10 things about my kids

A list of 10 things about my life with my kids lately, just because I'm in the mood...

Ella, 2 yrs 4 mths:
1. In the last couple weeks, Ella has grown up by about a year. She started refusing her booster seat/tray table at the dinner table, she potty trained, and she is no longer in a crib. I did NOT intend to tackle all these things at once - she suddenly became too cool for a booster seat at the same time that I realized that I must potty train her NOW (our life will be turned upside down in a couple months between long-term traveling, having a baby, and then an international move...so I felt it was now or never). At which time she started trying to climb out of her crib for the first time ever and it became a matter of safety to turn it into a toddler bed.
So suddenly there was a circus act to deal with getting her to stay in her seat at meal times, stay in bed at bedtime, and getting her to use the potty - all at once. Fun times.

2. She will pull her pants down to her ankles as soon as she realizes she wants to go pee - then waddle like that across the house to get to the bathroom. So cute. She also keeps putting her head into the toilet when she watches it flush. Gross. I'm having a hard time convincing her to change her ways.

3. Long story short - I got an unexpected ring on the doorbell last week. Someone was calling for me from over our fence (our whole property is fenced in to the sidewalk), asking if this was my little girl. I opened to the front gate to find Ella waddling around the sidewalk next to the busy street - WITH HER PANTS DOWN AROUND HER ANKLES. Oh. My! I was so grateful for that stranger (and grateful it was a stranger...if you know what I mean). Ella was happy as a lark and said she just wanted to go look at our friend's car. Neither of my kids has ever even flirted with going out our front gate until that day, so I was utterly surprised. Now it is on lock-down from the inside, too.

4. When she decided she had to pee while we were at the park, she just started running waaaaaaaaaay out in the distance to the bathroom all by herself, until she was quite far away and I realized what was going on and ran over to her. She is such an independent, free spirit.

5. I stepped on something sharp at the beach and let out a yelp when it got stuck in my toe. Ella was immediately by my side, hugging me and sweetly telling me everything was going to be okay and that "in five minutes it will be all better". She was so concerned and so nurturing. She stroked my face and made everything peaceful like she's a mom herself.

6.  When I show the slightest sign of irritation, she says "But mom, why are you furious?". I have no idea where she came up with that choice of words. Tonight I was irritated that she came out of her room after we'd put her to bed, and she said "Mom, but why are you infurious? It'll all be okay. Oooooh, you should just be happy. It's all alright.", as she gently stroked my arm, making me wonder how in the world such a sweet creature could ever cause me frustration.

7. She is learning stalling techniques at bedtime. She calls us back into her room for questions like "What do animals eat?" and "What is Willy Wonka doing right now?" and "Mommy, are you mommy?". 

8. She loves to go grocery shopping with me and is the most perfectly behaved little angel every second we are in the store. Shopping used to be the activity I did solo on the weekend while Rob watched the kids, until she started requesting to come. It's like she instinctively knows it is a special privilege not to be messed with, so she is perfection in the store.

9. Every time I put her in bed, she barrages me with a chorus of "Goodnight mommy, I love you, I love you three, I love you infinity, I love you, good night..." - the whole script repeated like a broken record anywhere from two to ten times in her squeaky sweet voice. Even though it is utterly adorable, sometimes I have a hard time listening to it ten times before I am allowed to shut the door when it happens to be after a middle of the night visit.

10. She is my imaginative child, and almost always caught up in her world of make-believe. She designates new favorite friends often, and it can be a cat puzzle piece or an elephant magnet just as easily as a stuffed animal or doll. Her bed is often full of puzzle pieces, pictures, magnets, dolls and stuffed animals.

Michael, 4 yrs 2 mths:
1. He still has the compulsion to get completely nude - socks off and all - whenever he has to do his business. (Is that mean to blog? It's just kind of funny.)

2. He loves games. He wants games, games, games, all the time. He eats up all the math games I make up for him and I revel in the way he lights up and asks for more. I love sharing my love of numbers and my love of games with him. When I was a kid, I used to love making up games and making my little brother play them with me. So I love that he loves games also. (Unless it is Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, in which case I want to hide when he pulls them out. I pretty much always cheat with arranging the cards so that we pick some good ones early on and get it over with faster.)

3. In the last month he is starting to show initiative with helping out around the house more, loving to help set the table, dust, sweep, etc. Which is wonderful and terrifying at the same time. It isn't always easy to let kids "help" when it takes so much more time and energy than doing it myself. I have to paste a smile on my face when I am sweeping and he goes to grab his own broom. At the same time, he is getting better and better and it is absolutely astonishing to think that my baby will soon truly be contributing to an orderly house. Nah...could that really be?

4. He loves to perform. We had a primary program in sacrament meeting at church last month and he was a ham, clearing his throat and reading some of his lines in a silly way. He asks every week now when he will get to perform again. Not a shy bone in his body.

5. He likes to rate everything on a scale of one to ten. He handed out an 11 for the first time to a friend's house who has an arcade. He told me that I should build one for him, and said "if I had one then I would play it every minute of every day. Can we get one, please?" Poor kid put the nail in his own coffin with that statement. He obviously hasn't yet learned the subtle art of negotiation.

6. He still goes wild when we go to the beach and rolls around in the sand like a madman.

7. He loves us to read chapter books to him before nap and bedtime, which has made reading to him so much more fun. We recently read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory twice because as soon as we were done the first time, he immediately wanted to read it again. It was so much fun to reread this childhood favorite with him and watch the movie together. It is so much more fun to be the mother of a four year old than a baby. I think I would have been better off when Michael was a baby if I'd had four-year-old Michael with me then also.

8. He still sucks his fingers, snuggles his bearsuit, and wears a diaper at night. There is a pretty stark contrast of how old he acts in some ways compared to things that haven't changed since he was a baby. I've tried a lot of different things with the night peeing and haven't had much success. I haven't even begun to try to get him to stop the finger sucking at night because it feels impossible and I dread it.

9. When he dances, he is all over the floor like a break dancer.

10. He is fearless on his bike. There was a high curb with a little chip in it, which he decided to treat like a ramp (not even close) and tried to ram his bike right up it. Of course he crashed, but he didn't really seem all that deterred. He is going to be a blast to take mountain biking in a couple years.



November Rain

Rain is so much more fun when it can run down your bare skin and feel good. I so love our warm climate. My kids love playing in their rain boots and were so stoked for actual rain to play in with them. These pictures remind me so much of my own childhood in southern California.

Nothing to do with this post. Fairy Ella.


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