Height + Weight: 37″ // 33.4 lbs
When the new year rolled around, we finally became tired of making Leighton a separate meal almost every night for dinner. Since the first night that we gave her a plate with the same food we had, she’s become a good bit more adventurous and will usually try at least a bite of everything on her plate. To our surprise, asparagus and green beans have become a couple of her favorite foods, and we’d never have known that if we hadn’t put them on her plate when we were eating them.
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 had only recently started getting out of bed in the morning, but it’s only to grab some stuffed friends and then she gets back in bed and sings to herself until 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!
The most recent, huge milestone 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. Her first day of school was amazing (no tears!), and when she got back in the car afterward, she said, “I had the best time!” I am so thankful we got into such a great program at our local Methodist church, and I can’t wait to see how much she learns and grows.
Disney princess movies, Trolls, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (especially the “Count Mickula” episode) and Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and The Muppet Babies (or Muffin Babies, as she calls them). We’re going to Disney World for her first trip in October, so we’ve been a little heavy on the Disney movies and characters to get her excited. Snow White and “the funny guys” were her first favorites, but I think Frozen, The Little Mermaid, and Tangled are all top contenders now. I absolutely cannot wait to see her face when we walk into the Magic Kingdom and her Disney friends come to life right before her eyes.
She LOVES the pool and everything it entails. Practicing swimming, jumping off the side while singing silly versions of the songs we learned in swim class, playing on the steps and going underwater while holding her breath for a few seconds… I think she was born to be in the water. Needless to say, we’ve spent a lot of time in the pool this summer, which is fine by me.
Playing is one of her favorite things, whether it’s swinging, sliding, jumping on the trampoline, “walking the beam” on our neighborhood curbs, riding her trike or little Minnie Mouse four wheeler, making pretend food in her kitchen, doing puzzles, blowing bubbles, giving us and her animals check ups like Doc McStuffins does, or coloring and putting stickers on every surface possible. She is obsessed with the play set at my parents’ house and loves hanging upside down from the set of swinging bars. She just got a bunch of new play food for her birthday and has been busy serving us meals of hot dogs and ice cream, as well as full-on birthday parties, every day since her party.
Her current favorite foods are all fruits, PBJs and grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese dip and chips (she gets that honestly), asparagus, bacon, hot dogs, “fancy cheese” (pimiento cheese), pickles, popsicles and ice cream, PEZ candy, and cheese quesadillas with black beans and rice that she demands to add to them “alla by myself.”
She doesn’t really have many dislikes these days. Being told she has to go to bed is probably one of her least favorite things, and she’ll sometimes put up a fight or start acting like a lunatic when we go upstairs (especially for naps), but she does at least listen and calm down when she realizes there is no other option. Mama is clinging onto those naps like nobody’s business.
Other Fun Stuff:
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. She counts numbers and sings her alphabet and various other songs she’s learned while she lies in her bed in the mornings before I come in to get her. As my mother in law has said, “she goes to bed talking and she wakes up talking!”
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. 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. We spent a lot of time at The Battery with friends, which has become one of our favorite local places to hang out.
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.
To celebrate Leighton’s 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 invited our families and all of her little friends. Since she still love Trolls so much, we chose that as her party theme, with big Poppy balloons, fun iced cookies, rainbow cupcakes, and Trolls rock candy favors. It was the best party!
This year has flown by even faster than the first two did, and I’m sure they’ll only continue to go by more quickly. I’m so very thankful that I have the opportunity to stay home with Leighton during this sweet, exhausting, fun phase of life. I say it with every phase, but this is truly the most fun age so far. It’s bittersweet to watch her getting so big… but it’s even more amazing to watch her grow into her own person. One of my favorite things is when she comes up to give one of us a huge hug and says, “I just love you so much! The whole wide world and the fish in the sea!” Heart. Melted. More than anything, we’re just thankful to have a healthy, happy daughter. Leighton is the greatest blessing and joy of our lives, and I hope you’ve enjoyed following along on our adventures!