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Hawaiian Falls

For my fourth birthday mommy and daddy took me to Hawaiian Falls in Garland. It was a big surprise! I knew we were going somewhere fun when we spent the night and Nani and Umpa’s and then left the babies at home with Nani and Umpa but I didn’t know where. Even when we drove up and saw the water slides I wasn’t sure what we were doing. But the buggies surprise was seeing my friend Kate!

We had a great time playing in the wave pool, going down slides, and riding the current in the lazy river. We also had pizza for lunch and cotton candy! It was such a great day with mommy, daddy, Kate, and Miss Sarah! Happy birthday to me!!

After Hawaiian Falls we came home to Nani and Umpa’s and ate dinner and mommy made birthday cake! The big one was for me haha :) the little ones were for Lila and Jackson. Yummy!!

I had a great birthday!

The Last Day of School

What a great first year of school! I made great friends (Emma, Addyson, Nate, and Lilly). I learned so much! I know a ton of fun songs, am learning zoo phonics in preparation for reading, and learned to follow directions from all my teachers, Mrs Garst and Ms Sarah! I got used to a schedule, washing my hands after coming in from the playground, and how to blow my own nose! I also learned that sometimes it’s fun to be away from mommy and daddy. I can’t wait until next year!

Dear Andrea,

I’m sitting in the driveway of your Aunt Yvette and Uncle Kyle’s house in Louisiana (“easy-anna” to you) while you nap. I’m struck by how kid like you are when running around with your cousin Aidan (8 years old) but while you’re asleep with your head to the side and the toddler sleep sweat on your brow, while I watch the deep and steady rise and fall of your chest, you’re still my baby. I love you so much. You’re always my baby. Today you’re three years, nine months, and nine days old. The oldest you’ve ever been. Until tomorrow.

I love you.

Mommy.

Rainbow cupcakes! Little gym! And rainbow cupcakes!!

Dearest Andrea –

My little girl. My baby. My crazy pre-schooler. My first born. My threenager. My love. You are such an amazing little person. Watching you bloom these last seven months from only child into big sister has been amazing. It’s been hard on you, but you’ve risen to the challenge. And you love your brother and sister so much. You’ve never once asked to take them back to the hospital :) and you always ask for them first every morning. And they love you too. So much. Now that they are older and are interacting more they reach for you, they look for you, they crawl towards you (and your toys) and generally want to be where you are always. It’s amazing to see. But this is your letter, so, about you…you have really grown so so much (not so much though that you can’t sit on Daddy’s shoulders).

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Part of it is, undeniably, preschool. I think in the last month your vocabulary has tripled. Ok, maybe doubled? Either way you’ve learned a lot more words and can really express yourself. Sometimes to hilarious results. Last Friday at dinner at your Nani’s house you told us you were “used” which made no sense in context…until your Nani realized you meant you were CONFused. Hahaha. We only laughed a little bit ;) But honestly it’s a bit bittersweet that there aren’t more of those funny little Andrea-isms anymore. You’ve outgrown most of them and of course I didn’t write down nearly as many as I should have…. Bananas are no longer “ee-nas” but just bananas, and if your Daddy or I say “ee-na” you immediately correct us. Samson is still Samsam. That’s good :) But there are some new words or things that you do misunderstand or get “used” about pretty easily, so that’s always cute. You like this one Katy Perry song and today you asked to hear the “fairy” song. It took me a while to figure out that “fairy” meant Katy Perry, but eventually I did when you threw in a My Little Pony reference. Thank goodness for that! Most importantly you no longer get as mad at us when we don’t understand your Andrea-ism — that’s a relief!

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You also take notice of the littlest things — right now it’s street signs. Like the neighborhood watch signs or no parking signs. You want to know what all of them mean, especially the symbols on signs. I don’t know why you’ve started noticing them but you certainly have. You’ve also noticed business logos. Not the typical McDonald’s, although you absolutely know a McDonald’s when you see one, but local chain restaurants and Target :) You also really remember what you’re learning at school, which is really neat to see. Your teacher Mrs. Garst will send home these little email updates on occasion that will tell the parents what you’re learning, but honestly we almost always know already because you’ll start talking about the hours of the day and the hands on the clock and then the update says you’re learning about time. Or you’ll start talking about snow and snow men and cold days and we’ll find out you’ve done a whole unit on winter. It’s been very fun to see how much you’ve enjoyed school and we were really excited to register you for next year, even though it means you’ll be going every day next year! Five days a week! Ack!

On picture day

On picture day

First Valentine's Mailbox

First Valentine’s Mailbox

Socially you’ve also really blossomed. On the whole you still will hang back a bit around bigger kids but not for very long. On the playgrounds at the parks you’ll jump right in there. Sometimes it hurts my feelings when those bigger kids don’t want to play with you, and sometimes it hurts yours too, but you always find someone to play with. Even if it’s Daddy or Nani and Umpa. Yesterday we went to a swim party for your friend Kate and you had the best time. Kate is quite a bit older than you (in little kid terms – she just turned six) but you still love playing with her and really did quite well playing with her friends. But when they moved on to bigger kid activities you did fine, staying in the play pool (which was awesome with slides, and water bubblers, and a net ladder) and making new friends. I just love watching you when you don’t know I’m looking. seeing you laugh and play (and scream) as you run through the water and slide down slides. It really makes me so happy.

In the carwash :)

In the carwash :)

These last seven months have been an adjustment. For all of us. But you make me so proud and I love you so much. You seem so happy to be a big sister. I’m not sure that you even remember what it was like to be an only child. We do try hard to still do things with just you, so you can have some special time with just Mommy and Daddy, but to be honest I think you like Jackson and Lila too much for us to do that all the time :) Which is good because we’re definitely hitting a groove as a family of five. You are such a big help to your Daddy and me with the babies and you’re even able to get your own breakfast these days depending on what it is — which is huge! Especially since the last few weeks you’ve been waking up every day around 7…ouch!

But really I can’t complain, when you get up early we all end up getting up early and that just helps make sure we’re on time to school! I love our morning drives together — it’s a quick drive to the carpool lane but we have some of our best chats on the way to school. I love you Andrea, you’re always going to be my baby girl. Always. And forever.

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Love,

Mommy

Texas Pioneer Adventure

Nani and Umpa took me, the babies, and Ma-Mom to the Arboretum. We had fun, looked at lots of flowers, had a hot dog and hot chocolate, and went to a part of the gardens I’d never been to before. They had mini Andrea sized houses to play in!

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Even Umpa had fun playing with the toys…ah, what kind of weird toy is that Umpa?

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It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had a wonderful visit! I’m really excited to go back to the gardens this Spring as often as Nani and Umpa will take me.DSC_6574

Monday Morning Cutie

Mom snapped this picture on our way to school this morning. She said I was too adorable not to take a picture of :) Nani bought me this dress when I was just born and I’m finally big enough to wear it. I guess Nani knew I’d love puppies! Thanks Nani for the awesome dress :)

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