(Publishing this tonight, because I know tomorrow is going to be busy and I haven't figured out how to auto-post yet...)
I can't believe you're three. How did that happen? Just a week or two ago I had a newborn and a nearly-two year old, and I hadn't had a shower in days and I spent most of my time breastfeeding and changing diapers and wondering if life was ever going to be easy again. Now here we are, you're three, you've long since weaned (I think you were 22 months old when that happened), you're newly potty trained, and you're even staying dry all night. What happened to my little baby?
When Mary Grace started preschool in the fall, I thought that you and I would have lots of quality time together, just us. You had other plans, though. The first day of school you spent the entire two and a half hours telling me, "I wanna go to school!" So, since then you've gone to school. You go to the drop-off program at the church where MG has preschool, and you love it. You have lots of friends there, and you love your teachers. I can tell that you're going to continue to enjoy school as you get older. You have such a curious mind, and you love to be busy. You have an excellent attention span, and the cutest little "I'm concentrating" face I've ever seen. You ask lots of questions, too. All of these wonderful qualities will serve you well. You got them from your Daddy.
You also got his gentle heart and his quiet spirit. Mary Grace and I go through a dozen moods before we open our eyes in the morning. Not you and Dad, you're much more level, which balances our family quite nicely. Don't get me wrong - you get fussy sometimes, especially when you're tired. But you don't give me whiplash with your moods (most of the time) the way certain other girlies do.
That's not to say that you're boring! You've been asserting yourself a lot more lately, which is causing endless problems between you and your sister. On the one hand, I miss the days of peace and quiet, when you two played nicely (because you gave Mary Grace whatever she wanted). On the other hand, though, it's sure nice to see you come into your own. We're not raising any doormats in this house!
You still love cats. You also love Barbie dolls and beautiful dresses (you call them "dress ups"). You love to paint and color. Your favorite color is purple, and we're having a "purple birthday" for you tomorrow. You absolutely adore music, and you're always asking me to "turn it up a little" when we're in the car. You sing along and you dance in your car seat. You love to read the story "Another Monster at the End of This Book," with Grover and Elmo - especially when Daddy and I do the voices. You love to play with your friends. You aren't a picky eater compared to other kids your age. In fact, you even like to dip your chicken nuggets in Buffalo sauce! You love spicy food. Waiters always think I'm strange when I order it for you!
As I was writing this, you crawled up into the chair next to me and you fell asleep. You little turkey... It is not nap time!
Even though you're growing up and doing do much on your own, you'll always be my baby. I love you so much, sweet girl. Happy third birthday!