So much has happened in the past month:
Olivia stopped using her pacifier. She just decided one night that she didn't need it anymore and that has been the end of it! SUCH a change from the traumatic taking away of the boys' pacis! I hope Claire's will go so easily! She has also worn her first french braids! Yay for her hair finally growing!
Claire's first birthday is in 5 days and I simply cannot believe she is about to be 1! She is doing so many adorable things right now, and more every day. I wish I had a camcorder with me every time I am with her so I can remember them all in detail! For some time now whenever she wants to get your attention, she cocks her head to the side and gets RIGHT up in your face, smiling all the way! It is certainly effective, and it makes her laugh and do it all over again! She is into ev.er.yth.ing! The other kids were deterred by the gate at the bottom of the stairs, but eventually figured out how to crawl under it and head up the steps. I think it took them a few MONTHS to figure that out. Claire took about 5 minutes. We started putting stools at the base of the stairs to block the opening under the gate, but she started moving those and heading up anyhow. She climbs into the kids' rocking chairs in the playroom so she can get into the toys on the table (all carefully placed there to keep them OUT of her reach, of course!) and is an unstoppable force when there's something she wants. I can't BELIEVE that she can lift my Le Crueset cast iron/porcelain cookware out of the cabinets, and yet she does it nearly every night while I make dinner. At this point, I worry more for the hardwood floors than anything else! She says "Mama" and "Dada" and "Uh-Oh" and just recently stood up to a balanced standing position on the back deck, spread her arms, beamed, and said "TAAADAAAAA!" She yells at the kids and bangs on the door if they are misbehaving and have to be reprimanded, and she loves to say "Numnumnumnumnum" to either indicate that she wants to eat or is thoroughly enjoying something she is already eating! She has taken a step by herself, and is perfectly capable of walking (doing it with toys, etc.) but just isn't quite ready to take that leap of faith. Her birthday party is going to be a pink ladybug theme, and I am so excited to get started, even if it is the last of its kind. Boohoo! I can't wait to turn her seat around in the car, though, and I think it will make her much happier to get into her seat. She is so happy, adventurous, and pleasant, loving to be spun, tossed in the air, or hung upside down, and if we could only get her to sleep all night, she would be the perfect little sweetheart!
Sammy had his Nursery Rhyme day at school, and man is that kid growing up fast and right before my eyes. When I mentioned it to him at first, he said "NO. I'm not doing it. Nursery Rhymes are for BABIES!" I informed him that it was homework, and therefore he WOULD be doing it, and after he turned down all my other ideas, he finally agreed to let me make him a stenciled 3 Blind Mice t-shirt, but only if he didn't actually have to dress up as anything. Later that day when he asked me for a drink of milk, I absentmindedly handed him a cup and he said "Even though it's pink, I'm just dealin' with it!" He's way too manyly for pink, you know. He was introduced to the hilarity that is "Winter Wipeout" at his friend's house and now requests that all the time, and fell in love with Angry Birds on the same friends' dad's "Smarty phone!" He is easily reading 1st grade books now and takes so much pride in his accomplishment. I hope his enthusiasm for reading and learning continues well into the future. He is a Senior Green belt now in karate and will test for his red belt in March. T-ball for the boys starts next week, and our evenings are going to be crazy once that all begins!
Jackson continues to do so well in school. He is well-liked by his teacher and classmates, and excels in his reading, easily reading Dr. Seuss and other 2nd grade books. He has said he doesn't want to play sports anymore, but I figured we would let him try t-ball again and if he truly doesn't like it, he can quit to pursue his interests in art. He and Sam are at the same level in karate and I just can't believe they've been at it for more than a year and a half now. His second report card came home, and he improved in the few areas that required work, and amazes me every day.
I'm sure there are so many more things to record, but after the night I had last night, I am fading fast and just needed to jot down a few things before they are forgotten forever.