Monday, July 20, 2015

Ella Kate is Two

Dear Ella Kate,

You bring so much energy and life to our family, and we were all excited to celebrate your second birthday last weekend. You were so happy all weekend long; I think you like being celebrated and surrounded by family, new toys, and cupcakes.

There are many things we love about you, and here are a few highlights: you're the best hugger. You wrap your arm tightly around my neck, and despite going at a fast speed most of the time, when you're tired, you cuddle.  You seem to make great pains to enunciate each word you say, and you will attempt any word and have for a year now. It's so fun to see someone so little say such big words, and sometimes you speak with such drama like when you say "monster" or "that's terrible mommy." Your giggles and smiles are wonderful. You're really verbal too, especially when your brother isn't around. You're now regularly saying sentences like "It's a sunny day mommy" or "That's funny Jackson."

You're still fearless and have joined Jackson for some his firsts (like climbing the ladder on the big kid playground). In fact, you mastered the scooter you guys got for Christmas before he did. Despite not fearing many things or animals, you're cautious when it comes to other humans and take a while to warm up to people. You're also determined and clever. A most recent example is when you pulled a chair into the kitchen and used it to climb onto the counter, so you could open a cabinet to get your pacifier. With two bouts of strep and three ear infections in six months (last winter/spring) plus your eczema, we let you soothe yourself with your pacifier a lot, and you developed a deep affection. In fact, yesterday when I gave your paci "for just one minute" you replied "God bless you."

You're a pretty great eater and would be even better if you did not parrot everything your brother does! If he says something is "yucky,"  you agree without even tasting the offensive food. But you still eat green beans by the handful, drink salsa with a chip, and love almost all fruits. Your voracious appetite is especially cute since you're still very small (although you're well above average in height), and you have a sweet tooth like me. You love swinging ("higher, higher") and are fearless and brave. We were at a birthday party and a neighbor told your cautious brother to "hit the pinata like your sister" because you aren't afraid to whack something and are already showing some athletic aptitude and interest. You like trying to do handstands and flips and love wrestling on the bed with your daddy. You have so much energy; it's a joy to watch you in action.

You are finally sleeping past 7:00 most mornings, and we had a few mornings recently past 8:00. You like your naps and have even tried to climb into the crib when tired. You nap from 1:30-3:30 or later, and it's not unusual for me to wake you. Bedtime is around 8:30.  You sleep with 2 blankets, a soft dolls, and 2 pacis. If I give you more than 2 pacis, it's a problem, and you let me know quickly.

Jackson is definitely your best friend, and you two play together a lot. You are a good little mama and carry your baby doll around while you bounce her and say "sssh sshhh." You enjoy coloring. You insist on "do it myself" and regularly drag chairs into the kitchen so you can see what I am doing. You're also not phased by spankings and time out and often say "I'm sorry" multiple times a day. You're a strong-willed little girl.

A few months ago I asked you if I should pray before bed or if you would like to do so, and for the first time you prayed and said "Dear Jeeeeessssuuus, abcdefgh, amen."  Needless to say, you bring so much joy and fun to our family, and we are thankful for you.

Much love,

Your mommy