I cannot believe you are 5 years old. How did this happen? Each year it amazes me how much you grow and this year was no exception. Here are a few things I want to remember about you.
What you like: Books, art, princesses, singing all the time, making up stories... While you love to read your books word for word, you also like to "read it differently". I'm always entertained on how you change the story, how creative you are, and how fast you come up with new stories. My brain does not work this way so I find it pretty fascinating. Every day we hear "do you want to hear a song?", but you really don't need to ask because you just sing all the time anyway. You can't carry a tune, which you probably get from me, but you get huge points for creativity. We often hear from your teachers how you sang all day or how you like to sing in the bathroom (they think it's because of the acoustics in there). Oh, you also like to use a baby voice and squeak a lot. We're working on using our words and our big girl voice.
What you are writing: You have a number of words down that you know how to write (and don't ask for help). You like to practice a lot, whether that is on paper or 'writing sentences' on the computer. You will often ask if you can practice your sentences on the computer and will proceed to make up an entire story. Much of the time I think you want us to just tell you the letters that make up a word, but we encourage you to sound words out. When you do this it turns out that you often can figure the word out on your own which seems to make you pretty proud of yourself, and it should.
What you wear: You still don't have a huge preference of what you wear. Sometimes you make a request and that often is a dress, but day to day you usually wear what your dad and I set out. Some days you pick out your shirt, socks, and underwear, but on those other days you don't seem to care that you didn't get to. You sometimes like to dress up around the house and have a number of tutu's, an Arial dress, an Anna dress, and a Cinderella crown... plus a whole bunch of jewelry.
What you like to watch: You have a number of shows you like to watch, but right now you are all about the Octonauts. We also have movie night each Friday so sometimes you will watch that movie on repeat throughout the week when allowed. Recent favorites are How to Train your Dragon (the original and 2), Cloudy with a side of Meatballs (again, the original and 2), and The Incredibles. I find it interesting how much TV has changed since I was a kid and how you pretty much never watch network TV and instead know how to navigate Netflix and Plex for the shows you want to watch.
Who are your friends: This year you transitioned from one pre-school room to the year before kindergarten (YBK) room and luckily your friends Sarah, Amelia, and Reyah were moved to the same room. You still run into some of the kids that are still in the old courseroom and invited some to your birthday party, but you've also made some new friends in your current courseroom. You adore Sylvia and always talk about how small and cute she is. Whenever you see a picture of a horse you announce that horses are Alexa's favorite animal. And recently you shared that Keegan is your boyfriend. I knew you were fond of him, but I wasn't sure how much until recently. I think you mostly think of him as a friend that's a boy that you just really dig, but he certainly stands out above the rest.
Thoughts about your family: You have a huge family, but spend most of it with your dad and I, your papa Frank, and grandma Suzie and grandpa Michael. We've been trying to spend more time with papa and recently have been going out to lunch with him whenever we can. You also adore spending time at grandma and grandpa's house especially if you get to spend the night. You ask about uncle Richie, auntie Susee, and your cousins, Mason and Cade, on a regular basis and, like you, your dad and I wish they were closer. You get to see your aunts, uncles, and cousins at family gatherings and have had a couple occasions this year where we've been able to see my birth family. You are sometimes shy with the extended family, but usually warm up and end up offering up hugs by the end of the visit.
Where you traveled: This was a big year of travel for you and included your first plane ride. It happened to be a big flight as we took you to Luxembourg to see uncle Richie and family. You amazed your dad and I with how well you did on all the flights (regardless of the 1 hour of sleep whimpering in the middle of the night). We also traveled to southern Minnesota for a long weekend which was a change from our usual of heading north.
Your personality: You are certainly your own person, but I definitely see bits of your dad and I in you. It's been fun watching the person you've become and I wonder how you will grow. While you can be reserved, I trust that you will find your voice as you get older (I did, so I'm sure you will too). You are very compassionate and show your concerns for others often. You've made it clear that you don't like the rough, wild kids and you are learning how to deal with those sorts of kids (it's a work in progress). I love how silly and sweet you are. You melt my heart all the time.
I love you bunches and bunches and am so glad I get to call myself your mom. Thanks for being just who you are.