Life in the Scellick clan has been anything but dull. There's the inward parts which whisper to me, "Live as much of this with these two as you can before the third comes along." So, we have been doing just that. I can't say that I have been carpe diem about keeping house. But, when the Pacific NW, specifically Bellingham, gets weeks upon weeks of sunshine, staying inside shouldn't be high priority.
Our mornings are still busy with swim lessons and I'm constantly impressed with the bravery & courage the girls are displaying. Not just that though, but the ensemble Tay chose one morning as I was making breakfast.
We've also had more time for reading, reading, reading. With no preschool for V, we are enjoying trips to the library and mama becomes the recording device to which the words spill. After one trip, where we acquired one too many 'Disney Princess' books, our next trip went something like:
Me: "Oh, we are only able to check out ONE Princess book."
Me: "Because we need to leave some for other little girls."
Luckily, they didn't fight on it and we've been enjoying 'Fancy Nancy,' 'Pinkalicious,' 'Little Bear,' and 'Francis' (the most adorable little badger the world has known). I love these quiet moments in the afternoon to read these over & over--I imagine post baby this will be a common household event.
We purchased a punchcard for drop in dance classes at a dance company that most everyone I know has taken their kids. Tay is a natural when it comes to dancing & singing, very theatrical (and I wonder where she gets it?). V is more freestyle. While Tay was in her pre-ballet class dancing it up, V stood outside watching then repeating the steps in the hallway. All of a sudden I hear,
"OH HOW BEAUTIFUL!! THE MUSIC, OH IT'S SO LOVELY!" cried V.
She peered into the big girl ballet class to watch, memorize & repeat. If I could bottle that moment up, I would be drunk with sweetness.
So you know how I said Tay is a my theatrical one? V is too in her own personal imaginative way; however, Tay is the one who is my dress-up girl constantly shocking me with raucous laughter as I see what arrangements she has made (as I write this I had to get something from my room to find Tay fixing her hair in the mirror during rest time. She says she needs it wet to get curly like her sister).
One thing about this child is she would fill some niche in the theater department; whether, it be on stage as a performer or designing costumes. Oh, yes, and she is still the hamiest ham I've ever known when it comes to picture time.
V's favorite day is Saturday & Sunday, because, "our whole family is together!" She told Ben last Friday, "Daddy, you don't need to go to work. I think you just need to come to swimming lessons!" Ben surprised us all by saying he was going into work late to watch swimming lessons. The girls response...ESTATIC. Clearly this is seen in the below picture as they both clambered to hold their papa's hand in all their radiant cuteness.
So what's next?
Either my birthday or a baby!
Last year V took her first ever swim lessons. She has always shown a rather fright around being emerged in the water, or getting water into her face. In part this is due to her sensory processing, where some things she goes full fledge into and others she takes a very cautious backseat. Water has been the backseat.
The teacher would take the kids to the five feet area and have them jump in to her, while holding their hands. V would jump and completely submerge into the water. This FREAKED her out to the bone. From that moment on, she did not really like jumping to the teacher from that point on. Not to mention the grandma who would take her 3 year old granddaughter to the diving board and throw her in to the instructor--yes the child kicking & screaming bloody murder. I think that also added to V's hysteria when confronted with jumping in the water.
However, I did see her become more brave when in the shower at the pool allowing the water to go all over her face. I had hoped this would translate permanently. Meanwhile, Tay was still 5 months shy of joining in, which she hated.
This year it means we are out of the house by 7:50 to be early (it's the most punctual you'll probably see me) and on time for our 8:15 lesson. The girls are in separate classes. Tay is on the stairs in the littlest class, while V is across the way in her class. What does this look like?
The first day went something like this:
Tay: "HI SISSY--SISSY, HI!," and then waving frantically.
V: "HI TAY!," and waving back frantically.
Anytime Tay would go by V's class with her teacher on the paddle board she would stop listening to the teacher and begin saying, "Hi Sissy, look at me, I'm swimming!" "Yes, good job!," V would reply. I believe at one point they were having a full on conversation and the poor teacher (a young college student or high school student) wouldn't know how to break it up.
V's first words upon entering her class was, "Where are the girls?" When she realized there weren't going to be any girls in her class, she knew that she would need to talk to boys. Conversation of course revolved around, "Do you like my new swimsuit? Do you have a new swimsuit?" The boys were kind and obliged her, but, well...they're boys and new swimsuits aren't very high on their list.
Then, Tay...the teachers asked what everyone's name was and her reply, "Alice." Luckily, I was within earshot and informed them of her real name. Before the girls got into the pool on Monday I told them, "Girls, I know you're going by Olivia and Alice right now, but while we're in the pool, we need to go by our real names. You know, the ones mommy & daddy gave you. It's so we don't confuse your teachers."
Tay forgot the memo.
It's now Friday and I'm one exhausted pregnant mama, and we have three more weeks to go (this might start my labor). But, we've had a blast and I have gotten teary eyed seeing my V grow so much in this week alone. She is still in her own world, like always; but, you wouldn't know this is the same girl from just two weeks ago at the pool crying about getting water in her eyes. She is like a little fish in the water and I truly didn't know if this would ever happen. I see her dunking herself straight into the water, bobbing up and down, up and down.
Here are some choppy videos I took on my phone of the girls in their own spotlight.
Tay swimming on her first day. Mind you, she smiles quite a lot while on the paddle board. One of her teachers says rather enthusiastically, "Can you put your face in the water? Can you blow some bubbles?" Tay responds with a big grin and chocolate brown eyes with a shaking of her head no. It's endearing.
Here V bobs up & down.
V swimming with her head under the water.
This is How to Pray for Dinner When You Live in Bellingham: "dear Jesus, thank you for the food..and...oh darn it, Jesus, could you make it sunny?"--V five years
Thursday Wednesday is the official first day of summer and we will welcome it (on Thursday, because I misread my dates) in by eating strawberry shortcake for breakfast in perfect off-white bowls with a strawberry painted on them. Today was V's last day of preschool and she couldn't be any more brilliant in mind & spirit.
"I need to wear my party dress for the last day of school! The one with brown & pink," she exclaimed to ensure I knew the dress.
"Yes," I know what dress.
She wasn't even four when entering the special preschool complete with her specialized IEP and now a shining 5 year old, still with the kindest of hearts you'll ever meet. Tay was eager to attend her Sis's last day of school picnic, complete in her purple party dress & purse (oh how I got some girlie girls). We walked out to the far field for the preschool picnic amongst the big kids on the playground. V wanted nothing more than to hold her mama & papa's hand feeling the warmth & security of the people who love her the most on this planet. I like to think this will always be the case.
Tay on the otherhand, kept up with the kids, as Ben noted her desire to "be" one of the kids. Their personalities, their design comes out boldly in days like today. Tay doing her thing, taking check of papa & mama, but not disjointed from being separated. V not afraid of being separated, merely loving that her parents are with her, because her perfect day is Saturday & Sunday when papa doesn't have to go to work and "the whole family is together."
I cannot even begin to tell you how proud I am of V and how hard she works at what other kids her age might take for granted. She works her body hard. She doesn't let her gross motor skills or low muscle tone sway her from running, climbing or jumping. It's a bit in her naivety that she doesn't quite pick up on all the differences. Sometimes her own "worldness" is a strength as she sees the world in what others imagine.
As you may know, her middle name is Storey.
Long before, while she was in my belly, I felt strongly about this name being given to the baby if a girl. I clearly remember seeking God and seeing how God weaves his story into ours. I saw this child within being apart of God's story. She would have her own story and lead others to God's story through it, in order that they may find their story.
My sweet V Storey holds this without a shadow of a doubt.
She lies next to me creating a story with her sensitive soul. Having never watched The Little Mermaid recreates her own story of the Sea Witch. But she's mean because she throws trash everywhere in the Sea Kingdom. This makes Ariel sad. King Triton lets the Sea Witch know that "sweet Sea Witches get to go to the party who help clean up." Unfortunately, the Sea Witch chooses not to clean up the trash. Given chance after chance, King Triton locks her in her room. The Sea Witch changes her heart by saying 'sorry' and King Triton forgives her (the Sea Witch also prays to ask Jesus to help her clean up the mess in her heart). The Sea Witch then becomes a sweet girl and Ariel is no longer sad.
Words spoken from the images of our heads is what denotes a storyteller in my mind. It's long before pen & paper. It's the oral tradition of speaking life, making sense of the unseen, and bringing people together. My girl is learning, "I'm a storyteller!"
Yes indeed she is. A storyteller with a cautious soul and an imagination of possibility. Well done my beautiful, kind, curly haired, forgiving, brilliant little-big girl for pursuing this life to the fullest while always taking others into consideration. You shine!