Tag Archives: 6 years

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!

Emma Grace: 6 Years

1 Jun

Emma turned 6 back on April 7. You can read my last post about her at 5.25 years old here.IMG_5198 (Large)img_4092img_4106Size

At her well-child checkup right after her birthday, Emma weighed 44.5 lbs (49%) and was 3′ 10″ (66%). She wears some 5T, some size 6 clothing in big girl’s sizes (single tear) and size 12 shoes.

Sleeping

With Emma being in Kindergarten this year, she has been pretty much exhausted by bedtime, so if we follow the bedtime routine of books and tick, she’s pretty easy to get to bed. She almost always sleeps through the night. She’ll get up once or twice to pee. If she gets up to pee just a couple hours after going to bed, we go help her, because she’s so out of it that she often can’t figure out how to open the door or where the toilet is (and has accidents as a result). The funniest accidents she’s had is that we once found her peeing on Annabelle’s bed (and incidentally, on Annabelle as well – she didn’t even wake up!) and then sitting on the chair of the vintage school desk they have in their room. But if she goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night or morning, she can get out of bed and back in without help. She usually goes to sleep at 8 PM, and wakes up around 6:30/7 AM.IMG_9793IMG_9790Eating

Emma is a good eater, as long as it’s foods that she likes and can recognize. She’s not the most adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. She’s motivated to finish her dinner by the knowledge that she’ll get dessert if she does.

Her favorite foods are fruit (clementines especially), toast with PB and honey, PB&J sandwiches, pizza, milk, Shakeology, waffles, cereal, mac & cheese, and jello. She says her favorite foods are tacos and chili soup. She doesn’t like pepperoni or spicy things. She went through a period of not liking grapes but then the other day she told me, “Grapes used to be yucky, but now that I’m 6, I’m just going to deal with it.” Her favorite restaurants are China Garden (“China Buffet”) and McDonald’s.0070BF2F-5C19-4705-B093-AD0D6F21EB42IMG_0029 (Large)Development

Emma loves, loves, loves drawing, coloring, and writing. She uses probably 15 sheets of paper a day. I can’t keep up with the papers! She loves making gifts for her friends and grandparents, and loves writing her friends’ names. She can often be found drawing unicorns, mermaids, makeup, jewelry, dresses, high heels, and pictures of her friends and family.IMG_0054 (Large)She did well in Kindergarten at Pillager and can read sight word books fairly easily. She also likes to pretend to read books, making up her own story to go with the pictures. She has also started sounding out words and writing sentences on her own. The harder words aren’t spelled correctly, but I love that she is trying! She’ll even repeat slowly things that we say, and I can tell that she’s thinking about how you would write that.

She seems to have a group of friends at school that she enjoys playing with. We invited five of them over for a unicorn birthday party at our house; three came. It was a fun time – we decorated t-shirts with fabric markers, played unicorn bingo, ate turkey and cheese croissant sandwiches and cupcakes, and opened presents. Emma got a Pomsie, Twist-a-Pet, nail kit, and a couple mermaid Barbies from her friends.

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Back in the fall, Emma threw all-out tantrums quite often. Kindergarten was a hard transition. But in the spring, things went much better. There were still mornings that Emma didn’t want to go to school, but she’s usually a pretty good trooper. If we tell her to go get dressed, she is pretty good about listening and going to do it herself. And when school ended, she said, “I don’t want school to be over!”IMG_0124 (Large)IMG_0070 (Large)In February, Emma got strep throat and Influenza A at the same time, and she did nothing but lay on the couch for about a week straight.

Emma struggles with telling white lies about things, ranging from who used the bathroom and didn’t flush, to who ate the snack and left the wrapper on the floor, to who used Mommy’s makeup without asking. She almost always comes clean when we press her about it, and we’ve tried explaining to her that her lying makes it hard for us to trust her, but it seems like lying is almost a knee-jerk response.

Emma loves makeup, and all things girly. We’ve had to make a rule that she can’t wear makeup to school or church, just when we’re at home. Last winter, Emma decided kind of out of nowhere that she wanted to grow her bangs out (which meant of course Annabelle did too). After making sure they both understood that they’d have to wear ponytails in their hair everyday, I agreed that they could grow their bangs out. And they’ve actually both been really good about it. Previously, they had both hated having things in their hair, but this hasn’t been a battle. We didn’t even really need the sticker chart that we made!IMG_0066 (Large)She has gotten better about praying with us at dinner. She used to refuse to fold her hands and would just keep eating, but now she’ll stop, fold her hands, and even sometimes offer to pray for us.

Last fall, Emma went duck hunting with Travis out on the river. She collected all the empty shell casings from other hunters and put them in a pile.

Emma is generally very helpful and generous. I can ask her to do me favors or help Annabelle or Corbin with something, and she almost always does it (she does flake out on occasion). Annabelle on the other hand…

She still loves to make messes (aka take out all the toys and books we own), though now her messes are organized and intentional. They still take a while to clean up (and she’s not always the most willing participant in cleanup) and they annoy me to no end, but I’m glad she’s using her imagination.IMG_9854 (Large)She loves playing with Annabelle, and is still usually the boss and mastermind behind their activities. They can totally be two peas in a pod, but they can also be at odds with one another. One day recently, Annabelle had set up her outside kitchen stuff and was pretending to cook mud pies. She walked away momentarily and Emma came along and started using the kitchen, putting things in a slightly different spot. When Annabelle returned, she started crying and collapsed into a puddle, looking at Travis. When Travis didn’t intervene, Annabelle went and got a stick, and started hitting Emma on the back with it. Undeterred, Emma played with one hand, and blocked the stick with the other, telling Annabelle halfheartedly to stop it.

Just a few weeks ago, Emma started riding her bike with no training wheels. She’s also been learning how to paddleboard on our river (Travis follows her in the canoe). We are so proud of her bravery, especially since Emma tends to be on the more timid side for things like that. When she first started riding a bike at age 4, she ended up rolling backward and falling off, and refused to get back on it that year. And every spring, she is terrified of boat rides, but usually loosens up by the end of the summer. This year, though, it only took one ride and then she has been all about it!073BB29E-52F2-40E6-9373-09DB9ABAC7FB06ABDC78-4670-4BFD-8C40-709B51C3E5C0A9486619-94EB-46CD-A1FA-C252839F3C38And that’s Emma at 6 years!