And now you are two…

Dear Millie,

I was certain I wouldn’t be late on this letter (month 23 is folded into this one, but my focus is you turning two), but your second birthday wound up being a bit crazier than planned. At first, I decided we wouldn’t have a birthday party for you this year—last year I had a huge party, which was over the top by most standards, and this year, a month after your birthday, your baby brother joins us. So I said we weren’t going to do it, but I couldn’t stop myself. There’s an indoor play park right by our house that you love going to with your sitter (thankfully, she is younger and fitter than me and can keep up with you in there,) so I said we’d have it there. I am SO happy I had a party for you! We added a bubble show, which was quite the treat—the lady had everything from bubbles with smoke inside to bubbles that went over top of me and you. It was a great day; I loved it and loved seeing you get to play with all of your friends and show off your favorite place.

And then you got sick. The night before your actual birthday, you threw up. The next day, on your birthday, your stomach virus was still there and you had a fever. Your dad took you to the doctor to make sure it wasn’t the flu, and I stayed home feeling like I was coming down with something too. You rallied and were able to join Thanksgiving celebrations the next day, and I thought maybe I was in the clear. But that following weekend, I came down with this stomach bug and wound up in the hospital for three days.

Being pregnant with a bug like that made it easy for me to get dehydrated, and your baby brother and I were struggling, so we needed the doctors to help. This was the first time I was ever away from you, which was so significant for me. It’s not that I intended to never have a night away, it just never happened. For so long, you were having so many health problems, it didn’t even cross my mind to leave you. And then I got pregnant and was tired and on modified bed rest, so I wasn’t going anywhere. I told your daddy that we would get a night away before the baby came and it would be great for us and for you.

Spending those nights away from you in the hospital was not at all what I envisioned, and because I was sick and on a sick floor, the doctor said you couldn’t come visit. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry about it, or spend hours in that hospital bed scrolling through every photo and video of you. It was me that struggled the most with it; you, on the other hand, were fine. You stayed with Gramma and Papa, and your Aunt Sha Sha was in town too. You were the champ here. Gramma said you asked for me often, but you didn’t cry over it and continued on with your days. These are the first nights I had away from you, the first mornings I wasn’t there to greet you and nurse you, and I guess you had a way of showing me that you are just fine. I’ve always built it up to be something more, but you, my little love bug, have always showed me how strong you are, and that you can handle anything that comes your way. I hope this trait stays with you through all of time.

There are so many little things I want to remember about you at this stage right now. I LOVE THIS AGE! I know people say it’s the terrible twos, and maybe there is more we’re in for, but even with the occasional tantrum here and there, everything about this age has been the best. You’re a huge talker, stringing together words into sentences that catch me off guard all the time. You’re a little sponge, repeating almost everything you hear anyone say, which is both adorable and scary. We have to be really cognizant of what we say around you because I have to fully anticipate you will say it right back. Sometimes you call me “mommy Meaghan” and call your dad “daddy Vladi,” and I’m not sure how you decided this, but it’s one of the cutest things ever.

I wish I had a video for every little thing you did and said, because there is so much I want to remember and not miss. The way you ask to go to “mommy’s big bed” or follow us outside and tell our dog “go to the rocks, good boy!!” when he has to go potty, or how your little voice sings almost every song you hear. I love watching you grow and change, but I also want everything to slow down and want to place it all in my memory. I don’t want to forget any of it.

You’ve really hit your stride as an independent toddler, and we are so proud to watch it. You are used to all the attention, and I am a bit nervous how the change with the addition of your baby brother will affect you and all of us, but I am sure you will handle it well. You love to take my hand and tell me “mommy show you,” and when it’s time to eat, you don’t want me up moving around—I always hear your little voice say “mommy sit down.” Halloween fell in this last letter time frame, and you LOVED it. Decorations of any kind are your favorite, and you called all the Halloween decorations “dark and scary,” which is still one of your favorite phrases. You will ask us to turn the lights off and close the door to your room to “make it dark and scary.” This you get from me—I love decorations, holidays, and everything that comes with it. We’re in the throes of Christmas now, and you’re going pretty crazy for Christmas decor, songs, stories, and everything in between. You want to do everything on your own and are a bit of a daredevil; you will hang on anything that seems like it may hold you and climb up everything that looks like you can climb it. Your pace can only be described as ‘on a mission,’ because if you’re able to, you are running everywhere you go. I’m 35 weeks pregnant and keeping up with you is quite the challenge (actually everything is quite the challenge, but if you’re pregnant some day you’ll understand).

There are so many things about you that I want to tell you, that I find myself at a loss for where to begin and what to include or leave out. I always wanted to be a mom, I always wanted to spend as much time with you as possible, and now I am living that and have been for two years, and I love it more than I can put into words. There are plenty of people who will tell me I need to take more time for myself, but I will admit that juggling a toddler and business while working from home is hard. I don’t always do either perfectly, but I make it a goal to be here for you as much as possible. My output at work has diminished greatly. and the house is almost always messy and needs to be organized, but these years are short. The fact that you are already two is a testament to that. Before I know it, you’ll be in school and that means so many moments of your life I’ll miss as they will no longer be part of my day. So for now, these few years are all about you (and will be about your little brother too!) It’s such a short snippet of my life that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You made me a mom, which was always my biggest dream. You are the gift that I always wanted, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have. You make me a better person and teach me to love deeper than I thought possible and be more patient than I believed I could be. I could write these letters to you every day, and go on with every word that I can think up, but none of them will put into writing how much you mean to me. Just thinking what we’ve been through together these first two years and overcome brings me to tears. You didn’t have the easiest start to this world, and it broke my heart in ways that prior heartbreak couldn’t come close to, but you, my girl, have been nothing but the most resilient, loving, easy-going kid ever. This path we’ve gone through has altered my life forever, and while I hope that part is behind us, I thank you for opening my eyes and heart even more to what so many go through in this world. To say your daddy and I are lucky is the understatement of the century, and I will always do everything in my power to show you how loved you are. Happy second birthday, thank you for making me a mom and being the sun, moon, stars, and light of my world.

I love you,

Mama

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