Two years ago, I cried as I looked at the red digits on the scale, which said “4 lbs, 6 oz”. Asher was just born and was about two ounces away from needing the NICU. These days, I “cry” because lifting his pudgy 30 lbs body puts so much stress on my lower back that it constantly hurts. He’s come a long way, that boy. From being preemie sized, but healthy, to fighting some bad jaundice, needing to be supplemented, dealing with dairy and soy allergies, and overcoming it all…he’s quite the two year old blessing.

Here’s how he’s doing these days:

Favorite activities: HUGS, kisses, running, DANCING (can this get any better?!), playing with pots and spoons and pretending to cook, reading books (Little Blue Truck!), standing up on the couch, tailing Dilan, neck squeezing (don’t ask…)

Favorite foods: Cheerios, blueberries, blackberries, rice

Favorite people: Hands down, Dilan and daddy, though he knows how to cling to mommy quite well too. He also LOVES his friends and teachers in school and is obsessed with dogs and any vehicle larger than an SUV.

He isn’t the only one who’s changed over the years. Dilan, of course, has too and it’s amazing to watch them finally play together, laugh together, rough house, and fight…a lot. I’m always amazed when I see other kids JUST play because our kids never sit in one place and quietly play together for very long. They’re constantly on the run and just aren’t interested in art or activities that require them to sit down for too long (although Dilan certainly is capable, he just chooses not to). They’re both hurricanes and definitely¬†keep our energy levels in check, which I also love.

With that being said, two and four are amazing ages and if you asked me right now what I’d want more than anything else, it would be to freeze time. Sounds cheesy, but seriously, they’re absolutely adorable together (minus the throwing each other off the couch, of course). I’m loving the 2ish age gap right now. It’s hard and exhausting, and there are many, many days where we feel like we don’t have a single minute to ourselves, but we’re getting out of that phase a little bit now and when that dust settles, it’s pretty magical. I’m grateful for those types of moments, because I know that many would have loved to have kids in the first place, but can’t. Not taking that for granted.

As for me, I changed a lot over the last few years. They say motherhood changes you for the better (hopefully), but for me, Asher’s birth was particularly eye opening. With Dilan, I tried to be the perfect mommy and was way too hard on myself. With Asher, I realized that I didn’t have to try so hard and could just be me, especially given all the health related road blocks that we experienced right after he was born. I usually have my act together with¬†work, life, and kids, but last night, I forgot to wash my hair and now I’m wearing dry shampoo and sitting here with red eyes because I’ve looked at screens for too long. What I have learned is this: It’s ok not to be the picture perfect mommy who serves massaged kale salads for dinner, never formula feeds, and only buys organic clothing. It’s also ok not to be the mommy who hasn’t showered in days and is losing her mind (aka the mommy martyr). You don’t have to be either, you can just be your happy medium yourself.

Family

We don’t always do everything other families do, but we do us. And “us” includes dance parties, hot cocoa, lots of reading, too many nights on laptops, talking to Siri, tons of travel, banana pancakes every weekend, skipping baths if it’s too late, and eating Cheerios in the car if breakfast just couldn’t happen because someone was too cranky. Some days are a mess and some days are perfectly put together. In honor of Dr. Seuss (who’s birthday is a day before Asher’s): I couldn’t ask for anything more…but freezing time at two and four.

Happy 2nd birthday, dear Baya (Baya = a combo of “baby” and “Asher”, which Dilan came up with when he was learning to talk at 2 and is now Asher’s official nickname). We love you more than you will ever know <3.

belly

PS – Pictures: Top one – Taken right after Asher was born. Thirty lbs ago for me ;-). Bottom one: Two and four at its finest. Asher doing what he does best: rubbing his belly and Dilan not nailing his signature smile :-)