(click on the links highlighted in blue if you want to read the previous posts that I am refering to)
This year I am starting with my youngest child; my baby who is far from a baby anymore. Malia began the year 2008 as a just-turned 2-year-old with a feisty personality, a lot of energy and eyes as mischeivious as they come. And she ended the year exactly the same, other than the fact that she turned another year older.
So, moving on to Joelle....no, just kidding! Malia's personality may have stayed the same, but there were many things that happened over the course of the past year where we saw her grow, change and continue to develop -- socially, intellectually and physically.
But to start off with, let me just remind you of a few of my favorite posts that really highlight the aforementioned personality that draws people to her.
This child is innocent, and I want to hold on to that for as long as I possibly can. She may be growing up way too quickly before our eyes, but she is still a baby in the world's eyes. She doesn't know (nor does she need to know) about fashion, body size, 'she likes her more than she likes me' issues, boy trouble, etc. I know she will come face-to-face with all of these issues eventually (and many more) but for now I am happy that she is only 3 years old and can live life naively believing that the most difficult hurdle life will throw at her is when she has to learn to wipe her own bottom instead of having it done for her, or if it's her big sister's turn to pick the morning cartoons.
My little miss Malia is also feisty, as I have mentioned on several ocassions. She is one big ball of crazy, and I pray that one day this personality characteristic will serve her very well. Apparantly I was also a very strong-willed little girl growing up (what goes around comes around, I suppose) and I have to speak from personal experience that -- for me -- it has been a good quality to have. I have used my strong-will to stand firm in my beliefs and have not been swayed by peer pressure and such. A strong will can also go the other way and end up in big-time rebellion...but I pray that she will use this personality trait for good instead!
As feisty as Malia can be, she can also be sweet, as sweet can be (also seen here and here). She has always had a soft and gentle side, being as nurturing as she is challenging. Just like last year, her love for babies is holding strong -- and with a couple of new cousins and friends to dote on, she has been a happy camper in this regard!
Anybody who has ever met Malia (even if it was just once) will know that she is goofy, silly, and a big ol' tease! I love these things about her, and she makes me laugh every day with her antics, facial expressions and the things that come out of her mouth. She has a certain spark that shows so clearly in her eyes that people who have never met her, but have only seen her picture, have commented on that fact.
Other than these personality characteristics that she has been strengthening throughout the year, Malia has had many new experiences as well. In spring we worked on potty-training (an experience that I am happy I will never have to go through again!), she learned how to finally properly ride a tricycle, and she took swimming lessons. I am proud of this girl's determination and the pride she shows in herself when she does something new.
Perhaps the biggest step for this little girl is that she started school. She only goes once a week, but it has been a chance for her to spread her wings and gain a little more independence. And of course it also gives me that precious 2 1/2 hours a week where I have the house to myself!
This child is my heart. This child has my heart. I love you Malia and I look forward to seeing what 2009 will bring as you continue to grow up and learn new things. I am so proud of you!
Joelle is still more responsible than most kids her age (at least in my humble opinion), and while she definitely has a goofy side to her, I would say she is more serious than her little sister. She is sensitive, reflective, and very soft-hearted. She is learning more and more how to control her emotions before letting them go wild -- although we still have some work to do in this area -- and she has a memory like her mother (well, like the memory I used to have...before having kids!).
This beloved child is a part of me, and I am a part of her. I see myself in her in countless ways; she is my mini-me. A gift sent to me straight from heaven. A gift I am thankful for every day of my life. I know there are great things in store for this child, and I want to be there every step of the way as I watch these things take place in her life.
And that, my friends, is another year. The year 2008 is over...and out!