Juliet Turns TWO

April 19, 2018

It's hard to believe that our little Julietty is TWO and in a matter of weeks we will have another newborn in the house. It's all so daunting right now, but one thing I know for sure is that Juliet will most likely handle it like a champ! Here's all the things I can say about my little doll at TWO!

1. A day in the life of Juliet, the two-year-old goes like this: wake up in her bottom bunk with Nora about 6:30-7 and come running into our room yelling "I waked up! It's morning time!" We go downstairs and the girls have TV and a morning snack of milk and apples on the couch until about 8 and then we eat breakfast. On a day when they are going to daycare or Nora has preschool this get cuts a little short and we are usually out the door between 7:45-8:15 depending. When we're home we usually get dressed, tidy, play etc until about 9:30-10:30 and then then girls have their morning snack time. Often we go out to do something like the library story time, visit friends, errands etc. until about 11:30-12. 12 is lunch and then Juliet goes down for a nap from about 12:30-3. They have another snack time around 3:30 and we usually plan an outside activity for after nap like the park or a walk. 5 is supper time and after supper the girls play while I clean up until about 6:15 when we go upstairs for a bath. After bath they have stories in our bed together and then both go into their bunk beds for the night around 7. Lately they've been taking a little while to fall asleep, chatting and giggling and filling around until about 7:30-7:45 but at least they stay in their rooms and eventually fall asleep!

2. Juliet the cuddle bug! Juliet has always been our little cuddler. She loves to sit on my lap and snuggle and will often ask many times throughout the day for me to sit down and "cuddle me". Its such a sweet little gesture and it always reminds me how fleeting this time is with her at this age and stage. I love it when she asks because I have to give in to her and take the time to just sit and do nothing but snuggle her. Over the last year her cuteness factor has absolutely exploded and more than ever, she is simply adorable. She is so happy all the time and laughs or smiles at everything. Her adorable little chubby cheeks are so kissable and that curly blonde mop of hair just tops it all off. I look at her so many times throughout the day and just can't get enough of her cuteness!

3. Juliet's favourite things are her pink blankie ("nanee"- she has called it this since she could talk) which she is super attached to. She needs it to fall asleep and whenever she sees it, no matter what she is doing, she grabs it and cuddles it and starts sucking her thumb. If she is upset about anything, her nanee will calm her in an instant. It's hard to get it out of her sight to wash it! She also has a little pink flamingo stuffy that she sleeps with ("my fingo!"). She is more into playing with baby dolls than Nora ever was and also loves to pack things into bags and purses and carry them around. She plays in the play kitchen more than Nora does now but mostly just does whatever Nora comes up with. She follows her around like crazy and just wants to join in with her at all times. They love to be outside and explore around the backyard together. If Nora is colouring or doing some kind of craft, Juliet will be right beside her. However, I think her favourite game/activity of all time is water play. Since she could climb the kitchen stool, she has figured out how to turn the kitchen sink on and will stand there for a really long time "washing" dishes and turning the water on and off. She does this almost daily and it keeps her occupied while I am tidying or cooking.

4. Speaking of playing with Nora, they really are the best of friends. One of them misses the other dearly even when they aren't together for an hour or so. Juliet is lost without Nora to follow around and she asks about her constantly when she isn't here. Nora is really good with her too, always making up games they can play together and including her in almost everything she does. Of course, they have their little squabbles, but it never lasts more than a minute and most of the time they really get along. Juliet has the funniest way of saying "Nooooowwa!" when she does something she doesn't like! A few months ago I had a babysitter come for Juliet while I took Nora to a birthday party and Nora was so concerned about Juliet the whole time. She kept asking me throughout the party if I thought Juliet was OK and if she'd be missing us. On her birthday, Nora gave her a big hug and said to her "I just love my little birthday girl so much!" and she was just vibrating with excitement at seeing Juliet open the gift she picked out for her- a little rainbow coloured dog stuffy that was also a purse for her to carry around. I just love that they care so much about each other and I hope it always stays like that!

5. Juliet's vocabulary has exploded in the last month or so and she talks in sentences more often than not now. She is stringing 4-5 words together all the time which is so much fun. One of the things she says most often is "me come too?!" or "and me?!" just to make sure she will be included in whatever we are talking about or planning. We hardly ever do anything as a family and leave her behind, so we aren't sure where she got the idea that she isn't coming, but she really wants to make darn sure she'll be with us all the time! Some of her other cute sayings are "that's bugging' me!", "what's that thing?!" (another CONSTANT question) and "mommy do it" or "Nora did it". She basically gives a running commentary all day long of what is going on and what everyone is doing. It can be slightly exhausting sometimes, but it's also adorable. She tells us she loves things all the time which is so funny. She will see a picture in a book and point to one of the objects and say "I love that thing!" no matter what it is. She knows so many names and obscure words like sleeve, nail clippers, chin, etc.- words that I wouldn't think she would come out with. I just love it when she says her own name because she refers to herself as "Julietty!" She also completely gets how to say things in order to be funny or sarcastic or to sound mad. She will raise her eyebrows in such a cute and funny way and say things like "That Daddy!!!" when Tom leaves the toilet seat up for example. She also uses her manners most of the time which is always awesome to hear the little "Thank you Mommy" without being prompted. I just can't wait for all the stories she is going to tell me from now on!

6. We always thought Nora was such a genius child, but now that I have Juliet I think she is just as smart! (Maybe that's just how kids are... but of course I think they are exceptional!) At two, she knows all of her colours which surprises me. She can count to 10 and recognizes numbers wherever we go. At the pool she noticed the difference between numbers and words on the pool deck which completely floored me. She also knows several songs like twinkle, twinkle and baa baa black sheep, and loves to sing along with us. She can sing the entire alphabet correctly and consistently picks out the letter J in books and on papers Nora has written. Seeing the wheels turn and their brains in action has to be one of my favourite things to witness as a parent.

7. Juliet has always loved food, like the rest of us! But she is much more of a treat girl (like her mama) than Nora. Nora will leave sweets and cookies and not touch them over fruit or veg, but Juliet is highly motivated by desserts and cookies and candies. She also eats quite healthily but it's funny to me how different their tastes can be. Juliet much prefers carbs more than Nora and will go for the crackers, pretzels, pancakes, pasta etc. first and eat her fruit and veg last. She LOVES all kinds of dip and if she can dip something, she will eat it- hummus, ranch, ketchup, dippy eggs, tzatziki, you name it! She is also a more adventurous eater than Nora is now. She loves all kinds of salad no matter the dressing. She gobbled up a sesame noodle salad I made the other night and she loves yogurt and granola or overnight oats with everything included- nuts, berries, hemp hearts, chia seeds etc. Her favourite foods are probably apples, watermelon, berries, crackers/chips and pizza, but she really will try/eat almost anything.

8. We are starting to see glimpses of the terrible twos coming out in her a little bit. She wants to do things herself and is less easily distracted by things if she has her mind set on something. I can't just offer her a different kind/colour if she had her heart set on a certain thing. She gets into mischief a little bit, but we have yet to discipline her much. The latest thing is that she wants to always climb into her car seat herself and gets so mad if someone lifts her in. I have started counting to 3 to make her climb in faster and if I get to 3 before she does, I grab her and put her in and she throws a tantrum. I am much better at riding out her tantrums and not giving into them or giving them much attention with Juliet than I was with Nora. I know more about their little power struggles than I did when Nora was this age and I think it has made it much easier to handle. It's all just part of her developmental age and I think she does try and test me a little, but it's really just not in her personality to do so very often. Thank god!

9. We have started potty training Juliet! I never expected or planned on doing it before the baby came, but it was Nora who went down to the basement and brought out the little potty one day and decided Juliet should try it. Almost constantly, Nora asks Juliet to use the potty and she has done it lots! So we are running with it because she seems pretty motivated. We've only just started in the last week or so, but overall it's been pretty successful and she does go almost every time she sits on it, so we will see if it's easier than it was with Nora! Fingers crossed and then we won't have 2 kids in diapers!

10. My whole experience as Juliet's mother has been so different than my experience as Nora's mother. I am so much more laid back with her and I really think her personality and easy-going nature is both as a result and to blame for it. I have always said she is the easiest child to be around, always happy, always going with the flow, never causing a fuss and constantly rolling with the punches. Like Nora, she is a little Mama's girl (both of them prefer me to help them and do things with them and for them over Tom which can be exhausting) but she is just so sweet and laid back I don't mind. A typical example of their personalities was when we took Juliet skiing for the first time a few weeks ago, she just LOVED every minute- she fell in the snow, her skis got twisted, she did things that were completely unfamiliar to her and not once did she wipe the smile off her face or fuss or whine or cry. She was just glad to be a part of the fun and the action. (All while Nora whimpered and whined and questioned every move we made the entire time!)

I could never say which of my children I love more, of course, but my love for Juliet has always been so easy and natural and uncomplicated and pure. I felt such an instant connection to her from the second I laid eyes on her and smiled so wide every time I looked at her from the time she was born. (My fears and anxieties as a first time mother with Nora hindered this a little when I had her). There has always been less drama and less stress and less questioning on my part in my relationship with Juliet that I think she is lucky that way. In a way, she does live in Nora's shadow as the first born "gets" more attention and trial and error than the second a lot of the time, but I am just not worried about her like I am about Nora. She is my little sunshine, my doll and hands down the sweetest most adorable little thing I have ever seen. I have no doubt she will handle big sister status like a champ and continue to impress me and make me proud for the rest of her life. We love you, Julietty!


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