Well we did it. We made it to the North Pole. I had some hesitation in the beginning but it turned out to be a wonderful experience for everyone. The whole process of going to the North Pole, meeting the Elves, making toys, sorting toys, attending elf university, writing letters to Santa, spending time with Mrs. Claus, meeting Santa and traveling to and fro in the magic portal took about 2 hours! Lucky for us our crew was the perfect age and we suffered no meltdowns!
The girls had a blast. Lela was in on the gig since she knows all about the magic of Christmas and how Santa lives in each one of us, but she still had a great time and has been so good about being the keeper of the magic for her sisters. There were some times when I thought Piper’s face might explode she was smiling so big. Phoebe and Landis participated fully but held back a little of their enthusiasm just in case it got overwhelming or scary. We went with Grampy Jack and Grandma Kathie and I think we all had just about as much fun as the girls.
Okay so let me set the scene. We are at Dobson High School for Lela’s symphony practice. That place freaks me out as it is because it is gigantic with umpteen million kids. Piper, Landis and Phoebe are running about playing after they had a healthy snack I brought and no it wasn’t broccoli, more like a granola bar or something (so not totally healthy). Anyway, Piper yells at Landis and I look over quickly to see Landis eating a Cheetoh off the rim of a garbage can! Yes that is right she was picking a Cheetoh out of the trash at a high school. Lord knows where that Cheetoh had been and why it had been discarded at a high school. All I know now is that it is living in Landis’ belly probably until Armageddon. So gross.
Phoebe is a corker. Just now she walked by with flip flops on, her cheetah pants (sans underwear), and a baby stroller (with baby) wearing a pair of swim goggles. She is off in her own world on her own adventure. She is so good at independent play, whether it is because she has had great examples or because she has been ignored, it is a beautiful thing to witness. She cracks me up every day, some days she makes me feel like I am cracking up as well:)
Phoebe also has a very strong internal moral compass. When she does things she is not supposed to she is very remorseful and will come with big tears and say she is sorry. It is almost as if she is saying she really did not want to do but she just couldn’t help herself. Sweetest little thing ever.
I love spending my days with her but I know they are numbered. She enjoys her alone time without her sisters but really is starting to enjoy spending time with others. Her preschool is wonderful because there are only 5 kids in the class, so they have been able to form bonds and a structure to their play. The ages are varied from 3 to 5 and that also allows them to be caregivers as well as leaders of play. It has been a great year for her at school so far. I am considering sending her 3 days after December but we shall see. It is such a lovely experience for her, not that hanging with me isn’t lovely too but I think she likes to be in charge sometimes and not have me or her older siblings telling her what to do.
Truth and consequence is pretty much the motto of Landis’ life lately. I would love to blame school for her mischievous and very vocal attitude of late but I can’t since it started before school began. Of course she is cause for much swooning at school from the teachers and most of the kids in her class. In fact she has one little boy that is so smitten with her that he follows her everywhere and plays whatever she is playing (even dolls) just to be around her. His mom came up to me the other day and told me what a peaceful and enjoyable school year she was having because her son was playing with Landis all the time and wasn’t playing with the boys anymore. You are welcome!
Landis is learning consequences here at home though. She is pretty vocal when she doesn’t get her way and can be demanding during play with Phoebe. The good news is that she is able to compromise sometimes and she always listens when I talk to her after the fact and help her to work though what happened and how she could have made different choices.
All in all she is still as sweet as apple pie and this is just her first step in stretching her wings and seeing how far she can go. Not too far little one, not just yet:)
Piper continues to have growing pains. Only I am not so sure they are growing pains anymore. I am going to have to take her to the doctor. She has grown a bunch in these last few months but she is experiencing pain not only at night but during the day too. Mostly in her joints. I am sure it will turn out to be nothing but because of that darned finger I don’t like it when she has phantom pains. She is like a monkey climbing trees all day long and flipping about so it shouldn’t be any surprise that her joints hurt, lol.
Symphony is going really well for Lela. She really likes it. The thing that I am noticing is that the music is starting to work its way in to her soul. She loves music, she plays music every day, she composes new music almost every day. But when she plays the violin she is very technical, trying to get everything perfect, each muscle in the right place. It is hard and tiring for her and sometimes she cries and gets angry at all the things she has to remember and do.
Her teacher is kind and gentle and has done such an excellent job at helping her along with her technique and pushing her when she is ready. Lela has excellent form compared to most everyone that sits near her in the orchestra. Now that she is not worried so much about her form I can see the music moving her. Her foot is starting to tap, her shoulders move, her head dips up and down to the music. It is wonderful to watch.
She recently had a recital and I thought it was going to be a small thing but it ended up being about 22 students performing on stage by themselves to an audience of about 60. Lela did beautifully of course, she sat and waited what I am sure seemed like forever (she was about middle of the pack) and finally got up to play her piece from memory. She introduced her piece and played her heart out. Afterwards her teacher came to me and said it was the best she had ever played that piece.
When I thought about doing the Metropolitan Youth Symphony it was exactly this performing aspect that I thought Lela needed. I also wanted her to form a peer group since it is harder for her to make connections with people (not talk to people but connect to them). She is learning a lot about being herself, holding her own, performing her best and really just becoming who she is meant to be. I am certain she cannot see how far she has come in this endeavor but I can and I am so proud of her. One day she will read this and know how proud I am to be her mom and what a strong little girl she has become.
So we have had an issue with folks grabbing iPads without permission and so we had to put them all on lockdown. Password protection for everyone. Well this totally backfired. Someone, probably one of the little two, grabbed an iPad and went to hide away with it, couldn’t get in because of the password, so they discarded it and now can’t remember where. Third world problem, I know. I have looked everywhere that a normal adult might look but I just can’t remember all those little nooks and crannies that little people like to hide in. I know it will turn up eventually.
Landis came home from school and declared she was “an independent reader.” She must have read a book to her teacher in class. I think the reading is a slow going process for Landis but she is learning a year or so younger than Piper and Lela did and with a totally different method. We are continuing to work with her and she is enjoying her school tremendously. She gets a homework packet each week and she really looks forward to doing it. We have teacher conferences with all 3 of the big girls in the next couple weeks but I don’t expect any surprises.
Well Lela is the newest member of the Mesa Youth Symphony. She did it. She decided to audition, practiced her piece, calmed her nerves and came through the audition with flying colors. The auditioner said she was young but would fit in to the Violin 2 section of the Div 4 symphony. He also said that she sight read beautifully.
I am really proud of how she conquered her fear and auditioned. I don’t know if she will stay in past this year or what the future holds but I am so proud of her for what she accomplished today.
We brought a friend over for a sleepover. We have a no sleepover rule so the girls can only have friends here or do a late night at another friends house, they cannot sleep at another persons house. I try to enforce the late night only at our house but other parents seem to want their kids gone so it doesn’t always work.
Anyhoo, we were driving home and the friend said to Piper and Lela, I can tell if it is a black person singing or a white person. Of course I turned down the radio and asked her to repeat her statement. We were listening to Kidz Bop Kids. I told her that you can’t tell by a persons voice (with 100 percent certainty or accuracy) if they are black or white. Lela leans up to me and says, “what is a black person?” Laugh out loud funny. We don’t talk about people in terms of color so I don’t think the girls think of people in terms of color
Another conversation happened this weekend when Lela noted that their friends house was “small.” We often talk about peoples houses, priorities etc so they know that not everyone lives the same lifestyle and most people choose and that you can’t judge a person based on how big their house is, what kind of car they drive etc. Then I told her that in her friends house it was only her, her sister and her mother that lived there. Lela asked where her dad was and I told her that they were married and now they are not. Then Lela says, “so they broke up?” And I said yes, isn’t it sad that she only gets to see her dad in the summer and Lela said yes. We haven’t really had to deal with divorce yet in their lives, they haven’t had any friends that were actively going through a divorce.
Some people might think my kids are sheltered and in a way I guess they are, but isn’t there plenty of time to learn all the challenges and sad things that life can throw at you? Is it necessary to know it all at 8? I think not.