Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dear Jude: 3

Dear Jude Monroe,

You are three years old, darling boy!  I cannot believe that my baby is so grown up. It seems like mere moments ago that you were born. I cannot imagine life without your sweet self in it, and I am so so thankful that you were chosen to be our son!

Jude, you have enough personality for 10 little boys. You are sassy and sweet, naughty and nice, your are conniving and argumentative and determined to your very core. The word "no" means nothing to you unless you are the one using it. You are brutally honest and tell everyone the truth even if they don't want to hear it. One hilarious quirk is that you are extremely in touch with your emotions. You are very sensitive and prefer crying to reason in most scenarios. You often tell us, "I'm so sad," "I am crying," or "I want to cry." The drama is strong and adorable. 

Of course you are a giant of a three year old, this should come as no surprise. We don't do yearly check ups here so I'm not sure of your actual size, but there are children in Liam's class that you are larger than, and they are at least 1.5 years older than you. 

Your favourite thing on earth continues to be your beloved Bunny. You sometimes call him/her (the gender varies) Bun, but you don't allow the rest of us that privilege. You also love to stay in your p.j.s and snuggle. It is a hassle to get you dressed everyday, I have to say you come by this trait honestly. You love Paw Patrol and Team Umizoomi on TV and we can always count on you to be absorbed in a phone or tablet if one is lying about. 
Counting is one of your favourite things to do and you've recently mastered 1-10. You love to read books and you speak very well for your age. We are so proud of you, sweet boy. 

Jude, you are a loyal little boy and you fiercely love your family. I can't tell you how many times you've rescued me from a bad mood with your love. What a gift. We absolutely cherish you and cannot wait to see what great and mighty things you do in this life. 

Love you forever, and ever,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Dear Liam: 5

Dearest Liam bird,

Happy FIFTH birthday!!!  You are so excited to be five years old, I'm in a bit of shock that you can possibly be this old.  We are so incredibly proud of you and are really enjoying this stage in your life, but it's always startling to see just how quickly another year has passed us by.

Liam, you have grown so much this year.  Your speech has evolved and has come a long way and you've just matured in every way imaginable.  You stand 48 inches tall and weigh in at 50 pounds, they don't do growth charts and percentages here, but I'm pretty sure you're in the hundredth percentile by American standards.  I'm amazed that you are now ten times the weight you were when you were born, well done!

You are currently really enjoying primary school.  Every day you ask if you get to go to P-1.  You are very independent about going into school and have done really well at adapting to the schedules and routines.  You struggle a bit with group instruction so you sometimes get a bit of extra one-on-one help which really helps you to move forward.  You have several friends that you talk about at home and you always tell us about going to the library and doing exercises outside so I think those are your favorite parts of school at the moment.

The most common thing we hear from other adults (kids church workers, cashiers, teachers) is that you are so very sweet.  This makes me so proud, sweet boy.  More than anything else I long for you to always be sweet and kind to others, so to send you out for an hour or so and to hear that you were giving hugs and using your nice manners and being sweet to everyone is just the greatest report ever.  You are still our snuggle bug, I think all those hours of holding you while you slept has made you really comfortable with being close to us and I hope you don't grow out of snuggling anytime soon.  You love to get into bed with Jude in the mornings and share the iPad while Daddy and I get a few more winks, and you always want to sit with us and relax after school.  You still hold our hands readily and love to have rides on Daddy's shoulders when we are out walking a long distance.

Your favorite things to do are: any type of outside play, going for hikes, eating "blue surf" ice cream from Maud's, watching hobby kids videos on youtube, eating at "the french fry shop" (McDonalds), playing "Go Fish" and "hide & seek," and running around the house with your little brother.

Your love of life is absolutely contagious.  If anyone asks how you are your typical response is, "I'm great!" And you are, my dear, you truly are.  I am so proud of you and thankful for you, sweet Liam.  You are our firstborn, guinea pig and I'm so glad to learn this parenting game through your (and God's) grace. 

Love you forever, and ever,

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dear Jude: 2.5

Dearest, darling Jude Monroe,

Today you are two and a half years old, happy half birthday!  I frequently have to remind myself that you aren't three yet, I just round you up in my mind. You are such a darling boy and we are so thankful for you and your impish little personality!
At two and half, you are a big boy!  I don't know how much you weigh or how tall you are, but you stand as tall as several three year olds we know and you are just a solid little boy. You are also as tough as they come, I guess if you're going to be rowdy you have to be tough. Nothing gets you down for long and you can jump, climb, and run just as well as Liam. 
You have an excellent attention span and love to read books and watch shows on the iPad or television. Your favorite book is "Love is a Handful of Honey," and you love to watch "Paw Patrol," "Bubble Guppies," and our beloved "Yo Gabba Gabba." You love puzzles and are really good at building the train tracks for yourself. Recently,  you've really taken off with imaginary play and can entertain yourself pretty well. 
Judesy, your temper is a force to be reckoned with. You have no patience for not getting what you want and you believe an appropriate response to any injustice is shrieking at the top of your lungs and throwing yourself to the ground. So that's fun. You make up for this with your charming smiles and sparkly eyes. You know what you want and you aren't willing to settle, we are choosing to embrace this character trait of yours and can hopefully cultivate it for good. 
You are still the snuggliest little boy on the planet and might as well be a lap dog. If anyone is sitting, you are sitting in their laps. I really hope you don't grow out of this any time soon. 
Favorites at the moment: the color purple, stars (the shape), transportation toys, popcorn, yogurt, Incy Wincy Spider, rain boots, and Bunny. Bunny is your favorite thing, and has to come everywhere with us. You take care of bunny like a baby doll, we pretend to change diapers, you feed him, rock him, and wrap him in blankets. You also frequently whisper, "I got you, bunny," while patting his back which is pretty adorable. If you're separated for any period of time you greet him with as much enthusiasm as if it had been years. Such a precious relationship. 
Unfavorites at the moment: anyone having bare feet, having to share the iPad, blueberries, riding in the stroller, holding hands, being told no, and being helped with anything. 
Judes, we love you so much more than words can say. We are so incredibly grateful to have the privilege of being your parents and being on the receiving end of all of the love you have to give. You are so precious to us, sweet baby Jude. 

Love you forever, and ever,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Liam: 4.5

Dear Liam Davy,
Your half birthday was April 1st, and I had every intention of having this blog posted then but I got a bit distracted by our fun with Grami and Papo!  So, happy late half birthday!
You are one of the funniest people that I know and you are sweetness personified 98% of the time. You are a little boy through and through and we could not be more proud of you!  I'm serious about that, when you start reading and learning your multiplication tables I will most likely burst with pride so stay illiterate for a bit longer.  Speaking of learning, you are doing really well in nursery school. Your teachers always tell us that you are kind to others and very well behaved. Although, we are working on your listening skills when it comes to "tidying up," apparently you think they are speaking to all of the children but you. You love the water table and the sand table at school and you always speak fondly of your friends. 
Liam, your imagination is vast and hilarious. We love listening to you play with your toys. You love superheroes, Spider-man specifically, your rocket ship, and any type of transportation toy. You are not interested in crafts, but you love play-doh. You've recently become obsessed with watching YouTube videos on the iPad and watch some pretty interesting things ranging from videos of people opening kinder surprise eggs to Russian cartoons. You're an interesting child. 
Your favorite movie is "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" (a Wes Anderson animated film that isn't inappropriate for children, but isn't meant as a children's movie) and we love that we have successfully warped you into our artsy ways. You also love Wallace and Gromit and we still watch our fair share of Peppa Pig. 
I think living here has been a really good thing for you. We are often restricted to our home or just walking around the village since we don't own a car, and I think that the family togetherness has been really good for you. You love to be at home and frequently ask to "stay at my home in my jammies" on school days, even though you love school.  You love to walk to the supermarket and you especially love to pick out a treat. Your favorites are kinder surprise eggs and smarties (which are like m&ms, but tastier). You have your mother's sweet tooth and just the other week told me you were "treat hungry," I completely understand, my darling. 
You really love going to church and playing with your friends there. You have a pretty good understanding of our routines on any given day and you know that Sunday is church day, but since we go in the evening you can get pretty impatient about when we are actually going to get there. 
Judesy is your pesky little brother that you love to play, and fight with. You both already argue over what to watch on the tv and who gets what toy. But you are always really sweet to him. You love to kiss him on the forehead at bedtime and enjoy squeezing his guts with hugs. I love watching your friendship develop and seeing you hold hands in the car or hearing you talk to each other. Your relationship is already a blessing to me. 
Daddy is your favorite person on the planet and you light up like a flame anytime he comes in the room and fall into the depths of despair if he leaves without giving you the appropriate amount, and type (Eskimo, eye hatch) of kisses.  You still love to be held and carried and we are in no hurry for you to grow out of needing that affection. 
Your favorite foods are raspberries, triangle chips (tortilla chips), applesauce, jelly or Nutella sandwiches, smoothies, and blue ice cream. You dislike most other foods, specifically meats and milk. In general, I think you're too busy to be bothered with eating. But you have days where all you do is eat. Typical toddler. 
Liam bird, if you haven't figured it out yet you are extraordinarily loved and cherished by your parents (and many others).  We are so thankful for your life and health and charming sweetness. Being your momma has been a dream come true, and I couldn't think of a more darling child on which to learn the ropes of motherhood. 

Love you forever, and ever,

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Things Liam Says:

I've been keeping a list in my phone for a while now of hilarious things that Liam has said and done and I decided it was time to share them with you.  Liam is at an incredible age, he is learning and growing at a rapid rate and we are so excited about embracing the person that he is!

Common mispronunciations: what Liam says=translation

squeeze=sleeves (as in: "pull my squeeze down, momma")

That's taste=that's tasty



eye hatch=butterfly kiss

uncle smooch=uncle scrooge

starbucks dress=my work aprons

I choked=vomit

My nose are leaking=my nose is running

Funny conversations:

Ryan: Jude, don't be a jerky jerk. (I think he was deliberately being mean about something).
Liam: dadda, Jude's not a jerky, he's our punkin.

I was singing along to a song playing on my phone...
Liam: momma, don't sing right now, let your phone sing.

He bit down wrong on a chip and it poked his gums, he refuses to eat potato chips to this day, if you offer one he will say, "I can't eat chips, that will make me very poke."

On thanksgiving we walked down to Ryan's school for dinner with the international students.  Liam was so excited to "walk in the darkness" (it was getting dark at 4:30pm at this time) and kept talking about it all day.  Then he told me that "God said let there be light, and daddy turned on the phone" (we use a flashlight app often).

Hilarious story from that thanksgiving dinner: some students got up at the front of the room to talk about why we celebrate thanksgiving in America and Canada (not everyone there was from a thanksgiving celebrating country).  When one person was finished everyone clapped and Liam whispered to me, "momma, I think they're clapping to me." Which was cute, then when the next person was speaking he leaned over and said, "I think I'm gonna go up there and talk," next thing I knew Liam was standing at the front of the room.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't move to go get him, and wanted to see what he thought he was going to do.  That student finished talking, while Liam waited patiently, then he got down on his hands and knees and crawled across the room, twice.  Easily one of the funniest things he has ever done.

Proper Irish/British Child:

Of course the children here speak very properly with darling accents.  Liam doesn't have an accent yet, but has picked up on some of the patterns of speech and in general, speaks very properly.

Some words he says often are: certainly, I suppose, and well done