Madeleine recently turned four after a countdown from 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 to 3-11/12. The lesson in fractions came after she told us one day with a big sigh, "I'm tired of being 3-1/2. I've been 3-1/2 for a long time." she celebrated in our backyard with a few girls from her preschool who enjoyed some arts and crafts and then some water play. The Slip-n-Slide had the girls squealing and shrieking in delight.

Madeleine is in a pleasant, helpful, and delightful stage these days. She cheerfully helps to set and clear the table, and is always excited to help hang up and fold laundry. Lucky for us the laundry line is just about at her level and she can hang an entire load almost by herself. Today she told us we couldn't leave for the downtown street festival yet because she wanted to finish folding Rachel's diapers first. (Yes, we know we're lucky.) Preschool continues to be a hit, she loves to make up songs and sing and dance in our living room, and she and Rachel remain great playmates. She can ride her bike two miles in a day, walk a mile, or get around the neighborhood on the scooter she got for her birthday present without us tiring her out.

For months now she has been entertaining us with some great quotes. Some of the better ones in recent history are:
  • "Mommy, I just noticed that my little toe is smaller than my little finger."
  • After spending a night away from Rachel, Madeleine said "Whenever I'm away from her and it's nighttime, I try to dream about her."
  • "I like strawberries, raspberries, kale, and fava beans from our garden, but I don't like blueberries as much."
  • "I like to ride a bike better than go in a car because then I don't have to smell that stinky gas smell."
  • "Mommy, I just realized Rachel walks like a penguin. She wobbles."
  • As she went out on the back deck for lunch one day, "It's a beautiful day! The bees are a'buzzin' and the plants are growing!"
We look forward to this wondeful stage of hers lasting for the next 17 years, at least....

(And here are some family photos from the last couple months...)

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