I’ve thought about writing this post so many times, but each time I get overwhelmed with the idea and end up not writing. So today I’m going to try jotting my thoughts down.
It is hard to believe that it has been three years since Bella burst into the world (errr…was yanked out into the world). She is our miracle baby – the rainbow after our first miscarriage, and after the weeks and weeks of fear as I laid on bedrest with an impossibly short cervix.
But now that she has spent three years making our lives better (and noisier), I don’t even remember what life was like without her.
Over her past year of life, we have seen SO. MUCH. DEVELOPMENT. It is crazy. I thought the leap from a one year old to a two year old was something, but this leap from 2 to 3 is even better. Now that she can fully communicate it is almost like she is a little person.
The one thing that really, really gets me is her memory. I swear she has an adult memory now. She is constantly bringing things up that were only mentioned in passing months ago. It astonishes me every single time. While there are still occasional tantrums, we can (usually) get her to talk us through them now. Yes, she still will sometimes throw herself on the floor and start crying, but at least now after a minute or two she’ll actually tell us why she is mad.
The girl loves being a big sister. She loves holding Brynn, “helping” to change her diaper, feeding her, and pretty much anything related to being near her little sister. She loves sharing her old toys, and in the car when my comically bad car mirror falls out of position, she’ll excitedly answer my “is Brynn asleep or awake?” questions.
At school, she is the queen bee. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because of her short hair she looks much younger than she is, or because she is one of the only kids in her class that has been there since she was 3 months old, but I constantly have parents coming up to me and telling me that their child always talks about Bella, or loves Bella, or something of that sort. Even parents of kids that aren’t in her class! In the past few weeks, she wants to walk herself into her class, and I don’t object. She has gone from being extremely timid on the big kid playground, to biking all over it on “the blue bike” each day. Such a difference from when she first changed playgrounds with her new class in May.
She has handled all of the crazy transitions that we’ve thrown at her this year with ease. Just this year she has moved from a crib to a big girl bed, been given a sibling, and mastered the potty (during the day). While bedtime has certainly grown more challenging since she gained the ability to get herself out of bed and tell us “I don’t wanna go night night,” she seems to be doing just fine with the change. We followed the 3 day method for potty training back in September, and while it took her closer to a week while we banged our heads against the wall, she eventually got it. Minus one short regression in October, she has mainly been accident-free and we all couldn’t be happier.
In the past 2 months or so, she has started to really resist naps. I think it is more testing her free will than not being tired, but some days it just seems easier to let her stay up than to really fight her on it. Besides, if she is sleeping in until 8:30, it seems hard to force her to go to sleep, even at 1:30.
Bella still wants to eat all of the time and can now get her own food out of the refrigerator. Thankfully she is usually helping herself to an apple or a container of cottage cheese, but if the girl is near the kitchen she wants to eat! She is becoming a little pickier now with dinner. We used to just feed her whatever we were eating, but now she’ll do things like pick the cauliflower out of her cauliflower pasta. She’d eat any kind of fruit anywhere, anyhow, and has also developed a sweet tooth whenever she is given the opportunity. Thankfully we don’t keep cookies or cake in the house, but if she sees them at a party or at school, she is begging to have some.
She is definitely still a daddy’s girl. Daddy puts her to bed on most nights while I’m working on getting Brynn to sleep. She wants to read “5 books” every night, and is currently favoring showers over baths.
We’ve seen more of an interest in drawing this year, with a vast improvement there as well. Amazing to watch the art go from scribbling indiscriminately to actually attempting to make shapes. I can’t wait to continue to watch this develop. We’ve also introduced scissors recently and are working on that skill.
Her physical development has really come along as well. Bella was late to crawl and late to walk, but it seems like she has finally caught up with her peers. We were so proud the day that we first saw her ride one of the big kid bikes at school (with training wheels). As a baby, she didn’t have the interest in climbing that many of her friends had, but she is recently wanting to climb on everything. Better late than never I guess!
I love this little girl’s smile and laugh so much. She definitely has some of her mommy’s stubbornness, but I love watching her little brain work. She certainly loves to push us in the ways that most two-three year old’s do, and its hard to both marvel at how wonderful it is that she is growing up, and also how sad. When I look at pictures from her 2nd birthday to her 3rd birthday, it almost seems like she has gone from a baby to a kid in such a short timeframe. We love you so much sweet Bella boo. May you keep making us smile and laugh for many, many more years to come.