5 jaar

Dear Liv,

It has become a tradition: a letter a day before your birthday. The day your birth started and the day I thought you would be born (but you didn’t make you entry till the next day). 5, you will turn 5!

I could just copy all these sentences for next year (with a 6) and then add: SLOW DOWN! Because of course it feels like yesterday that I wrote your “4 years letter”.

Since you’ve been born, this has been the quietest year of traveling ever and you ask us regularly when we will go on a trip again. You also show all your friends your photo book of our trip around the world and although it has been more than 2 years when we left, you still remember a lot.

There are only 2 things you don’t like about corona: that we can’t go traveling and that you cannot give out treats for your birthday at school. “Luckily” we did go on a trip away in October together. We had an amazing house sit in the Algarve where we took care of 5 cats. We were really looking forward to share this adventure with dad, but unfortunately the second housesit (with dad) was cancelled due to corona.

We know now what you are allergic to. You have a dust mite allergy and you are allergy to cats. You can no longer than half an hour till an hour stay in a home with a cat. Luckily our housesit in Portugal was with outside cats, because you still adore them. You also have a mild hay fever (but you only had some symptoms in February/ March) and sometimes you can have an allergic reaction to dogs or rabbits. Now that we know what’s wrong we also know how to treat it and you are doing a lot better than last year. Unfortunately there is nothing we can give you to be together in a house with a cat. Nothing works (so far).

Last year in August you started school. I wrote a blog about going to school part-time, which led to some debate haha, but for you it turned out perfect! You still enjoy your days at home, especially because you can sleep in. You are still not good in getting up early and this is because you never sleep early. Apparently this is just your rhythm, but it would be better if this would sync with school 😉 If you aren’t tired you are always excited to go to school, but if you are tired it can be a challenge to separate you from me. But you are always happy when you come home from school and that’s what’s most important. Although you are only in school half of the time, you shave a lot of friends, you have one playdate after another and one birthday party after another, so I’m not worried that part-time school makes you feel left out. You had 6 teachers this year and as long as they are nice, you just go with the flow. Mommy on the other hopes it will be different next year 😉

You learned to skip rope, elastics (no idea what this is called in English) and you learned to ride a bike without training wheels. You recognize most letters from the alphabet and you like to copy writing. Your drawings are more detailed and you like doing this, just like crafts. Except for going to the beach you also love going to the nature playground near our house: Hoogerzael. You can cross the balance beam over the water by your self, you can jump from one rock to the other and you can “navigate” the float. You love everything that blooms and alive.

You have more fantasy every day and you can do role-plays with your friends for hours. Using Lol’s, my little pony or you dress up yourself.

This year you suddenly understood that English and Dutch are two different languages and this resulted in you not wanting to talk English anymore. You got insecure because you realized your English wasn’t as good as your Dutch. Tallie (American) came here every week to play with you, but the last few times (before corona), you wanted me to stay to translate all your Dutch into English for Tallie. Not because you didn’t know, or couldn’t do it, but because you were afraid to do it. Then corona came, Tallie couldn’t come anymore and we have kept it this way, till you’ll ask again for her to come. It has to be something you like to do. You do still watch television in English. If your friends come over and you watch television together you translate for them and sometimes you brag that “you can speak English”. People still tell us now and then that you have a little bit of an English accent haha.

You can pronounce almost every letter except for the “r”, you say it like an English person or a Chinese 😉 Before the “r” was an “l” and since a few weeks it’s not an “l” anymore and it starts to sound like an “r”, but you can’t roll it yet. I bet this will happen this year, but I really like it this way, it’s so cute!

This year you finally weaned! No more breastfeeding. I’ve always thought this would be a very important date, but the truth is that it just became less and less. There wasn’t a specific day. I already wrote last year that I thought it was almost coming to an end and I was right. We stopped completely. However you still love breasts and if you have the chance your hands are up my shirt (which you aren’t allowed) or you try to “drink” again (which you aren’t allowed either).

Partly because of corona we started puzzling. I used to do this with my mom, and it’s so special doing this with you now. We make Disney puzzles of 1000 pieces and made about 8 so far. Whenever it’s ready, we sell it. I find it bizarre that you have the patience at this age to do such a hard puzzle, but it’s so much fun to do together!

Your favorite shows right now are: Paw Patrol, Miraculous, True, The Little Princess and you love Disney movies. Vaiana (Moana) and Frozen 2 are your favorite.

If dad brings you to bed you usually read (part of) a book together. I still have all of my Roald Dahl’s books from when I was young and we thought you would still be to young, but dad read them all (except for the BFG, because you think that’s too scary) to you and you loved it! Matilda is your favorite and after you’ve read the book, you watched the movie. The book in Dutch, the movie in English, you’ve seen it more than once by now 😉

If you have a play date somewhere, I mostly hear that you were kind and polite, I hope this will stay too when you feel more at ease haha. Nevertheless this is also your character. You are very well behaved and if I have to count till 3, you are always there before I even have to say 3. Normally I don’t even have to count, it means I’m already a little “angry. If do get angry with you, you’ll come to me crying within 5 minutes asking how we can make up. You are still very sensitive. This results in the fact that our days are actually really fun together and we love doing things together. Dad feels the same way, the days that I’m gone for photoshoots you have a great time together. Daddy and I often say how lucky we are! You’re also (still) very honest, you never lie and if you try you immediately say it was a lie. We hope you will stay this pure.

If you can choose what to wear, it’s nothing. Naked is the best or at least as little as possible. I still don’t have to try to put on your bikini at the beach. Or well, you wear it, till it gets wet. I don’t even have to try a bathing suit.

I’m dreading the “shoe season” later on this year. It was an absolute DRAMA last year! You didn’t want to wear socks, we tried all the socks there are, we put them inside out, you name it. You even wore your sandals for a while to school in the middle of the winter, what of course, wasn’t a success. In the end you chose to wear your leather boots, barefoot. That you can wear sandals every day now is paradise for you. Dad and I talk about emigrating regularly 😉 You are a real warm-weather child (just like mom and dad).

You still sleep with us, because “that’s so cosy”. We still enjoy it too. Although you’ve never fallen asleep by yourself, you did decide to have a sleep over at your friends house. So brave! I didn’t know if you would really go through, but because your friend only lives 5 houses away it wouldn’t be a problem either way. You completely thought out your plan: taking a stuffed monkey with long arms (“it will seem like I’m laying in your arms mom”), the baby monitor (“then I can call Soraya when something is wrong”) and off you went. Despite your friend falling asleep way before you (you knew that), you did fall a sleep yourself and didn’t make a sound all night! When I asked you if you now would sleep in your own bed your answer was: no! You don’t like sleeping alone. And well, I didn’t sleep at all (what I didn’t expect by they way), so you can sleep with us as long as you want. Whenever you are ready 🙂

You LOVE playing games. We have so many already. Right now you like Monopoly junior, Labyrinth, Carcassone and Mice trap the most. During corona we played Bunny Hop non-stop, I can’t hop another bunny.

For your birthday you wanted mostly things from LOL, that’s hip & hot right now, but you also wanted to go to the Efteling. When you got to choose between an LOL glamper (a very expensive plastic toy) or the Efteling you chose the Efteling and we think that’s so cool! “Collect memories, not things.” You don’t know we are going, but we have tickets for the day after you birthday and I can’t wait to see your reaction.

Dear Liv, it’s true what they say: it only gets better! I can’t wait to see what this year will bring you!

We love you!

P.s Like always a photo of every month.