Saturday, February 13, 2016

Peanut Post: Annalyn's 4 year update

I know I always say things like "no way is my baby that old" or "wow, time flies" when your birthdays come around, but this year, it really feels right for you to be four.  Maybe because you're in preschool now, or because your sister is seeming so much older, or maybe because I just feel old enough to have a kid. Not a baby, not a toddler, but a kid.  Or it could be that these past couple months have been so rough between your massive daily fits and the start of Emma's "terrible two's" (because our kids are super advanced in the fit-throwing department), that it seems like time is suddenly crawling and you should be about 8 by now.  Whatever the reason, I am happy to celebrate another year of Annalyn.

This year has, once again, brought a lot of changes for you.  Shortly after your third birthday, we moved from the only home you'd ever known and into what we hope will be the house you grow up in.  We moved away from your little friends/neighbors, away from easy access to Target *gasp* and Trader Joe's *gasp* (two of your former favorite places), and far away from Mama's work store (no more weekly visits).  You love our huge yard, our garden, and our new house (though for a long time you said you missed are old one).  You were sad to leave your swing set, the big quiet streets of our old neighborhood, and your old room.

But, surprisingly enough, you adjusted very well.  You made new friends on our street, got a big girl bike, and started preschool in August (which was tough at first, since you'd never been dropped off anywhere, but now you LOVE it).   A lot of other milestones came as you got closer to age 4 and you got to attend the Yuletide Celebration for the first time, see your first play (A Charlie Brown Christmas), and perform in your first preschool Christmas program.

Shortly after Christmas, we (you) talked Daddy into getting us a kitten that you named, Oria (which means "golden" in Italian, appropriately enough).  She's a 6 month old Savannah cat and you adore her.  After you and Emma helped me decorate her castle, you discovered that she likes it better if her bed and towel are up in it.  Oria will sleep for hours after you tuck her in her little bed.  You are learning how to be gentle, not spook her, and get her food and water.  She adores you as long as you aren't screaming or running at her.

As an alternative to the ballet classes you've been asking for, you started gymnastics once a week in January.  As your instructor pointed out, you always have a huge smile on your face and love every minute of it.  We laughed so hard at how literal you take all of their instructions.  When they told you to run on the line, you practically tip-toed making sure every single step was completely on. the. line.  Hilarious.  Being the good, super competitive parents we are, we make painter's tape lines all over the house to teach you how to run along the lines.  I am proud that you are very focused on achieving good form, though.  You're favorite part is swinging from the big rope into the foam pit at the end of every class. I'm also looking forward to signing you up to play tee-ball this spring.

For your birthday this year, Aunt Lindsey and I are redecorating your bedroom since we haven't really touched it since we moved in and it's a hideous yellow color.  I found this adorable bedding set, and against my better judgement, even ordered the coordinating sheets with ballerina fairy princesses riding on unicorns.  Seriously? Does it get any girlier?  But I'm pretty sure you will love it.  Aunt Lindsey painted some new wall art, and we even painted castles on the walls.  I finally got around to refinishing an antique vanity into a little desk for your room, and topped it off with a super girly canopy.  I can't wait to see your reaction after the big reveal!

At your request, I am constructing a volcano cake for your birthday.  You've always had a huge imagination, and your current made up world is called "Volcano Valley" where you and your two cheetah babies, Lizzie and Jezabeth, live.  Lizzie is an ornery little cheetah who is always batting at lava and getting into all sorts of shenanigans.  I'm not real sure where your volcano obsession comes from, but it's at the top of your list of places to go on vacation even. So we weren't at all shocked at your sudden change from princess-of-the-week-cake to volcano cake.  And when you have science nerds for parents, it's going to erupt (or at least smoke with dry ice, we went back and forth about cool but still edible, and what would make the best looking lava).

Though you've been extremely challenging/frustrating/maddening for us with your erratic behavior, your preschool teacher tells me "you're perfect and wouldn't dream of throwing a fit." She says you are super social and get along well with all the kids in your class.  You have a big heart and never leave anyone out.  I love hearing all of this, but it's a double-edged sword in that I know you can behave, but can't figure out why you won't for me.  Luckily, it comes in waves and you'll have a few good days every now and then.  For those, I occasionally reward you with "sleepover naps" aka, taking a nap with you.  Because I'm one of those super self-sacrificing moms ;)

A few stats at age 4:
height: 40.5"
sizes:  4T and 4 clothes, size 9 shoes

Self-reported favorites:
animal: cheetah
book: peep and ducky 
color:  pink
movie: Inside Out
show: Peppa Pig
activity:  hide and seek
best friend: Emma 
outfit: Frozen dress
food: chicken noodles and soup
my hero: mommy
What I want to be when I grow up: a pharmacist 
What I want to learn when I'm 4: to roller skate 
What I can do now that I'm 4: take care of my sister
drawing of me: 

Happy birthday, little lady! Love you lots.


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