On Saturday you turned three.
You're growing up so quickly, it takes my breath away. Since I haven't found a way to slow down time, I try my best to really SEE you as much as possible. Your serious, beautiful dark brown eyes; the soft curls of your hair; the way you fold your tiny body into my lap for a cuddle; your substitution of the letter "W" for both "R" and "L". I try to take the time to listen to your stories, and to keep up with your abrupt, random subject changes mid-sentence. When I hug you, I try to fix in my memory the smell of your hair and the way it feels to have your little arms cling to my neck.
I can never keep up with your attitude shifts -- just as a storm might sweep in and out, so does your temper. You can be the funniest person around, and suddenly loose all sense of humor with no notice. Life is never boring around you.
Wearing a birthday outfit that I created from a thrifted bedsheet (project details in the next post)
It is so precious to see you naturally mothering your dolls and stuffed animals, playing pretend and going on amazing adventures in your playroom, or creating fantastical stories through your paintings and drawings.
I love the way you try to include everyone around you in your play, and in sharing the things that you have. You always want to serve your brothers and make sure that they have part of whatever you feel is special -- food, toys, or otherwise. Unless you don't, and then you heap terror and grief upon the heads of those who might try to thwart you.
Watching you with Jonah has been a great source of amusement -- and frustration -- for me. Through the day, you alternately include him and try to make him do whatever it is that you're doing (which he is sometimes okay with), or try to shut him out and end up being sat on, smacked, or otherwise physically hampered by by him. It's difficult to believe that you can get beaten up by a 1-year-old, but Uncle Caleb did the same to me, so I suppose it's possible.
Even though it often slows things down, I love finding ways to include you in my work around the house as well as teaching you the beauty of the domestic arts.
You are so precious to our family, little girl. You add dimension, beauty, excitement and fun. Even though I sometimes don't know what in the heck to do with you in darker moments, I know with certainty that I would never want to do without you. Our lives are richer with you in it.
We love you, Lavella.
All my love,
P.S. The next post will be a recap of the birthday party, but if you would like, you can click through to the Flickr photoset to see the party for yourself.