Monday, July 8, 2013

annabelle at four years

+ You can read. Let me say that another way, you can read! From my best estimates, you read at about a Kindergarten level. You can sound out simple words, and blend many others together. The really tricky ones get you still, but you keep trying.
+ You can write your name. All nine letters. Sometimes they get a little mixed up. But usually, they're in the right order. You also sound out simple words and write them yourself. 
+ You can operate the mouse on the computer (both the touch pad and the mouse). You can also operate - without any help - the Kindle. It's frightening. 
+ You are fairly OCD. You always have been. Remember when you were tiny, and you always had to have one item in each hand? Everything in your world must be systematic to make sense. Stacks, sorting, orders. This includes toys, crayons, people. Whatever needs to be organized, you're all over it.
+ You attempt simple math (addition and subtraction) all on your own. I hate math. So it's not like I'm throwing times tables at you in any hurry. But randomly you start rattling off how this plus this equals this. It never ceases to amaze me.

+ You can memorize. Okay, truthfully, you can't help but memorize. Your brain is a sponge. When the big primary kids earned a cookie each month for memorizing an article of faith, you asked if you could do it. It took you about fifteen minutes to memorize the sixth article of faith. Even with those wonky words like, evangelist. You've also got the seventh down.
+ You're our tumbler. Tumble, tumble, tumble. You really are excelling. I'm beginning to see that the challenge of something you can't yet do, is what propels you forward. You've learned some amazing tricks this year, and although your teacher wants to put you in the seven-year-old class (and so does your Dad), I'm putting my foot down on this one. I know you're capable, but I want you to be with friends closer to your age. 
+ You love me. I'm your favorite friend. I think it's the best thing in the world. You hate when I leave, you love it when I get back. Sometimes you don't want to do things (like go to tumbling) because you "just want to stay at home and play with Mommy." This makes me so happy. But we're also working on bravery and doing things all by yourself. :)

+ You and Lou are the best of friends now. There is nothing better as your mom than to watch the two of you giggling until you can't breathe because you're having so much fun together. Don't get me wrong, you two also get at each others' throats, but for the most part, you get along great. You really do share so well with her. I know she drives you crazy sometimes and steals your stuff, but for the most part, you're very patient. You are a little mommy. I know you put her needs/wants before yours sometimes. And I find that astounding for someone your age.  You also teach her so much. I know that she learns from your example, and from your specific instruction. 
+ On that note, you're kind of bossy. I understand completely. We older children tend to boss everyone around. This will be an asset someday - in school projects, at work, when you get married. Ha ha. Kidding. (But not really.)
+ You love your daddy to the moon and back. I think the best part of your day is when Daddy gets home and chases you around the house. You and Lou carry on with that Daddy for hours sometimes.
+ You try so hard to make good choices. When you don't, you are quick to apologize and make things right. You also want to make us happy. For instance, we bought some new shirts for you, but I could tell that you didn't like them. So I asked if you wanted me to return them. You said, "Is that okay? I'm really sorry."
+ You are aware of strangers. You're aware of passing cars (like ten miles away). You are aware of danger. You are pretty much a chicken. :)

+ You love to eat. Let me clarify - you've always been a pretty good eater. (And you're still totally OCD about getting messy. And you hate when different foods comingle.) But now, you eat. All. The. Time. You are growing a mile a minute, and I think tumbling burns the calories right off of you. Your current favorites are: anything Mexican, Little Caesar's Crazy Bread (still), salad (with ranch or Caesar), noodles with red or green sauce, Chick-Fil-A nuggets, oranges, corn, grapes. But honestly, you'll eat almost anything. And you're very good about trying everything on your plate, sometimes with a little coercion.
+ You love to imagine. Your very favorites are Lalaloopsy toys right now. (These last photos are you opening the Lalaloopsy you've been longing for for months - Jewel Sparkles.) You play with those little dolls for hours. And it's very involved - layers of story and conversation. I love listening to you play.
+ You hair is lonnngggg. If you straighten out the curls, it's down the middle of your back. That said, you're currently in a phase where you rarely RARELY let me leave it down. The photos below were a fluke. I basically tricked you into leaving it down so I could have a photo. You love it in fancy twists and braids and buns instead.
+ You are one incredible four-year-old. We are unbelievably grateful to have you for the big sister in this family.

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