Dear Gia, as you turn 4

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Dear Gia,

Yesterday you turned 4 and, as usual, your birthday is just as special for me as it is for you. Every year I take a moment to think about the day I gave birth to you. It was truly one of the most spectacular days of my life and there is no way for you to understand that–until you’re a mommy yourself one day.

When you woke up yesterday, I was already up with Nicholas and I stood at the bottom of the staircase, looking up at you. I said “Happy Birthday!” loudly, cheerfully. And in your groggy, half-awake state you said, “Thank you Mommy! That’s so nice of you!”  Then you came down the stairs and, with the biggest smile on your face, you said, “I can’t believe I’m really 4!” You walked into the kitchen and loved the decorations I’d set up for you. Then you looked at me and asked, so sweetly, “are there presents?”

And there were presents and a fun family BBQ with yummy food, a pinata, an ice cream cake, tie dye cupcakes, and donuts in the shape of a 4. We celebrated you and we all had the best time.

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Big things come with turning 4. You’re allowed to answer the phone now and you practiced when Yadi called on the morning of your birthday. You were so proud and you said “heeeelllooo” with exactly the same inflection I use. It still amazes me that you carry on entire conversations on the phone like a little adult. I rarely get to talk to you on the phone (because I’m usually with you) but when I do, it just melts my heart. Your sweet little voice is even sweeter over the phone.

At 4 you’re still fiercely independent. You like to do everything yourself. You can completely dress yourself with no help and have major opinions about what you want to wear (or not wear). You’re sitting in a big girl booster seat in the car and like to buckle yourself in.  You are so curious about the world around you. You ask questions and remember every answer we give you.  You [still] love animals, but you hate bugs. They make you scream and want to wear a sweatshirt in 90 degree weather to protect your arms from the flies.

You love music and love to sing along to the radio. Your dad and I get a kick out of the fact that you know the words to so many songs. And when you don’t know the words, you still pretend you do and you “sing along” by making noises that sound like the words. You can count to 100 by 10s. You can write your name and you recognize all the letters and numbers. You know your address, phone number and my cell number too.

You’re super agile and rather athletic. You love to run and play, but you like quiet time watching movies, and reading books, too. Your most favorite thing to do is paint. You would paint every day if you could and you’d always paint a rainbow. You are still a great sleeper. You go to bed very easily –around 7:30–and we don’t hear from you again till around 7 am.  You absolutely love food. You eat pretty much everything and you like your sweets too. Thankfully you love fruit and vegetables, almost as much as candy and ice cream. You’re funny. You like to laugh and tell silly jokes and stories and you love to make up little rhymes that sometimes don’t really rhyme — or else they contain many made up words. You love your brother and our little family and tell us all the time that we’re the best.

It’s bittersweet that nearly all traces of your baby-ness are gone. One of the few things that remain is that you often mispronounce words. You say lay-gee-bug (instead of ladybug), chickmunk, concuter (computer) and dee-jamas (pajamas).

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In honor of your birthday I asked you these 20 questions. I’ll try to remember to ask you them next year too! (Gia’s answers are in italics. My comments about her answers are in plain text.)

1. What is your favorite color? All the colors of the rainbow

2. What is your favorite toy? Woody and Buzz and the dinosaur (from Toy Story. In reality she doesn’t have 1 favorite. She likes bouncy balls, stuffing her little purses with random things, blocks, her play sand, etc)

3. What is your favorite fruit? watermelon and cantaloupe and blueberries and strawberries (truth! Girlfriend loooves fruit.)

4. What is your favorite tv show? Mickey Mouse. My favorite movie is Toy Story. (She’s really into Toy Story right now. This changes every 2 weeks or so.)

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? chicken nuggets (I’m surprised she didn’t say macaroni — aka rona-mac.)

6. What is your favorite outfit? a dress (Yup! She wears one every single day, unless she has camp. No dresses for camp!)

7. What is your favorite game? Candyland (I’m surprised at this one. She loves Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Don’t Break The Ice wehich she just got for her birthday.)

8. What is your favorite snack? Goldfish and Teddy Grahams (Fruit would be her first choice, but these are her other faves –when they’re in the house.)

9. What is your favorite animal? elephants and penguins and horses. (She loves horses, so I would have said that was first…)

10. What is your favorite song? Let it Go from Frozen. (She loves to sing “Fancy” when we’re in the car, so I’m surprised she didn’t say that one!)

11. What is your favorite book? The one that says “oh you think”.  (She means “Oh the Thinks You Can Think” by Dr. Seuss. She almost knows it by heart and she reads it to me every night before bed. Her mistakes are the cutest thing ever.)

12. Who is your best friend? Adrianna (Yup!)

13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios (She loves “Rice Kripies” too.)

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play on the swings (I’m surprised she didn’t mention the trampoline, which was her birthday present from us. )

15. What is your favorite drink? juice and ahh (ahh is her name for seltzer–because after you drink it you say “aaahhhh”.)

16. What is your favorite holiday? all the seasons (She likes to talk about the seasons and even though she knows what holidays are and named Halloween, Christmas and Easter for me just now, she didn’t want to pick one.)

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  lovey, blankie and Elsa (She’s had the same lovey and blankie since she was born and Elsa is new and quickly made it into the pack.)

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? You already told me that one. 

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? cupcakes and cake and my trampoline (told ya she likes sweets 😉 )

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a pumpkin (Definitely didn’t understand this one, even after I explained it to her.)

Gia Danielle, you are the light of our lives and we were blessed beyond our wildest dreams the day you came into our lives. I hope this year brings you all the joy in the world.

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