Our baby, our only little baby, will be five in less than eight weeks. Momma is struggling. No lie.
At four years, ten months and three days, our girl is full of life. Earlier, when I first started this post, she was running around the kitchen, still in her PJs at noon, singing "Baby You're a Firework" at the top of her lungs, holding a pink microphone that blinked on and off.I haven't really just written about her since January and I want to remember this time. I want to remember what she's doing and saying. What she likes and dislikes. I want to remember who she is at four years, ten months and three days.
Let's start with sleeping. Homegirl needs her rest. Her mommy and daddy do as well, so she gets it dead honest. Typically she needs about 12 hours of sleep each night, always has. That means that if we put her to bed at 8:00, she will most likely sleep until 8:00 the next morning. If it's 10:00 (think fun weekend), then she will sleep until 10:00 the next morning. It's a win for all of us. Just recently, like in the past three nights, she's gotten up around 2:00. She claims it's a "bad dream", and the first night I believed her, but now I think it's just a ploy to get someone to lay with her for a little while. No worries. It's summertime and I will totally play her game.
If she gets up early, meaning before 8:00, then she will nap for us and usually for about two hours. The first two weeks of summer, between VBS and Cheer Camp, she asked to take a nap each day. This week, however, no camps, no early rise, she hasn't asked to take a nap and I haven't made her. No nap just means an earlier bedtime, and we're all okay with that. I know that once the school year starts back up, and she has to get up at the crack of dawn, she'll be begging for "a rest".
Mornings during the school year are awful. There is really no better way to put it. I don't like being up early. Travis doesn't like being up early. And MK doesn't like it either. So, put all of that grumpiness into one pot, and it's B.A.D. We have to drag her out of bed, while she's usually crying or whining or just overall complaining. She fusses about getting up. She fusses about what she's wearing or not wearing. She doesn't like her hair. You get the picture.
Mornings this summer have been amazing. Well, there were a few mornings during VBS and Cheer, that weren't so pretty, but the majority have been amazing. This week, with no plans and no agenda, she gets up on her own and either finds me still in my bed watching the Today Show or in the kitchen fixing my coffee. And maybe once or twice, she's found me still snoozing. She's so happy and calm and pleasant. She just wants to hug and snuggle and give kisses. And I just eat it up.
While mornings this summer are pleasant and enjoyable and I just want to freeze it all, getting dressed is a different story. Wowzers. She's four. And we argue about clothes like she's fourteen. She is very vocal about what she does and doesn't want to wear. I don't want to wear shorts, I like dresses. This shirt is too tight. My panties are too tight. This shirt is too big. I don't want to wear those shoes. I want a bow in my hair. No, I changed my mind, I want braids. And wearing a bathing suit?!? I would just as soon let her go naked. NOTHING suits her. This one is too big. This one is too tight. This one hurts my legs. This one hurts my neck. I don't want to wear a one piece. I don't want to wear that two piece either. Well what do you want to wear?!?!? I'm not joking. This is all for real. Girl has about six or so bathing suits and she will only wear one of them. It's ridiculous. But, I try to pick and choose my battles. That's all you can do. As long as we can go out on the lake or to the beach and have a good time, she can wear that one bathing suit all summer if she wants.
Speaking of clothes, she wears mostly 4T pants, shirts and dresses. She has a few pants and dresses size five, which she needs for length. She has got some really long legs. I really have no clue what her shoe size is. Some shoes she needs an 8, some a 9 and others a 10. Needless to say, I can't buy any shoes when she's not around.
She still LOVES fruit and could eat her weight in fruit. She loves strawberries and blueberries and peaches. She's not a big fan of cantaloupe. She also loves cucumbers and corn and string beans. She doesn't care for tomatoes or squash. She loves spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, fried shrimp, oysters and any fish. She loves steak and A1 sauce and wants garlic salt and pepper on most everything (she watches her daddy). She likes grits with cheese, jelly toast and waffles. She LOVES pancakes and wants me to make them different colors. She likes ham and pickles and cupcakes and goldfish. She loves milk, water, certain juices and Capri Suns. Mostly milk and water.
She'll eat and try anything, but if you want her to eat really good, she needs it to be kind of low key and semi-quiet. She needs to be in a familiar place and with people she knows well. She's always been like this. She can't really handle certain distractions (think people everywhere, loud voices, lots going on) while she's eating or else she won't really eat. It's been like that ever since she took a bottle. You can hang it up if you want her to eat really good at a restaurant or when there's lots of people and noises. Not going to happen. She's too busy people watching and eavesdropping. She's nosey like that. She'll nibble and pick, but she doesn't eat great and ends up hungry shortly after. She eats fine in a small group, like with her friends at Roddey's or at home with us or with people she knows really, really well or even in familiar places. Sometimes we put her in front of the TV while she eats. We've done it since she was old enough to eat solids. One of her doctors suggested it when we were having such a difficult time with getting her to eat and gain weight. We tried it, it worked then and it continues to work when we need it. The TV is a GOOD distraction, unlike tons of people being in the room. Don't judge. You never know what you might do. She focuses so hard on the TV and doesn't realize how much she's actually putting into her mouth. Think popcorn and a movie. You're so busy watching your favorite scene that you don't realize you've just finished off an entire tub of popcorn. And you want more.
She's into so many things. She loves playing doctor and mommy and musician. She sings and dances all day long. She can hear a song twice and pick up on the words and tune. It's crazy. She also loves drawing and painting and writing notes. She likes to do puzzles and watch TV and build forts and tents. She loves to go outside. Some days she will play non-stop on her playset and other days she won't touch it. She likes to ride her tricycle (bike coming soon) and dance on the patio and play soccer. She would dress up all day long if she could. She used to really be into the iPad, but so far this summer, she hasn't really picked it up. I'm perfectly okay with this.
She had THE best time at VBS and Cheer Camp. She loved the singing and bible stories and crafts at VBS. Every day this week she has asked me when she's going back to Cheer Camp. I haven't been able to break it to her that Cheer Camp won't return until next summer. She loved the cheers and snacks and all of the "big girls". She has dance camp in July and she is so excited.
She loves the water. We didn't do swimming lessons this summer. She didn't want to and I was still a little traumatized from last year. Just a few weeks ago, while at a friend's pool, she asked to take off her puddle jumper and practice swimming to me and Trav. She was amazing! I was shocked at how well she did. While we were super proud, we also made her super aware that she must never take off her puddle jumper when mommy and daddy aren't around.
She can write part of her name and she can pick out a few letters. She can count to twenty. Most days. Some days even further. Just depends on her mood. Her vocabulary is extraordinary and she asks questions about everything. Everything. She's definitely a thinker and she likes to make sense of things.
Just one of our conversations to show her "thinking" at only age four:
MK: Mommy, I want a husband.
Me: Well baby, one day when you grow up, you can have a husband.
MK: I want one now.
Me: Well you have to wait until you grow up, sweet girl.
MK: Well, Mommy, I want a husband to sleep with. You get to sleep with Daddy. I want a husband to sleep with, too.
While she'll be five in less than eight weeks, she won't yet be starting kindergarten. It's been a long, hard decision, but it's our decision. She's going to be going to 4K in the fall and she will start kindergarten the following year. It's going to be great. For everyone.
Morgan Kate loves to snuggle and hug and kiss, but she's also super independent. It's nice in so many ways, but sad in others. Some days I appreciate her independence and other days I want her to still need me for everything. She loves to help. She wants to help fold laundry, load the dishwasher, dust the furniture, make the bed, etc. I wish she help me clean her room!!!
She is so compassionate and has the biggest heart. She wants everyone and everything to be okay. She asks about her friends and family members all of the time. She adores animals and thinks that Lola and Cash (our dogs) are her brother and sister. I know I'm slightly biased, but I don't think she has a mean bone in her body.
While's she mostly sugar, she can also be spice. Real spicy. She's at an age where she's testing her limits and trying to see how far she can push her daddy and I. She can be quite sassy and she will deliberately do things we ask her not to do just to get a reaction. However, most of her behavior can be stopped with a simple look of disappointment (she hates to disappoint), a firm no or a few minutes in timeout. She can whine with the best of them. Drives.Me.Crazy.
At four years, ten months and three days, that's our girl. And we couldn't be more proud!