- Maia is 17 Months Old
- Serenity is Six Years Old
- Donovan in June
- Serenity’s Unicorn Party!
- Serenity in June (and May 31st ;)
It’s a good thing I have monthly updates on my schedule, or I wouldn’t have gotten any journaling done this month at all! And so much has happened!
Maia is seven months now! She has been introduced to solid foods… and is not impressed. The first time I gave her bananas and peaches, her whole body shuddered and she basically raspberried it all out. Just pthbbbbbtttt. It was hilarious and definitely didn’t make me any more excited about the solid food process. I am a lot more laid back than I was with the other two. I’m just mushing things up for her instead of buying baby food and throwing it out like I did for DZ. She’s had bananas, peaches, oatmeal, avocado, peas, and sweet potatoes. She still dislikes the bananas, but she opened her mouth for three bites of the peas! And she seemed to like peaches after that first introduction, especially when mixed with oatmeal. I have given her just normal oatmeal, as well as sprinkling a little of the baby oatmeal on the mushy foods. Jennifer gave her a strawberry at Serenity’s birthday, and she loved that. Jen said she has a tongue thrust, which is why I’m having trouble getting food in her. With Casey they actually had to push his tongue down to help train him not to do that. And my niece had to train herself with tic-tacs not to do that because her teeth were getting messed up by it. So we’ll see. She’s only opened her mouth wide enough for three bites in the last month, other than that I’ve snuck things in. She’s not spitting everything anymore so that’s progress
Maia is starting to try to crawl. She just has that gleam in her eye that tells you she’s thinking about going after things. So far no forward movement (or backward, which is what comes first in my experience.) She can roll all over the place to get places, and she often dives forward from a sitting position to get stuff. She sits very stably now and adores the jumperoo. She has outgrown the swing but I haven’t entirely given it up yet. Hard to say goodbye to our best sleeping friend =)
She has added a few more syllables to her babbling. She says mamamamama now, and she can do N’s. So with her dadada and bam sounds she’s really getting ready to talk! =) So exciting! She also occasionally shrieks which it’s sooo hard not to laugh at. But I think she can tell I’m amused even when I do manage to stifle the laughs so she persists.
She’s still a very laid-back, happy baby. Full of smiles. =) She’s getting a little bit more attached to Mama, which is a little earlier than the other two but not unexpected. Still no teeth. Fine by me =) She only wants to nurse on one side so I have to be sneaky about getting her to use the other when she’s sleepy at night or when she first gets up from a nap. She loves watching her big brother and sister and they adore her. Getting Maia to smile or giggle is a daily activity for them. Serenity really wants to hold her and carry her around, so she’s been carefully practicing that.
She has a few favorite things right now, including the blue rattle with all the beads we got from Gymboree, the cat pacifier, chewing on the Little People zoo animals, chewing on board books, and her Jungle tails soft book that has crinkly sounds and animal tails in different textures. She likes to listen to board books but grabs them to eat them, so I usually start one and then switch to another when she wrestles the first one away from me. Donovan recently made her a toy, a dr. pepper bottle filled with ribbons, that she loves. So we pulled out the one Serenity made Donovan when he was a baby, which was filled with colored paper. So cute!
I am late with birthday favorites this year, but I still want to record them here. This is going to be a VERY long post with monthly pictures of Serenity, her favorite things and some of my favorite things about her =)
Serenity is six years old today. It was a lovely day, full of family fun. When I first woke up I snuck out of the house so that Serenity could wake up to a birthday donut breakfast. Eric moved downstairs so he could hear Maia, which meant I got to go to bed upstairs to wait for Serenity and Donovan to wake up. I love morning snuggles in bed, and though they often get into the blue rocking chair to snuggle with Maia and me in the mornings, this was even better. And then Serenity rushed downstairs to see her breakfast treat! She was so happy! I had put up a few of her party decorations so that it would be festive in the morning, and she was really happy with them. She gave me one of her exuberant hugs where she nearly climbs up into my arms and said, “THANK you Mama, the decorations are lovely! I LOVE them.” I let her decide what she wanted to do with the day. She wanted to stay in her unicorn nightgown all day and play around the house. She spent a lot of time on a new website, but she also wanted to play a few board games with me and Donovan, and she and DZ spent a long time pretending to be unicorns and dogs. Eric surprised us by coming home in the middle of the day. They played dodgeball with our snowball set, and Serenity loved blocking and dodging with her fancy footwork. They used the swing, enjoyed popsicles, and we ordered her favorite cheesesticks from Papa Johns. We ended the day by building a crazy fort doghouse and kitty house for them to sleep in. They filled it with pillows and covers and somehow managed to fall asleep anyway =)
A very happy birthday to my sweet daughter who is growing up so fast! I love listening to stories about butterflies named Rainbow and unicorns named Ribbon. I love that you are intensely interested in any game you see and can figure out how to play them, whether it’s a board game or a computer game. I adore watching you move. You have a graceful, lyrical way of dancing that I love, especially when you dance to Frozen. I can see that you understand the story in every movement. I love watching you read late into the night just like your Mama. I love listening to you giggle and exclaim over books that I adore too, sharing these things with you is such a beautiful, special moment. I love that you plan elaborate games with Donovan. He’s your best friend and your co-conspirator. I love watching you with Maia. You desperately want to pick her up and just take care of her. You laugh and make crazy noises to entertain her if she’s upset. You have such a sweet and helpful heart. You are fiercely competitive, which leads to some tears when you don’t win, but you love to cheer for others just the same. I love being your Mama, special girl, and I am simply amazed by the person you are becoming.
Serenity’s Favorites from year 6
Serenity loves to be Elsa! I think just about every little girl her age loves Frozen right now. We went to see the movie together in theaters and it was SO much fun! She was really scared at parts and she cried when Anna turned to ice, but she has been playing Elsa ever since. She is hesitant to actually watch the movie again, but she listens to the music all the time and has a beautiful dance that she does to “Let it Go.” Let it Go is her favorite song. =)
Dress Up stuff, especially her Periwinkle Dress
Legos: She got her first real legos this year. We did a Lego Advent Calendar every day in December, and she got several Lego Friend kits. She loves building the kits and needs no help figuring out what to do. Occasionally she needed help getting the pieces tightly clicked together, but mostly she could do it alone!
flowers, leaves, twigs
Serenity loves playing in nature. One day last fall I went outside and discovered that she’d decided fall wasn’t coming fast enough. She had pulled every leaf she could reach off the maple tree and was standing on a bucket to get more! She loves it when I prune the trees because she takes the branches and builds hideouts.
When she plays with toys its not often just for the toy itself, usually its a part of her grand scheme. Like she will fill Mama’s closet up with every toy in the house because she needs things for whatever club or adventure she’s planning with Donovan, but it’s more of a collection thing than a toy thing. She loves making nests, hideouts, secret nooks out of cushions, blankets and pillows. She loves jumping off the couch onto those pillows and cushions, or rolling down the slides Eric makes out of mattresses. She uses the couch as a balance beam.
My Little Pony: The whole family went through a serious My Little Pony phase this year. The kids got me Rainbow Dash and Spike for my birthday. Serenity made a Twilight Sparkle for herself a month later, and even got her a stroller to push her around in. We watched the show on DVD, and I made them My Little Pony stick horses to ride and Serenity was Twilight Sparkle for Halloween.
Crafts: Serenity likes to do crafts if I set them up, but when she sets crafts up for herself they usually involve tape and stickers. She loves to make signs. She loves to fill page after page with stickers. She will sometimes even write on her signs now, which is exciting =) And she draws actual things now instead of just coloring or scribbling, thanks to the wonderful Mrs. Foster. She said her favorite craft at school was when they took clipboards out to the butterfly garden to draw what they could see. Then after that she loved Action Jackson Pollock. =) Splattering paint on canvases, so fun!!!
Also added a Unicorn named Silver to her collection.
Serenity has started playing really complex games this year. She plays Dominion with us! Eric and I are thrilled. She really grasps how the cards interacts and does a great job. Eric and I usually give ourselves some kind of handicap, like saying we will only buy Duchies for points, and then we try our best to win. She gets so excited when she has a good run of cards! She would dance in the windowsill and just grin! Another grown up game she’s played a lot this year is Ticket to Ride. We don’t always keep score on that one, but we work to try and complete our routes and she can do it! And she can reroute if someone takes the way she planned to go.
Just last month Eric bought a new game, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles strategy game. Serenity loves it, and they play actual, challenging games. DZ and I went to run some errands and they played four times in a row. She was interested and focused the whole time, and she was a good sport even though she lost three of them, and she wanted to keep playing. Eric was over the moon excited!
For her 5th birthday she received Mermaid Island as a gift. It’s a cooperative game, and so much fun! It led to the purchase of other cooperative games because they are fun and make us all happy =)
Serenity still loves computer time! This year we Carson introduced us to a new app, My Singing Monsters. The whole family was addicted to this for months! We still visit our monsters occasionally, although we have finally slowed down a bit. =)
Serenity also started playing a couple of x-box games. She doesn’t particularly like stressful or timed games, but Eric downloaded Kingdom for Keflings for her and she loves that. And it’s possible Mama played it quite a bit as well. It’s a little like the Sims, or a mini Civilization game, you build houses and universities and a castle for the keflings by building resources and using blueprints.
Serenity still plays all her old online favorites too, Nick Jr., Starfall and Disney Jr.
Serenity has gotten to be a much better eater this year. She will try almost anything, and she even sometimes eats the food she tastes. She will eat salmon if Eric orders it! As far as favorite foods go though, they are still very much the same. She loves Strawberry Donuts, she frequently requests Oatmeal and Cinnamon Toast from Papa, and she loves Chicken and French Fries.
Serenity is still an amazing reader. She even got an award for being a great reader at preschool! She reads chapter books all by herself easily. But probably the most exciting moment of the year for me was that we read the first Harry Potter together! She loved it, and I adored all her reactions. Probably my favorite moment was when she said that in Mirror of Erised she would see herself as a unicorn. Oh, or when she giggled, cheered, and clapped when Gryffindor won the house cup, and then asked where book 2 was =) Loved it!
We did the summer reading program as we usually do, and Serenity chose a really big book from the chapter book section, the Cats of Tanglewood Forest. We started out reading together but she quickly finished it on her own. But I really wanted to know what happened!
She loves reading non-fiction books too, especially science books. She will read her book on the Human Body, or Science Play, or most recently the Exploralab book late into the night. It is a little strange when she asks me to read it for her bedtime story though. Personally I’d read one experiment and then want to actually do it, but she reads it cover to cover. =) She spent several months reading a new National Geographic book about space. She learned all about the planets (and she knows to classify Pluto as a dwarf planet, sob) She knows stars and constellations and actually quite a bit more than I do about the planets moons =) She also reads a chess instruction manual fairly often.
This year Serenity got really good at swimming. She spent the whole year in lessons because just taking a few weeks during the summer was not doing enough to get the kids competent in the water. And she loves it! It was the first activity on her list to sign up for again next year. She can swim all the way across the pool by herself. She can dive, and float, and swim underwater to retrieve rings.
We took an entire year in dance lessons as well. She said she liked her lessons, but there were a few weeks that she’d say she would rather not go. Finally I told her she needed to decide if she wanted the lessons, and if she did then she couldn’t complain about going anymore. And that did the trick. She was doing Jazz and Tap because her friends Harper and Wren from U-school enrolled in that. I don’t think it was her favorite style of dancing, but she did a great job at the recital dancing Mambo #5 and Shake Sonora.
We didn’t take gymnastics lessons this year until the summer session, but Serenity now says it’s her favorite thing again. Her cartwheels are amazing now, and she does really cool things from the spring board. She will run, jump on the board, and then go into a forward roll or a headstand. It’s crazy! She doesn’t like working on the bars though, and she cries occasionally about that. The first week she was crying when Ms. Paige brought her out, and Ms. Paige said, “I don’t know why she’s crying, she was the smallest girl there and she did everything!” I understand though, she feels overwhelmed and thinks she has to be perfect at everything. We talked about how the whole point of lessons is to learn things you don’t know how to do, and she’s working on it. We will see if she chooses to take gymnastics next year how far she goes!
Serenity loves school. Every day she’d tell me she had a greatsome day. The big news of the day was usually who got to be line leader or the caboose =) The days it was Serenity’s turn to be line leader were always the best days! She loves art, computers, and playing with her friends. She always came home with a lot of sand so I know she enjoyed the sandbox, and the day I spent with her at school to bring her birthday treats she showed me how she would climb all over the playground!
I just realized I forgot to journal about Dinosaur Week! The week before Donovan’s Dinosaur birthday, his dinos came to life each night for some silly fun. Monday morning, Donovan found them playing x-box, watching a dinosaur show, and looking at the invitation to his birthday on the laptop. He concluded that they want to come to his birthday party, and said, “Well, they are my friends. I WANT them to come to my party.” They programmed an awesome birthday message on the IPAD. Tuesday he discovered that they had built a huge dinosaur out of legos. Donovan’s reaction… he gave his awesome little giggle and said, “My Dinos wanted to play with the Legos. They’re my best friends.” Wednesday, they got into the play-doh and made him an awesome cake, complete with candles. Serenity added some play-doh to the candle for a flame and we sang. The part he liked best about this morning was that the t-rex got his head stuck in a play-doh tub. Thursday, the dinos got out every single dinosaur and dragon book we own, which led to a lot of book reading with Mama that day. Friday morning he found the dinos tangled in a lot of balloons that were purchased for his party. The pterodactyl was even flying away with one balloon! Saturday morning they were all assembled in his dino garden, wearing party hats and wielding a sign that says “RAWR” which means Happy Birthday DZ in dinosaur. =)
Parenting Win: Tonight, for dinner, the kids chose to eat Triscuits and Whipped Cream. I am awesome. Serenity at least had a little avocado with her first batch of triscuits, before she moved onto dessert Triscuits.
Table Hammock. Pinterest win. I tied a blanket onto our table and it was a very cozy spot to hide out. I wanted one for myself! And then Eric decided he would fit in it just fine and he went for it =)
Ninja Turtle Training. Eric watched a few episodes of the Ninja Turtles with the kids and it led to all-out turtle mania. Donovan had two swords tucked into his shirt all month, at least until he got a turtle shell for his birthday complete with sword loops. =) He loves attacking balloons and walls with his swords and his awesome ninja moves. Serenity likes the ninja moves too =) Donovan is always Leonardo, which sounds more like Leo’ardo. Serenity prefers Donatello, or April.
Building Dog Houses/ Paw Patrol. Donovan has always loved pretending to be a doggie. Well he recently discovered Paw Patrol on Nick Jr. The show is about dogs that also are rescue heroes. There’s a fire dog named Marshal, a police dog named Chase, etc. So nearly every day he asks me to call him Zuma (the puppy that does water rescues). He reminds me every time I accidently call him Donovan that he’s really Zuma. Right now he says he wants a Paw Patrol birthday for his next party. I have to say, it seems perfect for my dog/super hero loving boy =) He pretends the rest of us are in the Paw Patrol as well. Serenity is usually Sky, Maia is Rubble, and I am sometimes Ryder, the little boy who leads the Paw Patrol.