Thursday, 22 January 2015

New Year, Mew Moo

Dear Pia,
2015 is the fourth new year of your life. New Years mean new beginnings and you've had plenty. This year, we started the new year at a new school. You were pretty upset about the frumpy uniform "for boys" until your Gigi told you all about how much she loved uniforms and especially pleated skirts. On the first day of school, you didn't even moan. 
And when I came to pick you up 2.5 hours later, you were all smiles.
Two weeks after your first day at school you had your first field trip to Jungle Island. My guess is that it was a good thing this is somewhere we've been a few times as a family. I was nervous for you but really proud when I watched the big yellow bus roll up.
Now you go to Montessori school half days three times a week. It's just a shirt amount of time, but the Montessori approach is already so obviously helping you. Just a few weeks in and you're already so much more independent. Sometimes you still linger asking for a toy to play with, but other times you are completely self sufficient-which is adorable and awe-inspiring to see in a tiny 3 year old. So, to help you along, we've taken steps to make our home as montessori as possible, complete in lowering the things you need to your height and organizing the toys (that was big).

And it paid off. The other day, I was busy feeding Rafa and you disappeared. When I came to find you, you had gotten out some of your paints and paper and were nearly painting a picture. I was so impressed! And then I was scared-oh my god what have we started here!? But you did it all so perfectly well and there was no mess at all and I was so proud! 

Since then, you're always helping yourself. You set the table, you get your own drinks, you set your own projects up. And it's amazing. You're amazing.
You even decided to be brave and ride the buggy board.
And you've gotten over your momentary fear of slides and are right back to Queen of the playground.
Some things haven't changed with the new year. You're still the best big sister ever. 
And you still don't like "too many kisses all over".
But other things definitely have. You started Gymnastics classes. You picked out your leotard all by yourself (after your facial expression alone rejected the one you got for Christmas). And you pack up for class each week all on your own....which usually leaves an interesting trail of things in the car.
Yes, that was a pot lid.

But at gymnastics, you are brilliant. A class of three year olds is guaranteed to be somewhat mayhem, but you are always so calm and collected. You follow the teachers directions and execute the skills brilliantly. I guess I expect you to be so much shyer than you are and am constantly amazed and proud. Even this week, when I woke you up from your nap to go into class and you were so tired and overwhelmed all you wanted to do was cry. I picked you up for a big cuddle and then you went right back in there.

While we're talking about a new year and new you... This is you.

Shel Silverstein. You love his poems and especially his silliness.
Coloring. You do it everyday for hours.
Jumping on furniture. And jointly shouting "Look at me!"
Rhyming. It's your own private language. Every sentence ends with a rhyming word and sometimes, you just drop the sentence and go for the rhyme.
Helping. Any project, every meal. You're an excellent helper.

And by far your favourite game of the new year is "princess and the pea", where I hide the "pea" under loads of blankets and you come spend the night with your princess and the pea doll. Then you ask, "is it morning time?" and begin ripping the layers of blankets away to reveal the pea...that isn't always there.
Thankfully, YOU always are.

I love you,


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Screaming Deamin

Dear Pia and Rafa,

Somedays you scream until I get you in the car, and you both stop fighting it and just fall asleep. On those days, the sound of Rafas pursed lips and Pia's heavy breathing are the most beautiful sounds in the world.
I love you more than you could ever know...especially on days that you make me want to pull my hair out,


Sunday, 11 January 2015

(Post) Christmas in Charleston

Dear Pia and Rafa, 

We arrived safe and sound at OpaGigi's house in the wee hours of the morning. Uncle Greg had driven most of the way all on his own and there were very few random outbursts from the kids in the back, and even fewer from the babies. Still, everyone was pretty tired when we arrived. Thankfully, Pia felt right at home in bed here. 
 And so did Ali. Or her pillow-sharing lizard. Or, wait, what?
 A few hours nap (for some) and we jumped right back into the swing of things at OpaGigi's house.
 And then we got to the presents. Obviously.
 Bryner used this chance to show of her new monkey skills. Clapping.
 Then OpaGigi planned an adventure where Pia followed a string through the whole house, inside and out until it led you to these handmade bookshelves. One for you and one for Bryn. You didn't know what to make of it so you showed your appreciation in love. The way you do.
 But I think Opa knows how much you care.
 Gigi too.
 Then we just got on with things. We had a whole week to spend together and it was great. We played with the toys.
 Ali practiced excellent parenting skills. (absently texting with child preciously placed in the street)
 And so did I. (carseat?)
 And we walked. Every morning about 2 hours after the babies rose. For naps, and mochas, and because we could.

We cooked.
There was a hat thing...

 Rafa started to 'crawl'! or scooch at least!
 And Bryner, the old expert, showed him how it was really done.
We got really good at cud puds.
 And tasted all the toys.
 Rafa wore Bryn's clothes because he's a tropical kid and doesn't do down.
 And OpaGigi took us all to a Plantation complete with farm.
 Where you met a peacock...who shook his tail feathers at you.
 And we talked to a goat.
 And you climbed in the candy factory until the mud slopped up to your knees.
 And Gigi took you, Rafa, for a nice nap in the sun. This is about the time that Gigi gave you your song and you loved it. You have since decided you will have no other. You love Silent Night. Mostly when Gigi sings it, but you'll take substitutes if you have to.
 Aunt Barbie worked on other things with Cousin Bryn.
 Which Cousin Bryn was equally thankful for.
 Pia, you started asking Opa to read you your goodnight story and he read you stories he used to read to me at your age. I liked that. And so did you. So you did it again and again.
 You didn't however, like the Buggy Board I got you to help move you along when Rafa and Bryn were in the prams. But you tried.
We all got our hair cut, though Pia's was the prettiest.
The lizard checked in daily, but he's growing his hair out.
We all shared kisses
And smiles.

The babies battled it out for toys.

And germs.

And everybody cuddled Opa.
 When it rained, you guys hid.

And then the time came to say goodbye. Your Gigi sat with you all the way to the airport, which delighted you both beyond words.
 And when we got there, Pia, you flashed your ticket to see papa like a pro.
 While Rafa ate his...
And this guy wondered, who turned out the lights?

I love you,