Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Everyday stuff

About a gazillion times a day, I think, "Oh, I wish I could write that down/take a picture of that/take a video of that so I could remember it forever." Because these are precious times, as we are often reminded when others face tragedy. So while I have a few minutes, I'll capture a little bit of everyday life these days.

Luke has really changed recently as he approaches 3 years old. His language has developed and he can actually argue and tell you explicitly why he is throwing a fit. He's a passionate kid, that's for sure. He loves his siblings fiercely, but unfortunately the way he communicates can be frustrating to them: whatever they are doing - he wants to do it. Just. like. them. If one of them brings home a new stuffed animal? He has a meltdown until he can have a turn with it, then he begs to sleep with it/eat dinner with it/play games with it/take it in the car/take it in the stroller, etc. And the whole time the birthday kid (or the preschool student who got the animal as part of a class project) is fighting and crying because Luke won't take turns with THEIR animal. It goes on for days usually until the owner gives up and moves on. Then Luke moves on, whatever is their next interest. I understand that this is the biggest demonstration of love and is completely age appropriate.

Lukey Loo also:
- love his friends Landon, Frank, and Maggie
- loves his grandparents (although he gets all of their names mixed up)
- refers to a smaller version of anything as "The Lukey Loo" (i.e. the half gallon of milk is the Lukey Loo milk while the gallon is the Mommy milk.)
- still fluctuates between completely potty trained one day to constant accidents the next.
- gives Anna random kisses as he runs by at full speed, stopping to insert her paci if she is fussing.
- loves watching the 1960's Spiderman cartoons on Netflix.
- everytime we sit down to eat, he says, "Hey Mommy, guess what? I went to Katy's school today!" He started saying this after we were all talking about our days at the dinner table. Now he says it so frequently that Brian teases him by saying, "Lukey guess what? I went to Katy's school today!"


David is sweet, wild, and so proud of his accomplishments. Teachers from the elementary school came to do a home visit because he is entering kindergarten. They brought some early reader books, the most basic level, and sat down with David to read them. To my surprise, he was able to read them! He was SO proud of himself - reading those books over and over to anyone who would listen over the next several days. Recently he's also been proud of learning to pump his legs on the swing and follow instructions to put together Lego sets.

He also gets so excited about things and does them passionately for several days. Currently he's on a watch kick. He's wearing his watch 24 hours a day, constantly reporting to me what time it is, checking to make sure that it matches the other clocks in the house, etc. We watched the Kentucky Derby this year, and when it was over both boys disappeared into the playroom. Brian said, "Watch, they are going in there to get play horses so they can play horse race." Bingo.


I think Anna might be my best smiler baby. Every time you look at her, she smiles. And lately she has started laughing to, especially when she's tickled or when someone else laughs.  I also think (knock on some wood, will ya?) that she's been overall my best sleeper (after a rough start the first couple of weeks). The others have all had major setbacks in sleeping when they had to be taken out of their swaddlers. But she? First night out of it, she slept straight through, and she still isn't rolling over, so that's sleeping on her back! God bless that little thumb of hers - such a great comforting tool. I LOVE my finger-sucking children! So at this point, she's going to bed sometime between 7 and 9pm (I wish it were more consistent, but it varies based on naps) and getting up one time to eat most nights. But I can rock her for a few minutes and lay her down awake and she goes to sleep without crying (I really can't leave the other 3 kids unattended to rock her for 20 minutes anyway). Naps are all over the place, but I know that's normal for her age. Usually there's one long one in her crib at some point during the day.


I asked Katy if she wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday, and I could tell she really wanted to, but she was afraid of the pain.  On her birthday, she opened a box of earrings from us and looked confused. I said, "Have you ever heard of clip-on earrings?" She was beaming. My favorites are these little cherries. I totally had a pair of cherry earrings when I was little.

First grade has brought with it so many "big girl" types of things. She got exposed to Taylor Swift during the school talent show and came home and borrowed the CD from Aunt Mel. At first I cringed at the thought, but then after listening together for awhile, I can jam with Taylor. She's not a bad first exposure to pop culture. Even the boys know the words to some of the songs.

I've also been so pleased at how she has made some really nice friends through school, several of whom live close by. I remember being disappointed at the beginning of the year that all the kids/families that we knew from last year seemed to be in different classes. But I didn't realize that 2 really nice families had moved in over the summer and another one with TWIN girls lived right around the corner and I never knew it. Now...the challenge is that Katy desperately wants to play with friends pretty much every hour of every day. She begs and begs me to set up playdates. And I do, but setting up one or two a week is about as much as I can handle. That leave 5-6 other days that she's begging and crying and begging for playmates. It would be ideal if some of these girls lived across the street or in the backyard so that she could just run and knock on their door to see if they want to come out. But we don't have that. We've had a lot of conversations about deciding to be happy on days when we can't have friends over. Deciding not to base your happiness on whether you have playmates. We've made lists of all the fun things you can do without a friend. I'm a little worried about long summer hours ahead. But I'm hoping she'll get better with practice? I really think this is the way she's wired, though. I try to make it a priority to sit down and play games with her, but those other 3 kids require constant attention, too... lately I have noticed that she is really upset for awhile, but then she rallies and figures out something to do. So let's hope she can hone that skill this summer.

I'm proud of how she came through this one. She's gotten into reading chapter books at bedtime. I keep telling her that she is always welcome to read if she ever can't find something to do. She also kept saying that everyone (exaggeration) has some kind of device (iPod touch, Kindle fire, DS, etc.) and she reeeealllly wanted one for her birthday. I reeeaaaallly didn't want to give her some kind of gaming device that would just cause more battles for screen time, etc etc. Then Opa asked about giving her a Nook Simple eReader. It's just an eReader - no games, no apps, no access to the internet (and you can get books from the library). Just for reading books, but it's a device. She and I talked about how reading is healthy and playing too many video games isn't healthy for your mind. I told her that there were eReaders that were just for reading books. Two days before her birthday, she said, "I decided that I don't want a device with games on it because it isn't healthy for my brain. When I go to so and so's house, they play games for a really long time." Oma and Opa gave her a Nook Simple, and she's thrilled with it.  I know we'll be revisiting the electronics thing over and over and over again through the years, but I'm happy with the way this one played out for now.

This got long...especially all the big girl issues. Those are the ones I'm working through for the first time so it takes a lot of my brain space. Thanks for reading...

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