Since the photo montage to your dad was a smashing success with the people I know and don't know 'out there,' and I really am making an effort (even if it isn't obvious) to do a better job of getting your days down on paper, pictures, internet, I thought I might remind you of some things I really love about you and some of the things you have been doing recently. Though I hope I am never 'one of those moms' who always has her phone with her/out/in use when we are playing together, I do always at least know where it is nearby for snapping a quick picture or video and hopefully that part is paying off.
In a sentence, you are the cutest, most cheerful, most imaginative and kind 2.5 year old in the world to your dad and me. We are only slightly biased...but believe me, I know lots of kids, so I'm sticking with this as truth. Here are some examples:
Several months ago we went to a Bobcats game and you had a blast getting a balloon flower and watching the "basketball guys" as you call them. You were so enthralled with Rufus, the mascot and talk about him all the time. We went a few weeks ago to an open house for the Bobcats that was supposed to be a blast and was actually a total dud - but you were still thrilled to be there even with the expectation of Rufus being there. And when he didn't come, even though we'd been talking about him coming ALL. DAY. (fail Bobcats, fail.), you just asked what kind of covers he had on his bed where we told you he was sleeping and kept going without missing a beat.
You love some good time with a garden hose. I think I can thank Beth for this because you always help water her flowers. You are a very helpful gardener watering the hydrangeas, making 'dirt soup' with a spoon, tupperware bowl and some mulch and weeds, and mowing the grass with dad with the Fisher Price lawn mower Caleb passed on to you. This day after work, we came home to water and play outside and we both had a great time letting you water and spray me with the hose to your heart's content. You thought it was the best thing ever that I let you spray me as much as you wanted, and I thought it was the best thing ever to hear the deep belly laugh of real joy every time you got me!
After a hard day's work, you always know how to kick back and relax with a good summer time snack. One of our favorite past times is sitting on our front porch together eating a popsicle and reading books. I am so thankful for the front porch on our house, and I love that you would play outside all day if we would let you. Hopefully in our next home we will have better outdoor play space, but for now, our front porch/tree house serves us quite well!
We recently had some of dad's volunteer team from church over for a cookout and had this super fancy water box out for the kids to play with. You sure have loved it - best $7 I have spent in a long time. You are always sure to make your lower half ready for any call to the water in case you need to save anyone from the flood. If you look closely, you might notice that Super Grover and Big Bird even made it onto this version of the ark. They might not have come on by twosies, twosies - but you are not one to discriminate. I love how you perched the dove on the top of the ark and how you used your watering can to make it rain after cramming all your guys on there!
You really are just like your dad. I have lots of mental images of him tucked in bed like this also, late night watching basketball games that aren't on our 4 channels of cable-less television. This was taken either on a Saturday or Sunday - either way, what we call one of our 'family fun day(s)' over the weekend when we are all home together and there is no going to work. You love to come tuck in bed - who am I kidding, you are usually jumping, not snuggling - but you do enjoy getting to watch a show while you wake up on the weekend. You have recently discovered Busy Town shows on Netflix, which I will take any day over having to read one of Richard Scarry's 8 million word, 5,000 page books. These books, I usually send right to Beth's house! (True confessions Beth, sorry!)
Ham, ham, ham. Here's what you did with some new pajamas you wanted to look at in the car on the way home after we bought them. You are a nut and I love that about you, I love your cheerfulness, your joy, and your constant source of fun - it is good for my heart the same way that your dad's lightheartedness is good for my heart. I also love the little look you are giving me in this picture, your face is the cutest.
Sometime recently when we were home alone together and dad was away for the night, I let you have a sleepover in my bed. I remember growing up when my dad would be away and I got to have sleepovers in my mom's bed. They were the best. I could look at your sweet, sleeping face all night long. What is it about us mothers that we love to watch our sleeping children? Raffi, the giraffe, is your best pal, and he always sleeps tucked right up beside you. As silly as it seems, I am glad that you have Raffi and love him the way you do - stuffed animals are somehow a great way to learn to love and 'be loved.' I know, I slept with mine until I got married. True story.
I love you sweet, sleeping girl. I am proud of who you are and the kid you are becoming. You are going to be a great big sister; you are already the greatest kiddo and best little pal!
Your mama loves you.