Elaina is 2 now! I've been sifting through photos and videos from the last few months, picking out the best ones, and smiling at every one of them. She is smart, creative, affectionate, helpful, ambitious, stubborn, sneaky, and hilarious. She is my snuggly little firecracker, and I am so thankful God saw fit to bless us with her life.
I know kids are constantly growing up and maturing, but it seems like Elaina has really hit a new stride in the last couple of months. Her vocabulary is full and well rounded, and she has no trouble letting us know exactly what she needs-or thinks, or wants, or enjoys, or imagines, or thinks maybe should happen someday. Last week I put
Elaina to bed, and about 60 seconds later, she came running out of her
room, pretending to gasp for air, as if she'd just run a mile. "The bad
guys are coming!" she exclaimed dramatically. Then, just to clarify,
"...just for pretend." She is constantly joining her sister in whatever make-believe scenario they've come up with for the moment. There are lots of mommy and daughter scenarios (I'll answer to her calls for "mommy!" just to have her explain, "no, pretend mommy"), sometimes husband and wife, and even master and pet. Elaina makes a very good doggy, sitting, and staying, and obediently eating her treat. It's hilarious.
Her actual human nature, on the other hand, is very much human, and very much that of a two-year-old. She has been testing the waters on what she can get away with, and how stubborn and independent she can be. Sometimes I am amazed at things she finds to be stubborn about. We know stubbornness is something to be shepherded, and not crushed, and so we are trying to figure out how best to do that... and what sorts of things are appropriate for a two-year-old to be stubborn about.
in bed reading a couple of weeks ago, when the girls came to give me hugs and kisses before going
to bed. Elaina kissed my tummy, and then leaned over it and said, "I
want to snuggle Baby Sister." She snuggled up close, resting the side of
her head on my belly. Then she looked up at me, somewhat confused, and slowly said "I hear something." I told her it was the baby singing, then
laughed and told her it was really just my tummy making funny sounds.
usually puts the girls to bed in the evenings, and one night, he did so
after they had a nice little snack. After being all tucked in, Elaina
sat up and said, "Oh wait! I was hungry! I was not going to bed." She
pulled her blankets off and stood up in her bed. "No, honey, is IS time
for bed; you just ate," Bryan explained. "Oh. Right." Elaina said, as
she laid back down and pulled her blankets up. "Of COURSE."
A couple of days before her birthday, we removed one of the sides from her crib, and turned it into a toddler bed. She loves it. She transitioned well, staying in bed most of the time, and hasn't rolled out of bed at all.
Way back in January, we were eating dinner together, and Elaina was, as usual, wearing a long sleeved shirt. "Roll up my sleeves. Will you roll up my sleeves?" Elaina said, in her whiniest voice. "You need to stop fussing, and take a bite, and then you may ask politely for help," I said. Elaina, chewed and swallowed a bite of dinner, and then looked at me. "Did you want to ask me something?" I asked. She paused, and then in her sweetest voice asked "can we watch a movie, maybe?"
She loves wearing dish towels like capes. She loves it when we wrap her up in a blanket, and hold her "like a baby," meaning in our arms the way we would hold a newborn. And the strange kid has developed a special attachment to the pair of toy plastic kitchen knives we have. Sometimes she even takes them to bed.
As you can tell, both the girls like to sing. In fact, they like music of all sorts. I don't actually play music in the house that often, but they always make up for the silence with their own singing.
Sometimes Elaina's bossiness surfaces and she makes it clear that she wants me to sing with them. "Sing it LOUD, Mama!"
(Notice their location for their pretend tea party. For some reason, 3/4 of the way up the stairs is their favorite stop to have a little picnic.)
There is always dancing. Even when we're at someone else's house.
She and Aaron have a lot of fun together. Even at Costco.
She's just a silly little Ham Bone, we call her sometimes. It couldn't possibly be hereditary.
Chloë is a very tidy eater, not wanting food to get on her hands or face. Elaina, on the other hand, thought bean dip would be perfect for hair conditioner and a facial.
Elaina, like her big sister, is somewhat accident prone. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Aren't all kids? But she is a runner, and often times her feet move faster that the rest of her body, and she just splats forward. There is usually a great cry of dismay, more for being offended that her feet failed her, than that of actual pain. Sometimes she makes sure to lay there for a few seconds, being offended at the floor, or her feet, or whatever it was that caused her to fall. And then she hops up and is on her merry way. What a character.
But sometimes I am amazed at how much harm she manages to escape. A few weeks ago, I was watching two extra kids. The 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds
and 3-year-old were all downstairs, watching a movie while I was
cleaning my kitchen after a busy weekend. There was a crashing sound,
but y'know, kids are pretty creative with hauling buckets of toys around, and
sending them flying off the couch or wherever. I listened for a moment,
and everything was quiet, so I wasn't too concerned.
The one-year-old, just being potty trained, came upstairs, and I took
the opportunity to sit her on the toilet for a couple of minutes. Chloë
came upstairs, and I asked her what the crashing sound was. "Oh,
there's some broken glass," she said calmly. Everything was so calm, I
wasn't sure if she knew what she was saying. "Like, glass that got
broken?" I asked. "Yeah..." she replied casually.
As I neared the bottom of the basement
stairs, I saw our huge 3x4 ft picture leaning against the wall. Next to
it, Elaina was sitting, surrounded by a hundred shards of glass,
happily loading the smaller pieces into a little plastic bowl. She had
20 or so pieces neatly in the bowl, the longer shards hanging over the
edge. "Elaina, NO! What are you doing?!" I moved quickly and smoothly,
being careful not to grab anything too suddenly. I turned her hands
over, expecting them to be covered in blood. Nothing. Chloë
practically ran through the pile of glass. The one-year-old was coming
down the stairs. The other two-year-old was a couple of feet away,
interested in the new pile of stuff that was apparently for playing with. "Kids, no,
stop!" I almost yelled. I picked up Elaina, brushing glass shards off
her clothes. I got everyone upstairs and closed the door.
considered calling Bryan, but everything was fine. No one was hurt. I
just had a big mess to clean up. I put a show on my laptop, and
instructed everyone to watch it while I went back downstairs. The glass
was crazy. Some of the shards were a half inch wide and a foot long.
How was there no blood?? How was everyone alive??? I carefully picked
up all the pieces. There were thousands of microshards everywhere. The
stuffed cat covered in shards went to the trash. I vacuumed the same
small area for at least 10 minutes. I guess that picture wasn't framed
with plexiglass after all.
After everything was clean, I checked all
the kids again. Triple checked Elaina's hands. Everyone was fine. I
almost couldn't believe it. I felt like I should have won some sort of Worst
Mother and Babysitter Award. And yet, God is so merciful. And I can't believe I don't have any gray hairs yet.
Elaina also loves technology. Meaning, my iPhone and the iPad, of
course. She easily maneuvers between games and movies, and sometimes
like to use the camera to take some sweet selfies.
And of course, as all little sisters do, she wants to do whatever Chloë is doing. It's pretty sweet, as long as you aren't the older sister being constantly pestered. She loves counting, and singing the ABCs, and drawing, and trying to do puzzles. Although she is easily frustrated at her lack of instant perfection, and will moan "I can't DO IT," if something is taking her longer than a second to accomplish. But at the same time, she is stubborn, and longs to do things without out help. "I can DO IT," she will say, almost arguing with our offer to help her with something.
She loves playing Hide and Seek with anyone who will play with her.
And she loves being tickled. We also play "timber" and "buh BOOM bah" on our bed, which both girls thoroughly enjoy.
It seems like she's learning new things every day. We started working on memorizing Bible verses a couple of months ago, and she took right to it.
She is such a joy and delight. We sure do love our little Lainey Pants.
Oh, and just for fun, here's what Chloë was up to at this age.