These kids of ours have grown so much this past year in their short little lives, and I can't seem to keep up. I am surprised sometimes at how independent each of them has become, and it's been a nice break for me for sure. They can basically take care of themselves, from getting cereal in the morning to brushing their hair to getting dressed for bed. They can get their own jar of water, paint, and paintbrush when they want to paint. They get their yogurt by themselves and open it. Seems trivial, but it makes such a difference in my day. I can always send someone to get me something, and they are eager to help. I hope each of them become strong, intelligent, driven people with soft, caring hearts and a desire to please God in all they do. These kids are our world.
Mila seems to need my hugs and smiles more than the other two these days. She loves to walk up to me and put her arm around me or touch faces at random times during the day. She is getting so tall so fast. She loves her long hair and endures the pain when I brush it because she won't cut it. I've never once said that long hair is better than short, but she knows what she wants. :) She loves her friends and doesn't like to be alone much. She has lost eight teeth and every time she loses one, the new tooth is already out in a day or two. I've had to put a lot of fives under her pillow lately. She ate one of her teeth at dinner one night, and we always laugh about it. She has a cross bite that will need a spacer and braces in a year, and she's actually looking forward to it. Mila is my tomboy, and she is so good at sports--so coordinated, powerful, and competitive. She doesn't mind playing with boys. She's excited to start gymnastics, hopefully this fall. She makes beautiful art, and everything has to be super colorful, just like I used to do. She looks the most like B but acts the most like me. She feels things strongly and cries from frustration or when she's exhausted (just like me). She is reading like a pro and doing so well in kindergarten. She worries too much, and tries to remind me where we have to be at what time. She does chores without me asking, and loves to be helpful. I love that girl.
I'm kind of shocked that Ben will be ten this summer. It doesn't quite seem real that that much time has gone by since I became a mother. I experience every part of motherhood for the first time with Ben, and B and I always have talks about how to handle this or that situation with him. That's why I think it's hard to be the firstborn, because sometimes we expect too much. Ben loves to walk or ride something to school. He is such a good student, and does awesome, except he's always been too chatty. :) Every teacher says that about him. I love that his current teacher is so lighthearted, and just says that being social is not the worst thing in the world to be. He loves to play with his friends, ride his longboard around the neighborhood, and is obsessed with origami. He will sit for hours watching youtube videos and making things. He always has to show me what he made so I can praise him. He also loves shows where they build things and experiment with them or show how something is made. That's how I can tell he's going to be an amazing builder or designer someday. He has so much energy and zest for life, and loves telling me about things they're doing in school like tie dye tshirts or a special field trip for those who ran 50 miles or more in their school running club. Ben is one of only 25 kids to have done that this year. Ben hates doing his hair and tries to skip out on brushing his teeth on the weekends. And he leaves his underwear everywhere and forgets to take a towel with him when he showers. Such a boy. He would wear one of his two Under Armour sweatshirts every day if I let him and is always trying to dress sporty. And I'm always trying to get him to be more stylish. Ben is so tall and skinny that I have the hardest time dressing him. Gap has been our salvation with their long jeans in slim sizes. I love that boy.
Olivia is still my baby. She loves to be one, so it's a good fit. B and I always laugh about Olivia and share stories about how slow she is. Ever since she was born, you could not rush this child. From the time she started talking, she would be telling everyone to wait. Wait for her to tell a story, wait for her because she's the last one to put her shoes on, wait for her because she's not done with her last activity. Her stories are all two hours long, with every detail intact. She won't let you rush her when she talks, and she talks so much these days. Everything needs to be said. :) Meals are stressful because she just sits there and forgets to eat. When we say, "Put some food in your mouth, right now" she just yells "Okaaay!" and takes 10 seconds to pick up her fork and another 30 to actually get the food to her mouth. So frustrating and funny at the same time. Sometimes we forget she's still at the table when we've all left, and half an hour later, she calls out, "Can I be done now?" She loves cartoons and dances along to the ballerinas or rock stars on her shows. She needs to be in ballet stat. Olivia is a performer, with her dance moves and curtsying and graceful hand gestures. She likes to be silly and likes when we laugh at her. She is so good at copying what Mila and Ben do and completely fits in with whatever they're doing. I'm in trouble if there's no drawing pad or notebook in the car or at church because she just can't handle it without constantly drawing her little stick figures. Olivia has the best natural highlights I have ever seen, and she's the blondest in our family. She really wants her hair short and I keep trying to talk her out of it because it's finally nice and long. I love that girl.