Friday, April 13, 2007

Child by child update

Dana is going to be 5 this summer, which he is very excited about. He's been planning and replanning his birthday party in his head over and over again. The last few months he has really crossed the line into big kid territory. He's still pretty squirly, very excitable, and he still spends quite a bit of time in Dana-land, where Jay Jay, Thomas, and Speed the Queen ;) are his heroes. This year, some of his friends are going to start school, but we are going to wait a bit and try out some homeschooling without the pressure of full school and sitting still. The plan is to do lots of outings with the girls in tow and to nurture his curiosity as much as I can. We'll probably spend some time at the Library each week (which we already do anyway), and make frequent trips to the new park (yea!!), the discovery museum, the zoo, and the aquarium, not necessarily all of them every week. The past three weeks, Dana and Jane have been taking swim lessons at the rec center, which I hope to be able to do twice a year (?). The same rec center also offers non-competitive gymnastics for the same low fee as the swim lessons, so I think maybe we'll sign the big kids up for the Fall. To do all of these things, I have to try to be more organized, but the pay-off is that when Dana is busy, he's less moody and more content with everything else.

Janie is 3 and very talkative. She has a very sensitive little heart and she loves to play mommy to everyone in the house. The other day, as I was leaving bible study at church, I asked Jane to hold Clara's hand, but then I got lost in conversation and didn't notice where they went. While I was talking, they climbed up a little grassy hill between two parking lots and Clara started to walk closer and closer to the parking lot and the road. Janie started wailing, but I assumed she was throwing a fit, not knowing what had happened. When I actually got my hands on Clara, Janie told me that she was worried about Clara. She was afraid something was going to happen to her, and she thought it was her fault. Ouch. This was kind of the capstone to a very emotional morning for her, so she slept hard at naptime.

She drew her first self-portrait today and she was very proud of it. It was pretty nice for her age. I'll have to scan it in for you to see it. My favorite thing about Janie right now is her willingness to help me out. She loves to be mommy's little helper, and I really do need the help, so I know it makes her feel needed. I'm looking forward to that girl-kinship as she grows older and we work together more and more.

Clara is sleeping much better now, with a few exceptions. I'm trying to give her as much protein as she'll eat and less milk, so she won't get filled up on that instead of solid food. I'm also giving her a dose of Benadryl at night for her allergies, which helps her to get to sleep better too. She still stirs and cries a little bit, but she settles herself back to sleep, finally. This week, she's taken off with her vocabulary. She can do a lot of animal sounds and she can say dadn (Daddy), dodn (doggy), kuku (cookie), ge dow (get down), bobo (bottle/sippy), da ku (thank you), yay ;), mama, dana, gamma (grandma), uh oh, buhbuh (her blanket), and wassat (what's that). I'm sure I've forgotten some, but those are the ones she says the most. She's also started the temper tantrum phase a little early, but being the third child she already gets the time out concept, which really helps her chill out. Most of the time though, she's very cheerful and happy to play with just about anything, which is why we keep the bathroom door shut. ;) I also forgot that we're back to the Motherease, due to our rising grocery bills. I bought a few rikki wrap covers and I like them much better than the snap ones.


katiek said...

that pic of jane is beautiful!!

PhillySells said...

thanks for the update, karen.
like little windows into
their worlds.
and your beginning steps into
homeschooling sound beautiful...
you won't regret it.
love you.

Karen said...

Vanessa--I have to say that I feel like I'm copying your every move. It's so nice to have a friend who is doing everything one step ahead of me, so I can learn and follow suit. Especially when that friend is such an incredibly wise and godly mom. ;)

Alison Ott said...

Hi Karen. I'm a fellow St. Elmo resident and was wondering if you could tell me more about the gymnastics class you mentioned. Where is it located and how much does it cost? I'm looking for something for my 4 year old daughter to get involved with and she's really into that type of thing at the moment. Thanks! -- Alison Ott
(you can email me at