I can not believe that it is time for me to write your 4 year letter. Time has flown. I look around this house, and at your baby brothers and sister, and I can see you and Charlie toddling around. Doing much of what your siblings are doing today. But in reality, you are so grown.
You have changed a lot in the past few months. Suddenly, you are this amazingly caring little girl. The love you have for all of your siblings is so evident. There is concern for them, and for others, in all that you do. You are so helpful with them, and are a bit of a mother hen. This has a tendency to get on Charlie's nerves, as your motherly-ness often manifests itself by alerting us to Charlie's indiscretions. :)
Playing with the babies amuses you, but you are also beginning to play with Charlie in a way the two of you haven't before. Your imaginations are being put to good use, as you pretend to be Charlie's Mommy, or a princess, or some other form of make-believe. The two of you play in your rooms now, which haven't seen much of you in the past. Every now and then, you pull in a baby to be a dog or some other creature in your play. Thank goodness they are oblivious to the roles you assign them. :) You still LOVE your "shows." I've said it before, but it is just so true. You would watch TV all day, every day if we let you. I am thankful, then, that you have come to enjoy playing a little bit more. Sometimes you will even play quietly in your room with your doll houses.
Another favorite of yours is dressing up. You have quite a collection of dresses that you change into, and out of, and into again. The day is not complete without several costume changes. Everyday, you put on one of your dresses (right now it's the Minnie Mouse one) and ask if you can wear it out to wherever we might be going that day. If you aren't wearing one of your dress up costumes, you are digging through your closet for the "perfect" outfit. Jeans are always a no-go, you much prefer leggings. But a dress or a skirt is a MUST. Sometimes you wear both. I am surprised by how often the outfits you choose really do work. But I love the ones that are bit off the beaten path. :) Creativity is a big part of who you are, and it shows in your outfit selections.
Recently, you've started expanding your artistic endeavors to include drawing on the walls and the furniture. I love the way it looks, actually, but I am trying to find a way to allow this expression without altering items in our home permanently. ;) A chalk board wall is in your future!
I have enjoyed being with you lately. It is obvious that you have inherited your Daddy's goofiness. You are just so. darn. funny. You will often say, "Mommy! Listen! This is gonna be so funny!" and then proceed to tell a ridiculous story that goes on and on. I love them.
You started gymnastics this year,and you love it. One day, you just started doing cartwheels and handstands, so we decided to give you a safe place to practice those things. You catch on so quickly & I'm interested to see how long you want to continue this.
Preschool also started for you this year. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning you go with a few friends to Miss Brittinee's house for an in-home preschool. You seem to be enjoying it, and you are learning about a lot of new and interesting things there.
In general, your demeanor is calm, but fun loving. Everyone is your friend, and people seem to love being with you. Things can get out of hand when you are playing with Charlie, but when you are on your own you are so easy going.
Not that there aren't any challenges with you. We are forever working with you on a few key things...speaking respectfully when you are angry, telling the truth (because you have discovered the fabulous little tactic of lying), and completing the tasks we ask of you. This is where the parenting stuff gets tedious. :)
Olivia, you are the most amazing person. My love for you is endless, and I adore the time we have to spend together, however rare it may be. Between caring for the triplets, your time at Miss Jen's (your baby-sitter three days a week), and running this household, I am terribly aware of the lack of time I have with you. With all of you. But those few minutes, when you happen to wake up from your nap before Charlie, or everyone else is off playing and it's just us for a moment, THOSE are the most precious. I live for them. Because that is when I really SEE you. And I love what I see. I love you. And I am so excited to see what type of woman you become...but not too excited. Try not to grow too fast. You're already about 4 years ahead of me.
Happy Birthday Livy!
This has been a challenging year for us. Together and separately. I am certain that our family situation is difficult for you. Your needs just can not be met to the extent and frequency that you require. This has been a year of power struggles, tantrums, tears, and prayers...for you AND me. :)
You are strong-willed, independent, passionate, and extremely orderly. In other words, you want to be IN CHARGE! These are characteristics that will serve you so well in the future. We just have to make it there. It is so disappointing for you when you want so desperately to do everything on your own and according to your own desires, but can't. And unfortunately, that's part of childhood. Daddy and I are here to help you learn and become capable, but there are simply things that you can't do yet. In the meantime, things have been a struggle.
But I will tell you this, every night when I tuck you in, I am overwhelmed with love for you. No matter how difficult the day has been, I know that you are such a special boy. There is SO MUCH GOOD in you. You love people. Your siblings, your Daddy and I, your extended family members, and your friends. You are forgiving, and "kindful" as Livy says. You are determined in every task you undertake. You are so smart too! The things you figure out and understand continue to amaze me.
There are times throughout the day when you tell me you love me. Just randomly. This is so indicative of your sweet spirit. You can tell that you have such a love for your younger siblings as well. It's been hard for you to express it in a gentle way, when your body wants to move quickly and forcefully, but you love them. You enjoy playing with them and hugging them. You are a good big brother.
Olivia is your very best friend. While Liv is a bit more outgoing and social, you still hang back and assess things. You spend more time on your own when in larger groups of children. But Livy is always there for you. And you adore her. But, as most children do, she can also be your worst enemy. And while it can be trying for us as parents to handle all of the confrontations between the two of you, I am happy that you have each other to practice these important skills with. No matter how angry you may get at each other, it is only a matter of seconds before you are off to play the next game. She is always the first one you want to tell about exciting news, or something you find fascinating. And you are genuinely excited for her when she shares things she enjoys with you. The two of you have something incredibly special, and your relationship is only beginning.
One thing we can always count on you for is excitement. It doesn't take much. Cars, trains, parties, candy, visiting friends and family, and anything Christmas sends you into a tailspin. A huge smile breaks out across your face, and the next thing you know your are shouting the news for all to hear. It's so much fun! :)
This year, you stopped taking naps at home. You still took great ones at Miss Jen's, but not here. UNTIL. I let you use my Kindle Fire during nap time. Now you rest for at least and hour, and most days you also fall asleep. This has made for more pleasant afternoons! You watch a couple shows on Netflix, or play a couple games and you're out. So happy to have stumbled upon this little nugget of gold! :)
You also taught yourself to ride a bike without training wheels this year. All summer you practiced on the bike Grandpa and GG bought you a few years ago. It had no pedals and no training wheels, so you learned how to balance. Then one day you asked me for pedals for your bike. So we bought you a bike with pedals and let you give it a shot. You never used the training wheels once. It took you a couple days, but you learned ALL BY YOURSELF. At 3 years old. This is the type of determination I'm talking about. It's wonderful when applied correctly.
Charlie Bear, everyone loves you so much. People tell me all the time what a neat kid you are. They see that you are loving and caring. They enjoy you. And I do too. This might not be an easy road for us, Bear, but there will ALWAYS be love. I cherish you. I see all the wonderful things about you, and I will try my best to be the type of Mom you need me to be. I'm sure I will fail at times, but know that I'm trying. I am grateful to have you as my son, because you teach me how to be better every day. What a gift that is.
I love you.
Happy Birthday, Bear!
*Beware! This is a 4 year old boy! And he answered honestly. :)
You are the best of friends. The VERY best. What you have is so special. Being twins is an incredible thing, and even though we try to acknowledge your individuality, never forget how special your relationship is. As you both grow and become wonderful individuals, I hope that your Daddy and I can help you nurture your relationship as well. As many difficulties as there are in raising multiples, I stand all amazed at the bond that exists between you. And it fills me with joy. I love you both endlessly. HAPPY 4th BIRTHDAY C&O EXPRESS!!!!!!