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Friday, September 19, 2014

D'arcy hits the decade mark.

In April, we went to a wedding.  At some point in the reception, one of the groomsmen came up to me and asked if I was the blond girl's mom.  He told me that he had a conversation with her about aquatic life and about ten minutes into it he realized that he had never had such a long conversation with someone so young.  He wanted to know what our parenting secret was.  I shared my truthful opinion.  I have no secret, and I don't take credit for her ability to talk like a mini adult.

My parenting philosophy for D'arcy is to get out of her way and sort of yell behind "don't forget the details!"  I worry, though, that every time I tell her to brush her hair properly, sort her enormous stack of journals shoved in her home locker, or take a minute to check her spelling, I'm killing her creativity.  And, yeah, that's pretty dramatic.  Then I think that maybe that's what she needs a mom for because really, clean, untangled hair is kind of important.

This summer we went to South Carolina, and the first beautiful day in the ocean, D'arcy approached Stephen and asked him to baptize her right then and there.  Stephen shared with her what he believed about baptism and asked if she was on the same page, and then he baptized her.

She went to church camp in July and came home sharing that she had been baptized in the Holy Spirit.  She still makes it clear that she is bored in church every Sunday, though.  She lays down in the pew like we are horrible parents for expecting her to sit still and listen for an hour.

The other day she came home from school and said that she looked up the meaning of her name.  D'arcy means dark she told us.  She didn't think this described her.  Jacquelyn meant beautiful and funny and smart.  I'm not sure where she was getting her information, but she and her friend agreed that was a super good description of her.  She doesn't seem to be lacking in confidence.

She wears a lot of clothes passed down from cousins.  There was a stack of training bras passed down and we agreed that she could start wearing them as soon as she turned ten.  The morning of her birthday, she spent ten minutes digging in her closet to find them.  She is eager to grow up.

For her birthday, D'arcy wanted to go horseback riding.  Stephen and I drove her down to Brown County and we all rode a horse through the woods.  She wasn't nervous, and she wasn't tentative when she smacked those horse flies.  She was eager to get the horse trotting, too.

On the evening of her birthday, we had some of our neighbors over for cake and ice cream.  It was a mini party.

My mom bought one of those rubber band bracelet making kits.  She sits up in her penthouse (top bunk) and creates all kinds of random things with those rubber bands.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Maggie Lu is four.

At four, Maggie likes Frozen.  Specifically Elsa.  Elsa is like this combination of princess and super hero.  Maggie dresses up and runs around shooting ice out of her wrists instead of webs.  Turning the soundtrack on in the car is my secret weapon.  It kills arguments and bad attitudes almost instantly.  Maggie loves dresses and pretty accessories, but she's quick to ditch those things for ridiculous princess dresses and old dance costumes when we get home.  She has this tie dyed blanket that she asks me to tie around her neck or under her chin or around her shoulder.  It can be a cape or a head scarf or an off the shoulder dress.  Besides dress up, she plays by carrying around little treasures that she finds around the house.  She stores them in purses or bags or tied up handkerchiefs.
Maggie is sassy.  She sticks her hip out when I take her picture and tells people who ask her age, "I'm not telling you."  She is quick to correct us and explain why she isn't wrong.  I don't say this because I think it's cute but just to document the reality of the situation.  She is also quick to remind me how much she loves me and give me compliments about my hair, outfit, or mothering skills.
She started preschool at the YMCA downtown.  She is so proud that Schroeder's old school is her school now.  She is also thrilled to have Annie, her favorite friend, in class with her.

Conversations with Maggie these days go something like this.

"Mom, it's super hot in this car.  Turn on the car and the A/C!"
I ask her to rephrase her request.
When I turn on the car jazz is playing on the radio.
"OHHH...that sounds smooth!"
A few minutes pass, I get in the front seat, and she says, "Mom, are you planning on making smoothies anytime soon?"

I wake up and ask Maggie if she wants breakfast.
She says, "I already had lunch."
Me: "Lunch?"
Maggie: "I already had breakfast.
I had a hotdog.
I sneaked it."
Me: I say, "That's not funny."
Maggie: "I'm not laughing."

We were checking out in Kohl's and the cashier tells me how cute my little baby boy is.  It's not the cashier's fault.  Penelope is dressed in blue again and doesn't have a bow in her hair.  I would have let it go but Maggie says, "She's not a boy!  She's my baby sister."
I say, "Yep, her name is Penelope."
Maggie says on the way out of the store, "Mom, I told you to stop calling her Penelope.  Her new name is Anna, remember?"

We celebrated her birthday by having some of her cousins over for a playdate after preschool.  Then we invited all of her favorite people to Dairy Queen for some dessert.  I made her a little fairy garden in the backyard for her to tinker in with her siblings.