Nicole at 3

Nicole turned 3 yesterday.  I started writing this post before her birthday, but I was too tired to finish it the last two3.24.11 BYU girls (18) days so instead of posting it first thing on her birthday, I’m posting it the next day. 

It is always amazing to me to look back and see how much my children change and grow in a year.  It’s a reminder of how fleeting these tender years are.  Here is what I wrote about Nicole last year on her birthday.  And here is how she spent her birthday last year.

Nicole is a funny, unique little girl.  When she’s happy she smiles real big and gallops.  She also gallops when she dances.  When she’s sleepy or excited, she yells everything she says.  Most of the time, she is not angry when she yells.  She will yell things like “I HAVE A HAT” or “THIS IS A TOY.”  We have tried to teach her about using a quiet voice, but there are times that her volume is just stuck at loud and she doesn’t seem to understand our request to turn it down to conversation level.

She is my most friendly and outgoing child.  Of all my children, she’s the one who will let a stranger hug her or pick her up.  She’s also the one that warms up to people the quickest.  I think of her as the ambassador of the family.3.30.11 Nicole (1)

Her language has improved much over the course of a year.  Last year she was using two word combinations, this year she uses full sentences. She likes to repeat phrases over and over.  She’ll often repeat them until someone repeats what she says back to her.  Other times she’ll still continue to repeat herself even after someone has correctly repeated her.  She often refers to herself in third person.  To request a drink she’d say “she wants a drink of water.”  Most of the time she calls herself “Me-cole”  “That’s Me-cole’s toy”  “sit in your seat Me-cole.”  Her language is a little weird at times. She’s bad at answering questions.  I have never been able to get her to respond appropriately to the question “how old are you.”  I have even molded the correct response for her.  Here is an example from yesterday:

Me:  Nicole, how old are you?  I’m 3.  Nicole is 3.  Nicole, how old are you?
Nicole:  Curious George is 3!

3.9.11 Dress-ups (5)She enjoys verbally replaying routines where she will list off all the instructions she would receive for a particular activity.  Here’s an example from when she went to kickstart class in Knoxville:  “Time to hold the rope, Me-cole,”  “Have a fun time in kickstart class!”  “sit on the carpet” 

She will often do something and then reprimand herself.  Like standing up in the shopping cart and then saying, “sit down, Me-cole.”

She loves to look at books, especially thick paper books (not board books).  She will study the pictures on a page and then try to find that page in the book over and over again. (“Pumpkin, where are you?”  She looks for a page with a pumpkin on it and as soon as she finds it, she closes the book and looks for it again.)

She is learning how to dress and undress herself and she practices several times a day.  Sometimes she’ll just take her diaper and pants off then go back to playing.  Other times she takes off all of her clothing.  Some days she will only wear clothes from Charlotte’s drawers.  Recently she became frustrated because the only thing she wanted to wear was two pairs of pajama pants, she wanted to wear one as a shirt.  She became very upset that there was no hole for her head, but she persisted in trying to pull the pants down over her head and refused help. 

She is unyieldingly stubborn about what shoes she wants to wear.  This is often 2.27.11 Sunday boots (2)a problem on Sunday mornings.  She will sometimes insist on wearing a pair that are too big and make it hard for her to walk.  Sometimes when we walk Isaac to the bus stop, I just let her wear the improperly fitting shoes rather than fight her to wear something more sensible.  I can sometimes avoid the battle by choosing shoes and helping her with them before she has a chance to pick out the wrong shoes.

She tends to be very independent in her play.  People often tell me they aren’t sure if she had any fun because she just does her own thing and doesn’t ask for anything or play with anyone.  She acts out scenarios with little dolls or pretends to be cooking.  I love to watch her play.  She’ll put a doll into a bed and tell the doll “stay in bed, it’s sleepy time” or she’ll pretend the doll is crying and say “do you need a hug” and hug or have one of the other dolls hug the crying doll.  Once she’s worked out a scenario, she’ll repeat it over and over.

As if that wasn’t enough text about Nicole, here are some links to things I blogged about Nicole this year:  her backpack, falling asleep video, baby powder mess, goose egg, puddles, october (personality profile), eating butter, electrocuting herself, artwork, insomnia, Curious George obsession, wanting to go swimming, a bedtime transition, and several posts after our accident in July where she broke her leg (moving around for the first time after she got the leg splinted, using her walker and walking with a cast, bathing with a cast, and getting her cast off)