1, 2, 3, whoa... 4!

Dear Gwen,
Today you are four. I would say I can't believe it, because it is true the time has flown so quickly, but girlfriend you are every bit the four year old. What I can't believe is how much you've grown this year!

From your first manicure to your first sleepover at Nonnie and Papa's, this has been a big year for you. You weaned this year and you potty trained. You are growing out of your 3T clothes. You rode your first rollercoaster (then your second, and your third... man do you love those things!). You are writing letters and reading them, know how to spell your name and some of your friend's names.

Some things haven't changed though. You are still loving and sweet, showering us with kisses and hugs, and just wanting to snuggle with us in the mornings. You are still funny and smart, being silly and occasionally cracking a fart joke. You are still both reserved and exuberant, it might take you some time to get to know someone, but once you do, you are a laughing, bubbly force to be reckoned with.

Gwen its crazy to realize just how big a part of me you are right now. You are no long my little baby who needs my coddling, but you are still just as much an extension of me. You have become a part of my essence, the external manifestation of my life force. You are one of my biggest influences to do better, to be better. Watching the way you live life makes me want to be as irrepressibly vivacious as you are!

There are times, my love, that your high energy existence can be a bit exhausting. Days that I struggle to keep up with you, and days where the depth of what you are feeling is almost impossible to bear.  You cry at the slightest provocation, and I know its hard for your Daddy to understand. He gets the brunt of your exhaustion often, due to your car rides home at night, while I get to scoop you up and hug you tight. But on your better days, your lightheartedness makes us both grin and laugh. No matter what though, our love for you is unflagging.

At four years old you are still very much a mix of activities and interests. You love to watch Doc McStuffins, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins and Handy Manny. You love Disney movies, Pixar movies and the first two Harry Potter movies. You will spend hours drawing, coloring, painting, and practicing your letters. You adore the dollhouse your got from your Nana and PopPop for Christmas, but equally love your super hero costumes and action figures (from Aunt Megan and Uncle Andy, and from Auntie Ro and Uncle Pat). You will often have us put your doll house on the floor, then use blocks to build roads, fences, and whole scenes around it.

You are a caring "Mama" to your dolls and stuffed animals. You wear them in your carrier, take them to the doctor or dentist, and set them all up in forts that we build out on chairs and sheets. A half dozen of them sleep with you every night, though which exact ones grace your bed changes by the week. You've gotten so much better at playing independently, which is great with all the snow days/work from home days we've been having this winter.

You love the color blue, and I've noticed that your favorite shirts are the two you have with blue stripes. I don't know if its coincidence, or if a subconscious modeling, but I wear a ton of striped shirts myself. It makes me happy to think you might be doing it to be a little like me.

You love fleece pants, and refuse to wear any dresses right now. Your favorite pajamas are your Superman PJs, your Jake and the Neverland Pirates PJs, and your Spiderman PJs. You love wearing boots so much that you wore through a pair this winter and we had to go get you another.

When asked how old you are, you happily proclaim your 4-ness; and are quick to point out that next you will be 5, then 6, then 7... Which whoa child! Slow down!

Gwenie, the years just zip by and I am torn by my desire to slow it all down and not have you grow up any quicker then you have to, while at the same time looking forward with so much eagerness to who you are becoming. I cannot wait to see what you will be passionate about as you get older, because I already know that whatever it is will be lucky to be graced with your exuberance.

Love you more then all the snowflakes,

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~ Meegs