It’s incredible how much you’ve changed over the last year, since I wrote my last letter to you. Our baby is gone, and you’re officially a little girl who amazes your dad and me every day.
You’re imagination has really started to take over and you love acting out some of your favorite daily activities, and even recently, you’re acting out things you’e never done before, with a little help from your dad (going on a safari, going on a hike, sailing a sailboat using the laundry basket as your ship). Recently you’ve really loved pretending that I’m your daughter and you’re the mom who takes me to preschool every day.
It’s been incredible to watch your language skills explode even more – you’ve always been incredibly verbal and this year we watched you learn to express yourself even better. You understand the concept of time a lot more clearly now, you understand that your sisters are growing up and that you used to be a baby too, and you can have full conversations with us, with complete sentences with correct tenses and pronouns (most of the time). You know how to count in Spanish to 10 and English to 20 and you understand the concept of counting (but can only really do it with 5-7 objects at most, sometimes less). You had already mastered all of the alphabet before 2 but now are starting to understand the sounds that come with the letters.
Besides imagining of your favorite things are scooting, riding your balance bike, playing at the beach, doing puzzles (the jigsaw puzzle kind now), painting and coloring, riding the swing at the park (this has never changed!), playing memory games (your memory is better than mine for sure!), going to the zoo/wild animal park (we have passes), watching Curious George, Daniel Tiger, Trolls and Finding Dory, playing I Spy with your dad, and counting the stop signs on the way to school. You got to swim a lot this summer in Nana and Boo’s pool as well as a few friends’ pools, but you’re still timid about dunking your head completely under the water. Your dad has started teaching you some of the basics of swimming but you haven’t taken lessons. You love any holiday, especially if it involved presents and/or candy and we had an Easter egg hunt in our backyard every day for nearly a month after Easter this year!
Your best friend is our next door neighbor Bella, who is almost exactly 1 year older than you. Her little sister, Luna, is also a friend of yours, and she is almost exactly 1 year younger than you. This summer you spent a lot of time out front riding your scooter with Bella and recently you’ve even gone over to her house without us for a bit and she’s come over to our house as well. In the fall, both Bella and Luna started going to school the same days as you. You now go to your preschool (the same one that you started when you were 21 months last summer) three mornings a week (Tuesday-Thursday) for five hours. Despite the teachers reassurance that you absolutely love school and the fact that you are so happy playing with your friends every time we pick you up, you still cling to us and even cry when we drop you off every time. Having Bella walk in with you has started to help with this though.
In the last few months, you’ve started to play with your friends independently more and more. Besides Bella, you play best with your friend Jameson (my friend Jenny’s son), Beau (Allison’s son), and Cam (Vicky’s son). We had friends from out of town over and you played with their two daughters for hours on your own, while the parents talked and hung out – that was a first! You’re still a little shy and it takes a while for you to warm up to new people and at parties, but once you are ready to play, you have a blast!
You learned some big new skills this year, including learning to use the potty (you were very stubborn about it at first and held it for a long time and then it clicked on day 4 and you rarely had accidents after that), dressing yourself and putting on your own shoes, sleeping without a pacifier (twice, once last November and then again when the babies came and you took their pacifiers from them, the first time was pretty brutal, second time not as bad), and sleeping in your big girl bed (which is a twin mattress on the floor for now…). You are so proud of yourself when you learn a new skill and your determination to master it has been present since you were a baby.
One of your favorite phrases this year was, “I want to do it myself!” as you learned to navigate this crazy world on your own. You’re stubborn and you give us a good battle when you want something that we aren’t letting you have. Tantrums were intense and your emotions were big this year. We do our best to be there for you, show you boundaries, validate your emotions and also teach you valuable lessons. This was a big year for us as parents as we shifted from simply taking care of your essential needs to now routinely making judgment calls that will shape you for years to come (no pressure!).
Our relationship changed a lot this year, as we spent less time together. I was pregnant with your twin sisters and very tired and your dad started to help out with you even more (he already was putting you to bed). Once he left this job early this year and started working for himself from home, he helped out even more, picking you up from school and putting you to bed much of the time and even more so once your sisters arrived. Your bond with your dad is so strong and although you generally tend to prefer him to me (let’s be honest, he’s more fun!), when we do get our quality one on one time (our favorite thing to do together is to get bagels at Einsteins!), it is awesome. I try to get a little time with you each day, and every other week or so we do a playdate alone when your grandma is here to watch your sisters.
You became a sister this year! You handled the adjustment pretty well (besides having a pretty massive sleep regression, but that may be related to developmental changes, not the sisters) and really love them so much. You look out for them and make sure they’re ok and give them hugs and kisses. You still have a hard time sharing with them, but that’s to be expected. You also became a cousin again this year, as your baby cousin April was born just two days before your third birthday. Now there are 5 girl cousins born within 3 years of each other in the family!
You love our family so much. The look of pride and happiness on your face when you say “Mommy, Daddy, Siena and Sisters, we’re family!” is priceless. You have a great bond with your extended family as well. You get to see your Grandma Christy every single week when she comes to take care of you and your sisters. Your dad and I still go out for date night every Thursday (and bring the twins with us for now) and grandma puts you to bed. You also stay with your Nana and Boo every other Saturday night (this started when the twins were born) and you guys have a blast. You also get to see your Aunt Claire and Uncle Josh often when we’re out in Poway. Your Papa and Grandma Woyski come visit every few months and you also love to FaceTime with them.
Siena, you’re such a smart, determined, beautiful, loving and sweet girl. I am so glad that I get to be your mom. Happy Birthday!