Thursday, August 14, 2008

She's "Free"

To My Emma Girl,

Wow, you are "free" years old today. I can hardly believe it! Before my very eyes, you have transformed into this little person, full of life and personality. You manage to keep me young while still giving me many, many gray hairs.

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Let's start with you your unlimited amount of energy. Anyone who knows you will not argue the fact that you are ALWAYS on the go and ALWAYS running at top speed. The term "slow down" has somehow missed your vast vocabulary, even though I say it a million times a day. You are extremely physical and love anything that has to do with moving – dancing, kicking, running in circles. One of your favorite things to do lately is perform a little dance for our family with the music from Kendall's Gym-tastics tunnel. The best part of your performance is definitely the finale, in which you always have a new pose.

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You also are fascinated with golf. Dancing I can relate to, but golf, well, you lost me. That is definitely more of a Daddy thing. The two of you like to go outside while Daddy hits his golf balls. You even like to watch it on TV and can recognize Tiger Woods. This explains your birthday gift from Daddy. He is convinced this passion indicates something about your future, but we'll see. For now, I just like the way you look in a visor. ;)

Your energy, of course, often gets you in trouble. You love your little sister so much that you often forget to be "gentle" – another word you hear very often. Your Kendall hugs overflow with love, but often end up in a tackle. Luckily,your sister doesn't care (most of the time). Her face lights up and her legs kick every time she sees you. No one can make her giggle like you, and I can tell she is already trying to keep up with you. This scares Mommy more than a little, but I know the two of you will be great playmates. Kendall has a lot to look up to.

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You do play hard, but thankfully that means you also sleep hard. I often joke that you are either "on" or "off." You still take a great 2-hour nap for me every day and sleep about 10-11 hours a night (usually). Mommy truly thanks you for this because after a long day of non-stop go, go, go, I need a break too!

As of the last month, you sleep in a big girl bed and are doing great. Unless you have to go potty – or if someone fun like Auntie Jenni is over – you stay put until morning. You are still an early riser – 6 am – which I'm not so crazy about. I am still hoping we can somehow push that to 6:30am this next year!

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You still love to sleep with Smooshy and your binkie and blanket, but you are just about to give up your binkie. For months we have discussed how when you turn three, you longer need it at night. We will be sending your binkies to Dr. Rojas so that a new baby can use them. You seem okay with the theory, but we'll see how this actually goes tomorrow.

Diapers are a thing of the past. You have been "potty trained" for the last year, but with the birth of Kendall and other developmental milestones, we have had our setbacks. But you are now fully trained and only wear undies, both at naptime and at night. Even at 3am, you let me know if you have to go potty and quickly go back to bed. I can't believe how well you have adjusted.

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Your active spirit also likes to be fed. You love to eat! You have a full meal every time you sit down and usually eat every last bite. Your favorites are turkey hotdogs, rice noodles, avocado, canned green beans, and spaghetti and turkey meatballs (with sauce of course)! And fruit of ANY kind – blueberries, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, "applepines" – you name it, you eat it. We still haven't done dairy yet, but you have had some soy yogurt and rice ice cream – and pizza without cheese. We have noticed that "red" food like tomatoes and strawberries do make you break out around your mouth a little bit, so we limit those as well. Mommy is still hoping you grow out of all of this within the next year so you can enjoy some of the fun things in life like cheese and milk chocolate! For now you enjoy your "special cupcakes" and "special cookies" and really don't know any different.

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You have a zest for learning and retain most of what you are told. Your favorite book right now is a Winnie the Pooh Animals encyclopedia your Uncle Johnny bought you. It's not quite the relaxing nighttime book I'd like to read, but it is the one you choose every night. You know that a baby Kangaroo is called a joey and that spiders have oil on their feet to keep them from sticking to their webs. I admit that Mommy has also learned a lot these past 2 months. In fact, you often correct Daddy and me if we forget a word or misread something.

Your vocabulary amazes me. I can hold real conversations with you, and I often forget how old you really are. The things that come out of your mouth are so grown up. Like the other day when you were leaving for Grammie's and said, "Call me if you need me. Okay, Mommy?" Or last week at the park when you told me, "I can handle it," when I attempted to help you climb up the "big kids'" ladder. You also have no problem reminding me when I'm not using "nice words" or when I am being crabby. We have already gotten in a few "No you're not/ Yes I am!" fights that have me very worried about your teenage years.

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You are extremely passionate, which makes discipline hard, but we are working through it. Right now you are learning how to deal with your emotions. "I am angry of this!" comes out of your mouth a lot, complete with a scrunched up nose and sometimes a stomp or pound on the ground. Mommy tries to keep a straight face most of the time while we talk about what has made you so mad. Usually it's because you aren't able to do what you want. And trust me, you know EXACTLY what you want – and what you don't!

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Independence has always been one of your strongest personality traits, and I have learned to just let you figure things out for yourself, no matter how much I want to help. Whether it's figuring out puzzles or washing your hands, "I can do it, Mommy" is always at the tip of your tongue. So I let you do it until you ask for help or get frustrated. I just pray that you know I am always here to help you, and that it is okay to ask for help once in a while. It is a lesson I only recently learned myself.

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Your tough exterior only makes your loving heart that much sweeter. You love with such intensity that those of us that get to receive it can't help but feel special. Your kisses and hugs are truly a blessing to our hearts.

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You have been through a lot this past year, and I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of how you've handled it all. In addition to all of the changes that come along with being 2 years old, you also had to deal with Mommy's unplanned hospital stay and a new baby in the house.

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We also moved you into Grandma and Grandpa's house, which you have handled extremely well. You love having your family around you all the time. I actually think you are going to be bored once our new house is built. As you often say to me during the day, "Where are all my friends?"

Emma, today you are "free," which is fitting in so many ways. My free-spirited little bunny that will forever keep me on toes. You do make me crazy a lot of the time, but you also make me smile and laugh more than anyone else can. You teach me patience; you teach me to relax; and most importantly, you teach me to rely on God. For He created you, and only He knows the plans He has for you. I just get the honor of trying to help you become the woman He intends. So far, I am more than proud of who you are and can't wait to see what the next few years hold for you.
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I love you, Punky. Happy 3rd Birthday!

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9 comments:

amanda said...

What a sweet post, Lisa! :) I can't believe she's already 'free'...and I LOVE the "I am angry of this" comment...so cute!
Happy Birthday Sweet Emma!!!! :)

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday Emma!!

Mama C-ta said...

Happy birthday! We think you'll like the "Frees" very much! What a sweet tribute Les!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Aw- happy birthday, Emma!!

Steph

Jennifer said...

Hope you had a great birthday Emma!!!

Tracey said...

What a big girl! Happy birthday, Emma!

jen e. said...

Wow! Forgot to check this on Emma's special day. What a great post!
Emma you are so sweeet, smart and very funny. Lucas can't wait to meet you! You are going to be a great, big cousin to him.

I hope you and mommy and Kendall had a wonderful day celebrating your birthday(even tho you were sick)!

I love you so much! XOXOXO

Aunt Jenni

grandma bernard said...

Me, too! I am so spoiled to have you living with us, that I forget that this is yours to read someday :-) Oh my little 'Funny Monkey' how I love watching you take this world by storm. You are such a little dynamo & yet there are those precious, stolen, sweet moments when you snuggle up & say "Grandma, read me a story" or just plain "I love you, Grandma". You are the personification of "JOY" and you share it everyone who is blessed enough to know you. Most importantly, even at this young age of 'free', you love Jesus, I can't wait to see the plans He has for you. I love you so much, but He loves you even more :-)

Jill N. said...

Emma- Happy Birthday little one! It is hard to believe that I have been reading your blog for 3+ years!! You have brought me a lot of laughs and smiles! I am glad your mom does this for you, and for all of us. Keep blessing the world with your presence!

Lisa- Thanks to you for sharing Emma's stories with all of us! I can not wait till its my turn! Maybe in 4-5 months we will get started! Hugs, Jill