Dear Sloan at 16 months

Dear Sloan,

You remain our crazy girl. 16 months has been an explosion of your talking and comprehension. You have finally got all your teeth, and have ceased sharpening them on me (for now) You now can say: Up, That, Mama, Dada, Nana, Papa. Brebre (Brooklyn) Book, Yuck, Hugga, Bug, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and cheese. The other night you started calling Zo “DeeDee” and its really just so cute.

You keep us on our toes consistently, you know what you want and you run (and scream) full steam ahead to try to get it. After what feels like an eternity of you not sleeping through the night you are getting back to it. (THANKYOU) but you are still rising before the sun. Nothing good happens at 4am. Truly. I will remind you of this again at 17.

I have delighted in watching your relationship develop with your sister. You mimic everything that Z does, you want her toys, her crafts, her clothes. She is usually so patient with you and I love to watch you two play. She is DYING for the day when you guys can sit together and play Barbie. You will sit for a few minutes but then get annoyed as you dont understand her “rules” for play. Then something goes in your mouth, or you lose interest and we just hear “No SLOANIEEEE like thisssss” I just pray every day that you two will maintain this bond I have envisioned growing the past 16 months.

Your current hobbies include, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, playing with magnets on the fridge, making animal sounds and watching the Wiggles. You love being outside and we are trying to teach you how to blow bubbles…you eat the soap more often than not, but are adamant about figuring it out on your own. It would appear that we get another fiercely independent little girl in our household. You are so beautiful and have the absolute best giggle. The other night when I got home from work you came flying out the front door yelling “Hugga Mama HUGGA” and crash landed into my legs. Nothing is better to come home to than my beautiful family. Sometimes your love is a little smothering and suffocating…if I counted the amount of times you said/yelled/cried MAMA this past weekend I would lose track after 15 minutes.

You are loved Goosey girl… you make us deliriously happy and tired but mostly just make us complete.

Love, Mama

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Dear Zoë (at 3 years old)

I just found this saved in my Draft folder. oopsIMG_8185.JPG

Dear Zoë,

I blinked and you turned 3.
Last night I tucked my 2 year old in for the last time. We had a snuggle and I told you that when you woke up you would be three. “Oh that will be nice, thank you Mama” you replied.
Oh no my girl I think I should be the one saying thank you. These past three years have been the most amazing, exhausting, trying and beautiful years of my life. You are a mercurial being with a crazy temper offset by a phenomenal sense of humour and I am continually in awe of you.

You love princesses, your bunny, Barbies, Timbits, Brooklyn, and your sister.

You love your sister with an immeasurable passion. I have loved watching you grow into your role as big sister and I am so excited to watch your relationship develop. You are steadily cheering her every small accomplishment and love to make her smile. You tell Daddy and I that she is your best friend and it melts our hearts. My wish for you is that you two will always have each other’s back and be each other’s biggest cheerleader.

This past year your personality and vocabulary have exploded and you have become such an interesting person. The term “spirited child” could be heavily applied to you and we have butted heads in such ways at times I have felt like I was going crazy. Your Papa calls you Independent Zo as you like to do everything yourself. These traits will serve you well into adulthood, but can  be tricky to deal with as your parent.
You dance and sing with a careless abandon that is a joy to watch. I hope you never stop shaking your groove thing.

You make me so very proud to be your mother. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.
Love you too much (as you say)
Always,
Mama

Dear Zoë on your first day of JK

Dear Zoë,

You are 47 months old and I haven’t written you a letter in ages. We have had so much change in the last few months and now with you starting school I see that we have so much more to come. You have gone from being home with me full time, to various daycare arrangements. As of late you wake up each morning asking “Where am I going today?” I think you have been feeling displaced and that makes me feel so sad. With the start of school you will have more of a routine and I pray that it will make you feel more secure.

Today is your first day of school and Daddy and Brooklyn dropped you off. When I asked how it went his reply was “Heartbreaking” You were so pumped until you two got to the gate and then the tides turned. You cried and your teacher had to bring you into the classroom. While he didn’t admit it, I got the impression that your Dad cried all the way home. You are sometimes so fearless, confident and brave, and then other times you are my fragile little Zobird and remind me that you are still such my little girl. I know that by now you are having a total blast in your fun classroom with all your friends, but never doubt how much my heart was hurting thinking about you being sad.

Starting school is such a big milestone my love.  I feel it was just days ago I was stressing about letting you out of my sight to start daycare…and now here you are in school.  I know how much you love learning and I think that you really are going to thrive.  I have many fond memories of my days in primary school. Neat crafts, concerts, games and new friends. All things that I would consider your forte. I can’t wait to see all the exciting things that lie ahead this year.

We can have our moments you and I. These traits that I am sure will serve you so well later in life, often can make it so difficult to parent you. You are beyond strong willed and I love knowing no one will push you around when you are a grownup…however it makes you less willing to listen to me when I give you direction and some days that is just oh so hard. Always worth it, but sometimes hard.

Good days or bad days though we always somehow manage to laugh. You are an absolutely phenomenal big sister. I couldn’t have even imagined how much you would love and look out for Sloan. She is in a hair pulling, toy stealing stage and instead of retaliating you just holler until her fingers are untangled from your hair. Little sister only wants the cup, toy, snack etc that Big sister has. Inevitably you will just give it to her to make her happy, and it is just SO sweet. “It’s ok Mum, I gave Sloanie my dolly” You love just as fiercely as you dig your heels in. You love singing, dancing and doing ‘Bignastics’ I cant wait to see how your personality keeps developing. I know in what will feel like a short few months, we will look back on your first year of school and be astonished by how much you have grown.

Just like that book we have been reading every night lately…I wish you more my girl.

Love always,
Mama

Walsh Family Camps (@Cedar Park)

Our camping motto for 2017 is going to be “If it ain’t raining we ain’t camping”  What a wet gross summer…I am so glad we didn’t decide to become avid tent campers this summer, we would have been washed away.  Aug 4-7th we headed down to Bowmanville for another weekend of fun.  Fri afternoon was raining, Sat poured most of the day, Sunday was lovely and then when we woke up Monday morning…you guessed it, rain again.  I have learned to pack more clothes than expected to need, as I had to borrow some of Emme’s clothes to keep Zo dry.  We went through pants at an alarming rate.  The park was nice, but since neither of the girls are super crazy about water, the slides and splash pad were somewhat wasted on us.  G and Justin definitely got their money’s worth out of the big slides as they kept racing down.  While the weather wasn’t amazing, the company was great and we had some drinks, played some Yardzee and had some laughs.  Love camping with the Elyea family.  We had to hide Harley all weekend as we weren’t supposed to have dogs there. oops. This campground was nice, but not one I would say is at the top of my “must return to” list.

We seemed to take turns each night bailing at the campfire. Someone was exhausted each night…I remember camping trips where we would stay up partying til 4am…those days are long gone (thankfully)  It is great to have friends that are also of the “oh well let’s make the best of it” mentality. When it comes to things that are out of your control (like the weather)  Not the hot summer weekend we had hoped for but we still had such a blast.  Here’s to a toasty camping season in 2018!

Dear Sloan at 15 months

Dear Sloan,

You are 15 months old. I was just moments ago dreading the arrival of your first birthday and here we are kiddo…time just keeps trucking along doesn’t it?! The past two months have been a whirlwind of insanity, tooth growing and development. You went from tentatively taking a few steps here and there last month, to full on RUNNING, trying to keep up with Zoë and Brooklyn as best you can. You are determined to walk up and down the stairs the way your big sister does, NO interest in crawling as that is clearly for babies and the weak. You my girl are our wild child, our before the sun riser, our living choking hazard, our couch jumper, our counter clearer offer, our dog feeder, our emphatic head shaker, our Sloanie girl.
You like crawling up into laps to read stories, climbing stairs, pushing buttons. Playing with the ikea kitchen, and stealing toys from your sister. You LOVE water. A few weekends ago, Daddy set up the sprinkler and you wandered right over and stuck your face in the line of fire. I was waiting for tears but you laughed and laughed as you got totally soaked. Nana bought you a water table for your birthday and you happily splash around (try to drink the water. ew) and on occasion I have caught you trying to climb in.

So many delightful things make you you. You have the BEST giggle and just this past week have really started trying to talk more. Bra Bra you yell for Brooklyn, will answer “what does a cow say” with a cheeky grin and a MOOOOOOOOOOO. You love wearing hats, recently started insisting on wearing a pair of Zoë’s underwear over your diaper, and you try to dress yourself. All signs pointing to a second very independent little lady in our house. Your little voice and strong personality are starting to shine and it is just such a delight to watch.

You have been going to Miss Jennifer’s house for daycare this summer and you seem to love it. Daddy does drop off and pick up and says you wander happily into her house and arms. I do miss our days together my little goose, but I love knowing you are somewhere positive and you are thriving. The little report cards that get sent home daily show me some great naps you tend to take M-F and skip over on the weekends. When I get home from work in the evenings, nothing makes me feel better than seeing you and your sister running down the front hall to greet me. On days I am super tired, frustrated and just touched out in general, I try to focus on the sheer volume of love bursting from our home. I know that will sustain me.

I couldn’t love you more if I tried my best wee girl,

Love, Mama

Walsh family Staycation

We took several days off in July and instead of camping, choose to stay home.  The girls were at daycare (oooh the Mum guilt) so Garret and I got some work done around the house. The built ins in the dining room are now completed (YAY!) Mum helped me attack our disaster of a front garden–no longer looks like we need to hay, and we accomplished some of those little jobs that have been adding up. We made sure to have some fun as well, painting at Nana’s, a sleepover for Zoë, dinner out at Pie, aaaaand a heavenly day of relaxation with Garret. The Wednesday we had a couples massage followed by a few hours enjoying Scandinave. Then lunch and a margarita at Bent Taco in Collingwood, which is probably the best Mexican food I have had outside of California.
These few days weren’t as exciting as camping, but it definitely feels so good to be making a dent on our to do list(s) Summertime is so hard to balance the fun stuff with the necessary stuff. Weekends we want to be spending out playing with the girls and enjoying the weather, but we really need to be better at planning these work days as well. I think this will be a seasonal staycation plan, even just a day or two off work where the kids are at school and we can really blitz stuff around the house. Feeling productive for the win!

Walsh Family Camps (May 5-7)

The Walsh family braved the elements for our inaugural trailer camping trip. It was our first time out and we are so thankful to the Joneses for helping us with a few important details…such as me forgetting to bring bottled water, and not having a PILE of necessary items…I think by the end of the summer I might have this whole thing sorted out…
It was wet, rainy and insanely muddy. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting, but there were a few brief respites from the rain so we went for walks and splashed in puddles. All in all I will call this one a success and pray for nicer weather when we get out next.