Our little girl is no longer a baby. This seemed to happen so slowly and also, somehow, so suddenly that I couldn't tell you when exactly she turned into a toddler. She's about to turn two, and I thought, for memory's sake, I better write about it. We're taking a road trip back home to Minnesota to celebrate her birthday next week. My 90 year old grandfather will be there and we get to meet my brother's fiancé for the first time. There will be loads of family and some friends there to help us celebrate the occasion. Ruby said she wants a pizza party, so that's what we're having.
On the topic of pizza I'd like to remember how much Ruby loves to go out to eat at restaurants these days. Lately she asks to, "go out to eat" and "eat at restaurant" with much enthusiasm. The last time I took her out to eat she reminded me to order her a side of BBQ sauce for her fries (hilarious). She's so well behaved when we take her to restaurants. We recently got dressed up and went out for a really nice dinner with my in-laws to celebrate me finishing school. She was on her best behavior, but also managed to get a couple spoonfuls of butter into her mouth before I noticed.
Ruby also loves going to the toy store these days which she calls the, "toy tore". There's a really sweet guy who works there. He sets up a little red toy piano for her to play while he plays the ukulele and sings. She's been climbing up on things at the park lately, or at least trying really hard to and asking for my help. Whenever she falls down she says, "I'm otay." Sometimes she's not okay, and she holds me really tight, cries and wipes her wet slobbery face all over me until she feels better.
Ruby talks a lot these days. She always surprises me with the new things that constantly come out of her mouth or words I had no idea that she knew. Here are a few of the things she likes to say pretty regularly, "Hi, how awe you?" "It nice to see you, mama." "You are no match." "I feel'n better." "I bump my____(any body part)." "I can do dat." "I getting tired." "baby ride bicycle, too." "mommy's eating gums." "dats preddy neat." "I makin music.""What's dat?" "Do you want more?", and I could go on and on and on. Before she goes to sleep in the afternoon and at night she likes to tell us all about the things that she did that day. Sometimes I understand what she's saying, sometimes I don't have a clue and sometimes she just makes stuff up. She's said things like, "we climb mountains" " I throw balls at mama" "baby go tot too to". One of these is made up, one is unfortunately the truth and one I'm still not sure the meaning of. She's told me that she dreams about riding motorcycles with her grandparents. She also has an imaginary friend named Kiki who sounds pretty rad.
Ruby is at the age where she's getting really fun and funny, because she's got her own interests and things that she gets really excited about. She can tell us all about this stuff, too. She's really into motorcycles, cars, trains, baseball and finding walking sticks when we're outside. She sings a lot. Sometimes she makes up her own little songs, sometimes it's just the itsy bitsy spider or any children's songs that she knows. She loves cartoons, My Little Pony is number one these days. She's super friendly when we're out. She will excitedly say, "I like kids", in anticipation while we're on our way to the park. She just waves randomly at people that we pass by on the streets. She lives, sleeps and eats wearing this purple hat that my mother-in-law made for her. If she's not wearing it then she's searching for it.
This past year has been full of all kinds of changes for us all. We started taking Ruby to music classes. Ruby started walking. She was a very, very late walker. She was a little over 18 months old, and started walking sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She met a bunch of my family and friends that she never got the chance to in her first year. We moved. She got her first haircut, by me, and just some bangs. I chopped all of my long hair off, well my mother-in-law did. I finished my year long internship. I finally finished school. Ryan got a promotion.
Ruby is also a total stinker sometimes. There's been some throwing, hitting, kicking and biting type stuff. I won't go into any more details, but it's just her age. We do time-outs here, and often just the mention of them does the trick. They don't call it the terrible twos for nothing. Some days I dream of going back to work and talking to grown ups with more regularity. I often feel like a geriatric parent at the end of the day. But I love her more than anything and understand that this special time with her is limited. One day she will be too big to sit on my lap and too big to hold on to and carry around like a little monkey. I have to remind myself of these things at certain moments and on certain days when she's acting very much like a two year old. After that I have to remind myself not to worry about her growing up too fast. This is all so bittersweet.
I'll end this birthday post with a quote brought to my attention by a longtime friend.
"Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." Elizabeth Stone
Happy 2nd Birthday sweet little Ruby. I love you so much.