Keeping Us All Entertained

Ever since the snow started falling ten days ago, we have had to get creative on how to keep ourselves entertained. Luckily we have a two year old with lots of energy and an endless supply of Ana-isms to keep us laughing. Since not all of you are as fortunate, I wanted to share two videos we made this morning. Enjoy!

Can you keep up with her train of thought? It’s sometimes tricky even for me and I live it 24/7! And at the end when she got dizzy? She said, “I’m not gonna fall!” I think she was trying to convince herself more than us. Oh man. We are always laughing around here. Here is the other more seasonally appropriate video:

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are all safe, warm, and entertained.

Two Year Doctors Appointment

Ana had her two-year doctors appointment yesterday. Here are her stats from the appt:

Height: 34 1/2″ (70th percentile)
Weight: 24 lbs 6 oz (20th percentile)

Ana had a great time at the doctors office yesterday because she didn’t have any shots at this appointment and still got to pick out a sticker! We came in a couple weeks ago to get her flu shot and they gave her the Hep A vaccination at that time as well. Since we were going to be taking Ana abroad they thought it was better to be safe than sorry.

During the check-up the doctor was chatting away with Ana, secretly testing her yet also distracting her from the examination, asking her questions (body parts, colors, animal noises, etc.) and she was firing off the answers (correctly, of course!) without even batting an eye. The doc was thoroughly impressed. He even tried to slip one over on Ana but she called him out on it and said, “Noooo. That not blue. That PURPLE.” He kept raising his eyebrows at us and we would just nod at him as if to say, “Yeah. We know.” Finally when the appointment was over and he was walking us out he said, “I don’t know what she is going to do, but she is going to be amazing at it.” I have never been more proud of Ana as I was at that moment. And the thing is, he is totally right.

A Letter: Twenty-Four Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn twenty-four months old. It’s hard to imagine it, but two years ago today I was sitting on the edge of my bed, hunched over my giant belly, trying to paint my toenails through labor contractions because I did not want to give birth to my daughter and not have the decency to try and look presentable. While I was concerned with my appearance, your father was frantically running around the house making sure all our electronics (phones, camera, video camera) were all charged so he wouldn’t miss a single thing about the day you were born. Funnily enough I don’t think there is a single shot of my perfectly painted toes. Oh well, you can’t blame a girl for trying.

I know I have been saying this to you all along, but this month your personality really exploded. You have started doing things I didn’t expect for months or even years! The one that first comes to mind is that you have started asking “why?” to everything I tell you. Regardless of what I say, your response the majority of the time is “why?” I wasn’t expecting this phase for at least a year, so way to catch me off guard on that one! The hilarious thing is that if I don’t answer quickly enough you answer, “because!”

Like any child your age, you can be a little demanding and bossy, but more often than not you are incredibly supportive and enthusiastic. You are always encouraging me and saying, “It ok, Mama, it ok.” Or when I tell you about our planned outings or activities for the day you are constantly telling me, “that be fun!” Often you even follow it up by putting your tiny hand up in the air and shouting, “high five!” And nothing melts my heart more than when you are sitting on my lap and reach your hand up to reassuringly pat me on the cheek.

But your mothering instincts don’t stop at being my own personal cheerleader. You are always trying to take care of everyone around you. The other day I was in the kitchen and I kept hearing you say, “I get off all the poopies.” Assuming you were just recalling your most recent diaper change, I didn’t think anything of it. Then after hearing you say this over and over a few more times, I peeked around the corner into the living room to see you had emptied the better part of a box of baby wipes “cleaning” your baby doll’s bottom. There you go again, always being a little mother!

Aside from developmental milestones, the big news this month is that you are now an international traveler! Your Daddy was asked to speak at a conference in Milan, Italy and he invited us to come along with him. We decided to extend the trip to include Rome, Florence, and Pisa. Not knowing how we could adapt to dealing with a toddler in a foreign country, we brought your Grandma Nana along so she could lend a helping hand. But for the most part, very little help was needed because you were such a hit in Italy. Those Italians sure do love babies! Everywhere we went they were always picking you up to give you a hug or kiss, stopping in the middle of the street to say, “Ciao, bella!” or even slipping you extra pieces of candy with dinner.

But it wasn’t just the hospitable Italians. I have to give credit where credit is due and admit that you are one SUPER TROOPER. You were always on your best behavior, despite being in a foreign land, where you didn’t know any of the places we stayed, recognize any of the foods we ate, or even understand the language they spoke. You were naturally curious, and occasionally shy, but always polite and used your manners more than I could have ever imagined. The people we met were consistently shocked to learn that you weren’t even two years old, as you told everyone you met, “I’m Ana…I be TWO in Dis-ember.”

I readily admit that we took full advantage of your generous attitude. We packed too many sites into the handful of days we were in Italy. We rarely ventured back to the hotel for your afternoon nap and as a result, you often fell asleep on your father or I. This came in handy several times as you were known to fall asleep in the (dull) museums and us adults were then able to wander through at our leisure. You would occasionally open your eyes and upon seeing that we were looking at yet another old church (or statue or monument), would allow your eyelids to close once again and slip away to a peaceful sleep.

We haven’t ever really messed with your sleep schedule too much, aside from daylight savings, so we weren’t really sure how you would adjust to the change in your schedule (not to mention jet lag). You have always been a pretty consistent sleeper, napping just like clockwork. So on one of the first nights we were in Italy when you started to fall asleep at the dinner table, you could understand our shock. You were in the process of putting a cracker in your mouth when your eyes rolled backwards and your head started to lull to the side. Your Daddy thought you might be having some type of seizure or stroke because this was something we had never witnessed before. Once we realized you were falling asleep, I just encouraged you to finish the food in your mouth then slid you off your chair and onto my chest where you slept for the remainder of the meal.

That wasn’t the only sleep-related first we encountered in Italy. Upon waking up one morning in Milan the first thing you said to me was, “what happened?” since nothing had happened I just reassured you that you were sleeping and everything was ok. You then told me, “the doggy got wet…on hims glasses.” Since I KNEW that obviously didn’t happen, I quickly realized you were dreaming and told you so. To which you replied, “I was watchin’ a movie.” I giggled to myself and realized that to a two year old that’s probably the best way to explain a dream when you have no idea you weren’t awake but were actually sleeping.

While our time in Italy was packed with cultural and historical things that held no significance to you, we also tried to find activities that would interest you as well. We discovered several parks and playgrounds in Milan and gave you a few opportunities to try to break through the language barrier and make some adorable little Italian friends. We even visited the Museum of Natural History to let you look at all the animals, where you spent the majority of the trip with your nose pressed up against the glass in amazement and awe. Because of you we balanced our stuffy museums with urban parks, our strong cappuccinos with creamy gelatos, and our brisk walks with leisurely cab rides. You allowed us the opportunity to actually sit back and enjoy the country as it was intended.

It has been an amazing two years, my sweet girl. You have changed my life in the best possible way. You have completed our family and brought me happiness I never imagined possible. There is no one I would rather devote my time, my energy, my life to than you. As I watch you grow up and slowly unveil just a hint of the spectacular person you are to become, I can’t help but glow with pride and a sense of accomplishment, reveling in the fact that I made you. You make me so proud EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And while I may not always say it, because sometimes words and stress and life get in the way, please know that I am always thinking it, and I don’t ever want you to forget. Happy birthday, Ana!

All my love,