Monday, May 16, 2011

Riley's new 'do and a little bit about her at 4 1/2

A little over two weeks ago Riley got her hair cut. Back in September she got 6 inches cut off and ever since, she has been asking to get more cut. Well, in 7 months it had definitely grown back a few inches and I had been contemplating chopping it because it was so hard to brush through every day. She just has that kind of hair that tangles easily. So we chopped about 7 inches off! She loves it and we love it. It definitely makes her look older.

SO cute!! And so much easier to deal with, for the most part. Happy kid, happy mom.

Riley is at a fascinating age. She and I definitely butt heads, but I think that's because she is probably a lot like me.
She is reading really well. I think she will likely be ahead of many of the kids in her kindergarten class in the fall. Yep, she is going to be starting kindergarten, OH MY GOSH! Where did the last (almost) 5 years go?!
She got into a charter school that is really close to our home and I am so excited for her. I have heard a lot of great things about this place and I like that there is parent involvement and that the kids wear uniforms. I have pretty much got her wardrobe completed for the upcoming school year with a few exceptions. Fortunately I have been able to find most of the things at second hand stores and sales which has saved us A TON of money. She still needs some long sleeved polos, tights/socks, and new shoes...but that should be about it.

One thing I love about Riley is her drive to learn. She is so inquisitive and it is amazing to me. She will read or hear a word and ask me what it means. Then, the best part is that she will incorporate that word into her vocabulary as much as she can. Recently she read the word "impressed" in a book and asked about the meaning of that word. I have since heard her use it countless times. She asks all the time if I am "impressed" with things she does and I overhear her telling Izzy to help her with things to "impress Mom". Genius. I love it! Just tonight the word she heard was "task" and she wanted to know what it meant. Then she listed all sorts of things that are "tasks" that she is supposed to do around the house.

Also a few months ago I bought a separate small notebook for each girl that I keep in my purse. I started to write down all of the hilarious things they say. I regret not starting this sooner because I know there are so many things I have already forgotten, but at least I am recording these things now (when I remember to record them).

Tonight as I was drying her hair, she looked at me and asked, "Do you love me?" And I responded, "Yes! I love you SO much!" Then she said, "But sometimes, I do bad things to Izzy." (what she meant is that she isn't always a very nice big sister...) and I said, "But I still love you!" It was a cute moment. She has become more loving toward me lately...even if she doesn't listen to me as well or as often as I would like.

Riley loves to color, draw, try to spell and write things, play games including on the Wii (which I don't really love, because she gets REALLY upset about not winning and I am trying to teach her that it's not about winning, it's about having fun). She also loves to sing and dance around. She unfortunately LOVES to sit and watch cartoons a little too much...but because she is also so driven to learn, I am sometimes okay with it because she learns new words from shows.

Another funny story is that on Mother's Day at church she drew a picture of a girl and a boy with hearts all around them. My initial thought (since it was Mother's Day) was, "Oh, how sweet! She drew a picture of me and Travis" for me. But just to be sure, I asked, "Riley, who is in this picture?" Her reply, "Me and daddy!" Of course...I should have known because the boy, I KNEW was Travis with the way she drew spiky hair...and had I looked closer, the girl had short hair just like hers! She sure LOVES her dad!

She is also fascinated with my belly and very excited to meet her baby sister. She says she wants to change diapers (yay!) and be nice to the baby. I told her she needs to practice by being nicer to Izzy. And also that she likely won't always feel like being nice to baby sister once she starts bugging her like Izzy does! Izzy will tell anyone who asks that her best friend is Riley. It's sweet how much she adores her big sister. Riley doesn't really find it to be flattering much.

Riley is bossy toward everyone. She is a "little mother" already and I know she wants to be a mom when she grows up. I think she likes the idea of being in control. (like I said, she is a lot like me in many ways! ha ha)
But I am trying to teach her that at this point, she isn't my boss, Izzy's boss....or ANYONE ELSE'S boss!! She literally has no shame about telling others what to do. The one thing I find odd about that is in situations where there may be some "peer pressure" from older friends and friends in general, she is too trusting and will follow the crowd. I have witnessed a few poor choices on her part as a result but I try to use those instances as teaching tools. I hope it all clicks soon and that she will grow and learn to stand up for the things she believes/knows/feels are right vs things that are questionable and not right. I think it's an especially crucial time for her to learn these things because she is starting school so soon.

Anyway...that's a bit about Riley right now. She is such a strong-willed girl and as much as she is a challenge, I know I have a lot to learn from her just as she has a lot to learn from her parents!

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