Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Addy: 2.5 years!

Dear Addy,

I have been meaning to write you this letter for a few weeks now (since you technically turned 2.5 almost 2 months ago), but with the move to PA things got a little hectic.  But now we've been here for a few weeks and we are starting to really settle in and make PA our home.  In fact, today is the first day of your second year of preschool!  In a matter of minutes you and your sister will wake up for the day, and I will make you pancakes to celebrate your first day of school (just like I did last year, and hopefully will continue to do for years to come).

I can't believe we are about to start your second year already!  It seriously feels like yesterday that you started at the YMCA preschool in NC.  You were so excited to see the geese that morning in the parking lot, ha ha!  Your backpack was as big as you were and it almost tipped you backwards when you wore it.  You did really well on that first day and you were so very excited for school.

First Day of Preschool ever!  9/11/12

First day of second year of preschool! 9/10/13

This year, your sentiments are very similar to last year.  You have a bit more hair than you did back then, and your vocabulary has grown by 1000%, but you are that same excited toddler!  You are so excited to "meet new friends".   One of my greatest joys is relishing in your excitement over life.  It is truly amazing :)  And I believe that we picked the perfect time to move, because you are too young to really "miss" people yet.  When we talked about preschool the first time you mentioned Marshall and Brandon, some of your classmates back in NC.  I told you that they weren't going to be in this school.  It was a new school and you were going to meet new friends.  Your face lit up, and you clapped your hands and cheered "New friends!!!"  And you never looked back.  It makes me sad to think that you will grow up and won't remember living in NC.  But at the same time, that is for the best.  PA is your home now, and it will be all you ever know :)

So Addy, my little chatterbox, what can I say about you as a 2.5 year old?  One of the first things that people always comment on is your outstanding vocabulary.  People are constantly asking me, "Are you sure she's only 2?"  You are speaking clearly and in full sentences, and have been for months.  Almost everyone that meets you is astonished by how well you speak and articulate what you want.

It's also so amazing to me the things that you retain.  Getting to witness you learning is so much fun.  The other day for example the neighbor kids were running down the sidewalk and you cupped your hands around your mouth and yelled, "No running on the concrete!!!  You might fall and get a boo boo!!!!"  You used the word concrete and everything.  You never cease to amaze me little lady.

Along those same lines, you are smart as a whip.  Too smart for your own good sometimes.  We knew how bright you were from early on, and I remember Pap telling Daddy and I way back when you were a baby that we were going to have our hands full with you.  And boy is that the truth.  You have a mind of your own and already you are having very distinct opinions on outfits, shoes, etc...

You push the limits at every opportunity to see what you can get away with.  Remaining consistent with you is one of the hardest things to do, but it is so very important, especially right now when you are learning all about how the world works.  But you are already trying to bargain with us on a daily basis, and you bat your eyes and say please like an old pro.  I have to laugh and shake my head at how good you are at this game already.  In general, you are an excellent kid, but like any other, you can throw a tantrum with the best of them and you spend your fair share of time in time out.  But then you apologize and we do our best to move on.

And of course your energy seems endless.  If I had a nickel for every time you said, "Mommy let's run!"  or "Mommy, let's jump!", I'd be a rich lady!  You love to play outside, but especially with older kids.  You are much more interested in the 5-7 year old age group than you are your own.  I think you see yourself as their age....seriously!  You loved Sophie and Jenna, our neighbors in NC, and now you love Maggie, the 5 year-old that lives next door to Aunt Tina and Uncle Jay.

We potty trained you about 3 months ago and it has been going very well.  It wasn't all that tough once we realized we needed to wait until you were ready.  Every morning I would ask you if you wanted underwear or a diaper and every day you said, "diaper", until one day you loudly exclaimed "Undies!!!"  I have to admit that I was surprised, as that question was just part of our morning routine and I often didn't even realize I was asking it.  But that fateful Monday in June was when the potty training officially began.
(Don't mind that the underwear says Friday...I'm sure it was our third or fourth pair of the day by that point.  It was summer, so we ended up spending a lot of time outside to lessen the cleanup.)

We went with the method of putting you in underwear, giving you as much juice to drink as you wanted (which was A LOT, because you never have juice), and taking potty breaks every 30 minutes.  It was a full three days without leaving the house, but that was about all that it took.  You were a champ.  Of course, you still had accidents after that (especially with poop unfortunately), but you got the concept.  And now you have an accident here and there, but they are becoming less and less frequent.  Maybe one every few weeks.  You still wear a diaper to bed, but 4 out of 5 times you wake up dry, it's just our hesitation to take that next step of wearing underwear all night.  You wear underwear for every nap and haven't had an accident in a long time, but there is a big difference between two hours and twelve.

You went to the doctor about 2 months ago for your well checkup and here are your stats:
Weight: 31.75 lbs (85th percentile)
Height: 37.25 inches (85th percentile)
Head Circumference: 49.5 cm (85th percentile)

You are a very healthy, happy little girl, and your laughter is contagious.  You love to sing and dance, and your current favorite tune to belt out is Farajaka.  You always seem be smiling and laughing...until the camera comes out.  Then we are hard pressed to get anything other than this lovely squinty-eyed, head tilted, fake smile from you....
This is you this morning before your first day of Two Year Old Preschool.  Don't worry, I kept snapping away until we got a good shot....

Another standout characteristic of yours is that you are extremely empathetic.  Your teachers last year commented on it and now your teachers this year did too, after only the first day!  They said that when other kids were crying you were the first to go over to them and give them a toy to help them feel better.  You have such a sweet heart and I adore that about you :)

Now, things aren't all wine and roses with you these days.  Toddler hood is no joke, and this age is dubbed the "Terrible Twos" for a reason.  You try my patience every.single. day.  Sometimes I wonder how we'll even make it until the end of the day.  Especially come that magical 6:00 hour.  You are so tired from the day that your most epic meltdowns usually occur around dinnertime.  Sleep is your friend, and if you get enough of it our days go a lot smoother.  But if you are up early (before 7AM) or don't nap well (or at all) then look out...Hurricane Addy will be plowing through the house!  You still take one afternoon nap per day but an hour is about all that I can hope for.  That is typically how long you sleep.  Sometimes, if you give me a heavenly 2 hours or so, it seems to directly correlate with a better afternoon mood... for both of us ;) Whereas, if you are in your crib and don't sleep at all.... well, you can guess what those afternoons are often like ;)

Speaking of cribs, yes you are over 2.5 years old and still in a crib.  Some say that is too old for a crib and in certain situations I would a agree.  However, you like your crib and you never try to climb out.  And being that we now are living in Tina and Jay's house and your room is in the basement, a full two floors below Daddy and I, I would feel very uncomfortable with you in a bed, knowing that you might be wandering around down there getting into who knows what at all hours of the night.  It is safer for you to remain in a crib until we move and Daddy and I are sleeping within a closer proximity to you.  Plus, there has been a lot of change over the past month, and your crib provides comfort to you amidst all of that change.  It's something familiar, and we're going to stick with it for now.

Thinking about everything that has been going on for you lately makes me realize that you handle change amazingly well.  Now, it may be your age, but you just seem to roll with whatever is going on.  You have slept in so many different places in the past month: NC, Tina's, Pittsburgh, Pop's cabin, Grandma's, and Pap and Grandma's.  And you are fine wherever you are.

In fact, you seem to thrive in new places.  No one would ever call you shy.  Outgoing is another perfect word to describe you.  You are your Daddy's daughter in that you find friends wherever you go.  You never hesitate to go right up to new people, introduce yourself and ask them if they want to play with you.  There is something so precious about that childlike innocence, thinking that everyone that smiles at you is your friend.

You are so much fun and I want to include a little glimpse of you from the past six months, so here we go!

Here you are on your second birthday!!!

February: Off to school!

February: Please Touch Museum

March: First attempt at pigtails!

March:  Marshall's Easter Egg Hunt!

March: Excited to play outside!

April: Hittin' up the mall :)

April: Rock star in the making!

April: You were all about the sunglasses this month!

May: Strawberry picking!

May: Enjoying the North Carolina summer :)

May: Last day of "Transitional Two's" preschool!

May: Watching the neighborhood Memorial Day parade! 
 (To this day, you still remember my "parade outfit", which consisted of a red tee-shirt and jean shorts.  Every time I wear that tee-shirt you remind me that it is my parade outfit.  Ha ha!)

June: Pool time!

June: Excited for summer camp!

June: Dress up :)

July: Cheering for Daddy's softball team!

July: Swinging!

August: Summer fun at Grandma's house :)

August: Getting ready for our last play date before the big move!

August: Football season has begun!

September: Back to School!

So there you were over the past 8 months :)  Looking back at these pictures is so much fun because it reminds me of all of the wonderful times we've had so far, and makes me excited for a lifetime of memories yet to be made!

I absolutely adore you Addy, and even on our toughest days, I wouldn't trade this life for anything.  You are a smart, funny, compassionate little girl and you are beautiful inside and out.  I love you forever and for always!



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