I didn’t think I could love my little Grace Ellen any more than I did on the day she was born.
But I do.
It seems like I love her a little more each day that I spend with her and I’m still trying to figure out how that’s even possible when my love was bursting at the seams to begin with.
She’s almost two and a half and this is such a fun stage!
I’ve never been a fan of toddlers.
I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true. Babies are soft, cuddly and quiet, while toddlers are noisy, boisterous and energetic.
But my little Gracie Bear has swayed my vote.
I’m a total toddler fan right now.
Her vocabulary is growing each day and I love hearing her string words together to form sentences. She’s my little buddy and we get to spend all day every day together. It seems like a dream, and I often pinch myself to make sure it’s real.
Watching her personality blossom has been so awesome. She’s driven, feisty and knows what she wants.
Hmmm…I wonder who she got that from? ;)
She’s also very sensitive, sweet and pensive. Lately she’ll wander over to where I’m sitting and throw her arms around my neck for a big hug, her little face lingering on my neck for a few precious seconds after the squeeze. At the first hint of a frown on my face, she’ll ask me, “What’s wrong Mommy?”
My heart melts into a giant puddle of goo every time.
She loves books and will lay in bed listening to book after book after book. She can even finish the sentences of all of her favorites which blows my mind every. single. time.
Her stuffed animals are her pride and joy. I mentioned her beloved “puppy” in the Halloween post and he is by far her favorite animal of them all. She has about 8 teddy bears that are each distinctly named although the majority of them are small and tan. I’ve come to learn their names so that I can quickly locate anyone who’s missing at nap or bed time. They are:
- Band-ad Teddy (band-aid teddy because he has a small sticker on his leg)
- Mommy’s Teddy (a cute white bear that used to be a decorative item on her shelf, but is now tattered and loved and hasn’t seen the shelf for the better part of a year)
- Baby Teddy (a small tan bear whose only distinguished by a tiny pink bow around his neck
- Pooh Loves (a small tan classic Winnie the Pooh bear)
- Heart Teddy (a scratchy, kind of ugly bear that we almost donated to the Salvation Army last fall but who was snatched back into the car by my inner hoarder. This teddy wears a red and white striped Longaberger heart around his neck. Don’t ask why because I have no idea!)
- Uh-one Teddy (aka “other one teddy” which could mean any of the other 4-6 bears in her collection. Good luck guessing which one she wants when she’s worked up about it!)
This list of bears doesn’t even scratch the surface of animals that she loves like family. There are ducks and giraffes and kangaroos and even Elmos (is that the plural of Elmo?).
I love the way she hugs them and feeds them and covers them up with blankies and straps them into car seats and grocery carts. I’m hoping she’s as fond of her baby sister when the time comes :)
She also loves puzzles and will put the same 7 wooden puzzles together over and over every day. I’m on a mission to add more to our collection because she loves them so much! Lately she’s taken to playing with the animal pieces as though they were individual toys. Her little Minnie Mouse was riding a wooden horse puzzle piece all morning long. Her wild imagination warms my heart.
Not only have I enjoyed watching her learn how to communicate and play, but I’ve cherished watching her develop into a very good little girl.
She’s strong willed, but thanks to some godly wisdom from other parents and a book called Shepherding a Child’s Heart, she has been growing into a little girl with a heart that loves God.
She is increasingly obedient, kind, well-behaved, friendly, sincere and self-controlled. She’s still a regular two year old little girl, but watching her learn from being disciplined is a beautiful thing that encourages my own heart to desire growth and change.
I’ve probably memorized her from head to toe a hundred times and could stare for hours at her light brown & golden hair that shimmers in the light and twists into small curls at the ends, sweet blue eyes with long dark lashes, perfect button nose with the tiny dimple on the right side, little pink top lip that pokes out just a bit farther than the bottom one, soft smooth cheeks, dimpled elbows and wrists, tiny hands with short little fingers like mine, round belly with a perfect belly button and petite little legs that end with the sweetest feet and crunched up toes that I ever did see.
And she’s all mine.
I can’t believe how blessed I am to have her and I don’t want to ever take her for granted considering how much pain and loss is experienced by mothers the world over.
Thank you Lord for my sweet girl.