Happy second birthday Charlotte Rose! Charly is 2. You read that right. How did this even happen? Sometimes I look at Brett and I, and I wonder how she survived this far. We still occasionally do a family firstbump after a successful nappy change. But you know what? We must be doing something right, because our beautiful Charlotte Rose is exceptional in every way.
You will notice a few things – firstly, that I didn’t manage to post this on her actual birthday, a whole week and a day late in fact; and secondly, that I am backdating it to her birthday date. Last week I spent a lot of one on one time with my girl and not a lot of time writing about it. I decided that was ok, because her birthday is all about her, not all about me talking about her. And for my purposes of documenting it – there is a date option so I CAN backdate it
I struggled with where to start with this post, because this year has just been a flood of new things and growth and learning for us all. So I went back and read Charly’s first birthday post, and decided to stick to that format as a guideline. So, here we go…
Happy second birthday my Charly Roses ❤
Daddy took a photo of me when you were still in my tummy, the day before you were born; he took another the night before your first birthday, and we decided to uphold the tradition and take one the night before your second birthday as well… Wow, how you have grown and changed!
You have gotten more beautiful! I really didn’t think it was possible, but as your baby face has started changing into that of a little girl, as your limbs have grown longer, as your baby squishiness has vanished, as you have transformed from baby to toddler to little girl; you have just gotten more breathtakingly beautiful.
You still have the most amazing hair. It is growing so quickly now, silky soft, completely straight on top and at the front, but perfect ringlets at the back – dream hair. When it is wet, it is so long it reaches between your shoulder blades; but it bounces up into ringlets almost immediately again.
It is so soft and fine that I only managed to get it into pigtails for the first time after your first birthday, but as it has gotten longer I have managed to tie it up in various adorable styles from pigtails, to ponytails to your trademark “pineapple” pony. You always prefer your hair down, and flopping in your eyes and face; your favourite dance includes shaking your head around to get the hair tickling all over your face.
Although you still have your daddy’s expressive eyebrows, most of your expressions now come from me! More and more often people are saying you look like me, though I still just see your daddy in your perfect features. I think it is because you have my face shape and my hair colour, and when you smile you look like me. Serious, naughty or cross Charly is still very much your daddy’s face!
Your eyes are still a hazel colour, though there is definitely more of the rich brown of your daddy’s eyes now, and there is a darker fleck in your right eye that is so beautiful. Your smile still takes everybody’s breath away. From the natural lights-up-your-face, both dimples flashing, eyes smiling smile, to the put-on “smile for the camera” squish face smile that gets a million comments from everybody online about how they just adore your adorable face!
And you laugh is so incredibly infectious, that even a photo of it is enough to give people the giggles. You have fans all over the world that love watching you grow and learn online, people who love you who have never even met you. It makes my heart so happy.
My poor girl, you have really struggled with teething. You cut all 16 of your first baby teeth early, you already had 8 by your first birthday. The other 8 came all at once and it was just awful to see you suffering so much. You get fevers and a sore tummy and a runny nose and sometimes even a cough when you cut teeth. Right now you are cutting your big molars and it is horrible! You cry in the night, even when we give you the strongest pain killers. It is breaking my heart to see you hurting. You do have the cutest teeth though, one of them came out with a small chip, so even your teeth have character.
Seeing you playing at your party on Saturday with all the other kids who are a year older than you, it struck us again that you fit in better with the bigger kids than the little ones. Even though you are just two, you are tall, measuring 104cm! You are longer and leaner than you were and although I haven’t weighed you in quite a long time, I am pretty sure you actually weigh less now that you did a year ago! It is difficult to buy you clothes, so we play it by ear and dress you in clothing anywhere from 2-3 to 5-6! You are halfway between a size 6 and 7 shoe.
It isn’t just how you look either. You are so very smart. By 18 months you had a vocab of over 200 words. You speak beautifully and mostly clearly, when we can get you to slow down and / or take out your dummy. You can speak in full sentences, and, listening to older kids, easily close to a 3 year olds level.
You also love to sing, and since starting school you sing as you do things – you sing sentences while you play with your toys, singing about princesses dancing and having parties, or about Mickey and Minnie visiting Goofy, and sometimes you just sing to Goofy about your day. You sing all the nursery rhymes now too, and of course your favourite, Happy Birthday. My favourite at the moment is tied into the actions involved, when you sing the “pack away” song and clean up all your toys.
In terms of physical development, there isn’t anything you can’t do. You run and jump and climb – sheesh, you LOVE to climb everything and anything. You love to dance and you have great rhythm; I love how you dance with your whole body, from the tips of your toes, to the tips of your fingers wriggling, to the head shaking and fancy foot work. You can be very busy with something and if a song you like the sound of comes on, you start wiggling and are soon doing full spins and turns and even jumping when the song calls for it. You have really impressive spatial awareness, and can maneuver around and under things no matter how fast you are moving. And of course your love of balls and balloons means your kicking, throwing and catching skills often put daddy to shame 😀
I know I mentioned this before, but I still find it unnerving how naturally little humans like you manage phones and technology. You easily navigate around my iPhone, and choose your own shows to watch on YouTube (and share surprise toy eggs and mickey mouse playdough to my social media channels without me knowing). You also love browsing through my photos and videos and talking to your baby self or your cousin’s and friends’ videos.
You have also mastered the art of the selfie (when it suits you); and will “smile” on demand when you see a camera, wrinkling your perfect little nose and showing off your teeth and dimples to the world. That little nose wrinkle smile helps you get away with so much; especially when paired with hugs and “I love you teeoooo”’s that often come with face stroking and butterfly kisses.
I love that you are developing compassion, and when you see somebody who is sad or hurt, you want to kiss it better. You are learning to apologise when you have been the cause of an upset or if you have been particularly impossible. There may be an element of manipulation in it, because it comes with whispered love yous, stroking, snuggling and head pats with “you’re a good girl / mommy” when needed, and the crossness we might have been feeling evaporates.
You love to hug people, and have realised that it makes people so incredibly happy when you do; you are known for the sneak attack leg hugs. You also have this thing where, when mommy gets dressed up, you stroke my clothes and say “you look so pretty mommy, like a princess” and I melt into a puddle of adoration for you.
While you still love other children, you find sharing your things very difficult at the moment. You really don’t like people touching “your stuff”, not even mommy and daddy. It is ok though love, it is a stage and it has come with a deeper understanding of “yours mine and ours” and it is already easing a little since you started school.
You mostly love school. You love it when you are there, you love it when you wake up in the morning and ask to go. Last week there were no tears, you wanted to go to school and you wanted me to hurry up getting ready to take you there. This week, you still wake enthusiastic, you still hurry me out the door, you still tell me about how fun your day was when I fetch you; but you are tearful when I leave you and you hold onto me a little longer than before. It is killing me a little and knowing it is “normal” doesn’t make it one bit easier. I am guessing it is tied to your nasty teeth and the very little sleep you and I are having because of them. After all, when I feel tired and sore, I still want my mommy. At least I know that there is never a moment of doubt in your mind that mommy will be the first one there when school ends, sitting right at the door for you to hurl yourself at with the biggest smile ever.
Your fearlessness has grown. Last year, there were still things that made you hesitate or scared you; this year that list has pretty much vanished. You still don’t like really loud construction type noises, but even when they make you cry, you show you understand that it isn’t a threat to you by telling us there is a man who is building or cleaning or just plain making a noise. A few months ago you leaped into the swimming pool (where you had never been before) to a relative stranger you had met once! When swimming with daddy, you still tend to throw yourself into the water without checking to see if he can reach you; freaking mommy out completely.
It is a huge relief to me though that your terror of doctors has passed and when you have been with mommy to the doctor, you had to check him out with your Doc McStuffins stethoscope. You let Stella listen to your chest and give you your shots without hesitation, and the big tears that followed the second shot were quickly stopped by sweeties. This means that I now need to set up a pediatrician appointment for you for a full check up, since you never let any of them near you for the 1 year checkups.
Your favourite things have grown over this year. You still love your dogs, your push car, your tent, your balls and your moo cow rocker. You have since added Goofy and all things Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – from tv series, to stories to stickers to figurines to balloons to colouring books and pages – every single thing related. You also love your Curious George series and movies, and one of our mommy-daughter things is on a Thursday at 3h30, you and I curl up together on daddy’s bed with yummy rice cakes and icey cold water and watch Curious George 2 (with the ellie!!!)
You love colouring in, stickers, puzzles, playdough, chalk and painting. And bubbles and water – from playing in the garden with granny, to watering the garden with daddy in the evening, to swimming to bathtime; you are happiest when you are wet.
And cooking! Definitely Miller blood in your veins, your favourite time of day is when daddy gets home and you “help him” cook, sorting and passing him the veggies, throwing away peels, and carefully putting things into the microwave, stirring mommy’s coffee and eating the leftover cheese! Aunty Tam and granny added to your cooking love by buying you a gorgeous stove, and a microwave and foods to go in them.
I feel so proud that you love reading and books as much as you love chasing a ball or any other outdoor fun. Getting special book deliveries every month from The Book Owl or Kids Book Club has only built on that love, by creating excitement when your special “presents” arrive. From long beautifully illustrated stories from Julia Donaldson, to nonsensical rhyming from Dr Seuss, to flap books and treasure hunt books… whatever kind of books they are, you love them, and daddy and I love reading them with you. I like to think this is at least part of why you have so very many words already.
You always seem to have a handful of favourite toys. Before your birthday toys arrived, the firm favourites were without a doubt your little figurines – Goofy, Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Figaro, the Disney princesses, a little purple owl Aunty Tam got you and the little dogs from granny. They keep you entertained for hours. Your funny little Xander toy from the Xander app team arrived on a day you got your shots and became one of your instant favourites, it is rare for you to be able to go to sleep without him. Your sleep friend has shifted a lot over the year and they all make regular appearances still; your various Mickeys and Minnies, your pink ellie, your doggie from Aunty Cassey, the beautiful handmade crochet Unicorn and Teddy comforters and mom’s favourite toy dog from when she was a baby.
You won’t sleep without one of your tatty “clothies”, the cloth nappies from when you were little. They are definitely your biggest comfort when mommy can’t be. And strangely, after all the times I desperately tried to get you to take a dummy when you were a baby, when I managed to day wean you for a brief 2 months before life had other plans, you suddenly couldn’t sleep without one. And then when you started school, you needed both your clothies and your dummy with you all the time. After the first month, you started leaving your clothy in your schoolbag all morning, and today (although by mistake), you made it through a whole morning without your dummy either! I was so very proud of you!
Sleep remains our biggest trial. Although before these new nasty molars started, you had managed almost a whole week with only 3 wake ups per night! That is phenomenal, and probably why mommy is struggling so very much after the last 2 weeks of constant waking again. We have such big plans for the beginning of next month my angel. Mommy and daddy have chosen you a dream dollhouse bed for your first “big girl” bed. Somewhere incredibly special, just for you, that you don’t have to share with anybody. Mommy will be sleeping away from you for the first time since you were born, but you won’t even notice because of the special bed magic. It is going to be much harder for me than you I am sure (just putting that out into the universe!!)
So, those are all the things about you. But there is so much more. Who you are is so much more now. You are your own person. You are strong willed and fierce and love to challenge us and push your boundaries – while that may make us a little crazy at times, it makes me so unbelievably proud as well. You are our little warrior princess.
I love that you are brave and confident and full of passion for things. I love that you are funny and love to make other people laugh. I love that you can be so very sweet and sincere in your love of and praise for others. I love that you LOVE people with your whole heart like mommy. I love that you inspire love in others. I love that you are smart, probably smarter than mommy and daddy combined. I love that you adore all our family, from your grandparents (both sets), to your aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts, and on and on. I love that you adore animals, most especially Aunty Jax’s dog Sam who makes you shine with excitement and love and that you are so incredibly gentle with.
I love the way you utterly adore your daddy; the way you fling yourself at him and light up in a way you do for nobody else. I love how thoughtful and careful you were with your very precious granny when she was sick and sore. I love that you love to learn new things and like to teach yourself to do things, rather than getting somebody else to do them for you, like your daddy. I love that you can be quiet and introspective, I love watching you think things through and being able to see you reason things out before acting. Exactly as much as I love watching you dive into something on pure instinct. I love your independence. But I may just love that you are still your mommy’s girl first and foremost, that little bit more.
You are such an amazing little human my Charly Roses. Watching you grow and learn is such an absolute honour. Often, this blog documents the challenges that I face being a parent to you, wanting to be the best mommy I can be and feeling like I can never do or be enough. But, it is so very important for you – and all my readers – to know, that every single hurdle, every single heartbreak, soul ache, frustration and struggle, is completely whitewashed by the incredible shining light that you are in my life and the world at large. While part of me wishes away the difficult stages, the sleepless nights, and the tantrums; there is as big a part of me that wants to hold onto these moments and these milestones, because they really are going by so very fast!
A very happy second birthday to my beautiful Charly Rose. You make us so very happy and so very proud. I can’t wait, and yet I can, to see all the things you will do and see and be in the year ahead. We love you so very much.
Sending all the love xx