Happy 3rd Birthday, Eli !

Dear Eli, You are 3 today!

You are my ray of sunshine and the reason I fall into bed exhausted every night.

I suppose that is the essence of being three.

These last few years have been tough for me, as your mom. Since you were born, we’ve survived your tongue tie, Benji’s Autism Diagnosis, your brothers’ ADHD, speech therapy for you, selling our house, joining Air Force Life, moving across the country…have I forgotten anything?

Probably.

But here is what I do know:

Through all our crazy transitions, you’ve made me a better mom. Having a 4th kid means “Chill out or die.”

So thanks for helping me chill out, son.

You make us laugh so much, especially now that you are talking more and saying funny things every day:

Eli: Mommy, this is my Aaron!
Aaron, this is my Mommy!
Mommy, these are my guys (brothers)!
Daddy, this is my Gus!

The marble run: One of your favorite toys

Thanks to your daily introductions, our family is closer than ever.

Your brothers love you and hate you. They are honestly afraid of you (Daddy and I are a little scared at times too!) You and Benji are two wrestling peas in a pod. You cannot keep your hands off each other.

You and Silas are getting along a (little!) better these days. I love it when I can catch you two sharing a smile, a laugh, and occasionally, your toys.

You both love the park and you, my dear little son, especially love to play in the sand. Thankfully, here in Texas, we’ve been able to play at the park in the sand well into winter.

December in Texas (shirt optional)

Sadly, due to your love of digging in the sand, you have lost your favorite cars twice over. Mommy has finally learned her lesson and makes you leave your cars in the car. You hate this but it’s either “cry now or cry later,” babe.

Because you love sand time so much, it is also good that you love bath time. You always want to stay in the tub until all the water runs out. Pruned fingers continue to mystify you.

The night we found you asleep under the dog’s blanket instead of in your room.

Bedtime is not your favorite. Even with cutting your nap short, Epsom salt baths, lavender on your pillow, Calm Child vitamins before bed, a soothing white noise machine, snuggles, 6 rounds of “Jesus Loves Me” (your favorite song) and the perfect temperature in your room, you still have trouble falling asleep at night. I keep reminding myself that all your brothers go to sleep (reasonably) well now, so DO NOT GIVE INTO DESPAIR—eventually, you will too.

Today you asked for waffles (the frozen kind) for breakfast. You also love eggs with toast and pears. We try to push the prunes too because everyone is happier when you eat prunes.

You take after your brothers in that Pizza and Hotdogs are your favorite dinners. Tonight we are having Spaghetti, or as you call it “’Ghetti! Ghetti!” along with chocolate cake.

Chocolate is also your favorite. In fact, just the other morning I found you on the countertop in the kitchen surrounded by foil Chocolate Kiss wrappers. I thought I was being clever by hiding them on the top shelf.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Silly Mommy.

The chocolate kisses are supposed to be bribes for potty training. Or rewards. They function on two levels. Dad and I waver between despair and pride as you continue to pee on the carpet and in the potty on a daily basis.

You’ll get it. I know because your 3 older brothers don’t pee on the carpet anymore (Thank God).

That’s the magic of being the 4th child.

Your magic is also that you are freakin’ adorable, which is good because your cuteness has helped you reach this day, your third birthday!
Keep being adorable so next year, on this day, we can toast to the fact that we survived your third year.

We love you so much, our darling son! You are wild and joyful, crazy and smart, and you give the best hugs.

Happy Birthday, Eli!

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