Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where Every Day's a Holiday

Anja is really into holidays. The other day she said it's no good to have just a regular day that isn't a holiday; that's no fun. And my explanation that the reason holidays are holidays is precisely because they don't happen every day was not enough for her. But really, the joke's on her, because right now every day IS a holiday around here. Just wait till she goes to school next year and she can't stay in her pajamas till noon, or change costumes fourteen times a day, or decide that right now is a good time to bake cookies... We've got a pretty great life around here these days--relaxed, happy, fun... and on most days we do all the things that we do on the holidays, complete with seeing the relatives. It's just that normal life is a lot better than the holidays on the normal days I'm not freaking out about washing their hair and keeping obligations and having to be someplace on time. When you don't go anywhere, time means nothing. I like it that way. I don't know how ready Anja will be next fall when she heads off to kindergarten, but I can tell you one thing: I'M going to miss these days and this easy-breezey lifestyle!

Here are some things we did today:
-Drew pictures
-Played music (Elka LOVES music... I'm going to have to have Martin take a video of her wiggling to "Rattlin' Bog" sometime soon)
-Made a very ugly leaf garland out of colored construction paper cutouts
-baked "sweetberry crisp"
-Ate mashed potatoes in the middle of the afternoon because mashed potatoes sounded like a good snack
-Read 'George and Martha'.  Okay, RIGHT NOW, no matter your age or whether or not you've got kids, you HAVE to go to your local library or at least get on their website and place a hold on as many George and Martha books as you can. We just can't get enough George and Martha around here! They are so funny
! They are so sweet! And they are an example of true friendship. I don't remember loving them when I was little, but as an adult, they are my absolute favorite book characters. I love them. I really think they might even beat out Frog & Toad.
-Ate candy (until I decided it was time to hide it all for awhile.)
-Stayed dressed out our Halloween costumes, which we'd slept in, and which we are sleeping in again right now.

And that brings us to our next topic: HALLOWEEN!

 As you can see, Anja was not a princess, as you might have been lead to believe after seeing the first picture of this post. No, princess dresses are worn casually around these parts. For Halloween, Anja was a fox. A really splendid fox, too. I feel like I did enough complaining already to anyone who would listen about how we BOUGHT the girls princess dresses (really pretty ones) three weeks ago and they were all revved up to wear them until about two days before Halloween when Anja decided she was going to be a fox. Her exact words were "I'm intent on being a fox." And so she was! No matter how much I tried to convince her that she'd make an awesome princess, she wanted to be a fox, and so, a fox she was.

This is the back of the costume:
 In the end, it was totally worth the headache this costume caused me. She LOVED being a fox (her fox name is Mary, by the way) and it was a good exercise for me in letting go. So what if I didn't get the dishes done from the family dinner party we'd had the night before? (oh... those dishes are still on the counter? Hmm.... ) Anja really enjoyed watching the costume take shape, trying it on as we went, checking everything before I made any seams to make sure it was just how she wanted it. And in the end, it turned out to be a pretty good costume for being constructed from scratch in just a few hours. The funny thing is, on the one hand I feel like I should be proud of myself for being able to whip up a costume like that lickedy-split... on the other hand, I feel like a fool because this is what I do every Halloween! Thankfully, Greta changed her mind in this order: Princess-ghost-bat-princess-[as we were walking out the door] CAT! Luckily, we had a cat costume in our dressup basket.
A few days ago they carved a pumpkin with Oompa up at my parents' house. I forgot about carving pumpkins. Because I'm a loser mom.

And speaking of cats, let's talk about THIS crazy cat:
Elka has begun to crawl. Does this seem ridiculously early to anyone else?! Four and a half months? CRAWLING?!? She's not quite got the arm-and-leg synchronized movement down yet, she's still at the rocking on her hands and knees phase. But she'll get up on her hands and knees and then rocket herself forward. This is how she gets places. Like a little toad. She can go across the room this way. It's crazy! And really, really funny to watch. It makes me worried about my future.

I got a call today from our local special services program within our schools and have an appointment to get Anja started with speech therapy. I feel like her speech (articulation, I guess) has gone up and down over the past year or two, and right now I do think it's improving, but I'm afraid she needs to improve A LOT before she goes to school next year. So that ball is finally rolling.  It's kind of sad because she has a really incredible vocabulary for a four year old (I'm clinging to the fact that she's still four... I've got one week left...) but nobody can tell that because nobody can understand a thing she says! But, a fix is in sight, at last.

To be honest, we've spent the majority of our days lately gathered around the kitchen table with piles and piles of paper, drawing. Greta, especially, LOVES to draw. In one month Greta has gone from drawing heads with stick limbs to drawing whole detailed people and even beginning to grasp the concept of foreground and background, distance within a picture and expression of movement and emotion. It's really, really fun to watch. Here's a picture she drew of Anja, Greta and Elka in Halloween costumes:

Elka is the little one with the stick on top her of her head (that's her mohawk) as a mummy; Greta is below that as a ghost; Anja is the big one with curly hair, and I can't really remember what her costume is... maybe a fox with a flower on her tummy? I can't remember, but it made sense when Greta told me (at least, it made as much sense as a three year old's drawing can.) Anyway, it's been so fun to watch her drawing develop, I'll be interested to see if that's something she'll continue with or not! Greta is absolutely turning out to be the artsy one of the bunch... she can really sing in tune too! Anja likes to do all the same things Greta does, but she does them much more strategically. She is more interested in doing things the "right" way  Except when it comes to poetry... Anja loves poetry and often closes her eyes to recite.

And here is a picture of my three little goofballs, all looking perfectly goofy, showing off their footy pj's as cold weather has arrived here.

And even though they all like to wear pajamas, none of them really likes sleep very much. Which is too bad. Obviously.

I imagine the next time I post Anja will be a big five year old, since that's happening next Friday. It will be an exciting birthday for her in more ways than one. I'm very excited for it myself!


Mrs. H. said...

They are so wonderful!! I'm glad people will soon be able to understand Anna's speech a little better. How many 4 year olds would say "I am intent on being a fox"?? Her vocabulary is amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Your girls are the cutest!! And way to go on the customes. They look great!

I agree with your mom, you say the stuff she says and we're still working on pronouncing spoon correctly over here. She's so bright and your such a good mom! Have FUN with it - speech therapy and I go way back.

Anne said...

I'm a sucker for book recommendations so I just requested the complete stories of George and Martha from our library. I've never read a single one of their stories, not even as a child, so now I'm all excited!

Anja's fox costume looks fabulous and you're so much nicer than me to whip it up for her last minute!!

I have a letter in progress...

Mrs. H. said...

Annie: Wouldn't you like to tell everyone how I whipped up your "Annie" costume in just one (very long) night? I think you inherited your costume genes from your Mama and Daddy. :)
No bragging here, ha ha.

Clare said...

I adore the fox costume!!! Sooooo cute! And you have so much patience to whip it up last minute! I told Isabel to pick on Sunday and that was it after going through 10 costume choices! Lol.

I forgot all about George and Martha! I loved them! I have to read them now!

Good luck with speech therapy! I heard it works wonders!