Monday, November 14, 2016


Sweet Iyla Grace, you are now FOUR YEARS OLD. I can't believe I have such a big girl! And I must say, the transition from 3 to 4 is a big one. You've gone from a dependent toddler to a very independent, spirited, imaginative little GIRL, who has her own preferences and sense of humor. You are so fun to spend time with- always coming up with creative games, and truly enjoying the magic and whimsy of the world around you.

Your official Pre-K 4 school photo

Here are your official 4 year old updates!

How old? 4 years old last Saturday!

How big? You are currently wearing 3T or 4T pants, usually 3T dresses, 4T tops/dresses and comfortably wear a size 8 shoe. You are definitely a petite little thing, and are ALL LEGS like your Papa. At your 4 year old well check appointment, you were 32.5 pounds (25%) and 40 inches tall (50%). You did great with your eye test & physical! You were also SO BRAVE for your 5 shots. They definitely hurt more than you anticipated, and you cried for a bit after the nurse left the room. You later told me that you were glad I didn't have to get any shots, as that would make you sad. Always the sweet empath, my Iyla Gracie.

Post appointment ice cream!

Sleep? You are a great sleeper! You still will occasionally pull the 'let's delay bedtime as long as possible by asking for endless cuddles and kisses" game, but truly you are pretty amazing in this department. Lately Papa does the bedtime routine with you. Around 7:15 you'll go potty and brush teeth, then get into pajamas (recent favorites are your pink skeleton PJ's) and pick out a book to read. You like us to "sit 10 minutes" in your room before leaving, and have been sleeping in your white tent every single night! It's set up with lots of cozy blankets and a huge array of your stuffed animals, which are spread around it's perimeter.

You are also apparently napping daily at school! While it totally surprises me to hear you are napping, it doesn't surprise me that you enjoy that quiet time (especially now that you have a fancy horse nap mat). You are a true introvert who needs down time daily to refresh.

Eating? I would say you are a pretty good eater, though definitely particular about what you want. You do not like the words "breakfast, lunch, or dinner" and prefer to have "snacks" all day every day. You typically have a Cliff Bar for breakfast (in the car en route to school), and in your lunch pack I will put an array of fruit (apples, grapes, oranges, prunes, and strawberries are favorites), shredded cheese, carrot sticks, and crackers. For dinners you like things like sausage, chicken, broccoli, carrots, green beans, rice, edamame, sweet potato fries, or asparagus. You love having "treats," which to you are gummy bunnies, ice cream, M&M's, or anything chocolate!

Your beloved Cliff Bar on the way to school


It is so fun and hilarious to hear your take on the world. Here are a few recent favorite quotes of yours:

"When I grow up, I want to be a Queen and marry Papa at a wedding." (October 2016)

"When I grow up, I want to have children but I don't want to pump my nipples." (October 2016)

At school they requested that kids bring in photos of pets and family members who have passed to have displayed for a Day of the Dead shrine. I sent you to school with photos of our kitty Sam and of Great Grandma Nani, and when we arrived you jubilantly announced to your teacher that "Dead Sam is in my backpack!" and that you "missed dead Nani." (October 2016)

When asked to clean up her toys from the living room floor, you promptly told me: "I'm doing something. When you see me doing something you have to be patient Mama. Be patient." Wonder where she got that from? (August 2016)

Favorite things?

*Playing make believe! You love to be the director and tell us what part we are playing in your make believe story. You particularly like to play act and pretend to be animal families.

*Your toy horses & other animal family characters. You still prefer smaller hard toys to stuffed animals in your day to day play, but sleep with an array of stuffed buddies and go through phases where those become your favorite items.

*Dressing up (all day every day!)

We pulled out the dress I wore on my 4th birthday! A Winnie the Pooh dress

Here's me at the same age in the same dress

You proceeded to style that dress as only you could

*Swimming- this is always your happy place!

You got to participate in an underwater photo shoot at your swim school. The look of pure joy on your face in the first photo says it all. You are a little mermaid who LOVES being under water!

*Painting! You have a little painting station in our house equipped with watercolors, paper, a paintbrush, and a cup of water. You often head back there for a little quiet artistic time.

You love the painting area at the kids' museum too

Other notable things:

*You are so articulate and excellent at expressing your feelings and emotions. There are two words you slightly mispronounce in the cutest way: sure is said "sir," and girl is said "glurl."

*You continue to be a very sensitive, empathetic little girl. You are very aware of the emotions of those around you, and like everyone to be happy. You get very upset if you feel like Papa or I are frustrated or not happy with you!

*You are particular about how your hair is done each day. We at least have a bit of variety going on depending on your mood. You'll ask for "dumbo ears" (two pony tails), two buns, or hair down "like Mama." I think we missed our hair cutting window (you've only had it trimmed ONE time- the mullet clip- when you were a baby!) because you are now very adamant that you want it LONG, thank you very much. Your hair forms amazing ringlets on its ends... I hope those never go away! They are absolutely adorable.

*Recently you've been loving putting on my shoes and parading around saying that YOU are Mama going to work. You like to pretend you have a baby too and baby wear and nurse it. It's so cute! You also like to pretend to be "Baby Iyla" by putting a pacifier in your mouth.

Feeding your baby

*You love to organize your toys into families, species, parades, you name it. I'll often find a neat line of animal figures marching along the play room or bathtub.

*You are the SWEETEST big sister ever. Whenever you see Eloise you pinch and smush her cheeks and squeeze her tight. You just light up around her, and there hasn't been one moment of jealousy toward her since she joined the family.

*You have genuine FRIENDS that you prefer and love! Sweet Sabine has been your buddy since you were 4 months old, and now at school you are close with a little girl named Eila (pronounced the same as your name!) and another girl named Fiona. You also tell us that a little boy named Liam Stark is "your beloved" and sings songs to you about getting married. Ha!

With Sabine

The two Iyla/Eilas at school

*You are doing so well at school, and at our first teacher conference your teachers remarked how much they all adored you. They noted what an empathetic child you were, and how unusual that was for a kiddo your age. Every morning you skip your way into school, and every afternoon you are all smiles at pick up. You take gymnastics before school on Fridays, and golf after school on Thursdays.

*Your eyes have recently been changing from all blue to a bluish-green. Apparently my eyes were blue as a little girl until I was around 5 years old, and are now mostly green. Looks like you may be following suit!

*You are overall an extremely healthy kid, and this past year was no exception. We did have one bout of a 24 hour stomach bug (from school)- but it was thankfully super mild and over quickly.

Set up with a bowl and videos on your sick day. Luckily you only threw up 2x total, then just had an upset stomach that was much better the following day.

*You love your books, and will often just sit quietly looking through the different stories.

And now, a little look down memory lane from your past 4 years:

On November 12th, 2012, at 8:44pm you came into this world! 
The most darling little thing at 5#14oz and 19 inches long.

 Your 1st year:

2nd birthday photo:

 And 3rd birthday photo:

Here are a few more photos from the past several months:

You love going out to eat at the Launderette and EVERYONE who works there knows you by name.

This was the sweetest. Every time we come home from a day of swimming & playing at Aunt Sheri's house both you and Eloise pass out in the car.

We love you SO much sweet Iyla Grace! Thank you for being YOU and for choosing to be part of our family

Here's to another fun filled year of learning and adventures!

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