Clothing size: 3T (except for your loooong dresses that have to touch the floor, which are 4T), size 7.5-8 shoes
--potty trained! - I'm finally calling it. Other than bedtime, you have finally given in to being fully potty trained. It wasn't easy, and you had several regressions, but your stubborn self doesn't do well with being told what to do.
--pedal your tricycle - You could actually do this by your half birthday, but you've gotten very good at riding your tricycle. Hopefully a big girl bike will be in your future!
--dressing yourself - You still ask for help quite a bit, but if you have to or want to, you can absolutely do it yourself. Except for buttons, of course.
--singing songs - Not only can you sing a number of songs, but you also make up some pretty awesome ones, too. Usually involving a drawn out truuuu--uu--uuuuue (little known fact: true is one of the most fun, dramatic, easy to rhyme words ever in a toddler's song writing arsenal).
--saying dinner prayer, clearing your plate - these are a couple of things we've worked hard on lately, but you can recite your entire dinnertime prayer and scrape your plate into the trash after dinner. Sounds simple, but it's high on our improving dinner manners list.
--no more sippy cups - you only get these in the car now, and even though it's still a fight once in awhile, you only use "big girl" cups otherwise.
--know right and left - we worked on this a lot this summer/fall when we would go on walks and bike rides.
--sitting in church - when we first joined our church last year, we often took you to the nursery because it was so impossible to get you to sit still through the service. But we kept trying it and eventually we've gotten to where we can take you with your little bag of quiet activities and make it through pretty painlessly. You even run up to the children's sermon as long as Daddy's close behind.
--Random facts we've taught you - Feel like I just have to include these because we'll get a kick out of reading it someday, but we've taught you things like "Anna, what do genes do?" to which you respond "Genes code for proteins." When asked "what's the shape of DNA?" you know it's "a double helix" and that you're named after "a substituted benzene ring." Another favorite is when you're grocery shopping and they give you a sample of the deli meat we're buying and you announce to everyone in the store that "I'm a carnivore because I eat meat! Wolves are carnivores, too. They eat buffalos!" Then there's the ever-popular "Anna, what are the northern lights called?" <something resembling> "Aurora borealis!!"
--bulldog - I think he'll always be your favorite. He still sleeps with you every nap/bedtime and Grandma Eddie even made a special delivery trip down when we accidentally left him at her house one night. We are forever thankful for soft Grandmas :)
--blankets - this sounds silly, but you make blankets into hats, capes, cloaks, hoods, hair (Rapunzel style), magic carpets, stages, tents, and a number of other creative playthings.
--crowns - Just like every little girl, you're loving princesses. And fairies. And witches. And wolves. And "bad guys" that you can fight. Just like every little girl, right?
--baby dolls - You've also hit the "little mommy" stage. We've been excited for this one for awhile. We were sort of hoping it'd hit last year before your sister came, but just like everything else, you do things in your own time. We spend a lot of time swaddling, changing, patting, rocking, and singing "somethin' 'bout a truck" to your baby dolls (hey, it's worked to soothe both you and sis when you're crying, why not dolls, too?)
--blocks - Since Christmas, you've really loved playing with blocks and building towers, then knocking them over.
--play kitchen - or my kitchen. Either way, you still really like to help cook. More times than not these days, we are "witches making potions" though. Maybe my cooking has taken a turn for the worse lately...
--memory cards - You don't quite play true memory yet, but you like to find matches and put them together. Squish adds the element of speed in trying to find all the matches before baby sister eats them!
--crayons/markers/colored pencils - you LOVE craft time. Diana is so good about doing special crafts with you. Your favorites are the ones you get to glue or paint and give to Mama and Daddy. I'm pretty sure you've given me my mother's day card every day since then. It's adorable so we allow it.
--your imagination - Most of the day, we spend riding a train on the stairs, or visiting the imaginary zoo in our house, or keeping up with which of your alter egoes we're talking to. We spend a lot of time playing make believe and we absolutely enjoy that part of this stage. It is so funny to see where your little mind takes us. We often run into characters like "Coo-Coo the mean giant and Pumpkin the nice giant" or any of the characters in your favorite shows, movies, and books.
--Frozen - Although you don't request this one quite as often lately, it's still one of your favorites to recite and role play
--Tangled - I'm not sure how I feel about it, but you started calling us "mother" and "father" a lot after watching this one. I guess that makes me the witch...
--Brave - We go in spurts of watching this one a lot and asking Daddy to be a bear and "get you"
--Ice Age - Any of these you seem to like lately. I think you just like all the animals.
--Monsters, Inc. - You really like Boo and like to pretend like you're baby Boo (did I mention you love pretending to be a baby lately?)
--The Jungle Book - "that tiger's not mean, he's just hungry!"
--Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood (Disney shorts) - Still a big fan of the old school Disney shorts, especially Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. These inspired your birthday gift this year - three little pig/big bad wolf puppets and a red hooded cape.
--Sofia the First - Your favorite princess, probably because she's a little girl like you!
--Wally Kazam - This is one Daddy really likes to watch, too. Full of trolls, goblins, ogres, and giants. Right up you and Dad's alley. I like that it's taught you to rhyme. I can give you just about any word and you can give me 4-5 words that rhyme with it (most of them are even real words!)
--The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child - This was a Netflix discovery that you've grown quite fond of lately. You really like to pretend like you're the baby gruffalo and looking for your daddy gruffalo (Emma is usually our "big bad mouse")
--Room on the Broom
--Dr. Seuss - Fox in Socks, Green Eggs and Ham, ABC's, Go Dog Go!
--Charlie the Ranch Dog
--mustard - we can put mustard on just about anything, including a spoon, and you'll eat it.
--cheese - shredded, sliced, melted, string, you name it. Cheese makes everything better.
--asparagus - Especially since we told you how much your cousin, Chloe, loves it.
--ham/turkey - lunchmeat is one of your favorite things at the grocery store. We let you pick it out, plus they give you an instant sample.
--enchiladas/tacos - Just like Mama and Daddy, you love your Mexican food. Even the beans and rice that come with it.
--avocadoes - Now that Emma's eating some foods, I can slice up half and avocado and you two will devour it.
--apples - There have been days lately that you'll eat 2-3 a day!
--chocolate milk - always a special treat, either as hot cocoa or just chocolate milk. My favorite is when you request "Starbucks chocolate milk coffee"
--Chex mix - probably because you love salt, this is a favorite snack you like to share.
--cereal - PB Cheerios, Crunch Berries
--spicy pizza - hot sauce, jalapenos... bring it on! We even put some hot sauce on your finger once when you asked for it, (thinking surely this will prevent her from asking ever again) and you asked for more to put all over your food. Definitely your father's daughter.
--olives - been a favorite since you were tiny.
--corn on the cob - when we went to Nebraska last summer, you got to go pick it right off the stalks and we grilled it fresh. Ever since, you're in love and rightly so.
Biggest fights: Because it's only fair to remember the good with the bad...
--clothes - the size/length/color/name of the clothing item, weather appropriate clothes, or just plain the fact that you have to wear them. We fight almost daily about some article of clothing. Right now, it's usually that you want to wear dresses all day, or no pants, or short sleeves and no coat, or a onesie from when you were Emma's size. Or any number of irrational toddler ideas on appropriate dress.
--bedtime - Yes, we have a bedtime routine, and yes, we give you notice and include you in the process, but even so, bedtime continues to be a huge production of "I don't wanna go to bed, I don't wanna brush my teeth, I don't wanna read stories. I just want to stay up aaaaallllll day long!" Then a huge fit until we convince you that no matter how many nights you fight it, you still have to go to sleep. Luckily, once we get you up there, you usually sleep really well.
--not wanting to share with your sister - Duh, you're sisters.
All in all, Peanut, I have high hopes for year 3. Year 2 was definitely a lot of ups and downs. I think we are both a little too bull-headed for our own good, but so were Grandma and I many moons ago. It's been a lot of adjusting since adding a second little lady to our family, and I know it's been hard for you, too. But you're learning, and we're learning, and we've seen a lot of little "glimmers of hope" lately in your behavior, manners, and overall demeanor. You still have a little flair for the dark side that we can't exactly explain, but you have a huge heart, too. Just the other day, I put you down for a nap, but was at work when you got up. Daddy said you were really upset that I wasn't there to get you up, but you settled on sending me a picture with the caption "I love you, mommy!" I sent back, "love you more!" to which you responded "I love you the MOST." Smarty pants. I can't help but get emotional as you turn another year older. Three seems so much older than two. There is no baby left in you. You are a little person (but NOT a lady as you corrected me. A little girl.) with your own sense of self. I feel more and more that the things we say and do will be reflected through you. It's a lot of pressure, to be honest. I hope that we are getting through to you once in awhile with the good stuff. And that you will forgive us for not being perfect ourselves. I really hope that you agree with your 3-year-old self that I'm "the best mommy in the whole world" when you're 13 and 23 and 33... We are so proud of you, little Anna banana. You really are our pride and joy. Happy birthday, sweetheart.