Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Schwartz's vs Sarah's Turning 4

Dear Sarah, 

Today you turned 4 years old!  This year has gone by so quickly.  I can't really think of any huge developmental milestones you hit.  You were done potty training by the time you turned 3.  I guess in this year you did night train yourself but that was really early in 2013 that you mastered that.  In October, you switched to a "big girl" twin sized bed.  You love sleeping in that.  You still haven't learned your letters or your numbers.  I guess we'll work on that in 2014.  

At your 4 year old check up, I didn't write down your height or your weight, but I do remember them saying you are in the 50th %-tile for weight and 75th %-tile for height.  Dr. Catherine, as usual, noted that you are very verbal and social.  I talked to her about your lack of focus.  In fact, I straight up asked her, "Do you want to go ahead and diagnose ADHD now or do we have to wait until the parent-teacher conference notes start coming home in Kindergarten?"  She said she's pretty good at catching it at this age and that she doesn't think you have it.  She just wants to see more structured activities for you to help you learn how to focus.  So I guess next year we'll start doing some planned pre-school activities at home.  I will say you have done a great job focusing on the various Christmas crafts we've been doing.  So hopefully she is right and you just need a little more structure to get you to focus.

You are becoming a great helper at home.  I've started trying to give you a little more freedom and responsibility.  In the mornings, I come in and give you your cup of milk and then you go and get the tv turned on for cartoon time.  On laundry day it's now your responsiblity to carry your clothes from my bed to your room and put them away.  This on top of the fact that you've been dressing yourself for quite some time makes your drawers more messy then I would like but that's something we can work on.  For now, I just go in every other week or so and refold and put everything away and show you again where I like things to go in your drawer.  Then I ignore it for another couple of weeks.  If you've had a good day you can earn extra book time in your bed.  I'll let you take 2 books to bed and leave your light on.  When you are done "reading" them you get up, put them away, open your door to tell me goodnight, and then turn your light off and go to bed.  

You are a stereotypical older child.  You can be sweet and helpful to Cody when you want to be.  You'll often turn on the light for him in his bedroom and help him get toys down out of the closet.  You help him build train tracks and do puzzles.  Sometimes you share your toys with him, other times you've had enough and you pack up your princesses and go to your room.  You have finally learned to retaliate.  Cody is going through a hitting phase and for the most part you just take it or walk away.  But every so often you've had enough and I've caught you whack him back.  This gets you both sent to time out, but secretly I'm on your side.  

You are loud.  LOUD.  You have no inside voice.  I am constantly having to remind you that I am right next to you and there is no need to talk that loud.  You are also a yeller.  I get it.  You got it from me, I got it from my dad.  I'm going to go ahead and blame genetics on that one.  When Cody makes you mad you YELL, a lot.  I am really working on not yelling and trying to help you not yell.  On the plus side, it has made me more aware of when I want to yell and has reduced how often I do accidently slip and start yelling.  On the downside, it's not working to reduce how much you yell yet.  But I have hope.  When you yell you go to time out to calm down and then we talk about what you could have done better or differently. 

Your life is a musical.  You are constantly singing anything.  You pick up songs quickly from the radio and sing along in the back seat.  You sing primary songs at home.  You sing songs from your favorite movies.  You also make up your own songs about whatever you're doing.  I love that about you. 

You are friendly, sweet, and kind.  You always want to be the center of attention.  You are quick to give compliments and hugs.  You are my snuggle buddy and look forward to Sundays when I let you nap with me in my bed.  You are a girly girl and always want to wear a dress with leggings (a compromise we had to come to that you now enjoy).  But you hate letting me fix your hair and hair bows are almost a thing of the past.  

You find joy and delight in the little things and share that with the rest of the family.  We love you dearly.


PS: We did your birthday interview today.  It's was over 4 minutes long of you in all your mommy diagnosed ADHD glory.  I'm going to wait until January to try again because right now you're just a little too hopped up on Christmas and so all your answers were centered around that and I didn't think it truly captured how you would answer those questions if you weren't obsessed with all the Christmas activities we've been doing.  

Since your birthday was on Sunday this year we enjoyed a nice quite family dinner together and I made you a pink cake, just like you asked.
Grandma and Grandpa Smith sent a present from FL.

A new dress!

Opening your gift from Mommy, Daddy, and Cody.

A Sophia the First dress, crown, and doll.

Singing Happy Birthday

Make a wish!

I love sugar!  (No really, you said that!)

Sugar high.

While you were eating the cake you told me the frosting was "deeeelicious".  You ate all the frosting, and even mined it out of the center.  You barely ate any of the strawberry cake you asked me to bake for you.  I jokingly asked, "next year do you even want a cake or just frosting" and you said, "just a bowl of frosting would be great mom."  Yeah, that's not happening.  

Happy Birthday sweet Sarah!

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