Next week, Grace turns three, or as she says it, "fuh-dee." Her birthday falls on the day we arrive in Thailand, so she will spend her special day on two planes, in two countries (Taiwan and Thailand), and totally zonked from 24 hrs of travel and a +15 hour time change.
So, what's Grace like these days?
She loves music. That's an understatement. Music moves Grace like nothing else. (Except sugar. In a weaker moment, she'd probably trade me for a chocolate donut with sprinkles.)
Grace spends most of her day singing. When she hears a new song, it takes just a few listens for her to memorize it, so she's developed quite a repertoire. These days, she particularly enjoys cycling through every song from every Daniel Tiger episode she's ever watched.
She also loves toying with her voice and words. She'll often take a normal song and sing it in a strange, robot voice. Or she'll take a normal word like "seaweed" and change it up to "seatweet."
She's incredibly affectionate. Grace loves being tickled, being held, and crawling into my lap to read a book. Every night before she goes to sleep, she asks for a "back-catch" (backscratch). This is not an example of her toying with words. "Back-catch" is just how she says it!
Grace has developed a strange and wild imagination. Sometimes, her hands are an airplane, her princess figurines are popcorn, or our family room carpet is a river. She has three imaginary friends, Kippy Kopp, Hoggy, and Bombom. They've gone on many adventures. She's recently started teaching Cora about them.
Last May, Grace developed the most intense, deep set fear of smoke detectors. This came completely out of the blue and robbed us all of several nights of sleep until we covered every little light on every smoke detector in our house with stickers. So much for checking to make sure they work.
Once, she saw an uncovered smoke detector out in the wild. When the little light flashed, she dove to the floor like a WWI soldier in a foxhole. The other day, she told me, "I used to be afraid of smoke detectors, but not anymore!" and asked me to peel off their stickers. I'm cautiously hopeful that this fear is now behind us.
Grace's favorite things these days include
- Storytime at the library.
- Small, enclosed spaces. I've found her climbing into the dryer and hiding in kitchen cupboards. She often begs me to build her forts and make her "doggy beds."
- Being my little girl. When we talk about her turning three, she always wants me to reassure her that she'll still be my little girl.
- Cora. Grace has perfected the big sister role. She is bossy, protective, sweet, and playful with her little sister.
- The TV show, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. After a failed attempt at potty training Grace, Daniel Tiger potty trained 2.5 year old Grace in one 30 minute episode. God bless Daniel Tiger and all his over auto-tuned singing.
- Going to the playground (especially climbing ladders).
- When Michael holds her in his arms, twirling her and singing "Let's dance around the house!" She recently told us, "My favorite thing is dancing with Daddy" which promptly turned our hearts into puddles.
- Cheesin for pictures. Look at that smile!
Grace, I could have never thought you up. You are an amazing little kid. Mommy is so proud of you and loves you so much.