Our darling Jessica has grown so much in the past 6 months! I will admit, she has been the main reason I haven't blogged in as much time. We've been so busy everyday that I've been using my phone camera more than my Nikon, so Instagram has really become more of my blog. And I'm not really upset by that fact, because I feel like my phone can more quickly capture the real moments of everyday. It's much easier to snap a quick phone photo than run and grab my Nikon in those fun and spontaneous moments that happen so often throughout the day. I think I shall start printing chatbooks as a way of journaling. I hear that they are incredibly easy and fairly cheap. That being said, there is so much to update everyone on, I shall try to do my best in this post.
Jessica is officially a big girl. I honestly can't believe how much she has changed just in the past few days since turning 2 years old. Maybe my vision is a bit skewed, but she is acting more and more like a big sister each day. She is showing signs of readiness for when the new baby will be in our lives.
(I had to include a little bit of her classic "cheesy" smile.)
I love her personality. She is kind, compassionate, caring, observant, meticulous, methodical, giggly, sensitive, cautious, and whimsical. Just to name a FEW of her traits. And she is ALL girl. I am constantly amazed at the innate feminine traits which she embodies and displays, things that I haven't taught her, but that she just knows to do. Like today, Jessica and I were at a friend's house in the neighborhood and Jessica was playing with William (almost 3 year old son). My friend Christy commented on how cute it is that Jessica kind of skip-hops everywhere she goes, while William just runs hard, heavy, and fast. We talked about how different boys and girls are. Jessica just chooses to be a bit more dainty and delicate because that's who she is.
It makes me realize how much our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of his children and how he places specific spirits in each person. And it's our job as parents to cultivate and encourage those spirits to emerge and shine.
Jessica is a talker. She has always been advanced in her vocabulary, but it has really exploded as of late. She normally and frequently says 4-5 word sentences and just the other day, she said a 7-word sentence. Michael and I counted the words on our fingers to make sure because we were so impressed and blown away! What a smart little chatterbox we have. I'm not really surprised, because I was a very good talker as a child and I've always spent my days talking with Jessica even from the start.
Jessica is also displaying immense comprehension of emotions. She is very aware of other's feelings and wants to comfort those who are sad or upset. This is something we have to be very careful with especially when watching a movie or something on TV, because she picks up on the smallest things and they stick with her. We feel a great need to protect our children from the things of the world that they are not old enough to experience, comprehend, and process yet. Children are only children for a short time, and as such, we feel they should have have that time to be carefree.
Jessica is still our "Muggins" as we like to call her. And that nickname suits her. She is a Muggins in every sense of the word. She is loved by all who know her and is seriously the favorite child in our ward (church) nursery right now. Granted, there aren't that many kids in there, but she is just so pleasant, kind, and non-destructive that all the leaders love her. I've peeked in a few times and she pretty much leads all the children at anything related to singing time. She's ready to push her chair over to the singing area, knows all the actions to all the songs, and enthusiastically sings and does the motions every. single. time. It makes this musician/performer mommy proud!
She loves to sing at bedtime and has her own version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. It goes something like this, "Row row boat, gent(ly) stream, merwy (merrily), life dweam (dream)". She pretty much sings one or two words from each phrase and that's the song! Also, she loves to sing "Bubbles", a song that we made up months ago in the warmer weather when she used to play with bubbles outside everyday.
This girl is a nurturer. She got a baby doll for her birthday and carries it around, pretending that it's crying "wahhh", but then she comforts it by humming a simple 3 note "hmm hmm hmm" and going "shhh". She'll rock that baby and wrap it up in her favorite pink blanket, then lay it down to sleep. She always tells us when the baby is sad or crying, then starts the whole comforting routine. It's adorable. I think she's going to be a big helper for Mommy during the days with a newborn. I can just picture her bringing all her favorite stuffed animals and placing them next to the baby, trying to comfort her.
Speaking of being a big helper, she loves to put the dishes away, cook and bake in the kitchen, sweep, and fold and put away clothes. I'm loving her willingness to be a part of the daily chores in the house and definitely taking advantage of this desire she has to help out. I think it's so important to establish the habit of helping around the house at such a young age, because then she knows it's just part of the norm. So those days when she fights doing chores (hopefully years from now, lol), she will know that they are just part of daily life around here and maybe that will make it easier to get things accomplished.
Even with the tantrums and power struggles that have emerged lately in our lives, we are reminded with how special Jessica is and how much we love her. Truthfully, she is so pleasant and sweet most of the time, that those little frustrating moments are definitely bearable. Especially when they are followed by hugs, kisses, and giggles all around. Oh Jessica, we are so proud of you and the little girl you have become. We are excited for this next year of our lives as a family, with a little sister to come in April, and to see how things will change and grow for the better as we become a family of 4. We are incredibly happy that you are our first child and have great hopes and dreams for you. We know you will rise to the occasion and show us more of your sweet spirit as time goes on and only pray that we can be the parents that you need us to be to help nurture your personality and guide you to grow in the way our Heavenly Father has planned for you. WE LOVE YOU!