Sunday, January 25, 2009

thirty four months

Dear Julianna,

Today you are thirty four months old. You have become a VERY independent little girl. I just took you upstairs and put you down for a nap and had to read one of the gazillion princess stories we read every day. Of course, you hugged me quickly and kissed me goodbye and it hadn’t been two minutes before you were crying huge tears for me to come back. When I got to your room I learned that you had gotten frustrated because the little pink and brown swing top that you were wearing had buttons down the back and it was hurting your back when it pressed against the bed. You tried to take it off by yourself but because the buttons were in the back, you couldn’t quite manage. You were crying so hard and I couldn’t imagine what had gone wrong since I never heard you say anything. I found you with the swing top still fully on, but one arm was completely out of your undershirt and one arm was still in its sleeve. This is a classic example of how our days go. You want so badly to be independent and do everything yourself, but it often breaks you down and causes great frustration and crocodile tears because you just can’t quite do it all yourself yet.

We have been lucky this year compared to last with the number of times we have been sick (and yes, I realize that I should knock on wood because the winter isn’t even half over, but I’m counting my blessings so far). We did have one doctor’s office visit recently due to a mishap at home. You see, Daddy kept bugging me to go get your eczema lotion prescription refilled since you face tends to get really dry, rough, and red in the winter time and I just never got around to it. One night after bath he decided to slather on some Avon lotion to try and keep your face moisturized and clear. He put you to bed and the next morning you woke up with a face so red it almost resembled second degree sunburn. Your entire face looked so painful. We gave you Benedryl and called the doctor who, after a million and one questions, basically told us that there was nothing we could really do about it besides the Benedryl and to only bring you in if it got worse by the end of the day or if you started having trouble breathing.

Well, it certainly didn’t clear up at all that day so the next morning when you woke up with puffy eyes and swollen cheeks I took you in. They said pretty much the same thing - that nothing would really help it but time. They offered to give you steroids but said that it really wasn’t necessary since you weren’t running a fever and didn’t seem to be in pain because of it. You were itching some, but luckily within the next two or three days it cleared up a lot. I hope that that will be the only trip we need to take to the pediatrician this winter!

Your vocabulary never ceases to amaze me. You went to the children’s theater one day this month to see “Max and Ruby” with Nanna and Pap. There was a big blue tarantula in the story and you’ve been talking about tarantulas ever since. You can memorize words to songs in a heartbeat and nightly you sing my favorite Christmas carol at bedtime with Daddy (O Come Let Us Adore Him, which you call Come Praise the Lord instead). You sing so loud I can hear you all the way downstairs and it just makes my heart smile.

Jules, you have such an imagination. This morning when you saw that there was “a seven on the clock.” You called to us and got out of bed and came in our room. You had your hands out like you were carrying something although there was nothing in your arms to be seen, at least not by adults. You told us that you were carrying Rudolph and that he was sick and needed to go to the hospital. You checked on him periodically and fortunately he ended up being "sine" (“fine”) but it was so precious to see you caring for him and the other reindeers that were in your room. You can be very nurturing and tenderhearted sometimes. One day you’re going to make an excellent big sister. That is, of course, if you can learn to stop bossing people around.

Let’s see…. What else? Oh.

We’ve been done with Pull-ups since well before Christmas and although you’ve been fully daytime potty trained for a year now, you still have trouble at night. I just really didn’t want to have to buy another pack of Pull-ups so I never did and now you sleep without them. You did fine for the first month or so and now you have been wetting the bed quite a bit at night. So maybe you aren’t quite ready for that yet, but we’ll make a few adjustments (like no drink after dinner, etc) and see how it goes for a while. On the other hand, it sure has been nice having you get up and go to the bathroom all by yourself this month (see above paragraph regarding your independence). Now if we can just keep you from getting a UTI from wiping incorrectly then we’re doing alright.

I can tell that your naps have gotten shorter. We’re lucky if we get more than an hour and a half nap these days and you’re also going to be later at night (not falling asleep until about 9:30). As you’ll learn when you have your own kids, that sleep time is so precious to mommy and it’s one of the hardest things about you growing up so fast. I dread the day when you stop napping altogether.

I’ve been substitute teaching for the past month and Nanna’s been staying with you each day. I know that she has enjoyed spending so much time with you and I hope that you have too. It was hard for you at first, getting used to me leaving you every day again, but you adjusted quickly and all was well. You are such a sweet daughter and we are very fortunate that you have grandparents who can take care of you at the drop of a hat.

For Christmas you got a “big girl bike” and you’re slowly learning how to ride it with the training wheels. Now you love to go on walks with Light and I and ride your tricycle or bike instead of riding in the stroller. We also got a bike trailer to carry you on adventures this Spring and Summer and I’m so looking forward to going on rides with you at the beach.

One day a few months ago we all went to Lowe's to pick up some stuff for the dog. You happened to see a princess book near the check-out aisle and we had to stop and look at it. Actually, you insisted on carrying the book around the store with you and I briefly considered buying it until I saw that it was $12(!!!). For one stinkin' book! I told you that we couldn't buy it but that we could check out a similar princess book from the library. You nearly had a fit. Well, actually you did have a fit. When I managed to calm you down and convince you to leave it on the shelf, it was only because I mentioned that maybe we could go home and get some money from your piggy bank to buy it with another time.

You were so excited, much more than I ever imagined. I thought you would forget about it by the next morning or even by the time we got home, but you didn't. You talked about that princess book for weeks afterwards. Then Christmas came and you didn't get any princess books for Christmas so a few weeks ago when we happened to have to go back to Lowe's for a few things we went and got that precious (expensive!) princess book with your piggy bank money.

You have treasured that book like no other. There are 12 princess stories in it and we read at least three or four of them daily. One night before dinner you asked me to read another one (after I had just finished Cinderella for the umpteenth time that day) and I told you no, that you would have to wait until after dinner. Well, you swung your hands up on your hips and you said, "Mama! You've got to be kidding me!" Such an adult expression coming from such a little girl, it was all I could do to not laugh in your face!

So your birthday is coming up in two months and while you’ve been telling us all year that you want a doggie on your cake, I think you’ve now changed your tune. Daddy and I took you to Wal-Mart and Harris Teeter not too long ago and let you flip through the cake books. You saw all of the Cinderella cakes and castle cakes and you were sold the instant you saw the pics. I’m pretty sure that you now want to have a cake with “The Prince bowing to Cinderella” on it.

Doodlebug, I cannot believe you will be three. How did that happen?! Try to stop growing up so fast, would you? I love you, baby girl.



Whitney said...

sniff, sniff, sniff...

Nanna said...

Courtney, I don't know who is more amazing, Julianna or her mom who writes these wonderful tributes to her daughter!. I love you both!

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