and now i have a two year old
bina turned two on june 1. though she had been acting two for awhile already. i read in a book that 18-22 months is a tough stage, and then they're great from 2-2.5 before they hit another tough stage at 2.5. this news slightly concerned me as bina had been driving me rather nuts the two weeks prior to her second birthday. if this is the perfect angel version, i don't even want to know what the next tough stage is going to be like! fortunately the last few days have been very pleasant. and sometimes i wonder if maybe my mood also affects hers. or maybe she is just a human like all other humans and has good days and bad days. for small children we just call them "stages."
on the day of bina's actual birthday, we started with sitting on the table throwing cheerios at the dogs. the dogs were ecstatic.
next we took baby outside for a stroll around the yard.
then we progressed to eating fruit snacks for breakfast. whatever. fine. its yo birfday.
mama needed to run to target for some last minute party supplies and bina helped unload the cart. note to self: always get a slew of these plastic stacking bowls for the walk around the store because they entertain her in the cart FOREVER. it's a miracle.
on the way out bina rode in the cart like the captain of a ship.
when we got home we played outside on the "wee wee" (swing).
for lunch we headed to daddy's work and got to see the hilos in the plant with the flashing lights. "dat! dat!" she exclaimed as she pointed to them. when we got home from lunch we gathered all the bags and plopped down on the dog bed.
when daddy got home from work we checked out our bounce deer present.
we had dinner at panera so we could enjoy the favorite meal: panera mac n cheese.
and also mama's smoothie.
next we met grandma and grandpa at the park in northville.
we finished off the night with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from great harvest at the park.
all in all, a pretty excellent day for our little adventurer.
the night of her birthday, david wanted to bring out the book i had made him before bina was born. i wrote david a "thank you for supporting me through this pregnancy and beyond" letter. the book also had letters from father figures in his life and from friends who are young dads. after she was born i had us both type up our versions of bina's birth story. as i read my version of the birth story i found myself getting sad. in my story i was tired and sore but hopeful. anticipating a great maternity leave full of all the wonderful things that come with newborns like sleepless nights and endless diaper changes. but i was looking forward to doing it all with david. and then my joy and peace of mind left me and i sunk into post partum depression and anxiety. it took away me. i was so vulnerable. tired. scared. overwhelmed. i couldn't see things ever getting better. i didn't want to be a mom. the darkness and desperation of that time lasted just a few weeks before i was able to get on medicine and get back to being more myself. it took my body longer to heal from the c-section than i expected. it was at least five weeks before i felt comfortable leaving the house by myself, mentally and physically. in reality it was such a short time but it felt like eternity when i was going through it. and now when i read my version of bina's birth story, it brings me back to that darkness and desperation. i find myself grieving all over again.
grief is an interesting thing. it comes in waves. there is no time limit. there is no "oh, well we're this far removed, surely you're over that by now." i don't want to avoid the pain. i want to feel it. i want to allow myself to be sad. to feel the pain of loss. and then think about how full of life my adventurous two year old is. how affectionate she can be (when she's not busy running around the house or yard doing her own thing). how adorably curious she is. how big her emotions are. how she starts off timid around others, but then warms up and explodes into full throttle bina. yes, i do still feel robbed of what i thought her first three months were going to be like. i do still mourn that they happened the way they did. but i see that god is a good god with good plans. and that he has redeemed that time. and when insomnia and depression and anxiety returned for a month late last summer? i grieve and mourn that too. but again i see that god is a good god with good plans. and that he has redeemed that time. he is making all things new. he is making ALL things new.
a year ago bina's first birthday party attendees were all adults because we hadn't yet made friends with littles in michigan. we have quite a few now, too many to invite them all! so we narrowed it down to our church small group and two of my high school friends i've reconnected with. we ended up with nine littles in attendance this year, ten including bina. i enjoy having a house full of chaos! i love how god has provided such sweet friendships in the last year. i cherish all of them! he is so very kind. so good.
we had beautiful weather the day of her party. i was worried about not having enough food, then worried about having TOO much food... but all was well. we enjoyed visiting with friends and family and celebrating our little adventurer turning two.
bina is in love with her gifts. notably her new sand and water table from grandma and grandpa. she likes to pour sand in the water and water in the sand. which makes quite the mess. then she can't get it off of her hands or her feet. the joys of the problems of childhood. i love watching her play. digging her little hands into wet sand and flinging it off her fingers. over and over and over. she loves it. the perfectionist in me dies a little every time she mixes water into the sand section or sand into the water section. and i have to speak to myself. brittain. it's ok. she's enjoying herself and that's really all that matters. no one is going to die if she mixes up the elements. let her be little.
a week and a half ago we were assigned an adoption specialist. our first home visit is next week. as with the anticipation of a new baby by birth during pregnancy, i am both excited and terrified! bina has been sweet interacting with babies lately. she consoled a friend's baby with a toy and patted her back gently. moments like those make me think maybe she WILL be helpful! i fear what it will be like attempting to tandem nurse. hard to believe that i struggled so much the first eight weeks nursing bina, and now here we are still nursing strong two years and counting.
i wonder how she will adjust to having to share mama. a conundrum we would experience whether we were having another baby by birth or adoption. it will be an adjustment for all of us. and i have faith that god will sustain us no matter what that adjustment looks like. i am looking forward to the first home visit. another step in the process complete. the home study itself will take months. we have a lot more work to do before we are done. but boy do i love making progress towards the goal! and in the meantime i was able to do a bit of work on our family profile photo book. looking forward to getting that reviewed and approved so i can purchase copies the next time shutterfly is having a 50% off sale. always deal hunting, this one.
bina and i have lots of fun plans for the summer. she is much more independent this summer than last! still too little for some things, but we can do so much more than we could a year ago. i'm excited for play dates at parks and splash pads, lots of time outdoors, visits up north on the lake, and the flexibility that comes with having just one little with one afternoon nap. i'm going to enjoy it while it lasts! i'm also looking forward to bina developing a wider vocabulary and beginning to put more words together into phrases. so far we have "bye bye daddy" in the way of two word phrases. this she says as she lays sideways on my lap to nurse at night. girl knows what she wants. i can't wait for her to be able to communicate more. she sure "talks" quite a bit, just not intelligibly. and i know she has so much to say!
the other day as i was getting ready i had her gated upstairs and she was shutting herself in her room. it was too quiet for my liking so i decided to peek in her door. and i found her sitting in the nursing chair with her big picture story bible in her lap. and my heart melted. sometimes she just does the most adorable things. because i expected to find her getting into something she shouldn't, her "reading" her bible in her chair was especially adorable. how i love my little bina.
onward through the terrible and tender twos. it's always an adventure with bina.