When you turned a year old, I wrote you a letter. It was a few days late, but I still managed to tell you how I felt, how you had changed my world and how amazing you are.
You're 2 now. Your birthday was about a month and a half ago... (I'm more than just a little late! This seems to happen all the time now.) But I figured it was better late than never.
So, my little Buttertart, how do I sum up another year of having you in my life? Another year of amazing highs, some tough lows, big milestones and simple moments that I'll remember forever?
I don't think I could do it all in one letter. How on earth could I put you - your personality, your quirks, your sense of humour - in a few words? You're so full of life, it's almost impossible to just simply write it down.
You're a spitfire, Anna. You're full of life. You love to run and play and jump and hang on monkey bars (already!) You yell happily and laugh and run around the house in circles when people come over to visit you.
You feel things intensely. When you're sick or in pain or frustrated - you really feel it. There's almost no consoling you at times. But when you're happy, you are so happy, you make everyone around you feel the same.
Sometimes I have to convince you to give me kisses - you're too busy for snuggling and kissing. You're busy reading books, or colouring, or playing with your play-doh. You're busy kicking a ball, pushing your little stroller around, playing with your cars or yelling out all the animal sounds you know.
And that's okay. Because every morning (or when you don't feel well), you like sitting in my lap and wrapping your little arms around me. You put your head on my chest, or nuzzle into my neck. And we hug.
(In fact, right now you're feeling tired and a bit out of sorts, so you're sitting right up against me on the couch, resting your little hand on my leg as you watch The Cat in the Hat).
You love being outside, picking up sticks, playing in sand, splashing in puddles, swinging in the swings and sliding down the slides at the park. We go outside all year round. In snowstorms and on the hottest days of the year, you still want to be outside.
You learned to talk this past year. You started with "Mommy" and "Daddy". Then you learned more and more every day. Now you talk in short sentences... and you're becoming a great little conversationalist.
You did a lot of teething between your first and second birthday. It was really hard on you. But when the pain went away, you were back to your usual self. Fun. Happy. Raring to go.
You started part time daycare when you were about 20 months old. You learned some rules and played with other kids. And you adapted so well. Mommy and Daddy were so proud of you.
And then Lauren came into your life. And again, you adapted so well. You've always been extremely gentle with your sister. You like to cover her in blankets and give her her soother when she needs it. You pat her head and wave hello to her in the mornings and before bed. You're concerned when she cries.
You've had a lot happen in your little world, Anna. And you've done so well. You've had some tough times when you're sick or in pain, but you're mostly happy and fun and silly. You know what you like and what you don't like. And you make it very clear.
And I love all of this about you, Anna. The world needs girls like you. I need a girl like you in my life. Because you keep me on my toes. You fill my life with more happiness and laughter and love than I ever thought possible.
I am so, so, so lucky to have you. Whether we're snuggling in your bed or chasing each other down the street on the way to the park, I love every, single second that I get to have with you.
My life is so much more than I ever wished for. And I feel like all I can do is say thank you and hope that my love is enough for you.
Thank you, Anna. For being your perfect little self.
Your adoring Mommy