Tuesday, April 28, 2009


How cool is it that Rachel wants a "Shaun the Sheep" themed birthday party?  Granted, that could change a number of times between now and then, but how many soon-to-be five-year-olds are Shaun-fans?

Also, Rachel's changed her Mii.  Her Mii now no longer looks like a darker-haired shorter copy of her mom, but instead an African-American girl.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Intentions Made Known

Well, Rachel's been telling for months who she's going to marry when she's older. For a long time, it was this boy whose parents are in our small group. Then for a few days, it was a boy in her preschool, but she had recently announced that he was marrying someone else in her class and that she was going to marry the boy she had originally identified.

We had laughed nervously, not really sure what to say, so we never said much. He was here tonight with his family and as we were breaking up at the end of the evening, I heard some laughter and came in to hear someone else in our small group saying that Rachel had just told the boy she was going to marry him. There she was all cuddled up against him, it was a cute picture, the way she was looking at him. He was trying to ignore everything and focus on his handheld video game, until we all started paying attention at which point he said "Hey, what's that?" and pointed. She sat up, looked, and he quickly slipped from the room.

No big crisis for me about my daughter thinking about stuff like that; at this point she's so little it's still just cute for her, but probably embarassing for him. Serious bonus points to him for not saying anything to put her down. A wise and considerate young man, this one.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

That's Our Girl

"What's a brady bunch?"

Stairs? I Laugh at Stairs!

Yesterday I set Ben down in the living room, then walked into the kitchen to use the computer for a minute. When I got done, I peeked into the living room and didn't see him. I walked through there and looked into the dining room and still didn't see him. I was a little concerned when, all of a sudden, I heard noises upstairs and turned to see him walking out of the bathroom, where Rachel had been, and into her room. The little stinker had gone up 7 stairs to the bedroom level!

He had previously just been standing at the bottom of the stairs and fussing if someone was upstairs and he wanted to be up there, too. Yesterday or the day before I had caught him on the first stair, down on all fours and trying to figure out how to get back down. Apparently it didn't take him long to figure out the rest of it, so we're now going to be employing the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs when he's on the middle level of the house.

There's a door to the downstairs level, and fortunately he has not yet figured out how to open doors. I'm thinking we're going to need a latch up high once he does figure it out, until he's steadier on his feet. We moved in here when Rachel was 21 months old, and she never had trouble with the stairs. So I don't think we'll need to use a latch for a very long time, but we'd rather be careful in the meantime, since it's 11 stairs down to the family room, which would be quite a tumble.

In other news:
- Ben now has his third tooth coming in with a fourth about to break through. Teething doesn't seem to be bothering him to quite the same degree, although we are still giving him ibuprofen pretty regularly. He's also very drooly from all the teething.
- Rachel is up and down with obedience and anger. Some days she does really well with listening and obeying, and other days she repeatedly either tones us out or deliberately defies us. It can get a bit wearing at times, but we know that the same qualities that can make her exasperating at this age can also be shaped to help her be a wonderfully strong young woman as she grows up.
- Rachel had her 5-year-old checkup a little early yesterday, since we needed to make sure she was up to date on shots before Kindergarten registration starts on May 4. She needed FOUR shots, and she was such a trooper! It's hard to believe she'll really be a Kindergartener in the fall, but I think she's going to love having school every day and the things she'll be learning there. It's a really great school that mixes K-2nd grade in the classrooms, so she'll also have the chance to form friendships with and learn from the older kids.
- Ben is such a happy, fun little boy. He loves when we lay down on the ground by him and will lean over to just give big open-mouth kisses and roll around on us. He also, unfortunately, loves to grab onto hair and give it a good yank, or reach out and grab with his fingers, to which the deep scratch under my right eye can attest. Definitely a boisterous boyish boy, and it's been so neat to see how he differs from Rachel when she was a baby. He also has about the best baby laugh ever! One of these days I'll hopefully get it on video and post it here.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Scavenger Hunt

Rachel was out of school all but 1 day last week due to flu, and this week she's out for spring break. As you may be able to imagine, extreme boredom, fussiness and whiness has set in. I had planned to come up with some activities this week to keep her from getting to that place, but her flu threw me off and put me in "just get through this time" mode, so I've been caught unprepared. And frustratingly, it seems like when she watches TV or plays on the computer, she's only fussier afterward when she has to stop and find something else to do. She also has gotten to where she expects/demands to be entertained, although if I can get her started on something, she can frequently play be herself for quite some time. I just have to get her to forget her diva demands and get wrapped up in her imagination.

Last night, I had the idea to put Rachel onto scavenger hunts for things. We came home from an errand this morning, and when she asked if she could watch a TV show, I suggested a scavenger hunt and explained how it would work. She got really excited, and we sat down and made a list together:

  • Something orange
  • Something with a face
  • Something that makes sound
  • Something that's smooth
  • Something purple
  • Something that's furry
  • Something hard
  • Something green
  • Something red
  • Something smooth
I used pens and crayons to draw patches of color, an object that's furry, an ear (to represent sound), and other cues to help her know what each item was since she doesn't know all those words yet.

She just completed it in about 5 minutes flat and wants to do another one. (Actually, she wants to create a scavenger hunt for me to do. Not sure that serves the purpose of keeping her busy.) Perhaps I need to come up with a tougher list so she has to think about it more. But I may be onto something. I definitely need to come up with or find online more games and activities to get her up and going.