June 12 to July 12, 2015Em,
Man, nineteen months is almost twenty months which is almost twenty-four months which is two years old and holy crap, am I not ready to have a two-year-old. Right now, I can still call you "my baby," and talk about "the baby," and reference having "a baby"....but when you turn two, that pretty much goes out the window and I'm stuck with a toddler. Not that toddlers aren't great (they are, so much) but babies are....well, babies. I don't know, I'm stuck in some sentimental time warp and I just want my baby to stay a baby, okay?
Despite my wishes, though, you are getting bigger and growing and learning things and fully acting like a toddler. I've talked before about how you want NOTHING MORE IN LIFE than to be a big kid like your big sister. You mimic everything she does, which is equally amusing and frustrating for her. (I can relate, Carys, I was the big sister, too.) But as she keeps telling me, "Emmeline just loves me so much, mom. She just wants to be like me!" You're two peas in a pod and I love love love the relationship you two have.
You're kind of a little hoarder and will carry around and cling to a dozen different things at any given time, but you have four distinct favorites: 1. A baby doll that your great-grandma gave you, 2. Your magnadoodle, 3. Carys's baby rabbit Calico Critter and the cradle it sleeps in, and 4. a bedtime book.
You put the baby doll to bed, feed it, share your sippy cup with it, put the paci in and out of its mouth (ugh pacis are a whole 'nother issue around here), rock it, and love on it all day long. The magnadoodle is your favorite activity - maybe even more so than caring for the dolls (although you often have both the magnadoodle and a doll at the same time). Last night, you wouldn't let go of it for bedtime, so I let you lay down with it* and I heard you scribbling away for a good 20 minutes. Scribble, erase, scribble, erase, scribble, erase. The Calico Critter baby rabbit is teeeeeeeny tiny but dang, do you love holding that thing and putting it to sleep in the cradle over and over again. The white doll is literally gray from you holding it (and chewing on it...ahem) all the time. And the book is a photo essay about getting ready for bed that ends with a picture of a baby sleeping...you leave it open to that page and pat the baby's back and say, "Shhhhh!" and "Ni-ni!" It's your favorite book, by far.
*Don't worry, the string is way too short to cause any issues and I grabbed it after you fell asleep
You love to read books, color pictures, swing on the swing, and take walks. You love swim class and dancing in the cart while grocery shopping. You really love "helping" me do dishes and put away laundry. You love taking baths and you love unrolling the toilet paper (weren't you supposed to grow out of that??). You also love peek-a-boo, which is so funny because you had zero interest in it when you were a small baby - you were like, "Yeah, I see you behind those fingers....is this supposed to be funny?" But now you want us to play all the time. You also will hide in the closet behind the clothes and pop out as soon as you hear me ask, "Where's Emmeline?" and then laugh uproariously.
What don't you like? EATING. Kid, you don't eat. I honestly am not sure how you're surviving and thriving. You nurse. Maybe that's all the sustenance you're taking in. But you literally eat like five things. Bananas. Crackers. Pasta. Goldfish. Cheese. Sometimes. And when you do eat any of those things, it's maybe two bites and then you're pushing it away and signing, "all done." You don't eat grapes or berries or any other fruit. WHAT KID DOES NOT EAT FRUIT????? You sometimes eat peas if they're mixed with something else. I do not understand this. How are you not starving all the time???? The only things you'll always eat are frozen yogurt (actual yogurt, not the ice cream) push-ups and ice cream and popsicles. Yes, you love your frozen sweets. BUT CHILD YOU CANNOT SURVIVE ON THEM. EAT PLEASE. PLEASE.
Your hair is staying a little lighter than Carys's (like either a dark blonde or a light brown??), and is curlier than hers was at your age. Seriously, I cannot get enough of those curls. Your eyes are starting to turn a little hazel, I think. I'm guessing they'll be similar to what Carys's are - a gray/green/blue/brown mix that changes with the light and with what you're wearing. Your dimples are THE BEST. And your smile might possibly be the cause of global warming; it's that sunny. We still haven't had your 18 month appointment yet...WHOOPS...so I'm not exactly sure how tall/big you are, but you're wearing a mixture of 12-18, 18-24/24, and 2T clothes.
As a result of playing with your big sister's toys and eschewing your own, you have pretty amazing dexterity and motor control - you can put together pretty tiny toys and manipulate small items with ease. You can complete simple wooden puzzles and spear peas with a fork and peel off stickers the size of your pinky nail. And then cover all available surfaces in those stickers.
We went to two weddings (where you ate way too much cake and where you wore a koozie on your foot like a sock at one), we went to lunch with your great-grandparents at Mahoney State park and stayed to paint ceramics (which you loved), we went to dad's work family picnic at FunPlex (you did not want to get out of that tube!!), we went to the zoo a few times (and I took you both on Skyfari, which you were totally blase about), we celebrated the fourth of July (you loved throwing those poppers on the ground, and fireworks didn't phase you in the slightest), celebrated Carys's fourth birthday (again with too much cake!), went to Junkstock (where you stole my strawberry lemonade), went to the Children's Museum (you love that playhouse so much), and went on about 100 walks to the park (where you insist on swinging the entire time). You got to see relatives you haven't seen in a long time: your aunt Kimberly, my aunt Mary Jo, and your dad's aunt Nancy and his cousin Marisa.
At Junkstock and a wedding
Riding Skyfari and at the zoo
At Ana and Jacob's wedding, snagging some cake during the cake cutting
Fourth of July
Painting at Mahoney
We went to an allergist about some hives that you've been having, and don't really have any answers. The blood test came back negative, but they explained that there could be a million reasons for a negative result even if you are allergic to something, so if you are allergic to something, we don't know to what yet. However, your liver enzymes did come back elevated...twice...so we're waiting to get in to a gastroenterologist to see what they say about that (the appointment isn't until September). I'm not too worried since the levels weren't off enough for them to send us panicking to the ER or anything, and you're a pretty healthy kid, growing and developing pretty much on schedule, so if something is wrong, I'm sure it's minor. (KNOCK ON WOOD) I'm refraining from Dr. Google for now, lest I convince myself it's Liver AIDS or stomach cancer or something.
Oh. And I almost forgot. YOUR TEMPER. Lord almighty, do you have a temper, girl. It's so funny...and a bit alarming in terms of what it means for me in the future (what will you be like at 16??). When you get mad, you react immediately at level 100. You go straight to throwing the offending item or pulling hair or grabbing, and it's hilarious/frightening because you do it with a totally straight face. Luckily, only your rage is large. The time frame is not and you're over it within a few minutes. Your actual tantrums are pretty rare and short-lived, thankfully.
Love you so,
(P.S. Sorry, Carys, about this picture of you...but this isn't your letter, and Emmeline looks cute, so I guess it's more sorry not sorry.)