Dear Emmalee and Kaylee

Dear Emmalee,

Oh my sweet girl, you are growing up so fast. I know I probably say this in every one of these letters, but it is so true. You are such a cute, eloquent young lady already. You say things like "that's incredible", "Mission accomplished" when you picked your toys, and "That is fabulous" when you do a craft with mommy. You are so funny. You makes us laugh so hard with your wit and logic. I love seeing the big sister you have become to Kaylee. You still fight and most of your discipline has to do with you punching your sister, but it has gotten better. You now play with each other most of the time, and just fight from time to time. It used to be the other way around. You are still struggling quite a bit with understanding that "no is no." You usually try to negotiate a yes, cry until you get your way, or repeat your request incessantly. Unfortunately for you, mommy is feeling much better and will not give in to any of that. Also unfortunately, you inherited my stubborness and you are taking a while to understand "no is no." Mommy is doing her best to be patient. I am not always loving or patient when I discipline you. I always say this to you as promptly as I can, but I will say it here again; "I am sorry for those times." I really try hard not to let the fact that you are my firstborn be a reason to "use you as practice guinea pig." I pray, try, read, seek advice, and all I can to do right by you. But mommy is learning, so I thank you for your love for me even with my many shortcomings.
Lately we've been having a sort of romance. You can't see me without giving me a hug. I mean every time you see me: when I come out of the bathroom, when we cross paths after lunch, when you come out of your bath, every time you see me! You just want to spend the day with me snuggling. And it feels wonderful. Every time you hug me, you bury your face in my chest, or my neck, or my face and I feel this undescribable, warm feeling spreading to my entire body giving me goosebumps. I love that you do this even after I've lost my temper with you. Your love is so unconditional and pure. You hug me this way even after I have disciplined you and you are still crying from your sore hiney. I know this romance won't last forever, but I am so grateful I get to share this love with you. I get to experience your tenderness and sweetness like no one else will.
Last night we were watching Disney's The Good Dinosaur together. I can see how much your logic and undestanding has developed. You kept asking where was Arlo's father and why he was always crying when he thought of his dad. I couldn't bare explaining to you what death is again. I tried when Alee died. I cried in secret praying you don't have to know what it's like to grow without a parent, especially without a mom. I found comfort that if you did, you would have so much love around you. This are hard things to talk about, but I have shared a wonderful love and romance with you that has filled these days with much more joy than I could have ever imagined. Mommy is doing much better thanks to you. You are so willing to caress my head and my legs when I am not feeling well. You are helpful with your sister, and you have grown inmensely in obedience. I love you, my crazy girl. I love waking up to you calling out for me. I love working out with you each morning doing our kids aerobics. I love teaching you new things and watching how smart and beautiful you are growing.
Love, mom.

Dear Kaylee,

Oh my lovely girl, how do you stretch my heart to new extents for so much love to fit? I have a feeling you will be my little singer, even with your low tone voice. I actually love that your voice is so distinct from most girls your age, and I feel it will give you a very unique singing voice as well. Regardless of your singing voice, you enjoy it and you do it unbashfully, and I love you for it. You wake up to mommy asking you if you want to take a bath, to which you jump joyfully and instantly. You always ask for bubbles, but you are more understanding when mommy daily says no. You and your sister have a new obsession: Paw Patrol. You want to watch it everyday, all day long. Mommy has to make sure you don't and have some play time. You learned recently how to pedal but are still struggling with steering. You love to jump the rope and follow your sister around. You also love to play alone. This is something only you do, as your sister never played this independently. I tell your sister that I try not to have her as guinea pig, but you two are so different you are also a guinea pig. Sorry. I love to see your make believe games at such a young age. You grab your toys and talk to them (in whatever language you are using) and make them interact with each other. It truly amazes me. Your main struggle is not screaming your bloody, shrill "no" when you don't get your way. You have also benefited of mommy's improving health and the fact that she is diligently giving you discipline for each of those ignominous "no!" Instead, mommy is teaching you to say "thank you." When your bath is over and you feel like yelling that "no" when mommy says it's time to get out, mommy tells you to say "thank you" for the lovely bath. You are slowly learning and are slowly becoming more complacent. You had a harder time saying "sorry" when mommy told you to apologize for any wrongdoings. Instead, you used to give us this clenched-fist stand, cold grimace, and "you are dead to me" glance that left us feeling dumbfounded. I am happy to say that look of yours is now a rare occasion. It used to be the other way around. You still have a disproportionate preference to mommy that leaves daddy feeling left out. This is specially hard on him at nights when he tries to comfort you and you keep crying "mommy." You compensate him with the big smile, hug, and the loud "daddy" you give him when he comes home (If you are not entranced watching Paw Patrol). You laugh the most with him. You have these games where he drums over you and you laugh and keep requesting "otta vez" (again). You are in the age where you are not as cuddly as you use to (and your sister went through this stage), but you like to have me close.  You still come over to grab my hand to take me close to where you are playing, at least where you can see me. That is enough for you. You love taking bike rides and walks with mommy and Emmalee to visit the neighbor's dog Mila. You aren't a social flower like your sister, but you are learning how to befriend others. I love watching you with your friend Romina, Anne Marie, and Andres. We are learning numbers, colors, and shapes. You have such an amazing spatial intelligence. You are great with puzzles. You have the patience to try things on your own. You are truly a wonder and beauty. I am so happy you where God's completion to our family. I still feel you would have been the most loving, cuddly big sister. Who knows? Maybe God still has that instored for you. I truly hope I can continue to watch you grow and learn, and keep loving you more each day. Thank you for filling my days with love and laughter.
Love, mommy.

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