Three Years Old, Hula Girl Style

My little Hula Girl turned three about a week and a half ago. I have been putting off this post just because there is so very much to put into it. But I figured if I don’t do it now, I might forget all the great stuff I wanted to include. So without further ado, I present Hula Girl at three:

Vitals/Medical-

She weighs 34.5 pounds and is 37.75 inches tall, which puts her in the 75th percentiles for both height and weight. This continues to amaze me. Again, Jonathan and I are NOT TALL. So silly.

Her eczema flared up a while back when she went camping. The air was just so dry there. I also think it had something to do with her sleeping in a brand new sleeping bag that I hadn’t washed yet. Other than this incidence, we haven’t dealt with eczema in a very long while.

She had a couple ear infections and colds this winter. She is just not good at being sick. She is not gracious about it at all. She doesn’t just want to lay on the couch and watch movies. She wants to play games, read, snuggle, and basically be all up in my business 24/7. I can totally relate- I still call my Mommy (and cry!) when I feel sick.

She seems to have some kind of breathing/coughing thing that gets irritated in the wind or smoke or when she has a cold. The recent and current fires in our area have really wreaked havoc on her little respiratory system. She’s been waking up several times at night and first thing in the morning coughing really awful-sounding coughs. Poor baby.

Eating-

She is becoming pickier. Over the last couple months, she has actually started to show pickiness, which she has never done before. I think it’s an age thing, because really, what kid likes yellow squash and cucumbers but not zucchini?? I think she just decided she doesn’t like it. And that’s fine. We give her what we are having for dinner (I make sure to include something I KNOW she will like) and she must taste everything on her plate. She tells me every meal, “I must taste it, but I don’t have to like it.” If she wants more of something, she must have at least tasted everything else on the plate. Today she had large helpings of corn and applesauce for lunch, but I insisted on her tasting her cottage cheese and potato first. No big deal. We are just continuing to make no issues over meals.

On the positive side, she is very into fruit of all kinds, except bananas (I can’t blame her on that one- I hate them!). She really loves bread of all kinds. She requests cupcakes, candy, and hot chocolate at least twice daily. She has those treats only on very special occasions, but I guess she figures it never hurts to ask! She has recently been into soup and will actually eat it; this is something totally new to her. Before the age of 3, she never ate soup at all. Macaroni and cheese continues to be the reigning champion in the “foods Hula Girl likes” category.

Sleeping-

She is needing less and less sleep. I have heard that some kids start to skip naps here and there right around this age. Hula Girl has skipped two naps in the last 3 weeks. She just lays awake in bed, singing and talking quietly to herself. Except yesterday she got up out of bed, moved her potty over to stand on it and turn on the light, grabbed her bulb syringe, and was walking in circles sucking out her nose when I found her 45 minutes into naptime. Le sigh. Fortunately on days she misses her nap, we have been able to implement a very early bedtime and she has gone to sleep with no problems. She is averaging about 12-13 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period these days, which is a significant drop from the 15-16 she was getting a year ago. She has not experienced any bad dreams/fears yet. This morning she woke up screaming because her toddler rail had come off her bed and she almost fell out. But other than that, her sleep is still deep and undisturbed, for the most part.

Activities-

Hula Girl has started ballet classes. She looooooves ballet. We practice all her steps at home, day in and day out. Poor Gelato has had to learn how to do first position, and he can’t even stand up on his own two feet yet.

Storytime is still big in our lives. We go every Tuesday, and Hula Girl just loves it. We’re to the point where I remember doing these exact same crafts about a year ago… but she doesn’t. It’s her experience that counts, anyway.

Etc. (We do a lot of the same stuff. Swimming, playground, walks, learning activities, and so on. I just don’t feel like reiterating the content of my entire blog over the past two and a half years.)

Big Sister-

Hula Girl is a fantastic big sister. Her “little Bo” could not be more spoiled or adored by an older sibling. She is constantly talking to him, bringing him toys, and following him around cheering for him. Today he climbed all the way up the stairs and she was right next to him the whole way, saying, “Yay! Another one! Good work, Yeedoo Bubba! Yay! I am so proud of you!” Her enthusiasm over his achievements is absolutely heartwarming.

She is only very slightly jealous of him when Jonathan comes home from work. If Gelato does something cute and both Jonathan and I respond, Hula Girl will be guaranteed to do the exact same thing within about three seconds. Unfortunately, adorable things that area done innocently and sweetly at 10.5 months old are not so adorable when done purposefully and LOUDLY at three years old. But really, this is the only time we see any kind of jealousy.

Personality-

If you were meeting Hula Girl for the first time, this might be your experience. You might walk into our house and see her hiding behind the chair or behind me. You might greet her only to have her grunt out a muffled, “Hi.” You might come sit in the living room and talk to me for a few minutes. Then you might play with Gelato for a bit (who would likely have crawled into your lap and started trying to give you ginormous slobbery baby kisses by now). Suddenly, Hula Girl might come over and tart talking to you, then rope you into playing ponies, then do a puzzle with you, then sit on your lap and bring you book after book after book after book after book… Then you might be told that you are not you anymore; rather, you are an otter. Or a bear. Or a mouse. Then you might be called “Big Mousie” for the rest of your visit/life. And you might be expected to answer a lot of questions about mice, such as what mice eat and where mice live and how mice crawl and why mice like cheese… And if you decide to play hide and seek with her, well, let’s just say you ‘ll have a best friend forever. And I won’t stop hearing your name for weeks after you visit.

She is slow to warm up. Very. But once she’s comfortable, she is impossible to keep quiet or busy elsewhere. She must be part of the conversation at all times, leading us to have to enforce the “interrupt rule” and bust out the phrase, “It is none of your business.” She is very smart and it is therefore fun to talk to her and hear what she has to say. She has a lot to say. All the time. She is inquisitive to the power of annoying. She loves to learn, talk, discover, discuss, pretend, and ask questions. Her brain is fascinating.

God, Jesus, and the Bible-

Hula Girl absolutely loves Jesus. With all her heart. I hope hope hope and pray all the time that her love will turn into a lifesaving relationship with him in her future, when she understands more. For now, she sings praise songs at every quiet moment, prays out loud for everything from her “ouchies” to the fire ants crawling across the sidewalk, and gets a kick out of repeating her memory verses for anyone who will listen. She requests to hear Bible stories frequently and she emulates the way other people show their worship during church (finger pointing, hands outstretched, dancing in the aisles, etc.- she tries them all out).

The other night she pointed to her chest and said, “Right here, under my skin, it is brown.” I asked her why it was brown. She said, “Because God is in here and he wears brown.”

For Posterity-

I read a blog whose author reminded me that I wanted to do a questionnaire each year around Hula Girl’s birthday so some of her thoughts and ideas could be preserved “as is.” Today I asked her these questions at lunch. Some of her answers were funny, some were profound. None of them were surprising, coming from my little compassionate happy Jesus-loving girlie girl.

1. What is the meaning of life? I don’t know.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? A mommy.

3. What gives you the most happiness? God.

4. When do you feel most loved? When I’m happy.

5. What are you afraid of? Tigers. (This was said after MUCH hesitation- it seemed like she was racking her brain to think of ANYTHING she might be afraid of. We don’t usually discuss fears simply because she hasn’t expressed any as of yet. I am interested to see how this changes in the next year or so.)

6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? A boat.

7. What is the funniest word in the world? I surely do love you!

8. What is the hardest thing to do? Button my coat.

9. What is the easiest thing to do? Zip my coat.

10. What is the best thing in the whole world? God. No, I know what it is. Going to Heaven.

11. What is the worst thing in the whole world? When you don’t feel good. 

12. What makes you mad? When you cry.

13. What is the meaning of love? I love you! I love you!

14. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? I would put it in my flamingo purse. Actually, where is my flamingo purse? 

To My Grown-Up Baby

Dear Hula Girl,

You will always be my first baby. The first baby I smelled in the middle of the night while patting and rocking you gently back to sleep. The first baby I dressed up in supercute albeit ridiculous outfits for trips to the mailbox between naps. The first baby I watched develop and grow. The first baby I fretted over, cried over, prayed over, and loved over and over and over and over. There will never be another first, and I am so glad my first was you.

Your hair is getting long now. It is long enough to get all tangled when the wind whips it while you breeze about the backyard, shoveling piles of dirt and rocks and splashing in the water table. It is long enough to need a brushing when you wake up from a nap all sweaty and groggy. It is long enough to be blow-dried all shiny and fresh in the evenings after your bath. That hair of yours- it’s been tricky throughout your life. When you were a tiny baby still in my tummy, you had a ton of it. It even showed up on the ultrasound! When you were born, we realized it was only long on the back of your head. You had a mohawk for months and months, except for the bald spot that got rubbed off from sleeping on your back. When the bald spot was gone and the rest of the hair filled in, we couldn’t figure out whether your hair would be red like mine or blond like Daddy’s when he was a little boy. Now we can see it’s blond as can be. It looks lovely with your eyes. You know, you cut your hair recently. Right down the middle of your head, on the top, where your mohawk used to be. Perhaps you were trying to give that part of your head the chance to sport the shorter hair for once? Regardless, it was so sad and you cried your little eyes out when you saw what you had done. Don’t worry- I’ve kept the hair for you; your beautiful shiny wispy baby hair.

The other day you told me you want to be a Mommy when you grow up. You said you want to have five kids; 4 girls and 6 boys. I hadn’t the heart to tell you that 4 + 6 = 10. Sweet girl, if you want ten children, I will think you are nuts, but I will help you and give you advice and take your children for you when you just need a break to go to Starbucks for a while. Because, my Love, sometimes I feel like I already know what ten children would be like. And there is just one of you and one of your little bro. Just you wait until your little ones start walking and talking and asking, “WHY?” I promise I will giggle with you and let you vent, but remember that I will also remind you that payback is sweet. Just sayin’.

My little Chickadee, your love for Jesus is amazing. You stop to praise him in the midst of your day, several times each day. Any time you hear of any problem, whether it be dirty dishes or psoriasis, you tell us we need to pray about it. I hope you keep that faith and that your faith does not disappoint you. Daddy and I are working very hard to be good examples for you so that you can see what a life of faith might look like. We hope you like what you see in us enough to want that for yourself. If for some reason we have failed in this, please forgive us and remember that God is bigger than us and he will overcome even our multitudes of failures. If we disappoint you, know that God will not do the same. We’re working hard to do it right, but forgive us for the things we get wrong, for I’m sure those things are many! Above all, I pray that you will one day give your heart to Jesus, fully and completely, and have great joy in the knowledge that you really will be going to Heaven one day. You are so very interested in Heaven right now and to you, it’s the ultimate dream vacation. I really hope to see you there someday!

I am so privileged to be your Mommy and to know that people will compare you to me for the rest of your life. I love being playful with you and I will always enjoy being your mommy otter, beaver, bear, mouse, snake, bee, deer, and any other animal you could ever decide to be. I hope to make you proud someday the way you make my heart proud every time you talk about how much you love your Jesus or your brother or your family. I want you to know that people will tell you you look like me for the rest of your life. Well, my Chicken, that is FANTASTIC NEWS. Because, seriously. Your Mommy looks good. Shiny hair? Check. Blue eyes? Check. Freckles? Check. Dimples? Double-Check. You and I have all kinds of great attributes. We are lucky little duckies and don’t you forget it. But make sure to always brush your teeth, because bad breath will really kill the image. 😉

Well, my little Honey Bun, I just love you so so much. I can’t wait to get to know you even better as you grow up. I enjoy you immensely. And I am SO thankful that you’re you. Love you love you love you. Kiss.

Mommy

Haha, Alphabet Meme

Haha! I had to do this because it’s so very much like the old email surveys we used to pass around back in the day of IM-ing and NSync. I was tagged by Kristy over at Day by Day. Kristy and I met in an online Babywise moms group and I am SO thankful for her spunky wisdom in my life! You might also notice she’s my #1 rated commenter… because she is probably the only one besides my mother-in-law who actually reads my blog. Teehee!

Alphabet Meme

A. Attached or Single?

Attached. Yee-haw! I am so glad I stalked Jonathan. 

B. Best Friend?

Jonathan, of course. My mom, Lynn. My mother-in-law, Carol. My sister-in-law, Jenn. My best phone friend, Joanna. My best high school friend, Rachel. My best college friend, Ha.

C. Cake or pie?

Pie. For sure. I LOVE free pie Wednesdays at Village Inn. And since my birthday is in October, I have never had a birthday cake- bring on the punkin pie!

D. Day of choice?

Saturday. It’s nice to have Jonathan home and no real agenda.

E. Essential Item?

Baby monitors. 

F. Favorite color?

I’m still quite fond of purple, but having a little ballerina girl has definitely made me rather accustomed to pink!

G. Gummy bears or worms?

Worms. So much softer.

H. Hometown?

Colorado Springs, CO

I. Favorite Indulgence?

Cheesecake.

J. January or July?

July! I love Independence Day!!!

K. Kids?

I love them. I have two. I taught many. I hope to teach many more as life goes on.

L. Life isn’t complete without?

Laughter, tears, and warmth.

M. Marriage date?

September 9. Same as my Cuz.

N. Number of brothers/sisters?

Zero, Zip, Zilch. This is sad for me.

O. Oranges or Apples.

Apples. With peanut butter and cinnamon.

P. Phobias?

Aquatic animals in tanks. Particularly anything in a glass tank. Shamu? Yes. Goldfish? Yes. Any aquatic creature, any size tank. FREAKS ME OUT. I can’t even think about Sea World.

Q. Quotes?

I am not a sappy sentimental word lover. I don’t remember things people say. Unless I said it and Jonathan can’t remember it. Then I remember it very very clearly. 

R. Reasons to smile?

Seasons. Yes. My children. Of course.

S. Season of choice?

Near the end of every season, I look forward with glee to the coming season. I declare, “The next season is my FAVORITE!” Basically, I just like the fact that seasons exist and that we get to experience them.

T. Tag 5 People.

Heh. I don’t even know five people. So I won’t do this one. 

U. Unknown fact about me?

I hate papaya.

V. Vegetable?

I like fresh snap peas from the garden. Yummy.

W. Worst habit?

I am similar to Kristy in this one. I tend to get all excited about things and plan and organize for days on end only to give up as soon as I start to implement. For example, I have planned out several different housekeeping/cooking/laundry schedules… but my house is always messy, I am a terrible cook, and our laundry is, like most young families’, neverending.

X. Xray or Ultrasound?

In my experience, X-rays have always meant something’s broken. Ultrasounds have always meant someone is joining our family. So. Ultrasound. I guess.

Y. Your favorite food?

Fresh strawberries!

Z. Zodiac sign?

Libra, but who cares?

Gelato- 10 Month Update

Gelato is 10 months old today! That’s 2 months away from a year- time is flying. Flying.

Nursing: Still going, nothing new. I like this snuggle time with my otherwise-too-occupied-and-wiggly-to-sit-still little boy. Except for when he’s wiggling a whole lot while nursing. Makes for some fun times.

Eating Solids:  Still taking forever to eat meals. He craves bananas. He sits in his seat and look toward the fruit bowl, saying, “Nana! Nana! Nana!” at every single meal. He really doesn’t seem to have any foods he doesn’t like, and he doesn’t seem to have any other clear favorites. He just eats what’s in front of him. Last night he had a veggie burger (not organic; oops), orzo, and mango. He is good at signing “more” but he says it while he signs it, so it’s kind of a redundant thing for him to do. He doesn’t eat a whole lot, but he’s not a little picky bird anymore, either.

Sippy Cup: Still not very interested in this. I’m starting to freak out about weaning him because he can’t be bothered with the sippy.

Brushing Teeth: He loves this now. I think that’s mostly because I use a finger toothbrush and it’s soft silicone so he can gum on it with his almost-through top teeth while I brush all around. It hurts only a little.

Sleeping: Still sleeping shorter nights and he naps less in the day than before. We see about 11 hours at night  and 3-3.5 hours in the daytime. Definitely on the lower end of the sleep needs spectrum.

Talking: Gelato has added quite a few words to his vocabulary this month, including but not limited to: boo-boo (peekaboo), nigh-nigh (night-night), bye-bye, hi, hey, puh-poh (purple), and nana (banana). He can imitate pretty much anything we say and get really close to the proper pronunciation. Like, if he were a two-year-old and you thought he was trying to communicate with you, you’d be able to figure out what he meant. That’s how good he is at talking. I should also mention that he can say and understand “no” now. He will crawl toward Riley’s water dish and look back and me and say, “No, no!” Then he’ll turn around and come back to me. So cute.

Free Play- Little Man has gotten really good at moving all around. He still does the Zombie Crawl, but he can push himself up to sitting and can pull up on all the furniture (and climb the stairs!) now. So that’s exciting! He is really into balls, books, baskets/containers that he can put things into, and small animal/people figures (like Little People). He scoots all around the house super fast now and it’s so funny because I’ll turn away for 2 seconds and then when I turn back he isn’t where I last saw him, and I have to go hunt for him around corners. Always moving, that’s his motto!

Independent Playtime- We’ve moved up to about 30 minutes a day. He likes playing with his blocks and his Owl (he calls he owl “Who!”). He likes chewing on books. Pretty much he likes IP.

Personality- Still awesome. Still laid-back. Still easy-peasy. Love it.

Our Schedule:
6:45 wake, nurse, eat breakfast, free play
8:45 nap
10:30/45ish wake, nurse, independent playtime, walk, sibling play, lunch, play with Mommy
1:30ish nap
3:00/3:30ish wake, nurse, afternoon whatevers with Mommy and Hula Girl (sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay home)
5:15 eat dinner, then family time
6:00/15 bath, pjs
6:15/30 nurse, bedtime story
6:30/45 bed

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