Happy second birthday! I find it both amazing how fast time has gone and how much we have been able to cram into such a short time.
In one year you have gone from cruising to running and climbing and jumping, from mimicking words to saying sentences, stories and songs. Your vocabulary is huge and varied and we can understand about 90% of what you say. You can count to 10, sing your ABCs (mostly), know animal sounds (especially if it can roar like a lion or dragon), and just this week figured out a few colors. You use "please" and "thank you" and say "bless you." You are a fantastic singer, which I imagine you won't believe when I tell you when you're older, but you actually sing, not yell, and are in tune and often on pitch. Your favorite song to sing is "Tomorrow" from Annie and we had a few weeks of "Let it Go." "Farmer in the Dell," "Wheels on the Bus," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and many others are also in rotation. You know your name and recently started speaking about yourself in the third person ("Julian Out," "Julian no drink water"). You even have a favorite art exhibit, the hourse statue at the Everson.
When I think of your second year of life, trash cans and water are what will fill my memories. For the first three quarters of this year you were obsessed with garbage cans, so much so that your daycare teacher bought you a little one play with. For the past couple of months, you have become obsessed with water. I think it started from helping Gramma Casell with the laundry and Daddy with the dishwasher, as well a catching the drips from the roof after it rained with Daddy. Now you ask for bathes, to brush your teeth or wash your hands, and to visit fountains constantly. As such, we're having an "Under the Sea" themed birthday party for you next week.
You love running and have scraped up your knees a few times and also flipped over a truck you were pushing at daycare twice, as did your friend Dupree, leading to the rule of crawling with trucks only. You always jump right back up and continue on. You love playing airplane with Papa (and Mommy and Daddy when he isn't around), being held upside-down and practicing headstands with Mommy and playing "whee" with Daddy. You have also spent a lot of time at the park by us climbing. You aren't just rough and tumble though, you also love your baby doll (who you feed and hug and have me pretend to diaper), your stuffed moose, your glow-worm, your kitchen set, flashlights, blocks, balls, and anything to do with cleaning. You have a vacuum, a broom, two mops, a lawnmower, and get really excited when you can help clean the windows and table. If we give you a baby wipe you clean everything possible. It's possible you are Douglas Adams reincarnated, as you love carrying towels around. I try to read to you, but you usually want to hold the book and "read" to me instead; you frequently sit on the reading couch at school as well and read to your friends there.
You spent a lot of time at my mom's this year again, both with us and when I went out of town for work things. You love it there! You have so much fun with Gramma Julie, Gramma Casell, and Aunt Christina (and baby bear, your stuffed friend who lives there and is bigger than you are) and get very sad when we have to leave, which breaks my heart, but we see them about once a month, with a couple week long trips, which isn't too bad considering the two hour drive. We go to Daddy's parents most Fridays to visit which you also love, especially when Kelly is there, too. They have a stash of toys that you love to play with, especially the small tricycle and megablocks. You were quite the hit at the hospital when we visited Hamma there a few times a few months ago.
You didn't travel as much this year, but we did do a trip to the 1000 Islands with Hamma and Papa and one to Ottawa for the Tulip Festival over Mother's Day weekend. Speaking of travel, we flipped around your car seat and you love looking for trucks, buses, construction equipment, and motorcycles, and doing singalongs with me and Daddy as we drive around.
At school you talk about Mimi and Alonzo the most and Miss Vertty is one of your most favorite people in the world. You'll continue on in the toddler room for the next year, which you started November 30th. You didn't walk until 15 months, when one day at school you stood up and walked everywhere. They took video for me and Daddy and I am grateful you are at such a wonderful school.
Every night we look at the pictures on the wall of your grandparents and Aunt Chris and sometimes, at your request, we call one of the grandmas. Then you and I cuddle on the couch, and finally you and Daddy look at the clock, discuss if it is 7:15, and then decide it is bedtime. You still sleep about 12 hours per night and are down to one 2ish hour nap.
You are in 24 month clothes, except for 1-piece pjs where you're in between 2T-3T, and size 4 diapers that we're moving up to 5 soon (you talk about the potty a lot but don't ever want to actually try to use it). You have all your teeth except your two year molars, which I think are coming in as you're chewing everything. Your hair is still light and keeps getting curlier. You are highly independent, love to walk everywhere and can climb up and down the stairs and climb onto all furniture and open a lot of doors. We just set-up your tricycle which you like a lot and will be pretty prevalent in our summer, I think. I'll update your height and weight Monday after your two year appointment. You eat everything but don't like tomatoes, green beans, or mayonnaise. Your favorite foods are fruits, peanut butter, toast, and eggs.
Sadly this year we lost my Uncle Brian and Daddy's Uncle Ed. It is still impossible to me that you will grow up in a world not knowing them. You daddy's employer closed, but he found a temp job quickly and permanent job not too long after that. Lots of good happened, too. You also had one second cousin (Connor) and four new friends (Penelope, Calvin, Ava, and Charlotte) come into the world. Your cousin Erin graduated from college. And two of my cousins (Erin [Sean] and Bobby [Nikki]) got married.
Every day just keeps getting better with you and I am forever grateful that I get to be your mommy. I am continuously impressed by what you say (Daddy and I constantly say "Did you hear that?"), and I love hearing you sing and your wonderful laugh. Watching you learn about the world and how to navigate in it is one of the best things I have ever been able to be a part of. You are kind, loving, curious, and intelligent. In my very biased opinion you're also the cutest little man I've ever seen. I cannot wait to see what the next year brings.
Addendum: A coupel days after your 2nd birthday, we realized you could name all numbers 0-10 and some letters, like "H." Thank goodness for your awesome daycare.