Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Letters to Tory: Five Years!

And, just like that - my big girl turned F-I-V-E this past August. Somehow time slipped away from me (hello, she's basically 5 1/2 years now!) and I have yet to write about her birthday celebration or her many milestones at this stage in life. There's so much to say, I fear I won't capture the awesomeness that is Age Five ... but here's goes nothin'.

Dear Tory,

You are FIVE, little girl! How in world did this happen? As you remind me whenever we discuss you growing older, you'll always be my baby girl -- even when you're 16. I know this to be true, but it doesn't make change any easier on this mama's heart.

Age Five is wonderful. Dare I say, the best? You are so fun to be around these days. Your knowledge and thirst for learning is inspiring; your humor, witty and your love for others, infectious.

No trace of baby is left in your appearance; these days, you're grown up as grown up can be (at least, it seems that way to me). Your long legs stretch on forever sticking out of your swimming suit this summer. You're now wearing 5T clothes, size 9 shoes and weigh about 34 pounds. Still a peanut in comparison to your peers, though. At your five-year check-up, you measured in the 14% for height and weight.

Developmentally, you've changed so much in the year. One of the most notable things about this age is the ability to reason with you. You might not always like the answer, but you understand why thing happen the way they do. You're also very responsible and understand/follow rules around you.

You're in Pre-Kindergarten this year, and absolutely thriving in the classroom. I wouldn't say school is challenging you academically (truthfully, you're super ready for kindergarten) but you love your classmates and idolize your teacher, Ms. Jessica. Every afternoon, in fact, you come home and draw dozens of pictures to take to your teacher the next day. You have your whole life ahead to focus on concentrated learning, so I'm pleased this year you're developing a love for the classroom. You're so excited for kindergarten to start that you remind me often you'll be just fine at school all day and that you'll "send me letters" so I won't miss you.

Drawing is one of your favorite activities. You mostly freestyle hearts, flowers, rainbows and portraits of our family. Without fail, every afternoon you come up to me and ask, "So, Mom, do you have a craft idea?" I'd better have one up my sleeve, too! One of our big kitchen drawers is plump full of stickers, paper, scissors, glue and markers. All of those items can keep you occupied for hours.

My favorite part of your drawings is the way you sign your name - "Tory Mom." In your eyes, we're like one person, like you couldn't possibly be you without me. I know it won't be like this forever, so I commit those little pieces of art to memory (and usually snap a photo of them) so I can remember this stage forever.

You still very much enjoy playing with your dollhouse and Barbies. When we're at the cabin, you're a tom-boy through and through. You have no problem touching worms and minnows, love to collect rocks, to fish, snowmobile and ride the ATV. I have no doubt you'll be driving the boat by the end of summer! Really, you thrive in nature. Wild Kratts is one of your favorite television shows and your knowledge about animals and other creatures is astounding.  


You've very compassionate, tenderhearted and a Mother Hen to Aden. When you're feelings are hurt, you'll often retreat to your bedroom to be alone for a while ... and almost always fall asleep in there which tells me you were tired and emotional to begin with. I often tell you you're "in charge" of Aden when I'm leaving the room for a minute, and you're very good at keeping things in order. When Dad and I have been away for a few overnights, I never worry because you know exactly how things function in our home.

Strangers often compliment you on your politeness and cooperation. This makes my mama heart happy, especially because your brother can be a little crazy! As grown-up as you appear, you quick to remind me you're still five-years-old. The baby talk stage has begun which can be a little annoying (sorry, it's true!) as well as when you refer to yourself in the third person. I know it's a stage, so I try to ignore it the best I can.    

Another funny thing you do recently is sneak into our bed at night (which is a no-no) and then roll out sneaky as a mouse before we realize you're there. Your feet hit the ground and then you pop up like you just arrived. We can't help but laugh, as deceitful as it might be.

You worship the ground Grandma walks on, and still have many "best friends" including Ryan from school, Ashley in Kentucky and Hannah at the cabin. You're also especially fond of our condo neighbor, Jenn, who lives on the floor above us. Life with you, Tory, is always joyful. Age Five is shaping up to be a great year!


On your fifth birthday, I asked you the same set of questions I do every year on your special day. Here's how you responded (8/30/2016):

1. How old are you today? Five

2. Where do you live? Minnesota

3. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Go on adventures with him

4. What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Do crafts and play games

5. What is your favorite thing to do with Aden? Play with him

6. What is your favorite color? Pink and purple and yellow and turquiose

7. Who is your best friend? Ashley (from Kentucky), Deanna (our cabin neighbor), Mom, Dad and Aden

8. What is your favorite book? Cinderella

9. What is your favorite food to eat? Cheese

10. What is your favorite thing to play? With my favorite baby

11. Where is your favorite place to go? The pool

12. What is your favorite song? I made up this song called Mary Sista and it goes like this ...

13. If you could buy anything at the store, what would it be? Cupcakes

14. What is your favorite animal? Giraffes and piglets

15. What would you like to be when you grow up? A ballerina teacher

16. What do you want to do on your birthday? Go to the State Fair

Love you, Tory Bean!

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