Claire is two! This is full on unbelievable, if you ask me. I think she had a really fun day- we had special breakfast, she had a little friend over, she got to ride her new tricycle all the way to the store, and she even got to eat a whole piece of cake. Then that weekend we had a joint birthday party with my mom's group. I think we made the right call avoiding a big hoopla for her, though I admit worrying over which to do- party or no- more than I worried over our wedding. She is now, and possibly will always be, shy and very crowd averse. She was a giggle a minute when her one friend was over, but kind of shy and on the edges at the big party. Simon isn't like this, though- he might get a big blow out for his first birthday (which is, oh, coincidentally right around Christmas party season. Make of that what you will.).
She is phenomenal at two. For a couple months there she seemed to be working through something developmentally (or just does not do well with houseguests- who knows?) but a few weeks ago it all clicked. She can count to whatever and knows her ABC's, plus has a strong enough grasp on the English language that were she to be willing to talk to strangers, they would pretty much always know what she meant (though her articulation does appear to be behind her vocabulary). She is dropping the cutesy phrases left and right, and remembers and talks about events days and weeks later. Out in the world she is very pensive, but at home she is a constant stream of words. Literally, I don't think she ever stops talking. She will extend syllables if she can't come up with the next word fast enough. "More Ah-cado, mommy. Mommy I need more ah-cado mommy. It's hiding in the frigerator mommy. It's hiiiiiding. Mommy open frigerator mommy. Mommy open frigerator so I find ah-caaaaaaaado. I hafta find it for snack. Mommy my hands are dirty Mommy. It's diiiirty. I need wash-y hands, mommy. I need wash-y haaaaaaaaaands mommy." God, writing it out it looks kind of annoying, but it's not. It's awesome.
She giggles for at least a third of the day, and when we go to the park wants to play chase with her friends for a little while, but then she wants to go wandering and either climb the really cool tree or look for ladybugs to hide in the sand. If she spies a book, though, she won't do anything but read it. No matter where we are- park, pool, friends', whatever. She likes books. She always has a copy of her little magazine "Animal Baby" in her hand, and likes to put it next to her plate while she eats. I think I am also willing to call another big toddler milestone- she is potty trained! This makes the environmentalist in me very happy. We were on our way to filling up a landfill of our very own with our enormous diaper output.
Simon is not too bad at this seven months old business, either. A few weeks ago, he learned to crawl a couple steps. And then, just to screw with my head, he didn't practice at all. Acted like he didn't care. He'd crawl 3 steps, then melt into the ground, then go on with his baby business. A few days ago I think he decided Something Had to Be Done about the situation, so he learned to crawl. He didn't sleep all day long, and just cranked around, fussing and squirming, and now he can crawl 8 or 9 steps. Unless he forgets that he has to use his hands, and then he moves a back foot forward and teeter totters forward onto his head, and it's this big baby tragedy. Poor kiddo. He's a pretty good babbler, and still a social little bee when we are in public. I put him on my back in this little carrier I have when we go to the park, and he basically scales me so he can see over my shoulder if I'm talking to anyone. Little monkey.
He sleeps pretty well, although the kids haven't slept one minute at the same time while at home during the day in about 4 weeks now. He is eating the food of baby champions- Cheerios- as I type. Geez, kids! This is getting as weird as when Simon didn't poop while Mat was at home for 6 weeks.