Well, spring in Michigan has been up and down. We had a few days of really warm and nice weather in March, even a few 80 degree days, and then the day after one 80 degree day, it was down to 50 again! We actually had some tiny snow flurries in mid-April and then the month ended with another 80 degree day! And now, as I finish writing this, a week into May - I am listening to the rain and thunder outside and it is chilly again.
We have been really busy as usual. We had a great Easter and Passover with family. The kids had a great time dying eggs with friends, then hunting eggs with the neighborhood kids, and then again with their cousins.
They loved hunting for and finding their Easter baskets from the Easter bunny on Easter morning.
We joined Joe on a work trip to Columbus, Ohio and got in a lot of great family time and went to the Columbus Zoo. The kids had a great time seeing animals we don’t normally see at the Detroit Zoo, like the giant bats, the baby elephant, and the leopard.
Another big change in our family these past couple months has been taking the whole family gluten free. After Joe’s diagnosis with Celiac Disease a year ago, Rosie and I recently got tested and found out we are gluten intolerant, so now there is no wheat in the house. I think this is really more common now because the grains we eat are genetically modified and engineered and the wheat today has extremely high levels of gluten. It is not the same as the wheat our grandparents ate, and we eat such huge amounts of processed foods, our bodies just can’t digest it. I think it is a good change for our family, it means we are eating healthier and eating less processed foods, eating out less often, and reading more labels. We are also limiting sugar and dairy, as I don’t think our bodies were designed to digest cow’s milk in mass quantities either. The kids have been eating lots of frozen fruit, frozen little cups of yobaby yogurt, we have been making fresh smoothies and popsicles, making GF (gluten free) bread and cookies. Rosie and Sammy start almost every morning asking for their vitamins. I am also making homemade kombucha. I love the taste and it is really high in B vitamins and probiotics and I convinced Joe to drink a little with me every morning.
I can’t believe Sammy is almost 3! He is so cute and funny and also sensitive and whiny and still really big into throwing tantrums. He still copies his sister, repeating things she says verbatim, and wanting to do everything she does. He loves to do puzzles and play catch and kick balls. He has been really into pretend lately and acting out stories with cars and dolls. I caught him up in Rosie’s room while she was in school, he was just sitting quietly with her barbies, talking and acting out a story about “sarah” and trying to take off the doll’s clothes.
Sammy’s favorite sayings these last couple months:
WHAT THE??!!!??! (pretending to be shocked at everything)
“I like your shirt” (says to everyone, so cute)
I think….maybe…..(when deciding something)
He has also been loving playing outside and riding his tricycle or scooter. He started asking to go to school with Rosie when we would drop her off in the morning, so we started sending him to school 2 mornings a week with her. He seems to really love it and is starting to count more, and started practicing holding his pen/pencil and writing letters. He can count to 5 easily and really understands the value as he counts each finger. He has been really whiny and sensitive lately, needing lots of cuddles, melting down at the mere mention of the word “no”. I am wondering if the school environment and being away from me for even a couple hours just 2 days a week is making him feel a little less secure and that is causing the whiny tantrums and the need for more connection with me…
We have been slowly making process with potty learning. His diaper is dry almost every morning, and he is going on the potty a lot if I remind him, but still not really taking initiative to go on his own and having a lot of accidents.
He is now getting dressed almost all by himself, and he finally managed putting on socks without help.
I am trying to find new ways to deal with his whiny times and tantrums. I try to give him words to use like “frustrated” and “disappointed” to describe his feelings, and I have been trying to get him to draw a picture to show me when he is angry, frustrated, sad, etc. He doesn’t really draw much, sometimes just a line or circle or scribble, but it seems to work and calm him down a little bit.
She was encouraged by her friend M, who took the big step about 2 weeks before Rosie did. M had a balance bike (no training wheels and no pedals) that Rosie borrowed for about a week and practiced her balancing. Then we took one training wheel off for about a day, and she asked to remove the other one, and has been a bike riding fool ever since. Joe and I bought bikes off craigslist so we can all go for family bike rides together (with Sammy on the back of my bike).
Here’s Rosie and her friend M riding bikes the other day…
She is so excited about her new skill, and will yell to neighbors we pass “I’m riding a two-wheeler!”
She has been so gregarious, and excited to talk to people in general. She is starting up conversations with random people all the time, the cashier at the grocery store, the librarian, etc.
Another new thing is that Rosie started on a soccer team with her cousin Ari and with Uncle Lime (Emil) coaching. We have had about a month of practices and games on Saturdays, and she is so cute running around on the field. She doesn’t seem to care much for the actual game of soccer. She is always distracted, hugging friends, picking flowers, running and waving to us the whole time. I guess the important thing is she loves having fun and being part of a team.
She is really loving school and still learning a lot - she is reading, writing and spelling everything. She can read little beginner books all herself now.
We have had a couple Kindergarten orientation events, and she is really excited to go to school next year, and super excited to ride the bus with all the neighborhood kids!
She is obsessed with rainbows, and really into creating art and drawing and painting lately. She told me she wanted to learn more about art, so we looked up Gustav Klimt on my computer because she has the same birthday, then we looked up Diego Rivera and learned about both their paintings and talked about the different colors they used and etc.
We did a pen pal exchange with a lot of families in my natural parenting group, and we created postcards or art to send in letters to about 4-5 kids each week. That was a lot of fun for Rosie to get mail every week, and she loved putting stamps on letters and putting them in the mailbox all by herself.
She loves playing kitty or doggie with her brother, and singing “beat on the brat” courtesy of their dad.
She is always dancing and leaping around and will request that we give her all our attention while she does a ballet dance for us.
We plan on starting her on dance or ballet lessons as soon as soccer is over. She is a little independent creature, and insists on picking out her own outfits and dressing herself every day, some are quite creative and colorful.
Another new thing she has been doing is making up new house rules for all of us to follow, she definitely loves being in charge, especially telling her brother what to do.
Well, that’s it for now. Hope everyone is doing well, thanks for reading and catching up on our little family!