Reese at Five, James at Three Years

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Our little people are now three and five. There is nothing baby about them at all, and they both get mad when I say they will always be my babies. But they will.

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Reesie turned five on November 29th and we celebrated with her favorite sushi roll, fried ice cream, and a party at the YMCA a few days later.

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My dearest Reese, there was a time when the Happy Birthday song brought you to tears but this year you reveled in it. You weren’t even mad when I dropped your birthday cake on my lap on the way to the party and we served a leaning, lopsided, chocolate mess, half of which was smeared across the front of my jeans.

You still love art and can spend hours coloring in your room. You like your alone time, and you are like me in that way. Some days you ask to go to rest time so you can have some time to yourself. Your kindness is what I am most proud of. You get along with everyone, and I have never seen you being mean to another child (not counting your brother of course.) I can see the hurt on your face when other kids are being left out or not treated fairly. You are ULTRA sensitive, which is frustrating for me at times, but you do you. The other day after a particularly rough afternoon for me, I didn’t say a word in the car on the way home from the YMCA. I felt like I needed 5 minutes of silence and if I didn’t get it, I would explode. You started to cry and said that you know I’m sad and when I’m sad you feel sad. My heart officially melted and then we all went and got munchkins.

You take swimming lessons and gymnastics classes once a week.  You have come so far in swimming. You can swim up and down the pool without your floatie and you jump in the deep end like it’s no thang. You like gymnastics but complain that it makes you hot and tired. Spoken like a true athlete.

You are in school Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can write all of your letters and numbers, your full name, and some short words. You love reading books and have memorized many of your favorites. You love The Magic School Bus, Shimmer and Shine (ugh), Batman, Legos, and dress up.

You are helpful and can do so much by yourself now. You help me everyday and are learning the hard lesson that because James is younger, and has bigger, louder tantrums (in public) he often gets what he wants. Ok, he always gets what he wants.

You are not shy, which I love. You talk to anyone you meet and tell them all about where we are going, who we saw yesterday, and exactly what mom said when she spilled the coffee this morning. One Sunday morning when I was away and your dad took you to church, you turned to the family behind you and said, “My mom’s at a bachelorette party.”

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James turned three on March 5th and had cake and ice cream with his grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles.

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Dear Jamesie, you still love trains, trucks and cars. Trains especially, and riding the commuter rail with your dad is a favorite activity. You are obsessed with puzzles. You love cheese. Your best friends are Reese’s friends and their siblings, all of whom happen to be girls. Whenever we show up for a playdate, the girls say “The boy is here! Run!” Poor you. This will all change one day, I promise.

You now sleep in a “big boy bed”, you are almost completely potty trained, and you talk nonstop, but I feel like you never get a chance to finish your thoughts because someone who will remain nameless, (Reese), is always cutting you off. You take swimming lessons with me on Wednesdays which you love. You are a great swimmer but just need to work on following the teacher’s directions, or any directions for that matter.

The terrible two’s have segued into the even more terrible threes, and you are constantly challenging me. You are a runner. You run away at any opportunity you have. There are few opportunities though because I walk around holding onto you by the hood of your coat, as if it is a leash. When I don’t have a free hand your sister takes over as hood holder. I don’t know what I’ll do when the weather changes.

You are a cuddler and I hope that never changes. I hope that you never stop saying “bathing soup” (bathing suit), and I hope that you hold on to a little bit of that mischievousness as you get older. Just a little bit though.

Happy third birthday my sweet little hellion.

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Reese at Three Years

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Three years old as of November 29th.

Sometimes when she wakes up in the middle of the night and I see her silhouette in our doorway, I can’t believe that that little person is our baby.

We celebrated three years with a birthday party at an indoor playspace near our house with pizza, cake, family and a bunch of her little friends. She had a blast.

She is asserting her independence fiercely and readily. She is suddenly very into clothes and most mornings include an argument over what she will wear. My suggestions of jeans and shirts are met with tears and wails of “those aren’t fancy!” I was hoping we had skipped this stage because, I must admit, I loved picking out her clothes. Now I just have to deal with the fact that while I would love for her to look like she stepped out of the pages of a Boden catalog, she would rather look like she’s a regular on Toddlers in Tiaras.

Ironically though, she hates actually wearing the clothes. Once her outfit for the day is selected it stays on for 20 minutes or so, then she strips down to her underwear and refuses to put anything back on. At first I thought I should fight this, but I have decided that this is a battle I will not pick. Now the rule is, you must always have underwear on and if someone is coming to our house, or we are leaving our house, you need to be dressed. Otherwise, do your thing.

She loves eating but still eats only a small variety of foods. I now understand the whole kid/food battle thing that I am constantly hearing about. There was a period of time where I dreaded dinner because we started enforcing the “I made it, you’ll try it” rule. It helped a little, and now she is used to it, so she knows she has to try things but there are always some dramatics involved (gagging, choking etc.) This, along with the fact that we now all eat as a family, has broadened her horizons a bit. She shows interest in what Andrew and I are having and will sometimes ask for a bite. After starting this, we discovered that she likes soft shell crab sushi (obviously the most expensive roll on the menu), but she is still a PB&J girl through and through.

She still does a 2 hour “quiet time” in her room (in lieu of a nap, which she stopped taking long ago) and sometimes I stand outside the door and listen to her playing. She runs around and narrates her actions in the third person and it is hilarious. Sometimes she’ll run by me saying, “she ran into the kitchen to get her snack.” I think she is constantly living in some sort of story that she is writing in her head. I would love to read it.

Reese is the Laurie Berkner Band’s number one fan right now. She listens to the CD everyday during her rest time and when she goes to bed at night. She also asks detailed questions about Laurie daily. “What color is Laurie’s house?”, “Where is Laurie right now?” “Does Laurie know me?” Stalker alert.

Swimming lessons are the only scheduled activity that we do and it suits us. I’m not big on schedules and it is nice to have flexibility in our day, especially when I am toting a nine month old around with me.

We haven’t had her three-year checkup yet so I don’t have her stats but she is now 35 lbs and I can tell that she is starting to stretch out. She continues to talk my ear off all day, every day, and anything I say is still met with a “why?”

She has fully embraced her role as big sister and loves to use it to assert her assumed authority over her brother. She makes sure he doesn’t get any of the toys that are “too little for babies,” which equal all toys.

In September she will begin preschool and I’ll no longer have my girl with me everyday. Let’s not talk about it.

Here she is on vacation this summer, asleep with her brother who was in desperate need of a bigger bed. And one more below that; in all her glory at her third birthday party.

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