Sunday, June 26, 2016

Charlotte: 3 1/2 years old

Hello Kitty hat on my kitty girl
Poor Baby #3, just doesn't get the attention her brothers got when they turned 3.5!

Here is my girl at 3 1/2:
Sweet and exasperating. Very verbal. Funny, energetic.

Charlotte has strong opinions- especially when it comes to picking her own clothes. She likes to pick out her outfits everyday, and gets prety angry when I choose something for her that is "not-so-beautiful."  All clothing is divided into "beautiful" and "not-so-beautiful" categories.  My work dresses (particularly one which has sailboats on it) are beautiful; my running clothes are not-so-beautiful.  Right now she prefers to wear only dresses, even if they aren't functional for all of the climbing and playing she does.
Charlotte in a beautiful outfit of her choosing
Charlotte is strong and agile.  She started ballet in the fall, at her request, and as the year went on, she seemed less interested. It didn't help that Meema (who took Charlotte to dance on Wednesdays while I went to work) wasn't one to urge her to dance when she didn't want to.  They were practicing for their big recital, and according to Meema, Charlotte almost never participated.  At one point, each girl was told to do a "solo." For the other girls, they did a little twirl or dance step... when the attention turned to Charlotte, she dropped on all fours and started meowing.  Maybe she's not cut out for ballet... Ultimately, 3 weeks before the recital in May, Charlotte dropped out of dance for good. I then immediately signed her up for gymnastics, which she loved and attended each week without fail.
Beautiful dress, strong girl
Now that it is summer, Charlotte is having a great time swimming.  She doesn't know how to actually swim, but she is careful and doesn't push her limits. This doesn't mean we ignore her in the water, but she is ready to learn- and I am hopeful that camp gives her a push in the right direction!

Charlotte is verbal and friendly. She just started beginning all of her sentences by saying, "Well...", which has brought me to the realization that I, too, begin many of my sentences with "Well..." or "So," and which is annoying.  Whenever we go anywhere, she goes right up to people, says hello, and begins to disclose irrelevant personal information. I wonder where that comes from...

She remains attached to her Black-and-White Kitty, and her Gray Kitty (used to be White Kitty, but has since had a color change due to years of love from Charlotte). Other stuffed friends come and go, and she shares with her brothers an interest in Beanie Boos. She has 2 Beanie Boo cats- Sophie Kitty and Becca Kitty- and a Beanie Boo raccoon- Raccoonie.

She had a brief obsession with my airplane pillow and asked to sleep with it at night. Until one night she was up way past bedtime and excitedly told Eric that the pillow was "like a gway wainbow!" This was going too far and Eric took the pillow away from her.  She is a pro at bedtime nonsense- luckily I never mind giving her one extra kiss.
With an airplane pillow
Charlotte still sucks her thumb when she is going to sleep, or when she is tired.  She's a good sleeper, but has given up naps at least 50% of the time.  This summer she'll go without naps while at camp, and we'll see how it goes!

She loves to watch YouTube videos of people playing with toys.  She always starts by watching DCTC (Disney Cars Toys Club) and then gets into who-knows-what on there. It is a great way for me to take a shower, cook, clean, etc., and she remains paralyzed while watching.

Her favorite books are anything that has a cat in it- Bad Kitty; Naughty Kitty; Kittens, Kittens, Kittens!  She and I play a game where we meow at each other and she talks in a baby voice and calls me "Mommy Kitty" and I talk in a baby voice and call her "Baby Kitty."  Her obsession with cats knows no bounds.
at the zoo
Like any 3 year-old, she has become more picky with food. She prefers carbs, like her older brother, but will still eat from all of the major food groups.  Yesterday we finished leftover scrambled eggs, which were cold, and she told me she liked them cold better, and could I please make them cold everyday?  Sometimes she likes fruit, and sometimes she doesn't. Sometimes she eats and sometimes she doesn't.  She is definitely getting taller (39" now!) and is healthy and energetic, so I do all I can to keep from fighting with her over food.

3 1/2 years in, and not a day goes by where I don't marvel at my girl.  I still can't believe our good fortune at having her in our lives- it is such a joy to have a smart, strong-willed daughter. I hope her independence and opinionated personality continues on into adulthood. She is beyond my wildest dreams!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Last Day of School

We have reached the end of another successful school year. Charlotte finished her year in Miss Marianne's 3 year-old class on June 2, and the boys finished kindergarten yesterday.

Charlotte's class had only 10 kids in it, and all of them seemed to get along well, and got very close. She was friendly with everyone in her class, and has been invited to many birthday parties and had play dates outside of school. Her teachers were both sweet and kind and took good care of her all year long. Although she always claimed she learned "nuffin" at school, I hear her singing songs I've never taught her, and she knows all her letters and numbers.  She's such a goofball.
With Miss Marianne. She was pretending to be shy

With Miss Jen. Still shy.
 The boys finishing kindergarten felt more momentous to me. It was, overall, a wonderful year. Benjamin is 100% reading, and Asher isn't too far behind. This means that text messages are no longer private, and spelling things to Eric doesn't work. Unfortunately, Eric learned German as a second language and I learned French, so we are out of ways to keep secrets!  Both boys seem to have a grasp of math and problem-solving. Today Eric bought them workbooks so that they could keep up with reading and math over the summer and they sat down to work right away. So far, they have maintained a curiosity and love of learning, which is what makes kindergarten successful to me!
the one half-decent picture I could get
Benjamin with Mrs. Damico. Behind those glasses he is crying.
Both boys made friends and liked their teachers. Benjamin was crying when I picked him up from school- just like me, he hates change and struggles around transitions. This year, the struggle manifested in a minor case of kleptomania (a pencil, an eraser, too many prizes at the dentist's office). He gets very attached to his teacher and routines.
Asher and Ms. Guidetti 
Asher was a model student this year- no disciplinary action was taken at any point. The prior year, his teacher had suggested that I should be a homeroom parent to help his teacher understand Asher better.  It turns out that Asher needs no understanding- he was a joy to have in class and made no trouble at all.
Ms. Guidetti's class, or the portion of class who attended on the last day
This morning, I found this:
Asher had drawn it in a small notepad Ms. Guidetti had given him. So sweet.

Now on to summer- all 3 kids will be going to camp at Camp Magar. I realized that I will be child-free 5 mornings a week- a phenomenon I haven't experienced since before the boys were born. I have grand plans- organize the attic, wash and store my sweaters. We'll see how far I actually get!