4 years

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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)

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and then she was three

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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

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some things. and a list

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it’s snowing right now and i’ve decided that i never want to take snow for granted. maybe that means always living in places where snow is just a possibility rather than a sure thing. last night we were walking from a friend’s place downtown to get some dinner and snow was falling and beautifying everything it touched. and it is so beautiful to experience the squeals and the joy and the excitement it brings to a city that doesn’t really always expect it.

i deactivated my facebook account. which i didn’t think warranted a public announcement, but apparently some people think facebook is Real Life and so to ensure some that i haven’t committed suicide – i am STILL alive. And if you are wondering why i decided to leave the party, i feel like it could take an entire novel (that i’m never going to write) and really, the gist of it is that i don’t see the point anymore. maybe i’ll change my mind, that’s cool. just for right now, this works for me.

i went to New Zealand with mika for the whole month of january. it was hot. and wonderful. and all the things. here is a list of the things that made me really happy in NZ:

  • my mum & dad (oma & opa to mika) and ALL the time they got to spend
  • running a LOT & not needing to bundle up and then finishing each run with a jump in the ocean
  • swimming in the ocean
  • swimming lessons for mika (2 weeks EVERY day!)
  • pub quiz with friends (this makes me really happy even though i don’t really contribute and usually end up wondering why i think i like pub quiz)
  • long blacks
  • teaching my first yoga class! (and loving it)
  • watching jazz in a park
  • watching an outdoor movie projected on a silo
  • playing squash with my brother
  • playing LOTS of banagrams and catan
  • doing cryptic crosswords with my dad
  • eating fish and chips on the beach
  • going to the bay of islands for an incredible wedding
  • a long road trip with my brother
  • running an old favourite bush run with my brother
  • being able to spend so much time with some of the people i love the most
  • and mostly, the real reason the trip was even planned – to watch one of my best friends get married. and to spend so much time with both of them. and for them to spend so much time with mika (their goddaughter). here’s what you missed out on:

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17 months

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It’s getting a bit ridiculous. Every time I get used to saying how old you are, you go ahead and grow another month. Thankfully as of next month I can just kinda say ‘1 and a half’ and keep saying that until you’re nearly 2. What? TWO? Gah.

You get cuter BY THE DAY and it’s awful. How can we handle more than there already is? People in public are stunned by your adorable-ness. They look at me in disbelief and I nod and think how tough it is being the mother to such a painfully cute child.

The breastfeeding has just stopped and you were doing great for a while, but lately you’ve been asking me for the boob. There’s not much I can do about it now though, so I just cry and hand you to your papa and he tries to console you. Eventually you calm down and all is well and you accept my cuddles and a bottle. We’ve actually been doing a LOT more reading lately and I wonder if it’s because you enjoy the closeness. You choose a book and bring it to me and plonk yourself backwards into my lap and you can easily sit through the same story 3 or 4 times.

It’s these moments that I want to secure in my brain. I never want to forget the times you let me read you stories. The times you laughed at my goofy faces and the times you clung to my neck for as long as you could. I’ll probably try to forget the screaming before nap times, but I have a feeling that will stay with me forever too.

You’ve had another haircut. You might balk at the fact that I spent $8 to have your bangs trimmed (I could surely pay that for a pair of scissors and do it myself), but somehow I just can’t bring myself to cut your gorgeous hair myself. Maybe that’s what godmothers or aunties are for.

On the playground you have no fear. You climb and swing and slide and beg us to push you on the swings for longer than I could possibly think would be fun for you. You love to watch other children and the swing must be the perfect place for it.

You don’t really have any new words since last month. You have some new sounds, but no new words. I’d be worried except for the fact that you seem to understand us so perfectly and you know exactly what is going on. I’m including this video below just so we can all remember how cute you are when saying ‘meow’ (and really just in general as a 17 month old):

Well there you have it. We’re still not sure how we ended up with someone as great as you but we’ll take it and we’ll keep doing our best to not screw you up.

All our love xxx

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A special date for friends and family

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The weekend was slow. We’re still suffering from the cost of furnishing our house and paying rent in the same month…but we take great delight in budgeting and finding ways to have fun that doesn’t cost a thing, so it was a pretty nice weekend.

We decided to record a wee video about our day at the market and then on Sunday night we managed to make a little story out of the footage and edit it into a save the date video for our wedding. I love it – it’s slow, relaxing and full of Mika – just like our Sundays usually are.

We can’t wait to have our friends and family join us in Seattle for a big week of partying and celebrating.

Ivan + Pamela :: Save the Date from Ivan Cruz on Vimeo.

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