This month Sydney will be 20 months old. Just four months shy of two years old. Oh how it pains me to say it … TWO. Someone took my baby and replaced her with this little girl!
It really is terribly unfair. And oh how I love every single inch of her, inside and out.
And now? I am about to say what every mother says about her child growing up … it's happening too fast. I can't keep up. Every day she says and does something new. I feel like I blink and another week has just flown on by and here I am in the wake watching helplessly as my baby grows up.
*Pause for WEEPING!*
Sydney is starting to get really good with names. Up until about a month or so ago she was largely limited to "Mama" "DA!" "Bubba" and "Juice" (the latter are the dogs' Syd-given "nicknames"). When my family came into town a few weeks ago she immediately picked up on my sister's boyfriend's name: Mike. And then when Mike wasn't around? It was all about "Yaya!" (my mom). And my sister "Ash" even got called out by name! Since then we have also learned a few of our friend's names and she points out their photos and calls them by name, she calls Grandpa "Pa" and Grandma "Ga" and she also knows her cousin Robert "Rah" and her new cousin Bella "Bee bee bee-la!" and she often calls Aunt Candice "Caci" (pronounced "khaki") on her play phone to talk about the "bee-bee" (baby). We're working on you Uncle Jono!
We've been talking about babies a lot lately because in our family we recently got a new baby! Bella was born on March 30 and has given us so much opportunity to talk about babies. Syd loves to look at photos and pictures of Bella over and over again. And frankly? So do I. She's just beautiful!!
[Isn't she breathtaking? We talk about and pray for Bella a lot because she's our awesome cousin, but also because she was born with a kidney issue that requires surgery. Tomorrow, at just under three weeks old, Bella will be put under anesthesia for a short operation to hopefully prevent any further damage. Please keep her and her family (Syd's beloved Auntie Caci and Uncle Jono and cousin Robert) in your prayers. We love them all so dearly.]
Speaking of babies, whenever Syd sees a baby, especially one in a stroller, she gets so excited. We see a lot of babies at Target, which is a nice distraction because my darling girl has developed a serious aversion to sitting in the shopping cart. I don't know what it is or how it started but it's become very unpleasant for us to shop anywhere with a shopping cart unless there are ample distractions. Sometimes I have to resort to Sesame Street podcasts to keep us in groceries and am hoping this is just a little phase. Oh please let this just be a phase.
"Mama, this is MY iPhone. No touching."
Syd also loves to SING! She knows and recognizes several songs that we have learned from watching our Sesame Street videos and some of her favorites are "Oatmeal Box" and "One Fine Face." The face song is great because it's helped us teach Syd all the parts of her own face and she knows and can point out her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, cheeks, chin, and hair. So fun! Like most toddlers in America she also loves her some Elmo. Every time the theme song from Elmo's World comes on she busts out dancing with excitement. It's really cute. She also is singing along with the "ABC" song and is practicing counting one to ten. She always starts with "two!" but her favorite sequence is "seven, eight, NIGH!" She is also happy to just sing along to songs that she doesn't know with a lot of operatic "ahhhh"s and "ohhhhh"s and clapping and dancing. Her best dance move is turning around in a circle until she gets dizzy and falls down laughing! I think we have a little performer on our hands, folks.
Another activity that my crazy toddler is obsessed with right now is coloring. Ohboy. In my opinion she's a bit too young to color (and my scrawled-upon walls, floor, and furniture will agree with me). We have a six-year-old friend who comes over a lot who loves to color so I keep some crayons and coloring books on hand. Of course as soon as Syd saw her friend coloring she HAD to "CA!!" I hide the crayons in a cabinet by my desk and when she gets the hankering to "CA!" she attacks that thing with abandon to get to her crayons. Sometimes I can distract her with less destructive stickers, but usually someone ends up looking like "Pa" here when she's done:
And do all toddlers get "obsessed" with certain things? Sydney is obsessed with getting a hold of my wallet and removing every single thing from it and pretending she's on a Mardi Gras parade float, she is totally into putting on everyone's shoes, obsessed with crayons and coloring (and she has been known to steal pens and pencils too), and cannot help herself … she HAS to climb on the kitchen chairs no matter how many times she gets put in time out for it. If any of those things enter her field of vision she makes a beeline.
One thing she loves more than anything else is playing outside, or as she calls it "'SIDE!!!!!!" Syd loves to play with bubbles and the hose in the back yard (we are going to have such a blast this summer!) and she also loves to take walks around the neighborhood in her buggy. We often walk down to the coffee shop to visit Daddy while he's grading (and of course eat a doughnut) or to the grocery store for a couple ingredients for dinner. Mostly we smell flowers and pet doggies (oh man does she ever love DOGGIES!) and just enjoy being outside. She loves putting on her hat and her "cocs!" (Crocs) and doing anything outside. Just like her daddy. I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and get dirty a lot more often for my daughter's sake. Sigh.
There is so much more to say. I want to tell you everything about my wild and sweet girl who is constantly bumping into everything and getting knots on her head, saying "HI!" and "BYE!" to everyone she sees, who is always ready with hugs and kisses and who figured out how to get out the front door all by herself (!!!). And how could I forget our "yoga game" where we lie on the floor and put our legs "UP!" and "DOWN!" and then finish with a downward dog? Or how about how she "cooks along" with the cooking shows I occasionally watch on PBS with her play kitchen?!
Mostly I want to say I am so thankful that this little girl is mine. No one else could be my baby girl, and I'm perfectly sure that there was no one else meant to be her Mama.
It's the best job I ever had. I am so thankful.
*My 400th post! Woah!