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Sunday, April 26, 2015

GIRLS sweet and sassy

I loved reading your responses this weekend about raising boys, so I decided we had to talk about raising girls also. Girls are sweet and sassy, that's the hashtag I created for my daughter's third birthday year, as it's totally what I see from her lately #sweetsassy3!

Girls are beautiful, strong, curious, SO smart, talented, talkative and a bit dramatic - all of which makes them most wonderful.

I appreciate all the moms from the Facebook Mommy Stories group who contributed to this discussion. Your responses were so wonderful to read, seeing how similar and yet vastly different many girls really are.

Enjoy raising those powerful, funny little girls!

From the moms in the Facebook Mommy Stories group. Great words to describe these wonderful little ladies!
  • sweet
  • caring 
  • mothering
  • bossy
  • sassy
  • independent 
  • daddy's princess
  • mommy's angel
  • loving
  • funny
  • nurturing
  • quick learners
  • playful
  • cautious 
  • graceful
  • thoughtful 
  • fresh
  • friendly
  • compassionate
  • determined
  • unpredictable
  • talkative
  • strong willed
  • smart
  • energetic
  • vocal 
  • happy
  • curious
  • active
  • loud
  • dramatic
  • sensitive
  • emotional
  • quiet
  • strong
  • theatrical

What moms thought when they found out they were having a girl:

Personally, my biggest goal in having a daughter was that she could talk to me, and that she'd avoid drama with peers and any weight or eating disorder issues. Those are still my worries now. My first thought when I had a girl was HOW SWEET! Someone more like me, which is awesome.
  • "I couldn't wait to bring my daughter shopping with me, now she has a shopping addiction!"
  • "I prayed she's nothing like I was as a teenager!"

"I was very concerned as I had a boy first and everyone told me how different girls are than boys. And boy were they right, my daughter is a force to be reckoned with!"

  • "I am really looking forward to playing with dolls, tea party, dress up
  • "Worried she'll be a bit strong willed like I was as a child... At 11 months she is already showing us she is! However, I think I have great drive and always accomplish what I set out to do so as long as i can survive her teenage years (yah those were tough on my folks) I'll be very proud to have her turn out like me."
  • "Psyched! I felt like I could handle and relate to a girl." 
  • "So excited! Tobhave my daughter look like me! But then didn't want her to be so emotional like me... Like getting her feelings hurt by friends or boys."
  • "The thing that scares me the most is her being a teenager. I don't even want to think about it." 
  • "I was over the moon excited. My hope/wish is that she can have the same relationship like I do with my mom and MIL and that she respects herself."
  • "I get someone like ME!"

What girls love to play with, or great gift ideas!
  • doll house
  • dolls
  • play kitchen
  • dress up
  • princesses
  • playground 
  • bikes
  • cars, trucks
  • blocks
  • trains
  • books
  • babies, accessories for caring for babies
  • art supplies
  • Barbies
  • Monster High dolls
  • Little People
  • Legos
  • Microphones
  • Tutus
  • Music
  • Dancing
  • shoes 


The challenging part about raising girls…
  • Whining. What helps: getting down on their level, encouraging to use "big girl words." 
  • "Teen girls on the other hand believe they have been on this planet long enough to conquer the world, and watch out, because everything you say is wrong, and they now know more than you ever knew!"
  • Jealousy. "it's not fair." What helps: Trying to make it fair between siblings, giving attention.
  • "They can be VERY independent and strong willed. These are traits that I know will help her develop into an amazing woman someday, but as a toddler...yikes! My daughter is also so nurturing and cuddly."
  • The emotions, dramatic flare and attitude. What helps: Slowing down, getting on her level, having firm boundaries, but being supportive, hugs. 
Being sassy and stubborn. Though I will appreciate it in 20 years when my daughter is capable of standing her ground.

From real moms in the Facebook Mommy Stories group.

Personally, I think it's important to raise them to be strong, confident, brave and healthy, versus just telling them they are pretty. Let them do "boy things" , make sure you have lawnmowers and tools and trucks and tractors around. I'm grateful we had a boy first so my daughter naturally got these things, but I hope moms of just girls offer these creative outlets for girls, too.

  • "Snuggle her. Teach her to love! Keep her close to you! Girls love to wander when they get older. Give her space but show her that you'll always be that loving, accepting, encouraging mamma that she needs."
  • "Teach her to be independent, to love. Hold her and talk to her."
  • "Love her, snuggle her, embrace her independence! Teach her to face the world with confidence. Having a girl means you have a best friend for life and someone to relive all the girly things you loved growing up!"
  • "That being who you are is the most important thing and never stifling her creativity. That is the best confidence boost she can get. Encourage her to find her way and do what she likes. 
Remind her all the time how smart she is so she is never afraid to use her brains. Also remind her how beautiful she is because in a world where image is important and our own beauty is the first thing we doubt, she needs to never question that she is just as beautiful as every other girl in the world. Teach her that not everyone is the same and so much can be learned if you have an open mind."

  • "Best advice would be: raise them as a person not just 'a little girl'. Gender stereotyping is so damaging. 
  • "If you have a girly girl, then nourish that- if you have a girl who likes Super heroes then nourish that- and if you are like me & have both in the same girl- then celebrate that. "
"Best thing about raising girls: you literally hit the jackpot. The world is changing so much every day and becoming more & more a woman's world- you have an opportunity to raise the next generation of movers & shakers- strong, educated, wise, driven women! I feel so fortunate that every day I get to ignite their mind, encourage their unique souls-- parenting intentionally so they know who they are & their self worth. The world is filled with so many broken hearted girls- the media over sexualizes us, people take advantage of our emotional nature, giving them the eyes to recognize that, and be a light, to have the tools to combat those evils is honestly what I feel my greatest calling in life is."

to all the moms who participated in answering these questions yesterday. I appreciate that you took the time to respond. I'm fascinated by what you said. I LOVE that most of you wrote about encouraging and empowering your daughters to be STRONG, confident, leaders. Love that!

Enjoy snuggling, cuddling, chasing and learning from those sweet and sassy girls.

Who rules the world? GIRLS!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

book - How Do You Tuck In A Superhero?

How Do You Tuck In A Superhero? 
And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys
by Rachel Balducci

If you have a son, even just one, you will LOVE this book! I found myself laughing out loud, tearing up, and realizing how not alone I am in this boy world up and down adventure. Sometimes raising a boy is challenging, they are coming and going so fast it seems sometimes I cannot keep up with my son! Other days boys are the sweetest little creatures I've ever known. They have a unique sense about them, which all kids do, but there is something extra special with little boys who steal their Mama's hearts. 

You will LOVE this book! It's written by a true boy guru - mother of 5 boys, Rachel Balducci is a wonderful, hilarious, straight-forward writer. I could not put this book down. 

Balducci is so real about her experience with her boys. It's not always a pretty sight, she isn't about perfection in the slightest, which I find so humorous and refreshing to read in a parenting book, I have to say!

"There are those days when life feels like enough of a whirlwind without fixating on this one day with this one meal (and its abject lack of nutritional value). Some days I simply cannot stop long enough to nitpick about having enough purple or green or orange on the plate because I'm busy stopping the wrestling match in the front room or protecting my china cabinet from an errant soccer ball." (page 20) 

Balducci covers all of the typical things about boys - how they are wrestling maniacs, how they run super fast, how they are into everything, never stopping. If you've been around the average boy, you know and can relate well to these things. This made me smile so many times reading this book, feeling like, "Wow, someone else GETS it!" I've hung around many friends with those *typical* (note: not all girls are sitting quietly, I have one of those busy girls myself in fact!) girls who are sitting quietly reading a book, doing as they are told, never questioning, and did I mention SITTING?! that it's hard sometimes to realize you are the one with the Active Boy in the bunch.

This book makes you feel like you are NOT the minority, that the Boyness is SO normal and FUN even!

"After all these years with boys, I am still amazed at how boyish they really are. All the stereotypes you hear about boys are true - they love trucks and weapons and running with knives. They want to hang off the side of a moving vehicle, and build things and take things apart. They love danger and all of her accessories." (page 59) 

Boys avoid taking showers, love making sticks into weapons, regardless if like this mom (and myself) you are anti-playing with guns in the house, they find weapons out of their food sometimes! She talks of how they have poor hygiene, don't clean up after themselves, but can be so sweet sometimes, when not "tooting." She loves how they say what they feel, when they feel it, and mean what they say. 

"I hate to admit it, but so much of what drives me crazy with boys is what I love most about them as well." (page 79)

They are very creative, which Balducci considers a "wonderful, beautiful gift." They can come up with all kinds of ideas for play and working through problems. 

"I continue to be amazed, for instance, when I see the wide and varied lists of things that a simple stick can become. I see a stick. My boys see a lance, and then a spear, a javelin, or possibly a high jump pole. Later on it's a fishing pole and the world's skinniest rocket. And that's just the first ten minutes." (page 83)

She said however teenage years can be difficult, and partly because of how our boys brains are wired. "During that (puberty) season, the two sides of his brain are literally not touching, which means that the side of the brain that thinks up actions will have very little communication with the side that deals with consequences." (page 83) 

She said it's incredibly difficult sometimes to be a woman raising boys, and to know how high the expectations should be. "What a challenge to be a woman, with a woman's feelings and ideals, working to raise tomorrow's men - men who will be manly and strong and also respectful." (page 101)

"What an incredible duty I have as a mother of boys - the sweet, impish creatures in my care today are the men of tomorrow. The weight of the world is indeed on my shoulders." (page 108)

Balducci talks about how she gets the infamous questions all the time with her troupe of boys, "How do you do it? Did you want all boys?" She admits, sure she's exhausted, but so are moms of girls and so are moms of one boy. 

"We women with boys (and it's a heck of a lot of us, really), we need to encourage each other. Yes, it's tough. Yes, boys can be wild. But it's worth it. You're doing great. You're going to make it. You're raising tomorrow's men. Make warriors, not wimps." (page 109) 

Balducci even talks about taking her sons on vacations- armed with Calvin and Hobbes books, she said they are great! 

"It is easy sometimes to fixate on what a vacation with boys is not - it isn't quiet or calm or terribly relaxing. But is fun - it's my life, and it's quite an adventure." (page 140) 

When she is asked how she does it with all of these boys, she replies that she has great friends, with whom she can be herself, comfortable and open with. She said all moms need friends like this, but especially those with boys. 

She writes on page 189 about how it'd be nice to sit outside and read with quiet children, having everyone in order and peaceful, but instead her life is full of more adventure with busy boys. "Instead I am outside chasing a toddler who is hardwired to climb on everything in his sights, who is immediately gunning for another tall object the moment he is removed from the current one." 

She said it's a balance between letting boys be boys, having adventures, figuring things out, jumping, etc. and keeping them safe.

"I spend my days trying to find a balance in protecting my boys from the dangers of the world while letting them discover the beauty of it. I want to let them run and jump and climb and build, without crashing and burning in the process," Balducci wrote on page 190. 

"The scary part of being a female raising males, or maybe just being a parent in general, is that I have to guide and mold the nature of these boys without working against it. It is not in my nature to run screaming through the backyard while carrying a large stick. But it is in the nature of my boys, and I don't want to squelch who they are simply because I don't always understand it." 

My favorite part about this book, in addition to how she talks of we moms being responsible for raising the future men of tomorrow, is how SWEET she refers to her boys being. She talked on page 198 about how boys show their nurturing and caring side differently than girls sometimes, by commenting on her cooking or a skill mom has. 

"Battles are won and lost in the million details of the day, and when I feel love in these tiny ways, I am reminded over and over that boys are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made," Balducci wrote on page 199. 

"They might swing from the rafters and dream of jumping off the roof, but they are also incredibly thoughtful and loving and have a tender side that will occasionally reveal itself. You just have to be looking, to be paying attention to the small things so you are sure not to miss it." 

Boys are so very sweet. 
I LOVED this book. 
It's one of those that I'll keep and take out someday in the near future when my son is driving me nuts or I can't possibly keep up with another mess he's made, so that I remember to appreciate how vastly different he is from his sister, and how truly special that is. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

BOYS will be boys

Oh, boy oh boy. 
How wonderful are little boys! 

They are busy and faster than the speed of light. They are sweet and caring, so curious about how everything works. My son has recently asked me about 143 times how he came out of my belly. I've told him about the C-section and the scar and the doctor's tools. He wants to know how it all worked, he's so intrigued by this.

Boys can be messy and active, frustratingly so sometimes.
They can steal your hearts within moments of seeing them.

Boys are so unique and special. I read the book, How Do You Tuck In A Superhero? by Rachel Balducci (book review coming soon), which prompted me to write about boys today. I find they are so inquisitive and I am in awe of their wonders.

Reading everyone's responses to my questions from the Mommy Stories Facebook group, I see that we moms of boys, we're not alone in the slightest. Many boys are similar in how they act and what they feel and do. The responses here are not all-encompassing of course, there are many differences among boys. Some boys are not busy, some are not loud but rather super shy. I don't want to leave them out. In writing this, I hoped to bring together the group of moms who parent these young boys, in hopes that we aren't feeling as though we stand out in a crowd with our one loud, won't sit still, asking a thousand questions little guy, but rather we have AMAZING children, who will someday be in charge of this planet, fixing all that is wrong with it, making everyone feel appreciated from their leadership roles.

Enjoy, Mamas, and thank you to those who contributed responses for this post. I truly loved reading what you wrote.

I asked the moms in the Mommy Stories Facebook group to describe their boys in 3-5 words. Here is the wonderful list they came up with!

The top words to describe boys:
energetic, sweet, passionate, sensitive, adventurous, and curious. SO MUCH FUN!

  1. Honest 
  2. Real
  3. Like his father
  4. Loud
  5. Dirty
  6. Gross
  7. Loving
  8. Sweet
  9. Curious
  10. Adventurous
  11. Energetic
  12. Daredevils
  13. Cuddly
  14. Sensitive
  15. Passionate
  16. Busy
  17. Lovable 
  18. Enthusiastic
  19. Golden retrievers
  20. Inquisitive
  21. Messy
  22. Funny
  23. Perfect
  24. Rugged
  25. Oblivious
  26. Intrigued
  27. Lively
  28. Social
  29. Unpredictable
  30. Affectionate
  31. Exhausting
  32. Active
  33. Loving
  34. Brave
  35. Imaginative
  36. Caring
  37. Craves knowledge
  38. Independent
  39. Daring
  40. Sneaky
  41. Joyful
  42. Fun
  43. Physical
  44. Irreplaceable

Beach photos from Tiffany Gilpatrick 

Here is what some moms felt or thought before having a boy: 
(from moms in the Mommy Stories Facebook group)

  • "My biggest fear about being a mom to a boy was not being able to relate to him. I was afraid he'd always identify more with my husband than me like the whole 'boys club' motto. But now, I see how wrong I was. Children need both parents, and he needs and relates to me just as much as his dad. I can say we BOTH bring out the best in him." 
"He is the light of my life,
 and he will for sure teach me to be young again." 

  • "When I first found out I was having a boy, my first thought was that he was going to be the love of my life... and I was so right! I wasn't worried at all." 
  • "I wasn't sure I would have stuff to bond over. I hate sports, car stuff, the outdoors, dirt, etc. But it's funny how my interests have changed. Plus he loves to cook and craft!" 


Funny things they have said or done:

  • Picking up honey bees!
  • Talking about his penis all the time, loudly, wherever we are!
  • "Mom, I've got a little poop streak in my underwear!"
  • Tooting... and how proud he is of it!
Funny things moms cannot believe they have said to their boys:
  • Stop running into that wall. 
  • Don't sniff your brother's butt!
  • Don't ride the dog!
  • Stop throwing the remote!
  • Don't like the dogs, that's yucky.
  • We don't throw the potty at Mama, that's not nice.
  • We don't put our hands down in our undies.
  • Worms do not belong in our pockets.
  • Stop picking your brother's nose!
  • If I have to tell you one more time not to eat boogers you are going to eat broccoli for a week.
  • Please blow your nose on this tissue, Mama's shirt is NOT a tissue.
  • Don't forget to tuck it in when you sit on the potty. 
  • No, Mama cannot pee standing up and it's not because my peepee is broken.
  • No no, take your binky off your peepee please.
  • Take your penis off of the window. 
  • We don't poke the dog's butt.


Some things boys love to play with:

  • Balls
  • Trains
  • Trucks
  • Little figurines
  • Anything that keeps them moving- 4 wheelers, ATVs, bikes, etc.
  • Costumes that spark creativity and imaginations.
  • Planes
  • Automobiles
  • Books
  • Legos or building toys
  • Action figures
  • Sports
  • Pretend play, dress up
  • Mud puddles
  • Hammers/nails
  • Pile of boards or blocks
  • Electric scooters
  • Dirt bikes
  • Swimming
  • Toys that have motion
  • Being outside
  • Bats
  • Sticks
  • Sand / dirt
  • Tractors
  • Play food
  • Little People
  • Farm animals
  • Princess castle
  • Baby dolls 
  • Transformers
  • Minecraft
  • Pokemon
  • Art supplies, staplers, scissors, glue, etc. to build art creations.


"Be calm and don't worry too much. Really boys will be boys and let them be. You will love the adventures they take you on. Just go with the flow, but always make sure to set limits cause they will sure test them."

  • "All boys are different. my DS is always active. He keeps us on our toes, and there is never a dull moment. Cherish them for who they are, and learn to love their sense of adventure, and constant GO GO GO. My son is teaching me to be a more active person, and to have energy i didn't know i was capable of having. It took some time, but I've learned to let go, and just have fun!"
  • "Nap when they nap, they are exhausting!!! Enjoy every moment! Let them get dirty and have fun exploring with them! Don't freak when they get hurt, make them tough  love on your boys "
  • "Be prepared to learn all about dinosaurs or monster trucks or whatever they are passionate about... and try to at least act passionate about it too! Stop worrying about staying clean and let them get dirty!! Provide things for them to climb on! Let them play with dolls and kitchens (and even in the kitchen) so they become well rounded men and hopefully good husbands and fathers some day! Mostly...relax and enjoy them! They will test you, they will seem to never run out of energy...but there is nothing like being his first love! ♡"
"Boys are amazingly energetic and brave. They can teach you so much and it's SO true 'boys will be boys' so as a mom, let your inner boy child join in and have fun, play pirate, race trucks, get in the dirt. It's a very freeing experience to have a little boy." 
  • "They will also steal your heart in ways you never thought possible. My son is tender, cuddling, caring, and sensitive and smart, oh so smart. I used to always wish and wish that I'd have a girl, but now with my son, I would NEVER trade this experience for anything in the world."
  • "Watch out for that penis! Be prepared during diaper changes, because pee will get everywhere. I always wanted a girl, until I had a son. There's nothing like the sweetness of a boy with his mommy. I never thought I would grow a love for trucks, cars, tractors, air planes, and trains.. But I did!"
  • "They are full of love and very affectionate... Enjoy it while they're young!!! "
  • "I love how much boys love their mamas so fiercely!"
  • "Let them help! My son loves to help cook, do laundry, whatever I'm doing. He's only three but he knows where to put his dirty laundry and dishes..his dad, not so much! But my son is used to cleaning up and helping in the kitchen. He's quite the little chef!"



To the Mother of All Boys:

Raising Boys - PBS

10 Things I Wish I'd Known About Raising Boys

5 Things I Learned About Raising Boys - So Far

first hair cut!

My daughter was bald until she turned two. I would dress her in all pink frilly dresses and people still wondered if she was a boy. The same old story my mother told me growing up, as I was also bald until I was two years old.

In one year, my daughter's hair grew so fast! Now that she's three it was time to get her hair straightened out! I was so excited!

Above: Last May, below yesterday when she finally got a hair cut.

She grinned so large as we walked closer to the chair. She's been with me the last year with her brother, looking on as he got to sit in the fun big chair and have someone cut his hair. She's begged me for a year, "My turn, Mama! Me!" but of course she barely had any hair so we were not about to cut it just yet.

Lately though I realized it was time. She was so happy! "This is gonna be so much fun," she screeched! She was so patient, calm, and focused as the lady worked on her hair.

Just looking at how tall she is, I cannot believe we made it three years without a hair cut!

Before pictures... curls and waves. Love those ;)

I'll admit I kept her curls for a souvenir. I recall with my son not knowing why anyone would want to keep those locks, I thought it was kind of gross. I told the barber with my 20 month old son, no, I don't want to keep them, toss them out. He knew better, kept them "just in case, Mom changes her mind." Of course I changed my mind! Those locks of love... the ones that they were first born with, how could I toss those out?!

My baby girl all grown up!

First hair cuts are a big deal around here, especially when you wait so long to get one!

In the last month, this little girl has accomplished the following big things:

  1. Fully potty trained
  2. Using a cup without a lid on it
  3. Started preschool
  4. Turned three years old
  5. Started riding a tricycle 
  6. First real hair cut
Next up is moving into a big kid bed. 
Then it feels like prom will be right around the corner. Eek! 

Stop growing! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dear 3-year-old Addisyn,

Dear Addisyn,
You are THREE!

Somehow, the last couple of years have flown by faster than the years since my wedding day and since your brother's birth. Everyone told me this would be the case, with our second child we'd blink and before we know it you'll be off to college. I am sure it's true.

You are totally a three year old. I know three year olds sometimes have bad reputations, so I don't want to go there just yet, but you are three. You are smart and independent, wanting to do it all yourself. You are learning at the speed of light. You wrote two Os yesterday for your brother's name. How do you even realize that an O is for your brother? I guess that's the result of having a smart pants big bro in the house. You are lucky, you know. Hope you always remember that.

These days you are sweet and sassy, therefore I coined the hashtag on Instagram #sweetsassy3 for you. I think it's going to be your trademark. You are silly and demanding. You laugh a TON. You always have a smile on your face. Well, except for those times when you are being a Diva with a capital D and all hands on your hips, staring me down like I predict is going to happen when you're 13 and 17 and 22.

You are into everything. Your dad and I laugh and also pull our hair out at how quickly you can turn very clean space into a disaster area. We swear your brother never did this, make a mess that large and quickly thing. You are just into it all. You try this, then that, then curiosity sparks and you're off and running over there. I love it. You take it all in, this great big world. To you, it's all one large opportunity just for YOU to explore and delight in.

You wear dresses and skirts and adore pink and purple everything. You love tiaras and tutus and playing dress up EVERY day. You change your shoes about 14 times every single weekend we're home to have that much time to change our shoes. It's adorable and slightly annoying finding shoes everywhere in our house.

Despite the princess girlie nature in you, you're a firecracker, ready for anything, taking it all in like it's meant for your adventure. You LOVE playing outside, getting dirty and throwing rocks, sand and mud.

The world is your stage, my dear, and I know you are going to light it up for years to come. I am so excited that you are three. Three opens up doors for you. I spent an hour yesterday looking up dance class options, summer camps like soccer and theater for you. You are SO animated, confident, self assured, and a true dancer/singer/artist/actress at heart. I cannot wait to see what you end up finding as a passion and interest. I know you are artistically inclined, and for that I'm already grateful.

You are so smart. Dad and I talk about it all the time. You learn SO much from your brother.

Lately you went to preschool for the first time. And learned to use a big girl cup. And about 8 weeks ago now you started wearing just big girl underwear, no pull ups! Soon we'll be putting you in a big girl bed instead of the crib, and we're scheduling a hair cut this week.

What?! How and when did we get here? To this place of self-sufficiency, of doing it all by yourself, of not needing Mama as much anymore? I have no idea, but I'm not scared this time around like I was with your older brother. I'm so happy and proud. I know all the great and fun things are up ahead for you now. Three is your ticket to the world, and I know the world is going to greet you with a big smile. How could the world resist, when it sees your big smile?!

I know three won't be easy. Everybody has always said to me that three as awful, two wasn't as bad. For us with your brother, two was terrible, three not that bad. Well, two was totally fine with you... so... I'm expecting some storms with three.

I found it the day you turned three actually. Last week on your birthday you were overstimulated, over excited, over tired. You threw yourself on the floor and said "NO I won't! Leave me alone!" Um, all right then. Welcome to Three, I suppose.

I know we're going to be all full of choices and getting down on your level so you know we're listening and also following through.

Go easy on me and Dad, we're tired you know. Please keep smiling. Do that a whole lot and I'll forgive the tantrums, I promise.

As big as you are, you still need Mama. You snuggle me daily. You curl up in my arms, rest your head sideways on my chest, in the exact spot where you first met me on your real birth - day. You laid there and rested and eventually ate and snuggled me. Now, three years later, you still find that place, the place above my heart, where you hear your name beating from within my chest. You suck your thumb and know it's OK, and I know it's OK, that you are my baby and I'm your Mommy, despite the fact that you just ran and told me you didn't need my help climbing the jungle gym or that you didn't need me to catch you at the bottom of the slide. It's little moments like this, that gratefully you still give me daily, that make me remember you are always my little baby.

Keep your eyes wide open, girl. Keep dreaming and racing and jumping. Keep skipping, or rather dancing through life as you do daily - literally dancing no matter where we are. Keep wondering and asking questions and figuring things out. It's the most incredible thing in the world to me as a mother to watch my child truly learning and finding her own way in this world. Isn't that what I've tried to help you get to doing the last three years with feedings and changes and helping you walk and trying out a bike and all of these little acts of love?

My wish for you in this third year is that you find what you LOVE and keep doing it. I hope you know we love you so much, that you bring so much laughter into our lives. I have no idea what we'd do without you, you truly make our life so much richer.

Oh what a Diva you are! There is a fire inside you.

Your Auntie Min called you the Mariah Carey of preschool. How true is this?! Love it.

This three year old thing will be a balancing act. I know it will be ups and downs, that's what I recall of three with your older brother. But let's just keep laughing along the way, sound good? Let's remember that you love to snuggle up on my chest and that I make you giggle in the mornings when I make silly voices while we get dressed.

Keep on keepin' on, my little girl. Just don't go so fast that you miss all the fun and love we have for you. Thanks for letting me be your mom. I'm so grateful every day that I have you.



  • all things princess related, including Frozen EVERYTHING, dressing up, tiaras
  • wearing skirts and dresses
  • wearing rain boots to run through puddles
  • singing and dancing, all the time, including EVERY time there is a song on in the car. Taylor Swift is a favorite.
  • all foods, particularly bananas (gabanas) and apples and mac n' cheese (mac'n'roni)
  • shoes
  • running
  • Mud, sand, dirt 
  • doing anything her brother does
  • mom putting her to bed
  • dad reading stories 
  • Doc McStuffins, Princess Sophia, tools, playing kitchen, Little People, dolls and doll clothes
  • drawing rainbows with about 20 different colors covering a piece of paper 
  • going to dance class, that we haven't started yet, she walks around telling us "I learned that from dance class..." even if it's not related to dance and of course we have not yet gone.
  • Swimming and baths 
  • Sleeping with her Bunny or a doll 
  • Preschool: "This is gonna be so much fun!"