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A Letter to my Daughter on her Fourth Birthday

20 Jan

To my Aviendha,

Today, you turned four. Four years of life. You started out stubborn as all get out and things have not changed. There are a handful of things that you will stand solid on and not budge, no matter what the motivation for otherwise.

Peanut butter, Ponies and Princesses, oh my!

Our most recent battle has been with food. You have always been extremely picky with what you do and don’t want. In order to take you away from your strict diet of pepperoni (whether on pizza or otherwise), fruits, peanut butter and yogurt, we have had to put some restrictions at dinner time. If you don’t eat one bite of something from our plates and chew for 10 seconds, you won’t get tv for the next full 24 hours. Since we put this into place, you have yet to miss a day of tv. It’s amazing what we can do when finding the right motivation.

Doing laundry and get this little munchkin to help me. She helped me vacuum too! #mamaslittlehelper #distraction #ilovemyfamily #mydaughter

This spirit is amazing. It’s something I love because even when you are angry, you are still one of the sweetest little girls in the world. You do not hit. You may scream or shout, but if asked, you will take a deep breath and a break. You know that daddy gets headaches and if your fit has him around, you will stop almost instantaneously.

It's going to be another long night.

Your greatest joy comes when you are around babies. At least once a week, you say that you wish you could be a big sister. It hurts me just a little bit when I tell you no. When I say never, you reply with maybe someday. The eternal optimist.

Helping Nana feed her second cousin. Cutest thing ever. And no, Avi still won't get a little sibling.

Kissing cousins! No, she is NOT choking him, contrary to how it looks.

Our new kitty Pumpkin has been such a great gift to our family. You are so happy with him! He loves sitting on your lap to snuggle with you. He puts up with you picking him up, brushing him, feeding him….he also keeps your bed warm and helps keep you in your bed at night.

These two are going to be dangerous with each other, I can tell. He already puts up with her so much, purring the whole time and she gives him an internal monologue. #weneedarealitytvshow #ilovemyfamily #catstagram #mydaughter

Irony in my own fat orange cat joining us to watch Garfield and Friends? Nope, not at all. #ilovemyfamily #snuggly #catlady #catstagram

We have been so blessed to have Suzanne in our house to help keep you in line. She has introduced us to BJs and their Tea Party fun:

Coffee date with my girl! I love the little Tea Party option and so does Avi! Work dates are the best! #mydaughter #ilovemyfamily #ilovemyjob

We moved to a new house this past spring which allowed us to have Suzanne move in. It’s the fourth move you’ve had in your short life, but this is where we will most likely stay for a while. Letting you have your own bedroom and room for Suzanne and an office means we’ll be here for time. Plus, the pretty door handles make for some fun.

Aren't my door handles pretty?

This year, we’ve also progressed to you sleeping in your own bed. Thanks to a “Brave Buddy”, you became strong and powerful to sleep in your bed in your own room. Most nights, you still end up in our bed, but you start out every evening in your own!

We found a Brave Buddy (tm) to keep Avi safe in her own room. We shall see if it works. Right now, she has it, a blankie and pillow and is laying down on her toy box. #nojudgement #crazybaby #strongwilledchild

Your excitement for performing makes me happy. You do one thing and if we giggle or laugh, you will do it again and again and again.

"But mooooom! You need to put more Backyardigans on!" #teenageratthree #ummmwhat #sassypants

Funny faces? Check. Great costumes? Double check.

Avi is scary! At Baby Max's Monster Party! #monster #costume #scary #pleasedonthavenightmares

I love you, my sweet baby girl. You are so amazing and make our lives better in every single way.

Avi chose to play with a toy tank at the table today. We talked about the letters on the front and she recognized the S and the A. We then asked her if she knew what the United States of America was. "Umm, I think it's where the good guys live?" #kidssayt

We went to visit @thekatspajamas today and Avi found a new friend! Major #temptation to get another dog for the family. #projectlife365 #bigolddog #puppylove #mydaughter

Two seconds later, Avi starts singing a song about being a mermaid. She will have a career in song writing by 5. #ilovemyfamily #mydaughter #swimming #singing #songwritingcareer

Words cannot even begin to share how happy I am that these two are in my life and love each other so much. #iamblessed

Run like the wind, my True Fairy Princess. Your entire life is ahead of you and it will be glorious!

"Run like the wind, True Princess! We can't stop til the day is done!" #mydaughter #ilovemyfamily #yesmydaughteriswearingatanktopin46degreeweather #donthate

Happy 4th Birthday, sweet Aviendha. I love you!

The birthday girl has some serious #style with her dance moves. #projectlife365 #princess

A Letter to my Daughter on her Third Birthday

19 Jan

To My Dearest Aviendha,

Holy cow, you are three! THREE!  How did that happen?

One day, you are my little baby and then suddenly, you’ve become a passionate, opinionated, talkative, brilliant little girl. It’s amazing.

Over the past year, you’ve moved from your “Avi-ese” language into full blown English. To where strangers can understand you. Granted, they still have some trouble with some words, but you are very good at getting your point across.

This morning was wonderful…you woke up when Daddy was making coffee and I was putting my makeup on, so we got to do a wonderful “Happy Birthday” snuggle. Your Daddy said “Happy Birthday” to you and then asked you how old you were and your little voice shouting “THREEE” so happily made my morning.

You bring so much joy to my world. Fully weaned, sleeping in your own bed and almost totally potty trained – you really are a big girl now.

I cannot wait to see what this next year brings. Whatever it does, it’s going to be amazing.

Because you are incredible. You know when your daddy has a headache or when he is sleeping. It’s normal. You handle it so well and are so amazing.

Just to share the difference a year can make, two different dancing videos. One from your last year birthday and another from this year. You grow up so fast!

2011 Dancing Queen   2012 Dancing Queen

Twenty Eight

3 May

Today, my husband turns 28. 5 months ago, I didn’t even want to think about the possibility that this wouldn’t happen. That we wouldn’t reach this point.

But we have. And he’s only getting better.

walkingHere’s to another year, my darling. To hope that you will next be walking out to visit my brother at his apartment without your cane.

I love you and am so blessed to have you in my life.

Whoooooooooo’s Twooooooooo?

7 Feb

I know it’s a few weeks late, but I don’t care!

Like any good day, we had a nap early on.

Nap Time
Then, my mom arrived to help get ready.  She brought her camera, which of course meant the birthday girl had to take it.

Baby Photog
A girl after my own heart!

Baby Photog

A little snack time before all the people arrived.


The above picture?  Taken amongst this:

Dancing Queen

She would spin spin spin and then drop and pose.

Dancing Poses
I’ve got a dancer for sure!

Then Grammy arrived with the cake!  It was SO delicious!

Beautiful Owl Cake

Presents!  This year, she totally got into it.  Tearing paper and tossing bows.  It was hilarious.

This puppy became her new best friend.

New Puppy Love
Well, at least until she opened the play tent.  After that, this is the most we saw of her all day:


Happy birthday, baby girl.  You are a so loved and I hope your party was a blast!

A Letter to my Daughter on her Second Birthday

19 Jan

To my dearest Aviendha,

I cannot believe it’s been only two years with you in my life. You are so full of life and personality, the world seems like it was a little bit darker without you.

Fairy Princess

Now that you are two and have decided you are a big girl, your opinions have become even more so a part of your life. You know EXACTLY what you want, when you want it and God help anyone that doesn’t let you do that. Today, all you would eat was cereal. No milk. With a spoon. Sunday, you would only eat string cheese. You had 8 string cheeses.


Your verbalizations are becoming far more so translated into English instead of Avi-ese. Your favorite word is, of course, NO (said with lots of force or whispered behind your arm and all variations in between) followed closely by momma and dada and baby (pronounced like bebe). You also enjoy saying “close the door” and proceeding to do just that.

My Loves

You did amazing while Daddy was in the hospital. He was kinda scary with the feeding tube and oxygen on his face, but you would wave to him with them. Once he got those out, you loved to play with him in his bed. Even though you don’t know what happened, you are so glad to have him back at home. When we pull into our parking spot at home after I get off of work, you immediately start chanting “dada. dada.”

Happy bed play time

Finally, you have also started sleeping by yourself. Last night, you went to bed at about 7 and stayed by yourself until 5:45 when you just needed to nurse. I’m so glad though, because this means mommy and daddy get to snuggle and I”m so glad we have that again. You’ll even fall asleep sometimes without nursing! This is a red letter day, especially since you were so close to being weaned until your daddy’s stroke.

Sleeping Angel

The mind that is always looking and always watching always sees babies. You know that babies are in strollers and carseats and in baby slings and in arms. On advertisements and TV shows. Each time you see a baby, you HAVE to make sure that everyone around you KNOWS that there is a baby there. When your cousin Keegan came to visit, you were by far the happiest kid in the world.


Baby Kisses

Today, on your second birthday, you have become a pibald child. You are officially now allergic to penicillin.

The poor birthday girl.

I can only hope that this next year becomes so much better than this past one. I pray that you continue to grow as strong as you have been and more importantly, keep your inner passion. I am so glad we named you Aviendha, because your strength of will and power is so true of the Aiel. I love you so very very much and always will.

With love,