Today is Auntie Ali's birthday. She's going cross country skiing for a few days, but we blew up her phone until she picked up anyway. I couldn't say no to a mini Snow White begging, "I want to see Ali!"
Although you spend a good portion of your day prancing about the muddy fields of nursery, you and I still get a few solid hours of fun before I drop you off in the morning. Some things are always the same, some things never are. For example:
Constant: The way you call out "Mama!!" when you wake up and need that first cuddle.
Constant: The way you soak up my morning hug for about 5 seconds before pulling your head off my shoulder and demanding you want to go downstairs.
Variable: Brekkie is always different. Sometimes you agree to the porridge straight away and sometimes we rehearse every breakfast item in the book before you decide, no, actually you'd really have that porridge instead...
Volatile: After brekkie you consistently fight me over getting dressed and brushing your hair & teeth. Sometimes it's a melt down, sometimes you succumb, but we usually negotiate. A game if you brush your teeth, a play in the toy room when you put on your clothes... but the activities always change.
You are very creative in your morning projects. Here's just a week in your morning life:
We last weekend, we were so thankful to finally have a family weekend together. It had been nearly a month and we were ALL excited. Unfortunately, on Saturday, Mama got sick. So you and Papa played most of the day while Mama did her best to sleep it off.
Around mid-day I was feeling guilty about the waste of space I'd become (especially because we were sooo excited for the weekend all week long! Did I mention that?), so I pulled through and we made our way to Kew Gardens. Plus, you had a lot of mushroom hugging to do.
At one point, I couldn't help but join in...
The weather was so nice, we ate lunch al fresco. You picked the heart-shaped lunch box, filled with all kinds of goodies. Though everything was a negotiation to get to the real prize. The cookie!
And you made sure you had a full dose of the outdoor playground at Creepy Crawlers...along with every other kid in SW London.
You insisted on walking on the grass, but I told you not to step on the pretty flowers, so you stepped very cautiously...
On Sunday, I was feeling better, but Papa had caught the bug. He slept all day long. So you and I got on, doing what we do.
And we made sure there were some pink glittery nails done in there too.
During the week, you caught the bug. And you and I had a week busy with work, a bit of sick, very sticky eyes, and plenty of sleep in between.
The next weekend (that's this one...try to keep up) was our weekend away at Papa's hotel where we were going to order ice cream sundaes and spend all day at Southbank and do your favourite, The London Eye.
But around midnight on Friday night I woke up feeling very nauseous. And then I got sick. And laid awake getting sick the night through. It carried on through the morning, the afternoon and until about 8pm when you and I fell asleep and thankfully slept the night through. I'm still not sure what it was but hoping your baby brother is safe through the roller coaster he's just been on.
Now I'm feeling slightly better-though could do without the pounding head, mind you- and you seem to have caught it. We tried to take you to the Zoo this morning, but you were more interested in cuddling Papa than watching the monkeys jump tree to tree. And since mid-day you've been winging and screaming each time Papa moves from your cud-pud on the sofa. It was pretty rough yesterday so all we can do is hope you don't get it as bad as I had it. And hope Papa is spared too.
Almost like the bug came lightly the first week and then called in his big brother for some serious bum-kicking round two. Here's to another exciting week ahead.
We have the best news ever. But I think it's best said in your own words:
It's true, here's what's happening inside Mama's Big Fat Belly:
We're so excited to welcome our new baby into the Stuyck family. You've been so good about the news and are always hugging "mama's big fat belly" or putting blankets on "mama's big fat belly" to help the baby sleep. It's clear you are going to be an amazing big sister.
Last week, we found out it was going to be a baby boy! Papa and I are very happy to get to experience a son and a daughter. You, on the other hand, have got your heart set on a sister, so you've been a bit harder to convince no matter how many times we tell you...
I'm not worried. You make sure there is plenty girl around here for all of us. And what could be better than having a baby brother just like Peppa Pig!?
Baby Stuyck is due July 15th. It's going to be a big year in the Stuyck household. Lots of changes to come around here!
Today nursery is celebrating Venetian Carnival so they invited you to come dressed as whatever you want. You wanted to be "a fairy, like Tinkerbell", so we put on a fancy dress and wings and you were the most beautiful fairy I have ever seen.
Then I brought you to nursery where you will spend the day painting, running, laughing, and playing outside in the worlds biggest muddy puddle (once a lovely lawn):
I can't wait to collect you and see the result. This should be interesting.
On Friday, after 19 consecutive days of work, Papa finally declared himself a day off and stayed home to play with his favourite little girl. You guys had a blast, I could tell by the giggles echoing background noise in my telephone calls all morning.
I had lots to do at work, so couldn't spoil you with time, but we did all make a date to go out to lunch together. We tried the new restaurant on our very glamorous Brentford high street. Asian buffet. It was ok while we were still among the first in the restaurant and getting to have first dibs on the Indian/Chinese/Fried food, but when the restaurant filled up to the brim with Brentford lunch guests, we were reminded all too clearly what a buffet really meant... Let's not go there.
And no, it didn't stop me from hitting up the dessert buffet.
Back at home you dragged Papa into your playroom where I poked my head in each time I went for a glass of water. At lunch I'd given Papa a hard time for dressing in colour coordinating masculine outfits. In the afternoon I realised the it wasn't just him. You'd completed the ensemble by demanding matching hats.
Because Papa works like crazy and Mama works like crazy, we rarely get to eat together and have not had a day off as a family for over a month. This weekend was no exception. The only good to come of it all, is that it means there is plenty of time for Pia and Mama to catch up with each other and our old friends.
On Satruday, after a very lovely day of cleaning and jumping up and down on the furniture, Maya came by. I tried painstakingly to get you out of the house for a walk, which you refused. Instead, you insisted we make muffins for your tummy, so we did.
Then you practiced smiling for the camera, looking at your photo after, then declaring, again, again!
You got very good at it.
Then Maya called you a doll and you set her straight. The way you do with Miss Simadu at nursery almost everyday:
When Papa came home, we explained that , yes, we really did clean all morning long, despite the catastrophe that he saw in front of him...
On Sunday, we played all morning in your play room. When I finally convinced you to come with me to meet Sara at Kew Gardens, you got half ready before putting on a very big pout. You did not want to leave the house. When I calmly explained that the rain had now fallen for 90 days straight and if we didn't get out of the house during this hour of fleeting sunshine, we may never see the sun again, you didn't budge. So I dragged you out kicking and screaming. Literally.
Once in Kew Gardens, of course, you never wanted to leave.
And so we played among the mushrooms (you hugged all 20 individually), and in the grass, by the pond and in the playground. We almost made it to the fishies, when you found THE BIGGEST MUDDY PUDDLE EVER. And that was that.
In the end, I pulled you out of the puddle with more water inside your wellies than outside. We took your wet tights off in the ladies room, wrapped you in a sweatshirt and headed off to the car where you fell fast asleep.
On Valentines day, we made special cookies. Special because we ran out of some pretty key ingredients half way through, which made some interesting cookies... In replace of the butter in our special butter cookies, we used banana. And for the flour? Ground almond. They turned out ok, but thankfully for us, we had a princess cookie kit in the cupboard saved up special for a day like this and you were really REALLY good at helping me every step of the way.
You wore a special pink outfit and after nursery, I was told that one little boy in class went and told your teacher privately that "Pia looked really beautiful today." Obviously darling.
Later we visited with friends. One of which, found her mama's iPad and consequently found Peppa Pig. Turns out you're not the only one who would live and breathe Peppa if you could.
We finally gave your friends their Skip Hop bags and you guys spent the better part of an hour carrying them from one end of the house and "RUNNING!" with them to the other.
Then you decided to shove a bunch of necessities in your bags and "go to the seaside". Which you all thought was pretty hilarious. When I checked in on you, I interrupted a serious giggle fest.
And then we went home, where you presented Papa with this:
And Papa presented us with this:
And we all declared we love each other. Because it's true.
Mama had to jet off to Belgium for a meeting, so I decided we should have the day off nursery and work and just have a laid back Monday. We started the day with a lay in. And by lay in, i mean getting up at 7:45. How times have changed. After a few games we made it out of the house. By the time we made it across the bridge to Kew, you were fast asleep.
I took you into costa and ordered a coffee while you slept in my lap for 30 minutes. After a few newspapers you finally raised your head and asked for the croissant you knew I would order. After the croissant, we decided look around. And boy, did you look around. We spent an hour in the toy store. Trying the grocery stand.
The train set
And your friend Iggle Piggle
By the time we made it back to the car, you were toast and I was happy
No matter how stressed I might be, I can always stop and learn from you how to live life to the fullest-doing exactly what makes you happiest. You are an expert in time management and always know how to focus on the best things in life.
Decorating cupcakes for at least an hour every morning.
Passing out cold wherever, whenever you need it.
Using the world around you as your personal aeroplane.
Taking an explicit pleasure in the simplicity of stairs...again and again (until you tumble down face first only to get up and do it again and again).
Rocking the cool girl shades at every opp.
Practicing your princess walk...
...showing outside exactly who you are on the inside.
And spending time with much loved friends.
I continue to learn so much from you. I love this phase most of all (despite the "no!"-screaming, toy-throwing, constant-whining) and while I can't wait to watch you grow, I hope you never change from the brilliantly silly girl you are now.