Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fabulous Four

Dear Reagan,

Today you turn four. I'm going to try very hard to not focus on every birthday and milestone being a big dramatic, "Oh my, my BABY is ______!" But it is hard to believe that you, the little pink bundle we brought home from the hospital four years ago, is such a big girl.

That little person now goes to preschool, writes R's everywhere, buckles her own seat belt (everyone being able to buckle their own seat belts is a milestone I celebrated maybe even more than the end of diapers!), rides a bike (with training wheels), helps with everything, tries to read books, and generally imitates everything everyone else does.

Today was a huge milestone because when you turn four in our family you are allowed to climb the ladder in the garage and enter our Legoland. You had never seen it up there before and were very excited for your first time. You played up their three times today.  The family got you one of the Lego friend (girl) sets of legos to begin your own part of the city. The little Reagan subdivision.
First time up to the attic!

Swimming is still one of your favorite things to do in the whole world. So it was an easy to pick swimming as what we would do today to celebrate your birthday. Today was a Saturday so the whole family went to the East Portland Aquatic Center and swam. You had so much fun swimming everywhere and going down the slides.

We love everything about you Reagan. But your voice is a mix of sunshine, sprinkles, and everything pink and purple. Listening to you talk is precious. You say absolutely adorable things, in the sweetest little girl voice. It makes daddy and my heart melt. Today we went out for donuts for breakfast for your birthday and you were so excited about having a "humongo" doughnut. I also love that you call my hair "waggely" and shredded cheese is "sprinkle" cheese.  There are multiple times each week when I wish I could have a recorder going all the time to record the cute things you say.
 Eating the "humongo" doughnut  this morning.

This year you have developed a very strong little personality. You know what you want and intend to get your way. In fact, one thing you wanted for your birthday was a ladder. Why would a new four year old need a ladder? To get the stuff that we put up high so you can't get to it, of course.

As has been true since the day you were born, your siblings still adore you. But now you and Camden will occasionally have a disagreement. But for the most part in their three little sets of eyes, you walk on water. They all love to play with you and take care of you.

You have begun to really like watching older girls, 4 and 5-year-olds, and you want to be like them. Having friends is important to you, and so going to school has been great. Being in Mrs. DuPuis' class has been so much fun for you. Daddy can come and visit you, and the high school kids always come and tell him how much they love you. Your favorite thing to do is the hot tray, a place where you melt old crayons and then wipe them on paper.

For Halloween this year you decided you wanted to be a gum ball machine. It was a tricky costume to come up with, I had to develop some engineering skills. You made the decision over a month before and never wavered despite my trying to tempt you with pretty (and easier) princess dresses. Next year should be interesting also, because of your older brother's influence you say your going to be Iron Man. Funny girl.
Trick-or-treating in your gumball machine costume in daddy's classroom. Your preschool goes to some of the classes, and of course daddy's is one of them.

We have been struggling with sleeping for quite some time. You don't need a nap, but sometimes take one. If you do, then going to bed at night doesn't happen until much later than your siblings. Today, in fact, you fell asleep in the car on the way home from swimming. And so now, at 8:32 pm, the boys are both in bed, but as I type this I hear you in the other room singing away as you are playing. Not tired at all. But if you don't nap you actually are asking us to put you to bed before 7:00. One time you said, "Mom! Look at my eyes! They are so tired. Put me to bed!" I don't mind the fluctuating bed time nearly as much as I mind that you wake me up many times each week in the middle of the night. Usually I can just put you back to bed and you go right to sleep. But there are other nights we are up for a few hours hanging out. I try to just enjoy the snuggles and remember that there will be a day I will miss middle-of-the night cuddles with you.

You still have a blankie. It is hard to imagine how you will ever get rid of it. The main point of the blanket is to smell it. The little fringe on the end go under your nose. It is adorable. And a little strange! We think you have an amazing sense of smell. You comment on smells all the time, and seek out things to smell. It is very funny.

I don't know how many hours you would be willing to sit and listen to books. Stories about animals are usually your favorite. You are developing a funny little sense of humor, and you enjoy things that make you laugh. You try and copy the jokes the boys try and tell.

Reagan, my heart almost hurts I love you so much. It is overwhelming how blessed all of us our to have you in our lives. Your sweet little smile, daring voice, and happy eyes bring so much joy to each day. There is a clip of a video I have on my phone from when we were in San Diego last month of you happily running on the beach, blond little pony tails bouncing behind you with a sweet little smile on your face that I feel just sums up who you are.

It takes you quite some time to warm up to adults. However, this last year you have been going to Tater Tots, the 3-6 year old class at church and you almost instantly took to teacher Ginny. You love her and love your class. Teacher Ginny is such a faithful, Godly woman and I think you bonded with her so quickly because of how she is sharing Jesus with you. She has been a blessing in each of the Pate kid's lives, and she especially is in yours.

That brings me to what my prayer is for you tonight, and for your life. Reagan I'm going to pray over you Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

We all love you so much Reagan. Happy Birthday.