And just like, you’re 3.5. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around how that’s even possible, because it still seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital, trying to figure out our new life together. You turned 3.5 about a week ago, and I’ve been putting off this post because I know how hard it would be to write. But, I want you to have these types of posts to look back on one day, so here we are.
My sweet Adeline. You are the most beautiful little girl I have ever laid eyes on, and you continue to grow more and more beautiful each and every day. Your eyes are full of sparkle, and your blonde curls perfectly frame your face and delicate features. You’ve gotten so tall, and your arms and legs are so thin and petite. Gone are the days of leftover baby fat! Some days I look at you and wonder how you could have possibly been inside my belly at one time and more so how I ever lived without knowing you. You are the little girl I always dreamed of, but never could have imagined. You’ve grown up right before my eyes, so, so quickly, and it’s been my greatest joy to watch you, become you. You are one of a kind, my love, and the world is surely only big enough for one Adeline Elizabeth. I wish I could bottle you up, exactly as you are now, for the rest of time, but then I’d just think the same thing again tomorrow. And the next day. Each stage with you has been the best yet, and I count my lucky stars every night that God chose me to be your mother, and your biggest fan.
At 3.5 years old, you are as sweet as you are fierce. You are stubborn like your mother, and bound and determined to do things your way, but you’re also kind, and gentle. You make sure to be friends with everyone, something we remind you of every morning before school. You love hard, and big, and thrive off of people, but also enjoy your alone time. You crave a little time to recharge your batteries, and even though you fight it, you always come out refreshed and ready to take on another adventure. “Relax time” is what we call it these days. You’re intelligent beyond your years it seems, and constantly surprise us with what you’ve learned. Watching you learn to write your name, your letters, and most recently start to draw, has been amazing and we are so proud of you. Holding a conversation with you is so fun, and it’s amazing how talkative you are. Sometimes, you don’t stop talking, ha! You’ve become our little buddy it seems, and you’re your own little person! Your reasoning skills, humor, and innocence always make us smile. (Like the other night when you saw a guy with an eye patch and you said it was probably because he’s a pirate. Obvi.) You’re witty like your dad, and when you think something’s funny, your giggles are just the best! When you sing, it’s music to our ears and your little voice we’re convinced is straight from Heaven. Your memory is like a sealed vault, never letting anything escape from it. This is both good and bad, because you never let us forget a promise. Your eyes are like a hawk – sometimes we think you have eyes in the back of your head and you for sure have perfect vision. You’re a big cuddler, and we think your love language might be personal touch. But, “don’t look at me!” is still a common phrase, so there’s that. You’re undecided on what you want to be when you grow up, but have made it known that you’re going to ride a rocket to Mars. This scares Mommy a little bit, but your dad is super pumped. (You love watching SpaceX launches with Daddy!)
You love all things pink, purple, flowers, and girly. You love your dolls and babies. You love your kitchen and always concoct the best meals and we’re constantly finding your play dishes and food around the house. You love anything that involves coloring or stickers, and could draw and color and trace and practice your letters for hours. You love playing outside, especially on your monkey bars, and love to show off your tricks. You love to help with anything in the yard, and love flowers and nature. You love your gymnastics class, and are doing so well! You beam with pride when you learn a new skill, and it’s been so fun to watch you. You recently discovered how much you like to play in the mud and dirt, and you always want to exercise with us. You love riding on the cart at stores, and love making trips to Walmart, Target, Kroger, and Home Depot specifically! You love Blippi, and watching movies and singalong videos – especially Mother Goose Club. You beg us to watch Barbie, and love Alexa & Katie. You love a good bubble bath, and are always sad when bath time is over. You love having an Elsa braid, but sometimes request a top bun or a ponytail like mommy. Wearing bows is hit or miss, but if you can pick out the bow you’re a happy camper. You still prefer to wear play dresses, and if you could wear either jellies or rain boots everywhere, you would. Your dress-up princess dresses are still a favorite, and you can never pick just one. You love to jump from the stairs, climb on the stairs, and well, climb on anything really. If you can hang from it, you’ll find a way, and you’ve been practicing your cartwheel. You’re still practicing your balance bike, and I know you’ll get the hang of it soon. You love pretending, and will tell us when you’re pretending in a “duh, guys!” kind of way. You love to build towers with your blocks and legos, and they are usually quite impressive! You love to spend special 1:1 time with each of us, and go on special errands and dates. You love ice cream, smoothies aka poothies AKA milkshakes, animal crackers, dino nuggets, corn dogs, Waffle House, and a good chocolate chip cookie, just like mom. You eat a fairly healthy diet other than that, (really, you do!) and have always been a pretty good eater – meat and veggies are your jam! I’m not sure I’ve ever met a toddler who loves broccoli and carrots as much as you do! (And ranch! So much ranch!) You love church, and God, and Bible class. You love to say your prayers with us at night. You love preschool, and learning, and for that I am so thankful. You show signs of being a leader (though maybe a tad bossy at times!), and we’re loving seeing your personality traits develop.
Becoming a big sister was a challenge at first, but towards the end of 2018, you turned a corner and decided you were MADE to be a sister. You love your baby brother so much, and proudly show him off to everyone. You love talking about him, and sharing stories about him. You’re definitely possessive of him, and let everyone know “that’s MY baby brother!” Playing with him always makes you laugh and smile from ear to ear, and I can always count on you for extra entertainment. You’re the best helper there ever was, when you’re in the mood to help, of course. Sometimes you don’t want to help, and that’s ok, we know your new role comes with a lot of new responsibilities and that can be hard and tiring. When you make baby brother laugh, it’s so cute, and makes our hearts grow even more. You love playing peekaboo, tickling him, yelling his name, holding him (trying to at least!), climbing into his crib, and you insist on saying goodnight before bed every night. When I’m nursing him to sleep, you love to sneak in and give him the sweetest hug and kiss on the head and my heart just melts. We’re so glad you finally came around – we knew you would. He doesn’t know yet how lucky he is to have you. I imagine you to be his greatest protector.
You know, it’s been hard on us too, sweet girl, this whole you becoming a big sister thing. It’s been harder than we ever imagined it would be – especially on our hearts. You were our entire world for exactly 34 months, and then we changed your world forever. There are still times when I miss the days when it was just the three of us, but only because I miss when my attention could be undivided. It’s hard telling you I can’t play with you because baby brother needs something, and it’s even harder knowing sometimes you just don’t understand. I still miss putting you to bed every night, but Daddy has mostly taken over that job and you both adore it. He brushes your hair, reads you two books, and scratches your back until you’re (both!) almost asleep. On nights when I get to put you to bed, I feel like I could rock you for hours, and lay in bed and snuggle with you all night long. When you curl up close, and put your hands on mine, I wish I could freeze time. You still have a tough time sometimes letting us leave your room, but for the most part you go to bed fairly easily. “I just want you” and “Lay with me for one more minute” tug at our heartstrings and I think you know that! You still have to have your Anna Elsa blanket, PupPup, Mr Snuggles, or MonkeyMonkey, and you sleep on top of your bed in your purple unicorn sleeping bag. There are countless other stuffed animals and blankets on your bed, and piles of books and toys mixed between. Your room has become your sanctuary, and you love it. You’ve been given the freedom to leave your room at night and in the morning to go potty, and are rocking night-time potty training. You’re officially out of pull-ups, and doing so good.
Adeline, you may be a little stinker sometimes, but your sweet moments make up for it. You have taught us so much, and continue to do so, and we have to remind ourselves that we’re all doing this for the first time together. Being our first, you’re our guinea pig, but so far you’ve taken it with stride and we don’t think we’ve blown it, yet! We’re learning what makes you anxious, and what scares you, what makes you mad and what irritates you. We’re learning how to best help you cope with your emotions and all your feelings, and how best to discipline you. You usually respond best to time out and a sit down talk with one of us, though sometimes you need to cool off in your room. Not listening, talking back, white lies, sharing, and “no” are lessons we’re still working on and trying to understand. Being 3.5 is a tough gig, much harder than the 2’s ever were, but we’re doing our best to be patient with one another, and go to bed joyful.
I could go on and on with what 3.5 is like, but it would never be enough. We love you so much, and couldn’t be more proud of you or proud to be your parents. I love nothing more than when I hear that you look like me, because I am just so proud to be your mom. I want to be just like YOU when I grow up, Adeline. I tell you every night, and have since you were a baby, that I love you “more than all the stars in the universe” and I hope you’ll always know how true that is. There isn’t a galaxy in our universe that could contain my love for you. Every time you hug me, I take a deep breathe and inhale every part of your sweetness, because I’m all too aware of how soon you won’t be little anymore. I hope you’ll always need me, as much as I need you. I love you, sweet girl. You’re going to do BIG things.