Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Goodbye 3's, Hello 4's

Monkey -

You turned 4.  And I would be lying if I didn't sigh with relief we made it through the horrific 3's.  Honestly, they were my hardest, but most rewarding year since becoming your mother.

We had so many changes. 

Your new bed...
...And you move to where you actually slept...
 Sigh... the night you surprised us with learning how to open your gate & joining us was so bittersweet.  Daddy & I loved having your snuggles each & every night.  Even though some nights, Daddy was less excited by turning out the lights & shutting the TV down by 8:30.  And the first night of successfully getting you to fall asleep in your own bed by yourself was celebrated with bittersweet tears as well...
This year, you also made a snuggle sleep buddy!  We call him Chauncer, but his real name, per the now closed Borders Book Store, Chaucer.  We've read the book about his first winter so many times, I can recite it in my sleep.

You love it every.single.time.

We had our first real snow storm, Mommy & Daddy even got snow days!
 On Easter, we celebrated Daddy's 40th birthday.  You helped pick out the White Sox cake decoration, in honor of your being on the White Sox t-ball team through the YMCA...

You've really come into your own with sports this year.  You played t-ball, basketball, soccer & lots of swimming.  You've even started doing gymnastics around the house.  You love to be active & we love to watch you.  You are so funny when you ask us to play, and then expect us to focus & watch you constantly as well.  You shocked us all when you spent the entire summer swimming on your own without even a life jacket.  We used the life jacket at the lake & around home as needed to prolong your energy, but for the most part you really just enjoyed swimming on your own.  Even to the point of having us push you under or using the stair case to pull yourself under to swim to the bottom in search of some dive toy you'd thrown in to retrieve. 

Trips this year were not nearly as exotic as last year, when you earned your passport stamp, but in your eyes - they were even better.

We spent Spring Break with Grandma & Grandpa P on Marco.  We even snuck in a trip to Disney, allowing you to meet Miss Minny.
Then we did the family trip back there for Christmas, seeing both sets of Grandparents at once.  Mr. M & I decided it was really hard vacationing to Disney with family.  If we do a group vacation like that again, it will be on a beach.  There was just so much to do, and truly not enough time to do it all...  But you did earn your first driving license the 2nd time around.  As you had crossed that every so crucial 40 inch benchmark Disney has for rides.

While in Marco, you experienced your first time in the Gulf of Mexico and building sand castles.

However, as Spring came to a close, Mommy had grown exhausted of your temper and her inability to properly parent it... Daddy wasn't have much luck either, however, you were better with him (helped he generally just said yes).

As a result, we started working on 1-2-3 Magic with you.  What I learned was, you were so frustrated with not being able to express your anger, and hole in wall, hitting, etc. were your way to express it.

Thankfully, when you started at Forest Ridge Academy, their method of using Love & Logic fish tailed into what I had learned over the summer.  Love & Logic has truly become our way to resolve your temper tantrums of late.  It is so much fun watching your brain process your actions.  It is really hard not to smile, because I know that would be the wrong message, but I'm just so darn proud of you.

And I love our little sayings.  "I love you to much to argue" and "Oh, that's so sad" are some of our top favorites.  I did have a great belly laugh when you "so sad" Payton because she wouldn't listen to you.  

We cannot forget our famous "It's okay to mad, it's okay to be upset, but it is never okay to hit"

This year I learned having you take 10 deep breaths is a great way to help you get over your upset feelings, be those sad or mad.

Speaking of your buddy... She has become your partner in crime of eating your left overs.  Swimming buddy in the lake.  And snuggle buddy at night.  When daddy is away, Payton has taken to guarding his side of the bed to ensure you don't roll off.  We are starting to see signs of her age, but as of now - she is perfect for you.
Last night she was so good as you climbed over the couch & landed on her... She yelped, but never for a second did she even think about biting you.  For that we are forever grateful.  You on the other hand, were so sorry for landing on her.  You apologized, gave her hugs and kisses, and snuggled up to her after you time out for climbing on the furniture.

The biggest change for you this year has been moving to Forest Ridge Academy.  You've made so many wonderful new friends, and you've learned so much.  Mr. M & I are just amazed at what your little mind has absorbed.  We truly could not be more proud of you, or happier with our decision to enroll you there.

You have such a crush on Mrs. Sandoval, we all have enjoyed your asking her on dates over the past year.  Mrs. Bach loves trying to compete for you attention, but knows she will lose hands down every time.
The educational opportunities were so much more than we could have imagined.  You are learning basics, but also sign language, Spanish, and wood working.  You challenge me to want to learn new things right along with you.

For Halloween, you were Woody.  Toy Story has taken over your Cars love, but Mater & McQueen still rule most days.

Aunt Liz and Grandma M joined us on the Trick or Treat trail.  We had so much fun, as we also spent the day with Skye & Miss Wendy.  Skye was right on our heels as we tricked & treated around our street.  You were so awesome about not wanting as much candy as you could get, coming home to help me hand out some of our own.

One of the things I've seen grow in you this year is your understanding and logic.  With that understanding, you have become more aware of giving, instead of just receiving.

When winter time looked upon us this fall, you had so much fun picking out your winter coat.  I kind of think you picked yellow, because that's Woody's.

Our elf came back to join us again this year.  Oh the fun he had... You named him... Chiminey Pepper.  I think he will eventually become Chimney Pepper, but for now, I'm going with the misspelling because that is exactly how you say it.

Major health updates for year 3...  We have the broken nose & the first cavity.  I still need to get those pictures uploaded & updated.  That said, we survived both with minimal tears, all things considered.

January has kind of flown by in a hurry towards Winter Break, of which you are throughly enjoying this week.  :)

3 was a year of changes.  Up till now, most of the changes have been physical.  This year... This year we saw changes focusing on developmental.  Yes, you got bigger.  Every day you wish to be as big as me and daddy.  Every day I tell you to slow down.  This year we've seen you pick up on sight words, and then apply them.  We've seen you tackle words in your vocabulary that shock us.

Planning & celebrating your party has been a highlight to my 2012 year.  You are such a special boy. 

I received such wonderful compliments on how nice and mature you are for your age.  How you've made such a point to seek out the kids at FRA who are shy and friend them.  How you never want anyone to feel on the side lines of an activity.  How those kids call you their best friend at home.

Jacob Matthew, we are so proud of you and the young gentleman you are becoming.  Daddy & I truly could not have asked for a better kid to call our own.  You are such a little sponge of love & happiness.

We are so looking forward to what 4 will bring next.

Love you all the world & back again -  Mommy

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