Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bye Bye, Baby

My sweet, sweet Presley Kate turned 2 last week. If she wasn't the cutest, funniest, happiest, most delightful little person I have ever been around, I might be a bit sadder about this transition from baby-hood to true kid-hood.  But I have to say, I love where she's at right now. This age abounds with cuteness. It's not without it's frustrations....I could write a book on the ways this child turns my hair gray(er) everyday...but OH MY at the hilarity of spending just one hour with her. At the end of each day, I could collapse from exhaustion, and usually I do, but I have spent my entire day laughing and and being entertained by the funniest comedian I've ever known. She knows how to make us laugh, and she delights in doing it, and some days I don't know how we lived as long as we did without her.
I’ll recap her little party tomorrow, but for now I thought I’d share some pics I took of her last week and a few facts about Presley at age 2.  I really wanted some two year pictures made, but I am trying to be frugal….so I did them myself.  And I got a few I love and will frame. 
Presley is my talker, and she has a pretty big vocabulary for a 2 year old, or at least I think she does. She talks constantly, articulates pretty well, and can communicate most anything she wants to say to us. Mattie was a good talker pretty early too, but I think Presley is even better than she was.
She is also Miss Personality, and has never met a stranger.  This is SO different than Mattie, who still to this day will hide behind my legs if a someone speaks to her.  But when I take Presley somewhere, I have to be prepared to talk to strangers, because most of the time she introduces me to them.  She insists on riding facing forward in the buggy (with her booty on the handrail, and her feet in the seat, with her back against my chest) so she can see where we’re going, and then as we pass people, she yells “HI!!” at them until they notice her, and then the stranger will say something like “oh hi there, aren’t you a sweet little girl”, and then she points to me and says “dis mommy!!” (this is mommy), to which they say “OH, is this your mommy?  Hi mommy!”, and I have to then say “hi, how are you?”.  This goes on and on and on.  Not sure why she thinks she has to introduce me to everyone, but I have met lots of nice people in the grocery store over the past several months.
This seems obvious, but Presley loves her family. Really, really loves all of us. She loves her aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. so much and a lot of the conversations we have are about her family, and what an aunt or grandparent might be doing at that moment, or when we might see them again.  I think her favorite thing about her party was having all her people in one spot for a little while.   She is a sweetheart.

This child loves animals.  Loves them. I've mentioned before her love of cats, but she really loves dogs as well. We joke that she loves her dog relatives more than her human relatives, because she loves all her dog cousins so much. She isn't afraid of dogs at all, and we are blessed to have lots of kid-friendly dogs in our family.  I need to do a separate post with pictures of her and all her dog friends.
Presley has never been real interested in TV, but right now she is obsessed with the show "Olivia" on Nick Jr. This is the one about a little girl pig and her family. The good thing about "Olivia" is I don't mind watching it, and neither does Mattie. It's not irritating and annoying the way "Dora" or "Backyardigans" is. She also loves "Blues Clues", and Mickey is always a hit.  She got some “Olivia” toys for bday, so she is thrilled with those.
Favorite foods are yogurt, waffles, oatmeal, dry cereal, pepperonis, cheese, strawberries, apples, bananas, pb&j sandwiches, noodles or pasta of any kind, ketchup, chicken, and usually anything I cook for supper is a hit with her. She is my non-picky eater and will usually gobble up whatever we're eating.

She is in a phase right now where she has strong preferences about what she wears. She prefers dresses, especially pink ones, and she has one favorite pink dress that is now out of season and I'm only letting her wear it in the house these days. She prefers to sleep in gowns as well. Very girly!
We have been potty training for a while now, and as of right now, she is doing great. We've definitely had our ups and downs, and I've been beyond frustrated and ready to give up at times and try again months down the road, but we've stuck with it, and I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. She initiated wanting to start using the potty at about 21 months, so we took it slow and just let her go when she wanted, etc. The next month I got more serious with it, and began really putting effort into it. To be 24mos old, I am THRILLED with where she's at right now. Just this week I have been taking her out of the house in panties more and more, and we've done grocery shopping, doctors office, church nursery, and several other places with panties on and she's done accidents. Mattie started potty training right after she turned 2 and it took several months, so we're just a little ahead of big sister. 
Favorite toys and activities include playing with baby dolls, playing dress up in sisters dress up clothes (and now some of her own dress up stuff she got for birthday), playing in mommy's shoes and jewelry and walking around the house with it on, playing in sister's play kitchen, reading books, going to church, going to mother's day out, playing with Mimi's new puppy, and doing anything outdoors...she loves to be outside getting dirty.
Some of my favorite things she says or words she's using:

-Mattie is usually called "Tih-Tuh" (sister) but more and more she’s actually saying “Mattie”.  Especially when she yells at her.
-She loves Mimi and Papa's new Goldendoodle puppy who's name is "Jolie", but Presley calls her "Lo Lo" or "Lolie".  They were fast friends and are now two peas in a pod. 
-Church is "Turch", and she loves going.  She goes with me to bible study once a week and goes to the nursery, she goes to Awana on Wednesday, and then she’s there on Sunday mornings, and it is one of her favorite places to be. 
-Mother's Day Out is "Baby Cool (school)", and she LOVES it as well.  We have been so blessed with this MDO program….she is so loved and adored there, and we have felt right at home even though it’s not our home church.
-This week while in the car, she has started saying to me "slow down, mama" when I'm driving. And I'm talking about when I'm just driving in town going the speed limit. I have no idea where this came from, but she says it in this super sweet, pleading little voice over and over. So cute.
-We have two Bassett Hound dogs… the boy is Drake, and our girl is Roxie. Presley calls Roxie "Rocky" and Drake "Rocky Too". Not sure why she won't say "Drake", but to her they are the same dog basically, I guess.
-She can say big words like "Lemonade" and "Microwave"
-Mattie is playing soccer, so Presley has been to several soccer games now.  After the first one, she came home so excited and told Matthew (who had to miss the game) that “Tih-Tuh kick balls!  Hard!”, and this is how she has referred to soccer from then on.  If she sees me getting Mattie’s uniform out, she asks “Tih-Tuh kick balls tonight?”.  This has caused us endless amounts of laughter as you can imagine. 
-She says “Oh-Tay” (OK), “Tay-Too” (Thank You), “Peas” (Please) all very regularly…very polite and sweet.  Although “No” is another favorite word, but at least she doesn’t scream it much anymore. 
We have had a hugely busy fall with Mattie playing soccer, and Matthew having ball games every week.   But Presley has loved every minute of it, and has loved going to both soccer and football games.  She is usually just a social butterfly at both, and spends her time going from person to person to visit.  And eating snacks. 
We went to the doctor yesterday morning for her 2yr checkup, and she weighed 33lbs (95th percentile) and was 36" (90th percentile). She has consistently, since birth, stayed in the above 90th percentile range for both height and weight. A year ago, she was 27lbs and 32-1/2" at her 1yr checkup, so she's only gained 5 1/2lbs in the past year, but 4 inches. She is losing all her baby "chub" and is turning into a long, lean girl.
It’s so funny to me, but she is wearing a very wide range of sizes now. In some dresses, she can still wear a 12-18m, and it fits like a tunic or long top with leggings. But she can also wear some of Mattie's 4t stuff that Mattie *just* outgrew....if it's a smaller fitting dress, it just fits long. For new things, I'm buying 3T, but she can still fit into a lot of her 2T stuff from last year unless it's pants and those are mostly too short. She's in a size 8 or 8-1/2 shoe, which puts her wearing shoes Mattie wore when she was nearly 3.

We are still sleeping in a baby bed, with no plans to change that any time soon. She loves her baby bed, and I'm fine with her being in it. She sleeps like a champ, so I see no need to mess with a good thing at this point. Mattie was 2-1/2 when we converted her crib to a toddler bed, and a few months after that we moved her to a full size bed, but I see Presley staying in the crib till closer to 3.  Mattie is dying to have sister spend the night in her bed at some point, and she reminds me all the time that when Presley was a newborn and she wanted her in the bed, I told her that we’d revisit the idea when Presley was two, and maybe by then she’d be old enough to.  Mattie never forgets anything!  But the few times I have put Presley in bed with Mattie, she will only stay a minute and then she cries for her baby bed, ha! 
There is just no way to articulate what a joy this child is.  She is so loved, so adored, so cherished by everyone who knows her, especially her family, and I just cannot believe I get to be her mama.  I can’t wait to see what this next year holds!
Since Presley is not the only little girl I’m crazy in love with and over the moon about, I have to include a picture and mention what a big girl my Mattie is.  I think as much as Presley has changed in the past year, that Mattie may have grown and matured more.  I think about her a year ago, and how she acted at Presley’s birthday party last year (major jealousy meltdown!), and some of the issues we were having at school around that time, and I just can’t hardly believe what a young lady I’ve got now.  I think there is such a huge growth spurt maturity-wise that happens around age 5, or at least that’s been the case with Mattie.  She ended up being sick the day of Presley’s party and didn’t get to go to it, and it nearly broke her heart.  She adores – ADORES - Presley, and I tell Presley all the time how lucky she is to have Mattie as her big sister.  I never see any meanness, any unkindness, or any hatefulness from her directed at Presley….only love, adoration, sweetness, and tenderness.   The love Mattie has for her baby is just so sweet, and as the mama, I’m so incredibly thankful for it. 
I was not planning to take Mattie’s picture this day, she was just being my “assistant” with taking Presley’s picture, so I didn’t have her hair fixed and these were the clothes she wore to school that day, but I snapped this quick pic of her and I love how it turned out.  Such a sweetie and so photogenic! 

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