Monday, July 7, 2014

Lily Grace is 2!

Dear Lily,

Last year your birthday was bittersweet. We were halfway around the world, missing you and wishing that we could celebrate with you. But we were thankful that it was the only birthday we would be missing out on. We sent you a cake and some gifts, and received this picture that still makes me smile. 

Last year when I saw it I thought that maybe you were upset because you were shy and didn't like the attention or maybe the massive amounts of flames scared you. Now that I know you, I am pretty sure that the reason you are crying is because someone told you that you couldn't have the cake yet. 

Now this year on your second birthday you seem a world away from that girl. And I suppose you are. It has been so much fun watching you grow and change over the last seven months. Not only do you have a lot more hair that hangs in your eyes unless I put it on a pony on top of your head, but you have an even more beautiful smile, a twinkle in your eyes, and a cute little tan. 

The tan can be partly attributed to all the swimming you have been doing lately. You LOVE the water! You have absolutely no fear and will literally walk right in. At least you have learned to wait until I put your floaties on and ask permission before taking a dive now. Most of the time you just float around the pool, but you also love to jump in (especially with your big brother), be thrown in the air, and stick your face in. And you don't just love water in the pool, you love it in any form! The first thing you do when you get in the bathtub is fill up a cup with water and dump it on your head. Then you splash like crazy, lie down like you are floating, and flip over and pretend to swim. Recently you even stuck your head in a bucket of water repeatedly!

As much as you love the water, I think that your absolute favorite thing is food. I'm pretty sure that you would eat all day long if I let you! While you have yet to meet a food that you didn't like, your favorite foods are rice, raisins, graham crackers, mandarin oranges, and yogurt. You actually feed yourself with utensils remarkably well, although you prefer to use your hands. It is pretty difficult to eat around you though. No matter what food you have in front of you, you want what everyone else has. Even if it's exactly the same, you seem to think that the grass is always greener on someone else's plate! 

I definitely think that you have a gift for and love of music. Any time you hear music you start dancing, which is super cute! My favorite is when you are eating and do your little happy dance moving back and forth in your seat because you like your food. Most of your dancing is swaying back and forth, but sometimes when you really get into it you move your arms up and down. The ice song from Frozen gets you dancing like that every time! You also enjoy singing along to the entire Frozen soundtrack. Not with words, but with a cute little humming sound that may not be in tune but definitely changes pitch. And you have started singing along with the little lullaby that I've been singing to you ever since we came back from China. Songs with motions of course hold a special place in your heart as well. Row Your Boat, The Wheels on the Bus, and Itsy Bitsy Spider are the most popular with you. Now you even ask for Row Row by name!

Ever since your palate surgery you have been saying new words every day! You say "na" for snack, "wa wa" for water, hot, out, off, help, up, Mama, Daddy, ball, bowl, bow, boat, bath, woof woof, meow, car, and I think there are more but I can't remember what they are right now. This is of course in addition to all of the signs you learned from watching Baby Signing Time. 

You are inquisitive, adventurous, brave, determined, independent, mischevious, and busy! I feel like I turn around for one second and there you are on top of the table with scissors, or removing the back off the remote taking out the batteries, or trying to balance on top of something. You also try to do everything that your brother and sister do, and you don't realize that you are much smaller and younger than they are! When you see something you want you go after it. You definitely have no qualms about leaving my side, and I have to work hard to keep tabs on you! I've been amazed at how brave you've been through all of your hospital visits and surgeries. I was most impressed when you had to have an entire vial of blood taken and you didn't even flinch. You just watched the nurses with this look of "what's the big deal?".

While you definitely love your Daddy and run to him when he gets home, you are still a Mommy's girl, especially when you are in unfamiliar settings. You love to sit on my lap and snuggle with me. And you definitely still get jealous when I hold or snuggle with Caroline. I love listening to you laugh and seeing your scrunchy nosed smile. I love watching you entertain us. I love watching you copy and play with your older brother and sister. I love watching you learn and grow into our family more every day. And I love that I got to spend your second birthday celebrating the precious gift that you are. I love you Lily Grace!



haley said...

lily- you are such a beautiful little girl and obviously bring joy to your family. happy birthday sweet girl!
hugs, haley long14523

Andre Miller said...

Great post! Happy Birthday Lily