Oh, we made it! Kendall is finally 4 and she is fabulous! She is not perfect, but she is so stinkin' cute, polite, helpful, funny, imaginative, and all around delightful. These traits outshine other normal kid stuff that rubs us the wrong way. The threes were tumultuous for all of us, and we can now see our bright and happy future again. I think some of what contributed to Kendall's "challenging moments" was all the change that we had going on this year with moving. We are finally feeling settled in our new house, have reestablished routines and she can sense the permanence of our life now. Plus, it's summer! We are more relaxed in general, have a lot of fun things going on and that makes everything in life feel great! *Sidenote: Kendall threw a ROYAL fit today when we ran out of time to go to the park (because she never ate her lunch) so I guess it's not all rainbows and unicorns, yet! :) HA!
Kendall grew a full inch since we moved in in April and is almost 39 inches tall (23%)! She is weighing in around 30lbs (10%) and is wearing 3 and 4T clothes (primarily pajamas all day long). She'll still nap most days. At the very least we always ask that she takes a "quiet time" and plays or reads books quietly for about an hour. She loves to eat bagels or cereal or pasta (the carbs, it's how she keeps her long and lean figure!). Her favorite fruit is bananas and her favorite vegetable is baby tomatoes or bell peppers. She is a sweets-a-holic and tries to convince us to give her treats and dessert for every meal starting at 7am every.single.day! Going to Starbucks and getting a petite scone is the ultimate treat. Eating with Kendall is a SLOW process (has been since her first day of life). Luckily we now have an eat in bar in our kitchen and she takes her sweet time and I can be doing all my kitchen duties and continue to feel productive.
She loves to have playmates! She is always soliciting our attention to her "games". She likes to direct scenes and tells us what to say and do. It's frustrating when Kyler crawls away and doesn't play just the right way, so he often gets the roll of the dog or cat. Occasionally we'll find her lost in her own imagination playing happily with her dolls. For her birthday we pooled money with family members to buy a nice outdoor play house and she is in heaven. She just got it on Wednesday and already it's been various kinds of stores, a home, and a pool. Almost daily she asks us who can come over and play with her. Luckily we have a few little neighbor girls so if we can, we send her out to find a friend to run around with for a bit to satisfy this intense craving she has to be with friends. (I don't blame her, I love my friends too!).
Kendall took a few swim lessons this summer to build her confidence in the water (it was July when she started putting her face in the water). Now she's had almost a full summer to practice her water skills and it's amazing to me the growth she's made. She is a total fish! She usually wears goggles and floaties and gets around perfectly without our help. When she takes them off we need to stay close because she poops out pretty quickly. But when she isn't already tired she can swim from the pool stairs to the wall without us. Usually it's just her little head bobbing across the pool, but she is actually moving forward. I'm excited to see what another summer does for her strength and endurance in the pool.
This girl used to LOVE the outdoors. We spent a tremendous amount of time outside in the beautiful spring we had. Then she went to a baseball game that ended with a hail storm. Ever since she's been terrified of all weather. We'll be outside and all of a sudden she starts to panic that the tiny little white cloud in the sky might turn into a giant rain storm and we're all rushing to get inside while she is crying. Things started to get better and then we had 2 crazy wind storms that knocked down trees and power lines. During the second one we were in the backyard collecting her scooter and covering the sandbox when we actually watched a giant pine tree split in half and land in our common area. This didn't ease her anxiety. So our inquisitive 4 year old has been non-stop curious about wind and electricity. We probably have 1800 conversations about those topics daily. "Mommy, why do trees fall down?" "Mommy, do you think that tree right there will fall down from a wind storm?" "Mommy, when we go home will the power be on still?" .... We are hoping for a very mild fall and winter to build the safety confidence back up.
One of my favorite things that Kendall just started showing interest in this summer is writing her own name. I've tried a few times to get her to do it, but it was just in July that she began asking how to write all the letters. Back in May her "signature" was "KLL" and she'd only write that if we prompted her to. Now she writes her name multiple times on EVERYTHING! It's pretty cute and has that sweet toddler-ness to it and I know won't last long. She's always been interested in coloring and drawing pictures but they are really starting to look like real things and people and she takes the time to color in the lines and add details like fingers and hair and occasionally eye lashes. She continues to be obsessed with"reading" and sleeps with about 15 books in her bed. Some nights she is still up looking at all her books or "reading to her babies" when we go to bed! She is very excited to start preschool this fall and I totally think she is ready. Last year might have been hard with her stranger shyness we still see from time to time.
Some of Kendall's funny quotes from the past few months:
-"I have a question..." (then she gives about 500 statements)
-"remember when..." (and out of the blue recalls every stinking detail about something that took place 6 months ago, like how mad I got at her when she let Kyler have an open sippy cup of milk in the car and he spilled it everywhere.)
-"Hey guys, I love you."
-""When I go to preschool can I still live with you guys?"
- "How did God plant the seeds for all the trees in our common area if he lives in my heart?"
"Can daddy's friend Clark be my babysitter when you guys go on a date? He can just fly here real quick, ok!"
-"Mommy, do you know why I'm always hungry at bedtime?" "Is it because you don't eat all of your dinner?" "No, because I just want to stay up late and be sneaky like you and Daddy."
-"My daughters need some more bottles, can we go to target?"
-"Thanks for being so polite, Mommy. I know about polite cause I'm 4 now. Don't worry though, I'll still be a big sister."
-"Daddy, there's no golf courses in heaven. God told me in my heart." "Well, that makes me sad. How will I play golf in heaven?" "You'll have to come down from the clouds." "What do you do in heaven, Kendall?" "Oh, just talk to Jesus and eat pizza. "
-"Mommy, I need to talk to you about something. Why do some scones have frosting and some don't?"
-"Mommy, you probably wouldn't be changing so many diapers if you squeezed Kyler over the potty."
-"Kendall, I know it's time for a rest because of the fit you are throwing." "I'M NOT THROWING A FIT! I'M THROWING TOYS!!!!!" And she is SOUND asleep within minutes!
The birthday girl woke up at 3am! She couldn't sleep because she was soooo excited about her birthday. This is the first year that she really knew what to anticipate about birthday celebrations and she couldn't contain her excitement. She crawled in bed with us for the rest of the night. I occasionally love extra snuggles like this. Later I was reflecting on her actual BIRTH day and remembered that we went to the hospital around 3am...it was just Kendall's little way of remembering too.
Our birthday muffin tradition.Grandma and Papa were in town and joined us opening family gifts after breakfast.
She helped me set everything up for her party. We had build a snowman, frost a snowflake cookie, eat a frozen heart strawberry, make an icyblast bracelet, and thaw a frozen Squinkie game. It was a very hands on party.
Kendall and I made tiny crowns as party favors (out of toilet paper rolls).
Squinkies being rescued!
maker and packed a bag of ice too (but it melted!).
the playhouse! With Papa and Grandma's help.
y blasts with the leftover cooler ice!