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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

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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.

SFS-T

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.

Ethan18Months-9

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,
Mommy

23 Months Old

19 Dec

To my darling daughter,

In a month, you will be two.  It’s crazy to believe that you haven’t been a part of our lives forever!

This past month, you have shown your strength.  You were amazing when we went to the hospital with daddy, not knowing what was going on.  Even though it was so early in the morning, you were charming the nurses and playing with Grammy and just watching what was going on.
You were scared with the feeding tube in his nose and the oxygen tube but we got you settled down and you were still willing to hang out with us in the hospital.
Hospital Hugs

Even moving in with Grandpa and Nana didn’t phase you long. Pretty soon, you had Grandpa wrapped around your finger even more than he use to be.

You ask him to snuggle with your hospital doll Suzie and he does, while you are very busy watching Sesame Street.
Grandpa and Suzie

He even lets you help him in his shop!
Helping Grandpa

You are such a good helper.

More importantly, I love how much you love your daddy. I’m so very happy that you want to play with him. You love seeing him and when we visit, have to tell him all about your day. Sharing everything in the room and trying to tell him stories. It’s so wonderful. I know you are going to love having him home when he gets out.

Happy bed play time

Thank you for being my daughter. I love you so much!

Love, your momma!

21 Month Letter

19 Oct

To my rambunctious, temperamental and adorabley smart daughter,

Today you are 21 months.  One month closer to being 2.  This is mind blowing to me.  Wasn’t it just yesterday we were watching you try to roll over?

How did we get to you being able to put your own shoes on (granted, on the wrong feet, but still)?

You still hate to get your hands dirty, but did wonderful at the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday.  We found you a fairly clean pumpkin, and you carried it all by yourself.

Big Girl

You even helped us pick out some funny looking gourds to surprise Uncle Matt with.

Even though you are still working on your English skills (the only word we can translate accurately is shoes), you communicate very well.  We’ve started you on some sign language and you now say “please” whenever you want something.  It’s so cute when you do it, that I pretty much let you nurse almost any time.

Smirk
So much for weaning.

Some mornings you wake up after I get out of the shower.  You’ll sit in the bathroom with me while I do my hair and makeup, talking.  I imagine you are telling me about your dreams.  If you are anything like your momma and Nana, you will have very vivid and intense dreams.  This morning though, you read to me from The Ear Book.

It was a glorious way to start the morning.  Especially when you then crawled into bed, gave me a kiss goodbye, asked me to kiss daddy goodbye and then waved to me as I left.

No tears.  No cries.  You knew I had to leave and accepted it.

Then there are moments when I can’t believe how little you are.

SFS-Z

Seeing you wrapped in my arms, fast asleep, and you are tiny again.  Delicate, precious.

My Loves

And so loved.

So very very loved.

❤ Your Mommy

18 Month Letter

19 Jul

Dearest little imp,

You have truly hit the terrible twos.  Early as always.  So grown up.  You’ve discovered the “joys” of temper tantrums when you don’t get what you want.  You have Grandpa, Nana and Grammy wrapped around those little fingers, but we are hoping to train them to react how we do – after making sure you aren’t hurt, ignoring you.  When you don’t have an audience, you definitely stop sooner.  You are learning.  We are hoping this teenage stuff stops for a few more years.

Sleepy Point

You still sleep with us.  We’re able to get you to sleep by yourself, but after a few hours, you wake up and freak out.  Full blown screams of terror.  That, along with the fact we are hoping to move soon, we’re back to just having you sleep by yourself for naps.  This is hard.  So hard.  I have faith, though, that you’ll be great at sleeping by yourself.  As it is, when it’s bedtime, you plop down with your head on the pillows and pull the covers up over yourself.  We are just about Toddler Bed time, I think that will help.  Probably when we move, we’ll make the switch.

I am excited to move with you.  We’ll live in an apartment complex, which will be sad when it comes to forest…but will be wonderful for you!  There is a swimming pool and a playground and KIDS!  Oh the KIDS!  As it is, when visiting Uncle Matt, you will ask Daddy to open the door to the balcony, walk out with your little feet pitter-patting on the floor, crawl into the deck chair and sit.  For 10, 15, 20 minutes, just watching the big kids run around and play.  You are content.  So content, just to watch.  To absorb.  To dream.  When you get to touch or kiss or play with a baby?  You are in HEAVEN!  The other day when you went with me to meet with Leah, you were content when her kids came home, the two youngest were passed out asleep and her oldest was playing with you.  Dream come true, for sure.

Baby Love

The way you are with babies makes me sure that if we decide to have a second, you will be a wonderful big sister.  As it is, we have decided to hold off making that final decision in a few years.  We know we aren’t ready for a second one now (mostly for financial reasons, but the memories of the pregnancy are still WAY too fresh in my mind) but we are also content with our family as it is.  We haven’t completely counted it out, but in a couple years we will make the decision for yes or no.  I’m cool with that.  Having you as our one and only?  I’d be totally fine with it.  Totally and completely.  Especially since you are a handful…but also a love.  My dear dear one.

Your ability to completely and irrevocably make us fall hopelessly and madly in love with you is a major redeeming quality.  There are moments when we understand why some animals eat their young…..your temper is like your mommy’s.  But then, a heartbeat later, you do something that melts our anger away.

~When you tilt your head to the side and look up at us under your long beautiful lashes, a charming smile on your face.  It’s guaranteed to get a smile from us.

~If you drop anything, it MUST be picked up.  RIGHT THEN!  A cracker at the restaurant?  Down on the floor RIGHT NOW!  The fork from your food?  DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY!  A drop of water?  Down and dabbing it with a towel QUICKLY!  Course, this only relates to something you are actively involved in, which is why Grandpa and Nana’s house looks like a tornado blew through while we house sit.

~You know where your nose is.  As in, if we actively ask you to touch your nose, you do it!  When not distracted with anything else anyway.  Next up, your ears.  Hoping when you learn that, you will stop TRYING TO PLUG HEADPHONES AND KEYS INTO THEM!

You love sitting in big people chairs and when we go to restaurants, you most often sit in the booth with us.  It keeps you content for longer and lets you be a big girl.  Especially if you get a cup all your own.  You do fantastically with straws and with real cups, as long as you don’t get too excited and spill it all over you.  This past weekend, we discovered on our 3 hour drive down to see family camping, that you can screw and unscrew the lid on water bottles.  Which you do often.  You’ll unscrew the lid, pose, take a drink, pose, put the lid back on and pose.  With a giggle or two.  Before repeating.  Like most kids, you love repeating anything, but especially when it has to do with drinking.

I love you, sweet pea.  My precious brown eyed girl with the angelic curls.

Sleepy Green Dress

Happy 18 months.

Love,  Mommy