Friday, April 16, 2010
Very interesting that right after I wrote about what a good boy you had been in my last journal entry, your behavior started going majorly downhill. We were having all-out battles nearly every day and sometimes several times a day. I think I'm learning that I need to avoid the posture of “HOW could you behave that way?” (because sometimes I am truly horrified at what you do/say) and react with the attitude of coming alongside you to help you defeat your sin nature. I have to keep you and me on the same team – because you're wired to fight and I don't want you fighting me, I want you fighting sin! So things have been better but there's always so much for me (and you) to learn.
You thrive on interaction with people; some of your favorite activities recently have been: mini-golfing with Grammie, hiking to the Stratabowl with Mama, and helping Daddy build a raised bed garden for the Fagreys (which actually translates into playing with their uber-cool eleven-year-old son). You've really begun showing gratitude for special things: “Thanks so much for the ice cream, Daddy!” “Mom, you're so nice to take us swimming at the Y!” “Grammie, thank you for taking us to McDonald's and GETTING US A TOY!” You've also been learning the joy of giving: one day you shared a smartie with Matthew and just basked in the glow of his smile.
This spring is your first soccer season. You were so excited before the first game. Picking out shin-guards, trying on hand-me-down-cleats, practicing with Daddy. Daddy is your coach and we waited a year to start you, and I think both things contributed to your feeling pretty comfortable with it all. I busted up laughing a couple of times while watching you: you'd kick then do a somersault, or work in a little head stand or cartwheel action. You played hard, were quite fast and you did score one goal in your first game, so I am very pleased with my little soccer player!
Easter was special this year as I felt you were truly starting to understand the meaning of it. We did little projects every day during Holy Week to help us think about Jesus, and each morning approaching Good Friday we lit fewer candles and Daddy read the appropriate Bible passage for the day. You were so excited on Easter morning when all of the candles were lit! The chocolate bunny at your plate didn't hurt either, but I do hope the truth resonated deeply in your heart.
I'm so glad the weather is turning nice. You are outside A LOT and seem to be more willing to be out there without me. We've been playing a lot of whiffleball. The neighbor boy Everett has come over a couple of times to play too, which you've enjoyed. You've just been full of good ideas: planting seeds with Abby, playing on the fort, coloring with sidewalk chalk. It's all new again every spring!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
An exciting time for Abby: you have gone from identifying upper and lower case letters to knowing 90% of your letter sounds in just a few weeks! You started to want to “practice reading” like Isaac, so each day after our pre-nap stories you tell me the letter sounds for the letters on the front cover of your book. It takes five minutes or less but such progress already – it helps that you remember after I've told you once. Now the only remaining hurdle is that your short vowel sounds are a bit indistinct. You also love playing math games and you can do plus and minus one pretty adeptly.
I found you an $8 Princess bike at the thrift store, so now you've officially graduated from the tricycle to training wheels. You do well on it – just s l o w. We need to work on leg strength but it's hard to know how to balance that with Isaac's need for speed! You've been playing in the back yard non-stop for a couple of spring weeks now. Even the next door neighbor girl Veronica (4) is getting in on the fun as you go back and forth between yards.
Isaac started playing soccer this spring and you tell me that you will “play ballet” when you are four. You love having various dance outfits to change into throughout the day! In March you got your first chance to be on stage when you were a “little sister” at the Miss Rapid City pageant. You did a little dance with the reigning Miss Rapid City, handed her a flower, and did a curtsy. Everyone thought you were adorable in your little brown and pink dress – you were the littlest little sister up there! I bought you a rose when you were done and you cried when it was wilted a week later.
Sometimes I realize I've nearly forgotten about you since Isaac is the one yelling and running through the house and Matthew is the one whining at my feet. You can be quite content with one little toy or book or even just observing the fray . . . but then when I get you one on one you don't stop talking! When it's just you and me you often comment, “It's so peaceful when the boys are gone. I like it to be peaceful.”
You've really been enjoying your little gal friends at church: you, Emma Jacobs and the Fagrey girls follow each other around playing teacher or house or store. It's always sad when it's time to go. We've started going to a weekly Bible study also – but almost all of the kids in your class are boys! Poor Abby – so many boys in your life! At least you'll know how to hold your own among them, which is something I never really learned!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
You've learned and grown a lot, Matyu-boy. Of course, you turned one on February 28. This has been the fastest year of my life – it is so hard for me to believe you are one! You had a joint celebration with cousin Beckham and Uncle Brandon. Brandon picked the cake – some sort of divine cheesecake with chocolate ganache and a raspberry topping – and Beckham blew out the candles but you didn't seem to mind. Similarly, you got a bunch of Isaac and Abby's old toys for your presents. You love the ball popper, just like they did! Poor third child. I sometimes worry that you'll feel you got the short end of the stick . . . but then I realize that Isaac and Abby get nearly all hand-me-downs also plus I don't want you to grow up thinking material things = love.
And you are loved! Oh my. Sometimes I feel my heart will break when you lay your head on my shoulder and we snuggle (you are so snuggly still!) and I sing and I wish I could keep the world away from you forever. Your precious big eyes, soft wispy hair, giant grin complete with the most charming dimples. Oh the prayers I pray for you as we cuddle together: that you will never doubt His love, that you will be His more completely than I will ever imagine. There's something about you, little one, that takes my breath away and makes my heart sing all at the same time.
The ultimate demonstration of your strong will: one evening Daddy took a spoonful of peanut butter away from you. You just SHRIEKED – so loud and long that you didn't breathe again until you had passed out! You turned blue and went limp and then woke up all within 30 seconds. That was scary! You did it a few times more on other days but you now seem to be able to control your cries to avoid that – you didn't like it! You still SHRIEK when you don't get your way though and I'm always on edge, waiting for you to go limp.
I tried to start working out at the YMCA but you would have NONE of the child care. You would scream for ten solid minutes then the workers would come get me. You were willing to go to no-one but me, Daddy, Papa and Grammie. Then I started going to a once-a-week Bible study which provides a children's program. You screamed and screamed the first few times but those gals stuck it out with you and prayed for you. I am so thankful for them because now you'll go to nearly anyone after a few minutes of warming up to them. You go to people at church, your aunties, international friends. Whenever we see Grammie or Papa you almost launch yourself out of my arms you're so excited. I think you've finally learned that other people are okay! Whenever we're in a crowd you love to toddle all around the room, grinning at people.
Isaac loves having you share his room. He willingly cleared out half his dresser for your clothes and he's so careful to be quiet when you're asleep. He's always trying to play with you and make you laugh. Often he will talk babytalk to you (which drives Daddy crazy) but then you'll imitate his exact sounds. Abby is your little care-taker. She's always hugging you or brushing your hair or bringing you toys or commenting on your needs and desires (as if you leave any doubt). You like to give her hugs. You're not so sure about the hair-brushing.
You're a much better eater now, drinking whole milk easily from a cup. You love saucy foods: casseroles, pasta, cheesy potatoes. But also asparagus, broccoli, clementines, apples, melon, etc. Not really a bread guy. And once you taste everything on your tray, you pick a favorite and want ONLY that. You'll eat three scrambled eggs without touching your toast or banana. One night you ate a whole plate of refried beans AND a whole plate of rice at a Mexican restaurant. The next night you ate three big hotdogs at Grammie's house.