Ellie’s Birthday Letter #3

3-year old at Butterfly Gardens!

Ellie shares new dolly from grandparents

2 days late, and after a big birthday weekend, here’s my letter to the little lady. (I’m at the neighborhood coffee shop this evening, as I’ve learned that I’m not “Mother enough” to handle both of my kids ALL day by myself. Judging me? YOU try it… with my kids, I mean. Go ahead – I dare you! Call me and we’ll pick a day. They are at home this evening with a sitter while Daddy is working a 24-hour shift, and the grandparents are taking a much-deserved break. We had a really fun, exhausting 9 hours of good “QT” together, though, so I feel no guilt! And I always think so fondly of them when I am away from them, so it helps. (I bet they love me more when I am away sometimes, too ;))

Ellie’s 1st birthday letter

Birthday letter #2

Birthday Letter #3

Sunday evening, May 20, 2012

“Yippee-Dippee-Whee! Ellie Kate is 3!”

To my growing girl,

Well, you are officially a pre-schooler. I can’t believe it! You are just as strong-willed and determined as ever, wanting to do things all by yourself and capable of SO MUCH: using the potty and not wanting any help, getting dressed and always wanting to choose your own crazy outfits, taking your dishes to the sink, riding your scooter like a pro, even moving furniture and writing your name! Your favorite activities include driveway dining with Brother, cooking with Daddy, doing computer with Brother in the mornings in Mommy’s bed, snuggling in Brother’s bed and hearing one of Daddy’s silly stories, reading with Mommy on the couch, sipping my coffee of sharing a tea party, doing “My Bubble Maker” with Brother in the tub, swinging at the park, playing “Hide and Seek” for family play, spending the night at GareBear and Beffa’s house, and taking care of your babies and new dolly. Every now and then, when Mommy and Daddy have a special “date” with you, you enjoy holding our hands and swinging down the sidewalk!

As your birthday approached, you mentioned several times that you did not like Santa Claus, that you were afraid of him. And then you asked if he was coming on your birthday. I reassured you that Santa only comes at Christmas, but that we would give you a few gifts. We gave them to you, along with a pancake breakfast, on Friday morning when Daddy got home from work – kitty cat books, Mars mud, new play-dough, and a Hello Kitty lunch box. On Saturday, we had your party with a few family friends. After considering a “truck” party, a “play-dough” party, and a “baby” party, you finally settled on a “Kitty Cat” party, which is funny because as long as you live in our house, you will NEVER have a real kitty cat. (Daddy is very allergic and not a big fan.) But I made cute kitty cat cupcakes, white cake and pink icing, per your request. I gave you some kitty cat books, we all drew whiskers on with an eyeliner pencil, and we gave out kitty cat favors with a “Meow Mix” cd that Daddy made, a stuffed cat, and a little mouse and jingle ball toys. We put up a silly sprinkler, handed out bubbles in the backyard, and Daddy served a yummy dinner (though you mostly filled up on goldfish crackers).  It usually takes a while for you to warm up in an environment like that, but after you watched everything from your new fuzzy pink chair (from Cha Cha and Butchie) snuggled with your paci and blankey, you joined the fun and had a great time! When all the attention was on you as we sang “Happy Birthday To You”, I knelt next to your chair, and you  needed to just lock eyes with me, and hold my hand to not become overwhelmed. But then you blew out your candle (and ate 2 cupcakes) without my help! Knowing how BIG your personality is around your family, it is still sometimes surprising how shy you can be in a crowd. I am happy and honored to be your “security blanket” when Beffa’s blanket is not around! (I know that too soon you won’t want me around, so I am making the most of it, while still trying to help you gain confidence around others.)

You seem to have a few reservations about leaving the “baby” stage, whining very frequently, recently reverting into baby talk every now and then, and crawling once in a while. You still often cling to Mommy, though I’ve had to stop carrying you due to my bad back. And when you are fussy or tired, you always want that worn-out Beffa blanket along with a pacifier for comfort. I’m just not fighting that at this point. I have really learned to pick my battles (or better yet avoid them completely) with you! You can certainly be a little toot: hitting Mommy, kicking Michael James, lying about Brother misbehaving, pouring your milk out onto the kitchen floor, ordering Mommy NOT to sing, even stepping on a poor helpless butterfly! I believe that someday your bossiness will come in handy when you are in charge of a Fortune 500 company or even the United States of America! BUT, you can also be a little sweetheart: stroking Mommy’s arm while we read, brushing my hair at bedtime, giving Daddy “paci” kisses, comforting Brother when he is sad, being loving and gentle with babies, sharing bites and toys and special treasures with us, the people you love.

This year, I have really discovered more of your hilarious sense of humor, which also reveals just how clever you are! It often comes out at bedtime when you are supposed to be calming down in your bed. This is when you start rhyming and singing silly songs, telling goofy stories, and making crazy faces – you can make me laugh so hard, and I love to laugh with you! These are my favorite times with you.  Another favorite time is when you awake fussy and groggy from your nap in the late afternoon, and want to just lay quietly on the living room couch snuggled up next to me or on top of me, looking quietly out the window at our pretty tree. You don’t want me to sing or talk, we just communicate through a little reassuring touch before you are warmed up – I cherish those quiet moments with my little girl. You are a little dare-devil, never afraid to try new things. You recently invited me to watch your new “trick” for entering your big-girl bed. You climb up on the edge, and free fall over the rail to land on the mattress, and now you do this every night, at least once.

As I often tell you, Ellie, I am so proud of you and the ways you are growing every day: getting better at sharing and helping, learning to ask for help and learning to use your words when you are upset. Every night before I go to sleep, I come and look at you, cover you with your blanket, and give thanks that you are my daughter, just the way you are. You are such a special child of God, and I love you to the moon and back!!!

Your lucky Mommy!

Mommy and Ellie

Kitty Cat cupcakes!

Mary Jo kitten (she also had fun painting her mom’s face!)

Beffa and Ellie play with new tea set.

Ellie enjoys silly sprinkler