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December 28, 2010

This post has been well over a week in the making – birthday + traveling + Christmas + visiting + life = no time to finish writing stuff. Lots to share in the coming weeks though!

Anika turned four on Monday (the 20th). I know this because when I went to get Sam up she ran into the room and bellowed “GOOD MORNING MOMMY I AM FOUR!!!!!”

Actually, I know this for a lot of reasons, but it was really cute anyway.

I’m actually kind of stunned that she is four now. How can it be that she’s four already?? I still pretty much think of her as this:

Wonder if that will ever change.

Still, four feels kind of *old* to me. When she was still three you can kind of round down into the toddler/baby category. But four…no. Four is like dangerously close to school aged kid. That is alarming on ever so many levels.

It’s been a good year for Anika, I think. Challenging in some ways, but good…..and she’s grown so much.

She remains totally besotted with clothes and has very strong opinions about what she should be wearing and how things should look.

This is both hilarious and frustrating because sometimes I just want her to GET DRESSED ALREADY.  Sometimes she looks like this in the morning though and that cracks me up.

As I’ve mentioned before, this was the year that she started ballet….and she adores it. SO much. It’s one of the most positive things she’s done this year. As part of that, she got to be in a recital in the spring – a much larger scale affair than I thought. She was in two shows and danced in front of a very full audience both times. I thought there was a chance she might freeze in front of the audience, with the lights….but not a chance. She followed her teacher and danced her heart out. She was a lovely frog princess.

She loves puzzles. She loves colouring. She LOVES stickers. She loves blocks. Any of these things will amuse her for a good long time.

We got a museum membership this year, and I can’t believe how much we used it and how much fun we had, particularly at the Science and Technology museum. There was a good chunk of time last winter when we were easily there once a week, at least. Her favourite exhibits are still the steam trains and the digital network tunnels.

Gotta say, I’m a bigger fan of the trains – I don’t think I will ever forget trying to follow her down the slides in the network tunnels, which are really twisty narrow pitch black tube slides. I was eight months pregnant and wearing a backpack. Hint: bad idea! Don’t fit so well!

Ani’s always liked cooking with me. She was about four months old here:

This year she’s really decided she loves cooking and she’s done some AWESOME things. She made Brandon’s birthday cake; she helps make dinner – it’s so great. It gives us an opportunity to talk about things like measurements (teaspoons, cups, etc.) and it’s been really fun to see her start to get her head around that….and to learn that when she puts her mind to something like this, she can accomplish a whole lot.

Anika and I were bored one weekend around the end of April, and we decided “Hey, lets buy some seeds and plant them!” Now, I will tell you for free that I am *not* a gardener type. It is not intuitive to me; I have *no* idea what I’m doing. Brandon is good at it. Somehow though, Anika and I ended up buying seeds and planting them. We picked up a package of tomato seeds and a package of peas (Brandon told us they were easy, and also, the packages were pretty) and we planted them in trays and stuck them in the window. Later, we transplanted them into the garden.

Now, when I opened the tomato seeds? I thought…I thought there were like four seeds in there. Very very few. I thought to myself “Eh, bummer….guess we won’t get many tomatoes but whatever; it’s a fun exercise.”

This was maybe half of our tomato plants by the end of the summer (both the bushes along the fence and the pots):

We had tomatoes till October. I can honestly say I have NO idea where they all came from. (Do they…multiply? Is it a rabbit-type situation?? No clue.)

Anika loves to sing. Sometimes? She sings songs that just will not end. She makes them up as she goes and they are…hilarious. If you are around when she starts singing one of these songs, she will encourage you to sing along (despite the fact that she’s making it up and you, therefore, cannot possibly hope to get the words right). She will instruct you to do things like clap along (“No, just clap once mommy!”). It’s all very very complicated but girl has a method. You may never understand that method – but there is one, and it’s hilarious.

Of course the biggest change for my girl this year was having a new baby brother in the house.

She has risen to the occasion beautifully. I have never heard her express frustration or anger towards Sam…she loves him, totally and completely. I am SO proud of her for this. She adores him. She will climb over us to get to Sam in the morning. She looks after him. She wants to hold him. She talks to him and plays with him and just…adores him.

I think she was insecure for a couple of weeks when she first came home…she’d chew her hands a lot and stuff like that – but it was really temporary. I can see sometimes that she will compete with him for attention – from her dad when he comes home from work, things like that….but she really really is an awesome big sister.

She’s still totally a daddy’s girl. ‘Nuff said.

Sometime around early summer, Brandon and I looked at each other and realized that our baby girl was actually big enough to take places and DO things with. So we did.

We went to a bunch of splash parks before she decided she was terrified of the sprinklers.

We did some picnics and climbed some trees.

We went to visit Dadaji and introduced her to the joy of merry go rounds.

We went to a beach.

We went to a cottage we rented.

It was a great summer. But when that was done, Anika started school. (AEEIIIII!).

She’s in a Montessori school this year, largely because I wanted to punt the decision about whether to start her in JK or not – technically she was old enough, but practically she was young (since her birthday is right before the cutoff). So…we opted for this program, where she’ll essentially do three years of pre-grade 1 work. It’s been a really great decision for her – she’s absolutely blossomed. She’s made friends; she’s learning some amazing things…I’m seeing her start to understand reading and numbers in a whole new way – it’s fantastic.

Anika has a big girl room now – we moved her out of the little room when Sam was born and made a big girl room for her.

And she really is now…she’s a big girl; not a baby anymore. And she is amazing. She delights me every single day. She also drives me completely bonkers (of course) and regularly makes me terrified for when she hits the teenage years. But she is amazing, and she brings me so much joy. I can’t wait to see who she’ll become and I am SO proud of her.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Shannon permalink
    December 28, 2010 9:48 pm

    Four!!! Amazing, isn’t it? I can hardly believe it either!! Love you Ani! 🙂 xo

  2. Cal / Gran permalink
    December 30, 2010 8:24 pm

    Those are great character shots of our Anikins – take it from me, you will always feel this way! She’s pretty special all right. xox, Babes…yes, you are four. FOUR.

  3. Angela permalink
    December 31, 2010 2:28 am

    Awww … such a nice post:o) Great pictures … super memories … a great thing to keep. Yay Ani!

  4. January 3, 2011 7:04 pm

    What a great post…she is gorgeous.

  5. Hubby permalink
    September 6, 2011 11:40 am

    Not sure how I missed this one. Now, almost a year later, I’m going through the post and pictures and recognizing how much Anika has changed (again!). Ani: you started school today (not for the first time) and I miss you. And love you.

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