25 April 2016

not the terrible twos

Hello all.

I have mentioned to a few people recently that our little Kaylee Hurricane has become Kaylee the Monster Hurricane.  Holy smokes, kids.  She is certainly pushing everything.  Tantrums involve throwing herself on the floor in dramatic flails, grinning at me when I tell her "no" and repeating the offense, picking on her sisters, developing a little attitude...

Again, for the third time, I refuse to acknowledge the "terrible twos."  Guys.  Just stop.  They are challenging.  They are downright hard.  There are days you want to rip your hair our and get a mouth guard from clenching your teeth so hard.  Get over it, parents.  Kaylee is two and such a handful, but guess what: she's two.  She's learning.  She's trying to test out independence and boundaries.  She's learning what is and isn't acceptable.  She's trying to figure out what she can do to express herself and how I will react, and how to tell me what she wants/doesn't want and hates/needs.  She's pushing her sister's buttons intentionally to see what she can get away with doing, and my buttons, all with a sly grin.  It stinks.  It's a super tough time from 12 months-forever, but just stop writing it off on your child as the problem and see the world from his/her perspective, because they are little people trying to live up to expectations they don't know.  (sigh) end rant.  I'll try and remain civil if you use this phrase around me.

At least consider it.

THAT aside.  The kids are great.

Kaylee, while challenging, is also fun.  Jesse and I openly admit to preferring the toddler thing to infant thing, so even with the challenges, we are enjoying this age.  She is smart, funny, and SO talkative- which is a HUGE difference to her sisters and makes everything so much funnier.  I love that we taught them all sign language, but early talking is a riot.  Her dexterity amazes me for a 2 year old, and since she has two older models, she's running, jumping, and skipping in wonderful ways.  She is doing fantastic in undies again (YES!), and finally sleeping better.  Praise.God.  I think I'm only up about once a night with her...the other two still get up with dreams/bathroom runs, but I am actually getting some sleep again!  Whoa.  Fully rested Amber may be scary to turn loose on the world, so get ready.
having coffee with baby on my bed

Emma.  I have talked extensively on this child and how she is so sweet and sugary one minute and the Mr. Hyde the next.  She is rocking 3 and a half.  For as hurricanely as Kaylee has been, Emma has been extra wonderful: helpful, cooperative, sweet, funny...I think behavior is clicking with her, as she regularly asks, "but I'm being good, right, Momma?"  Praise goes a long ways with Emma, and she just beams when she hears it.  She and Kaylee have recently strengthened the bond they already had and just do everything together.  Not that they exclude Lily, or that she's left out, but example: when Kaylee gets up from a nap, Emma is there immediately and just overjoyed, yelling, "KAYLEE! YOU'RE AWAKE! I LOVE YOU BABY SISTER, LET'S GO PLAY!" or something similar.  Kaylee may have been crying 0.5 seconds before, but she will immediately start smiling and giggling and jump in Emma's arms for a hug.  Best thing ever.

Lily.  My sweet and sensitive biggest girl.  She is so smart and tries so hard.  I love watching her figure things out.  I recently realized that because I learn by seeing/doing, that's how I teach the girls, so I really hope that they either learn the same that I do or I pick up what they need.  Lily really has quite the mind and it sometimes floors me.  One day, we were talking about moving (we aren't), and she was so concerned that we wouldn't be able to fit her bunk bed in the van.  We tried explaining that we'd borrow/rent a truck to move everything, should the need arise, and she was happy with the thought of borrowing Michael's big white snowman truck (haha, yes you, Michael Coleman) to move the bunkbeds.  But then she saw the problem that if we had the truck at the new house, Michael wouldn't have it with him, so we literally had to break it down for her that Mike would drive the truck (with the bunk beds) to the new house and then drive himself and his truck home.  The other day, we were in the van and she asked me what 20-5 was, out of the blue.  Being the homeschooling momma I am, we skip counted by 5's to get to 20, then talked about how the 5 before 20 is 15, and then counted down from 20 to 15 by ones to make sure she got it.  She said she understood after we chatted about it for a minute, and then told me that it was the parental code to unlock one of the games on her tablet, and she just needed to know for that.  Clever girl.  I couldn't even be upset, she worked for it.

note- several kid's games have parental locks on everything so a kid can't accidentally buy/unlock part of the app.  Typically, it is a simple math problem like 20-5 so an adult can easily answer but a child couldn't read/know what to do.  Enter Lily. 

Lily took her music box from Uncle Joel and Aunt Kimmy for a show and tell presentation at school and got an about eight 5-6 year olds to sit quietly to hear it play, all by herself.
she bought a beginner sewing kit with her savings from chores!  I'll share the finished product when she's done.

Jesse and I are doing well.  I'm wrapping up a few months of physical therapy I may or may not have mentioned before.  I'm a few weeks out from the Derby Half Marathon in Lousiville and I'm pretty excited about that!  Jesse is enjoying the warmer weather and getting the yard trimmed up and looking better.  We're both looking forward to planting our garden! 

Speaking of our garden, last week was such a glorious family day.  We went to church, kids napped and had quiet time while we got some stuff done...I read a book/napped in the hammock and then when the girls all woke up, we had a fantastic time outside.  Jesse had cleared a path to our creek so the girls could play in it and Jesse showed them the culvert that runs under the road to get to the bigger creek on the other side.  Mixed feelings, but if necessary, it's big enough that Jesse and I could absolutely fit through there also.  You definitely would need to shove me, though.  
Anyway.  Lily and Emma had an absolute ball playing in the bigger creek.  Glorious.  It was so much fun to watch them and not worry (much) about letting them play out of sight.  Kaylee didn't like the mud and panicked over sinking in the mud, so as long as she was on the rocky parts she loved it also.  Lily and Emma found a muddy bank and played for quite awhile in the mud, where Lily also found a baby turtle!  I didn't believe her when she said she found a turtle, but sure enough, baby snapper.  Jesse eventually hosed the girls off, we all came inside so I could give them a quick bath and eat dinner before we finished the evening out with milkshakes.  You'd think with all that playing, the girls would fall asleep instantly, but no, apparently that's not something we'll be doing this summer.

cranky-pants after getting mud on her feet. of course, I squealed louder than she did when I sank to mid calf in the mud, so I think that's what sent her over the edge #momfail
Obviously, I have spent the last week or two working on this, as we had another fun weekend already, but oh well.  Nicer weather is here and we are loving it!