Paloma,

On Wednesday you turned fifty four months old.



I always liked half birthdays. Not because I ever celebrated them, but, rather, because they were unspecial. It was a day that marked a turning point, like a looping back, a full moon, then waning back to start a new year.



This month you started your second year of preschool. You're at a different school this year, and I could not be more pleased with how it's going. It is such a great fit for you, and I'm so happy we found this school for your last year of "pretend" school before the big, scary stuff begins.

In two weeks of school I have already seen progress in your social growth. You have used new words and phrases, you've engaged completely differently, both with your sister at home and with the other kids at school.



I whipped up a special dessert for your half birthday, and I don't know that I could have made the day any more spectacular. You are a sugar-fiend, and I think the light-as-air meringue, vanilla chantilly, and sweet, juicy berries were a hit.



Happy Half Birthday!

Love,
Mama

Paloma,

In two weeks you turn four and a half. I'm rushing to write this letter to you, as late as it is, so that I can write you a half birthday letter on time. Here goes.



You are now a big sister. Insert eyeroll here. No, but really. You are now a big sister. You say it is so.

My entire pregnancy with Arden you insisted that you were NOT A BIG SISTER in that big, insistent way that you do. You were adamant. You were a baby. And that was fair. No one in this family ever asked anything of you as a big sister. We were fully supportive of your babydom, and we let you keep it as long as you needed. And, nearly two years later, you are now ready to be a big sister.

And what a big sister you are! When the two of you get along it is like rainbows and unicorns. It is literally the most beautiful thing anyone has ever seen.

And then the two of you are clawing each other's eyeballs out, and Arden has a fistful of your fine, blonde hair, and you're growling and howling like a wounded 300 pound lion and it's so, so ugly.

Ying and yang, eh? I'll take it. Watching to two of you work it out over the last two years has been a process, but an honor to witness. You two will be quite the duo, I'm sure of it. You introduce her to strangers and defend her on the playground. She can hold her own, but having a big sister in her corner is probably what gives her the balls to do so. I don't doubt you will hold her hand and guide her, as only a big sister can, and she'll pull you off the path and show you things you never knew, like only a little sister can.

Enjoy your sisterhood, my dear. It's like nothing else.



Happy Fifty Third Monthday.

Love,
Mama

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Perhaps you're due soon? Maybe you're crushing on these colors as hard as I am? Nursery or not, these are a few fun things that collide quite well together.

Nursery

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

1. Metallic Gold Dots Pillow Cover by IVIEBABY

2. Taurus by KT SMAIL

3. Baby Blanket by myBlueMeadow

4. Party Girl by BRIGHT LAB

5. Single Strand Adjustable Necklace in Vanilla + Watercolor Brights by THE JONES MARKET

6. Organic Baby Leggings by luckypalmtree

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Paloma,

Today you are fifty two months old.



First, before I launch into the amazing leaps you've made this month, I would like to state for the record: You sister is the best thing that happened to you. You may not agree, but she is. She is the new Paloma-whisperer. She understands you in a way none of us can. She sees you through another child's eyes and has been a translator, in a way, of your behaviors, not unlike how I have to translate for her when you two aren't communicating very well.

You have a dog named Asha. She is part imaginary dog, part you. She comes out when you are anxious or scared. She whimpers or growls. Arden knows all about Asha. She talks about Asha. Sometimes Arden is Asha.

Your sister is watching you - never forget that. She will be your best friend in the whole wide world if you let her.



So this month. Wow. Swim lessons. Ballet class. Big things that you have hurdled right over. Yes, you've kicked me more this month and had a few screaming melt-downs, but you wore tights for 50 minutes three times this month and put your entire body under water eight days in a row. This is incredible.

I have loved watching you move into a place that causes a bit of discomfort, take it over, in your own way, and rock it like only you can do. You have your own style and method, but the job gets done. It is an honor to witness. I know I've typed those words before, and I'm sure I will again.



Happy Fifty Second Monthday.

Love,
Mama

Paloma,

Seven days ago you turned fifty one months old, but today marks five years we've been together, you and me.



Lately I have so many things to write, and then once I sit down, there's nothing. Not a word left in my head. I'm sorry for that, that these letters lately are sparse. I don't know what that means, but there it is.



Yesterday we ate dinner out and toward the end it was just you and me at the table, side by side. You snuggled up to me, so rare are the moments we get together, without your sister in between. Over the last few months I have regretted weaning you. Some days I wish I had pushed through the pain and discomfort I experienced toward the end of that relationship so that we could experience that same closeness today. But yesterday as we sat so close, I realized that our relationship has changed. It had to, and not because I weaned you. You're four years old and you don't need the mama who nursed you as an infant. You need the mama I am now, the one who parents a four year old. Maybe this is quite obvious, but it was rather profound last night.

I think it's due to my coming to terms with your sister's growth. She is also no longer an infant. Or baby, even. She needs me differently now than before, and that is hard to admit. Her babyhood went so, so fast, and I'm just not ready. And then there's you, four years old, and counting. I can't stop time.

Some days I watch the two of you, and it seems that it can never be different. It won't change. But not in that sad, depressed mother way, but in that nostalgic, freeze time sort of way. I can't imagine it any different. I suppose you could say it feels right, right now. And I'm not ready to give that up.



Happy Fifty First Monthday.

Love,
Mama

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Paloma,

Last Saturday you turned fifty months old.



As I type this, you and your sister are behind me, fighting. Again. But a few minutes ago, you were both reading quietly. And then, just now, you sprang up, and screamed, "Chase me!"

Your relationship with your sister this month has shot up like the sunflowers in our garden. You were not so sure about having a sister nor being a sister, and a big sister, at that, but this month you've taken on the role like a champ and blossomed into an amazing big sister.

Your sister adores you, and you are starting to enjoy her. It might help that she talks enough (and well enough) that you can understand and communicate with her. Or it might have just taken you eighteen months to warm up to the whole thing. Either way, it has been amazing to watch the two of you take your sisterhood and run with it.



At first I was terrified of the fighting, thinking that if you weren't getting along, I had failed at having two children, but as it turns out, fighting is normal and quite healthy. You will experience unconditional love through the relationship with your sister, and she with you. I didn't really care about having siblings until just now - now that I see how important this relationship will be - for as long as you have it.



Happy Fiftieth Monthday.

Love,
Mama