We had another wonderful March visit with G and P. The weather was gorgeous and it was a nice escape for them to an early Pacific NW spring. Especially since I heard from them this week that it snowed again.
Soren was a little mini me with Pa. Right away, the first morning Soren wanted to sit in his lap to read books. He wanted to be just like him standing at the park. One afternoon, I came in the door with my mom and dad and Soren looks right past G and me; saying Pa, Pa, Pa?
Sloane was given a fancy dress that was Bennett’s. Adam suggested she could wear it on a tea date with G. We made it happen on Monday afternoon. Sloane was so excited to wear the dress and have a special time with G. When we picked them up, Sloane made Pa guess what she had for a snack and then teased him by not actually saying yes to what she had. Tricky guessing game for sure.
G gave Sloane a sparkle glitter face paint kit. We all let her paint our faces on the beautiful Sunday. We did not get a group shot which is terrible because you all don’t get to see Pa’s fancy blue glitter mustache. Below you can get a glimpse of his blue glitter eyebrows though.
We went into Hood River and up to Domaine Pouillon winery one day. On the way out we stopped at a salmon and trout hatchery that is also home to a few sturgeon. One particular old large one, Herman, picture below. The winery is one that Adam and I have been to in the past and Papa 2 volunteers at during the year. We were able to sit outside on a big swing and enjoy the views of the gorge while we sipped our wine.
G and Pa helped us get some yard work done, cleaning up the garden beds and taking out some shrubs. The yard looks much better and we’ve been enjoying seeing the plants come up in our first spring in our house. We celebrated with bubbles on the deck and Soren was in heaven.
Amazing- we’ve made it 18 months with two monkeys!
Soren is a charmer! He has the sweetest grin and loves to wave at everyone. The other day a neighbor waved us past walking by their driveway. Soren turned around and blew them a kiss. They were very enamored!
He is also a climber. I call him my little goat because he wants to stand on anything to make even just a little bit higher up. He gets up on the coffee table we have against the wall and window. He climbs up and stands on the table. And the next step was not far behind- climbing out onto the window sill to the side. The first few minutes he does great and can lower himself, but as time goes on, he gets fatigued and crashes. But there is lots of crashing at our house!
Soren has proven to have an analytical mind and loves to solve problems. Sometimes the problem is something I moved out of his reach and he is using a wooden spoon to reach it. Or pulling out the dowel and round piece out of a spinning top. He is quick to figure out which shape lines up with the holes in the little shape-in-the-bucket game. We are hoping this will translate in to help around the house- especially in the kitchen!
Soren loves bananas (many days he has eaten 2 by 630 am). And he eats them and looks like a chimpanzee! And those bananas are adding up- he weighs 25 lbs 8 oz and 32 inches tall.
As you can see from the photos, Soren loves his big sister! He wants to do everything like her. Recently this includes having his hair brushed before we leave the house and wearing her skirts!
Sloane’s classroom puts on a play every March. The students have to come up with their characters and then they help decide what will happen in the play. Sloane decided to be a ballerina princess mommy who was magical. She decided what she wanted to wear and her accessories. Her favorite part was probably getting to put on glitter make up in her classroom before the play.
Sloane was brave and did a great job on stage. At the end the class did a song and dance call tootie-tot. The song has actions that pile up with each verse, ending with an accumulation of thumbs up, elbows back, feet apart, knees together, bottoms up, tongue out, eyes closed (or squinting for on stage), and turning around. It was an adorable evening.
I never got around to posting about the play last year because our March was so full and busy. But here is a video from the play 2018- flash back to 3 year old Sloane!
Well, he is sort of talking! Soren has been babbling and chatting to us for a while. He also had the animal noises down.
The actual words started with ball on 3/12/19. During Sloane’s ballet class, he and I were in the waiting area playing with a ball I brought and he just said ball. The fun thing is he is very proud of himself. I don’t remember Sloane being this proud that we understood what she was saying but she was younger when her vocabulary exploded.
Since then we have added Pa, Nini, nana (for banana), and now apple!
We celebrate Christmas with Nini and Papa2 at the end of December. The kids wore their holiday outfits from G and we took photos in the hopes of sending out New Year’s cards. The cards didn’t happen- maybe next year…….
From Nini and Papa2, Sloane got Luciana Vega, the American Girl doll of 2018. She and Nini spent the year looking at the catalog and Luciana was Sloane’s choice. She was very excited to get her and we have read her book many times since. I was impressed Sloane selected such an interesting character- she goes to space camp and wants to be an astronaut. I’m also impressed Sloane will listen to the 100+ page book that has no illustrations, she has a mind for stories. Soren got a play airplane- which is loves. He actually carried through the air the other day, making ‘ccrrsh’ sound. The boy loves all things with wheels!
We also got to have lovely afternoon with the Lembos and the Lembos senior visiting from NY. Sloane adores Bennett, and Bennett tolerates both the little goobers quite well. Sloane got Bennett to dress up and put on a performance, which involved some good dance moves, singing, and pick up and spinning around; and of course costumes and props!
Sloane and Soren got back into the swing of things at home. Soren spent an afternoon insisting that Sloane read him books. She has such a good memory she can recite many of them. She is helpful with her brother and in the kitchen!
On New Year’s eve, we had eggplant parmesan (gluten free and one pan dairy free for Soren and me) along with a loaf of gluten free bread Adam made. I gave him a bread cook book with a gluten free chapter for Christmas. A little bit of a selfish gift, but Adam seems to enjoy the gluten full ones as well. We watched the first half of the Lion King and the kids were captivated. Sloane had seen a few of the song clips on youtube and loved listening to the soundtrack. Watching the movie was exciting for her but brought up many questions about if Uncle Scar was nice or not nice. She was very conflicted about how he acted nice but was not actually nice. Hrrrmph- that was a hard one to scale down to a 4 years old!
We are hoping 2019 brings many laughs and much happiness to you!
We traveled back to have Christmas with the New England crew. Sloane was quite excited about the entire Christmas process this year. It started with flying on the plane- which she loves because she gets to watch as many shows as she wants to. Adam and I were nervous about keeping Soren contained but he did surprisingly well and charmed all the other travelers.
We went on a day adventure to Nashua just the 4 of us. We visited with Pat, had a cafe date, and saw the Christmas lights.
We had some good down time with G, Pa, Jesse, Lida, and Cam. Many books were read and Soren even let some of the books be read the whole way through. We had some visitors (including baby Cora who was very tooty on Sloane’s lap, which made her giggle!) and went to the playground at my old elementary school a couple times. Sloane swung for a couple hours total, while Soren worked on his climbing skills and had a blast running on the wood chips.
Pa prepped a project for Sloane and him to do together. The task helped Sloane and Pa have some bonding time. Sloane loved it and was almost helpful. Check out her concentrating face in the pics below. It was a bed for Julia, or in Soren’s eye it is small step stool to grab things off the shelf. This project went so well that Pa helped her to make a wood Rudolph, which made it back on the plane intact, Sloane was very happy!
The Straw family party was a big success. There were 5 kids ages 4 and under, even though we were missing the twins who were home sick with their mom. Both our kids looks festive in their holiday outfits from G and Pa. Sloane was quite enamored with Lily who is 3 years old and Madeleine’s old dolls. Soren got to meet many aunts, uncles, and cousins for the first time (We had the Straw family party and a Ouellette family brunch the next day). He was a hit and he enjoyed meeting all the new people.
Lida was a love as usual. Sloane wanted Lida, Lida, and more Lida. They decorated gingerbread cookies, which apparently is an activity that requires an apron but does not require any clothing other than underwear. Jesse and Lida also brought over ornament kits which the girls worked on together.
After Christmas Eve service, Pa read us The Night Before Christmas before we bundled off to bed to wait for Santa. Soren was a bit into the presents on Christmas morning, but mostly tried to eat the wrapping paper. Sloane was very excited to open her presents, so excited that she helped everyone open at least one of their presents too. We tried to encourage the idea of giving and receiving gifts. Sloane did well with this concept by helping to deliver presents to other people and kindly offering to help open them. (Note to self- have her help with shopping next year to understand the giving part!) It was a lovely day hanging around the house, reading and playing, with a fair bit of eating.
Sloane was very sad that Christmas was over and we had to leave one ornament hanging in her room to soften the change.
Little miss turned 4 on Monday. Over the weekend, she kept say “can you believe it is my birthday soon, can you believe I am going to be 4?”
Sloane has become such a big girl over the past year. Her imagination has exploded- acting out stories and imagining adventures. She loves to take characters from her favorite books and shows and make up new stories; or have us make up new stories. I was very happy when the Octonauts phased out because her favorite story was one I made up about Peso hurts his bum. It evolved into Peso getting injured and bandaged all over his body and then one where his bum got stuck to an ice burg. No matter what I made up to get him unstuck (hairdryer, salt, special lotion, time!), she would say nope they don’t have that on the Octopod, Peso is still stuck. She has an interesting sense of humor for sure.
We are continually impressed by her compassion and kindness. When Soren hurts himself, she’ll tell us to let her comfort him, patting his back saying ‘there there bug a boo.’ There are kids as school she refers to as nice Gabe and curly haired Gabe!
Starting in early December, Sloane took her first class that was just for kids, no parents allowed! It is a ballet class at the community center near our house. The first class was hard for Sloane but after coming to sit with me for a bit, she marched back in for the rest of the class. I wasn’t holding out high hopes but it has been amazing. The teacher, Miss Jenny, manages to hold 8+ kids in rapt attention for 45 minutes. Plus, she requires they all wear pink tights, pink shoes, black leotards, and buns in their hair- so the line up of children is adorable! The last class of the month, we got to sit in and watch.
Sloane has not been very interested in drawing. Her people look like Mike Grabowski from Monsters Inc. She hasn’t really attempted any other shapes or objects. As Rach put it, Sloane is more of a performing artist than a visual artist. She will sit down and pretend to write, filling up page after page of scribbles and narrating while she goes. She is also working hard on writing her name and is getting quite good, other than the tricky S.
Sloane was very excited to have her birthday party at our house this year. We kept it small because of the busy holiday season. Pancakes and Pajamas was the theme so we wouldn’t have to get dressed on Sunday morning. Sloane did end up wearing her Ash dress up dress but birthday girl gets to do that. She helped make the cupcakes again this year (they were pink, of course). Her mixing skills are impressive as she gets to practice them a couple times a week making cottage cheese pancakes with Adam.
More cupcakes at Nini and Papa2’s on her actual birthdayWe sure love this little lady!