Monday, July 28, 2014

Noel: 2 1/2 Years Old

Dear Noel,

It's been a long time since I wrote you a letter, dearie, so I figured it was high time I sat down and wrote one to you!

First of all, I'm sorry that you don't have all the same cute photos of your third year that Lane has. It's nothing personal. It's not even that you're the second child. It's that we've been in America ever since you turned two and life has just been crazy all around. I really hope to do a better job documenting some of your likes and dislikes and funny things you're doing, but I make no promises. Because honestly, when I have a few minutes to do things like that, most of the time I'd rather spend the time making memories with you than preserving memories. So play time usually wins out. Sorry, sweetie.

Sidewalk chalk! 'Nough said!

But on to the fun stuff. You, my dear, are hilarious. You are so, so verbal and it's absolutely amazing that you can pretty much hold your own in a conversation. You might start your sentence a million times before you find all the exact words you want to use, but you can hold a conversation with anyone. You could probably hold a conversation with a rock as well. But that's neither here nor there. You like to talk. I think you're fighting for attention and expressing yourself so we pay attention to you. Anyways, you say some really funny stuff. Like when we go outside and it's sunny and you want your sunglasses you'll exclaim, "My eyes are hot!" You say "buh-diculous" for ridiculous and "mead" for "need." And one of our favorites is that you ask us to do things with you "for a few whiles." It's like you've confused "a few minutes" with "a little while" and it's just so stinkin' cute. A lot of the time when we ask you a question you answer ambiguously: "Noel, do you want breakfast?" "I fink…" It's rarely yes or no, it's "I fink" or "I fink so." You've started to say, "That hurt my feelings" when you don't like something that someone's said, and just today when I was telling you that you had to eat one bite of spaghetti (you don't like red sauce) you told me, "I don't like those words." Ha! You're a hoot.

You are very, very emotional. You've always been this way, somewhat, but now that you're emotional and two, it makes for a lot of crying around here. You pitch a lot of fits and whine a lot, and you'll burst into tears because you're in trouble, and then five minutes later when you're still crying and I ask you why, you honestly reply, "I don't know!" through all your tears. You are also slow to warm up to people. You don't like crowds of people you don't know, and you don't really like anyone new, no matter how old or young. After you're around someone for awhile and get used to them then you can be best buddies, but until then you will most likely scream and yell, "Mama!" and run from them every chance you get.

You love the carousel!

Lane is your very best friend. You love to play with her, and you girls are actually getting good at playing together. Lane still drives a lot of the action, but you are usually quite happy to play along. Although you also hold your own a lot of the time…you don't let her take toys you're playing with or tell you what to do when you want to do something else. You have a great imagination and can actually be quite bossy when we're playing with you: you know exactly how you want everything to go and if we're playing "wrong" you will correct us. How a second-born child got as bossy as you I have no idea, but I'm glad you're not a pushover like a lot of second-borns are! And you love Raye…you say all the time, "Raye is so cute!" and you love to "pet" her and snuggle her. You can't wait to play with her.

This summer you've been wearing 3T clothes for the most part. You have some 2T things that fit, but mostly you're just wearing all 3Ts. And you're in a size 7 shoe. You were 36 inches tall and 29 pounds at your last doctor's visit (in April). You tell me frequently, "You're my best mommy," to which I reply, "You're my best Noel." Although really, if we have to call it like it is, you're a daddy's girl. You love your daddy and will choose him over me most of the time. I have my moments, but honestly, you prefer him.

You have really enjoyed swimming this summer.

You love to sing. You know all the words to Jesus Loves Me, the Auburn Fight Song, Glory, Glory to Ole Auburn, Auburn's Alma Mater (can you tell that Daddy is starting you young?), Sanctuary, Bless the Lord, and a host of other songs. You love to be read to and currently love our Pete the Cat book. You also love animals, especially any animal that will let you pet them. So you really enjoy petting Mimi and Papa's cat Ty, and any other cat that will have you.

You're a good eater. There are, of course, things you don't like, but you're pretty good about eating a bite or two of them. You've started putting the bite of something you don't like with a bite of something you do like in order to "make it yummy." You like almost all vegetables and most fruits (you're not a fan of cherries or nectarines right now). You love to drink milk and I kind of have to force water into you. You also love juice but you don't get it often, so it's a special treat. You also, of course, love dessert and almost any kind of bread or pasta. And cucumbers. Oh my goodness do you love cucumbers! It's the funniest thing to me just how much you love them!

You colored this in April…you were 2 and maybe 4 months. Impressive, I think.

You're pretty good at coloring and painting and artsy things, although I think you only do them because Lane loves them. If it weren't for her I think you'd just prefer to play most of the time. But we've taught you how to hold a pencil or crayon the right way and you're getting pretty good at staying in the lines. You also are learning how to write your name and can do the O, E, and L with no problems, but connecting the middle line in the N gives you some trouble. But you're doing really well.

You know all your colors, can count to 20 (although we need to work on numbering things while you count them), know all your letters and all basic shapes. You've been potty trained for almost a year now, although you had a lot of accidents up until January or so. You've been sleeping in a big-girl bed since December and you rarely get out of the bed. You still sleep with bunny, blankie, and 'raffie (your giraffe). You hate for me to give you pigtails which is so sad because you're so cute in them. You can put on and take off your pants and undies, and some of your shoes.

Your first time to Florida.

Noel, you're a sweetheart. You're very, very two-years-old these days and pitch lots of fits and demand your own way, but you're also very, very sweet and are fairly compliant and obedient. Every day you get a little more independent and it's fun to watch you grow and develop and learn new things. We are so, so glad you're a part of our family.

I love you,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2 Months Old

Dear Raye,

A week ago you turned two months old. You and I were in Texas visiting one of my good friends, so that's why I didn't write to you then. And since we got back life has just been busy. But lest you think that you are third and therefore never get anything the first two girls get, here we go.

Snoozin' in the bed.

This month you have just become even more sweet than you were before. You are such a good baby. Everyone comments on just how good and easy-going you are. You rarely cry anymore unless you are starving or exhausted. Most of the time when I put you in bed all swaddled up you will just lie there and kick your legs and look at stuff until you fall asleep. You don't cry yourself to sleep unless you're just past the point of no return in the tired department.

Snoozin' at the zoo.

A couple of weeks ago you got your immunizations and you were so, so fussy. It just broke my heart because you're never fussy. You were also weighed and measured and you, my darling, are a chunk. You're up to 23.5 inches long and 12 pounds, 13 ounces. You'd gained 4.5 pounds in seven weeks. We had to pack up your newborn clothes and pull out the 3-month stuff already. Goodness. You also took your first airplane ride(s) and went to your fourth state, Texas. You were a champ on the plane and gave me no problems at all.

In the airport waiting for our flight to DFW.

For awhile you were doing really well sleeping at night, only waking up once around 3 a.m., but recently you've figured out how to work your arms out of your swaddle so it seems that that is the reason you're waking up at around 1, and then around 4, and then around 6. I should just break you of the swaddle but that presents us with another "problem": you've found your thumb and hands, and you like to suck on them. And I'm not up for you being a thumb sucker, so you're staying swaddled until I can get you to like the paci better. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can break you of the thumb and finger-sucking, since I did it with Noel. We shall see. But if you could start sleeping longer at night again I'd really appreciate it.

You usually start out about like this...

And end up about like this.

This month you started cooing at us and smiling a ton. If anyone will talk sweet to you you'll just grin and coo back. Except Noel…the poor girl loves you to death and always wants to "pet" you and talk to you, but she's just a little too loud and in-your-face for your preference…and you usually end up crying when she's trying to kiss on you and hug you and talk to you. But she'll learn. And you'll develop thicker skin. =) This month you also learned how to use your feet to kick the spiders that hang down over your bouncy seat. It's really funny to watch you carefully lift your foot to kick a spider. We're all impressed. And your umbilical cord finally fell off at five weeks, so you've finally gotten some tummy time. You're still not a big fan, and honestly I don't put you on your tummy as often as I should because it means I have to watch you like a hawk so you don't bash your face when your neck gets tired, but hey, we're working on it. And your neck is quite strong when we're holding you upright. So you might not roll over as early as your sisters did, but you'll catch up to them in no time.

Kicking spiders!

Tummy time.

Raye, you are such a sweet, easygoing baby. Everyone in our family loves you and you are such a sweet addition to our other girls. I'm so excited to see you grow and interact with them and figure out your place in our crazy little family.

I love you.