i just finished frosting somebody’s birthday cake in the kitchen. the entire time i had to fight back the biggest baby tears. i am an emotional wreck today. eleanor is officially two.  part of me is mad today is already february 1st because i am not ready. it is difficult to admit to myself that we are already here. even harder to say aloud. it went too fast. scary fast… they aren’t kidding when they say you blink and they’re fully grown. i have decided to stop blinking from now on.

and so here we are, february 1st 2013.  my baby girl is two years old.

eleanor1lately, eleanor carries around one of those little rubber blue bulb syringe things we got at the hospital when she was born. she uses it as her microphone when she feels like singing. it also serves as her ice cream cone when she feels like having a lick.  she even sleeps with it… and just when i think she is fully out for the night and try to pry it away from her little grasp, she tightens her grip.  ok eleanor, you can sleep with that snot sucker thing, sure. sometimes i crave an ice cream cone in the middle of the night, too.  she has a fascination with the moon. we look for it in all of our books. we look for it when we are outside and we look  for it when we are inside by looking out the window. sometimes we catch it and stick it in our pockets. and sometimes we play catch with the moon before we toss it back into the sky.  the best is when she pretends to roll it under one of the cribs and says, “oh no! moon! where are you?!” and then goes searching the apartment from the moon… “are you here? noooo. MOON! are you here?!….. noooooo….” as she looks under furniture and in closets.

as we are leaving the apartment each day and are about the close the door behind us, eleanor says, “keys, mama? keys?” i did not train her to do this but i’m thankful someone is on top of things around here.  she loves to skype with grandma and grandpa. in the middle of the night a few weeks ago she came and pulled me out of bed and led me to the computer in the front room. she then pointed to it repeatedly while signing “grandma. grandma.” sweet girl. how do you explain to a 2 year old that it is 3 in the morning and grandma is asleep?  she cried.  and then i cried because it is hard living so far from family sometimes.the other day i was sitting on the bed nursing samson and eleanor casually walked into my bedroom.  she leaned up against my bed crossing one leg over the other and rested her head against her hands (one of which held a little blue crayon, naturally) and looked up at me. “oh, hi mama.”  “hi eleanor. what are you up to?”  she used her hands while she spoke very fast about something that sounded very important and i nodded my head back and forth trying to catch little phrases of things i could understand while occasionally offering up responses like, “really?” or “wow!” or “and then what?” when she finished, she turned to walk back out, pausing before she got to my door to blow me a kiss over her shoulder. “bye, mama.”  and then, you know, for the 798th time that day, my heart burst.

i am so thankful for you, eleanor. i love you more than you will ever know. happy birthday,  sweet sweet baby girl.

first photo by carissa gallo.

  1. Desire

    Happy bday to this sweet girl!

  2. Oh this post is too precious for words. I can’t wait to be a Mum. You’re so lucky <3

  3. Rosie

    Oh my goodness! Two already?! Where has the time gone! Happy birthday, beautiful girl! I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating :)

    Much love,

  4. bridget

    happy birthday eleanor!!

    i’m going to be there myself in a few months. frosting a cake with tears on my face and a lump in my throat. babies are the best. beautiful post. enjoy the day!

  5. oh my goodness. this was just about the sweetest thing I have ever read. You make me wanna have babies so I can have all these magical moments. Thank you for sharing her with us! Happy Birthday E!

  6. seda

    heyyy! happy bday sweety

  7. She’s so adorable! happy bday to her!!

  8. Diana

    Aww… sweet post. Happy birthday to your baby girl!

  9. brittany

    happy birthday, eleanor!! it’s hard to believe she is 2 already!! crazy how fast time goes once you become a mother, and how many times your heart breaks out of love for them! xo

  10. Natali

    Happy birthday to the little angel!
    My daughter turned 4 two weeks ago and that was a
    crazy moment where I have realized that she’s a real little girl,
    you can still enjoy the baby phase with both of your babies :)

  11. Anne

    It sure does go crazy fast…happy birthday to your little cutie!

  12. Ariel

    Sweet Eleanor, I’ve been reading this blog since your mama & papa were living just the two of them in nyc! It may sound like a strange thing to say but I have grown attached to you and your beautiful family over the years, reading about you all here. Happy birthday sweet girl!!! XOXO

  13. Angelica

    this is so, so beautiful and bittersweet. motherhood is a funny thing. happy, happy birthday to a dear, beautiful little girl.

  14. this is one of the sweetest posts i have ever read!
    happy birthday E!

  15. Jenna The Paleo project

    I love the writing style here. I teared up a little. She is one loved little girl! Happy Birthday Eleanor!!! Wishing you a year of greatness!!!! Xoxox

  16. Jojo

    Happy birthday! I can’t believe she is two, such a big day! Congratulations, she seems like an absolute angel. You’re so blessed X

  17. Jenn

    Happy Birthday beautiful girl! Enjoy many crayons, ice cream and birthday cake on this lovely day.

  18. Vala

    This is adorable!

  19. Ah precious! My daughter just turned two and it is the most precious age. I am scared by how quickly time is passing with both babies. She is a little girl now, who has her opinions and interests. In the two years she has gone from being my baby to a big sister and I am so proud of her growth.

    It is an honour and privilege to be a mama. Wishing you a wonderful day of celebrations.

    PS. My little girl reminds me ‘car keys mummy’ before we leave. What is it with keys!??

  20. Amber

    Oh my gosh, this just made me fall in love with your sweet little girl. It’s going to be exciting to see the little girl she becomes as she gets older though, as much as it stinks how fast it all goes.

  21. Devin

    I’ve been following this lovely blog of yours for years now, I still remember when y’all announced that you were expecting your first child, then of course the little bundle of baby joy that came in 2011 and as your family has grown i’ve been delighted to follow along. It’s amazing to have been able to watch E grow-up and blossom into such a marvelous little girl. She is not only ABSOLUTELY adorable but I feel certain she has a heart of gold just like her mama. I wish her a very, very ,very happy second birthday!!!!! may all her wishes come true, her dreams be achieved and may all her days be filled with joy.

    Thank you for sharing bits n’ pieces of your life, you’re truly an inspiration.


  22. giulia

    happy birthday eleanor!
    you love her so much, and she loves you so much too.
    this is the sweetest post. you can both keep it forever:)

  23. Bianca

    I melt. This is the sweetest. Happy Birthday Eleanor!

  24. magali

    happy birthday dear baby girl! xoxo from switzerland!

  25. Michelle

    So sweet! Happy Birthday Eleanor :)

  26. Alice

    Beautiful beautiful post! I share a birthday today with Eleanor and am turning 30 (scary, I know). Someday, when Eleanor is 30, she’ll have this wonderful, heartfelt blog to look back on and be reminded of how lucky she is. These memories are so precious. Enjoy every minute!

    Happy birthday Eleanor… have a fabulous day! xo

  27. This random memories and emotions are the best to try to describe what cannot be described in words unless you experience it. Eleanor is such a special kid and not only because she is yours and this is your blog, not only because you gave birth to her and you adore her no matter what. Eleanor is so special because she captures every reader’s attention with everything she does, with a random shot, a smile, a song, a video, a new activity. Everyone reading your blog should be in love with both your children, but especially E, as we know here for longer (sorry Samson, it will soon be your turn :D). Your little girl is such a show stopper, has a way to make everything her own way and most importantly she reflects happiness and sunshine in every single thing. She is one of the reasons I am longing to have children one day and I secretly wish they are as happy as E and S (and I have not always been a fan of kids, until lately).
    So allow me to wish you a happy happy -your own way- kind of birthday Eleanor, full of your family’s love, your beloved faces showing you gratitude and smiles for being around them and making their lives better. Thank you for making me express this words from 4634 miles away, with an ocean and a continent between us, after following your young life since you were in your mama’s belly.

  28. Nataliya

    This made me give out a huge sigh! SIGH. This is going to be me in a couple weeks, when my little baby turns two. Seriously where did the time go? It really feels like yesterday when we brought her home and now she’s running around all over the place, and talking exactly like you described with Eleonor, long animated phrases with only a few words we can understand. Sigh, anyways, wishing a very very happy birthday to your little girl and may she always be a source of pride and happiness for her little family. xoxo!

  29. Nataliya

    Oh and my family lives an ocean across and it aches my heart. We just returned from seeing them and just watching her being loved like she was their own, brought it all back. It is truly heartbreaking to live far from your loved ones, and is felt even more once you have babies. Sending love your way,

  30. Anna Z

    This was such a beautiful, heartfelt post. Honestly.

    Happy Birthday Eleanor!

  31. Abby

    Happy birthday, Eleanor! Wonderful, beautiful post.

  32. Sarah

    Aw, this is such a sweet post! You almost made me cry too! Happy birthday, sweet Eleanor!

  33. happy birthday sweet baby eleanor! you are so so loved and you don’t even know it yet! you have the most amazing family and are truly blessed! have a fabulous day and stop growing up so fast!! xoxo

  34. Meg

    My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant with no success, and last month I was diagnosed with some unfortunate conditions, so now I have to go to a fertility specialist. Needless to say, that comes with endless challenges and emotions. Despite the frustration and sadness, its reading things like this that make me so excited to finally be a mommy. I can’t wait to experience moments like that—but for now, thank you for sharing them so that I can have a little glimpse into what its like.
    Much love to your family and birthday wishes to your little one!

  35. Happy Birthday baby girl!!! I don’t have kids (yet). I’m quite afraid of it… what if I do anything wrong? But reading your blog I just can’t wait to have a baby!!!

  36. Amazing post, very touching!

    Happy Brithday to your cute and adorable Eleanor! ♥

  37. Oh this is the sweetest post ever. She is so lucky to have you as her mama, I want to cry just reading these words! You’re all so lovely x

  38. Happy Birthday Eleanor! What a lovely post for her birthday, Naomi! Thanks for sharing E’s cuteness with us!

  39. Cathy

    My Sofia will be 2 very soon, I’m sure I’ll be so emotional too.
    Vintage Inspired Fashion by Independent Designers for Your Little darling

  40. Krista


    Please don’t let anyone tell you two is terrible, it is truly terrific. So full of wonder, communication, hilarity, charm…so full! One sure is fun though, hard to say goodbye to for certain.

    Also the moon part was adorable. My first son has a similar lunar love, he is so fascinated by the phases of it grows and shrinks. Yo should get this book for the birthday girl; ERIC CARLE’S “PAPA, PLEASE GET THE MOON FOR ME” if she doesn’t own it already. So lovely and interactive in the way it unfolds.

    My baby boy, Edison turned two months this morning and I shed a few little tears of joy and sweet sorrow. These blessings, my, my, all you can do is marvel at the pace of time and the immensity of love.

    Happy birthday Eleanor, Enjoy the beautiful life that is your family! What a gift!

  41. sending you lots of love today, mama. it all goes too quickly. but oh, what a joy she is!
    happy happy day, pretty little miss! 2 is big business!


  42. Leigh

    Happy birthday little E!

  43. happy birthday little sweet eleanor!

  44. Lori

    That was simply beautiful to read. I can’t wait for the days when I will be able to say things like that about my own future children. Happy Birthday little E.

  45. Alondra

    Happy Birthday Eleanor!! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with lots of love!! Naomi good luck with the terrible twos!! You will do just fine!!

  46. It sounds like you are incredibly blessed with a wonderful child! Happy birthday to her :)

  47. Jasmine

    Happy birthday Eleanor! It is so crazy how fast time passes! She is absolutely darling. You are very blessed. :)

  48. caitlin

    Oh, this warmed my heart!! What lovely words. I’m sure Eleanor will love this when she is older!

  49. Cata

    YOU MADE MY CRYYYY!!!!!!! OMG! I don’t have kids, but this definitely touched my heart. You are an amazing mama, with amazing kids. Blessings!

  50. leah.

    such a sweet post for your baby girl – she will always be your baby.

    when getting my daughter dressed on her first birthday, in a little white sun-dress and talking to her, i started bawling my eyes out saying “and someday… sob sob.. i will dress you in a big white dress…. uncontrollable sob”.

    you are right, no more blinking!

  51. AM

    can’t believe it is february already – happy birthday e!! enjoy your birthday!

  52. Cassie

    Oh how I love letters from mamas to their babes. My favorite blog posts to read. The bit about the moon? So, so sweet.

  53. Happy Birthday E! This post made me tear up… such a sweet thing.


  54. Mary

    every day I read your blog and find another reason why I want the wonderful life events that you have experienced to happen to me as well! e and samson are so lucky to have loving parents like you and josh. without even knowing it your little blog has helped me to clarify what it is I want from my life and relationships in a way you probably would have never realized, and for that I thank you!

    happy birthday to e! and thank you!

  55. Carie

    Happy Birthday Miss Eleanor! And many more to come. Tell your Mama that two is a wonderful year; hard work to be sure but for all the first times and the special times that have been there are so many more to come. My little Kit has changed so much since she turned two last September and I’m loving every minute of this roller coaster ride.

  56. Feliz cumpleaños, Eleonor… Dios te bendiga mucho

    Happy birthday, Eleonor… God bless you

  57. Brittan

    I just want to take a moment to offer my solidarity, from one mama to another. They do grow so fast. My son is 10, and the other night I had a dream about getting to hug him as a toddler again, and kiss his chubby, sticky little cheeks and, oh my, I’m crying just remembering it. Cherish this time. Two so is precious and so is Eleanor.

  58. Bene

    A very happy birthday to little miss E! Time really has zoomed past! I hope you all have a lovely day today. Also I think your camera is helping a lot in trying not to blink, because you are able to catch the little moments in your days.

    I wish you all the best today, and thank you once again for showing us a glimpse at how quickly she is growing! :]


  59. Stacie G

    This post is beautiful!

  60. linsey

    …and now I want kids even more! Awesome post. Happy birthday, Eleanor!

    I would like to request (on behalf of all of your readers) a video of her looking for the moon around your apartment.

  61. Molly

    I cannot believe she is two. When I first started reading your blog, you had just had her! And if time is flying for me, I can’t imagine how fast it must be going for her mama. Haha. She seems like such a sassy, loving little girl! Well done you and Josh, and Happy Birthday Miss Eleanor.

    Cheers from San Francisco,


  62. Rhianne

    It feels like only yesterday I left a comment for her 1st birthday… the year has flown by.

    This post is lovely though, the blowing of the kiss would have burst my heart too :)

    I hope she has a wonderful day

  63. Sweet sweet little E. Happiest 2nd birthday!

    Admire and enjoy your writing, and constantly inspired by your photos! Thank you :)


  64. Rhianne

    Oh gosh also, if she loves the moon look out for the Pixar short called La Luna, I bet she would just adore it, I did :)

  65. Ivana

    This was soo beautiful, you made me cry and
    Im working :) I wish I would be mother someday like you :)

  66. Janya

    Happy Birthday sweet Eleanor ^_^
    I love your smile so much! oh and your little brother too <3

    Thanks Taza for sharing your beautiful life with us!
    God bless you little E!

  67. Jaclyn

    Aww Happy 2nd birthday E!!! You are so adorable!! I cannot believe how fast time does fly!!

  68. allison

    This post makes me incredibly happy. I’m sure motherhood is difficult at times, but in the end, it’s worth it when your little girl blows a kiss over her shoulder or says silly things about the moon.

  69. Pingback: inspirations, gratitude and surprises «

  70. Fransiska Novieta

    I don’t know how but I feel emotional too. I’followed your blog even before E was bornt and saw how she grow up, and today she’s two already?! Time sure flies.
    Happy Birthday little E! May you always be the cutest, kindest, and most of all, loving as you grow up.


  71. Jill

    This is beautiful! Happy Birthday!!

  72. Sherry

    Happy 2nd birthday miss E!! Such a beautiful post! x

  73. Cheltz

    Oh whew! When I read “crayon” I thought she’d left a mural on the wall. Instead she just had something to tell you. Two is my favorite age. Her best days aren’t all behind you; don’t worry :).

  74. Meaghan

    So very sweet! Your little Eleanor sounds like such a sweetheart. And I know how you feel, my oldest boy is turning 3 next month, 3! I can’t believe it and my other little guy will be 2 end of August…way to soon. I got teary eyed just reading how quick it goes by because, yes, yes it does. And you never know what people are talking about when you are first handed this little newborn and they say “don’t blink”. And then you finally understand.

  75. Kara

    i hope that you save all of these posts for E and S to read one day… because this one really is super sweet & special.

    Happy Birthday, E!!

    xx, kara

  76. Eleanor is the sweetest little girl I have ever seen. I’ve honestly never been much of a kid person, but truly, your blog has made me think that maybe they’re not so bad after all :) I’ve really enjoyed reading along and watching her grow (as much as anyone can through a blog) and you are doing a *beautiful* job raising your children. You go girl.

    Happy birthday, little one!

  77. Rachel

    Happy Birthday to little miss E!!

  78. Jayleen

    happy birthday to your sweetie! my gal turns two on monday! it is bittersweet!

  79. Awww, she is such an adorable little girl. Love your stories about her, It’s almost like we were there.

    Happy birthday Eleanor!

  80. Marie

    the last paragraph is so heart-warming and touching.. My boy is now 4 years old and I also wonder why does time fly so fast and how is it that he’s getting so big.Nonetheless, our children will always be our babies, no matter how big they are. ♥♥

  81. You are an awesome Mom and you have the sweetest daughter! xoxo

  82. carissa

    Such beautiful words! I remember so clearly getting a text that this girl was born, and even more clearly how glad my heart was celebrating her 1st year, with my little girl there too. I love how much Rinah and Eleanor love each other, makes my heart sad at our distance.

    Give her a biiiig hug from us!

  83. Etheline

    Happy birthday to little miss E:) My baby girls birthday is on the last day of the month. I’m so jealous she’s so chatty with you. My girl is on her way and I can’t wait! Patience is key,.,but who has that with three kids?? Lol

  84. My eyes teared up reading this. So so sweet! Happy Birthday Eleanor!

  85. Julie

    How is that possible? It’s not fair that they grow up so quickly!

    I played that little game with Eleanor a few weeks ago. We were looking for her car at 2 Amy’s. “Is it by the door?” Nooooo “Is it up the stairs?” Nooooo “Does Henry have it?” Nooooo
    It was seriously cute. Happy birthday to Eleanor! Lots of love from your friends in DC! High five from Hen!

  86. Jenne


  87. Amber

    now you have me in tears. have fun with your birthday girl, momma!

  88. I literally teared up. Awwww!! It must be so wonderful to be a Mom. That is the cutest thing about Oh Hi Mama. Happy Birthday Eleanor!! She is too cute!!!!

  89. Misha

    Happy happy birthday e! Xo

  90. joy

    happy birthday e! one day you’ll look back and see these amazing letters your mama wrote to you and about you and know what a wonderful family you have. you are so full of life and can’t wait to see what your 3rd year of life has in store for you!

  91. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, you are an incredible writer. you set the scene perfectly. your darling children will have wonderful memories of their childhood thanks to the way you are able to document the simple moments in life. absolutely beautiful.

  92. ashley

    adorable! that was a great read. eleanor sounds like an absolute gem.
    ps. this font is awesome.

  93. Sheena

    Happy Birthday sweet Eleanor!

    It’s been truly a pleasure seeing pictures and hearing stories about you and your sweet family for the past two years. Please thank your mama for sharing. Your family is truly lovely xo

  94. Liz

    Hi Naomi! I don’t have children but this post brought me to happy tears! You sound like an absolute wonderful mother with eternal love for her children! I love that you document your life because it will always be a place you and your children can look back on way into the future (which hopefully won’t come too fast)! Happy birthday Eleanor and thank you so much for your heartfelt reads! They are always so beautiful!

  95. Andrea

    Happy Birthday dear Eleanor!! Happy Birthday to you!!! Sending her and you Naomi biggest birthday hugs and warm sunshine from Arizona. Shes a special one, that girl.