Wednesday, July 01, 2015

July 2015

The kids' summer vacation is already a third over for us! We've been enjoying the days and trying to make a point to go to the pool more often, go on more bike rides, etc. Papa and I are also mid-way through a few home projects and will hopefully get them wrapped up before the summer is over!

M3 wanted to be done with naps once she turned 5 and we were ok with that. We knew we'd been asking her to nap at an older age than M.G. or M2 and she was only falling asleep about three days a week. Instead, she has about an hour of "quiet time" on her bed after lunch where she can read or play with quite toys. So she doesn't nap anymore. But what she does do is "accidentally fall asleep" about twice a week. I think her soccer clinic at the start of summer, the excitement of vacation, swim lessons now, and often a slightly late bedtime wear her out!

I love hearing what M4 is thinking about. A few days ago I asked what toppings he'd like on his bratwurst. He said, "a hot dog!" Last night we was talking about Papa's haircut and wondering when he'd get a haircut. He started saying he had "booms" on his head that needed to be fixed. It took us a few minutes to realize he was thinking of "bangs!"

And just because it came up recently, when we gave M2 a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe for his 2nd birthday he always called it his "Happy Birthday car." It stuck and now Papa and I still call those cars, when seen elsewhere, "happy birthday cars."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 2015

I just get to the point where I decide I've finished blogging and then get tempted back so that I can remember the little details down the road...

Often after bedtime, when he should be trying to sleep, M4 will peek out his window at a bunny nibbling on clover in our yard. Now if the bunny is there we'll hear, "My friend bunny is here! I'm going to watch my friend bunny!" This morning we were playing outside and a bunny hopped into our neighbor's yard. M4 said, "My friend bunny!" Although he was sad to hear that the bunny wouldn't come over an play with us.

He's on day 3 of undies. We have a stretch of time at home here with less going on and that doesn't happen very often. So far we seem to just be proving why toddlers wear diapers.

M3 had her kindergarten physical yesterday. About 25% for weight and 60% for height. Our doctor, whom we liked a lot, has left and we tried a new doctor yesterday. I'm not sure if we were a good fit, but I've heard good things about her. She referred us to a cardiologist for a heart murmur that our previous doctor never mentioned, so I guess after that I'll have a better idea of my opinion of her!

M3 did really well with her appointment. She is so well spoken for her age and, in realizing we didn't have any concerns about diet or sleep, a pretty easy going kid. She knew she'd get a shot (MMR this time) and was not too concerned. The nurse had me hug her during the shot and asked M3 to count to 10. The injection happened on 3 and M3 suddenly turned bright red, looked so surprised and hurt, and almost started crying. Then she continued on with a wavery 4 - 10 before letting out a wail. She recovered quickly and was fine after that. I think she forgot how shots felt!

Blogging is probably winding down for me. I need to find a better way to record the little details, other than Facebook. I would love to do vacation posts and milestone posts again and remember my impression of our days, but I'm less interested in blocking out the time it takes to compose my thoughts and have less time anyway. Also, the older kids are getting too old for me to share my thoughts about them as easily. This has turned into space for M3 and M4, which is fine, but feels incomplete when the older two are often amazing me too.

I read an interesting article about parenting teens. A line has stuck in my head from the article, "Children are characters in the family story we tell — until, one day, they start telling it themselves." I notice a shift in M.G. While M3 and M4 and most of the time M2 surprise me and do unique things, I still can predict the general arc of their behavior and reactions. Sometimes M.G. will say something and I will realize that she is her own person going off in her own directions. When I share my thoughts about her I feel like I'm betraying her privacy and I can no longer easily relate her impression of family events and feel truthful. So, we'll see. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

M3 - career plans

M3 has finished preschool and daycare! She's so excited for kindergarten. M4 and I went along to the zoo with her preschool yesterday and it was a fun way to end the year. She had some really good questions for the zookeeper who introduced the students to a few reptiles.

For a while she has been saying she wants to be a librarian when she grows up. A few weeks ago we were talking about authors and she thought that sounded like fun too. She's been asking questions occasionally about how the story gets from the author to the people.

Yesterday she asked how books get made so that more than one person can have a copy. So we talked a little about that and how publishers get books ready to sell. At first she wasn't interested in selling books. She wants to write a book, print a bunch, then walk around with a wagon to deliver the books to all of our neighbors. After talking a little about how some authors try to make money for food and other stuff through selling books she decided that she'd be a librarian who wrote books about being a librarian and then people would check out the books she wrote.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Super Why!

Super Why, on PBS Kids is M4's favorite show these days. It wasn't until relatively recently that he had a preference and the older three used that to their advantage - feeding him the names of shows they wanted to watch. For the longest time he'd want to watch whatever M.G. picked - so M2 and M3 would pick one show, M.G. and M4 would pick the 2nd show of the day.

Now he is all about Super Why, especially the episodes with the dog character. After bath time he has been running around with this hooded towel on his head singing the theme song!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Helpers

Rebecca informed us, after school on Friday, that her "group had given her the job of bringing a teepee" to school for a short skit. She and Papa had fun brainstorming and working together to make something easy to set up and knock down. (A crucial part of the plot, we were told.) She also needed a staff and a stuffed buffalo...


Piggy back ride!
While I was reading a book to M3 before her nap she asked me if wolves were a type of wild dog. I said yes. Then she asked me if foxes were also wild dogs. I said that I didn't think so, I thought foxes were just foxes. M2 was excited to show me his library book later...

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Under the cover of darkness...

The younger two and I went grocery shopping this morning. I was scanning the clearance Easter candy for the brand of jelly beans that Papa likes as a surprise for him. M3 asked what I was looking for and helpfully found some other brands of jelly beans.

Me: "Papa likes the type that the Easter bunny brought you. I was just looking to see if they still had those here, but they don't."

Then hoping I hadn't said anything suspicious, I said, "I guess maybe that makes sense, maybe the.."

M3 (interrupting): "It does make sense, the Easter bunny probably stole them all to give to kids."

Me: "You think he steals them? I was thinking he maybe he had them made at a different place."

M3: "I think he steals them. He is a bunny."

The kids don't ask too many questions about Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy, but some of their assumptions over the years make me wonder why they are so happy to see that those creatures visited. At one point, a while ago, she and M2 figured the tooth fairy probably makes weapons out of the teeth.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

M3 - Kindergarten screening!

M3 went to kindergarten screening this morning. She's been so ready for school and was excited for this first step. They screen the kids in small groups by watching how they interact while playing with each other and then pulling them over to do some assessment. During this time the parents are in a different room filling out registration forms and talking to the nurse about needed vaccinations.

M3 was her typical self-possessed self. The school secretary greeted us and split up the adults and kids. As she led us to our rooms she said, "The kids can get an eye screening from the Lions." M3 brightly said, "We get ice cream with lions!?"

As her group of 3 kids were led into their room she waved her hand over her head and called, "See you Mom and Dad!" without even looking back. (One child was kind of dragging his feet and watching after his mom and the other little girl went crying into the parent room.) 

Not surprisingly, she's ready for kindergarten. She got all the possible points - academically and socially. The kindergarten teachers do the screening and I do wonder if they would be excited to have someone so outgoing and prepared or if it is too much energy!

Papa and I both went along today. Our town's school districts were recently changed and there are some large changes happening in the staffing. M2 and M3 will attend a different school than the one M2 is currently at. We could petition to stay at our old school, but with M3 just starting and M4 waiting it seemed like an ok time to switch. It was really nice to meet some of the staff, see the inside of the building, and get a feel for what we have in store. I think we'll spend some time on the playground there this summer too.

I'm excited for M3's big step next year and as much as she's ready I'm sad to see her preschool days ending. Hardly feels like a blink of an eye!

Siblings

M4 has reached an age where he can play independently or with the older kids for longer stretches of time. We have cycles of relative peace or strife around here and I think we are in a good stretch now. Saturday morning the kids played in the girls' room for ages and at other times they tend to look for each other for occupation instead of asking me to help them find something to do.

Yesterday Papa and I were both getting ready for work and I had a chance to admire how nice it is for them to have each other. M3 had a reading log to turn in for preschool that day and she had 37 of the 40 lines filled up. M2 saw her sheet and exclaimed, "Catie, I have 3 library books I can read to you! I can read them before school!" They got dressed and ready and she listened as he read about Mambas, Aligators, and Pythons. They found me later so that I could help record the last books. They were both excited to have figured out a way to fill up the sheet.

MG gets ready very efficiently in the morning, compared to the rest of us. Some days she'll come back into the kitchen and happily sit with M4 while he finishes his breakfast. They giggle and chat and it frees Papa or I up to get ourselves ready. Yesterday after breakfast she helped him down and then humored him by buying play food from the grocery store he was operating.

The older two have always been fairly tolerant of the younger two, but it is sweet to see them choosing to help without it being suggested.