Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Third Birthday Anna!

Dear Anna,

You are such an amazing girl! This year has been fabulous as your personality is in full bloom.

I have a very high level of respect for you and you make some amazing choices. You do the laundry often in order to earn money to buy toys or other things. I offer you an opportunity to do laundry if you want to earn coins and you always choose to do it! You can earn 10 pennies for each part of a load (filling the washer, changing the laundry to the dryer, and emptying the dryer) you can get 30 coins for load and if you did it quickly you can earn a 5 coin bonus! Last month you saved your coins all month because you decided you wanted to buy a peppa pig DVD. You always save part of your money in the bank and give part to tithing. I am so proud of how much you are learning to manage money.

You help clean up and will put away your laundry and toys if asked. Sometimes you make a mess but you always clean up when instructed. A few months ago you pulled everything out of the linen closet and put all away (with quite a bit of prompting) but the point is you did it without help!

Sometimes you make bad choices and have consequences but I am amazed at how well you handle them. If you lose a toy for the day you may cry for a minute but then you accept it and ask if you can try again tomorrow!

Your imagination is amazing! You are the best pretender I know. Often taking Mom and day on "vacation," or to "church," or "play group/preschool," using different rooms throughout the house. You transform the rooms of our house into elevators (which you refer to as lifts), airports (where we are even required to remove our shoes and put them on the "machine" as we pass through security. You love pretending to be characters from Peppa Pig, or the Gruffalo and as of late hot crocodiles (like any crocodiles near the space shuttle take off).

You love pretending to be a baby or playing with babies especially with your present baby.

[caption id="attachment_1062" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Present baby joined the family Christmas 2010"][/caption]

You also love anything do with baby Jesus and still in the middle of summer will pretend to be Mary taking care of baby Jesus, whom is often a girl, as is almost everyone in most of the stories you perform. Often you take baby Jesus to play group or preschool.

You are an avid reader. You love hearing stories and will often ask me to read to you. You even love longer stories that children your age often don't have patience for. Last summer you fell in love with the Berenstein Bears, whose stories are rather long. At bedtime you are allowed to chose two stories and you even now, a year later, often chose two Berenstein Bear stories which makes for a rather long story time!

You have developed several new friendships this year! You love playing with Jessica, Winter, and Maia from church. They all came to your birthday party this year! Sadly, in December your best friend, lily moved to America. But, you still were able to see her in June just before your birthday so we had a bit of pre-birthday cupcake party.

To help you learn about safety this year I made up stories that we tell in car about a little mouse called "safety mouse." You constantly learn from her example and if you are starting to do a behavior that is not safe I will make up a story about how safety mouse learned not to do it and you will internalize the story and often stop the behavior.

You have an amazing memory recalling all kinds of details including the lift we took to get to the beach in Whitby almost a year ago! You bring up things that happen once such as when I asked what you would like for dinner and jokinngly said we could have hot oats. Then I said that I was teasing as we don't have hot oats for dinner and you replied correctly that we had once, when we went to the pool with church people which was 3 months prior to the conversation!

You have loved the moon for a long time. You decided you want to go and visit the moon a while ago, before you even knew people had been to the moon. After you told me you wanted to go to the moon I showed you the video of the first moon landing. You decided you want to go as a family and jump on the moon.

Everyday that it is not raining you and daddy go outside to do "tight" which is one of your favorite things to do together!

In April we moved to a village outside of Harrogate and we moved just one house away from sheep pastures! You love going to visit the sheep and baby lambs (although they are not babies now)! You go and sing and sometimes play musical instruments for them!

You are an amazing big sister and ever since you found out we were going to have another baby you would sing to her, cuddle her, and kiss her while she was growing in my tummy!

[caption id="attachment_1068" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Holding a picture of your little sister at her ultrasound appointment!"][/caption]

When she was born you would always want to hold, huge or take care of her even though sometimes you are a little too strong and have not quite got the hang of being gentle yet. But you are constantly trying to get better. While I was in the bathroom this morning and the baby was crying I was a little worried as to what you were going to do when I was done and came quickly into the room I found you standing and singing to her to help her calm down And it worked! You started by singing the alphabet song but remembered that the baby loves Away in a Manger (most likely because you love it and sang it to her almost the whole pregnancy). Once you sang Away in a Manger Elizabeth settled down and listened.

You enjoy doing art projects. You love painting and doing a variety of different projects. We bought some wall stickers for you to use to put your projects up on the wall in your room. You room is very nicely decorated! You are very talented.

We have gone to some fun places this year. You LOVE to travel!

In September we went to Robin Hoods Bay and stayed in the Truck house! It was a lot of fun! You had a great time going to the seaside, having fish and chips, and looking around at local attractions. In October we took a train down to London and although I had morning sickness for the whole trip we were able to see a lot of fun things including the dwali festival, the sunflower seed exhibit at the Tate Museam, Shakespears Globe theatre, and Windsor Castle.

In December we were able to go see our family in America. You had a blast playing with your cousins and it was a lot of fun to see everyone.

In March we went to Bruges via what you call the boat hotel (ferry). We had a fun exploring the city and you especially liked eating Belgian chocolate, waffles, and fries!

[caption id="attachment_1075" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Chocolate Museum in Bruges"][/caption]

You participated in a variety of activities this year. You continued taking swimming lessons and have learned a lot in the past year, your confidence in the water has grown a lot and you have even floated by yourself a few times (for just a couple of seconds).

You took a jo jingles class earlier in the year and had a lot of fun with the songs and dancing. You especially liked raising money for the sick children by participating in the sing-a-thon.

[caption id="attachment_1073" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Sing a Thon"][/caption]

You had your first term of classes at the little gym and love them! You talk about the little gym all the time.

[caption id="attachment_1074" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The Little Gym"][/caption]

In April you had a big step as you started preschool and play group! You LOVE going so much! Sometimes you don't even care when I come to pick you up because you are so busy doing other things!

[caption id="attachment_1067" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="First day of Preschool bringing Gruffalo's Child to show"][/caption]

This year truly has been full of wonder and excitement. Watching you grow has brought us great joy. I could go on on but I think it is sufficient to say that we are so glad you are part of our family! We love you so much! Thank you for being you!


Mommy and Daddy
Peppa and George Pig
Mommy and Daddy Hot Crocodile
Gruffalo mommy and Gruffalo daddy
et. al.