Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Happy 2nd Birthay Winnie

Dear Winnie,
Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet girl. It feels incredibly surreal for my last baby to already be two years old. Did I snuggle you enough? (hopefully). Did I get enough videos of you toddling around? (Probably not). Do we have record of your little voice and your first words and steps and moments? (I sure hope so). Two years, lady. I love you more now than I did then, which always seems so impossible, but it's true.
First - please note the date on this, and accept my apology. Don't misunderstand this as a "you're the third child" thing - simply put, October kicked my ass and I honestly feel like I am just now, feeling caught up. This little letter was never far from my mind. Here I am, one month and two days late, to tell you that you are still pretty great and we are so proud of you.
So. What are you doing at two years old?
You are a chatting machine, speaking full sentences and clearly enough that most people can understand you. You rarely stop talking. Also, you whine kind of a lot. Um, please and thank you, stop doing that. 

oh this sour little face cracks me up

Your gross motor skills are out of this world. You can run fast and with coordination, you can do a full somersault, jump with two feet off the ground, leap like a frog, balance on one foot to put your boots on and climb, slide and swing with the best of them. Its INSANE to watch. I have to say, its impressive. How do we channel this so you stop using me as your personal jungle gym? Just asking!
You love babies. Real and fake. You are so gentle and kind to your "babies" (stuffies) and love to cart them around, talk to them, feed them, put them down for naps and just generally take care of them.
Your favourite tv show is Daniel Tigers Neighbourhood. You know that it comes on as soon as we drop the other kids off at school, and you use that as your personal tv time. It makes for a nice quiet half hour every morning.


You and food are best friends. You love to eat almost everything, with the exception of a lot of meat. Its very easy to feed you.
You formerly were a very good listener, but you have recently adopted a few bad habits from Maizey and Jace, so occasionally, your listening skills take a hit. It's definitely something we work on a lot.
You are still sleeping in your crib, even though you do know how to climb out. Most mornings you quietly play until someone comes to tell you that you are allowed to get up, at which time you climb out yourself. Sadly, last night, you decided you can get out whenever you want and chose 1:00am and 3:00am to do so. Tomorrow, your crib will be turned into a toddler bed and I would be lying if I said that it didn't make me (a little) sad. The end of the crib is definitely the final end to the baby stage. *wipes a single tear from my cheek*
You are working on potty training. You do very well, most days. Other days - your little stubborn side kicks in and my GOD you are stubborn. We will keep patiently and diligently working, but you are truly doing amazing at it.

taking her baby for a walk

You have the cutest little sense of humor and try to make us laugh, which is always fun to watch. You also love to copy the other kids, saying what they say after they say it. One of our favourite things to do as a family is listen to music together on Youtube, each of us taking our turn to pick a song. Without fail, after every song, Jace exclaims "MY TURN", even if it is not his turn. You picked this habit up, and always yell "MY TURN" ... it gets a good laugh out of us. We always let you choose your song by looking at the cover photo for the song. You for sure know your favourites, Saltwater Gospel by Eli Young Band, Always Be by Tim McGraw and May We All by Florida Georgia Line (which, no joke, has the saddest music video of all time). You ADORABLY announce before a lot of songs "I wuv this song. I really wuv this song" .... which is straight out of  my mouth. I am glad you picked up that saying rather than one of my other choice phrases. haha
You are free and easy with your love - you snuggle, give hugs and kisses, say "I wuv you" and gently hold hands all the time.


Winnie the pooper, we sure do love you. Dad and I quietly said to eachother just last night, while watching you and Maizey and Jace laugh and play together, that we can barely believe this is our life...that we created THIS. Three kids that actually really love one another and like to be together, with of course, the usual sibling bullshit thrown in there.
You are without a doubt, the absolute best addition we could have added.
You are so so so loved.
I can't wait to see what this next year brings for you and for us.
We love you baby girl. My hope for you is that you always feel it.
Happy second birthday.
Love, Mom and Dad.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Happy Fifth Birthday, Jace!

Dear My Best Buddy,
Happy Happy 5th Birthday, my friend.
Five seems like a lot of years. I possibly say this about every age, but seriously, how have you been alive for five years?
This last year has held some of the absolute best moments with you. You have gone from a complete spaz to a reasonable little person that I can have a discussion with and we can finally agree on an acceptable outcome. You have certainly learned to use nice and calm words and you scream at me and Dad a whole lot less. The amount of relief I feel over this cannot be put into words. There were a lot of days where I was not sure how you and I were going to make it out on the other side of this.... but here we are and I am so grateful.


Starting Kindergarten has been one of the proudest and best things you have done. You were so completely ready to go and I was so happy for you. I know for sure that some of your new coping skills have been learned at school. You willingly get ready every morning, you happily ride your bike (almost) every morning with very little complaining and you simply smile, wave and walk into class. It is so amazing to see you thriving in that environment, and I love leaving you without feeling like I need to worry about you at all. I am so proud of you.
You love fruit and vegetables. You would be happy to eat a place of each for every meal. It is so easy to feed you. In fact, your favourite meal right now is spinach salad. Um, I have no idea how this happened, but I will not argue!


Your favourite songs are "You Look Like I Need A Drink" and "Humble and Kind" and "7 Years Old" . You always want to stay in the truck to listen to the end of whatever song is playing. I also like doing that, so I always oblige.
You are still a major tv fan. Its tough to get you to walk away from it, so we kind of have to super limit you. You love PJ Masks and The Lion Guard... actually, you love pretty much every show on Disney Junior. When you aren't watching those shows you love to play some version of them with Maizey. The two of you could play Lion Guard for hours. Its fantastic to see your imagination emerging.

 If this doesn't get you right in the heart, I don't know what will. My goodness. This slays me.

Over the last year you have become a lot less lazy and lot more willing to try hard things. Formerly, if it felt like you would have to put in even a little bit of effort, you absolutely would not try. Like, riding a two wheeler for example. You totally did it last summer, but occasionally you would stumble, so you quit trying altogether. This spring, you climbed on and rode away. I am so glad!
You also cannot be tricked into doing things you don't want to do. The age old trick of  "I bet you can't even *whatever whatever* anyways...." doesn't work. You just shrug and say "you're right, I can't". It's terribly frustrating to tell you the truth. Sometimes I just want you to be helpful. My hope is this will also evolve over time and one day I will just realize that suddenly, my years of harping at you will have paid off and you are super helpful. Lets see how that goes! haha.
I hear from your teachers that you are a really good friend. You are kind and helpful and nice to be around. I love hearing that so much. I see you interacting on the playground and know it is true.
You really love helping me bake, reading books by yourself and playing games. I try to make sure we do all of those things often.


I love your absolutely genuine smile and your really adorable dimples. I love giving you big hugs that last a super long time and I love hearing your giggle that comes straight from your guts. Its so infectious. You add so much laughter and fun to our family. You also make me border on crazy, but the truth is, without you, my days would be too quiet. I love you so much, my friend. I can't wait to see what this next year brings for us.
Happy 5th birthday Budski. You seem like a grown up now.

Mom and Dad.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday Maizey Rae

Maizey, Maizey, Maizey.

7 YEARS OLD! Holy cow. I have been your mom for seven whole years and most of the time I still feel like I am just faking it, hoping one day I will become legit. But, obviously, I am not faking it and I am legitimately your mom and whoaaa, am I ever glad to be.
Not much has changed, you are still thoughtful and kind and happy and lovely. Maybe actually even more so. Truly, I do not know how you know to be so thoughtful... I thought that was like, a grownup skill that took years to learn. You, my friend, are pretty fantastic at it. Like, if we go to Home Hardware and they offer you a balloon at the checkout, before you take one you check to make sure that its alright to take one for your brother and sister as well. If they said no, you wouldn't take it. Its so kind and one of my absolute favourite things about you. We didn't teach you that, you just do it. My hope for you is that you never lose this and always remain kind hearted and thoughtful. Another grown up skill that you possess is tact. You can talk to people (adults) and get your point across or get what you need/want without being rude, and being straight to the point. I absolutely encourage this and really hope you don't lose this as well. Thats not an easy thing to learn and I feel so much pride when I see you exhibit it.


A few of your favourite things this past year: painting nails - yours, mine, Winnies, anyone that will let you. Monkey bars... you have some amazing grip strength and love to watch that America Ninja Warrior show. You even practice for it while at the playground. Currently, you work on "beating that wall" by climbing the slide over and over. Singing your favourite country song - You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell, as well as watching its (super sad) music video. Going for bike rides and to the skate park. Colouring and crafting - its never ending "artistic" messes over here. Playing "babies" with Winnie. Climbing the tree in our front yard - you fondly refer to it as "my tree". It barely scares me any more when you get insanely high, you are so confident in your ability to do it, that I have to be confident in your ability as well. Getting dressed fancy.... old flower girl dresses, or Winnies tiny shirts. Its makes me equal parts crazy and happy - you're having fun, but you make so much laundry. Its such a toss up for me. haha


You love Sushi and fries from Emos and chicken pot pie. You eat things you don't care for without a problem and remind Jace and Winnie that "dinner is not a choice" to encourage them to do the same. You love talking. Like, a lot. We have some fabulous conversations. I occasionally have to remind you that sometimes it's ok to not talk as well. ;) I also occasionally have to remind you to stop talking like a baby. Hooooly cow that makes me crazy. It's cute when Winnie says it, but we would like her to not say it like that for forever, so please stop talking like her so she can learn to say it properly. Please. PLEASE.
You had a bit of a tough transition to your new school last fall, but once it all fell into place, you did really well. You've made some wonderful school friends, as well as managed to maintain your previous friendships. It's a bizarre thing to watch you make your way in the (school) world. It's hard on my mama heart to watch you learn life lessons, but I am thankful that you still feel comfortable and confident enough to engage with us about school "stuff ". We hope we will always be able to keep these lines of communication open.
You are such a great big sister, not only to Jace and Winnie, but to Henry and probably Frankie when he gets bigger, and also every one younger than you that you come in contact with. You are helpful and patient and always willing to lend a hand. We feel 100% confident asking you to watch Winnie in the back yard, you are learning to be so responsible. It feels like such a big help and we are thankful for it.


Mostly, what I (we) want to tell you, is that we absolutely love the little girl that you are, and the bigger girl you are becoming. We are so  proud of you, of your heart and head and your strength and determination. You are certainly one of the good ones. This world, our world, is absolutely better because you are in it.
Happy 7th Birthday, Meem. We sure do love you.

Love, Mom and Dad