Way back on June 6, Miss Clara Rose became a three year old. It's hard to believe how quickly the years slip by. Read on - pictures are at the end.
Throughout this past year Clara has become a proficient walker. Wearing hip helpers throughout the summer months helped to develop and good gait by forcing Clara to lift her feet and bend her knees rather than shuffling her feet and/or waddling. She wants to run to keep up with Owen and the other big kids, but can't quite get beyond a fast walk yet. Keeping up with the fast walking Clara can be challenging - I am not sure we are ready for running Clara yet. Santa brought Clara a mini-trampoline this year and she so desperately wants to jump, but can't quite get her feet off the ground.
Clara has become quite the climber, getting into and out of her booster seat on her own, climbing onto and off of furniture, and even managing to scurry up the steep play set ladder in the back yard. One day, I walked into the kitchen to find Clara sitting on top of the table. She has also become a proficient stair climber, going up and down stairs safely with little or no assistance.
Clara has made it her mission to make sure that all doors and drawers are closed at all times. When she sees and open door or drawer, she will drop whatever it is that she is doing so that she can rectify the open door/drawer situation. Now that she is tall enough to reach the regular utensil drawer, she declared that she will no longer use toddler utensils and insists on using grown-up forks and spoons.
We reduced the frequency of physical and occupational therapies and focused on speech therapy. As a results Clara's vocabulary (including spoken words and signs) has increased significantly this year. As with most kids this age, "no" is certainly Clara's favorite word and she uses it emphatically. Want, mine, stop and all done are also some of Clara's favorite words. She is beginning to be able to communicate her wants or needs to us, although those instances are limited to communicating her choice from a list of options (e.g., Do you want eggs, cereal, or toast to eat for breakfast?). She loves Signing Time and requests (verbally and with signs) that we put an episode on anytime we go near the TV.
Clara has become increasing interactive with her baby dolls - pretending to feed them, trying to put a diaper on them, talking with them, and taking them for walks in a stroller. Okay, so she has colored on a couple with crayons too, but just to make them pretty. To be fair, Clara has also colored her own face with crayon mimicking lipstick application.
Clara's love of all books continued during her third year. She will happily leaf through books for hours even if they have no pictures. At church, Clara loves to page through the hymnal and bible, an activity that generally keeps her occupied for most of the worship service.
Thanks to our good friends Lynn and Diana, Clara attended her first year of Sunday school and this summer will attend her first vacation bible school. We are eternally grateful that our congregation sees Clara Rose and not just her extra chromosome. We are also thankful for our Pastor who recognizes the readiness of children to participate in Holy Communion. Ellen and I are fortunate to be at the rail to witness the passion with which Clara takes Communion.
Thanks to Nana and Papa, Clara made her first trip to Disney World this year. As you will see below, she loved the characters she was familiar with from Disney TV. She was curious about the princesses but a little hesitant to interact with them one-on-one. Cinderella was clearly her favorite princess though. After the first day, Clara decided she was done walking and we were glad to have the guest assistance pass that allowed us to use her stroller as a wheel chair.
|Happy Birthday to Me!|
|The awesome cake created by our friends and The Ribbon Box|
|Opening presents with Owen standing by to help if needed.|
|Playing in the fountain at Downtown Disney.|
|I think Pooh was worried that Clara was going to share her lunch with him. Piglet stopped by later to help Clara eat her green beans|
|Meeting Mickey at the Tusker House restaurant in Animal Kingdom.|
|Playing the drums at Animal Kingdom.|
|Checking out the view from our balcony at Kidani Village.|
|This was the only picture I got with both Owen and Clara looking at the camera.|
|Clara wearing Nana's hat while waiting at Soarin. If you think she looks tired, check out the next picture.|
|Clara passed out with Nana shortly after leaving Soarin.|
|Clara had her first haircut at the Magic Kingdom. As you can see, she was not thrilled with the process.|
|Fist Haircut Mickey Ears!|
|Being cute and showing off the new hairdo.|
|Almost every day at Disney ended with Owen and Clara passed out in the stroller. We were extremely happy that we rented this City Elite double jogging stroller from Kingdom Strollers.|