Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back to School!

For all those of you who were waiting with bated breath, Cali made her walking deadline by about 14 hours. She started walking across the room the night before school started. Talk about timing! We're a few weeks into school and she is loving it. I think she's BFF's with both Toddler teachers, which is saying something because she only sees Mrs. K for about 30 minutes a day. Ellie "says" she doesn't like school, which prompted a call with her teacher, just to make sure she wasn't having any trouble. She seems to enjoy all the activities, but we've determined (with the teacher) that maybe she wasn't getting challenged enough. She is beyond typical 3-year-old works mostly, and doesn't nap anymore (unlike all the other 3-yo's in her class), so she seems to be identifying mostly with the 5-year-olds in her class. She's relishing the fact that she isn't a "napper", as apparently they are the bottom level of her preschool class pecking order.

Cali is 18 months old now. She was 21 pounds even at her last appointment. That puts her in about the 25th percentile. She is also in a big hurry to grow up. She's started drinking out of a cup with some success and increasingly less mess. She likes to use utensils when eating. And, now that she wears shoes, she is a little obsessed and seldom wants to be without them. We can see some of the effects of Montessori already in that she is much more willing to put things away. Otherwise, she's still mostly non-verbal apart from "yeah", "no" (mostly by nod), something like "graham" that is her word for all food, "mom", "dad",  and the beginnings of "sister". She has said "bye", but only once (to my parents), so I think she's holding back on us. I swear she also has used "grandma" (to P's mom), but again, only once. She loves music, tries to sing, and is an enthusiastic dancer (aka head bobber). Today she had some sassy little hand moves going in the back seat. She likes pop music and the Frozen Soundtrack songs, although sister introduced her to "Let it Be" today and she dug it too.

Ellie prefers to listen to stories. Right now, we* can't get enough of "Jack and Annie" of The Magic Treehouse books. She requests it constantly. I have several other books on cd ready to go, but I have to wait until I get my phone upgraded as those first 16 Treehouse stories are hogging all my memory. When she does concede to listen to music, she prefers the Frozen Soundtrack (no words), The Barenaked Ladies "Alphabet Song", or now, "Let it Be". At least she's over "Gangnam Style".... She certainly has eclectic taste though :) We've been taking Ellie to a once-a-week gymnastics class for almost 3 months now. She still has to master the somersault, but she seems to enjoy it. One of her best friends is in her class, so that helps keep her motivated. For some strange reason, once she stopped taking naps, she became super active, climbing on furniture and jumping around more. So, this seemed a good thing to try. And, we're hoping it will make her forget her request to take ballet when she turns 4. Although she did mention it the other day. But, I'm pretty sure it's a word her friends at school use and she has no real idea what it means. I showed her some "ballet" (i.e. very rusty 1st position and 5th?) and she just looked at me like I had something on my face.

Cali is pretty bright. She's milking the baby thing, but still managing to get to do big girl things her sister didn't at the same age (hello, crayons!). She plays pretty well with Ellie and will even come up with her own pretend games with little dolls or pretend food. Or, at least she appears to because she has seen Ellie do it. She is attached to her sleeping rattle(s) and drags them everywhere we'll let her. Somehow the spare rattle has made it into the regular rotation, so I'm gonna have to sneak them into the wash separately soon. She has started to drink cow milk instead of coconut milk, although iced water still seems to be her favorite. She also out-eats her sister 2:1 most meals. If I can get her interested in yogurt, I'll need to buy stock in Choboni.

Lately, Ellie has taken to "lecturing" us at dinner based on conversations she and I have in the car when I pick her up from school. See tonight's mini on babies. She thinks the coolest thing about having a baby is that you feed them with milk from your boobs. I have to agree. There's also watching them turn into little people before your very eyes. That's pretty amazing too. Other recent topics have included birthdays and the pollination process of apple trees (thanks Montessori). Apparently, she is shooting for age 14. At that point, she will have just 1 candle on her cake because there would be too many. I had to convince her that maybe 14 was a little early to have a baby in her belly (nightmare!) and that maybe she could babysit other peoples' children instead.

P and I are just trucking along enjoying the girls. I've started a more ambitious fitness plan of yoga, Circuitfit and strength training. It was derailed by a nasty cold after the first full week, but I've been substituting yoga for Circuitfit and hope to be back in the saddle soon. I'm investigating what to do once Cali is at school for longer next year. I'm not sure if I want to go back to school or start working from home part-time. I'll definitely have to get better at managing my time (and my kindle habit). I've been flying through books lately. If you want to see what I'm reading, check me out on Goodreads. With the girls both in school, I've been able to have lunch with P about once a week. It is rare we go out without the girls, so it feels deliciously adult. And, we have some great restaurants :)

P has begun playing World of Warcraft again. He has a double monitor set-up down in his basement lair where he can play while monitoring the water softener and his dueling 3-d printers. On nights he isn't down there, he is in the workshop putting the finishing touches on a solid maple workbench. Next, he'll be working on a learning tower for the girls and then starting on his office furniture for his new office in the new plant. He is a dedicated Crossfitter now. He tries to go 5 mornings a week and rarely gets to sleep in past 8 anymore.
Yes, it is August, but Ellie sleeps with socks - sometimes 4 at a time.

Safety first.

Foreshadowing. Having two parents with bad vision, it's only a matter of time. But, if she can wear cool frames like these....

First full week of school, she fell asleep mid-sentence on the way to gymnastics.

First day of school.

When Ellie's at school, all the things are Cali's!

New rain boots and umbrella by Grandma getting a trial run.

*That would be Ellie. The rest of us are over it.