Happy 3rd Birthday, Ladybug!

Another year has come and gone, and our little lady is turning three. This year has flown by at lightning speed — somehow going by even fast than the previous two years. I have a feeling it’s never going to slow down, and I’ve been trying to make sure I’m as present as I can be during this sweet, exhausting phase of life.

This past year has turned our little toddler who mumble-jumbled lots of words that only we could really understand into a full-blown little kid who has a variety of thoughts, ideas, observations, and opinions all her own, and she tells us about them all day long. As my mother in law has said, “she goes to bed talking and she wakes up talking!” So very true, and I love every minute of it.

I spend the majority of my days each week with Leighton, and just like I have said each year, she is truly my best little friend, my favorite little person to do both nothing and everything with, and the absolute love of mine and her daddy’s lives.

Over the past year, we have created so many incredible, fun memories together as a family and with Leighton’s little friends. There are far too many to name them all, but these were some of my favorite memories from year three with our girl…

We took our favorite family trip of the year to St. Augustine, FL back in June, and we had the most fun yet with our crazy, hilarious toddler. In addition to wanting to “swim like a fish” all over the Atlantic Ocean, her other favorite activities included sea shell hunting and drawing chalk rainbows on the front deck with my mom. She was so well-behaved at our numerous dinners out, and we had way too much ice cream, just as you should on a proper beach vacation. My dad introduced her to this thing called a “candy store,” and I’m pretty sure her life was changed forever. She is now a very big fan of gummy worms.

Some huge milestones she accomplished this spring/summer: moving to a toddler bed and potty training! Both were things that we admittedly held off on as long as we could, but she jumped in headfirst with each challenge and never looked back. She has only recently started getting out of her bed in the morning, but it’s only to grab new stuffed friends to play with, and then she hops right back in bed and sings to herself till I get her. And potty training went so well that she practically trained herself. I’ve heard so many horror stories on both fronts, so to say we’re proud of these two accomplishments would be an understatement!

  • Watching Leighton learn and thrive in the environment we have created for her at home has been one of the most rewarding parts of being her mom. She counts numbers and sings her alphabet and various other songs she’s learned from her favorite shows. She has a great imagination and loves making picnic dinners and tea for us in her play kitchen. She’s learning what it means to share, take turns, and be kind to her friends, and we so enjoy watching her play and interact with them. Her vocabulary has exploded this year, and we are continually amazed at the things she says. Play dates have gotten really fun because she can do so many things, so we have spent a lot of time at the pool and splash pads, on slip n slides, and at our friends’ houses this past summer.
  • August 1st was a very sad day for our family as we laid our sweet Coco Bear to rest. She was Leighton’s “puppy sister” and favorite furry friend, and it’s been heartbreaking to have her no longer here with us. Coco was the absolute sweetest with Leighton… from the day we brought her home from the hospital up to the last day she spent with us, as Leighton gave her multiple “check-ups” to see if she was healthy. There’s a hole in our home and our hearts, but we’re so thankful for the 7.5 years we had with our first baby.
  • The most recent, huge milestone for our sweet girl is that she started preschool at the end of August! I’ve been both excited for and dreading this time, because it marks a new chapter in her life as she starts her school journey and has something that is all her own without mommy and daddy. She’s in the 2 year old Bunny class (just missed the 3yr class cutoff by 9 days) and will be going twice a week for half days this year. I’m looking forward to having a little more time to myself for work, the gym, and other things while she’s at school… and then going to pick her up and hearing all about her day with her new friends and teachers. I am so thankful we got into such a great program at our local Methodist church, I can’t wait to see how much she learns and grows.

    To celebrate her 3rd birthday, we knew we had to have it at The Little Gym where she takes her weekly gymnastics classes. She’s been a little rockstar from the start, and it’s been so fun watching how strong and fearless she is. We hosted her party over Labor Day weekend, and we partied and played with about 45 of our closest friends and family members. She still loves the “Trolls” movie characters, so we chose that as her party theme with big Poppy balloons, fun iced cookies, rainbow cupcakes, and Trolls rock candy sticks. Her favorite part was “slamming the cheese” wedges, which was pretty hilarious to watch each kid attempt to do.

    Leighton Lane, we wish you the happiest of birthdays, sweet baby girl! Your birthday is my favorite day. We love you more than you will ever know… and as you say, “the whole wide world and the fish in the sea.”

    One thought on “Happy 3rd Birthday, Ladybug!

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