My daughter turned two-and-a-half on 11.28.14 but I regularly catch myself thinking she is three (or twenty-three). I'm sure every mom thinks this but holy man, this child is seriously one of a kind. Still our firecracker. Still our most emotional and challenging and most freaking entertaining kid. Seriously, she is hilarious. I love her so much and yet she exhausts me like nothing I've ever experienced before. She is for sure the hardest of the bunch right now but I do think her emotional disaster moments have lessened in the past month or so. Thank you, Lord.
The biggest event in Miss Thang's life since her second birthday was obviously becoming a big sister. She and Porter are a smidge over 25 months apart, while she and Truman are 27 months apart. But let me tell you something: I do not remember Truman's adjustment to a younger sibling rocking our world quite as much as Cecelia's adjustment to her younger sib. I guess that age 2-2.5 is always hard, especially when you throw down a baby in front of them and say, 'this baby will be here forever, but don't freak out, okay?' I mean, Cecelia loves the hell out of Porter and glided into the Big Sister role effortlessly. But she sort of took out every ounce of frustration on me in the process. Truman did not pull that stunt when he was almost 2.5 and acclimating to life with a newborn. Let's just say that there were countless tears, 'carry me's, and 'BAD mommy!'s in the past few month.
But she's never shown any aggression whatsoever towards Porter. The closest thing we've come to that was when she said at the doctor's office, 'Hey, I have a great idea! How about we put Porter in the trash can!' I choked back a laugh as I told her that would not be nice and she smiled and said, 'Sorry, mommy.' She also likes to tell me that 'I be in charge of Porter' and she'll go give him his nuk if he is fussy, or lets him hold her froggy lovey, runs to get me a diaper and wipes, and now she will lay directly on top of him to 'give him snuggles.' I mean, she is a peanut but obviously it's not okay to lay on a baby. 'A real live baby,' as she often tells me. She just cannot contain her love for him and I'm excited to see how their relationship grows with them.
Her relationship with her big brother is something that warms my heart 90% of the time (the other 10% involves her stealing Truman's toys or Truman pushing Cecelia's buttons). Those two have a shared sense of humor based on poo and pee jokes. They make each other belly laugh until they cry with statements like, 'Knock knock. Who's there? Pee pee poo poo head.' (insert heartfelt laughter for 5 minutes straight here). CC looks up to Truman and frequently wants to do whatever he is doing, play with whatever he's playing, be wherever he is. It's been an adjustment to have Truman at school without CC.
I signed her up for an Art class once per week, while Truman is in school, and we've been having a ball together while Porter snoozes (or screeches) in the Ergo. I was really surprised at how observant and focused she was in that type of 'school' setting---listening to the teacher, following directions, sitting incredibly still. She loves the attention and the structure, it seems. Although she isn't a huge fan of getting her hands dirty with the actual art.
Least favorite topic: to discipline my girl, we are still mostly using time outs and trying to have discussions about how it's never alright to hit or bite. Sometimes just telling her 'no' will turn her into a puddle of tears and sometimes she refuses to sit in time out. Sometimes, when her emotions are just too much for her to handle, she will scream and cry laying down on the floor and will not talk or move until I physically pick her up. Thankfully, this meltdown behavior only seems to happen when she is super tired and usually in the evenings after daycare.
And speaking of daycare, Cecelia is now the only girl at Lori's and she is also one of the oldest. CC loves Lori's house and is a big helper there, seemingly quite proud of her little brother. I love driving home from Lori's with CC and Porter after work because the girl will talk her face off, filling me in on her day and asking, 'Soooooooo, how was YOUR day, Mommy?"
One year difference…still blows my mind.
We still have not even attempted potty training but every dirty diaper brings about the same reaction from me: "Cecelia! We HAVE to get you on that potty soon." Sometimes I will ask her when she wants to start wearing big girl undies and she usually says 'in about 36 weeks.' Then she will say, 'And I will get fifteen marshmallows when I pee in potty.' Ha, okay? She really doesn't seem ready to me, or maybe she just doesn't seem willing at this point. We don't even have our little froggy potty out anymore since she would just sit there for fun without anything happening. Plus she is peeing so much at night we had to get 'night time' disposable diapers because she'd pee through by morning. I do not have the energy to force it, either since we had an amazing experience potty training Truman in three days when he was ready. He was waking up dry most mornings and really just nailed it immediately. Of course, that was before he was 2.5 but whatever. It will come but just not now. Wearing diapers makes her seem like she is two instead of twenty two, obviously;)
Another thing about CC that reminds us that she isn't quite ready to go to college? She still uses her nuk when sleeping at home. She hasn't used it at Lori's for at least six months but oh, how she loves that 'nukie' at our house. In fact, sometimes when she is having a total meltdown we take her upstairs and let her just reset in her bed as she lays there, sucks her nuk, and reads some books. It's interesting to me to think that I was hard core about getting rid of Truman's nuk by 15 months and here we are with baby number two, still using a pacifier for sleeping (and tantrums). Again, all in good time. Both the diapers and the pacifier don't stress me out too much since I really do trust that Cecelia will move on from both soon enough. Maybe I will keep Porter in diapers and using a pacifier until he is five at this rate?
As far as sleeping goes, Cecelia is a rock star and it miiiiiight be because of her nuk usage;) She and Truman both go to bed around 7:30pm or so and their Tot Clock is set to turn yellow at 6:55am. Neither will get out of bed before that magical color appears but sometimes they are definitely awake before then and they'll talk and read books and sing to each other. CC still takes an excellent nap and usually requests to 'take my nap' around 11:00. She usually sleeps for about three hours (I know!!) and then will sit in her bed, sucking her nuk, reading books and playing with her dollies until I go and retrieve her. She loves her big bed and I cannot imagine her being in the crib anymore, mostly because she is obsessed with sharing a room with Truman.
Sometimes I worry that as a second child, she isn't getting all of our overachieving first time parenting focus for school-type things. Meaning, I'm not sure if she is playing us, but she doesn't seem to identify her colors correctly all of the time. I know Truman could rattle off every color of the rainbow around two years simply because of his Thomas trains and their varying colors. CC likes to tell us that most colors are 'white' and 'pink' but then when I'm not straight up asking her about a color, she almost always gets it right. 'Oh, look, that orange!' makes me think she really does know colors but she likes to put on a show when directly asked. Same with numbers and letters---she will always say, 'There's a C for me!' but otherwise it's very hit or miss. She kind of rocked my world the other day when we did an alphabet puzzle together and she named about half of them correctly. She really loves all puzzles and likes to color with Truman---making hundreds of circles that are supposedly 'Cs'. ;)
Mostly Cecelia wants to play with someone---either me or Truman---and she is not the best at independent play. Unless she is hiding in the corner, dirtying her diaper, she is almost always interacting with Truman or myself. Non-stop. She seems to be busting out of her shell in public or when we have friends over, as she used to be really quiet and would rarely initiate conversation with others. But a few people have commented that she is a chatter box and she's really talking a LOT lately. I mean, she rarely stops to take a breath at home but now I think she is showing the world how much she likes to ask questions and inform others about how things should be done.
I tried to keep track of every question and statement she chattered along one evening while we were trying to have a family movie night (The Lorax!). Here is what I can remember from about 2 minutes worth of CC talk:
'Who is that? Who is that boy? Why? Why that Ted? What flavor is this? (eating jelly beans). Oh, strawberry. No, it's not strawberry. It's....cherry. I like cherry. It's hot. It's spicy hot. I need milk now. I have five more beans to eat. Who is that? Why? What is this? I'm going to throw it away. Hi, mommy, I tore that paper up and threw it away. I threw the whoooooole thing away and I tore it up. Who is that? That still Ted? I like jelly beans. Henry get in trouble if he eat my jelly beans. You naughty, Henry. You go to your home. You like my princess jammies, mommy? Who is that? That still Ted? You want some chapstick, Mommy? I hold it, it's very important, cause you lose it. I ready to go to bed now. I super tired. Is this done now? What about now? Now?'
Other favorite sayings by my girl: "You are the best mommy never.' (I don't mind the added 'N' here!). And also, 'I just wuv (insert person here) sooooooo much.' She will tell me that she loves Nate out of the blue, told me this about my dad, about Truman, etc. She has also said it to me randomly and I nearly die every time.
Cecelia began asking if we could build a snowman in July, and did not relent until the snow actually did fly in November. You should have seen her face when I told her that it snowed…pure joy. We didn't actually build a snowman for the first few snows we've had but she seemed satisfied to sled and stomp around in her snow boots. So besides animals, pooping elephants, and snow, Cecelia is also a HUGE fan of chapstick. We got her an EOS all for herself so she can stop asking for mine and she thought she won the lottery with that one.
She sometimes picks out her own clothes now (tear), she is obsessed with all pockets and purses, and loves to wear 'princess buns' in her hair. She can put on and take off her own shoes, pants, and occasionally her shirt and coat. Her favorite thing to do is finding tiny (very unsafe for baby) items, place them inside a container, then move them around the house. For instance, I gave her an empty formula container and her mind was blown with how many microscopic legos could fit inside. If you ask her what she wants for Christmas, she will say 'ten doggies and a pony.' We aren't certain if she means real live animals or toys, but we remind her that we do already have a dog…even if he does annoy her most of the time. She would be in heaven living on a farm, for sure.
Girlfriend is in love with music lately and has some favorite songs that are put in heavy rotation in the van and on our kiddie headphones/ipod: Manchester Orchestra's 'Every Stone', anything by Raffi but specifically 'Spider on the Floor', Mat Kearney's 'Count on Me,' and recently she discovered Miley Cyrus's 'Party in the U.S.A.' She calls that one the butterfly song because of the part that goes 'butterflies fly away'. I love that she can recognize songs based on their album covers shown as thumbnails on the iPod---such a modern kid! I was just telling the kids that I listened to the Chipmunks Christmas album as a record and they had no idea what I meant. #old
For all of her love towards music, she really doesn't care about TV at ALL. I mean, what?? How is it possible that at two-and-a-half, she still won't watch a show or even more than 2 minutes of a movie? Not Elmo, not Doc McStuffins, not Dora…nothing. It's a little ridiculous actually, because mommy would love to let Sesame Street babysit my middle child for a few minutes while I tend to the baby/cook/go to the bathroom/etc. But nope. She is not into TV or the iPad or any screens, really and I guess I should be happy about that? She does like Doc and Dora and Ariel for toys and because of the stellar marketing in stores, though. But as far as actually WATCHING their shows? No. Take that, Disney!
Cecelia frequently demands that I 'carry' her which really only means she wants me to hold her. A quick hug won't do and sitting as close as possible to me won't do--I have to actually hold her. I don't mind the cuddles but of course she wants me when I'm in the middle of doing something else. Of course;) Since she doesn't love TV and doesn't play independently often, she can usually be found attached to my hip or up on the kitchen counter 'helping' me make all meals. She has only fallen off the counter once, which is a pretty good record for helping up high for a solid year of her life!
Now this is completely superficial but I don't think I'm totally biased when I say Cecelia is stunningly beautiful. Complete strangers have said, 'She is gorgeous,' or 'look at that hair,' or 'wow, she is precious,' while we are at Target or the grocery store. Those giant blue eyes, pouty lips, and curly red hair? Definitely too much to handle sometimes. But I don't want Cecelia to KNOW that she is pretty, or at least I don't want to focus on it too much. Since, you know, there are about a million other wonderful attributes in this girl other than her looks. But still, she really is beautiful on top of everything else.
A CC sandwich!
Sweet girl, you are two-and-a-half and we love you so much it kind of hurts. Thank you for being our fighter girl full of sass and spunk…along with sugar and spice. You are the best.