Dear sweet Natalie, not only did you turn 2 years and 7 months old today, but today was your first day of school. You have been waiting for this for WEEKS, it's all you talk about. We've been fortunate enough to not only find a great little school, but a school full of other parents and teachers who are truly excited about learning, not to mention are just all around nice people, too. We've been having playgroups at the park all summer with these folks, so you already know most of the kids in your class. Last week some of us even went to the zoo and you had a blast with them - your teacher even came, too. All this before class officially started. And today? You were your usual toddler self, all stubborn and mood swing-y, and prone to flip flopping on the major issues like car seats and lunch. But as soon as I mentioned it was time for school, you ran like Usain Bolt for the car and immediately got in your car seat, strapped yourself in, and announced "I GO TO SCHOOOOOOOOOOL!!!" And when I picked you up two hours later, you were totally zonked, and all I got out of you was that you colored with markers and sang new songs. And then you slept for 2.5 hours. Needless to say, it was a good day for mommy, too.
Your vocabulary as usual is growing exponentially. Your favorite comments are that something is "kinda funny," "kinda silly," or "kinda tricky," when it's a puzzle or drawing you want to get me to do for you. You're also laying on the pressure to mommy and daddy that you want a baby sister. We don't know where this is coming from, but it's kind of funny. You want to read, constantly, but I'm starting to get a little bored of your favorite books. If I have to read "Arthur Babysits" one more time I may shoot myself. I'm always trying to get you to read different books, but I guess you have a current list of favorites and that's all you want right now.
You are still a huge sesame street fan, which I love, but I also love how I can hear you counting with them, doing the alphabet with them, answering the questions posed to the audience. I even got you to get dressed the other day by getting you to pretend you were on Elmo's world and Dorothy the goldfish wanted to know how to get dressed. So you narrated the entire process to Dorothy and I couldn't be happier. "Dis is how I get dressed, Dortee. I put one foot in here-a, and den I put foot in here-a, and den I pull my pants up - Mommy I need help pees! See Dortee, dat's how I get my pants on!" Adorable. And it's a good thing, too, because there are time when I want to hang you upside down out the window by your itty bitty toenails because you can be so stubborn and strong willed (which I know is a phase because your friends are all going through it too at the same time, still, doesn't make it any easier to deal with 24/7). But then you come out with the sweetest and kindest thoughts about mommy and daddy and your friends and what you love and I just want to squeeze you as much as possible because I'm reminded what a blessing you are and just how much I love you.