Livia Turns Two
Like I've said with all the kids' birthdays, I can't beleive that Livia is already two. Or maybe it's that she's only two because her birth feels like a lifetime ago. Looking back just a year it's amazing how she's transitioned from being a baby to a little girl. Even looking back to 15 months, she has changed dramatically.
She talks so much more (maybe it's just fatherly pride, but her vocabulary is outstanding for a 2-year-old - all thanks to Emily), interacts with her brother so much more (and he has found her to be much more of a playmate than an annoyance), and she has become much more expressive about her environment.
To celebrate, we had breakfast a Clare's on Cedros and went to the San Diego Botanical Gardens to take photos.
From a photography standpoint the Botanical Gardens can be a difficult place to shoot. While the light streaming through the foliage can make for some beautiful shots, your subject is constantly in and out of the light. For most people this isn't a problem, just tell your subject to move slightly, but with two toddlers there is no holding still. You fire away and hope you catch them in a good light (hooray for digital).
With this family photo we had the camera on a tripod and it was just clicking away while Emily and I tried to get the kids to smile and look at the camera. We got plenty of shots with everybody looking ans smiling, but the light was either on Roman and I or Emily and Livia so this is the best I could do making adustments on the computer.
With Livia's hair getting much longer over the past year, keeping it out of her eyes has become a chore. Clips don't last very long, usually due to playing or her ripping them out.
Not to forget Roman, who has done a lot of growing up as well. Not only has he done a great job tolerating his little sister on a regular basis, he sometimes takes rediculously cute photos. Who needs Glamour Shots?
Each day Livia becomes more and more like Emily. Both in looks and attitude.
As Livia grows up, she becomes more confident about what she wants and let's us know it (very loudly). Her determination is great to watch as she solves puzzles and makes connections in her head.
For me I've been noticing how differently I feel about each of my children. I know growing up in this family that Livia will become a strong woman, but I found myself feeling like I need to protect her more than Roman. Not sure if that is a societal influence or instinctual, but I try my best not to coddle her or keep her from doing something that I would let Roman do.
After naps we did presents, which consisted of a roller bag/backpack (similar to one Roman has), a purse, necklases, a pink remote control dune buggy (thanks Erin & Rick), some trucks that come apart and stack, and these wood cupcakes that you can decorate with pens (that look like frosting tubes).
The balloons from her birthday might have been the biggest hit, as they were played with the most out of anything. At least for the entire month they kept their air. A couple were lost to collisions with ceiling fans, but those foil baloons really hold their helium.
Of course no birthday can be complete without cake. Cupcakes in this case.
She still eats cupcakes like a one-year-old. Very messy.
Love you, sweetheart. Here's to another year of you being awesome.