beach1Dearest Bean – I have not kept up with your monthly letters this year. This is not reflective of the lack of progress – it is quite the opposite. You have bloomed into a little girl with no baby features left. Mommy and Daddy know they are still there – just as they will be for the rest of your life in our eyes.

Since your last letter, 10 months ago, you have finally been totally potty trained. You’d been trained to pee for a long time, but you were holding out on the poop. I don’t know why, but thankfully, we are over that and we are 100% diaper free in our house.

You will get yourself totally dressed, including your socks (slowly), and only for Mommy. Somehow you totally forget how to do it when Daddy is getting you dressed.

Several months ago, you got your 2nd bad haircut. Your first bad haircut coincided with your first haircut. This bad haircut wasn’t nearly as bad – but the hair cutter took the bangs too far back – making you look like you had a little toddler mullet. Now we have the fun adventure of trying to grow out some of your  bangs, while trying to keep others. I have been experimenting with a variety of hairstyles that take the bangs out of your eyes – most of them fail, but I try really hard.

In the Spring you started to learn how to write letters and have been able to write your name by yourself (even the spelling) since the summer time. Clearly, you are a genius! You have learned a couple of site words to start to learn to read, but that is slower. I will take writing genius for now.

For reasons unclear to Daddy, it is very important to me for you to get a picture with Santa every year. I just can’t wait to see them all together when you are taking your kids to see Santa. Every year to date, you have refused to get near Santa – Last year, my arm pushing you closer is visible in the picture. This year – our second trip – was a success! You stood next to Santa and while you wouldn’t tell him what you wanted, you did say “thank you” several times. I have high hopes for next year having you actually sit on his lap.

We got through Christmas when you seem to have received every toy under the sun – except those you got for your birthday. We will be getting rid of some older toys that are less played with soon. You have agreed that we can do this – I am crossing my fingers that you realize what it means to share our toys with people who won’t be returning them.

beachIn the last 10 months, we have had a wonderful time with cousins coming to our house to visit, we went to the beach with our good friends (where you refused to actually get in the water, but had a grand time playing in the sand. This picture is from the big sand dunes, but the bones were added after the fact – I love this picture because you were having such a great time with your best friend.

You got a big girl bike (as a prize for both giving up the binky and pooping in the potty, along with a princess desk). You learned to swing all by yourself (from a stop all the way to pumping yourself as high as you want to swing). You are still very shy and hesitant to try new things (especially food), but you are very thoughtful and excited to do things you have thought through (except food). You hosted your first New Year’s Eve party (early in the evening) and we had your 4th birthday party with a Dr. Seuss theme.

fallIn the fall we went to a corn maze and they had giant hay bales that you jumped from and had a BALL. For Halloween you were both Tinker Bell at school, then a witch when we went trick or treating with all of your friends.

I realize this is a random smattering of facts over the last year – and I am sorry for that. Daddy and I love you so much and I hope to have more time to dedicate to your letters as you grow. However, if I don’t make it every month, it is because you are my priority – not writing about you.

Now that you have celebrated your 4th birthday, you are getting more and more excited at the chance to go to Pre-school. Most of your buddies you have known for so long are going to Kindergarten  next year – they were born a few months before you, making them eligible for the cut off – and you are making new friends all the time. You are beautiful, you are so smart and you are going to do amazing things. We love you more than you know.

Love, Mommy