Happy 3rd Birthday, Natalie!
In Natalie’s 2-year post, I opened with: “I know I said 12 months, 16 months, 18 months, etc. was fun, but I have to admit – having a 2-year-old is more fun than I could have imagined! Natalie is definitely a toddler.”
At 3 years old, she is much more of a little girl than a toddler. And living with a 3-year-old means you experience very high highs and very low lows – all within 10 seconds or less. Last weekend, she gleefully exclaimed, “you cannot catch me Mama,” then tripped because the top part of her body got ahead of her feet, and then was sobbing uncontrollably, resulting in a long hug from mom and being carried by dad on the way to see Santa. There is a lot of fun that goes along with 3 – ha, but also a lot of negotiation, modeling good behavior and working through feelings.
Height/Weight: 34 lbs (75th percentile) and 37.25 inches (50th percentile). That’s 2 lbs more and nearly 2 inches more than she was at her 2.5-yr-appt. And the exact same percentiles. (3-4 inches taller than last year)!
Personality: Silly. Goofy. Enthusiastic. Curious. Caring, especially towards her brother. Orderly (as in liking sequence and routine). Negotiator. (Or, as she calls it – compromising. Example below.)
Mom: Natalie, let’s put on your pants so we can see Santa.
Natalie: Usually we don’t need to wear pants with a dress.
Mom: Yes, I understand that. However, its super cold outside, so we need to wear pants.
Natalie: But, but… Usually we don’t need to wear pants with a dress.
Mom: Tell you what, you can take off your pants once we are at church. But you need to wear pants on the walk to church to see Santa.
Natalie: No, here’s a compromise. No pants.
Mom: No, Natalie, the compromise is that you can take off your pants once we are AT church.
(The best is when she presents a real compromise and then tells me… “That’s a compromise, Mom.” As if I wasn’t the one who taught her the word! And, in this particular scenario, I couldn’t convince her, so I had Jordan and her go outside without pants to see how cold it was. And welcome to 10 degrees in Chicago in Dec, Natalie. Its her 4th winter, but she doesn’t remember that!)
Favorite Activities: Having her favorite people over (like Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Pop), Singing (we frequently get impromptu concerts), Playing make-believe (with a dollhouse, any little figures “going to the grocery store”), Taking care of Baby Ellie*, Swimming, Dancing, Running, Going to the Park (haven’t done a lot of that lately), Reading, Playing kitchen, Baking, Playing Hide and Seek, Going to the Children’s Museum, Going to the Zoo.
*Two weekends ago, we were setting up our Christmas decorations. She LOVED seeing her Christmas stocking – hand-stitched by Nana (many, many hours of loving stitching – god bless her). Natalie noted right away that Elliott didn’t have one yet. When we called Nana to say ‘thank you’ for the stocking and tell her that Elliott still needed one, she did say, “Baby Ellie needs one too.” Baby Ellie is the 5th member of our family – and she turns 1 today!
Daddy’s Top Activity: TBD – Daddy’s busy working right now. I gave him nearly 2 weeks notice on this post and don’t want to wait any more. In his defense, he is catching up on work because he came home at 3 today, so that we could take birthday pictures, go out for birthday ice cream (in exchange for no more pacifier) and see the lights at the Zoo! He is such an awesome Dad.
(Note on the Pacifier. This poor little girl was going through serious withdrawal tonight at bedtime. I gave her a new pink bear lovey as a very week substitute…. Now, note to self: Make sure that Elliott gives up his paci by 18 mo at the absolute latest.)
Mommy’s Top Activity: So hard to say. My fav is just joking around with her. Even small things, like at dinner the other night, she mistakenly took a drink of my water…. and I gave her a questioning look (with a smile) and said, “Who’s water is that?” She tapped her mouth with her fingers (which is a move both my mom and I do), with a little smile, and pretended to think about it. Or, when we discovered a pickle ornament, she was like, “who would have a pickle ornament (insert cute inflection)”? and pretended to eat it like corn on the cob, while singing and on the potty.
Least Favorite Activities: Well, my least favorite activity with her is potty training. Ugh. Natalie’s least favorite activities are washing her hands with soap after going to the potty, sharing select stuffed animals with Elliott, and having Elliott touch her feet. Having her hair in face (she corrects this by greasing up her “bangs” with water and slicking it back like an Italian mobster).
Milestones: Working on potty training. She talks in complete sentences (or paragraphs, chapters, books…. she can really talk a lot).
Favorite Foods: Grilled Cheese. Milk. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Cupcakes (Two weekends ago… “I wish I could go to Trevor’s birthday so we could have cupcakes”). Cantaloupe. Applesauce. Protein shake (which we also make into frozen fruit pops for a healthy treat.). Dried Fruit. Granola Bars. Strawberries. (You can see a lot of “sometimes” foods have made their way onto this list.)
Favorite Books: The Great Big Bible. Yes, seriously. Our friends Jasper and Maeve kindly gave it to Elliott for being born, and Natalie intercepted the gift early on. This kids bible is 200+ pages, with fun pictures, but complex stories. Maybe she’s a nun in training…. She still loves Dr. Seuss, Fancy Nancy, and Dora. I am trying to encourage some non-fiction as well – any favorites you recommend???
Favorite Friends: The entourage in her bed continues to grow – its a good thing she has a double. It now includes Baby Ellie, 3 Mouseys, Dora, Boots, 3 Hello Kitties, Penguin (Aunt Lisa G – this is the one you gave her at Mike’s wedding), Nemo, Yot, and Rudolph. When Jordan and I both join in for bedtime stories (Elliott goes to bed about 75 minutes before her 7:30pm bedtime), he often is squished up against the wall, on his side. Poor Dado. In terms of actual people friends her age, most of them are from Little Gems or kids of my girlfriends from college. And her cousins. We’re lucky to have so many fun people to hang out with for play dates!