The birthday girl with her guests! One little girl showed up from Elaina's class and it was so fun getting to know her better. She is such a sweetheart!
Elaina and her cousin. They get mistaken for twins ALL the time! They are exactly one-month apart in age, too.
The sisters! Zoë didn't get in the picture but that is okay.
My beautiful 5-year-old
Elaina was my first- my first daughter, my first child, my first pregnancy, my first birth, my first baby, first toddler, first preschooler... I sometimes put too much pressure on her as the firstborn and I'm hoping that this year can be a new start to try to ease up on her. I don't want her to grow up too fast!
She is already in Kindergarten now (it started in summer school) and is learning so much. Her drawings before starting preschool were just scribbles and now she does self portraits, castles, animals, etc. She can write her name and simple words. She can write any letter of the alphabet if I recite letters to her. She always comes home and surprises me with the wonderful topics she learns in school, topics that I would think older children would discuss but am surprised to find my smart daughter getting to learn about early!
Not too long ago Elaina confided in me that her friends were excluding her on the playground. I cannot tell you how incredibly bothered I felt for my daughter listening to her tearfully tell me that she finally goes and plays with kids in another grade because her friends don't want to play with her. It is SO hard to not want to step in and solve everything for her. After swallowing my own tears and anger so she wouldn't see I asked her how she could handle it.
And without me even stepping in things have gotten better and her friends are being more accepting. We've also had issues with a couple girls in Elaina's class being very disrespectful and being mean to other classmates. I asked Elaina what she could say when so-and-so calls someone ugly and she came up with, "I will tell them, 'That's not nice. If you can't talk nice we can't play together' or I'll just walk away." She's so bright and I'm praying for her classmates this year as they will be growing up together for the next several years (her school only has one class per grade except Kindergarten which has two). Since our talk she has used her solution, too, and it seems like the meanness is dying out for now. I'm very proud of her and I hope she can continue to be a pacifist among her group.
And just had to throw one in of the baby! This was Zoë on Elaina's actual birthday. Our church had a carnival in the projects and we had those blow-up jumpy things, games, food, prizes! Zoë turned 8 months old yesterday but I don't have pictures of her taken yet. She is TRYING so hard to crawl and can sit up all by herself. She has a lot more independent time playing on the floor (I usually hold her all day long) and that lets me get so much more done lately.