Madeline turned two, and then she turned back into her usual happy self, thank goodness

 She insisted on helping daddy cut the cake :)

We celebrated a very special birthday yesterday. Madeline turned TWO! For two years we’ve had this beautiful little girl in our lives. Hard to believe it’s been two years since we held her for the first time, and yet it’s strange to remember life without her. She has been such a ray of sunshine in our family since the day she was born on that cold November morning two years ago. Life has definitely been better since she came around.
Last year I had a hard time accepting her birthday. I was excited, of course, but it felt hard letting her grow up.  I was much more prepared emotionally for this birthday. I wasn’t letting my baby grow into a toddler this time, I was simply celebrating the little girl she is and looking forward to watching her grow for another year, and many more after that.
We had originally planned to have some friends over to help us sing and eat cake, but in the end we decided Madeline would probably just enjoy a special day dedicated to her with undivided attention from her parents. Especially with a baby coming in less than a month! Somehow I never changed the plans in my head from a four layer cake to share with a bunch of people to party of three, less cake. So we have lots of cake at our house if anyone wants to come get a slice or five. No really, if you’re in the area and want a scrumptious cake, please let me know!
Jeremy and I stayed up late the night before her birthday to put up streamers and balloons, which she loved, hurray. But even with waffles, strawberries and whipped cream, fun decorations, having a friend come to play and us trying very hard to please her, it was a sad day for Miss Madeline. She woke up at 5:00am and she woke up TWO! Everyone who knows Madeline knows she is almost always happy. She’s very easy going, she’s flexible, she’s just a really happy girl. But yesterday my heart broke again and again because she wasn’t happy. It really scared me, too. You know how people say some kids hit the terrible two’s on the day they turn two? I was convinced our little angel had become a tantrum throwing unhappy child overnight.  It was a really long day. I spent most of it fighting back tears (let’s keep in mind I’m really pregnant) and just wanting to find some way to make her happy. 
Finally by late afternoon she had calmed down enough to devour her dinner (so glad I picked the right meal!) and enjoy her presents and cake. We finished off the night with a movie just the three of us, oh four if you include her new baby doll, curled up on the couch. And she went to bed happy. *sigh*
The day before her birthday was the first day in a week that she didn’t have much of a fever and was finally starting to feel like herself again. So I’ve decided it was just a really bad culmination of all the emotions she’s been containing the past week. She was ravenously hungry all day, cabin fever was probably a very real thing since she’s hardly been outside in the past week, she’s had way too much screen time thanks to the fever. That plus all the energy and stimulation of the day was probably just too much for her to handle. 
The great news is she woke up happy today. Very happy. And I’m so relieved to have our Madeline back. Maybe part of it has to do with the technology detox we started today?
I realize this is getting really long, but I did want to share some of what Madeline is learning and doing these days. First of all she TALKS! All day, non stop. Just says whatever’s on her mind. Her vocabulary astounds me. And not only vocabulary, her comprehension, too. She’s so smart! Maybe all kids her age are doing the same thing, but I think she’s pretty stinkin’ intelligent. We’ll be reading a book and I’ll think I need to explain something to her but before I do she’s pointed it out and told me all about it. She’s been counting for a couple months now, but we’re still working on having the right order every time :) I introduced her to the alphabet last week and she already knows half of the ABC song. The first letter I taught her a couple weeks ago was “M” (M is for Madeline) and everywhere we go she points out M’s on signs or in books. She loves singing. I’d have to say her favorite song right now is “twinkle twinkle”. She just starts singing it at random times and  I love it. “I wonder…. I wonder… Like a triangle…” She knows most of her shapes, too, but diamond is kind of tricky..?  She’s known her colors for a month or two and oh my goodness I can’t tell you how much I love having her around! She’s been climbing up all the tricky ladders at the park by our house. Scares me so much! I was a monkey when I was little, though, so I guess I deserve it.  
I think my favorite is watching her interact with other people. Sometimes she can be hit or miss, but most of the time she’s got lots to say to them and isn’t shy at all. We were at the midwife last month and as we were leaving she turned to the office staff and said, “Good bye, have a good day!” Just matter of factly, like that’s what you do, no biggie.   She asks if we can go to the doctor at least once a day. She loves helping the midwife measure my belly, and knows how to push the button on the blood pressure cuff. She also has become quite the pro at identifying his little heartbeat. She’s going to be such a great big sister!
The other night was our first night in the Bishop’s Storehouse (our new calling) and it was just us and one other older man. A really nice guy, but not someone I’d expect her to buddy up with. Well she did, she was jabbering on to him about all her toys and asking him questions. Showing him her clementine and telling him to “come erh” (come here – I wish I could type it just like she says it because it’s so cute) She order’s us to “come erh” all the time and gestures with her little hand opening and closing. But she said it to him, and they went on a little adventure together. It paid off well for her to befriend him, too, because he gave her an ice cream at the end of the night :) I’m sure they’ll be fast friends forever now.
Alrighty, this has become quite the novel, so many things I’ve wanted to share and record, though. I’m sure I still forgot half of what I’m hoping to remember, but at least we’ll be able to remember some of this fun stage of life.
Dearest Madeline we love you! We are SO GLAD you are our daughter. So grateful we started our family when we did and so grateful it started with you. You are such a special daughter of God and I can’t wait to see the marvelous things He has in store for you. I love you!
Love,
Mommy
And incase you missed them or care to reminisce with me, last year’s celebrations can be found here, here and here.

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