Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lane: 5 and 2

It occurs to me every now and then that I'm not doing a good job anymore at writing down things my kids are doing. I don't take pictures often (I think that has to do as much with the overcast days and bad lighting as it does with my simply forgetting). I rarely blog anymore. Life is just in a busy season for us right now. But Shannon is out of town and all the girls are in bed and I wanted to take a few minutes to remember a few things, because inevitably I will forget them if I don't write them down. Today is for Lane...I'll try for Noel in a few days.


Girl, you remind me of myself. You are so stubborn and strong-willed. Still. You're manipulative and you've entered a "sassy" stage and you end up with a drop of vinegar on your tongue quite frequently these days. You want what you want and get a bad attitude if you don't get it. But we're working on that attitude and I have to say it's a welcome change from the 2-3 years of strong-willed disobedience that you gave us. You have grown and matured a lot in the past three years and it's given me hope that we actually can help mold you into a woman who is passionate and strong-willed, but who doesn't rebel against authority. I'm constantly reminding myself that God gave you your personality and that it's not a bad thing for you to be the way you are; but it's our job to teach you when it's ok to push back and when you need to listen and obey.

You love art. Our table is constantly covered in paper, coloring books, markers and colored pencils, stencils, sticker books, how-to-draw books, watercolors and paintbrushes, and so on. Most of the time we've given up on putting everything up at mealtime and just kind of pick up whatever can be easily contained and shove the rest aside. You love to do crafts, anything with glue and stickers. Last week you used the rest of our popsicle sticks and some glue and foam hearts and Hello Kitty bead things and had fun gluing it all together. You are starting to show a little more detail in your drawings, giving people clothes or shoes sometimes, giving elephants nostrils, stuff like that.

You are learning how to read. We started reading some BOB books a few months ago (maybe November?) and you have gradually picked up on basic concepts of reading. You know a lot of basic sight words now and can sound out words if I help you by covering up extra letters and helping you work through the word a couple of letters at a time. You can write all letters in uppercase and some in lowercase, although you never actually want to write them in lowercase (because it's harder).

Playing with Raye.

You are very...active. Borderline hyper, I think. Or maybe you're just a five-year old who's been cooped up inside most of the winter and are itching to run and jump and climb. Yeah, that's probably it. But seriously, you are not content to sit still unless it's for art. Even when I'm reading to you or you're trying to read to me most often you're wiggling yourself into an upside-down position on the couch, bouncing your legs, or so on. Your favorite things to play seem to center around two themes: princesses and kittens. You often combine the two. And you'll play other things, too, but these are your favorites.

In one of your favorite "princess" dresses. This is your "Jasmine" dress.

I'm so proud of what a good eater you've become. We've worked very hard with you over the last three years to make you into a not picky child (when it comes to food). And now you like things that you used to hate (most raw vegetables, cooked tomatoes, cooked meat, actually any meat, really...). You finish your food, usually without complaining. If it's something new that you don't really like you might say that you don't like it, but usually you'll eat without a big fuss. And you feed yourself all of your meals most of the time which was not the case even just this time last year. Your favorite food is still spaghetti. You also really like plums and pomegranates, noodles with just butter and parmesan, pizza, and chicken noodle soup, and you love cheese.

Practicing with a butter knife.

You're a good big sister and are a good helper. You like to help me in the kitchen by "washing" the dishes and "cleaning" the sink. You are pretty good at cleaning the windows with a spray bottle of water and a washcloth. You've recently started vacuuming and you enjoy that. You can help me hang up washcloths and towels to dry. You're very capable now at putting on all of your clothes (you might need help with small buttons), brushing your teeth, and taking care of bathroom business all on your own. You love to make Raye laugh and you enjoy playing with Noel, although you do still really want to be the boss and don't like it when you can't always be the boss. But you also frequently make concessions to let Noel have what she wants, or play what she wants, and we like seeing that your heart is sometimes softened to what others want, as usually you're pretty self-consumed. And that's why you need Jesus.

Lane, I love you so much. It is such a joy to see how much you've grown in the past few years and to see your personality shine through. You love us and seem to thrive on attention. You like to be in the driver's seat, to be in charge, and you like to run ahead of the crowd. I'm so excited to see how you grow and change over the next few years, to see what kind of young woman you become. I pray that you love Jesus with all your heart and that you take the strong personality he's given you to be passionate for him. I love you and am so happy to be your mom.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

10 Months Old

Dear Raye,

This has been a big month for you. For starters, you're crawling for real now, meaning you prefer to "really" crawl over the army crawl. You're getting pretty fast, too. You can pull yourself up to standing and you've started cruising along the furniture. You've also stood on your own a couple of times for just a few seconds.

You've tried a lot of new foods this month. Honestly, a bit of it is "third child syndrome," meaning that I'm not quite so worried about what "they" say you can have. I still usually check the books (sometimes after the fact...) to make sure your tummy will be ok, but I'm not so concerned with only giving you one new food at a time since nobody else in our family has allergies. So if it's small enough and soft enough, you've tried it. You've tried corn and black beans, mushrooms, raisins and dried cranberries. You've eaten casseroles and baked oatmeal, chicken noodle soup, pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. You love bananas and plain yogurt and applesauce. There are actually very few foods that you don't like and I think at mealtime you generally eat more than Noel does, although she has more snacks than you throughout the day. Often when we're feeding you you'll scream for a bite until we get it in your mouth and then you'll be quiet while chewing and start screaming when you're ready for the next bite. You also started drinking water from a cup this month and you're doing pretty well at not letting too much dribble out your bottom lip.

Playing in your sisters' "tent."

You are babbling up a storm these days. Your favorite thing to say seems to be "dadadada" but you also throw in a good bit of "babababa" and general spitting and silly noises. You are dabbling in 12-month clothes, although a lot of your 9-month things still fit. Generally you're wearing 9-month tops and 12-month pants, because otherwise they tend to gather around your knees because they're just not quite long enough to stay down.

You also got some teeth this month. You got your fourth bottom tooth and your first top tooth. It's so funny that you have all four front bottom teeth and just that top middle tooth. Your smile is so cute with all those teeth!

Your favorite place in the kitchen: the napkins and plastic bowls. These end up all over the floor multiple times a day.

You're still nursing and generally I nurse you about three times a day. You might get another feeding in the middle of the night if you're up, but during the day it's three times. You were sleeping all night and doing really well until you started getting all these teeth and now you frequently wake up at least once a night. You love your paci and would probably tote it around all day long if I let you, but instead you only get it when you're sleeping, unless you're very upset about something and then I'll let you have it for a minute to help you calm down.

Lovin' on Noel.

You love peek-a-boo and you love for someone to get on their hands and knees and "get" you, meaning you crawl straight toward them with a big smile on your face instead of away from them. You love to knock over block towers, and you love to pull yourself up on the toy bins in the girls' room and dig stuff out, throwing it on the floor after you've chewed on it for a few seconds. You love to crawl up on Noel's bed. You still chase after the vacuum cleaner. You're hilarious in the bathtub, flipping over onto your belly to crawl around in the tub, getting onto your knees to get toys off the side of the tub, and just in general acting like a little fish. I don't remember Lane or Noel being so crazy in the bathtub and while it's cute, it stresses me out just a little that you're going to swallow huge mouthfuls of water or bonk your head on the side of the tub. But you have fun so I just keep a close eye on you (and usually a hand, too).

Raye, you are such a sweetie. We have so much fun with you and love watching your personality develop. I'm so glad you're a part of our family.