Thursday, August 9, 2018


Millie celebrated her FOURTH birthday on Sunday, which means it's time for a (rare and becoming rarer still) blog update!

The last quarter of Age 3 was a little rougher than we've been used to...I know, I know. It's probably about time we struggle a little, I guess. She's been a textbook "easy baby" (and toddler) since about the day she was born, so I'm sure we were due for a last minute Threenager treatment, but phew!! It was a doozy!! ;) Now that she's four, I expect an immediate return to her previously angelic, happy-go-lucky disposition. Like today. Now. Got it, Millie???!

(Also, I tell myself that Matt and I are at least partially to blame for her sudden emotional imbalance. Since March, she's had to change schools twice, we've packed up/listed/sold/packed up more/moved from our old house, been constantly stressed about building the new house, lived in a semi-disheveled state in my in-laws' basement for two months, Matt changed jobs and has had to travel's bound to be a lot for her poor little brain and heart to manage!! We are hopeful that once we finally move into our new house (next week, hopefully?!?!?!) things will feel more settled and peaceful for her again.)

But it isn't all bad. Her moods and tantrums come and go, and most of the time she is SO much fun! Our girl is full of imagination and stories, "great ideas!!" (always spoken of with wide eyes and a pointer finger sticking up like she just solved a mystery) and plans. She loves adventures (ideal adventures include going to doughnut shops, the library, or a playground) and is a surprisingly helpful "cooker girl" (kitchen helper)! Her passion for unicorns is still fiery, and she loves pretending to be any kind of animal. 

(Hot parenting tip Matt and I have discovered: she will do basically anything (including whatever thing she's currently fighting SO HARD AGAINST) as long as you pretend that she's a dog and ask her to do it. I know. Genius. "Millie, let's go brush your teeth, okay?" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO NEVER!!!! I WILL NEVER DO THAT!!! YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND AND I AM NEVER, EVER GOING TO BRUSH MY TEEEEEETH!!!!" (writhing on the floor, running to hide behind a couch) Okay. Wait two seconds. Make your voice more high pitched and try this: "Little doggie!!!! Let's put on your collar (pretend to snap a collar around her neck) and go to the bathroom to brush your doggie teeth!!! Come on!!" Walk a few steps and pretend to hold her leash. She will immediately drop down on all fours and start panting and happily scamper after you to the bathroom. If she doesn't hop up onto the stool, say "Doggie, get on your stool so you can get your doggie treat!!"...bam. She's brushing teeth. PARENTING GENIUS.) 

In one of the many moving boxes that have ruled our lives for the past 5 months
She constantly surprises me with how aware and smart she is. I love watching her develop emotionally, too (well, not the part that involves frustrations and tantrums, but the other parts!) the last few weeks I've noticed her expressing genuine, heartfelt gratitude. On Saturday, while she napped, I set up some decorations for her birthday dinner- nothing huge, just a tablecloth, a cute little cupcake display thing, some unicorn plates (everything was unicorn themed, natch), balloons, etc. When she woke up and saw it, she gasped and oooohed and ahhhhed over everything. Then she said "Mommy, did you DO this for me??!" and I said yes. "THANK you, Mommy!! It is so beautiful and I love it so much!!!" and gave me the biggest hug. Y'ALL!!!!!! I basically melted. She's always been quick with a "thank you!" for whoever hands her a sticker at the Target check-out, or little things like that...but this felt so next-level! Then the other morning I showed her a (unicorn) dress I'd bought her the night before after she went to bed. I knew she'd love the dress, and she did. Then she said "how many dollars did you have to give them, Mommy??" "What?" "At the store, to buy my dress. How many monies did you give them?" "Oh! Eight dollars," I told her. "WOW, Mommy. That's a lot of dollars. THANK you, Mommy!!! I really love this dress!!"

Again, I will buy you a dress every damn day if you react like that, so keep it up, doll.

She started pre-k last week at our neighborhood elementary school. So far she has LOVED it and I can't lie- I love it too. I have been dying to be a "school mom" for like 20 years, I think. I am so excited about her school and getting more involved with our community and getting to know people that actually live in our little town...I have my first PTO meeting next week!!

Unicorn dress, unicorn backpack, mermaid lunchbox. Check, check, check, the gang's all here!

She didn't even shed a tear that first morning- unlike her mama!! She's on the very young side of her grade, but we felt like she was ready, and so far she's proving us right. She is most enthusiastic about "playing centers" and eating in the "restaurant" at lunch time! Her teacher says she's been doing well and is a MOST enthusiastic story-listener...and I expected nothing less! ;) That girl will listen to stories all day if you let her!

Stats wise, she wears 4T clothes and is roughly 38 pounds and 40 inches tall, if our home scale and measuring tape can be trusted! Her four-year check-up isn't until the end of the month. She wears a size 9 or 10 shoe. She would happily exist on fruit and cereal bars alone, but isn't actually a picky eater...she just wants to beg for those things first, before she eats anything else. She sleeps from about 8:45 p.m.-7:00 a.m. and still takes a nap for usually an hour or so during the day. She is still rear-facing in her car seat, and rather committed to it- after riding forward-facing in the seat in her grandmother's car, she informed me that "it's not right and it doesn't feel so comfy!!" so I'm glad we're all on the same page about that still!!! 

I'm so proud (and impressed!) by how brave and confident she is. She is unafraid to speak up for herself, to ask for help when she needs it (example: will stop any waiter in a restaurant if she needs a spoon/glass of water/straw and ask them to help her before Matt and I can even stop her), or to approach a child and introduce herself. Last night she started dance classes (ballet and tap!!! SO EXCITING!!!) and within five minutes in the waiting room, she'd found another little girl about her size wearing a leotard, ran over to her, and said "My name is Millie!! What is your name?" and within another 3o seconds, they were holding hands and twirling around together. 

She is rarely intimidated by anyone and seems to intuitively understand that any adult she speaks to will respond to her, usually with a smile. No lie, we get free food/stuff EVERYWHERE WE GO just because this bubbly little doll speaks so enthusiastically to whoever is working there. Charismatic barely even starts to describe her ("the charisma award" is actually what she earned in her daycare end-of-year awards ceremony!!), and she knows how to work it to her advantage!! (Although she doesn't quite understand when her charm doesn't work a second time. A few months ago we ate at a restaurant right next to our new house, where we regularly dine. She was extra bubbly that night and the waiter brought us free sopapillas and ice cream at the end of our meal- normally we never order dessert, so Millie found this shockingly wonderful, especially since he TOLD us/her it was because she was so sweet and had such nice manners. So then we ate there a few weeks later, and she absolutely remembered what had happened last time...well, we didn't get free dessert this time. She was appalled. HA. "Wasn't I nice, Mommy??!" Well, yes. But you don't free stuff EVERY TIME you're nice, babe!! But seriously, she does get it more often than I feel is typical, hahaha. Must be nice to be so precious!)

So she's four now- "four and fabulous," as she would tell you. (I said that once. She hasn't forgotten and that's what she says anytime anyone asks how old she is.) It blows my mind how quickly time passes. I am so excited for the year ahead, for settling into our new house and school and routine. As always, I count myself the luckiest person in the world for the privilege of being this girl's mama. Even when it gets a little rough, it's still the greatest job in the world.