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March 28, 2016 ~ The Day Before A Full Hand

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Almost five

 

This one.  She’s turning five tomorrow.  A full hand.  For a while, she was nervous, scared even, about turning five.  It was a new number, she’d never been five before.  Eventually, she decided she was excited, and only a little nervous about it.  She is always a bit tentative about new things, even fun and exciting new things.  Still a very big snuggler, thankfully.  If at all possible, I really don’t want her to grow out of that.

She’s finally understood that she’ll always be my baby, even though she’s not a baby any more.  There may be a bit of baby fat there, but she’s not a baby.

She’s a sensitive soul, quick to feel big feelings.  One day she’s asking when I’m going to die.  (Nice, kid.  Just because you don’t like quiet time). Two days later she’s crying because she doesn’t want me to die, because I make the best sandwiches.  (I’ll take that, food is love).  She’ll cry if an animal is hurt in a show, or if someone is mean to someone else.  Watching Star Wars with her was an experience, as was Toy Story 2 (and Toy Story 3, and …)

She can count to 1,114 (just ask Stu!) and loves getting math questions right, though she thinks she doesn’t know how to do math. Frustration comes quickly to her, but can easily be banished with a few encouraging words.

I’m very much enjoying watching this little person develop and grow.

I love my peanut.

1 First Year - Ashlin5573231750_2b32df1a10

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August 18, 2015 ~ The Tooth Fairy Came!

New Smile

Teagan’s tooth came out last night. After over a week of wiggling, of anxiety and worry and questions.  It didn’t just fall out, Teagan decided she was brave enough to pull it out.  It was so loose, it was barely hanging on and the new tooth had broken the surface, you could see it waiting.  We were surprised that it didn’t fall out with the gentle brushing or her “swish and spit” fluoride rinse. She was terrified of the suggestion – Stu offered to do it – ten minutes before actually doing it herself.  She had a tooth when we put Ashlin to bed, and as we were closing her sister’s door, she didn’t.

It was good that it was finally out, she had been so worried it would just fall out and she’d loose it – in the pool, while eating, while coloring, while swinging, in her sleep – and then the tooth fairy wouldn’t come.  She worried that the tooth fairy wouldn’t believe us if we left a picture, or if she used an orange pip instead of the lost tooth, or if we/she wrote a note to the tooth fairy.  No amount of explaining would make her feel at ease.

She did swim a little, though spent most of the time at the pool yesterday coloring.  It was hard seeing her worried and not having fun.

Another worry of hers was that people would laugh at her once her tooth was out, that they would think her smile was funny.  We tried to explain that her friends weren’t laughed at, they were envied, when they lost teeth.  Maybe the big teeth looked funny as they grew in, surrounded by baby teeth that were smaller, but it wasn’t a funny ha-ha thing at all.

Having the tooth out stopped many of the worries and anxieties.  Tooth Fairy treats helped.

And seeing her smile when she told me the tooth fairy came, and gave her treats was priceless.  There was a set of legos, with a pirate and a toothy shark, a dollar and two of each coin – quarter, dime, nickel and penny.

What if we can’t find it?

Toothy Shark

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August 10, 2015 ~ Dive! Dive! Dive!

She can run through a sprinkler, AND dive!

This one got brave enough to figure out how to use my hand to get to the bottom of the pool to get a dive toy.  Up until today, she was too scared to even try, even though she already could jump off the diving board, do a cannonball, hold her breath underwater.

She would take a big breath, reach for my hand and pull herself underwater and then down to the floor of the pool.  We started at the three foot part and worked to just about four feet.  Once she got it, she decided it was fun and we had to do it again, and again, and again.

My thrill seeker.

Of course, I don’t have a picture.  :)

 

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August 6, 2015 ~ Wiggle Wiggle!

This one wiggles

Teagan now has a loose tooth. A wiggly one.  She was so excited today at her last day of day camp that she told almost everyone there about it.  As Ashlin (in her twirly-twirly princess dress) and I crossed the parking lot to pick her up, we were told by at least two people that Teagan had big news.  Nice.

She couldn’t wait to show me which tooth, she bounced across the parking lot and into the car.  Sometimes she has such joy about life. Once she was strapped in, I had her show me which tooth – her lower left front.  Exciting!

As we drove to the pool, some of her anxiety started to leak out.  She asked what would happen if she swallowed it by accident.  (One of her friends had a loose tooth that he must have swallowed when eating a strawberry, so fair enough of her to worry).  I told her that I had a picture to prove that she had a loose tooth, and would take one once it fell out that we would be sure to show the Tooth Fairy.  She could also write a note explaining what happened.  I assured her that this would be enough for the Tooth Fairy to come.  If she wanted, we could use a tic tac as a replacement, but I didn’t think it would be necessary. I reminded her that the purple and green Tooth Fairy from the Jack Frost movie knew every tooth and the story behind them, she also could find teeth, they never got lost.  This seemed to help.  A bit.  But she still had those wrinkly eyebrows she gets when she’s worried about something.  Telling her that the tooth probably wasn’t going to fall out today, more likely Saturday or Sunday.  This made her face melt into sadness.  She really wanted it to fall out today.  Today!!

At least she stopped worrying about it falling into the pool.  I guess that’s something.

Eventually, the lure of the pool helped distract her for a while. Splashing is a good distraction.

When Stu got home, she couldn’t wait to tell him about her wiggly tooth.  And she asked if she could not finish her dinner, she was worried it would fall out.  Again, we explained things would be ok.  That she comes from a line of people not swallowing teeth when they fell out, so she should be just fine.

She needed a bit of hand-holding.

I guess this explains why she complained about her teeth hurting when she ate her banana for breakfast this morning.

Ashlin can’t wait for her teeth to start wiggling.  She’s got a few years to go…

Twirly-twirly princess dress

Fancy Handstand

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May 21, 2015 ~ I wind!

Stu and Ashlin finally went out to get her reward for not waking anyone up last week. As they were driving, Stu would call out “flag” when he saw one. Ashlin would then cry “I wind!”  If she saw a flag and called it, she would again “wind.”  Hum. Stu asked and was told “when you see flag first, she wins. And when she sees the glad first, she wins.”  When Stu said that it wasn’t very fair, Ashlin raised her hands, shrugged and said “the rules are the rules.”

Silly goose.  

goof

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May 19, 2015 ~ Six? Six!

Joy of Cake

My baby turned six today.  I’m not quite sure how that happened.  But it did.

She’s turned into such a sweet and loving little girl.  Big girl.  One who is easily distracted by ants, but will give you her last piece of candy or french fry if she thinks you need it.  Or a petal from a flower, just because.  She’s a girl who is eager for approval and is almost always happy to get, or give, anyone a hug.  (We will need to talk to her about this, but not yet.  There’s still time for all those hugs.)

I worry sometimes about how sweet and sensitive she is.  How this could be a weakness, a frailty to be taken advantage of by people who just aren’t kind. I worry that her classmates in future years will be cruel to her because she wants to give the bus driver a flower.  Because she’s nice to someone they don’t believe is worth it.  This will be another thing that we put off, for fear of damaging that naïeve sweetness.  Eventually, she will need to toughen up, buttercup, and learn how to protect herself.

This past year has been a bit rocky, with lots of assessments, and screenings, and meetings, and appointments.  Finally, we have something that is helping Teagan be more Teagan, more focused, more there.  And more sweet.  It doesn’t help with everything, but hopefully, it will allow her to be able to help herself, something that was beyond her young abilities.

She’s become a world class snuggler.  I love that.

And I love her freckles.  And green eyes.  And smile.

Happy birthday to my lovely little big girl.  I can’t believe how far you’ve come.

More: Five.  Four.  Three.  Two.  One.  New.

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May 18, 2015 ~ Dancing, Dancing, Done

Tap Costume

Finally.  Yesterday was the girls dance recital.  Actually, all weekend was the dance recital.  Saturday was the full dress rehearsal, Sunday the actual recital.  (The theme was LOVE).

Teagan had two dances, Ashlin just the one.  In the days before, Teagan seemed fine, a few nerves, but she remembered last year, so wasn’t too concerned.  Ashlin on the other hand, I think was a bit anxious.  She told me in the car on Friday that she was “a little nervous and a little scared, mama.” Oh, my sweet little girl.  I tried to reassure her, tell her that it was normal and that she’d be just fine.  Excellent, even.  She knew her dance.

Waiting is so hard when you are four

Saturday, Stu and I got the girls all dressed, with their dance hair and headed out for a long afternoon.  There was an issue with the sound, so the first few dances and the start of Teagan’s tap sounded like they were underwater.  After a minute of the girls not being sure what to do when they couldn’t hear the lyrics to their song, it got fixed.  Bad cable or something.  They had the girls restart their number, from the stage.  The girls danced well, but were a bit off.  I think it would have been better to have had them walk out again, a full reset.

Since the sound was fine by the time Ashlin went out, one song after Teagan, (which made for a bit of a frantic dressing schedule for me,) the preschoolers didn’t have any sound issues.  However, they had never been on a stage before, and seemed a bit overwhelmed by it.  One girl crowded the teacher, leaving a gap between the girls where she should have been.  But all seven of them did a fantastic job, even though some were scared of it being so dark backstage.

Silly Girls

Teagan seemed to carry over some of the uncertainty from her first number, and danced more tentatively than usual. She kept watching the girl to her right for cues.  We spoke with her afterwards, trying to bulk up her confidence, because she knew her dance, she didn’t need to follow, she could lead.  I think it worked, because Sunday she was much better, more sure of herself.

We ended up watching quite a few of the acts after the girls were done, Ashlin came out and saw her sister’s ballet number (Jesse’s song from Toy Story II, and the girls danced with a doll – so adorable!).  Teagan joined once I got her changed out of her costume.

Sunday was easier, in a way, but harder.  It’s so long, and the girls have to stay in the cafeteria for the rest of the show.  I suppose we could have left early, if they didn’t want to be in the finale.  But both did, so we stayed, while the girls colored and fed and hugged and were generally distracted for two hours.  Most of the other preschoolers left, Ashlin and one other peep were on stage for the finale.  (Although we called them the sunflowers, I overheard one of the other mom’s called them the peeps, so cute!)

Ashlin was so proud of herself, dancing on stage.  All the girls stayed in line and did their act, although one little girl ran off during the number, she was so scared.  Ash noticed partway through, and said to the teacher “we’re missing one!”  Everyone in the audience heard.  I think they were the hit of the show.  I could be biased.

Teagan’s ballet number also got big cheers from the audience, and I think her tap number looked better than the girls a level up.  They worked so hard to get the steps right.  I’m so proud of both of them!

At dinner, Teagan asked if she could use the knife.  We let her, and after a few failed attempts, she was able to actually cut her chicken.  She’s so big.

She has a knife!

We’ll work on holding the fork.  Eventually.

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April 29, 2015 ~ Learning to Dribble

Left Foot!

Last night was the girls’ first soccer lesson.  Staggered lessons meant that both needed to be ready to go at the same time, after having a quick dinner.  Our first time getting ready was a bit hectic – I’ve never put shin pads on anyone, even myself, before.  But we made it, and not too late.

Ashlin hit the field first.  I was a bit worried she would be scared, nervous about doing something new.  But I needn’t have worried.  She saw one of her friends from day care and was off.  She only came over when the coaches sent them on a “hydration break.”

Teagan’s lesson didn’t start for a half  hour, but she saw a classmate walking in as we parked, so she asked if she could walk in with them.  There were two other classmates in her session, and it was so wonderful seeing them interact.

The coaches kept them busy, broke them down into smaller groups to work on skills.  They seemed to be well prepared and organized.  The girls seemed to like them and the lessons.

I do need to have a chat with the girls though.  One of Teagan’s classmate’s mom mentioned that Teagan showed her some pictures of her sisters junk on her leappad.   Oops.  They’re all gone now, but yikes!

Stu was able to get to the pitch in time to see a bit of Teagan’s session.  He ended up kicking a ball around with Ashlin, scoring goals and dribbling away.  Teagan was a bit sad at the end of her lesson and scrimmage that she couldn’t kick with Stu too.  But it was late, they were both cold and tired and I hadn’t thought to pack snacks.  I did remember coats and water!

For a first time, I think we did pretty well.  They both had a great time and learned a lot.  I know I/we’ll be better prepared next week.

Back to it!

 

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March 30, 2015 ~ Ashlin’s On-Going Birthday

Birthday Girl

This little one turned four yesterday. The night before her birthday she was so excited she couldn’t sleep.  She’s been looking forward to turning four for a long time now.  I’m not sure the rest of us have, she was a fantastic three-year old.

Stu and I left her birthday presents at her seat at the table, and she bounced with joy when she saw them.  So excited to open them that she let her sister help her.  Merc and a “Miles from Tomorrowland” shirt made her face nearly split with happy smiles.  Sleeping Beauty Legos/Duplos and a Frozen dress-up trunk rounded out the awesome presents.

I think the past few days have kept her riding a happy feeling.  Saturday was visitsing the Easter Bunny and getting a balloon and chocolate eggs.  She was so brave, after a failed (wouldn’t go up at all) and a supported (with me between her and the bunny) attempt to visit the bunny.  Afterward, she was so proud of herself, telling me that she’d never not get a picture taken with a giant, imaginary and costumed thing (my words, not hers).

Then we went to a friends birthday party.  She had a blast.  That is, up till the moment that everyone sang Happy Birthday to the friend and not her.  It was momentary, she was easily persuaded to be happy again.  The balloons and cake helped.
Today we brought blueberry muffins in for her class as a special (sort of healthy) snack.  Her teacher gave her a special crown, and she was the birthday line leader.  Then there was “chicken on the bone” from the orange store (Popeye’s) for dinner, followed by birthday cupcakes.

She’s becoming such a remarkable little lady.  Still very into snuggles and kisses.  Daily.  Smart, and quick to learn, but quicker to laugh, a deep and hearty laugh.  She still says jamamas, but can write her name.  Her “s” is a bit snake like, and I hope that doesn’t go away soon.  She will tell us when she’s tired, and is a dream to put to bed.  She still has her Billy Idol mouth when she cries, but the tears never last too long. A grudge she can hold a bit longer, maybe half a day, but when she’s over it, she’s over it and wants to kiss and make up.  She is a total sweetheart.  I’m enjoying spending so much time with her.  I regret that I didn’t get to do this with Teagan, though by this age, she was already a big sister.

I’m looking forward to seeing her grow up, though I know I’ll miss my little baby.  I hope she’ll keep snuggling.

Pictures, because I can’t help myself.

Bringing birthday blueberry muffins to school

Someone is very excited to be turning four tomorrow. So excited she wasn’t sleeping when I went up to check on her. #sobig #birthdaygirl #gothefucktosleep

#Merc and the #MilesFromTomorrowland shirt were a hit. Can you see her vibrate with the happy?

She eventually was lured to the #bunny with the promise of fruit snacks. The #chocolate #eggs weren’t enough. #easter #easterbunny #brave #bravegirl

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March 27, 2015 ~ Dribbling With No Hands

Sisters

Save us – save me – now.  Tonight I signed up the girls for the spring soccer program.  Ashlin in a kickstart program, Teagan in the 5/6 which may have matches.  Both sessions are co-ed.

Both girls are excited about it. Each seems to have bottomless energy and a natural talent for kicking, and left-footed to boot. Teagan, true to her blossoming personality, is a bit less sure about it than Ashlin, but she’s still very willing to give it a go.  Even though she can’t understand how you can dribble without using your hands.

I blame March Madness, not Stu’s lack of trying to educate them on proper football.

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