Sunday, May 4, 2014

How are you? ... I'm 4!

Oh, hello there!  How are you?  (If you were Jude, you'd say, "I'm 4!)  It's been a while, I know.  Let's see, where'd we leave off?

For Jude's birthday, Jack picked out and painted this treasure box all by himself.
Oh yeah, hours before spring hit our bit of space in Maryland and we all succumbed to it's allergy-inducing beauty.  I'm talking sore throats, itchy eyes, runny noses and chest congestion.  Jon even had to go on meds for bronchitis.  Of course, that did not stop him from spending four long days working on the yard.  He pulled out thousands of chunks of crab grass, filled in holes with 10 cubic yards of topsoil, aerated, spread a few yards of Leaf Gro, and managed to build me some cedar window boxes... and I planted flowers.  All this to say, I think this will be the summer we take exterior photos of our house to use when we put it on the market in two years.

The long-awaited spring hasn't been too kind to Joci either.  She's still having a tough time at night.  Between the multiple wakings, the times when I do attempt to let her sleep with us, and that lovely carpal tunnel that always makes an appearance after I have a baby--I'm having a tough time at night, too.  Her 9 month check-up did not go well.  Not only did the doctor say she had an ear infection, but she was also concerned that Jocelyn's losing weight and lagging a bit developmentally.

I'm trying not to worry.  I feel like all my kids were like this as this age.  The boys didn't even have 9 month check-ups at the military clinic.  But the whole horrible sleeping situation is not helping my confidence.  Per the doctor's suggestion, I actually went out and bought some formula to try.  Along with some fancy-schmancy bottle.  What a waste.  Girlfriend was more than just not interested.  She was absolutely repulsed.  You shoulda seen the look she gave me.

"You wanna feed me what?!?"
So we tossed the formula, added the bottle to our yard sale pile, and are going back to the original plan.  I feel like I can do anything as long as there's an end in sight.  I know she'll start eating food in the the next few months.  I know she won't need to rely on me as her sole sustenance for much longer.  And I know that I won't be stumbling out of bed at all hours of the night for too many more weeks.  In the meantime, I'm thankful I decided to pick up the coffee habit last year.

Easter Dinner at Great Aunt Jani and Uncle Eric's

Aunt Kylee has the touch!
 Anyway, for not growing and developing on target (pffff) and for having an ear infection (I'm still not sure if I trust the doctor on that one) and for spending a large portion of her nights scratching mommy's face--this is one happy baby.

But enough about oh-sleepless-one.  We have a birthday boy to discuss!  We made the trek up to Pennsylvania to celebrate our boy and enjoy the Easter holiday with our family.  We left late Friday night, the kids fell asleep within 30 minutes and we had the most wonderful drive!  We returned on Monday afternoon, the kids were wide awake ... and Jocelyn cried almost the entire time.  It was miserable for her and miserable for me, who spent much of the trip twisted around in my seat trying to calm a frustrated baby!  So I'm swearing off travel for a while now.

Easter Egg Hunt

Marmie does everything bigger, including Easter eggs.

But I'm glad we made the effort and got to make our second son feel special on his big day.  This middle-child business is tough (I should know) but now he doesn't even get middle-child status to himself.  So let's take a few minutes to shine the spotlight on our totally awesome son.

They found a robin's egg.  It didn't last long once Jack got a hold of it.

Visiting Great Aunt Jani's horse.

This is a fun age.  I used to think my favorite age was anything under 3.  But this 4 year old stuff is a riot.  Jon and I spend many a dinner hiding smiles and choking on laughter.  But maybe that's just Jude.  Our talk-out-of-the-side-of-his-mouth, full-of-facial-expressions, quirky preschooler.  He still uses his smolder look regularly.  Especially when he's trying to get his point across.  The other day he volunteered to pray over dinner, and then did the whole thing without opening his mouth.

He's our ladies man, and often talks about "my girls" at school.  He got shots in his arm the other day and REFUSES to take off the Band-Aids.  (It's been 12 days now, and they're still there.)  He went in to school the next day, crossed his arms, pursed his lips, tilted his chin and told "his girls" that he was not accepting hugs that day because of his boo-boos.

He asked Marmie for race car cake...

... and Marmie delivered!

Or course, 4 years old has its challenges.  We're working on honesty right now and taking responsibility for our actions.  Lately, I'll find something amiss.  The bathroom sink plugged and the water left running (for over an hour!)  A 4-inch triangle carved into the top of my dining room table. Handfuls of mud flung onto the garage door.  Or a puddle of pee on the floor.  I'll ask, "Who did this?"  Jack crosses his arms, closes his eyes, sticks out his bottom lip and says matter-of-factly, "It was Jude."  Jude extends his neck, widens his eyes, jumps up and points, "It was Jack!"

"No, it was you."

"No, it was you."



"You."  "You."  "You."  "You."

And there's no point in asking Julia, she can't decide who the guilty party is.

In the case of the dining room table triangle carving, Jon was able to induce a confession out of Jude several hours later.  But even his admission isn't convincing.  Sometimes I think he's just taking the hit so we can all move on to something more exciting.

Typical Jack moment caught on camera.

Brotherly love!
Like working-out and muscle shirts.  (Just today he called me down to the laundry room so he would have an audience for his push-ups.)  It's been in the 70s the past few days, which means Jude has officially traded in his "home pants" for muscle shirts.  All Jon has to do is mention the word "work" and Jude is off to put on something more functional.  Because he loves to help his Daddy, i.e. talk Jon's ear off while he does all the work.  Jon got a new grill this week and now Jude tells everyone we run into that we got a new "what's that thing called?" and that he and Daddy put it together without any help!  
Easter egg hunt with the cousins.

This girl's ready for a post-Easter egg hunt nap!
So yes, we know Jude's going to grow up to be a hard worker.  We know he's going to keep us entertained for years to come.  We know he's going to have lots of friends (particularly his girls).  We know he's going to be a truth-teller (if I have my way!)  And we're looking forward to watching it all happen as he continues to learn and grow.  Happy Birthday Buddy!

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