Today you are 2 years old, and I have never loved you more. I love you so much that I sometimes lie awake at night thinking about how excited I am to see your smiling face in the morning. It is such a joy to be your parent. I truly believe your light and energy make the world a better place.
The past year has brought so many changes, big and small. You started walking, running, climbing, jumping, and dancing. It is so amazing to see your little body investigate the world. Watching your little legs run is one of my favorite pastimes, and your jump (not quite graceful, but done with gusto) always makes me laugh.
You also started talking this year, though it has been a slow, gradual process. We enlisted the help of a speech therapist who comes to our house once a week and plays with you. You love playing with Miss Jill and she is so impressed with how engaged and social you are. You have a deep and broad understanding of what people are saying at just 2 years old, but you haven't fully found your own voice yet. It's coming though, and every new word you say has your Daddy and I beaming with pride. Our current favorites are "bus" (said in the cutest singsongy two-syllable way — "BUUUUH-uhsss"), "please" ("PWEEZ", which you learned early on will charm just about everybody into giving you what you want), and "beep beep" (used to request us reading one of your favorite truck books).
You continue to be obsessed with trucks, cars, busses, diggers, etc. You name it, if it has wheels and moves you are SO into it. Even the books we read have to be about trucks. This isn't something we ever pushed you toward, so it's amazing to see your own passion for something grow and evolve. Wherever we go you spot them. We once took you for an ice cream cone at the Dairy Supreme and you refused to eat your ice cream because you were far more interested in watching the cars and trucks zoom by in the street. You stare at them with awe and point with excitement. I love that you love something so much, buddy.
When you were about 1.5 years old we started taking you to daycare two days a week. You absolutely love going to see Miss Anne and your little friends at Bright Beginnings. There you have circle time and dance parties and play outside (in summer and winter!) and do art projects. The bigger kids treat you like a younger sibling and get excited when you say new words or do something new. You have a shy personality but you are such an extrovert — you are energized by social activity and love having lots of people around.
At your 2 year well-visit with the pediatrician, you were 2'9" tall and weighed 27 lb. — you are getting so big! It's hard to believe that a year ago you were still crawling.
You are a great sleeper. You go to bed around 7 PM at night and wake up at 7 AM. You also take a nap in the afternoon from about 1-3 PM, sometimes longer. Your Daddy usually does your bath and bed routine, but sometimes I get to do it and it's always a treat. I love rocking you and reading you a story, singing a song or two, and then laying you down on your belly to tuck you in. You have a special blanket that you love. And as I turn out the light and leave the room you are often cuddling your stuffed excavator or making it crawl across your crib. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever.
You are also still a very good eater. Meal times are fun with you — you basically eat whatever we eat. Some days you will favor or refuse certain things, or barely eat at all. But more often than not you eat a variety of foods. Some of your favorites are cheese, ham, pizza, fruit, salad, and green beans.
When you were 1 year and 10 months old, you became a big brother. Livy was born and, after a week or so of thinking she was just a new toy, you realized she was a member of the family just like me or daddy or the dog. It's been such a beautiful gift to watch you become a big brother and to see how loving and affectionate you are with Livy. I know your relationship will evolve and have ups and downs, but I'm glad you will always have each other.
Hank — I love your wide, sometimes mischievous, grin and your curious spirit. I love how freakishly observant you are and how you love to give and receive affection. And I love chasing you around the ottoman to the "Drive the Firetruck" song and hearing you laugh uncontrollably. I can't believe how lucky I am to be your mama and to spend time with you everyday exploring the world.
Happy Birthday, my little star.