Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Nugget 6 years

Dear Nugget,
Last night, I tucked in my 5 year old for the last time and bright and early, my 6 year old came skipping down the stairs.  You are passionate, generous, charming, destructive, and imaginative.  You lead and teach your brother and sister constantly, usually loudly and fiercely, but sometimes tenderly too.  You surprise and amaze us, and you bring so much laughter to everyone you meet.
Thanks for the ride so far.

Top 10 Challenges at 6 years
10.  You are still a bundle of energy.  I'm more used to it by now of course, but it is still amazing to me that you can go from swim lessons, to the mall, to helping me make dinner in the kitchen, to playing outside, to starting a craft project, and still have enough energy to beg me for bike rides and more.  Even if I had Jessie Spano's caffeine pills, I would not be able to keep up with you.
9.  Your insatiable thirst for attention.  Naptime belongs to you, and on the weekends, you get Mommy or Daddy "dates" for just you.  It's always been an element of your personality, but of course it's heightened with the addition of extra littles to our family.  We're trying to walk the line between making sure you have what you need but also encouraging you to be able to play independently at times.
8.  Selective hearing.
7.  You are in a bossy phase.  It's a phase, right?
6.  You're always waiting impatiently for the next thing, whether it's snack time, a playdate, screen time, dinner...."That's an HOUR," you'll moan!
5.  You are a big kid now, and you're pretty sure you don't need any guidance from us.
4.  You grab from your little sibs with the excuse that, "I just need to show them something!"  Yeah, right!
3.  You are so creative that toys are often not used in a predictable way, but turned into tools for "experiments".
2.  You have a very gentle heart, and you are frightened and upset by things that most children your age wouldn't bat an eye over; the scary parts of a children's production of The Little Mermaid brought you to tears and you don't like it when friends want to play "bad guys and shooting".  Instead of trying to toughen your heart too much, I wish for you and the world that a big chunk of your gentleness may remain.  The world is so tough, it could use more kindness.
1.  I'm sorry that you bear the common burden of the oldest child - a touch of anxiety and a need for control.  The littles bring chaos, I know, and you were so used to order.  I can see you're all about whipping the troops into shape though ;)

Top 10 Things I Love at 6 years
10.  You are so generous with your siblings.  You'll give them pieces of your cookie even when they don't ask for it and even when you only have one.  You let them play with your new birthday toys, and you didn't even bat an eye when Tater "helped" by ripping a big strip of wrapping paper off one gift while you were opening another.
9.  You are sometimes wise.  You lost your birthday frisbee on the first throw, trapping it between our fence and a neighbor's woodpile (which now must house a dozen of your frisbees).  Instead of crying, as I surely would have, you shrugged and said, "I don't really have control over where it goes.  The wind just takes it."
8.  You find ways to make everyone laugh.  Even Spork is not immune to the giggle factory that is your brain.
7.  You are a scientist.  Although your experiments can be frustrating for a parent who is trying to keep the contents of the house intact, you have an inquisitive mind.  You can think outside the box, and that's pretty awesome.
6.  You are a good friend.  I love watching you play and negotiate with your peers.  You make new friends easily and are loyal to the old.
5.  You love to cook and bake.  It's really fun to come up with the next phase of age-appropriate challenges for you in the kitchen.  You are eager to sample your creations and very proud to share them with others.
4.  Your photographic memory still stands (although now we're starting to notice that you can't remember things that happened before age 3), and it's funny and scary when you bring up something we did once 2 years ago.
3.  You have a strong intuition about people:  how they're feeling, what they want/need, and whether or not they are worthy of trust.  I think this talent will serve you well as you grow.
2.  Sometimes you'll still let me sniff the top of your head the way I have since you were a baby.  "Not all the time, Mommy.  Just sometimes."  The scent has definitely changed to sweaty lil' boy, but oh, it's so sweet to me.  I think of this book, but instead of sneaking into your room to rock you, I'll be sniffing your head, which is probably infinitely creepier.  Sorry.
1.  You have a zest for life, an "it" factor that they always talk about athletes having/lacking.  You have "it," for sure!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Lovin'

Checking some things off our summer to-do list over the past few weeks.

Dinner and s'mores with our favorite neighbors.

 4H Fair

 Testing out the newest splashpad in town.

 Mastering the monkey bars.

 Dipping our toes at a local water park.

 Picking fresh raspberries.

 Touring our local fire station.

Still to-do:
-Pick blueberries and peaches
-Swim lessons
-Dance camp for the Nugget
-Bridal shower for my soon-to-be new sister-in-law
-Hosting the Nugget's birthday party
-Tour the chocolate factory

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Spork 2 years

Dear Spork,

Oh, Beavs.  You have passion in every fiber of your being. You are a boy who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to speak up.  You think you are already grown and feel betrayed by your clumsy, huggable toddler body.  You remind us of Stewie from Family Guy.  You treasure your freedom and want to play without interference.  You get along with others but something tells me that as an adult, you might be one of those people who loves the peace of a solo hike in the woods, but for now, I sure feel lucky to be the one holding your fleshy dimpled starfish of a hand.


Top 10 Challenges at 2 years:
10.  You're in the "caveman" stage right now, a lot of grunting, stomping, pushing, hitting, kicking, and yanking.
9.  You have favorite foods, and sometimes I'm a little afraid to serve them.  Chicken nuggets, for example - baked or fried, homemade or fast food, you cannot get enough nuggets.  Even after 10 nuggets, you will pitch a holy fit for more and will refuse to eat anything else on your plate, even if they are other things you typically enjoy.  Silly Beavs.
8.  You are a total mess.  Somehow, no matter what you're eating, be it a popsicle or goldfish crackers, you manage to turn it into a sticky disgusting paste that coats your entire torso, possibly your pants, and definitely all over your face and hands.  You are also very skilled at transferring the paste to an unsuspecting parent with a speedy grab of the shirt or a sneaky stroke to my face.  Love you hon, but...eeewww!
7.  Typical 2 year old, but you have GOT to have what the other kid is using RIGHT NOW!
6.  You are fairly certain that you are already 8 years old and demand to be treated as such.  You expect me to hand over the TV remote, the cell phone, the Dangerous Knife, the stapler, the list goes on and on, and you are so offended when I don't comply.
5.  You are my early bird.
4.  You are really big and strong and sometimes you really don't want to get into your car seat.
3.  You have an insistent whine that really gets under the skin.
2.  You enjoy removing your own diaper.
1.  Holy heck, you are unwavering in your desires.  Unlike your sibs, who I can easily distract with, "Oh look, a chicken!", you doggedly pursue your dream of touching the hot stove or whacking the window with a metal dustpan.

Top 10 Things I Love at 2 years:
10.  Your wild stagger.  You run like a drunken sailor trying to evade an ostrich, and it's all kinds of awesome.
9.  Your dance is a wide-legged side to side rocking like a sumo preparing for the ring.
8.  The way you play - already mimicking and pretending.  Playing restaurant is one of your favorite things.  You vroom toy cars and zoom toy airplanes with the appropriate sound effects.
7.  When you have a fit, sometimes you angrily peel off a sock and throw it down in anger, then give me a defiant glare.  I imagine you're trying to throw down the gauntlet, but it's so funny I can't help giggling, which is definitely not how you want me to respond.
6.  I've never experienced this before, but you can actually walk next to me in some public places.  You obediently hold my hand and immediately scurry back to my side when I call you instead of giving chase.  Not sure if it's a phase or part of your anti-"Oh look, a chicken!" personality.
5.  Most days, you make me feel pretty darn good about my cooking.  You are also pretty careful with dishes and cups, and you even know which cup is yours!
4.  You like to help, whether it's feeding the dog or putting something in the trash.
3.  Oh, I have to work so so hard for your smile and laugh, but they are so worth the effort!  Your little pearly teeth, your head thrown back, and your belly laugh make my day.
2.  You babble constantly, in what sounds like French.  Some decipherable phrases are beginning to appear, and you are so pleased when you make a verbal connection.
1.  Life's great truth is that your toughest challenge is also your greatest strength.  Your determination and strong will are the seeds of great accomplishments in your future.  You've got a big personality and a heart to match.