Thursday, February 27, 2014

Owen the 4 Year Old

Our first baby, Owen turned four on February 6th. Time is such a funny thing. I cannot believe 4 years ago I became a mother, its feels like I have been a mother forever. Yet, how is my baby already 4!? 

Owen's special day started out with balloons for the birthday and some fun presents from Mommy and Daddy. Daddy went out and got him a Planes coloring book and shirt. He couldn't wait to bust open both! In fact, he put on the shirt opened the coloring book and then requested to watch Planes! 

For breakfast Daddy was awesome enough to stay and pop in some cinnamon rolls for our boy. Cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate was a hit! The boys eagerly gobbled it down. 

After coloring and watching Planes; Grandma came over, because again, she took the day off for her best buddy! We ate lunch together and I dropped off the birthday boy at preschool. He was able to bring in Valentine cupcakes we had decorated the day before and wear a special birthday crown all day! Lucky boy! 

Grandma picked up the birthday boy from preschool and then took him out shopping and out on a dinner date to Southcenter and the Rainforest Cafe! He loved it! He later informed me that he ordered mac and cheese and grapes for his special dinner. Grandma and Owen later went to pick up Grandpa at the airport and per Owen's request he was able to have a sleepover at Grandma's house. Really, those two are best buds! 

With Grandma's birthday, Nathan's birthday, and Owen's birthday all within 8 days...  and a family party squeezed in between it felt like the celebrating never ended! But I think all and all it was a success and the boys loved every second of celebrating them! 

At 4 fours years old, our Owen NEVER ceases to amaze. He is crazy smart! Here are a few facts about our Owenator: 

-He can count to 200+ all by himself

-He can count to 100 in Spanish

- He can add/do math at a 1-2 grade level. He can do all these flashcards in well under 10 minutes and begs to do them all the time. He is currently obsessed with numbers and math. He can subtract a bit, but that idea is still hard for him. And He understands fractions pretty well too.

-He can spell countless words.

-He pretty much has taught himself how to read over the last month. Just last night he read "Hop on Pop" all by himself. Seriously.

-Is great at sounding out words and understanding English concepts. If you tell him a "Rule" once he's to it down!

- He also loves geography. We have a couple geography apps on the iPad and he loves them. And boy, do they work! He knows all the states by name, shape and FLAG. Plus he can map them all out on a BLANK map (no state outlines!)

-He can also map out all of Africa, South & Central America, and Australia/Oceania...Yup-I cannot even do that! (Africa... really!?)

-I'm pretty sure he has a photographic memory. He can look at something once or twice and immediate have it memorized and remember it for weeks on end.

-Has a very good/keen memory. He can recount stories/daily actives verbatim and with vivid detail easily.

-LOVES preschool! I was so worried that he would not excel in that environment with so many other kids, but boy he is doing awesome and cannot wait for Preschool Days! He always says that he goes to preschool on "Garbage Days (Tuesdays) and Thursdays!"

-Based on the above fact, he loves garbage day and garbage trucks. He and Nathan always race to the door when they hear it coming and wave to the garbage truck and men. Its pretty cute!

-He loves to draw and write letter/words. He is actually pretty good at drawing. He loves to makes trains, trucks, people, etc. And he loves, loves, LOVES learning how to write ands spell new words.

(Here he has drawn Olaf from Frozen!)

-With his birthday gift, he is also really into coloring right now. That color wonder stuff is amazing!

- He adores his cousin Julia! She comes over every Friday and he counts down the days!

-Him and my Mom are seriously kindred spirits. They are souls mates and best friends. Owen said this to me a couple of weeks ago: "When Grandma gets too old to work, I will work for her." Me: "Awe, thats so sweet. You love her don't you?" Owen: "Yes, I'd do anything for her!" *Swoon!*

-If I let him, he would live at grandma's house over the weekends. He spends the night there at least once a week! He has his own room and bed there.

-He is very impatient and easily gets frustrated and upset. Ugh... its a struggle. I'm feeling like 4 is going to be MUCH, MUCH harder than 2 and 3 combined with this one!

- He can be super lazy and uncoordinated! This kid can't even get himself dressed! Okay- not can't, its that he will not. And it makes me crazy! He wants things done for him a lot of the time! Grrr.... And he still won't learn how to ride a tricycle! He just won't move his feet to do it! That stinker!

-Loves to snuggle. He loves to wrap up in a blanket and snuggle to watch snows. Yes, Please!

-Still loves Thomas and all trains. Obsessed. His dream is to ride the Sounder again. Just last weekend, we took the boys on the monorail-Again. They were in heaven!

(On the Monorail) 

-Loves to build things. Blocks and Legos are probably his favorite toys besides trains and tracks. He can build things all day long. He got these awesome magnet builders for Christmas. He can build all sorts of awesome creations with these! We love them!

-Over the last few months he has started to become really afraid at night. He has bad dreams and often comes into our room. Some nights he will come in 3-4 times. Its gotten a little better lately, and I hope to continues.

-He loves to sing and dance. He loves to have music playing. Shad and I think that he would do very well with picking up an instrument. He is so smart and has always had a love of music I think he would do well to learn something like that.

-When he gets going with a tantrum... Oh boy! There is no stopping him. Seriously. He can go for hours. He just does not know how to let little things go! He dwells on every little detail, its exhausting!

-Is still our sensitive little guy. He won't sit through any long movies. Anything over an hour is too long for both my boys. But any Disney movie is pretty terrifying. Cars, Jungle Book, and Nemo are about as much as he can handle. And even Nemo freaks him out a little bit. Nathan doesn't ever seems fazed by these shows. But we mainly stick to Thomas around here!

-He is a GREAT big brother. He loves Nathan and those two are constantly getting into mischief and trouble together. Owen is always telling Nathan to do naughty things and of course Nathan willingly listens! He also loves Kaisa. No one can make Kaisa laugh like Owen. She adores him and tries to follow him all around the house. He is very sweet with both of them-- for the most part!

-Is a picky, picky eater! I knew Karma would get to me on this one! I am super picky... so it doesn't surprise me that I have a child who is too. Its so hard to get him to try new things. He gags on a lot of things and is very sensitive to texture.

-He very sweet, and considerate. He is a very considerate little boy. He can be very polite at times and generous- when he wants to be!

-Is super observant and bright. He picks up on all adults conversations, i have to be very careful what i say around him! And he observes all the things around him and pays very close attention to detail!

-Since he is so observant and detail oriented, he is a perfectionist! He likes every thing to be in its proper place, and everything to be perfect. He gets very frustrated when things don't go his way exactly.

-He is doing well in primary. I am not sure if he loves it. But he has a wonderful, thoughtful, and patient teacher. And I think he does pretty well there. It will be a good growth experience for him.

-Loves to splash in puddles and play in the snow. What kid doesn't!?

-He loves to learn. Loves it. That is how he plays most time. He wants to read, do math, do flashcards, or spell words. He is just thirsty for knowledge ALL. THE. TIME. Its just how he plays. He'd rather do learning/school stuff than play.

-He loves to play games. Board games, card games, all games. I enjoy it too. Its something Owen and I can do together. :)

-Can be super helpful around the house. He picks up toys and likes to sweep and mop. He loves to clean toilets and bathrooms. Empty the dishwasher. I am really hoping this sticks around for a bit when he can really do it all by himself!

-Has a sweet little testimony of the church and the gospel. He loves to read Book of Mormon stories and learn all about Jesus. He likes to say prayers, all the time. I catch him saying prayers on his own once and a while. So sweet. He absolutely LOVES to sing church/primary songs. And I know that he loves his savior and knows who he is.

-Is so loved! We adore our Owen and everything he is. Sure, he makes me crazy most days, but I wouldn't have him any other way. He is adorable and sweet and We love him to pieces!

Dear Owen,

Oh my, what is there to say!? You are four years old, now! And such a handsome and mature little boy. This year you have grown by leaps and bounds! You have matured to become a talented and lovable little boy. You got potty trained, and started preschool. You leaned so many new things about school, spelling, reading, geography, math, and the world around you. You made new friends and come out of your shy shell. You love your church and school teachers and I am so proud of the little young man you are becoming. I am so privileged and honored to be your mother.

You never stop impressing and amazing us! Your keen mind and ability to lean is endless and amazing. I don't know why I am always surprised by your ability to learn. You are so smart and you absolutely LOVE to learn. Your thirst for knowledge is endless and your mind is so ready and willing to learn. I love it. I hope that you continue to grow and learn more and more every day. It is what makes you truly special. Is is a gift you have been blessed with and I hope that you continue to develop your talents to learn, memorize, and expand your mind. It really is amazing. Something that doesn't go unnoticed by anyone.

You are a happy, sweet, quirky, and caring little boy. You are very considerate of others and a very helpful to mommy. You care about others feelings and always want to help makes others happy. You can be very polite and loving. And you never stop giving hugs and kisses! I love it! You love to snuggle with mommy and grandma and we love every little bit of you. You are happy boy and can always make my day brighter!

You are a very sweet big brother. Nathan and Kaisa are lucky to have you to look after them! You always make sure our little Kaisa-girl is taken care of and are always a friend to Nathan. Nobody can make Kaisa laugh like you, she adores you so much. She just loves having your attention and love. You and Nathan have formed a very fun friendship. You two are such crazy, silly brothers and I love watching your relationship together! Your Daddy and I always say that you are best "Frenemies!" But mostly, you are best buds who care and love each other. Nathan wants so bad to be just like you! You guys like to gain-up on Mommy and Daddy and certainly make us feel like you have us outnumbered! Phew! Its going to be crazy with your dynamic duo!

I hope you know how much you are loved! You have a wonderful family who loves you dearly. Mommy and Daddy, as well as brother and sister. You are such a big part of our little family. We are lucky to have you as ours! You also have a wonderful extended family who also love you so much. You are so lucky to have such a big support system and never forget that you have so many who love and care about you!

I am eager and excited to watch you learn and grow more in the upcoming year. Each new stage is an adventure with you and something we take on together. I love it. You are my little sidekick and buddy. You love Mommy and I love to be by your side in all your new adventures. We are learning this together, you know! You are my first baby, and everything new to you is new to me! You have endless potential to become a smart, competent, and independent young man. I hope to explore some of that with you this year.

As always, I love you. I cannot tell you enough how much I love you. You are my world. I am so grateful for that moment 4 years ago when you came into this world and made me a mother. I am so underserving of the infinite love you give me. And I am so grateful for the unconditional love you give me and the love I have for you. You are amazing. Thank you for being patient with me as I figure out this whole parenting thing. I am far from perfect, but I am trying to be the best mother to I can be. You always keep me humble and I learn so much from you each day.

I love you, always.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Photo Friday

A Friday Tradition...

Since we missed the last couple weeks I have to make up for it! Here are a few highlights from the last couple weeks! 

My cute little busy helpers! They love to help me clean. It's great! 

All three of my boys were in snow heaven last weekend when it snowed! With church cancelled we spent the while day playing, eating snacks, and watching movies. Perfect. Here they are building Olaf! He likes warm hugs. ;) 

Me with my little snow bunny! (The big 4 on my head is part of Owens birthday decorations!) 

Once the snow melted its been raining... A lot. The boys love putting their new rain boots to good use! Lots of splashing!

Our Valentine lunch. Heart shaped sandwiches and strawberry milk. That's about as creative as I get! Ha! But they loved it. We also spent all afternoon decorating heart cookies with cousin Julia! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Our Little Birthday Boys

Owen turned 4 yesterday. Wow. His next birthday is 5... I remember being 5. That seems so strange and it really isn't fair how quickly it all goes. But our little Owen will get his own birthday post later. 

This will be about both our birthday boys! 

Our big family birthday streak is over! Phew! 3 birthdays in one week is a lot! I am birthday-ed out after my Dad (Jan 20), Nathan (Jan 29), my Mom (Feb 4), and Owen (Feb 6) all within 2 1/2 weeks! So we made sure to make ALL the birthday celebrations last and last! 

After Nathan's birthday last week, we had a small family birthday party for the boys on Saturday. Just my parents, Shad's sister, and some friends from law school. It was casual. I love that boys are happy with anything and call it "party" and we're good! Food, cake, presents...done! I know that won't last long, but I'm good with holding off "Friend Parties" as long as possible! We had lunch and then the boys were eager to gobble up their delicious ice cream cake! 

I usually make the cake, and was bummed that I didn't do it this year. But I had just to much going on with all the birthdays. Plus with Nathan's Egg allergy still being investigated I decided to keep it safe with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. I always had ice cream cakes growing up, and much prefer them to real cake. And Oh man, everyone loved it! It was a great choice! So delicious. And they did a great job making a "blue and green train cake" that Owen wanted! :) 

Here they are with their attempts to blow out the candles! 

That Cake was seriously delicious. The boys chowed it down in mere minutes! And we ate the leftovers for the Super Bowl the next day! Yum! (Celebration Cake for the Seahawks Win! It was Blue and Green afterall all!) 

I wanted to keep presents to a minimum. We are still recovering from Christmas and the amount of toys is getting out of control! I gave everyone fair warning that there were to be NO toys! :) 

The Grandparents did not disappoint. New clothes, candy, and stickers! Plus my mom took each boy shopping and got them new rain boots! Lucky! 

Owen was dying to rip into the gifts! 

I was so bad at taking pictures at their party. Not only were they sitting in front of the window the whole time for terrible pictures, but I didn't even take any of all that were there! Owen's buddies Harrison and Mason got them an awesome Thomas tent! They loved it! They've had it set up all week. 

Aunt Heidi got the boys movie tickets! Something fun for us all to do!

After their party Shad and I took all the kiddos up to south center and let the boys pick ONE item from the Disney Store. They were in heaven! I didn't realize that it was going to be so overwhelming to choose! So many choices! But, after almost an hour, they both finally decided on an awesome Jet Plane from the movie Planes. Nathan got "Echo" and Owen got "Bravo," but minus the helmet color they are identical. They slept with them by their beds that night. (Win!) 

We took down all the decorations, only to put them all back up 4 days later for Owen's birthday. But I didn't want him to feel left out of his own separate birthday celebration! 

On Tuesday we celebrated my mom's birthday! My Dad was out of town so we had her over for the evening and I made her dinner. The boys happily made her cards and gave her candy. They love her so much! We also made her some red velvet cupcakes- her favorite! :) 

Like I said Owen will get his own birthday post. But I did have a chance to interview both him and Nathan for our annual birthday interview. I love hearing their answers! This was Nathan's first! He didn't really get it... and we had to help him some with the answers. But he generally got the gist. 

Nathan, 2 Years Old: 

What's your favorite color? 'How 'bout Red.

What's your favorite song? Child of God (This is true, he loves this song. And always requests it at bedtime/naptime)

What's your favorite animal? Leopard (He was very unsure about this questions. After listing lots of animals this is the one that got a YES! Answer)

Who's your best friend? 'How 'bout Daddy'

What do you like to eat? Pasta!

Where do you like to go? Grandma's House

What's your favorite game? Football

What's your favorite toy? Cubby (This he also needed help with. He loves his Cubby. He sleeps with him every night.)

How old are you? I'm 3!!! (Whoops!)

Are you 2? Yeah!

Are you a big boy? 'No, I'm a little boy!'

What's your favorite movie? The Jungle Book

What's your favorite book? Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (I think he copied Owen's answer on this one!)

What makes you happy? Daddy

What makes you sad? Time-out

Owen, 4 Years Old: His interview is a little more complex! 

What's your favorite Animal? Pig

Why a pig? 'Because I like to snort!'

What's your favorite color? Blue and Green.... and pink... and brown... and yellow... and red!

What's your favorite song? Child of God (He copied Nathan on this one. He knows this is Nathan's favorite, but I couldn't get a real answer out of him.)

Who's your best friend? 'Mommy! ... And Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa and Julia. Those are my best friends'  

What do you like to do? Play Trains

What do you like to Eat? Angry Bird Treats (Fruit snacks)

What else do you like to eat? Strawberry Cake (I'm not sure he's ever had strawberry cake...??)

Where do you like to go? To the park

What's your favorite game? Guess Who! (The board game... yup, we play it allllllll the time!)

What's your favorite toy? Legos

How old are you? 4!

Are you a big boy? Yeah!

Why? Because I'm 4!

What's your favorite show? King of the Railway (A Thomas movie he got for Christmas, and yes we watch it almost daily!)

What's your favorite book? Little Blue Truck Leads the Way

What makes you happy? Painting pictures

What makes you sad? When Nathan throws toys at me

What's your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Play games

What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Uhhh...Drive monster trucks!

What's your favorite thing to do with Nathan? Trace Magnets (Teach him letters on the Magnadoodle)

Whats your favorite thing to do with Kaisa? Make her laugh

Whats your favorite thing to do with Grandma and Grandpa? Cook with Grandma and build legos with Grandpa

What songs do you like to sing? If the Savior Stood Beside Me

What do you want to be when you Grow Up? A builder!

Why? Because I like to

Another year gone too fast. We've been in our house a year! And we've celebrated another double birthday party! Wow- Happy Birthday, Boys! We love you! (Now-stop growing so fast!)