Kate, of course, turned 4 on Monday, and really has been seeming older. Maybe since she's been sick all week, she hasn't had energy for 3-year-old style tantrums! She grew a few inches this fall, to 41 inches, so her 3T pants were highwaters. Some fun facts about Kate:
- She wants to wear her leotard all the time at home. She has two and especially loves "the one with the hole in the back" (a circle cutout). I call her my "slippery fish" when she's all spandexed out.
- She loves to play games, and we have recently discovered "cooperative games" from Peaceable Kingdom (oh, how that name fills our liberal hearts with joy!) They are so fun because you work together to achieve the goal, rather than each player for him- or herself.
- She is an interesting combo on the PK-stereotype-spectrum. She can certainly be naughty (even went through a phase of saying a certain four-letter word occasionally!) but also has such a sweet, Christlike heart. She's told me lately how she "loves everyone," not just our family and friends but everyone on earth. The one exception she noted to that was Maleficent, the villain of Sleeping Beauty, because she becomes a dragon. We talked some about loving our enemies.
- She's more into the "princess" thing than Matt or I would like, but I take heart that she doesn't really even know their names. She got both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty dolls for her birthday (from school friends--family seem to know we're not into that) and she refers to them as "the blue one" and "the pink one."
- She's more or less over Elmo and the Sesame Street gang, and has moved on to Dora. Again, I'm not so into the "character" thing, but compared to princesses, Dora is pretty tolerable. Even the tween-Dora that marketers have developed lately is pretty wholesome, when I stop and think, "Yes, at age 12 or 13, this would be the sort of girl I'd love for her to be."
- She has learned some Spanish from Dora and other sources, and some French from Fancy Nancy and another book we have. She can say "un, deux, trois," and a few other words in French, and tries to remember Spanish words she's heard by asking me "How does Jose say ______?" Jose who, you ask? Why, it's No-Way-Jose, of whom she learned at school or someone else who likes to say, "No way, Jose."
- She loves ice cream and often asks for a Daddy-Daughter-Date at Sweet CeCe's (fro-yo) or McDonald's on the way home from school. Sometimes we eat at Applebee's on gymnastics nights (kids eat free on Tuesdays!) and so she's very fond of them. (Next Tuesday, IHOP is offering a free short stack, so we may go there before gymnastics!)
- She loves reading Fancy Nancy books, and learning big ("fancy") words from them. She gets four "things" at bedtime (if she doesn't lose a few for disciplinary reasons throughout the day), and while board games are often a few of the four, Fancy Nancy is often the book of choice, at bedtime or earlier in the day.
- She knows how to write almost all of her letters (still needs help with Ss, Zs, and a couple others) and loves to spell and write all our names, plus her grandparents and classmates.
- Very new fun fact: when she makes up pretend names (such as, for students in her new schoolhouse playset that she got for her birthday) they sound very Scandinavian: "Inga," "Amba," "Sida," "Poobah," "Buddha," etc. "Alla" has been her imaginary friend for a few weeks now.
|Accessorizing, Fancy Nancy-style, with friend Natalie.|
|Making a pine cone bird feeder, in her leotard, of course.|
|At gymnastics one night, stork-stand on the beam.|
Claire is 15 months today. She wears a size 3 diaper, size 12-18 mos clothes, and a size 4 shoe. Here are a few of Claire's favorite things:
- She loves to eat. I say this every time. She's still living up to her "hungry, hungry hippo" nickname. She still nurses during the night (1-2 times) and sometimes in the evening as a pre-dinner appetizer. She especially loves bananas, tomatoes, and lots of other things. There's not much she won't eat.
- She also likes to "eat" crayons, so we have to watch her with those. She also likes to stick them (and other stuff) in her ears. We'll have to watch this one. With Kate, we were more worried about her leaping off something and busting her head open. Claire's more subtle.
- She loves to close doors. My mom says she needs to follow my dad around to close cabinets and closet doors after him. I enjoy this perk too, except when she closes herself into a place (like my dark closet while I'm in the shower!) and can't get herself out.
- She nods yes to just about everything (so agreeable!) and says "Whoa!" to anything interesting.
- Her clearest word is "Daddy," but she also says "ball," "kitty," "Kate," "eye," and "cheese!" (not the food, but the smile-for-the-camera). She's getting better with "Mama," but usually it's part of an indecipherable wail for my assistance. Speaking of which...
- She still wants to nurse a lot, which I'm theoretically fine with, but I'm starting to think it's less about the milk and more about the sucking, which means even weaning might not break her addiction to "the human pacifier," as we call me. We've even tried to give her a regular pacifier, and she won't have it. She goes for the boob when she's distressed about anything, the same way Kate would grab for her paci to calm herself down.
- She does fine at school or with other people if I'm not around, but when she realizes I'm in the vicinity, suddenly only I will do, and she cries "the ugly cry" if I can't take her right then. She clings to my legs while I'm making dinner, follows me to the bathroom, etc.
- She is due for her first haircut. Her hair is very straight, so it just sticks out all over if not just-washed and carefully combed down. So for school, we generally do two pigtails to keep it tamed. We have an appointment for her first trim tomorrow. No more Rod Stewart hair. Or Dudley Moore--I don't actually remember Dudley Moore with this haircut, but it definitely reminds me of when Monica tells Phoebe,"I said Demi Moore, not Dudley Moore!"
- She has the best laugh. It's like this wicked cackle, straight from the gut with a big toothy smile. The other night, she was a complete live wire at bedtime, not even wanting to nurse, just rolling off my lap and running across the room, flapping her arms up and down, laughing maniacally! And with her crazy hair, she looked like a mad scientist!
|Hungry Hippo, covered in spaghetti sauce.|
|Charging toward the camera when I try to take a picture.|
|Little piggy-tails. I love them so much!|
I love my sweet girls, each so precious in her own way!