My precious Tessie:
Hello to the year of being 2! I know most parents worry about the "terrible 2s" but with you I have no concerns about this year ahead. Anytime I meet a mama who has two kids I always tell her to keep going and have a third because you, my darling, are PURE JOY. I worked so, so hard when I was a mother-of-one and a mother-of-two and I feel like you are the reward for all that dedicated hard work! Since the moment you were born you have just brought such happiness into all of our lives. I was already so thankful for the family we had, but you are the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae :)
You are so easy-going and just naturally content. I know it's because you are that third child and you've had to be more flexible. When we ride in the car we still have to constantly say "did we forget Tess?" because you are just so quiet! Even at home you will just sit and take it all in. Whenever it's just you and me I enjoy the SILENCE we share. We can just be happy to sit and enjoy each other's company without saying a word. In the rush-rush-rush of life this is such a blessing.
I am constantly blown away by how adorable you are. When people compliment you on your cuteness I jump right in and start gushing along with them. I know I should just say "thank you!" but I can't help myself because I am just in awe of your sweet smile and adorable expressions. You truly light up every room with your presence and sweet demeanor. You don't demand attention, but you receive it by allowing others to come to you rather than seeking it out!
It's so nice to ENJOY you without all the worries that normally come with parenting. It's so true that as a mom I just worry less the more kids I have. I'm able to soak up the sweet times, laugh at the silly times, and find the good in the difficult moments. I know you aren't perfect, but those tougher times seem so minimal because I'm able to see the larger picture.
I often tell people that you have me wrapped...and it's true. I have to remind myself to discipline you and to not just give you everything you want. I have felt a special bond with you from birth and I pray it's one we only continue to share as you grow up. Each of my babies is special to me for different reasons and our connection is special just as the ones I share with your brother and sister are as well. Even though you are my second daughter, you are your own unique person and I appreciate those differences you have from your sister.
Speaking of your siblings, I think you have them wrapped around your finger even more than me! They will do ANYTHING for you and when I do discipline you they take up for you and defend you. You are old enough now though where it's not always sunshine and rainbows. Britt is getting her payback for annoying Kye because you can drive her pretty crazy! You are obsessed with her bedroom and all of her toys and accessories and she gets sick of you always wanting to be in her space. Welcome to the world of a little sister ;) The cycle is typically that Kye is annoyed with Britt and Britt is annoyed with you. I'm sure once little brother joins the bunch you will then be annoyed with him and the cycle will continue!
It's been so fun watching you grow and change throughout this year. Your personality has really started to develop and I love seeing you turn into your own unique person. You LOVE animals. Zeke is your very favorite friend and you follow him constantly and are always talking to him and loving on him. He's so patient with you! You love random animals as well and are always the first one to spy a bird in the sky or a lizard in the grass. I always loved animals as a child and I can see you following in my footsteps. I like to think my love for animals back then is what helped make me the mother I am today so I fully encourage your interest in caring for creatures!
You've done amazing with all the milestones this year! You don't talk as much as your siblings but you are speaking in sentences and can clearly express what you want to say. I took a more relaxed approach to potty training with you but it still paid off so well and you'll start preschool at 2 years old in panties! You love being a "big kid" like your siblings and I think watching their example has helped you in your developments too. I'm thankful you have such positive role models and it makes me proud of them to see you follow in their footsteps!
Of all of our kids you're the first one to really cling to Mommy. You still will cry when I drop you off at Bible Class and I know that you will struggle with drop off at school. I'd always heard it's common for kids whose mama's stay home to be really attached but Kye and Britt were never that way. While it may be a tad embarrassing in the moment, I truly soak it up that you want me by your side all the time. I love that I'm a safety net for you and I always want you to know that you can count on ME!
You are more reserved and softer spoken but you are very, very brave and independent. You do not give up when you have your mind set on something and you enjoy solving problems on your own. You will get yourself stuck when playing and don't ask for any help and instead want to get out by yourself. You are very tough and rarely cry over injuries (which happen the most often with you being that your older siblings play pretty rough!) and are pretty fearless. I'm interested to see if you end up loving rollercoasters like Daddy! Mommy is a wuss but I have a feeling you will be a thrill seeker!
This past year has been so fun with you. I've enjoyed each and every moment. Our nursing relationship was something that was SO special to me. It was so hard to stop nursing you and I'm thankful that we still share such a strong connection even after weaning. I love that you only want ME to tuck you in at night and I love how you will still lay your head on me and want me to sing to you. You are so snuggly and sweet and have the world's softest skin that I wish I could just bottle up and keep forever!
I have loved exploring the world with you by my side. Outings are so easy and fun and you go with the flow with whatever we're up to! I've especially loved seeing you at the beach. You love the water and the waves and the sand. Chasing birds is def among your favorites too!
In this coming year we have so many fun things planned together. I cannot WAIT for your first Disney trip. I've been working hard at getting you ready by showing you movies and talking up all the characters. I hope you love it the way I do and the way your siblings do too. I'm pretty sure you will ;)
I'm also excited to see you in the school setting. I'm sad to be without you two mornings a week but I know it'll be good for you to have that time away from Mommy. I also know it'll help ease the transition when little brother enters our lives. I know we aren't sure when that will happen but you will be a wonderful big sister when the time comes. You are getting into caring for baby dolls and I know that will help get you ready for a new baby at home too :)
I'm not worried at all about the transition to the big girl bed. I'm not in a rush for it, but when it's time I'm confident you will do well. You've done awesome with the potty and hopefully we'll be getting poop in the potty too soon and start being able to hold it during naps and night!
As you grow up I always want you to know how loved you are for YOU. You are truly one-of-a-kind and so special to me. I want you to know that I'm doing my best to raise you up to love Jesus and as long as you follow His will in your life then you will find happiness, peace, and an inner joy that nothing else can bring. You will stumble and fall but I am here to help pick you back up. And if you hit moments in life that keep you down a little longer, well then I will just have to get down with you and hold you until the time passes. Our family is for life and our home is a safe haven for you. No matter what!
I am so honored and thankful to be your mother. You are a gift and you have my heart! Happy Birthday my sweet Tessie Tess!
I love you,