60 Months (a.k.a. the Fifth Birthday)

The girl is five years old now! A whole half decade! 60 months! 1826 days! Wheee! Happy birthday, beautiful!

[[image:2013-yaya60month-03.jpg:Peek-a-boo! Like the humongous bow in my hair?:center:0]]

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

It’s been another whirlwind month! We went to Elkhart for the 4th of July weekend, and got to see a bunch of family. No work trips, luckily, but somehow every day goes by so quickly. Before we realize it it is 11 PM, the kids are asleep and Vin and I are exhausted. We also of course had two birthdays this month (happy birthday to Yaya and her Papa!) so there were activities surrounding the birthday.

Food status: despite turning five and agreeing that at five she would start trying new foods as she was a big girl now, Yaya is backpedalling. At her 5 year checkup, her pediatrician had a serious talk with her about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables to feed both her body and her brain the nutritions that a growing girl needs. At the doctor’s office, she agreed she would try to eat. Once we got home, again, she rescinded claiming that she was “just kidding” at the doctor. We are, however, trying to be stricter. She agreed that she would go back to eating bananas, and that she will not be allowed her bowl of green chips (Lays sour cream and onion flavored potato chips) unless she eats a fruit or a vegetable. Wish us luck!

Bedtime update: right before bed, we now do a quick recount of our days. We’ve done this for the past few months but I keep forgetting to document it. This is how it basically goes: Yaya gets some time to cuddle one on one with me on the sofa and we ask the questions: “What was your favorite thing about today?” and “What was your least favorite thing about today?”. Yaya goes first, then she asks me the questions, then it is Papa’s turn to answer, and finally Yaya asks Adik the questions (and I get to answer for him!). Multiple answers are allowed. It is very interesting to see what sticks in Yaya’s head as being her favorite thing of the day. ūüôā

Learning status: so far so good! At her recent well visit, some of the developmental questions that the doctor asked included “Can she count to ten”. Can she? In three languages! In English she can count to a hundred. She can do simple arithmetic (additions, subtractions, and even a tiny bit of multiplication). She is so very close to reading. She can definitely recognize and read quite a few words, and she can sound out the rest and at least attempt to read it. Whee! I do feel that since the baby was born, I don’t read to her as much as I used to. Vin does more of that with her now, although there are times when she will bring me a book and ask me to read it to her. She tends to want stories now, and not just easy board books. She also likes to draw and illustrate her own stories (although she does get frustrated with the number of words/letters she has to write to actually write down the story in her head). We try to encourage her, but there are times when she gives up and asks us to write the story down for her as she dictates it. I hope she continues to write and illustrate her own stories as she keeps growing. One sad thing about turning five is that her monthly free books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is now finished. She definitely loved receiving mail that was addressed to her and that contained books for her to read. It is a great program! We were introduced to books and authors that we would have otherwise not necessarily have heard of or decided to try. A little bit sad, but time marches on and Yaya keeps growing.

Art is an every day thing. She is learning to cut using her “safety scissors” although she prefers to ask Vin or me to do the complicated cutting. She and Vin tend to do the messier artwork (like painting, etc.) while Adik is napping so she can do this undisturbed. It is definitely time to find her a proper art tutor, one that will know how to challenge her, and expose her to different art media, since she really does seem to love doing this. She is constantly surprising us with the different effects that she pulls off, some of it she learns by watching videos on youtube, others are just her own ideas that she tries out.

Due to the long hiatus of proper television (don’t ask us how long it took us to call DirecTV to fix our reception) – we finally started taking advantage of the Roku box and Yaya got to watch some new shows on Netflix (or “the red thing”, as she calls it). Some of our new shows include Peep and the Big Wide World (which I LOVE!), Busytown Mysteries, and a few others. It’s pretty cool.

Anyway – for this entry, I wanted to show some of my favorite photos for the month. I will not be covering the photos of the actual birthday or the party – you can see those photos here (link to be inserted later). Let’s start with the photos!

[[image:2013-yaya60month-01.jpg:Yaya in her “cowboy” hat (gift from Pak Yope and Wan Yong way back when):center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-04.jpg:A somewhat bored looking fairy:center:0]]

Here are the photos of our 4th of July trip:

[[image:2013-yaya60month-06.jpg:Yay! Let’s go to Aunt Becky’s house!:center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-07.jpg:Are we there yet?:center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-08.jpg:With the cousins:center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-12.jpg:Yaya at sunset (photo courtesy of Mary):center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-09.jpg:Yaya’s first painting on canvas:center:0]]

Back home, more painting on the easel:

[[image:2013-yaya60month-02.jpg:Timmy Time!:center:0]]

Next, a couple shots of Yaya and Adik. Adik keeps following her around and copying her. If Yaya sits somewhere, he goes there to sit with her. If Yaya is reading a book, Adik will get a book too. It’s quite adorable.

[[image:2013-yaya60month-05.jpg:Yaya and Adik, both smiling!:center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-14.jpg:Cheese! Adik brings a book to read next to Yaya:center:0]]

A few more shots of Yaya:

[[image:2013-yaya60month-10.jpg:My big girl:center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-11.jpg:Let’s fool around with the violin:center:0]]

[[image:2013-yaya60month-13.jpg:Cheeky monkey at the doctor’s office:center:0]]

It is just mind-boggling how quickly these past five years have flown by. We have had a blast getting to know you, Alya Jean, watching you grow, and learn new things every day. Happy fifth birthday, baby girl! May your dreams be filled with happy aardvarks forever. We love you!

[[image:2013-yaya60month-15.jpg:Loving the 4th of July sparklers (bunga api):center:0]]

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