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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Letters to Carrots : Month Twenty-Three

May 7 - June 7, 2013
Dear Carys,

This month was SO FUN. We had a busy month, and you are just speeding through milestones. You're taller and smarter and your hair is longer and you talk more and understand more and are funnier and it seriously blows my mind ever day what a big (little) girl you are becoming.

What do you love right now?  If we did your second birthday party based on your favorite things, it'd probably be "Motorcycles, Lawnmowers, and Babies" themed. If you hear a motorcycle or a lawnmower starting up outside the house, you'll immediately stop what you're doing and call out, "Motorcycle!!!" and run to the window or door to see it. And you can tell the difference between the sounds the two make, which is better than I can do half the time. We've quite literally sat outside on the porch for an hour watching the neighbor mow his lawn. I have NO idea why this is so interesting to you. Motorcycles, I get. They're fast and slick and cool. But lawnmowers? That's kind of weird, kid.

And of course, you still adore your babies,  and often can be found carrying one or two or more of them around, taking turns feeding them and changing their diapers and covering them up...and, of course, holding them up to see the lawnmowers and motorcycles. 

What else? Worms and bugs. You'll dig in the garden or look in rocks and under sticks for any bugs you can find. You carried around two worms for probably close to an hour yesterday before I finally pried their poor (probably dead) bodies from your hands. You want to pet and hold and feed every animal that we see - birds, rabbits, dogs, zoo animals, anything. There's a nest of baby birds outside our house and you ask me to pick you up to see them a dozen times a day, and you always tell them "hi" and "bye" and "night night."

You still love to color and paint, which of course, the artistic side of me LOVES. We got a wooden easel from Craigslist for cheap and your eyes just light up when I get it out. Of course, the dry erase marker side is your favorite side, and of course, those markers do NOT come out of clothes, so I have to hide the markers and only bring them out when you're fully prepped for the experience (read: no shirt and/or bib). And it's not just paper - you love painting anything. You even helped me paint the trim of the house, and completely on your own picked up the sandpaper and started sanding different parts of the wood on the house.

We've reached the "I do it!" stage, where you want to do everything on your own. And ok, you've been in this stage for a bit now, but it's something new every day. Climb into the car and your car seat on your own (which is saying a lot, since I drive a Tahoe where the carseat is sitting at a level three times your height), buckle the seat on your own (this is actually old news, as you've been obsessed with buckles for the last year), get yourself dressed and undressed (also not new, but the absolute insistence on doing it completely on your own with zero help and yelling "no!!!" if I so much as touch the fabric is new), pour the milk yourself (!!!!!), cook your food yourself (!!!!!!!!!!!!), get up yourself, get down yourself, just LET ME LIVE MY OWN LIFE, MOM.

However, despite the roaring independence, we've somehow also reached a second clingy stage (please tell me this is a stage) where if I am getting up or moving away from you, you literally jump on me and wrap your arms around my neck and say, "Hold me, mommy!" Getting breakfast? HOLD ME! Going to the bathroom? HOLD ME! Doing laundry? HOLD ME! You passed through the other clingy stages fairly quickly, so hopefully this one passes in the same vein, but dear lord it can be annoying.  How it is possible to want to do everything on your own yet want me to hold you at the same time is a mystery only the toddler mind can unravel.

You talk and sing non-stop, and I can usually recognize the songs you're singing by now. You know most of the ABC's and, while you can only count to two or three completely on your own, if I am counting you usually know what number comes next. You can actually count to two and love counting things with me. You also know most of your colors (your favorite is still yellow). We're slowly working on recognizing the letters and numbers in writing, but that's still a work in progress.

The movement never stops; you constantly are spinning or dancing or running "so fast mommy!" You can jump with both feet off the ground (barely!). You still climb everything, although you STILL haven't climbed out of your crib. You love to swing and go down tornado slides. I love seeing you at the park with older kids, because you follow them around and want to do whatever activity they're doing, and usually by the time we're ready to leave, you're hand-in-hand with them as you run around the playground.

This month marked the end of an era year-and-a-half long era. You graduated from the baby swim class (where I was in the water with you) to the toddler swim class (where you swim by yourself and I watch from the other side of a window).  It's insane to think that you've been swimming for over a year now. The transition usually happens after age two, but since you've been in class so long, they went ahead and did it this session, since you'll turn two in the middle of it. You're in class with Taylor and Annie, who have been in class with you since the start. The three of you are impossibly cute during class, sitting on the steps and kicking your feet until it's your turn to swim, and jumping to Miss Kerri when she calls you.

Kimberly and John went with you and I to a Renaissance Faire, where you picked out yellow butterfly wings and ate your way through the booths. You loved the miniature horses and stood on the fence rails, leaning over and singing to them. We saw a jousting exhibition, and it really stayed with you - you went home and told daddy about the horses and the owies and the BOOM! You wanted to look at the pictures over and over.

Your Nana came back for the summer in the middle of May, so we've been trying to cram nine months worth of quality time into these next few months, and see her as often as possible. I don't want you to forget how much she loves you or how much fun she is when she leaves for the school year in the fall - and I want to spend as much time with her for my own selfish reasons, too...like, she's my mom and I love her.

As part of our Nana-fest, she and Kimber and I took you up to Brownville for the world's largest garage sale, and you were SUPPOSED to sleep in the car, but apparently two-year-olds don't necessarily follow what they are SUPPOSED to do, because you did not. Instead you were just a grumpass the whole time we were driving. Once we got there, you were interested enough in the surroundings (and I kept you well-fed) that you were fine while we were there (but you did completely and totally crash on the way home).  There were miniature horses there to ride, and I was sure you'd want to, but you couldn't make up your mind. I'd get you near, and you'd pet them, then if I tried to sit you on one you'd turn away and grab me. If I walked away, you'd cry out that you wanted to ride. Finally, after literally a dozen back-and-forth maneuvers I gave up and left, and then you just started sobbing for the horses and that you wanted to sit on one. Toddlers. Make up your mind, already!

We had a big family picnic at Carol's for Memorial Day with Nana and all her side of the family, and you "played" kickball with the older kids and ate super spicy chips (and loved them) and about 100 pieces of watermelon and let Bella the dog lick your face....and then you licked her face.  The picnic is also where you got to be a star by being the one to make the big announcement that you're going to be a big sister this winter. You have no idea what it all means, but if I ask you what's in my tummy, you'll answer, "Baby!" I think you're going to be completely amazing as a big sister, although I do think I'm going to have to fight you to take care of the baby (this is 100% payback for me monopolizing my little sister when she was born and making my mom fight me to even hold her).

We celebrated Mother's Day, and you painted pictures for Nana and Grandma, helped me assemble them, and were SO excited to give the pictures to them. Daddy helped you make me some bacon and eggs, and you carried the plate and a card into the bedroom and were so unbelievably proud of yourself; you could not stop smiling and saying, "Yay, mommy!" all morning.

Daddy and I went to your first circus, and holy cow, were you ever enthralled. You watched the opening act with rapt attention, and cheered and clapped throughout the show. Your favorite part by far were the elephants, and you loved the girl flying out of the cannon too. You got a bit antsy during some slower parts at the end of the first act, but I took you out during intermission to run around, and you rallied for the second half. You had your first sno-cone AND first cotton candy - I'm either the best mom ever or the worst mom ever. Or the best worst mom. You still love to talk about it and routinely ask to watch circus videos on YouTube.

A few quick things I want to remember about this month:

- Yasmine taught you to "snap" and make kissy sounds to call her cats, and you now think that's an appropriate way to get anyone's attention, feline or not.
- You're still doing your hilarious whisper-answers to questions.
- You say, "Listen!" and put your finger up to your ear, which you learned at school.
- You still pretend to be a dog and woof at me and crawl around the floor.
- You absolutely refuse to let me be on the phone or computer or watch TV if I'm around you (all of which I really shouldn't be doing). You'll take the phone away from me and say, "No more phone, mommy!" 
- You want to be outside all day, every day.
- Bike rides - you LOVE them and we have gone several times. You love to wear your helmet and "steer" the bike.
- You love giving nose kisses and eyelash kisses, and when you do eyelash kisses you'll take my face in your hands and delicately bring my face to yours. Then repeat on the other side. Always do both eyes!
- Our "hundred kisses" routine that we do before bed.
- Sleeping with the giant teddy bear (THIS IS SO CREEPY.) 
-You love to help me clean. I got you a big squirt bottle of water and a sponge and let you go to town, and I don't think an inch of the house, inside or outside, was spared your cleansing efforts.
- And pretty much everything else that has happened with you in the whole history of ever.  Seriously, I wish once you became a mother you also suddenly became the proud owner of a perfect and never-ending memory to remember every smile and giggle and word and yes, even cry.

I want to remember it all, because it's all so amazing. Even the bad days usually leave me smiling, because it was a bad day spent with you.

And maybe a glass of wine.

Except not, because I'm pregnant. A bad day WISHING for a glass of wine, then. A glass of wine and a nap, because holy cow this age is exhausting.  So fun, but so tiring!

Carys, you are such a ray of sunshine in our lives, and I'm so incredibly excited that we get to share you with another little love in a few months - I know you're going to be a ray of sunshine in your brother or sister's life as well. You're bright, funny, silly, and wonderful. And, of course, absolutely beautiful. I love you so. so. so. sosososososososososo. SO. much.

Love forever and always times a million,

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