However, lately, I find myself watching Adly and wanting so desperately to hold on to so many moments in this stage. There is no doubt that there are days I want to pull my hair out from the incessant "why" questions and the non-stop talking. But there are also some really crazy moments that happen right now that have made me stop in my tracks and really try to soak them in.
The other day, Adam had taken the girls to the park when I got home from work. I went over to meet them and found Adam walking Ellie trying to get her to nap. Adly was off running around so I went over to meet her. I was immediately struck by how much she had grown over the winter. Here was this confident, outgoing girl who was running here and there, climbing with ease and giggling like crazy. When she noticed I was there, she happened to be sitting up on a ledge, about 3 feet off the ground. She motioned for me to come over to her.
When I got there, she explained she needed to get down but was scared. I told her she could jump, it wasn't that high. She immediately went into her shell, got all quiet and said she couldn't do it. So I told her I'd "help" her. My version of help was that I was going to fake hold her and let her do it on her own. I'm that kind of mean mom. Sure enough, when she jumped and I failed to hold her, she survived! And what's more, she realized she really could do it. What followed for the next 15 minutes was Adly excitedly climbing up, asking me to watch her, saying she wasn't sure she could do it, jumping, and then giggling and beaming with pride at her accomplishments.
I, of course, couldn't stop tearing up. It was such a small moment of confidence building that for whatever reason, has stuck with me since it happened. These moments are so fleeting, and it just so happened to capture innocence of my first born that is quickly slipping away with each day.
This past week, we closed on our new house and on the same day looked at preschools. I have literally been counting the days to preschool. Adly so desperately needs social interaction with other kids, and I know it will be a great experience for her. However, at the end of the first tour, I started tearing up and then could not stop the tears! I know. I was that mom! And to think, I work in schools! But I can't even begin to explain the rush of emotions that overcame me when I realized my baby girl really is growing up. Soon she will be one of many in a class, listening to a teacher, learning social norms, and having to problem-solve, all without her mama there to help. (Cue the sobs!)
She has recently started telling me she loves me. Like, really telling me. For the longest time, you'd tell Adly you loved her and she'd reply with "thank you." Now there are days when I come home from work and she looks me in the eye and says, "Mama, I was worried about you today. I want you to know I love you." She'll watch me leave in the mornings and Adam will text me saying she said, "Mama is so pretty. I'm really going to miss her today. I'm going to pray for her." She doesn't only do this with me. She's also begun telling Adam she loves him, as well as other family members. And the best, my favorite, is when I say goodnight, she always says, "goodnight mama. I love you!"
Her imagination is running insanely wild. These days, she wakes up as anything ranging from a gazelle to a pony to a doggie. She always announces in the morning what she is by saying things like, "the gazelle is happy to see you today!" And from there on out, for the rest of the day, you will be informed on what the gazelle is doing and what the gazelle would like.
While Adly's speech is quite amazing, there are a few things she says incorrectly that I don't want to forget because it is so gosh darn cute.
-pur-rayers (prayers) "Mama, can we say our pur-rayers tonight?"
-spice (slice) "One spice of pizza for you!"
-seer-e-up (syrup) "Can I have more seer-e-up please?"
Adly thrives on the moments when just her and I get to have alone time. Her favorite thing is when I can time Ellie's nap with Adly's and can usually get Adly first. This gives her and I some much needed one on one time. I'll climb into bed with her and we'll pretend (for as long as I can take it), to cook cupcakes, pancakes, bacon, and ice cream cones. We take orders like we're in a restaurant and then bake the foods and serve it to each other. She never wants these moments to end and oftentimes, it leaves me realizing how little she gets all of my attention any more.
Having two is hard. I don't know how moms have more and where they find the energy to cater to all the kids. I feel stretched thin on a regular basis and no doubt have major moments of stress, anxiety, and frustration. Sometimes, all of the above at once. But these memorable moments help make it all worth the hard times. I'm really trying hard to hold on to the meaningful moments and move on quickly from the tough ones. Sometimes thats easy, sometimes it takes a lot of complaining and wine.
Adly turns three in July and I just can't even wrap my head around how we got this far so fast. I feel like I'm going to blink and she'll be six. For now, I'm continuing to try to slow down and soak in all the greatness that this age brings. (And take deeper breaths when all the craziness of this age wants to make me disappear to a foreign country).
Love you, my sweet pea.