Thursday, October 29, 2015


Half my offspring grew older this month! Lia turned 4 the day Jon returned from his month of training.

We went with a (very) loose Beauty and Beast theme this year. Julia chose it because it's my favorite movie and she thinks it's cool that I like a Disney Princess. (Sidenote: Who's counting down the days until March 17 2017??) This was supposed to be a Belle cake but I kinda had lots of helpers. So I gave the kids free reign of cake decorating and we went with the motto: "participation over perfection." In other words, it was Day 27 of single parenting for me and at that point it's all "whatever keeps the kids occupied!"

Lia woke up the next morning, took one look at her cake, and proclaimed it definitely was not Belle. Fortunately, I was able to make up for it with the Belle dress and Jan Brett's version of "Beauty and the Beast" which the girls want to read every night and which I am happy to oblige them with because it's like Jane Austen for kids. Almost.

We also got her "The Doll That Looks Like Me" That's right. Her name is "The Doll That Looks Like Me." I think the name on the box was "Claire," but Lia didn't go for it. And apparently she has no intention of coming up with a new name. Or perhaps she already has. Tonight, in her prayers, she actually thanked Jesus for "The Doll That Looks Like Me." It was a nice change from her typical praying style of telling God all the reasons she's not happy with Mommy today.

The jury's still out on life with a 4 year old girl. There's a lot of changes I'm not so thrilled about--like suddenly being afraid to use the bathroom because there was a Daddy Long Legs in there 4 weeks ago. Or immediately feeling COOOLLLLDDD and curling in a ball on the floor whenever she's asked to do something "challenging." And I'm sure this has a lot more to do with having two older brothers than growing another year older, but Lia is currently very much in to "stinky breath" and fake burping. *sigh*

"Take a picture of me!" in Chick-Fil-A.

"Take a picture of me!" in Aldi.
"Take a picture of me!" randomly dispersing stuff around your house.
The princess aura isn't a complete farce, though, as her fashion sense continues to grow and develop. She asks me to take a picture of her several times a day, at all sorts of hours, because apparently she believes I'm never without my camera. School is still her absolute favorite. It's a shame she only goes 5 hours a week. And she pretty much adores her teacher, immediately taking on the character of "starved for affection" as soon as we walk in the school doors.

Her teacher sends me pictures because she's the BEST TEACHER EVER!
But at home, she's nearly always the center of attention, never without a game or activity to keep her occupied. She plays so well on her own, although her and Jude seem to have the most fun together at this stage. I love hearing her little imagination play out in our day-to-day interactions.

We're so thankful for her. For the young lady God is creating her to be. And for all the love and laughter she brings to this family!
People, my son is 7! Gosh, that seems old. How did this happen? I had no intention of raising a 7 year old boy. I like babies. And 2 year olds. That's what I was picturing back when we "decided" to have kids. This 7-year-old-boy stuff is so out of my league.

He said this bamboo branch weighed 50 pounds. And look, he can hold it while standing on one foot!

I don't have nearly as many pictures of Jack as I do of Julia, and when I do, it's usually of him showing his backside because, butts. 
Everything is all butts and poop and Minecraft. Yeah, that's right. I succumbed. The ONLY thing he asked for that wasn't Legos was Minecraft. I don't know what Minecraft is. Nor do I care to learn. But apparently, watching YouTube videos of other people playing Minecraft for the last 3 months just wasn't good enough anymore. Thankfully, we have some older cousins that explained it all to me and assured me it wasn't entirely inappropriate for a 7 year old. So for his birthday, I bought a $6.99 app for his Kindle. Yeah, it pretty much rocked his world.

But supposedly a bigger deal than a $6.99 app was his birthday party. Because we did an actual birthday party this year. Our first one ever. (I think it may be our last one ever as well!) It was a combination of Jack talking about his birthday party several months ago, and then telling kids they were invited to this mysterious birthday party several months ago, and then us kinda realizing, hey, maybe we really should have a birthday party for once.

Our bus stop birthday greeters!
I'm also starting to feel a little guilty about moving our kids away from their friends and school and thought maybe this would help him feel special. Of course, this was all going through my head during the Month of No Husband, which just made planning and decision making that much more difficult.

I was trying to keep things as low-stress for me since it's been a very busy fall. In the end, we invited his whole 1st grade glass to Rolly Pollies (an indoor gym/tumbling place) for playtime and pizza ... with a side theme of Legos.

Jack said it was "the best day ever." I enjoyed getting to know his classmates and meeting some of the parents too. It was still a little stressful because I'm a big plan ahead person and apparently, other parents like to RSVP a few days before, or 15 minutes before, or not at all??? It also didn't help that the person managing our party that day had forgotten his key, so we were locked out of the place for a good 20 minutes. Awkward.

Jack just looked at this picture and said, "Oh, now I know why you did it like that. It's a 7!!" ... one week later.

It's all about the goody bags--these had Lego candy, Lego Minifigure crayons, a Lego themed coloring book, Lego stickers and tattoos, a not-real-Lego Minifigure (that I ordered in bulk from Amazon), and light sticks.

The house smelled like wax for days.

If anyone has tips on how to capture photos of 7 year old boys, I'm all ears. For now, it's just butts and tongues.
But I think we achieved our goal of "make Jack feel special." We also got some new Legos to build and subsequently, for little sisters to break. And rockets. So many rockets. I definitely took a rocket to the face this weekend. Along with some flying arrows and darts. Apparently, these are the kinds of things you buy boys that are not in your household.

Rockets are fun for daddies too.
We capped off the celebration with "having a friend over." One of our party guests (+ his two sisters) missed the celebration because his mama had the wrong date on the calendar. She and I bonded over sharing stores of how we're failing at keeping track of school stuff + extracurricular activities. So we tentatively extended the invitation. Actually, my husband asked at our soccer game that day and I held my breath. We've never had a friend over that wasn't accompanied by the rest of his/her family (except for those rare babysitting opportunities.) And if one of the parents from the soccer team invited Jack over, I'm not sure what I'd do. Probably curl in a ball in the corner and spend the entire 2 hours fretting over his safety.

But apparently, this brave new mom is nothing like me and willingly dropped her child off at my house. And everyone had fun launching rockets and building Legos and this kid was so chill about being in a stranger's home that I was reminded, yet again, that not everyone is like me. That I tend to see the world through a rare and different set of lenses. And that my boy is growing up and thriving despite being raised by an anxious and uptight mother.

God knew what he was doing when he gave us Jack. He's our fearless leader, breaking us into parenthood one Kindle app, Nerf gun dart to the face, Legos scattered on the stairs, and inappropriate language learned at school at a time. Jack, you make parenting a fun (and sometimes challenging) adventure. We're so grateful that you're ours and you're growing more and more each day!

1 comment:

Ardith said...

Just wanted to let you know how much I look forward to your blogs. Thanks so much for sharing.

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