Friday, February 24, 2017

A Letter to Elise at 23 Months

Oh, Miss Elise, you are such a joy and so much fun to be around. A day doesn't go by without you making me laugh so hard. You are so silly and goofy and easily excited. When you get excited you start hopping up into the air over and over. It is the cutest thing to see. The joy that you display on the daily is so refreshing. You are also a feisty little spirit with a lot of opinions and your own way of doing things. When you are tired you are a force to be reckoned with. Your photo shoot is a perfect example. You woke up a bit grumpy but I wanted to get pictures before you got all dirty which happens pretty much first thing after you get dressed. You weren't having it and screamed at me any time I tried to take a picture. I decided to bribe you with fruit snacks but all that did was get you to cry while pointing at the fruit snacks. I thought maybe if I gave you the fruit snacks you would mellow out for a few pictures but instead you turned around with your back to me to ensure I got no pictures. Carter likes to jokingly call you a sassafrass in moments like that. I like to say you are having a sour patch moment or are being a sour patch. Either way we are able to laugh it off and love you all the same.
Pretty much the happiest picture I got.

Crying for fruit snacks.
Notice Carter covering his ears, he can't stand to hear you cry!
Tear soaked cheeks while eating your fruit snacks.
Making sure I could only get pictures of your "good side" haha!
When you are in the mood you are so loving and sweet. You will pucker up and give the sweetest kisses but only when you really want to. When you wake up from naps or in the morning you are super snuggly. You scream if I try to set you down even if it is to get you something to eat. I crack up over what you say when I walk into your room to get you in the morning. Usually it's "eggies" or "sockies, shoooooes". The other day Uncie Taco had come over to do laundry and was still here when you went to bed. The first thing you said when you woke up was "Caco" and pointed to the living room so I'd take you in to see you. You were quite upset with me when I told you he wasn't here. Before you go down for naps you will sometimes just lay right down but other times you point to the rocker and ask to rock which was confusing at first because rock sounds a lot like walk and I thought you were asking to walk the first time you said it. When I rock you, you like to sit on my lap facing out rather than cuddle into me. I feel like it's the perfect description of your personality. You love to cuddle but you also like your independence. Facing out you still see everything but you also still have that closeness of your body against my body. 
Stopping by for a snuggle while I was trying to take pictures.
Not happy that I was taking pictures of you.
At dinner time for some reason you demand to sit on my lap almost every night. You'll yell out lap pea which sounds like lappy (lap please) and point at my lap wanting to sit there. It's hilarious to hear you say it. When you want up you also say up pea (up please) but it sounds like uppy. You are so good about saying please and will say thank you sometimes on your own. Most the time you need prompting but are happy to say it unless you are saying thank you to Carter for giving back a toy he took, then you often tell me no and don't want to thank him. There are a few words that all sound alike when you say them which can be confusing. I have to listen closely to tell a difference. Taco (for Uncie Taco), Gekko, and avocado all sound like "Caco". If I listen closely I can tell the difference between Gekko and "Caco" but the other two I have to use context clues to help me. You say Gekko because of PJ Masks. When Carter's watching it before bed if you're still awake, you yell out "Gekko, kitty kitty!" because you want to stay up to watch Gekko and Catboy in PJ Masks. You also tend to say Opa for both Oma and Opa. One time you were saying Opa and I gave you to him but you freaked out because you really wanted Oma. Pony sounds like potty. One day you were wanting to play with ponies and I thought you said potty so I was encouraging you to sit on the potty chair. You got so mad at me because you really just wanted to play with My Little Ponies, my bad sissy! You like to count and most the time just say "2, 2, 2," every once in a while you say "3, 4, 5," after 2 but that's usually right after you've heard Carter count. I think it's fitting your favorite number is 2 as you will be turning two in a month! You still try to hold your fingers up to tell people how old you are, just like Carter does. You also tell them you are 2, but come on sis, you're killing me, you aren't 2 yet! Not my baby! It's so cute to hear you say unexpected things. When the oven timer starts going off, you'll yell, "It ready!" I also love hearing you say your friends' names. Your BFF is Charlee and you call her "Cha cha". It's so cute. You'll also call her name and wave to beckon her to follow you. One day at the park you even tried to help her climb the ladder. When you fall down you yell "fall" as you are getting up. You'll also yell out to tell me you are "getty ready". Probably my favorite is if I tell you to do something you'll say, "AH-kay". Another cute one is that you pretty much always say yes as "YASSSSSS!" So much enthusiasm. I almost forgot when you are tired and not talking as clearly daddy and teddy sound the same. That can result in serious issues when I don't immediately know what you want!
You crack me up by randomly crawling around on the floor pretending to be a cat, meow and all! Another favorite is filling your baby doll stroller with random objects and walking it around the house. You also like to run with it and have stroller races with Carter. You are hilarious when you run because you often run on your tiptoes just for fun. You also like to fix all the blankets in your doll bed and tuck your baby in. You also love Carter's car tower and like to make car noises as you play with it. Pretty much anything Carter does you also want to do. Swings have become a favorite which is so fun because you were scared of them for the longest time. You are obsessed with socks and shoes. If I try to put tights on you, you freak out because you want "sockies!!!!!" I pretty much can't get you into tights and when I do it's not worth it because you spend the whole time attempting to pull them off and have done so when out and about. I really think you just prefer socks because you pull both your shoes and socks off in the car which is apparently great entertainment. You cannot pull tights off in the car so they are a no go. I've also tried putting your hair in pig tails twice which is beyond adorable. You hate it and will just sit and cry until either you pull them out or I take them out for you. It's not worth it for you to be miserable, but man it's cute. I figure I'll just keep trying every once in a while until you decide it's not so bad. You like to peel bananas but don't necessarily like to eat them. Most the time you just take one bite and then leave them. You are obsessed with avocados. I've even seen you peel one on your own so you could eat it. If we have avocado on the table, forget it, you won't eat anything else until all the avocado is gone. You also love cheese A LOT! You've randomly started peeling grapes before eating them which is so funny! Carter tried telling you that you don't peel them, you just eat the skin. You paid him no mind so he tried it and decided it was too much work. The only bad thing is you just throw the peel down when you're done. We're working on teaching you to set things on your plate that you don't want, but have I mentioned you are a bit stubborn?
You also love to brush your teeth!
Carter loves you so much and, man, do you love him! Your sibling bond is the sweetest thing ever. I love seeing you playing together, kissing each other, and hugging. Every day when we drop Carter off at school he gives you a hug and a kiss on your head. He also randomly hugs you throughout the day while planting kisses on your head. When he does that you like to push your head into him, ramming him until he falls over. Then you lay in a heap on the floor laughing. If Carter is in time out you always go sit with him and fret over why he is in trouble or crying. Every once in a while the two of you get in a fight over a toy or something, but that's honestly pretty rare at this point. I'm sure it will become more prevalent as you get older. You can hold your own though, that's for sure! Most of your arguments come from Carter attempting to stop you from doing something dangerous. The other day you put my foam roller (which is a cylinder) on it's flat side. Then you climbed up and stood on the top of it. Carter got you down and told you it was not safe in a very stern voice. You cried so hard. You hate being in trouble! You always cry so much harder from getting in trouble than you do from getting hurt. We've decided you've inherited mommy's sensitive side for sure.  You have just started getting possessive over me. If Carter's sitting in my lap and you want to sit with me, you'll yell "My mommy!" You also love babies and love to watch them and play with them, but aren't a fan of me holding them.
He was trying to get you to smile.

You are getting so close to potty training. I think it is something we are going to have to let you do yourself because you are so stubborn. If I ask you to get on the potty you scream at me and refuse to go, bribe or no bribe offered. But you are more than happy to go on your own. We've been letting you run around bare bottomed anytime we are at home and you pretty much always run over to potty when you need to go. It's when we have undies on you that you have accidents. So you can tell when you need to go while naked but not as much with clothes on, sometimes you will with undies on but with much less frequency. You get upset when you have an accident and tell me all about it. Daddy watched you have an accident the other night and then you ran over, got a tea towel down, ran over, mopped it up, and hung the tea towel back up. He said what a good job you did, but we need to work on that last step! You also like to wipe and will put your hands on the ground with your head touching the ground and your booty in the air. Then you reach all the way back to wipe, it's hilarious! One day were we playing and you left the room running. Then you ran back with the potty chair and sat down to potty. Then later that night you pottied in the potty chair before your bath without any of us noticing. We offer you treats after you potty, but they have not been an incentive for you to go. You like to use the potty simply to use the potty. Just recently you've started trying to take your diaper off when you aren't wearing pants. For the first time today you pulled your diaper off during your nap. So I pulled the monitor up to check on you and saw your naked booty in the crib. So funny!

Elise, you are such a joy to be around and just such a sweet and spunky little girl. I love you every moment of every day and you make me laugh so hard and so often. It is a gift to spend my days with you and I can never describe how happy that makes me. I love who you are and who you will become. You are a wonderful little girl with a big personality that is always keeping me on my toes. Remember, mommy loves you forever and for always!!!!

Now on to Daddy:

My rough and tumble little girl. It amazes me that you play so hard and rough and rarely shed a tear over it. Soon Carter will really need to pick his battles with you!

You still really love Skippy and now that you know all of his hiding places, he rarely gets any peace. Just the other day you cornered him in the closet, and gently touched him for several minutes. Even though you were gentle, he hated it and hissed and meowed loudly the whole time. You didn't care though, you were just happy to pet the kitty!

Watching you think, work, and problem solve is so fun and amazing to watch. I would watch you do it all day! You are also very expressive with your face and still love to mimic others. Some times you will mimic me for 4 or 5 minutes!

Love you sweet girl!