Swim Lessons

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Hannah has been taking swim lessons for the past few months. She's really made a lot of progress and gone from not wanting to put her face in the water to bobbing like a madwoman. I am really hoping she'll be able to swim independently by summer time, but that may be a bit ambitious. She still can't float on her own.  

Learning to swim is somewhat of a non-negotiable in our little family. All of our kids will learn to swim and to swim well. Not only is it a safety issue, but swimming is such great exercise and an activity our kids can enjoy for their entire lives. 

In California it would be so easy to find good and fairly inexpensive swim lessons. If we were living in California, I would just sign Hannah up for swim team and be done with it. She'd be swimming on her own in no time. Unfortunately, in Massachusetts it can be somewhat difficult to find swim lessons for kids as young as Hannah. Some swim classes do not take children younger than six and some swim teams have a minimum age of eight.  That's so old! My sisters were swimming across the pool when they were three! 

Anyways, I'm doing what I can speed up this little learn-to-swim process. I think we'll have Hannah do another month or two of group lessons and then switch to private lessons when our pool opens at the end of May.

Here are a few pictures from a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy:)

How we look all bundled up. Thank goodness for indoor pools in the winter.

What Abby does during Hannah's lessons: eat pretzels.

Sitting on the wheelchair, which I'm sure she is not supposed to be doing.

Hopefully some of her aunts can give Hannah a few lessons this summer. 

My Hannah Girl

Friday, April 4, 2014

The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold,
Of being only four years old.

~Christopher Morley, To a Child

I love this picture of little Miss Blue Eyes and her crazy eyelashes. Although the best part about this picture is, undoubtedly, the pizza sauce on the corner of her mouth. 

Earlier this year, right after she turned four, she really started testing her limits with us. We began to wonder if there was such a thing as "the terrible fours" because her attitude and obstinance was definitely giving us a run for our money. We really missed our sweet Hannah-girl.  

However, over the last few weeks, we really seemed to have turned a corner with her. She seems to have matured so suddenly. She has chores now--that she chose for herself! She unloads the bottom level of the dishwasher and waters our strawberry plants. Every morning and afternoon when I ask her if she wants to come unload the dishwasher, she says, "yes, great! I'd love to!" Music to this Mama's ears. 

Her dinner eating habits have improved tremendously too. She now eats (or at least tries) whatever Matthew and I have for dinner. On a side note, I'm really anti-making multiple dinners, or a separate dinner for the kids, but let's be real, sometimes Abby is just not going to eat the leek risotto, or whatever I've made for the night. 

When Hannah is a little unsure about what's on her dinner plate, I'll ask her to give it a try. And you know what she says, "Mama, I'd love to try it." And she does! She blew me away the first time she said that, it was not prompted at all. 

About a year ago, I purchased the first set of the Catholic Children's Treasure Box books. They're really cute and were published in the 1950's, so you know the doctrine is sound. If you don't yet have these books, I would definitely recommend them. Each book starts with a little story about the childhood of St. Therese and how even as a little girl, she worked hard to be a saint. She would offer up her daily activities and sufferings as little gifts for God. 

Anyways, last week I asked Hannah why she was so eager to help out and do chores (not that I was complaining, just curious). She responded, "because I'm giving little gifts to God." From the mouths of babes. 

Don't get me wrong, she can still  be a pistol at times, sneaking treats, refusing to share with Abby, not cleaning up after herself. All normal little kid stuff. She snuck a treat the other day and I asked her if she had eaten a cookie. (There were crumbs all over her mouth.) She lied and said no. I told her about Pinocchio and that her nose would grow if she lied. When I asked her again if she had eaten a cookie, she said she had. Then she kinda panicked because she didn't want her nose to grow. "Mama, I really don't want my nose to grow." 

I reassured her it would not and then admitted the story wasn't true. When I thought about, how messed up is the story of Pinocchio? It is scary. Telling children their nose will grow if they lie? Basically lying to show that lying is wrong. What the heck? 

Overall though, I'm loving this four-year-old Hannah. She keeps remarking that after four, she will be five, then six, then seven, then eight. And I tell her to stop because I don't want her to grow up too fast. I want her to stay four for a little while longer. 

A Tea Party for Tuesday

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
My girls have been enjoying a bevy of tea parties lately. It's such fun and I love watching them delight in such play.  

To add to their fun, I found a couple of cute Easter hats and a few cheapie necklaces in the dollar section at Target. I took out some old fabric and made them a little tablecloth and brought down the china tea sets that were a gift from some of my students when Matthew and I became engaged. The girls were over-the-moon excited about all the little added touches. Tea parties are now pretty much a daily thing here.
As I sit and watch my daughters thoroughly immersed in the loveliness of a tea party, I can't help but think that this is what childhood should be: simple and enchanting.

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