You are Two Years Old today. I can not remember what life was like without your cheerful and exciting little presence in our lives. You have made my life so much richer Leilani. You made me a mother, and in doing so, have shown me our Father in a whole new way. You make life so full and so blessed.
This morning when you woke up, we had one of your two favorite breakfasts. Usually we have waffles which you love, but today you asked for french toast with honey. A dollop of "cream cream!" on top started you off with a smile.
Right now, your favorite foods are waffles, tofu and your green smoothies. You will eat anything that I throw in a blender and you are learning how to make them yourself! You love your tofu with shoyu and your waffles with honey. I am glad that you drink water so well, while you love juice, your cup is always full of the water that you request. Beans, rice and avocados make rotations with tuna and macaroni in your favor as well. You must eat super well, because you sure are getting heavy!
I can not get over how smart you are. You recognize logos, some letters or a number on occasion, you can count all the way to 12 on days when you feel like focusing, you know most of your alphabet (and a lot of it in order too!) and you can't get enough singing. You love to hum your favorite songs or hear them sung. Over and over and over.
You are really starting to pretend too! You enjoy serving up wooden block meals to all of your stuffed friends, and I love to watch you ask them questions, greet them excitedly and explain things to them. "Hi Bearbear, you tired? Here look. See dis? What you doing?" Listening to you mother your fluffy friends and share what you learn with them is so sweet.
You met your new little cousin Sarina just a few days ago. I was so proud of how gentle and careful you were with your new friend. You were so interested when she got her diaper change, and I think your happiest discovery was that she had Buns just like you! "See Leilani? She has little baby buns!" You gasped and said "I have buns TOO!" You could not stop talking about her afterwards! Your relationship with your cousins and other family members is such a blessing. You talk about everyone so often and I am amazed at the amount of people you know and already love!
You are so interested in littler children and babies. You always excitedly point out strollers and infants wherever you see them. You also love your diapers, since they feature your favorite Sesame Street characters, Elmo and Cookie Monster. You love to exclaim "See! See? See Elmo?" to anyone who will listen, and point him out. You are intrigued by the bathroom and potty, I think we are almost ready to start potty training, even though you love your diapers so much.
You love animals! Horses, cows, elephants... It doesn't matter. They all fascinate you, but you especially love going to the pet store with Dada to visit all the kitties, doggies and fish. You take such good care of your fishies here at home, helping Dada to feed them almost every day.
The great outdoors is your favorite place to be. You are so brave, and will slide down any slide no matter how tall, all by yourself. If Mama or Dada is waiting beneath you, you never hesitate to jump off a ledge into our arms. You enjoy strolling with your Thatha (Really, you love doing anything with your Thatha) and exploring the green world around you. I am so glad that we have had an early spring, keeping you inside all the time was getting to be tough.
You talk and talk and talk. Full sentences, clear expressions and so many words! I love that we can have conversations and talk about what you are thinking. We are still working on expressing your feelings when you are upset, but you usually remember to use your words and say what you want. You seem so grown up for such a little girl. We could not be more proud of you.
You really enjoy Curious George, Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street, but I am trying to slowly get you back into books. I guess you love sound too much, you really enjoy singing and dancing to all the songs on your shows. Hornton Hears a Who and Finding Nemo are on constant replay. You love those movies as much as you love your shows and when you get to watch something, you usually rotate through several of them. (
You sleep well for the most part, though we are working on consistent nap and bed times. You stay in your toddler bed happily and love your pajamas. I think I went a little overboard in the pajama department, you have quite a selection. Bathtimes are so much fun as you like to pretend that you are a shark, dolphin or fish. Watching you "swim" and giggle and imagine is a treat.
We love you so much Leilani. Our prayer for you is that you will grow in wisdom and in your love for the Lord as you add inches to your height, and that the Lord be your joy, strength, present and future. We could not be more proud of you Little Flower. Happy, Happy Birthday.
(Photos taken this past Fall by Rebekah Joy Petersen)