"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Isla France is 4 Years Old!`

Yes, my beautiful baby girl is FOUR!

Poor Isla woke up the 14th with a fever and throwing up, and it lasted through her birthday! I should have known something was up when she slept until 9, and then followed me around telling me she loved me for over an hour… but I didn’t realize until I went to help her get dressed after breakfast. Her temperature got up to almost 103! That’s no fun. It meant she had to miss her Easter party at school too, which was a bummer. She spent most of the 14th and 15th watching Frozen and taking a THREE HOUR nap, which is unheard of for Isla at this point.

Buried under her comforter, watching Frozen!

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Poor sick, baby. Kids are always so sweet when they are sick!

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I am going to try to keep this short, but brevity is not my strong point so I will do my best.

Personality

Isla is a very likeable little girl. She has a sunshiny personality and makes friends where ever she goes! There have been a few times at the library she has come up to me and said that so-and-so wouldn’t play with her and that made her sad, but generally I can count on her to make friends. Also she is just FUN! I love her FUN personality. We call her the NEW bubbles on champagne!

Lately, I really feel like I have a much better grasp on her personality, partly because she is able to talk about more complex things. She has always been very verbal and a good talker, but now she can talk about ideas and describe more places than before. I used to think of Isla as strong-willed, but I am realizing more and more that she is not at all strong willed. I think I was mistaking “uncontrollable” for strong-willed. She is actually pretty go with the flow and if I say she cannot have something or change plans, she is ok with it. Sometimes she will ask “ok, but can I have it tomorrow?” but if the answer is no, she’s usually ok. She is not a tantrum thrower.

However she is a little force of nature. It’s hilarious, when its not distressing, to me that I am parenting a daughter who is so different from me. I’m very type-A, she’s very type-B. I’m very low energy, she is very active, I am an introvert, she is most definitely an extrovert… I am trying hard to not impose my personality on her whenever possible, but sometimes its hard, and I mess up.

Isla’s activity level is usually where I struggle the most. I’m so glad that I have my mom as a witness, but it can be very challenging to corral someone with SO MUCH ENERGY and SO MANY IDEAS! Some days I feel like I all I do is say/scream “NO ISLA! STOP!” before she gets into some new mischief. To top it off, she is very clumsy and rough. She has a good heart, but she can really hurt her friends or Gemma. She will pull/push (not in a mean way, but in a “come on guys” way) and her hugs are painful to see. Half the time the object of her affection ends up on the ground in a giant bear hug! And some days I feel like she spends all day running into or knocking over household furniture!

Interests

Isla is obsessed with Frozen right now! I love it since its about sisters and my greatest wish is for my kids love each other and get along when they are older. I know it frequently doesn’t happen when kids grow up, but I plan to push sibling love whenever I can. They will love each other, OR ELSE…! Frozen is perfect for that. I always point out that Elsa is trying to protect Anna, and Isla should try to protect Gemma or that was not nice of Elsa to say that to Anna, and Isla should try to be sweeter to Gemma. If she were older, I’m pretty sure I’d get an eye roll and a fake barf sign, but for now she just nods gravely and soaks it in. She also loves to sing “Let It Go” and act like she’s Elsa, which is hilarious and adorable to watch.

She is currently in preschool two days a week and Awanas on Wednesday nights, plus I keep Gabby two times per week. She loves Gabby! I am really trying to honor Isla’s activity level. I used to think she needed more stimulation, but now I am realizing that she needs more activity, and all of her current activities are geared more towards stimulation than activity.

Isla after Awanas! She always comes home so happy!

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This June I decided to sign Isla up for as many activities as possible to get a feel for what she likes. After being on the weight list since October, Isla finally got into swim lessons in twice weekly in June! It is supposed to be very good, and includes water survival where half of the lessons include swimming in your clothes in case you fall into the pool. I also signed her up for ballet on Tuesday nights. I am hoping that it will help her be more aware of her body and develop a little bit better coordination. And finally on Thursday she will be in a Frozen themed workshop for three hours that includes, art, dance and gymnastics. I think she will love it!

Hopefully from those activities I can get a feel for what Isla really likes and is good at for the fall. As smart as she is, I think she is a more physical being, and although I am not athletic at all, I hope to encourage that in Isla since she really is so strong!

She still loves puzzles and math/shape activities, but is starting to like her dolls and girly toys just as much. I didn’t realize until very late that I was good at math, mainly because I had no confidence in my math skills. My children will not have that problem. If they are bad at it, its fine. If they are good at it, they will have every opportunity to encourage math and engineering, and so far Isla has. I am happy to see her getting into more imaginative play with her dolls though!

Daddy’s Little Helper

I should say OUR little helper because she LOVES to jump in a help both of us!  However Nick lets her help him with anything, from building furniture to replacing the headlights on our car. For me, allowing her to help does not always come naturally, but its something I am working on. She has surprised me with her ability to concentrate and follow through. She may be active, but she has an excellent attention span. She and her daddy are like two peas in a pod, and I love their relationship. I’m so glad that I have him to balance me out, and that she has father who absolutely adores and appreciates her.

Isla and Nick, camping in the backyard!

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At our local, minor league baseball game!

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Assembling Gemma’s new dresser!

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Eating

Isla is becoming much more picky about food. I can usually get her to try anything or if I feed her she will eat anything.  However when left to her own devices she will declare that she’s full almost immediately if its not one of the classic kid favorites: grilled cheese, pizza, noodles, hot dogs, etc. I thought maybe it was just getting older, but Nick pointed out that she is probably picking up from the other kids’ eating habits at school.

Her favorites remain – cheese tortillas, eggs (we have brought back green eggs), cheesy noodles, and almost any milkshake (fruit smoothie).

Sleep

Isla still has to do quiet time, but she rarely naps, which is too bad. She needs it, however when she does nap we have a battle royale at bedtime… so maybe she doesn’t? We are in a very awkward transition period, for sure. She usually sleeps about 11 to 11.5 hours at night. For a while she was in the habit of waking up in the middle of the night and coming into our room. However instead of going right back to sleep like before, she would lay awake for hours, and then keep us up! And then of course, NOT NAP, which made her so pleasant. It was bad. Finally after two months we had to say that she had to stay in her bed if she woke up, but I would come and sleep on the couch in case she was scared and be closer to her. That put an end to her night waking and after a couple of nights, she stopped.

Big Sister

Isla sometimes loves Gemma, sometimes doesn’t want Gemma around, but all in all, I think she does pretty well with her baby sister. I know she has a hard time because Gemma is at an age where she grabs Isla’s things and gets into her toys and that frustrates her. Sometimes she will knock Gemma over with her belly intentionally as she is passing by. She also likes to pick up/drag Gemma around like a baby doll at times, which really frustrates me since the end result is usually a meltdown from Gemma. I have to remind Isla that she is not Gemma’s boss and that Gemma is her own person who knows what she wants/like!

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That’s about it! She’s just such a wild, funny, sweet little girl and I love being her mommy!

Next up, her birthday celebrations!

3 comments:

  1. I cannot believe she is 4!! Happy Birthday sweet Isla!

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  2. Happy Birthday Isla!

    I loved reading your description of her and can relate SO MUCH on the challenges of raising a personality completely opposite of yours :) Sounds like you are doing an amazing job!

    ReplyDelete

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