4-Year-Old Observations

“It doesn’t really work when you wear a headvand [headband] and glasses at the same time,” Mara observed. “Because then the glasses are saying ‘I’m sitting here!’ and the headvand says, ‘No, I’m sitting here!'”


“Look at Carissa, Mommy! She’s going to be an early walker!” Mara called as Carissa walked along the couch hurling everything in her path–diapers, wipes and toys–on the floor.

Then Mara added, “You should really start standing behind her and holding her hands and walking with her. You should really start doing that.”

Mara must think I want Carissa to start walking. . . I need to go rescue the diaper bag before there is nothing left inside.

Already Got the Boot!

I can’t explain it. (Not being part of it.)

But there is this almost–dare I say–elitist? Red-Head Group that instinctively knows who is really and truly “one” of them. You have to be in the group to really know.

Growing up, I knew someone in The Group. She would look at other apparent red-heads and declare, “She isn’t a real red-head.”

Mara is definitely in that group. The Real Red-Head Group.

I would have thought Micah was too.

But . . . maybe not?

In this watercolor, Mara unceremoniously declares him blond.

Poor kid.

Already got the boot.

“Coming Up To Be Good Sisters!”

One of my favorite pictures Mara has drawn was of the girls’ room:

I love it because despite its primitive nature in the design sense, it truly captures “their” room. Mara’s bed with her pink kasey quilt. The bars of Carissa’s crib, where every morning she stands and calls to her big sister, waking her up. The dollhouse where Mara spends hours and hours setting up the rooms and playing “princesses.” The magic wands–seems like either she or Micah is always playing with the magnetic magic wands!

Mara often writes on the back of her pictures. She can’t spell very many words yet, so she will tell me what she wants to say and I will spell it for her while she writes.

On back she wrote these beautiful words:

I hope and pray that this is only the beginning of a beautiful friendship. That Mara and Carissa would always be “good sisters.”

I love my girls!!!!

Beginner’s Artwork

At certain stages of life, children produce art en masse.

Mara’s at that stage. Micah is still dabbling in it.

A friend once suggested that rather than saving every piece of paper your child colors, you could instead take a photo of those you want to remember and keep a computer file of pictures of each child’s art.

What a great suggestion! (Especially for someone like me, who really struggles to keep clutter under control!)

Every day Mara colors and draws and cuts and tapes . . .  She has discovered art! And she loves it.

I love the stories behind her pictures! So often, like any artist, she draws what she loves, what excites her, what makes her happy. . . Usually that includes siblings, family, and beauty (like flowers or princess dresses), occasionally fun activities.

Here are a few of her recent pictures. (You may have to click or double-click to see the explanations I’ve added with Picasa.)

They don’t always make complete sense. For instance, in the first picture, Grandmom S. is pushing the kids on the swing, but Mara told me that Grandpa B. is taking the picture!

I liked how she drew my ponytail blowing in the wind! 🙂

She narrated this one:

You never know what you will see on the blackboard. Here she copied “Nestle” off the back of the baby cereal box.

And both kids love to paint with watercolor! Here are two of their recent watercolors. Note the contrast.

Mara’s watercolor:

Micah’s watercolor:

They both had a great time painting! But unlike his sister, Micah needed a bath afterwards!

Decorating the tree

I have severe “tree” allergies, so much to Daniel’s sadness, we have an artificial tree. I wish I could change it–real trees are beautiful!–but I’m just allergic. I remember spending a week with someone who had a tree, and having terrible migraines much of the week and waking up with rashes all over my entire legs throughout the night, unable to sleep. I’ve had allergy shots since then, so my reactions are milder now. But in deference to my health, we have an artificial tree!

It is the same artificial tree I have had since my senior year of college. I bought it during the after-Christmas sale, 50% off, knowing I would definitely want a tree when I was living on my own, working at the CPA firm. I had no idea that my kids would be enjoying it someday too. I got my money’s worth, for sure! It has served me well for 12 years now. Daniel calls it my “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” but every year when we don’t have the “extra” money to buy a new one, I put it up again. The kids and I love it! 🙂

We have all been sick the past couple of weeks, so although I started getting out Christmas things the day after Thanksgiving–put the wreath on the door, set up the tree–it is still sitting in the living room, undecorated.

Well, I should say, largely undecorated. Mara never said anything to me, but the other morning, I walked past the tree and saw this:

And I deduced that she found a color-by-number candy cane picture in her Christmas coloring book, and took it upon herself to color the page, cut them out, and decorate the tree–without ever mentioning anything!

And then, suddenly I remembered her saying, “We should decorate the tree with candy canes again like we did last year!” (Thank you Grandma B!) Maybe she was working on decorating it, right at that moment. . .

I had to laugh (and probably only my family will laugh about this), but Mara said, “We really need a star for the top of the [kids’ 3-foot] tree.”

Micah gasped, “OHH!” and went running into the kitchen. He came back with the bright yellow “Rovenstine For Sheriff” magnet (from my Indiana days) and the kids insisted that I attach it to the top of the tree!

“Here’s a starrrr!” he exclaimed.

It was their tree, and I don’t presently have a better option, so much to their delight, I tied it to the top.

(I really want to send this picture to Al and Aaron Rovenstine!)

Don’t worry–we will decorate the tree for real later this week!