Linnea is two! This cutie pie turned two on the fourth of July and gave us a good reason this year to celebrate. We had watermelon cake, play time, gifts, and snuggles.
I’m an excavator!
Two with two is, of course, very different from the last experience with “two”. Linnea is far more excited about being two than Darwin was, I think in part because Darwin is excited for her. So what does two look like this time?
- Well, two is BIG. 30 lbs, just half an inch shy of three feet tall, the girls are at the point where they share about 50% of their clothes, and the other 50% I’m never quite sure about.
- Two is ACTIVE. Constant jumping, running, eating, digging, into everything active. We have a hard time keeping her stimulated, and she certainly needs far more exercise than our aging lab. She jumps off of two feet with ease, climbs everything, and runs/dances everywhere she can.
- Snuggles continue to abound. Taking the kids to California without Leah was the most brilliant thing I possibly could have done, because it cemented a whole lot of bonding that has been slow to go since I work full time and Leah is home with the girls this summer. I get all the snuggles. I get all the bedtime huggles. It’s wonderfully delightful.
- Two is SCREAMING. We definitely hit the Jeckyll and Hyde with this kid. She can go from zero to glass-shattering screaming-on-the-floor, face squinched and red in 2.5 seconds. It usually involves being told no. Or when the dog eats her snack out of her hand. Or Darwin takes a toy without asking. Or…yeah. There’s a lot of screaming going on at our house right now.
- Being silly ALL THE TIME. And owning it. “I silly mama” is regularly heard around the house. Facial overlays are definitely a favorite right now.
- Kindness is also a common occurrence. Sharing toys, food, hugs, checking in, apologizing when she hurts someone, it’s pretty cool to see her earnest concern when Darwin is crying or hurt. Growing up fast.
- Two is being completely and utterly worn out by the end of the day. This is a foreign concept. Sleep is to be fought at all costs by toddlers, right? Nope, not this one. She sleeps hard. When she misses a nap, she’ll just fall asleep. Didn’t get enough sleep overnight? No problem:
- All the words. I hate to imagine how much screaming there would be if she weren’t so verbal.
Two this time around is pretty awesome. I think it was pretty awesome the last time too. As with Darwin, I’m dropping the monthly posts (as late/sporadic as they sometimes were), but I’ll be checking in regularly with general updates about the kids, and hopefully some day we’ll be able to go through all this again!
Last week I drove down to California with both kids and my dad (who is recovering from a badly broken leg/knee). We went by way of Reno to see friends from Maine then over the Sierras and up to our family cabin near Big Trees State Park. The kids were amazing, especially given that Linnea hasn’t spent a full 24 hours away from Leah ever and our trip was 8 days long.
Highlights included playing in the pool, splashing in Lake Alpine, and playing with the cousin’s kids. Darwin found a friend in my cousin’s youngest daughter (almost 7) and Linnea was a hit with the older kids. I think because she would basically mimic them doing anything and they thought she was adorable (which is true).
The house we stayed in most of the time had a big porch the kids loved sitting and playing on. The rails weren’t to code which meant I was a stress ball while they were out there.
Every day was an exhausting one. Darwin took more naps on good trip than she did last year. Linnea slept well for naps and had a few all nighters with no wake ups. She also finished potty training on this trip. So proud!
Family pictures are the best. Just missing MamaLee!
Darwin finished her first year of preschool last week. It was a mixed bag this year, with lots of rushed mornings and tears, concurrent with happy pickups and insistence that “I LOVE my school!” Since she definitely gets her dislike of change/transitions and her not morning-personness from me, I am sympathetic. I am also relieved for a break from having to drag her through her morning routine!
Things she worked on this year include: several of her letters, sorting things by size and categories (like living and non-living), following rules, dancing, singing, painting, doing buttons and zippers, and being in a space with 23 other kids. It was a big year.
One of the questions we had for her at the end of the year was how she would feel about Linnea going to her school either next year (if a mid year spot opens up) or the following year. Darwin was enthusiastic about the idea and very insistent that she would not be happy of Linnea went to a different school because “this is the best school and Linnea should go here.” Alright kiddo, deal.
Leah was awesome and took the time to repeat our first day of school questions. Things have changed in just 9 months!
Two is roaring into our house with lots of talking, laughing, and screaming. Currently Linnea is either the happiest kid on the block or she’s losing her mind screaming and throwing full blown tantrums. 2 is certainly the age for big feelings.
She’s mostly night weaned now, which basically meant weeks of disrupted bedtimes and hard night wake ups. Now we’re mostly just down to the hard night wake ups while bedtime is pretty smooth. Mostly. Some I’m still up in the night with Darwin regularly most of Linnea’s wake ups fall to Leah so it’s been a rough month for her. I step in sometimes, but it’s clearly not enough to make much of a difference. I look forward to being through the nightly wake ups.
I would venture to say her favorite actively currently is drawing. As we see on our walls, windows, and windowsills. No writing utensil can be left within sight or reach unless we want a room redecorated.
Linnea is such a snuggle bug these days. Always on the go, she never fails to pause for a hug and a chat about colors or counting or talking about her day. It’s quite sweet.
Hard to believe this kid will be 2 in less than 4 weeks, and also hard to believe she’s not 5 already. She thinks she can do everything he big sister can and is usually correct.
This morning Darwin and I were snuggling and she said she wanted to sing me a song. This is a new thing that she’s been doing a lot lately. I love it. She told me the song was a surprise, and busts out in the following lyrics*:
I think you’re wonderful
When somebody says that to me
I feel wonderful, as wonderful can be
It makes me wanna say the same thing to somebody new
And by the way I’ve been meaning to say
I think you’re wonderful, too
Let’s just say I had a hard time not a) crying or b) throwing all my money at this preschool (which let’s be real, we already do, but still).
So in case you need to hear it, I think you’re wonderful!
* lyrics by Red Grammer
Linnea is about to hit the big 23 months and I’ve managed to miss the last two monthly updates, so a quick list of the last two months before we hit 23 next week.
- This kid talks CONSTANTLY. In full, coherent, often hilarious sentences. From telling us what she wants to telling us she loves us (one of my very favorite milestones), her language explosion has made life both easier and more delightful. She makes jokes “hedge…FROG!” instead of hedgehog (with big grins and laughs). She repeats most things Darwin says, including things like “I love my sister!” Also, “mine,” less fun.
- While Darwin is happy to sleep in until 8…or 9, Linnea is up by 7 every morning. This kid is a hardcore morning person. She wakes up happy and ready to go. Typically she wakes at around 5 and nurses (the only nursing she does now) until she wakes for the day between 6 and 7. I don’t know how she is for Leah in the morning, but when I’m up first she’ll play independently for 20-30 minutes with whatever toy she finds interesting (this morning it was trains, then magnetiles), before declaring that either a) “I’m HUNGRY,” before running to the cupboard to decide what she wants for breakfast (almost always baby cereal with goat milk right now), or b) telling me “I needa go potty!”
- Because this kid is about 80% potty trained. Or in her words “I wanna potty train!” It’s both awesome (bye bye constant stream of diapers) and frustrating (hello nightly wash of accident laundry). But overall I’m glad for it.
- Linnea is a big eater. She eats more than Darwin by far, and eats almost everything we put in front of her. Favorites are definitely pasta and cheese, but vegetables and fruits and meat of all kinds are also enjoyed enthusiastically. It’s not surprising to me. She needs to eat to keep up with her high energy!
- Running, scootering, climbing, rocking on the rocking horse, digging in the sandbox, this kid doesn’t ever really stop until she just passes out asleep.
- Nap time is awesome. She lays down and goes to sleep within 5 minutes usually. We paid for it up front, as she didn’t really nap when she was an infant. Now she’ll regularly sleep for two hours during the middle of the day. Sometimes three. It’s delightful and wonderful and will now cease to be true since I’ve spoken it aloud. Or at least written it.
- Bedtime was awesome, but in the last week + it was been…long. She used to lay down and be asleep in her pack’n’play within 15 minutes. Now she tosses and turns for upwards of an hour, sometimes closer to two. I realized last night that it might be related to the fact that she isn’t nursing before bed (not asking, not offering), and the milky hormones might be making it harder. So I’m going to give her a warm bottle of goat milk tonight before we brush teeth and see if that helps. Cross fingers please.
- Singing songs. Just like her big sister, Linnea loves to sing. They actually squabble over whose turn it is to sing/choose a song to sing together. It’s adorable/obnoxious.
See you in a week for the next installment of “how cool is this kid!?”
I’m so behind on everything with blogging right now, and don’t have time or energy for the moment to catch up, except that this joined our family last weekend and I’m super excited to have enough space for all the things now!