My sweet, feisty, adventurous little firecracker... you're 3.
Andie. When I think about the last 3 years, I get emotional. You and your brother are absolutely, hands down, the best part of every day. You have such a huge personality. You're smart, you're sweet, you're kind, you're brave and you are absolutely beautiful. You make us laugh every day and you love to play, joke, and laugh.
It's amazing how vividly I remember meeting you for the first time. Your little body, all 5 pounds 15 ounces of you, so warm and sweet, laid on my chest for the first time. The way you looked at us in the following weeks and months, which turned into the way you interacted with us through smiles & laughs, which transformed into your sweet little voice communicating with us so well. I love getting to know you and your spirit. It's amazing that I can hold a conversation with you now. You're expressing your feelings well and will sometimes say "I'm happy, or I'm sad...." You even notice when characters in books or on tv are feeling something. I love when you tell me out of the blue "I love you so much, mama". You have also been known to tell Gramz "thank you so much, Gramz, I love it" when she gets you something. You're very expressive - and you have a way with words at just 3 years old.
The last year has completely transformed you into a little girl. Your favorite colors are pink and purple (you ordered your 3rd Birthday cake all by yourself, you even told the gal which princess you'd like on your cake "Belle"). You can't live with out your special blankies from Gramz, and you have several of them - which is good because you like to chew on them when you're tired and I have to wash and rotate them daily. Your favorite toys: figurines, anything princess related, babies, and color crayons & crafts. If asked who your favorite princess is, you'll reply "Ariel". And you love to dress up in dresses, particularly princess dresses, but any dress will do. Most days, we find you in a dress, and daddy jokes sometimes that you have more outfit changes than Beyonce in concert because you'll rotate several times through the day.
You do not like wearing pants. We will make you wear them when we're out and about, but the second we walk through the door, you strip down to your shirt and undies. You also do not like having your hair done. We struggle every day over hair ties, clips, and braids because it drives me crazy when I can't see your beautiful face... but I also just want you to feel free and comfortable to be yourself. So I don't always force you to wear your hair up. (Although, bribes of wearing my 'pretty necklaces' work pretty well). You love jewelry, make up, and all things girlie.
You potty trained in the middle of February and you did a great job. It was the trickiest thing for me so far as a parent... I wasn't sure how to handle it, but you lead the way with your independent little spirit. I started to doubt you going number two and I was trying to bribe you, yet you still wouldn't go. I took you over to Gramz & Pops house, and the second I walked out the door, you went immediately on your own for them. You didn't want bribes, celebrations, or lots of pressure. You wanted to go on your own in your own time... and that's just what you did! You've had a couple accidents here and there (maybe 4 or 5 since), but only because sometimes you'll get so wrapped up in playing you will forget.
You have two of your favorite books almost completely memorized, Princess Baby and Andie & Ariel Under The Sea. It is so dang cute to listen to you 'read' them to us at night! You stopped napping at about 2.5 years old and although it was a little challenging at first, you've gotten yourself on a pretty good schedule. Sometimes you'll take a little snooze in the car if you're tired, and you will also randomly fall asleep on the couch, but overall - no nap has made you a pretty good sleeper at night. You usually go about 12 hours. Some nights, you'll run into our bed if you have a bad dream, wake up unexpectedly, or miss us... and daddy and I love it. Holding you while you sleep is absolutely amazing... we just love you so much, Andie!
We did lots of traveling this year. We did Disneyland 4 times. The First time was for your 2nd Birthday just a few days before you turned two with Gramz & Pops and it was magical. This last time was for your 3rd Birthday with Daddy's family and it was so much fun for us all to see your excitement. You are definitely a Disney girl... you love the rides, the characters, the shows... the whole experience! We've also traveled to Maui, Monterey, Scottsdale, Bend, and Tahoe. Our trip to Bend was with mama's entire family and we made so many incredible memories. You love staying in hotels and experiencing new things. You will ask us "when are we going back to the hotel?" after we get home from trips. :)
You are a good eater. You love fruit, broccoli, mac & cheese, quesadillas, pasta, yogurt, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, and waffles. You love bath time and every night you and Nolan take a bubble bath. In the last couple weeks, you will actually clean it up after it's over and put all the toys back where they go. It was amazing how you remembered exactly how I did it.
You have a fantastic memory. This year, we took out a Santa doll that Gramz had gotten you a year prior. I pulled it out of the box (you hadn't seen it since the previous December) and you said "hey, Gramz got me that!". You've done that with several toys, and it blows our mind how well you remember little details. You've got your colors down, lots of your shapes, you have a pretty good memory of the ABCs, and you can count to 20 (sometimes!). You know how to spell your name and have quite a few songs memorized that we like to sing together. You are definitely ready for preschool... when we toured the one you're going to next year, you didn't want to leave!
You're on the taller side (about 38 inches if I had to guess, and probably around 30 pounds). You are dense, solid, yet still have a tiny little body. I can't get enough of your little figure. You have a belly just like your mama always has growing up! You have beautiful blue eyes and platinum blonde hair. You also have beautiful little features, I love to stare at your big blue eyes and lucious little lips.
Andie, you make us unbelievably proud. You have such a sweet little spirit, you love to snuggle, give kisses, and hug us. You love your family and with out knowing it, you bring all of us together. You have special relationships with your cousins and watching you all play gives me immense joy. You love your brother, and despite the normal big sister stuff, you are good to him and I know you two are always going to have a strong relationship. You have empathy, you're kind to others, and you really love older kids. You are so much fun to watch!
You are also quite fiery. You know what you want, and you like to make your own choices. I think it has to do a little with your age, but I think you are also a very confident girl. You know what you like and what you don't like. Sometimes you can be very stubborn, but you've learned that we mean what we say. We always try to be consistent with you so you understand... but we also like that you're confident in yourself and your decisions.
Sometimes I wish it were possible to really express to you the depth of my love and pride for you, but words will never do it justice. Andie, you've awaken a part of my soul I never knew existed. You and your brother make being a mom my most favorite thing in the world. I love you so incredibly much and I will forever and ever. I desperately wish time would slow down so I could keep you and your squishy little self safely in my arms, but I am also so proud to see you blossom. You are amazing and I am so proud of you. Everyday, I stare at you in awe.
Never give up on what you believe in. Nothing makes me feel more joy than when I see you smile and giggle. You are my sunshine, baby. I love you so much! I hope you feel it every single day.
Happy 3rd Birthday, my little girl. What an exciting thing to witness all of life's little blessings unfold in the next year.
Love you to the moon & back times infinity,