Two years ago today, I sipped a vanilla latte in my hospital bed, basking in the blissful rush of caffeine. I had been awake over 24 hours and had given birth to a seven pound baby topped with jet black hair. Today, I'm sipping coffee on the couch. I haven't been awake for over 24 hours, but boy, it feels like it.

So much has changed in the past year. When Gracie turned one, she wasn't even crawling yet, other than a little scooting on her bottom and occasional backwards army crawling. She just wasn't interested in moving around yet. I knew in my gut she was perfectly fine and just taking her time, but I laid awake at night worrying about her. Mothering in the age of social media is so stressful when everyone's kids are walking at 9 months, and yours doesn't decide to start moving until 14 months. One day, she just decided to scoot her way to the bookshelf to get a book she wanted. A few days later she started crawling. She took her first step at 18 months. She only took a few steps after that over the next few months. Two months later, on Christmas Eve, she decided to quit crawling cold turkey and start walking. And now she's running laps around the house all day. I believe now stronger than ever that kids do things all in their own time.

She's as talkative as can be. She never stops talking from the moment she wakes up till the moment she goes to sleep. The days she doesn't nap, I wind up with a pounding headache from the constant noise. She sings the Daniel Tiger theme song, counts to ten, and she's getting really good at her ABCs. Her vocabulary is what got me through the stressful months of waiting for her to crawl and walk. I figured I'd much rather her be verbal than mobile. She wants to go say hi to everything. "Mama, I go say hi truck? HI TRUCK. HI TREE. HI KITTY CAT." Everywhere we go, she points to the sky or a building and says "It's Pooh Bear! Mickey Mouse! I see Piglet and Eeyore!"

She's as in love with her red hat as ever. Not only does she wear it all day long, but she sleeps with it on at night. She gets compliments everywhere we go, but James and I are a little tired of not being able to see her hair and face. I miss putting her hair in pigtails! Despite the hat, she insists on picking out a bow every day. Sometimes she even asks to sleep with bows in her hair.

My favorite thing right now is her imagination. She loves to grab my mixing bowls, fill them with toys, stir them with a spoon, and try to feed me her "soup." Once she put the baby from her dollhouse in a cup and declared it "baby soup!" It was as horrifying as it was funny. She spends at least 2 hours a day changing Pooh Bear's diaper, feeding him, and putting him to bed. Maybe one of these days she'll understand all that I do for her!

She had her first wardrobe-related meltdown yesterday. I have a feeling the 2s and 3s are going to be a bit rough with this strong-willed little thing. No matter how closely I watch her when the crayons are out, she always manages to scribble on the furniture and/or the walls. Every day she asks to go "go play swing" at the park and chase her ball outside. She is high drama, full of sass, and still the sweetest thing in the entire world. She wants to sit in my lap or be held all day long. I cannot even remember a life without her, and honestly, I wouldn't want to. I'm more tired and worn out than I have ever been, I look like I've aged ten years in the last two, I have a lot of frustrating and difficult days, and the older I get, the more I realize I have no idea how to raise a child. Absolutely none. Each day is like fumbling through a dark, unfamiliar room, just hoping I find a light switch. But I have never been more fulfilled, more satisfied, more grateful.

But I could really use another vanilla latte.

Happy Birthday, Gracie Anne. I love you to pieces. If potty training takes as long as walking, I won't even try until you're five.


  1. Happy birthday to Gracie! I laughed out loud at baby soup! I don't even have kids yet but I hate how social media and doctors put so much pressure on all my friends/cousins/siblings about how their kids should be crawling/talking/doing complicated algebra all at a certain time. My niece is 20 months old and can run and jump with the best of them but doesn't say much. They're working with her and all but my mom keeps saying, "Don't worry -- everyone talks eventually." I guess that's easy for a grandmother with three chatty children to say, but I think she's got a point!

  2. Happy Birthday G$!!!! Auntie Joelle falls more in love with you every day! Have your momma give you hugs and kisses from me <3

  3. I can't believe she's two! Even though the tantrums of the 2-4 years are killer, they do just continue to be more fun as they get older. I also don't think any of us parents know how to parent! If anyone tells you that they do they are LIARS! Once you seem to figure things out a little, the little stinkers go and mix things up in you. You're doing a wonderful job being her mom! Happy Birthday Gracie!

  4. Awww she's just so sweet. R is strong-willed too and full of sass, and it's stressful but I'm also thankful she knows what she wants and can stand up for herself. Just how to nurture that while also teaching her that throwing a fit won't get her what she wants... Parenting is so hard but so wonderful. Happy #2, Gracie!

  5. Happy birthday to your little baby!! Can't believe she is TWO years old already. Seems like just yesterday I got the text saying she was finally here. Give her a squeeze for me!! xoxo

  6. Happy happy birthday to Gracie!

    Baby soup is absolutely hilarious. What a year it's been! I feel like you and Gracie will be like Lorelai and Rory with all the witty repartee and none of the sleeping around.

    She seems like such a great kid. You go, Glen Coco!

  7. happy birthday sweet gracie! you are a force to be reckoned with, in all the best ways! and happy motherhood day to you lady...you're doing an amazing job.

  8. Oh,happy birthday to your Gracie! She is so adorable! Hearing about her totally makes me feel better because Peter isn't crawling yet and so many other babies his age (he's almost 10 months) are crawling and pulling themselves up. I'm not super concerned about it, but the pediatrician was like, "You should work on that with him," so naturally I panic every day when he refuses to crawl haha.

  9. Happy Birthday to your sweet and sassy little girl!!! You are a wonderful momma and she is lucky to have you :) I so hear you on the social media of today and how it's easy to get caught up looking up who's kid is doing what, etc. T has been on the late end of things so far and it's all too easy to make yourself sick with worry- but I think you are right. Kids do things on their own time!!!

  10. Awwwwe- Happy Birthday, Gracie! I feel like she's got the vocabulary of a kid much older! You're doing great, Mom! (And it probably feels like you haven't slept in 2 years verses 24 hours, lol!)

  11. She is just the cutest and if my baby is born with half that amount of hair, I will be satisfied. Happy 2nd birthday, Gracie!!!

  12. Happy birthday to Gracie! My son, who turned two in January, was also a very late walker and didn't start until after 18 months. He was in PT for it, but now the kid won't stop running. OY!

    1. Love it! I refused to put her in PT because I knew she was just being stubborn, and thankfully I was right!

  13. Happy Birthday!

    I love that she loves her red hat and bows! So fun!

  14. Reuben crawled a whole month before he even set up! Every kid is different :) potty training scares me for sure!


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