Friday, February 15, 2013

Our 3 1/2 year old Emmy

Emily turned 3 1/2 years old this month. She's getting closer to "school age" all the time and I have to say that it makes me kind of weepy if I think about it too much. How fast these baby/toddler/preschool years are going by! Many, many people had warned me that the "terrible twos" are nothing compared to three year olds. I have to say that thankfully (so far), this ominous warning has not been the case with Emily! (Two was much harder!) I love three year old Emily! Of course she has days when she's in time out several times being disciplined for whining or talking back or whatever, but the good moments far outweigh the naughty ones.

Three year old Emily is very observant. (Actually, she's been very observant for a long time now.) She notices new fingernail polish or new outfits. She immediately noticed a band aid on my finger and asked how I got my "boo boo." She notices when I look nicer and tells me, "I love your pretty outfit." If I have a mint or piece of candy in my mouth, she notices immediately and asks what I'm eating and can she have some, too? Today she told me that my blue earrings didn't match my outfit. (She was right.) 

Three year old Emily loves her bubba. She regularly asks to hug and kiss him. She loves to cuddle him. She brings him toys that are out of reach. She picks out things for him to play with while he's in his baby swing. She frequently says, "Caleb is so adorable" or "so cute" or makes remarks about his little fingers and toes.

Tea Party with a few of our church friends

Three year old Emily is tall and lean. She is 40 inches tall and weighs 35 pounds. She has grown almost two inches since her birthday! She wears mostly size 4T although some 3T items still fit. She needs 4T length for her pants and dresses, but 4T is large in the waist (thank goodness for adjustable waist bands so we can keep her pants up without alterations.)

Three year old Emily has a huge imagination. The Moby wrap magically transforms to a princess dress or Rapunzel's hair; Caleb's pack n play changing station is also a place for Emily to "diaper" her bears and dolls; the Princess castle or Critter house gets outfitted with Emily's jewelry as she "decorates" them for Christmas; her dolls regularly get sick and need "to rest and go to the doctor." I love hearing all of her stories! She is always finding new ways to play with her toys.

Three year old Emily's favorite toys are her baby dolls, books, play kitchen, princesses (we have larger dolls and small figures), Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and Calico Critters. She likes to play with the Magnaforms we got her for Christmas. (Really cool magnet toy and you can build three dimensional things with them). She loves to draw. Lately, she makes us "cards" all the time. We love the Llama llama books, Fancy NancyMadeline, and Talulah's Tutu. We are enjoying traditional fairy tales such as Jack and The BeanstalkPuss in Boots, etc. I check out holiday books from the library. We recently finished reading several Valentine's Books in the Franklin series and Berenstain Bears. She loves books. I'm so happy about that. For Christmas, she got the LeapFrog Letter Factory DVDs and after watching those a handful of times, she knew all of her letter sounds. She loves playing outside and climbing on the playground equipment. She learned to ride a tricycle some time around her third birthday and now she loves it. She is still hesitant on her balance bike. She can coast for a few feet at a time on a small downhill grade, but it has been way harder than I anticipated to get her to play with it. 

Three year old Emily has a big vocabulary. She uses words like "actually," mystery," "disappointed" and "frustrated."

Three year old Emily takes ballet classes on Mondays. She loves dance and music. She loves to twirl around in her skirts. She has adjusted well to her class and I have been impressed with the program at Louisville Ballet School. They keep the girls challenged, but make it fun and age appropriate. I think it has already helped her with balance. Just the other day, she hopped down the hallway on one leg. She is absolutely precious in her pale pink leotard and skirt with that long hair up in a neat bun.

Three year old Emily knows all of her upper case letters and sounds. She recognizes about half of the lowercase letters (which we really haven't worked on very much.) She counts to 20 with a couple of promptings. (She gets confused between numbers 13 to 15 and then carries on with the rest on her own.) She recognizes the numbers 0-9 (although sometimes confuses 6 and 9.) She is learning her days of the week and seasons. She can tell you her birthdate and her address. She can spell her name aloud. She proudly recites the Pledge of Allegiance! She has recently started expressing interest in writing letters. Emily knows how to make "E", "H", "O" and "L" on her own. She has started tracing letters in preschool. Six months ago she had absolutely no interest in learning to write. It is interesting how this has changed in a few months time. She can draw a simple stick person with facial features and two legs! Emily can dress and undress herself except for buttons and zippers. Most of the time, I still dress her because it is faster, but when we aren't rushed, I often let her do it herself. I love to see the pride on her face when she says, "Look Mom! I did it myself!" 

Three year old Emily really hates nap time. She can hardly be bothered with stopping her day to lie down in bed. However, she will play independently and quietly in her room for 30-45 minutes if I need a break. Sometimes I insist that she rest and I will cuddle with her until she falls asleep. Some days she may fall asleep quickly, but most of the time, she has to lie quietly in bed with me for 30 minutes or more before she drifts off to sleep. Obviously, I don't always have time to lie down with her for that long if Caleb isn't also napping. If she falls asleep, she will nap 1 1/2 hrs. to 2 hrs. I would estimate that she only gets a nap about 3-4 days a week. I try to get her to bed earlier on days she doesn't nap because by the end of the night, she is quite cranky without that nap. Emily's schedule is wake up time between 7-8:30 am (7-7:30 on preschool days and later on free days), nap from 3:30-5:30, dinner at 6:30 pm, bedtime at 9pm. I try to get her to bed at 8pm if she doesn't nap. I know her nap is late. I wish I could move it to 1 or 2pm, but that hasn't worked. I have started noticing that if she takes a really long nap, she can easily stay up until 9:30 pm which is really too late so maybe she is ready to give up the nap. It is just hard to get her to bed by 8pm with dinner, bath, story time, etc. and Jeremy has so little time with her at the end of the work day. (He usually gets home at 6pm.)

Three and a half year old Emily has been potty trained for a year! Woohoo! Accidents are pretty rare these days. However, she is far from being potty trained through the night. She still wakes up after a 1-2 hour nap with a wet pull-up most of the time even when I make her go to the bathroom immediately before her nap. She's really wet in the mornings, but the pull-up usually contains it so I'm not having to do a lot of changes of bed linens. I do hope that she will stop wetting at night by kindergarten, but otherwise I'm not worrying about it right now. The good thing about having a little independent girl is that she takes off her wet pull-up and throws it away on her own. :) I am so very grateful for our sweet daughter. She brightens our lives every day.

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