Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, Alyssa

Dear Alyssa,

Today you turn 4 years old. That statement takes my breath away.

You are everything I could have asked for in a little girl. You are sweet, thoughtful, loving, smart, beautiful, creative, and funny. I love you so, so much. I'm so proud of you and I adore watching you develop, grow, and discover every day.

This fall you started preschool and so far you seem to really enjoy it. I can't believe how much you have learned and blossomed in your first month in school. (It does scare me a little, though, because it reminds me that you are growing up so fast). You can spell your first and last name (and you love to spell out S-T-O-P when you see a stop sign), are singing tons of new songs, have started "reading" books more vividly (holding a book and telling us a story based on the pictures), and just overall seem a lot more outgoing. You're starting to tell us more about your day and what you think of the world around you. I would say that you're very brave when it comes to physical feats - you mastered climbing along the top of the swingset by yourself, out of the blue, a few weeks ago. I guess you were tired of waiting for someone to help you across the monkey bars, so you decided to go over the top on your own. And I constantly find you jumping off/on things. But on the flip side you seem a lot more timid when it comes to social settings. You've definitely come a long way since starting school, but you still like to have a familiar "backup" when you're putting yourself out there.

Sophie is still your best friend, but you've started playing a lot more with the kids on our street the past couple months. You think you are pretty big stuff now that Jessica, Mya, and Katelyn are including you in their little posse. Braden, who lives across the street, has quickly become a favorite playmate of yours and you talk about Gary from preschool quite a bit.

You are currently taking your second year of dance classes, which are a favorite part of your week. You told me this week that your favorite "trick" at dance class is "butterfly arms". We were all so proud of you when you performed in your Christmas and spring recitals this year without any stage fright at all.

Some of your favorites include:
Movies: High School Musical and High School Musical 2 - I'm really looking forward to taking you to see the third one in the theater when it comes out in a few weeks.
TV Shows: Phineas and Ferb, Dora the Explorer, and Diego. My Friends Tigger and Pooh were a huge part of your life for awhile, too.
Color: Blue
Playing "chase" in the backyard with Daddy where he narrates your "tricks" and moves while you twirl/run/hop around the backyard and then he has to repeat what you did.
Doing your "homework", which consists of writing/coloring in a notebook and then cutting it up with scissors.
Books: Fancy Nancy (your birthday party theme this year). You are definitely a girly-girl and love dressing up, make up, and painting your nails.

You talk about your "kids" a lot. You don't seem to have a special imaginary friend, but you talk about "my boys" and "my girls" and what they have at their houses or where they currently are staying. Most of the time they are at Grandma and Poppa's or next door at Robb and Crystal's house.

We had to say goodbye to our sweet Pomeranian Joey this spring. I'm not exactly sure how much you understood of that whole situation. You still talk about her a lot and want to make sure that we remember that she's still part of our family, which I love, but I hope we've been able to explain to you that sometimes people/pets have to go away, but that its okay to miss them and to keep them in our hearts and memories.

You are a spectacular big sister. When I first found out I was pregnant with Joel, I was so worried that I would be cheating you out of something or that you would resent me for making you "share" Daddy and I, but watching you and Joel together warms my heart so much. I hope you realize how much he loves you and looks up to you. Especially the looks up to you part ~ you have a hard time understanding that a lot of the things he does that frustrate you are things he learned by watching his big sister. You definitely have a very nurturing side to you; when I would drop you and Joel in the childcare room at the Y you would immediately fold him into your arms for a big hug when he started to get sad about me leaving. You do a great job thinking of him and trying to include him in whatever you're doing - most of the time.

Overall, peanut, I am just madly in love with you. I'm totally in awe of you. And I wish you all the happiness and love in the world because you are an amazing little girl.

Love always,

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