3 Cheers for 3 Years!

ONE……………….                   TWO……………..                                 
Happy Birthday Alizea Ann!
Wow! I don’t even know where to begin…There is something different & very special about this year’s birthday! Perhaps, it’s because on your 1st birthday, daddy was away so mommy wasn’t completely focused on your milestone. I threw a huge party for you but selfishly because I needed the support, the distraction and the positive boost to carry me through such a tough time. On your 2nd birthday I was pregnant with constant reminders that you were about to be a big sister but this year, you are most definitely the sole focus and all I can think about is how my baby and even toddler is gone!
Oh, you are such a joy!!!!! You are a complete pleasure and challenge wrapped in to one beautiful gift. You keep daddy and I constantly on our toes, never allowing us to get comfortable in our parenting vocation & confronting us continually with our weaknesses and flaws (namely patience and temperance). 
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-You are one energetic, spunky and feisty gal yet at the same time, lovable, compassionate, and very aware and keen to the feelings of those around you.
-You are bursting with love and joy for life which is evident in the way you greet new friends with tender hugs and squeeze your baby sis until she looks like she is going to pop!
-You thirst for learning new things and pick up on new concepts (quite abstract, mind you) and vocabulary very quickly!
-You love anything “techy” (daddy’s genes for sure!) as you can (if allowed) sit at the computer for nearly 2 hours surfing through different games, listening to stories and working the mouse like a pro, not to mention our iphones better than your average adult.
-You are also very artistic and love to paint and draw (& you still love the water!)
-You apply and put to practical use, everything you learn from others (example: saying “abre” from Dora the Explorer when you want to open anything, or get out of daddy’s knee traps)
-You are independent and very stubborn determined and strong-willed yet you love to be smothered in cuddles and snuggles especially when you are tired.
-You are animated and keep us smiling and laughing
In the recent months, you have learned:
-how to be gentle with baby G
-how to tell when it’s “wake up time” in the morning (when it’s light out) and have decided 9 hours is long enough to sleep which means we are back to a good 2-3 hour nap during the day
-shapes to include parallelogram, pentagon, hexagon, octagon (forcing mommy to re-learn them).
-numbers through 20 (through 10 in spanish) and by 10’s to 100
-simple addition and subtraction
-sorting by likeness (heavy vs light things, vehicles vs foods, etc)
-to phonetically spell out simple words (word recognition via phonics)
 – how to say “thank you” as we continue to get stopped all the time as you get complimented on how beautiful you are, how unique your hair is and how smart you are!and perhaps the one that impresses me the most is:
-to potty train yourself, night-time included! (realizing and communicating, without any prompting, the need to go, keeping your track record of accidents a ‘perfect ten”, and that’s not 10 accidents!)

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Now, on to how we spent your special day….It actually began last Friday when Daddy wanted to spend some special time with you so he took the day off & took you to the Discovery Science Center where you explored dinosaur bones and danced like a rock star! Then, Saturday morning AunTita surprised us bringing Bapa to tears and you to squeals and shouts which lasted all weekend long! Gift opening, swimming, watching a softball game, playing at the park and lots of love from Ita, Ito, Aunt Yoli, Mimi, Bapa and your aunties wiped you out!
Today, consisted of enjoying some of your favorite treats. You helped me make your special pancake breakfast…

Then, by request, you ate enjoying your favorite show these days (Little Einstein), while mommy hopped on the computer to start your blog post, knowing it would be an extensive one. As I stared at the blank screen wondering how to make today extra special for you, I received this message from Grandma Emde (via Aunt Sherry): 
I hope my son daughter looks back upon today
And sees a parent who had time to play
Whether the work was done. or it was not.
Who realized chores are sometimes best forgot.
There will be years for cleaning house and cooking,
But little boys girls grow up when we’re not looking.

                                 -Earl Paffrath

And with that, a tradition was born. I resolved within myself that no matter how financially blessed we are (or lacking), more than big “to do’s” I wanted my children to have a deep and lasting memory of their birthdays as a day filled with special, quality time spent with their momma.  That birthdays would mean to them that they are so worth me dropping everything, looking deep in their eyes to listen to whatever is on their mind, giving my time and myself to them, making them feel as the important, beautiful gifts from God that they are. That even in our home, we could laugh and create special moments! A heavenly inspiration, no doubt (Thank you, Grandma).
I whispered a prayer for the opportunity to have special time with you, giving you my undivided attention…and no joke, minutes later, Sweet G was down for an extra long morning nap, allowing us to play and play and play some more in your room (pretending flutes were otoscopes, and yes, you know what that means, and flags were “winder uppers” and candles were binoculars, sharing much laughter and kisses!) 
Then, during the tail end of G’s 2nd nap, we got dressed together for our special night out, painting nails and sprucing our hair! It is precious to see you take an interest more & more in all things “girly”. Those dimples on your knuckles are what’s left of any trace of ‘baby’ Are you kidding me? I just love them!!!!!!

And to your favorite restaurant we went… not to forget, en route, your favorite spectacle these days, your amazement and wonder for …mannequins! What a blast it was to see you absolutely enthralled tonight by the surrounding sights and sounds!

I can’t say enough how much of a joy it is to see you appreciate and relish in every second of 
Thank you for that gift….
You teach me every day how to live the way we ought…
What a perfect gift from your Aunties…a camera of your own! (& one that actually takes down-loadable, digital no kidding shots! amazing!) And Auntie Neenee put together a “dress up trunk” filled with all kinds of creative play goodies any girl can appreciate:
 You loved it!
What a fun fun day! 
How we love you Spicy A! 
Daddy & I pray you continue to grow in intellect but more importantly in wisdom and virtue and that we guide you according to God’s perfect will for your life!

2 Responses to 3 Cheers for 3 Years!

  1. Best post YET!! I loved everything about it. And seeing as how today is B's special day, it was a perfect reminder/perfect way to start my day…This day is about HIM and now I get to copy you and try to make every moment special for him! Thanks friend!!!

  2. Alizea is sooooooo expressive and so transparent. I love the look of sheer unadulterated joy and exhilaration on her face. It was a privilege to get to be part of her celebration and witness such honest and spontaneous expression of feelings. I just love her so much! Dad

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