Thursday, April 30, 2009

Discovered a new use for my Snuggie

Oh yes I did. I purchased a Snuggie. And I love being curled up in its soft, warm, goodness on chilly evenings.

Tonight Astrid was having a hard time falling asleep. So I had an idea.

Me: "Astrid? Do you want to sleep with mommy's favorite blanket?"
Astrid: "Oh yeah."
Me: "Okay but you have to close your eyes and go to sleep okay?"
Astrid: "Okay mommy!"
Me: "Here's mommy's favorite blanket. It's called a Snuggie and it's really soft and will keep you warm and safe so you can go to sleep okay?"
Astrid: "Oh it's so soft. Thank you mommy"

Five minutes later she was asleep. Thank you whoever invented the Snuggie!

"Opening" - Vocabulary & preschool

While putting Astrid to bed tonight we were talking about looking for another preschool for her. Her class has grown from around 15 kids to over 35. They've added teachers, but it's just too many kids for a small school. More kids equals more noise, more aggression, and less individual attention.

I've been hearing "I don't want to go to school" from Astrid lately which has concerned me. And tonight it was, "I don't like Pasadena Montessori School." Yes, she loves to say all three words that make up her school's name. Very sad for a preschool kid to already dread going to school. So tonight I made up my mind to start looking.

Although her preschool is right across the street from my office and is so convenient, I'll drive a ways to make sure she's thriving and happy in a better environment.

So we were talking about that tonight at bedtime, and she smiled and asked if she would be going to a new school tomorrow. I told her it would take some time to look at different schools, to meet the teachers, and to find a school with an opening for her.

To which she responded, "Opening? Like opening speech?"

She's 4 and talking about open speeches. What a character.

Now let's hope I can find a school mid year with an opening for her and her opening speeches.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Astrid (actual birthday)

Today is Astrid's actual birthday. It was also our last morning staying at our Palm Springs vacation home that we were renting for the Coachella weekend. U. got up early as usual and took the kids with him for morning coffee. He let all 3 kids (Astrid and our nanny's 2 kids - Claire and Noah) pick whatever they wanted. And back at the house we all sang happy birthday to Astrid who is 4 today.
Astrid sitting in front of her birthday muffin with a lit #4 candle.
Sweet little angel wearing her favorite rainbow shirt.Looking at mama (me). You can see my reflection in the sliding glass doors.Taking a deep breath.Blew out her candle and her wish comes true.

U., me and Astrid. We are family.
Enjoying eating and chatting with the kids.
Using her butter knife upside down to cut with the dull side. She wouldn't let anyone tell her otherwise and since it was her birthday no one argued with her.

Hehe.
We drove back home that morning and it was a scorcher. I took Astrid with me to pick up some party supplies and she got an ice cream. The deal was she had to wear her hat. I'm always concerned about the sun and protecting her skin.
The birthday girl enjoying her sherbet ice cream.
For dinner we asked Astrid where she wanted to go for her birthday dinner and she chose "The Coffee Table" her favorite restaurant in Eagle Rock. She always gets a lemonade and either a grilled cheese sandwich or a cheese quesadilla from the kid's menu. Today she got a special cupcake to blow out her candle after Mama and Papa sang happy birthday to her.
Four candles to blow out this time.It's her special day and it's not over yet with her upcoming birthday bash with her friends at an indoor playground.
Astrid painting on her easel that she got as a birthday present.The artist on her birthday. She turned to her father and I and announced, "I'm an artist!"
The sun is starting to set.
Astrid sitting on her Papa's lap, winding down after a long day.
Happy birthday sweetheart.

Birthday Wishes for Astrid


Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Star is Born - she loves to sing, dance & act

Astrid woke up a little past midnight, and I could hear her singing "It's A Small World" from her bedroom. It's one of the songs she's practicing at school for her next recital. It's was the sweetest thing to hear her singing, but what in the world was she doing singing at midnight?

After she was done singing she came into the room to find me and started performing in front of the closet mirror.

This reminded me how I need to record on my blog how much she loves to sing and dance and perform. She picks up songs quickly. And she's always doing commercials and skits in front of the mirror. For example: "This is how you brush your teeth." She acts out the entire scene in the bathroom mirror like she's acting in front of a camera. And she's always singing one song or another.

I've been singing to her since she was a newborn - and she picked up as soon as she was able to hum or sing along. Now she tells me not to sing, that she'll sing for me. She has no stage fright. She just loves performing on stage.

I mentioned in a previous post how much she loves her school recital and we recently enrolled her in a musical theatre class. They sing and dance and practice for a big performance on stage with costumes, typically a musical (like Annie). The class is called "Pop Star" which sounds awful, but after reading the description I knew it would be something that Astrid would really enjoy.

Prior to the class "tryouts" I told her not to be shy (which she can be initially when she's confronted with a strange, new environment) and to sing out loud and dance just like she does at home. I needn't have worried because she did just fine and followed along with the other students. And she loved it of course and is looking forward to next week's class.

She's one of the youngest ones in her class so it'll be interesting to see what part she gets in the musical. Regardless it'll be so much fun to watch!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

What Astrid's saying & doing at 3 years, 11 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days old

Jotting down some of the latest things Astrid has been saying, and things I've been noticing about her that make this age (she's turning 4 later this month) unique.

1) Astrid refers to her father and I as "Guys".
"Guys! Guys! You know what?" "Whatcha doin' guys?" "Am I going with you guys?" "What are you guys talkin' about?"

2) Evidently she now knows what "cool" is.
I was talking about something today and Astrid perked up and said, "Oh yeah that's cool."

3) Questions, questions, and more questions.
"Whatcha doin' Mommy?" "Why are you doing that?" "How come?" "Why? Why? Why?"
I guess it's time to invest in that book - everything you always wanted to know about everything in the world.

4) Astrid constantly repeats herself.
It used to be the whining that used to drive her dad and I batty -but now it's the repeating. How many times can you ask the same question? All I can say is my daughter never tires of asking or saying the same thing again and again. It must be an age thing that reinforces something or other in that brilliant child brain of hers that never ceases to amaze me.

5) Astrid's incredible memory.
She'll bring up things that we did a long time ago that I even forgot about. It's one of those, "How do you even remember that?" kind of thing. She's like a sponge - absorbing everything - and we keep trying to fill that little brain with lots of learning. (We just enrolled her in a musical theatre class, and she's learning German with her German nanny. I love when she sings in German.)

6) She has quite an imagination.
She makes up stories, or puts two and two together with such creative imagery. For instance we were watering our vegetable garden one morning and I saw a shoe foot print (obviously of an adult) and a little footprint which I thought might have been from a bunny rabbit. Astrid was so intrigued and had a million questions about who was stomping around in our garden. Later that day when I picked her up from school she was telling me a story about how the Easter Bunny Man was in our garden yesterday getting ready for Easter, and he was eating our seeds.

7) Making up stories that are the opposite of the truth
Like tonight I saw her move her hand under the table, that was clearly holding a piece of pizza her Papa had cooked for her dinner. She looked at me and said, "I don't have pizza in my hand." So now whenever she tells me out of the blue she "didn't" do something, or "doesn't" have something - I know the opposite is true.
I read about this developmental stage in children and recommendations include not accusing the child of lying. So we've been trying to reinforce the importance of "telling the truth", rather than "don't lie to me".

8) Astrid has no concept that there was a time before her.
She saw a photograph taken in Hawaii of me and U., noticing it for the first time at my parent's place. "Hey that's you and Papa" she said. "Where am I?" she asked. "You weren't born yet," I tried to explain. She looked quite puzzled and asked, "Why not?"
And tonight she asked me if I had installed the sprinkler in the yard and I told her no, that the people who lived in the house before us did. Somehow the conversation turned to Astrid as it has a way of doing when talking to a 3 year old, and she asked where she lived before this house. I told her that she's lived in our house her whole life, since she was born. Mama and Papa lived in other houses, but she has only lived in this house. She doesn't understand that there was ever a time when U. and I lived without her. Quite frankly it's hard to imagine it myself - a world without Astrid. I know it existed but it seems like eons ago, something that happened in the distant past.

9) Tantrums when she doesn't get what we want
There was a period there after the terrible twos (or whenever that period lasted) where tantrums were few and far between. I'm not talking being fussy - but the tantrums where whining turns into crying, and acting like a complete maniac. But now we've seen more of those tantrums appearing when Astrid doesn't get something that she wants. Sometimes she'll run into her room, slam her door and throw herself on her bed crying. Yeah I'm talking a 3 year old (not 13). It's hard not to laugh at her diva-ness. Her feelings are easily hurt. So U. tried this new technique that he read about - when your kid keeps asking you for something they can't have - write it down.
For example, the other night Astrid wanted candy and no matter how many times U. said no and tried to distract her, nothing was working. So he tried the technique and told Astrid, "Let's write it down okay? And come back to it later if we forget." He literally wrote the word "Candy" down on the white board that's up on our fridge. Astrid was fine with this and then completely forgot about wanting candy. I have yet to try this - but I'm open to it if it works.

10) Becoming more and more independent
"I wanna do it myself." "No, no...lemme do it." "I want to do it all by myself okay mom?" All things I hear more of more of each day.
Pretty frequently whenever I bathe her, she will want to towel dry herself (even if I'm still in the bath washing my hair) and put on her pajamas. That and putting on her shoes are two things I allow her to do all on her own without any help.
But when it comes to other things like brushing teeth etc. she can do it by herself and then I finish. (Just want to make sure she's brushing all corners and not missing a spot. Or in other instances just making sure she's taken care of properly).

They grow up so fast...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Question posted by my husband

"Will I ever be as good a father to my child as my little angel is such a great child to me?"

The kid's definition of jail

Yeah you heard me right "JAIL". The word came out of my 3 (almost 4) year old daughter's mouth last night.

"Jail?" I asked.
"Uh-huh jail," she answered.
"Where did you hear that word?" I asked.
"I dunno," she said with a shrug.
"What do you think that word means?" I asked.
"It's where they take the bad guys and lock them up in a cage!" she said, and was quite animated about it.

Oh boy. I think some kid at school has been watching age inappropriate material. But she pretty much has the definition down to a T. Not exactly how Webster's would define it, but it pretty much sums up what a jail is.

Is it a bad thing for a little kid to know what a jail is already? I would rather she not know YET, but maybe that's just me being a protective mom and trying to preserve her innocence.