Has it really been a YEAR since I've written you one of these letters? Time really has flown by this past year, even more so than for your first and second birthdays. Now I'm here on the eve of your third birthday and I'm in disbelief that I will have a three-year-old little boy when I wake up in the morning.
You turned two and it was like a switch was turned; you entered the terrible twos with full-force and never looked back. You are rebellious even by toddler standards, always pushing the boundaries and fine-tuning your negotiation skills. You have more energy in an hour than I can muster up in a week, and I'm always dragging behind trying to keep up with you.
And yet, spending my days with you - seeing the world through your eyes - it keeps me young. Everything is exciting and new, even things I see every day but never gave much thought. Currently, every car ride is exciting because you cheer me on when I drive through a green light. "YAY! We made the green light!" Your imagination has been sparked over the past year. This morning, we were snuggling in Mommy's and Daddy's bed after you woke up and you were telling me the animals you saw on the ceiling (T-rex, bunny rabbit, ant); the morning sun coming in between the window blinds created a shadow from the ceiling fan.
You are so ACTIVE. Even when you're watching TV, you often bounce up and down in the living room like you have springs in your feet. It seems like your favorite thing in the world is to roughhouse with Daddy. You jump on him, head-butt him, and tackle him every chance you get. I think poor Daddy needs a break sometimes!
Your interests shifted this year into very typical boy things. You phased out of the Dora the Explorer phase and got VERY interested in volcanoes and then dinosaurs. If I had to pick a theme song to describe this past year, it would be the Dinosaur Train theme song. That has definitely been your favorite show. It astounds me how much you have learned about dinosaurs - you can say even the most difficult dinosaur names, like Quetzelcoatlus (technically that is a pterosaur and not a dinosaur). As you can see, I have learned quite a bit about dinosaurs with you, too! You have also started to get into Daniel Tiger and you really like the movie Frozen (along with every other child in America, maybe the world).
It has been amazing to watch your language explode over the past year. You have an impressive vocabulary that is growing every day. You speak in complex sentences and sing songs. You carry on conversations with adults, including phone calls (usually with Grandma and Grandpa). You know your ABCs, and the sound each letter makes. Your pre-reading skills are great, too! You even have some of your books memorized and you like to read them to us, especially Goodnight Moon. Even the books you don't have memorized, you like to "read" to me by looking at the pictures and making up a story. You tell the best stories! Your facial expressions and hand gestures are fabulous. I hope you never lose that.
You've gotten better about this lately, but this year we spent a lot - I mean A LOT - of time learning how to use nice hands and feet. You hit, kicked, pushed, and threw things over and over. Despite that, there is a sweet and nurturing side of you - and I always see it, even when you're acting out. It's my hope as a parent that I can encourage that side of you while discouraging the hitting and kicking. I'm very proud at the progress you've made. It's still a challenge for you sometimes, but many times you play nicely with other kids your age without hitting or kicking.
Food has continued to be enemy number one for you. You still have a fear of most foods that aren't cookies or crackers. We saw a nutritionist who was only mildly helpful. Thankfully, I know you're growing because you keep outgrowing shoes and clothes - but I'm sure this is only because of the supplements and formula you take. You won't need Pediasure when you're in college, right? You will eat normal foods one day, right? Right?!
One of the biggest milestones this year was that you started part-time preschool. I have to admit, I was a complete mess over this. How could I possibly abandon my baby and leave him with strangers? I wanted to start you in preschool much sooner but the thought of it made me crazy so I kept putting it off. But I knew you were ready, and I eventually bit the bullet. You adjusted very quickly and made Daddy and I so proud! Mrs. Laura is your teacher at A Kid's Gym in Oviedo, and she is wonderful. Even knowing you were in a great place, that first drop-off...I didn't know if I could do it. After Daddy and I dropped you off, we went out to breakfast. And I broke down crying in the middle of Townhouse Restaurant. Big tears, ugly crying in the middle of a public place. It was so hard to leave you! But I knew it was best for you (and me, too). And you did even better than I had hoped. Now you love it! You get gymnastics and outside playtime and so many different kinds of crafts...it's a great place for you and I'm so happy to see you thriving there!
I can't believe that tomorrow I will have a three-year-old boy. I'm so blessed to have you in my life. Even when I'm pulling my hair out, I still feel that way every day. You're my everything. I can't wait to see what new adventures this next year will give us!
Love you always,