Ravi you are 6 years old today!

Ravi turned 6 years old in March. Oh boy has he grown.

He still loves his homemade chocolate milk first thing in the morning, and then some more when he gets home at night. Ravi gave me the vote of confidence the other day when he tasted some packaged chocolate milk, and instantly went “yuck!” Ravi is so attached to his chocolate milk that I often worry he would freak out during our vacations since they don’t make chocolate milk the same way I do. Though he complains, he still drinks it.

Ever since I introduced Nutella on toasted bread to Ravi when he was 2, it has been his meal staple. Ravi has had a very narrow taste pallet for many years and just in the last year were we able to introduce apple, carrots, broccoli into his diet. So when everything else fails, I will serve him Nutella on bread. Even to this day, I pack a Nutella sandwich for him every day as back up just in case the lunch they serve at school isn’t to his fancy.

He still loves his blanket. It is his must have companion to bed every evening. It is now so small compared to his size and frayed at the edges, with the bunnies barely visible to naked eyes. Ravi cherishes it so much. He often wraps it into a ball and gently cuddles or rubs it against his face. I often show him his new born picture with the same blanket wrapped around his little body and watch him giggle.

One item that has gained importance to Ravi’s life is his ipad. He lovingly calls it his ipaddy! I can’t keep track of how many times he has dropped it onto the floor; even the strongest shock resistant Otter Defender ipad case has been broken by him twice! Ever since last Christmas when Ravi watched his cousins play games on their devices, he has become addicted to ipad gaming. Initially he needed much help; soon he began to surpass master gamer, daddy, on games like Minion Rush. He is now able to be fully functional on his ipad. He looks up games in the Apps store (I don’t know how he does this since he is just learning words right now) and then requests us to down load them so he can play it. Before you know it, he has dozens of games to bounce around. More amazingly, he has learned to play multiple games without being able to understand most words and minimum guidance from us.

Ravi still has an affinity for Transformers. In fact, he has over half a dozen different Transformers games on his ipad to choose from. His favorite, Angry Birds Transformers, is one he opens up on a regular basis. Recently, he has gotten both Mommy and Daddy hooked on a game called monster legends. We now all play it and have fun together. He has also gotten old enough to play Gauntlet with his Daddy on the computer. It has been so much fun that even Maxie is into it these days.

Ravi still loves his scooter and is very adept at turning and going fast. We’ve gone to the playground and he has fun just zipping around on his scooter. He also likes to go for walks with his Daddy at the play area. Ravi and Daddy go around the park, holding hands and just talking. He seems to remember it from earlier and it is still a lot of fun for him. It is also wonderful to see Ravi walk everywhere now without having to sit in the stroller all the time. On our recent cruise, we had three land trips that involved about a mile of walking and he was able to handle it.

Ravi still likes to sleep in like his Dad. While Mommy and Maxie are early birds, with Max waking up as the Sun comes up, Ravi and his Dad are known for sleeping in really late. Just this last weekend they didn’t stir until noon! It seems you are shaping up to be a night owl just like your Dad.

 

Ravi,

Over the last year you have grown and developed an interest in games and gaming. It’s been fun playing computer games and ipad games with you. As you’ve gotten older, your ability to interact and have deep conversations and activities has also grown. We can see in the not too distant future that hanging out with you will be a lot of creative fun; mostly because you are a creative wild little boy that shares a lot of interests with your parents. Never stop learning and creating!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy.

Ravi’s 5 Yrs and Maxie’s 3 Yrs Check Up

In beginning of June, we paid our annual visit to Dr. Lerner of UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital for Ravi and Maxie’s annual visit.  Since Mario and I so rarely visit where we spent our early years of adulthood, we have always tried to make a day trip out of the doctor visits.  Fate did not fail us; everything turned out fabulously for this day.  Not only did we experience the lightest traffic possible under LA’s freeway conditions and devoured a dozen of cookies plus ice cream at the famed Diddy Riese, we were also told that the boys are in great health.  Just to knock it out of the park, we also found out that Ravi and Maxie have both experienced a significant growth spur.

Ravi’s growth has been relatively consistent up to this point, with height around 50% and weight oscillating from 10% to 25%.  Last year, Ravi’s measured 55% height, this year he dialed in at 81%; whereas his weight increased only slightly from 15% to 25%. Ravi is doing just fine and still has the possibility of being much taller than both of his parents!

Maxie on the other hand has always been a small boy.  Born three weeks early at 6.5 lbs, he is a whole one lb and a few ounces lighter than Ravi!  Throughout his first two years he’s been consistently one of the smaller kids in his class.  I had already made peace with the idea of him being a short guy when he is fully grown, but surprise, surprise!  Compared to last year’s 15% in height, Maxie has climbed dramatically to 65%, far beyond our expectation.  His weight also increased from 8% last year to 15%!  I don’t know why I didn’t notice it, Maxie has suddenly becoming too tall to rest comfortably in my lap.  His head used to rest slightly lower below my head, but now I have to shift my head to the side to accommodate his growing frame.  Suddenly it is possible for him to be as tall as Ravi.  Who knows what this year will bring.

A good day!  I will always remember it.

-Flo.

 

 

Maxie! You are 3 years old today!

Hi Maxie,

You turned 3!  In the last three years, you gave us such a different parenting experience.  You are fun, strong willed, passionate, stuborn, curious, and inventive boy, and watching you grow up makes Daddy and Mommy very very happy! For your birthday celebration this year, we had tons of fun at your school birthday party, got you some kick-ass Transformer toys, and best of all we all went to Disneyland together as a family for the very first time.  I hope you will remember this celebration for years to come.

You are a strong angry little boy. You like to show  your temper when you don’t get your way. Your arms immediately get crossed, the strong ‘humph’ comes out and you start pouting and staring down whoever isn’t listening to you. If you really get angry, the waterworks turn on and these big tears pour down your face to show how you are really really unhappy with whatever decision has been made. Daddy has been taking time to talk about rules and how the world works and what not, but I don’t know if you get that some things can’t be done and some things aren’t allowed. Give it time; you’ll learn to pick your battles better.

You are currently being potty trained and it’s going awesome! You are doing much better than your brother did at this age. There was not a single accident during our 6 hour plus trip to Disneyland! That is truly amazing! We are very proud of you at how quickly you seemed to get a handle on this potty training thing. To tell you the truth Mommy and Daddy were dreading it since you are still very young in our eyes.

You absolutely love Play Doh (while your Mommy and Daddy absolutely can’t stand it). That’s not entirely true. Your Mommy made play doh for you just a little while ago, but we’ve kind of weaned you off it right now as you can do all the play doh playing you want at school. We still have a lot of play doh toys and you do play with it at home, it’s just not our first choice of toys. You love watching play doh product reviews on YouTube all the time, so I guess you get your hourly play doh fix that way.

You are a very funny boy. You have this personal laugh that is a small staccato set of laughs, usually around three to five, that each seam to be at a higher pitch than the last one. This is your natural laugh. When you try and make a joke, you also add in your own personal laugh track so that Mommy and Daddy get it. I know, I know, Mommy and Daddy are slow, but if you give us a chance we can still show you that we’re still hip. We got it. I can do the Macarena (I think?). When you do this joke laugh they are much longer and deeper laughs and they’re all the same pitch. They are still funny, but they can also be annoying because you do them when you do something bad and know that you might get in trouble for it. You’re just hoping that Mommy and Daddy laugh off your latest transgression and that humor will help assuage the situation and get you out of a punishment. The sad thing is that we know what your doing, yet this almost always works with me and fairly often with your Mommy. What can we say other than that we love your little laugh.

You and Daddy sing songs in bed together. You do the same funny joke songs that your brother does (like singing you A B Poopies), but Daddy’s favorite song to sing with you is the Itsy Bitsy Spider song. We sing it as a little spider (with a high pitch) and as a big spider (and a low pitch). It is funny and also incredible that you understand that little kids speak with tiny high voices and big people speak with deep big  voices. So a song about a big spider needs a big booming voice and vice versa. It took me awhile to understand why we were singing the way we were singing, but after I got it, I loved it. I love seeing you think and learn, just like your brother.

You are a such adventurous little boy. You love to take a challenge and will not back down from a physical activity just because it looks scary. I’ve helped you climb the rock walls at the playground which go up for probably 10-12 feet. And you’d do them over and over. You also don’t mind scary and somewhat older kid shows. You have a bigger push and want to watch teen cartoons, which can be scary at times.  We’ve watched Transformers: Prime, GI Joe, Star Wars Clone Wars and other 10 plus year old cartoons and you haven’t been fazed by them.

Your words and sentences are getting much much better. Daddy and Mommy can almost understand every word you say these days and your sentences have full subjects and verbs. You’re getting very good at expressing  yourself when you’re happy, but you still don’t seem to want to or be able to talk when you’re angry. Daddy tells you to use your words, but you just usually show me the crossed arms and pout instead. Don’t worry it’ll all come with time.

You absolutely love swimming and your swim instructor Adriano! We just have to tell you that we’re going swimming and you (and also recently your brother) have been super excited to go and learn how to swim. You have a pair of goggles that you love and it’s one of the most fun times for the whole family. Your Daddy was a swimmer and I lettered in High School on the swim team, so it’s awesome that you’re pursuing something that I can relate to. Keep it up and hopefully within a couple of years you’ll be learning your strokes!

One thing Mommy loves about you growing up is that you no longer wake up screaming at the top of your lungs at 6AM in the morning.  In fact, before you turned two, you used to wake up screaming a few times a night, no one wanted to sleep in the same room with you.  These days you wake quietly, get up, grab your blankie, and go upstair to find Mommy waiting with a bottle of warm chocolate milk.  Thank you so much, Maxie, for the extra hour of sleep.

Daddy and Mommy just want to leave this post reminding you that we love you very very much and we are so excited with how old and capable you have gotten. We can’t wait to see how great you’re going to be when you’re all grown up!

 

Love,

 Daddy and Mommy

Maxie’s 3rd Birthday Celebration

I blinked, then suddenly you are 3 YEARS OLD!!! 

In the morning of your birthday, mommy took this picture (selected from 50+ from different angle and lighting).  You still look so much like when you were a baby.  Mommy love you so much!

 

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Maxie just woke up on his birthday

Opening your first birthday present

Maxie opening his first birthday present, Transformer Grimlock and Bruticus set.

For your birthday celebration, mommy took off two days to properly prepare all the bake goods for your party at day care, ignoring daddy’s advise to “de-scope,” thinking its better to have more than less.  Mommy made: white cupcakes with mint buttercream frosting, cake pops, G1 Bumblebee sugar cookies, and bears on the beach jello cups.  I got to tell you those were two stressful days.  Without help from Mom and Apa, mommy wouldn’t have made it on time.  This time around, mommy had time to make balloon animals!  And that was a huge hit at your class.

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Bears on the Beach jello cups. Thanks for Apa for assembling them all!

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G1 Bumblebee sugar cookies, finished product.

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G1 (generation 1) Bumblebee (Volkswagon Bug) sugar cookie assembly line.

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Cake pops!

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White cupcakes with the most delicious Mint Buttercream frosting.

Your party lasted only 30 minutes.  Little three year old had limited stomach space, especially after candies from the morning’s egg hunt (this year your birthday fell on the Friday before the Easter Weekend).  Most kids loved the G1 Bumblebee cookies and the jello cups.  Maybe next time mommy will take daddy’s advise to de-scope.

Love,

Mommy.

Ravi! You are 5 years old today!

Hi Ravi,

Today you are five years old! Congratulations on turning into a little boy. You have come very far in a very few short years. Your Mommy and Daddy are very proud of you. As always, we just want you to remember what you did when you were just a little five year old.

You’re still heavily into Transformers. You just saw the preview for the new Transformers and, while you would normally be scared of potentially violen scenes, you actually watched it all the way through and told us both how you wanted to see that movie. You still love Optimus Prime and now spend tons of time creating ‘picture’ books of your favorite Transformers. Your grandpa got you a Metroplex and we got you a Devastator for Christmas and this year your grandpa got you a power-up Optimus Prime and Omega Supreme for your birthday! We even gave all of  your classmates a Kre0 Micro-changer Transformer in their goodie bag for your birthday party.

You still love Legos! We see you spend tons of time each night playing with your Legos. It is wonderful to see that building spirit and drive manifest in you and we also love to see the ‘cool’ design concepts you keep coming up for a Lego Optimus Prime. We went and saw the Lego movie a while back, and let me remind you, it was awesome!!  True to the movie, your Daddy follows the rules every day and drinks his daily cup of overpriced coffee. We all loved the Lego movie and we were so happy to see  you actually sit through nearly the entire movie. (You still wanted to leave after an hour, but I was able to convince you to stick it out.) We can’t wait for you to join the Lego league next year, and don’t worry, Daddy won’t butt in and join with you. You can do this all by yourself if that’s what you want.

You have taken to calling Daddy a bad daddy all the time. While it breaks my heart every time I hear you say this, I just want you to know that I still love you very much. I tell your Mom all the time about how I love your hobbies and am so nervous about whether you’ll love the same hobbies that your Daddy does. I just want you to know that even if you don’t love the hobbies that I do, I will always encourage you in your interests. Your Daddy just wants to be the ‘wind beneath your wings’. I don’t want to force you to be like me or to mold you into what I or anyone expects you to be… I just want you to be comfortable and confident being Ravi. And remember, I still and always will love you!

You are much more independent than you were even a year ago. I can watch you play by yourself for hours only occasionally yelling at Mommy and Daddy for the juice you want right now! That is a big improvement over last year. You still are afraid of being alone, but I believe that you are a lot braver than you’ve ever been before. And always remember you’re growing taller, stronger, and older (just like Will.I.am says)!

My dear Ravi, mommy wants to remind you that you have always been and will be the most amazing thing in my life.  You taught me to love bigger and braver.  While I never thought it could be possible, my love for you and your brother grows each day, and it’s so enormous that it would blow your mind!   You have such a sparkle in you, such creativity!  Your little hands are capable of drawing and building so many mind boggling contraptions!  Last night when we lay in bed, you told me about the planets in our solar system, saturn has rings, pluto is no longer considered a planet… When did you learn all this stuff? Why are you growing so fast that mommy can no longer keep up?  If I can ask anything of you, please always be my boy, when you are five, fifteen, or fifty.  Mommy wants nothing more than to have the privilege of being a part of your life.

Love,

Daddy and Mommy

 

Ravi’s 5th Birthday Party

Ravi turned 5 today!  I wanted to make this a major celebration for him, because it is definitely very special for me and Mario.  This is also his last birthday to celebrate with his current classmates before each head to a different Kindergarten in the fall.  I had a long wishlist and knew that I was going to spend a long time in preparation, so I took two days off from work for this event.  On my list of things to make are: cupcakes with frosting, layered jello cups, cake pops, and transformer cookies.  Believe me, it did take two long days of hardwork to make two to three dozen of each!

Here are the sweets:

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream frosting.

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Decepticons and Autobots cookies.

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Cake pops.

 I also had balloon animals on my list but I ran out of time to make them prior to the party.  I knew it wouldn’t work making them real time since I wanted to help serve the kids and take tons of picture, so that idea got scratched.  I hope I can add that in for Maxie’s party.

There were lots of tasting prior to the party.  So my inital three dozens of each turned into …two dozen of each… if we were lucky.

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Check out my cake pops!

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Cake pop for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

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Better get some cake pops before brother finished them all!

 

Ravi’s birthday party at school was a huge hit.  The teachers and students couldn’t believe we brought all the food and toys!  It was fabulous.  I loved to watch the kids eat and chat with each other with so much delight.  My time was definitely worth it!  It is the best birthday party we’ve given to Ravi.

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Ravi celebrated his 5th birthday with his classmates, with his brother close by his side. Check out the layered jello cups.

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Happy kids equal a good birthday party.

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Funny boy!

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Hanging wth his friends.

  

All our hard work paid off!  Ravi had a very happy birthday, and we were all there celebrating with him.  I will always remember this day.

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Ahhh, I am finally five!

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Maxie and Daddy at Ravi’s birthday party.

 

-Flo.

 

 

Ravi, You Are 53 Months Old Today!

My Dear Ravi,

You have turned 53 months old today!  In this past month, you have settled nicely into your new pre-K class and had to meet growing expectations from your new teacher.

You are now a fantastic sleeper.  Mommy would never have believed it when you were an infant, crying all night unless you were walked and rocked.  Today, you and your dad compete for the top sleeper spot in our family.  Even though you refuse to nap, once we get you down you could sleep for hours!  In the morning you are always the last to wake.  My oh my, you have come a long way.

Your new teacher at school has requested that we let you grow up!  You loved having mommy drop you off to class every morning, because mommy always carry you to your class.  That’s when mommy gets a few private moments to kiss you a few dozen times as we chat along the way.  One day, your teacher cornered me and told me that I need to help you grow up.  She outlined several areas for “improvements.”  One, you need to walk to class instead of being carried; two, you need to carry in your own lunch bag; three, you need to eat your own meals instead of getting fed by mommy.  Apparently you have asked your teacher to feed you during lunch and she was aghast to find out that your mommy (and grandma) are still feeding you everyday.  So now we have to play by her rule… but mommy still carries you when we are at home, and grandma still feeds you your favorite Chinese noodles because you can’t use chopsticks yet 🙂  Daddy has promised to keep mum so no one at school will find out.  Problem solved!

Mommy is also being forced to grow up with you.  Mommy now has “homework” from your teacher everyday.  A few weeks ago mommy found out that she didn’t bring your swim trunks for your beach day, then a few days later white shirt for your tied dye day.  When mommy show up empty handed at you class, your new teacher always asked “did you read the calendar?”  What?  What is this mystical piece of document?  … Oh, that’s the sheet that mommy always discards without a glance at its contents.  Oops, bad mommy!  Apparently your new teacher has taken this calendar concept very seriously and lists daily activities and required materials on it and expects parents to bring them in on cue.  Mommy struggled with this for several weeks and missed bringing things in.  Finally at beginning of August, mommy officially taped up your new calendar on the wall of the entrance hall so it gets reviewed every morning.  Let’s hope mommy will not drop the ball anymore.

You had a pirate day at school.  This is before mommy paid any attention to your calendar and found out about it only two days before it took place.  By then, it was already too late to order anything from Amazon.  So the night before, mommy took off of work early and hit the stores.  When I got home, you and your brother were so excited so I had dressed both of you up.  Oh boy you were so adorable wearing an eye patch and a skull sash on your waist, waving foam swords and muttering fake pirate non-sense.  You had on your pirate costume on all night and couldn’t wait to get it back on the next morning.  When we got to school, you were the center of everyone’s attention, all the other kids were so excited to see your costume and curious to touch your sash and sword.

My darling Ravi, you told mommy that you are no longer her baby, because you are a big boy now.  That made mommy both proud and sad.  Sad, because mommy wants so much to hold on to that little boy in you.  Over time, the distance between us will grow, but I will remember the days when mommy was your everything.

 

Love,

-Mommy

Maxie at 25 Month [Picture]

I blinked for a second, suddenly Maxie is 25 months old.  I am so thankful that he still has some cute chubby cheeks left, so kissable!

Just woke up in the morning.  Maxie at 25 months old.

Just woke up in the morning. Maxie at 25 months old.

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Happy to be up after a bottle of chocolate milk. Maxie at 25 months.

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Happy baby smiling at me. Maxie at 25 months.

Maxie at 25 Months Old

That’s one funny Mickey Mouse!  Maxie at 25 months old

-Flo.

Ravi (and his bear) at 51 Months

I am constantly in awe of how big Ravi is growing into and how beautiful he is turning out to be.  I know I am gushing with pride here, and that’s as his mother talking.  How can we not be in love with our little boys who we held dear in our hearts since birth?!  Are they not the most fascinating and perfect creatures in our eyes? If you asked me six years ago if I would ever become one of those sappy emotional creatures, I would laugh in your face.  But here I am, reduced to a puddle by my baby’s whim.

Ravi is 51 months old now.  Its startling just to think about that number.  I still carry him around and kiss him till he gets mad at me.  I often catch myself staring at him and carve into my mind the features of his face.

Ravi and his beloved Bear Bear at 51 months of age

Ravi and his beloved Bear Bear at 51 months of age

Ravi and his beloved Bear Bear at 51 months of age

Ravi and his beloved Bear Bear at 51 months of age

-Flo.

Maxie, You Turn 2 Years Old Today!

My dear Maxie,

You turn 2 years old today!  A big happy birthday to you.  Mommy and daddy wish you the stars and the moon, but we know all you want is the love of your family.

You are such a loving child.  At night before you fall asleep you would practice kissing on mommy and daddy.  Some on the cheeks, some on the lips; some sloppy, some gentle.  Even Ravi gets lots of love from you.  You hug him all the time and try to kiss him though he refuses most of time.  You love being held and kissed; your favorite pastime is to watch television while leaning back into mommy’s arms.

You are sweet but you are also fiercely daring.  Let’s just say mommy is afraid of taking you to a playground alone.  You have no sense of fear!  Mommy turns around to look for Ravi for a minute only to find you half way up the 10 feet climbing wall designated for much older kids.  You love climbing onto the tables, chairs, ladders…etc.  You fall down too when mommy and daddy were there to protect you, but you remain dauntless.  You keep getting up after a few tears to climb again.

You are one curious little kid.  You love to explore into every corner of our home.  Opening the drawers and cabinets to find treasure troves inside is your favorite pastime.  Nothing is safe from you anymore.  By now, you have opened every single door and toddler-handled every single item inside them, but luckily you haven’t broken nearly as many things as I have imagined.  DVDs are always separated from their jackets and covers, toys are always teared down and misplaced from their designated locations, and mommy’s cooking utensils can always be found amongst you toys.  You would never stop unless you find out: What would a book do if I bend it this way?  What happens when I push this button, or all these buttons?  What’s in there?  What does that funny looking thing taste like?  When you are left alone for more than 2 minutes, mommy would expect to find you in the middle of some major mess.

You got into trouble this last month.  You have been flushing strange things into the toilet for months but finally a batch of clean diapers had clogged the toilet.  Daddy was very mad, for about a minute.  Then he went on to conquer that clog.  It took him three days and a whole bunch of new gadgets, but finally that toilet is flush-able again.  Though you were oblivious to all the trouble you caused, you will find that our toilets are locked from now on.

You have transitioned into the two’s class at your daycare about 3 weeks before your second birthday.  We were very happy for you.  Your daddy and mommy love the facilities dedicated to this class.  They have their own play area with a new play set and swings, and a wonderful group of teachers we love so much.  It was the same class Ravi attended and it makes us feel like coming home again.  The best part is, Ms. Norma, you favorite person in the whole world since you were 6 months old, has recently been assigned to this class and we are so relieved that you will be well taken care of.

You are a talkative toddler.  You have always been very vocal, but mommy and daddy couldn’t tell what you were saying.  Just recently we have begun to hear words from you, specially when you repeat after Ravi.  When we pay more closer attention, you say a lot of different things (we kinda guessed) though your pronunciation is a bit off.  You also mimic what we say a great deal.  Sometimes it is alarming to have you repeat what we say.  Mommy and daddy are sorry that we don’t understand your “language” yet, but you don’t seem to be very frustrated and keep trying to talk to us.  Sometimes having you go point or show us what you want is more effective.  Maxie, the more you say things the better we will understand you.  So we will all keep practicing.

You love reading books.  Your favorite time to read is before bed time.  When you are all dressed up in your night cloth, you will grab a few books and ask mommy and daddy to read to you.  You love “A Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “Good Night Moon”, and animal and alphabet books.  You love being read to but you are not very nice to your books.  You have already broke a few by tearing off parts or pages, which makes Ravi very sad.

You love to take off your cloth and get naked!  Jackets and pants are the easiest items for you to take off, next on the list are shoes and socks.  You normally have a hard time taking off your top and onesie, mommy is very glad that those pesky buttons prevent you from  getting naked in public.   When we change your diaper or put on your night clothes, you would try your best to run away and take off everything that’s not buttoned down, then take off your diapers and happily run around au natural.  This is when mommy shakes her head disapprovingly and blames daddy for being such a bad influence.

My dear Maxie, if only you could understand how much mommy and daddy love you.  We couldn’t give you the stars and the moon, but we got all the love you need.  We cherish every single day we spend with you, we cram in every kiss and hug.  We are so blessed to be a part of your world.  Happy birthday my sweet little baby!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy.