Dear Hannah Honey Bee,
How the time has flown! Two years old?! Today? My lovely little Miss Hannah. Hannah Banana. Hannah Honey Bee. You really do mean the world to me, sweetie. If only I could tell you how much!
Of course, I was so excited to meet you. Again, as with your older sister, we did not know if you were to be a girl or a boy. We planned to have the surgery for you to arrive on 9-9-10, but scheduling was going to be difficult so we went with 9-7-10, 2 years and 2 months after the arrival of your older sister, Alicia. The doctor, trying to be funny, pulled you out and said, "it's a boy.... oh wait, no, it's a girl." And then I saw your sweet face, my Hannah Karen. I have to say that it seemed to me like they took you away to get cleaned up far too quickly and that I didn't get to see you or hold you for what felt like hours! I do think it was over an hour with me waiting alone in a separate room. The time dragged on!!!
While I had baby experience this time around, I still hadn't been able to nurse a baby, but you were pretty cooperative and were fed mama's milk from the beginning. You were sleeping through the night periodically at around 8 weeks I believe, but definitely not as consistent as your sister. Interrupted nights were the norm for the first 5 to 6 months, even though I went back to work after 3 months.
I do think that nursing created a very strong bond between us. You are definitely my shy girl, clinging to me in most situations from the very beginning. And there was a period from when you were about 15 months to about 20 months where I was not working and you always wanted to be with mama. Then, when I started back to work you would cry and carry on about being with mama even when I was in the room. Leaving you to go to work during that time was heart wrenching.
You cut your first tooth around 6 months and were crawling by 10 months and climbing up the stairs at 11 months. You were taking your first steps on your own just a week after your first birthday. At around one you were using new words like crazy: mama, dada, up, down, hi, bye, dog ball. Some of the more unusual ones at the same age: memere, pepere, nana, nano, football, touchdown (you were also raising your hands in the air for touchdown!), dinosaur (dine-so), stinky (tink-ee), cookie and Alicia (lee-cia).
My little honey bee, you just don't stop. You are my little energizer bunny, always on the go. Ever since watching Happy Feet at nana's house, you have loved to do "happy feet" and I have to smile every time I see you go from a regular walk to jumping and skipping. You have such a great grin, a the-devil-made-me-do-it kind of grin that makes me smile or laugh, no matter how angry I might be with you. You know just how to make people smile. You have a fake little laugh like you are trying too hard, but when we tickle you, your real giggle comes out and it is just too cute!
You are a whirlwind of activity, leaving (or throwing) a trail of toys in your wake. You love to play with your teapot and teacups and play with your dolls and your sister's dollhouse. Recently you have loved to collect magnets and strew them all over the house. From watching your sister, you have grown to love playing animals, dinosaurs and legos. You like to sit and "read" books without any help from us. I love to hear you make up stories about the pictures. You started talking and sharing memories very early on. When we first took you to the circus this past year in March - at only 18 months - you told a story that went like this, "car. boom. guy. scared me. cry." It is amazing that even months afterwards that you would still tell this story. And now at two years old you can almost carry on a conversation. You speak in full sentences and paragraphs and use almost the same words that your sister does. You amaze me! Such a smart cookie!
You love your big sister and watch and imitate her every move. At first it was just sitting on the couch with her cuddling with you as a baby, then it progressed into sharing toys - which you actually both do quite well. And just this past summer, she went to Vacation Bible School and you quickly learned the songs that she was singing around the house and the two of you are right there with the "trust God" response when prompted. It is great to see this desire you have to be with your sister and play with her. It is just so cute when you two do hugs and kisses before bed at night. You have, on occasion, actually cried because she was not sitting in the car seat next to you on the short ride to church. I can tell that you feel it when she is not around. This isn't to say that you don't have your moments. You do not, for whatever reason, seem to want to hold her hand, which makes your big sister sad. And you have also started to have some back and forth fights. I was hoping that this would wait until a little later in life. But I can tell that you feel close to your big sister and love her.
You have a sweetness and a little devilish side all rolled up in one. A definite impish side to you that makes us all laugh. You are really quite funny. You have learned to climb up ladders and go down slides, and you seem to really enjoying riding on your sister's tricycle now that she has her big girl bike. For some reason the pool or the ocean doesn't seem to interest you and you would rather play at the water table, water flowers, dig in the sand or play in the outside playhouse instead. You seem to be a bit accident prone and not as cautious as your sister, but nonetheless it is still so much fun for me to watch you learn new things and take on new adventures. I'm sure this next year will have a lot more in store.
You are an amazing gift from God that he sent down to me. You are truly a wonderful blessing. My beautiful, cute, energetic and funny second-born baby girl!
Love you my honey bee!