Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Somebody has turned TWO!

Hello, sweetheart.

You are my bundle of joy. You are my dazzling little ray of sunshine. From the moment you wake up in the morning, your whole body pulses with infectious energy and foot-stomping enthusiasm. You run from rail to rail in your crib, smiling and giggling, reciting our list of family names: "Aiya... momma, dadda..." Sometimes you decide it's important to engage in a little morning dance, so you raise your hands in the air and twirl in circles until you either fall down or crash into the side of your crib.

You are my tough and persistent one. You're not afraid of the big kids. Sometimes I think you believe you are one of the big kids. I've watched you navigate a playground full of rough, screaming children, and you remain completely unfazed. You watch ... and then push right past, not about to be deterred or left behind. You stand your own.

You stand your own with your sister too, and sweet Isabelle, you should probably know that we're on to you. Oh, your cute little disposition fooled us for a while, but we've learned that when you scream and push and yell, "NO!" you may very well just be looking to get big sister in big trouble while you coyly stand by. There may be five years between you, but I see you're catching on to this game quickly.

The list of nicknames for you is endless. I'm not sure you'll appreciate them all as you get older, particularly "Belly." But it's part of your name... sort of... and a part of you that you certainly love showing off.

But it must be said that you are our party girl. You are our daredevil. If there's a hip-hoppy tune, you'll bounce to it, and loudly complain if the next song's too slow. If there's a slide, you'll scooch down it and up it, a million times, every which way you can try. And if there's a chair, table, or bed, you'll free fall from it, trusting that we'll catch you every time, and laughing like a wild woman when we do. Oh you, don't you get such a mischievous look in your eye. A still, sideways glance accompanied by an ever-so-slight smirk, right before you dive off the bed or tear down the street, or jump into whatever it is that I just told you not. to. touch. You keep us on our toes, but if I'm honest, I'm completely in love with your wild and crazy ways.

Thank you for the snuggles tonight. Thank you for insisting that it be "Momma" that put you to bed, as you threw yourself onto my chest and cuddled right in. You squeezed in so tight, I thought you were trying to melt right into me. I love our nightly rituals... how you nuzzle into my shoulder as I pace the rug in your room, quietly singing you to sleep; how you lean towards the crib when you're good and ready for bed. You always lay on your belly, sticking your right thumb into your mouth and reaching your left arm back to find the softness of the blanket that I quietly spread over you.

And for twelve hours, your spunk and spirit take a little rest, re-fuelling for the adventures of the day to come.

Happy birthday, my little one.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Birthday bike. 6:30am
I am thankful today.

When you have your first child, each day is new territory. There is no other child to compare your experiences to. You simply walk through each day, one step at a time, bumbling along, hoping that all of your loving, consoling, leading, worrying, kissing, sometimes yelling, teaching, feeding, hugging, holding and directing will work together for some good. And not fall flat on its face.

And then your first turns seven, and there's been enough years now that you can look back on them and see the growth and the changes, and you realize, "Hey, maybe we're doing okay."

Kaiya, you are our energetic, fun-loving cheerleader of a girl. As your teacher wrote this fall: "Kaiya is an extremely cheerful and happy person. She never fails to make the class and I laugh during the day." Yes, that is our girl. Your life is so full of joy. So evident in your day-to-day enthusiasm and in your love for all upbeat tunes. I love that you love Michael Jackson, and I love how you push the coffee table away each day so that you and Izzy can get your dance moves on. You've got rhythm, girl.

Your knock-knock jokes are a work in progress, but I will never forget the first time you truly "got" a joke. Do you remember? "What do you call a horse who lives beside you? Your neeeeighbour." The funny smile that came over your face as it all sunk in. I'll never forget it.

Your love for math and science is a wonder I can't always comprehend as you daily ask your dad, "Did you learn about any science today, dad?" And he leads you down a wonderful trail of magnificent stories of life and our planet. The two of you often get lost in dinnertime conversations and I see how your dad's love for and curiosity about life has been channeled right into you.

But this year we've also seen a new independence and a new quiet side as you fill your mornings with quiet play, waiting for the rest of the house to rise, and you finally let go of your resistance to reading, suddenly awing us with your knowledge of words and your interest in chapter books. There is a whole world just waiting to be discovered by you, my dear.

You also love hard on your sister, whether she wants it or not! You take good care of her and dote on her just like a mother would. And I know if she's outside, you'll see to it that she's safe. My heart melts when you two wrestle and giggle together after dinner, Izzy pulling you into a big bear hug or sitting on your back while you lie on the floor. So many times, the first word out of her mouth each morning is "Aiya." So much love for her big sister. You two make a good pair.

I am proud of you Kaiya, for all that you are, for all the loud, crazy personality bottled up inside this beautiful girl. Happy birthday to you.

Post-birthday party henna in the park, dragon in hand (of course!)

Wagamama's birthday dinner