A Happy 4th Birthday to my Nicole
Itâ€™s hard to believe that Nicole is turning 4. Four just seems so much more mature to me than three. Charlotte keeps saying that when Nicole turns 4 sheâ€™ll stop being a little girl and start being a big girl.
Click here to see what I wrote about her when she turned 3.
Itâ€™s always interesting to see how much my children change in a year. Last year I wrote about her yelling everything she says. This year she has started to learn about using a quieter voice, but itâ€™s still hard sometimes to get her to lower her volume (especially at church). She went through a phase of yelling Ilaâ€™s name that Iâ€™m glad to say ended a while ago (hereâ€™s something that I wrote about it).
She is still my little family ambassador. She really likes people, especially adults, and is the first to give a hug to a new friend. Iâ€™ve noticed that she is most comfortable with female adults and has started to develop strong bonds with several women in our ward. We sit next to the Halversons at church and she really likes Sister Halverson. When they sit down at the other end of the row, Nicole often scoots away from our family, towards theirs. Zach and I sometimes jest with each other that sheâ€™s our little Halverson. One Sunday she insisted on sitting on every Halverson lap (they have several adult children), although I noticed that she moved on more quickly from the boyâ€™s laps than the girlâ€™s laps. Iâ€™ve also noticed Nicole smile really big when she sees Sister Welsh.
She still struggles with some of her language skills, but I am seeing improvement. She still likes to repeat phrases, but probably not as much as last year. She is starting to answer questions better, or at least be aware that a question requires an answer. She seems to have some difficulty in comprehending language. Sometimes It seems like she can only process part of a sentence. There have been a few times recently when she has repeated only key words in a sentence and then responded with what she thought was the appropriate response. Here are some examples:
â€œNicole do you want a hot dog?â€
â€œA hot dog!â€
â€œWhereâ€™s your doll?â€
â€œMy doll!â€ (holds up doll)
She still calls herself â€œMe-cole,â€ but her sentence complexity has improved. Sometimes she says things that are surprisingly clever or imaginative, other times she says things that seem to make no sense.
She often misinterprets the catâ€™s intentions. A cat will enter the room and sheâ€™ll run away saying â€œDonâ€™t eat me cat!â€ Or a cat will walk in the general direction of something of hers and sheâ€™ll run towards the item, grab it and yell at the cat not to eat it. Most of the time she yells at the cat, itâ€™s about not eating something that the cat is not likely to try to eat . Sometimes she seems genuinely afraid that the cat is going to try to eat her or something of hers.
She hasnâ€™t been verbally replaying routines much anymore, but the other day she started one by saying â€œWe get up and then go to the bus.â€ I took her routine and expanded it with several more steps and she seemed to really enjoy that activity. Whereas last year, her replay involved her repeating familiar instructions that were given to her, this time she listed the steps of a typical morning routine (or repeated steps that I listed).
She still loves looking at books, particularly thick ones and she loves to draw, particularly on electronics.
She has learned to dress and undress herself a little too well. She changes her clothes several times a day. This last week her favorite thing to wear has been a swimsuit and sheâ€™s spent large portions of each day wearing a swimsuit. Sometimes she changes into a few different swimsuits during the day. She has even started encouraging Ila to wear a swimsuit. Yesterday she helped Ila take off her shirt and pants and then tried to help her put a swimsuit on.
She has started playing with Ila more, although Nicole usually yells at Ila while theyâ€™re playing and then Ila gets really upset and starts to cry. Sometimes she orders Ila around, other times she copies what Ila is doing. Sometimes they even play cooperatively (ie: one girl will make a pretend dish and then serve it to the other who will enjoy pretending to eat it).
She likes to play and wrestle with Charlotte. Most of the time when they play, Charlotte tells Nicole what to do and Nicole does what Charlotte asks.
She is passionately affectionate. She hugs and kisses hard (tight hugs and forceful kisses) and often insists on kissing on the lips even sometimes grabbing someoneâ€™s hair and pulling them in for the kiss.
She loves the color purple and talks about wanting purple things all the time. In parking lots I often say something like â€œwhereâ€™s our white truckâ€ and sheâ€™ll say â€œwhereâ€™s Nicoleâ€™s purple car.â€
Other things I blogged about Nicole since her last birthday: Jealousy towards Thomas, a silly outdoor outfit, collecting rocks, sending me subtle hints, recording her favorite book, wanting to hold Thomas, a favorite book, putting on make-up, a baby powder mess, playing, a haircut, potty training (which Iâ€™m still working on with her), a bad bout of nausea, Nicoleâ€™s ingenuity.