Tonight as she was getting ready for bed Juliette turned to me and said, “Mama!  Can you even believe I’m going to be five in three days?  Are you soooooo excited?!”  And I exclaimed, “Yes!  Five is going to be amazing!”  But in my head, the voices were shouting, “Stop stop stop stop STOP growing so fast, baby girl.”

Four has just been so stinking good – I’m not ready for it to be over.  Juliette eased my woes a bit when she put her arms around me and reminded me, “But I’ll still be your baby when I’m fifty-five, Mama.”  She’s got a valid point.  So let’s close out Four with a few sweet snapshots and then All Hail FIVE!

Juliette’s current favorite pastime is to raid her dress-up drawer and sashay around the house in tutus and sunglasses.  We’ll be hanging out in the living room or the backyard, then inspiration will suddenly strike and she’ll say she has to go get something, really quick.  Minutes later she’ll emerge in full get-up and ask Alexa to play I Won’t Say I’m In Love from Hercules. I LOVE HER.

When her tried-and-true accessories get old, we make our own.

OR, she rummages around in Daddy’s closet, as a healthy counter-balance to her recent princess infatuation.

 

Four hasn’t been all tiaras and dance parties, though. There are days when this girl seems absolutely un-pleasable, when requests for screen time or sweets are incessant and followed by unbearable bouts of whining or pouting.  “But Moooooommy!  You never let me watch shows [false!] or have candy [lie!]!”  Shane and I have learned that one of the best ways to pull Juliette out of a funk is to tap into her inner helper and ask her to come alongside us in a project.  She’s a super little side-kick, whether it’s “checking my drawings” as I work at the dining room table…

Or “fixing the ladder” while Dad works in the garage (safety glasses required, but pants are optional).

We recently started letting her earn money for chores, like unloading the dishwasher or sweeping the back porch, and after several weeks of careful saving, I took her to Target so that she could pick out something to buy with the whopping ten bucks in her wallet.  We wandered the toy aisles for a very (very) long time and then Juliette settled on the sparkliest piece of plastic she could find – a JoJo microphone that lights up and plays Boomerang.  On repeat.  Not my first choice (I was willing to chip in a few bucks for a cool puzzle or a Lego set!), but it was in fact her money to spend.  And she’s most definitely gotten her ten bucks’ worth.

 

After a stint of being easily frustrated and prone to quitting, Super-Girl is showing new levels of perseverance and determination.  She decided a few weeks ago to take on the monkey bars and worked those things at every playground we visited, slipping off rung after rung but always getting back up for another go.  She spent her recess time at school hanging and swinging, coming home at the end of the day with blisters on her hands.  But finally, she got it!  She made it across a full set without dropping.  And she was stoked.

 

We’ve been loving home-time more than ever but still itch to get out and about on our Fridays and weekends. I decided on a whim to see if Juliette still fits in her running stroller, and…hey!  Turns out her legs still fold up into this thing quite nicely!  We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past few weeks, walking to the library and the ice cream shop and the waterfront and the Farmer’s Market.

Juliette reads her Star Wars comic books or tells me stories while we walk.

The stroll down to the water on this particular day was lovely, but the trek uphill was so tough that Juliette had to climb out of the stroller and help me push!

I love dahlias, too, Jules!

 

Finally, a few pics from Labor Day, because they capture the joys of this current age and season so perfectly – walks down to the beach, goofy giggles, heart-shaped sunglasses…summer with a four-year-old has been magic.

 

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