Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Princess books

Almost everything Raina calls her own is something someone else previously called his/her own. Yes, her parents are second-hand junkies and we LOVE all the free clothes and toys and whatnot that Raina receives from loving friends and family members. Last xmas was especially great; we asked her cousins to clean out their closets and give away what they didn't want anymore. Raina received a TON of toys and puzzles and books, which we have periodically pored through as the months have progressed. Raina's favorite of all of these is the Disney Princess Books collection, a series of books where the protagonist (a Disney princess) is stuck in a tricky situation and then ponders "what would a princess do?" before coming to a perfectly reasonable and character-building solution. Raina adores these books, and every sane adult despises them. In fact, Raina frequently will ask for us to read her book, the adult will say yes, and then cringe when Watch Out, Ariel!: A Story about Paying Attention or Just in Time: A Story about Patience or the like is plopped on the couch. They are excruciatingly awful, and I don't understand WHY in the world our daughter prefers these stories over ones with, say, interesting dialogue or pictures or a decent plot line.

I began to wonder whether it was just the identification with the princess she liked ... whether Raina loves these books because they have female characters. So, when at Goodwill, I purchased the Little House series (for a whopping $7) in the hope that these stories will catch on too. If so, Raina has some Anne of Green Gables and Ramona in her future!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Belly vignettes

Raina and I were making dinner three weeks ago and, on her step stool, Raina had a very good profile show of my mid-section. Her remark: "Wow, Mommy, you have a big belly!" I really didn't know how to respond to that, so I didn't say anything but look at her questioningly. Then she patted her belly and said "Mine's big too! Let's eat more food and get bigger, Mommy!" That plan sounds rather inevitable for me =)

This morning, Raina commented on my belly's size again. When I reminded her it was because a baby was in there, she responded in an incredibly endearing way. "My baby sister is in your uterus!" And then she gave my belly a hug and a kiss and said "I miss you baby."

I got all teary and emotional, and I swear it wasn't just pregnancy hormones. Raina was amazingly sweet.

Big Sister Announcement

Yes, it's official, Raina will be a big sister in March. We were fearful of sharing this information with her -- we painfully remembered the daily barrage of "beach today?" questions -- but we also worried that a well-meaning non-Whompton adult would spill the beans first. We finally sat her down last week with the news.

We put her on the couch with Sam and me, and she immediately knew something was up because Eric brought out the camera. We told her we had a big surprise, which she could know about now but wouldn't get to have until much later, and then we told her she'd be a big sister of a little baby brother or sister. She immediately picked sister. (We'll see, right??)

She wasn't overly excited or anything; Eric was actually disappointed by her response and kept trying to egg her on so something was video-worthy. In the end, we gave her a picture of the little one in utero, and she placed it in a prominent spot on the refridgerator. Now, she mostly likes saying "you have a baby in your uterus" which is really funny because uterus just doesn't come out correctly with a 3 year old pronunciation. We'll see if she gets more engaged as time gets closer.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Show and Tell & a Nicholas Story

Each Friday is "Show and Tell" day at daycare. Raina hasn't been at daycare for many Fridays this year, so we often forget to prep her. Last night, though, we remembered, so Raina selected her show and tell item and then we practiced show and tell. Everyone sat in a circle, introduced themselves, and showed what great items they brought. The Whompton show and tell included a book, balloon, wooden car, car with moveable parts, calculator, ball, pompom, stethoscope (which Raina described as a telescope and then promptly whapped Krystal in the head with), and, Raina's ultimate choice, a zip-up cuddly bee hive with a little bee inside. What was really cute is that Raina would stand up for her turn and say "Hi, I'm Raina and this is my show and tell." It was adorable.

I put her to bed last night as well. Normally, Raina asks for a Nicholas story and two things, but I've changed this to a Nicholas story and ONE thing. If she wants two, then she has to say something herself. Normally, her thing is describing her cows (how mommy cow is funny, or how baby cow snores). Last night was huge in this realm: Raina told her very own Nicholas story as her "one thing." The plot: Nicholas was playing show and tell with us, but then his toy broke, so we helped him fix it, and then everyone was happy and hugged. Her story was great, and I was and am so proud of her! I cannot wait to see if she continues to make up Nicholas stories to share.

Politicking

Krystal had Parents Night last Thursday, so she missed Obama's acceptance speech. Luckily, everything (except for Michael Phelps' Olympic races) is on youtube, so I pulled up the speech on my computer to listen. Raina, from the other side of the room and without seeing the computer, calls out, "Mommy, that's Barack Obama! Where's John McCain?" Branding has clearly impacted our child.

Sam is now trying to teach Raina to chant for Obama, but I don't think Raina's going for it.