I’ve found my third child to be such a joy! Yes, she is adorable and I really feel the desire to eat her up all the time but I think what makes her especially delightful to me is how we all enjoy her so completely. There is so much joy in watching your big kids adore your baby. It has been one of my greatest surprises as our family has expanded. I love it.
Now, I know, it has been over a month since Emmeline’s actual birthday. I should have written this weeks and weeks ago. But, it kind of still feels like Emmeline’s birthday since she talks about it nearly every day. I’m not sure what we did, but somehow her birthday became an obsession to her. We built it up before hand a bit and then she had a great day and ever since then her favorite thing to say to anyone (including strangers) is “MY birthday.” I need to record her saying it because her intonation is priceless. The emphasis is on “my.” But it’s a prideful “my” rather than a possessive “my". Even when she says her prayers she focuses mostly on her birthday. “Heavenly Father, My Birthday, Amen.” I think now since Christmas has come and we talked a lot about Jesus’ birthday she’s moving on a bit, but not completely. Maybe it’s that with all the Christmas bustle we still haven’t taken down her birthday banner that Hazel and Charlie made for her. Hazel and Charlie made this banner all by themselves. It was such a great surprise to me. It was bedtime on the eve of her birthday and I was tired and the kids were in their pre-bedtime-silly state and all I wanted to do was get them down when I remembered that we needed to decorate Emmeline’s door so she’d get it that it was her birthday in the morning. I hadn’t thought much about how to decorate it and was kind of dreading the whole thing when I told the kids and they immediately announced that they had made a banner for her. I was amazed…..with no direction from me they had made this. They both really love Emmeline so much. We tapped up the balloons and the banner and some streamers and all went to bed excited to greet that little 2 year old in the morning. She was thrilled to see us. Ready for her big day. (Don’t you love those stripes in her bedroom? We painted them for Charlie 5 years ago…..not my favorite part of our house). We had a great little birthday breakfast where Emmeline got to open the present from Grandma and Grandpa Shumway that she had been pointing too up high on the bookshelf for weeks in anticipation of her birthday. She was thrilled with all the little wooden people that she got from them (she’s super into manipulating little figures and G & G Shumway gave her an adorable little family).
Charlie and I took her to Build a Bear in the mall during the day (what else do you do with a 2 year old on their birthday). She made a little bunny which she was totally delighted with (mostly because it giggles when you squeeze her paw). When Jeff got home that night we had a little family party with cake and presents. She was so into opening the presents and so thrilled with each little thing: a new doll stroller, some little chairs and a tiny baby doll and stroller/highchair etc. from Heidi, a doll house that she had to go in search of up in the attic. She was in heaven. She was a bit confused when it came time for cake. The candles were more bewildering to her than exciting. But she got into it once it was time to eat the cake (and incidentally, she talks all the time now about how she had two candles).
I can’t get over how much we all love this little girl. What would our home be like with out her? She’s just so loveable.
Here’s a little letter to Emmeline (trying to do this for each kid at least on their birthday).
You are TWO! Here’s what I (and all of us) love about you right now.
- you are a happy little girl. you’re mostly pleased with yourself and life. you’re easy to please. easy to delight. easy to love.
- you are talking like crazy right now (not so much right when you turned two….I’m writing this about 6 weeks late). You’ve taken off talking in the past 6 weeks. It is so fun to hear what comes out of your little head. You are kind and funny and smart.
- you love Hazel and Charlie. You love Hazel because she is always so good to you. You two play together and giggle and she reads to you. I love it more than I can say that you’re good friends. I pray you always will be. She is kind to you, but you, my dear, are very kind to her too. If Hazel is sad you will instinctively go and give her a big hug and get her something that you think might make her feel better. You also love Charlie, but for different reasons. When you aren’t yelling at him (for no apparent reason) you are laughing at him and you tell me at least once every few days “Charlie is a funny boy.” He makes you laugh great big belly laughs. So does Hazel. I think it’s my favorite sound in the world. You have a silvery laugh that fills the room, it makes everyone in the family happy.
-You’re really into making faces lately. I love it. You make me pay attention to you when I’m in the middle of something else by pulling down your eyes and putting your funny face right in mine. You also love to raise your eyebrows over and over again until someone notices. You like to play a game with dad where you copy the faces that he’s making. You're pretty good at it until he wrinkles his nose and then you really can’t get that one figured out.
- You are great at cleaning up. You never like things to be out of order and always start putting things away when I ask you to. You say “O.K.” in such a sweet little voice. You’re kind of obsessed with making sure your hands and face are clean and you hate having sticky things on you.
- You are great at saying Please and Thank you. I don’t even have to remind you. Especially with the Thank You. You say it to everyone whenever they do anything for you. It just comes naturally to you. It’s so sweet.
- You are quite demanding and like to boss us all around. We put up with it a lot because you’re so cute. But sometimes you’re not too cute, especially when you yell your head off at me while I’m trying my fastest to get you your breakfast. You’re only ever really impatient when you’re tired or hungry though. And, one of my very favorite things about you is that you know how to identify what you need and communicate it to us. You throw your head back and in your husky little low voice declare “I HUNGRY!” or “I TIRED!”
- You still love to sleep and are so pleasant to put down at night or for a nap. You take your little lammie and baba water and binkie and lay all covered and snugged in your bed with a big grin on your face while we declare our love for each other. “I love you Emmeline” I say. “Sleep well, ok?” And you nod your head and say you love me back.
- You’re really into saying “Hey! I got an dea!” (I got an idea) lately. Usually you don’t have an idea, but know that it will get you some attention.
- You LOVE to jump. You’re always beckoning me to watch you jump. Sometimes it’s just jumping in the air, sometimes it’s jumping off of things.
- You’re best friend in the world is my friend Heidi. You love her and I don’t blame you, she loves you and is so sweet to you and treats you like a little friend. She sees that you’re a real little person and you can sense the respect she has for you. It is a very dear relationship. It makes me happy.
- You say a million cute things every day.
- After religiously doing the three day potty training boot camp last October and failing you have (in the past week) decided to potty train yourself. I think you’re tired of being little. You want to be just like Hazel and Charlie. You made up your mind and now you’re doing it (as much as I don’t want you to right now…..it’s not the best timing with Christmas and guests and all that’s going on).
- You love little babies. I’m not sure if you’ll like the one that will pop out of my belly and turn your world upside down, but you’re so tender to any little baby you see. Full of hugs and kisses and songs for them. I’ve been praying you’ll love your little brother the same way.
- you want to be just like Hazel and Charlie. You watch them so closely and want so much to be big. You are getting big. You stop that. I like you just the way you are. But each day I also like you more, so I guess you can just keep doing what you’re doing.
I love you so much my dear little Emmeline. You are a joy to all of us. You have really brightened up our life.