Our girls continue to grow and flourish. Friends who haven’t seen them in a while take one look at Nalani and say “she’s looking more and more like Melina every day!” and one of Mina’s school friends recently told Nali to her face: “You’re a mini Melina!” Nalani just said, “No, I’m Nalani.” And regardless of her looks, she certainly is her own person.



Our baby’s biggest current feat is potty training. It happened so quickly that on her first diaper-free day at preschool she was also underwear-free: Her teacher had asked if she wanted to try using the potty instead of diapers and she said yes, but we hadn’t brought any panties so she had to go commando. The whole day. (She didn’t mind – and didn’t have a single accident.) Overall it’s still a work-in-progress but we’re happy to see her on the right track.



Nali continues to be rambunctious, decisive, and happy. Besides the potty, these days she’s spending a lot of time honing her cutting skills. She’ll cut anything paper-like in sight: brochures, stickers, the plastic baggie that was holding the stickers. We sometimes walk into a room full of confetti if she’s been left alone to “craft” for just five minutes. She also moved to a big-girl (really, toddler) bed last month and loves it. She recognizes when she’s tired and goes to bed easily. The other night she simply said “good night, Mama” and kinda pushed me away. Other nights she’ll ask for a song or story or lift up her shirt and say “here,” meaning “please rub my back.”



Last month we took the whole family to a classroom cleanup event at Melina’s kindergarten. Nalani was super excited about “going to kindergarten,” and when we got there she even asked Ms. W which one was her cubby. She scrubbed chairs and washed paint cups, and tripped over the teacher’s dog… and when we got home wondered aloud why there weren’t any stories or circle time. When Joey took her to school on Monday she was also a little confused why she wasn’t in the car with her sis heading to elementary. She asked, “But where are you taking me?” When Joey said “preschool” she just shrugged, then happily ran to her friends when they arrived.



Speaking of kindergarten, Melina is reading! She flies through simple early readers (“BOB” books) and sounds out more “complex” early readers like Fancy Nancy or the Pinkalicious series. Nalani also “sounds out” the letters and words in a book – or at least she thinks she’s doing that. “Pp-iii-gg” when the real word is, say, bat. But she’s going through the motions and one day it will serve her well. At their after school program, Melina and Kai both continue to dazzle us with their performing arts performances. They both expressed sheer joy during the dance program, where they each performed three dances – from African to modern (Melina) to the Charleston (Kai) with their peers.



Our big girl loves to write, and, thanks to Ms. W, has finally learned it’s ok to sound out words on your own and not look to me to help her with every single sound. This means words like “gardener” and “when” come out “grdnr” and “wen,” but this is how she’ll learn to spell on her own. Melina does, however, have a perfectionist streak that’s starting to shine pretty clearly. When she’s tired she’ll insist on re-doing a homework drawing or word up to five times, and once was so frustrated by the imperfect “e” in Melina she wound up erasing a hole in her paper. She also loves having a tightly made bed, with all her animals lined up perfectly at the foot. No one can help her, because we never do it quite right. While big sis is pretty easygoing overall, she, too, knows her own mind!