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).
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!
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
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 :)
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.