Sunday, December 12, 2010
Charlie and Olivia's 2 Year Letters
Dear Livy Lu,
What an incredible year this has been. When I think back to what you were doing last year at this time, versus where you are now, I am simply amazed! Last year, you weren't walking...now you are running, dancing, jumping, climbing and generally going a million miles a minute. You weren't talking...but now you are singing, yelling, and asking me "why?"
We have all suspected that you have a flair for the dramatic, but it just becomes more and more apparent every day. You L.O.V.E. to dance and sing. Right now your favorite song is "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam," and you sing right along and even know the hand gestures. "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "I Love to See the Temple," "I Will Be Ready Then" (which you call "Ready, Ready"), and "Dancing Machine" by Michael Jackson are also among your favorite songs.
Television continues to be something that you enjoy very much, though I try to limit this as much as possible. It's getting trickier now that the weather is so cold and we are stuck inside more. So we broke out some new movies for you. "Mary Poppins," "Signing Time," and "Veggie Tales" are the ones you love most, but there's not much you won't watch! If there is singing, it's even better. You study the dances and memorize the words.
In keeping with your enjoyment of the arts, you can't get enough of crayons and paper. Recently, you have begun asking me or another adult to take a turn drawing with your crayons. You watch closely as we draw circles, hearts, squiggles and zig-zags. When we hand the crayon back to you, you attempt to draw these shapes too. This past October, you drew your first "picture". You took an orange crayon, drew a circle and said, "Pumpkin!" What a BIG thing to do! It shows that you know that this "symbol" drawn on paper references a real thing. These are the moments I enjoy the most. Being able to watch you learn and grow is such a pleasure!
Another interest has popped up lately. Last month we made vegetable soup with Grammy, and ever since then you have enjoyed "cooking" with your tiny kitchen and your tea set. You can often be seen walking around the house with a cup in one hand and a spoon or tea pot in the other, stirring and offering sips to anyone you find. What a wonderful hostess you are turning out to be! :)
Thankfully, with all of the playing that you do, you also love to clean up! We sing the clean up song and you jump right in putting things away with little to no fuss. This is so helpful, and I'm glad that you find joy in this little chore.
You are turning out to be such a loving little girl. Numerous times a day, I will look down to see you hugging my legs. You stop whatever you are doing to come over to give and receive love. This behavior is not limited just to me. Affection is freely given to Daddy, Charlie and your grandparents.
Friends are also becoming a more important part of your life, and you are similarly loving with them. The past few months I have been singing in a choir once a week that provides baby-sitting. There are several other children there that you also see in church, and so your circle of friends is expanding beyond the children of your parent's friends. It is exciting to watch you developing these early relationships.
Olivia, you are so wonderful and so much fun! Enthusiasm just oozes out of you. Opening presents at your birthday party was too funny. You kept screaming and jumping up and down whenever you opened a new gift. I'm not sure when you learned that opening gifts is that exciting, but learn it you did! And you "acted" out the part perfectly. :)
Though there is so much to love about this past year, that doesn't mean that things are always rosy. It is still clear that you are now a 2 year old. You are asserting your independence and pushing boundaries. And though I will admit that this can be difficult and taxing as a parent, when it comes down to it, I appreciate this important time in your life. There is so much that you are learning during these difficult moments, and I only hope that you will learn what is right despite my failures in handling some of these situations. I am, after all, only human. :)
There is SO much more that I could talk about in this letter, but I can't possibly include everything that has happened this year. Just know that your Daddy and I could not be any happier to have you as our daughter. You are perfect, because you are Olivia Bowman. There is something so special about your personality and the joy you bring to others. Every day we thank Heavenly Father for sending you to our family. We pray for your safety, your health, and your continued development. We pray that as we rely on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, that we will be able to teach you the gospel, and that you will be able to know of and feel the love your Heavenly Father and the Savior have for you. I love you dearly. Happy Birthday!
Dear Charlie Bear,
What a year! How much you have grown in such a short time. You have changed from the tiny twin to the mighty twin. You are a good 2 inches taller than your sister and you definitely have her beat where weight is concerned. We go to the doctor in a couple days, so I'll know then exactly what you weigh, but you are definitely over 30 lbs, which is a lot to carry around. Not that I do much of that these days. You have always been very physical and super capable with your body. Running, jumping, or climbing, you can do it all. And I'm never nervous for your safety. You are also strong! You can put your hands on two surfaces and hold your body off the ground like a regular gymnast. :)
It isn't just gross motor skills that you have, though. Perhaps it's all of the book reading that you do, but you have great fine motor skills. You turn book pages with no trouble, and you can use eating utensils so well. Not to mention that you are a pretty clean eater, which makes clean up really nice for me! :)
You are still in love with balls and things that go. Airplanes, cars, buses, vans, and all kinds of trucks just light you up with excitement. But your interests have broadened a bit. Singing and dancing is becoming a favorite past time of yours. Right now, your holiday favorites include "Jingle Bells," "Jingle Bell Rock," and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Otherwise, you can't get enough of the Michael Jackson "Dancing Machine" video on you tube. We've taken a few videos of you dancing to this, and the more you listen, the more your dance moves look just like Michael's. You also know a lot of the words, which is definitely something considering the length of the song.
Words to that song aren't the only ones you know. You have a fairly large vocabulary and have become quite the talker. For a long time, you let Livy do most of the talking, but you have caught up in that area and have an almost constant stream of conversation going on. I love listening to you when you wake up in the morning. It's such fun to be able to know what you think of first thing in the morning.
Charlie, you are a very sensitive guy, given all of your boy-ness. It took us about 5 months before we could drop you off in nursery at church without you crying. Now you are excited to go and couldn't care less when Dad and I leave. :)
For your birthday, Grandpa Rankin and Gigi gave you both your very first bikes. You LOVE bikes, and you were so ecstatic to have one of your very own. And you ask to ride it all the time...but! As soon as you put your hands on the handle bars (forget about actually sitting on it), you start shaking and saying "All done!" You even ask Livy to put her helmet on when she's nowhere near a bike. This is typical of you, buddy. You love Brutus Buckeye, but you're a little scared of him if he's bigger than you. A lot of things make you nervous, but you keep going back for more. As you grow, this will either be a good thing (you keep trying), or a bad thing (you keep trying...the scary stuff.) Let's hope it's the former.
You are so loving and caring. Your concern for others is always evident, and you do the sweetest things. I love watching you with Livy. Most of the time you are kind and gentle. As I wrote in her letter, this is sometimes not the case, but that is normal and typical for your age and relationship. But mostly, you just love your sister so much. You love EVERYONE so much. It may take you awhile to warm up, but once you have given your heart to someone, there's no taking it back. You are so beautiful inside and out, and I am so proud and blessed to be your Mommy. I love you dearly, Bear. Happy Birthday!