Saturday, August 2, 2014

Grace AnneMarie - 21 Months

The last few months have been super busy, Frank's school ending, VBS, a month long vacation, etc., so this post is going to encompass 3 months of Grace's life from April 2 - August 2. 

Sleeping - One nap is going well.  She usually goes down for it just after lunch and sleeps at least an hour and a half, sometimes longer.  I have moved the older girls rest time to start around 1:30 and end at 3 so the quiet time in the house is a little earlier.  If Grace is up by 3:30, I'll get her up (and it is rare that she is still sleeping then, but it has been known to happen).  For about 2 weeks in early July (so 20 months old), she would wake in the middle of the night and just scream off and on for an hour.  She showed no symptoms of cold or physical ailments (other than another molar coming in!) so I was reluctant to give her anything.  She was fine during the day other than being tired.  It eventually went away but it was a little annoying to say the least!

Eating - Did I mention that Grace loves ranch?  Well in addition to that being a food group in her mind, all other condiments, especially guacamole and sour cream are right up there in being enough to fill her belly with.  She was a great eater during our vacation.  We went blueberry picking 2 weeks ago and she ate her weight in blueberries which was great, except for the waste products associated with them!  She also loves peas, because they too are balls and she enjoys saying what they are before eating them.  Grace does show some signs of wanting to use a big girl cup and insists on having a fork at every meal.  She doesn't always use the fork but she wants to have one just the same. 

Play - Gracie loves balls to hold and roll; babies to wrap up in a blanket and feed; kitchen toys to bang on; (certain) books to read (her favorites are Go Dogs Go, Anna Karenina, Sense and Sensibility, Usborne Touchy Feely, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom).  She isn't too interested in the book if it isn't a board book and she generally doesn't stick around if her older sisters are being read a book that is "too big". 
Speaking of babies, she LOVED being at the Langehaugs with baby Zeke.  She just burst into giggles everytime she saw him and each time I carried her upstairs from her room to the main part of the house, she reminded me there was a baby up there. 
She loves playing with her sisters and they are really all super sweet to each other about 90% of the time.  She enjoys having Mama and Daddy around to sit next to and regularly calls us over with "Mama seat" if she wants some company. 
With all this running around this summer we haven't done much solo play but we'll get back into it soon.  She has been required to sit and listen to Bible story on the rare day we get school in and I have tried to give her a few activities to entertain herself but honestly she'd rather do what Rebekah is doing and Rebekah would rather have Grace's activity so I guess it works out. 
EVERYTIME I turn the water on to do the dishes this girl is pulling a chair over to "help".  She loves playing in the water and yes, it takes more time to do the dishes with her "help" but is a sweet time and I love it.  Plus, someday I have a vision of sitting down with a hot cup of coffee while she happily washes the dishes and sings songs of praise :)
She still loves to play peek-a-boo and dance with her sisters.  She loves "If You're Happy and You Know It".  The "horray" part is her favorite!

Skills - Grace has been doing very well swimming with her floaty on.  Out of the water she climbs on everything and has very little fear.  The girl loves to play with shoes but not actually wear them.  She is a stereotypical southern child and takes off her shoes to play outside every time she can get away with it. 
Her potty training, which we started the week she turned 18 months, is going well.  It took about 2 full weeks for it to click with her but she did eventually get it.  At this point I would say she is "potty" trained, poop trained, not so much.  I am going to have to start doing some hard decision making here as far as consequences for this because I am tired of soiled pants :)  She does love practicing to take her pants and panties off and on a lot!  Grace's favorite color is blue.  That is the color she can identify most readily.  She is happy to repeat the names of other colors when we say them but she usually declares them to be blue when we ask her for her own answer.  She enjoys picking out her own clothes and I think it distresses her that she has so few blue clothes!

Well, I am sure there is plenty I forgot but that is why we also make the videos of them every month and unlike me, Frank is on top of his responsibility there!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rebekah Joy - 3.75 Years

Rebekah is 3 1/2 years old now.  She is just the most joyful jubilant little girl.  She has a bubbly personality and gorgeous hair!

Sleeping - We've gotten to the point where I simply ask if she wants to sleep or play during rest time.  Some days she will sleep for an hour and either she will wake up on her own or I will wake her and then on other days she choses to play.  Occasionally on those "play" days she will get tired and turn the light off and go to sleep.  I basically let her do what she pleases, it is only an hour and a half and sleeping even for a few days in a row does not seem to be affecting her wake up time in the morning.

Eating - Still a great vegetable and fruit eater.  She has been eating a great deal lately, I think she might be going through a growth spurt!

Skills - Learning all her lower case letters!  This girl is amazingly smart.  She is also improving on her scissor skills.  The Ribbon Dance to This Little Light of Mine during her recital was so classic Rebekah.  She is so passionate and has the best time doing things she considers fun and singing and dancing to cute songs in definitely on that list.  She memorized the books of Bible in order during the summer while driving up to Grandma's house. 

Play - Rebekah loves pretend play.  She is so cute and she just adores playing dress-up, making stuff in the kitchen.  She loved the "Would You Rather" questions from our vacation travel as well as Peter and the Wolf and Tortoise and the Hare.  She is always Tortoise and in Peter she and Faith are usually the hunters.   She still loves her Kanga and was thrilled to see one and pet a baby wallaby at the Co Springs zoo.  She had the best time with Brock playing dress up and making a mess in the mud. 

Random -

88 is Rebekah's favorite number.  Allison is her favorite name. 

We were at Walmart one day and after I asked for some help from an employee and we were walking away she declared "His skin is brown so he does not know Jesus".  I quickly explained to her that our current ministry happens to be with people who mostly have brown skin but there are plenty of people with white skin who don't know Jesus either and some with brown skin who do.  From a 3 year old perspective, I can totally see how her mind took her to that conclusion but I was thankful for the opportunity to correct her perception when no one else was around!

She loved eating the wild plums and feeding the cows at Grandma's house.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Faith August - 5 Years!

5 Years, wow!  Faith loves playing "house".  She also will usually chose to stay with the younger set of girls (3 of them who are between 3 and 3 1/2)  within our little circle so that she can be the Mama or at least in charge of play whereas when she plays with the older girls who range from 7 to 10, she is not in charge and that isn't as appealing for her!
Specs -

Sleeping - Still sleeping well at night and having a good time during rest time

Eating - Faith does well here and always tries something new but rarely likes it unless it is a new dessert.  When she loves something (mac & cheese, pizza, marinade meat, sausage pasta) she eats it until her belly is about to burst. 

Play - Loves playing w/ Grace and being a teacher to Grace.  Loves pretending to be Ms Kelli and leading Children's Choir

Skills - Great ladybug catcher.  Great at ballet class and tries so hard to do it well.  Pouring milks, emptying plates from dishwasher.  She continues to do awesome on her bike. 

Education - Doing awesome with her phonics and Bible verse memorization.  She isn't too keen on doing school all the time but each time she learns a new spelling rule, it is exciting for her!  Enjoys making her own readers in LOE.  Anything we can act out or use manipulatives for is awesome. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Grace AnneMarie - 17 Months

This girl LOVES shoes.  She is constantly putting on her big sisters' shoes and walking around the house in them.  It is pretty cute :)

Sleeping - We are down to one nap as of this month.  She, like her eldest sister, just ceased being able to sleep in the afternoon if she got any kind of morning nap so I knew it was time to be done.  I was a little nervous about the transition but she did great and it only took about a week to get longer than a one hour nap in during the afternoon. 

Eating - Grace LOVES ranch dressing.  Seriously, she loves it.  She will simply lick it off whatever veggie I've placed it on.  She also loves other condiments like sour cream and guacamole (Danielle's recipe, of course) but ranch is her favorite. 

Play - Grace loves her sisters, everything about them, including just their presence.  On Thursday afternoons we have a Daddy and one daughter time.  When Grace's day with Daddy came due, I took the other girls to the store.  Frank said she spent their Daddy Daughter time walking over to the garage door asking for "Mama" and "Sissas" wondering why she'd been left behind.  In the mornings and after naps, Grace's favorite activity is to hug each of her sisters.  It is so endearing. 

Grace waves at everyone.  Literally, she just flashes that smile and waves at everyone.  She also gets irritated when her wave is not returned or acknowledged by fellow shoppers at the commissary or wherever we happen to be.  It is so sweet and really there is nothing more validating than being waved at by a cute baby :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grace AnneMarie - 16 Months

This is the cutest little girl.  She waves at everyone - literally, she thinks she's Miss America and really with that smile, who could argue.  She actually gets irritated when people don't wave back if they are doing something like working or not looking directly at her when walking through a store.  I am not complaining of course, I love having a happy and outgoing baby! 

Sleeping - Going well most of the month but in the last week she's stopped sleeping well (or at all) in the afternoon) so I am thinking that she is imitating her eldest sister who did the same thing when ready to drop her morning nap.  I am giving it a few more days to make sure but I think the morning nap is about to come to an end.  She is still happy, even if she doesn't sleeping in the afternoon and the highlight of her day is hugging her sisters first thing in the morning and after naps.   Of course now I am late in posting this and for the last week she has slept both naps with the first one starting at 1030 and the second at 1430.

Eating - Grace discovered ranch dressing this month and has decided it is like manna from heaven.  She LOVES it.  She also enjoys most condiments: guacamole and sour cream specifically.  I am sure she would happily make a meal out of any of these. 

Playing - Everything her sisters do, Grace wants to be a part of.  This month she has specifically loved playing ballerina with her tutu and the Usborn Ballerina Book & CD we've been listening to.  She loves stacking toys, even just using the plastic cups makes her happy.  Solo play is going great and she enjoys just about all her toys in there.  I've been trying to ensure that she gets time to play outside with her riding toys and pushing her stroller around before we go for a walk as it occurred to me that her sisters going for a bike ride and me pushing her in the stroller doesn't give her much exercise.  She seems to like playing on those toys for about 10 minutes before she is ready for the stroller :)

Skills - Grace is a climbing crazy kid!  She loves to climb on everything and for the most part does a great job and has also learned to go down the slide on her backside.  She is learning to use her spoon very well, of course there is still a little mess but she enjoys it :)  Grace is identifying several body parts, head, ear, tongue, mouth, belly, nose.  Her speech isn't too well developed yet but I know she can hear and understand me so I am not too worried about it.  I have begun to be purposeful about singing to her during diaper changes and she really responds well to that.  After a week of Row, Row, Row Your Boat she was so cute in imitating the R sound. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Grace AnneMarie - 15 Months

Sleeping - About half way through the month, Grace's morning nap started increasing in length and her afternoon nap was suffering for it.  So, I pushed her morning nap to begin at 1030 and that seems to have corrected the issue for now. 

Eating - She has started learning to use a spoon with yogurt, oatmeal, and some thicker soups and really enjoys using it.  I was trying to feed her yogurt one morning and she just cried the whole time although she loves yogurt and was obviously hungry.  So, I tried handing her the spoon and a giant smile extended across her face and I knew she just wanted to be a big girl. 

Skills - Grace is learning to point to body parts: head, ear, nose, mouth, and belly.  She is also learning the M sound so she is beginning to say "Mama" which is just heart melting. 

Play - Because of her nap being pushed back she has now joined us for the first half hour of school which is calendar time and worship time.  We call her the Dancing Queen but also she becomes a little Drama Queen, putting her face on the ground as she is trying to make herself cry after some perceived injustice.  She is the cutest little dancer and she loves it!  On Laundry days she loves being pushed and pulled around in the laundry bucket.  Balls have been incorporated into her list of loves which also include the dog and dolls.  Grace had her first snow day (here in Alabama!!) but wasn't all that enamored with it once her hands got cold, Mama should have put her mittens on!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faith August - 4.75 Years

Sleep - Same as normal.  I've been trying to give her more stuff to keep her mind engaged during her rest time and she seems to be enjoying it.

Eating - Remains a great eater although not as adventurous as Rebekah, she does love food and sometimes surprises but she always asks for more fish but never for more kale :)

Skills - Faith's favorite Christmas present was her new bike.  She never tires of telling people that she has a new bike without training wheels.  That balance bike that she rode for a year was totally worth it.  Within a half hour she was riding her new 16" bike without any help.  After an hour she was starting and stopping all by herself. 
Her awesome phonogram skills continue and she has completed another book of cutting a pasting the pictures in after reading the words.  Her handwriting is improving.  Incidentally, something I've learned about her is that learning the strokes for her made much more sense when she saw what letter that stroke was going to turn into. She needs to see what it is she is doing, that her time as a purpose! 
She is doing great at ballet and loves going to the classes.  We have moved to another studio and now she gets to do tap dancing and is super excited about that. 
Her coloring has started to be more deliberately within the lines and she is enjoying it more.
She continues learning her Russian and does well at it.  I need to start speaking with her more during the day so she can really learn it!
Faith did a great job singing in the Children's Choir Christmas musical; she was an angel (literally!).

Play -  Faith loves to dance around the room, either to the music we play during worship time, or to the stuff she is just singing to herself.  In addition to the bike (which she wants to write all the time) the girls were also given a set of magna tiles and that has been without a doubt the best toy they've ever gotten.  Frank plays with it just as much as the girls!  Faith enjoys making a magna-tiles house for Rebekah's Calico Critters Kanga family.  She also continues to love her baby doll but loves Grace more and continues to play Mama with her.  It is so sweet the way she talks to her sister (except when she is coming to knock her magna-tiles tower down).  She just loves Grace.