*** As a note, I actually started this post in the beginning of January... two months later, it's finally finished.***
Yes... the fact that Avery has turned four actually does bring me to tears. I know it's very immature and a bit freakish but I'm okay with that.. I'm okay with the fact that I want my little girl to stay my little girl. She's beyond amazing in so many ways and I know there are so many good things to come but I'm loving this phase of her life right now. I love that she wakes up every morning and comes into my room and says, "good morning, mommy! It's a beautiful day!" I love that when I ask her to help me with Hadleigh she willingly takes on the task and tells me she's "helping mommy and the Hadster." Yes, she calls Hadleigh 'Hadster' ... it's a nickname she picked up from her father and it is so sweet to hear her little voice call out for her 'Little Hadster.' And I LOVE that she has finally taken to her little sister and says she's her best friend. Believe me, there have been moments I wondered if she would even acknowledge her little sister's existence so the fact that she has now come to love her so much makes my heart burst.
Avery is really coming into her own. She has always had the ability to become everyone's favorite person in the room and people love her the instant they come in contact with her. "Joy personified" is the perfect description for our little girl and the joy she gives to her family is beyond measure.
There are so many little things Avery does everyday that make me smile... here are some of my favorites:
Every Saturday Avery gets up with her dad and makes oatmeal. It's her special time with daddy and I can always hear her laughing and chatting.... constantly chatting (she takes after me.) It's music to my ears hearing daddy and Avery having their special bonding time.
Avery has gymnastics class every Thursday and Hadleigh and I watch Avery from a second floor viewing area. At least three times during the class she will look up and point and tell everyone in her class, "that's mommy! Look mommy! I'm doing my 'nastics!" or "There's my Hadleigh, look friends, that's my Hadleigh!" All of the fellow parents get a kick out of it and are always quick to say how much she brightens their day.
Cooking is something that I love to do and it makes me so happy that Avery loves to get right in there with me to help. She loves to add blueberries to the pancake batter, chocolate chips to the cookie dough and cracking the eggs to get ready to scramble. She always has to run and get her "yellow piece" which is a yellow step she uses to get up to counter height. She's meticulous about mixing and I know she'll be cooking up her own creations in no time... but not too soon, I don't think I can handle the thought of her using knives.
Finally, she loves her family just about as much as any little four year old possibly can. Avery loves us fiercely, but she has special places in her heart for grandma's, grandpa's, aunts, and uncles. I love that she already, at such a young age, understands the importance of family.
As Avery's mom, a mom who is very blessed to stay home with her kids, I am lucky enough to have seen every "first", every sweet and precious moment of her life and I could not be more honored to be mommy to such a precious little human being. I'm so proud of everything she is becoming; she's kind even when other kids are not, she can brighten the day of anyone who comes across her path, she is quick with 'hello's' and 'thank you's' and even a "you're so pretty, mommy" whenever I walk into the room after getting ready for the day (get's her whatever she wants every time!) She gives phenomenal hugs and sweet little kisses, and even though she can throw the occasional monster tantrum she puts the same amount of effort into loving everyone around her fiercely. Thinking about her as a little baby sometimes brings tears to my eyes because I wonder where the time has went and I can't believe how quickly these four years have flown by. But when I look at the little girl she is, I couldn't be more proud of what a wonderful child she has become and I'm so thoroughly excited to see what the future will bring. I know she will grow up to be a fabulous girl, teenager, and woman, and I'm so happy to know that I will be here to watch her every step of the way.