Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Girlies

I have not posted much the past few months. It's been cold and gray and our lives have been mostly go to school, come home, do homework, eat supper, take showers, go to bed, get up and do it all again. We have had some fun times, but nothing that photographs well or brings to mind any interesting thoughts. But spring is here and life will get brighter and more lively. Today I feel like documenting where my girls are right now.

Katherine. Well, it's been a rough couple of months with Miss Kate. I'm not sure what the problem is. Growing pains? Teenage angst a few years early? In any case, we have seen an awful lot of sullen and surly behavior which isn't much fun for anyone invloved. Some days I really need some reassurance that this too, will pass and this stage won't last forever... Katherine does still have a sweet side and I am always happy to spend time with her then.

-- Kate wants so much to not be a little kid anymore. She is seeking independence, but her own fear get in the way and I think she spends a lot of time battling with herself. She loves to ride her bike and is forever begging to go on bike rides with Steve. We've encouraged her to go ride alone, but she's too scared to go more than a block in case she can't find her way home. So she circles the driveway on Rae's tiny outgrown bike, playing the clown and stopping periodically to peer down the street at the world beyond.

-- Next week, the 4th graders take their big state assessment tests. Every kid and teacher I know dreads testing week. Katherine is quite possibly the only person in the state who is looking forward to it. "I'm good at tests," she says with a shrug. "Besides, we can bring snacks." Personally, I am appalled that she casually tosses around terms like "sumative and formative tests", but the world of high stakes testing doesn't phase her a bit.

-- Kate continues to be a voracious reader. She really likes mysteries and age-appropriate horror stories. In the past week alone, I have seen her read a book from the Goosebumps series, a couple of Babysitters Club books, a simplified version of Frankenstein, and parts of Harry Potter. She has also been reading The Indian in the Cupboard at school and is quite annoyed that she is only allowed to read one chapter a day. The suspense is killing her.

-- Katherine has been learning all of the states and their capitols at school. This has led to some interesting state-related activities. She likes to list the 50 states in alphabetical order, which is amusing until she asks "What comes after Iowa?" She entertained herself at luch today by biting tortilla chips into state shapes - "Look, Mom, Vermont!"

As always, Katherine makes me think.

Rachel. Miss Rae has grown up so much this year. Sometimes that makes me excited and sometimes that makes me sad. She has become so big and so independent.
-- Rachel has always been incredibly affectionate, passing out hugs and kisses on a regular basis. Lately she has wanted, needed, even more hugging and holding than usual. I think she senses that she's growing up and just a little aprehensive about that. In any case, I am happy to savor lap time for as long as I can.
-- After many years of longing, Rachel is reading. Really and truly reading. She easily reads the books she brings home from school, happily reads simple books at home, and spends long periods of time poring over her beloved "chapter books" trying to sound out words and sentences. I, of course, am delighted to have her join the Bookworm Club.
-- For the past month, Rachel has been a blur of motion. She seems to have decided to focus on gross motor skills and spends most of her free time, both at home and at school, riding her scooter, figuring out how to do the monkey bars, and learning to ride her bike. She is the poster child for persistence. She falls again and again and just hops up and tries again. I wish everyone was as determined!
-- Several weeks ago, Rae bopped out after her evening shower with her hair in a neat ponytail. I had no idea that she knew how to put her hair in a ponytail, but apparently she had been practicing. (Kate belatedly decided that maybe it was time she learned, too.) I have watched Rachel fix her hair since then, and I can't say I even remotely understand how she does it, but she does. Just Rachel, once again proving that having two hands is seriously overrated.
As always, Rachel makes me laugh. Every. Single. Day.
I do so love my girlies!

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