Mazarine is three months old

My Dear Maizie.

Oh little love, the throes of being a third baby.  I am grievously late writing this letter to you!  But we shall persevere.

This month has marked you growing a great deal.  I have no idea how much you weigh, but more than you did last month.  I’ve officially switched your wardrobe out from your newborn and 0-3 month stuff to the 3-6 month stuff.  I was a little sad to do it, but you’re such a delight I wouldn’t trade you for a whole truck load of 0-3 month sized babies.    You care very little about what you wear, other than it be dry and clean.  And while we discuss dry and clean… I think I’ve had to give up on cloth diapers- again.  You had such a bad yeast rash, that it looks like you have skin like your brother and Mama, super sensitive.  Comes with the territory of being super fair, and by the looks of things, blonde.

Also this month we took a big trip, all of the way to Canada!  And in true Berkan style, we drove, in the dead of winter, braving record snowfalls and storms.  It was interesting.  Luckily we had a truck that was ready for the weather, so we didn’t have to bat nary an eyelash at the awful weather.  And even more lucky for us, you’re just as good as a traveler as your brother and sister.  Who were besides themselves with joy that they were able to sit beside you in the truck, the whole way.  Daddy managed to shoehorn in your 3 giant carseats into the back seat of the 4Runner, and with you rear facing, Beatrix and Hudson were able to look at you the whole way.   I’d often look back to see one or both of them holding your hand(s).  They love you so much!  Once in Canada you met many cousins, aunts, uncles, 2nd and third cousins, cousins once and twice removed.  You met a lot of family and you were awesome about it.  I did notice that after a long day of meeting lots of new people you needed to cuddle more, which I needed too.  I’m glad you could do that for me.

We learned some things while in Canada.  You aren’t fond of the cold, but you’re hearty and didn’t complain much about it.  It sure was cold though, and keeping a baby warm in that kind of cold is a challenge.  Having a winter baby in California is so very different from having a winter baby in Canada, for the obvious reasons.  Oh and while in Canada you giggled for the first time.  I wasn’t in the room but I came running when I heard it.  Your giggle is most awesome, it’s a cross between a cough and a guffaw.  I like it, let’s keep it, m’kay?

Other big things this month, you found your hands!  And you figured out that you can move them with your mind!  YOUR MIND!  You’re not yet able to grasp things, but you do a most excellent job of batting things around with your fisted fingers.  I find it most amusing when you bat at your brother and he tells me that you punched him.  I remind him that you’re a baby and you’re not quite sure what you’re doing yet, and he understands, but let’s secretly think that you’re just getting revenge early, for what’s surly to come.  Right?  (Okay Hudson, we’re kidding, Maizie isn’t punching you on purpose, she’s a baby, she doesn’t know what she’s doing….)

Well my tiny love, you’ve been with us for 3 months, and I can’t hardly imagine life without you.  Also to be fair I can’t much recall the first 2 months of your life, they were a blur of Christmas and diapers, but I am so happy with how our lives are.  You’ve make our perfect life more perfect.  You’re such a doll, so amazing, and so perfect for our family.  We all love you to bits, especially me.

I love you, my sweet little rainbow baby.

 

Love,
Mama.

 

Beatrix is 6 years old!

Dearest Trixie!

You’re six years old now and I sit back and wonder where the time went.  I know that this is a garish cliche, but really, parents do wonder this.  These past 6 years have passed so quickly!  I remember at one point your Daddy and I were talking about where we wanted you to go to school, but we dismissed the conversation because we had so much time until it was a needed conversation.  And now here you are, thriving in kindergarten.  Time flies, indeed.  (just to add another cliche to the bunch.)

And now regarding kindergarden.  It’s a bit of story, one you know.  We moved to get into the coveted school district for a very particular school, and lo, we were waitlisted.  So that leaves regular public school, very expensive private school or homeschool.  Your Daddy was finally convinced by me to homeschool.  You love it.  You claim that you don’t want to go into a regular classroom.  I hope that in 6 more year, 12 more years, 18 more years you still feel that way, or at the very least you’re not angry at our choice to homeschool you.  But you are doing well.  You have a busy schedule, I found this amazing program for you where you hike for a whole day with other kids.  I belive this is the most perfect program for you, outside in your beloved mountains with bugs, plants and animals.  This makes the world your classroom and you are an eager student.  (more cliches!)  We’ve learned that you are tenacious and possibly immune to poison oak.  Being that you are the smallest in your group, it was hard for you to keep up at first and carry your pack, loaded with your water, lunch and change of shoes and clothes.  Often one of the guides would end up carrying something for you.  But you are getting strong!  Daddy and I can see the difference in your body.  You’re getting muscular!  We can see the muscles in your legs, it’s equally impressive and scary that my tiny baby has such muscle!  But now, only 6ish months since you started you carry your own pack, loaded with everything on your own!  I am very proud of you for this!  About the poison oak.  I would really like for you to stop testing your theory that you’re immune.  I fear that your immunity might wear off.  That would be a little uncomfortable for you.

Anyhow, you’re in other homeschool classes too.  You love the science class you do and another program, related to the hiking one, but it’s at a standing location and it’s a free choice program.  You’re doing well there also.  It’s noted that you gravitate to the older girls, and they all adore you.  Last month they were studying Ancient Egypt and you lvoed it all.  You told me early in the school year that you wanted to study mummies, so this was perfect for you.  Also Daddy took you to the Egyptian museum so you could see some real mummies.  I think you were a little aghast at what a mummy actually looks like, but you still enjoyed it.  I love watching you get excited by learning, it’s inspiring!

On to growth, you’re still tiny, wearing 4T tops and bottoms and size 9 shoe.   It looks like you’ve gained more weight this year than last, maybe 2-3 pounds, which is good considering you only gained 4 ounces from ages 4-5!  You’ve started eating more, but most of the gain is muscle, I am sure of it!  All of that hiking!  Emotionally your growth is normal, I’d guess.  I see you drifting from having little kid emotions to these big emotions, big drama.  It’s exhausting and trying for me, and I can bet it’s as bad if not worse for you.   I see you struggling with what you feel, and it’s hard for me to watch.  I KNOW what you’re going through, because I did it too.  Some of the struggles you are having now plagued me into adulthood.  My hope is that I can help you figure them out sooner than later so that some later transitions you have won’t be as awful.   Mostly I want to work on your confidence.  You struggle with letting people see you fail.  So rather than failing you won’t try or you’ll be silly to defray the situation.  I see this in your gymnastics class a lot.  You are the clown of the class, and sometimes it’s disruptive.  I know you’re just scared of making a mistake, but please don’t be so scared!  I know we talk about this every class, but it bears repeating, as it’s a life lesson.  No one really cares if you make a mistake, especially if you are trying.  You’ll get it, you’re a lot more skilled than you think, naturally.  Your coaches tell me that when you try you are really good, a natural even.  So my love, don’t give up, and keep trying.  You’re amazing!

Socially you’re still outgoing, but clearly an introvert.  You will go into a crowd willingly, but you stay on the fringes of it, alone.  But in a small group with 1 or 2 others you excel.  You’re a natural leader in a situation like that and are so much more at home.  It took me a while to really realize this, because you don’t shy away from a large group, but you don’t engage in it.  You’ll happily play with children at a playground, even if you don’t know them, which really demonstrates how you are outgoing.  It’s served you well in our new homeschool community.  You’ve made a lot of friends and a couple of new best friends.  It’s been really wonderful to watch you grow socially.  You really are a social butterfly and will engage all ages of people, which is new this year.  In the past you’d hide behind me, now if someone says hi, you’ll talk their ears off.

And the biggest news of this year is that you’re a big sister again!  We welcomed Maizie this past December, and you have done amazing with her.  Just like with Hudson you have shown no jealousy, and are a super big sister.  There have been times where you’ve really helped me out.  You can calm Maizie down for a couple moments, you can give her a bottle, you give her cuddles and kisses, and best of all she loves you so much.  You can make her giggle and coo.  She lights up when she sees you.  I love watching you two engage each other.  With Hudson you are developing more and more of a friendship.  You guys are often head to head playing with something, or watching the tablet together, reading together, or even just existing in the same room together.  You guys do have some moments where you bicker, but they’re normal and not awful.  Mostly you two are the best of buddies, and look out for each other.

So my sweet girl, here you are, 6!  Embarking on being a kid, moving away from being a kindergartener to a big kid.  You are so amazing, so smart, so athletic, so beautiful.  I marvel at everything about you.  You take my breath away and make me sigh with contentment.  I love you so much.  I am such a lucky Mama.

thank you for being you, my sweet girl!

Love, always and forever,

Mama.

Mazarine is 2 months old!

Dear Maizie,

My tiny sweet girl, you’re two months old now.
At your two month check up you were 11 pounds 6 ounces and 23 inches.  You have done some spectacular growing!  There was a little stretch there where I was getting a little worried that you weren’t gaining your birth weight back but you did your part and now it’s not an issue.   You’re also quite strong, practically holding your head up already, and you love to stand, with assistance of course.  Daddy likes to help you stand the most, holding you up and you push up with your legs.  I used to protest, but you will push against anything that will offer resistance.  Just promise no walking before a year, okay?

So your second month has been a busy one for you!  Hudson’s preschool had it’s annual winter festival and you were there, so you got to see your first bit of snow, which was actually crushed ice, but you got to experience it.  We also celebrated Mama and Daddy’s anniversary, our 8th, there was pie.  It was Hudson’s fourth birthday and there was a party, which you slept through most of, in random friends’s arms.  We went to a hockey game, which you slept through, with the help of some pretty awesome headphones meant for babies.  You came with Trixie and I to a birthday party for one of Trixie’s friends.  You slept through that too.  It seems like you sleep a lot, but in reality, you’re not much of a napper unless you’re being worn, in which case is a pretty sure way to get you to nap.  You sleep well at night though, generally only one wake up.

Your big brother and sister love you to pieces and I often find myself asking them to leave you alone a little.  They just want to be next to you, kissing on you, hugging you, touching you.  So far you don’t seem bothered, hopefully that doesn’t change and you keep tolerating it.  Trixie loves to pick out your outfits and there are some particularly exciting ones.  I hope you get some of her style sense, it’s so jubilant and happy.

My tiny girl you are my third child in so many ways and I love how you just roll with life.  You are toted and brought around with us to various places and you just take it all in.  I’ve always been blessed with easy babies, and I love that you’re continuing with that trend.

My sweet girl!  You are a delightful baby!  I feel like I’m not saying too much in this letter, you are just so content and happy and such a dream.  I maintain that I am a lucky Mama.  I can’t wait to see what the next months bring, it’s going to be such a fun time!

I love you so much!

Love always,

Mama.

 

Hudson is three!

Hudson!  My sweet boy!  You’re three years old!  I type this knowing that I am late on this post and ever so delinquent on doing your monthly posts, so delinquent that it’s best that I not mention it, ever again.

Anyhow, you have grown into this adorable, snuggly little boy.  I adore you and your tounge thrust lisp.  You are quick to give hugs, but never kisses since they are gah-ross!  You are also quick to tears if chided, but hugs and snuggles will resolve the tears and we both feel better after a little chat about what was wrong and what we can do better next time.

While you spend most of your time with your sister and me, and most of your friends are girls; you my boy, are all boy, a sensitive boy, but all boy.  I love your devotion to Jake and the Neverland Pirates, I love your shaggy blonde hair and incredibly bright blue eyes.  I love your pink lips, even with their little scar, I love how your hands are forever dirty (I must go through a brick of baby wipes every couple of days chasing you down to wipe you up), I love how you, even with your dirty hands, always want to touch my face, to look into my eyes.  I love you so much.

You are an incredibly bright boy.  You often baffle Daddy and I with your ability to make stunning connections about the world around you.  You have this intense desire to understand how things work.  Daddy says you have the “knack” (for engineering), mostly I just try to keep you safe!  We were at the mall one day riding the coin operated rides and you climbed off of your ride while it was going and tried to get a good peek underneath it to see the mechanics of it.  I had a mini heart attack watching you do this, because I was worried that you would crush your head.  Now writing it out, it seems like I was standing far away, but you’re quick, I was close!  We had a chat about how to stay safe, and I had to remind you a couple more times, but you were just so interested to see how it worked.  Other times at a park you’ll crawl off of a moving part of some apparatus and see how it works.  I’m starting to get good at anticipating what you’ll need to inspect before I need to panic about crushed heads or pinched fingers, but yes, I’ll agree with Daddy, you have the “knack” indeed.  But please, Sweet Boy, be safe, if only to protect my heart!

You also have a good understanding of your letters and numbers.  You know your upper case and lower case numbers and you can write your name.  You can count to 10+ in English and to 10 in Spanish, and we’re working on French.  We practice basic math, and you are grasping it so easily.  Now if you’re reading this in your 20s or so and think that I ran a super tight ship and made you study study study while you were only two years old, you are absolutely right!  Except, no, I’m sure you know that we just played with letters and numbers a lot.  You know that your Daddy and I valued such things and we just worked them into daily life.  Who knew that there were so many lessons that could be casually brought together from a bag of clementines!

Speaking of oranges!  Oh my word!  You love oranges!  You will beg me to peel you orange after orange until you’ve eaten four or five, which is when I’d normally cut you off; I should just let you keep eating them to see what your limit is, but I fear for your tummy.  I don’t think there is a limit for you.  Luckily though, I have planted an orange tree at our new house.  I hope it keeps you in oranges, if not, I’ll plant another.  Although I also planted a grapefruit, lime, two kumquats and a buddah hand, which you love to chant as you play in the back yard.  ”Bue-dah hae-ndh, bue-dah hae-ndh.”  This is in addition the the two lemons trees we already have, which you make great use of.  I am grateful that you adore citrus so much, but honestly I worry about your tummy!  With eating though, you are still a pretty good eater.  We have days when you would rather play than eat, and I try to let you do what you need to do, but lets not forgo eating too much, okay?  You’ve also recently decided that you love spicy food, and your favourite spicy food is red fish, as you call it, which is the spicy Korean fish cake.  You’ve also told me that only boys like spicy food.  I didn’t have the heart to tell you otherwise, but reality in our house, is that Daddy and you are the ones who eat most of the spicy food!

Oh my word Hudson, you love babies!  We have a little baby in our social circle whom you adore.  It’s ovary jumping adorable to watch you play with her.  You’ll go up to her, and she’ll squeal her amusement at seeing you, then you’ll offer her your face and head, to which she pokes and tears at, to your delight.  You’ll often tell me that you want a baby sister just like Baby Ruth.  And Buddy, I’m working on it!

Recently you got a new baby cousin, Esmee, and while you’ve only been allowed to peek at her so far, you’re so excited at her arrival.  We talk of her a lot and you can recognize photos of her, and plot which toys you’re going to share with her and how you’re going to play with her.  It’s so cute to see you bonding with her in your own way, in her absence.  I know that you’re going to make an amazing big cousin and eventually big brother!

Your favourite toys are wheeled or mechanic in some way.  I often find you surrounded by duplos and hot wheel cars.  Sometimes though you do play with baby dolls, which is interesting since your sister has doffed baby dolls all together.  You also love playdough, any crafts and playing in your play kitchen.  For Christmas you got a couple of toy knives in different play sets, a play breakfast set, a playdough set and in a fossil toy thing, and you have managed to bring them all together and will proudly share your “knife-es” with your Daddy and I.  It’s really cute how you’ve not learned the correct plural form of ‘knife’, and while I correct you, I secretly hope you’ll keep saying it wrong.  Also I can see how it looks a little creepy that you like your collection of knives, but you spend a lot of time chopping your playdough to make little meals for me or Daddy or even Sister.  So perhaps with having the knack for engineering you have the knack for being a cook or chef.

Finally, my little Doodle, my little Bunny, my little Buddy, my Sweet Boy, I love you to pieces, and while I can’t wait to have a sibling for you, I am so happy that you’ve been my baby for so long.  I know you’re excited to be a big boy now, and that you’re ready to move away from babydom, but you’ll always be my Sweet Boy.  I love you so much; you know how much, as big as the universe, times infinity.

 

love, always and forever,

Mama.

44th Month Newsletter (Beatrix)

Dearest Beatrix.

You’re 44 months old now and such a little lady!

You love to dress yourself, and you tend to go for a very monochromatic looks, if you commit to a colour for the day, you commit!  Down to your underwear and socks.  I love it!  You have your own little rules that you abide by.  I don’t always understand them, but you’re pretty sure that they’re rock solid, like if you’re wearing a shirt with an owl on it, you want pants with a bird, but not any other animal, because they won’t match.  If you’re wearing a shirt with stripes, then you need striped pants, but sometimes I can convince you to use a colour from the shirt for the pants.  Sometimes.  I guess we all have our ideas, like I won’t wear beige and grey, I don’t think they match.  Heh.  We are related after all.  You’ve also started picking out Hudson’s clothes, mostly so they match yours.  I think you lament that he doesn’t have more pink outfits.  I’m not sure though how much longer he’ll let you pick out his clothes though.  He’s starting to have opinions too.  You still love shoes and you try, often, to convince me to buy one of each colour of shoes, I guess to make your monochromatic look really work.  I am persistent too though.  You have plenty of shoes!  Although we did buy you some rainboots recently.  You love to wear them and want your pants tucked in, or pulled up so that you can see the pony on your boots.

This month you’ve been complaining of pain in your legs at night.  I’m pretty sure it’s growing pains.  I’m so sorry!  I had them when I was little too and I remember how much they hurt!  So together we’re trying to get you to get more calcium into your diet, I hope that helps.  Also, my beautiful girl, you are going to have long legs.  I’m so happy for you.  Already I can see how long they’re getting in comparison to the rest of you.  It’s making for a conundrum for pants for you since pants that are long enough fall off your waist, but ones that fit your waist are many inches too short in your legs.  (You can wear Hudson’s 18 month pants, comfortably, they look like capris on you.)

This month we went to Disneyland again, this time for my birthday.  We had so much fun.  I think it’s a family favourite place to go, and I don’t care that so many poele think that Disney is horrible.  I love watching you have so much fun there!  And I have a great time too!  For my birthday lunch we had lunch at Ariel’s Grotto, so we could see all of the princesses.  You were in awe, again.  We took lots of photos!  We didn’t get to see Mulan this time, which was disapointing, but we did see Belle, which you were excited for.   During our trip we also went and saw Tinkerbelle which was exciting, she spent a lot of time chatting with you and Hudson, it was really sweet.  Also during this trip we realized that you were tall enough to ride the Matterhorn!  You were so brave and such a trooper!  I screamed and you did not!

While we were in Southern California I went to a conference and you adn Daddy and Hudson went to La Brea Tar pits, and you had so much fun!  You learned about a lady who fell in to the tar pits thousands of years ago, and you have not stopped talking about it.  You’ve educated everyone you’ve come across about the lady who fell into the mud trying to save an animal, but she didn’t get out, she died too.  Your preschool teachers have asked me what you’re talking about, and I’ve had to explain to them.  They thought it was funny.  (after they explained to all of the other students that they don’t have to be scared of mud)

One day at home I was putting away some eggs and on a whim I gave you an egg for an egg baby.  I explained that you need to take care of your baby because it’s very fragile.  Hudson promptly lost his baby and you dropped yours within ten minutes.  You were pretty sad and I put the egg away, we’ll try egg baby again in a couple of years.  (I found Hudson’s egg a couple of hours later.)

We had a really scary day this month when there was an angry man at his job and he shot some people then ran away.  He car jacked a lady and shot her too, and why this is extra scary is that this was close to your preschool.  Luckily the teacher found out before school started and cancelled school for us.  If you would have gone to school that day I would have been so nervous.  We spent that day at home, with the doors locked and I hugged you and Hudson a lot that day.

Since it’s football season again, Daddy has been watching more football and you’ve been watching with him.  So to teach you more about football Daddy took you to a Stanford game.  You wore your Stanford cheerleader dress and went to the game.  Daddy said that you had a great time, and the photos show just how adorable you were waving the little pom pom you got there.

Finally this month was Hudson’s playgroup’s annual party and you were there too.  I hired Andy Z to preform for the group, and you loved it!  He was amazing and really engaged the children.  We ended up buying a cd and he signed it, and you ahve asked to listen to it every single day since then.  You especially love the “Sticky Bubblegum” song and the “Scarecrow” song.

Sweet girl, it’s so exciting to watch you grow up into such a big amazing girl.  I love you so much!

love forever and ever,

Mama.

20 Month Newsletter (Hudson)

My Dear Hudson.

Sweet boy you’re 20 months old now!  We’ve had a quiet month.

We went to the beach at Half Moon Bay with some friends and you had an excellent time eating sand, getting a lot of sand in your diaper.  (How do you not complain when that happens?)  It was a little chilly, so there was no playing in the water, just lots of digging and playing with cars with the big boys, and watching the Mamas try to fly a kite, which I can see is amusing for it’s own reasons.  We also went on a lady bug hunt, which you found to be most amusing.   There was a steep trail up a small bluff that we had to climb to get back up from the beach, and since my arms were full of all of our beach stuff I had to wear you on my back, which was interesting becasue I haven’t worn you in a long time, but you were happy back there.  Nice to know that we can fall back into our old routines!

A big milestone this month.  Daddy taught you how to euuurch your cars.  Since you’ve developed this facination with matchbox cars, you carry them around with you everywhere, mostly driving them on what ever surface you are next to and telling me or Daddy waht kind of car it is (car or truck) and what colour it is.  So to perpetuate you love for cars we bought you a car rug so you could have something to drive them on , then Daddy taught you how to euuurrrch them.  You make the most adorable little euuurch.  Often when I am not sure where you are, I can find you on your car rug, on your belly driving cars around the little town, not on the streets or anything, just around, randomly euuurrrching, often parking in the parking stalls.  The adorable is high.

This month we went apple picking and you were in small boy heaven.  Your favourite food might be apples, so seeing whole trees of them, and then row on row of trees of apples may have made you a little crazy!  I think you ate 5 or 6 apples that day.  We had a lot of fun picking them and filling the big bucket for Daddy to carry.  Then we all went or some apple pie and then for lunch and to play on the beach.  It was a really great day, and you had so much fun.  I think you are defiantly a little California boy.

I’ve started a new playdate with your playgroup.  We’re doing messy art playdates now.  I wanted to put you into an art class, but the times didn’t work with our schedule, so I figured I could just host them myself.  And we do.  It’s going well.  We made drawings with chalk soaked in sugar water, which helps it to be really bright.  You had a good time, did some good drawing, but mostly had a great time playing.  I’m looking forward to more of the art playdates, so that you can play with more of your peers and do some art that’s more appropriate for your age.

So recently I’ve realized that you can count to five, then ten.  Also you know your alphabet.  I know that some people assume that we work on your letters and numbers over and over, but you learned them because the toys in the shower are foam letters and numbers and over the months you’ve just learned them.  It’s rather amazing really at how you did it, and a testament at how easily children learn.  In any case you are so proud of yourself.  Also it’s so cute to hear your tiny baby voice counting.  And since you’ve learned you want to count everything, identify numbers and letters everywhere.  So random strangers are hearing you count and recite letters, they’re always shocked and demand to know how old you are.  I like to tell them that you’re not even two years old.  What they don’t know as well is that your Daddy learned his numbers and letters really young too, so it’s understandable that you did learn them so young.   Also with language and learning this month, you’ve learned the sign for ‘baby’, and every time we see one, you drop what’s in your hands and sign it, or just sign it with one hand.  You adore babies!  When we were at the doctor’s office there was a really new baby there, and you kept going over and standing beside the baby’s car seat and bending sideways really far to look at the baby, then you’d run back over to me signing ‘baby’ while shouting ‘BABY!’.  It’s so cute.  I think you’d love a little brother or sister just as much as Trixie would.

So this month ends with us going to Disney for my birthday.  I’m really excited to see how you react this time to Disney.  Last time you had a great time, so I hope you love it again.

My sweet boy, I’ve said countless times in this letter that you’re adorable and cute.  I know it’s poor writing, but it’s the best words to describe you.  You are adorable and cute.

I love you so much!

Love,

Mama.

 

43rd Month Newsletter (Beatrix)

Trixie!  You’re 43 months old now.  Practically an old lady!  Well maybe not, it would be nice if you slowed down with the whole growing thing, but I don’t think you’ll agree.  You told me recently that you want to be 18.  I was floored.  How about let’s just aim for 4, okay?  Maybe stop at 4?  No?  Didn’t think so.

Busy busy month!  You started two preschools this month.  Stratford started first.  It’s the more academic school, where you do worksheets and learn about composers, artists and such things.  So far you like it.  It’s strange though, you don’t know anyone there, but by all accounts you like it.  I think you’ll let me know if you don’t like it, and we’ll reassess.  You never cried when I dropped you off, and I was careful not to linger so I wouldn’t get sappy.  Hudson did not like leaving you though.  I guess there had to be some tears after all.  Later in the month you started CCNS, which is the co op preschool, and you love it there.  We know lots of the kids there and lots of the parents who are working.  Lucky for us every day that you are there we know one of the parents who are working so I get lots of reports back on you, and you are enjoying every minutes by all accounts.  To get you ready for CCNS I took some of the pet feeding shifts so we went to the school a few times so you could meets the pets and get acquainted with the school.  (This school has chickens, rabbits, fish and rats, you’re in little girl heaven with all of the creatures, I’m not so sure of the rats.)  As much as I don’t want to admit it, it looks like Daddy and I made the right choice to put you in school and not home school you for preschool.  I”m not sure what we’ll do going forward, but for now, when the curriculum is all about play, we’ll leave it how it is.

I guess in conjunction with school (more Stratford than CCNS) you’ve leader to spell your name from memory, but you get a little confused.  You decided that you wanted to be called Beatrix at school, and are still called Trixie outside of school, so this is where you are confused, you want to write both names at once, so it comes out ‘Betie’, I’m temped to call you Betty just ’cause it’s so cute!  (I recently learned that a new trendy diminutive of Beatrix is Bixie… I think we’ll stick with Trixie.)  In any case, Beatrix has a lot of letters, so I’m impressed that you even try!  YAY!

A little while ago there was a lightening storm, and we were driving through it, and you were so amazed by the lightening.  It was the first time you’ve ever seen lightening and it was an impressive show.  Lots of people from around here haven’t seen lightening in a long time, so this was a pretty memorable storm.

This month marked the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, so we had a talk about what happened and why we were remembering that day.  I kept the details pretty light for you, but I figured that it should be mentioned.  I was worried that you would fixate on the gory details, but you didn’t.  We talked about heros and how firemen are brave and that’s what you went away with, which I think is appropriate for a 3 year old.

We went on a couple field trips this month.  We went to Half Moon Bay and a really fabulous beach.  You helped Leland and Jet dig a big hole and made friends (again) with Aria.  It was really cute to see you and Aria helping each other up the trail on the cliff to get back up to the parking.  Neither of you would let go of the other’s hand despite the really steep terrain, then at the top, you both ran away, holding hands, which thankfully slowed you down!  Then for the rest of the time we all hunted for lady bugs, and had a great time finding them.   Another field trip we went on was apple picking.  We had so much fun!  We went with Leland’s family and had a great time.  Lots of apples were picked, and eaten.  Then we went for lunch in Capitola and to play on the beach.  It’s really fabulous to live in California in the fall, everything is really amazing.

Finally this month, we started you in soccer.  I bought you some very tiny little cleats and shin guards, you are ADORABLE in them!  And you love soccer, so much!  I hope we can do more soccer classes, but it looks like it might be hard next session, I think when you are 4 there will be more classes for you.  I can’t wait until you are old enough to play mini rugby.

SO my sweet Betie, Betty, Bixie, Trixie, Beatrix.

you’re amazing, and I love you so much.

Love always and forever,

Mama.

19 Month Newsletter (Hudson)

Little Buddy!

You’re 19 months old!

We’ve had a few big events this month.

We went camping with my Mama’s group for babies born in 2010 and you had so much fun getting dirty with your peers.  There was a lot of dirt, a lot of dirt eating, a lot of rolling in the dirt, and more dirt.  You also played with balls, chased squirrels and were introduced to a s’more.  It was a great trip, I think the first of many more.

Another new thing this month is that you’ve started following simple directions like, “go and get your shoes”, “here’s a cracker for you and one for your sister, please give her one”, “put away your crayons/ cars/ toys”  it’s handy that you can follow directions!

We’ve done more swimming this month and you have demonstrated that you are fearless around water, even more.  I have to be really careful that you are being closely watched, because you will jump in, mostly if you think I am there to catch you, but I’m not willing to find out what you’ll do if you’re not watched like a hawk!  One the one hand I am glad that you’re not scared of water, but on the other it freaks me out that you are so fearless.  I don’t even want to imagine what could happen.  So I won’t.  Suffice it to say, you are closely watched around water, more than most children.  I”m seeing about getting you into some lessons!

Your hair.  Hudson you have the most amazing hair.  I love it!  Everyone loves it.  But it’s getting long, and I dont’ want to cut it.  I have had it trimmed before, but I love your curls and I know that once they are all trimmed away they’re not coming back, but I don’t want you to have a mullet.  So I’m in denial.  Your hair is awfully shaggy right now.  So we make use of a manly headband and manly top knots.  I think they make you more adorable.  I think many people agree with me.  It’s interesting though, to see your whole face with no hair on your forehead.  Also, you love having me do your hair, if Trixie can do it, then so can you, is your motto.  She gets her hair done, then so shall you.

A new thing this month is that we’ve joined the Y, so you go to the Y daycare while I go and get my sweat on.  You don’t much like it there, which makes it hard for me.  When we walk around the corner you cry and cry before we’re even in the day care, Trixie loves it and that helps you, but you’re not a fan.  The ladies who work there assure me that as soon as I am gone you settle in and play, and I’ve had friends confirm this.  But it makes me sad.  On the third time I dropped you off they had to come and get me from the class I was in because you weren’t happy.  Eventually you settled down and I was able to go and work out more.  Luckily that was the only time they had to call me out for you crying.  (They’ve had to call me out because you’ve had a poopy bum though.)

Speaking of poop…. Every moring Daddy puts you on the toilet and sometimes you’ll even go.  We’d like more of that please.

I think you’re trying to drop your nap.  It’s starting to take a lot more to put you down for a nap.  It’s like you need to do twenty minutes of bed gymnastics before you’ll settle down.  I hope it’s a phase.  I’m not ready for you to drop your nap, and really, you’re not ready either.

We went to the dentist this month and you were okay about it.  You didn’t fuss and cry, but you refused to open your mouth so the dentist could take a peek.  Eventually I opened your new toothbrush and let you brush, which you love to do, so the dentist could peek.  He saw as much as he could, and was impressed that you like to brush your teeth.  Hopefully when we go back in a couple of months you’ll be better about it all.

With food you’re the same as before.  You don’t eat as much.  You love meat, especially anything in ball form and bread.  You love to drink from a bowl, and you love miso, I may have encouraged this.  Just like your sister a meal of miso, rice and seaweed is a favourite in our house.

You love to be in the kitchen with me.  You’ll help me put away the cutlery, you’ll push the stool over to help me with whatever you can.  It’s pretty adorable.  Perhaps you’re a little chef in the making?  We’ll see!

The other night you were watching a movie with Daddy and Daddy laughed at something and you forced the craziest laugh ever to mimic Daddy.  It was so funny that it made Daddy and me laugh harder.  You are adorable, sweet boy!

Oh dearest Hudson.  You keep me in laughter and cuddles.

As always I am the luckiest Mama ever.

love,

Mama.

42nd Month Newsletter (Beatrix)

Dearest Trixie,

Sweet girl!  I can’t believe that we’re well into the 40 months!  You are so big, so amazing, so beautiful and most of all, so smart.  I am so lucky!

As always we’ve had a busy month.

We went to the dentist and I was so proud of you, so proud.  You kept your mouth open without any complaint as the dentist poked around your mouth and cleaned your teeth.  I’m not sure if you remember, but your first visit was pretty horrible, you cried so hard, I had to turn you upside down so the dentist could peek in on your teeth.  (Since you were crying with your mouth open she could see in.)  You were also so impressed that you got a little toy from the dentist, I think I could take you every day, you were so chuffed!  So the good news is that your teeth are great, although you do have a small calcified spot, so we have to keep an eye on that so it doesn’t develop into a cavity.  As a result we talk a lot about the little bugs that like to eat teeth, so you’ve more careful with your brushing.  (Can we talk about at the alarming rate that you go through toothbrushes?)  The dentist confirmed that your teeth are awfully crowded.  I really hope you won’t need a lot of crazy orthodontia later in life, but I think you will, I”m sorry.  If it’s any consolation your brother is going to need it as well.

In preparation for preschool I thought I’d send you to gymnastics camp, which was a full day camp for a whole week.  It was your first time to be away from a parent for an extended period of time, and you did well!  You were the youngest in the class, so it was hard for you to keep up and paying attention for that long was hard for you too, but you did well.  You were so proud to take your own lunch with you each day, and I even bought you your own lunch box and sandwich holder.  They made you look so tiny!  At camp  you did crafts and gymnastics, it was rather perfect for you.  I didn’t send you every day of the week, just a couple days, but I think we’re ready for preschool!  You’re so excited!

We’ve been to Great America a lot this month, we’re making use of our season’s passes.  We saw “Snoopy on Ice” and you loved it.  And the big news is that you’re finally big enough to get on the medium kid rides, not quite tall enough for the big kid rides, but you can get on the 35 inch and higher rides.  (just barely, but still!)  The first ride you did was one where the ride went up a pole and dropped down and slowed at the bottom.  Sadly because there was another Mama on the ride, and it was the last ride of the night, you had to ride without me, and you were totally fine.  Not even a little bit scared.  I was shocked, although we all know I am a total chicken when it comes to rides.  I think our favourite thing at Great America (besides the merry go round) was going up the tall elevator and seeing the fireworks from above them.  It was pretty amazing.

Some bad news this month.  Through a misunderstanding between Daddy and I the garage was left open and Daddy’s bike was stolen.  We were all upset, but you took it pretty hard.  I guess you are old enough to understand what it means to have someone steal something.  In some good news though, Daddy’s on the hunt for a new and more wonderful bike, so we can take lots of family bike rides again.

As always you’re cracking me up with your quips.  You asked me: “Do spiders have bums?  Where do they pee pee?”  HA!  Most days I just wish I could record everything you say to remember it all.  In my, totally unbiased, opinion you are so witty and smart.  Also you voice is adorable, you have the perfect little kid voice.

So I was pretty sure for a while there that you were on the other side of the terrible 3s.  I was wrong.  You’re still firmly planted in them.  Some days we have a lot of struggles and some days are blissfully easy.  I know it’s all a part of learning and we’re learning together.  Sometimes I need to remind you that I’m learning all about being a parent just like you are learning all about being a kid.  It’s hard I know.  We just have to remember that we love each other and that hugs and kisses do help.  Luckily we’re not short on those and give them freely.

Finally, a small milestone but an important one, you let me do your hair with no fuss.  I am in Mama heaven!  I love having a little girl with long hair.  I do maintain though that if keeping your hair neat becomes an ongoing issue we’ll have to cut it.  You’re pretty adamant though that we not cut your hair, so lots of braids, ponies and clips.  I love it.  Also you call ponies ‘poi-nies”, adorable!

Sweet sweet Trixie, you’re amazing, stunning and perfect.  I am blessed.

I’m the luckiest Mama, ever.

Love always, and forever.

Mama.

18 Month Newsletter (Hudson)

Dearest Little Buddy,

You’re 18 months old now!  That’s a whole year and a half!  I can’t believe it!

You turned 18 months while we were in Canada, so we celebrated, Canadian style.
For Canada day we were on the beach in Vancouver, and with the tide quite a ways out you were in baby heaven, playing with the mud and sand.  Also you found a new big boy idol.  You thought Jacob was the bees knees, it was pretty cute.  Also while in Vancouver we went to a water park in Stanley Park, which was fun for you and Trixie, but at one point I lost you, and it was one of the most terrifying moments in my life.  I was making sure Trixie wasn’t getting into trouble and I looked away from you for a moment, and you were gone.  I panicked but luckily Daddy was able to spot you, (I’m grateful you were wearing a bright yellow shirt!) and I went sprinting through the crowds to get you.  When I scooped you up I felt better.  Luckily you weren’t fazed by it all, you had just wandered away, you didn’t know yet that you were lost and weren’t scared.  I’ve learned that I have to keep a really close eye on you, it seems that your invisible tether to me is much longer than Trixie’s ever was at your age.  Yet another example of how you are NOT like your sister!

On the way home from Canada we brought Auntie Kelly and cousin Liam with us, and you enjoyed having another kid in the car too, and a boy!  By the time we were on the way home you had gotten used to all of the driving (really after day one on the way up you were fine) and thought it was a great game.  You loved seeing the sea gulls in Seattle and tried to feed them french fries, which is encouraged, but they were such big birds, so Daddy or I helped you to feed them.  They were pretty dynamic in their pursuit of the fries though.  We all enjoyed watching them.

On to other things…

You want to pee in a potty!  You’re so keen on it, I’m amazed.  You’ll try to pee with Daddy when he’s peeing, which means you pee on the floor.  But every morning you ask to go to the potty, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.   I’ve also learned that taking you and your sister potty when we are at the mall is a challenge, but I’m making it work, somehow!  Good thing you’re both such patient children!

Your speech is improving, you are fascinated with the “K” sound, you’ll say a word then repeat the “K” sound a few times.  Book-k-k-k. shark-k-k-k, truck-k-k-k, sock-k-k-k, you also like shoe, but there’s no hard sound to repeat.  You also roar, it’s adorable.  You often walk around the house the a turtle puzzle piece roaring, but it’s sounds like “rooooarrreeeeerrrrr”  cute, cute, ctue.

You’ve discovered Yo Gabba Gabba this month, you still don’t watch much, but you will proclaim “Rock!” (k-k-k-k) when you hear the opening credits.  I’m pretty sure you mean DJ Lance Rock, who was your hero for about 2 weeks.

You want to do whatever Trixie does, and you let her dictate your play.  Often I find you two playing fairies, you wearing the green wings and a green crown, and Trixie wearing pink wings and a pink crown.  I must say, you two are an adorable set of faries!

You are obsessed with the kitchen and are in there often helping me.  It’s adorable.  And by help I mean get under my feet.  But I will let you stir things when I am making up a mix of dry stuff, and you’re so proud.  Once while I was making muffins you helped and then tried to help dish the wet batter out.  I”m pretty sure you spilled at least a muffin worth, but it was adorable and you were so proud.

The most noteworthy thing this month was your first temper tantrum.  It wasn’t too crazy, but you are starting to let me know how you feel about stuff.  I guess you’re really coming out of babyhood and establishing yourself firmly in toddlerhood.

My sweet boy, you’re amazing and I”m lucky.

I love you so much.

Love forever and always.

Mama.