Dear Alex & Olivia

Well kids, that time has come where you don’t get your own posts. I’m glad you adore each other. I hope by the time you’re both old enough to read this that you still will and won’t hate each other because you had to share one. more. thing.

Man, I’m a gushing, mushy hearted Mommy when it comes to the two of you. I’m so grateful for who you both are as little people, and each day brings something more for me to feel all squishy about. If you think maybe I’m exaggerating, I assure you I am not. You’re both such wonderful little humans, and I love having you in our lives. We’re so blessed.

Olivia, as the oldest, you still get first kid privileges.

Baby girl, you may be closing in on 4 (gah!) but you will always be my “baby girl”. Except as you get older I imagine it’ll turn into more of a Beyonce type of baby girl. And I digress.

Man, this last month or so has been so big in the growing up department for you. And you’ve attacked all of it with enthusiasm. When I hear about kids that have a hard time transitioning through the phases of life, I wonder how we got so lucky.

You LOVE school, and every day you come home with a backpack full of papers. You’ve been working through the alphabet, and color your new letter every day. And they are always pink. I’m wondering if you are the only child on this planet who can say you have colored an entire pink alphabet? You get SO excited when you get to take compost to school, and I’m pretty sure it’s mostly because Miss Kendra makes such a big deal out of it. You love to please, in a good way, and I love that about you. You’re smart. I’m not saying that as a bragging mom, just stating the facts. You are a smart kid. You can speak clearly and communicate not only what you’re thinking, but also how you’re feeling. Sometimes Daddy and I, when you’re not in the room, talk about how crazy it is that the tiny little bundle we brought home less than 4 years ago can say, “I’m having a hard time about you, Mom.”

At home, I’ve figured out that if I make a chore sound like a fun, big girl thing to do, you are all over it. And you will get mad if I don’t let you do it. I hope it takes you a looooooonnnngggg time to figure out this trick because I want to harness that energy. I love that while I’m making supper you come looking for the plates to set the table, and you’re learning where to put the knives and forks. You’re learning about organizing through things like helping to put your clothes away, and you’re learning that we all contribute to keeping a happy home by putting your clothes in the laundry basket and cleaning up your toys. You help out with things like putting Alex’s bottles in the fridge and running for burp cloths when he’s overflowing. You even like to “help” Yonese clean. A few weeks ago you came into the living room and said, “Mom, I was just helping Yonese clean your room.” When I told you that was nice, you stood there, looked at me and waited. Then finally, with a bit of exasperation in your voice said, “Mooom, you’re supposed to say thank you.” Apparently you are also learning your manners.

You are a wonderful big sister. I’ll be honest, we were worried when I was pregnant because all you ever said when we talked about your baby brother was, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Now that he’s here and fully a part of our lives you absolutely adore him. You can make him laugh just by looking at him, and you love that. You two already have a very special little bond and it literally melts my heart when I can just sit and watch you two together. That is, as long as you aren’t climbing on him or anything like that.

This month you said good-bye to your booster seat. You were starting to get leg cramps from it, so we decided to try you in a normal chair. You were so excited to get to sit in a “big girl chair” and when it came time to pass the booster seat on to your brother you were happy to let him use it so he could be a big boy and eat at the table with us. Along with that came moving to a new place at the table, and again, rather than being jealous and feeling like you were giving something up, you enthusiastically embraced it. I hope you always have this trait. It’ll get you far in life.

You are so excited for Christmas and our trip to Canada. You remember snow and how fun it was to be outside in the cold. You remember the Christmas tree and everything about the fun of the holiday. In school and at home we’ve been talking about the true reason that we celebrate Christmas. Apparently theology is hard to explain to a 3 year old. I feel at a loss when you ask things like, “Who is God?” It’s funny that as adults we think we have all the answers, but when we have to simplify things we struggle. Many lessons being learned these days.

You love to dance. Lately I’ve been putting music on in the evenings as I make dinner, and you get so enthusiastic about dancing where you can see your shadow that you’ve been know to lose your footing and crash on the floor. You recover quickly though and go right back to your shadow dancing.

Your Dad and I love seeing what each day with you is going to bring. Life is never boring and you are constantly teaching us new things through the way you see the world. We love you SO much. I hope you always know that.

Alex, you are my little chunk muffin.

Yes, you are a strapping young man for 5 months old. In the last week your Dad and I have been blown away by the developmental explosion that seems to be happening with you.

A few weeks ago you cut your first tooth. You were just over 4 months old. The next day another followed. You now have a third, with numbers four and five not far behind. You really do want your two front teeth for Christmas. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). You’re really funny about letting us check out the pearly whites though. Bottom ones, no problem. But, when we try to see what’s going on with the top ones you scrunch your lip up like a man with no dentures. Even when you’re asleep. I know, I’ve tired maaannny times. With the new teeth has come the venture into solid foods. Or mush up solid foods. Rice cereal was a hit. Pumpkin has been a hit. Avocados… only after you got past the gag reflex.

We put you in the Jolly Jumper a couple weeks ago and while you thought it was interesting, you weren’t really as enthusiastic as your sister was at first. Today, however, you followed in the Rolling family tradition and got so excited about jumping that it didn’t matter that you threw up on yourself. You just kept jumping, and jumping in the goo on the floor. We like to aim high.

You can now sit up and flap your arms and only fall over some of the time. I’m still not quite ready to let you sit on the floor unsupervised. I’m not really up for head injuries right now. You think you’re pretty amazing when you do get to flailing about though. I can see the pride all over your face.

What is more exciting than sitting, though, is standing. The other day you shocked me by pulling yourself right up without any assistance from me other than balancing by holding my fingers. You’ve realized being up means you can see more. And bounce more. I know in your head you’re ready to run a marathon. I can see the wheels turning. You know you’re supposed to do something with this standing thing, but the other pieces haven’t come together yet. Crawling? I’m pretty sure that’s not far off either. Today you finally figured out that if you hold your belly up you might be able to move your limbs. You also figured out that failing to do so makes you do what I call “the seal” and may result in smacking your face on the floor. That hurts. You shouldn’t do that very often. I’m guessing that by the time we come back from Canada you’ll be crawling, or pretty close to it. The carpets at Nanna and Pappas house will provide a better learning ground than the hard tile floors. They may also provide more rug burn.

We’re having so much fun watching you discover the world. To see you process things is amazing. We can literally watch you observe things and take it in, then figure out what to do with it. Your sister was so much more subtle and subdued in this area, so I feel like it’s just this amazing journey that we get to watch. I often find myself just marveling at how God wired us up.

I love how you adore your sister. When she walks in the room you will forget whatever you were doing, even if it was eating and you were starving, and follow her with your whole body. You want her attention and reach out for contact with her. I love watching the two of you lay together on the floor or bed. You will always be touching her with some part of your body. I wasn’t expecting such a close connection between the two of you so early on, and it breaks my heart open in the best way to see it. Sometimes I have to stop myself from breaking down. I didn’t expect it to be this good, and it rocks me every time.

One of my favorite things about you little man is your happy disposition. I remember when Daddy and I were talking about having a boy vs. a girl. He was adamant about having another girl because, as he said, “I remember what I was like as a kid.” He’s what we call intense. We’re pretty sure you got my genes in that department. You are generally happy all the time, unless you have a good reason not to be, and we can usually figure out what that is pretty fast. I love that you can be sitting on the couch playing, in your own little world, and look up and make eye contact, then burst out in a big, chubby faced grin. You melt us every time you do. You love to laugh. And when you do get laughing it’s normal for it to go on for several minutes. And it’s contagious. You love your bath, and you love your routine. You are turning into a snuggle bug, and I love it when you’re tired and you cuddle into me. You are such a sweet part of our family.

We love you both so much and can’t imagine life without you. God has rounded out our family with you both. He’s given us exactly what we needed, and so much more. You challenge us, you help us to be better people. We are SO excited about doing life with you.

~Love Mom

This entry was posted in alex, kids, olivia by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

2 thoughts on “Dear Alex & Olivia

  1. Every child should be so loved and have written words to feed on when things get a bit tough – as they will, because that is life as we know it.

    So looking forward to seeing all of you soon.

  2. I LOVE the pic of Olivia dancing outside!!! I always feel nostalgic around Annie and Olivia’s birthdays :) I loved getting to know those girls and think about them often (even though Olivia was with me for only a few days)
    Hoping to see you in Feb! :)

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