So what's she been up to?
Questions. Oh the questions! She is naturally curious about everything. The 'why?'s, that started nearly a year ago now, have blown up exponentially and are never ending! It often reaches the point where her 'why?' questions no longer makes sense, and we've started to try to help her rephrase her questions, challenging her to think about what she's really trying to ask.
She is NOT a morning person. Mornings are... rough, to say the least. It doesn't help that I am also not a morning person. The two of us do not make the most enthusiastic or good natured duo between 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning. That's usually when an episode of Mr. Roger's is watched while we try to wake up (or sleep a bit more, in my case).
Fears. Fears are creeping in - she is learning and sort of experimenting with them. Figuring out what other people are afraid of, and "testing" them out. Most recently, she's not quite sure about the radiator in her room, which she can see at the end of her bed (our new house has radiators, our previous house did not, so they are new to her). "Cover it up with a blanket, mama, so I can't see it", she requests each night before bed. But then the next morning she'll say "I'm not scared of the radiator, he's just a nice guy who keeps us warm. He's a silly warm guy!".
Nakedness. Oh boy, does this child like to be naked. She takes any opportunity. When she has to pee? Why not do that completely naked? When she doesn't want to spill on her shirt during breakfast? Meh, Imma just gonna take off all these clothes, Ma. Who cares if it's 50 degrees outside? Let's go outside naked too (she did do that once and immediately came screaming back inside the house). And then, when it's time to get dressed again (for the 30th time in a day)? She needs an entirely new outfit. Of course. Why not?
Friends. She has made so many new friends lately (primarily thanks to our move - we live in the best neighborhood that is FULL of kids!), and she loves it. I love watching her develop relationships with other kids. It's so sweet and innocent. Let's be real, though, there are times when she can be equally as UN-friendly as she is friendly with her friends. The normal preschool relationship stuff, I guess, nothing out of the ordinary... the occasional violence, difficulty sharing, etc. It's definitely there. But then she reaches out and wants to hold their hand, she shares a toy or snack, gives them a hug and kiss, talks about them randomly when they aren't there ("Isaac is my favorite friend!", "I want to draw a picture for Ingrid", "I love my ECFE friends!")... and I know that the makings of an amazing friend are there - somewhere inside, developing quietly, waiting in the wings.
Blossoming Foodie. The girl eats everything - well, okay, that's an overstatement. But she'll at least try anything. It seems she favors international foods more than anything - especially mediterranean (well, except for the general food group known as carbs. Oh the love this girl has for carbs is astounding... sorry honey, but you didn't get that from me!). We were at a housewarming party the other day and she loudly announced "I WOULD LIKE MORE OLIVES AND HUMMUS AND PITA, MAMA!". She also likes Vietnamese food (above!). A family favorite is Pho, and she's been eating at our favorite Pho place since she was a teeny tiny baby (and in fact we went there today for my dad's birthday!). It's nice that we can take her anywhere and know that she'll be able to eat what we order, and that she'll be relatively well behaved at the restaurant (let's just say she's had a lot of practice). We are trying our best to raise her to appreciate not only good food, but the culture of food and how it can bring people together. How we relate to each other via food, over shared meals, etc. Sharing meals together is as important to us as healthy, balanced food choices, and we hope that Eliza will grow up and feel the same.
Sleep. As I mentioned before, she sleeps. God Bless America, this child sleeps. And we are so happy (and rested). Not only does she sleep, but bedtimes are a lovely, easy experience for everyone involved. Daddy gives her a bath, brushes her teeth, reads her books/sings her a song, and then it's "mama time": five (or so) minutes of milky in her bed, followed by singing "Simple Gifts". I stay with her for a few minutes (or as she says, "lay with me in a minute, mama"), and then I tuck her in and say goodnight. She is awake when I leave, and she falls asleep on her own. This may not sound like much to some, but here in this house? It's nothing short of a miracle. We are so very proud of her for this. She really is turning into our big girl.
Teh Sweetness. She has her moments, but oh is this girl sweet. Just so so sweet (when she wants to be!). She expresses real, genuine love for her family and friends quite often. It's so cute. And the way she's already so excited about her baby brother or sister? There is nothing sweeter than hearing her talk about the baby in mama's belly. She slays me. This afternoon, I wasn't feeling particularly well, and I finally told her that (previously I'd just been trying to power through, but couldn't do it anymore today). She immediately told me to "lie down mama!", and she brought me a pillow, put it under my head, and then asked me if I'd like a blanket. Then she brought a pillow to put over my belly, "for the baby" (uhh, yeah, we'll have to make sure she knows that's not cool once the baby is out!), and then sat with me and cuddled.
Okay, enough sap (and length - geesh!) for tonight. Guess I could write a novel about that girl of mine. Don't worry though, another day I'll write about those moments, those oh-my-god-get-me-out-of-here-before-I-scream moments that we all feel as parents. Because believe me, they are numerous around here!!!!