There is no denying you are three and ready to be.
Longer legs, being able to go all day without a nap, constant conversation. You are not a two year old anymore.
We had such a fun time celebrating your birthday. I want you to always be involved with parties that are for you. I asked what kind of birthday party you wanted and all you wanted was a “cupcake party.” A cupcake party with your friends and maybe a grandparent or two. Simple enough. I asked if you wanted to have a bounce house as well...since you are, well, a jumper and you loved that idea. So cupcakes and a bounce house it was. I ordered some fun cupcake invites that I sent out with a wide mouthed photo of you. I made two varieties of cupcakes, per your request. You wanted strawberry and chocolate. So I made Thomas Keller white cupcakes with a strawberry buttercream that was SOOO good. I also made a sour cream chocolate pudding cupcake with nutella buttercream that was pretty decadent. You were happy, so I was too. The friends that came were Winston, Dane, Fox and your cousins Tani and Tribe. It was the perfect sized crew. We had the bounce house until five and got really good use out of it. I will never forget your face, all lit up, bouncing in your yellow jumpsuit. It felt like the perfect way to celebrate the sunshine that is you.
I think the 2nd year is a huge year for communication and you now carry on full conversations. It still kind of blows my mind.
I can reason with you and explain to you and you listen and internalize.
I try really hard to explain decisions to you and why we do what we do and live how we live. I think it helps with the disappointment that is sure to come when I don’t want you to trap your brother in a bear hug he can’t get out of.
It is SO fun having you home with us all day...although I get the feeling you are getting ready for a 2-day a week preschool/joy school situation.
Potty training we have let be an organic thing, self-led by you. And you are completely potty trained!! (Except for nighttime). There was a moment when I wondered if you would ever want to wear panties more than diapers but from one week to the next you did. I even tried a sticker chart situation and you could have cared less. Made me kind of proud that all the reward you needed was actually doing it.
You have gotten a lot more opinionated about your clothing, which is great! You help decide what you wear and lately it is all about dresses. Your favorites right now are your silk pink nightgown and the turquoise and white polka dot dress. You have worn those to the bone.
If you get a little crumb or spot of water on your clothes, you’ll say “Oops it got a little dirty. That’s OK. That happens! We can just wash it. Should I put it in the laundermat?” I agree that it seems like the best idea and then you take it off in 2 seconds flat and run it into the laundry room and threw it right in the washer.
Sometimes when we can’t find an article of clothing of yours we are looking for we can find it in the washer. “I put it in there to dry out mom.”
You love helping to clean up and will willingly grab clean washcloths over and over again to wipe up spills. You are getting really good at helping clean up your toys as well, although sometimes when asked to help you respond with, “I’m just too tired mom. It’s OK. You can do it.”
Ever since you were a tiny baby you have always been gifted at sharing your emotions and being able to explain how you feel. It has gotten better and better as your vocabulary has expanded. “I’m feeling a little sad mom.” “This is a beautiful day!” “I’m a little frustrated because I am just not tired.” “I need alone time.” “I am feeling better!” “Are you happy mom?” These phrases are constant all day long and I couldn’t be happier that you feel safe enough with us and listened to enough to express yourself. I want you always to feel this way.
Sometimes you will ask to have conversations with us, which usually ends up being some variation of a little mermaid story or a recap of an activity we have just done. Lately you want to talk about PINK. Anything that has to do with pink.
On occasion when your dad and I are talking and you aren’t feeling included you’ll say “I don’t want you to talk to dad, I want you to talk to me.” I know the feeling.
You LOVE to be outside, going to parks, playing in our yard. The other day you were butt naked making mud. It was one of those perfect sunny childhood afternoons I hope to never forget.
You have a little tricycle you are about to grow out of. I need to get you a little push scooter or bike.
You are taking dance lessons! We started at a community ballet class and it was pretty boring. No music and very little free movement. It was so weird. “We need to find a dance class with music mom”. We found out about an outside class that one of my brides, Marci Tuttle, was teaching and it has been perfect! Fun, happy music….dancing through the grass with ribbon sticks. I love watching you move. You light up around music and dance. And I light up watching you.
You and I have started to really enjoy cooking and baking together. “Can I help you make food mom?” You pour in cups of flour and stir, stir, stir. I find that by including you more with the food prep you are excited to try new things. The other day, after we made applesauce oat bran muffins together, you said, “thank you for teaching me to make food mom.” I pretty much melted.
You are so considerate and thoughtful. Constantly thinking of things you can do for others. Picking flowers for us, covering brother up with a blanket, throwing dirty diapers in the trash. I love my little helper and am really grateful for your willing spirit. You like to be a part of the process...and I can’t imagine not having you next to my side.
Some of your favorite things to eat: butter. Butter you like in all shapes and forms but prefer it plain. We kind of cringe and are trying to help you realize it is just a condiment and not a food group. You also love cheese...any and all kinds, strawberry dip (which is vinaigrette) and will never ever turn down a homemade popsicle.
A while back, we would offer green smoothie popsicles, with the suggestion of eating it in the backyard...now anytime you want a popsicle you want to eat it in the backyard, even if it’s 8 in the morning.
We go to the library a lot. You love love love books. We probably rent a stack of 10 books every week and read them each multiple times. Nap time and bedtimes consist of lots of book reading and story telling.
We chopped your hair which has been really nice and much easier. I think it suits your fun personality as well. “Mom, can you make my hair?” We will go into our bathroom and get ready together. And then you want to run and show daddy your hair.
CHASE! You love playing chase at least twice a day. We run around with a ball dropping it, picking it up, hiding it...just ball play and running. I love watching you and dad chase together. So many giggles and smiles.
You love your brother so much and affectionately call him Bubbas. “He was a baby and pretty soon he will talk and walk!” I think you are way excited for him to run with you. When he wakes up you want to see him and greet him right away. You love bath time together and you have done an amazing job sharing your space with him.
He’s littler than you so it's fun to pull and hold and pick up. It is hard to not be touching him all the time. You also multiple times a day will give him a kiss on the head and tell him you love him. “We love our baby.”
For your birthday you got a twin sized bed that your dad refinished and painted for you. You took to it immediately and have slept in it every night with no issues. I am constantly amazed at your ability to adjust and be flexible. It’s not easy when you crave consistency and a world you can recognize. Yet, you continue to trust us and have faith in us. You frequently will say “Thank you for taking care of me. It’s your choice to take care of me and protect me.” Yep. I am in charge of keeping you safe and giving you space to learn. Nothing I enjoy more than working hard for you and then hearing your sweet little voice thank me.
I look forward to the stories we will create this year together. Knowing that we have a solid foundation will help with the changes and growth that is sure to come. I am thinking some schooling may start this year, a move, new friends, more learning and figuring out how this whole life thing works.
We were at hardware store picking out paint and I told you I was going to pick out a paint chip color that reminded me most of you. I finally found it. A bright yellow with bits of warmth. Looking at it made me smile. I picked it up to find the name of the color “Bright Star.” It was an amazing moment as I scooped you up in my arms and spun you around.
You are more and more interested in your birth story and like to talk about how you were born in Long Beach at home. I sing you your lullaby and you remind me I sang it to you as a baby. You know that your arrival into our family was a magical, life altering time. I can see how comfortable and happy you are to be ours. I feel like the luckiest mom in the universe
You are such a bright light in our lives. I know the days of having my children home with me won’t last forever. I appreciate all the time we have to get to know each other and experience all these little moments that make up these memories I hold so dear.
Happy third birthday my sweet Nova. You are my everything.