Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy 3rd Birthday P


Dear Piper,

I cannot believe that once again it is time for me to write my annual birthday letter. What an amazing year we have had with you! I definitely have an air of sadness as this year with you comes to an end, yet I am definitely looking forward to all that you will do in your next year of life.

In your third year of life you gave up your paci, crib, and diapers. You learned to do a forward roll and to twirl like a ballerina. You started Gymnastics. You fell deeper in love with music and movies. You went from being able to talk fairly well--to being a professional chatterbox. You love more, and cry less. You showed fear, and bravery. You made friends, and you overcame strife. It was a big year for you baby girl!

You started off the year with a lot of sickness. You missed 10 days of school last spring semester. We are learning that you have a tendency toward ear infections, strep, and even had a bought of Hand, Foot, and Mouth. Yet for the most part you are a pretty pleasant patient. You actually love going to the doctor. You are a willing participant in the check up process. You watch the doctor in awe. It's not really that surprising because you love to play doctor at home as well. Who knows, maybe one day you will decide to be one!

You weigh 36 pounds and are 39 inches tall. That means that you have gained 6 pounds this year, and grown 5 inches! That is a whole lot of growing going on for you. You still tower over most of your class at school, and get mistaken for a 4 year old quite easily, but you are just your perfect version of Piper that I love oh-so-much.

I'm not really sure how you gained that much weight because you don't really eat much. You are the pickiest child that I have ever encountered. It is one of my biggest struggles with you. Your daily diet usually consists of at least one peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You love all the things I wish you wouldn't--like chocolate, chips, and juice. You are starting to eat chicken nuggets again after a long battle with them. You will sometimes eat mac and cheese, but sometimes not. All I can do is continue to push you to try new things. You are just so stubborn and opinionated, but I can't complain. You are so much like your parents.

This past year you have really blossomed into your friendships. You are definitely still learning how to be a good friend. Sharing is sometimes a struggle, and you and your friends do bicker like sisters at times. Your two bestest friends in the whole wide world are Rylee and Hadley. You have known them for longer than a year, but the three of you are now a package deal. You also have good play dates with your friend, Grayson. You two love going swimming and to Catch Air together. Whenever I ask you who you love the most--90% of the time your response is Rylee or Hadley. Occasionally, I might get you to say Mommy or Daddy, but it is far more rare lately. Seeing you interact and make friends puts a big smile on my face because relationships with other women has always been a struggle for me. I am hoping that it will be different for you. I wish that for you with all of my heart.

Your favorites list has gotten so much longer this past year. You love to play, but your second favorite thing to do is learn. You love practicing your letters and numbers. You recognize them all around you. When you spot the letter P--you yell, "Look P! P for me!" You are just so smart. By far your favorite toy is stuffed animals. You sleep with so many that there is hardly enough room for you in the bed. At night, we check on you before we go to bed. It is common for us to have to shift animals in your bed to find you sleeping underneath. They comfort you, and we are okay with that. You even demand to take an animal to school with you each day.

We have traveled so much with you in the last year.  You have made two trips to Disney World over the past year. You also went to Virginia as well. You love going on "cation." On our long trips you developed a love for Disney movies. Your favorites are Frozen, The Little Mermaid, and 101 Dalmatians. You will watch them over and over. You have also fallen in love with TV shows in general. Your favorites are Peppa Pig (the theme of your birthday this year), Goldie and Bear, My Friends Tigger and Pooh, and Sofia the First. Every night before bed you watch an episode and then go to bed willingly. You are such a big girl!

Speaking of sleep--in the last 7 months you have really become a great sleeper. There are some times that you wont nap at school, but for the most part you love your sleep.

Overall I am once again amazed with how much you have grown and changed over the last year. Your daddy and I consider ourselves so lucky to be your parents. You make us laugh uncontrollably with your silly antics. You make us mad with your unparalleled tantrums. You make us cry when you are sad or scared. But most of all you make us so proud that we get to call you ours.

As you grow I hope that you always know how supremely unique you are. You are many things; Beautiful, vivacious, painfully shy and yet boisterous at times, intelligent, caring, sweet, loving, but most of all you are brave. I have observed you face challenges over and over again, and go through them with grace even when I knew you were anxious. That is the true meaning of bravery. I hope you always face life that way.

So happy birthday to my girl! I don't know how I could possibly love you more, but I am sure over the next year you will show me the way. You are my happy place, and my legacy. I can't wait to see all that we will teach each other next. Thank you, my darling, for this very extraordinary life.