Ava is two

Sunday, May 17, 2015

At 6:33 a.m. (exactly), my child will be two years old. 

You guys, I can't believe another year of her life has zoomed past us. This past year was all about Ava showing us more of her personality, her parents learning the continued meaning of patience, and continuing to enjoy the journey that parenthood has provided us. They say that the second year of development happens at a slower rate than the first, but I honestly have to disagree with that. I'm not sure if it's the talking, the little personality that emerged, or the fact that our daughter no longer needs us for every little thing..but the second year went by just as fast as the first. I'm so proud of the little girl that Ava rapidly is becoming. She is so sweet, kind, and considerate, but she's got a little feisty side (just like her parents). She's definitely strong willed, precocious, and extremely aware of all things around her. I love how curious she still is. She is so interested about the world, and the look of exploration in her eyes makes me want to travel with her across the globe.

She loves to paint, color, play outside, and explore all things ocean. She laughs when she does something funny, she bows when she's done something she's proud of, and she crosses her arms when you've upset her. She has some long, but unruly curly hair at times, and her daddy absolutely loves it. Her hair is a deep brown with reddish highlights throughout. She loves to read, we read all throughout our day actually. She has a love for animals that I never did, but I absolutely love it. She's just perfect. For the past 8 months of Ava's life I have taken so many lifestyle photos of her it's insane! Looking back on all the pictures I have has held my emotions in tact all week. I have tangible proof of the growth my daughter has experienced. I have tangible smiles, eyelashes, little hands, and little toes. Buying that camera was the best decision I made this past year. In watching myself grown with photography, I was able to watch my little grow on a daily basis.

If I had to share one difficult thing that happened in this past year as a parent, I would have to say that discipline was probably the hardest for us. Watching your sweet child test the limits, throw tantrums, and purposely disobey something you've said to do OR not to do has definitely presented many challenges. While I view her as my sweet little angel, who can "do no wrong" she's human, a toddler, and she most certainly does misbehave at times. The best part about this is that for the most part, Ava will comply with what we say. Especially when we are in public. She's more testy at home, but I'd rather her be. We've gone through phases of trying to reason with her without the use of physical discipline, and we've tried using little pats on the bum as well. It breaks my heart when we use the patting on the bum method. Which has resulted in us not using physical discipline yet again. These are truly the harder parts of parenthood for us. Trying to find a balance between teaching your child the right thing, but not allowing them to do everything they want because that's just not the world we live in.

The most rewarding thing that happened to us this year was Ava's ability to love all people. Watching her love people, care for people, and be so in tune with someone else's emotions at such a young age has completely stunned us. I have watched my child grab the hand of someone she didn't know, and completely make their day. Her hugs, kisses, and overall demeanor when it comes to exuding love, is far more than I ever would have expected from someone so small. Parts of me feel like Ava may have an old soul, because of her ability to pick out someone sad from a bunch, and run up to them and give them love. None the less it has been an absolutely moving experience. It's been pretty humbling for both Justin and I as well. It makes us both extremely proud of our little girl even more (if that is possible).

So there it is, my little tribute to my Ava bug! I have been blessed beyond blessed beyond blessed with having this child as for my daughter. Justin and I continue to learn more about ourselves, more about what we want out of life, and more of what kind of parents we are, as Ava grows.

Happy Birthday Ava bug, you are truly our star shine.

♥- Leilani

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