Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Two Years

Dear Annelise,

This yearly letter is much harder to sit down and write compared to your first year letter.  I honestly can't believe how fast your second year has flown by.  It went much faster than your first one.  I'm scared to think of how fast this next year will go.  You have grown and changed so much; more than I could ever imagine.

You have started to explode verbally.  I've been so worried about your speech because you really didn't talk much.  You babble an awful lot, but nothing is really any comprehensible English.  In fact, I'll usually look at you when you start babbling and jokingly say, "Why don't you start babbling some English?"  You either laugh at me, or shake your head no, and continue to babble.  You've started saying some two words phrases.  Your most favorite is "thank you".  I love to hear your sweet little voice say thank you without any prompting.  And, you usually do say it without having to be prompted at all.  At least, as far as close family or friends go.  You are a more hesitant to speak when you are around people that you don't know very well.

We still go to Kindermusik every week and you still love it.  You've started to sing along to some of the songs that you know.  You also have grown quite independent while we're there and you rarely sit with me.  You would much rather run around and play.  I've been contemplating adding in another type of class, like a tumbling class.  I don't want to stop going to Kindermusik because I know that you love it, but I also feel like you would really enjoy and benefit from a more physically active class.
One of the biggest changes that has happened is that you are going to be a big sister!  We told you very early on, and you came with me to many of my doctor's appointment.  I don't know if you fully understand it, but you point at my belly and say "baby", and give my belly kisses.  You know what outside babies are, so I'm hoping that you understand that soon the baby in my belly will be outside and here to stay.  You absolutely love babies and love to see them and touch them gently.  I hope that you continue to love babies, and especially your little brother, once he comes out and is home.  I know that you are going to want to hold him all the time.  I'm excited for you to become a big sister  and I think that you are going to do great in your new role.  I'm working very hard to treasure the time that we have left where we're just a family of three.

You have also grown into a very independent little girl.  You insist on doing a lot of things yourself.  You like to buckle yourself into your high chair and car seat, feed yourself from a bowl and spoon when we allow you to eat without being in your high chair, walk from the car to wherever we are going and back again, throw things away, and many other things.  If you can safely and easily do it yourself, you want to and you let us know it if we try to help.  However, you can recognize when you do need help and ask for it.  You are usually pretty good about asking nicely and not throwing a fit.  Sometimes I'll have to remind you to ask nicely.

And since we're on that subject, you have a nasty habit of whining to ask for things, such as a bite of food for example.  I always tell you to ask nicely and you quickly correct yourself and ask in the proper manner.  However, I'm not a fan of having to remind you all the time.  I'm hoping that soon you'll understand and always ask without whining.  I'm sure that part of it is because you're still working on your communication.  I really hope that as your communication continues to improve, the whining will decrease.

Almost all of your teeth are in.  We're just waiting on your top two year molars, which I'm sure will be arriving very soon.  The bottom molars just sort of seemed to appear.  You came down with a runny and stuffy nose and a small fever, which I thought was a cold since I had just checked your gums about a week prior.  Daddy suggested that it might be your teeth, and when I went to feel your gums, the bottom molars were working their way through the gums!  It was crazy how fast they appeared.

Daddy and I took you for your first haircut in January.  The back of your hair had grown so long, and your front was still working on catching up, and I just couldn't handle your little baby mullet anymore.  You did a great job!  You sat in the chair and watched very seriously and didn't fuss or squirm at all.  I was so proud of you.  We trimmed your hair into a cute little bob, and now we're still just waiting for the front to grow out.

There have started to be days where you nap strike.  Some days you handle it like a champ, and some days you very obviously needed that nap that you insisted on skipping.  Naps can range anywhere from two to four hours.  You usually go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 PM and usually wake up in the morning between 7:00 and 7:30 AM.  Some days are a little earlier, some days a little later.  I wish that I could get you on a consistent schedule of waking up.  Ideally, I'd prefer 8 AM!!
We took you to a Wilderness Resort Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells in January when you were 20 months old.  We stayed overnight with some friends and their two kids.  You did a great job, and once we found some water that was actually warm, you had a blast.  You love going down slides and riding rides.  In fact, once you realized that we could go down some of the bigger slides as a family, you wanted nothing to do with the smaller, more age appropriate things.  I knew that would happen though.  You've loved being adventurous for a while now.  You really enjoy the rides at fairs and always ask for more.

Daddy and I have started working with you on potty training.  We aren't pushing it too hard, but we're slowly introducing it and letting you figure it out.  You've peed in your potty seat once.  You don't like to sit down and be patient and wait for yourself to go.  You usually hop up and sit down quite a few times before I get annoyed and tell you that we're done playing.  Even giving you a book won't calm you down for long.  Hopefully you'll relax soon and start using the potty more.

You weigh almost 29 pounds and are 35.5 inches tall.  I just recently transitioned all of your clothes to size 3T and you still wear a size 4 diaper.  However, you are wearing 2T in jeans.  You are wearing a size 6 shoe.

I can't believe how much you've grown and changed and I'm excited to see how much more you will grow and change in the next six months.  Even though we definitely have our challenges, I can't believe just how much my heart swells with love for you.  You bring me so much joy and laughter.

Love you forever,

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