the girl is all over the place, in a (mostly) fun way. :) she is interested in so much and when she decides to get interested in a new activity or thing, look out. she wants to learn and try out every angle, and repeat, repeat, repeat until she has it down cold. when she hits on things that i also enjoy its been really fun to be allowed along for the journey into her discovery of it.
(strike a pose in your favorite clothes)
(DIY madonna-esque princess; merida x2!)
(all weather girl)
(sharing her toys; sharing her stories)
(sharing smirks; sharing a blanket)
good picture books: sam and dave dig a hole, the snow girl [leo], the book with no pictures, paper bag princess, just a little critter collection, mix it up!, dangerous [warnes], winnies big bad robot, the misadventures of sweetie pie, recipe for a story, house held up by trees, the doubtful guest
good longer books: my fathers dragon, little tim and the brave sea captain, tales of tiptoes lightly, jenny and the cat club, wonderful things happen collection, the twits, the snow queen, of course polly can do almost everything, little miss treasury, santa and the magic drum, the shrinking of treehorn, treehorns treasure, the unicorn [lilius], the mr men treasury, the day no one was angry, puss in boots and other tales [gallery books edition]
good special interest books: julianas bananas, you wouldnt want to be an egyptian mummy!, killer plants and other green gunk, runny babbit, pink lemonade, creation stories from around the world, A is for art
-at almost 5 years, she can now (sometimes) admit that she is tired. its amazing! never thought id see the day. she said one day 'mom, im not getting sick, but i feel tired i would like to lie down.' what!?
-night terrors. i had these as a kid too. thankfully she only gets them on occasion. ive read it happens most often when kids are over-tired, over-stressed, or are sick. id say thats true. when it occurs, it happens once, maybe twice, within the first few hours after shes gone to bed, so its been easy for us to be there with her. she cries out, sits up in bed, sweaty, just kind of fidgets around or maybe cries out some more in incoherent phrases and then will lie back down if you gently direct her with your hands. if you are going to talk to her, it needs to be in a whisper, otherwise she gets highly agitated and scared. she has no recollection of these things in the morning. in the beginning, we thought she was waking up because she needed to pee, picking her up and taking her to the bathroom is also not advised, she gets very angry and loud and scared. once we found what works for her, she lays back down and goes back to sleep easily, and often thats the end of it. so they havent been that difficult.
-car seat. in february we bought her a new car seat, a booster-style one with full back support. its nice, and super easy to install in european cars, it has this european 'isofix' connection.
-chores. she asked to start earning money for things. there were a few small toys of interest to her on sale at the store so i bought them and told her she could work for them. she can hang up wet loads of laundry on the drying rack all by herself so that was her job. one little character was worth 4 loads of laundry, two other characters were worth 6 laundry loads. she had a goal. along with starting to do work for money, she was also learning how to wait and anticipate, as well as the feeling of being let down when the toy wasnt all it was cracked up to be.
however, after we did chores for money for a while it wasnt feeling like it was the best system for us. i wanted her to be doing work around the house because that is part of helping around the house that everyone in the family will be expected to do as they get older, i didnt want it to be bribed, essentially, to be done. and she was begging more and more to do more and more laundry because she wanted more things. i wasnt going to manufacture fake work just to fund her toy purchasing. so we looked around for an idea that felt better. i cant find the exact article anymore, but in essence, i read an article like this and the advice clicked and made sense to me so we went forward with it.
-she came up with an idea to write to people and ask for things ('please send me a card back' or 'please send a few things that i can work for'. this was when we were still paying for chores.). she sent a picture or two and a 'note' and was very excited to be making future mail for herself.
(this is her typical face when anyone sends her anything in the mail, from a card to a package)
-weve been watching charlie chaplin and buster keaton silent films. its fun to start the sharing of good cinema, and its great to get the black and white stuff in early so that she can also learn to be impressed with and appreciate what you can get from non-color, non-3D, non-CGI movies.
-clothes. she loves changing her clothes multiple times a day. and ive got to say i enjoy her style and hope the creativity sticks around. at one point she gave all her dresses different princess names (this is the 'forest princess' dress, this is the 'grey princess' dress, etc).
-she loves doing puzzles.
-she likes to pretend she is a cat.
-song lyrics/poetry. she enjoys when ive read poetry, as well as the poetry of song lyrics. she often makes me sing a new songs lyrics and read them to her until she knows them. along the way she asks me to explain the 'story' of the song/lyrics. this is hard! the 'far from any road' (true detective, season 1 theme song) was much harder than the disney songs. lol.
-crafts. she loves using glue, scissors, and color to create pictures, hats, masks, etc. all of her own design.
-drawing. she makes bugs and monsters and trees/flowers and people and you can really tell what they are now. she is also much better at staying inside the lines when coloring printed pictures. she has a drawing, drawing, drawing obsession. she also decorates the house with her drawings.
(sample of monsters/creatures)
-writing. she has become very interested in letters and writing. when writing letters she can do many of them without looking at an example of the letter and their clarity is getting better all the time. she didnt learn any letters by tracing.
-spelling. she knows how to sound some words out. ive asked her to spell basic words and she can stop and think about it and get it right (no, go, the).
-math. at dinner one night she started to do math problems. she was telling me '10+10 is 20' and '2+2 is 4' and then '10+9 is 19'. she continued in this vein for several minutes. we talked about 'minus' as well. thats a bit harder i assume. then she went on to '800 is bigger than 200' and '89 is more than 86'. she also has told me 'when [Y] is 4, i will be 8. when [Y] is 6 i will be 10'. she just does it in her head, quickly. i try to ask how she counts in her head, but she doesnt seem to be able to explain it, im very curious though.
-music. i got a toy piano/xylophone from the thrift shop (in mid-april). its just a toy but it can carry a real (limited) tune. it came with 6 songs to learn to play. we showed X the basics of how to read the music and she tried it out. once she got more comfortable we told her a bit more about reading the notes. since then you can really tell the tune she is playing and also she has mostly memorized twinkle twinkle little star.
-knots. she learned with her winter scarf how to tie a basic knot.
-whistling. she figured it out and could not be more happy about it.
-she drew a picture of a bird with two circles with Xs through them down in its private area and little plants at the birds feet. she explained to me that it was a bird who didnt want to let the pee out of his bladder (or penis) because the pee would hit the nettles down below and the sting from the nettles would travel up his leg.
-Y. she still loves him, but sometimes i think her feelings and excitement for him wind her too tight and she doesnt know if she just wants to hug him or actually squeeze him to death. but, overall, he has been so good for her in many ways. mostly, i think she really appreciates having a live-in buddy. someone she is comfortable with and who loves her back. she really looks out for him, is always thinking of new things to show him and dearly loves to make him laugh. and he, in return, loves her to pieces.