Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Greta, a Monologue

Greta, at three, talks pretty much nonstop from the minute she wakes up until her little eyes close at night. She does not have to be talking to one of us; she talks to herself, to her toys, to her feet. She often "finds" imaginary tiny animals (monkeys, dolphins, foxes) and scoops them up into her hands, gently, talking to them before "releasing" them. Here is a brief sample of Greta's stream-of-consciousness from lunch today, with a representative amount of whining:

"Mmm. Carrots. I love carrots! I don't want any caaarrrrooots. Put them on yoooouuuur plaaaate. Not MY plaaatte!!! Yoooooour plate. Look at me. Look at this. [takes a bite of string cheese]. I take a bite. Look at my trick. Mama, watch me do my trick. [leans over in her chair, lifts a leg into the air] That's my trick. I might fall off my chair. My knee hurts. My finger hurts. My cheek hurts. [laughs hysterically] My cheek hurts--that's silly. Noooooo!! I don't wwaaaant aaaany milk! [milk goes back into fridge] Nooooo! I waaaant myyyy miiiilk! Can I be done? Can I go play? [spills a drop of water on herself, begins fake-crying] I waaaaant Biiiiiibiiiiiii.....I waaaaaant my Biiiiiibiiiiii....Oh! [sees she's holding her Bibi already] There he is! I was holding him in my hand."

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Frozen on Ice

We took the girls to see Frozen on Ice a few weeks ago. We weren't going to; it was expensive and selling out fast; but the more we thought about it, and heard about it, the more we decided we just had to take them. Though their love of all things Frozen had waned a bit over the past couple of months, it hadn't disappeared. And so we bought tickets. And Elsa dresses. And bundled everyone into the car for a 7pm show in Newark.

Lucia and Greta were beyond excited. They were so excited about their dresses, and going to a show at bedtime, and going to the huge arena, and seeing the ice rink. They were enthralled from the very first projection of a giant snowflake on the ice. And Disney knows its audience: before Frozen began, out came all the other princesses, ice skating and waving as they passed us. Lucia and Greta waved back eagerly, squealing as each princesses skated out onto the ice. And then--Frozen. They loved it. (Greta loved it until the last ten minutes, when her rapt attention clicked over to wanting to leave.) Lucia didn't take her eyes off Elsa the entire time.

Both girls were interested in all the merchandise for sale, but they didn't really ask for anything, content with their new Elsa dresses; and Andrew and I managed to keep our vow not to purchase any $28 dollar-store wands. (We were in the minority. $28!!)

The next day she told several people that we'd gone to the show, and said, awestruck, "The whole stage was ice."

The girls slept in their Elsa dresses that night, and kept them on the entire next day. And, since then, they've been afflicted once more with Frozen fever. It may not ever end.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Letter to Greta: 37 Months

Baby Grets,

Oh, how cute you are right now. I'd forgotten how adorable, how breath-takingly charming, a three-year-old can be. With your unruly hair, tiny bare feet, cheeks still poofy with baby fat, you are still such a little baby, and it's lucky for all of us that you like to be cuddled, because it's hard not to want to snuggle up with you at any opportunity.

Of course, every precious, snuggly moment has its twin moment of frustrating independence-asserting; and your new fondness for escalating things to hysteria at every opportunity. You're full of drama, Little Miss. You don't feel things halfway. A casual request ("I want my water") met with a perfectly reasonable denial ("Your water bottle is three flights up; let's get it after we're done eating") becomes, instantly, a hysterical demand ("I WANT MY WATER RIGHT NOWWWWWWWWWWW"!!!!). It's powerful. No one wants a tantrumming Greta. You also know the power of tears, and turn them on at the drop of a hat. When tears aren't warranted, you still try your best, scrunching up your face and squeezing your eyes shut, trying to force them out. Sometimes you even announce, "I'm trying to cry." You know perfectly well what you're doing. And it's maddening, and hilarious, all at once.

You love to play, and you and Lucia have your own world of imagination and activity now, with me more as overseer and occasional referee. When Lucia's at school, you're a willing partner for errands; at home, you play by yourself (with me nearby) absolutely contently. You relish your time at home without your sister, able to play with whatever you want to, without Lucia's bossy direction; but you're most happy when she's back, and you can be in your sister-world together once again.

You have an entourage of security objects that you seem to be getting more attached to now that you're three: your Bibi, Wee (Lambie), water bottle, and pa (pacifier). Bi Wee is usually referred to as one object. And I know I need to take away the pacifier; I know that; but you use it only at naptime and bedtime, and I can't bring myself to actively disrupt the smooth routine of nap and sleep we've established.

You nap during the week from 2pm till 3:30pm. On weekends, it's usually 1pm till 3 or even 4. You go to bed by 7:30pm and sleep till 7 or 7:15am.

You are a loved, loving Little Missy Miss. I'm always so happy to see you in the morning; and so relieved--lovingly relieved! lovingly!--when you go to bed at night. Three!

Favorite toys/activities: My Little Pony (ponies and show), Strawberry Shortcake (dolls and show), Frozen (renewed passion), Playmobil animals and foods, crafts, coloring, stickers, dress-up.

Favorite books: Gingerbread Baby, various Christmas books.

Letter to Lucia: 61 Months

Little Lulu,

Magic. That's the only way I can describe the age of five. You turned five, and something just seemed to click--and you're off, into real-kid world. You're so curious, learning so much, doing so many things, capable of so much. Seeking independence, relishing it. Taking pride in the new skills you're learning--putting on and zipping up your coat; writing the letters of the alphabet; honing your skills with scissors, stencilling, tracing. You and Greta are still best friends and constant playmates; but you take care of her, too, and take pride in helping her do things.

Greta looks up to you so much. You're a star to her. But I do see you two as further apart right now than you've been so far--not in your relationship, but in your "life stage." You're invested fully in school, having drop-off playdates and birthday parties; capable of working on crafts and art projects on a totally different level than Greta. It's a tricky balance for me right now, making sure you get to do all the things you're ready for while not making Greta feel frustrated or left out.

You love school. So much. Your class, teachers, and school itself have definitely been a huge part of all the massive changes you've undergone in the past few months. You're sad when the weekend comes; you just want to go to school. Besides all the great stuff you're learning, this is what I'm most grateful for: that you've developed this excitement about going to school, about learning. We can't ask for more than that.

Favorite toys/activities: Frozen (with renewed intensity), My Little Pony (ponies and show), Strawberry Shortcake (dolls and show), crafts, drawing/coloring, Playmobil, wearing your Elsa dress, blocks, riding your scooter in the basement

Favorite books: various Christmas books, Cat's Colours, Rainbow Fish to the Rescue

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Greta, Comedienne

Greta attempts to tell a knock-knock joke.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Mice's Time

We got back last night from spending one final long, glorious weekend in New Hampshire. We drove up Wednesday night and had nearly four full days to enjoy the quiet and peacefulness. It was cold this time--truly cold; it even flurried one night. The days were mostly cold and cloudy, and we were able to be outside far less than we'd have liked. We did get in a few nature walks; Lucia stumbled upon our fairy house from last time, still intact, and the girls collected pinecones and other treasures to leave for the fairies for the winter. They also hid in the trees near the pond, pretending to be squirrels and foraging for food for the long, cold winter.

The trees were nearly bare of leaves, and whatever was left in the fields was brown and dead. But the cattails were perfect for shredding into snow, and we found many milkweed pods to peel open and scatter. There were no frogs in sight.

But mostly we stayed indoors this time, and the girls had no shortage of things to do. We played Candyland and Memory. We worked on my Christmas homemade gift (which will remain a secret for now). Inspired by a book I'd brought to read them, in which a witch (without explanation) casts a spell on a castle and turns its inhabitants to stone, Lucia and Greta spent most of their time "reading their spell books" on the staircase, which involved removing many of the old books from the hall bookshelf and arranging them on the steps. They also liked laying out all the old wooden cutting boards to make a "boat." Greta spent some time sitting in a large wooden bowl, holding a smaller plastic cutting board and tapping it with a flashlight, pretending it was an iPad.

This is the kind of fun they have there. Low (no) tech, pure imagination.

It was so quiet. Winter quiet. There was the feeling of our time there coming to an end. This was the latest in the year that we've ever been to the house. We saw a mouse in the kitchen--it nibbled some of our bread--and now that we've closed up the house, the mice can take it over for themselves once again. It was with genuine sadness that we said goodbye Sunday night, after one final dinner at the pizza place, one final quick-change for the girls into pj's in the restroom before getting on the road. We will miss it so much until we return in May.

Playing right up until we loaded up the car.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Birthday in New Hampshire

We went to New Hampshire this weekend in honor of Greta's birthday--a short trip, Friday through Sunday, but fun because Andrew's dad joined us.

Wasps were once again unwelcome guests, and Friday night, right after the girls went to bed, Lucia called down to us from the top of the stairs for something, put her hand on the railing--and got stung by a wasp that had been sitting there. She'd never been stung by a bee or wasp before, so we put her to bed on the couch for an hour so we could make sure she didn't have a reaction. (Once she got over the pain and surprise of the sting, she was pretty pleased to be able to sleep next to me on the couch.)

Saturday was pretty much the perfect New Hampshire day. We set out first thing for a nearby farm for pumpkin picking, and the girls had a fantastic time selecting pumpkins, riding in a wagon, and dashing through a corn maze. We had to cajole them out of the maze with a promise of apples and cider donuts in the farmhouse, which we ate overlooking the river.

When requested to smile, Lucia chose a jack-o-lantern smile.

When requested to smile, they instead chose to make "corn faces."

Greta is beside herself with pumpkin excitement.

Later in the afternoon, we took a long nature walk to the part of the woods the girls call the "fairy forest." They'd brought their fairy dolls specifically for this purpose, and once we reached the spot, they were completely immersed in their little fairy world--traipsing off on long walks, putting their fairies to bed on moss, selecting mushrooms and other snacks for them. Andrew, his dad, and I were able to just sit down and enjoy the quiet of the woods.

As usual, the heat stopped working during the day on Saturday--we'd run out of oil--but the day was mild enough that it didn't really matter. Sunday was a little rainy and chilly, but we survived, and we spent as much time outside as we could: visiting the pond (frog-less now), and another long nature walk to the back meadow. After nap- and quiet-time, we celebrated Greta's birthday (a day early) with brownies and presents. Lucia and Greta spent the rest of the afternoon playing with their new Strawberry Shortcake friends. We finished off our Sunday with dinner at Pizza Chef, and then changed the girls into their pj's and drove home.

A short trip, yes, but it's always worth it. We'll be making one more trip up in a couple of weeks, and then we'll bid a sad goodbye for the winter.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter to Greta: 3 Years Old

Dear Little Miss Grets,

You're three! Happy birthday, dear one. You were swept up in this month's birthday excitement, announcing throughout the day, "It's my birthday!" and holding up three fingers. We celebrated yesterday in New Hampshire, where we traveled for the weekend with Bobby so we could go pumpkin-picking and nature-walking for your birthday. It was such a great weekend, and you were very excited about your presents. The biggest hits were your own super-big My Little Pony with rainbow hair, like Lucia's (you've been coveting this pony for months), and your Strawberry Shortcake friend Cherry Jam, which goes along with the Strawberry Shortcake you got for Lucia's birthday. (Figuring out what each of you get for your birthdays, and which things you'll get for each other's birthdays, is quite the project.)

Three. How funny you've gotten, and how silly. You talk constantly, often incorporating phrases you've picked up from us. You said something was "Crazytown" the other day, which I say all the time. Sometimes you say, "Wait wait wait," to get our attention, which is pure Lucia. I love hearing all of it, mostly because it's all cute, but also because it's all--well, nearly all--comprehensible. Indeed, you've been discharged from speech therapy--your speech therapist, Emily, said you've improved so much that now we can just let development take over. She said we'll reassess in about six months, but I'm confident that you're on your way.

You are asserting your independence more and more, and becoming more capable. You can use the bathroom all by yourself now; you sometimes need help getting your pants up properly, but mostly you're on your own, without even a potty seat. If Lucia goes into the bathroom with you, as she's wont to do, she even helps you wash and dry your hands. You pick out your own clothes most days, and have definite opinions on what you want to wear. You like to select toys to "put on your bureau" during naptime.

You're still napping up to two hours each day, going to sleep at night at 7:30pm and getting up around 7am. You're still in your crib, but I suspect this will change soon. In New Hampshire this weekend, I happened to peek in your door shortly after I put you down for your nap--and witnessed you climb in and out of your pack-and-play to retrieve a dropped toy. Quietly, without fanfare. So the writing's on the wall, much to my chagrin. I can't even imagine you sleeping in a bed: you're a baby!

You don't like to be called a "baby," and correct me each time: "I'm a big girl." You try so hard to keep up with Lucia, but right now--at three and five--you're still best friends but you're definitely at different stages. Lucia's discovered a new love of Legos, and can follow the instructions to put together little things; you, though you love the finished objects, have absolutely no facility with Lego construction. Of course. You're three. In good time, my little lovey. In good time.

You are, however, an amazing puzzle-doer, and have been for some time now. You and Lucia are working on up to 100-piece puzzles now, each working on different sections and "attaching" them when it's time. (Unless you throw a fit and refuse to attach yours. Which does, sometimes, happen.)

School is going so much better now. Most days you don't even cry, and you are always smiling and happy at pickup time. This is a relief.

Your super-size appetite has abated now that you're three, and though you still sometimes return to your amazing-eater ways--five pierogies at a time!--you've slowed down considerably. You are still taller than any other three-year-old we encounter. You wear a size 4T but will likely turn to 5T before the winter's out.

Happy birthday, Greta Banana. You're our little sweetie.

Favorite toys/activities: Playmobil animals, coloring, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, My Little Pony anything, puzzles

Favorite books: Big Pumpkin, The Teeny Tiny Ghost, Hansel and Gretel, Sara Squirrel and the Lost Acorns

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Letter to Lucia: 5 Years Old

Dear Lulu,

Happy, happy birthday, little one! Your birthday was yesterday, and you are so very excited to be five. You've been looking forward to this birthday so much, and we made it a big one for you. On Sunday, we threw you a bounce-house birthday party in a giant warehouse in Secaucus--definitely not a place Daddy or I ever imagined existing, let alone patronizing, pre-you (or, more accurately, pre-New Jersey). It was a ton of fun. Twenty-two children came to help you celebrate, including friends from both your old school and your new school. Aunt Molly and Luca were there too, and had visited for the weekend, which made it even better. You, Greta, and Luca became fixated by the water fountain for a bit, and Molly and I feared you'd never return to your wild climbing and bouncing.

You had cupcakes at school on your birthday. And that evening, we gave you your presents, including a variety of My Little Ponies, a Jasmine, some books, two games, a Tinkerbell movie and fairies, and a Strawberry Shortcake doll. You were so excited.

You got your biggest gift today: I took you to get your ears pierced. You've been asking for pierced ears for nearly a year, and from the get-go I'd promised you could have earrings when you turned five. And, lo and behold, here we are. Daddy was not on board--tried, initially, to prevent it--but I prevailed. You were incredibly excited about the whole thing, but you got increasingly nervous as we waited in the waiting room (we had it done at the pediatrician's office). But you were very brave during the piercing: you were surprised at the first pierce, and started to cry as you anticipated the second. But your tears were brief, and you seemed surprised when you looked in the mirror--like you couldn't believe you really had earrings. You look so cute with your sparkly faux diamonds.

And now--it feels like a new era, five. You seem so much older, interested in new things and capable of so much now. Happy birthday, dear one. You are five!

As a side note, I'll always remember your birthday as the day we had no functioning toilets in the house. We're smack in the middle of our massive renovation, and yesterday, on your birthday, the plumbing work intensified, and we had no toilets or running water for the day. We managed. We had a bathroom trip/playdate with some neighbors, and met Daddy at the diner for dinner. By the time we got home, the attic bathroom worked once more.

Favorite toys/activities: My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, coloring, playing outside, Halloween decorations

Favorite books: a variety of Halloween books: Big Pumpkin, Hubknuckles, Teeny Tiny Ghost, Georgie and the Robbers

Saturday, October 11, 2014

No Complaints!

We eagerly saved and planned for this renovation, so there is no point at all in complaining about it. That said, I will, for the record, say this:

1. It is annoying to have to turn off all the lights in the basement whenever I microwave anything so I don't blow a fuse.

2. Having to journey from the basement to the attic--three flights of stairs--every time one of the girls needs to use the bathroom is tedious.

3. It is unpleasant to wash dishes in the laundry sink which is usually filled with dust and paint chips raining down as they work on the kitchen above.

4. It is dusty.

5. It is a sad fact that I actually enjoy eating and (semi-)cooking in our makeshift basement kitchen than I did in our "real," now-demolished kitchen.

That is all.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Let the Renovation Begin!

A post by our guest blogger, Andrew

In February, 2012, Margo and I went to visit our first house with our new realtor Maggie in Maplewood. We had taken a few trips out by ourselves and gone to some open houses, but this was the first time we were really serious about things. We’d looked online and emailed  Maggie a few listings that had caught our attention. At the very end of that first email we included a link to a house that was well over our budget and that appeared to need a ton of work. But it was charming and old with lots of character -- all things Margo and I prize above most everything else when it comes to houses -- and so we wanted to see it. I included a comment to Maggie that said “Way over budget, but this may be our dream house.” When we arrived out in Maplewood, it was the first house on the tour. “Let’s see if we can get you the dream,” Maggie said.

We pulled up outside the house for the first time, and somewhere deep inside us, both Margo and I knew we’d end up there. The family who had lived there had moved in in 1968, raised their family there, and clearly had a love for the place. They had not, however, done much updating. The basement was partially finished and appeared to be straight out of the 1960s. The bathrooms were even worse. And the kitchen. My god, the kitchen. Linoleum floors, no doors on the cabinets, refrigerator jutting out into the doorway, a stove that must be 60 years old. Margo and I walked around the house in a daze. “It’s over budget - by a lot,” we said. “The kitchen and bathrooms all need to be gutted - that’s a lot of money,” we continued. “That siding on the outside is horrible.” So we left, shaking our heads, and went to see around 20 other listings over the next few weeks.

But the house had worked its magic on us, and we were smitten. Then they lowered the price. Then we made a low bid. And then it was ours.

There’s little doubt that we knew what we were getting ourselves into. We had bought the Boo Radley house (or, “the worst house on the best block” if you work in real estate). But its charms were many: lots of bedrooms, an old wood-paneled library added on in the 30s, a big lot with a circular driveway. We moved in and couldn’t believe our luck.

We quickly set to planning the renovations, though, and realized that the budgets would be big. We wanted to start out slowly. “The second floor bath has to be first,” we said. But the third floor bath also needed to be done, and it was directly over the 2nd floor bath. “Okay, so the two baths first.” But then the real pain point seemed to be the kitchen, chopped up into a small kitchen and an unusable breakfast room. “Ok, then kitchen first,” we said. But the baths were directly in line over the kitchen, so it wouldn’t make sense to do the kitchen without doing the baths.

By the end of it, we’d decided to wait and someday try to do it all at once. That day was this past Monday. The total project now encompassed:
·         Third floor bath
·         Second floor bath
·         First floor half bath
·         Kitchen
·         Mudroom addition

We’ll chronicle the renovation from start to finish. While perhaps not as interesting as Margo’s Barcelona entries from the origins of this blog, your guest blogger Andrew will attempt to bring all the joys and frustrations of this 3-4 month (we hope!) project to light (including lots of pictures). The demolition began on September 29. More soon.


Thursday, October 09, 2014

New Hampshire: September

Our trip to New Hampshire the last weekend in September seemed doomed. Andrew had to unexpectedly go to Mexico the week we were planning to go, and our renovation was scheduled to start the Monday after we'd planned to return. But somehow, we made it work. We drove there Friday morning and returned Sunday night. A short trip, but refreshing and reviving as usual. Continuing our trend of pick-your-own, we took the girls apple picking on Saturday, which was so much fun. Both girls love picking fruit, and there were plenty of apples within reach; it didn't take long at all two fill two large bags. Then we tasted some apple cider (and hard cider, for me and Andrew). Next up will be pumpkin picking later this month.

We happened upon a rummage sale--yay!--on our way home from the orchard, and I picked up a great elephant tent for $2.50. The girls played in the tent with their My Little Ponies for most of the rest of the weekend. They even ate some of their meals in it. We spent plenty of time at the pond, and took a wonderful nature walk through the woods. At one point, the girls found a "fairy forest" and commenced collecting and playing, and Andrew and I sat on the moss- and leaf-covered ground and just enjoyed the quiet of the forest. So beautiful. The leaves there are just starting to change and fall. Marking the seasons this way--with a trip every month or so--really is just so lovely.

Of course, every trip we take to the house brings some new creature encounter. This time it was wasps. There are always dead wasps on the windowsills, and small half-built nests in the eaves, but this time wasps were everywhere, flying (slowly) through the house, gathering on curtains. Andrew got stung as he tried to clear wasps from Lucia's window.

We finished off the weekend with dinner at Pizza Chef, and then drove home. It was by sheer will that we managed to make the trip at all, but I'm so glad we did. It was good to have a few days of peace and restoration. The day after we got back, the crazy began: our renovation.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Baltimore Weekend

At the invitation of some friends, we headed down to Baltimore a few weeks ago to spend the weekend seeing Andrew's family and ostensibly celebrating the 100th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. We didn't do too much to mark the occasion, but we did pack a lot of visiting into one weekend: drinks with Maplewood friends who moved to the Baltimore area this summer; Molly and Luca, who came in for a morning and afternoon; Andrew's parents and family friends; and even Andrew's sister, in town for a bachelorette party. It was a great little getaway.

When Luca and the girls were together, Molly and I were amused that despite the presence of all the "tall ships" in the harbor and other entertainments, the kids were solely focused on the sticky hands given to them by the hotel staff. They threw them again and again at the doors of the aquarium.

Letter to Lucia: 58 Months / 59 Months

Dear Lulu,

Your last letter as a four-year-old! Insanity. Five is right around the corner, and you're ready for it. I'm extremely late writing this letter, and delinquent with the last letter, but no matter. I'll keep it brief so I can do a proper one for your birthday next week.

The biggest milestone this month has been the start of school, your last year of preschool: Pre-K 5's. This is a big change. You go every day from 8:45am till 1:30pm (Fridays you come home at 11:45), and it's a lot more school-like than your previous two years. I really see the difference already. You're learning a lot, and you seem so much more kid-like and grown-up from the things you're doing. It's a new school for us, and you made the transition without a hiccup--no hesitation on the first day, and only excitement from that point on about going back each day. You don't share too many details about your activities--getting you to share what you did is like pulling teeth--but you're always happy to go, and happy when I pick you up, and I'm very pleased with both your and Greta's experiences at the school so far.

I think you were as excited as I was about the return of school. We had a great summer--we went so many places, had so many fun vacations and weekends away--but I think we all appreciate a good, structured day. You do miss the pool, though, and ask about it often; you seem sad when I tell you we can't go back until next summer. With winter looming, next summer may as well be in another universe entirely.

Favorite toys/activities: My Little Ponies, coloring, puzzles, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, watching My Little Pony, rainbows

Favorite books: Twelve Dancing Princesses, Hubknuckles (Daddy's been reading to you and Greta at night so I'm a little behind on what books are your favorite! We don't have as much reading time during the day now that you're in school...)

Letter to Greta: 35 Months

Dear Grets,

I'm writing this letter late, but your third birthday is approaching and I wanted to be sure to slide one in before that. It's been a big, big month for you, with the start of preschool. You were so excited to begin--and so excited on your first day, holding a sign that said "First Day of Preschool 2014" for pictures on the front steps, and traipsing jauntily to school with Lucia, Daddy, and me. When we got there, however, your high spirits evaporated, and you clung and sobbed when I left. When I returned, I was told that you'd stopped crying quickly but had a "sad day." Indeed, when I peeked into the room just before pickup, I saw you at the little table with the other kids, who were all having a snack while you stood with the teacher at the end of the table, red-eyed and sad-faced. When the parents came into the room and you saw me, your face gave way, and you began sobbing so heart-wrenchingly that I, too, began crying. Not a great first day for either of us, little one.

The next few times were no better, although I managed to keep my own tears under control. Things have slowly and steadily improved. A few times you haven't even cried at drop-off, and you're almost always happy and smiling now when I pick you up, and you talk about having had a "fun day." Your teacher said you're talking and playing more. I'm confident you'll come to love preschool just like Lucia did. You still seem like such a tiny little baby to me--it's hard to believe you're actually in preschool at all, even though you're the oldest in your class.

Your speech has continued to improve by leaps and bounds. Today, your speech therapist, Emily, told me you're close to not even needing to have therapy anymore--there are still particular sounds you're struggling with, but you'll likely come to them on your own, and she said soon we'll probably take a break and let your natural development progress for a while. Yay for you. You talk nonstop and are intelligible almost all of the time now. Some things flummox you, like "Princess Celestia," whom you call "Princess Ce-yaya." Other things you say are just too, too cute: when you're playing with a family of toys, you'll call the babies "Mommy's sweeties." Too adorable. You also say "I want my mommy" when you're sad or upset, which I find adorable too.

You're still napping for one and a half hours, sometimes two. You usually wake up in the morning around 6:45 or 7. You're no longer a shockingly ravenous eater--you're pickier, and you don't eat as much as before. You're still incredibly tall--other kids haven't caught up yet, and maybe they never will.

Favorite toys/activities: puzzles (you can do 24-piece puzzles and even larger on your own), My Little Ponies, coloring

Favorite books: Teeny Tiny Ghost, Patterson Puppies books, Georgie and the Robbers, Chamelia

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Summer Recap: Misc

A few more summer memories:

Making clothespin mermaids

A visit from Aunt Molly and Luca