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Dear Chloe, 3 years old

Dear Chloe,

You turned 3 years old on Thanksgiving day this year. No longer are you considered a toddler, but a preschooler, with all the interests, blossoming language skills, curiosity, fledgling independence, willfulness, and complexities that description entails. It has been a big year of changes for you. One major one has been the construction of our home addition, eventually giving you a wonderful space to play and dance, and the other being the summer arrival of your baby brother. I am happy to say that you are a very helpful big sister, which brings me great happiness and hope that you two will be lifelong friends some day.

As you are growing and learning, so are we, your mommy and daddy. We want to be the best parents we can be. You are both charming and clever, your actions often bringing smiles to our hearts on a daily basis. But some days are a struggle. Of course you’d like to get your way all the time. But sometimes we, your parents, have to make decisions for you that you don’t like. One example that comes to mind is your eating habits. You just don’t like to eat many healthy foods. You would eat cookies and cupcakes all day if we’d let you. As it is, we allow you an almost daily chocolate milk, which in some ways I’m thankful for since I can hide some vanilla yogurt (calories!) in with the Carnation instant breakfast mix (vitamins!).

The natural parent-child struggles aside, I want you to know what a happy childhood you’re having. It amazes me to think that you will likely remember none of this, and even we may forget some of what life is like right now. But it is good life, without a doubt. We are lucky to all be healthy, to have a comfortable home and especially each other. We are lucky that your daddy has a good job and that I can stay with you and your brother, that we can go places and do things. While we may not be able to afford everything you want (or we’d like to give you), you certainly have plenty of toys, games, art supplies, clothes and classes that you love, like dance and swimming. As your parents, we are trying to teach you to appreciate what you have, to understand how lucky we are, but those are probably lessons you’ll understand better as you get older.

Chloe, we love you so much. Your arrival three years ago made us a family. I hope this next year continues to bring you fun, happiness, new skills and joyous learning. You will always be our sweet little girl and a blessing to our lives, as we hope to continually be a blessing to yours.

Love forever,
Mama

 


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Dear Chloe, 21 months old

Dear Chloe,

You are 21 months old today! Although I recently shared a couple of your big accomplishments, I wanted to include a few more tidbits about you this month:

• Now that you’ve mastered basic animals and their sounds, you’re taking a special interest in transportation vehicles: cars, trucks, trains (choo choo), airplanes, school buses and boats.

• Loud noises still scare you, although you’ve made a tentative peace with the vacuum.

• You like Elmo from Sesame Street. You point him out in the toy store, in books, even on your diapers. You’ve now watched two Elmo dvds and although you enjoy them, you really do not like Mr. Noodle. I’ve learned to fast forward through his segments in Elmo’s world. (Baby Einstein videos remain your favorite).

• Although you’ve always eaten beans (black, kidney, not green beans) you are really enjoying edamame. I think you like the process of opening the pods and popping out the beans by yourself.

• You could finally use a haircut. At least a bang trim to get it out of your eyes. I can’t decide whether to do it myself or just let it all grow out. You look quite nice wearing a clip to pull your bangs back, but your fine hair seems to reject even the “no-slip” kind.

• You’re learning colors, although orange is the only one you get consistently right.

• Today, the head of child care and another child care attendant both remarked on what a large vocabulary you have for such a young age. It does seem like you are surprising me with new words everyday.


Holding hands with Daddy at the zoo

• This past month we made a special trip to Ikea to get you some toddler supplies: the Latt table and chairs, Mala easel, Rusig rocker, Patrull bathtub mat and various art supplies. You were so happy the next morning to see your own child-sized table and chairs! Not a day goes by where they don’t get used. You call the rocker “Horsey” and when you ride it you say “Whoa! Whoa!” I think it won’t be long before you start saying “Giddyup!”


Playing with “Meow”

In your room, with buppy

Overall, we are having a wonderful summer, full of sunny days, splashing water fountains, summer dresses, local adventures and new explorations. We are so lucky to be able to spend this precious time together. I feel grateful to have you in my life and I try to remember that all this innocence and wonder probably won’t last forever. It is in the here and now, and that’s where I want to be too.

I love you my sweet little girl,
Mama


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Chloe update, 20 months

Chloe will be 21 months next week. Normally, I’d wait until then to give an update, but several BIG things have happened and I can’t wait to share. I’m afraid if I don’t, they’ll just go unrecorded. Here’s the biggest news:

Chloe pooped in the potty for the first time today!!!

I noticed her just slightly bearing down while I was talking to her this morning. I immediately asked if she was poopy and suggested she go sit on her potty. She turned and ran to the bathroom, me following so I could whip off her diaper. She sat down just in time for us to hear a tiny thud. I wasn’t sure if I should point out her accomplishment immediately or just keep her seated in case there was more coming. I decided on the later, and we flipped through a magazine to keep her entertained. Turns out that one thud was it, however, when she got up and I showed her what was in the pot, she did NOT like what she saw. As a matter of fact, she got really upset and almost started crying so I quickly ramped up the happy face and voice. The last thing I wanted was for this to be a bad experience, but I simply was not expecting that kind of reaction. Thankfully she settled down quickly, although continued to look disturbed. I dumped the offender into the main toilet so we could say bye-bye as it flushed away. I wonder if there is anything I could have done better, because I really hope she won’t be afraid to try again!

Just as exciting as the potty usage, is the fact that Chloe said her first three word sentence yesterday! She says lots of words and sounds together, just not quite in proper order. I heard it while she was rummaging through one of her toy drawers for her baby doll. When she finally pulled it free she declared “I got it!” At first I wasn’t sure if I heard correctly, but then she repeated it again (and again!).

Lastly, I’ll mention the pasta stringing activity I prepared for her yesterday. The idea was to help her make her first pasta necklace with some dry rigatoni and a piece of yarn. Turns out she didn’t even need my help! I loved just sitting back, watching her dextrous little fingers thread the “beads” onto the yarn and pull them through. And here I thought it would be a challenge for her. Afterwards we took a little trip to the dollar store for some budget art supplies for more at-home projects. I probably think this at every stage, but this is certainly my favorite so far. 🙂

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