Friday, August 29, 2014

Blanche Olive at Almost Three Years Old

Last year I wrote a similar post for Blanche, "Blanche Olive at Almost Two Years Old" and now it is already less than two months until her third birthday. Being pregnant and having a newborn all during  Blanche's entire third year of life has made it fly by quickly.

While reading back on her last year post I feel like I kind of focused on petty things. Maybe at the time they seemed like a big deal to me. I guess I thought at almost two Blanche shouldn't dart into the parking lot. And now I know that when Rosemary is still under two years old I will probably still be holding her hand even just near a parking lot. But that is kind of how it always is with the first child. I too was the first child, and I know the most pressure and responsibility was put upon me growing up. I was the one who had to set the example. Most first borns tend to be independent as well. Which reading back to last year's post and the story of Blanche darting into the parking lot, I know she probably was refusing to hold my hand.

Comparing Blanche last year to this year feels like she has really grown from a bit of baby left to a little girl. I know she is still very little, but she now speaks in full sentences and has strong opinions and can tell us about them clearly. And sometimes she just screams. Actually lately there has been a lot more screaming. But she is learning how to control it better. I tell her she has to go in the other room and scream, preferably into a pillow. She does pretty good with that.

I know I place a lot of responsibility on her. But honestly I think she wants most of it. Now, I do know she would rather be carried from the car to our door every time, instead of walking. She would also prefer for it to be laying next to her every night as she drifts to sleep. But she and Andrew have grown very close in the last year. They have a bond that is very different than the two of us. They play fun games, and Andrew always handles her meltdowns much better. I may know the details of how she likes things to be done, like two bowls of different dry cereal in the morning currently (you pick your battles right?). But Andrew has a calming effect on Blanche similar to his calming with me.

My mom said she noticed a big difference with Blanche the last time she saw her this month in her ability to entertain herself. She also fell asleep in my mom's hotel room one night. I am proud that Blanche has gotten better at self entertaining and calming herself as well. Just two years ago I could have never imagined the baby that was glued to my hip (or really breast) would ever be falling sleeping with just daddy or in Nana's hotel room.

Blanche also has an extraordinary imagination. She makes up stories and loves to role play by all of us family members switching roles. In the pictures above she was "mommy" with my sunglasses and big sun hat. And then she immediately became a scarecrow to scare away the birds. Um, thanks. I guess a mommy and scarecrow costume is one in the same.

We also have a responsibility chart with magnet smiles for her to put on the different chores and tasks she accomplishes each day. We are working on helping to pick up, being respectful (you know, not hitting and screaming etc.. ) and also self care (taking a bath, getting dressed, and brushing teeth).  She is already pretty good at saying please and thank you.

Right now my favorite word Blanche has been saying is "area." Sounds funny but I use the word to describe a "play area" and she pronounces it similar to "aaeeeyyyaaa." I don't really know how to spell it out but its super cute. She is very loving and caring to Rosemary, and repeats so many things to her that she hears us say. Like, "Oh hi you little baby!" and "You so cute! You a big girl!"

Blanche loves to be outside, ride her bike, play at a playground, go to Gigi and Showpas house, hike, swim, watch Caillou, Barney, Thomas the Train, and Daniel Tiger. She loves to draw and paint. Blanche will freely grab her own paper and art supplies and draw pictures for our family. She also loves to make up songs like "Helping Blanche" "I Like Making Messes" and "Bunny Snacks" which are all hits at our house.

Some of her favorite toys are her family of sock monkeys, her three wooden trains, her little wooden kittens, many stuffed animals, and her small Elsa and Ana from Gigi. She likes to read, but it is lower on her list of favorites.

If you tell Blanche we can go get something to eat most days now she will say she wants chick fil a and wants "chicken, french fries, and lemonade." The only thing I have seen her literally eat until she is sick (but most times we have to force her to stop) is donuts. Anything else she can control herself pretty well, but donuts she will eat and eat.

She also likes to dress herself and is becoming more "girly" in wanting to wear tutu and dress like things. Before this stage it was always a comfortable t-shirt.

These are a lot of things I can think of off the top of my head. I should be better at writing these types of things down. I know time moves fast and many times the things I remember are only because of my blog posts or instagram. Blanche is almost three and continues to be passionate and intense, like she has been since birth. I do however see a calmness in her that comes at times (maybe it is tiredness because of no nap) but I am enjoying that side as well.

Blanche I love you! You are the one who makes my heart ache with love at night when you are fast asleep, and you are teaching me how to control my own emotions better with your own.

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