two years old (almost)

Hard to believe we are about to have a two year old in our home.

These past few weeks have been all about our little girl’s imminent birthday, birth week really, planning celebrations with Baby Jaye’s birth family, cousins and friends. Two birthday brunches with birth grandparents and her birth mom Kaye this weekend, a birth day celebration with mama and dada, and a big party with cousins and friends next weekend. Busy week.

We now count down the days. We talk about cake and ice cream. She wants balloons and bubbles. She’s been getting cards and gifts in the mail from loved ones. “Yay, new books!” she squeals, and “ooh, new clothes!” She got a new bicycle from her grandparents (and wow, is she excited). While she’s asleep, we’ll set up one of our gifts so she can wake to a brand new wooden easel filled with art supplies.

But it is SO not about all the stuff.

It’s about the privilege of watching this amazing little girl grow into a real person.

It’s being grateful for participating in her life, in her every day learning. It’s witnessing her growth and development, seeing how she cultivates understanding of the world around her. It’s nothing short of miraculous.

This little girl — once a tiny baby who slept soundly in the crook of my arm, now a super active toddler nearing three feet tall — is evolving into such an incredible, intelligent, independent little being. It is astounding.

one day old, first day home (2009)

Two years ago, Baby Jaye’s birth mom Kaye was nearing labor. She was looking forward to meeting her baby, to seeing what (and who) s/he looked like. She was waiting to look into the eyes of the tiny being she carried for nine long months. She was looking forward to the birth experience, to being in her own home as we welcomed this new life.

One year ago, Baby Jaye was on the brink of walking. She had just a handful of words and a couple of signs. Her first birthday was an amazing day, as was the whole weekend. We remembered our time with Kaye before Baby Jaye was born, grateful for the chance to build a strong foundation for our future relationship. Jaye’s first birthday was also a full circle of sorts, marking the revolution of her first year of life, our first year as parents, and Kaye’s first year living without her daughter.

first birthday (2010)

Today, she is not a baby anymore (as she will tell you). She is a smart, curious, happy little girl. She is adventurous and fearless. She has a huge vocabulary, learning new words every day. She can string together phrases and sentences with full meaning and intent. She can sing nearly her whole alphabet. Her memory is incredible, like not to be believed. I always thought there was no long-term memory until age two, but she has proven that wrong on several occasions. She can remember events from months ago, recalling details with clarity.

She loves going for long walks and taking rides. She can name a ridiculous number of animals and their sounds. She loves animals and is excited for us to get a new pup some day soon (“kitty too!”). She loves to water the plants and can identify roses, poppies, lavender and jasmine, among other things in the garden. She loves playing outside, at the beach or park, or out back in the yard. Her version of “happily ever after” involves some form of “and they went to the playground!”

23 months old (2011)

She has an amazing sense of humor and an infectious laugh. She adores other kids and babies, and playing with her friends and cousins. She remembers names of children and animals we’ve just met, and will talk about them days later. She loves books and songs and knows many by heart. She loves to draw and paint. She likes to sing, mostly when she thinks no one is listening.

She’s a pretty adventurous eater in that she’ll try anything once. Cheese is probably her favorite food, though she loves fruit. She loves going food shopping and can name just about everything in the produce section. She helps unload groceries too. A few weeks ago, she actually asked to go to the shoe store (uh-oh).

She is strong, assertive and persuasive (“just a little bit more”), all traits that will serve her well in life but that can be unnerving in a small toddler. We’re working on basic manners (she can get almost anything when she sweetly says “please, mama”) and some positive discipline (here’s what you can do).

But she teaches me too. Every day I learn new aspects of patience, of tolerance. Just being in her presence, I learn to appreciate the simplest things I might have once taken for granted.

She is a creature of habit and, like most kids, craves routine. But she also appreciates ritual. Every evening at dinner she asks to light the candles. After every visit to the local bakery, she wants to sit on the bench outside and enjoy a snack with mama. Every morning she pulls up a chair to watch dada make smoothies. Every evening we sit in her glider, talk about our day, and say goodnight to our family and friends as I tell her how much everyone loves her, before a medley of lullabies from The Beatles to Louis Armstrong.

Every night I tell her how lucky I am to be her mama.

Every day, she reminds me how grateful I truly am.

To say that my heart expanded to overflow with love for this child doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Happy 2nd Birthday, my sweet love. You bring love, laughter and joy to all you meet. The world is a much brighter place with you in it.

mother’s day 2011

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~ by luna on May 28, 2011.

12 Responses to “two years old (almost)”

  1. Happy Birthday, beautiful Big Girl Jaye!

    You are so lucky to have so many people who love you, especially your expressive and eloquent Mama.

  2. It is blowing my mind that she is already two, I so have to imagine that your minds (and hearts) have exploded. Happy birthday to J, and lots of love to her enormous family and all the adults who love her.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful girl. Happy birthday to Jaye, and a belated happy birthday to you!

  4. Happy Birthday J, lots of love and kisses from Kai and me and the big bald guy. It’s crazy how fast time goes by. We were remarking just how the Precious was falling and slipping when we first moved in and now he’s running around the joint in circles! Wish we could hang out again really soon!

  5. happy happy birthday!!!!
    I’m not sure who said that about memory I tell you kids are amazing with their memory, maybe theu had never had kids before

  6. She’s beautiful and looks like such a happy little girl. Happy Birthday little one!

  7. Happy birthday little Jaye! What a beautiful post.

  8. What a beautiful post.Happy birthday little Jaye!

  9. […] been a busy week in the Luna household. Three birthday celebrations for our now two-year old girl, two visits with […]

  10. Such a beautiful little girl (but I will say baby instead if it helps mama a bit).

    Beatles lullabies. That is a girl after my own heart.

    Happy (belated) Birthday!

  11. Aw… *sniffs* Congrats. My dude turns two in less than a week!

  12. […] settled in and celebrated Jaye’s second birthday and I felt so grateful. Every night I’d tell her so as I shared a bit of her story, and […]

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