Has it already been two years since I saw my daughter’s face for the very first time? I can hardly believe it.
She is becoming more and more her own person. Precise, focused, determined, and feisty are just a few adjectives that come to mind. She is a tall little thing, and often gets mistaken for a three-year-old. She has a very serious personality, with an incredibly silly side she only shows those closest to her. Not only is she shy, but she is modest too; often pulling down her shirt if her belly button shows to make sure she’s all covered up. The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree, as both my husband and I are that way.
Whenever we transition out of an activity, she’ll make sure to wave and say, “bye bye” to whatever we’re doing. For instance, she has this ABC puzzle matching game she loves to play with, but if I pull her away from it, she’ll say, “bye bye ABC’s”.
I asked, “Where’s the Letter P?”
She’s always observing; taking in her surroundings before she acts. She is meticulous, and really clean for a two-year old. Two going on Thirty? She loves to take out all our tupperware, then put them back exactly where they belong. She enjoys “cleaning” – you’ll often find her with a towel in hand, scrubbing the floors or wiping that smidgen of dirt off her blue bear’s face. By no means does this mean our house is in spic-n-span condition – it still looks like a tornado (named Noelle) came through. She also has a nurturing and compassionate side, often kissing the “boo boo’s” away for mommy, daddy, and her myriad of stuffed animals.
She is obsessed with numbers, letters, and colors. With her ABC’s, if you tell her to find a random letter in the alphabet, she will tell you without fail – she knows them all. She can count to eleven, but go past that and she redirects us back to 1. As for colors, she has her say with those too, often picking out what color cloth diaper she wants to wear – purple and blue are her favorites. My husband loves to whisper to me that “our daughter is a genius”, and said the other day, “she has a photographic memory!” – but I just laugh it off and shake my head, knowing he’s just being a proud daddy. Aren’t all parents this way?
She talks quite a bit, and if we don’t understand her the first time she usually finds a creative way to get her point across. She is a girl who knows what she wants, and more importantly, knows how to get what she wants. I lost track of her word count long ago, but she can string about 4-5 words together, with most of her “sentences” consisting of 4-5 syllables. Some common phrases include: “I eat cwan-bewwies” [cranberries], “ducky change shirt too” (when I’m changing her in the morning), “I help clean”. And most recently, “I love you, Mommy” – Heart. Melting. I love you too, Noellie Belly.
She loves to sing, and makes sure we always close out her bedtime routine with Jesus Loves Me. She also reminds us that we need to pray for Danielle, Tanya, Holly, and Ben (her friends at school), and says the “a-men!” with much conviction.
She’s still wary of strange adults, but is slowly getting better – it takes her about 30 min to warm up now, much improved from an hour or more. She’s still anti-men, except her daddy, whom she adores.
However, she loves being around other children and will often follow the bigger kids around the playground, trying to do what they do. She toddles around with her bag of dried cranberries and offers to share with whoever will take them. She also got her first kiss this past December, at the horror of my overprotective husband!
When she needs help, and she often does… she will say, “daddy help you”. She really means “me”, but she doesn’t quite have a handle on proper pronoun usage yet. She does know her possessives though. She has yet to utter her own name, but uses the word, “my” pretty regularly (e.g. “my bear”, “my water”). I’ve also been trying to teach her her age – “you’re TWO YEARS OLD now, Noelle!”, and so far all I’ve gotten are blank stares in return.
Her birth, her life, changed our lives. I wonder what the next few years will bring as she makes the transition from only child to big sister, and we become a family of four.
“Mommy and Daddy love you, Noellie Belly”. I say it while kissing her forehead, nose, cheeks, hands. I hold her close, committing her baby smells to memory. I never want her to doubt our overwhelming, overflowing love for her; thinking if I tell her enough and show her enough… she will somehow retain these memories in her subconscious.
Noelle – you will forever be our first, and you are uniquely, perfectly, beautifully made. Happy 2 years, sweet baby.
Celebrating a low-key birthday over brunch
Note: I wrote two versions of this post, this one felt more personal so I chose to use it here and rewrote another for Hellobee. If you want a breakdown of her milestones and schedule it can be found on Hellobee.