A two-year-old calls me mom. I know! What in the world.

I’ll admit I somehow became one of those people saying I had a “19 month old” or a “22 month old” so I have hereby vowed to no more counting by months since we’ve crossed the two year threshold. I apologize to those who find this utterly annoying. In an ironic twist, I too, find this annoying. Time to LET IT GO.

As a side note, those Minnie PJ’s are size 3T. She just turned two! I feel like this is a little unfair and toddler clothes should run big so we can pretend our kids are smaller than they actually are. (Also, please note the twinning Minnie face she’s making? Can’t. Handle.)


I remember her birth and her first birthday so so vividly that it doesn’t seem like it could be time to add another candle to the cupcake (or as she calls it, the “happy cake”).  But, here we are. 

This second year went by even quicker than the first. Year one of motherhood was much more challenging with so many transitions and changes and adjustments and lack of sleep. But in these last twelve months, we sort of hit a groove and started to find our footing as parents. And her growth is just insane to watch. Every single day she learns something new, and it’s just the best watching her bloom into her own little person. 

So here is a snapshot of Aven Harper (which she pronounces “Awen Hah-pah”) at two years old.

// Day in the life //
She wakes every morning asking “Awen watch Mickey Mouse Cwubhouse, mommy.” I oblige and set her up in the high chair with blueberry muffins and raspberries while she watches tv. Afterwards, it’s playtime, and this is usually her most well-behaved time of the day because she’s so well rested. 

She still takes a nap after lunch, and when I’m at home with her I totally indulge and lay down with her for the first little bit until she drifts off. I just can’t resist this sweet time with her. I know it’ll be gone soon so I’m soaking it up.

Evening bath time is always fun and it’s her silliest time of the day. After bath, she goes to the potty (yay!) and we get her PJ’s on, sing songs, and say a bedtime prayer. She will lay down by 8-8:15pm without fussing, mainly because by this time she is exhausted. She sleeps until 7-7:30am. 

What Aven is loving: 
being a helper: she’ll throw away trash, turn off lights, go with me to get the mail, feed Hudson, and even sweep the floors! // riding her Power Wheels 4 Wheeler, with Minnie as her passenger // books // coloring // bubbles // watching videos of herself on my phone (“Mommy, Awen watch bideos”) // the waving cat statue at the Japanese restaurant (she also imitates it with a dramatic two-arm wave) // animals // hiding in the kitchen cabinets // driving the car cart at Publix // music and dancing // being outside // having her back tickled // trains, especially real ones // Mickey and Minnie (duh). 

What makes her giggle endlessly: the word “booty.” For real.

What keeps her occupied: Unloading and reloading her little grocery cart. And then repeat. She could (and does) do this all day.

What she’s learning: Can count to 20 // Can say most of the alphabet song by herself // Knows her colors // Can identify some shapes. A lot of this, I will admit, is thanks to Mickey Mouse. I’m happy that her favorite show is at least somewhat educational. 🙂

What she hates: to have her feet touched // wearing coats and hats (and always always pulls one sock off…why??) // eating meat // long car rides

What she eats: She’s pretty picky these days. She loves guacamole and any food that can be dipped, fruit, crackers, yogurt, muffins, and then everything else is hit or miss. 

Weight: 30 lbs (80th percentile) 
Height: 3 ft tall (95th percentile)

// Personality, Quirks, & Funny Stuff //
Dances either like a grandma (with her “snaps”) or a character from Jersey Shore (repetitive fist pumps). Both are equally hysterical. 

Finally lets me put bows in her hair again. Praise Jesus! Her eyes are also happy about this development, I’m sure, because now they can see again. 

She’s a talker. Lots and lots of words pouring from that little mouth all the time. Here are some of our favorites:
{ When she gets excited she says “oh boy!” like Mickey Mouse. And if something falls or breaks she’ll ask “oh no, what’s happened?” She says “hold you mommy” and “carry you” and I look down to see my heart in a puddle on the floor. Same melty heart when she gives me a big hug accompanied by an “aw wee!” and instead of “snuggle” she says “wiggle, wiggle” while she squeezes me tight. (insert every single heart eyes emoji here). When we pray she bows her head and glances up through squinted eyelids to see what’s going on and then proclaims a loud “AMEN!” at the end. She still can’t say her L’s but instead replaces them with a “y” sound. Yemon (lemon), yime (lime), and yight (light) are some of the funny ones. She gives thumbs up and says “awesome!” }

A sneeze always, always requires a tissue, so she can scream “aaaachoo!” into the tissue. A little backwards, but we don’t correct it because it’s flipping adorable. (a video of this is on my Instagram from a little while back.)

She must have about 6 of her current favorite stuffed animals in the crib with her at night. Mickey and Minnie are the obvious ones, but she also loves her elephant, doggie, monkey, and mama fox and baby fox.

If we pass a section of fresh flowers at the store, she insists on getting close enough to sniff them. I secretly love this and hope it never ever stops. 

We do family dinner most Monday nights with my parents and siblings. Every Monday when I tell her where we’re going, she starts naming off everyone she’ll get to see and gets more and more excited with every name. She’s still so social and loves people. 

Whenever she gets hurt, she always wants ice. Not for the boo-boo. Just to munch on.

Speaking of boo-boos, the second she gets one, she sticks that body part out at me “kiss boo boo mommy.” I kiss it. “Aw bettah,” she says. I know her hurts won’t always be this small and healed with a simple mama kiss.

She’s still such a girly girl with her love of nail polish, sunglasses, my make-up brushes, combing her hair, and carrying a purse around.

// Milestones //
Mouth completely full of teeth, which she loves to brush.

We’ve reached a level of independence now where she will play by herself in a separate room from me. I know that sounds simple and silly but it’s something we’ve been working on for a while. 

She has begun to potty train herself, always asking to go after her bath every night. We do a little dance and sit her Minnie doll next to her on an empty tea pitcher so Minnie can potty too. Sometimes she’ll ask to go other times during the day, but I never push it and am just letting her take the lead for now.

She’s tall enough to sit in the booth at restaurants instead of the high chair. Which is actually really sad – she’s only two! 

{ God, thank you for this little life! 
Thank you for choosing Brandon and I to parent her, it’s honestly such a privilege. We are so amazed by her and so proud. Please guide her steps and draw her to yourself. 
We pray that she will never know a time when she didn’t love Jesus. Thank you for every single person who pours into her life and helps raise her. Help us to parent her well. 
Thank you for this extraordinary love we get to experience through her, and how we get a glimpse into your Father-heart through parenthood. }

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