Juliana’s Third Birthday

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It has been a long time since we posted, but things are going well. And today, Juliana turns 3! She is a wonder and source of daily hilarity and amazement for us. Here are some of her most recent activities:

Things she loves to do:
–play kitchen and cook food (especially in her new kitchen from Grammy, MeMe, Auntie and Uncle Justin, and Cousin Ellis)

–clutch an extraordinary number of small items in her hands, while attempting to do other things (small, round balls–especially the sparkly one–a mirror, shovel, tiny green owl, and her ever-present puppy named Raisin Bran)

–play catch with said balls

–“color outside” on the sidewalk with chalk

–swing at the park

–read books and more books: current favorites include The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Prayer for a Child, Kitten’s First Full Moon

–dance to music, preferably while you are holding her

–climb onto things and jump off: she is still enjoying our weekly Little Gym class and has recently become very unafraid of jumping off of anything

–snuggle with her blankey (thanks Jacqueline Erwin!) and Raisin Bran (thanks Rachel Sherwood!)

–go outside and play in the dirt and leaves

–sing at the top of her lungs, nonsensical songs that occasionally have real words inserted into them. She makes up songs as she goes and her go-to song title is “The Carolai Song.” I have no idea what that word means or where it came from.

–play all kinds of musical instruments: violin, guitar, recorder, drums, shakers, xylophone, piano, whistles, etc. She basically is either singing or playing music all day long.

–go to the farm and pet the animals, especially feeding the calves

–dig in the sand. She would do this for hours! I think we need a sandbox.

–swimming. Although swimming season is over, she asks nearly every day if she can go swimming. And yesterday while we were at the park, it was all we could do to keep her from jumping in the water because she wanted it so desperately.

Things she loves to eat:
–grilled cheese sandwiches
–mac and cheese
–apples, pears, plums, bananas, grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches (with no red parts on them)
–sometimes peas and broccoli
–milk and orange juice
–she has newly discovered that she loves cake
–hummus and “different crackers” (Ritz)

People she loves:
–Mommy and Daddy
–all of her wonderful extended family of grandparents and aunts and uncles, whom she asks to video chat with nearly every day
–Cousins Ellis and Baby Olivia (she released some of her birthday balloons into the sky and said that she was sending them to Ellis far, far away)
–her best friend: Isaac, whom she “needs” to see every single day
–her many other friends whom she talks about all the time: Zach, Daniel, Fenannah (Savannah), Brooklyn, Odessa, Henry, Enoch
–Robby, Moses (Meredith), Lala (Leslie), KeeKee (Keelin), and Avery who are always mentioned in the same breath
–Marci: “Is Marci coming to play with me?” Is an almost daily question
–Ted, Beth, Evan, Jenny, Alban, and Ansley all of whom she uses as her personal readers

Hilarious things she says and does:
–she stands in front of the fireplace, where she can see her reflection and says: “Hi, my name is Juliana, and I am taking pictures of Mommy.” Or, other random things to the little girl in the reflection.

–“I’m going to school, to teach. And check on my baby, and the other baby. Bye bye!”

–When she is about to start singing something, or if she has started and we are not singing too: “Sing, friends!” or “Wanna sing, guys?”

–when I said about Jason, “I’ll go get ‘im,” she said: “No, Mommy, you will go get HIM, not THEM.” Yes, she is already correcting my grammar.

–inserting words into songs: “I have crayons, I have crayons, Heigh-ho the derry-o, I have crayons.” Or: “The itsy bitsy mommy went up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the mommy out. Out came the sun and dried up all the mommy, and the itsy bitsy mommy went up the spout again.” Or: “Twinkle, twinkle little circle…” Or: “Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. One for the mommy, one for the dad, one for the weasel, one for the Sophie (our cat)…”

–We were at the doctor having an ultrasound (early on), and she said: “I was a little baby like that! I was in there (the womb). Inside there, you don’t get dirty!” I have no idea where she came up with that. We had never talked about her being inside there (at the time), and certainly not about not getting dirty!

–to her own hand: “No, no hand! Let go, hand! My hand not obey!”

Although Juliana remains quite small, she has done phenomenally well in her developmental growth. She has caught up to and surpassed the 3-year-old expectations, and does quite a few things at a 4-year-old level. She is in the early stages of pre-reading, and recognizes many sight words. Her language and cognitive skills have skyrocketed, and we are so thankful that she is doing well. Many of you have followed her progress and prayed for her: thank you! We are happy to report that she does not show any lingering effects of her prematurity, except her glasses, which she will always need.

Juliana is a very happy and typically very obedient, joyful girl. She makes every day so delightful, and we are so blessed to have spent another year with her. We can’t wait to see what her next year of life holds, especially as we are adding BABY BROTHER to the mix, sometime in December. Juliana is very excited to meet him, and wanted him to “come out for my birthday.” Fortunately, this baby seems to be staying inside into a more safe time to come out.

Stay tuned for more upcoming pictures. We just finished a fall photo shoot with the fantastic Monika Morris, and Juliana’s 3rd birthday portraits will be done soon. Thanks for visiting the blog!