A Letter: Twenty-Nine Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn twenty-nine months old. (That was really bizarre to write out because that means you are now older in months than I am in years.) You are growing so fast that I can hardly keep up. Before I know it, it’s time to write you another letter. If that weren’t enough, you are constantly telling me that you are a “big girl” and whenever you see something you want (that by some small miracle you don’t already have) you reassure me, “I can have that when I get a little bit bigger.”

One of the more defining characteristics about you this month is how inquisitive you are. You are always studying everything, curious how the world around you works. You have started really questioning things and I am always surprised by the questions you are able to come up with on your own. Then once I provide a satisfactory answer, you always say, “Oh! I see what you’re talking about!” I have recently started trying to turn the game around on you and I ask if you know the answer. You resoundingly say, “Yeah.” Then you pause, thinking about it and whisper, “Can you tell me?”

You are constantly following me around and watching my every move. You sit, mesmerized, while I get ready in the morning and when I ask you what you are doing you simply state, “I’m just watching you.” It’s like you are studying for an important exam and you don’t want to miss a single thing for fear you might get something wrong. But you also use this approach to get out of doing certain things. To stall eating dinner you say, “but I’m watching you.” As if watching me eat lasagna is so important you can’t be bothered to finish your peas. While I’m flattered that you find my every move so fascinating, I am pretty sure you can multi-task enough to do both things at once.

As is only natural, your following me around and bombarding me with questions occurs while I am cooking as well. I have decided to use this to my advantage, and to your delight I appointed you my little kitchen helper. I try to set out and pre-measure all the ingredients ahead of time. This indulges my OCD while simultaneously allowing you to help me in the kitchen. See? We both win!

Just the other day you were helping me make some chocolate chip cookies and I remembered that we had bought you a little apron to go with your play kitchen. So I located your apron and we set to work. It was only then that you realized that I would also need an apron and you quickly climbed down from the stool to dig my apron out of the drawer. It was very fortunate that we were both wearing aprons for this particular baking adventure because shortly after that you accidentally turned the KitchenAid to the highest speed and flour and chocolate chips flew out of the mixing bowl. I looked over to see how you were going to react when to my surprise you burst into giggles. Eventually you managed to squeal out, “That was SO funny!”

We recently started a huge project this month, which has taken up a lot of our free time. We decided to tear down the old play structure in our yard and put up a new Rainbow All American Double Decker play structure. Anytime we had decent weather we were outside taking apart, clearing, organizing, or assembling something. You were there for the entire process. And not just as a distraction either. You legitimately wanted to help out. We always tried to set aside tasks you could handle and whenever we were taking a break or moved on to another project you would pick up our abandoned tools and start working on the harder jobs as well. I gotta say, you have quite the impressive work ethic!

You are an incredibly happy child. You are always giggling or laughing, which is very contagious and eventually everyone around you is smiling right with you. You have a very sweet personality and love to hug and cuddle. Whenever either your Daddy or I are holding you and the other is close by you declare, “Family hug!” and we instantly cuddle together for the best hugs imaginable. While I know the majority of the appeal of the family hug is the affection, I know a small part of you just relishes in the fact that you can boss us around and on this particular command we actually follow your orders.

We got a surprise visit from your Aunt Darcie and Baby Silas last week. Darcie decided to take a drive up to “the big city” and the four of us went out to lunch. We had a great time chatting and you proudly showed off all your new tricks. Then we came back to our house so she could feed Silas and you could take a nap. We practically had to pry him out of your hands. You have such a great love for babies and it’s wonderful to have a little one around. Eventually he’s going to get bigger and stronger and he won’t let you squeeze and cuddle him as much. Before you know it, those soft cooing babies grow into bouncing toddlers who are constantly talking. Trust me. I know this from experience.

But for all the things you aren’t any longer, you’ve replaced them with things that are so much better. Of course I miss rocking you to sleep, but now we read stories together and you are able to remember the words and “read” them to me. Instead of singing you a lullaby to calm you down, you now request specific songs and sing along with me. Now when I dress you in the morning instead of me just picking out the cutest thing I can find, you help me decide what you want to wear, adding, “This is so adorable. Where’d you get this?” I have to remind myself all the time that you are only going to be this way once and to cherish every day we spend together. I know these moments are fleeting so I will gladly stop what I am doing to scoop you up in my arms, snuggle my nose at your neck and whisper, “I love you.”

All my love,

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Last Wednesday, Ana and I joined Chloe, Ayden, and Owen at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.

They have several things to keep the kiddos entertained, from pumping water for a rubber ducky race…

to a “cow train” ride…

(where Ana wasn’t afraid to get a little muddly)

to climbing on old tractors.

Not to mention walking among the beautiful tulips!

Then we got to indulge Ana’s shoe obsession and pose in the giant clogs!

And no festival is complete without an elephant ear!

All in all, we had a great time. The weather was overcast (which makes for way better pictures) and the rain managed to hold off until we were getting ready to leave. It was an amazing morning. You can see all the pictures from the tulip festival over here. Enjoy!