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To you, Savs…at 4!

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This is 4! Well, 4 2/3 to be exact. Our lives have been full these past few months and I haven’t had a moment to have a clear thought let alone articulate it.

Savannah, you are an absolute joy to be around. You make us beam with pride on a daily basis by sharing your generous spirit with the world around you. Whether you’re assisting snails along their journey, helping your sister maneuver her latest tricks, or consoling a friend in need your empathy shines true in all that you do.

You have evolved into a long and lean little girl this year. Gone are the baby face, thigh rolls, and poochy belly. They’ve been replaced with legs for days and “Rapunzel hair,” as you like to call it. You are a beautiful little girl inside and out.

You are also articulate, thoughtful, and wise beyond your years. Your memory astounds us – you lessons we’ve taught you or remember events from years ago. You love learning and ask a lot of questions about why the world is the way it is. Fortunately, you take it easy on us as we muddle our way through some of the more difficult topics and seem content to trust that what we tell you is true.

A few months ago you transitioned into the Kinder Prep class at school and you’ve been thriving ever since. You were a little intimidated at first since you were the youngest kid in the group but you had your partners in crime – Jacob and Makenna – by your side and so you settled in quickly. Your handwriting is improving and you’re getting pretty good at sounding words out. Of course, that means you love practicing the alphabet and find reasons to write cards to your family on a daily basis. I am continuously impressed by the curriculum at your school and so thankful we have the means to send you there every day.

You love being a big sister – most of the time. You take great pride in your Belly Baby and love to show her off to your friends. You are usually pretty good at sharing with her but certainly have momentary lapses where you rip something out of her hands or just haul off and hit her for no good reason. For the most part though, you adore Scarlett and she’s very lucky to have you as a role model and friend.

Although you have developed into a little girl in so many ways, I still get daily glimpses of my baby. You still nap for one thing which is a dream come true for this tired mommy! You also love “snuggling” more than anything and will jump at the chance to climb in bed with us before you fall asleep or first thing in the morning.

But most the time, you are all about big kid things. Whether it’s pretending to be a mommy yourself – you’re all about pretend play and your imagination runs wild, or navigating your own iPad, you are in control. You’re pretty self-sufficient and very polite both of which make me quite proud.

You started ballet a couple of months ago and the class has helped you really come out of your shell. You were so shy at first, intimidated by the other kids and insecure because you didn’t know the moves. I even thought you might ask to quit but you didn’t. You stuck it out and we kept going back and now you are obsessed! You are a wonderful listener and follow directions well and of course, you love your teacher.

We talk a lot about bravery and the importance of pushing through fear. You still get shy sometimes but you are trying new things each week and we are so proud of you! You are proud of yourself too which is really what we care about most. Uh…I just love your face!

Nana Bear, I wish I had the words to express how much I adore you. All I can say is that the sight of you makes my heart explode in a million pieces. You are everything I’d hoped my firstborn child would be – kind, empathetic, thoughtful, smart, funny, and of course, very, very brave. You continue to push me to new heights and you remind us how beautiful the world is even when we’re feeling discouraged – which considering it’s an election year, happens a lot nowadays!

Your curiosity is both sweet and inspiring. Your adoration for your friends and family and ability to recognize right from wrong make us proud. And your faith…forget about it. We’ve had to tackle some “big” issues lately and I’ve loved watching how you draw on your faith to pull you through sadness or make sense of the insensible. You are wise beyond your years and teaching us so much every day.

Savi Bear, I frequently refer to you as my kindred spirit. You are my mini-me in many ways – how you look, the way you concentrate deeply when you’re thinking about something, the way you want to help every living creature you come across. We share a deep, deep bond and I love watching you grow each day. You continue to teach me more about myself and push me to the limit of possibility. Thank you for all that you are and all you bring to our family.

You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.

Mommy

4 at a glance

Cool things you’re doing: You are all around one cool little girl. Your imagination is soaring. Your understanding of the world around you and how it works is expanding by the minute. And your interest in taking care of others and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone on target.

Likes: Playing dress up, pretending to be a mommy or a princess, writing cards and drawing pictures, practicing your name, watching shows on your iPad, telling stories, singing and dancing, cooking, and going to school and ballet.

Dislikes: I don’t know when it happened but lately you’ve become quite the picky eater avoiding a lot of the veggies that used to be your favorite. You dislike when your sister torments you or takes your toys. You don’t like being woken up in the morning and you hate having your hair brushed.

Favorite Books: The Book with No Pictures, The Giving Tree, Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You (our special book!), Tickle Monster, The It’s Okay to be Different and the Family Book.

Favorite Songs: You still love Coldplay, you like the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and much to our chagrin, you frequently request “Belly Baby’s songs” which translates to the Barney station on Pandora!

Funny Things You Say: ”That’s ridiculous,” “What the heck???,” “That’s disgusting!”

Our Favorite Things About This Age: Four has been really great. You have matured a lot and it’s like having a little partner in crime by our side rather than a child. You are smart and witty and quite hilarious too. But, I love that even though you’re so grown up you also melt right back into being my baby at every opportunity. It’s kind of the best of both worlds.

Nicknames: Savs, Nana, Nana Bear, Savi, Banana, and of course, Sissy!

Outtakes:

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To you, Savs…on your 3rd birthday!

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Dear Savannah,

And just like that, you are three!

When I think back to the crazy day you were born I can’t believe it’s been three years already. I remember every detail of that day as if were yesterday – the clothes I wore to the hospital, the crucifix hanging above the door of the delivery room, the feel of your dad’s forehead against mine as I pushed you into the world, and the beeping of the fetal heart monitor. It was the scariest, most painful, and absolutely, completely wonderful day of my life. You made me a mommy!

The last six months have been the most eventful in your short life so far. First of all, your baby sister was born and you assumed the role of Big Sister without skipping a beat. You fell in love with her instantly and we never saw you regress or act out after we brought her home. There were a couple of weeks immediately following Scarlett’s birth where I felt a little rejected by you – let’s just say you were in a SERIOUS “daddy phase” – but we quickly adjusted to our new normal and got back on track which was a big relief for this hormonal mommy.

You have also perfected the art of potty training. You still wear a diaper to bed at night but you dropped the nap time diaper shortly after the new year and you’ve been pooping in the potty consistently since before the holidays. You like to go to the bathroom by yourself and have yet to have an accident in public (knock on wood!). Although the process began shortly after your second birthday, we took it slowly and potty training ended up being one of the easier milestones we’ve conquered together.

Sleep, on the other hand, was a bit of a nightmare. We knew we were in for a whole lot of trouble when we chose not to sleep train you early. You slept in our room up until you were almost two and a half so we had to expect the transition to your own room was going to be a doozy. And it was. We all suffered six very long weeks last summer trying to get you to sleep in your big girl bed in your big girl room and there were moments we were pretty sure you were going to conquer us in the battle of wills. Your daddy and I alternated nights sleeping on an air mattress next to your bed and eventually in the hall. If we had carpet you would’ve worn a path in the hall leading from your room to ours, that’s how many times you got up at night. And bedtime took about 3 hours on average. It was rough!

But now you love your bed and your room. We have an awesome bedtime routine which varies slightly depending on which one of us is putting you down. You and I have our special songs – A Bushel and a Peck by Doris Day and Downtown by Petula Clark. We watch the YouTube videos and sing along. Even though we’ve been doing this night after night for months now, I still get tears in my eyes every time we get to the chorus where Doris Day sings, “About you” and you wrap your little arms around my neck and say, “No, about YOU!” or when we throw our arms in the air and yell “Downtown” as loud as we can while giggling at the same time. Seriously Savs, those are the moments that made me want to be a mom. We also lay in the dark and talk about our days and you tell me about your friends, what you learned in school, lessons your teacher shared etc. You always make a point to ask me how my day was as well and correct me if I don’t give you enough details to satisfy your curiosity.

And while sleep is going well for the most part, you’ve developed sleep terrors and wake up at least once every night in a cold sweat. You are usually murmuring unintelligibly and whimpering. We manage to get you back to sleep within minutes but seeing you so scared and upset still kills me every time. You never remember what woke you up in the morning and we’re hoping this is just a phase that you’ll outgrow soon.

For being so little, your heart is bigger and more full of love than I ever could’ve imagined. Don’t get me wrong, you most certainly have your “threenager” moments but you are also the kindest, sweetest, most compassionate kid. I see it when I watch you interact with your classmates, or when you cry during movies because the “girl is sad.” I see it when you rush to Belly Baby’s side the minute she makes a peep or the way you greet your family when they walk in the door.

When you tell me that you no longer like one of your friends from school I almost laugh because before I even have a chance to provide a teachable moment you are correcting yourself and reminding me that it’s okay because you’ll like him again tomorrow. We’d like to take credit for your sweet disposition but we are far from perfect so all I can do is thank God yet again for blessing our family with such a magnificent little human. You remind us to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, to forgive, offer second chances and empathize with other people’s pain.

Savs, you are coming out of your shell and growing more experimental every day. It’s been exciting to see you express interest in activities that you previously shied away from – i.e. bounce houses, petting zoos, etc. We continue to follow your lead and try not to force you to do anything just because it’s supposed to be “fun” but we do encourage you to at least try things once before determining that you don’t like them and you’re usually pretty open to the idea.

You started preschool last fall and it’s been so fun watching you adjust to sharing a class with the “big kids.” At first, they intimidated you but as time went on you managed to find your place in the pecking order. You have your best friends and one of my favorite things to do is eavesdrop on your conversations with each other. You are both my baby and so grown up at the very same time. It makes me proud while simultaneously breaking my heart.

Speaking of being way too grown up, you’ve started calling me “Mom” sometimes which is just way too weird. You shout it from other rooms of the house and I stand there wondering when exactly Mama or Mommy gave way to MOM. I know it’s just my imagination but I swear your articulate little voice has the tone of an irritated teenager when you say it and I cringe at the thought of what’s ahead of us in the years to come.

Your imagination is running wild and every time I turn around you are playing pretend. You love to dress up and lately you’ve been assigning us roles in your adventures. We spend full afternoons as characters from Frozen – you and I alternate between Anna and Elsa depending on your mood but daddy is always Christophe, Belly Baby is Olaf and Lola is always Sven. You also love your stuffed animal friends and baby dolls and have perfected your nurturing skills – sometimes I think you’re a better, more attentive mommy than me!

Your appetite has been insatiable lately so I think you’re about to grow. You may be the only three year old who requests vegetables and you especially love broccoli, asparagus and green beans. You’re a goof ball and mealtimes fluctuate between being really fun for all of us and totally miserable when you’re indecisive nature takes hold.

Your memory astounds us and we’re always shocked when you recall events or conversations from months ago. Daddy already knows he doesn’t stand a chance with all girls in the house but if your memory is anything like mine, he’s really in trouble. You are still a gullible little bird though and seem content with our explanations for why the world operates the way it does. Your willingness to believe in magic makes our life with you even that much sweeter and we have a blast coming up with silly explanations for some of your more random questions.

That’s not to say that you don’t give us a run for our money sometimes. You are very quick to challenge our authority and sometimes I feel like I spend entire weekends counting to five and disciplining you. It can be exhausting. I caught you on the monitor one day after I sent you to your room telling your stuffed animals how much you don’t like your mommy anymore because she’s SO mean and I just had to laugh at your irrational justification for being mad at me. I know that pushing limits is normal at this stage but there are days where I think your daddy or I might just crack from the pressure of living with such a stubborn little miss.

Fortunately, the good times far outweigh the bad around here.

The other night I told you that the day you were born was the best day of my life. You responded by saying with your cute little stutter that comes out when you’re thinking really hard, “The day you were born, my heart was so happy, mommy.” I know that our relationship will have its peaks and valleys and that I won’t always be the most important person in your little world so for now, I hold onto moments like that one. I try to lock it away in my memory and hope that it’ll get us through the rough patches that are inevitably ahead of us.

3 At A Glance

Weight: 36.3 lbs – 90th percentile

Length: 38.5 inches – 75th percentile

Cool Things You’re Doing: You’re potty trained and you love to sleep in your own bed. Hallelujah! You’ve become an expert at pretend play and you know many of your books by heart. You can sit through an entire feature film.

Likes: You love to dance and sing, dress yourself and pick out your own clothes. The beach is still one of your most favorite places on Earth. You enjoy “activities,” playing with your baby sister and Lola and giving daddy check ups.

Dislikes: Waking up early and getting ready for school, getting help with anything, when we interfere with your agenda, having your hair brushed or washed.

Favorite Books: The Princess Stories, Off We Go to Mexico, We All Went on Safari, Hooper Humperdink, and pretty much every other book you can get your hands on.

Favorite Songs: Bushel and a Peck, Downtown, “The Star Song” (Sky Full of Stars), “Belly Baby’s Song (Home), and the “Wagon Wheel Song.”

Our Favorite Things About this Age: You are a funny, funny kid and whether you’re repeating things we said or coming up with your own one liners, you constantly have us in stitches. You are still a snuggle bug and love to curl up in my lap or sit with our arms around you. You adore your baby sister and burst at the chance to teach her something new or console her when she’s upset. My most favorite thing about this age has got to be our bedtime chats though. You are my little best friend and I spend all day looking forward to those 10 minutes we spend together in the dark every night.

Nicknames: Nana, Savs, Banana Face, Banana Bear, Poppy, Mama, Babycakers, Savi, Bugs, Savarina, Baby Girl, and Savi Bear.

My love for you, my darling, consumes me in a way I never thought possible and although I say it all the time, I really mean it: You and your sister represent everything good in the world. Thank you for your sense of humor, kindred spirit, tight little hugs and wet, peanut butter filled kisses.

I adore you.

Love,

Your mama (Mom)

Outtakes:

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Conversations with Savannah

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For the past few months I’ve been keeping track of all of the hilarious one liners and mispronunciations that come out of Savannah’s mouth on a regular basis. The list is long but here are a few highlights. Let’s just say she keeps us in stitches on a regular basis.

– “Isgusting” = Disgusting – This is a staple in Savs’ vocabulary. Everything is considered “isgusting” from watching Lola poop, seeing spilled milk on the counter or the smell of Scarlett’s dirty diapers.

– “It’s a deal” – We’re big on preparing Savannah for what comes next and after we explain the plan to her we always say, “It’s a deal.” Now she does too.

– Any car ride longer than five minutes include loud proclamations from the backseat along the lines of “I’m telling you a question!” meaning “Hey, quit talking to each other and listen to me for a minute.”

– We have a very polite little girl who not only practices her “pleases” and “thank you’s” on a regular basis but is very good at saying “excuse me” before she rudely interrupts every conversation that’s taking place without her.

– Savannah is really into discussing her private parts right now and frequently references “peanuts and vaginas” and “penises and coochies.”

– We use a lot of nicknames in our house and the latest have included “Dadarooskie” and “Mamacita.”

– Whenever anyone makes a mistake like coughing without covering their mouths for instance, Savs will let us off the hook by saying, “That’s alright. You’re just kidding.”

– For some reason she calls “gas” “ice” and every time we pass a gas station she asks if we need to get some “ice.”

– “Aminals” = “Animals”

– “Upslide down” = “Upside down”

– “Caventure” = “Adventure” – We go on a lot of “caventures” sometimes just a trip to Costco can be a “caventure” in her little mind.

– “Itsy itsy spider” – This isn’t such a huge mispronunciation. It’s just really cute how she says it.

– “Hahacaca” = “Helicopter” – Seriously the most adorable thing you’ve ever heard.

– When you ask Savannah to do pretty much anything – hand you a cup of water, take her clothes off for her bath, etc. – you just may be lucky enough to hear her respond with “Of course I can.” (This is all assuming she’s in a good mood of course. If she’s cranky, look the F out.”

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To you, Savannah…at 2 1/2!

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Savs,

You are two and a half years old. How is that actually possible, my sweet girl?

So much has happened in these past six months that I don’t know how I’m going to capture it all here. I’ll do my best but I may have to start writing these letters more frequently.

Let’s discuss your big milestones.

School – You endured a lot of transition these past couple of months. You moved into the Toddler 2 group only to be followed a few weeks later by a big jump to Preschool 1! You handled each transition with incredible ease (your adaptability still amazes us) and while you always miss your teachers and still have to sneak in to say good morning to Miss Denise each day, you’re loving your time in the “big kid” class. You have been with the majority of your peer group since you were all five months old so it’s been really fun to watch you grow together and I can’t wait to tell you stories someday about your first friends – Jacob of course, but also Miles, Shawn and Connor.

Potty Training – You, my dear, are pretty much potty trained. Sure, you still have accidents sometimes – mainly when we forget to remind you to take a break and go to the potty – and you still put up a fight about going poop on the potty at home but all in all you’re doing great. You hand delivered your cloth diapers to Belly Baby’s doorstep the other day and proudly announced that you were done with them. We’re thrilled at this breakthrough and even more pleased that it came without too much fuss or struggle on our part. You were just kind of ready and led us through the process. Hallelujah.

Sleep Training – Sleep, on the other hand, was a slightly different story. You fought us hard on this one and we had about six weeks of pure torture trying to get you out of our bed and into your own room. I could and should write an entire post about our sleep training journey but for now you’ll just have to trust me when I say, it was hell! But we’ve turned a corner and you are pretty much a sleep pro by now. Your bedtime routine is quick and enjoyable – we read three books, you tell us what you’re going to dream about and then you say your prayers, arrange your babies and blankets and we kiss good night. From there, you fidget a bit on your own and rearrange your babies 20 more times but eventually you put yourself right to sleep. If I do your bedtime routine then you always insist that daddy come up and give you the last kiss of the night – it’s pretty sweet. We have a deal that you can come into our room when the sun shines so shortly after 6 am, you come thumping down the hall to crawl in bed with us. Even though you usually wake me up, it’s actually the very best way to start the day.

Verbal Development – You are an articulate little bird and a chatty kathy. You have a huge vocabulary and put together full sentences with the greatest of ease. You still mispronounce words a lot and we never correct you because it’s the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. You are a parrot and pretty much repeat everything that is told to you or said around you (which means we all have to be more mindful of what we say!). Conversations with you crack us up especially when you tell us about your day. You share the funniest anecdotes and always end it with “And how was your day, mommy/daddy? Good?” You’re amazing!

Physical Development – I don’t think there’s anything you can’t do. You run, dance, climb, jump, kick, throw, etc. etc. You’re still a fairly cautious kid but you love challenging yourself and your independence shines through as you regularly announce, “My Do It!” You love to get in and out of your car seat on your own and would even climb in and out of the bathtub if we let you.

Emotional Development – You are growing up right before our eyes and while it makes us so proud, it breaks my heart a little too. I don’t know if you’re subconsciously preparing to be a big sister or if this is normal for your age but you are totally transitioning from a baby/toddler to a little girl. You are very mature when you want to be. You are capable of understanding consequences, sensing emotions, and practicing compassion. But you still like to be “snuggled” and revert to your younger clingier ways when you’re tired or crabby.

You are a stubborn little bird and lately mornings have become the thorn in our side. You do not like being rushed and getting ready for school upsets you every single day. You wake up fine but as soon as we say it’s time to shower or start getting dressed you fall apart on us and from there, each step of the way is a battle. We introduced “Savannah’s Wake Up Chart” complete with a variety of stickers last week and I think that may help us overcome this hurdle. Fingers crossed.

I fought it for as long as possible but we finally introduced TV and you are obsessed. The Frozen Frenzy has officially taken over our house and while I cringe every time you zone out in front of the boob toob, you daddy has reminded me that it makes you so incredibly happy. I’d put up more of a fight if you weren’t at school all day being stimulated in the most artistic and creative ways. I’m still guessing you watch less TV than most kids so for now, you’ve won this battle, Bug!

Your favorite thing to do is go to the beach and all week long you ask us if we can go “next weekend.” We try to make it there at least once a week and you are in absolute heaven the minute you see the ocean. You used to be pretty afraid of the water but you started venturing in with daddy and now you’re a pro. You love to splash and kick and find the waves crashing absolutely hilarious. The only thing about the beach that you don’t like are the birds – after all, you are your mother’s daughter!

You are still a very kind little girl and your sweet spirit almost always shines through when you interact with others. You have your moments and have definitely been scolded for hitting and pushing your friends (and even spitting – what is that about?) but for the most part you’re the first one to jump up and console one of the other kids when they get hurt or upset at school. You love to give hugs and remind everyone that “it’s going to be alright.”

For the most part, you practice that same compassion with Belly Baby. You kiss my belly every day and get real close and whisper secrets to the baby as well. You classmate’s mom brings her infant into the class regularly and she pointed out that you’re always asking to touch the baby and sharing that you have a belly baby coming too. She assured us that you are handling this pending transition way better than her daughter did so that’s a good sign. We’re not kidding ourselves and we know that those first months are going to be hard but I think you’re going to do just fine. In fact, I think you are going to make an incredible big sister!

You are everything good about the world. I say it every time I write a post but you have the most gentle and kind spirit. You know how to have fun, how to laugh hysterically, how to feel sad and mad and also how to empathize with other’s feelings. You are very smart and your memory is astounding. You’re overcoming your shyness and you’re slowly coming out of your shell and greeting strangers with a shy smile or meek “hello.” You are strong-willed, stubborn at times, and pretty independent for a two-year-old. You love your people (including your Lola) with all of your being and get very protective of us. You are a book-reading, puzzle-obsessed, imaginative kid who loves to play pretend.

2 1/2 At A Glance

Weight: 33.5 lbs – 90th percentile

Length: 37.5 inches – 90th percentile

Cool Things You’re Doing: Going potty on the big toilet, sleeping in your big girl bed in your own room every night – all night, putting yourself to sleep unassisted, singing, dancing, “reading” books independently, practicing your “activities,” practicing your compassion and adaptability, exercising your independence and very strong will.

Likes: You love the beach, arts and crafts, puzzles, all books including ours, saying your prayers, being a “clean baby,” FROZEN, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins and Sophia the First, cuddling with and giving kisses to belly baby, your soft baby and soft blanket, burritos, ice cream, granola bars, cottage cheese, berries, and cream cheese (string cheese), dates with poppy, listening to your ocean sounds, the Star song (Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars”), watching the train at Nona and Poppy’s house, seeing your friends at school.

Dislikes: Waking up early and getting ready for school, getting help with anything, when we interfere with your agenda, having your hair brushed.

Favorite Books: The Girl Who Got Out of Bed (or, the “Out the Bed book” as you call it), Brown Bear Brown Bear (you’ve got this one memorized and refer to it as Brown Panda Bear), The Princess of the Potty, Polar Bear Polar Bear, Put Me in the Zoo, The Peace Book, Goodnight Moon, and Who is Jesus

Our Favorite Things About this Age: Pretty much everything that comes out of your mouth (when it isn’t a whine)! You are a funny, funny girl. We love watching you care for soft baby, read books to your stuffed animals, sing songs to yourself and problem solve. Watching you eat is still a favorite pastime. Hearing about and witnessing your incredible compassion for others keeps us in awe. And my all time favorite thing in the world, when you put my arm around you and ask for snuggles.

Nicknames: Nana, Savs, Banana Face, Banana Bear, Poppy, Mama, Babycakers, Savi, Bug, Buggy, Baby Girl, and Savi Bear.

You are my heart of heart and the love of my life. Thank you for teaching us new lessons everyday and for bringing a tremendous amount of joy to our household.

Loving you always,

Your mama

Outtakes:

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Conversations with Savannah

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Savs vocabulary is growing by the minute. In fact, she comes home with new phrases on a daily basis and we are constantly amazed at her unintentional wit and humor. We’ve been practicing new words and some fun names and learned that the more obscure they are the more hilarious her pronunciation. It’s a great way to pass the time.

Here are a few highlights from recent months.

1. Since Lola’s surgery, Savannah stops by her kennel at least once a day to check in on her. The conversation usually goes like this:

Savs: Hi Lola. How you doing today?

Lola: Blank stare (internal thought: Awesome. While you ran around and played all day, I sat here by myself staring at the wall. Will you please go away now?)

Savs: You feel good, Lola?

Lola: Mild glare (internal thought: No, I don’t feel good. I had spine surgery a month ago, you idiot! Will you please go away now?)

Savs: Your ouchie all better, Lola? You resting?

Lola: Pathetic huff (internal thought: Does my ouchie look like it’s all better? And yes, I’m resting because I’m locked in a cage with nowhere to go and nothing else to do but lay here. Will you please go away now?)

2. Whenever I leave for yoga class Savs kisses me goodbye and says, “You go to yogurt now, Mommy? Okay, bye!” It’s hilarious.

3. All departures must include hugs and kisses. Sometimes she forgets one or the other and chases us down the hall yelling “Huggie” or “Kissie!”

4. My all time favorite moment of the day is when we wake up and she rolls over and says, “Goo Mahning, Mommy/Daddy.” Her accent is to die for.

5. Every time we read the Peace Book and get to the page about pizza, she says, “Pizza in the mornin.” I have no idea when she had pizza for breakfast but it obviously left an impression.

5. Other favorites include: gawberries (strawberries), pine apple, backberries, Aacob (Jacob), and NOna

This kid cracks me up!

 

 

 

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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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A glimpse

LCP_4102-1 Savannah’s second birthday is right around the corner so I’m officially breaking the radio silence from the past few months. You can expect to see an update on our girl and all of her wild ways as well as a recap from her little birthday party this weekend.

For now, here’s a sneak peak from last weekend’s family photo shoot. We spent a beautiful morning with our wonderfully talented friend, Leigh Castelli, at the very same spot we took our wedding photos 5 1/2 years ago. Savs was in great spirits and hammed it up for the camera and of course, Leigh worked her magic and made us all look good!

If you’re in Southern California and looking for a wonderful photographer, I highly recommend checking out Leigh’s website – www.leighcastelliphotography.com. She’s great to work with, especially incredible with kids, and sure to capture the most naturally, authentic shots of your family or business.

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