Ella and Ethan are officially two years old! It's just crazy how much has happened in this past year with their development and personalities. After turning one, they quickly transitioned from crawling to walking and now they are running...in opposite directions of course! Then the language just blossomed and all of a sudden Ella and Ethan went from making typical baby noises to saying actual words and fully understanding any directions we gave them. Currently they love going over their ABC's and numbers and enjoy singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." These kids are at such a cute age regardless of the "terrible twos" that Brett and I are bracing for. Hopefully they will cut us some slack since we will soon have a newborn to manage in addition to caring for the two of them. In lieu of a birthday party this year, Brett and I took them to Disneyland for the first time. The day turned out to be truly magical and it was such a pleasure to watch their reactions while experiencing so many firsts. The first ride we decided to go on was "It's a Small Word" and Ella and Ethan were just in awe. So many things to look at and point out. It made me think about how many, many years ago I was on this very same ride as a young child sitting on my mom's lap experiencing the same kind of first that my own kids were now enjoying. We went on other rides in Fantasyland as well and then went up to Toon Town to meet Mickey Mouse which was a huge highlight. Ella and Ethan gave Mickey kisses on the nose and could not stop saying "bye bye Mickey" as we exited. It was so cute that I had tears in my eyes! Overall, I think Ella and Ethan's favorite attraction had to be the Tiki Room. They just danced the whole time and loved pointing to all the talking birds and flowers that they saw around them.
For dinner, we made reservations at Goofy's Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel where they have a bunch of characters come to your table while you eat. Back in December, we were vacationing in Hawaii and got to attend a couple of these character dining experiences at the Aulani Resort in Oahu where Ella and Ethan got their first taste of Disney characters. They loved hugging and kissing the characters back then and I just knew they would have a blast when we eventually took them to Disneyland for the first time. Now at Goofy's Kitchen, they got to have some one-on-one time with Minnie Mouse, Snow White, Mad Hatter, and of course Goofy, to name a few. They each got a special birthday cupcake and both were able to blow out their own candles. Once dinner was done, we put them in the car and they had these huge smiles on their faces as they hugged their new Mickey and Minnie stuffed animals and then quickly fell asleep as we started our drive back home.
These precious moments I was witnessing were such a blessing. It was a huge reminder of how lucky I am to not be on bed rest this time around. I had been planning to take Ella and Ethan to Disneyland for their 2nd birthday for a long time and when I found out I was pregnant, I assumed that the same complications I had the first time around would happen again. I was preparing myself to just miss out on several months of life again. Thankfully, my body has cooperated and I have been able to continue to have a boring pregnancy. This has granted me the opportunity to be there for the continued milestones and wonderful memories with Ella and Ethan in the few months left that we have as a family of four.
*The song "You Two" is from the 2005 Broadway musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which originally opened on the West End in 2002. I remember watching the 1968 film version with Dick Van Dyke several times when I was a kid. In this song, Caractacus is lovingly singing to his two children Jeremy and Jemima about being so happy that he has them in his life. I can obviously relate and I count my lucky stars everyday that I have my two angels in my life. Ella and Ethan turning two is yet another reminder of how numerous prayers, miracles, and an amazing doctor got them into this world in the first place. It is hard to believe that our "two" will soon be "three" as we welcome this new baby into our family. Ella and Ethan are incredible children and I have no doubt that they will become a loving and supportive big brother and big sister.