A Letter: Thirty-four Months

Dear Hadley,
A few days ago you turned thirty-four months old. And with that, it feels like you became this little person. You talk, well, constantly. In complete (if not rambling and never-ending) sentences, no less. You are always throwing out words that two year olds don’t typically use like “actually” and “apparently” and surprising everyone by using them correctly. Maybe some of that comes with having a sassy older sister. But no matter, it makes you a source of constant surprise, entertainment, and comedic relief.
Ice Cream Smile
Lately you have been totally obsessed with puzzles. Anytime we are hanging out at home, you beg me to sit with you on the couch and put together a puzzle. And, of course we have to watch the TV show or movie of whichever character is in the puzzle. It’s a Rapunzel puzzle? Then we watch Tangled. If we then complete the puzzle and move on to a Sofia the First puzzle, we must also switch the show we are watching. Naturally.
Puzzle Girl
We have officially entered the phase of “all princesses, all the time” so it could not be more appropriate that you simply love dress up. And since we happen to have quite an impressive dress up collection, you are constantly oscillating between the popular princesses and parading around the house, leaving a steady trail of glitter in your wake.
Dress Up Time
You are still resistant to potty training. Every once in awhile you will tell me you want to use the potty, and for one glorious day you wore thick cotton training pants and managed to use the potty for the entire day, but for the most part you are really against the whole idea. Earlier this week, on a day I knew we would be home (read: constant potty access) most of the day I asked if you wanted to wear underwear. You said no and insisted on a diaper, but about an hour later you came up to me asking if you could use the potty and wear underwear. I was thrilled, instantly took you up and set you on the potty, then let you pick out your undies. I kept asking if you needed to potty and you kept telling me no. Then we had the following conversation:

Me: Ok, you need to go sit on the potty now.
You: No, I don’t. I just went.
Me: In the potty?
You: No. I’m wet.
Me: WHAT?!? You can’t just pee in underwear. You have to use the potty.
You: No. I want to be a baby. I want a diaper.
Sigh. So I will try again soon. And pray that you don’t insist on going off to college sporting your Pampers Cruisers.
Big Girl Undies
Oh yeah. I'm cool.
While you can sometimes act (or demand to be treated) like a baby, there are other times when you totally surprise me with your bravery and independence. We were playing in the hotel pool the last time we were in Bend and you wanted to try “swimming” (read: laying across an inflatable pool noodle) all by yourself. So you positioned your body perfectly on the noodle, stepped off the step, and proceeded to kick around the pool. Sure, you were always within arms reach of an adult, but you did it by yourself. Voluntarily. And you kicked ass at it. I was totally blown away with your awesomeness.
Swimming Girl
Water Baby
Your physical prowess extends out of the pool as well. You have started experimenting with what I refer to as “crib gymnastics” where I am constantly finding you in various acrobatic positions, aided by the bars and railings of your crib. You are partial to the headstands, but have been known to sneak in a few somersaults and from the sounds coming from your room when you are suppose to be sleeping, some form of donkey kicks. Needless to say, I have enrolled you in your first gymnastics class and I hope to keep your gymnastics at the GYM.
Crib Headstand
Crib Gymnastics
Reach those toes
A couple weeks ago you were playing in Ana’s room, found one of her pens, and decided to draw all over your body. I was out of the house, but you gave your dad an opportunity to have the “pens are only for paper” talk. We later discovered that you also added some decorations to Ana’s comforter and butterfly throw pillow. I know this is something all kids must do, so I was glad it was relatively minor vandalism, and I pray you got it all out of your system. Just next time you use your body as a canvas try using washable marker, ok?
Body Art
Lately you have this new thing where in an effort to distract me from something you are doing that is less than favorable, you say, “Mama, I just love you.” The other day, you insisted on standing on my bare feet while you were wearing shoes. It did not feel good. I asked you, “Why do you want to stand on my feet? That hurts me.” And you responded, “Mama, I just love you.” Just know that despite your intentionally doing things that hurt me, coloring all over your body, and doing acrobatics in your crib that nearly give me a heart attack, no matter what, Hadley, I just love you too.
Pouty Face
All my love,

The First Day of First Grade

I love this time of year. The weather is starting to cool off, the return of Pumpkin Spice to Starbucks, and, of course, Back to School. I love having everything new, clean, and crisp. Fresh folders, newly sharpened pencils, and shoes free of scuff marks. I try hard to make the transition from the freedom (or chaos. Whatever.) of summer to the structure and routine of fall to be exciting for my girls. If Ana’s attitude about today was any indication, I have truly succeeded at my mission. She was so excited to start school today and I could not be happier to have such an amazing FIRST GRADER.

Ready for the first day of school
Ready for school.

Traditional pic by the sign.
Standing next to the SPX sign. She has gotten so tall!

Sitting at her own desk
In her very own desk.

Then once we got home from an amazing first day, (“Mom! It was awesome. I love everything about First Grade!”) Ana and I sat down for our annual first day of school interview:

First Day Interview
All in all, it was a great first day of school. She can’t wait to go back.