I thought about skipping the monthly Jules updates now that she’s two and really not a baby anymore, now that the changes in her seem more gradual, but indulge me – there are a few toddler tidbits that I want to capture in this little time capsule.

Like, holy geez, she’s got a mouth on her!  Not a bad mouth, just an ultra-busy one that rambles on and on and on.  She’s using words that I didn’t even realize she knew, telling me about the owie she got on her sho-der at school and asking for tanger-eeeeeens and reminiscing about that shiny carousel zebra she rode on when we were in San Francisco last month.  When we’re in the car together and she doesn’t have anything specific to tell me, it’s just, “Mama?  Mama?  Mama?  MAMA!!!”, until I acknowledge her with, “Yes, honey?”, at which point she replies, “Uhhhh…Hi, Mama!”  Some of her vocabulary is a little mixed up, which is good for a laugh, like when she gets “sham-poop” in her eyes, wants “busy water” (fizzy water) with dinner, and asks for “pine cones” (pumpkin scones) for breakfast.  She’s parotting Shane and I more than ever, flopping down on the floor with a dramatic sigh and saying, “Oh my gosh, I so tired”, and sweetly murmuring to her doll during pretend diaper changes, “Real quick, baby.  I know, I know…”.

She loves to sing, whether anyone is listening or not – “Twinkle, Twinkle” is currently on repeat (and repeat, and repeat) at our house:

It’s not all sweet twinkle-twinkle’s, though.  Her “assertive” personality is shining through more as she finds the words to express her wishes demands.  Favorite phrases these days are “stay back!” and “just leave it”, said with an upheld, spread-fingered hand and a furrowed brow, usually employed when I’m heading her way to retrieve whatever forbidden item she’s snagged from the counter.  Getting dressed in the morning can be maddening, as she grabs her pants out of Shane’s hands and shouts “Mama do it!”, then grabs her socks from me and yells “Daddy do it!”  I know, labeling girls as “bossy” is taboo in this day and age, and we’re supposed to celebrate our daughter’s excellent leadership potential, but dang, toddler tyranny is not my favorite.

Back to the good stuff: pictures!  Here are a few from our Thursday romp through the Arboretum – I have upped my work hours and am now in the office on Thursdays, but when I can, I slip away a little early so that I can pick up Juliette for an abbreviated mama-Jules day.  She and I can’t get enough of these Fall leaves.

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And the requisite N+J photo:

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And…just a couple more, because, JOY:

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Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish one hell of a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite guy, the man who keeps our boat on course time and again amidst the glaciers of parenthood.  Happy 36th, Shane.  Jules and I love you so very, very much.

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