Monday, May 08, 2017

Jane Elizabeth: 8 years!

Another year of Jane. It's crazy to me that I've had this girl for 8 whole years now. She has a special place in my heart, being the child that made me a mom and who is learning and growing along with me. I think we're both finding our way, her as the oldest and me as a mom. She's pretty spectacular though. Still my hurricane, still crazy, FULL of life.

Some things she loves: BBQ chips, plain noodles with just parmesan cheese, carrots, Italian ice, making art, reading, toast, Boston, talking, karate, pretending to be a cheetah, exploring, hiking, playing math games on the computer, counting her money, climbing trees and making friends with anyone she sees.

Some strong dislikes: bubble gum (or bubble gum flavor), anything minty, spaghetti or lasagna type dishes, sports, staying in her room after we put her down for the night, wearing shoes over her socks outside, having her hair brushed, taking showers (or baths), and moving away from friends.

This year has been an adjustment for her. She was born and raised in Chicago and along with getting a new sibling this year, she moved to Utah a few months after she turned 7. She still gets sad about the friends she left in Chicago. Sometimes she walks to the van after school all sad and when I ask her what's wrong she simply says, "I had a memory of Chicago." and then the tears flow. She makes friends so easily and has a lot here but I think the move has been the hardest on her.

I can tell she loves the freedom she has here though. She can go outside whenever she wants and has lots of friends around to play with. We tried to start a routine that included chores and such that she had to do every day after school but after a few months I was done so she just gets to play all day every day. Well, not Mondays. I did make Mondays "homework" day so she gets it all done on Monday and then can play the other days. It's worked out really great. And, from those months I did have her do chores, she learned how to do them well so anytime I randomly asked her to take out all the little trashes, the recycling or wash door knobs she does it quick without any complaints.

This year she had art class for 2 months, swim for a month and karate for 2 months. All were so great for her. She really enjoyed her art class and I loved seeing what she brought home each week. She's kind of really feeling rainbows this year and most of her artwork was super colorful, using every color possible (example: see the shirt she made for these pictures). She did really well with swim and is basically a fish. I know she'd love going swimming this summer but I dread taking the boys so we'll see. And, karate has been amazing. It has been SO good for her. 45 minutes twice a week of focus. She's learned so much and loves it. I really want to keep her in it because I feel like she needs it but we have to commit for a year and I don't think I can. At her 8 year check-up the doctor said she had ADD. I laughed because "duh". Makes sense... we've always thought she was a space cadet, always fidgety, never stops talking and more so it makes sense. But, she's also just Jane. We'll look into ideas and techniques to help us help her without going crazy but I wouldn't change her. She's awesome the way she is. Karate is supposed to help kids with ADD and I can tell it really is for her so that's why I'm torn but we'll see.

One of the things I love about Jane is she's super sensitive and feels bad when someone does something bad or wants to know if what she heard someone say or do is ok or not. She's always whispering things to me asking me my thoughts on something like a word she heard and we talk about it. I hope she always comes to me with these questions. It makes me feel like my opinion matters to her and I know that she's being cautious about following the "crowd" at school.

She's doing really well in school. She says she's not a fan of math because it's too hard but she does really well with it if she stops fighting it. She's a great reader and loves it so much I'm always having to check on her mid task to see if she's doing what I said or if she found a book and started reading it. She doesn't like school lunches but I've been lazy in making her home lunch so she's been getting it more frequently. Doesn't love gym class but loves art, computer and choir. She's always been so great with music and had a great time in the junior choir this year.

She's really excited about getting baptized next month. She's nervous only because "the water might be cold" but she's looking forward to it and I'm so happy for her. I know growing up and having to make the right choices is really hard and I wish I could make all the choices for her but I know she can do it. 

Jane, I hope you enjoy 8. I hope I can be the mom you deserve and if not I hope you'll forgive me. I hope when you're older we'll either be best friends or you'll at least understand that I'm human too and that I wake up each day hoping to be better. One of my favorite moments with you is staying in the van after school, after everyone else has gotten out, and we just talk about concerns you have or things you look forward too. I also really enjoy the time we have in your room after I've put all the other kids to bed so it's just you and me. I love that time that we have to read scriptures and talk about things that are important to you. I love hearing what you have to say.

I love that you are so forgiving. You're simply awesome. You've got spunk. You're goofy. You're clever.

Happy birthday first baby. I'm a lucky girl to call you mine.

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