28 October 2018

Felix is Six!

This year, my little Felix is six! His birthday fell on a Saturday, and he was born on a Saturday too. In fact, he was born on a General Conference Saturday (during the Saturday afternoon session, in fact), and I look back at the session of that day with particular fondness. I remember some of the specific talks so clearly (like the one by President Uchtdorf in the morning session, when we were driving to the hospital, and he quoted his wife on their bike rides saying, "Dieter, it's not a race," and I was thinking, "Eric these words do not apply to you. Please drive faster!")

I don't think Felix is a huge fan of having his birthday fall on General Conference, but hopefully one day he'll love it. This year we watched the Saturday afternoon session with Eric's grandma and celebrated Felix's birthday there.

When he went to the store to get his free birthday cake, he hoped for a strawberry one, and there was a strawberry one in stock, so he lucked out. Felix loved looking surprised when we sang, "my goodness it's you!" and he had fun blowing out his candles. He wasn't sitting close enough, so it took several tries.

Lately Felix loves painting. He and Ike were given a lot of tiny toy soldiers last year for Christmas. Eric has spent hours painting those soldiers in the last few months, and Felix loves to help. These little clothespin airplanes were another project that Felix really enjoyed. Felix also likes to color and will sometimes spend a good chunk of time working on a picture.

A few more pictures of Felix:

At his preschool Easter egg hunt in the spring:

Last day of preschool:

First day of kindergarten:

Felix really enjoys kindergarten. He is incredibly well-behaved at school (and at church too), and he always comes home with reports of how many kids had to move their clips down each day. (I'm trying to help him understand that he needs to worry about himself and not the other kids, but I'm also so amused at his shock at their bad behavior.)

I taught Ike to read before he started kindergarten, but I knew that I would lose that battle of wills with Felix. Nevertheless, he is learning to read now, and with it coming more from his teacher than from me, he seems a lot more responsive. I am working to help him understand that it's okay to mess up, and sometimes you have to try really hard and practice a lot to learn something.

I just really like this picture that Ike snapped of him while I was doing a swim class with Trixie:

This face is the epitome of what this kid does when he is fed up with pictures, which happened a lot on our road trip this year. (I don't blame him; sometime his dad's wielding of the camera is just overkill.)

I am pretty sure I mentioned this in another post, but Felix got stung eleven-ish times by hornets on our road trip. We got him some painkiller and antihistamine, and he was ready for canoeing. He really is a tough kid. He hasn't broken any bones or needed any stitches (knock on wood) in his life, but he has had some other painful experiences that I will not enumerate here. He always bears them with such bravery! When it comes to getting shots, I never worry about how he will do. He still usually cries when he gets them, but he is so brave in the moments before, which makes things so much easier on everyone.

He was pretty excited to have me put this butterfly on him at the aquarium. 

Felix is such a good boy. He can get really impatient, especially when he feels that he's not being listened to. I feel like kindergarten has mellowed him remarkably. He comes home from school ready to do his chores, usually without complaint, so he can get on his way to play with friends. He loves reading together, he loves dancing, and he is still a terrific sharer. He is so sweet with Felicia and is surprisingly tolerant when Trixie is being terrible to him (pulling his hair, tackling him, licking him, etc.). (Trixie's favorite sibling is probably Felix right now, but sometimes she's not fun to play with.) He loves trying to help her learn her letters, and he frequently corrects her when she mispronounces words. (Speaking of which, he couldn't say is R's or L's a a year ago, but he has no problem with them now. He doesn't understand why other kids might still struggle with those sounds, because once he figured out how to say them, things clicked really quickly for him. When he first started to realize that he could say R's at the start of words, I'd hear him practicing to himself, which was so amusing.)

I love my Felix!

01 October 2018

Trixie is Three!

Trixie turned three about a month ago. She is the sweetest little girl, but she's also three, so sometimes she's a bit of a tyrant.

We call her our little German girl because she is so blonde and has beautiful blue eyes. She loves the dirndl that her grandma sent her from Germany.

Here sister has a matching one, and Trixie loves to match her sister.

This summer she got to do swim lessons in a class with me, and she loved them. She was so excited to go each day, and she had no fear.

All the kids in her class had to jump off the diving board (and if they wouldn't jump, they were dropped), and it was her favorite part. She loved it so much. She still asks me almost daily if we can go swimming at Grandma Great's pool. When I tell her that we can't because it's closed (we went on Labor Day, which was the last day it was open for the season), she tells me that Grandma Great has a key and we can open it (which is true).

I have to be better about putting my glasses away.

None of my children love animals as much as this one. She is just obsessed with all animals. She loves to pet dogs she sees out on walks. Last week at the Ashton Gardens, they allowed patrons to bring dogs, and Trixie was in absolute heaven the night we went. She is getting pretty diligent about asking the owners if she can pet their dog before approaching the dog.

We used pony rides as bribery/encouragement to get Trixie potty trained. Luna is one of my favorite horses where we go riding. A few weeks after this shot, Trixie rode a pony named Trigger. He got out of his harness while Trixie was on him, and then he started running around the corral, and Trixie fell off. It was very traumatizing for me, but apparently not that traumatizing for her because after crying for a few minutes she asked to ride a different pony. She asks me most days if she can go ride a pony.

Trixie was actually pretty nervous when I put this butterfly on her at the butterfly exhibit at the aquarium. It was rather funny.

It was so fun to celebrate Trixie's actual birthday. I rented a bounce house, and we let neighborhood kids come play on it all afternoon and into the evening. Trixie picked a cake from the grocery store. (Our local grocery store does free small cakes for kids under 12 if you are a loyal customer, and it really makes my life easier.) We had cake as a family, and she loved having everyone sing to her.

A few other things I want to remember about this three-year-old:
  • She asks "why" after about everything I say.
  • She loves cuddles.
  • She loves to be included and plays the part of a middle child rather well.
  • She loves nursery and cries when she can't go. (She's missed the last two Sundays due to a cough.)
  • Her talking as skyrocketed since we ditched the pacifiers in April. It was like a magic bullet. She went from almost never saying two-word sentences to speaking pretty much like a normal child her age. She's comprehensible to people outside of the family, and she has so much to say!
  • She lets me do her hair. I never thought I'd enjoy it as much as I do.
  • She is extremely social and is always looking for a chance to play with other kids.
  • She loves baking with me and asks almost daily if we can make cookies.