Saturday, December 12, 2015

Jillian: {4 Years}

{We had her party today, and in the excitement didn't do an "official" picture by the door. This will work though :)}

Jillian –

You are 4 years old today! I remember watching the Birthday episode of Yo Gabba Gabba when you were around 9 months old. The character, Brobee, is turning 4 years old. I felt like that was such a long time before you'd be celebrating your 4th birthday. Yet, here we are my love! {EDIT: According to the doctor at your well check up in February, you are 33 lbs, 0 oz and 38-1/2 inches long. That is 4 lbs, 0 oz heavier & 3 inches longer than at three years old, and 26 lbs, 10 oz heavier & 18-1/2 inches longer than at birth!}

You wear mostly 3T, and a few 4T clothes, but you can still fit in some 2T clothes. You wear size 4 underwear, and wear size 7 shoes.

Eating is a bit more challenging than before. You don't always want to stop what you're doing to eat. Even if we serve you something you love, you won't always eat it. Sometimes we have really rough dinners together. Other times, you eat seconds, and you're just a dream at the table. Hopefully, this phase will move through quickly :) You like whole milk, water, lemonade, broccoli, chicken, cheese, and plain spaghetti noodles. Other than that, you'll eat here and there, but nothing is guaranteed ;)

You have all of your teeth, and you had another dentist appointment that you rocked! You are a great patient both at the dentist, and at the doctor's office! You very rarely cry or make a scene. Plus, you give the doctors high fives and hugs, which I'm sure they don't get all that often.

Sleep is good considering your age. You very rarely take a nap, but when you do, it usually lasts about 1-1.5 hours. Those are the days we've really tired you out! You sometimes fall asleep in the car, but even that is relatively rare. You got your own room, and you seem to love the independence! You still love your big girl bed. We had a few rough times involving staying in bed, and not getting up too early. However, I feel like we've worked out the kinks, and you do really well overall. You have the occasional night when you need us, or you're just too wound up to sleep. Even then, we can usually coax you back to bed easily.

This fall, you started a new preschool class at church! You really like school, but you have had a harder time adjusting than you did last year. I'm not sure if it's because you have new teachers or a brand new class. However, things are a little easier, and we're working hard with your teacher to help you be successful. You are SO very smart. It's hard to keep you interested simply because you understand what's happening already. We have learned that you LOVE to paint, and color. You could paint for hours, and never be bored! You have transitioned out of your hearing clinic preschool, so you go to church preschool 3 days a week for 3.5 hours.

You have successfully completed speech therapy! After much discussion and testing, we decided that you are doing well enough to graduate for now. You are very verbal, and just about anyone can understand what you're saying. We did learn this fall that we should really consider/look into getting a cochlear implant for your right ear. It won't be easy because, even though the medical research is there, insurance won't cover it. If we are able to do this, you will most likely go back to speech therapy while you adjust. We'd like to do this before your 5th birthday, but we'll have to wait and see. You certainly don't let your hearing loss slow you down! Your personality is still shining through. I get so many comments about how friendly and sweet you are. You really have never met a stranger, and you love telling anyone and everyone your life story. Even though it's not in my personality to do that, I try not to keep you from doing that. Partially because it's what makes you you, and also because it really seems to brighten other people's day when you smile and hug them just because :) For the most part, you are just sweet, loving, funny, and a joy to be around.

You are a sensitive child, and we're still trying to find ways to help you manage these emotions. Having them is not wrong, but there are better ways of expressing them. We have been seeing a family counselor once a month that has helped us a bit. With her help, I know we can help you! We started going to the counselor because I was worried you were still mad at mommy after she was gone when Davey was in the hospital. It seems like we've moved past that, but it is still beneficial to us to go :)

Running is still your favorite way to exert your energy! You run laps around the house/couch, you love to play "catch me" with anyone that's willing, and you love to show off how fast you can run. We're going to have to enroll you in some type of sport soon to help you with all this energy you have! We seem to have your grass allergy under control for now. You need your inhaler every so often, but not as much as before. You handle the nose spray pretty good, but you HATE the taste of your allergy medicine. I wish it came in a different flavor :( You enjoy singing in the children's choir at church. You don't always sing loudly during "performances," but your enthusiasm always makes up for it :)

There is no real favorite thing of yours that I could list. You fixate on a show or character for a bit, then move on to the next one. Some of the things you have enjoyed are: Thomas & Friends, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Yo Gabba Gabba, Octonauts, Jake & the Neverland Pirates, Doc McStuffins, Animal Mechanicals, Care Bears, and Peg + Cat. You do love arty stuff, and we're having an Arty Party for your birthday today! Aside from that, you're usually pretty easy going.

You're a great big sister to Davey, and we just recently told you that a new baby is coming! We don't know if it'll be a boy or girl, (you are insisting it be a girl, even though we told you we don't get to choose!), but you're already telling everyone! In fact, we had to announce it a little earlier than we planned because you were telling everyone you saw. Like with the new baby someday, you do have moments with David where you two don't seem to get along real great. I promise that's normal! Other times, you tell me he's your best friend. I know you two will always have one another, and I hope you will always consider him a close friend!

Jillian, I just don't know how we got so lucky. You are such a gift to our family, and life would be so boring without you! You make us extremely proud, and we can't wait to see what 2016 will bring. We love you sweet girl! :)

{Left: 1 Month Right: 4 Years}

{From Left to Right: 1 Year, 2.5 Years, and 4 Years}

{3 and 4 Years Old}
{What a difference a year makes!}

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