Monday, September 12, 2011

Nora Kathryn: 4 Years Old

Well, Nora turned four years old a short while back, and today was her 4-year well visit with Dr. G!  It's hard to believe that our girl is FOUR!  One year away from starting school, old enough to dress herself, big enough to have some household "chores," mature enough to ask some deep, compelling questions.  Four is a very fun age!  Nora is such a great helper to me and to our family, and I see how much she loves her brother and sister in the little ways she cares for them.  Anyway, more on what's she up to in a minute.  For now, here are Nora's stats from her appointment this morning:

Weight: 34 lbs.  (55th percentile)
Height: 39 7/8 inches  (75th percentile)

The nurse commented that Nora seemed tall for her age, which is funny because one of her best friends, Layla, is super tall, so I never consider Nora tall.  I'll have to try to compare her to other kiddos.  Wonder where she'd get the tall gene from? Neither Jonathan nor I are tall, but my dad is over 6 feet!

Just for comparison, at three years old, Nora weighed 29 lbs and was 37 1/8 inches tall.  So this year she's gained 5 lbs and grown over 2.5 inches.  Crazy!!

This next year will be an exciting one for Nora.  She's signed up again for ballet, which she loves, so she'll continue to have lessons once a week with another recital in the spring.  We have also signed her up for a 4 year old soccer program called the Mighty Mites.  Jonathan is one of her coaches, and everything starts tomorrow evening.  We are so excited!  We've bought her some cleats, shin guards, and her very own soccer ball.  I can't wait to see what she's like out there on the field!  Will she be competitive? Clueless? A bird watcher?

We are not doing official preschool with Nora this year, but I am trying to work with her each week at home.  We are currently trying to do a letter a week where we work on recognizing each letter and learning their sounds.  She can recognize all of her letters, for the most part, but there are only a few sounds she knows so far.  We've also been working on her tracing skills, cutting skills, and glue skills.  Some things we do include:
*cutting things out of magazines and pasting them on construction paper.
*work in some preschool workbooks that I've bought that focus on numbers and basic math skills, tracing the alphabet, and other preschool skills like matching, sequences, similarities/differences, etc.
*I made homemade alphabet "flashcards" and she likes to play a game where I scramble the flashcards on the floor and she has to find them and put them in the correct order.  She's getting much better with that!

Another book I have started going through with the kids is a fun family workbook/coloring book called "The 21 Rules of this House."  It's a really neat parenting/family book I came across a few years ago that helps you teach your children just some basic Christian principles.  Most of the principles are rules already implemented in our household, but it's good to put them into words and phrases that we can talk about and use as a reference point.  Some of the rules include:

*We obey the Lord Jesus Christ.
*We obey our parents.
*We do not hurt one another with unkind words or deeds.
*When we have work to do, we do it without complaining.
*When someone is sad, we comfort him.
*We take good care of everything God has given us.

Each "rule" comes with a coloring sheet that helps the kids understand what the rule is.  It even has a big printout of all of the rules that you could hang up in your house somewhere, but we haven't done that.  Anyway, we aren't very far into it.  We've just talked about Rule 1 for the past two weeks, so we will probably move on really soon.

Nora also likes to play on the computer with some educational websites such as  My mom is a first grade teacher and has given me lots of great links for educational websites that I'll have to share if anyone is interested in printing stuff off for their kids or anything like that.

Nora loves to ride her scooter around the neighborhood.  She can ride her bicycle with training wheels very well, but we've been trying to teach her to ride her balance bike, but she won't get on it.  We don't want to force the issue, but I hate that we bought this bike that she won't use!  Hopefully we'll get one of the kids to get some use out of it!

This summer has really shown Nora to be an improved swimmer.  She took swim lesson in early June and after much working with her in the pool, she can now swim by herself without a life jacket, and she can put her face in the water and come up for air while swimming.  She's definitely a little fish!

Princesses, Barbies, and her Calico Critter house are Nora's favorite toys to play with.  She's still really into books, but I'll say that pretending has taken over more than her "reading" has.  I can't wait until she's really reading and when we can read great, classic books together! 

Every day, Nora seems to be growing more mature and more wonderful.  I cannot believe she is four!  We love her so much and look forward to the continued work of God in her life this next year.  I pray that Jonathan and I grow in our dependence on the Lord for how to nurture her and raise her and care for her.  We are so blessed to have Nora Kathryn as our first daughter!

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