Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ryan is 4 years old!

We recently celebrated Ryan's 4th birthday with two Disney Cars themed parties (plus he had a celebration with his primary class at school). Ryan has been really into the Disney Cars characters for a long while now, and this year he insisted on having it for his theme. Lightning McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli have practically become members of our family, parts of our identity, etc, considering the number of activities and conversations that we have about these race cars, haha!

Looking back on this past year, Ryan has changed and grown so much. From a shy and dependent 3 year old to a confident and rambunctious 4 year old, I couldn't be any more proud of this little man. I wish that I had a video camera running constantly, so that I could catch all of the quirky/hilarious things that come out of his mouth. On occasion, I have been able to jot down some of these things on my phone, but this is only a small fraction of what I get to experience on a regular basis.

I'm guessing that some of these traits (issues?) are common for pre-schoolers, but anyways, I think that most of them are pretty funny/cute!

1. Grammar confusion: "Where is him?" "That's she's food." "Look! There's two ones!" "Today is the goodest best day."

2. Shows kindness / affection: "Does your tooth feel better now, mommy?" "I love you, mommy. I care about you. I need my mommy." "That looks pretty on you" (even when it's an old t-shirt).

3. Remembers everything better than I can (seriously!): Before we leave the house, "Don't forget to bring the cupcakes." When we are at the market, "Mommy, you need to buy more vitamins, remember, you said that?"

4. Notices every detail: "I know that building over there is Henry's doctor because it says 888, see?" (I didn't even realize that we could see that building from where we were).

5. Obsessed with his little brother: "Henry said balloon! Henry said goy goy!" "Hey, this is Henry's first time doing that. Good job, Henry!" "Henry can't handle these big boy toys because he can only play with baby toys because we want him to be safe." "Did you know that all babies are God-gifts? Like surprises you don't know!"

6. Mispronounces words: "reggaly" for regular, "aminals" for animals, "ghostesses" for ghosts.

7. Thinks about the future: "Mommy, will you let me know when I'm a grown-up, in case I don't know?" "I can feel that my teeth are starting to get looser, so that means that I'm getting really big." "One day, I'll be the boss."

8. Takes things literally:  "Wow, Ryan, you're as fast as lightning!" "No mommy, I'm so much faster than Lightning!" (meaning the race car, Lightning McQueen.)  Ryan calls tank tops "muscle shirts", so at church he announced that "Mommy is wearing a muscle dress!"

9. Tries to get his way: Puts a toy in my hand and whispers, "playyyy". Since he's not allowed to say "potty words", he decides to go into the bathroom, calmly says the words aloud, and then comes back out. He asks for "gluten-free" water (he has no idea what gluten-free means, but decided that it was a cool thing to say.)  I told him that he couldn't have a cookie before dinner because it would spoil his appetite. He narrowed his eyes and said, "I don't like appetites."

10. Tells stories: "I'm going to tell you a scary story. One time I went into my closet and I closed the door and it was really dark and really spooky and then... the fear came. Wasn't that scary, mommy?" "The ducks went into the hole when it rained because they didn't want their friends to see their fur all messed up. The end."

11. Makes sure that people are doing (what he thinks is) the right thing: "Why is that lady wearing a swimsuit in a restaurant? It's supposed to be ONLY for the beach or the pool." (It was actually a very revealing shirt, but I can see how he could mistake it for a swimsuit). To me, he says, "Honey, honey, why aren't you eating your food and sitting the proper way?"

12. Loves repetition: He wants to read the same books over and over again. Danny and the Dinosaur, the Richard Scarry books, and Meet the Cars characters book. It's amazing how much he still enjoys every detail of these books, even after the hundredth time.

Birthday Party Pictures

Thanks to all of our family and friends who celebrated with us this year. I still can't believe that our sweet boy is already 4 years old. It really feels like just the other day I was on here writing blog posts about him as a baby, posting a video of him crawling and then taking his first steps, trying to figure out potty-training, etc. Time flies and every single day that I have with these boys is precious to me. Nobody knows what the future holds and I feel very blessed to even be here today after everything that we have been through. Always praising God for this beautiful life!


I thought that it would be an interesting experiment to give Ryan a list of things and ask him whether he thinks that they are "real" or "pretend". It will be interesting to see how his perspective changes each year. Here are his answers as a just-turned-4-year-old:

He knows that these things are real:
Dinosaurs ("they were real a long, long time ago")
God ("yeah, he's in heaven!")  <------------ This answer made me smile!
Policemen and Policewomen
George Washington

He knows that these things are pretend:

He thinks that these (real) things are pretend:
Kings and Queens

He didn't think that any of the pretend things on the list were real.

He couldn't pick an answer for these things:
Rapunzel- "I don't know. What's that?"
Goldilocks and the Three Bears- "Huh? Well, bears are real, but I don't know about the other thing."

I love the way his mind works. It looks like we are going to need some geography lessons and to read some classic fairy tales, haha! I'm surprised that he said that hearts are pretend, because he definitely knows how to draw hearts, and often reads books about the inside of the body that explain the function of the heart. I guess you just never know what to expect from a pre-schooler!


Btw, Ryan and his friends had a blast racing in these Cars characters that I made. (And I let them crash and "destroy" them at the end of the birthday party, which was probably even more fun!) The cars were super easy to make, made of recycled cardboard boxes, and definitely the highlight of the party!

More and more each year, I'm thinking that fall is becoming my favorite season. My favorite used to be summer, but now I look forward to the slightly cooler days, pumpkin picking, comfy boots, and the festive holidays coming up! Happy beginning of fall!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Henry is 6 Months Old!

To our sweet baby boy Henry,

I will never forget the day that I first held you in my arms and caught a glimpse of your bright red-orange hair. From the very start, I knew that you were going to be somebody special. In just a few short months, you have filled our house with an unbelievable amount of love and happiness. I can't wait to see what all you have in store for us in the upcoming years. You are already so amazing! We admire your laid-back, easy-going personality (completely the opposite from the rest of us) and how nothing at all seems to phase you. You just have this huge smile and adorable giggle that escapes from your sweet little mouth whenever somebody looks at you. You are a strong, both mentally and physically. You have taught us many lessons in what it means to have faith. Just the fact that you exist is a miracle in itself. Thank you for letting me love you completely and unconditionally. Happy Half Birthday!


We LoVe YoU, HeNrY MaTtHeW!!!

Henry, 3 to 6 Months:

Henry got his first two teeth at 7 and a half months old!

From Instagram. follow me @ Dana52084.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What We've Been Up To

So, it turns out that life with two kids is exactly everything that I had hoped it would be and more! Our little family has been happier than ever and spending lots of time outside, enjoying the warm weather. These past few months have flown by, but I will do my best to fill everything in.

In mid-May, we took a trip down to Florida to visit Barry's parents and grandparents, and to celebrate my 30th birthday at the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, where we got married 5 years ago. Wow! Has it really only been that long? Our wedding feels like an entire lifetime ago, and I feel older than 30. (Is that weird?) The gazebo where we said our vows is no longer there, so we just got a picture with the boys in the exact spot that it used to be. Still special, I guess. We got to eat at all of the restaurants and hang out at the beach/pool, which of course, flooded back all of the memories of our lovely wedding celebration. I've always felt blessed, but the fact that it was my 30th birthday and I had my wonderful boys there with me made me feel especially thankful. I can not imagine a more fulfilling life than the one that I have.

This trip brought a lot of firsts for baby Henry: first time on an airplane, at a hotel, at grandma/grandpa's house, in a pool, at the beach, etc. Our little guy took everything in stride and was an absolute pleasure to have along. His big brother Ryan was surprisingly agreeable and well-behaved the whole time too. (On a side note: Ryan is an amazing kid, as always, but age 3 has definitely been his most challenging year yet. It brought a lot of change for him and his unique personality is continuing to develop.) The one bad thing about vacations is the amount of STUFF that we have to bring for the kids and the hassle of getting it all packed and through the airport. But it was definitely worth all of the extra work for this memorable vacation!

Since we've been back home, we have mostly just been hanging out, doing playdates, attending social events, seeing family/friends, and going on day trips. I am grateful that we live in an area that has plenty of kid-friendly places to go, so that we never have to travel too far to find somewhere fun.

Ryan finished school a couple weeks ago, and I must say that, although I love his Montessori school, I really, really, really enjoy having both of the boys home with me for the whole day. We get to take our time in the mornings and participate in late morning activities that run into the afternoon, instead of having to rush to pick up Ryan at school. Plus, I honestly miss him a lot when he's at school. Looking at these before and after pictures make me realize just how much he has grown in the past 10 months:

I love both of these kids so much I think that my heart might burst! So far, they seem to be complete opposites when it comes to their personalities, complexions, and body build. (Henry already wears 12 month clothing at not even 6 months old. Ryan will be 4 years old in September, but he just started wearing 3Ts, and they are loose). Well... they do say that opposites attract and it is already apparent that these guys care about each other very deeply. I can't wait until they are old enough to play together!

The rest of our summer will be filled with swim lessons, music together classes, playgroups, VBS, and plenty of trips to the parks and the beach that is 5 minutes from our house. We will be having some friends from out-of-state visit and stay with us next weekend. I will also be having my wisdom teeth taken out later this month. We somehow always manage to stay super busy, and it feels great to finally have all of my energy back because I love running all over the place with these two!

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