Three Years Of You

Three Years Of You

Dear, sweet Jenna Paige:

Happy third birthday! Or, in your words, happy day of your number turning three! It’s so exciting that you’re an official big girl now!

As I thought about what I wanted to write for this post, I realized the issue wasn’t what to include about you. It was about what I could possibly leave out of your vivacious, big personality. So this might be a long one :)

You don’t do anything halfway. You are committed to your joy, tears, and everything in between. You love to love people, and you love to let them know how they have crossed you. And you have to do everything yourself. I mean, everything. Every. thing. Honestly, that used to frustrate me. But as I watch you become more and more determined to finish a task by yourself, I am so proud of your independence and courage. You will try anything once, and you almost always finish it, too.

Your independence is fierce. You do not back down from an idea or a challenge. You don’t care what people think or what they say. You are always ready to do your own thing and take no prisoners as you do it. This amazing attitude and strong will are going to help you do great things, little girl.

I love the way you crack yourself up with your own jokes. I love the way you play with your princesses, putting them in your little pink castle and giving them all different voices and stories. I love the way you are almost always dressed up as something else: a princess – or, as you say, a Disney “pincess” – Doc McStuffins, or sometimes a creation you thought of on your own. You are always ready to head off on an adventure in your high heel Little Mermaid shoes and your clip-on earrings. Everything about you glitters pretty much everywhere you go.

It’s been so fun to listen to you learn to talk in long sentences and tell me about your day! You love to give me lists of things you’ve seen or done, and you love to tell me all the facts you’ve learned about a new subject. You chatter away about your favorite dolls and your princess bed and your sparkle shoes and your teachers and your friends and church and everything under the sun. I love to hear your little voice. I love that you still haven’t mastered some of your Rs and Ls. I love it when I ask you a question, and you look to your left and your right, put your hands in the air, and say, “I don’t know!”

I love the way you still cuddle with me, and how you’re always willing to give me a kiss or a hug. I love how you are always determined to sleep in my bed, on my pillow, with my blanket. I love how devoted you are to your own special blanket, appropriately named Purple Blanket. I love how you lovingly choose a baby (or two or twelve) to put in bed with you at night, and kiss it good night, and tell it you will take care of it because you’re the mommy.

You are so unique, Jenna. In the same thirty seconds I can see you in a princess dress, twirling around, and also eating dirt. You aren’t afraid of bugs or any of the things that make Mommy scream. You ask us to dance and shake our hands and tell us “Nice to meet you!” You say your Ns as Ms so you tell me that you “meed help” or ask to watch “Finding Memo.” You have the littlest lisps on your Ss and two dimples that I can never resist. You love to choose your outfits, paint your nails, paint MY nails, and decorate your room with drawings (and the occasional stamp).

Jenna, I just love you so much. In one way I am sad that you’re growing up, because I still remember my last little baby and how small you used to be. But I also love each new phase of your tiny little life, and to see you grow and learn every day. Even though you recently announced that you will “never EVER grow,” I know you will. And it will be amazing.

You will grow up to be an incredible, strong, independent, fashion-savvy person. But for now, I can’t wait to see what year three brings us.

I love you, I love you, I love you, my Jenna girl, my Jenna Bear, my Neener, my Jen, my baby girl, my little love, my sweet, precious baby. Happy third birthday!

Love always,


On Your Third Birthday

On Your Third Birthday

Dear Joshua,

Happy birthday, little dude! Today are you are three years old. It’s such a cliche, but I can’t believe you’re already three. It doesn’t seem possible. Three is an official big boy age – you’re a big boy now! Which is good, because you have been saying “JOSHUA BIG” for a while now.

I always heard that each new age was the best one, and so far that has held true for you. I have loved watching your personality grow and change over the last year. You still love dogs and Jake the Pirate, but you have added a new love: Thomas the Train (and his entourage). You love Thomas. You have a Thomas bed. You have three Thomas shirts. You have a Thomas backpack and fifteen Thomas books and Thomas socks and Thomas stickers and Thomas everything.┬áIt’s pretty impressive how much you know about trains now – you can tell me which train is which and how some of them work; you can tell me which ones are steam engines and which ones are diesels. And some other stuff but I have already forgotten most of it. I’m sure you will remind me tomorrow :)

You have also learned so many songs this year! I love to hear you sing. You know the words and motions to so many great songs, and if you don’t know the words, you just sing louder. You love to march in time to a song, especially the Star Wars theme. And you do a great impression of Queen Elsa as she transforms into the snow queen. I think you have a future in rock and roll. You keep inviting me to sing with you but seem less than impressed with my skills. We can’t all be stars, Josh.

And when you aren’t singing, you’re talking. You talk about everything – what you’re doing, what I’m doing, what Thomas is doing, the time you saw the moon outside and the time you thought you heard an airplane but it was a helicopter, how you want to see a dog later, the time you did see a dog, how you think the potty is too loud, why Jenna needs to go take a nap, which blanket you hope you get to have for bedtime, when Daddy will be home from work, and maybe a few other things. You follow me around the house, clutching Thomas in one hand and “chawka milk” in the other, talking a mile a minute. Your little voice is adorable, and you have started to lisp when you say the letter S. It’s fabulous.

You’re also very honest. If someone asks your opinion on something, you will give it. Good, bad, in between – you just tell it like it is. But that honesty extends into following the rules, and trying to do the right thing. You are very into rules – sometimes I think you think I have a magical power to enforce the rules. I won’t let you read this for a long time, but – I don’t. You’re just a really obedient kid. But I think that works out well for both of us.

Joshua, I am so impressed with you. You have worked really hard this year. A couple of weeks before your second birthday, you took a few steps. Now, a year later, you are trying to run! And jump, and go up steps, and so many other big boy things. You have had to overcome a lot, but you’ve done it really well. You don’t always love PT or OT, but you still try your hardest to do everything they ask of you. It isn’t easy to struggle with so much, but you are one of the happiest kids I know!

You are so friendly, and so sweet. You offer Jenna your favorite Thomas toy when she is sad, and pat her head when she’s angry. You ask if you can “read” me stories, and you offer to bring me Diet Coke. I’m especially proud of that one. People always tells me that you’re such a great kid, and I believe it. You are. You are such a good kid. I know sometimes I can be frustrated with you, but I hope you know that I am so proud of you. I am not a patient person – see Daddy for patience – but I love you so much and I love being your mom.

Happy, happy birthday, Joshua. Or, as you say, Joshwah Evuhvelled. These three years with you have been incredible. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.