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

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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.

Dear Sloan at 11 months

 

 

Dear Sloanie Girl,

ONE MORE MONTH until you are a year old. I am having some sort of existential crisis in that on one hand I cannot believe how crazy quickly the past 11 months have flown by, but also I sometimes forget that you haven’t always been here with us. I sometimes look at photos and panic wondering where you were.

You at 11 months are simultaneously a complete joy and a total turkey. You do not sit still for a minute. The only time you are confined is when you are in your high chair and you rock your legs the entire time.  You can scoot yourself from one end of the kitchen to the other, its extremely impressive. You now shake or nod your head rather emphatically to get your point across. You point and say something that sounds like “dat” when you want something.  A few weeks ago you stole a baby doll from the nursery at church and that thing hasn’t left your sight! If we say “Where is your baby”? you will search it out. It gets very aggressive back pats and kisses and you grin ear to ear while you lug it around.

We just had your first Easter and you enjoyed following Z around and feeding off her excitement, I am pretty sure we fished 17 chocolate eggs out of your mouth throughout the day–you love biting everything to see just how edible it is. Pre-kids I thought that parents who dressed their kids alike were lame. Well…then I had kids and now I use every chance I can to dress you and your sister alike. Nana bought you two matching jammies and dresses for Easter.  #PhotoOp I honestly LOVE seeing you two dressed the same. I know that the time period when you guys will allow me to do it is so short, so I am definitely taking advantage.

We have one more month left before I go back to work and I have been having such complicated feelings about it lately. I am excited to join the world of grownups, drinking hot coffee, peeing without company etc, but I am also just so sad thinking about this time coming to a close. You are our last baby and I will never have this second year with you like I did with Z.  While this has been simultaneously the most amazing and difficult year of my life I am sad seeing it come to a close.  Nothing can ever stay the same, and I have loved so very many things about these past 11 months.  I know that the next 11 months will bring so many adventures for our family…you walking and talking is on the horizon and I know that will bring a lot of excitement to the Walsh house.

I love you to bits baby girl.  I would say don’t ever change, but if you wanted to think about sleeping more I would totally be up for that change.

Love always,

Mama