My dear sweet Ruby,
You are EIGHT years old. E.I.G.H.T. You are eight and you are GREAT. It's amazing how far you have come in the past year. You entered 8 with flying colors. We had an amazing party (Pixies and Pirates!) and almost all of your favorite buddies came and rocked it.
Everyone wore costumes, ate delicious cupcakes and pixie and pirate treats, made their own magic wands and took home pixie dust. You were absolutely breathtaking in your costume and a fantastic birthday girl host. After several years of not having parties because it was too overwhelming, the past two years have been amazing and I'm SO glad you love it.
You have had countless play dates and adventures with friends, and you love each of them so very much.
The zoo with Chloe
Dress up dat at school with Alex and Mustaf
Pumpkin patch with Mxy and Shoghi
Pumpking patch with Lily
Pumpkin patch (again!) with Colin. This time with a bounce house!
Trick or treat with Lily, your first time going door to door and you ROCKED it. You were a little nervous, but with your friend at your side, you knocked on that first door and said "TRICK OR TREAT!" and then "THANK YOU SO MUCH!" I couldn't have been more proud. I was hoping we would trick or treat for 3-4 houses and we went for 90 minutes. Suffice to say, you LOVE halloween.
Last summer we FINALLY got you on a trail-a-bike. You tried to balance but you couldn't figure out the pedaling. You LOVED going biking with Daddy, and as a family we went many times.
This spring you got your OWN two wheeler and by the end of the first day you were pedaling on your own! You have trouble getting started and need some help navigating the sidewalk but you are getting there. I suspect you will need training wheels for a long time, but really, who cares! You are SO proud of yourself when you ride!
You also got a scooter and took off the first day, which you have chosen over your bike every time since getting it, so the bike hasn't gotten much love the past few weeks, but we are hoping it will be a biking summer! Just the fact that you have accomplished these HUGE physical feats is amazing within itself. Your body and your brain are working SO hard together!
You sat on Santa's lap for the first time: EVER. You even had a little chat with him! In previous years your anxiety got the better of you and you were to frightened to go through with it, but this year, with Lily in tow, you braved the line and met with Santa. It was truly a magical moment for all of us. I still don't know what you said to him, but I know he must've heard you because you had the best Christmas ever. Buddy the Elf came and decorated the house with snowflakes while you slept and it was a winter wonderland the morning you woke up. You sure do make the holidays fun!
You took your first pony ride this year! At one of our favorite pumpkin patches, you rode a pony and had a great time!
You have continued to love puzzles and have started liking games! We played go fish several times in one week when you first got interested, but now that summer is upon us you'd much rather be outside getting dirty than sitting and playing cards. I am looking forward to the fun we will have in the cold months!
You LOVE taking pictures. I got a new camera (for mama) but sometimes you take it and get the most interesting views of things. (including but not limited to, feet, eyes, leaves, dirt, rocks, the sky...)
You LOVE your baby sister. Some days the two of you are inseperable and some days you are insufferable...
You like reading to her on the potty
Or before bed.
you share daddy (sometimes)
and mama (sometimes)
You like showing her the fine art of playing in the dirt
And how to play the piano (loudly)
You're teaching her how to drive.
And how to ride a motorcycle. (you're kind of a badass)
Lately the two of you love to watch a movie while eating bean tacos.
We started going to the library once a week and you and Lucy both love picking out new books to read. Your interest in books and reading has taken a huge leap, I believe actually reading is just around the corner! So exciting!
You and Lucy both started asking for face paint every morning while I would get ready for work. Whiskers are my specialty.
But sometimes I get fancy.
You've also taught her the fine art of licking the beaters after making frosting. Good stuff!
And the kisses. OH. MY. HEART. The kisses!
Lately if Lucy is upset (either because you upset her or because I won't let her have something she is desperate for), you go over, and kiss her head and tell her it will be ok, and start singing a little song I made up back when she was an infant with tummy problems. She would cry all night long from tummy pain and I was too tired to think of actual songs so I made up a little song with the words "Too ra loo ra loo ra, too ra loo ra loo". As soon as you start singing (eithet that or Blackbird) she calms down and my heart melts. You are such a loving big sister!
We had a snowstorm! Snowpocalypse 2014, to be exact!
We were housebound for a couple of days and it was super fun to snuggle inside then bundle up and sled around the neighborhood. It was pretty windy one day, but the next day we had a blast.
We took another (amazing) trip to Maui (in a condo that we bought!)
When we first arrived Daddy bought you a beautiful Lei and you (despite how tired you are in this picture) loved it.
Grandma was on this trip with us, and we took many walks to the beach, you were quite the proud big sister pushing Lucy.
Also several amazing hikes, including this one (twice) into the bamboo forrest.
We saw countless sunsets and waterfalls
And we went to the Maui Ocean Center for the first time! It was so beautiful and amazing.
Lucy wasn't yet walking then and you helped her practice often.
It was a great trip, although it was hard since we were furnishing the condo and didn't have as much playtime as we would've liked. Good thing we are going back in a month!
Your pretend play have really taken off this year. You can spend an hour creating a scene with your ponies or other figurines talking about these elaborate stories happening. It's truly magical and amazing to watch this finally unfold for you!
You've also started drawing amazing pictures! sometimes you'll copy something you're reading but often you will just create the most delightful creatures or ideas. Your brain is completely exploding with being 8.
The other HUGE shift has been your conversational skills. You still have communication challenges, but your ability to not only have your needs met but to tell us SO many oustanding things you are thinking, or remembering or imagining completly blows my mind some days. Gone are the days where we have to ask you "whole sentence please?" because you're talking in paragraphs, explaining things to your baby sister, making up stories, and telling me all about your days. I never thought we would get here, and now here we are and it's delightful. Somedays you NEVER STOP TALKING... and although it occasionally drives me batty, it's music to my ears to hear you say "Come on sissy! let's go pick blueberries from the bush! I'll show you how, go get a bowl!" I will always be grateful for all of the therapists and teachers who have gotten you to this amazing place.
You have also started WHINGING and are constantly asking "WHY MOMMY? PLEASE MOMMY?" and although it makes my ears bleed, I know it's all a developmental process and I try to just roll with it. (somedays I am not as successful with the rolling part). But WHY WHY WHY is something most kids do long before 8 so the fact that you are here is just a testament to the fact that you do things in your own time, at your own pace with your own agenda. You're always reminding me of that.
It's hard for me to believe that just a moment ago you were this tiny newborn whom I barely knew how to care for and then you were this toddler who was so challenged that we would both cry because we didn't know how to get you what you needed. And now, here you are this amazing 8 year old who tells stories and talks about her feelings and is so fantastic and loving and openhearted.
Your very existence is an act of science and wonder and magic, and now here you are, not only believing in magic but spreading joy and pixie dust to everyone you get close to.
I love you more than words can say sweet Ruby Violet, even on the days where we butt heads all day and yell at each other, I still love you more than you will ever know. You are the reason I am a mother. You make me want to be a better person every day. You make me try harder and think more, you make me smile and laugh and sing. You challenge me in ways I never knew I would be challenged and in the next breath you amaze me with your abilities.
I can't wait to see what happens next. All of my unending love, Mama