When I say "Mandy's birthday" you probably think immediately of the adventurous night we had before her birth with the attempted burglary and breaking and entering. Random accointances that I haven't spoken to in years know the story of that night and people still come up to me in the grocery store and ask me about the incident. It was exciting, but I honestly never think about it. We don't live much differently than we did before and you would probably still find the keys to my car in the ignition on any given night (but we lock the garage now and all the doors to the house). Mandy on the other hand, has changed our lives completely. She does her best to break into nearly every moment throughout my days.
There is nothing subtle about Mandy. She's contacurous and crazy fun. Her billowy blond hair, stunning smile that crinkles her eyes up, constant energy, and dark blue eyes are always drawing people's attention. She demands attention and rarely plays by herself, but none of us seem to mind. Emma loves to play with her, I enjoy her company and toddler chatter, and her daddy even enjoys taking her to work with him. She's a joy.
I am mezmerized by her personality. She lights up a room and I wonder often how two introverted people like Jeff and I had a child like Mandy. Then I remember her great grandma. Jeff's Grandma Rosella sadly died before meeting Mandy. We gave Mandy the middle name "Rose" to honor our beloved Grandma, but we couldn't have guessed how her personality would come out in a tiny child. Not only is Mandy very social, but she already shows signs of being compassionate in the way she adores babies and all "little things." She is also hospitable and makes sure everyone has plenty of snacks or food at meal times. Her great grandma would be so proud to see Mandy handing out watermelon slices to the hungry workers when they stopped for a break. Grandma also showered love on others through her hugs and kind conversation. Mandy does that too with her willing bear hugs and animated chatter.
Even though the age of two brings with it inevitable defiance, I am not worried. Mandy's stubborn streaks are short lived and she has a tender heart. She puts herself on timeout many times and says "soshy"/sorry willingly. I don't want to make comparisons to the other child I wrestled with through the "terrible twos", but let's just say that these sisters couldn't be more different in the way they respond to discipline. Mandy does tend to whine, but it is getting better with improved communication skills.
Mandy is a delight to us and I couldn't write enough to express how much we love her. I know she'll love this day, as the center of attention. And today we'll spoil her. Happy birthday, oh, Mandy.