Dear Annabel,

At midnight yesterday, you turned two years old – but you already know that because you were still awake. Granted, it was after your birthday party and you were especially amped, but child, your ability to function on almost zero sleep baffles me. Don’t you know how wonderful and amazing sleep is? You are just too worried that you’ll miss something. If we let you, you’d do your best to stay awake for 24 hours. I will let you attempt it someday – when you go to college.

This has been such an amazing year. You went on trips and saw new places and made lots of friends. We moved into a new house and you hit the ground running – literally! You were so happy to be freed from the gated community we’d constructed in our old apartment. You have free-range in the house and you know every nook and cranny. I love hearing the sound of your feet slap the wood floors as you come running to find me. Running, running, always running, gotta get everywhere so fast. Will you ever slow down? I think I already know the answer to that.

I cannot say enough about how smart you are. Last week I started a tally of how many words you know, and I stopped counting when I filled up three notebook pages in an hour. I jokingly started saying that you know ALL THE WORDS, but sometimes when I’m talking to you I’m pretty convinced you understand every single word I’m saying. You know your ABCs and can count to ten, you know your name is “Annie Annabel Spohr,” and you know the words to dozens of songs (which is more than your father can say!). I am staggered by how much you’ve changed in one year:

sunshine

Annie, Age 2
same expression, 80 pounds more hair

You are a girlie-girl who loves airplanes, bicycles, and cars. You are currently on a massive princess kick, which I *might* Β use to my advantage every now and then (Annie, eat this apple, it’s a princessΒ apple). You have five baby dolls that you adore, and you named them all – Lola, Other Lola, Lolita, Baby Heidi, and Kayla, and if anyone calls them by the wrong names you are indignant. You love to kiss and cuddle them, and put them in your large pram for rides around the house. You think Rigby is “sooooo cuuuuuute” and when she gives you a kiss you squeal from the attention. I’m pretty sure this upcoming year will be when you finally steal Rigby’s loyalties away from me.

Speaking of me, you have finally come around to liking your mama. You were a pretty hardcore Daddy’s Girl this year, and sometimes that made me really sad. I loved the relationship the two of you had, but I wanted one with you, too. One day a switch went off in your head and you realized I could be pretty cool and fun, too. Now you ask me to play dress-up and pick out clothes and do your hair every morning. The best, though, is at night, when you climb up next to me on the couch and slowly scoot closer and closer, until we are smushed together in an ultimate snuggle. We’ll hug and kiss and sometimes you’ll say, “tickle?” and of course I oblige. I love your laugh so much.

I worked hard this year to be a present, patient, and engaging parent and I hope I succeeded. You make me work hard, but like I said to your daddy the other day, I don’t know how anyone can stand not being near you. You are vivacious and clever and so very funny, and even when you’re inexplicably awake at 4am, there’s no one else I’d rather be awake with.

Thank you for making me love and live and learn, little girl. I love you to the moon and back. Happy birthday TWO you. I am so honored to be your mama.

I love you mama

my girl and me

Annie and Mama
Rigby photobomb!