Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Letter To Little Man on his 6th birthday

Dear Little Man,

It is funny how appropriate your nickname is on this blog.  I had no idea when you were 2 that you would be choosing to wear ties to school on most days, insisting on being fancy and always having a belt.  We joke that we are raising a little Alex P. Keaton but you have no idea who that is or what that means.  I truly do love the little man that you are growing into, insisting on holding doors for me because I am a lady and wanting to understand every concept that comes your way.  I love the grown up questions you ask me even if I don't always have the answers and I love the way that you know manners matter every day.

At 6 years old, you have really grasped reading and read everything - you pick up any book, piece or paper or my cell phone text messages and read them out loud. You love math and magic and sometimes think that they are one and the same.  You are generous and kind and have empathy beyond your years.  You still let me kiss you goodbye at the bus stop and hold my hand all the way home in the afternoon.  I think when you are 7 you will still love reading and math and I am very hopeful that I can still kiss you and hold your hand.  You are never too old to get snugs, baby.  Never.

You are my little rule follower and I hope that as you get older I can help you realize that not all rules apply equally and you are allowed to question the validity and purpose of a rule.  There are some that we can't avoid, but I don't want you to blindly follow rules.   I am not really worried though, you question everything about life and you will eventually turn your curiosity to the rule around you.   I want to teach you to be a truth-teller especially about yourself.  I have found that I feel the best about myself and make others feel the best about themselves when I am honest in all things, my skills, my abilities but also my faults and weaknesses.  Don't be afraid to fail or fall down - sometimes those are the best experiences in life, they teach you the most and when you get up from a fall or come back from a failure; well then you really know success.  

I love you and I am so proud of the 6 year old boy that you are today and I am already incredibly proud of the man I know you are going to grow into over the years.


Little Man turns 6

From here:
To there:

It is almost unfathomable to me that I laid eyes on my Little Man six whole years ago.  I can distinctly remember laying in the hospital bed a few hours after he was born and asking my mom to help me unwrap his swaddling blanket because I wanted to go over every inch of him.  I was so scared to touch him, hold him or do anything with him.  He was so new and delicate and perfect and I didn't feel remotely qualified to be in charge of him.  I didn't know that even 6 years later, I would still feel completely unqualified to be in charge of him, but I would know how to fake it so that he didn't know.  I kissed his tiny strawberry mark on his cheek never knowing that I would miss that little mark when it disappeared two years later.  I counted his little fingers and toes having no idea how quickly they would grow.  I kissed his lips over and over, inhaling his baby scent thinking it was the best smell in the world never knowing that sweaty, dirty snugs would be just as enjoyable even though the baby smell is long gone. 

Today, Little Man got to choose how and when we did things so gifts were opened by 9am and candles were blown out by 10.  We are taking his best buddy Sebastian out with us for lunch and ice cream followed by an afternoon date.  Then I am sure he will have even more cake and fall into a sugar coma at bed time. 

He is 6.  That sounds so grown to me.  Firmly out of infant, toddler and little kid and into big kid territory.  Oh the places, he will go!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break 2013

I have to admit that I was dreading Spring Break a little bit.  All 3 kids home in cold weather sounded like a recipe for child boredom induced fighting sprees.  I was so wrong and I find that I am really looking forward to the summer.

I loved not having a schedule to keep, lunches to make, bus stops to get to, drop off's and pick up's, therapy appointments etc.  We had play dates and plans but they were all laid back and I never cared if we arrived or left later, if lunches got pushed back or if naps were a bit off schedule.  We even managed to keep the house picked up, homemade lunches and dinners all week although I have to admit that the laundry situation is totally out of control.

My favorite activity was going swimming at the rec center with the kids.  They loved it and I don't know why we haven't done it before.  I think that I had imagined it as really stressful or hard but it was a breeze to prepare for, have fun at and even get home.  The boys jumped, splashed and played for 2 hours while Sweet Pea stayed with me chatting and playing with toys in the shallow beach entry.  We had so much fun the first day that we went that we ended up going back again today.

My least favorite events of the week were:
1.  Peanut swallowing a penny
2.  Sweet Pea peeing in a toy dump truck
3.  Little Man tripping and falling down the stairs
4.  Finding Sweet Pea running around with batteries in her mouth

Ok so maybe I was a little more relaxed than I should have been.  But what an awesome week.  Bring on the summer!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Penny for your Thoughts....

Peanut, Sweet Pea and Little Man were all playing in the kitchen while I was making dinner and all of a sudden I heard a choking sound from around the corner.  I called out Peanut's name to check on him and he didn't respond and was clutching at his throat.  I hadn't given them any food yet so I couldn't figure out what he could have swallowed.  I ran over and he was crying big huge crocodile tears and broke my heart but he seemed fine.  He looks up and tells me in his horribly sad voice that he accidentally swallowed his penny and now it was in his tummy forever.  Then started bawling.  I am not sure if he was scared or worried or just upset that he lost his penny.  After a reassuring conversation with the doctor that swallowing it was the hardest part and now we should just keep a look out for it... I called Papa Bear and told him what happened because I felt awful that I hadn't taken the penny away earlier.  It's Peanut, we know just about everything still goes in his mouth so I really should have seen it coming.  So at least for a few days, Peanut is worth $.01 more than he was yesterday.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Peanut

Dear Peanut,

Oh how I adore the sweet, funny guy that you are.  You have grown and matured so much this year and have made me so very very proud.  Your favorite thing to do still revolves around food and you ask me multiple times a day about lunch and dinner.  I love watching you get involved in a toy that you are playing with, legos, trains, trucks or cars - you go off into your own world of play moving from room to room without disruption.  I just love watching and listening to you.  Lately I have spent a lot of time just listening to you, cherishing your words that come so much easier for you now and loving the more grown up sentiments that you express.  You are more cuddly at 4 than you were at 2 or even 3 and often ask me for hugs, snuggles and just randomly tell me that you love me.  You have no idea how much I love that and I have a hard time not holding on tighter when you want to get down and play again. Tonight, just before bed, you crawled onto my lap and then lifted your head and thanked me for your birthday gifts and cake.  It made me melt.  I love your manners and how you love sharing with your brother and sister, often shrugging and saying "sure" when I ask you to give something to one of them.

Peanut, I know that this coming year is going to be amazing for you.  We are slowly easing off of speech therapy and you are making such fantastic progress.  You have made some good friends in preschool this year and I hope that you can grow those friendships over the summer and into the next school year.  You ask for Ethan, Cooper and Curran on all of your non-school days and have told me that Safia is your best friend on the playground.  We are going to expect even more from you this year as you grow into a "big boy" and you get to start your chores this summer.  You will also start swim team and piano lessons.  I love that you are old enough to start these bigger boy activities but I am a little sad that it means you are growing up.  I know that you are going to be a sullen teenager before I know it.  Just remember, when you are older and you think that I don't understand you and that you can't relate to me - no matter what, I love you more every single day. 

Happy Birthday my love, my Peanut, my sweet boy!  This morning you asked me if you were 4 yet and when I said yes, you exclaimed "Yay, I am not 3 anymore and I am almost 5".  You may be in a hurry to grow up, but I am going to enjoy the 4 year old you as much as I can.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Baby Sister

Meet Baby Sister: (The doll)

Baby Sister has gone everywhere with us recently.  She was strapped into the car seat, taken to the bus stop, stripped naked and declared cold, covered with blankets, given snacks and taken to the playground.  I don't know exactly where the name "Baby Sister" came from but Sweet Pea is typically maternal with her baby dolls and I love it.  I think the dolls will make a perfect "Baby Sister" for her because she would be livid if she had to share me with an actual baby.  This works out much better for both of us!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Huggers

The other day I was asking Little Man my typical daily questions about school and he started talking about this game that he was playing at recess.  It is called "The Huggers".  The girls are "The Huggers" and the boys are "The Runner Awayers".  From here the game is fairly self-explainable.  The girls chase the boys and try to hug them (and sometimes kiss them) while the boys run away from them.  I know he has been in Kindergarten for over 6 months, but now it is official - he has played "Girls Chase Boys" as it was called in my day.  A rite of passage that made me laugh as I listened to him explain the intricacies of the game as if they had made it up and were the first to ever play.  We need to watch out for this Emily girl, apparently she is the best hugger.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge Pictures

Story Time at the Clock Tower

Air Hockey Play at the "Art Cave" (aka Arcade)

Sweet Pea takes her driving lessons very seriously

Peanut is more of a silly, crazy driver

Ever the cautious one....

Riding "Cowboy" style, it was the only way she could stay on

From Stomach Flu to Water Park Fun

This weekend was our Family Adventure Birthday Weekend at Great Wolf Lodge.  We had decided as a family to go on an adventure weekend instead of hosting birthday season as it is known in this house (Little Man, Peanut and Papa Bear all within 14 days of each other).  First, let me just say that we had a blast and it was an amazing weekend.

That being said, it didn't start off very well.  We were planning on leaving mid-morning on Saturday and then we woke up to Peanut puking early that morning.  He had officially caught the stomach bug that was going around his preschool class.  Instead of bailing on the trip we researched our options for rescheduling and called some of the mom's from his preschool class to see what the duration of the stomach bug was for their kids.  We were told that the worst is over in the first 6 hours and after that it gets better after 12-24 hours.  So we packed everyone up and still made it in the car by late morning.  Peanut was a mess and miserable but we made it down with only having to make one puke pit stop.
The bowl was supposed to be for his puke, not his feet.

We arrived and Peanut was sound asleep so Papa Bear and I switched off sitting with him in the car while the other one checked in, played with the other kids and explored.  By the time we got our room, Peanut was awake and ready to party.  He walked into the room and said that he was all better and wanted to go to the water park.  We didn't argue and off we all went to play in the water park for the next two hours.  Peanut did great and we were so impressed with his rally but after a while he told us he was very sleepy.  We put him to bed and took Sweet Pea and Little Man to the clock show and story time.

By morning time, the crew was all feeling great and ready to go.  I even got to sneak 30 minutes in at the gym to run on the treadmill.  Although, I didn't need to.  They need to rename the Lazy River for those of us with kids under 8.  There is nothing lazy about chasing 2 kids who are swimming/running/bopping their way through the maze of tubes in the lazy river while pulling a 3rd kid riding cowboy style on a tube for 2 hours.  I am thinking Running River or maybe Heart Attack River for all of the times I thought Peanut was going to get stuck under somebody's tube.

Little Man went on all of the big slides and even ventured onto them on his own by the last day deciding that they were even more fun on his own.  Peanut loved the "Riber" and barely let us drag him out of it and Sweet Pea spent as much time as she could going down the baby slides in the little kid area. 

We went bowling, ate great food (had a chef prepare food that was corn-free especially for Peanut), spent many hours and a lot of dollars at the arcade which Peanut thinks is actually called the "Art Cave", had story times and shows and generally an amazing family adventure. 

Papa Bear caught Peanut's stomach flu on the morning of the last day but after catching a bit more sleep he rallied and joined us for as much fun as he could stomach, literally.

Bowling Fun in 10 Paw Alley
More Pictures to come.....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kindergarten Music Informance

Today Little Man had a "Music Informance" which is a cross between a performance and an informational session.  Essentially, I got to go in and watch a music class from beginning to end.  A good friend watched Peanut and Sweet Pea for me so that I could really focus on Little Man and I am so glad that I did.  He was smiles from beginning to end with tiny waves to me every chance he got.  It was fantastic to get a small peek into his day, watch him interact, raise his hand, answer questions, sing, play the instruments and just be his adorable little self.  It took everything in me not to run over at the end and give him hugs and kisses all over.  Instead I signed "I love you" and he shyly signed back.  I got videos and pictures so that Papa Bear could see it and I can't wait for Little Man to get home from school today so that I can tell him how proud I was of him.

You can see Little Man in the front row all the way on the end playing the xylophone.  Of course he was his very serious self through the entire performance and singing - even when the other kids were laughing and goofing around.  Another mom leaned over and asked me if he was ok and I laughed, Little Man has been serious and focused since forever and as soon as a song was over he would break into a smile but never during...nope, he is working and focused. 

I love my BIG Little Man and how grown up he is getting but I still want to keep him little forever.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Day!

We finally got a snow day and since it has been our only one since 2010 AND Sweet Pea has never been sledding AND I am not pregnant nor do I have a baby under the age of 1 in the house we had to make the most of it.  Here is how you take full advantage of a snow day with small kids. 

Step 1:  Pull out every piece of winter gear you have only to realize that you do not have snow gear for your growing boys because the last time there was a winter storm they actually fit in the size 2T snow pants you have been storing in your basement for 3 years.  Improvise as much as possible and gear your almost 4 year old up in pink snow pants and tell him that it is just a dirty white color.

Step 2:  Make a treat so that it is ready for them to refuel after sledding/winter fun.  I made chocolate chip scones for their treat and quite literally pulled them out of the oven as we were on our way out of the house. 

Step 3:  Prep the hot chocolate for quick and easy warm up

Step 4:  GO Sledding!  It was wet and slippery and cold but we went up and down that sledding hill over and over until the little ones literally collapsed with exhaustion, cold and tears.  Peanut was amazing in his fortitude to get up the hill each time.  He never asked to be carried or helped up the hill and had so much fun.  Sweet Pea needed help up the hill but tried to get there herself as much as possible.  Little Man had friends on the hill with him and was off on his own playing the whole time.  In fact, he stayed for a while after I left with the little ones and a neighbor friend walked him home later.

Step 5: Warm up, eat scones, drink hot chocolate and watch tv. 

Step 6: Do it all over again after naps!