Today you turned three years old. Three years! In one way I feel like you’ve been a part of my life forever; I can’t seem to wrap my head around how I managed life without knowing this kind of love. On the other hand, these three years have come so quickly. Too quickly. Didn’t I just give birth to you? That beautiful Spring day in Texas, laboring in my home surrounded by my family. What a special day that was. I can still feel the weight of your tiny, little body, fresh from my womb, in my arms. Meeting you overwhelmed me. Thank you. Thank you for picking us. I wonder, did you look down from heaven and say, that’s her, that’s the mommy for me. I know, for certain, that you are the right girl for me. And I will always be thankful for the life that has come to me through yours.
This year has been a big year for you. It started a month after you turned two, when you became a big sister to Noah. You were so sweet and never showed any real signs of jealousy or anger, you simply accepted Noah as part of the family as if he’d always been here. That was a huge relief for me, because I spent quite a bit of time worrying about how you would react to a baby in the house. Your only qualm happened when you first saw Noah nurse, you looked at me and started crying and told Noah adamantly, “NO BITING!”
A few months after Noah was born we packed up our house in Denton and moved in with Nana and Papa for a little while. You loved being on the farm and feeding the cows with Papa every night and you loved all the attention that Nana poured into you. You also seemed to really enjoy sleeping in a big-girl-bed. That’s right, we said bye to the crib and you went directly into a big double sized bed – sleeping in the very room that mommy had when she was a girl, you only rolled off my old bed a couple of times. :)
Something else very special happened while we were with Nana and Papa, we took a trip to Hawaii. You loved the ocean and I think if I had let you, you would have tried to surf.
When we came back from Hawaii we packed up our things again to travel to Illinois to be with Daddy. Daddy started grad school at the Art Institute of Chicago, and a yellow Victorian house in the suburbs of Chicago would be our new home. You adjusted to all the changes easily, but then again, that’s your nature.
It was here in our new place in Chicago that some of your major milestones took place. In November, you gave up your paci. In just one day, cold-turkey, without hardly a fuss, just some extra cuddles at nap time and that was it. You only asked for it a couple of times after that at bedtimes, but when I explained that you didn’t need it anymore, you seemed happy with that answer. After “Project Paci Removal,” we needed to wean you off of having a sippy cup of water with you at night-time (in preparation for potty training), and that was a cinch, too! The other amazing milestone was in late December/early January, you mastered potty training, and by February you were even sleeping at night without a diaper.
I’m so proud of you, little one!
You are just as smart as a whip. Your counting has stayed consistent, and now you’re working on “teens” and “twenties.” You know the letters of the alphabet really well, in fact, you were identifying most letters at 2.5. Which, even if I am your Mommy, I think that’s pretty impressive. You sing the alphabet perfectly and you still know all your shapes – even octagon and the difference between an oval and a circle and a square and a rectangle – but you’ve had that down since just after your 2nd birthday. Crazy kid! You know all your colors and you’ve got so many words now it’s just unreal. Sometimes, your Daddy and I will have what we think is a private conversation in the car, and the next thing we know, you’re repeating sentences that we spoke to each other at the dinner table.
Zoe, you and I have a special song, and it’s Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling!” Every time you hear that song, you look at me and say, “That’s our song, Mommy!” LOVE. Whenever we hear it on the radio, we sing it together and dance around like best buds.
The other day we were shopping in Trader Joe’s with Daddy and Noah. You were pushing the little cart and our song started playing over the speakers, and right then in there, we all started dancing in the aisle, waving our arms, swirling our hips, shaking our heads as we sang “tonight’s going to be a good night!” It was a perfect, Zoe. I hope, by some miracle, that you’ll remember that moment when you’re older.
Of course, it’s no surprise, but you still LOVE your books! You have entire books memorized. My favorite is when you recite “The Little Engine That Could” by heart. Especially when you say, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” It’s so sweet.
You also love some movies, right now you are really into, Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, Robin Hood, Jungle Book, and Bambi. And let’s not forget that, to this day, you are still a HUGE Baby Einstein fan.
But that’s not all, Zoe girl, you aren’t just smart, you’re seriously beautiful. You’ve got a head full of thick blonde hair and cornflower blue eyes, you’re also deliciously blessed with thick, long eyelashes and a very sweet dimple when you smile. Is it normal for a mom to think her daughter is this pretty? I don’t think I’ll ever stop getting over you.
We still say prayers together for naps, and at the end of prayers we’ll exchange a butterfly kiss, an Eskimo kiss and a “grasshopper” kiss. Not sure where you got that one, but it requires a snort and a goobly-goo into your neck. You also love hugs and love to say “squeeeeeze” when we hug.
Daddy puts you to bed every night now, because I’m putting your brother to bed. He reads you every story you request and sometimes he’ll read the same book several times, because you officially have him wrapped around your finger. But that’s okay.
What else, I don’t want to forget? Yep…you’re a lefty. How cool is that! You’re also dressing yourself pretty well these days, and seems to want to do everything “by myself.” Which means it takes twice as long to accomplish most things, but that’s alright, I guess. I’ve got all the time in the world for you, little one.
Who knew a heart could love so much? It took becoming your mother for me to understand love like this. Thank you, Zoe. I love you through and through, yesterday, today and tomorrow, too.
Happy birthday to the most wonderful little girl!