Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jael | 4 - 4 1/2 years old

Since Jael turned 4, we've had a lot of changes! I graduated in December and we've wrapped up most of our remodel, so after Christmas, we moved back into our daily preschool routine. Jael and Judah read a Bible story, a science picture book with me, part of their social studies textbook with an accompanying picture book, complete a page or two of alphabet work, and a page or two of math. Jael is beginning to recognize some letters and numbers (February) and is very good with sounds. Jael made a transition with Sabbath School as well and moved up to primary, with Teacher Terry. I was worried about how she would do, but she loves her new class. She sings very enthusiastically with all the children and has fun making a new Bible craft every week.

We had a lovely holiday season, although a rather busy one. During November - December, we made a couple of trips down to southern Oregon to say goodbye to my grandpa and then for his memorial service. This was Jael's first introduction to death (outside of books) and I tried to communicate with her fairly factually about it, which seemed to be helpful for her. She wasn't at all upset and seemed contemplative about the whole experience. Traveling through the gorge and through a snowstorm in Oregon was a little too much excitement for all of us, but with my parents' help, we made it through.

Over the past few months, Jael's main interests are reading books in her room, playing tea party or dress up with Ginny, and making crafty things. She loves scissors and will spend hours drawing and cutting up pieces of paper. Since Valentine's Day, she has been making valentines constantly. She can't write any letters from memory yet, but she draws lots of O's and 1's on paper in various combinations and then explains to me what they mean. She also started ice skating lessons in January after we watched the US Figure Skating Championships. She was rather disappointed to find it was a lot more difficult than she expected, but she's getting better. She rarely falls and is very very cautious, but she's slowly picking up speed! And we just bought her first pair of skates.

Jael and Judah have begun to play together a lot more over the past couple months as well. It's been fun to see how much they enjoy each other. Usually they start out the day very well after breakfast and play together quite happily until school time. Afternoons and evenings are more challenging and we have a lot of fighting as well, usually in the form of both of them laying on the floor and kicking or flopping on top of each other. Walking away never seems to cross their minds. ;)

The most recent big event in Jael's life was her first trip to the ER (2/20). I was trying to set up their "school movie" (educational DVD) when I heard a loud "bang" and Jael scream. I turned around to see blood everywhere! Since I knew head wounds bleed a lot, I wasn't terribly worried, and immediately put pressure on her forehead. Her face and dress and my hands were soon covered in blood, as was the floor, and I yelled for Craigon to come help us. He cleaned the carpet quickly and took us to Sacred Heart, where Jael was stitched up. She had four stitches. The process was a bit traumatic (she did well with the wound cleaning, but the few minutes of lidocaine injections and stitching were traumatic for both of us and I was having an awful time trying to hold her hands and not watch!). The NP was very sweet with her, though, and she left with a stuffed toy prize, so all was good. She'll be getting her stitches out tomorrow. (Oh, and she weighs about 37lb now, per their scale)

Here are Facebook highlights since the last post:
October 8: I was singing Judah the muffin man song this morning when Jael interrupted. "Mommy, why is the man making muffins? Daddies don't make muffins. Mommy does!" I told her that some daddies like to make muffins and she still wasn't satisfied. "But why? Did all their mommies die?" ;)  I guess we know who does the cooking and baking around here, lol.
October 12: I was enjoying a quiet moment this evening while the kids were happily occupying themselves at the kitchen counter, looking at pictures they had colored earlier. After awhile, I heard Judah happily muttering, "Cook-cook! Cook-cook!" And there they were, happily stuffing their faces with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. As fast as they could. *facepalm*
October 18: I hadn't paid much attention to the guys working on our remodel today until we were driving to town and Jael asked me, "Mommy, did you see the funny man with the funny hair? He took his hat off and Judah and me thought he was a SILLY MAN!" My best guess is that she saw the guy with a borderline mullet. haha.
November 4: After Jael and I read her Bible story book this evening (in which we discussed a Bible character who followed Jesus), Jael informed me quite sincerely that "I don't think Judah follows Jesus very much, Mommy. Because he hits me and things and takes my toys and kicks me sometimes." Time for a lesson about the whole "all have sinned" concept.
November 5: I had a perfect moment this evening where supper was cooking on the stove, Jael was coloring in the dining room, the house was generally clean, and I was playing the piano with Judah building duplos on the floor next to me. It's just how I imagined motherhood in my mind before I had kids. It lasted about three minutes. ;D
November 11: I'm afraid my daughter takes after me. I just offered to get her flashlight so she could "read" picture books before she went to sleep tonight and she said, "No, Mommy, it's ok. I'm just going lay down now and think."
November 15: Jeff and I went dashing into the dining room when we heard an agonized shriek from Jael. She was sobbing hysterically and after asking her what happened several times, she finally choked out, "Judah said I don't like chocolate! And - I DO!" *facepalm*
December 6: Jael, listening to 'I'll Be Home for Christmas': "Mommy, I think he is at college. And not at home. And his mommy is very sad. I think she is crying because she wants him to be home." haha....I guess she thinks you are missed, Kendall, since you're the only one she knows who is at college!  ;)
December 22: I came home from Christmas shopping to find that Jeff had very sweetly painted Jael's fingernails and toenails bright pink for her. But apparently that wasn't enough and at her persistence, Ginny's (her cat) front nails are also pink. The life of a cat in our house. :P
December 26: Jael started singing Christmas carols for the first time this year and yesterday I finally listened to what she was saying: "Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners rest and smile!"
December 27: As soon as we finished our Christmas celebration this week and drove off in our car, Jael asked Jeff, "Daddy, is tomorrow the first day of summer now?" We laughed, but when I went to Target to look at Christmas clearance the next day, they were setting up displays of garden gloves, watering cans, and flower bulbs. :P
December 30: Jael was showing her Playmobil zoo flamingo set to my brother, who has been adjusting to the culture shock of going to school in Tennessee. He told her, "There are lots of flamingos where I live now!" She said, "Really?" And he was like, "Yeah - in trailer parks! Next to Bojangles Chicken!" (I thought the last part he made up, but apparently it's a real fast food chain? ) :P
January 12: Snuggling on the couch with my girl and watching the men's long program [US Figure Skating Championships]. She was concerned about "where their ladies are" (we watched pairs first ), but now she decided they are pretty after all. I'm just still so excited that Ashley Wagner made the Olympic team!
January 24: Jael sighed dramatically after she had had her bath tonight and said happily, "I smell beautiful! I smell happy like a daddy flower who kissed a mommy flower!" I don't know where she comes up with this stuff.  ;)
February 7: Last night before bed, Jael finished her prayer with, "And please keep us safe and keep away the bad people who want to come in our house and get us." I told her not to worry, no one was trying to get in our house, but she explained, "I had to say it JUST IN CASE, Mommy." She's just like her daddy - gotta make sure she covers all her bases.  :P
February 22: My children have very different approaches to prayer. Jael is very matter of fact: "Dear Jesus, help my dolly not to wake up lots tonight. Help Talon [our cat] not to be a whacker. Make my owie better. Amen." Judah takes a melt-mama's-heart approach: "Dear Jesus, help me not hit Jael. Love Mommy, Daddy, Jael. Sleep good. Happy Sabbath. Amen."

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