Dear Rhys Michael,
You continue to be my pride and my joy. Every day, you continue to amaze me with how much you have learned and grown. It boggles my mind that you are three years old. You are officially no longer a toddler–no. Now, you are a preschooler. I have a preschooler!
This past year has brought a lot of changes for you. Right after your second birthday, we moved to the DFW area in Texas, away from all you have ever know. Away from family and away from what Daddy and I have come to know as home. Those first few months were really hard. Momma was pregnant and Daddy was traveling for training. But, you were such a blessing. You helped Momma survive. You took good care of me and I took good care of you. We were the best buddies there ever were. Then, at Christmas, not only did your Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncle come to visit, but you got a brand new baby sister! And now, after having shared a room with Evelyn for a less than a month, we will be moving to a bigger apartment in four weeks.
But, through all these changes, you have been so flexible. You are such a champ, Rhys.
Teeth: all 20 baby teeth (You had your first dentist appointment last month and she said you have an open bite because of your pacy. We have noticed it too. No more pacy now that you are three. It’ll be hard, even though you only have it during naps and bedtime, but you are a big boy now.
Sleeping | Your bedtime is at 8. But, you typically don’t fall asleep until anywhere between 8:30-9:30. Because of this, we are going to try to start weaning you off naps soon…yikes! But, typically, you are pretty good with going down. We’ll read you a few books, sing a few songs, say prayers, then give a kiss goodnight. You are in your toddler bed now, so quite a few times you’ll come out asking for another book or a snack or some water or to go pee. After three times, we then close your door. You like to read books by the light of your music machine or play with a few toys until you are tired enough. Sometimes, we’ll even find you have fallen asleep on your Costco bear or put your pillow and blanket on the floor to fall asleep. We don’t understand the appeal.
We have recently put Evelyn’s pack-n-play in your room to help prepare both of you with officially sharing a room when we move. The first week, it took quite some time for both of you to fall asleep and if either of you woke up in the middle of the night, you’d both wake up. But, you love having her in there with you. We were a little worried you’d be possessive of your room, but you did so well with the transition. If Evelyn cries, you try to console her by cooing to her, giving her pacies or toys, and sometimes even crawling into her pack-n-play! You both wake up anywhere between 6-7 am.
You still like to nap after lunch. I have you sleep in my bed since Evelyn sleeps in the swing in the living room. It takes less than 10 minutes for you to fall asleep. After I put Eveleyn down and have had lunch myself, I’ll typically go in and take a nap with you. Sometimes, you’ll wake up and cuddle me to fall back asleep. I revel in these special cuddle times. I never want you to grow out of it!
Eating | Thank goodness you are not a picky eater. However, you definitely have your choices. A lot of times for dinner, you’ll take one look at it and say “Blech.” But, after we make you take one bite, you enjoy the rest of dinner. Hardly ever do we have to prepare a separate meal for you. Sometimes, though, we still have to feed you because you are getting distracted or are just playing with your food.
You can now tell us “Rhys hungry” or “Rhys have drink?”. A lot of times, we’ll give you an option for breakfast, snack, and lunch. You also love to help cook and prepare the meals. We still have you use “sippy cups” since we don’t want an accidental spill. In reality, they are children-sized Contigo water bottles.
Favorite Foods: strawberries, bananas, chips, candy, popcorn, chicken, peas, oranges, waffles, oatmeal, ham, PB&J sandwich, gummies.
- PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Bubble Guppies, Moana, Spongebob Squarepants, Cars, Wall-E, Wreck-It Ralph, The Loud House, and YouTube videos of videogames and toy reviews
- cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, Legos, books
- playgrounds, swimming
- videogames like Mario, Yoshi, Pikmin, Pokemon Go
- teasing Momma and Daddy
- getting in the shower
- being quiet or sitting still
- time out (you are fully potty-trained, but whenever we send you to timeout, you always pee your pants)
- getting in a hot car
- when we take the Wii-U away
Personality | You are a wild child. But, we still love you. You love to run around and run away. “Can’t catch me!” is one of your favorite phrases. Hide-and-seek and wrestling are some of your favorite games. You still love to cuddle with your parents and you absolutely adore and love your little sister. You are eager to learn. Sadly, you like the Wii-U, our phones, and the TV just a bit too much. We need to lessen your screen time. You love fun and you are very social. Whenever we go to the library, a playground, or nursery, you will always jump in and start playing with other kids. Your imagination astounds us. We love watching you play pretend–which is almost always. Stubbornness is becoming more and more apparent in your personality–just like your Momma. We definitely butt heads sometimes, but we always reconcile.
Academics | You absolutely love learning. We do some “preschool” every now and then. We are really focusing on number and letter recognition. You know almost every letter in the alphabet and can write a few of them…very poorly, but still! You can also count 1-20. Well, sort of. One through ten is recognizable, then twelve, thirteen, then “a-teen, a-teen, a-teen” a few times, then “twenty!” You know your basic shapes and all the colors. You can follow multiple-step directions. You love learning apps and playing along with your Nick Jr. shows. Reading books is a favorite pastime of yours, and I am so glad about that. There are a few books you are getting very familiar with that you can “read” them.
However, there are two big disadvantages you have at this age of being a preschooler. You still have a speech delay. Your comprehension is wonderful, and your vocabulary is always growing. You are even getting pretty good about using complex sentences. However, you have a really, really, really, really hard time saying things correctly. We don’t know what it is! I’ve tried so hard, especially with phonics and blending (like I do with my young Chinese students at VIPKids). But, you just don’t get it. You can do each individual sound and are willing to practice again and again. But, when it comes time to put it all together….well….this is what Momma and Daddy think of….
Other | You are fully day-trained! You wear underwear all day long and for the past almost month, have only had accidents when you were in trouble. You stay dry all during your nap, too! You still wear a pull-up during bedtime, but we aren’t stressing staying dry overnight just yet.
I am so happy you have taken such a liking to Evelyn. You are fiercely protective of her. When someone calls her anything other than Evie, you will say, “No! That’s EVIE!” You love playing with her all day and will get her numerous toys. One of your favorite games to play with her is a screaming game–she’ll scream and smile and you’ll copy her. Hugs and kisses are smothered upon Evelyn and a lot of times you want her to sit by you.
Rhys, there is no way I can put into words how much I love you, how much I adore you, how much I’m proud of you. Stay my little boy, always.
Momma and Daddy