Mataya is ALL that three should be! She is all-in. . . enthusiastic and energetic and sparkling with life. She is smart and inquisitive. She loves to pretend. She loves to color and cut and create. She loves her siblings and nephew and niece and grandparents and daddy. But most of all she loves me.
I love that.
If I leave the room, she is yelling to discover where I have gone. If I go anywhere, and I mean anywhere (even the mailbox), she races to the door when I return, flings herself into my arms, wrapps her arms tight around my neck and declares, "MOM! I missed you SOOOOO much!"
One day she was missing Jamison. She told me, "Mom take a picture of me. . . like this. OK now send it to Jay." (I'm sure he was thrilled.)
She is NOT a diva girl. She hates shoes, having her hair fixed in the morning, and she definitely has her own sense of style. However, she ADORES having Krissy cut and style her hair. She feels so important sitting in Krissy's chair chatting with the other ladies in the salon. It is a hoot!
Mataya is Joshua's shadow. When he is home she is constantly wanting him to play with her. He is so patient and kind. They sit side by side and watch TV. He plays hide and seek with her. He takes her on his ATV with him, even helping her get into her warm clothes. On weekends, he often lets her sleep in this room. They are precious together.
She still takes a nap almost every day. I have been trying to break her of the habit, but she loves to nap. If I don't send her to her room for a quiet time, she climbs onto the recliner and snoozes all on her own.
She is mischievous, sneaky, and very resourceful.
Above she is wearing Brenna's lipstick.
Below, she wanted to brush her teeth and I was too busy to help her right away.
She continues to come with me to work. Some days she gets dressed first, some days she "works" in pajamas, but she rarely wears shoes. She has no idea how lucky she is! I know how lucky I am though! I adore having her at work with me!!!
She has a love/hate relationship with Sierra. She adores Sierra - but Sierra is gone a lot. Mataya hates that. So all too often she is ignoring Sierra because she's mad and sad that they do not have more time together. I commonly hear this conversation:
"Mataya I love you! I missed you today!"
"I don't love you, Sierra! I am mad at you!"
"Well, I still love you, Tay."
"UGH!" and stomping of tiny feet as she flees the scene.
Mataya is ALWAYS pretending. Last weekend she decided the shower was actually an elevator. She gathered all the kids in the house and took them on a ride to a zoo in Africa. When they arrived in Africa, she marched them across the house showing them the way to the zoo.
She is always making up things like that. It is so fun!
She absolutely, positively adores her niece Sophia. Most of her dolls are now named Sophia. And she talks about how much she loves Sophia every day. When Mataya gets to hold her tiny niece, she is so content. She snuggles close and sits as long as Sophia allows.
Although I no longer nap with her every day, I try and snuggle up with her every chance I get. These moments are fleeting!
We celebrated her birthday with family gathered close. She had so much fun!
Before her birthday when asked what she wanted she would reply, "pickles and olives" her favorite foods. When asked if she wanted presents she would yell, "Yes! A lotta presents!" But she had no idea what should be inside of them. She was thrilled with each gift.
Her joy and innocence was precious.
The highlight of her day was that her cousins could be there. She was SO THRILLED to have kids to play with her. She is still talking about how much fun she had!
I always miss half the guests in photos, but here are a few pictures of Mataya's favorite people.
He's holding his niece! (Jay is not a baby guy. He's holding Sophia because I plopped her into his arms. He was very happy when I removed her! He is a hoot with toddlers though!)
Sierra and Sophia
Alexa, Wyatt, and Addi
Hide and Seek is her favorite
(Great) Grandma Donna and Sophia
Krissy and Wyatt
Addi and Ahlera
On her birthday she talked her dad into using his IPad. I walked into the bedroom and she said, "Mom. Leave please. I'm talking to my dad."
Yep. I knew she was up to something.
Turns out Dad has UTube for Kids on his IPad, which I have outlawed.
He didn't know.
But she did.
She had a BLAST watching UTube until she fell asleep.
(Yes, we told her later that mom and dad have the same rules and we expect her to be honest...)
She is definitely three!
Oh, TayTay Hopie girl, I do not know what I would do without you. You keep life exciting and joyful and unexpected. And the way you LOVE makes my heart swell. I thank Jesus for you every day girlio. Every day.
PS - The week before she turned three we were driving to town and I was telling her Bible stories. She loves it when I tell stories in the car. Mid-story she says, "STOP mom. Stop talking." So I did. Then she says with eyes squeezed shut, "God I want you be in my heart. help me to not say naughty things. I love you God. Amen" She popped open her eyes, told me that God was in her car seat with her, and would I please finish the story. I told her, Did you know that angels are having a party in heaven right now?" and I finished the story with tears on my cheeks.