Annabelle Lyn: 6 Years

10 May

Annabelle turned six on March 27. She’s just finishing Kindergarten (homeschooling) and will be in 1st Grade next year! That doesn’t seem possible.

For her birthday this year, Nana and Papa K came down in the morning for presents and cake, and then just our family went to Upnorth Bounce House and had dinner at China Garden. We also had a joint birthday celebration/sleepover at a hotel and waterpark for her and Emma with a couple neighbor friends.

Size

Annabelle is 46 lbs (60%) and 3 ft 10 inches tall (61%). She is wearing size 6/6X or Small for clothes, and size 12 shoes.

Eating

Annabelle still LOVES yogurt, and eats it every morning for breakfast. She also loves quesadillas (on the stove, not in the microwave), PB&J sandwiches, bacon, scrambled eggs, fig bars, applesauce, most fruit, cucumbers, shrimp, and pizza. She is not a fan of mac & cheese (though will eat it occasionally), carrots, and most dinners we make.

Sleeping

Annabelle will still occasionally nap if given the opportunity, but most days she wakes up between 6:30 and 7, and goes to bed between 7:30 and 8. Every once in a while, she has an accident in the middle of the night but for the most part, she is able to wake up and go potty in the bathroom.

The girls still share a room, though they are now downstairs. At first, they were in an area at the far end of our basement that didn’t have a door or wall, but now that area has a door and a wall, and the girls have moved into the other bedroom downstairs. We bought them a bunk bed too — Annabelle is on the bottom bunk. The girls still go to bed at the same time, and usually wake up together or within 30 minutes of one another.

Development

Academically, Annabelle likes doing hands-on things like cutting, gluing, coloring, tracing, worksheets, etc. and has less patience for things that only involve thinking, talking, or listening. Whenever we use manipulatives in math, she takes forever and a day rearranging them, and telling me everything except the actual answer. She took the Iowa Basic Skills Test just last week, and during the listening portion when she was supposed to listen to a story and then choose the picture that corresponded, she would imagine her own story and choose the picture based on that. She loves telling stories, and talks so fast and excitedly that it can be hard to understand her.

Annabelle is still working on mastering letters and their sounds, identifying written numbers, and doing simple addition and subtraction, but she’s definitely made progress this year. With letters, i and j are hard for her to remember, and with counting, she gets tripped up on the switch in tens (20, 30, 40, etc.). But we have been working through the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and she has learned how to sound words out. She also did well with the lessons in her math book. Her attention span in the other subjects like History and Literature was a little spotty, and she frequently complained about not wanting to do school, but since she was only in Kindergarten, I didn’t really push it much. But my expectations will be higher next year!

Homeschooling this year has meant lots and lots and LOTS of sibling time. Annabelle plays well with both Emma and Corbin. She is very easygoing and willing to share most of the time (though sometimes she does get possessive of things that she hasn’t had much of a turn with, due to her siblings’ hogging it).

When disagreeing or fighting with Emma, Annabelle tends to have meltdowns and come crying to us instead of handling the situation herself (but Emma is bigger and stronger, so I kind of get it). Travis and I have to intentionally remind ourselves that most likely, the situation isn’t as bad as Annabelle is making it out to be. We have been trying to use Connected Families’ Peace Process model to mediate conflict, which involves getting both girls calm, asking for both sides to share their point of view, and then asking questions that help them think of a solution to the problem.

Annabelle and Corbin don’t fight all that often (unless he destroys something she was playing with, or they both want the same toy), and generally Annabelle enjoys having a younger sibling who is mostly willing to do what she wants to do (Emma tends to be the ringleader when Annabelle plays with her). Corbin doesn’t always cooperate though, so Annabelle is really looking forward to having a baby sister who can’t say no to rides in the stroller, or being held like a baby.

Emma and Annabelle still spend most of their time playing Barbies, dolls, or dressing up as princesses, but they also enjoy playing in the woods, imagining they are like the Boxcar Children. Annabelle loves making mud pies, cakes, and other concoctions in buckets and pie pans with dirt, sticks, rocks, leaves, mulch, and pine cones.

Annabelle hates getting her hair brushed, and almost always had a head of very unruly hair, but she has gotten better at being able to brush it herself when we ask her to, or when we’re going somewhere.

The girls’ room has been downstairs since this past January, and Annabelle would never remember to put socks on when she got dressed. Then when we wanted to go outside and were putting on winter gear, she would realize she didn’t have socks, and whine for someone else to go downstairs to get her socks because it’s “just so far away” down there. We started telling her to “remember socks!” when we sent her down to get dressed. Thankfully the season for socks has passed for the time being, but we are seriously contemplating storing their socks upstairs in the foyer for winter.

Annabelle is ofte goofy and has the best facial expressions. Some examples:

This past winter, Annabelle went ice fishing with Travis several times, and actually caught some fish on her own! When we were down in Florida during February, Annabelle also went mini-golfing for the first time, and rode carnival rides like the Scrambler and Pirate Ship for (almost) the first time. We also found a couple of baby turtles in the swimming pool that we rescued to safety in the nearby pond.

And that’s Annabelle at 6 years!

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