Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Five Year Old Shae

A little behind on the gushy birthday posts about the kids. Better late than never. 

I hesitate to say that five year old Shae is my favorite because there are just so many good things about every age, but I really am so in love with five year old Shae. He's just so much fun, conversations with him are always entertaining, and he has mellowed out SO much in the past few months. He definitely still has a fuse, just not as short as it's always been :). And while it sometimes causes frustration, I do love the passion he puts in to all things in life. 

Favorite Color: Green, Red, and Black
Favorite TV Show: Paw Patrol, Super Wings, and Magic School Bus (He also says Shimmer & Shine and Rusty Rivets which he has seen once...)
Favorite Movie: Cars 3
Favorite Food: Pizza, Ice Cream, Chicken, Tomatoes, Bread
Favorite Songs: Thunder, Break Your Heart, Fire Burning, Party in the USA
Favorite Candy: Reeses and Rolos
Favorite Animal: Cheetah
Favorite Book: Calendar Mysteries (He has listened to the audiobook of these SO many times, I'm pretty sure he has them memorized).
Favorite Toys: Legos, knock off Magnatiles, anything that he can build with, as well as his Cars 3 cars
His constant need to be creating something is one of my favorite things about him right now. He is always working on something. Yesterday when I picked up the kids from the Y childcare after my workout, Shae walked out with an already finished flower craft, a couple pieces of different sized papers, and a plastic cup. The employee looked at me and said, "I don't mind if he takes these if you're okay with it. He said he has some elaborate plan for them when he gets home."

He came home and got right to work gluing this water and bean filled cup to his paper and then gluing the little piece on top. Then he announced, "My hypothesis is that the beans will go rat-a-tat-tat when we shake the paper."
This kite that he came up with all on his own was a fun one too. Using pencils for the handle and kite support. We still haven't gotten it to fly, which has been quite disappointing for him, but we're hoping a really windy day might do the trick.
I feel like I can't keep up with him most days, telling me all about the elaborate things he wants to try out. Or handing me the script (in picture form of course) for the movie Cars 4 and asking me who we need to send it to so that they can make it. He also has a few picture books that he has illustrated that he wants to get published. The movie script and books are still on the counter...not so sure how to go about this one.

Thankfully not everyday is such a big project, most days he just likes to draw. I kind of feel like we kill a tree a day (at the least), which we're working on, but I also just can't bring myself to tell him to ever stop.

Chase and Marshall in their Paw Patrol vehicles. I love those little paws, and the drone, and the sirens.
 A garbage truck with a door and some cars inside it.
A tucan for his friend Jane at school (He is always giving away his artwork to his friends).
We recently discovered Art for Kids Hub on youtube and he is obsessed with it. I kind of am too. It's so fun to follow the simple instructions and feel like we are artists. He has had a few meltdowns when his pictures don't look as good as the artists, but we're working on it. This super cute Flash actually caused quite the scene the other day because "his arms weren't supposed to be black and the lighting on his ears is the wrong shape." I think it looks great.

Shae is just so sweet and thoughtful. He is always sending pictures under my door for me during quiet time while I work. He really cares about other people and likes to make people laugh and smile. He's a rule keeper through and through. He's also the one who will tell on anyone if they aren't keeping the rules (aka: tattling on Belén all day everyday: "Mom! Belén
is climbing the pantry for graham crackers again!) He has a really hard time watching any sort of show or movie where the kids don't keep the rules. He watched at least half of Coco with his fingers in his ears as the kid went against his families wishes for him to have nothing to do with music. Again when the kid broke the rules to get in to the party. And about 20 other times that I can't remember.

"Good thing Julie planned the ninja primary warrior activity since I want to grow up to be a Ninja AND Hawkeye." 

"You got the ball in the guts mom!" (Said while playing the Wii bowling)

"Someday I hope I have a little robot in my house so I can say, "Alecka, turn on my music."

Shae loves to collect little treasures and put them in his treasure box (a little tin we have). (Before we got him the tin, I would always find rocks piled up on my dresser to keep them away from his sister). At school they have a treasure box that they get to search for each class and he takes it quite seriously. He comes home just about everyday with a fancy rock he gets out of the treasure chest. He'd bring in every pinecone and pebble if I'd let him.

As was already mentioned in the crafting paragraph, he's a bit of a perfectionist. One night I was laying on his bed with him listening to an audiobook. We were laying on the bed snuggling until he, all of a sudden, jumped up and went over to the wall to straighten out all of the pictures so that they weren't crooked. Then he moved on to sitting each of his stuffed animals in a perfect row to finish listening to the story. I loved laying there observing him that night, getting a peek in to his little mind that is constantly going.

 I love that he is at an age now where we can play games. And boy does he looooove them. He would play games all day if someone would play with him. Trouble, Uno, Go Fish, Sorry, Sleeping Queens, Matching, Spot It Jr., Giggle Wiggle, Headbanz, Sequence Jr....just to name a few of his favorites. My dad taught him War last time we visited which he has really been in to lately, as well as Toy Story Yahtzee which the kids got for Easter (we don't really do Easter basket gifts, but have started an Easter family game tradition, his anticipation for the game this year was so sweet).

After so many years of getting up early with him, or having him noisily climb in to bed with us, I am still amazed at how well (and quietly) he can self-entertain in the morning (It's been over a year that he's been doing this, but his level of patience has increased). He quietly sneaks out of his room and will play with toys, read books, listen to audiobooks, or often I just find him sitting quietly on the couch (planning out something grand for later in the day in his mind I am sure).

Speaking of planning, he has the next 20 years of pumpkin designs planned out, as well as birthday themes till he's 30. While we were at the zoo a few months back, he grabbed a map and planned out our entire day ("First, we will go to the bison, then the flamingos, then over here to the elephants). He definitely likes to plan and take charge.

"Those jokes on the juice bottle are so funny. They crack my head right up and it falls off."

After listening to Break Your Heart he says, "It's not nice to break people's hearts, but is it okay if I still like this song?"

"Why do you and dad always say you like Belén's pictures, and I don't? I mean, they are just stick people and scribbles." Such a nice honest brother right there.

Prayers have turned in to quite the act over here. Shae uses his prayers to indirectly tell Belén that he doesn't like something about her. "Please Heavenly Father help Belén to stop laughing at me." "Please Heavenly Father, make it so Belén will stop talking to me."

I love love love reading chapter books with him. I love how invested in them he is (Both of our hearts hurt when Charlotte died in Charlotte's Web last week, so sad). I love when we are in the car and he asks for me to turn on a story or this awesome kid's story podcast that we are all obsessed with (Circle Round)I just love seeing him so in to stories. 

We are the worst and made him get rid of his beloved brown blankie for his fifth birthday. A few months ago he mentioned something like, "When I am five and brown blankie is gone I will have to sleep with something else." We kind of just rolled with it and slowly began talking about brown blankie going away when he turned five. (It has just gotten SO ratty and is a baby blanket, so it barely even fits over him, but he always has to sleep with it). He loves how fuzzy it is, so we got him a big fuzzy Star Wars blanket to take it's place. 

While he was excited about the new blanket, there were tears in his eyes when he said goodbye to that brown blankie. Oh my heart. I was actually pretty emotional too. We've been through a lot with that blankie. It really does feel like part of the family (which is why it is still hidden away in my closet. I just can't bring myself to throw it away!)

This silly boy is always flattening out his hair. All. Day. Long. He rarely let's us style it anymore. He'll just be playing, or watching a show and every few seconds he'll flatten the sides, then the front and then continue playing. Repeat every 2 minutes. If I touch his hair, he immediately freaks out and starts flattening it all over again. 

"Is the show on Nickflix? Or Netflakes? Or...what is it called?"

One day Belén woke up first (a rarity). I jumped out of bed to close their door so Shae could keep sleeping, but the noise woke him up. He was just sitting up when I got there and said, "Whoa, the story in my head just paused." Then went on to the elaborate retelling of his fairy tale filled dream.

He is constantly calling out my name, pausing, and then saying, "I love you." The other day he finally told me, "You know, I always say I love when I forget what I was trying to say."

I really really love watching his friendship with his sister evolve. While they definitely get on each other's nerves about half the day, the other half is just wonderful. Watching them goof off and imagine and converse and wrestle and explore and love one another is priceless.

I just love this little boy so much. He may have rocked my world (HARD) when he came into it, but I am a better person because of him. He makes me slow down and appreciate the little things in life, and for that I will forever be grateful. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

February Little Things

This sweet girl, who almost never takes naps anymore, fell asleep in the car one day. When I brought her inside I fully expected her to wake up. She did for a second and then fell right back asleep on me. Even when I moved out from under her to go to the bathroom, she still stayed asleep. Good to know that when she needs sleep, she'll make it happen.
 So. Much. Snow this winter. 

 We found this snowman one day while walking around.

 Finally upgraded the beds! Shae has been in this toddler bed for quite some time (thankfully he's on the short end for his age :), and Belén has been using this crib with a wall removed for about a year now. We were all very excited for the new beds.

 The kids were excited to help put it together.

They were extremely squealy and cute going to bed that first night.
 When my parents came to visit the next week for Shae's birthday, the bunk beds came in handy for me and Darin to sleep on while giving my parents our bed. I like this new system.
 The kids got a couple dollars to spend at the dollar store while my parents were in town and Belén was very excited to find this Rapunzel hair. 
 The day after I got home from Vegas just so happened to be a warmish day, so we took advantage of it and went outside for a little picnic at the park.

 Five year old art is the best art. I can't get enough of this little alligator.
 We started using separate blankets last month. Why has it taken us 6 years to do this? I love tucking the blanket in all around me and you just can't do that when you're sharing a blanket. This has been a total sleep game changer for me. Now if we could only upgrade that mattress to a king so that I have all the space in the world, bwahahahaha, or maybe we just need two twin beds? We should just get our own bunk beds. I'm sure Darin would totally be on board with that.
 So much Olympics. Shae got really in to Olympics which made it really fun to watch. He is one passionate, patriotic little boy.
 We went and cheered on our dear friend Kyle in his final Cornell basketball game with a bunch of friends from the branch.
 We introduced the kids to ice cream sundaes with the leftover candy and ice cream from Shae's birthday party. Our ice cream fanatic boy thought it was the greatest thing.
 She didn't mind either :).
 The Syracuse zoo does half price tickets during the months of January and February since it is so cold. Thankfully the very last day of February was in the 50s, so we took advantage and went up with some friends for the day. 

After the zoo, the kids and I went and explored the area around Flat Rock while we waited for Darin to get out of class (we like to pick him up on Tuesdays as his class gets out right after the bus leaves). I love exploring the world with these guys. Here they are pretending to go fishing.

Shae came home and used the connectors to build his own zoo. Complete with a souvenir shop at the end of the zoo. He even made little maps for us to use so we knew where to find all the animals.