Me llamo Rocky

Reading and Writing?!?! What's Next?

Enzo and the baby aren't the only ones making big changes lately.  Eva has been doing her fair share of big accomplishments in the past few months.  Even though in preschool they don't teach alot of academics, it seems that since school has started it has activated Eva's desire to learn more at a quicker pace.  Eva has been working hard at trying to write the entire alphabet on her own...

She can pretty much get all the way from A-Z, but usually has about 1 or 2 letters that she gets stuck on.  Ironically, it never seems to be the same letter.  Regardless, she practices writing the A, B, C's almost daily and with any type of medium; chalk and sidewalk, paper and marker, pencil and notebook, etc.

With writing her alphabet, she has also started to write out her own words.  I am so surprised at how well she does.  The other day we bought a new notebook that has lines on it to write her alphabet, but instead she insisted on writing a letter to her friend, Siena.  I told her how to spell Siena's name and also told her to go down to the next line, but when it came to the rest of the letter, she was in charge.  We sounded out every letter to each word and she wrote it all out herself.  In fact, she even insisted that she will not write the word "love", but simply make a heart...

We then mailed her letter (to her friend that lives about 2 blocks away) and waited until she got it (5 days later), haha.  Eva was so excited to hear about how happy her letter made Siena when she got it.

Naturally, with knowing her alphabet and understanding the very basics of writing, Eva is reading!  She got some Bob Books from Auntie Heather's family for her birthday last year, and we'd slowly started introducing the basics to her in the last year.  In the last few months, it has really clicked.  She went from being able to sounds out each letter, to now being able to blend those sounds together to create the word on her own.  There are 18 books in our collection and we don't progress to the next book until she can read an entire book all by herself with no help.  We are now on book #4.

Another advancement that came at quite the surprise was that Eva had my phone number memorized.  Its crazy because I was starting to realize that she is getting to an age where I could easily teach her, but I never actually sat down and did it.  One day (while Granny, Jennifer, and Sean were visiting), we went to a restaurant and put our name in for a table.  They asked for my phone number so they could text when a table was available and as soon as I started the first number, Eva took over and recited to the girl my entire phone number.  I was blown away!  My guess is that she has heard me tell other people and over time just memorized it herself.  I keep testing her now, to see if she really does know it (I guess I am still in some sort of disbelief), and she gets it right every single time!

Not only have we seen growth in her academics, though, she has really been emotionally maturing rapidly as well.  Now as she gets older there have become may more opportunities for Eva to be gone with someone without my being with her for lengths of time (school, for instance).  And, every time I am reunited with whatever adult she has been with, they always tell me how well behaved Eva is and how well she uses her manners.  It is obviously one of those things that we always hope to hear from others, as a mother, so it really makes me proud when people do tell me.  Most recently, though, the teachers at school have really been emphasizing how compassionate Eva is.  They have brought it up to me on several different occasions now.  Most of their examples are that there are other students who are not adjusting well and often times cry for their parents when they are at school and Eva will notice, approach her new friends, and do things to try to make them smile or feel better.  She offers songs, stuffed animals, and goofy faces, which don't always work, but don't go unnoticed either.  Below is a picture of her nurturing the newest addition to our clan (Jen and Carlos's newest daughter), Coco...

Another story one of the teachers shared was that Mrs. G has an Ava in her Mon-Wed-Fri class and so she keeps mixing up Eva's name and accidentally calling her Ava.  She says to Eva, "Eva, I am so sorry.  I am going to keep trying harder not to mix up your name."  And Eva went to her and gave her a hug and smiled and said "It's ok if you call me Ava, Mrs. G".  I could tell Mrs. G felt really bad about making the mix up all the time, but she really felt comforted by Eva's understanding.

Aside from school, there is one more big accomplishment that I would love to share and am so disappointed that I don't have a picture to go with it.  In the middle of the super duper heat wave while we had Granny here, we went to Auntie Vonnie's to take a dip in her pool.  Usually, before we put Eva's floaties on, I encourage her to try and swim on her own for a little while, then will let her have fun in her floaties once she makes some effort.  To my surprise, the last time we were in the pool, Eva started swimming to me.  She loved it so much she kept swimming back and forth for about 20 minutes before she was ready for her floaties.  Since I don't have a picture of her swimming, how about Eva riding a horsey instead? ;)

Somebody help me slow this girl down!

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