An Open Letter to My Favorite Four-Year-Old

Dear Timmy,

When you wake up today, you’ll be officially four years old. 🙂 Over the next few days, we’ll be practicing your new answer to the perennial how-old-are-you question. I can already picture you goofing around, laughing, and saying different numbers because you’re playful like that. 🙂 Just this week you jokingly said you’re turning five when we keep telling you you’re turning four! Haha!

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Oh, Timmy, your journey to being four has been such a wild ride. 🙂 How about we talk about some of your milestones? Did you know that as soon as you hit three years old you started reading? Yes, you did, sweetheart! You mastered your phonics at two then by January of 2014 we’re officially reading together! 🙂 It was one of the most exciting moments of my parenting life—watching you read and progress from one-syllable to two-syllable words and so on. I can only attribute that milestone to God’s grace. 🙂 You may not yet fully understand what God’s grace is and I’m sure you’ll encounter that phrase A LOT in my letters; but I want to explain it to you, nonetheless.

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God’s grace is something you don’t deserve but He gives it to you anyway. It’s receiving more than what you ask for. So when I say that your reading accomplishment is because of God’s grace, it means that as a parent I only asked for a child who will one day learn how to read and love books (pretty much like your folks) but God gave me MORE. He built in you the natural inclination and interest in letters and words. As a result, He made it easy for you to read. I only fueled that interest by giving you the materials and resources to further increase your love for reading. Your dad and I couldn’t be happier that we have an early reader in the family! 🙂 As of this writing, I think you can read roughly 70% of this letter but understand 30% of it. So yeah, we still need to work on the comprehension. 🙂

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You know what? Right now, you’re COMPETING with me during story time. Uh huh. You’re hogging mommy’s spotlight and I love it. 🙂 Usually, I would say “It’s story time! Everybody get ready to listen to mommy!” Before, you would cuddle close along with your stuffed toys. Now, you would say, “Timmy will read!” then get the book from me and say, “Everybody listen to Timmy!” Haha! I mean you go on reading five to six books at a time. I sometimes feel bad stopping you but if I don’t you’ll end up sleeping late or missing your nap. Anyway, I always promise that we’ll read more when you wake up and that’s exactly what we do as soon as you’re up. Your favorite authors so far are Mo Willems, Dr. Seuss, and Sandra Boynton. 🙂 You’re also obsessed with your Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom books!

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This year, we moved from the playroom to actual Sunday School. 🙂 You were so thrilled to get your first star stamp! After a couple of weeks of staying with you, I left you with your classmates when you said you’d be okay. Ten minutes later, I was called back because they said you were crying and looking for me. It’s okay, sweetheart. I’m sure you tried your best and meant what you said that you’d be fine but I guess you got overwhelmed. 🙂 By the way, we’re back to attending Sunday School together. 🙂

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It was also your first time to join the annual Vacation Bible School held by our church. 🙂 I think you’re one of the youngest kids in the toddler class. I accompanied you the entire week and we had a blast! Sure there were times when you were scared but that’s fine. I know you’re shy and over the years I’ve learned how to manage that shyness. 🙂 I get tips from your dad because he would share to me the things that terrified him when he was a child in terms of socialization. I’ve learned to give you enough time to warm up, to never leave your side until you’re ready to play on your own, and to give you the space you need when you’ve already gotten your groove. 🙂

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You got three awards during the culmination day! You bagged Best in Memory Verse, Best in Crafts, and Highest VBS points in Nursery! Yay! 🙂 During that week, I noticed how quick you are in memorizing things. I mean I already know that you have a pretty good memory but the speed and retention was something I witnessed in full action during VBS and throughout the entire year (more on that later)! God knew I needed someone who will remind things to me and complement by forgetfulness. 🙂 You did some awesome crafts and learned lots of good stuff about God and the Bible! You also had a terrible fall on the last day of the VBS. It was more traumatic for me than it was for you. 😦 I had sleepless nights after, blaming myself because you fell under my watch. I’ll take this time to say sorry for not being fast enough to grab you when you took a step back. 😦 I’m so grateful that God protected you from further harm. I’m glad that it’s over and you’re all well. 🙂

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I mentioned something about memory earlier. Well, this year you memorized our National Anthem, Bahay Kubo, Leron Leron Sinta, and other Filipino songs (aside from the English nursery rhymes)! A few weeks ago, your dad taught you Buchikik and you loved it! Haha! I also tried giving you long memory verses and you remembered them easily. 🙂 We breezed through months of the year and days of the week both in English and Filipino. I don’t know if God wants you to be a lawyer someday but whatever the reason is for having that very sharp memory, I pray that you’ll use it to honor and glorify God. 🙂

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We also joined a group of homeschoolers for their music, arts, and P.E. classes! Our group is now known as Team L4 (Lifelong Learners Who Love the Lord). We’re composed of 9 families with roughly 10 kids in attendance. 🙂 You’re the youngest in the group and one of the three kids who are not yet enrolled in any homeschool provider. We meet every Tuesday and the moms take turns in teaching. I usually teach art and you’re very active when I’m the one teaching (i.e. you go in front, read my powerpoint/visuals, etc). Haha! When it’s not me, you’re back to being quiet. Perhaps it’s the level of familiarity you have with me that makes you come out of your shell. 🙂 Oh, by the way, I use the hashtag #tuesdayswithtimmy for all the homeschool activities you did with Team L4. 🙂 You know, I’m not even sure if you’ll be still using hashtags by the time you read this. Technology is moving so fast that sometimes keeping up is such a chore. 🙂 Anyway, if you want to look back at those photos just search for that hashtag. 😉

PhotoGrid_1411260796856 PhotoGrid_1403656755509 For the most part of the year, we stayed with your Lolo Hector and Lola Tess. 🙂 You truly filled their house with laughter. Same goes with Wowo Dante and Wowa Tina whenever you visited them. 🙂 Last October, we moved to a new apartment and you’ve been calling our place “our new home” for almost 3 months now. 🙂 Haha! We’re not yet done fixing your homeschool room but I promise we’ll get it ready soon. In the meantime, you’re using almost every part of our house to play and learn—and that’s TOTALLY FINE. 🙂 That’s one of the best things about homeschooling! You literally learn everywhere. May it be the dining area or bedroom, grocery or parking lot, parties or outdoor activities—learning never stops for you. 🙂

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We had some discipline issues along the way and there were times when we had to be more quick and determined to discipline you. It was so hard and painful for me to watch you cry but when we see you change, become more obedient and respectful, and get rid of certain bad behaviors—we know that it’s worth it. For the record, you can go for months without spanking. However, certain misbehaviors come back and we need to address it right away. Now, you’re in the stage when you clearly remember which actions are good and bad. You consciously avoid them now and we’re so proud of you, Timmy. 🙂 God also disciplines mommy and daddy when we don’t follow Him and it’s pretty embarrassing to think we’re adults already. But we need those moments, too, to keep us in the right direction. 🙂

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I couldn’t be any prouder of the toddler you’ve become. 🙂 You’re my little helper at home, doing chores those little hands can do like cleaning up one batch of toys before using a new batch and throwing things in the trash can. 🙂 You don’t throw tantrums in the mall or point to stuff and demand that we take them home. You’re content playing with them then leaving them. 🙂 There was just one time when you really loved this wooden numbers toy that you didn’t want to change your diaper (with poop!) because you really couldn’t leave it. Up to now, your favorite items are letters and numbers. It was the first and only time that we saw you get so fixated with an item. That’s one out of the hundreds of times we’re at the mall that’s why I distinctly remembered it. 🙂 You kept saying, “We need to pay for it.” Haha! We ended up getting the numbers set for you and when you got it you kept asking that we go home right away because you know that we only open newly-bought toys at home. 🙂

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We did a lot of fine motor skill activities to get you ready for writing. 🙂 I’m learning a lot from mommy bloggers and getting ideas from them! You’re not really the writing kind of guy, you’re more of the painting type. You love designing and doodling. 🙂 You don’t like pencils but you love colored pens and paint. Some kids write at the age of 3, especially girls. One thing I’ve learned is that kids learn at different paces. I know you’ll write when you’re ready. Guess what? Last week, just before your birthday, you wrote your name for the first time! YAY! 🙂 You’re not the tracing type, you’re the show-me-i-will-copy type. You would watch me write and imitate my strokes. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll get there, Timmy. We’ll not rush into it because I wouldn’t want you to associate writing with getting frustrated. 🙂

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We’ve also been doing the letter of the week activities and it’s been so much fun! We kicked it off with an alphabet week and then spelled your name each week (T-I-M). Just like that, a month went by. Four weeks of learning through play! We’ll be doing O this week. 🙂 I’m not even sure how I’ll do that because I’ll be preparing for your post-birthday celebration! By the way, you spent your 4th birthday (December 7) at Ninang Cathy and Tito Jonathan’s wedding! 🙂 So yeah, this will be a busy week and I’m not yet sure how I’ll go about your O activities. Maybe we can incorporate that in your birthday preps. 🙂

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You’re such a funny kid, Timmy. 🙂 You have a knack for changing up lyrics and rebuking your dad innocently by saying “wrong way, wrong way again.” Haha! You negotiate so well and your “how about” statements are usually the very things we want you to do but you want to do it at the wrong time. For example, “How about we read the Bible?” when it’s time for bed and we’re already done reading it earlier. Truth is, you don’t want to sleep. “How about I use my Bible App for Kids?” You say that statement to get some extra gadget time when you’ve already consumed your 1 hour for the day. Oh, the excuses you make, Timmy!

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Happy birthday, my little trooper! I call you that because there are days when you are in perpetual motion. You run around, jump on the bed, play basketball—any and every possible way you can expend your energy. 🙂 I love it! I guess that’s what little boys are made of. 🙂 I pray that you’ll continue to know God and love Him more. May you enjoy every stage of being a child because it only comes once in your life and for a very short period of time, too. You’ll spend more time being an adult and I don’t mean to burst your bubble. Haha! Thank you so much being who you are. 🙂 You truly inspire us to be better parents.

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It’s amazing what a year makes! I read my previous letter to you and saw how far you’ve come! I mean we’re having real conversations now, Timmy! 🙂 Full sentences about what happened about your day, stories you invent off the bat, jokes you crack intentionally and unintentionally, clear distinctions of the things you like or don’t like, actually reading books on your own and not memorizing what you hear from me—everything is at a whole new level now. It’s like seeing a growth spurt in your development! 🙂

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I won’t ask you to slow down this year, Timmy. I’ll ask you to embrace growing up because I enjoy growing up with you. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll show a different level of cuteness and you’ll amaze us with more milestones. 🙂 Remember that I’ll always be the voice to your dinosaurs, robots, animal friends, and every character in your book. 🙂 I’m also the voice that prays for you all the days of your life. 🙂 WE LOVE YOU, sweetheart! Have a blast being four!!! 🙂

Love,

Mommy

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An Open Letter to My Thriving Three

Dear Timmy,

I can’t believe that another round of 365 days has just passed and here I am writing my letter to you for your THIRD birthday. Yes, you’re three years old today and it only seemed like yesterday when I wrote my letter for your second birthday! I feel like I’m chasing after the wind, trying to slow down your growth as much as I can. I know I can’t do that and I’m actually glad that I can’t. You know why? Because it has been a blast seeing you achieve one milestone after another. 🙂 Seeing you grow up before our eyes is like watching a light-hearted family movie—full of life, laughter, and lessons.

Our happy baby!

Our happy baby!

It’s amazing how fast you’ve grown physically. You can now grab the things that were previously beyond your reach. When I carry you, you occupy almost 3/4 of my body. You are athletic, too! You have your morning basketball routine (make that whole day because you always pick up your basketball when you get bored). You run too fast I can barely keep up with you! Your energy level doesn’t seem to go down even if it’s bedtime. Funny how you would find excuses to do something before going to bed. 🙂 After our story time, we would pray, turn off the lights, and lie down. You will then say, “Want to read books!” I’m sure you know that reading is one of the things we encourage you to do. When this request is ignored you would say, “Want to read the Bible!” Now you’re taking the “who doesn’t want their kids to read the Bible?” tactic. Hahaha! Smart move right there, little one! Too bad, your requests fall into deaf ears when it’s time to sleep and you know by now that we can’t afford to stay up late. 🙂

Getting smarter :)

Getting smarter 🙂

Speaking of making excuses, I remember when you were sick we placed you on room arrest. You couldn’t play basketball. Despite knowing that, you still told me, “Want to go out… want to play basketball.” When I said no, you got your huge teddy bear, carried it to me, and said, “Teddy bear wants to play basketball!” Hahaha! You’re crazy! Poor bear, he didn’t know that he was being used as an accomplice! 🙂 Nice try, Timmy. We both know how that conversation ended, you had to put teddy bear back and we stayed in the room. 🙂

Our little reader :)

Our little reader 🙂

When you were a year old going on two, you were so fascinated with letters. So we bought you all sorts of letters—ref magnets, plastic letters, letter blocks, and flash cards. This year you became obsessed with numbers. You weren’t contented learning 1-10. You wanted 1-100. You love anything with numbers! You watch the top ten NBA highlights mainly because of the numbers. You watch Minute to Win It because there’s a lady that says, “The game begins in 3, 2, 1…” We bring number blocks when we leave the house because forming numbers keeps you busy. You just might end up being the mathematician our family never had! 🙂

It's fun to read!

It’s fun to read!

You still love to read, Timmy. You get excited when you see books and we’re so ecstatic about it. 🙂 You love story time regardless if it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You like it when I read to you. You have a book of the month, which means that we read the same book over and over again that month. Some of your favourite books are “My First Book of Prayers,” “The Toddler’s Bible,” “Monster Trucks,” “Curious George’s Pat-A-Cake,” “First Steps in Faith,” “Just Like Daddy,” “Llama, Llama Red Pajama,” “My First Easter,” “My First Christmas,” “Mole in a Hole,” and “How Do I Kiss You?”

Reading the Monster Trucks book :)

Reading the Monster Trucks book 🙂

At some point, I thought you already knew how to read! One time, you started reading “Monster trucks are so big and so strong, they jump over cars and they race along!” You were at the right page, pointing at the correct words and reading them! Then I asked you to read the next page, you did the same thing but I noticed that you were looking at the pictures. It dawned on me that you memorized the words! Hahaha! The reason why you were asking me to read the same books over and over again is for you to memorize what it’s all about! Soon you will learn how to read, sweetheart. We’ll get there. 🙂 You already know phonics and soon you will learn to combine them and read words!

Timmy and Daddy praying :)

Timmy and Daddy praying 🙂

You have shown signs of your childlike faith, Timmy. We were so touched and blessed to hear you say, “Let’s pray, let’s pray” when you were not feeling well. When you woke up from a bad dream crying, the first thing you said was, “Read the Bible.” Somehow, you knew in your heart that you have a big God who can remove the “ouchie” and bad dreams away. Your faith blows up my faith. 🙂 Through you I am reminded that God is my stronghold and that He will also take my “ouchie” and worries away. 🙂 And yes, Timmy, you have a God who loves you. He gave His life for you, He will guide you all the days of your life, and He will never leave you. When you see the cross you say, “Kawawa Jesus.” And then I will say, “He’s not kawawa anymore because…” You will then shout, “JESUS LIVES FOREVER!!!” 🙂 You may have a small heart but it is full of big faith. 🙂

Your big faith inspires me :)

Your big faith inspires me 🙂

One of the highlights of your year was the discipline stage. We’re still at it but it has been months since we last spanked you. We realized that discipline is vital to the proper upbringing of a child. There were times when it was so hard to spank you but if we didn’t do it, you will not learn to stop shouting back, hitting the table, and stomping your feet. We do not tolerate disrespect and disobedience in our house, you know that. It may have been painful to see you cry when you got spanked but when we saw you stop those bad habits we wouldn’t have it any other way. We praise and thank God for helping you understand that we do it out of love. 🙂

We love you that's why we discipline you :)

We love you that’s why we discipline you 🙂

We also had to teach you how to say sorry. We didn’t realize that this will be difficult to do! You easily grasp the concepts and have since then used the words thank you, please, and excuse me. But sorry is a different story. You would cry, hug us, bury your face on our chests, look elsewhere—anything, except say sorry. I realize how innate pride is that even a seemingly innocent baby knows how difficult it is to admit that he’s wrong. There was one time when after spanking, we hugged and your daddy asked you to say sorry to me. You wouldn’t budge. So we prayed. Then we explained and tried again. It took us 30 minutes, Timmy. Half an hour and three prayers before you said sorry for the first time. It became easier since then. Now, you know how to say sorry and just the other day when I responded, “It’s okay” you even reminded me to tell you, “I forgive you.” 🙂

Pure joy :)

Pure joy 🙂

I’m also amazed at how you are able to communicate in sentences now. You can express what you like and what you don’t like. You say, “I love it!” and “Timmy’s such a happy boy!” when you’re doing something you love. You are so good at imitating us that we need to be extra careful with what we say. You learn Filipino by just listening to our conversations. One time when we out of the house you said, “Ang init sa labas!” On our way home yesterday, you said, “Ang cute ng yellow parrot.” You are so good at relating the meaning of words and putting them together. 🙂 We are happy that you are not having a hard time learning both Filipino and English. 🙂 You know all the names of our family members (first and last name), too! You have a good grasp of basic concepts like shapes, colors, opposites, letters, and numbers. 🙂 You also know the days of the week and months of the year. I praise and thank God that you are a natural learner and you love discovering new things. 🙂

Heat fans!

Heat fans!

You love the NBA. I am just floored that you know the names of the teams based on their logos. One time I heard you say 76ers while watching a game. And you were right! The Philadelphia 76ers were playing! Sometimes while eating you would say, “Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat on NBA Premium TV.” Hilarious! Hahaha! Of course you know the Miami Heat’s big three, their jersey numbers, and their trademark game-on faces. You know who the Heat’s coach is. When we have a game, you cheer, “Let’s go heat! Let’s go heat!” You joined us when we watched Lebron James at SMX and you could clearly recount what happened. 🙂 You actually prefer to watch NBA than Disney Junior. But when you watch Disney Junior, you only want Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Hi5. You love singing their songs!

Tech-savvy baby :)

Tech-savvy baby 🙂

You are tech-savvy. You know how to use our gadgets and have learned it with ease. We try to balance your use of gadgets with your other activities. The things you use everyday are balls, cars, books, toys and gadgets. I believe that gadgets are not bad as long as the parents control its usage. I’m happy that you don’t complain when we get the gadgets from you and give you something else to do. You borrow politely when you want to use them. Someday, you will have your own when you are old and responsible enough to take care of it. 🙂

The sweetest baby!

The sweetest baby!

You are the sweetest baby, Timmy. You give us random hugs and playful bites using your lips! It’s very ticklish! You always do that to me when we’re eating and when I’m lying down. 🙂 You say, “Hi, mommy!” repeatedly as if you’re seeing me for the first time after a long while. You say, “I love you” and “I miss you” out of the blue in a voice that can melt any parent’s heart. 🙂 You are very vocal in saying, “want to join mommy” when you want to be with me. You pray for almost every person in our family before we go to bed. You have some favorite relatives whom you pray for more frequently than others. 🙂 You make sure that you make us laugh every single day with your crazy antics, imitations, and one-liners! When you want daddy to stop smothering you with kisses you would say, “Daddy will work.” Haha! You also love tickle time and you keep asking for more! You are one amazing, joyful child who laughs at the smallest things and expresses love in the simplest yet sweetest possible way.

We are truly blessed and grateful to have you. :)

We are truly blessed and grateful to have you. 🙂

I can really say that you are a thriving three-year-old. 🙂 I’m sure you will learn more things this coming year and we are excited to be with you on this journey. 🙂 We are so privileged and blessed to be your parents. You are God’s grace and love personified. Someday you will read all my letters and see God’s faithfulness in your life. 🙂 Oh, I forgot to tell you, you’ve been really healthy this year! You only had two bouts with asthma compared to four last year. 🙂 Praise God! I love you so much, sweetheart! You inspire us to be better people so we can become better parents to you. 🙂 Happy birthday! Thank you for bringing us so much joy, for making us feel like the most important people in the world, and for showing us how great our God is. 🙂 I pray that you will enjoy being a child and experience God’s goodness in every stage of your life. May He continue to mold your character and make you the kind of man He wants you to be. We love you, Timmy! We will always be here for you. Happy 3rd birthday! 🙂

Much love,
Mommy

An Open Letter to My Terrible Two

Dear Timmy,

Today you reach the age that most people call as “terrible two.” I couldn’t agree more. You gave a positive spin to being terrible, sweetheart. 🙂 Each day you are becoming terribly smart, terribly funny, terribly sweet, terribly joyful, terribly sociable, and so much more! You’re being terribly cute is a bonus to your already terribly wonderful personality. 🙂 See, you really embody everything positive about being a “terrible two.” 🙂

My baby boy is now a toddler! :)

My baby boy is now a toddler!

Going into your second year is a fun ride for me and your dad. It’s a year of precious milestones. You started to walk when you’re a little over a year old, around one year and two months to be exact. Most of your Sunday School classmates in the toddlers room “outwalk” you but when you started walking you “outran” them. 🙂 You’re not a runner, my little man. You’re a sprinter! You leave me and your daddy breathless, literally. 🙂 You have this bouncy gait whenever you run. Sometimes you just run back and forth in our house. Whenever you see a big space, may it be a mall or a vacant lot, you squeal in delight and run without looking back. 🙂 I sometimes call you Timmy the Explorer because you are just so curious about everything! You explore the stairs, sockets, gadgets—anything you can lay your hands on. I guess it would be fitting that I describe further the terrible things about you that I mentioned earlier so that when you get to read this someday you’ll know what you were like as a budding toddler. 🙂

Timmy the Explorer

Timmy the Explorer!

You are terribly smart. You easily comprehend things. You’re already talking, by the way. 🙂 Your first words are “dada” and “daddy.” You only say “mommy” when you’re crying or when you’re in distress. You can say “mama” casually, though. 🙂 You say a lot of things now. You love to count! You love it so much you even count in your sleep! Hahaha! Your dad even used your love for counting to continuously brainwash you to love the NBA. You see, there are game highlights being ranked weekly. You love watching it because there are big numbers being shown before each highlight! Plus, the plays run for a few seconds only so it fits your short attention span perfectly. 🙂

Timmy watching NBA highlights :)

Timmy watching NBA highlights

You can identify our immediate family, like your grandparents, titos, and titas. Aside from that, you can also identify the different parts of your face and body. You know your colors, too! You love the sensation of feeling things that are hot and cold. Every time I blow on your food, you will say that it’s hot. When you touch something cold, you immediately put your hands to your cheeks! You know the names of our family dogs—Yogi, Tito Jc’s dog; Rocky, our dog who recently passed away; Snowy, mommy’s dog. You love dogs but we couldn’t get one because of your asthma. Someday, sweetheart. When you’re old enough to take care of one, we’ll find a hypoallergenic dog for you. 🙂 Right now, you just might end up treating him like your toys, tossing and throwing it around. Besides, I don’t think mommy can take care of two boys (you and daddy) and a dog—that will be I.N.S.A.N.E. 🙂 You also hum and sing. You’re not much of a dancer, you don’t even groove. Your dance moves involve some jogging and skipping only. 😛 However, you can easily pick up tunes and hum them back. 🙂

Timmy loves animals! :)

Timmy loves animals!

You can identify animals, too! This is the reason why for your second birthday we brought you to Manila Ocean Park where you got to see thousands of fish, colorful birds, a couple of sea lions, and some penguins! You went wild screaming and running in the Oceanarium. You kept shouting “fishie!” 🙂 Your dad even said you might end up losing your voice for the day but thankfully you had a lot of reserve. 🙂 You still love books and it’s the staple thing we buy for you regularly next to food. Haha! You can entertain yourself just browsing through all your books. I particularly love it when you bring your books to me and ask me to read them to you. 🙂 I can only imagine how much joy you’ll have when you get to read on your own. Oh, the places you’ll go, Timmy! 🙂

Timmy enjoying Manila Ocean Park :)

Timmy enjoying Manila Ocean Park!

You are terribly funny. You have a knack for saying something random but fits just right to an ongoing conversation, making us wonder sometimes if you understand what we’re saying. 🙂 You parrot certain words with precision just like when your daddy said, “Anak ng teteng” when the game he was watching was cut by a commercial. You immediately said the same thing with the same tone! Hilarious! When I said “gosh” one time, you kept repeating “gosh” after. You also love making funny and goofy faces. 🙂 You can even make yourself cry for the sake of drama. You do it with tears streaming down your cheeks! Then you’d stop and do some goofy face again. Haha! You can walk like an old man which is really funny. 🙂 You get jealous when daddy hugs mommy so what you will do is hug me or ask that you be carried or join the family hug. 🙂 When we pray before meals, you always check on me and daddy (mostly daddy) if we already stopped what we were doing so we can pray. 🙂 It’s both funny and heartwarming at the same time. 🙂

Our funny baby :)

Our funny baby!

You are terribly sweet. 🙂 You give random hugs and kisses to me. Sometimes you would even hold my face with both hands then kiss me with a sloppy wide-open-mouth kiss. 🙂 Your daddy still has to ask you for a kiss. Haha! I think you know that you guys don’t normally do that. 🙂 However, you don’t complain when daddy smothers you with kisses. You just don’t initiate that much with him. 🙂 I get really “kilig” when you just hug me randomly and kiss me out of the blue. 🙂 You still love sleeping on my chest although you don’t stay there that long anymore compared to when you were still a baby. 🙂 A good 10 minutes is enough to put you in a deep sleep. You shifted the rest of the minutes snuggling on my side right under my armpit. 😛

Our sweet baby :)

Such a sweetheart

You are terribly joyful. You easily clap in appreciation and scream “Yehey!” when you see something you like. 🙂 You are so easy to please. Any bottle with a cap or cover is a treat for you. You just love to open and close it. 🙂 Any ball, regardless of size, makes you happy. 🙂 That’s the NBA and daddy brainwashing working, right there. 🙂 I must say you really are getting good at playing basketball. 🙂 You already know how to dunk and make jumpers. Yes, jump shots, little MVP. 🙂 You are now moving farther away from the ring and you really are making some shots! It’s really awesome to watch!!! 🙂

Timmy is a happy toddler! :)

Timmy is a happy toddler!

You are terribly sociable. What a great improvement! From being extremely shy and afraid of people you now blow flying kisses to salesladies! 🙂 It doesn’t take long for you to warm up now. 🙂 You are still shy just like your dad but you’ve come so far that I have to say that you’ve become terribly sociable from a shy person’s standards. 🙂

Our little trooper fighting the high fever.

Our little trooper fighting the high fever.

You are terribly strong. You are a trooper. We’ve had bouts with asthma about four times this year with each one lasting a week for you to recover. That didn’t stop you from having the energy to play and scream even if you’re on crib arrest. 🙂  You also had a dengue scare but God in His mercy protected you from that sickness. In that small heart of yours is a fighter, Timmy. From the time you were born—two months early and two pounds heavy—you know how to keep going. Jesus created a warrior in you. I really believe that. 🙂

Merry Christmas! :)

Merry Christmas!

There are so many terribly good things about you, sweetheart. We are excited to see more of them this year. 🙂 Happy happy birthday, my terrible two. We are beyond blessed to have you. We are humbled and privileged to be your parents. Whenever I see you, I am reminded that we have a good, loving, faithful, and gracious God. We love you so much, Timmy! 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEETHEART!!!

Much love,

Mommy 🙂

An Open Letter to Our Firstborn

Dear Timmy,

Exactly 365 days ago, I was waiting to hear your first cry while lying half-awake in the operating room. When I finally heard it I understood what a miracle is. You beat the odds, dear one. You wailed so loud as if to show off your strong lungs. You may not be a full-term baby but you sure sounded like one. 🙂 Then something magical happened, the nurse brought you close to me and I kissed your cheeks ever so gently. I kissed an angel and touched a living miracle—at 29 weeks and merely 1.2 kilos, you showed everyone that God was holding you in the palm of His hands.

Where did time go? I feel like I just turned a page and the next chapter is about you turning a year old! Happy 1st birthday, sweetheart! Just greeting you brings tears to my eyes. You are one brave soul, son. You’ve been through a lot with your month-long stay at the Neonatal ICU, Neonatal Lupus diagnosis, Hernia operation when you were two months old, and recent Asthma diagnosis. Despite all these, your daddy and I wake up every day blessed to see a beaming smile in your face as if you’re telling us that those things were no biggie. You are full of life, Timmy! You bring so much joy to our family and to the people around you. 🙂

We’ve seen you reach one milestone after another. You learned how to turn, crawl, sit, and stand. Before we know it you’re walking already and we’re running after you. 🙂 You’re eating solids now and you even got your three front teeth for Christmas! God has been so good to you, Timmy. His loving hand has always been upon you, taking care of you every single day. It is our prayer that as you grow up you will discover how great and amazing our God is.

In case you’re curious about what you were like when you were still a baby, I have one word to describe you—ACTIVE. 🙂 You have seemingly unlimited energy, Timmy! You scream in delight, you play tirelessly, you laugh so loud, you grab things in sight, you talk spontaneously, and you climb instinctively. You’re also very focused, sweetheart. 🙂 When you watch videos or commercials, all your attention is there with eyebrows knitted. You are also seriously funny, darling. 🙂 You make different sounds ranging from cat-like to accurately piggy. Aside from that, you love bath time, too!

We are humbled and blessed that God gave you to us. I didn’t realize that you were really the miracle I was waiting for until last month. Let me tell you a quick story. When I was still single, I used to write letters to my future husband. I gave them all to your dad when we got married. 🙂 When your dad was reading one of my letters, he discovered something I wrote that gave me goose bumps. Apparently, I told your dad (whom I hadn’t met at that time) that I saw a cute little boy in church and perhaps it was God’s way of telling us that our miracle baby would be a BOY. And here you are, Timmy—miracle personified. 🙂

You see, I thought I’d never have a baby because I have Lupus. So when I found out I was pregnant, your dad and I rejoiced! God answered our prayer in the most unexpected way. You’re a honeymoon baby, Timmy! We’ll explain what that means when you’re a bit older. 🙂 From the moment you were conceived, we knew that God had big plans for you. He wants to show in your life that He is real and He is good. Yes, you may have inherited your Neonatal Lupus and Asthma from me but that happened under God’s sovereign hands. So far, you haven’t exhibited any symptoms of Lupus and we’re praying that it really is transient. I hope that you will grow up without having to live with that sickness. You only had one major Asthma attack thus far and we’re hoping that it will be the last.

The way God sustains you every single day, the way He heals you when you’re sick, the way He makes your body develop continuously, the way He makes you happy and bubbly—all these things prove that He is at work in your life. 🙂 Every day we thank God for you, Timmy. We praise Him for what He has done and what He will still do in your life. He loves you more than we do. We pray that you will know God in a personal way and experience His goodness all the days of your life. May you follow His ways for He knows what’s best for you.

We love you so much, sweetheart. Happy 1st birthday! We look forward to celebrating more birthdays with you! May God bless you beyond what you can ever ask or imagine. Please don’t grow up too fast, Timmy. Right now I’m enjoying your super mommy-attachment stage. 🙂 Next time I’ll be seeing you go through that hero-worship phase with your dad. Each season will come ever so quickly. So enjoy every stage of your life, little one. We’ll be here to guide you, encourage you, and cheer you on every step of the way. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you forever, my true miracle. 🙂

Much love,

Mommy 🙂