You've had an eventful few weeks. A week before your birthday you took a fall down our outside stairs. You busted your lip, bled and cried a lot, and ended up losing one of your two front teeth as a result. You were fully recovered in less than 24 hours, but your father and I needed several more days to feel "normal." You're such a careful and cautious child, so we were especially surprised that you were our first to incur such an injury. While the incident was scary and sad, God's faithful provision for us was so evident. Our neighbor Kate (a former ER nurse) was at our house in under 5 minutes, and within 10 minutes we had a dentist and another nurse looking at your dangling tooth. We received all of that medical care, visited the dentist's office, and were back home in about 45 minutes. That night you went to your first sleepover with your Daddy, the Kean boys, and the Royal boys and had a blast. You were so thrilled to be going despite your injuries, and cabin was all you would say after your nap.
The word your Dad and I still use most often when talking about you is "joy." You are so kind and loving, and the Lord is using you to teach me about what His love should look like. Pretty incredible since you're only 3. For example, last night we went grocery shopping together. The bakery gives children free cookies, and your first question to the bakery lady was "Can I have a cookie for Ella Kate too?" (since she wasn't with us). When I put some broccoli in our cart you said "thank you for getting my broccoli mommy." If I hand you a water when we're in the car, before you'll even take a sip you tell me that "Ella Kate needs a water too." You almost always think of her before yourself. You are also an encouragement to us saying things like "Ella Kate, I like your new dress;" "You're a good mama;" or "Great job" when I'm helping with a puzzle.
You love people and notice every little thing. For example, if you see someone for the first time in 6 weeks, and they're not wearing their glasses or Livestrong bracelet, you want to know where the missing item is. Animals are some of your favorite toys, and thanks to your Grandma, you probably have about 100 very well-made animals, a stable/barn, and lots of wooden fencing. You often say that the horses are your favorite, and they all have names--Traveler, Sandy, Valentine, etc.
Your typical day begins between 6:45 and 7:15. You wake up and quietly stay in your bed until we come to get you. I rely on our video monitor to know when you've woken. You've only ever gotten out of your "big boy bed" one time after a nap or night time sleep. You're such an obedient child. Most mornings we watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (because it's Ella Kate's favorite) in my and daddy's bed for a little while as we wake up, and then we have breakfast. You and Ella Kate usually play for a while, and a lot of days this winter we have just stuck around the house. You are content to just play at home and can be so imaginative with your toys, pretending blocks are cupcakes or necklaces are candy or water for your horses. Other days we may go to the gym, and you often don't want to leave the toys. You still love the Children's Museum and always looked forward to a class called Zumbini that we went to for a few months. You like the library, Publix (free cookies:), and just about any other place we go. You're just easy to please.
You like to know what to expect, and most days you eat broccoli, fruit (apple, cantaloupe, and strawberries are the regulars), and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. You nap from 1:30 until I wake you up around 3:30. We eat an early dinner when your father gets home from work around 5:15, and you like to wrestle with him on the bed, play hide and go seek, and just play. You also like watching television and get to watch a show before bedtime; you almost always choose Dora the Explorer. Bedtime is at 8:30. Either your dad or I pray with you, sometimes read a book, and tuck you in with your blanket and puppy and octopus plus 3 books. Yep, you insist on sleeping with your books.
You have an exciting year ahead. We started potty training 6 days ago, and you're doing great. We are planning on swimming lessons this spring and maybe soccer too, and this weekend we are registering you for preschool for next fall! We are planning a beach trip for May, and you're going to be so excited. You love pretending to be at the beach and don't remember your first 2 trips since you weren't even 2 years old for either trip. I look forward to experiencing it all with you.