Friday, October 24, 2014

letters to duke - 3 years

October 22, 2014

Dear Duke,

THREE??  What in the world, Duke.  It has been a precious 3 years with you.

This is the first letter that I've written since Nova's been born.  The transition to Big Brother was a little rough on all of us.  From the beginning, you were always interested in and loved Nova, however, you were definitely a little upset with us.  (Sometimes, a lot upset with us.)  A switch flipped and there were some behaviors we'd never seen from you.  We knew it was normal, but we were so ready for you to feel comfortable and at peace again.  Within a few weeks of Nova being around, you were back to your normal self and we were so glad.

You've been a big brother for almost 5 months now and you've been a great helper.  You take bottles to the kitchen for me, bring burp rags to me, and help pick up your toys.  I've also loved watching you take care of Nova.  You are very protective of her, sometimes saying, "You can't hold my sister!" to people you don't know very well.  When she's crying, you point at me and say, "She needs her mommy!"  You've transitioned from mostly calling her "Bay Nova" (Baby Nova) to just Nova.  You guys are becoming little buddies and it gives me so much joy to watch you both enjoy each other.

You are 39.5 in. tall (91st percentile) and 35  lbs. (81st percentile).  You sleep 11-12 hours at night and take a 2.5-3.5 hour nap in the afternoon.  We said goodbye to your sleep sack, which was full of holes where your feet were completely poking through, back in August.  You asked about it for several nights, but you did just fine without it.  It was sweet how long you held on to that thing.  You have still never gotten out of your bed on your own, so we are counting our blessings!  You patiently wait for me to come get you every morning and after every nap time.

Some of your favorite kid songs right now are "Zacchaeus," "It's Raining, It's Pouring," and "Ring Around the Rosy."  You also love "Kay Purry" and Taylor Swift's new hit, "Shake it Off."  The "Close My Eyes" song is one we try to play often in our home.  (It's usually known as "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt.)  Many times you have asked me to sing this to you as your bedtime song.  Although it's a strange song selection for a mother to a son, I think it's hilarious and I'm always happy to oblige.  We love your love for music and singing.  One of our new favorite things is to hear you do your Sarah McLachlan impression. 

You love school (MDO) and you love your teachers.  You had Deb and Alicia once before and you were thrilled (and so was I!) when you got to have them again.  You go once a week and can't wait to get in there to play.  Your teachers have commented on how talkative and funny you are.  My little comedian!  They also say that you are a very polite and sweet little boy.  I couldn't be more proud reading notes like that.

When it comes to playing with toys, you're basically only interested in cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes.  I love watching you make up stories and act them out.  You also enjoy going on walks or "adventures in the neighborhood" as we call them sometimes. 

You know all of the ins and outs of Thomas the Train and the Island of Sodor.  (And, we got to meet Thomas the Train last month!)  Your knowledge genuinely impresses me.  That seems to be your favorite thing to watch, but anything related to Cars or Lightning McQueen or Mater is probably up there too.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is also something you love.  When "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog" comes on, you get so excited!

I'd have to say that I'm a huge fan of Daniel Tiger.  He has taught you a lot of new words and emotions.  Being "frustrated" is probably the one we've talked about the most in the recent days.  There was even a time I was expressing that I was frustrated in the kitchen and you sang Daniel Tiger's "Frustrated" song to me.  I was humbled very quickly.  You definitely teach me a lot.

I love watching you and your little village of friends.  You take each others' toys and push each other and the next minute you're hugging and giggling together.  You have lots of precious friends in your life, Duke.  You are one lucky kid.
We're working on daytime potty training.  We attempted a month or two ago, but it was obvious you weren't ready.  And, honestly, neither were we.  This time around though, something seems to be clicking.  We started back up about a week ago and you've only had a couple accidents.  We're very excited about this!

Your weeks consist of church on Sunday mornings, bible study on Monday mornings, soccer practice on Monday nights, playing with Jmama while I teach music on Tuesday mornings, school on Wednesdays, and church on Wednesday nights.

You know 6 bible verses, can almost count to 20, and we're working on spelling your name.  And, because I'm your weirdo music teacher mom, sometimes we work on rhythm flashcards.  And we always work on matching pitch while we brush teeth.  I think you'll thank me one day though, so I'm going to keep it up.

Duke, you are full of life and joy.  That's what you bring to this family and that's what you bring to our home.  You are such a pleasant little boy and everyone who knows you loves you.  That's not because of me or your dad or even you.  That's because God has made you in a special way.  Everything that is in you and that we love about you is from God.  Always be sure to tell him thanks for anything and everything you have.

We are truly honored to be your parents.  I love you with my whole heart, sweet Duke.


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