Maxi is 2 + Favorite Toys

The Details

Maxi’s Dress: Old Smocked Auctions, Similar | My Sweater | Bracelet {c/o} | Bracelet {c/o} | Shoes | My Belt | Maxi’s Shoes | Maxi’s Unicorn | Cake: Hurley House | Party Decor: BerryPom & James {c/o} | Photography by: Madison Katlin

We never got to do one-year photos with a smash cake, so a huge thank you to BerryPom and James for providing all the unicorn and balloon decor and for styling this shoot.  BerryPom and James is the chicest party decor shop for children and adults. You can shop by theme or gifts for little ones. They also have bachelorette and wedding shower decor, so if you are hosting anything in the near future be sure to check their site out! 

How is my sweet little babe 2?! To know Maxi more and more every day is the greatest joy in my life. I remember a friend having a 2-year-old and she was about to give birth. She made a comment like, “I’m so nervous to have a new baby to give my full attention to because my son knows me and I know him.

This was before I had even had Maxi and I didn’t fully understand what she meant. I thought it was just nerves- but now I get it. I know this sounds like such an odd thing to say about a human I have cared for daily for the past 2 years of my life, but we know one another. She is my best friend. My sidekick. My shadow. I don’t really feel like myself when I’m not with her. I start fidgeting at meals if she isn’t with me and I’m not fussing over a toddler. There are so many moments I realize, that I didn’t really know the full “me” until I had her.

This stage has been a blast! We count pom poms from the Dollar Store and live for wagon rides. We blow bubbles in the backyard for hours and we make silly faces to make one another laugh. I plead for her to try new foods and she shocks me when she will say, “Peaseee!” and ask for seconds after she goes on little food strikes. When it storms she comes in our bed and she sleeps right up on my pillow with her nose to my nose and her tiny little arm wrapped around my neck. This is love, friends. This is love.

I write Maxi a letter the night before each birthday after I rock her when my thoughts, emotions and prayer time are so fresh in my memory. Here’s a little excerpt from her second letter. I want to share just to document this stage of her life!

“Maxi, today you are two and you are magical. You are silly and curious and kind and every bit of wonderful that life has to offer. You love to play with your daddy, cuddle with your mommy, and get into trouble with your dog, Peaches. You try to hide from me by crawling in her crate with her! All of your friends call you “Baby Maxi”- even your friends your age! It is the cutest thing. 

You are timid and shy in new situations like your mommy and very into specific things like your daddy. You make friends with 4-year-olds at the park each time we go! They feed you snacks and call you “Baby Maxi” and dote on everything you do. You love to cuddle like mommy and most days when you wake up from your nap, we just stay in bed and read books. You have so much compassion in such a tiny little body. You love to hug everyone and give love and if you know I’m upset about something you will burst into tears. 

I continually pray you always know how deeply you are loved and cherished, but I want to take your second birthday to share with you how you have changed me. My sweet girl, I hope you always know how powerful you are as a woman- and I will continually tell you how much you changed me {a stubborn adult} just through your love and presence. The first year, you made me selfless. I never knew true selflessness until I became a mom. But this year, you made me peaceful. I’m a naturally anxious and nervous person, and my instinctive traits bring me stress. But if I ignore everything else and just focus on you and our family, I experience the true calm I crave. How great is God? We experience his love and rest through the people he gives us.”

I can barely share more without tears coming down my face, but oh I love this stage! This stage before school and sports and sleepovers. This stage where we get them all to ourselves. When I rock her to sleep I just think how selfish I wish I could be with her the rest of my life.

I know that I’ll blink and be sharing her with the world, so for now, I will rock her and baby her and hold her when her emotions are big and her body is small. I will bring peace to her chaos and I will do silly dances to get her to eat her food. I will clean up messes and make a third cup of coffee when the days feel long. I will read the story again and again and I will worry about silly phases all children go through.

It’s no secret the toddler stage is hard, and we’ve *just* started- but it’s an honor to know this kind of love. It gives me chills to know that the mothers before me and the mothers after me receive and give this kind of love. To know this sense of peace. To know that just for a short little season you are all they need to be happy and fulfilled. To know they love you for YOU, not your accomplishments or your talents. To know your child is to know the love of God.

On her birthdays, I like to share updated lists of toys she is loving for those mamas that have babies a little younger than Maxi! Here is what she is into these days!

Baby Dolls + Peppa Pig

Maxi always has a baby doll, Hello Kitty, or Peppa Pig on her hip while she does things! Peppa Pig was a huge hit around Christmas and these are always sold out.

Art Cart

She’s still adoring her art cart, which I shared how to make in this blog post.

Anything Minnie & Mickey

Minnie is probably her favorite character, so anything Minnie gets a huge ‘MINNIEEEE’ squeal- like this cash register.

She also got this Minnie shopping basket for Christmas and plays with it every single day!

Favorite Book

Funny enough, her favorite book is this potty training book. We aren’t potty training right now, I just had purchased it to start the process of understanding. She reads this book all day long! She also loves this book we keep in the diaper bag, and it has a LOT to look at so it is great for grocery shopping or restaurants.

Play Cleaning Supplies

Santa brought maxi this kid Dyson and mop set, and she will mimic me cleaning daily!

Play Makeup

If I let Maxi play with my makeup, she will for hours. She will also ruin ALL my eyeshadow palettes. haha. She definitely knows the difference between real makeup and play makeup, so some of the play kits don’t interest her. This one is her favorite!

Building Blocks

Maxi loves to build things and is always fascinated at little bolts and screws. In Little Gym classes she will stare at how the balance beam and bars are put together with screws. This block set is one of her favorite things and keeps her occupied while I cook dinner!

I hope I’m not forgetting anything- but I’ll be sure to update this list if anything else comes to mind! Here is my Amazon storefront where I also keep an up-to-date list of toddler must-haves and items we use!

What toys does your 2-year-old love?!

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  1. What a setup! ❤️ Katey, you never fail to impress with parties! I’d pay for you to do mine, haha! Happy birthday to beautiful Maxi! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply
  2. courtney wrote:

    cried big tears reading your note to Maxi. being a mama is definitely the greatest job God could ever give us- i thank Him every day for my sweet little boy. their love is the most genuine love there is! thank you for sharing this with us & for letting us tag along in your precious baby’s journey.. i feel like i’ve watched her grow up!

    courtney (:

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply
  3. Courtney Miruku wrote:

    Beautiful post! There is nothing like being a momma!

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply
  4. Sarah wrote:

    Happy birthday to sweet Maxi! Thank you for sharing a piece of your letter to her – it was so sweet!

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply
  5. Kayla wrote:

    Cue the waterworks! What beautiful words written for a beautiful little girl!

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply
  6. Skye wrote:

    Your sweet letter to your sweet girl had me in tears this morning. It is always a joy to read about a mother’s love but you have a special way of sharing it so eloquently. I can’t wait to be blessed with a sweet baby girl one day and know exactly how you feel. As always, thanks for sharing! <3

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply
  7. Lindsey Stroud wrote:

    It’s fine, I am not crying. These aren’t tears. It’s true when they say, “The days are long, but the years are short.” You captured what us mommas feel through your beautiful writing. Happy Birthday, Maxi girl! <3

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply
  8. Moramay Rodriguez wrote:

    Happy Birthday Baby Maxi!!!

    Katie, as a Mother of 4, the comment about being nervous for your second baby is so true. When I was expecting my second, I was so worried that I would betray my first baby. How can I love this new baby I am expecting when I love my first baby so so much. I felt guilty. Well, when my fist baby met his baby sister you can see all the love for his sister. It was amazing. It made my heart melt how protective he was.

    Published 11 Feb 19Reply