Friday (June 30) I had the opportunity to take the day off with my kids. Normally DH stays home with all three on Fridays (and works 10 hr days the other four weekdays to make up for it), but he needed to work so I took it off. I was afraid it would be overwhelming, but it was really fun. I took the kiddos to a coffee shop story time in the morning and sipped a latte while Ben listened intently to the story and Felicity looked for (mostly benign) distractions. (Amelia slept on my chest the whole time in her carrier). Then in the afternoon we went to Play Front to meet an internet friend, a woman from one of my mommy groups who was vacationing in Duluth for the week and has a baby the same age as Amelia (Ok, ten days older). Aaron got off a little early and we had a pleasant evening.
The kids are all doing well. Our very short window of having one preschooler, one toddler, and one infant, which seems somehow perfectly balanced, is coming to a close as Felicity is transitioning to the preschool room. She was supposed to start the preschool room full time today, but she is struggling quite a bit with the change. She likes her toddler teacher and she likes the familiar. She is not one to jump into a new group of people, much more likely to hang back an cling to a familiar leg for awhile until the temptation of a fun activity is too much to bear. Felicity, in general, is quite the handful right now. We do not know if its just her "terrible twos" or if it is related to the new baby and less one on one attention, but one on one attention is exactly what she needs. Any time that we are just at home and we are trying to do more generalized things, that are not focused on entertaining her, she wreaks havoc (mostly on Ben's board games, but will find other things to ruin, or ways to run away, if he does not have one out). This, combined w the fact that she LOVES to be outside (and Ben loves to be inside) has gotten us in the habit of divide and conquer, in which DH takes Felicity outside, often for long walks or to the playground (or just lets her ride her bike in the driveway) while I stay home with Ben and Amelia. Last Thursday DH had a soccer game he wanted to watch at 630pm, so we switched places and I took Felicity out in her stroller while he stayed home. It was so incredibly peaceful to be out with her, I hardly could believe it. She rode contentedly in the stroller. We pointed out things we saw, admired the clouds, the leaves, the smell, the breeze, and each other's company. I might not be giving that privilege quite so often now that I know how fun it is and how much QT it is.
Felicity in a nutshell.. wild haired, water-loving, nature-loving, cautious but excited, goofball. She loves pretend play (She found my old canoe paddle recently from when I was a child and played moana and row row your boat). She loves books. She loves water, and will happily dump it over her head, or wade into it fully clothed. When we recently met with her teachers regarding her transition to Pre-School we heard "I have NEVER Had a toddler who can do the things she can", which I guess runs in the family because this story is nearly identical to the ones my parents tell about my kindergarten screening. Her language development is extremely good for her age. She speaks in complex, multi-clause sentences and uses pronouns. She loves to make things up and do things that she thinks will get a laugh, talks often about a made up creature called a doo doo dah, and put clothes on wrong on purpose. This morning she wanted a sweatshirt and I found her socks first and handed them to her and she said "Thank you mom for finding me a sweatshirt" and attempted to put the sock over her head, didn't crack a smile until I called her out on it. Miss Fliss, we love you. ETA: I forgot to include two of my favorite things about her right now. First, when she says thank you. She says it A LOT too, whenever you agree to do something for her she will say thank you right away before you even do it. For example, this morning, "will you get me more cheese-its?" Me, "yes just a minute." Felicity - "Thank you !!! Thank you for getting me more cheese its". And she is SO EARNEST when she says it, as if she is pouring out her little heart with thanks. Also, she has taken to making the most hilarious facial expressions when she is thinking or trying to get you to agree to something. I need to try to get it on video.
Benjamin is rapidly approaching kindergarten. His academic feats are also a source of much pride for us. He loves his math and is already doing some basic multiplication, some basic fractions, some addition of tens and hundreds. He also loves science, loves star gazing and watching cosmos, understands the basics of evolution, and is so curious and always asking questions. Because of a board game he has lately been obsessed with the battle of waterloo, and flags, and many other things with history. As for the other softer skills, we are still working on them. LOL. He does not like transitions and will scream about having to leave the house, even if it is to go somewhere fun. We recently had to come up with a discipline plan to get him to stop saying "its your fault" "its not my fault" "you are killing me" and "i am dying" when daycare (or us) said it was time for the next activity. (Picture it.. .. "Ben, time to get in the car", "wahhhhh... YOUR KILLING ME... I WONT SURVIVE. ITS YOUR FAULT". Fun times. He has cut down on those specific phrases now and we have moved onto trying to curtail the screaming all together. He is a home body, he loves his board games, legos, and movies. He enjoys being outside but only after you force the issue. The issue can be forced easier if you promise to play something with him, such as pokemon trainer or a "video game". For example this weekend he played he was a spider chasing a treasure hunter all weekend with my high school friend who was in town. When he got near her he would pretend to bite her and then they would discuss how much life she lost, measured in "hearts". hahaha. We may have permanently changed the way his brain works by introducing him to games and strategy at such an early age. He also is our little skeptic, and recently did not want to throw a coin into the fountain because "the wish doesnt come true". A boy after my own heart. Ben, we love you!
Amelia is 4 months old tomorrow. She is having a 4 month sleep regression, but her sleep regression while annoying is still more sleep than I was getting with Ben or Felicity at this age. She is a very easy, smiley baby. She loves to watch what others are doing and was having a blast last night laughing at her dad and brother playing catch/dodgeball. We just got her a wubanub, our first one of these with three kids, and I think she likes it. She loves music, she loves being held. She likes sitting upright or "standing". She hates hates hates tummy time and has no interest in rolling. She likes her siblings, as long as they are being nice to her, which is usually the case. Ben and Felicity like to fight over whether to call her Amelia or Amy. Both are fine with us. She is growing so fast, and I just love holding her, Amelia, we love you!
I am good. Work is good. Kids are good. DH is good. Duluth is beautiful. We are trying to be better at adulting (cleaning, home maintenance, paperwork, etc). I try to pay attention to the little things with the kids and enjoy them, and not let exhaustion or laziness overwhelm the happiness. Life is good.