Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ava at 4

So this kid of mine? She is an emotional roller coaster of a child. Happy. Sad. Excited. Whiny. All rolled up into one big bundle of cuteness complete with ridiculously long eyelashes, pouty lips, and the world's most difficult feet to put shoes on. She's a handful. I like her okay though.
Everyday she gets really upset about something trivial, cries, proclaims her dislike for it, then five minutes later gets over herself and starts from scratch. Her mad/pouty face makes a frequent appearance, but she goes back to smiling soon enough. She has ups, she has downs, she makes mad statements that she doesn't mean like: I hate laughing! I hate parties! I hate Bambi! Overall with this girl, everything is exaggerated by about 100.
Ava loves all things Disney Jr, but especially Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Doc McStuffins. Those cartoons remind me she is still a little girl, since the rest of the time her and Alana like to watch other live action shows and movies, like Teen Beach Movie, which must be viewed at least 3 times daily. I know all of the songs by heart at this point.

I used to think that Alana was the girliest girl I had, but Ava takes girliness to new extremes. I cannot remember the last time she wore shorts or pants. All skirts and dresses, all the time. In winter she will just add some leggings under them, pants are for quitters. She is always careful to accessorize, changing her earrings every couple of days, layering on necklaces, bracelets, headbands. An outfit is nothing without the right accessories.
I try to make sure she gets attention, since she is my forgotten middle child. And she makes sure that I voice all of her toys according to her directions, just because she is a middle child doesn't mean she can't be bossy. She loves to play anything girly where she can make the toys talk, so Barbies, Polly Pockets, Minnie Mouse figures, Smurfette and LaLa Loopsies are all frequently on the list. If she can make it talk, she will play with it. Even better if it has some type of house to go with it, because pretending is awesome.

Ava was seriously obsessed with her birthday this year. Every party that we went to the month before (which was like 4 because everybody has a summer birthday around here) she would make a mental note about what she wanted at her party. Can we have cake at my party? Yes Ava. Can we invite everybody at this party to my party? Yes Ava. For my birfday can I have presents? Yes Ava. So we had all of those things, you know, guests, cake, presents. I think she enjoyed them, she's easy to please.

As far as her role as middle child, she is mostly content. She is sweet and loving towards Witten and still tries to play with him, even though he is a wild man and tries to pull her hair and eat her toys. When it comes to Alana her feelings are more complicated. She misses her if she is gone, then fights with her when she is here. She openly challenges Alana's "authority" over her, never quite listening and obeying the way Alana wishes she would. She won't be pushed around just because she was born second.

Although she is dramatic, and crazy, and often whiny, Ava is the sweetest and squishiest lady I could hope for. She brings me home a masterpiece every day from preschool, and so far every picture has been of me and her. That's what she is focused on while she is away from me, making a drawing just for me. That's how she rolls though, mostly sweet with a touch of sassy, just to keep you on your toes.
And now, many many pictures...

Love you Ava Jo!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ava Goes to Preschool

Well. I did it. I sent my squishy girl off to preschool. It wasn't something I really planned that far in advance, I'm not sure I've even come to terms with it still. But once Alana went to school I saw how bored Ava was at home with me, especially when Witten was napping.

So, I called a preschool about getting her in there. School had already started, but preschool hadn't yet. It was full, so they put her on a waiting list and I put it to the back of my mind. I didn't think that a spot would open up, so I forgot about it. Right around the day that preschool started they called me and said that they had a spot for her in their afternoon class. Its not really in our budget to pay the same amount as our car payment for Ava to go to preschool 3 days a week, so I applied for her to be in their scholarship program, but I had to wait and see if she got approved. So she didn't start right away, instead we waited almost a week waiting to hear from them. Then, on the day before she turned 4 they called and said she could start when she was ready. But what if I wasn't?

She went out and got a backpack, and some cupcakes since it was her birthday. She was excited, but since she's equal parts sweet and spunky, she was nervous and resistant. Ava is nothing if not attached to me, but she is also friendly once she warms up to people. She likes to play, and is more willing to play with people after she has met them a few times. So it goes without saying that both Ava and I were a little nervous about dropping her off with a bunch of people she didn't know. She cried a little when she went to bed, but with a little convincing I managed to get her to agree to go, especially once I told her it was pretty much a 3-hour long playdate. That did the trick, the rest of the day she was nothing but excited for her big day, her fourth birthday and first day of preschool at the same time. She even took time to accessorize herself, wearing her matching Doc McStuffins necklace and bracelet, talking about how everybody was going to think she looked so nice. She is girly in every moment of every day.

I took her to school when she was ready, and though she approached it cautiously, she went in willingly. She sized up the room, and after realizing that there were tons of toys and kids to be played with, walked on in like she'd been there everyday of her life. She washed her hands, met her teachers, then walked over to the play area without really even saying anything to me. After all of that anxiety, she was willing to wave me off like it hadn't happened. I hugged her and said goodbye, but was careful not to drag it out, then I left with just Witten and went home. It was weird, and too quiet at my house, and I didn't care for it.
At 3 o'clock Witten and I went and picked up both of the girls, since Ava's preschool is at a church right across from Alana's school, it makes it a little more convenient since they both get out at pretty much the same time. Alana walked in and sized the place up, officially giving it her seal of approval. Ava walked up to me all casually, hugged me tightly, then proclaimed that she had so much fun. She made friends, she ate cupcakes, she played, they had storytime, what's not to love?

Although I'm still not officially ready to send my baby away so much, she is going to kindergarten next year before she turns five, and I want her to be ready. She is sweet and loving and enthusiastic, but she is shy and can be stubborn about doing stuff that she wants to do. She hates getting into trouble though, and if its someone besides me giving her instruction (like her teacher) she will listen every single time without hesitation. The whole point of preschool for my shy girl is to have fun and socialize, and I think she is definitely accomplishing both of those things. I'm grateful that she has a chance to go to something that she can learn so much from, even if it means she won't be home with me forcing me to watch Caillou.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

That Really Snuck Up On Me

Holy crap its Ava's birthday! My squishy lady is already 4! I wasn't really paying attention and before I knew it her birthday was here. I'm not overly sad about it, because 4 isn't unchartered territory. I've done 4, I can do it again.

I started this blog when Ava was just a tiny little nugget of a baby, so its great that I can go back and look at old posts like an online scrapbook. She's grown up so much in the last year since Alana started school, but she's still my little lady and I love her so.

She also starts preschool today, which I have not had time to mentally process, so we'll come back to that one. Let's wait and see how much she cries first, then we'll revisit just how foreign the concept of preschool is to me. She has an August birthday, so really I've only had her home with me for 4 years, now she's ditching me. Alana never went to preschool, plus she has an October birthday, so I had her home with me uninterrupted for 5 1/2 years. I was lucky on that one.

I'm happy to have such a sweet and sassy girl, she really is so nice when she's not whining. Happy birthday to you Ava, I love you!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Life is Crazy, Crazy Good

Its weird how quickly we fell back into the school routine. Wake up, get Alana dressed, feed small people, prevent Witten from throwing away all of our possessions, take Alana to school and try to keep her from crying, come home, clean the things that somehow always get dirty, lunch, school pickup, get David from work, dinner, nighttime stuff and teeth brushing, some sleep, then repeat. I'm tired just thinking about it.

But amid all of the crazy stuff and routines where we sleep, eat, repeat, everyone is happy and healthy and I still have some time to bake cookies and then eat too many of them. This boy doesn't seem to mind the way things are going right now either.

In between the chaos and the What the heck should we have for dinner its 4 o'clock and I haven't decided?!!! everything is pretty good. We even have time to play in the sprinkler and water the grass I've worked my butt off trying to grow.

Witten is a big fan of the yard, especially if there's water involved, so he tries to make time in his day for a little bit of splashing around.

In the near future Alana will be starting soccer, which is a first for our household because I often avoid organized sports like the plague. That will add to some busyness. But also increase her tiredness, so it cancels the first part out.
Its also highly likely that Ava will be going to preschool. I don't really want to pay for her to go to preschool and just play, so we are waiting until we find out if she got a scholarship and can attend for free. If its free, bring it on. If its not, she's stuck here with me and can wait to learn the things until she goes to kindergarten next year. She has an August birthday, so she will go to school about two weeks before she turns five. She's already talking about it, and its a year away. Crazy girl. I never sent Alana to preschool, but she had been five for like a year before she went to school. I wasn't too crazy about the idea of sending Ava either, but she's bored at home with me and Witten. He takes long naps in the afternoon and she has no kids to play with, so school would be good for her.
Waking up early with my dude who thinks 5 am is a great time to get up makes my day a little longer, but he won't do that forever. Someday I'll be telling him to get up, then I'll get him up at 5 for a little belated revenge. Till then, I wait, and watch him sleeping.
This summer has been good to us, and it will be over before I know it. So excuse me while we stand in the sprinkler with an umbrella and pretend its raining.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Conservative Cake Smasher

On Witten's birthday (which was like a month ago, I need to get my crap together and post stuff earlier) I made him his own little cake to eat and well, smash. When I set him down on the floor he was intrigued, but turns out my boy doesn't care to just dive into a cake. The whole time he just took small little tidbits of the cake, at the most he got one tiny handful. When he was finished he wasn't really even dirty, he just had a few crumbs on him and a little frosting. He looked cute though, so I'm fine with cleaning up less cake.


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