Happy birthday Joe! The big number three, although for months you've been telling everyone you're going to be 5. Just as it seems this year has flown by, so it does for the past three years. I can't even remember what it was like before you were part of our family. I remember rocking you every night before bed, reading you a story before Amelia was born. You loved to just sit on my lap...small as it was with a big baby belly taking up all the space. Now, sometimes I lay down with you at nap time and read you a story and you hold my hand to go to sleep. I love that you like to hold my hand.
You are number six in line, so there is definitely no slowing you down. You were born into an "on-the-go" lifestyle. You are super competitive with your siblings, especially Benjamin who has fun just making you mad. By nature, I think you're a pretty easy-going child, but you certainly have a temper that flares, and when it does, it doesn't seem like there is anything that will calm you except a nap.
You talk more like you're five than three with a mouth full of words that are well annunciated. Sometimes in your fits of sibling rivalry some less than choice phrases come out of your mouth too. (Nothing horrible..."stupid head", "poopy", etc. Recently you spent about three weeks with Grandma and Grandpa Stricker..."Cowboy Grandma and Grandpa", the name given by Benjamin. They would have kept you for weeks longer too because they enjoyed you so much. I'm not sure that we could give you up for that long though! You like to be a cowboy...or "Ca-BOYEE" as you would say. You spend a lot of time with your cowboy hat on riding a stick horse, or broom, or curtain rod through the house shouting "Ca-BOYEE"!
You love to eat...well, you love to eat. :) You do really like oatmeal and meatloaf and pancakes. You pretty much like almost everything, especially if it is junk food. In fact, you not getting to eat something that you want usually results in one of those meltdowns mentioned earlier. You are a happy boy. You have a beautiful smile and even if we can't see your mouth, we can see your smile in your big dark brown eyes, and we thank God every day for sharing you with us. We wouldn't be complete without you Joe!
For your birthday, we made farmyard cupcakes and celebrated starting with breakfast in bed and the Friday night on your birthday had cupcakes and icecream and you opened your cards. The card you opened first was from Cowboy Grandpa and Grandma and it sang "Joseph! Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Joseph, happy birthday to you!" You put it up to your ear and listened to it over and over (and we're still listening to it over and over). When you opened the next one, you immediately opened it and put it up to your ear. It was a good day to celebrate you! We love you Joseph Alexander. Happy third birthday!