Best of all, about a week ago, she started to smile. REAL smiles. At us. Not just gas or whatever people say. This little girl looks us in the eyes and grins. Capturing that little grin on film isn't easy. She is a tricky one.
LOL I'll keep trying.
And then there is this one.
Isn't she adorable?? She is growing so big. She speaks in full sentences, loves princesses and Elmo and pickles, likes teasing everyone and doesn't miss a thing - or forget a thing either. And she loves her baby sister - sometimes a little much. (In Hootie's world, laying on your sister is how you show affection. And every time Carly makes a peep, Hoot yells - like really YELLS, "CARLY KATE CRYING! CARLY KATE CRYING!" The poor little girl - not a moment of peace since the day she was born.)
She is adorable and funny and sweet and smart as a whip - and ornery and bossy and stubborn and loud.
She is getting to be like a two-year old now. "NO" is her standard answer for just about everything. It is exhausting. If you want to get over a fear of rejection, spend the day with my 21-month old daughter. You will hear "no" so many times, it will mean nothing to you by noon! LOL
She has started to refuse a nap. But she NEEDS a nap still. Desperately. And truthfully, I still need her to take one so I can regroup and have a moment to myself - because somedays the early arrival of The Terrible Twos is cause for the early departure of my patience and sanity.
I am going to be so honest right here - please don't judge me or think that it means I don't love my kid. I love my kid more than anything, no doubt about that. And she is ADORABLE. And smart and funny and everything that I can think of that this wonderful.
But at this age, she is challenging. More challenging than ever. I feel like everyone gets nervous about newborns - the up in the night, the nursing, the crying, the diapers. But honestly, newborns are EASY.
Toddlerhood = not so much. This is hard.
I feel like a shitty mom saying that. I know that someday I will look back and miss Little Miss Challenging. And I look at her and my heart fills up with love and I want to keep her this little forever. But sometimes, it is hard keeping my motherly head above water. Sometimes it is hard to be here in a heap of toys and cracker crumbs, being screamed at and told "NO!" all day, listening to my own voice droning on and on about how dangerous that is or how this is not for kids, blah blah blah. Oh God, the sound of my own voice - even I am sick of it. LOL
She is at the age now where I am feeling like what I do (and allow her to do) has real impact on her. She remembers EVERYTHING. It feels like I can't let her get away with anything anymore because I am going to have to "undo" that later - she is too small to understand "just this once" and too big to be allowed to misbehave. I want her to be nice and kind and friendly. And honestly, there are times when I look at her and see tears and temper tantrums and screaming, and I wonder if I am doing it right. I wonder if I will end up with the female version of Dexter or something. LOL Okay, I know that that is ridiculous, but my mind always jumps to the worst case scenario.
Challenging as it is, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love my girls, I love this life. And I understand that this is just one of many shapes our family will take on over the years. Like I have said before, life here with a newborn and a toddler is often a complete matter of survival. And on the days that I am lucky enough to be able to put her down for a long nap and put the baby down at the same time (like today - this is only like the third time this has ever happened! LOL), survival means a deep breath, some chocolate, and a moment of quiet - all to gear up for whatever my girls have in store for me after nap. :-)