Oh Josephine, it was not so long ago that we had just brought you home from the hospital and started this journey together. The greatest piece of advice I received when becoming a mother was from one of my first post-partum recovery nurses. She told me that when it feels as though everyone has expectations and opinions on how to parent or what is right, just remember that my baby has none. She is learning with me, step by step. She is learning to live in this world, just as I am learning to care for her. All she wants is my love, and that is all I need to worry about giving her.
That advice has stuck with me these two years, even typing it out brings tears to my eyes. Every day I try to give my little Josephine all the love I have, and she gives it right back to me.
My little baby has blossomed into a big girl, and an amazing big sister! I call her my crazy, because she is! Everything Josie does is at full speed. Her brain is powerful, and I am constantly amazed by how incredibly intelligent she is. She speaks in sentences (I'm talking 5 or 6 words at a time), expresses her emotions with words, and mimics us until she develops true understanding of what we're saying. She's running and jumping and tackling new adventures every day. It's exhilarating to watch!
I have known from early on that Josie was fiercely independent. The best way to describe her has always been busy. She is busy learning, creating and exploring and has never been one to sit next to me and cuddle. She wakes up every morning with bright smile on her face and cannot wait to start the day! I love mornings with my Jos, she greets me as I open the door "Hello Mommy!" quickly followed by "Baby sleeping? Baby downstairs?" her love for her sister is breathtaking!
Josie prefers to break or take toys apart, rather than play with them. I see so much of her father, the engineer, in her! It's incredible watching her mind work as she fights to find how to open EVERYHING in an effort to explore how they run. She loves books and songs and learning and I am often amazed when she sings a new song to me that we have not practiced, but she has heard from a toy or a different child. Her memory is vast and impressive! I caught her singing the full ABC's a few months ago on the baby cam before I ever realized she knew them all!
She can count, identify colors, identify animals and make all of their sounds. She asks for specific foods when she is hungry, and isn't afraid to try anything! She eats the same meals as us every night and rarely picks and chooses. I'm hoping the picky eating phase doesn't start later!! She is incredibly curious, but also very cautious about safely and thinks things through before making a risky move. She is so brave. Sometimes at the playground I try to help her with parts I feel are too advanced, and I'm always amazed when she says, "Mommy, Josie do it, pleaseeee". Once I back off, she blows me away with how much she is capable of.
Some days she makes me crazy! Toddlers can be so hard, and her independence and strong willed personality can feel like both a gift and a curse. But she teaches me everyday, how to have more patience, and how to see the greatness in even the most challenging of days. But for every hard moment, there are dozens of hilarious ones. I've never met a funnier child! She cracks jokes and loves to declare "Josie funny!' whenever we start laughing. Her comedic timing is a gift!
She's an amazing little girl, and I am so proud to be her Mommy! Becoming a mother is the greatest gift I have ever been given, and I can never thank God enough for my sweet and healthy girls! Two years has gone by so fast, and I am shocked sometimes when I look at the big girl I am tucking into bed! They grow up so fast, and I'm trying so hard to stay present and soak up all the amazing little memories as we make them together.
We are planning on celebrating Josie birthday a little more once we return to the states, but I wanted to share a couple pictures from the week before we left for Paris. My parents (who Josie adores!) took her for the day while I was in Chicago for my dress fittings and celebrated with her! They spent the day at the beach and had a birthday dinner together after. The pictures made me miss her so much while I was away!
We love you sweet girl! Happy second birthday!