I haven't written you a newsletter in a couple months. I think about doing it every day, I just haven't been able to do it. There is so much to write and so little time. I hope I can do better, but until the days are longer and I have fewer things to keep me so busy I doubt I improve much.
Riley: You are in Kindergarten mode and you love it. You could read a bunch of words before you went to Kindergarten and you have learned so many more since school started. Everyday you're reading bigger and harder words on your own. You use all kinds of context clues to help you figure out the word. I don't have to help you very often.
One of your favorite things to do is to transcribe locations from the map or flag map in your bedroom. You are obsessed with geography. This summer I bought you a map of the United States and we placed a sticker on all the places you have ever visited. Next to this map is a list of all the countries in the world and their official flag. It's common for you to bring a white piece of paper with names of countries written in your sweet handwriting and ask me to read to you what you wrote. Italy. Australia. Romania. Peru. And on and on.
Being a big sister is hard work. Being the biggest big sister is even harder. You're pretty good at chasing them down and wrenching free something they aren't supposed to be playing with. You're pretty good at keeping them out of the toilet when you brush your teeth. You're even good about playing with them and letting them have a turn. I think you were made to be a big sister.
Ella: You may have had a speech delay this time last year, but I think you've more than made up for it. You can say anything you want to. It's not always clear and you sometimes revert to jabbering, especially when you are excited, but you can carry on a conversation.
You are in a stage where you feelings get hurt really easily. I have to watch my tone and make sure not to yell at you too much. When you get in trouble you'll droop your shoulders and start wailing. You have the loudest cry by far.
I'm able to bargain with you. Thank goodness! If you want more chips, you have to eat another bite of sandwich. If you want me to read a new book, you have to put the old book away. Bargaining has made things much easier on me and you're eating more.
It's still hard work to get you to sit down at the table and eat. For the longest I had a little table and chairs in the kitchen for you to sit at and eat your meals. You have never been very good about sitting still and finishing meal. Instead you just run around with food in your hands or in your mouth, making a mess everywhere. So when the little table and chairs weren't working, I decided to try you at the big table with me and Riley. This doesn't really work either. You still get down and run around in between mouthfuls and half the time you don't eat much of what's on your plate. You just will not eat much. Usually what you do try and get in your mouth ends of all over you and all over the floor. Nolan, an opportunist, can usually be found standing next you after he's eaten, either pulling food off your plate or receiving bites from you! You feed Nolan! And Mama cleans up the mess. I know this will end and it really doesn't bother me when you don't eat much. I clear your plate away after everyone is through and if you're hungry later I can't tell it.
Nolan: Little brother. Sweet little cuddler. You are definitely a Mama's boy! You've just started leaning in to get kisses from me and you make the kiss sound. So sweet! You're my good boy.
When you aren't kissing me, you can usually be found harassing your sisters, especially Ella. The fights you two have are epic. There will be hitting, scratching, hair pulling, screaming, you name it. I usually let you two duke it out and you'll both run crying to me. Neither of you can stand it for the other to get to sit in my lap. I just laugh.
You are talking so much, too. You can say outside, ball, eat, bye-bye, Mama, thank you, Ella, truck, Da-da, Paw-Paw. If you can't say it, you can at least communicate what it is you want by pointing, whining, or fit-throwing.
Your favorite thing to do is play outside with a ball. Your favorite drink is flavored water. Your favorite toy is a ball. Your favorite time of the day is right after your bath. You love to help me with laundry. Your favorite food is Pasta Pick-ups.
And so... there is your newsletter for the last couple of months. Life is good. We have more than we need and are extremely fortunate. Most nights when I tuck you all in I think about the little kids who don't have a nice clean bed to sleep in. I think about the little kids who are getting thrown up against a wall for having a dirty diaper. While I'm throwing away scraps from plates that were half eaten, I think about the little kids who are going hungry. As long as your daddy and I can help it, you won't have to worry about those things. We love you more than you'll ever know.