This is a little late, but better than never!
You are now 32 inches tall and you weigh around 24 lbs!
This past year has brought some incredible new experiences for you. You stood up without any help for the first time just before you turned two, and over the next few months you learned how to cruise around by hanging onto the edges of furniture. You also were given a walker that helped you learn to use your legs and take bigger steps. By April, you were taking a few steps all by yourself, and by the end of the summer you were walking everywhere on your own. You continue to use your AFO ankle braces to help keep your feet flat on the ground when you're wearing your shoes, but we think you'll be out of them before too much longer.
In the past few months you've begun to climb steps using hand rails, and you can even go up and down one step all by yourself without falling. You love to jump, and if there is anything nearby worth climbing, you'll give it a shot. You also love to hang from things like a monkey...the kitchen table, door nobs, playground equipment and anyone who will offer you a hand to swing on. You are a daredevil for sure, afraid of nothing, and always getting back up without any tears when you fall.
You received your first hearing aids (pink, of course) in February, and quickly became comfortable wearing them, although you do like to play hide and seek with them in the car...you hide them, Mama and Papa spend a few hours seeking them. Although you can hear very well with your left ear without the hearing aids, you do have trouble hearing anything with your right ear. You began spending time once a week at home with a special teacher, Miss Heather, who helped you learn how to listen and how to speak using sign language and spoken word. Your verbal vocabulary has grown this past year from about 5 words to well over 40, even if just Mama and Papa are the only ones who can understand most of what you say. You can even say a few words together, and love using your signs and spoken words to communicate what you want or need.
You love to wear your glasses, and sometimes even refuse to take them off when it's time for a bath or to go to sleep. But, with or without them, you love to see and explore new things. You still love to read books, and you are fascinated with watching other children play. You are particularly in love with anything that involves Dora, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Elmo, Yo Gabba Gabba, and especially Toy Story...Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Bullseye are happy to go with you anywhere.
You still love water. The ocean, the pool, the bathtub or even just a cup of water to dip your fingers in. Your favorite part of every day continues to be bath time...we literally have to drag you out of the tub sometimes. You took swimming lessons in the spring, and we spent a lot of time at the pool this year. And, anytime we go to the beach and walk over the dunes and see the ocean, you can't contain your excitement.
You have spent a lot of time with your friends and cousins this year. You love to play and dance with other children, and you are so good about sharing toys and getting along with others. You made several trips out of town to visit family and friends, and you are never scared about meeting somebody new and offering them a hug and a kiss. Your hugs are famous...you love to squeeze as tight as you can and let others know jut how much you love them. And, if a hug and kiss aren't appropriate, you also love to give out high fives and fist bumps.
In December, you began to attend a special preschool program twice a week at one of the local elementary schools for children just like you. You LOVE school, and you always come home ready for a big lunch and a long nap. You've also graduated from the nursery at church to the preschool Lil'K classroom. Even though you're the smallest and youngest in the class, your teachers say that you love to participate and are totally engaged with everything around you.
Turning three also means that you had to say "bye bye" to some people. Miss Donna, Miss Tanya and Miss Jenn have been spending time with you at home each week for the past three years, helping you to learn to speak and walk and play. You have loved your time with them, and they have been a huge part in your development and progress.
In the coming year we look forward to hearing you continue to develop your vocabulary as you grow in your ability to communicate with the world around you. We are anticipating that your time in school with be a huge help as you learn to play and socialize with others. We think that you might be running by the end of the summer. We'll spend as much time as we can at the beach and the pool this summer!
We Love You!
Mama and Papa