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,


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 🙂