At this point of the year, in 2010, I thought my stomach was stretched to it's maximum capacity, that my bladder had been reduced to the size of a ten pence piece and was reminded that any sleep was now a thing of the past - well at least for a couple of years.
Yes, I was in my 8th month of pregnancy with you, J2, and although it had been a little anxious at times I had thankfully made it to 36 weeks and a much safer 'delivery period' than during pregnancy number one. All this 'big belly - no bladder' phase was new and exciting to me.
You continued to happily stay put for a further two weeks, in the photographs of Grandad's 60th Birthday, you are the bump in the pictures. You finally decided to say hello at 20.02 on Monday 8 March 2010 and weighed in at 7lb 1oz, with a head of fiery red hair, which you have retained so far.
Fast forward 2 whole years to 2012, the year of the London Olympics - a mammoth thing for our country. And the year of your second birthday. This to us is just as mammoth. Every year that you and your brother celebrate another birthday, happy and healthy we count our blessings and appreciate how lucky we are.
Before I had children I didn't really understand why people worried about having parties and making a big deal out of babies birthdays. I used to think 'The child isn't going to remember it, why go to all that effort?'. But I soon learnt, those early years are precious, they go quickly and are fast paced with change, so every moment should be celebrated. That, and babies and toddlers generally have no fear, so the fact that as a parent you have managed to get your child to another birthday unscathed deserves celebration!
Of course for your first birthday we decorated in '1st Birthday Boy' attire. This year however, you are old enough to start to have opinions on things you like. Your favourite theme at the moment is a close call between Peppa Pig and Stars. As I want to attempt to make your birthday cake this year though, we are going for a Star Theme, this I am hoping will be easier to try and bake and decorate than Peppa or George Pig...watch this space...
A Star 'Tea' Party is what we are planning, with a spread of all goodies of cakes and biscuits and chocolates and pick 'n' mix, the usual mix of family and friends are on the invite list. Although, by the time you are reading this, you probably won't have any recollection of this birthday, you will be familiar with it by the copious amounts of photographs I am likely to take (the power of the digital camera enlightens your era).
So those are our plans, it's now time to summarise a wonderful, happy, if sometimes a little challenging year of J2...
By the end of March 2011, you had progressed from walking holding the hands of any adult to completely independently, and believe you me, there was no stopping you.
In April 2011 you started to go to Nursery for one afternoon a week. There was only a few weeks of tears and before long when I dropped you off I didn't even get a backwards glance, too much fun to be had.
In June 2011 we went on holiday to Centre Parcs and you would have spent every available second in the swimming pool if you had the chance, a real water baby, although when you were smaller we wasn't sure you would be, you certainly are now.
During the summer months of July, August and September we discovered that you adored the beach, the sand and water, and living by the seaside - very handy.
In October, you started to verbalise words other than Mumma / Mummeeeeeee. Also with your mobility and ability to point we started to be able to have actual two way conversations of sorts.
In December we moved, from the house you came home to when you were born to a new abode. It gave us more space and you loved having the ability to charge around, although sometimes this proved to be a little hair-raising for us. You also changed Nurseries and seem to like the new one even more. You threw yourself into Christmas like a real toddler (i.e playing with the wrapping and boxes more than the toys).
January blighted us with coughs and colds and bugs, yuk.
February saw your first proper experience with Snow (Noooooooooooo as you so sweetly shouted up the window). And you started to say Milky / Jakey / Jack / Georgie Cat / Peppa Pig & George as well as beginning to put words together. You also started to watch a whole episode of Peppa Pig, independently and asking for stories to be read. Your favourites being Peace at Last and The Red School Bus.
So a very packed out, milestone achieving and fun year. We are all looking forward to watching you grow this year from a toddler, to the age of 3 and turning into a 'boy' rather than just 'baby'. I am sure you will make beautiful memories for recording down in next years letter.
Happy Birthday (very soon) Dear Sweet J2.