‘Papa, Papa, guess what? I went on a roller coaster that went 60 miles per hour!!!’ You proudly proclaimed with a twinkle in your eyes and smile as wide as the Mississippi. Not only did you ride the Rock N’ RollarCoaster that went 60+ mph and upside down, you also went on almost every rollarcoaster at DisneyWorld and couldn’t get enough of them. You warmed up on Slinky Dog and graduated up to Rock N’ Rollarcoster, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Everest and wrapped up our trip with back to back rides on Space Mountain.
Your 7th year of life or 2020 is one you will remember for the rest of your life. The year you became a rollar coaster junkie, also known as the year Covid ruled the world. So many unpredictable events happened, it feels like a dream that we can’t wake up from. From hoarding toilet paper and empty grocery shelves, to doing school at home, to deeming companies essential workers, to virtual dance recitals, to staying 6 ft away from people, to wearing masks everywhere we go, to a second round of lockdown, to quarantines, to deeply analyzing every cough sneeze and throat tickle, to incredible bonds and friendships with William and Kate, to a slower pace of life, to less activity running, to hours and hours of imaginative play, to lego re-builds and craft projects and SOO much more.
As challenging as this year has been there has been so much good to recognize with my favorite being your relationship with your siblings. You are an amazingly remarkable big sister to William and Kate. You make breakfast for them (cereal, toast) and turn shows on for them in the morning. The three of you play together for hours on end. You build forts together, play dinos/hatchemals/Frozen, you build awesome magnatile creations together, play cats, legos and so many other things. I love the way you get along and how you find a way to incorporate each of your interests into whatever you are playing. You are usually the boss, but do just as well listening and going along with William and Kate’s ideas. It has been a joy to watch the three of you learn how to play together so well this year and are genuinely sad when one of your playmates is missing. This spring, William and Kate slept over at Grammy and Papa’s and you had to stay home due to school and you were like a lost puppy without them. You missed their company the shenanigans you pull together and were just sad and bored without them. You love them with all your heart and it is one of the best parts of being your mom.
In the spring, you completed 1st grade, albeit virtually, and headed off to 2nd grade with Mrs. Kain this fall. Your reading has exploded this year and you are legitimately reading. You’re very close to being able to read chapter books on your own. We worked hard on reading out loud almost every night in the summer and all that hard work paid off. Proud of you for this! You are an excellent student and all of your teachers adore you. I consistently get comments about how sweet and thoughtful you are. You are kind and include everyone in playing, use your manners and are respectful. Keep up the good work, Lexi. I am so proud of the young girl you are growing up to be.
As delightful as you are in school, that doesn’t always translate at home when we try and do school related tasks. Distance learning last spring was a struggle for all of us. As much as I struggled figuring out how to work at home everyday with a full household, it was really hard for you to shift your mindset around doing school at home. I think you really compartmentalize ‘you do school at school’ and when ‘your at home, you play and relax’. It is a big struggle to get you to do school at home. All you want to do is play. Whenever we need to do school work whether it is homework, reading practice, math facts or spelling practice—it is met with complaining, whining, distraction and overall resistance, which makes the activities painful for all involved. This fall, we did a little bit of re-arranging and made room to put your desk in your room. The goal was to give you a place to go and do your work, that is separate from the rest of the activity in the house so you don’t get distracted as easily and it also don’t feel like your missing out on as much. So far, so good!
Before Covid took over, we remarkably snuck a 4-day trip into DisneyWord, followed by a 7-day trip to Panama City to visit with Grammy and Papa. We came home on March 11 and schools closed on March 16th—so when I say snuck, we barely slipped this amazing trip in. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe this trip—especially knowing how the rest of the year wrapped up. You can read more about our trips here, here, here, here and here. After you guys go to bed, I often find myself looking through pictures from the trip, watching the videos and hoping that Disney will go back to ‘normal’ again in the future and we can experience the joy and magic again. Age 7 was the PERFECT time to go to Disney. You were tall and brave enough to go on nearly every ride, which brought a new adventurous side of Lexi out that we hadn’t really experienced before. You loved the swimming and the Characters and could appreciate the details of Disney and adored being transformed into a stunning princess at the Bippity Boppity Boutique. You also had enough stamina in you to get through the whole day without a nap and enjoy the fireworks at night. However, you would crash hard in the stroller as soon as the night show ended.
Following Disney, we drove to PCB and as always, you had a blast with Grammy and Papa. We spent hours on the beach splashing in the waves, doing Survivor challenges, swimming in the pool, playing cards on the deck and playing with your cousins Ruby and Pearl who happened to be 5 doors down visiting their Grandma and Grandpa at the same time.
Other notable things about you at age 7:
- You have lost 7 teeth. You pulled your 7th one out at school all by yourself last month
- You got 3 cavities filled summer—including a silver cap. Two were in baby teeth, one in an adult molar
- You did a dance recital and opted to not do dance again this year
- We made a few trips to the cabin and you braved the cold Lake Superior water and swam out to Moss Island with Mom and Dad
- You love all things Rainbows, Fairy’s, Unicorns and hearts
- You love to watch The Decendents and High School Musical, but aren’t always allowed to watch those and often select shows like Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Bluey, Muppet Babbies and Mickey Mouse. You’ve started to recognize that you’re growing out of these shows and most of your friends at school (particularly the ones that have older siblings) don’t watch these shows anymore. You did not want to include any of these when you were filling out your star student poster because you though kids would laugh at you for liking those shows. However, at home you actively choose to watch them.
- Favorite books are The Rainbow Fairies Series, Sophie Mouse and The NeverGirls. You put up a big stink in starting a new book series, but once you get into it—you want to read every book.
- You love to play outside with Luke and Anna and William and Kate on the swing set, making up games together, riding bikes or scooters, playing tag, making creations in the sandbox and just being kids. You guys played outside together almost everyday this summer, all day long. To me, this is what a kid is being all about and I am so grateful your getting a chance to do that.
- You are an amazing eater. You eat pretty much everything I put in front of you, with the exception of fish, and eat your entire meal. Girl, you can put the food away! You are growing at ravishing speeds. You are in a size 10 clothing, size 4.5 tennis shoe and well over 50 inches tall. You’re tall and skinny, but proportionate.
- When you grow up, you want to be an artist. You love to draw and color and have done some really awesome drawings through YouTube How To Draw XXX tutorials.
- You love swimming, prefer the scooter over the bike, love doing the monkey bars and climbing trees, are self-conscious over the freckles on your nose (even though I tell you they are beautiful) and continue to love pink
- This spring you began to suffer from seasonal allergies (not a great time to discover you have allergies because the symptoms are very similar to COVID) and are allergic to Birch, tree pollen, and dust mites. So far they haven’t been ‘seasonal’ as you have been suffering from them all fall and winter so we might have to do more…
- You are fiercely competitive and want to be the best at everything at home and often get frustrated really quickly if you don’t get something within the first few try’s and want to quit. We spend a lot of time talking about practicing and working hard to accomplish things and you’re not going to be great at everything the first go-around.
- For Halloween, you dressed up as your beloved Decendent’s character Evil Audrey
Lexi, having you as my daughter is one of my greatest joys and accomplishments. You are kind, sweet, thoughtful, hardworking, silly, smart and creative. I am proud and blessed to be your mom. I pray that God can continue to lead me to raise you to be generous, thoughtful, smart and driven for I believe HE has remarkable plans for you.