After your last birthday we had some rocky months, starting with your accident when your burned hands. Poor baby. That was a sad, tough experience. I'm looking forward to spending this Halloween with you, and only having bandages as part of a costume!
Fortunately, you had a great speech therapist who came to our rescue. If we could nominate an MVP for this year, it would be Betsy.
She's your friend. If we asked you, "Do you want to go see Bets?" The reply would always be "YEEEEEESSS!" Betsy has toys and attention just for you, and once a week for an entire hour, she was devoted to your learning and entertainment. Who wouldn't love that? Well, Betsy is something special. She taught you how to ask for help and how to say, "all done" when you'd had enough of an activity. She taught you how to ask for "more" instead of arching your back and screaming. She taught you to be patient and take turns and know that "mine turn" will come. That's still really hard, but you're getting it! Now that you're three, you have "graduated" from the program, and will begin taking speech at the elementary school. You don't know that last week was your last session with Betsy. I wonder how many times you will ask about it. You'll miss her. We all will. We drowned our sorrows together over a dollar scoop at Licks on Thursday. :)
You've still got progress to make, but we are so happy to see you so happy. You can communicate and express yourself. It's so fun to see your fun little personality shine, now that it's not blocked by a big language barrier.
You gave up your bottle this year, and now drink from a cup, which is amazing! Your favorite blanket (bwank), a brown, paisley fleece with innumerable "tags"around the border is your favorite lovey. I still can't believe we left it at the airport gate on our way to Nauvoo!? Of all the absent-minded mom moves. We're sure glad you've been reunited. All is well, all is well. :)
Some of your favorites include "i-ceams", oatmeal (porridge), grapes, watermelon, broccoli, hot dogs, any kind of pasta, rice, salmon and frosting. Forget the cake - Just the frosting! :) You still love animals: cats, dogs, chickens, sheep and horses. A highlight of this year was riding a horse at This is the Place park and the horse-pulled wagon ride in Nauvoo.
Whenever you see a video or photo of a horse, you lift your leg and say, "Wide. Hoase." You love to line up your animals and place them in arranged seating in a school bus or in rooms in the toy house. You enjoy stickers, painting (paper, walls, chairs, mirrors), washing your hands, and taking a bath, so long as you're joined by a sibling.
You've got a special little spot in your heart for Papa. He's got a helicopter that you just think is the best thing ever. Talk about "peshoal"... You love to spend time with him and watch him fly his "hogger". :)
Here comes another year! Your little baby-ness is slowly disappearing, but I'll cling to that soft baby "chunk" and your sweet baby cheeks for as long as I possibly can! We are so thankful to have you as a part of our family. You are our brown-haired caboose, and we love, love, love you!
Happy Birthday, little girl!