I know I say this every time I post a quarterly update on Ella, but I just can't believe how fast this third child of mine is growing up! It is all happening too fast and it is just breaking my heart! I wish that I could just push the "pause" button on this little girl's life and keep her little for a few years longer. But such things are impossible and so I am just trying to savor every day that I have left with my baby before she leaves me for good during the day.
Ella turned 3 years and 3/4 years old while we were driving home from the cabin today. It's hard to believe that my next update on her will be when she is four years old. As much as I hate this, she really is starting to act so much more like a four year old and look it, too! I swear that Ella really hit a growth spurt in the past few months as she has gotten so much taller and longer! She used to be such a petite, little thing, but now she is just as tall as most of the kids her age. I really need to switch out her 3T clothes for 4T clothes since everything is looking too snug and too short on her, but I just haven't had the time yet. Speaking of clothes, Ella has also fallen in love with clothes the past few months and changes outfits multiple times a day all on her own. She has especially fallen in love with dresses and prefers to wear them over pants and a shirt on any given day. Ella also has no sense of "weather appropriate" clothes and prefers to wear summer clothes year round now. She is constantly choosing to wear sundresses or a skirt and a short-sleeved shirt of summer pajamas while it is raining and freezing outside and I am constantly telling her that it is too cold to wear these kind of clothes! Sometimes I win, but most of the time she wins! When we are staying home, she still prefers to wear one of her nightgowns all the time just like her older sister did when she was this same age. Ella has also taken an interest in what items of clothing match and what accessories go with certain items of clothing. It is quite cute to see this side of her personality developing.
Ella continues to love all things girly. She loves barbies, princesses, fairies, and mermaids. She absolutely adores the Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy book series and wants to have us read them to her every day. Ella has really enjoyed her preschool co-op this year and has finally established some independence from me. She enjoys the socializing and playing with the other children in the co-op and learning about the letters and numbers. She loves to complete the worksheets and the crafts each week and has really gotten into coloring and painting at home. Like her older brother, Ella now asks me to print out multiple coloring pages a week (usually princess themed) for her to paint at the kitchen table and she loves coloring in her coloring book while we are riding in the car. Ella has also discovered scissors lately and loves to just cut up pieces of paper which I think is great practice for her and I totally don't mind picking up scraps of little paper on a daily basis. She also has really gotten into singing and loves to sing her church and preschool songs with me while we are home or in the car. Sometimes I will just catch her singing to herself which is just about the sweetest thing. Ella also makes up funny names all the time for characters in books and movies or dolls she plays with or anyone on the street whose name we don't know. She uses names like "Cheeny," or "Tonn,y" or "Chonna." I don't know where she came up with these kinds of names, but she uses them all the time. She also continues to say funny and cute words or phrases that keep us laughing. She says, "Fancy Ancy," instead of Fancy Nancy which Ron and I refuse to correct because we think it is just so adorable. She also referred to the wise men in the nativity story this Christmas season as the "treasure men" which just cracked us up. Ella also said the funniest thing to me one day while we were in the car that I managed to write down before I forgot. We were driving past a parked train on the train tracks downtown and Ella wistfully let out a sigh before saying, "I just want to go in that choo choo somehow." Oh, how her grandpa would agree!
Lastly, the thing that is not so cute that has happened these past three months is that Ella has started to outgrow her afternoon nap. Oh no! During the month of October, Ella began to not fall asleep after I put her down for her nap and would end up playing in her room the entire time. By the time I left for New York City in November, I thought she had outgrown naps for good. Luckily, she caught a cold while I was gone, so by the time I returned from my trip she was pretty tired by the afternoon and took a nap every day for two weeks straight! Since the beginning of December, Ella has been taking a nap about 50% of the time which I have gotten used to. Ella always does the same routine with me every day which includes eating lunch, reading one or two stories, and then going to bed. If she doesn't fall asleep within the first few minutes, she will normally get out of bed and start playing with her toys. As a result, I have introduced her to the concept of "quiet time" and require that she plays quietly in her room (or sometime Lia's room) until her brother and sister come home from school at 3:30. At that point, Ella is allowed to come downstairs and join the rest of us. This system seems to be working out pretty well for the two of us and I hope that I can keep this going until she heads off to full-day Kindergarten in 1.5 years! Perish the thought!