By the time I finish this she’ll be ten

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Angel will be 4 years old in just one short week.  Angel turned four almost a month ago.  And I actually started this post back in September.  It’s about time I finish this up.

I cannot believe Angel is already four years old.  I was looking back at pictures the other night of when the kids were babies.  I know everyone says it, but I’m gonna say it anyway. Where does the time go?

She is so tall. And so funny. And so dramatic. And so beautiful.

Here’s what the past few months have looked like:

~School and learning

Getting back on a “normal” schedule has been great.  We had an amazing summer but it’s been nice to get a little more routine.  Angel goes to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00-11:30 am.  She loves school so much and she’s learning alot.  It’s so sweet to see her playing with her little playmates.   Caleb goes to school on Fridays from 9:00-11:30 am and I cherish that time with Angel.  We’ve made some good progress on her attachment and this time has helped even more.

We had conferences last week and she’s doing really great in every area. I was a little concerned about her social skills and how she handles things when she gets upset. Because at home it’s usually world war three. But her teacher says they’ve had no issues or concerns what so ever.  It’s certainly helped that she knows both her teachers very well and trusts them about as much as anyone. I’m so thankful for the past two years and the foundation that’s been started for her.  Lord willing we will probably go to 4 – 1/2 days a week next year, but we’ll see.

For awhile now Angel has been talking alot of baby talk. It comes and goes and we just try to ignore it. It seems to be not as much now lately so hopefully we’re done with it!  We’ve been working on letter sounds and putting them together since she’s started school and she’s doing so good. We’ve also been working on harder number things like adding and she just loves to practice and learn.   She’s been having fun lately with rhyming and figuring out what letter things start with.

She loves playing memory games on the computer.  We don’t do alot with the computer, at least not so far, but she’s started playing memory games and loves it so much.  The little stinker has always had an amazing memory and it’s fun to see her play because she gets so excited and intense about it. She also still likes to do puzzles and has really improved with her coloring and drawing.

I’m so thankful that we live so close to the library. Did y’all know there’s an entire kids non-fiction section?  Yes. Yes I am a complete idiot. In the beginning of the summer we were checking out books from the adult non-fiction section because I wanted books on animals and trucks and people and not just picture books. Well last month I discovered the CHILDREN’S non-fiction section. Ever since we’ve been checking out about 25 books every week and it’s been alot of fun.  Some of Angel’s favorites are: anything about animals but especially spiders, ballet books, silly story books and she really likes it when Daddy reads poem books.

~Sleeping

Sleeping through the night is still hit and miss. Some nights really bad, especially with Angel as she gets leg cramps often.  They are now in their own bedrooms and it’s been a huge blessing.  Angel keeps reminding us that we told her she could paint her room. The last time we talked about she wants it painted like Rapunzel with a big tower and a big painting of Maximus the horse. Oh dear.

Since they’ve been in their own bedrooms (which are downstairs) she’s been waking up more and more. The first two nights it was just once.  We’re trying to be strong and not let her sleep with us but after four times I’m so exhausted and I keep reminding myself that this season will pass. If only she didn’t kick so hard. And actually since I wrote this about her sleeping she’s had a couple of good nights, only getting up once to go to the bathroom. She’ll run in the bedroom in the morning and say, “MAMA, I slept in my bad ALL NIGHT LONG!”  And actually since I wrote the last few sentences she’s been waking up again. We’re back to 3-4 times a night.

~Discipline

Well, we take that a day at a time. I pray alot.   Angel has been in a real teasing faze lately, of course teasing her little brother mostly.  Every single time she does it I’m brought back to 1982 when I would tease my two little brothers. And then they would punch me and I’d run crying to my mom. Just. Like. Angel. (And maybe every other little girl with little brothers.)

She’s really well-behaved for the most part. Every since she was 1 or 2 and we started counting to three, we’ve only had to get to “one” before she would obey.  And that’s still the case. Or we just say, “Angel I need you to obey,” and she’ll usually obey.  She’s certainly not as strong-willed as Caleb as far as being defiant but if she’s in the middle of something or wanting to look at something that’s interesting, then it’s hard for her to obey.  And then I need to learn to pick my battles.

Her tantrums seem to be improving a little. In the past every tantrum would be 30-40 minutes of screaming and she wouldn’t be able to calm herself down. Little things would upset her and it would turn into world war three.  I know some of it was just normal stuff but some of it was not.  I would say the past year we’ve had less and less and when she does we are able to talk her through them a little better.  She’ll talk to us now about what she’s feeling and why she is screaming and tell us that she can’t stop or can’t catch her breath.  She of course still tries to manipulate the situation (if you do this I’ll stop screaming).

~Attachment

I mentioned earlier that Angel’s attachment has improved lately.  I don’t know that I can say we’ve had major issues but there definitely has been some. She’s very touchy feely and likes to rub our arms. It’s a balancing act of allowing her that “connection” but at the same time setting healthy boundaries.  Me being home has been a huge positive as far as attachment goes as she’s much more attached to me now than she was when I was working fulltime outside the home.  We still struggle a bit with her not allowing us to comfort her if she gets hurt or gets upset but even in that area we’ve seen a little progress and she will sometimes allow me to hold and hug her.

A good friend mentioned that the 4’s have been so much better for their little one. I’m thinking that we can start to agree with that statement. It seems that some of the “issues” we’d been really struggling with are coming to pass.

~Birth mom

I mentioned in this post that for the first time Angel initiated conversation about her birth mom.  Even though our adoption is a closed adoption every year on Angel’s birthday we send an update letter and pictures to our adoption agency. This year I asked Angel if she wanted to draw her birth mom a picture but she said no (almost scared like?).  We were instructed to send at least ten pictures but I’m sorry, we take way too many pictures to only send ten. So we made an entire picture book with about 40 pictures.

~Play time

Over the past 6 months or so Angel has fallen in love with Barbies.  I was able to find quite a few at garage sales this summer (thank goodness, they are expensive!) and she’ll sit in her room for what seems like hours playing with them, fixing their hair and changing their clothes.  I sometimes struggle to play with the kids but I love playing with Barbies. Once a 4-year old always a 4-year old I guess. Usually my job is to comb their hair (or attempt to) and either braid their hair or put it in a ponytail.

She of course also spends an insane amount of time playing with Peanut. It’s pretty cute because for anyone else Peanut runs away, but for Angel she’ll let her hold her and dance with her and play with her and even dress her up.  And she loves to play outside so I’m dreading the coming winter. Of course we can still go outside, except that mama’s a wimp and doesn’t like the cold.

~Faith

I feel like big fat mom fail because I don’t know if I ever blogged about Angel asking Jesus into her heart. It was the Thursday before Easter this year and we were reading a book that talked about the reason Jesus died on the cross and then there was a prayer. I asked if she wanted to pray and she said no. And then after a little bit she told me that yes, she did want to pray. It was so awesome.

We’ve started memorizing Bible verses in conjunction with Sunday school and that’s been such a blessing for us! Especially last week’s verse that talked about being kind to one another. I think I repeated it to them (especially bully brother Caleb) about 15 times in one day.

It’s such a struggle this who passing on a legacy of faith thing.  But I pray every day that Angel would love Jesus and understand His great love for her.

~Personality and other stuff

As I mentioned in the beginning, Angel is so funny.  She’s so literal about everything but she can also be such a tease and be sarcastic.

As I’m sure most 4-year olds are, she’s so dramatic about everything. And she can’t just tell me about something, she has to show me. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that she certainly tries my patience alot of days needing to investigate and look at anything and everything.  Every little bug. Every little flower. Every little thing that’s a little bit different. I know that this is such a good thing for her and it’s part of her personality that makes her so special and I suppose it’s also how God is teaching me how to be more patient.

Angel loves to sing. She loves to make up songs and she loves singing the same songs over and over. We’re practicing now for her Sunday school Christmas program and it’s been so fun hearing her sing, and trying to remember the words.

Bedtime is one of my favorite times of the day. Since I work 2-3 nights a week when I don’t work I usually put the kids to bed. And most nights after reading a couple books I write letters on Angel’s back and she tries to guess. Did everyone do this as a kid? I remember doing it with my sister and cousins. She’s started writing on my back now.  It’s the most fun having that 1-1 time with her to cuddle and talk.  And ask her to please sleep in her bed all night.

We tease all the time about her being our baby girl and that she can’t grow up anymore. And then she’ll say, “I’m sorry mom but I’m growing up to an adult.”  And then I’ll rock her and sing to her and say that she has to be my baby forever.   She’ll take my face in her hands and say, “Sorry mom.”

We love our sweet Angel so much. She is such a blessing to us. Words can’t describe.

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One thought on “By the time I finish this she’ll be ten

    Jenny said:
    November 22, 2011 at 6:37 am

    4 is lovely, isn’t it? Trying, but lovely. Kind of like parenting in general. One quick thing – have you read The Connected Child? Look it up at the library, and if they don’t have it, I will loan you my copy. Lots and lots of wonderful scripting of responses and ideas. Some of it we’ve used, some of it we haven’t had to, but it’s a good resource book.

    Angel baby is a lovely, wonderful 4 year old!

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