My four year old thinks she’s a super hero



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.


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).


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.


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)


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


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)


I’m curious


Clarissa 3.5


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! 


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.