IMG_0967_webToday my baby is FIVE.


And this fall, she will start kindergarten.  Kindergarten. How did that happen?!

I feel like it was just yesterday we were new parents fumbling through each sleepless day trying to figure out what a wailing, funny-skinned, bald, red-faced newborn wanted …  and now she’s blossomed into a beautiful, lovable, smart and sassy little girl.

The toddler chubby deliciousness has all but disappeared (thank gosh for Ben still keepin’ it real!)  and so, too, has her agreeable disposition we enjoyed her first nearly three years of life. 😉  Put mildly, she’s strong-willed  — which more and more studies are showing is actually a positive thing.

(Good, because there’s never a question if she likes or dislikes something and she loves to  offer up reasons why. Perhaps she  will be a lawyer someday  since she’s very good at logic games already and,  like most young children, she’s an expert negotiator.  “Well, if I just give him this one ball, then maybe I can have two stickers.” )

Though a terrible listener  and a bit of a dilly-dallier like her Daddy (neither are as focused on time as me) she is well-liked and very social.  She treats others with respect and is concerned for others’ well-beings. Perhaps most important, she has a conscience–getting very upset if she did something wrong or hurt someone or thinks she upset me or Luis.  I hope that will get her far in life.

She  is an amazing  big sister to Ben. They love each other to pieces and I love watching them play and especially watching her “teach” him — she reads books to him like he’s her pupil, drags him on a “vacation,” tells him what to do and how to do it  … and he eats it up.

She loves all things Frozen and princess-y,  being outside, imaginary play, dress-up, performing for us, dolls, Legos/building towers  with blocks, coloring and crafts, reading, writing, watching Dora & Friends  (not to be confused with the annoying Dora most of us are familiar with; this Dora is a tween), helping Luis around the house  doing “projects,” “organizing” things, sleeping, and ballet. She loves all things purple (and pink). Food-wise she loves all fruit (especially clementines and pomegranates) meatballs, pepperoni pizza and blueberry pancakes.  She loves lemonade. She loves “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, anything by Taylor Swift, and anything by Maroon  Five (she apparently knows an NJB when she sees one  ;)). She loves to make us laugh and knows when to reach in for a hug.

She’s doing awesome at reading, loves doing her “homework” (the Pre-K workbooks she and Luis do together at bed-time;  she asks for them!) and has almost nailed her written “S”–which has been her biggest challenge recently. (She can write every other letter just fine, but struggles with “S”–it’s usually backwards and then she gets frustrated). She can do some awesome math in her head and draws some super-cool things  —  airplanes and houses are her favorites and the attention to detail is just so fun to see.

She’s a fantastic kid,  destined for great things but still so small and innocent, untainted by the evils of the world around  her. I wish I could protect her,  but I can’t.  All we can do as parents is love and support, and be there to answer questions as they arise  (and they do arise  :().

Five really seems like  a big “stage” — it’s in between preschooler and little kid  … it’s the pull between being fiercely independent and needing us all the same.  Last night she was wildly excited about turning five and then a few minutes later, asked, “Will five feel different? I want to stay four forever.”  It melted my heart, this uncertainty masked by confidence.

I love her this small — even though she is clearly not a baby anymore (size 5T  clothes, size 9 shoe, just hit 40 lbs!)– but I also look forward to what’s ahead  for her.  Today is bittersweet but  beautiful.  And it’s snowing …  just for her ❤ Just like the day she was born.

Baby girl you made me a mama, and I love you for all eternity. Eskimo kisses forever, sweet  Maya Papaya.  Mommy and Daddy love  you SO much.




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