Dear Avery,

Today we drove by the hospital where you were born. I can't believe you were born there three years ago! You turned three on Friday. When you read this letter you'll learn about the special little person you are these days. Daddy, sister and I love you so much.

Sometimes when you eat you rest your ear on your hand, elbow on the table, and you're eating and thoughtful all at once. I love it when you do that. You like eating jerky, asking for three pieces at a time. You like drinking your milk warm. You love having popcorn during movie night. You also like hot dogs and hamburger patties. You've taken to saving your food in baggies for later. Ziplocks are your best pals these days.

Right now you like sleeping in your "nest," a little area of blankets on the floor at the foot of your bed. (It's no use to even try to get you to sleep in your bed). Sleeping is definitely second fiddle to other night time pursuits, like lots and lots of looking at books. (Several piles surround you each night). You still take naps most days, though I've been limiting how long they last so you'll go to sleep at night.

You LOVE LOVE LOVE books. Many times a day I find you sitting, one leg crossed over the other, quietly telling yourself the story. Sometimes they're the actual words, sometimes they're your own story. You ask me when books are, "Dued." You are particularly fond of "Bob" books and "Board books" and you're not ripping the pages of books anymore, thankfully.

You're taking your first swimming lesson and were so brave in the water with your teacher. You also like to ride your trike, but I'm sure a bike is coming soon. You can write three letters from your name, the A, V, and E. (Your E has many little arms). I love watching you run because you run with your arms. You are very coordinated and love to scale the couch and jump off even though it's not allowed.

The other day we were in a store and you walked along scrunching up your shoulders to the beat of the music. I love it when you're somewhere by yourself and I hear you singing, "You are sixteen" from Sound of Music. We take Music Together once a week and you sing along next to me. (Sometimes you branch out and go sit by the teacher like sister).

You love to tell me things and your way of saying things is so earnest that you add an "actually" or an, "I'm afraid." It seems like you've been able to talk pretty completely since you turned two. When playing, you let your sister be boss and you go with the flow. Sometimes you pretend you are the mommy and you are so tender and sweet with your sister. You both have started laughing the way you think beautiful princesses laugh and I love it so much I wish you would do it again and again. You asked me yesterday if me and daddy have made up our minds yet about you and your sister having a sleepover with Tenne and his baby brother Manning (logically Manning is your buddy since Tenne is sister's buddy, but Manning is a baby). You say you'll sleep in his crib with him.

You always go poop on the potty and we change back and forth between underwear and "training pants" for peeing. You're not a big fan of brushing your teeth, but you will, and you love swallowing the toothpaste. You're really good about taking your flouride, and especially love to squirt it in your mouth. You drink a ton of water every day. You like bandaids and especially like taking them off the minute they've been put on.

You are tall, so tall that at Target you nearly measured up to the 4T measurement on the wall. At the stores you like to take hangers off the rack or rearrange things hanging on pegs. You prefer dresses to pants, and getting dressed is something you do well but in your own time. You love wearing tights. You love to be barefoot, well, naked. Jumping on the bed "maked" is one of your favorite things. You prefer getting naked at the worst times, like right before we need to go somewhere. Whenever you get naked you shout, "I'm maked, maked, maked maked maked." You get sad when you have to walk up or down the stairs alone and everyone else is already up or downstairs.

Life as your mom feels great. I love that we have time together each week while sister's at preschool. You are very very important to me and every day you do things to make me smile, and things that teach me how to be a better mommy. I love you bub!


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