Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Susannah's 3rd Birthday

On March 11th, my sweet, sunshiney Susannah turned 3. Three whole years have passed since the day she was born.  I never dreamed I'd be the mama of a cute, chocolate-brown eyed, curly-haired little girl, but whenever I daydreamed about what my little girl would look like if I ever had one (even back before I was ever married), she always had curly brown hair and bangs, just like Susannah. :)

On Susannah's birthday, we did not do any official celebrating since some of her grandparents were coming over the next evening for her birthday party.  Turning 3 was something Susannah was so very, very excited about because she would get to move up to the 3's Sunday School class at church.  Once we told her this a few weeks prior to her birthday, that was ALL she talked about on Sunday's and about any day in between.  The last Sunday in her 2's class, I happened to glance in the door and saw they were singing "Happy Birthday" to her.  I was so glad to catch that moment in my memory, seeing the special joy on her face.

On her birthday morning, she snuggled in bed after breakfast (a bit unusual for her) and read her very. favorite. Bible. story. EV-ER: David and Goliath.  Oh my goodness, this girl lives and breathes the David and Goliath story.  She has just recently started NOT asking me to read it to her every waking moment of every day, which is a bit of a relief for my brain. :)  We also have it on CD (from The Jesus Storybook Bible) and we listen to that at least once a day. 

The day of her birthday was a sunny, warm day and she went outside to play.  When I went to check on her a little later, I found her perched at the front door relaxed and just watching the world go by. 

I had decided at the beginning of the year to make her a lady-bug birthday cake, as we called her our little ladybug when she was a baby and toddler (and still do sometimes).  She also loves to watch, touch and yes, squish, the little fake, stinky ladybugs that invade our house on warm days. Ugh. She is fascinated with all things creepy-crawly. :)  I was not prepared well in advance for this birthday like I was last year, but the evening of her birthday she and I mixed up her birthday cake.  The next day during naptime I made the frosting and iced it.  I had to think about how to do a ladybug cake without having it "just" a ladybug since I didn't want all that horrid red icing (which tastes bad and I'm sure is full of unhealthy dye).  In the end, this is what I created (I totally cheated and bought a tube of pre-made red frosting so I wouldn't have to mix and mix and mix to get a tiny bit of red frosting!) :

For her birthday dinner menu I made a pork roast, baked macaroni and peas.  My mom and Daniel's parents came to celebrate with us.  When I bought Sylvia's birthday balloons, I looked over their selection to see what I might get for Susannah's birthday the following week. I saw they had a ladybug balloon! Perfect!!!!  On her birthday-party day, Daniel stopped at the store and couldn't find the ladybug balloon!! He asked the lady and she dug through a pile of stuff and found one.  Not the one I saw on the balloon rack, but this one was much bigger and thrilled Susannah to no end. :)  It is still floating around here, as enormous as ever, and still being enjoyed.

I wanted so badly to sew several items for Susannah for her birthday, but the only thing that I completed was a pair of long bloomers for her to wear underneath her dresses and jumpers.  I did get a new seat for her doll-baby buggy mostly put together, and it is now in use and just needs the straps sewn on.  

A few things about Susannah:
3 years old is turning out to be a whole different ride than 2 years old.  We did not have the terrible twos... but 3 is proving to be challenging on different levels as she tests rules, instructions and attempts much more independence than she is allowed.

She no longer says "stoom" for spoon.  She says it the correct way now. *sniff*  Last night, though, she couldn't say "spaghetti" and instead it was "basketti". :)  Horse and oink are still "worse" and "woink".  This morning I made waffles and she kept calling them "wapples" (like apple).

She likes to use a knife if there is any possible way she has something to "cut" for dinner.  Asking for things politely is a constant reminder, but it is paying off as probably 50% of the time asks the right way ("may I ___, please?" or "yes, please" or "no thank you").

She still naps every day, but the first part of naptime is spent sitting on her bed reading and/or singing.  For about a week she was a jack-in-the-box and constantly popping out of her room, or sneaking off her bed and quietly playing while I thought she was napping!  I may have solved that problem by graduating her to 30 minutes of quiet time before I go in and tell her it's now time to lie down and sleep. 

She has a bad habit of having something in her mouth almost all the time.  We weaned her off her paci when she was about 2 1/2.  Increasingly since then, she puts anything and everything in her mouth just to have something in her mouth, blanket, toy, stuffed animal, etc.. Most recently it is her fingers. When she wears her coat she chews on the collar and it chaps her poor chin.

She loves to cut paper with her small child-sized scissors and will spend any amount of time "cutting". I have started to save my junk paper just for this purpose.  She loves for me to cut out snowflakes, or for me to fold the paper so she can cut "snowflakes" on her own.  She also loves to draw and is getting better at drawing things instead of just scribbles.  A few weeks ago I found a picture on her easel of a hill with several crosses on it, proof that she is retaining what we are telling her about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins.  In fact, a month or so ago, we were driving somewhere and passed a hill with 3 crosses on it.  I didn't notice it until I heard her gasp from her seat and say "Mama! Crosses! It's where Jesus died! For our sins!".

She has started saying things in question form, which totally makes sense since we ask her things frequently.  Instead of "I need to go potty" she'll say "Do I need to go potty?" or "Would I like a drink of water?"  It is fun. :)  Asking what does [insert any animal, bug or critter of any kind] eat is a frequent question and she has also started asking what peoples names are... which I'm never quite sure how to answer especially when it's a complete stranger to both of us and the person is right there!  Life in the eyes of a 3 year old is an adventure, for sure. :)

Late last year after months and months and months of trying to train her hair to fall to the side, I ended up cutting her bangs.  In general they still fall to the side, but no matter how much wetting and combing of her hair I did, she would always have the front section of her hair falling down over her forehead like very long bangs (and it grows that way, to the front). I don't mind it and I think she's rather cute. :)  It also doesn't drive me nuts seeing her with hair hanging in her eyes! As for her curly hair, most days it looks the same brushed or unbrushed, and some days it is just wild. She's pretty cute to see when she first wakes up and often has "big hair" as we call it.  Some days she likes to wear bows or barrettes, some days she requests to wear none, and some days she likes to wear "pulled pigtails" which I finally figured out are french braids. :)

She is growing out of her 2T pants and her 3T shirts are quickly getting too small.  I haven't weighed or measured her lately, but I know she is growing!  She eats well, but can take a very long time to eat meals. :)

I am looking forward to discovering who 3 year old Susannah is this coming year.  I love her so very, very much and can't believe she is 3 already, but can't imagine her any other way. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sylvia Turns 1

 This is a week and a few days later, but last Tuesday, March 5th, we celebrated Sylvia's birthday! Oh my, how one year has flown past in a blur!  I can't believe that she is one already and I wonder sometimes if I took enough time; time to snuggle, cuddle, kiss, hug, love, gaze, cherish, pray over her, read, tickle, stack blocks... but unless she is hungry she is a very happy girl, so I think she has a pretty content life. :)

She sleeps through the night very well (and except for a spurt during and following our Christmas travel, always has), usually going to bed around 9pm and sleeping about 12 hours.  Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.  She takes a 2.5 - 3 hour nap every afternoon; she dropped her morning nap between 10 and 11 months.

She wakes up happy and her new thing is to throw her duckie and kitty-cat out of her crib if I take too long getting to her (I don't usually run to get her as soon as I hear her wake up). Her blankie has made it onto the floor once. She wasn't happy that time!

She loves to eat. On. my. goodness.  If there is food in sight, you know it because she is letting you know!  Her very favorite is bread or crackers. If she is in the kitchen and sees a loaf of bread, or a piece of bread, she thinks that she will DIE if she doesn't get to eat it! Her next two favorite foods are sliced, quartered banana and bits of cheese.  She is mastering "chewing" soft bits of food pretty well with her 6 teeth (4 top, 2 bottom). Some meals she is very picky, others she eats well.  For breakfast she almost always gets oatmeal (1/4 c. quick oats with 1/2 c. water) with applesauce and yogurt.  For lunch she usually gets either suitable leftovers that she will eat or - more often than not since she's going through a picky stage - 1/2 to 3/4 of a sunbutter sandwich, up to a whole banana and cheese bits. Avocado is frequently on the lunch menu for a good dose of "good fat".  She used to eat it smashed up, plain, but now she only eats it if I mix it with something else (usually banana).

Towards the end of February she started refusing to drink goat milk (what she was getting in place of dropped feedings). I don't know why, but that's what she did. She gets plenty of other dairy (cheese, yogurt) and plenty of other calcium laden foods, so I'm not too worried.  She hung on to the morning feeding for a while and I let her do it. Mostly because I wasn't quite ready to wean her, it would mean my Sylvia was growing up!  This past Saturday, though, was the last time she nursed. My supply had dwindled to almost nothing and Sunday morning it was a time issue.  She hasn't missed it and I'm mentally adjusting.

On the allergy note, I introduced whole (scrambled) egg to her and she broke out in welts around her mouth. The same thing happened the 2nd time I gave her peanut butter.  So those are two things we're keeping away from her at this time (and why she gets sunbutter instead of peanut butter).  So far she has not had anymore reactions like the original allergic reaction that she had, and I am grateful for that.

After supper, waiting for her cake.

She is pulling up and exploring anything and everything she can get her hands on or get open.  Keeping her out of the cat food & water, cupboards and the bathroom drawers are part of her constant learning.  Crayons and colored pencils are her favorite treasure finds, and as a result some days she has some colorful diapers!

She went through a few weeks of saying "Hiiiieee!" to things and people - including strangers in the grocery store :)  - but that has slowed down.  Her only real word so far is "Mama".  She is learning new signs. "Milk" is a sign that she will use for just about anything she wants, but she also recently figured out "all done" and "please". It is nice to have this level of communication from her before she can communicate with spoken words.  She has started to clap and wave her hands, doing "motions" for the different songs we sing.  Her favorite song to do her version of motions to is "God Made the Mountains Tall".  I can't wait to hear her sing!

She is wearing size 4 disposable diapers and is still in the Medium size FuzziBunz cloth diapers. She wears a few 12 mo. clothes but mostly 12-18 or 18 mo. things, especially for pants or one-piece suits.

For her birthday, I made a chocolate with chocolate frosting cat cake.  She loves our cat and her stuffed kitty-cat, so it was appropriate. :) 

She REALLY liked her cake and her small piece kept her very busy as she licked her hands and fingers for a while, getting every bit she could!

Her first ice cream cone:
a mini-cone with a tiny bit of Raspberry Ice Cream. :)

She liked it quite well after she got used to the cold. :)

All cleaned up and ready for bed.  I love my smiley, happy, birthday girl!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

12 Things

1. Susannah and Sylvia are starting to play together. Sometimes. Occasionally. For this picture they were playing nicely so I went to grab the camera. When I got back Susannah was fussing at Sylvia. I asked her to please stop fussing and play so I could take the picture.

2. I was in Target last week - VERY random because I almost never go there - and saw these miniature ice cream cones on markdown.  If they are a regularly sold item, I think we might be enjoying them this summer!  They are the perfect size for a little bit of "special" dessert, but don't take a long time to enjoy.  (This picture was after Sylvia enjoyed her small piece of chocolate birthday cake.)

3: I actually sold something on Craigslist. For real. No axe-murderers came to scam us (a few may have emailed...). Listed and sold in -24 hours. Since then I have listed another item and am thinking of more things I can list.

4: We have company coming the end of this month to visit for a week.  I'm excited. And nervous.

5: A family of 4 coming to visit for a week is great motivation to finish re-arranging the house.

6: Daniel got the waste plumbing finished on Wednesday, now just the supply plumbing before we can put in the sinks and toilets! Another working bathroom will make a week of 8 people in the house a little easier, I'm thinking.

7: It snowed on Wednesday. Daniel got the day off (a rare thing!) and he took Susannah outside to play and build a snowman.  He learned the hard way to not throw snowballs at Sylvia looking out the window. She cried and cried.

8: The snow is almost all gone. Highs are supposed to be 60's this weekend. I think this may have been winter's last fling.

9: I detest carpet. Cleaning out our old master bedroom confirmed that for the umpteenth time. I will never move into a house while there is carpet in it again.

10: I detest drawers for clothes storage. It is so unhandy and inefficient.

11: I really did not want to wake up at 6:30 this morning unable to go back to sleep.  I think I was afraid we would over-sleep the Craigslist people coming at 8.

12: I started sewing a pair of bloomers for Susannah (for her birthday that is Monday). One word: CON.FUS.ING. Me and my ripper had LOTS of bonding time. Now I just have one leg to hem and want to add some trim. If I can decide on which scrap of fabric to use, I would like to get a 2nd pair made.