Monday, October 02, 2006

Ramblings about my girls

McKenna is at school right now and Kyla is being her usual mischievously charming self. She is at the age where she is into everything and climbing on everything and then giving her fliratious little smile and head tilt so that she won't get in any trouble for it. Her current favorite hobbies are to steal her sister's food, to climb onto any furniture that she can manage to tackle, and to take Daddy's cds and sort them into messy piles. I can't tell what each pile represents but I can only assume she is creating one pile of good cds and one piles of cds that suck. Erick and I are currently in debate over whether the pile that holds all the Slayer cds is the good pile or the suck pile. Guess which side of the camp I'm on?

She is being a major lovey loverson lately. She will give us kisses or blow kisses if we ask her too. She will come over and bump her head into you to let you know she wants to hug and then if you lean down to her, she'll rest her head on you. That's how she hugs. If McKenna gets hurt and cries, Kyla comes over to her and gives her a little head nudge and then tackles McKenna in a hug. That always makes McKenna laugh and Kyla feels like she's done her job.

She is *this close* to walking. You can tell that she has the balance and strength to do it but not the confidence. We watch her stand there and contemplate taking that first step and then she chickens out and sinks down so she can crawl away. She is the fastest crawler in the west though so she probably figures she'll get there faster if she crawls.

She doesn't have too many new words since I last updated. Mama, Dada, Daddy, Hi Daddy, Sissy, Kenna (she pronounces it "Keh-uh"), Duck, Turtle (pronounced "Tuh-tuh"), Cup, Baba and "Ta-Da!" She loves to sing! She sings along with some of her toys and I've even caught her sitting next to McKenna's cd player and quietly singing along in her little baby voice. Not that she sings any words and barely follows the tune. But you can see her totally absorbed in the song and can tell she's soaking it all in.

McKenna is doing really well in school. She's been practicing sitting down through a whole meal and when we're having a family dinner, she knows that she has to ask to be excused. Erick actually got her to try some new foods and I was shocked not only that she tried them but that she LIKED them! She ate scallops, shrimp and red snapper! My picky kid! Can you believe it? I'm thrilled! I think tonight I'll make some baby shrimp with linguine. Now that I know she likes the taste, we'll be serving those things more often so that she can get used to them as a normal part of our menu.

She is also learning to practice her "indoor voice" and to not react to someone taking something from her by screaming but by saying "Please don't take this from me" or to ask a grown up for help. I am so glad we switched classes. This teacher definitely has the higher expectations of the kids that I was hoping for. At first I was a little put off because she put McKenna in time-out on her first day of class for not sitting through lunch. And while I still don't think a kid should get time-out on their first day, I also realize that McKenna's first day was the third day of class for the other kids and the teacher probably didn't want to give the other kids the idea that getting up repeatedly during lunch is ok. So while I was initially annoyed, I also reminded myself that we switched McKenna because we wanted her to be stretched and to learn new things and that is exactly what we got. McKenna says she likes the class, likes the kids and likes the teacher. Every morning, she eats her breakfast in record time and asks to get dressed so she can go to Dinosaur class. So I'm glad that she's happy and comfortable there. Today she came home and said she wanted to talk about Jesus. This month, the Bible verse that they are learning is John 10:11 "I Am the Good Shepherd". So we talked about how Jesus loves every one of us and how He is always there to guide us. I told her "Do you know how much Mommy loves you? She said "Millions and billions and trillions!" I said "That's right and guess what? Jesus loves you even MORE than that!" Her eyes lit up and she got a giant grin on her face like she couldn't believe that was possible!

Right now she is sitting at the table (yeah, it took me so long to write everything that she's back from class now) and flipping through her preschool practice book that we bought for her. She's saying "I know how to spell that one and that one." She can now tell you how to spell all of these words: Toy, Cow, Fox, Happy, Hippo, and Bieger. Sometimes she can spell fish. Sometimes she forgets or just plain refuses. LOL! But I love seeing her sit at the table with her little pencil in her hand and saying "Do we know how to spell baby? We know how to spell baby. Check! Can we spell bear? We can spell bear. Check!" LOL! She actually can not spell those words yet but I crack up whenever she does "check" because that is her being exactly like Mommy with her need to "cross things off her list."

Her dance class is going wonderfully! She is definitely one of the most enthusiastic participators. This week, Miss Valerie had the girls do a Retire position (sorry, I can't remember how to do accent marks on a computer). The girls weren't holding on to a barre, they just had their hands in first-position and McKenna had impeccable balance. Valerie looked up at me across the room and our eyes met in shock. No one expects a 3-5 year old to actually have the balance to pull that position off and there was McKenna, the teeniest one in the class and perfectly balanced in position. Being short does have it's advantages. LOL!

Most of the girls in the dance class are 5 and about twice McKenna's size. Even the 3-year olds in the class have a good 4 inches on her. My kid is exceptionally short and these girls just happen to be exceptionally tall so there is a noticeable difference. Each week they do a cross-the-floor exercise with "magic wands" (streamers) and there are 3 colors. Of course the big thing is WHICH color you get to use! They all start staking their claim on what color they want but they don't get to choose until it's their turn to cross-the-floor. Well last week, McKenna said "I want blue!" and this other little girl told her "No. You're too little to pick. You can have yellow." McKenna eyed her wearily, almost like she was sizing her up! She put her hands on her hips and said confidently "I want blue." And sure enough, she got blue. I told her later that I was proud of her for standing up for herself. And then I reminded her that the point of dance class is that we're learning and having fun no matter what color wand we get. And she said "Otay." And the week after she asked for pink. LOL! I don't know if that lesson really resonated with her.

She and Erick are now signed up for the Crunch & Munch art class. It's for an hour on Wednesday afternoons and it starts this week. This is the class where they make edible play-doh, paint with pudding, make colored pasta creations, etc. She has been dying to do this for months. I didn't want to start it until after her dance class was over because it would be so busy. But if we didn't take the class now, she wouldn't be able to take it until January. So we went ahead and signed them up. I think the two of them are going to have such a blast doing this activity together. Erick loves doing father-daughter activities and this is just his kind of thing.

Oh and one final update, I quit my job at the church. : ( I really liked the job. It was a simple, 3-hour per week job answering the occasional phone call and grading the occasional psychiatry test for the counseling department. I was able to bring my laptop and scrap in the down time which was nice. When I first took the job, I worked more hours because we really needed the money. Then Kyla was born and I cut back my hours and kept the job so that McKenna's preschool cost would be free (with the employee discount, my income from the job covered the rest.) So I really wasn't in any hurry to leave. But DST has become just huge. I am definitely putting in a regular 40-50 hours a week on it and when you combine that plus Erick's unusual work schedule and McKenna being in classes 3 days a week and Kyla still needing one nap a day - it gets really hard to find time to run errands, set doctor appointments or even make plans to see family, have playdates, or go out just for fun. Something had to go and it had to be the church job. So Wednesday is my last day. I'm sad but relieved because I know that will free up a whole evening for us as a family. And today Erick emailed me with great news - he got a raise! It covers the entire amount that I was making at the church as well as McKenna's preschool cost. So that worked out just perfectly! It's retro-active so that means right around Christmas he should be getting a nice chunk of money from July-September. That will be so nice since the holidays are always so expensive! We would've been fine without the raise. But it sure makes me feel better about giving up a perfectly good job that provided extra income for us! God has been providing for us at every turn. For the first time in our marriage, we don't have that financial worry settled on our shoulders. Which is good because I don't think I could handle financial stress AND the stress of running a forum. LOL! That is a job that takes some finesse, that's for sure!

Which reminds me.....I really should get back to work. ; ) This is going to be an extremely busy month for me. We're starting a chat series called DST Surprises where each host will be a different designer. It's a surprise who the host will be and no one will know until they show up for the chat. The designer will give away a freebie and it's a great way for them to introduce themselves and their products to the digi-community. And we're also pulling together an amazing starter packet for people who are new to digital scrapping. I am in awe over how generous the designers have been! There is going to be lots of fun stuff, tutorials, FAQ's, etc. And then for anyone who posts their first layout in the gallery using the kit, there is a coupon booklet as a posting incentive! So we've got those two projects going on and we're about to open up sales for more advertising which is a lot of work and craziness for a few days. So anyway, it's gonna be buuuuuuusy. I'm just hoping I can force out some time for myself to scrap!!

Thanks for letting me ramble! Sometimes I need to make sure I blog about our lives just so I can feel like I'm journaling these things for our girls. And then I feel freed up to get back to all my to-do's!


Britt(any) said...

I love hearing the "God is so good" with your job! Yay!

AND....I totally understand your annoyance with the teacher putting Kenna in time out. Also remember that teachers are usually pretty strict the first month of school....I know I'm not so nice to my kids right now....LOL!!

Anonymous said...

I love ramblings about your daughters...they are just so cute! How amazing about your job and your husband's raise! Wow! And I for one really appreciate all the work you put into DST...all of us do!

Anonymous said...

Yes God is good! So awesome to see how He provides! Jehovah Jireh! Thanks for sharing your story. :)

God bless!
Laurie G

Stephanie said...

I always find it amazing how God provides at exactly the right time. :) You have the perfect finesse skills for the job! I know everyone at DST really appreciates all of your hard work!

Elaine said...

Of course I'm loving the Kenna and Kyla series! hahahaha! Kyla sounds so sweet and Kenna is getting so big but yes, being short DOES have its advantages! And that Crunch and Munch class sounds awesome!!

Congrats on Erick's raise and the success of DST (seriously, that's amazing!!). And thanks for the update! I love hearing about the family!

Laura said...

I am in awe of you Shannon! You're such a good Mom and you seem like you've always got everything perfectly under control. I have no idea how you're fitting in so much time at DST, but it's appreciated! I am also constantly amazed at how God provides for you, it's such a wonderful thing to watch, and I know you deserve it.

Maegan said...

Shannon, I enjoy reading about your girls so much. It gives me an idea of what I have to look forward to with Zoƫ.

I knew that DST was popular but I had no idea that it required so much work on your end. YIKES! Thanks for all that you do. :)

Julie Jewels said...

Awww...hearing stories of the girls makes me miss them so much!
I'm so glad you decided to quit your church job and that God provided for you with Erick getting a raise! That's just awesome and has to be a huge burden off of you!!