and shirts you already own for a second season. Of course, this doesn't stop me (or Nana, for that matter) from buying you lots of cute, new things to wear. Your wardrobe is quite full. Just the way a girl's closet should be, right?
|Sitting pretty for the camera, March 2014|
A few things new to report on this topic: Daddy continues to handle the reins where your sleep is concerned. In his attempt to get you to sleep through the night in your own bed, he's now implemented some firm rules for bedtime. For example, you now get a set number of books read to you each night and he's cut out the "rub my belly" business you suckered me into all those months. (Basically, we've come to learn I'm a softie when it comes to you kids.) His plan is to transition you to putting yourself to sleep (and staying that way), so let's hope he's successful in the end. I will say, for some reason lately, you've started taking epic two-hour afternoon naps (which is an unheard of amount of time for you!) and even started saying things like, "I'm tired. I want to go to sleep" before nap time during the day. Maybe this means you're getting older and eventually will sleep at night without so much wakefulness. Your parents can dream ....
|Looking over a ledge and growing taller by the minute, March 2014|
Tory, you've really developed so much in the last few months. For one, your vocabulary is exploding. You were definitely a toddler who began to speak in clear sentences at an early age, but lately you sound like an adult when talking. At preschool, one of your teachers was floored one day when you said to fellow classmate, "You can play this now. I'm going over here." Apparently, the fact you communicated your intentions in a verbal manner was quite ahead of the regular two-year-old expectations. Pretty cool!
You have adorable toddler pronunciations for things which I know I should be guiding, but they're too sweet to tell you any different. Specifically, many words starting with the "s" sound like "f" (sweetie = feetie, for example) and "l" sounds like "y" (Lisa = Isa). I still adore the way you ask for "oat milk" (oatmeal) in the mornings and say "dink" (for drink). Stay my baby for just a little bit longer and then someday I'll break the real pronunciation to you ... before Kindergarten, I promise.
There was a period not long ago you were very in-touch with your emotions. "I sad / scared / happy" all the time about every single thing. You'd often ask me, "Are you happy, Mom?" My answer: the happiest with you.
Along those same lines, everything "hurt" for a period of time ... "my leg hurts / my body hurts (said most when you had to poop - ha!)" and the fake crying ... ay-ay-ay! So much whining at my feet, especially at dinnertime. The continual fake crying / whining at 5:00pm everyday was seriously to blame for my daily glass of wine. That is, until you started asking me, "Mom, do you need some wine?" Ha ha.
Another not so cute (ok, annoying) thing you picked up the last few months is your constant asking of questions ... and then responding to the answer with another question. "Where's Grandma?" She went home. "What she do at home?" She's going to bed. "Why she have to go to bed?" Because it's night-time. Ahhh!
Oh, but you don't say annoying things all the time. You've started singing and humming in the last month and it is seriously my favorite thing ever. Your favorite songs are "ABC's," "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star," "Wheels On the Bus" and "Ring Around the Rosie." Most of the words are correct, but you're still jumbling some of your ABC's around (always "L-M-N-O-K-B"). Every time I try to sing it correctly with you, you shout "Stop, Mom!" Okay, then. You'll figure it out on your own, I guess.
|Boating at the lake cabin, Memorial Day 2014|
First off - Aden is your favorite person. Just today you told me he was your best friend. (I could've died and gone to heaven right then. So cute!) The newness of having a little brother has finally worn off and for the most part, you're content doing your own thing. You like to play with Aden when he's sitting on the floor or laying under the activity mat, but you're also quite happy playing with your own toys, painting, etc. without him.
|Matching Easter outfits, April 2014|
You love to read books, and I'm so impressed with your memory. (I like to think you inherited it from me.) Often times, you'll "read" books to me by reciting the words from memory and I am astonished time and time again how well you know every word by heart. Some of your favorite books right now are: Curious George, Pinkalicious, A Potty for Me, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See and Dear Zoo.
And, Daddy. Oh, Tory, are you a daddy's girl. As far as you're concerned, the sun rises and sets in him. You simply cannot get enough time together. The two of you go for truck-rides and go fishing at the cabin on the weekends, read books and watch cartoons together in the evenings and share snacks with one another like you're in your own little world together. You copy everything he says like calling the donkeys near the cabin "donks" and cookies "cooks." I love watching the two of you together and I hope you'll always remain so close. (Just don't forget about me, the woman who loves and cares for you 24/7, okay?)
|Walking on the beach with Daddy, March 2014|
THINGS TO DO
Our family did some fun things together since I wrote to you last. Likely the biggest event: we went on vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (your first time leaving the United States of America). We went to the beach, played in the pool and went on a whale watching tour while we were there. You even learned to hail a taxi. ("Oh, taxi!" you'd shout.) We also took road trips to Nebraska (for Easter) and Iowa (for Mother's Day weekend). You, Aden and I flew to Nebraska for a week to visit Nana and Papa at the end of May. And, of course, we had many, many fun weekends at the lake cabin.
|Running along Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, March 2014|
You remain a fairly good eater and love toast, cheese, cottage cheese, sandwiches, fruit, grilled cheese and quesadillas. One thing you've turned into is a snack monster. The other day, you were eating "triangle cheese" (a Laughing Cow cheese wedge) and crackers and actually asked for a snack while you were eating it. Seriously - you were literally eating a snack while asking for a snack. Silly girl.
|Happy to go canoeing so long as you have your beloved "snacks" along, Memorial Day 2014|
PLAYMATES, FRIENDS and FAMILY
Your best friend is still Ashley and your cabin friend is Hannah. You talk about these little girls every day ("when can we go see ...") and apparently like to keep a jammed-packed social calendar because you asks me everyday "who's coming over today?" I framed a picture of you and Ashley together on your night stand and you gaze at that picture many times a day and say, "I have a picture!" when you miss her.
|Playing dress-up with BFF Ashley, April 2014|
One of your favorite "adult" friends is Allison, our old nanny and now occasional babysitter. You love Allison and talked about her non-stop when she was babysitting for you consistently this past winter. Allison ventured off to hike the Appalachian Trail this spring and you had a hard time adjusting when you didn't see her regularly anymore. Many "I miss Allison" were shared and you slept with a picture of her for weeks.
You're enrolled in swimming class this spring / summer and continue to love the water. You're not one of those crazy kids who jumps in without fear, though. It amazes me how you can do all the things the teacher asks of you (jump of the side of the pool, back float, etc.) while keeping your head above water. You do not like to get your face wet! Despite that fact, you still have a ball swimming and playing.
In less than three months we'll be celebrating your 3rd birthday, Tory. I'm excited for you, and also a little sad because I wish I could freeze-frame this time with you forever. You are my favorite girl, I always say to you. I love you so much.