Gracelyn has crossed the thresh hold and turned three on us. It happened quickly…a little too quickly if you ask me, but here we are.
It’s still really hard for me to believe these past three years have gone by at the rate that they have. On Mother’s Day last month I reminisced about how three years earlier I went out to eat with Ken just the two of us, and then before midnight that night was holding Grace in my arms.
As sad as I am to see each stage and age end, I am also equally excited for the next adventure. I’ve heard that three is worse than two, and by worse I mean Grace’s attitude, and that prediction was right. She’s still my spunky little girl, who loves to cuddle, but man she is opinionated about everything! At two they learn to throw tantrums. At three, they learn to argue, and argue she does. Currently, while we are in the midst of a power struggle, Gracelyn likes to tell me “You have At Tude, mom!” Or another favorite of hers is “Mom, you’re mean!”. This usually follows me telling her she can’t have a cookie before we eat dinner or that she needs to stop playing so that I can change her diaper (don’t even get me started on the struggles of potty training!). Although the public melt downs and time outs can draw attention I’m not necessarily looking for, this is just another facet of my daughter, another opportunity for her to grow and know herself and her limits. I prefer the sweet, cuddly Grace to the full of attitude, talk back Grace, but I’d take either one any day of the year. I love every bit of her, At Tude included:)
I was able to take her birthday off this year from work. We woke her up with a breakfast of confetti pancakes complete with three candles, and then we treated ourselves to lunch as McDonalds and spent the day playing and cuddling. We celebrated her birthday with family and friends the weekend before. We have been so fortunate in the amazing people that have been a part of our lives and Gracie’s. From our family-my sister and aunt as well as their families for always making Grace feel so special, to Ken’s family, to our friends. I have just as many people attend Gracie’s birthday from my friend Sharlee’s family that I do my own, and I have always, always appreciated the way they love her. I appreciate her Godmother Nikki coming and our friend Derek, who came and even shopped for a girly My Little Pony:) I appreciate my friend Amanda (who unfortunately lives unspeakably far away) and her mother for wishing Grace a happy birthday and for Iris stopping by. There are people I am forgetting, I am sure. I just am very grateful for the amount of love that surrounds my daughter and our family.
Before this next year passes by as quickly as the last, I thought I’d take some time to jot down some of the little stuff that I’d like to keep in my memory forever.
*Grace still has no fear (well, when it comes to everything except bugs). On the playground she takes off with the big kids. She climbs as high as she can go, and she always takes the tallest slide down. People give Ken funny looks as she teeters off with the older kids, but if anything he supports her adventurous spirit. I, on the other hand, have to often times look away. (I’m kind of a worry wart.)
*She loves to play dress up. If I let her put on one of her princess dresses in the morning, there is no getting her out of it without a long, drawn out fit. She loves to be Merida from Brave. We even bought her a Merida bow for her birthday, and she likes to trounce around the house shooting plastic arrows this way and that.
*She is a drama queen! Seriously, my girl could be an actress! She has sad face/sad voice down! And she can play make-believe with the best of them! On our weekends with Fenix we seem to camp out in the rec room one weekend night with some popcorn and a movie we can all enjoy. Recently we watched “Monkey Trouble”. At the end the monkey is tricked to go back to his evil owner because he offers him food, and the little girl who recently took him in is heartbroken. In the end Dodger (the monkey) makes his way back to the little girl who loves him. After watching that movie it was tough to put Grace to bed. She was waiting for Dodger to come back home. She kept repeating, “Dodgers gone! Dodgers not here! I hope he comes back!”.
*Her baba is still her best friend. And, she likes to tell people that. In fact just yesterday she told me at breakfast, “This is babba! He’s my brother and my friend!”
*She is so stinkin’ smart! She has completed an entire year of pre-school, and it’s been a year well spent. She has learned so much and she’s made a ton of friends. When Ken drops her off, she usually runs into Mrs. Diane’s house and hugs the two little boys there that are around her age. She really does enjoy it there, and they seem to really care about her. I was very nervous sending her to daycare this year, but I’m relieved to know it turned out so well. She can count to ten, identify all of her colors, and she has quite a few letters down, with more to go. She actually sits still during circle time (usually) which to me was a big win:)
*She talks about my mother non-stop. She is constantly incorporating her grandma into conversation. She knows who grandma is too. Just the other day she brought me my mom’s photo, set it on the ground in front of me and told me, “This is my grandma and this is my mom (pointing to both of us in the photo). My grandma’s not here. She’s in my heart.” This is something Ken has really been talking to her about when she asks about her. Despite the fact that she knows who her grandma is, she is still sometimes confused. The other day we were out to eat and she pointed to this beautiful African American woman sitting next to us and said, “That’s my grandma!”. She also did the same thing at the park when an older woman sat down beside us, “That’s my grandma, mom!”. I had to correct her and hope that no one heard:) (Update: It’s taken me a long while to finish this post and in the time that has passed we had a garage sale. Four older ladies with dark, short curly hair-similar to my mother’s-walked up. She saw them, shouted “My grandmas!” and then ran into one of their arms to hug them. It’s very sweet, and somewhat sad. Sometimes it makes me smile, and other times it makes me a bit teary.
*Her favorite foods are strawberries, berry applesauce, ketchup, and PB and J…oh yeah, and anything chocolate:)
*When she goes to bed at night she insists on having a bed full of stuffed animals. Cuddle Kitty and Purple Bear are a must, and of course Rainacorn the light up unicorn. But in addition to those staples, she usually includes both talking bears that she has, two hippos, and a monkey for good measure. She won’t sleep in her own bed unless we go through our entire night-time routine: book, prayer, hugs, and kisses, then bed-even if it’s nap time.
*She has dance moves like you have never seen before:) Really. I should post more of them to youtube so that I can link to them here. She is a dancing queen. As soon as it’s in our budget we are enrolling that child in a dance class. She has rhythm!
*She LOVES, loves, LOVES our cat Maynard. Thank the Lord he is as good with her as he is. She pokes, prods, pets, hugs, mauls, squishes, and carries him. She is a tough love kind of gal when it comes to that cat, and he takes it.
*Right now her favorite book is “Are You My Mother?”. Ken always reads the snort part with an awesome snort voice, where as my rendition is pretty tame, yet she likes them both the same.
* At three, she still reaches for my hair to fall asleep or for comfort.
*She is headstrong and determined. One of her favorite things to say is “Gracie can do it!”
*She feels everything to the extreme; excitement, fear, sadness, love. There is no middle ground with my daughter. She wears her heart (and sometimes her temper) on her sleeve, and I wouldn’t take her any other way.
*She is beautiful and kind and proud.
*Last of all, she is colorful and creative. She likes to sing everything, even arguments. We will literally sing back and forth to each other at the table, things like, “Grace, you really need to eat your peas!” Which is usually followed up with her singing back, “No, I don’t. I can’t. They’re yucky!” Our house is constantly in musical mode.
Gracelyn, I love you with every bit of me. Stay your beautiful, quirky, loving, funny self. You have made my life so full, and I have loved spending the last three years as your best friend:) I only hope you will still say that when your 13, 18, 25, and so on. I love you baby girl! I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for you!