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Dear Bean,

Your month has been packed full of excitement.

Early in the month, we went to the local zoo. You’d been before, but this time you were really excited to see all the animals. In fact, you are still talking about feeding the animals and seeing the alligator (your current favorite animal, tied with the giraffe you fed). It did take you a while to warm up to the idea of actually feeding the animals. You giggled when Daddy was helping you feed the giraffes, but when we got to the deer later on; you finally fed one who was excited at the chance of getting food from you. Of course, the deer was less excited when it happened. As soon as she took food from you, you  SQUEALED with excitement. It scared the deer, who bumped her head on the fence trying to escape the very loud noise coming from a very little person. Yes, we got it on video and it may be played at your wedding – be prepared. I wish the zoo were closer to us. Seeing how excited you were makes me want to take you every weekend – but alas, it is far.

We travelled to go see the family. The Grandma’s and Grandpa’s were so excited to see you, see how big you are and how smart you are. While there, you decided not to eat. I don’t know what kind of anorexic thoughts you are having, but it started to make me worry again – but at least the family could see why I am worried. Everyone stood firm on the “don’t worry plan”, but you ate so very little while we were there you actually lost a ½ pound. This is the wrong direction for a growing girl. Thankfully when you got home, your appetite returned.

Your favorite things to do at Grandma’s house were playing with the big ball and throwing it up in the sky (and having it land on your head). You especially loved playing in the sand. Grandma and Daddy even made you a sand box where you added water… a lot of water… and you were introduced to mud pies. I was kind of hoping to keep you a little cleaner than you get at daycare, but you loved the sand/mud so much at Grandma’s, you got about as dirty. Thankfully it didn’t end up in your hair (although it is still a mystery how that happens with such frequency at daycare). You liked seeing their dogs, but they were a little shy around you. Your favorite dog was your Aunt’s dog (who is VERY friendly and gentle).

Speaking of visiting your Aunt – you still love playing with your cousins. Watching you light up while you play with them is amazing and it warms my heart. You loved playing with bubbles, chasing the dog, playing house, building things and just watching what they did and emulating them. They also had a lot of fun with you. While visiting, we went to Mommy’s favorite zoo. There, you were so very excited to see EVERYTHING. And, of course, your Aunt was impressed with your smarts (naming all the animals you knew).

During the trip home, you loved the car we rented. You called it “your car” and we obliged. Thankfully you were OK with leaving it there. It would be hard to explain that kind of a carry on. You were AWESOME on all the flights and very long car rides. You also watched more movies than the average kid (yes, this is one of those things I swore I wouldn’t do and do it anyway.) I was especially grateful for you being a great kid on the trip home, since we were traveling alone.

Finally we made it home and life was getting back to normal, when the very abnormal happened. We had an earthquake! This was the first earthquake in well over 100 years and measured 5.8 on the rector scale.  You were at daycare and it woke you up. Then you and the rest of your class were whisked into a central area. Of course I called right away and everyone was fine – a little scared, but fine. Daddy was at work and I was at home. It was a very odd experience and I wonder how long it will be before you forget it – or if you forget it. There were some more aftershocks that also scared you, but thankfully there was a big one that you slept through.

Then, not to be outdone by another force of nature, we were offered up Hurricane Irene. Thankfully, Irene didn’t have much to say and left us with some wind and rain, but nothing of note. You even got to go to a pool party the following day.

Only time will tell what the future holds for you, but you have some good stories to tell from this month alone. Daddy and I love you so much and we are very proud of you.

Love, Mommy