Yesterday you turned 7 years old. Its so hard to believe that I've been a mom for 7 years! I can hardly remember that little baby that first stole my heart, but I still amazed every day by how grown up you're getting.
This year was all about continuing to settle into our Colorado, and making our place here. You've made so many great friends, and you are more and more comfortable with this as our home.
Not to say there aren't hard days. You mentioned tearfully recently that you are starting to forget things about Pennsylvania. I'll bring up a person and it will be hard for you to remember them. It always makes you sad when that happens, but I just try to remind you that we are making new, wonderful memories daily.
(You also told me that you forget what I look like with brown hair, and only remember me with blue, which is a source of amusement for both of us!)
One way we made some amazing memories this past year was with travel. National parks, visits with friends, and a big trip back to the East Coast to make some new memories there. It's the best gift I could have received as a parent to be blessed with a daughter who is always willing to hop in the car with me and GO.
Gwen, you are fire and sass, dirt and noise. Vivacious, opinionated, and loud, you definitely don't keep it to yourself when we do something you don't like. You often need a bit of a reminder that just because as parents we sometimes have to say "No" to things, it doesn't mean we're being "rude!" or "mean!"
There is another side to you too though, one that is a little reserved and maybe a bit shy. One that is loving, attentive, and fiercely loyal. I'm so grateful that you're still happy to hold my hand as we walk to school, climb in bed for snuggles in the mornings, and I always get a kiss goodbye (even at school).
You tell me I'm your best friend, and before bed each night you love to tell me I'm "the best Mommy [you] ever had", Daddy and Daisy are also the best Daddy/Daisy Dog (respectively) you ever had.
Its adorably sweet and heartwarming... and a good thing to hold on to during your cranky moments! :-)
You are so creative now: constantly singing songs which either you make up or your recent favorites from the radio, drawing pictures, and writing notes to us.
You are still so family centered, always wanting to be around one or all of us, but are so independent at the same time. You'll play happily in your room for hours, but want to take Daisy with you. You get yourself dress and ready in the morning without prompting or fuss, but only after exuberant morning hugs.
You are still into Legos and Superheros of all kind, love Harry Potter (we just finished reading all of the books!), Star Wars, and the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. You set up elaborate toy landscapes in the living room with huge, epic stories to go with.
You love playing dress-up as your favorite heroes... either already established ones or ones that you've made up on your own, a mish-mash of hero qualities and costumes.
You are still doing swim lessons, up to the intermediate swim group, and your breaststroke is better then anyone else in this family! You're learning to dive off of the side of the pool, and have a deep love of the water.
Your only problem in graduating to the next level of lessons is endurance! Your slight frame just doesn't have a lot of extra reserves and you need to keep working to build up. One more round at this level though, and we'll be moving you on!
Speaking of slight frame, (unofficially since your 7 year appt isn't until next week) you're about 3' 11" tall now and 39 lbs. You are all arms, legs, big blue eyes and loonnngg blonde hair (its about to your tush now!). You haven't lost any teeth yet (much to your chagrin!), but you do have two adult teeth coming in at the bottom... we call them your shark teeth! We just keep wiggling away, and hopefully those baby teeth will be out soon.
One of your absolute favorite things is reading, and that growth has really come from school. We've always read to you and with you, so reading has always been a part of your life, but you have grown in leaps and bounds this year! First grade has been an amazing year for you overall, and I'm absolutely in love with your school and amazing teacher (as are you!).
By the end of first grade you're supposed to have reached level 16... you are currently at level 20 with 3 months to go. You read to us ever chance you get, and we still read to you every night before bed.
You are loving math, too, and find social studies fascinating. While there are some nights when you just don't want to, most nights homework gets done easily, with no complaints, and with enthusiasm for getting it done well. Fingers crossed this keeps up!
You just started a little bit of speech therapy this week, to work on your R sounds, and you just think it is so much fun. It didn't bother you in the slightest, and I'm so glad that your teacher was on top of getting this done, and that your school has great services readily available.
This year you've discovered a real love for hockey. You could care less for most other sports, but you find hockey to be fun, especially when the Avalanche win. You are an Avs fan through and through!
Thankfully both your Dad and I are more then happy to hit up a hockey game with you anytime we can!
This year you've really started to figure out what it means to be yourself. You've realized that you don't always fit into "gender norms" and that sometimes it can be lonely when friends like different things. That can be hard sometimes, but I'm so proud of how true you always are to yourself.
Gwenie, there have been challenges this past year, and we've had our disagreements, but there's been so much love too. That's one thing we can both count on, no matter what happens I will always love you more then you could ever know. No matter what happens outside our four walls, you will always fit perfectly with me. And no matter what, you're the best Gwen I ever had...
Love you baby!