Monday, April 10, 2017

Nell Update

I'm scrolling through my camera roll and realizing there are very few pictures of just Nell. For a moment I think I should feel guilty about this, but I stop. This isn't a reflection of me, this is a reflection of Nell. I can't think of a better way to capture Nell's soul than to find her always posed with a sibling. 

Whether she's playing her role as the glue that holds the oldest three together ...

Or her role as the leader and example to my pack of girls ... 

Nell's always surrounded by these siblings she loves so much. I often find myself saying "Nell doesn't know how to play by herself." And it's true. Reid can throw himself into a world of imagination and Coraline can find a toy to keep her busy -- but Nell is a social child. She needs a second person to help her occupy her time. Lucky for her, she can usually find one. 

Coraline admires her big sister so much. Maybe even a little too much. If Nell gets a little fussy it isn't too long before I have Coraline stomping her feet and crossing her arms at me as well. She loves to act just like Nell. 

Nell is my biggest helper, often taking on jobs without even being asked. She puts Mara's car seat away unprompted. She always tells me to close my eyes the moment I take off Coraline's diaper. Then she grabs it and runs to the garbage to toss it out. Earlier today when I asked her to bring me Mara's bumbo so I could clean it, she decided to just get a wipe and do it herself. This was extra thoughtful as Mara had just had blow-out.  
One morning as I was coming up the stairs from doing the laundry, Nell hollered, "Mom, we're cleaning the house so well. You're going to be so proud. We're making it clean in case anyone comes over." That last sentence kind of tipped me off and when I rounded the corner I saw them scrubbing away at Lou's little playhouse. 

Nell is definitely our spunky child. She seems to know who she is and has all the confidence in the world about it. I hope she never lets that go. She's also our sassy child. She loves to push the limits and often intentionally does things to get a rise out of me or Ben (or Reid or Lou). 

The other day she and Reid were coloring at the table. I was making something, but needed more flour. As I ran downstairs to get some I remembered the half filled cup I left on the counter. I knew right then I would walk upstairs to find Coraline playing with it. I was right, and since the mess was my own fault I decided that instead of getting mad I'd just let Lou have her fun. She was playing for about ten minutes before Reid and Nell even noticed. 

"Um, Mommy." Reid said, making sure I saw what was happening. When I turned and looked he added, "There's no way you are okay with that." I explained how it was my fault and how she was being so quite with it (honestly, I loved that she stayed out of my way while I tried to cook). I told him it was sweep up easily, and then I bent down to take a photo. Just then Nell jumped down from her seat at the table and walked right through the whole thing. That's when I lost it. Poor Nell, I didn't offer her the same patience I offered Coraline. 

I know we never truly know someone's intent, but if I know Nell as well as I think I do, her intent was to get a rise out of me. I suppose I failed because I gave her just what she wanted. Lous' mess would be easy to clean, but now I had an even bigger one. Plus, I just thought she should know better. I didn't get the carefree photo of Lour I wanted, but I feel like I captured the two of them pretty well. Lou's fun interupted by a misbehaving big sister. 

Don't tell anyone, but I think Nell prefers Reid to Coraline. She does love playing with (and disturbing) Coraline, that's for sure. But Nell lights up when Reid gets home and she always seems happier on the weekends, when he's around, than the weekdays. The two of them truly are best friends and I hope it lasts forever. 

She also loves the special time we have together each day while her little sisters nap. We've been reading The Secret Kingdom and Junie B Jones books. Sometimes we get through a whole chapter book in one day (even one sitting). They hold her attention so well. TV holds her attention well also. She loves Dinosaur Train on PBS kids. She also loves Strawberry Shortcake on Netflix. But I noticed her attitude gets kind of rotten after Strawberry Shortcake, so we are limiting Netflix to just Saturday morning. If they ask for TV on a school day it has to be whatever is on PBS kids at the moment. So Nell watches a lot of PBS kids. 

She's a really healthy eater, but she asks me about food constantly. I don't really know what to do about that, but there is no way she is as hungry as she makes herself out to be.  She is wearing size 7 clothes and has all her summer shopping done. I decided to take her with me to pick out her clothes, since she only wore the winter stuff she'd chose herself. We came home with nothing but skirts. She loooooves to twirl and dance. 

She also loves to wrestle fight and get dirty. She also has a super silly potty mouth. The girl loves to use the word butt in every situation and she burps her way through most of dinner. She's the perfect little princess tomboy. We love her so much and are so thankful to have her in our life. 

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