Elise's last day of first grade is tomorrow. How on earth did that happen so fast? It seems like just yesterday she was climbing on the bus for her first day of kindergarten without so much as a wave goodbye to us. She was so confident and ready to tackle the world. She has really enjoyed first grade and is sad for the year to end. Frankly, I'm a little sad to see it come to an end too. She has had a great teacher this year, and it has been a really good year for Elise. Also, second grade just sounds so old to me. You're a real veteran of elementary school once you get to second grade... no longer with the babies of the school. How is it possible that I'm nearly the mom of a second grader? That makes me feel old!
Anyway, Elise's class had a picnic on Tuesday and put on a play, Little Red Riding Hood. Elise played the part of a flower.
Nina took swim lessons all last summer. She got to the point of being comfortable in the water, but the actual swimming part never clicked for her. Suddenly, in the last week, she figured it out. She doesn't move far or fast, but I think this still classifies as swimming!
Timing is everything, and I have none, apparently. I walked into daycare today to pick up Addison, and as I walked in the door, the teacher said, "She just fell asleep... as in... I put her in the bed, turned around, and saw you walking up the sidewalk." Once you wake up Addie from a nap to put her in the car, she is awake for good, so that nap was lost forever. Next, we drove over to Nina's daycare to pick her up. I walked in, Nina took one look at me, and threw herself down on the floor sobbing. When I finally pried her out of the fetal position and calmed her down long enough to talk to me, I learned that she had just gotten a turn in the dramatic play center and because I was there, she would not get to wear the pink princess dress. Oh the humanity! I'm not sure what makes that pink princess dress more special than any of the countless pink princess dresses that she wears daily at home, but I clearly put a kink in the plans by showing up to take her home. Long gone are the days when she is actually happy to see me at the end of the day. Lately, I'm just a big kill-joy.
Next time, maybe I'll just stay at work an extra half hour.
All of the girls were born at a teaching hospital, so as a result of that, we've been involved in more than our fair of research studies... both during pregnancy and infancy. Yesterday, I took Addie to a study that was researching how well babies understand numbers. She sat in front of two TV screens that flashed dots of various sizes, shapes, and configurations. As I learned after it was over, one of the screens always showed 10 dots. One of them alternated between 10 and 20. The theory is that if babies can differentiate between numbers then they would be more interested in the screen that was changing than in the screen that stayed consistent with 10 dots. The researcher said they had found that to be true - that babies can very easily distinguish numbers where one is at least double the other, i.e. 8 vs. 16 or 10 vs. 20. They do spend more time looking at the screen with the changing number of dots. While that's all well and good, I have to wonder what one does with this information. Do I run out and start teaching my six month old math using flash cards with dots? I suppose it is an interesting bit of trivia that babies have a sense of numbers. I just don't know what that buys you on the practical side. Anyway, that was how we spent our morning, and you can see her sporting her new, "I'm An Infant Scientist" bib in the picture.... looking like the little mathematical genius that she is!
My girls have no clue how lucky they are. I am a total sucker for the ice cream truck. Seriously, I hear that music, and I'm the one who goes running! They never have to beg like most kids, "Mom, please, oh, please can we have ice cream??? PUHHHH-LEEEASE????" Nope, around here, I'm the one saying, "Hey... I hear the ice cream truck... let's go see if we can find it!" This evening, we were swimming at our neighborhood pool waiting for pizza to be delivered for dinner. The ice cream truck cruised through the parking lot, and despite the fact that it was going to completely ruin their dinner, I ran out there to buy ice cream. It even required having to pry Addie out of her baby float to go out to the truck... and that is NOT an easy feat. Have you ever tried to pull a baby out of one of those things whose legs are so fat that they are glued to the sides of it? Trust me, it is not a simple task, and yet not even a second thought when the ice cream truck is involved. Anyway, it is one of my weaknesses... maybe one day my kids will realize how lucky they are to have the mom who can't say no to the ice cream truck!
One of my favorite bloggers, Dooce, writes a letter to her daughter Leta every month. I always enjoy reading them, and I know some day Leta will treasure them. I love the idea, but trying to write three letters every month would just be setting myself up for failure. I've decided to try for twice a year instead. Here is my first.
You turn 6 months today. It is hard for me to believe half of your first year is already behind us. It has flown by way too fast. You are such a love and delight. I'm relishing in every moment of this too short baby time, absorbing it all, and trying to keep every moment in memory... the snuggles, the coos and gurgles, your sweet little toes, the smiles and belly laughs, the squeezable rolls on your belly and legs, your burps that would make a frat boy proud, that soft fuzzy head, the little open mouth kisses you give, the sheer delight you find in splashing in the bathtub, and even the crying and screaming. It all goes by too fast, and soon you'll be chasing after your big sisters, rolling your eyes at us, and singing High School Musical songs at the top of your lungs along with the two of them. For now, you seem to have almost endless patience with your sisters. It amazes me. Occassionally your big blue eyes glance at me with a look that says, "Mom, what is this crazy sister person doing? Why is she in my face singing like that?", but for the most part, you just watch their antics and sit quietly while they climb on top of you or shake toys an inch away from your face. One of these days, I'm sure you'll figure out that hair pulling is your best defense, but you haven't quite mastered that one yet.
You've rolled over once, but despite the great fanfare we gave your big accomplishment, you have yet to do it again. I'm sure you'll be glad when you can roll on your own though. Right now, Nina likes to roll you, and that's just a broken arm or dislocated shoulder waiting to happen. Let's just say she isn't as gentle as she could be. You're sporting one tooth now with another soon to follow, and you're eating solid foods which I can't shovel in fast enough. Oatmeal and peas must be a delicious combination. You have started attending daycare two days per week. I can't say that you're thrilled to be there, but you seem to like it just fine, and it gives me a chance to recharge my mommy batteries by writing code a couple days per week.
Our adjustment to being a family of five has gone pretty smoothly... not without mishaps, of course (like when I left my car running outside a restaurant while we ate dinner, or when your Dad left you in the car), but overall, I think we've handled it fairly well. You get all the credit for that though. You have rolled with the punches. You get dragged to school functions, swim lessons, birthday parties, the bus stop, and you just take it all in stride. You have a sweet, laid-back disposition. I can't wait to see more of your personality as it continues to emerge.
Nina: "Mom, I found your ticket, and I put it with your papers."
Me: "ticket? what kind of ticket?"
Nina: "Like D's ticket. The one you give to D" (D is our teenage next door neighbor who cuts our grass.)
<thinking...thinking... perhaps D came around selling raffle tickets?>
Me: "What kind of ticket was it? What was it for?"
Nina: "Like when he cuts the grass. You give him a ticket."
AHHHHH... that would be a ten dollar bill. Apparently, the poor child does not know what a dollar bill is. She knows change well since she always seems to have a purse full of it, but she so often sees us paying for things with credit or debit cards that a working knowledge of paper money has eluded her. Sounds like it is time to give that girl an allowance... of tickets, of course.