How can you be 5 years old already?

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It’s funny because when I was pregnant, nine months felt like forever. But once Clarissa was born, time seemed to speed up. Maybe that is slightly exaggerated. The first two months where she didn’t know the difference between night and day dragged a bit too. But once I was getting five hour stretches of sleep at night and started enjoying my daughter, I could enjoy the moment better. I cannot believe that Clarissa is five years old. It does not seem like it has actually been five YEARS since we met her.

Clarissa has been asking me to teach her to read on and off since she was three. I really wanted her to have fun and play so while we did do some preschool this year, we didn’t do a lot of academics each day. She started to want more in the spring so we officially started kindergarten in June. She still loves me to read to her and will “read” to herself for a while too. She is starting to enjoy tracing/writing letters more. Her favorite is probably math though. She enjoys counting and puzzles. She actually enjoys homeschooling so much that when people ask her about starting kindergarten in the fall she says something like, “I am homeschooled FOREVER. Mommy teaches me at home and I will NEVER go to real school.” She gets really upset if we ask her if she wants to go to school.

Clarissa enjoys going to Sunday school. She has learned a few Bible verses and reminds me to read a Bible story during school each day. She said she wants to try AWANA this year and is very much looking forward to gymnastics starting again in September. Today she told me that she has “been waiting a long time for that!”

I think Clarissa is an introvert. She enjoys being with a small group that she knows. If we go somewhere loud or with a large group of kids she asks to leave very quickly. She is sensitive to loud noise in general. She always hides in her room and closes the door when I vacuum and won’t see movies in the theater anymore because it is too loud.

As usual, Clarissa is very verbal and wants to tell you her opinion about EVERYTHING. She is not very gracious if you have a different opinion so we are working on that. She also has a very vivid imagination so she tells great stories. She has also started saving her screen time for when daddy is home in the evening so that she can watch him play video games or watch a show together.

Clarissa wants a baby sister so badly. Actually she wants two sisters but if one of them a brother, it’s okay. For her birthday, she requested a bunk bed so that she can “share a room with her sister.”

She seems to have really matured lately. She no longer requires the stroller to walk to post or for a day of exploring. Clarissa gave away her My Little Pony toys and wants to play with her baby doll. She is always the mom. She plays dress up often as well and wants to pretend to be her favorite characters on TV. Her current favorite is Eva from Wakfu so she can often be found wearing boots inside the house and carrying around her bow and arrow. She also enjoys playing outside and making crafts. I think she would live at the pool or beach if I let her.

Some of my favorite Clarissa sayings right now:

  • I prefer dogs (poor Mittens. Though they still have many tender moments)
  • It’s not my stuffed animal, it’s my pet
  • Our family is not alone in this car… I see a bug in here!
  • Constructions (instructions)
  • Frusterated (frustrated)
  • Figerate (I need to figure it out)
  • I trickstered you!
  • Interdasting (interesting)
  • Inzausting (exhausting)
  • Great Wall of Korea
  • Throft store (thrift store)
  • I am writing kid letters (when she just scribbles instead of writing English letters)

Clarissa 4.5

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Clarissa is growing up so fast. I can’t believe she will be four and a half years old on Tuesday. It seems like every day she says or does something that surprises me. She is also starting to look tall to me (until we leave the house and stands next to one of her actually tall friends).

Clarissa has always enjoyed reading. She sometimes still stays up with a reading lamp at bedtime. What has changed is that she tries to learn from her books now or act them out. For example, we recently read a book about a girl who turned her bedroom into her own country. Immediately after we read this book, Clarissa decided to turn her room into “Clarissavania,” complete with a flag, rules, money, and national treasures.

She and Mittens really do act like sisters. They love each other one minute and annoy each other the next. Clarissa often likes to pick out treats or presents for Mittens at the PX and Mittens sleeps in Clarissa’s bed every night.

Clarissa likes to dress herself. She is getting quite girly and prefers skirts to pants. She often pretends to be one of the Equestria Girls. She also prefers to wear boots instead of sneakers. She sometimes pretends to be an Equestria Girl and give me a concert.

I thought that she had given up on Legos in favor of Barbies. But in the past few weeks has been more interested in building Lego cities. She also plays a game she calls “umbrella party.” This basically entails bringing the big umbrella into the living room and putting a bunch of toys next to it to play there. Her favorite game to play is called “family.” Sometimes she is the mom and puts a baby doll in her shirt and in a few minutes pulls it out and says, “look I had my baby!” and proceeds to take care of it. The baby needs to be nursed, have a diaper change, and put in her crib. Other times, the doll is her baby sister and she tells me to nurse it, but she does everything else.

She jumps on her trampoline every day. The trampoline also serves as a stage for a concert. Clarissa and I also like to play Just Dance together on the Wii. This week she has started to get very silly with it. Half the time, instead of dancing with me she just does something silly into the camera because she wants to see the playback.

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Clarissa is finally starting to eat more foods. She will eat chicken and scrambled eggs consistently and will even occasionally eat part of a bison burger. She will randomly eat fruit like apples, strawberries, and grapes. She will eat any flavor of fruit squeeze though. Vegetables are still pretty elusive unless you count seaweed.

Her favorite movie right now is Home Alone. She thinks the bad guys getting beat up is hilarious.

Clarissa still enjoys doing school with me. When she was younger, I thought she was going to be left handed. At this point, I think she is ambidextrous. She will use both hands when she draws or writes letters. Clarissa has really enjoyed coloring with markers lately.

Clarissa still prefers play dates with one child at a time but is getting more comfortable with larger groups, especially at church where it is the same group each week.

I always like to write down her new sayings so I will remember the funny things she says:

More upper or downer (go up or down)

Figerate (figure something out)

Comforter (comfortable)

Clo (clothes)

Insterding (interesting)

Skewel (school)

Fabulous!

I’ll show ya

What the heck?!

Constructions (instructions)

The next time you and Daddy go on a date, I don’t need a babysitter. God will protect me.

Mommy come with me. I’m getting lonely (if she needs to go to the bathroom).

She and Tim also spent a month or two of regular arguments at the dinner table about whether or not there should be a baby in my tummy. She has recently given up on that and has started to say, “we need to move to America so we can adopt my sister.” The other reason she wants to move to America immediately is so that we will be a two car family. Apparently she is tired of walking with Mommy during the week…

My four year old thinks she’s a super hero

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It was hard to type that. My four year old. It is hard to believe that Clarissa is 4 years old today. Life has changed so much in four years!

Clarissa is growing into this wonderful little girl. She can be pleasant, kind, and helpful. But at the same time, she is very determined. Let’s just say she’s in the right house because she certainly knows what she wants and is not afraid to voice her opinion. For example, recently she wanted to wear a tutu to the market.

I am learning to enjoy ALL of her and not just the things that make my job easier.

Clarissa is so smart. She can recognize her letters and numbers. We started a preschool curriculum together in July. She enjoys the Bible stories and crafts. She likes the themes for the books and activities. However, she is not very interested in writing or finding letters at this time. When we studied creation, we were working on the letter G. Capital G was just fine but she “didn’t like little g! Can’t we do s?” When we were supposed to do A for studying Adam and Eve, she was adamant that she wanted to do C that week. I think we will continue our stories and crafts and I will just ask her what letter she wants to work on that day.

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Clarissa is also kind of obsessed with The Magic School Bus. She watches the shows on Netflix daily. We have a new book from the library pretty much every time we go. Her favorite book is probably The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body. We have spent several afternoons drawing the inside of the human body. One time she skinned her knee and wanted to know where the platelets were to stop her from bleeding. Any time she sees a red circle, she asks if it is a red blood cell.

Wild Kratts is another favorite. We watch the show and there are a few books at the library. She has a pretty good understanding of the difference between predator and prey.

She still prefers being “make – id” (naked) so there are markedly less photos to show the grandparents. About once a month she will request an Elsa braid for her hair. The rest of the month, I am expressly forbidden to touch her hair.

Clarissa thinks she is very strong. And fast. And that she has powers. Like a super hero. She doesn’t worry about being smashed by a car because “I can put my hand out and stop it.”

She is a ballerina. Ballerinas only wear pink shoes (which is why Grammy had to send some for her birthday).

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Her favorite color is all of them. She has worn the same dress to church six weeks in a row because it has all of her favorite colors on it (red, yellow, teal, and pink).

She often wears rain boots. Even when it is not raining. And she likes to wear dresses and skirts more than shorts. Nail polish is constant. Last week when she was picking out her dress, she wanted to wear some of my jewelry too.

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Clarissa can tell me Bible stories. Sometimes she prays or asks me things about God. She plays with her “Jesus toys” (nativity set and resurrection eggs). But she tells me often that she doesn’t like Jesus. But Vacation Bible School was fun and she wants to go back tomorrow. Before she was born God told me that she would be a little girl with great faith. She still has a few years left of little girldom so I am waiting to see how this plays out.

She probably eats the same handful of foods I posted on her second birthday. But I have given up on being frustrated with that. She takes a multivitamin daily and eats fruit squeezes like they’re going out of style. She eats pepperoni, cheese, or peanut butter daily. So I feel like her diet is well rounded enough. Maybe one day she will eat what we eat for dinner without saying “yuck” and making faces.

Clarissa loves the water and takes at least one bath per day. Most days bathtime is at least 30 minutes long and several days per week she takes more than one bath in a day, just to play in the water.

Clarissa is also very creative. She loves to read books, both with me and by herself. She loves looking at the pictures to make up a story. Lego building happens every day in our house. Stuffed animals are real pets with names and “speak English but Mittens just speaks cat.” She also enjoys painting.

She says some pretty funny things:

She wants to do /not do things “because I do/don’t” (that’s why she likes things too)

If she’s tired while riding her bike she needs to “refuel” (drink water or have a fruit squeeze)

 

She will say something rediculous or made up and when you look at her she will say, “that’s how you say… in Spanish.”

She will ask if someone is Korean or an Englisher

It’s been ten minutes. 12345678910!

That’s “indoorable!” (adorable)

Okay okay okay

I get it!

I’ll help you

Rests for like 30 seconds “okay. Now I have enough enzergy (energy) to walk”

Where’s my bug looking thing? (magnifying glass)

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I’m figurating (thinking. Trying to figure something out)

Sun scream (sun tan lotion)

Fly swapper (fly swatter)

Back pag (she can’t commit to either bookbag or backpack)

I’m excusing (just kidding)

What island does… live on?

It’s so beautiful

Wonderful

I am reading in my head

Mommy. Daddy. Talk in your head! (when she is tired and doesn’t want to hear us talk in the car or living room)

Seriously?!

I’m curious

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Clarissa 3.5

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It is hard to believe that Clarissa is three and a half years old. We have lived in Daegu for two years so she has lived in Korea longer than she has lived in the USA. 

I think it is safe to say that Clarissa is potty trained now. It took almost a full year of trying. But once she decided she wanted to wear panties, it wasn’t that long. 

Clarissa still really enjoys reading. She will ask me to read to her. But she really enjoys “reading” to herself. She does a pretty good job of making up a story to match the pictures. At one point she consistently asked me to teach her how to read for real. But once she realized that it would take a while, she stopped asking. Part of her bedtime routine now includes reading to herself with a lamp for 10 minutes. She almost always is “in the middle” of a book when the timer goes off and has to finish before she turns out her light. 

She is no longer obsessed with going to California. She has graduated to Hawaii since our vacation. 

If you ask her why she likes anything the response is usually “because it’s so beautiful!” 

Clarissa keeps asking for her sister. She doesn’t want a baby. What she really wants is a roommate. She never wants me to leave her room at night. She gets lonely. Mittens always sleeps in her room but she “doesn’t speak human.” 

Her imagination has grown by leaps and bounds lately. She always has some elaborate story about her husband or her baby or fighting the bad guys. Lately, her husband is a dragon and her baby is a wolf pup. 

During the fall, Clarissa kept asking when she was going to be a mom and have a baby. I told her that when she was a grown up, she would get married, and then she and her husband could ask God for a baby. Apparently, she was listening. Now that she plays with baby dolls all the time and calls them her babies, she talks about her husband. At first, it was one boy in particular. But now any little boy will do. When I picked her up from the nursery last week she asked where her husband went. When I asked her who it was, she looked around, pointed at a little boy, and said, “that one!” Tim is thrilled…it is cute to watch them argue about this topic. 

Clarissa often cooks for me as well. Legos are still used several days per week. She is starting to draw more but isn’t as interested in messy art like painting or play doh. She also likes to trace letters and numbers. She is getting pretty good. 

She has a different name each day. If you call her the wrong name she gets upset. 

I think Clarissa is an introvert. She is fine in small groups and often wants to see her friends or go exploring. But if the number gets much higher than 5 or 6, she stays really close to me and stays quiet. She may warm up eventually, but it takes a while. 

Other common things Clarissa says:

Fridge – e-rater (refrigerator) 

I am bad sometimes 

But it hurts my feelings! (whenever you say no to something she wants) 

I am brave! 

My nose isn’t right! (if she has a runny nose) 

My hand is freaking out (if she is scared and her hand shakes) 

I like Jesus. He heals people. 

I need food 

My baby girl is 3! 

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Time seems to go  much faster as an adult than I remember growing up.  Clarissa is three years old.  She has lived exactly half of her life in America and half of her life in South Korea.

Life with Clarissa is a fun adventure.  She definitely keeps me on my toes!

Her three year old check up is on Friday,  so I don’t know all of her statistics yet.  But she has definitely grown this year.  Clarissa is quick to say,  “I am growing up.  I am getting heavy.”  Last year,  she wanted to walk everywhere.  This year she prefers to be carried. I enjoy a good cuddle,  but when it’s 95 degrees everyday,  mommy gets tired quickly.  I have recently started to bring the umbrella stroller everywhere we go.  It’s not as bad on the bus as I thought it would be and my walks to our destination have become so much easier.  I don’t know why I waited a year and a half to try this?!

Clarissa’s favorite activity is probably reading. She read the most books in her age group this summer at the library. Her prize was a $25 gift card to the px, which she spent on a Frozen jewelry making kit and some Elsa panties.

She asks me to read to her multiple times per day.  Clarissa also likes to “read”  to herself.  She is very good at narrating what is happening in the pictures.  Plus she has half of the stories memorized anyway. 

She even asks me to read in the indoor playroom of our apartment building.  Most of the books are in Korean so I have become quite skilled at making up stories. 

She also just got a Frozen tea set for her birthday and asks to play in the bathtub several times per day so that she can have “real tea.”

This week she learned to blow bubbles correctly. Before, she kind of ate them.

Her menu is still not very large, but this week has started to eat a larger quantity of food per day. She will pretty much eat pizza, ice cream, and chocolate any time they are offered. She will sometimes eat french fries (with ketchup), breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs, popsicles, pretzels, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, yogurt covered raisins,  dates,  apples, and bananas. Everyday she will eat a peanut butter sandwich, mozarella cheese, and a fruit bar or seaweed snack. She mostly drinks soymilk and water, but will request gatorade on a hot day.

Clarissa is brilliant. We named her well (Clarissa means brilliant). She is also quite determined. Which works both ways. If she wants to do something, she will do everything she can to make it happen. And if she doesn’t, well, it probably isn’t going to happen. Thus, I started potty training in April and she still isn’t fully potty trained. She is daytime potty trained at home. Has been for about a month. But once you leave the house, she doesn’t care anymore. Usually. Sometimes she will ask to sit on the potty while we are out. But it’s rare.

During the month of July, she demanded to be called Elsa and sometimes would not respond unless you called her Elsa. Tim refused and so he would come home and she would cry hysterically and say, “Mommy, Daddy says I’m not Elsa. I’m Clarissa.”

She does know her colors and shapes. She can recognize her letters pretty consistently. She can count from 1-10 and recognize those numbers as well. I overheard her singing the alphabet song today. Clarissa really enjoys singing.  She randomly bursts into songs that she makes up. 

I am really glad that I wrote about her interests a few months ago, because they have changed so much this summer. Her favorite movie is either Finding Nemo or Lion King. She watches Doc McStuffins, Robocar Poli, and Sofia the First on tv.

My Favorite Clarissa-isms

“one more minute”

“I’m growing up. I’m getting heavy” (or Mittens is growing up, or ___ is growing up)

“It doesn’t feel me good” (if she doesn’t like something or if she doesn’t feel good after eating/doing something)

“I want a dead sandwich” (plain bread)

She has a hard time pronouncing the letter l, so most things sound like y. yike (like), yegs (legs)

“my yegs (legs)  don’t work really well” (when she’s tired)

She uses the words because and yike (like) A LOT

Most days she will say “I don’t feel good. I have gunk.” Pretty sure she has inherited our allergies, poor thing.

She says ” loft cloth”  for washcloth 

If I ask her why she did something,  her response is usually” because I did”

We read a few books about opposites and she is confused.  She often says “it’s too easy”  when something is difficult 

She randomly adds “uh”  to the middle of the word so it’s “sam-uh-wich”  and “hung-uh-ry” 

she still says “hold ou me” when she wants me to carry her and I don’t have the heart to correct her. Because, she recently started to say “orange” correctly and I’m devastated. I loved how she said “ornange”

I am so thankful for our beautiful baby girl. I am so glad that I get to stay home with her during this season of life.

Update : Clarissa is 89.6 cm (35.3 inches)  tall and weighs 12.7kg (28 pounds). So she has grown a little over three inches and gained almost 5 pounds this year.