Two years ago when I first held you I thought you were beautiful, but I didn't yet know what you'd become. I suppose at two you are still in the process of becoming :), but already you have such a strong personality. I love your enthusiasm toward life, the way you approach each day and each event of the day with eager expectation. I love your giggles and smiles and silly faces. Now that you are speaking, I love your 2 year old jokes you tell with a glimmer in your eye. Even before you could speak, you always found a way to express yourself.
Daddy, looking at picture of a horse: It's a horse. Juliana: Actually it's a cow.
Juliana, holding mama's cup: Baby's cup. Not for mama.
Many people who see you say you are such a happy baby, and do you ever cry? Of course sometimes you cry, like when you really want a cracker or really don't want to sleep. When you do, you cry with gusto. You know exactly what you want and make sure everyone else knows too.
Perhaps in the future the years will all blend together, so I want to remember and want you to know what your life was like as you began your second year.
Daily schedule: Wake up about 6am, whether the sun is up or not. Want breakfast right away, then play with your toys, play under mama's feet, or go outside for a walk in the morning. You love to go outside where everyone knows 安安! You take a 1-1.5 hour nap just after lunch, and in the afternoon 李阿姨 （Li Ayi） comes to play with you. When the weather is good she takes you outside for a couple of hours. We eat dinner around 6:30pm and then play together for a bit before bedtime. Before bed you usually take a bath (every few days), put on jammies, read some stories, nurse, and then (your new habit) fall asleep with your hand on your waterbottle, hopefully to sleep until morning.
Sleeping: You have finally gotten down falling asleep on your own and sleeping through the night, except that everytime we travel you are disturbed by new places, wake up all night, and spend half the night in mama and daddy's bed kicking like crazy.
Eating: The picky stage continues. You have expanded your diet soemwhat but are rather unpredictable. Your favorite foods are cheese, yogurt, crackers, mac 'n cheese, hot dogs, and rice. Your least favorite foods are all vegetables (except potatoes) and all fruits (except bananas), so mostly I try to sneak those in elsewhere.
Talking: This summer you really started using a lot of sentences, and now you are a pro at combining words and phrases to make your own meanings. You also love to repeat back what we say, perferably adding "no" or "not" at the beginning (e.g. "NOT yummy veggies," "NO mama's toy.") We laugh over the funny things you say. You are starting to speak more Chinese as well, although mostly with ayi. Just this morning I heard you say your first Chinese sentence, "安安回家了." (AnAn is back home.)
|Juliana likes to hide behind the water machine. She also things the big bag of rice (beneath her) makes a great seat.|
Playing: You love to play hide and seek, chase (with your doll stroller and riding train), and ring around the rosy. You love to play with Little People (especially the baby), dig in the dirt, draw pictures (markers or messy paint prefered) and do almost anything as long as it's outside. You have started to play for longer periods (sometimes 20-30 minutes) on your own, though usually with mama or daddy nearby. Every week we have a play date with your other foreign friends in a home or at the park, and every day you see your little Chinese friends outside. You have lots of fun.
Other favorites: You love to read and are developing a longer attention span. You love your Pete the Cat books and can repeat parts of them. You also love books with songs, like Jesus Loves Me, The Wheels on the Bus, and If You're Happy and You Know It. You love to sing and approximate the words to a number of children's songs. You still love to listen to music and dance along. You are excited to talk to your grandparents and family on Skype.
This summer you loved playing with kitchen toys at Grandpa and Yaya's house, so for your birthday we made a play kitchen out of a large diaper box. I hope you will enjoy it and play with it while mama is cooking.
Sometimes life with such an energetic toddler is tiring, but it is also lots of fun. You make our lives very happy. I am looking forward to watching you grow in this next year.