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.

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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. Every.single.day 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 piƱata 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 17

These two

No words. Just these two…

May 14

marveling and praying

you wake up around 4 or 5am and you creep into our room, sneak into our bed and fall asleep again. and your papa and i think how glad we are to have a king sized bed because EVEN with our giant bed we still end up feeling like there is not much room because we wake up looking like a capital H and you are the middle bit and we are very much at the edge of our mattress.

this morning i woke up at 530am and you and papa were sleeping and i couldn’t get back to sleep so i crept out the house and went to yoga. when i came back you were still asleep and so i crawled into bed and you woke up and asked ‘where’s papa?’ i told you he was in the kitchen and asked if you wanted to go see him and have breakfast and you said ‘no, let’s just cuddle for a little bit’.

today was one of the very good days. a few days ago we had one of the very frustrating days, the sorts of days that i wonder if i’m actually cut out for parenting at all and i have ally mcbeal moments of, well, i probably shouldn’t say, but ya know – your little 3 year old brain can be p.r.e.t.t.y annoying sometimes.

lately you’ve been very very involved with your imaginary play. and i’m sure that it’s very good, but is it weird that sometimes i get jealous? i mean, it’s actually awesome cause you like to play with your friend ‘monkey’ and i very rarely need to participate. you’re a very good friend to monkey and it makes me feel like we need to have a huge family one day: you LOVE being around your friends and family.

Hanging out with a three year old is nuts. Some of the time you seem totally sane and rational and intelligent. And then within minutes, the same rational girl that was telling me all about sharing with her friends, turns into an INSANE PERSON. And sometimes i actually laugh, because the only other option would be to cry. And despite it all (or because of it all) i love you more and more each day. I love your little dreadlocked hair, naked-all-the-time (‘we have trouble getting her to keep her clothes on’ your teachers say), grubby, paint-covered body, always-art-making, bear-hugging, kissy, loud-singing, water-loving little self.

At the end of each day, your papa and i always, always marvel at your existence.

And pray that you will sleep through the night.

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