DSC_0007 DSC_0032 DSC_0303 DSC_0225 DSC_0155 DSC_0149 DSC_0304Henry,

You are seven.  How did that happen?  Seriously?  How have I been a parent for seven years?  What happened?  Where have the years gone?  I can barely remember that chunky baby with the drool rash and rubber band arms.  Oh, but Henry, you have turned into one cool kid.  You crack me up everyday, when you are not making me want to rip out my hair.  You are funny, sweet, original and smart.  You know what you want- you have a plan for everything, you try to talk your way out of things you don’t want (in very clever ways, but, alas, you usually don’t get your way, but keep trying, I love to hear what you come up with).

I am not going to lie, six and a half was rough.  You were moody, grumpy, arms crossed, stomping mad when you didn’t get your way.  It was very frustrating on everyone’s part.  We have turned a corner (knock on wood) and figured out how to be pleasant to each other again.  Although you do tend to forget that you are quite a bit bigger than your brothers.  I wish my floor and corners of walls were padded…

Now that we have our Henry back you are just the sweetest brother to Rory.  I remember thinking when Rory was born that by time he was old enough to be interested in books that you would be able to read to him.  I love watching this.  I can not help but smile when you see me trying to do something (like make dinner) and Rory is fussing at my legs and you offer to read him a book.  He only takes you up on your offer occasionally- but you keep trying and for this I am so proud and touched.  Thank you.

You played soccer on a team this last fall and loved it.  You scored one goal the whole season- but that goal, man, you had every parent and player cheering for you.  Your face was priceless.  We are going to do spring soccer this year and you are very excited.  You are a doer.  I think you could have an activity everyday, twice a day.  You enjoy hanging out with your friends and if we haven’t hung out with anyone for a few days you ask, “when are we going to see friends.”  You have made friends this year that were not kids of my friends.  This is big.  This is fun.  One mom told me that her daughter loved hanging out with you because you were just so nice.  This makes a mother proud.

You played at your very first piano recital.  I wasn’t sure if you were going to do it- we didn’t really prep you and I realized you didn’t know what a recital was and had to explain it to you fairly close to the actual day.  You did it though.  You walked up in front of all the other parents and students and played “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” like a champ and walked back to me.  Only a parent understands how nervous you get for your own child and how proud of them you are when they complete something you know was scary.  You did awesome.

You can read.  Seriously read.  Like read me a book read and read signs on the highway and headlines from the paper read.  You went from recognizing a few words to knowing “disappearing.”  It really just happened overnight.  I love this new phase.  There is so much more we can do (and so much more we have to hide…).  You spell and you do addition, subtraction and multiplication.  You know about the equator and which tree blossoms are edible.  You know about stars and your favorite constellations is Orion.  Your handwriting and art work have improved tremendously over this last year.  I do still get a kick out of the fact that all your words run together when you write sentences and that if you can’t fit a word on a line you just start on the next line.  School work has been a struggle and a blessing.  Some days you love it, some days  it is a battle.  I am grateful for our flexibility and for the opportunity to find ways of introducing something new to you in a way that I know will be interesting to you.  It is hard, but the reward of watching you grow and learn is enough.

In addition to soccer and piano you have been taking swim lessons.  You love them.  You ask to do them more.  It was so nice in Hawaii knowing that you were capable in the water.  You got a snorkel set for Christmas and you just kicked around looking for things at the bottom of the pool.  You are still not over fond of the open water, but did take a trip with grandma to the ocean.  Once you saw fish near you though it was back to the pool we went.

You are still very particular about what you wear.  We are getting used to this and I have been successful the past few shopping adventures.  You like your brown slip-ons, jeans and polos.  Tonight while Dada was putting you to bed you asked him if you could tell him something.  You told him that you would like some nice black pants and a white button down shirt for going out.  You know, on all your dates and fancy occasions.  We don’t know where this came from, but because we are just over the moon with you, you will probably get black pants and a white button down shirt (how could we say no??).

You love Legos.  I am realizing that this will be the case for awhile.  We are going to need more Lego storage…  There are just so many sets and so little space.

You are missing one of your top front teeth.  I really am loving this smile right now.  The adult tooth is already on its way- just a constant reminder that you are growing by the second.  And speaking of growing- you just keep doing this.  Your feet grew 3 sizes in a just a few months.  I really almost fell over when I bought you flip-flops in Hawaii.  Soon we will be able to share shoes (because all boys want to wear their mothers shoes…).

You are a huge help when you want to be, the dentist has already asked us to seek out an orthodontia consult and you think silly jokes are just the funniest. You want to be a policeman.   You are a busy boy.  A growing boy.  A silly, silly boy and we love you more than we could tell you.  Happy 7th Birthday Henry!  We are looking forward to see what this year brings!


IMG_1683 IMG_1715 DSC_0135 DSC_0235 DSC_0257Bennett,

You are now five.  After tears last week and a “Being five is hard” comment, we are moving right onto our new boyhood.  No longer a toddler, we are a boy with big plans.  We will not try the next size bike even though my old one is too small.  You must decide for yourself and go screaming down the street blazing at speeds that I have to shield my eyes in fear.

You have been so sick.  So, so sick.  Scaring your Mama sick.  I have never seen you so down in the dumps, so lethargic, so un-Benny like.  We are getting better now, so much better, but we are still keeping you on a short leash- daily naps, loads of vitamins and a watchful eye.   We are loading you full of fatty foods to re-energize you and get your weight back up.  You lost six pounds in two weeks.  That is not okay!  So, you ask for chocolate chips, you get them.  You want cereal 30 minutes before dinner, okay.  Donuts- a weekly event around here- at least for now…

Five.  Wow.  I can’t believe it.  Bennett, you are fun, predictable and just a joy.  You LOVE playing Legos with Dada.  You get so sad on Monday’s when he has to go to work and ask me how much longer until the weekend.  I have tried to be your Lego partner, but I do not do the job correctly- only Dada.  You like your routine- you like the people you like and it takes you a long time to warm up to others.

This year you started taking classes at our homeschool co-op.  You take a nature and an art class with Henry and you enjoy each.  It is hard for you to get out of your shy shell, but you do enjoy the other kids and you are an amazing artist.  I love seeing what you bring home.  We also do some work at home and get excited to do your workbooks.  I haven’t decided what we are going to do for  this fall (kindergarten!),  I hope to find something that you will enjoy.  You love to read and could spend hours working on your finding books.  You have discovered math and are very proud of yourself for doing addition and subtraction.  You love playing games and want to play all day long (when you aren’t reading or riding your bike or playing Legos, of course).  You get frustrated with Rory, he wants to play too, but doesn’t understand the rules.  While you were sick you re-discovered your love of puzzles which was fun.  I really do enjoy doing puzzles with you.

This might embarrass you when you are older, but I can’t get over your “Dun-un” after you have used the bathroom.  Seriously- I am going to miss you shouting through the floor.

Watching you and Henry’s relationship has been a real joy.  It amazes me how much you can go from punching each other in the arms to then running upstairs with big plans for Lego trucks.  I am waiting for our first emergency room visit (knock on wood), the way you guys wrestle… ugh… I just can’t handle it… or watch it.  Someone always gets hurt.

You come up with the best scenarios.  Almost everything that comes out of your mouth starts with “What if….”  Today it was, “What if my finger was as heavy as this rock and then I could just hold up the rock with my one finger.”  Yup, true gold.  When I am not hovering over you wondering if you have a fever or ear infection, you make me laugh every single day.  You are a hoot.  I love you.  We love you.  Happy five years kiddo, it is going to be a great year.

what we have been up too

Has it really been nearly four weeks since we arrived on a tropical island for our vacation?  Say it isn’t so!  And since then, well, we have been having lots of fun.  And by fun I mean, doctors visits, ibuprofen consuming, antibiotic taking, nose wiping, bedridden days and daily fever checks.  Oh gosh, do we know how to have fun or what.  What illness started in Hawaii with Dada quickly spread to the boys which made for a painful flight home which lead to a weekend of sick kiddos, followed by doctor appointments, an ear infection found and then recovery.  Only then to have Mama fall victim to the virus, followed by another virus which somehow made it into our home even though we hadn’t gone anywhere!  We visited urgent care and were worried about having pneumonia- but luckily we are just the carriers of multiple viruses.  So… we are on the mend.  No one has had a fever for two days (going on three!!!) and the tissue consumption has lightened.  We are not one hundred percent but we are getting there.  We made it out of the house this morning which is more than we can say for the past two weeks.  We are looking forward to getting back into a routine (which we have not had since before Christmas) and seeing our friends again.  Being quarantined is no fun!

And, here is a snippet of our vacation.  It seems like a long time ago and the end of the trip was taken over by fevers and pink eye (oh yeah, did I forget to mention that one Dada and two boys had pink eye while in Hawaii… oh gosh, how could I forget that!).  So, here is proof that the whole vacation wasn’t sickness bound and that we did have fun in the sun!  Just not the ideal vacation we were hoping for, but we were sundrenched and waterlogged for quite a few days.

The day we flew home a certain little one turned 20 months old.  I would have to say that month 19-20 was “let’s learn a new word everyday” month.  Our favorite being “mo” which, of course, means “no.”  Which is no longer in use, we flat out say “NO!” now, but it was awfully cute while it lasted.

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