for the past week or so craig, ella and i have been playing a game called "birthday" wherein ella gives one of a us small box filled with her toys and says "happy birthday!" and we say "wow. thank you". you're not allowed to actually open the box - you're supposed to give it back and say "happy birthday to you, too!" and ella gasps and says "thank you, mama!". repeat as necessary every 12 seconds. (a side story: the box at one time contained a gift for ella from my friend faith but in true toddler fashion, the box was what ella was the most obsessed with.)
it's criminal that my tiny little girl is two. (thursday is her actual birthday and we'll be at my mom and dad's new house sans internet connection just yet). when did she become two? when did she starts saying "excuse me" after she burps and throwing a fit for candy at 7:30 in the morning on easter? she counts to ten! she sings her abc! she reads books she's memorized! mensa - are you there?!
tiny tiny babies are cute - they have teeny toes and sweet little lips and are so snuggly. toddlers are wild and flappy and prone to fits when you don't let them spray comet tub&tile cleaner into their mouths from the super fun squirt bottle. but toddlers tell you what they want and laugh at your "jokes" ("hey, look, cowie's on my head!) and they say "i love you" all the time just because. it breaks my heart it's so sweet. my favorite favorite thing ella currently does is she "picks" up things from books and the t.v. and hands them out. like if we see a kitty in a book she "scoops" it up in her hands and gives me one and gives craig one, etc. and then you have to spend some time pretending you're holding a very small cat. or alligator. or person - whatever she's decided she just had to pick up. it's incredibly smart and cute.
a couple weeks ago my dad visited on the way to his new house and mentioned to ella that maybe grammy and grampy would get her a bike for her birthday. since then it's ALL she talks about. her bike and her birthday cake. i've told my parents that if we show up tomorrow and there's no bike i can't guarentee what will happen. i've been assured that a bike has been purchased and adorned with a bow.
as for me after two years with a kid? i'd like to say i'm relaxing a little bit - i no longer think either one of us will die if ella doesn't take a nap. i'm not the worst mom on the playground (she's the one on her cellphone while i console her kid that just fell off the slide) but i'm not the best mom (she's the one ON the monkey bars with the kids). live and let live, right?
right now i'm content to color, watch "madagascar" for the 48th time, sing, dance and look for woodchucks in our backyard area - i love being two!