Today is Nora’s half birthday and she is officially two and a half (though I have been telling people that since January).
We love celebrating our little girl and half birthdays are the perfect excuse to do so; we haven’t missed a half birthday since Nora’s first party, when our friends came over at 6 months to watch her try her first bite of food. Chris and I decided then to make a tradition out of celebrating our children’s half birthdays with a small family “party” (stop taking pictures and let me eat my pizza, she says).
For birthdays, I bake a cake; for half birthdays, I bake cupcakes.Topped, of course, with a candle — the first one she’s ever blown out on her own.
Of course, half birthdays warrant a small gift, which we decided will always be a book. This year we gave Nora If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. She liked so much that she had me read it…and then had Dada read it too.We cleaned up, talked to Grandma Shari on the phone, put on jammies, and passed out watching The Aristocats.Two and a half couldn’t be celebrated any better.
These past few months, especially since I’ve been working on editing my old videos, I have really marveled at how Nora has grown and changed. At 2.5, Nora is still shy with strangers but warms up quickly, especially to our family members. She is still pretty particular about her personal space, but every now and then, she decides she wants to hold hands with one of her little friends. She finally likes talking on the phone, and enjoys telling people all about her days, which include trips to the library, playgroups, walks in the park, art projects, and being my sidekick around the house.
At the library, Nora always makes a beeline straight for the “Maisy” books; she loves reading about Maisy and friends, and has nearly every Maisy book there memorized. She likes Curious George and Ladybug Girl, too, but nothing holds a candle to Maisy. She loves eating oatmeal for breakfast, but only the plain-Jane stuff. Adding raisins or peaches will result in a turned up nose. She finally drinks cow’s milk, but never more than 1/4 cup per day, if that. Her favorite foods include homemade versions of kid standards (pizza, mac’n’cheese) and once a week at Dada’s restaurant, fish with sweet potato fries and ketchup…but she also loves mussels, calamari, clam chowder (“potato and cracker soup”), and lots and lots of vegetables.
Most amazing these past few months has been the language development. Nora speaks in full sentences now, using big words and proper grammar; she has tons of nursery rhymes and songs memorized, and spends her days reciting, singing, and “reading” them. She loves playing with her stuffed animals and trains more than playing with her dolls, and (just like Dada) likes to cook in her play kitchen. She likes helping to make real food too, especially bread and muffins or anything that will result in a spoon to lick. She loves hide and seek and pretending to steal our noses.
At two and a half, Nora goes to bed like a dream: wants us to leave her room right away and sleeps there until 5:30 a.m. when she comes to crawl in with us. She night-time potty-trained herself a week ago, when we finally decided to listen to her complaints and let her not wear a diaper at night. There hasn’t been an accident, day or night, since. Unless she is sick, she nurses just one time per day. She dresses herself (which I hope is obvious by outfits that usually include two different socks and shoes, and are designed under the assumption that polka dots match polka dots and stripes match stripes regardless of the color).
At two and a half, Nora is such a big girl; I find myself thinking preschooler more than toddler. But she is still our wonderful baby and, oh, such an incredible joy. Nora, we love you so very much and each day is better than the last. Happy half birthday, sweet little girl.