As you have proudly told me several times today, while carefully displaying your three tiny fingers, you are three years old. Congratulations! We can both celebrate this milestone, achieved from 1095 days of adventure, many of them challenging, much of them rewarding, all of them growing, constantly growing.
I remember nursing you late at night in the green glider; now when you wake at night I stroke your sweaty hair, tuck you back in, ensure you have your Sleepies, and gaze at your beautiful, quiet face. You have given up naps, so bedtime is no longer a chore. You have come so far. I am so proud of you.
You can do the Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance. You can do a forward somersault and can balance on just about anything. You can play a pretty decent game of catch, catching most balls thrown your way and throwing most of them in a way that I can catch. You can kick a soccer ball really far and you are fast and sleek on your scooter. You are strong, coordinated and enthusiastic.
You know your alphabet by heart and can usually identify all the letters. You are starting to write letters; you've recently showed me S, E, F and H. You can reliably count to about 15, you can identify many written numbers, and you are grasping the concept of addition ("I had two M&Ms and I want one more so I will have three.").
You love to sing. You know several songs and bring back new ones from school regularly. You love art, usually coming up with your own ideas for projects. A favorite of yours is to collect flower petals, twigs and leaves from outside and then glue them to paper and paint over it. You color or paint on your easel several times a day. Your pictures are becoming more realistic: your people have eyes, nose and smiles, and you just added legs, feet, arms and hands. You've drawn identifiable kites, hot air balloons, lollipops, people, trees and cars. Your favorite color changes daily.
You are sweet with your baby sister. You try to include her in activities and often leave little gifts in her car seat or swing, like your special sticks, leaves, rocks and drawings. You like to climb on the bed to watch diaper changes, and you'll mimic your parents' soothing words, telling her, "It's OK, Sweetheart." You'll often tell me that Amelia wants milk, or you'll let me know the moment she falls asleep in the car seat. I call you Little Mama when you're a good helper.
You love pizza, the playground (especially swings), gymnastics class, television (especially Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Team Umizoomi and Super Why), chocolate, cheese, using glue and scissors, wrestling with your daddy, hiking, and cooking. You are independent, headstrong and full of ideas. You are talkative and very, very busy. You are silly, warm and engaging. You are my precious three-year-old and I love you dearly.
Your biggest fan,