Friday, February 28, 2014

Brianna at 4 years old

Brianna is a little girl that is FULL of personality, so attempting to capture who she is at four years old is no easy task. It is a bit mind blowing to think about how much independence she's gained in one short year. She has just grown SO much, and is definitely a legit kid now . . . certainly not a baby or a toddler.

At four years old, Brianna is wearing size 4T clothing and size 9 shoe. At her four year well check with Dr. F, Brianna weighed 34 pounds and 3 ounces (43rd percentile) and was 39 3/4 inches tall (49th percentile). She's always been a pretty average sized girl, so these numbers fell right in line with what we expected. This was her first appointment where the nurse took her blood pressure, and it was 93 over 66. Her pulse was 120. She did get 3 shots during this appointment and was NOT thrilled. She cried more than she ever has, and even quite a bit more than Brenson did (we did their well checks at the same time). We have been battling ear infections lately, but other than a severe infection in her right ear, she is healthy!

Brianna was an early talker and has always been pretty articulate. She uses a wide vocabulary, and keeps us laughing all the time. Here are a few examples:
  • The other day she said, "If it rains tomorrow, I would be delighted to jump in the puddles!"
  • She told her Daddy one evening that "Brenson has been a master disaster of crying today." She was spot on!
  • One day I was thinking aloud and said, "Hmmm, should I make chicken and rice or chicken taco soup for dinner?" and Bri answered, "Chicken taco soup!" So I said, "Oh, do you like that better?" to which she replied, "Well, I just prefer it really." 
  • At lunch one day she said, "Mom, I love you so much. And Brenny. I love him so much too. Oh, and your husband. I love him too." I said, "My husband? Who is my husband?" She said, "My daddy of course. That's who I was talking 'bout!"
  • Brianna would love to have a baby in the house and talks about it quite a bit. While I was putting her down for nap one day, she said, "Mom, I want us to have another baby in our house, and I'll call her Mackenzie." So I replied, "I don't know if that will ever happen." Bri said, "Why not?" so I said, "I just don't know if God is going to give us another baby." Bri then replied, "But look, your tummy is getting bigger!" and I said, "Well, that's not a baby. That's just Momma getting fat." She then said, "Well, why are you doing that???" Haha!
  • Bri says really thoughtful prayers and will often thank God for a good day, playing outside, library books, friends, markers, clothes, etc. Brenson was having an especially rough day a few weeks ago (he was cutting his 2 year molars), so Brianna prayed, "And thank you God for Brenson even though he's having a hard day today." 
  • After Chris and Brenson got their hair cut a few weeks ago, Bri said, "Oh! You guys look much more better, Chris!" :-). 
  • She'll say, "That was random" and other funny expressions that I use.

At the beginning of 2013, I began working with Brianna on memorizing scripture. I set a goal for her to memorize one scripture a month, not knowing how well she would respond to my efforts. After just a few weeks, it was obvious that she was capable of more than 1 scripture per month, so I created a little chart and revised my goal to be for her to fill the chart before the end of the year. Well, not only did she fill the chart, but she started on a second chart! I was pretty blown away!

She memorized a total of 28 scriptures in 2013! We were so proud of her.

We try to have Brianna in bed each night by 8:30, but she generally doesn't fall asleep until closer to 9:00. She gets up around 8:00am, and still takes a 1 to 2 hour nap in the afternoon. We've tried letting her drop that nap, but she ends up being very cranky in the evenings so for now she still naps daily. 

We've never had an issue with Bri having ear infections until recently. However, since the beginning of the year, we have been battling ear infections in her right ear, mostly. She has been on several rounds of antibiotics, but those don't seem to have been very effective. So, more recently we've been treating her ears by taking her to a chiropractor and using ear oil. There were several days while her ears were hurting that she was super cranky and cried at everything. This was SO unlike her, and I felt terrible that she was in pain!

Brianna is our fearless, active, always-on-the-move, LOUD, little wild child. The girl seriously has no fear (which is hilarious to me because I'm scared of everything!). People (including me) often describe her as spunky. She is very independent and loves being with people. Whereas Brenson is slow-to-warm, Brianna will jump right in and participate in whatever we ask her to. 

First time bowling and loved it!

At the playground, climbing higher than Mommy approved!

Spinning round and round and round

Again, at the playground and not one bit scared of this huge slide. She begged me to go down it until I finally consented. Sigh.

Brianna loves to sing and dance. She sings loudly at church (which is cute, albeit a bit distracting), and sings constantly at home while she plays, eats, takes a bath, etc. She loves to run and dance while she sings, so of course she is almost always dressed up in skirts and dresses so they will spin. Truly, when we are home, she is rarely in her regular clothes! You can see in many of these photos that she is wearing dress up clothes. 

She LOVES her baby dolls and went through a phase where this was her favorite one. She called her "Tree". Yep.

Because we can't be a princess all the time :-).

I'm sure she had been dancing in this photo!

She loves to accessorize . . . notice the headband, bracelets, and necklace.

Bri begs to go to school, and really loves going to Fridays with Miss Shelly. It's amazing how much she has learned and developed since we began attending Miss Shelly's. She is so much better at sitting still and listening, she is great at patterns, charts, and counting. She will often add in her head (for example, we'll tell her to eat 2 more bites of green beans and 2 more bites of chicken, and she'll say, "But that's 4 more bites!"). She is also great with direction. She'll often say, "This is the way to . . . " and is almost always correct. 

Working hard at Miss Shelly's

Brianna is really enjoying learning to read and write. I tried to get her to write her name and practice her letters for a while with little success, but around Halloween that suddenly changed. She was just ready and interested. She LOVES to write her name, and signed all her own Christmas and birthday thank you cards. 
It's difficult to see, but she had written her name in side-walk chalk!

Practicing on her art easel


One day, I was having her practice capital N (so I could teach her to write our last name), and she started making Hs, too. 

Brianna loves to read and will sit and listen to books for as long as someone will read to her. Going to library story time is one of her favorite things, and she loves picking out books to check out after story time is finished. 

She often takes a book in the car to look at while riding, and she also often "reads" to Brenson. She can recite many of her favorite books pretty accurately.

She is beginning to recognize several sight words (such as stop, God, Bible, Brianna, Mom, and cat to name a few), and reads tons of environmental print. She loves to say a word, then tell me what that word starts with (for example, she'll say, "B-b-b-ball. That starts with B.") and really loves it when I give her a word and ask her to tell me what it starts with. Girl loves a challenge :-).

While Brianna is a girl who knows what she wants and can be quite bossy, she is an extremely loving big sister. She is so helpful to me when it comes to Brenson. When he is crying or melting down, she is sometimes the only one who can calm him. She comforts him when he's scared. She encourages him to make good choices, and loves to help clean him up or change his clothes. She teaches him words and is just such a cheerleader for him. He does frustrate her sometimes by taking her toys or getting into her stuff, but she can be very patient with him (isn't always, but can be :-).

Such a sweet sister!

Both of our children help out around the house, but Brianna especially is a good helper. And she loves to help! We are trying hard to teach her to have a servant's heart, but I think that she naturally has a helping heart, too! She not only helps around the house, but also helps each month at our church food drive.

She helps load and unload the dishwasher.

She also helps by spot vacuuming the floors after meals (with a hand vac).

She tends to be messy . . . eating, crafting, etc she's just messy. So, she does have to help clean many of her messes. She also helps set the table for meals, fold and put away laundry, and pick up the house.

Some of Brianna's favorites include:

crafting (painting, coloring, stickers, cutting, and gluing)

helping in the kitchen,



(especially memory)

Daddy (girl-child is SUCH a Daddy's girl!),



and playing outside.

Bri gets dirty easily and is quite a mess, but she also loves all things girly. This includes having her nails painted, wearing lip gloss, playing with princesses and baby dolls, and My Little Pony. She loves to dress and undress dolls over and over again. She also loves Disney princess movies, and really watching TV in general. She would watch hours of TV if we let her (we don't), and has recently started asking to play games on our phones or Kindle frequently. She, of course, loves games where she takes care of a baby or dresses up princesses, etc. She is becoming a GREAT shopping buddy, too!

Spending a day shopping with Mommy!

Trying out a new hair style.

Girl has beautiful eyes! They were very blue until she was about 2 years old when they turned green. Love her lashes!

Brianna has always been a great eater and will try anything we put in front of her. We were dining out a few months ago, and she decided she wanted to eat with chopsticks. She did pretty well for her first time!

She was eating a crab wonton in this photo.

One of the funniest things that Brianna does is this great expression where she raises one eyebrow. She does this when she hears information that she's not sure how to process . . . like if she can't tell if you're being serious or not. Her Bible class teacher also tells me she gets this look often which doesn't surprise me. There are many things in the bible that must be difficult for a child to understand. I {sort of} captured the look in a photo one day (while we were crafting . . . who knows what I said to cause her to look at me like this). SO funny!

We love our girl so, so much! Her sense of adventure keeps us on our toes, and her fearlessness is inspiring. She is perfect for our family, and we couldn't imagine life without her.


Mrs Gable said...

Her memorizing the bible verses is precious!

Cheryl said...

What wonderful thoughts and pics about your sweet girl! She is just beautiful!

Kriss said...

She is precious!

cassidy adams said...

Hey Chelley! I love the bible verse chart! I'll have to remember that with Cam! Happy birthday To your sweet girl she is beautiful!:)