Today our baby is 2!! I’ve been saying she’s “almost 2” for ages it seems, but now she finally is. It’s mostly sweet, but it’s a little bittersweet also. The older she gets, the farther and farther away we move from the baby years, since Leah is our last baby. I think the year between age 1 and age 2 shows the most dramatic change. Of course, from birth to age 1 is a huge change but at both the start and end of that year, the child is a baby. At age 1, Leah was standing but not walking (though she did take her first steps 2 days later) and she had about 3 words. For the most part, she was still completely dependent on us and we were not able to communicate with her very well. Fast-forward to today and it’s a totally different story!
I’ve said this before, but it’s still true…18 – 30 months is hands down my favorite age so far, with both of my kids. The squishy newborn days are sweet and the crawling/standing/first steps are exciting, but the learning to talk is my favorite. It’s fascinating to me to watch Leah learn how to pronounce letters and words and to figure out how to use the words to communicate with us. Naturally, it results in some mistakes – many of which we don’t correct because they are too hysterical/adorable.
Around 22-23 months old, Leah progressed to 4-6 (or more) word sentences. (“Watch a show, Mommy, please?” “I ride the bike, Daddy!”) Her sentences include verbs and pronouns now. The pronouns are mostly used incorrectly, but they’re there. (“Here coming me!”) Right now, she basically narrates everything going on around her and repeats the same sentences over and over again. That can be a little tiring (Caelan has complained about that and I just love the irony 🙂 ) but you can tell she’s practicing. She basically says everything and she is very understandable, even to people who aren’t around her much. Some of our favorite phrases:
- “Mommy, hot dog me?” (Similar to “beer me” if you’re familiar with that phrase 🙂 )
- “I sitting here!”
- “Where Yah go?” (Said while hiding – “Yah” is what she calls herself)
- “I haveita booboo, Mommy”
- “Come on, Gaga!”
- “You comin’ Mommy?”
“Haveita” is my favorite. Bill and I have incorporated it into our own conversations.
Little Miss Talks-A-Lot is super bossy now too! And very, very independent. Reminders to use her manners are frequent. She wants to do EVERYTHING by herself (“I no need help.”). Her fine motor skills are really great. She can put her shoes on by herself and she can even buckle her sandals. I was kind of shocked when she came into the room with her sandals on and no one had helped her! Of course she also wants to help with things like changing her own diaper, which is far less helpful.
Speaking of diapers, we’ve got nothing on the potty training front. Occasionally I ask her if she wants to try and usually she says no. She did agree to sit on the potty once, but she thought it was weird. We don’t push her because, really, the last thing I want is a too-young, not-ready potty-trainer. Honestly, at this age, diapers are easier. However, when she starts preschool at the end of this month (!!!) she will need to wear Pull Ups.
Leah and Caelan are still buddies, but the bickering and fighting has escalated, as has the whining from both kids. Sometimes it’ll be quiet and I’ll investigate (because quiet kids are usually trouble) but I’ll find them playing well together, or reading together, or sharing a toy together. However, more often their play is NOT quiet. Often it’s still fine and they’re getting along, but there are plenty of fights too. I know its normal – I have a sister and while I don’t remember what it was like when we were 2 and 5, I’m sure we did fight. There are fights over toys and someone grabbed something from someone else or Leah starts crying and then I need to figure out if Caelan did something to her or if she’s just being dramatic. We set a lot of timers to switch off using certain toys.
Leah adores Caelan. She loves all the things he loves. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said “Lightning and Mater!” I’m excited for them to be in preschool together in a few weeks (though they will be in different classes). She still calls Caelan “Gaga” (and Bill and I do too sometimes) but she also calls him Kai. When asked “Can you say ‘Caelan’?” she will say Cay-en, so she CAN, she just prefers Gaga.
Leah’s sleep habits are…slightly better? I can’t really tell if it’s that or if I’m just more used to it by now. How is it possible that we have a 2 year old who doesn’t sleep through the night?! I mean, sometimes she does – probably a few days a week. But the other days, she still wakes up 1-2 times a night. And then she’s up for the day at the butt crack of dawn. At her age, I’m not even sure how to fix it. When she wakes up, it’s easy to get her back down again, but she needs to be doing that herself, without us. Maybe it will be better once she’s out of the crib and in a bed? I think that change may becoming in the next few months. I’ve already started planning an owl theme for her “big girl room”.
In the meantime, her bedtime rituals ARE very cute. Her best “buddy” is (the aptly named) Penguin. Other current favorites are Ernie and Hippo (we are creative with the names around here). She lines them all up, not forgetting the glow bear in the corner, then tucks Penguin under her arm, curls up in the fetal position and waits to be covered with her “owls” and her “fuzzy banket” (both blankets which were formerly “behbens” but are now “bankets”).
Despite being of average/petite height and weight, this girl is a bottomless pit when it comes to eating! Especially snacks (aka “nacks”). Omg she asks for a snack all.day.long! She may prefer to be a grazer, but we don’t really let the kids graze so maybe that’s why she’s constantly asking for snacks. It’s not like we don’t feed her though! She gets 3 meals plus 2-3 snacks a day! But she will literally get up from the dinner table and ask for a snack.
She eats all the foods. She really will eat basically anything. There are a few random things she’s iffy on (like chicken nuggets and potatoes) but I don’t know that she really refuses anything. She would eat fruits and veggies all day long – she is a huge fan.
Leah still has her baby hair and has yet to have a first haircut, but her hair is definitely getting long! She needs a barrette to keep it out of her face and, thankfully, she is very tolerant with me doing her hair and she doesn’t bother it once it’s up.
Last month, we went on a family beach trip with Bill’s family. This was Leah’s 2nd trip to the beach, but last year was very different from this year. Leah liked the beach last year, but she wasn’t walking yet so she didn’t do much other than nap and play in the surf a little. This year, she was having a BLAST running in the surf with Caelan, jumping waves, and just running full out straight into the ocean. She kept Bill and I (and Pop) running! She got knocked over by a wave once or twice, but it didn’t phase her much.
Last year at the beach, we often found ourselves trapped in the house during the afternoon nap which was kind of a pain. But this year, Leah only takes 1 nap and she is much more flexible with it so we were able to get lots of beach time AND some beach naps! Beach napping with Leah was probably my favorite part of that trip. Everyday, she napped on the beach. Something about standing near the surf was like a tranquilizer and she was out within minutes. Going on vacation with little kids is the opposite of relaxing, but that hour or so a day when she napped was like a little slice of the vacations of yore – only better because I was snuggling a sleeping baby AND relaxing myself. (Obviously, Caelan was there too but he was often playing or being supervised by Bill during Leah’s nap times. He’s also become more and more independent, but more on that in his next post 😉 ) I’m a little sad that this year was probably the last year for beach naps for the kids. I mean, maybe we’ll luck out and she’ll nap some next year. She is a decent napper…
Now that Leah is older, her personality is really starting to come out. Yes, she is dramatic. She’s bossy and she has a little attitude, but she’s TWO so it’s kind of hysterical too. She has the exasperated sigh down pat and I ALWAYS laugh when she does it. She’s meticulous in the way that 2 year olds are (lining up toys, laying out a blanket just so) and she can dissolve into a tantrum out of nowhere over seemingly nothing. I don’t know, maybe because we’ve been through this before (or because I know this is NOT the worst its going to be), I don’t get that upset about it. Well maybe sometimes. Like when she won’t COME HERE for a diaper/clothes change or when she insists on buckling her booster by herself, which she can’t really do.
As dramatic and screamy as she can be, Leah definitely has a quiet and reserved side too. She is vary wary of unfamiliar people and surroundings. Sometimes that makes her a Velcro baby stuck to my hip, but she does warm up eventually. She does so much better with people who *don’t* approach her. Once she’s had time to evaluate the situation for herself and once she realizes that some of these new people might be A) friends to play with, or B) people who will read books to her, then she will join in 🙂
Leah is very affectionate. She really craves that closeness more so than Caelan did at this age. She likes to be held (which is getting painful at this point since she’s too old/heavy to be carried around everywhere) and though it can get to be too much at times when the kids treat me like a jungle gym, she does like to sit with me/on me/in my lap. I know that won’t last forever and I am already sad about it ending someday. Leah is my heart and I am so excited about the little girl she is growing up to be!
And now some comparison pics…
Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet girl!! Mommy and Daddy and Gaga love you!!
Leah’s 2 Year Old Stats
- Wearing 24 month tops and bottoms and 24 month sleepers/pajamas, size 5 or 6 shoes
- Size 5 diapers
- Weight: 25 lbs
- Favorite foods: Yogurt, oatmeal, goldfish, hot dogs, any and all fruits and veggies
- Loves reading books, lining up toys, spreading out her blankets, trying on shoes, eating snacks, Mickey Mouse, Mater