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What’s New: Pretend Play


Annabelle playing in some tissue paper, or as she would tell you, her blankets.

My computer is out for repairs this week, so it’s a mobile photos only kind of week, which means not all of my mamatography photos are making it in. Mobile is better than none, right?

Annabelle continues to be all about pretend play. The teeny tiny baby game, which last week was replaced by the bear game has changed yet again. The bear still turns up unexpectedly every now and again, and I’ve been told with a giggle that it’s a “scary bear,” but the main character around here this week has been “Amy.” I believe she was taken from the Ezra Jack Keats book Dreams, as that’s the only place we’ve encountered the name, but it took me quite awhile to figure that out, since Amy only appears for one page in the book.

The book’s actual main character is a boy named Roberto, whose name has been assigned around here to both the daddy and me. For a couple of days, everywhere we went, Annabelle Amy would point out how many Robertos had come with her. On the way to dinner out, it was, “There’s two Robertos going to the restaurant with Amy!” She requested that “one Roberto with earrings on” unbuckle her car seat, but was fine with “one Roberto with a hat on” buckling her back in afterward. The next morning, she said goodbye when the daddy went to work and then squealed, “One Roberto is going to work, and one Roberto is going to stay home and play with Amy!” She’s outrageously good at staying in character. I can’t say I’ll be surprised if she decides to go into acting.


Enjoying her “little bathtub” on a hot, sunny day.

The movers finally came on Monday to deliver our things and I’m not sure whether Annabelle was more excited about all of her stuff, or about the movers themselves. I went out to pick up lunch for them and asked whether she would like to come along or stay behind with her daddy and the movers. She seldom turns down an offer to go anywhere, especially a restaurant, but this time she didn’t even have to think about her answer, “You want to stay with the movers, just in case.” Then she tried her best to convince the daddy to go with me instead. “You want daddy to go to the restaurant with mama and you can stay here with the movers!” She was very annoyed that we wouldn’t comply with her plan.

In keeping with the pretend play theme, among all of the toys that reappeared with the movers, Annabelle has been most enthusiastic about her mouse, her doll, and the wooden vegetables and play pots and pans in the kitchen. Previously, the lovely wooden vegetables I was so excited had very little appeal, but in this new stage of play, the first thing Annabelle wants to do upon coming downstairs in the morning is to “eat your pretend dinner with mama.”


36 weeks + 1 day

Now that the baby clothes and newborn diapers are here as well, I’m finishing up a few loads of laundry and by the weekend should have our birth kit fully assembled, just in time for the weekend when I’ll reach thirty seven weeks. It’s hard to believe we’re so close already! I have a feeling, for some reason, that this baby will come on the earlier end, but we’ll see. We still haven’t really narrowed down our list of names, which may not be a bad thing since it could force us to spend some time getting to know our new family member before we decide what he or she will be called. Of course they may just follow in their sister’s footsteps and change their name two years from now anyway. We’ll see.

I’m definitely feeling more uncomfortable, emotional, and everything else than I did with Annabelle this time around, which may just be the result of chasing a toddler all day in addition to pregnancy. It’s amazing how much more work that is than spending the day with twenty some fourth graders, which is what I was doing at this stage of my last pregnancy. I had Andrew snap the photo at left this weekend, despite the fact that I was feeling lousy, because I can’t believe, or stand, what a precious few photos we have documenting this belly’s growth. So it’s not the best photo I’ve ever taken, but it will do!


Blurry, but hilarious. These goggles were intended for Annabelle’s doll, but she rushed into the kitchen yesterday and squealed, “They DO fit Annabelle!”

All told, it has been a relatively quiet week for the two Robertos and Amy, save for the excitement of the movers and occasional visits from a bear. Now that we’re officially finished with move-related things, we can settle in and nest!

I’d love to know what’s happening in your house, so please link up if you have a photo update, a text update, or any newsy post on your own blog. If you don’t blog, why not share in the comments? I always enjoy hearing from you!

22 Responses to What’s New: Pretend Play

  • This pretend play stage certainly sounds fun! I’m glad you finally got your things, and that Annabelle is getting to enjoy her toys again (and even more than before!). We took 24 hours to name Daniel, and I think it was a good time for us to get to know him before settling on a name. I’m looking forward to getting to “meet” this new little one whenever s/he decides to make hir arrival. And, may I also just say: you look absolutely gorgeous!

    • melissa says:

      Thank you, Amy! I love the idea of taking time to get to know a baby first. I’m really looking forward to doing that this time, but I’d love to have an idea of a few names we both like so that we have somewhere to pull from. It has been so tough to agree for some reason! We have such different naming tastes. Maybe this baby will just make it clear to us what name suits him or her best :) We will see!

  • It is so great when we finally get our stuff, isn’t it. I am not a materialistic person, I don’t think, but there is something comforting in being reunited with some of our basic posessions.

    Yep, Nica is all about the pretend play, too. Don’t you love it? :D

    • melissa says:

      The pretend play is awesome – glad you’re enjoying it, too :)

      I’m with you on the “stuff.” I don’t think of myself as materialistic either, but it’s hard not to associate some things with home.

  • Rach says:

    It’s a great bump! What a difference it must make to have your things around you now. “Stay with the movers, just in case” – hilarious. I’m thinking Roberto for the babies name – I’m liking the sound of Roberto a lot, especially with the earring. B and A would have great fun playing pretend games together.

    • melissa says:

      Thanks, Rach! One of the grandpas is Robert, so Roberto is practically a family name. Perhaps we should add it to the list ;)

      I would love to see what our two imaginative girls would come up with together! They certainly make a case for Montessori with their wild creativity – clearly the lack of adult created fantasy in their lives has not kept them from appreciating a good story of their own making!

  • Else says:

    Annabelle is such a jolly kid. I enjoyed reading her play and pretend story. I love it that she calls you and your husband the same, that is so cute. Luna does that with herself and her doll (she is called luna isa and her doll isa) when she talks to her or someone else.
    I remember those last weeks of pregnancy. Those are the toughest. I hope you can sort your stuff but also find some rest now and then before the baby comes. You look absolutely wonderful by the way!!!! And I love Annabelle’s outside tub!! Did you order that online?

    • melissa says:

      Thanks, Else! Annabelle is definitely full of life – we love it :) How sweet that Luna’s doll is also Isa. Annabelle’s dolls never had names, but this week she decided that they were all to be called Parrot. I have no idea where that came from!

      Our things are sorted enough at this point that I’m comfortable with the baby coming anytime. The rest we can do little by little! The outside tub is great – I actually thought of you when I bought it, and how you like to bathe the kids outside sometimes. It seems perfect for that! :) I bought it here, but it was at Home Depot. I wonder if they would have the same one there?

  • Just too cute, you and Annabelle both :) Hope you are staying cool, the bath looks like a great place to chill down!

    • melissa says:

      Thank you, Cheryl! I love this stage of pregnancy, where the belly can’t be missed. It seems to elicit smiles and fond memories from many people! I need an outdoor bath my size – it is definitely a great place to keep cool on these hot days!

  • Amy says:

    I’m glad you got your stuff! A wonderful day! I hope you took advantage of the military paying for an “unpack.” We didn’t do this until the last move when I had them unpack the kitchen. This way we were able to see if anything broke, they did the hard part of unwrapping all of the plates, and took away the paper and boxes to reuse!

    I love the picture of A in the tub!

    • melissa says:

      Thank you, Amy! The movers who did our pack out were very careful to thoroughly disassemble every single piece of our furniture, including the learning tower, every dining chair … all of it! The guys on this end seemed a bit irritated, and said it was unnecessary. I felt bad for them, so did all the kitchen unpacking while they were reassembling. I did make sure to send all of the boxes and paper with them, though! We don’t have all that much stuff, so together we got it all done by about 3:00 or so in the afternoon – go teamwork! :)

  • I love A’s creativity!

    I can’t believe you are so close to birthing time! So excited for you!
    Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama recently posted..Re-Play’s Recycled Tableware for Kids: Review & Giveaway {7/19; U.S.}My Profile

    • melissa says:

      Thanks, Charise! I can hardly believe we’re so close either! I realized today that this could potentially be our last weekend with just Annabelle, so I’m determined to get out and do some fun things together tomorrow … and every weekend until baby decides he or she is ready to come! :)

  • Amy says:

    Also- curious about your take on pretend play. I know that it’s one of the biggest criticisms that Dr. Montessori gets with some of her writings about creativity and make believe.

    • melissa says:

      I don’t know if you ever saw this old post of mine on the subject, but I feel like it does a fairly thorough job of speaking to the criticism:

      I think pretend play is wonderful, and I believe Dr. Montessori did, too – when it is initiated and guided by the child. She was not, at least in my interpretation, so much against pretend play in general as she was against adults creating a fanciful world for children as a substitute for the real world, which is incredibly fascinating all on its own. She posed the question: “How is it possible for the child’s imagination to be developed by that which is in truth the fruit of the adult’s imagination?“ Giving children space to be imaginative and try on different roles and ideas, I think, is incredibly valuable, but we do them a disservice when we deliberately come up with untruths in an attempt to feed their imaginations. I just don’t think that’s what they need from us.

      Would love to hear your thinking, too!

  • You look exquisite! Annabelle is quite the character!

    • melissa says:

      Thank you, Sylvia! I was actually rather nauseated and grumpy that evening, but I’m glad to have pulled a photo off! :)

  • Annabelle is having so much fun, I bet her pretend play brings much laughter in your home. I appreciate you sharing her latest productions. I am really impressed with how she used characters from a book and brought them to life. I have never been privileged to witness this from a child at this age before. You are looking good!! Thank you for sharing.

    • melissa says:

      I have been pleasantly surprised by how much she interacts with books in general. I suppose she takes after her parents – we both love them dearly!

  • Rachael says:

    I love your “it will do” photo. You look lovely, mama!

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