Ira Banff Hansen-Lange was born at home this morning at 11:30.
Both mom and Ira are doing great.
I think every year this letter is going to start in amazement because I am in complete and utter awe of you. Seriously kid, you blow my mind! And now, you're not even a toddler anymore. You have graduated to pre-schooler. I can have conversations with you. Like conversations where we ask each other questions and we laugh and make up jokes. We even have inside jokes...Banana! You speak so clearly and although I see bits and pieces of language that you picked up from me and your dada, most of your mannerisms are all yours. And watching you try out new ways of expressing yourself is mind blowing. For example, when we were talking about 'footie' pajamas (the pajamas that have a slipper foot), you asked me if you had any 'armie' pajamas, as in, pajamas with sleeves. It took me a moment to figure out what you were saying. But how we laughed afterwards.
And you know how to laugh. Your laugh is infectious. I have many wishes for you my darling, but I hope that you will always be able to find joy and laugh as you do now.
We have had other struggles too. It is hard when I work long hours and Dada is working hard too. We are getting into the groove of me being in placement. When I sleep in the guestroom so I don't disturb you and Dada when I'm on call, you come, knock on the door and call out, "Are you there Mama?". And if I'm home, then we curl up in bed together and spend some time chatting before I have to leave.
Life isn't always easy, but my love for you runs so deep that you'll never see the bottom.
So 'cheers' to my Darling Jasper. May your fourth year of life be as amazing as the last three have been. May you grow more fully into the person you are to become. Happy Birthday!
A visit with Santa, real live reindeer, crafts, and lots of trains.
View them all here
And, in case you missed it, here's the Rockton fair from a few months ago
My Darling Jasper,
Today you turn the big number 2! It seems as though ever since you were born, our lives have been placed on fast forward and I can't believe you are officially a toddler.
It has been another amazing and exciting year. We moved from Hong Kong, traveled across Canada and settled in Hamilton so I could go back to school. It has been a crazy, and at times, a tough year. Jasper, you have kept plugging along, watching all the new changes with big eyes.
Just today you learned to say 'awesome'. In fact your vocabulary is blowing me away. You talk about the underwater birds you have seen (penguins), you point out all trucks, buses, big diggers, baby diggers, bobcats, cars, trains, and train tracks. You ask to cuddle (which I love by the way), you tell us that you love us,(also amazing) you talk about everyone you know. You laugh all of the time. You ask for your doll, Mimi, and blankie at nap times and you almost go to sleep all by yourself. The way that you say your own name has led to your new nickname, xiao jiaozi 小饺子 or little dumpling in Mandarin.
With toddlerhood comes a bid for more independence, although I'm not quite ready to see you scale the stairs up to our apartment by yourself quite yet, I'm trying to let you experience new things, do more, touch more. I hope to you let you play in the rain more often, let you eat more dirt (yuck) and meet more people.
You have become so helpful. You help Mama clear the table, water the flowers pick which tea Dada will drink that morning and mix Mama's coffee. You pick up your toys (usually with some encouragement) and help Dada feed the cat and the dog.
You love to have books read to you, but you also love reading them yourself, pouring over the pages and calling out what the pictures are and which colours are in the book. You're much less likely to destroy books (thank heavens) and are taking steps to being interested in colouring on paper. Although mostly you prefer to dump out the crayons and then put them back into the basket and then dump them out again and then put them in the basket.....
You run and prefer to walk without holding my hand. You can jump with both feet off the ground and you love to twirl around, especially if it is to the song Ring Around the Rosy, my most hated song. (I feel like an old woman every time I need to fall down and get back up again.) But you love singing too. Your current selection of songs is small right now, but I expect it will get much bigger in short order.
You child, are a miracle. An amazing miracle. That you grew from someone so small and helpless into this child who is independent, strong and loving. I'm in awe of you and you really do live up to your Chinese name, Ga Hei, child who brings sunshine into our home.
I love you so very much Jasper.
Mama and Jasper got all dressed up for Halloween (Dada decided to be the photographer instead). Jasper got to do some trick or treating and then we came back and handed out candy until we ran out. We went and got some more candy at the corner store, but that wasn't enough! We eventually hid in the house and turned off the lights.
Jasper was Winnie the Pooh
Mama was Maru http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdhLQCYQ-nQ