Friday, January 22, 2016

Myra at Three.

I think I will start this, and the next X birthday posts with "I think this was the best year yet."  As so many people have told me, it does just keep getting better and better.  This was a particularly big year for Myra.  A move with a new house, school, teachers...becoming a big sister...outgrowing FPIES.  That's a LOT!

Our first family photo.
A thinker from day one...

I have been meaning to start this all week.  I have so much to say, but I don't know where to start.  Before I get into all the fun things Myra can do, milestones and such, I want to explain who she is.  I feel like I have actually gotten to know Myra as a person this last year.  She's always been a person and I've always treated her as such, but this last year she's been so much more capable of showing me who she is.  Myra is perceptive, always paying attention, gears always moving.  It may come off as shy, and shy is fine, but she's an observer and takes her time to figure people out before jumping in.  This is one thing we have always noticed, others have, too.  She is thoughtful, remembering things about others and wanting to do things that will make people smile.  Just in the last two weeks, a friend's husband passed away and I explained it to Myra.  She told me, "but I can make her a card and that will make her smile!"  So we did. She's great with feelings and doesn't hesitate to point out to me, "Mom, you're frustrated!" which usually quickly turns into "and now you're happy!"

Selfie with Myra on her last night as a two year old.

Her days are spent trying to make Niko smile, helping him, and asking me to help her understand him (can Niko have popcorn? Niko is crying because he is sad, but I can make him feel better?).  She loves to go places, visit people we know, do jobs (putting books away, filling up her water cup, turn her sound machine off and on...all "Myra's jobs).  I keep getting distracted because I don't know how to put Myra the person into words.  She's awesome.  Butting heads is rare, reasoning almost always works.  She thrives in structure, routine, knowing what to expect.  Since life, those things don't always happen, and she adjusts well.  Our hard days typically fall when I'm having a hard day (lots of work at home, lack of sleep, stressing about needing to get somewhere at a certain time, etc.).  Or, if I don't allow enough time for her to realistically try to do something herself (put on shoes, climb into car seat).

Celebrating birthdays with her Great-Great-Aunt Angie
From what I hear, every parent has rough days but overall we all want to see the best in our kids.  So, it's probably no surprise that I can sit here and say things like Myra is so great, she's such a blessing, she makes me proud every day, and I'm so excited to see her grow.  I look back on pictures of the last three years and I'm reminded of how difficult her first year was, yet I have so many positive memories of her happy face, crawling then her one legged scoot walk then walking, starting to sign and talk, when she mumbled "poooooop" as her first word, the goofy way she used to sign "I love you."  That said, I gotta say, I don't miss it.  Myra makes each age and stage more fun and interesting than the last, so I can have my nostalgic moments, but I really like where this is headed.  With each age and stage come unique challenges, I'm aware, but I'm not worried about it.  I know we are capable parents and us all being put together as a family was not an accident.  Myra gets the job of helping me learn how to be a parent, Niko is now supplementing that of course, and she's teaching me understanding and how to "try better" next time.  I gotta say, I do a great job with these knuckleheads, but sometimes I just don't bring my A game.  I love that I can actually have a conversation with Myra about why that is and know that she's following.

I was in the kitchen. Myra put on boots and brought the milk jug out to the recycling.
Always wanting to help and do things herself, Myra is growing up right before our eyes.  We potty trained over a year ago, but she can basically do it all herself now.  As in, I can say "go pee" and she'll go do it.  It's amazing how every little thing they can do themselves makes life just a pinch easier, putting on her own shoes, dressing and undressing, and even cleaning up after herself.  Myra loves to learn.  And she has her mother's memory, a killer combo.  I'm sure some of that is nature, but some of it has got to be nurture.  I don't just mean myself.  Myra is surrounded by people who make learning fun and encourage creativity and play.  While our friends and family are stellar, I've gotta give a shout out to ECFE.  Myra has been blessed with some incredible teachers who have undoubtedly fostered a love for learning from the age of...six weeks?  I was crushed to leave our ECFE program when we moved.  Those ladies are doing great work and our whole family has been able to witness it.  As kids do, Myra has gotten to know her new teachers and loves going to school here, too.

She can consistently count to 10, mostly get to 20, knows all her uppercase and lowercase letters and most of the sounds they make, too.  Myra knows her colors, shapes, and how to spell a handful of words (most often Myra and Niko).  She's starting to get the hang of writing, it's apparent her strokes are intentional and she can consistently write "10" and check marks.  Her speech and vocabulary are outstanding.  More often than not, she will catch herself, or snap out of it quickly when we catch her, starting to flip out saying "NOOO I want to do it!" and change that to "no, thanks mommy, I'd like to do it."  We're not trying to turn her into a little robot, but being kind (=not being a spaz) goes a long way in the real world...and with her parents.

"Mommy, will you wrap me up right here on your belly?"
Baby still goes everywhere with us, but usually stays in the car to "keep her safe."
We asked her off and on if she wanted a "climb in" bed, rather than her "jump in" bed (full crib) and when she started saying yes, we took one of the sides off.  It went well, really well, for a few days until she started coming to her door and wanting to talk.  There wasn't really any whining or arguing, but when Trevor told her if it was too hard to stay in her bed, he would make it a jump in bed again, she said that's what she wanted.  So, he made it happen and she's still in her crib.  Just yesterday, I asked her "how do you feel when you're in your bed alone?" and she said, "happy!"  Speaking of, sometimes she will grab a book and sit on the couch reading it by herself.  She'll even tell me "I'm just being alone, Mommy."  She has no problem telling Rowdy and Niko she "needs some space."  It makes me happy to see her aware of her needs and confident in expressing them.  My favorite is when she tells me what music she "needs" to hear.  Current favorites are "Exes and Ohs," and "Hello," though just about any music will do.  She also loves water.  The photo below was taken right before Halloween, cold, but she didn't care.

Myra is still happily rear facing in her car seat and will stay that way until she outgrows it or if it consistently becomes a big battle.  We are both hoping to get another year out of it before turning her forwards.  Still napping, not really any complaints there (certainly none from me! we're on house arrest for Niko's naps anyway).

I don't know you guys, I feel like I'm not doing this incredible person justice, but this will have to do.  Myra, if you read this some day, and I hope you do, please know we love you more than we could ever explain and are thoroughly enjoying being your parents.  We can't wait to see what comes next.  Thanks for going easy on us most of the time.

Myra's Birth Story.
Myra at One.
Myra at Two.

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