September 1, 2011
It was a long summer for Mama, but I don't think it was long enough for you! Daddy was working a lot of 85 hour weeks and we were doing a lot of transitioning from one house to the other. I was pleased with how well you handled it, but we have had some attitude problems cropping up. You were born with a bit of my bossy tendencies and it's important that you realize that you can't boss around Dad and Mom! It's so interesting how you can go from sweet as sugar, “I just can't wait to have Abby/Mommy time soon!” to complete obstinance, “No I WON'T make my bed!”
A month ago we went on a big family road trip: first camping in the Tetons with Papa's family followed by a family reunion in Estes Park, CO with Grandpa Daryl's family. You did great the whole time, especially charming Grandpa Paul while camping. You also had a lot of fun with your cousins Emily and Alyssa. We went swimming several times, hiking, mini-golfing, bowling, and to the Denver Zoo. I think my favorite day was when we played for hours in Jackson Lake near our campsite. You and Isaac (and second cousin Ethan) had nets and spent hours catching minnows. It was so beautiful and relaxing and delightful for me to see you so fully engaged with nature.
One day we spent driving through Yellowstone. We stopped by the lake to skip rocks, then hiked down to the Lower Falls (almost gave your daddy a heart attack having you near such a drop-off). We stopped by the paint pots and saw Old Faithful. You really did not like the stinky sulfur smells! But you told everyone about looking down at a rainbow (near the waterfall).
Yesterday we started school – kindergarten for you! Though you are only four and a half, Daddy and I feel that you are more than ready. However, we won't officially register you with the state yet. Your school consists of listening to Bible, poetry and Little House books together with Isaac and Matthew. Then you do phonics with me and handwriting independently. Finally, we all watch a Spanish video together. So far you are so excited and loving it – wishing it took longer than an hour I think.
You are a stuff lover – every little item you encounter is your most “special thing I ever had.” It's hard for your clutter-buster mother! I am trying to find the balance between forcing you to throw away trash (broken toys, holey socks, or even things like packaging materials) and allowing you to keep some things. I don't want it to become a control issue, but I do need you to realize that practically speaking we can't keep everything in a 1600 square foot house with six people living in it! I am glad you treasure things (every bug you find in the house is lovingly transported outdoors – never squashed) but we need to work on defining what is worth treasuring!
October 23, 2011
You are doing wonderfully well. Kindergarten is lovely and we have had a gorgeous fall with lots of wonderful outside time. Homeschool coop is in full swing and you have begin ballet lessons again (dancing through the house “Tondu, passe, tondu, passe”). I thought that this time I would do something a little different and describe your relationships with the others in our family.
Dad. You love your daddy dearly. He calls you Babycakes and you enjoy it very much. Often you'll snuggle on his lap and say “My daddy.” And you always insist on multiple kisses and hugs before he leaves for work in the morning. When Daddy says it's time to wrestle, you get right in on the fun. He's quick to tell you how pretty you are and quick to tease you too. Then you respond with a classic, “Daaaadddyyyyy!”
Me. I love spending time with you and you very obviously crave my attention (I wish I had more time to give you!). You are always begging me to go on a date with you or play dolls or Barbies or house or restaurant. We have begun going on regular dates – once a month or so to get tea at Bully Blends or breakfast at the donut shop. I try to give you lots of hugs and stories and my full attention when you tell me things. However, playing dolls together only happens for a half hour or so maybe once a week. I do feel bad about that.
Isaac. You guys have a lot of fun together, especially when no other friends are around – even if Veronnika is over you and Isaac will battle for her attention and affection. But when it's just our family, you and Isaac can play together for hours. You love to color and paint and you have a surprisingly commanding way of getting Isaac to play princesses or Barbies with you. You also laugh at each other's silly jokes and potty talk.
Matthew. He adores you. Recently you invented a game where you were the Mommy Hawk, Matthew was the Baby Hawk and Isaac was a Lemur. So now Matthew goes around calling you Mommy Hawk and calling me Grandma. You are also very good at getting him to help you with your chores! I often find him “helping” you dust or sort laundry.
Elise. You adore her. Hopefully she will grow up to be the doll-playing companion that I am not. You constantly ask to hold her, play with her, hug and kiss her. You feed her baby food and change her diapers. Her face lights up when she sees you!