Saturday, March 19, 2016

Zoe turns 2

My goodness I need to pull. it. together. I just logged on to do some writing and realized I never published this. So I'm publishing it. Now. Although as I reread this I realized I only wrote the good stuff...and that's ok, because honestly, that's the stuff I'll want to remember. But I just need to go ahead and let you know that she's still a two-year-old. There are still power struggles and defiance and tears and disobedience and fits pitched. We're no perfect family over here, but we give lots and lots of grace and hugs and forgiveness, even on the days where I collapse on the couch after saying to Z "YOU put her to bed; I'm done". It is messy and hard and delightful and fun, all rolled into one.

Also, I realized I probably didn't publish this on time because I thought "I'll come back and add pictures". But then I didn't. This is what Instagram is for, you guys. 

I woke up at 2:07am last night to hear Zoe coughing, and then start crying. This is very, very rare for her. I rolled over to look at the monitor and I saw her standing up in her crib, holding her bunny, and crying. I could tell she was still mostly asleep, so I waited to get up and go soothe her. After a few minutes, she laid back down and went back to sleep. 

Me? I was awake for probably the next hour. At first, I was frustrated and annoyed. But then I realized that her little wake-up call was almost exactly the same time that I had woken up 2 years earlier to discover my water had broke. This realization immediately softened me. 

Two years. My baby...my big girl...is two years old. And my gosh is she precious. When I was pregnant with Zo, I prayed some very, very specific prayers for her. I prayed that she would have a sweetness to her that was deeply ingrained and that she would have her daddy's tender heart. I prayed that she would be strong in that sweetness; that she would have a little spark in her. She is exactly that...completely, deeply sweet with a little spark.

Here's who Zoe is at 2 years old:

For her birthday we got her some big Minion balloons, because she LOVES all things Minions (thanks to her Uncle Max). She is DELIGHTED with these balloons. In fact, they've been with her constantly since Zach brought them home yesterday. She carries all 3 of them around the house, she offers one of them to me or Zach so we can all have one ("here you go, Mama!"), she jumps around with them to see them all bounce together...As I was cooking dinner last night, I heard her jumping around in her playroom with the balloons, laughing hysterically. I went to see what was so funny and realized she was so thrilled because Olive was standing there watching her play and she LOVES an audience, even a canine one (maybe especially a canine one).

She LOVES to do whatever Z or I do. This means we constantly have a little shadow. She says "helpin' Mama!" as she follows me around the house. She has her own kid-sized Swiffer that she calls "good girl" because that's what I was always saying to her whenever she helped me sweep or mop. She pushes a kitchen chair up the counter and stands with me as I cook dinner, wanting to touch everything, eat everything, mix everything, do everything (I found tiny little teeth marks in the stick of butter I pulled out of the fridge yesterday...). She sits down with Z's wireless keyboard while he's studying and says "workin' daddy's computer". When she comes across a slime of Olive's slobber on the floor or walls (I know, so gross. This is what my life is, you guys) she says "Ew, Ollie slobber. Paper towel!" and runs to get a tissue or paper towel to clean it up (this actually works great for me. Go Zoe go!). After she's done, she says "nasty dog" and moves on.

As I'm sitting here writing this, she realized I wasn't in the same room as her and loudly shouts "MAMA! MAAAA-MAA!" She just wants to know she's not alone. Don't we all? She requires frequent "checkpoints" throughout her day. She'll be running around playing, but every so often she comes to me or Z or crawls in our laps or asks to "hold you" and snuggles for a few glorious minutes. Yesterday and crawled into my lap and said "rock baby" and I could have sobbed right then and there as she contorted her toddler body into a cradled position and waited for me to rock her back and forth like a baby. She is SO cuddly and I adore this about her (full disclosure, USUALLY I adore this. Sometimes I'm like "Kid, I just need 2 minutes, ok?" But as she turns 2, I'm reminding myself to adore it even in the moments where I feel smothered or smushed, because I know this won't last forever).

Olive (her "Ollie") is her best friend. Well, Olive and her stuffed bunny...but we really try hard to leave bunny in bed during the day. This is a challenge. EVERY DAY. Anyways. She wants Olive to play with her all the time and Olive is a pretty good sport, but also really lazy. So the house is usually ringing with Zoe's sweet voice yelling "Ollie! Come here!" and Olive maybe rolls over or twitches an ear and I'm all "I know you can hear her, Olive! You go play with that little girl right now!" Sweet Zo just wants a buddy.(This makes me even MORE excited about the arrival of Zoe's baby sister...I cannot wait to watch their relationship unfold and see them play together.)

Zo is talking ALL THE TIME and repeating EVERYTHING (which has been slightly terrifying for me and Z sometimes. You really learn to check what you say!) Today she put her hands on my growing belly and said "Mama's belly sleeping", because whenever she asks about the baby we tell her the baby is sleeping in Mama's belly. She is delightful.

I LOVE watching this little girl grow and learn and change...what a beautiful, sacred gift it is to be her mama. I am SO excited for her next year. She has melted and expanded our hearts and we couldn't imagine our lives without her sweet, funny, precious self!

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