Saturday, March 8, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
This weekend, we threw a joint birthday party for Elijah and Kirsa, inviting friends for each of them. We did a Snowman theme. There was cake to eat and "melted snowman" to drink; pin the carrot nose on the snowman; decorate a snowman bag and adopt a penguin (with mini marshmallows in tiny cups as "penguin food"); balloons, elephun, presents, and some soccer in the muddy backyard at the end. It seemed like all the kids had fun, so I'd say it was a successful party this year!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
I just love Valentine's Day! And this year, I finally felt like I was able to make it the special family holiday I always envisioned it would be. We had our pretty mailboxes stuffed full of valentines for each other, a big gift from Chris' parents, heart-shaped mini pancakes with strawberry sauce for dinner, Italian cream sodas (which were special but not very tasty - oh well), and a wonderful evening.
Chris and I will go out to dinner in another week, and I had thought we were saving our gifts for then - and I thought I already knew what his gift to me was - so I was totally surprised by a new dress and these darling envelopes full of love notes for the next year! If we get into "love languages", mine is definitely "words of affirmation", so this gift is truly one of the most amazing he has ever given me, and I am so excited to read these love notes a little at a time. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
Friday, February 14, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Elijah is Six Years Old today! Happy Birthday to our amazing, wonderful boy! Five year old Elijah has been a total joy, as he has come out of his preschool gaining-independence years to his school years - starting Kindergarten, learning to tie his own shoes, and taking responsibility for almost all of his personal care and cleanup during the day.
Eating: Elijah remains an excellent eater. Some of his dislikes have become a little more consistent, and mostly are still related to sensory sensitivities, which I think he has had all along but which are very minor. (As a baby, he would gag on chunks of food until he was around 15-18 months old and only wanted to eat purees, for example). He gets nervous with asparagus or celery because he doesn't like it to be stringy, he doesn't love pureed soups or potatoes in any form but he will eat them, and he still seems to dislike most dishes with cilantro.
Other than those few things, he eats everything, anything - and always cleans his plate, asks for more, and then asks for dessert! No wonder all his pants are too short these days.
He drinks around 8-12 ounces of milk a day, and 6-12 ounces of water.
Sleeping: As Chris said once recently, "Only God knows if that child ever sleeps." It's true, we never see him sleeping, or even looking sleepy. When Elijah is tired at night, he gets bouncy. When he's tired during the day, he has meltdowns and tantrums. But we have NEVER seen him looking relaxed, sleepy, or anything pleasant like that.
We did try a later bedtime (7:00-7:30 range) for several weeks this fall, and it was a big disaster, with meltdowns every day. Once we went back to a 6:30ish bedtime, everything improved immensely - he stopped waking before 5:30am, stopped having meltdowns, and got a LOT more schoolwork done. He has always woken around 5:30-6:30 for the day, since he was born, so I guess it may just be like that until the teenage years. We will see about moving bedtime back sometime again in the future.
Our favorite thing about bedtime is that Elijah puts himself to bed. We do stories, cuddles, kisses... and then tell him, "Lights out is at X time tonight" and we leave the room. He is VERY good about turning off his light, getting in bed, and ostensibly going to sleep at the time he is told. This works wonderfully for his bedtimes!
Skills: Elijah has really turned into a school kid. He can tie his shoes, make a sandwich, zip his coat, brush his teeth, make his bed, do simple chores, find his own things, buckle his own seatbelt, ride his bike, help his sisters... he is VERY independent in so many ways, and it's really a big help to me!
He loves to go out in front of the house on the cul-de-sac and ride his bike or scooter. He's very conscientious about taking out his "Caution: Children at Play" sign that I bought, wearing his helmet, and staying within the boundaries I gave him. He gets off his bike to walk it across the street when he crosses, and gets off and stands still whenever a vehicle drives by.
In school, Elijah is really coming along! He is reading at a third grade level or above almost all the time. He has started the second grade math and is flying through it. He really doesn't struggle with anything academically, although his handwriting... well, it looks like a little boy's handwriting. :) He still loves to write though and writes and writes anyway.
He loves to play "animal school" and "teach" his stuffed animals, setting them up like a little classroom. He loves to play with friends, and he still makes friends with anyone and everyone. Friends he plays with the most are Zoe, Luke, and Audrey. At Sunday School, he is very good friends with Emily and Jon. And at public school, he talks about all the kids, but mostly Ryan and Mason, and recently more about Sanai (sp?), a new boy in their class. He still will jump into play with anyone and everyone, no matter their age or anything else about them. He is sensitive and fun and loves to get everyone being wild together!
He has been participating in TaeKwonDo weekly for several months now, but we'll take a break from that when he starts baseball next month. We'll start swimming lessons again later in the spring as well. He's gotten very good on his bike and scooter. And recently he got to "go for a run" with Daddy and really loved that!
And that's really about it! What an incredible kid you are, Elijah - we love you so very much!! Happy Birthday!!
Monday, February 10, 2014
Grandma and Grandpa S came to visit us this past weekend! It has been so fun to have them out here each year in February to celebrate the kids' birthdays (and three of the last six years, it's been the actual birth days, or baptisms). They are so helpful and it is easy and fun to have them around.
The kids had their first Build-a-Bear experience, and I'm glad we went early when it was not chaotic, because it was a lot of fun! Elijah chose a bunny (which he named Little Bunny) and Kirsa chose a multicolored bear (which she named Beautiful Bear). I love love loved the outfit Elijah chose for his bunny - there were VERY few "boy" choices for outfits that were not hyper-masculine-super-hero-fighting-machine sorts of things. And truly it would have been fine if he'd chosen one of those, but I thought it was cute that he passed them all by quickly in search of something he really wanted - these overalls and tennis shoes. As a bonus, he's been practicing his tying skills on Little Bunny's new shoes. (We decided to wait on building a bear with Ingrid until she is old enough to have any input whatsoever, but she enjoyed watching everything!)
The kids also got to open their presents from Grandma and Grandpa in a special birthday celebration just with them. That was a lot of fun. They are really enjoying Ingrid's jack-in-the-box, and the girls got adorable matching outfits for the summer. Kirsa got Little Mermaid toys and real moccasins from Minnesota as well, and Elijah was especially delighted with Brain Quest Math, a Digitz electronic game for learning multiplication, and a setup for teaching "Animal School" to his stuffed animals (I will have to get pictures of that, it is simply too cute!).
It was a wonderful time having them here and we can't wait to see them again!