Friday, April 17, 2009

How Time Flies!

Yes, things are humming along in the household. The boy king has become adept at ruling. He has mastered the art of sitting up and enjoys a meal that would make Henry VIII envious. Julian is now a formidable presence in the family.

He started daycare in January. While it was a shaky start at first ("are you aware that they do not hold me every second of the day?!"), he has adjusted and enjoys his stays with "Teacher". However, if she is late or slow with the vittles, he definitely lets her know about it. They say that if you have a spirited child (the nice name for it) first, the next child will be the polar opposite. I lived by that idea. But it's all a vicious lie to keep suckers like up having children. Julian is no more laid back than Arrena is shy and demure. He is, however, quick to smile and laugh, and that goes a long way. Check him out.

The girl is doing very well, too. She is 3yr 8mos old and they say children become human between the ages of 4 and 5, so we have another year to survive. :-) She is smart as a whip, and dramatic enough for soap operas. Don't give her the wrong spoon for her cereal unless you want a Shakespearean soliloquy on the unfairness of life. Really, it's that dramatic. People ask us why we don't put her in commercials, etc. Well, because WE know her. She doesn't like to be told what to do, is headstrong, and walks to the beat of her own drummer. None of these are traits that Hollywood finds endearing in their talent.
I will say that the girl displayed her brains well enough to be accepted into two really good preschools. We've picked the one and have actually enrolled her to start school in September. She's very excited to start at the "New School". In fact, our brilliant girl is already reading. Not just repeating stories, but actually sounding out words and learning to spell them. We couldn't be prouder if we had actually taught her this ourselves (thanks, Teacher!). Actually, we like to play a lot or word games with her, so we'd like to believe that this fostered her talent.

And she's an Amazon. No doubt. She stands about 3'4" or so, now. Pants that are long enough literally fall off her hips. Hips that she enjoys shaking in her tap class (my stomach already hurts over that one). She's about two shakes away from being sent to a nunnery, so you might see a title change (Arrena's Cloistered World?). Anyhoo, here's a picture of our girl at Easter.

and to prove that she and her brother really do get along, here are a couple of pics.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dance, little girl, DANCE!

Arrena has become quite the dancer. Every Saturday morning, we sacrifice the sanctity of our bed and home and schlep as a family to ballet class. Mind you, this is ballet for 3-4.5 year olds, so it's less "First Position" and more "First....focus!" They "dance" around, acting like butterflies or princesses and generally having a ball. And it's so much fun to watch. All of them in their tutus, looking like little angels (even if we know better).

Today, Arrena had a chance to try out a new class. After ballet, there was an open class called Broadway Babies. In this class, the girls do a combination of things. They still do some ballet moves, but they also do tap (anyone have size 11(!) tap shoes?). But now there's an even crazier element; they sing. No, singing well is not required - it seems volume is more important than actual tonal integrity. Good thing, but it doesn't seem likely that Arrena inherited the singing gene (that seems to exist on Daddy's side of the family, but certainly doesn't exist in mine). I watched her try the class, with two of her ballet buddies, and it was energetic and fun. My hope is that, since it starts 15mins after ballet ends, that if I put her in both classes, I just might tire her little butt out enough that she'll take an actual nap on Saturdays. That's my hope. My wish. My fervent prayer.

If this doesn't work, she'll be the youngest kid to train for a marathon in history.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Our morning

After breakfast this morning.

Arrena: It sure is cold in here.

Arrena's Mom: Yes, it is. But the heat is on, so it'll warm up.

Arrena: But my stomach hurts.

Arrena's Mom: It does? Do you feel like you need to throw up?

Arrena: No, I just need hugs to make me warm.

Arrena's mom immediately complies. :-)

That is all.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Holy Moly! We're Back!

My only useful resolution for 2009 - to resurrect this lovely blog so that all of you can satisfy your jones for all things Arrena. But alas, big changes have come to the household. Introducing:

Master Julian!Julian Mitchell joined the family on August 1st, 2008. Our trio has become a quartet - he sings bass (strangely, Arrena's Dad is a soprano - but that's another story). Since everything is still all about Arrena, I am happy to report that she actually loves her little brother. She happily shoves his binky into his mouth, bounces him in his bouncy chair until his head bounces off the seat, and just generally tries to hug and kiss him. Of course, this behavior would be better if she wasn't Typhoid Mary - spreading her daycare plagues throughout the household. But you really can't fault her - he's a cutie.

And he's generally milder than she was at this age. He actually gives away smiles for free! Just like that. You could walk up to him and say "hello" and he will likely smile at you. As opposed to Arrena, who always had a "tell your story, walking" expression when approached. Ah, good times. Julian is also monster size: born at 8lbs 13oz, and 22 1/2 inches long, he is a gentle giant. I figure he'll need that size just to survive his big sister. He'll be bigger, but she's diabolical. We can only hope they become a crime fighting duo, instead of criminal masterminds. Though now that I think of it, the latter is often more lucrative. Someone has to buy Mama a new house (every 3 years).

Arrena is now every bit of 3 years old. Scary. She's a walking, talking, little person. Sometimes we long for the days when she was just a little lump we could crate around. Back whenshe wasn't plotting her world domination WITHOUT US. Suddenly, we're just two more pawns in her game. She is potty trained - thankfully - and sleeps in a beautiful white "big girl" bed fit for a princess. She has definite opinions on important things like whether to wear the Dora panties or the Ariel (princess) panties. And being a fashionista, if you tell her something doesn't match, she'll take it off. Not that I've used that ploy to get her out of outfits I don't like. Ahem. She's growing up, that's for sure. And nothing we do seems to slow it down or speed it up. We just have to take her as she is. Good thing we love her. Here's to our mutual admiration club.

And just so you don't think little Julian is a punk, check this attitude.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Halloween is Over?!

That's right. We came, we saw, we trick or treated, and we ate. And by we, I mean Arrena dressed up and did all the hard work of going door to door and looking cute. Daddy and I feel nothing about using her to get what we want: candy! Of course, this year, it wasn't as easy to steal Arrena's candy. She now knows what candy is, and frankly, she was hording.

Still, we ran into some problems. While she was happy to go to the door and use her cute wiles to get the booty. She didn't, however, understand that the goal is volume. She walked to her first house, pounded on the door and demanded candy. She then proceded to sit on the doorstep, oblivious to the 1,000 other kids jockeying to get to the door, and tried to open and eat her candy right then and there. In fact, we probably could have just taken her to two houses, if we let her sit and eat what she got right then. But it's Halloween for us, too. We need volume candy. We're going for quantity, since quality is so subjective. I need Baby Ruth bars. I do. But Robert has differing tastes. And since we really don't know (or care) about Arrena's candy preference, we needed to cover a great deal of ground in order to satisfy all (both) of our needs. So we forced her to keep walking, our own version of the Trial of Tears, from house to house - denying her from actually EATING anything. What can I say - it was fun no matter WHAT she says. And notice her outfit. She's Tinkerbell. Does she know Tinkerbell? No. But it was quick, easy, and cheap. All my favorite things. And she looked cute, so what more is there? And this outfit allowed her to show off some of her hard earned ballet moves. Check this out (but don't try it at home, you'll just look silly).

The morning of Halloween was busy, too. Arrena met up with a few of her closest friends and went to the pumpkin patch. They played, they jumped in a giant pumpkin, and they generally explored the great pumpkin patch. All in all, she had fun. And I gained 10 lbs. Not sure where the justice is in that.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Update: Arrena

Let me just say, right up front, I don't have any new pictures. We've taken some new pictures, but I haven't downloaded any. This post is really just a chance for me to pontificate about my girl. It's as much for me as it is for all of you (o.k., BOTH of you) readers.


She's two years old and two months (I refuse to say it all in months, that's just obnoxious and who can do that math?). She's a whopping 3'2" tall (way over 100 percentile) but a scant 31 lbs (maybe 75 percentile). Her feet are, sadly, huge - toddler size 8 (eek!). Yes, I know Robert is tall, and yes I know that I'm not short, but it's still shocking to see your darling child grow to the heights of the Empire State Building. We promise to teach her not to swat at airplanes.

I know that every parent thinks their child is brilliant. Maybe at this age, they all ARE brilliant. I'm no different - Arrena constantly amazes me. Of course, she'll then do something so goofy that I wonder if she thinks at all. I guess that's all children, too. :-) So here we go, my list of things the Amazing Arrena can do. Prepare to be AMAZED!

She can count to 30. sometimes 14 & 15, 26 & 27 don't fare so well, but she knows what she's doing.
She can say her alphabet.
She knows her letters and will "read" them to you.
She knows her colors: red, blue, yellow, green, purple, black, orange, and white.
She loves to dance and follows choreography very well.
She loves to color and will make 20 new drawings a day while standing at her easel. She calls them her "pretties"
She can sing a lot of songs and has a lovely, though uncontrolled, falsetto.
Reading is still a favorite pasttime.
She will spend 30mins easy at her computer, following instructions to peck out letters.
She can be fiercely independent
She will pick out her own shoes, and sometimes the whole outfit.
She is bossy - OMG is she bossy!
She understands the basics of red lights (stop, Mommy!) and green lights (go, Mommy, go!).
Still likes vegetables and fruit more than meat.
Will Always be happy for yogurt!
Loves taking baths, but hates getting her hair done.
Can jump, run, and generally moves with grace and assuredness.

I'm sure there is more (I decided the leave out "splitting the atom", I don't want to seem like I'm bragging). It all seems so straight forward, but then I remember that she's only two. Somewhere in there, she's downloaded the knowledge and memory of a 60 yr old. She just seems to know so much. And she takes it all in. Nothing fazes her. We dropped her off at her Poppa's house for a week, despite her having seen him only a few times in her life (granted, she sees him all the time in her picture book). Not only did she adapt immediately to the new situation, but she was totally unconcerned about when or if we'd be coming back. When it comes to new situations, she can be fearless. For her first ballet class, she walked right in unaccompanied and started stretching with the other girls.

I hope she never loses that. I hope she'll always be the kind of kid who sees her mommy acting crazy, whether it's making faces or dancing around the living room, and decides to join right in. I hope she always loves books and football (in that order). I hope she will always freely give hugs and kisses. I hope, I hope, I hope.

Does it ever end? The things you hope for your child? The fears you have for them? I spend my days with equal amounts of joy and terror. Every day. The sheer number of horrific things in the world can sometimes overwhelm me. But then, my little girl looks at me, puts her hand in mine, and says "I love you, Mommy" or sings our silly "Mommy loves Arrena, yes, I do" song, and I know that I just have to concentrate on the blessings of the days for as long as we have them.

I hear all these feelings and fears finally go away..........when they're about 80 yrs old. I have a way to go, yet.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Arrena's pics have moved!

Some of our faithful readers have noticed that previous link for more Arrena pics stopped working. Well, the pictures have moved and I have updated the link.