Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bowen: 48/52

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013"

I'm a big cousin! 

Bowen: 47/52

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Birthday girl! 

Bowen: 46/52

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013"

The best little baker ever! 

Bowen: 45/52

"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013"

So proud of your pumpkins! 

Thirty Seven Months!

My sweet little baby Bowen,

Happy 37 months, little girl! I guess no one really says "37 months," but instead you're just a wee bit over three. As we've realized, the quick changes of babyhood are waning, but it's still such a joy to watch you learn and grow and change. Recently reading a parenting book, I learned that toddlerhood ends at 36 months and then starts the "preschooler" era. You're a preschooler, baby!

This month we had some exciting milestones. Early in the month we finally said goodbye to one of your first loves - the dadu. Your pacifier had been with you from the start; we'd pushed it on you when you were a tiny little thing and then let it go to long because it was a huge source of comfort for you. Eventually it was relegated to only in the house, and later on to only in bed. Finally, we literally pulled the plug, with us probably more nervous than you. One night the dadu fairy came to take all your dadus to other little boys and girls who needed them, and left you a lovely little toy puppy to take care of. You seemed to agree with the trade and after a few restless nights you adapted. Such a huge part of your "littleness" is gone, my love.

My little girl, you're so sweet and thoughtful to others. At the park a little while ago you noticed a little tiny pinecone. You picked it up immediately, exclaiming how sad it was that he was all alone and without his mama and daddy pinecones. During the walk to school the following day, you pounced on a large pinecone and proudly exclaimed that you'd found the little one's mama! You were so pleased, and thrilled to be reuniting this pinecone family. I think these thoughtful little things that you think about are incredible, and I'm really loving watching you start to think of the world around you and in turn, discover your own place within in. You are amazing, my little girl. You tell me often that you're my "kid," and not my baby anymore and I'm really seeing this preschooler leap to grow up and "be big."

This month we've been winding up for the holidays and enjoying all this season has to offer. We took a hike into the mountains to find our perfect little christmas tree, and you loved looking at our decorations and gingerly placing them on the tree. I love telling you stories about each one, and look forward to watching our collection grow and you and your brother get bigger. We've been doing a lot of baking for friends and family, and you're turning into quite the fantastic baker. I'm so proud! So far you've visited with Santa three times; once with your Gamma at the yacht club, once at the mall, and once at the pet store when we took Sandwiches for his own yearly visit. Each time you're excited by the prospect of Santa, but definitely shy away when you actually see him in person. It must be overwhelming, after all that hype and talk surrounding the guy! Each time you prefer to keep your distance and certainly don't want to be too close. You also had a fantastic time with your family and cousins decorating your very own gingerbread house! You were in deep concentration and placed each candy exactly where you knew it belonged. That night you exhaustedly dropped into bed and wanted nothing but to take your gingerbread house to sleep with you. The most important thing that you've learned this holiday season is the concept of charity. I thought it would be tough to teach such a thing to a three year old, but surprisingly, it's been easy! All month we've been volunteering with the Christmas Bureau. We've been emptying the toy donation boxes at the mall, as well as helping to move donations around town. We talk about charity a lot, and you often tell us about the things that you would like to give to another girl or boy that needs it. You're understanding how good it feels to help others, and how most of the time it's nicer to give than receive. The best part was when we were emptying a toy donation box for the first time to take over to the Christmas Bureau. You handed me each lovely toy one by one, said goodbye to each, and wished it a nice life in its new house. You have such a kind heart, baby girl. We've also made up a Christmas Hamper for an elderly couple, and I'm really excited to see your face when we go deliver it together. I'm so grateful for this time together and the luxury of being with you daily to teach you what is important about this season.

When you're pregnant or a new mom people bombard you with stories and cautionary tales, but the one that rings most clearly and most frequently is the warning that "it all goes so quickly!" and holy cow, does it ever. How is it that you're over three and that you're the big sister to a seven month old brother? Where has the time gone? What have we been doing? It's very strange. On and on it goes, but I continue doing my best every single day to be here in the moment with you.

Happy thirty seven months, my Bowen Naomi!

I love you forever,

-Your Mama