I'm pretty much done with all of my holiday shopping. Between Christmas & your birthday, you are going to be...well, SPOILED. A friend of ours is starting a tradition where Santa brings three gifts (just like the three kings brought for baby Jesus) & Mommy & Daddy give a couple gifts for her children. I love that idea & think that's what we're going to go with next year, because this year got a little out of control. With that said, there are such special things waiting for you to open them up, things that I think will be your favorites for a long time to come.
The anticipation of watching you open up your gifts, always makes me think about all the gifts we've come to love & cherish this past year. I wrote about Our First Year Favorites here & here, & Our Second Year Favorites here & here. From those lists, there are a lot of things that will be our forever favorites. A great camera for pictures & video will always be a MUST for me, & this year we even stepped it up a little with a Canon EOS (love love love!). Music has always filled our home, but this year has been so fun because we get to sing it together. Top 40s sung in your little 2-year-old voice will always be my favorite. Books! Oh-Em-Gee, I hope reading together is always our favorite. We built bookshelves for your room this year just to fit all of your books, & they have even started to overfill. I kind of have a book buying addiction, but there are so many great ones out there. Perhaps, we need to start going to the library. Some of our other oldies but goodies are the trampoline, your puzzles, a bin we have full of coloring books & markers & crayons, & your kitchen set & table.
There were also some new favorites that have emerged:
I wrote about your Magna-Tile set (here) less than a month after you were gifted the set, because they are that amazing. We first learned about them at the children's museum, & it was one of my favorite parts of the museum. The colors, the endless structures you can create...this has always been fun for both adults & kids. In fact, my whole family sat down together to play. It was such a fun sight. We store them in a basket, & almost always dump them out when friends come to play. It's such an easy, no mess activity...& it's tons & tons of fun. My favorite Magna-Tile moment this year was when we built three house shaped structures & enacted The Three Little Pigs. It was one of your first days of potty training, & you were only wearing a sweatshirt & undies. I just remember you as you huffed & you puffed & you knocked down the houses. It will always be such a precious moment to me.
Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter
I put this on your amazon wish list thinking it could be fun, & was so surprised when your uncle Greg gave you your first scooter as a gift. My mom typically does his shopping, but he had picked it out for you on his own. We didn't use it for a little while, not knowing if you were ready. A few months ago we were going on a walk & pulled it out. I know I'm biased, but you are the most adorable scooter-girl ever. It took you a little while to get the hang of it. I laugh to myself thinking of the awkward position you would stand in during our first scooter outing, but now you zoom. You giggle & smile as we chase you down our quiet street. Sometimes your Daddy & I take a turn, but we've recently realized we're going to break it with our weight & will leave the scootering to you. This has become one of our favorite outdoor toys. It's so much fun, & it's something you can do on your own. We love it!
I'm not sure how Lamby hasn't been mentioned in any of our past favorite posts. I'm not sure who gave us Lamby (maybe my mom?), but she was a gift when I was pregnant. I filled your crib with stuffed animals. I think a lot of people wondered where you would sleep in a crib that was so filled with "friends," but I wanted you to always feel comfortable in your bed. I never wanted you to feel lonely. Somehow, Lamby emerged above the rest. She became your lovey, the one you snuggled with & loved above everything else. She still is. She's been by your side through your first day of school, getting tubes in your ears, overnight trips, & has really traveled with us on all of our adventures. We've had to enact a Lamby rule: she must stay in your room. This keeps us from having to go on a Lamby hunt every night before bedtime (you can't sleep without Lamby), & keeps you from being too dependant. I love watching you talk to her & the sweet way your snuggle her tight as you sleep. We had gotten a second Lamby for school. You needed one for nap time, & we didn't want to be constantly taking Lamby back & forth. Even still, Lamby started to look awfully dull. I started to wonder how long Lamby would hold up & pictured your heartbroken little face if Lamby were to fall apart. So, I went on amazon & found more Lamby's. Now I think we have a total of 6 Lamby's (one at Nonnie & Papi's house) that we rotate through, & everyone is happy.
I talked about babies before in our second year favorites, but they are worth mentioning again. You are baby obsessed. You have a ton of them, & you love every single one. Watching you play pretend with your baby dolls is one of the most precious things ever. You rock them & put them in your booster seat at the table to feed them. You "take them to the store" in your carriage & ask Daddy & I to babysit while you "go to work." Recently, they've all been "pooping in their pants." I'm not sure why, but you are always upset with your babes for pooping in their pants. Daddy & I can't help but giggle as we listen to your mothering techniques. You are one tough momma. Your babies spend a whole lot of time in time-out, but you scold them with love.
I think I bought your easel before you were one. I always knew I wanted you to have one, & there was an amazing deal. I bought it, & we stored it in the basement until your second birthday. There has been so much chalk drawing, painting, & coloring with markers since then. You've created wrapping paper masterpieces. You were coloring with markers on your easel when you drew your very first person (your adorable people seriously melt my heart). It's a thing you can use to let your creativity flow, & it's also a thing we can pull out to occupy you when we're busy with something else. Of course, when we're not occupied in other things, it's great to join in on the art fun too. Win...win...win!
You beg us to pull out your play-doh on a weekly basis, & I have to admit we've said no more often than not. While it's great fun, for the longest time you just weren't able to play with it on your own. It had to be a time when we knew we could sit with you & create with you & clean up the play-doh mess at the end. Recently, it's been a little different. You play with your play-doh independently & so sweetly, occasionally running to us to show us your newest creation. Your favorite part is using the Play-Doh: Fun Factory Deluxe Set to create "gingermans" & make little faces on your little gingerbread men & women shapes. You create whole families. It's kinda cute. I have a feeling that play-doh will also be a fourth year favorite.
So, you don't actually have your own iPad. I have been very hesitant about introducing you to a lot of technology. I know that it's going to be a big part of your life, but I didn't want it to be the ONLY thing in your life. I would rather have you run around outside, read a book, & use your imagination than sit down all day with electronics. You'd never really seen an iPad until Nonnie brought hers this summer. It amazed me how quickly you picked it up. In no time, you were opening up apps & playing learning games on the iPad. When I got one for work, I downloaded a few free children's apps. You don't use it a whole lot, but it's your favorite thing to do when we're all feeling lazy. It's also really great for travel. I think there's going to be a constant struggle for me with you & technology, but I at least feel better knowing that you are having fun learning with it. If we get you any type of tablet in the future, the iPad will be it...but that will likely be far into the future.
My parents have two of these, & your Daddy & I had a blast riding around on them before you were born. It's a children's car, but it holds up to 250 pounds. So, really it;s fun for the whole family. We couldn't wait for you to have one, & were excited when Santa brought you one for Christmas last year. We keep it inside, because it rides so well on the pergo floors. You use it to "go to the grocery store" & "go to work." You have a blast pushing Daddy & I down the hall in it. Our adult friends have even had the pleasure of going for a ride.
While you watched a lot of TV shows last year, movies were a little too long for you to get into for the most part. You also scared easy at the slightest hint of a darker theme. This year has definitely been your first year where you've developed a love for movies. We have a bunch of Disney & Pixar classics & a few other goodies. Your favorite coming into the year was Rapunzel, but now you're more of a Despicable Me fan. We keep them in your daddy's old CD case. This way they're together in one place & easy to grab when we go on a trip. Your movies have been clutch during long car & plane trips, sick days, & days when we just feel like being lazy. Most of your movies are ones that your daddy & I can also appreciate, which makes for fun, popcorn filled movie nights.
Sigh, so those are our third year favorites in a nutshell. I'm kind of seeing a fun for the parents & kids theme when it comes to our very favs. Weird. I hope playing for all of us never gets old.
I love you so,