Three! I can't believe I'm typing these words.
Julia, you are, and always have been, an amazing girl. The past year has seen you grow and blossom in so many ways. You are so smart, so strong, so independent, and yet so loving. I am so proud of the person you are becoming!
This year we had lots of changes in our family. You moved out of your crib to a big girl bed, we moved to a bigger house, and you got a baby sister. You handled each of these (except the crib move) beautifully.
Your vocabulary has exploded this year. We can now have full-blown conversations in which you express opinions, explore ideas, and communicate really effectively. While you're usually so accurate and correct when you speak, you have had some adorable toddler-isms. Here are a few of my favorites:
- "Oopsie my daisy!"
- "I want to keep you." (whenever you don't want us to leave.)
- "I want to show everyone at school my punk-o-lantern."
- "Mommy, I want some increments." (Still not sure what this meant- maybe peppermint?)
- "I hiding and seek!"
- and, apparently the end of the train is called the "tacoboose."
You love to read, and have a few of your favorite books memorized. Dr. Seuss is a real favorite, but you also love fairy tales right now. You also love when we make up stories at bedtime. With Halloween being so recent, you especially love stories involving a wicked witch or a ghost.
You know all your letters and can spell your name. You can also count well into the fifties, and have learned about hundreds and thousands. When I sing lullabies at night, you frequently sing along.
You are an incredibly physical child. Every time I ask your teachers what you're most interested in at school, the answer is "twirling, climbing, jumping...." which is consistent with what you say at the end of the day. We ask what you did at school, and the answer is always "played outside!" You are tough and fearless, which I love. You are now climbing up the outside of playground equipment, and frequently jump off from heights that make me panic a little. At a recent birthday party with a bouncy house, all of the girls had given up jumping after getting bounced a little too roughly, but you hung in there till the end. The consensus among the Dads seems to be that you were probably going to be "last man standing." You still enjoy ballet, and we added soccer this fall. You've been exerting some independence and have refused to participate, but you seem to be coming around as it's so much fun. Your best friends these days are boys, though you love pink very much.
You're generally pretty outgoing, though you have developed some shyness when first around people you don't see very often.
This summer you insisted on wearing dresses every single day. There were some days when you tried on 3 or 4 dresses to find one that was twirly enough, and there were some days when you dragged a favorite dress out of the dirty clothes to wear again because you loved it so much. You still prefer dresses, but are willing to consider shorts, leggings, and skirts. Given the choice, you would probably wear a Star Wars shirt with a tutu and fairy wings every single day.
As my belly grew bigger all summer, you kept announcing that you had a baby in your tummy, too. As we got closer, you announced that your baby was coming out! In the month before Lucy joined us, your independence/refusal to comply got a bit out of hand. We think you were just processing some anxiety about the baby coming and what that would mean. But you have adjusted so beautifully. At first, you weren't sure what to make of Lucy, but within 48 hours you just wanted to kiss and pat her. You're a very concerned and generous big sister, making soothing coos any time she cries and offering her some of your favorite baby toys. Lucy cried one day in the car on the way home from getting you at school, and you sang her three songs- BY YOURSELF- that calmed her down. (The songs were the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and Row Row Row Your Boat).
Julia, I look at you and can't believe how amazing you are. We were so nervous with you when you were a new baby (as all new parents are). You somehow survived to three, and every day is more fun than the last. I love your confidence, strength, and intelligence. I love being your Mom. Most importantly, I love watching you be you.
This morning, waiting for a present.