Two year olds are funny. And crazy. And difficult. And wonderful.
They are just so much more. Orelia at two is just so much more of a person than she was at one. More energetic, more adorable, more capable, more fun, more exhausting. More.
Once she has mastered something, it's almost impossible to remember a time when she couldn't do the task. I can't imagine a time where she didn't understand everything we say or a time when she wasn't able to communicate what she wanted. I can't imagine a time where she couldn't feed herself. Or walk. Or run. Or simply play in a way that is meaningful.
She's the one that takes the lead on play and decides with whom to share her tea party, where they should sit, what they should eat, and how long it will last. She builds her own Duplo towers now and takes great pride in them.
Her friendships are much more meaningful now, and the kids can communicate things with one another without a mommy translator all the time. They understand how to take turns (when it is convenient for them) and genuinely crave the company of a few specific pals.
Orelia continues to show a passion for art, which we encourage in her. About a month ago she was able to draw her first recognizable object (recognizable to both me and her), and she excitedly shouts "boon!" every time she draws a balloon. Now she adds balloon strings to all drawings I draw for her. So we have "elmo boon" and "turtle boon." By far my favorite is the "hot boon boon" (hot air balloon balloon).
A common demand in our house is "play-doh now!" She always wants to break out the play-doh and play with all her tools, make pizza, or simply "roll out."
We had a couple months where her interest in books waned a bit, but now they are back in fashion. She loves books with Elmo and recently became obsessed with Fancy Nancy. The Fancy Nancy stories were the first books where she began to really follow to plot of the story and comment and remember what happens.
She's a bit of a shoe aficionado, and loves to put on her special pairs (not the regular sneakers, of course), as well as the shoes anyone leaves around the house. We inherited a pair of light-up butterfly flip flops that are always in high demand.
Jumping is a relatively new trick. She can do it freestanding, but gets most of her practice lately in her bed or on her new trampoline.
Since she discovered she could climb out of a crib while in San Diego, we transitioned her to a toddler bed right after her birthday, and she absolutely loves it. She's in a new "big girl" room now and sleeps downstairs while we sleep upstairs. We are really proud of how well she's doing in there so far and frankly can't believe how much time she wants to play in her bed now that it isn't a cage.
We are so happy to spend our time with this silly little munchkin who is such a joy. Life for us is more with her around.
There are lots of things I need to blog about - including our daughter turning two, our son arriving in less than a month, my parents visiting, and Orelia transitioning to a big girl room.
Before I can move on, I feel compelled to share our photos from San Diego, also known as our last vacation for a very long time.
Orelia stayed true to her vacation routine and ate as many bubbles on porches as she could get away with.
Our first day in San Diego, we visited their world famous zoo. Our first stop, per my request, was to see a panda. The juvenile panda was adorable and we got to see him romp around and otherwise fulfill my panda expectations.
The zoo is so gigantic, there is an air tram that runs from corner to corner. Orelia absolutely loved the view from up there.
We thought Saturday evening would be a quiet time to visit Sea World and catch a view of the orcas. We were incredibly wrong, and had to park about a half mile away and battle insane crowds the entire time.
Sea World was absolute mayhem, but Orelia did enjoy the orca show a lot. For the record, yes, I have seen Blackfish and felt plenty of guilt.
We spent our evenings winding down on our porch looking out over the ocean, eating room service or pizza. Occasionally we ventured out into downtown Coronado to feast on a local treasure such as Panera. Oh to travel with a toddler.
After a couple of days of vacation, I was feeling too exhausted to consider venturing out to the Safari Park, so we went to the zoo again. Orelia didn't mind a bit.
Her favorite part was probably petting the goats in the petting zoo and sitting in a helicopter.
We certainly aren't to the point where she cares about rare animals versus common ones, though she did enjoy the infant orangoutang we saw clinging to its mother as well as this fish tank positioned in front of the pygmy hippopotamus.
We technically didn't stay in San Diego, we stayed on the "island" of Coronado (which doesn't really look like an island on a map, so not sure what that's about) right outside the city.
The beach on Coronado was huge and incredibly beautiful. The sand was the softest I have ever felt, and the first evening Orelia felt it she was in awe. She just sat down in it and kept running it through her fingers.
We stayed at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado and made the most of the beach and pool every day.
Orelia found her usual joy in being buried and stomping castles. A beach is a beach.
We are in the home stretch waiting for baby boy, and I'm probably not even supposed to be an hour away from my house/the hospital anymore. I'm glad we got the chance to enjoy beautiful Coronado and San Diego while we had the chance.