Sep 24

4.5: bubbles and balloons and cake

i’d never even HEARD of celebrating a half birthday until we moved to seattle, but we’ll take any excuse to eat cake and pizza and make our friends all hang out together. (not that we NEED the excuse..but it helps.) and of course, taking more than just a moment to celebrate this sweet girl of ours, to marvel that she is becoming such a person, whatever that means, and to take a deep breathe and acknowledge that she is HALF WAY to FIVE.

and we love her and she is loved and she loves all her/our friends so much.





























Mar 27

4 years

Dear Mika,

It feels like there are so many less big milestones and more just like a fine-tuning of your understanding of the world. And it is so delightful to witness and such a pleasure to be your mama.

Pink is your favorite color, but closely followed by all the rest. You can count to about 30 and somehow totally understand your left and right (thanks opa).

Getting messy and dirty is your thing. you need to dig in the dirt or paint with your hands. You have started to really want to dress yourself every morning and we cannot have any part of it. You carefully curate your multi-layered outfits and love to explain all your choices.

You can read simple words like Mama and Papa and Mom and Dad and Bob and Cat and Dog. And it is my favorite when you shout out letters or words you notice as we are driving. Or when you say ‘hey mama, those things make the letter X’. You know how to write all the letters of the alphabet and first thing in the morning you love to work hard at writing various things.

We still read at least 10 books a day and every night you ask me for a story in the dark and so I make up a new story each night about a little mouse called Chewy. I love hearing your questions and ideas and how they evolve to become more and more thoughtful every day.

You will eat most things just a little bit but always says yes to (besides the obvious sweet treats): oats with maple syrup, toast with honey, edamame, tortilla with avocado & yeast, pasta, snap peas and carrots.

You sleep in your bed until 3am and then you crawl into bed with us and it is definitely my favorite thing in the whole world to feel your little arms around me. And the way you say ‘mama? i love you’ can make any day so much better.

And we had thought maybe we would have a party at our house this year but THANK GOODNESS you insisted that your birthday parties must always be at the truck park. We only forgot the piñata this year, but other than that we got everything right – donuts, cake, chocolate (almond) milk, balloons and friends.

Here’s a video for you to enjoy (over and over and over) until your next birthday and then some more.

Sweet girl, we love you so so much.

(one year ago)

Mar 27

and then she was three

you were so excited about turning three. your sense of time and age is so obscure right now though – a week ago you would still say ‘two and a half!’ proudly when asked how old you were and when asked when you were turning three you would say ‘in 3 hours!’ or (more accurately) ‘in march!’

you are now very sure that you are three. your birthday was everything you made sure it would be – “donuts, cake, ALL my friends and aunty adele” – and we had it in the same place as last year and had the exact same gorgeous weather as last year.

you had cards and presents arriving in the mail during the week leading up to your birthday and you proudly put them on your shelf and said you would ‘wait to open them’. (your ability to ‘wait’ amazes us). and on your birthday you opened mail from uncle red, aunty helen, oma & opa, ron & cathy, aunty anita and your GG. you open your gifts SO SLOWWWWWLY and you play with each present for a good 10 minutes before moving onto the next. you must get this trait from your opa. (he used to get a box of chocolates for christmas and make them last until the next christmas!)

my favourite thing in the world right now is how you wake me up around 4am to just say ‘mama?’ and i reluctantly say ‘yes?’ and you say ‘i love ya’ and fall asleep again. no matter how badly i need sleep, as my chiropractor casually reminded me, someday you’ll be off to college.

we can NOT believe how lucky we are to be parents of such a sweet girl. this next year is going to be all sorts of exciting.

all our love xxx

Sep 24

the big three-oh

today you are two and a half (officially) and according to the theory that two and a half year olds are half of their adult height, we can now predict that you will be taller than both of us. you are 90 cms right now which means you will be nearly 5’11! so perfect.

today we had a conversation that went like this:

“mami, i’m going away”
where are you going?
“to the mountains”
to the mountains!? why?

haha, it is the funniest thing to hear you repeat our words back to us. Lately it has been “because!” with a cheeky smile and a little shoulder shrug. and then after i sort of laughed and smiled, you obviously weren’t done with the conversation:

“mami open the door por favor”
“because i’m going to the mountains!”

silly me.

you’ve become the house translator. it’s incredible. your papi was in the other room and i was with you. you asked me what papi was doing and so i called out to ask him and he replied (in spanish) that he was getting changed. i relayed to you (in english) that he was getting ready (for work) and you quickly corrected me “no mami, he’s getting changed.” which pretty much blew my mind.

oh yeah, for some weird reason we decided to put you into a big girl bed. and it’s totally awesome. you love it and we love it cause we can lie down and cuddle you in the mornings and if you need us in the night and generally it’s just pretty cool. no big deal.

also you are now wearing undies when we go out and it’s no big deal. we never even potty trained you, you just know what to do and you do it like it ain’t no thing. which is so freaking awesome cause i was so not ready for the whole potty training thing and it’s like you just knew that you would need to take this into your own hands or you’d be in nappies at 5. the weird thing though, is that you still ask for a nappy so you can poop. when we put the nappy on, you literally just get up and walk to a corner, poop in your nappy and then come back and say ‘change me please!’ so we just have to figure out what to do about that.

you have pretty much stopped eating everything. what’s that about?

we have switched your rice milk to oat milk after reading some scary reports about arsenic. man oh man.

you love to run. you love to be chased. you love to dance. you love to sing. you love playdough. you love anything that makes a really big mess. you love your friends so much (most talked about at present are francesca, cecilia and stephanie!) and i’m sure if we bought a cat it would be the greatest moment in your life.

you have so much energy and you bring so much happiness and you drive us so crazy and we love you with more love than we ever knew possible.

all my love baby girl,

Jul 10

The second year: 27.5 months

Well little one, here we are.

Today we were walking home from the park and I was carrying you and I was deep in thought. You turned to me and asked me in your sweet little voice “Mami? Are you here?” and it took me by surprise.  I answered, “yes, of course I am!” and you smiled and said, “oh, ok!” and I have no idea what prompted you to ask it, but it felt so wise and so philosophical and so relevant to how i was feeling at that moment. I needed you to jolt me back to the present and so you did.

That’s what I love so much about these days – how much you surprise me. You ask me funny things, you make funny jokes and you somehow seem to say or ask the right things at exactly the right moments.

I snapped some pictures of you and I thought about some things that I never want to forget about how you are at 27 months old:

  • how you love to push the swing with no-one on it and count ‘three, two, one, a la luna!!!!’ (to the moon)
  • how you make up your own versions of ‘wheels on the bus’ and ‘hush little baby’ and they are genuinely hilarious and you know it. (Like, ‘mama on the bus says NO NO NO!’ haha, which i don’t!)

  • how you are getting really excited about using the potty (much more so than we are excited about you using it) and how when you need to pee you get REALLY urgent in an exaggerated way and run around the house asking if you can pee in different things.
  • how you pretend to be on the phone and say ‘hello, AMO!’ (i love you)
  • how you’ve picked up ‘aqui’ and ‘alla’ instead of the english equivilent (here and there) and it is SO cute to hear you say ‘aqui Papi, aqui!’

  • how you count to ten by saying ‘one, two, three, eight, five, nine, five, four, two, one, TEN!’
  • how you LOVE to give kisses and cuddles to your friends
  • how much you love babies. it’s so sweet. you talk about Baby Guy and Baby El (yael) and Baby Elijah all the time and when you see them your whole face is overwhelmed with happiness and you can just watch and play with them for so long.

  • how you always ask us if we’re ok: ‘are you ok mami?’ ‘yes, i’m ok’ ‘oh good’. and sometimes it’s followed by a kiss or a hug.
  • how brave you are with your eczema. you scratch and scratch and then you try to cover your arms and legs with your clothes so you don’t scratch and it is obvious you are in so much pain but you try to pretend you aren’t and you look up at us and say ‘i’m happy!!’ and you smile.

It feels like we went from not really being able to explain things to you, to you entirely understanding us to the point of even offering alternatives to suggestions we make. “Mika, would you like to have a bath?” “No, I wanna read books” “Oh ok, do you wanna bring me a book?” “Yeah, I wanna bring TWO books”

And then there’s the fact that as I’m typing this all out, I realise that a lot of what you say is only fully understood by me and possibly a little by people who spend a fair amount of time with you. As far as i’m concerned, we can communicate just fine. You correct me when I’m wrong and even then – people who overhear our conversations will sometimes make a comment about how funny it is that i can understand you. It’s hilarious – you’ll say ‘mama, i wanna rayree’ and i’ll be stumped…so I’ll be like uh…’a rayree?’ and you’ll go ‘NO, a RAYREE’ and so i will begin the guessing game until finally we’ll land at raisin and i’ll say ‘OH you want a RAISIN?’ and you’ll say ‘YES, a RAYREE!’ and there we have it.

i love you so much my little winter moon child.