I've been meaning to write to you and document your second year of life for a while now...say, since you turned two over two months ago. But, as you know, things have been busy around our house with a new baby, and I just haven't sat down to do the writing.
Your second year was an eventful one. At the beginning of the year, you learned how to walk, had your first beach trip, your first haircut, and your first trip to the zoo. You were a monkey for your second Halloween, and we celebrated your second Thanksgiving in Monteagle, TN with all of the relatives from my side of the family. Also in November, you moved to the Toddler class at school, which meant you were doing more crafts, playing outside, and only taking one nap...on a cot! We never thought it would work, but you thrived in that classroom. For your second Christmas, we went to Charlottesville to see Coco and PopPop, which involved your third plane flight (and lots of adventures). (We had also been to Charlottesville for Coco's 60th birthday in November.) In January, Mama and Daddy found out that you were going to have a baby sister or brother, and in April, we found out that it would be a sister...baby Juju, as you called her. (Although, Mama was worried about the ultrasound's accuracy until the day she was born.) This summer, we stayed close to home because Mama was so pregnant, but we did go to the lake several times and to the beach with the Petreys and the Taylors. Overall, our family has been very active this past year and you have loved every minute of it!
You're still a very sweet child (especially with your new sister), although now that you're two, you're becoming a bit more defiant and trying to assert your independence. But, because you're so smart and so verbal, I sometimes forget that you're ONLY TWO! Speaking of being verbal, you never. stop. talking. ever. If you are awake, you are telling us what's on your mind, what you want and what you don't want, and how you think we should behave. You are very articulate, and we can understand almost everything you say now. However, you're also in a phase of making up nonsense words, like poopy and bobo. You also love to sing songs, including some that you make up on your own. You will often sing to narrate whatever it is that you are doing at the time.
You love to play, and you've gotten very into trains (you now have a Thomas table), trucks, legos, and blocks. You also like to color and "write," which simply means coloring with a pen. For some reason, you always say that you are drawing a "BIG shark." You're not very good at entertaining yourself yet (again, you're only two), and you always want me or Daddy to "come play choo-choos." You've also started to understand the concept of "pretend" and now use your toys in new ways. For example, you like to serve me "food" on a tray...which is actually legos on the top of the box.
You LOVE to watch movies. Some of your favorites are Jungle Book 2--we haven't seen the first one yet for some reason, Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo, The Aristocats, and Mickey cartoons. You have an impressive collection thanks to your over-indulgent parents and grandparents. Your dad and I have memorized many parts of these movies due to the frequency that we see them. But, it keeps you occupied, and at 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning, that's what's really important.
For the most part, you're a good sleeper and a good eater and generally pretty agreeable overall. (Note that I said GENERALLY.) You like almost all foods that most two-year-olds do, like chicken nuggets and pizza, but you also like some things that I never would have expected, like black olives and grapefruit. In fact, you pitched a fit this morning when we didn't have any grapefruit to give you. But fortunately, eating is not usually a battle, which is nice. For the most part, sleeping is not much of a battle, either, because you seem to know the routine. However, you've had a bit of a hard time lately. We're hoping you'll get through this phase soon.
I love writing this to you because I get to think about all of the wonderful things about you, but there's no way I can convey them all in these few sentences. I just hope that these letters and this blog will help me to remember all of the fun things about your young years. You're everything I hoped you would be...kind, funny, affectionate, articulate. Of course, everyone has their moments, but you are a joy to be around and we are lucky to have you in our family. I love you, William Steel Mather!