We brought you home from the hospital, Miss Ana. Ok. So I'll admit I used this title to somehow imply that I intended to wait until 3 days after your birthday to write you your birthday letter. Truth is, I've been writing it in my head for months but you and your little sister keep Mommy pretty busy.
So here we are. You're two. But I look at you and you're still a baby to me. I always say that kids are still babies until they turn two but now that we're here I'm taking that back. I assume in some sense you'll always be a baby to me but I look at you and you're such a little peanut that it doesn't feel right to call you a big girl just yet. Of course I constantly tell you you're my big girl and you love that but inside I still see you as that little babe I brought home 2 years (and 3 days) ago.
I have to admit though that as much as I'd love for you to stay a baby forever you'd like nothing more than to grow, grow, grow. In fact, you decided about 4 months ago to start moving at warp speed. You've always been a quick learner from early on but when you hit 20 months it was like some gates opened and you just couldn't wait to show us everything you knew. For months you've been counting to 10 (sometimes 13) in english and spanish and you can sing most of your abc's. You recognize pretty much all of your letters but can't get through the entire song without cracking up (we'll get to that in a minute). You know all of your shapes and colors and have really taken to singing songs on your own lately. "Tinkle Tar" and "Happy Buhday to You" are recent faves. You're bff apparently is Dora the Explorer and you even sing along to her songs now. I swear if I'd let you you'd watch her all day but one show a day is all the time you usually get to spend together, if that. You love your books and insist that your bear book be read to you before naps and at bedtime no questions asked. Every couple of days you'll adopt a new favorite (Snow White is your latest) but the bear book must be read as well. I'd love to say you have a favorite toy but you seem to love anything you can get your hands on. One of my favorites though is watching you play with your blocks and build towers as you count them. But what you love even more is knocking those towers down while yelling "Ha-ya!". Hilarious.
You surprised me a couple months ago by telling me when you had to go potty. I thought for sure it would be a while when suddenly you felt you were ready. You're taking it easy with the potty training but it's coming along nonetheless. I'm letting you do it at your own pace for now and you seem to be doing just fine. I'm guessing in the next month we'll be taking it up a notch but you may have other plans so we'll see.
So that's what you've been doing. Now for what you're like. My sweet Ana, you are so much more than I would've ever known to ask God for. The sweetest girl with an independent streak that blows me away. You love doing things for yourself but never ever shy away from asking for help after you've tried it on your own. One of your first sentences was "I try" and boy, do you. You will try pretty much anything. From going down a waterslide to eating anything new I put on your plate. You're so tough that 99% of the time you fall or hurt yourself you just dust yourself off and reply "I'm fine" when I ask if you're ok. You say bless you when anyone sneezes or coughs and please and thank you come pretty much unsolicited now. In fact, when I give you something you often say "thank you, mommy, thank you". Hands down, you are the most polite 2 year old I have ever known. Yes you throw your tantrums but they've never lasted longer that a minute (literally). Even when you get overtired you turn into a goof well before you get cranky. And you can get a bit possessive of your toys from time to time but only with Maddie, and even then it's only until I tell you to share.
You're a cuddler but Maddie's the keeper of most of your hugs and kisses. At least 50 times a day I find you going to her only to give her a kiss on the cheek or her head and slipping in a little squeeze. You have become such a good sister, Ana, that it makes my heart ache. After a bumpy start you have come to love Maddie more than anything. You're so gentle with her and are constantly asking where she is if you can't see her. But luckily for us she doesn't get all of your affections. Everyday you greet Daddy at the door with an enormous "Daddy's home! Daddy, I miiiiiiissssed you!" and you have a little conversation about what you did that day and when you're done talking you politely tell him to "Shower Daddy. You're tinky". You tell us you love us all the time but telling us you missed us is one of your favorite things and I swear I pray it never ends. I check the mail and return to "Mommy, I miiiissssed you!" You take a nap and when I come get you I'm greeted with a huge hug and, of course, "Mommy, I missed you!" If ever I wonder if I'm doing ok you reassure me with that. I often wonder how it's possible for you to be this good of a girl but you are. You just are.
And can we talk about that sense of humor? You're two and you can take a joke like no other. You NEVER get upset when anyone messes with you. Never. In fact, you find it quite funny when someone teases you or takes stuff away from you trying to see if you'll get upset. Everything is funny to you. We've already spent more moments than I can remember in your bed laughing about nothing. You giggle and it makes me laugh. I laugh and that makes you laugh harder. Before I know it, there we are cracking up. You even laugh when I play "I'm gonna getcha" with Maddie and we're nowhere near you! Your goofy sense is one of things that makes us love you most. You make Daddy and I laugh every single day whether or not you're even around. You're all about the dance now and the other day as you were dancing you just had to stop to tell Daddy "Oooooh, I like this song!". Oh, and you're soooooo expressive lately. You don't want anything anymore, you need everything. "I need oatmeal! I need down! I need Dora!" But yes, when asked, they are follow by a "peeesse!"
I love that you laugh at everything. I love how you love your sister. I love your strong-willed "no's" when you don't want to do something. Where did you come from, my sweet girl? And how did we get so lucky to become the parents of you - sweet, wonderful you? You have given us more in 2 short years than we dreamed for a lifetime and we thank you.
Happy 2nd birthday beautiful girl. I love you.