This is the first time I've just completely forgotten about writing a monthly letter. I thought about just changing the name of this post and adding in a to and from, but I like also including your mad skillz from the month.
Like I said before, my rambunctious little wild woman, you are trying so hard to stay strong with Daddy being gone all the time, but damn you are seriously upping your toddler game. You have tested me so many times recently, and the more frustrating it is, the more guilty I feel for your dad working so much. I know part of it is that, and part of it is just that you're two, but it easier to take on the guilt than admit you're just going to be a hellion sometimes.
You talk all the time now, and I mean ALL.THE.TIME. I love being able to hear what you have to say, what you're thinking, and what I say on a regular basis when you spit it right back at me. You are still going strong in the Why? Phase, but you're not doing it as an argument, you really are curious why everything happens.
You are still far and away the biggest tomboy I'll ever know. Just two days ago, you woke Daddy up for the day and immediately told him to go to Target because you needed "a pink ball, a yellow ball, a dark blue ball, a light blue ball, a brown ball, a black ball, a white ball, ALL THE BALLS!" And when he told you that you already had like 40 balls, you screamed back at him, "Go downstairs and get them!"
Even though the weather is cold and rainy every day, we still try to make walks and playing outside mandatory. Whenever there's a break in the rain, all the coats and hats and socks and shoes are thrown around the house in a tornado trying to get out there before it starts again. I'm getting really good and getting you and Lyla dressed for outside play in a few minutes flat. Of course, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times we've gone outside and you haven't needed a completely new outfit by the time we come back in due to dirty ball collection, mud puddle stomps, and rock inspections.
Lyla Lou, you have become so silly and giggly this month, but are still desperately trying to keep hold of your reign as the youngest Dirty Looks Queen on Earth. You now go from clapping happily and grinning from ear to ear to a death-stare when the wrong person tries to share in your excitement.
You still don't take your belly off the ground when you crawl around the house, and since you've been crawling like that for almost two months now, I think that's just your thing. Gracie had the Pirate Crawl, and you have what Auntie Leslie loves to call the Lieutenant Dan crawl. You will also pull up to standing on things that you deem short enough. Unlike your sister who took her first steps at 9 months, you like to do things on your own terms. And sometimes, we're quickly learning, those terms are very specific.
I'm to the point now where I feel bad keeping you locked up in the Ergo or my arms when we go places and have started to schedule in blocks of time when I know we'll be home and able to provide lots of crawl around and play time. It's hard with your Tasmanian Angel sister sometimes, but we make it work.
Finally, you two are IN LOVE. Lyla has always looked up to Gracie, but now the playing field is becoming shockingly more... playful. Instead of talking about Lyla to me, Gracie now talks to Lyla most of the day. Lyla used to spend her days watching Gracie and laughing and laughing at her. Now, Gracie laughs at Lyla just as often. I have the cutest video on my phone of you two playing an impromptu game of peekaboo yesterday, and as soon as I upload it, you can bet I'm throwing it up on this here blog.
Even though this month has been rough on all of us, and you two can drive me absolutely batty sometimes, not a day goes by, not even an hour, where you don't make my heart stop with the sweetest smile or funny question or playful embrace. Just a few minutes ago, we were coming home from the children's museum where Gracie made leaving the building quite a hellish ordeal and whined the entire car-ride home, and then turned her head to Lyla's carseat, outstretched her hand and shouted, "Please hold my hand, Lyla Lou!" I teared up right then and there.
Spending my days (and nights) with you two is the hardest, most annoying, easiest, most wonderful thing I can imagine.