To you, Savannah…at 2 YEARS OLD!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy darling girl,

Is it really possible that two years have passed since we met you for the first time? I still don’t believe it but at the same time, it’s as if you’ve always been with us. You are incredible little person and getting even more amazing every day.

Let’s see…where to start?

You are a Chatty Cathy. I mean you talk ALL THE TIME. Even in your sleep. In fact, you recently screamed out “ABCD” in the middle of the night which means you were obviously dreaming about the alphabet song. Most of the time, you are content to ramble to yourself, your babies, Lola, or books, but once in a while you decide you want our undivided attention and proudly interrupt our conversation with a very clear, “No talking, Mommy/Daddy!” This especially happens in the car. You are stringing together full sentences and are particularly clear about your likes and dislikes. Some regularly used statements include: “Me no like it.” “I love ___” “My do it.” “Mommy/Daddy sit here/read this/etc.”

You are also quite active. You love to run and dance and take great pride in your jumping ability even though your feet don’t actually leave the ground. You are a cautious girl, carefully surveying a situation before digging in, but once convinced, you are eager to explore and let your imagination run wild. You recently conquered the grassy hill at school by yourself – and even helped your friend make it to the top as well. This was a big day in your little world!

You are compassionate and so incredibly empathetic. If anyone has an ouchie or anything remotely resembling an ouchie (pimple, pen mark on their hand, etc.) you immediately grow concerned and cover it with kisses to make it better. You even stand by with your brow furrowed every night as we wipe Lola down before bed. We explain that she’s just getting cleaned up yet you still get very worried that we’re in some way hurting her. You take good care of your friends at school and are quick to help them out when they are sad or struggling with an activity.

This kindness makes me especially proud.

You’re growing more independent by the minute and your imagination is unstoppable. Getting you dressed in the morning has become quite a process since you now insist on putting your shoes and pants on by yourself. You love to brush your teeth and make bubbles on your body in the bath. You sit quietly for extended periods of time reading your “bookas” or pretending to apply makeup or style your hair at my vanity. And you regularly host “coffee parties” for your friends (aka Elmo dolls, teddy bears, and baby) at your table.

You’re not into cartoons or technology much but I figure it’s only a matter of time until we lose you to the iPad so I am taking advantage of watching you engage your imagination while you play for as long as I can. You do enjoy the iPhone but it’s primarily used to call “Nanta” (Santa) and thank him for your Christmas presents. I’m not kidding when I say you have such a kindred spirit, little girl.

You are quite the helper around the house. You insist on “washy” every night after dinner which basically means you rewash all of the dishes on the drying towel. You even clean up your toys at the end of the night. Sometimes it takes a little prodding or you manage to negotiate help from me or your daddy but for the most part you understand the importance of putting things away when you’re done with them.

You still have a great appetite. As of late, it’s all about the burrito. In fact, we can wrap anything into a burrito (deli meats, cheese, hummus and pita, even pizza) and you’ll enjoy it more. You even substituted “Twinkle, Twinkle little star” for Burrito, Burrito little star” in your nursery rhyme the other day. You are somewhat adventurous and usually willing to try even obscure tastes and textures like random vegetables and quinoa but you have your staples: berries (especially blackberries), mango, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, soup, pork and all Mexican food). You’re not a big fan of pasta which is kind of strange but we’re going with it.

You love school so much! In fact, we bribe you all weekend long with the promise of school on Monday. A friend recently equated your experience to more of a daycare than school and I had to quickly correct her. The curriculum – yes, at one and a half years old you had a daily curriculum! – is incredibly advanced. You’ve been counting and saying your ABC’s for some time now. The teachers truly make learning fun and manage to incorporate a “teachable moment” in everything they do whether it’s cooking, singing with Music Mitch, catching insects on the playground, or exploring everyday objects like ice or shaving cream.

And the socialization opportunities, forget about it! You love your friends and by spending your days with them you’ve learned how to share, exercise patience, work as a group, manage conflict and most importantly, to be compassionate with babies younger than you and push yourself to keep up with toddler and preschoolers who are older. You are a social bird and the bulk of your current classmates are boys so you are also getting rougher and tougher which I love to see. You are definitely not a princess – except to me and your daddy and all four of your grandparents of course.

Speaking of friends, you respond to any question regarding your preferences – i.e. Who do you love? Who do you want to see? What do you want for your birthday? – with the same answer, “Jacob.” You’ve been together since you were five months old and he is hands down, your best friend in the world. When we inquired if you’re mutual dependence on one another was cause for concern, your teachers at school explained that every so often they have a couple like you who are really more like siblings than classmates. You fight like cats and dogs but can’t stand to be out of each other’s sites for even the length of a diaper change.

You love your family also, especially your grandparents. You and your Poppy are two peas in a pod. You follow him everywhere and do everything that he does. He caters to your every need and you pretty much have him wrapped around your finger. Same goes for your Nona. She loves to rock you and sing “Ah ah baby” and you find it incredibly unsettling when I try to imitate her routine. You love doing Facetime with Grammy and Bampa and ask for them regularly. It’ll be great fun to have them come visit in a couple of months!

And the beach has become your favorite place in the world. We go almost every weekend, sometimes twice. You ask all week long, “Beach this weekend?” and love watching daddy surf, playing in the sand, exploring the terrain, and people watching. You do not enjoy the cold water or birds – I swear, you are just like your mommy!

You have also decided to start potty training. We’ve had some brief successes on and off for the past few months but nothing terribly consistent and we haven’t pushed you to learn. Then out of the blue last weekend you asked to go poo poo on the potty and proceeded to take care of a business a half a dozen more times throughout the weekend. Yesterday, you peed on the potty at school and you are very proud of these accomplishments. We’re letting you lead us on this adventure so we’ll see where it takes us. Something tells me you’ll be in big girl panties before we know it!

2 Years At A Glance

Weight: 30 lbs – 94th percentile

Length: 34 inches – 86th percentile

Cool Things You’re Doing: Getting lost in your books, relishing in your imagination, running, jumping and dancing, counting and saying your ABC’s, singing songs, creating beautiful art, understanding the difference between right and wrong even if you don’t always adhere to it, loving your friends both real and imaginary.

Likes: Books, beach, food, coloring, cooking, washing your hands, climbing in and out of your stool, identifying body parts, singing songs, cuddling, playing mommy, hosting coffee parties, taking showers, hair bows, hats, jackets, shoes, burritos, soupy, goldfish, Lola 50% of the time, spending the night at Nona/Poppy/Bella’s.

Dislikes: Waking up too early, Lola the other 50% of the time, when Jacob steals your books, when Jacob leaves your line of sight.

Favorite Books: Goodnight Moon, The Peace Book, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Daddy Cuddles, The Potty Book.

Our Favorite Things About this Age: The way you request your morning smoothie – “Moochie Meese,” how you curl up on my lap and ask for cuddle time at night or throughout the day, the cute songs you make up and your way of blending every nursery rhyme you know into one, watching the love you have for your daddy, seeing your independence grow and watching how you figure things out and problem solve, staring in awe as you eat a burrito, relishing in the sound of your laughter or stumbling over our answers to your new favorite question – “WHY?,” spying on you at school and watching you interact with your peers when you don’t know we’re there.

Nicknames: Hands down, your nickname is Nana. Also regularly in the rotation are Savs, Banana Face, Banana Bear, Poppy, Mama, Babycakers, Savi, Baby Vannah, Bug, and Savi Bear.

You represent everything beautiful in this world, Savannah. I am so honored to be your mother and I have loved watching you grow into a remarkable little girl. Thank you for sharing your brightness with us and for keeping us laughing even on the most challenging of days.

Loving you,

Your mama

Outtakes:

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