Dear Little Isla,
When I look at these pictures, my brain just screams, "You cute little Woogie!!!" Gahhh! You are the cutest thing and we all love you to death! At 1 year, you were the most perfect baby anyone could ever hope for. At 2, you are still pretty perfect--but that goes along with a perfect amount of 'toddlerness'. As seems to be the pattern, once efficiently mobile, you began to truly explore your world. And doing so requires a certain amount of independence and determination! Well, Isla, you've got it! Your energy and liveliness grows by the day! But so does your cuteness and your unique place in our family. We love you so!
Walking came a little bit later than it did with your siblings. About 13-14 months is when you decided to go all out. But you were a little clumsy for a while after. I don't think I even let you near the stairs until you were almost 2 (but that's because our stairs in Germany are 'death stairs'--with large gaps between each one--and with your small frame, plenty of room to fall through to the next level!! ahhh!). I also let you have your binky longer than I usually do. We finally did the whole 'cut the tip off and throw it away' bit. And I honestly can't remember how old you were, and I can't find where I documented it, so we'll just say around 20 months--that sounds about right! But anyway, you did so well! You still had your 'mousy' to fill the void of the binky, so I'm sure that helped. You also did a fantastic job transitioning to a big girl bed. We did this shortly after our trip to England in April. You learned how to climb out of your packnplay, so we decided it was time. I put you down for a nap, told you to stay in your bed--and you did!!! Amazing! I think you tried to come back out once in the few days after, and I told you to go back--and you did! Easiest transitioner yet! Now for potty-training ;).
Isla, you are so loved by your siblings, Sawyer and Violet. They are obsessed with you. Especially Sawyer. You ask about him often, while he's at school. And when we pick him up from the bus stop, you always want me to put you down so that you can run to him and he picks you up for a big hug. You think Sawyer is so funny, and you don't even mind that he sometimes throws you around like a rag doll. But with Sawyer gone so much during the day, you and your sister are becoming little buddies. You are starting to catch up to her in the 'play' department and she is slowly accepting you as a legitimate playmate. I can see a close relationship building there, just as I had with my sisters, and I love it!
You have been pretty quiet, when it comes to speech. I started to worry more, about a month before you turned 2. You were still only speaking a handful of words, and not really putting 2 or more words together. I mentioned this to the pediatrician, and she suggested an evaluation. So we had a speech therapist come to the house and spend some time with you. She observed that you were 'borderline' for needing further assistance. We both opted to give you a little more time. Lo and behold--a little over a month after you turned 2, the words started flying. You picked up quite a bit while we were in the states for the month of August. When Daddy came back from SOS, he was surprised at how much you had learned! But some of our favorite phrases are still the 'one word' sentences you seem to enjoy. I'm not sure why, but you often feel the need to give us a play-by-play of your, or someone else's, actions. For example: 'David-sitting; David-eating; David-body'...haha. And our very favorite thing you say?? "Wa". Your version of "Ya.". We find ourselves asking you questions often, just so we can hear you say it. So stinkin cute. (And we are now into October and this is still the way it comes out). Oh and your name is "Iwah"...
You love to be part of everything that the big kids do. You even know that we read our scriptures before bed (even if you don't pay attention whatsoever). It becomes the perfect excuse for you 'not' to go to bed, if I ever try to put you down before the others.
Daddy coming home is always an exciting part of your day. Even though you typically cling to me, your daddy gets a big hug when he walks in the door. And your favorite thing to say about daddy is, "Daddy funny". You have a great appreciation for humor, Isla--and your little laugh is a joy to us all.
Nursery was a huge struggle for you. We tried the whole, rip off the bandaid thing, and let you cry it out and get over it. Didn't work for you. You would spend the entire time crying in there. A few months into it, I thought, this is dumb. She is so terrified of this place, I need to help her feel comfortable here before it will ever get better. So I started staying in with you. In fact, they then called me to be a nursery 'helper', so that made my decision even easier. Then while we stayed at Omi's house, you needed someone in there with you the whole time, but I didn't want you to be scared all over again, because you had been making progress. When we arrived back in Germany, I had the thought to let Sawyer walk you to nursery. You went in, no problem, and have loved it ever since! Hooray!
Isla you have the biggest appetite for such a little girl. Although I haven't figured out if its a big appetite or just small snacking and grazing. You will pretty much eat anything so far, and you are constantly raiding the fridge--especially pulling out yogurts and splattering them all over the house. I won't miss that when it's over!
So despite the increasing independence (i.e., power struggles), and increased energy, you have the same sweet disposition that you've always had. And you are loved by all! I can't believe that you are now the age that Violet was when we came to Germany. I remember thinking then, as you were swaddled up in your crib, that this day would come--and I tried to imagine it. You are even better than I ever could have imagined! My heart just keeps growing and growing as you kids get older, and I look forward to watching you become the best that you can be. You have a special place in this family, Isla Bea. We love you so much!