Dani, in just a few hours you'll be three years old! Three!!! How can that be?
I blinked, and you're three.
You started out as such a little bitty bit. A little rumble in my tummy, growing into an angry ninja who liked to try out her moves in my tummy and keep me awake all night.
And then, you were here. December 9, 2008. Our first baby. This is where I'm supposed to say you were perfect and beautiful. To be honest, you were red and screamy, but perfect nonetheless.
From early on, you were a dynamic, dramatic little girl. I took you everywhere. You were smiley, and sweet, and you were never, ever the crying baby in the store. Not once. That's one of the reasons I took you everywhere.
You slept well, you ate well, you never even had a cold. You would light up at your daddy's voice and he loved to snuggle with you. Your first nickname, from daddy was "little rat". It sounds silly, but it was absolutely a term of endearment. Every night at bedtime, I sang "My Favorite Things" to you, hoping you would associate that song with peacefulness. You do. It nearly always calms you down when I sing it, and you've often asked me to sing "eyedrops on roses song".
Time flew by. We took you out for the first time on Christmas Eve 2008; you were just a few weeks old, here:
You surprised daddy by rolling over at 8 weeks. He called me at work to tell me he was so surprised. You did nearly everything early as your first year flew by.
And I guess I blinked again, because then it was your first birthday and had your very first cake, made by daddy, of course:
And you were one. Walking. Babbling. Laughing and smiling. My little punkin', you were always such a joy. Curious about everything, but never getting into trouble; we never had to baby proof, because you always listened to daddy's constant reminder "no kitchen; no bathroom; no stairs". You didn't mind, as there was always something else to play with.
Our family got bigger, and Tori joined us. The minute you saw her you said, "Baby!" and gave her a kiss. The minute I put her on my lap to feed her, you started to cry and climbed on my other knee, jealous and wanting your own bottle too. Of course, we gave you one, but once you knew that Tori wasn't taking your place, you were your happy old self again.
You started talking. It was amazing how much you could understand, even before you could really say anything. Every day there was something new you showed us.
And then, I blinked, I guess, because you were two. You've always been comfortable in front of the camera, probably because it's always taking your picture. Dani, you're quite the little ham.
Two, you were two! And you were running and talking and trying to play with Tori. You wanted to do it yourself--from brushing your teeth to feeding yourself. And you were so darn smart. Like a little sponge. From singing the alphabet song to identifying letters and numbers by sight, we were constantly amazed. And you were still the happiest, silliest little girl.
You started to insist you were a big girl! Sometimes you were shy, other times, the boldest kid in the room. Tori got old enough to be fun, and you spent most of the day chasing each other around and laughing.
Our family grew again. Tommy joined us. This time, Tori was the jealous one, and you were the big sister. The helper. You helped with bottles, and fetching bibs, giving Tommy his paci and anything we asked. When you're not bossing Tori around, she's your best friend. You're our sensitive little girl, quick to cry, and quick to love. You notice every detail, as small as when daddy wears his wedding ring or mommy gets her hair cut. You like to Skype, and can talk on the phone with grandma and grandpa, for at least a few minutes before you announce "okay bye!". You have the most amazing imagination--and will tell stories with such detail I am awed.
And, I guess I blinked again. Just a minute ago you were such a little bitty thing. And now, in just a few hours, you'll be three. And I can't wait to see what you do next, my sweet little Dani.