TWO years ago today our lives were forever changed and forever blessed with the arrival of our sweet Caroline. We are so grateful for the precious little girl that you are and for the sweet joy of raising you in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Here are a few things that we want to remember about our Caresy Bears:
~ You love life. You have pretty strong opinions about just exactly how life should be, but you truly do love your little life. You get so excited about the littlest things and it is such a joy to watch your face light up, or listen to you squeal, "Oooohhh!!" when something delights you. One of your new favorite things to say is "REALLY fun!" You said it on our hayride to the pumpkin patch today, in fact!
~ You love to play pretend. Your favorites lately are cleaning house (thanks for the cleaning set, Grandma and Grandpa), baking in your kitchen (thanks for the birthday cake set, Mimi and Papa), and doctor (which you are now fully equipped for, thanks to the kit from Mommy, Daddy and Sissy).
~ You are quite the little singer. Your memory and vocabulary have just exploded over the last month or two and you now have quite the repertoire of songs. Your absolute favorite is "Angels We Have Heard on High" (don't ask me why), and you know literally every word in all three verses. Your favorite word in the song is "jubilee" and you just crack up after you say it. I love to watch you sing the "glorias" because you make your little mouth perfectly round and shake your head back and forth throughout the whole long word.
~ Other songs that you have mastered include "Jesus Loves Me," "Danny Boy," "Desert Lullaby," "Twinkle Twinkle," "Jesus Paid it All," and probably a few more I can't think of right now.
~ You continue to hold the title of the drama queen in our family. You can go from slaphappy silliness to utter despair at just a moment's notice, always keeping us on our toes.
~ Speaking of the drama, your new favorite phrase is, "Mommy, neeeeed you," or "Daddy, neeeeeed you." The length of the word "need" is directly proportional to the gravity of the situation you find yourself in. It is sometimes very long in the middle of the night when you would rather come to the big bed than stay in your crib. Not a screaming cry, more of a pitiful plea =)
~ You love football, so with that and your birthday, I'm pretty sure that fall is going to be your favorite season, just like Mommy. We rarely turn the TV on at our house except on college football Saturdays and you are just captivated with the games (which you call "foot games"). You think every team is the "Kempin" (Clemson) Tigers, and you cheer wildly for touchdowns. You also just about lose it every time they cut to a commercial break. "Where foot game go?" you demand. See the drama?
~ You think your big sister is just about the greatest thing ever (usually). You love following her around and doing exactly what she does. You especially love it when she plays the games you come up with or invites you in on one of her games.
~ You still love to be read to. Your two favorite books are "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?" (hence the theme of your birthday party), and "I am NOT Going to Get Up Today" by Dr. Seuss. You can just about recite "Brown Bear" cover to cover, and you can finish every line in "Up Today" which is what you call the second book.
~ You have also learned how to play your first board game. It's a Brown Bear/Panda Bear game where you have to match the character to the picture on the board, and you know exactly what to do. You also think that you know how to play "Go Fish," but you ask for a seven every time and every time you are asked for a card, you respond, "Go Fish," even if you do in fact have that card in your hand. It's pretty silly!
~ You have created the funniest little silly dances and walks that you just randomly start doing throughout the day. They usually involve walking on either your heels or your tippy-toes.
~ You are still pretty attached to your paci, which you call a "pappy." In fact, just like your big sister before you, you have to have not one, but TWO. You call them "pappy, second pappy." We are getting pretty good about limiting them to sleeping times and long car rides, and hopefully you won't need them too much longer. But you do love them.
~ You can be very needy at times, but you also can be quite independent, demanding to do things "SELF!"
~ You are working very hard on using your manners. You rarely forget to say "Tank You," and you also use "Ma'am" and "Sir" very politely. Unfortunately, you haven't quite figured out when to use which word, so you usually just say, "Yes, Ma'am Sir!" You sometimes forget to say "please" and start yelling for what you want, but when we remind you, it's like a switch goes off and you immediately cock your head to the side, whisper "please" with little pleading eyes and do the sign language where you place your hand on your chest. Adorable.
~ Like many two-year-olds, you love to play peek-a-boo. You usually start it all on your own, walking into a room with your hands over your eyes, asking, "Where's Caroline?"
~ You know your full name, as well as the full names of your mommy, daddy, and sister. You think it's especially funny, though, to say that our middle names are Hope too. For example, "Luke Hope Tolbert" or "Patty Hope Tolbert"!
~ You can sing your ABC's almost perfectly, with the exception of "Q, R, S," which are apparently superfluous in your opinion. You can also count to ten, and usually only skip one number (which is different every time)!
~ You have the sweetest smile and one of the greatest "Cheese" faces I've ever seen. Makes for some pretty funny pictures!
~ You still have the most beautiful curly brown hair. I so hope the curls will stay when it starts growing longer, but I guess only time will tell!
~ You love to pray. You always love to pray before meals and thank God for our food and for Mommy and Daddy and Anna Tate, but sometimes you will even spontaneously pray for others when the need arises. Today we were in the car and we passed by the little Camden airport where they park the hospital helicopter. Anna Kate remarked that it wasn't there and it must be taking someone to the hospital and you immediately said, "Really Hurt. Sick. Pray!" You prayed right then and there for whoever was on that helicopter to "feel better soon."
~ You absolutely love babies. Tiny babies, babies who are really just as old as you if not older, baby dolls, any babies. We are so excited to watch you transition into your new role of the middle sister in our family, and big sister to our sweet little one on the way. You already love to hug and kiss Mommy's tummy and find the baby's nose, which your daddy has told you is Mommy's belly button. Thanks, Luke.
Sweet Caroline Hope, we love you with all our hearts. As your name means, you are our joyous song of Hope and we pray that your life would be a joyous song to our Lord as well as you grow in him. May your life echo the words of the Psalmist, that you would always "make a joyful noise to the Lord, break forth into joyous song and sing praises!" Psalm 98:4
And, just to see how you've grown, here you are on your BIRTH day, your first birthday, and your second birthday!