Tuesday, February 24, 2015

River Is Five

It's true.  I am in denial, but not posting about it, isn't going to change anything, so I guess I better suck it up.

New mommies beware.  Your little one will go from this...

To this....

Before you can blink!

Take a lot of pictures while they are small.  Not just so you can remember what they looked like, but also because they start giving you major attitude about photos when they get a little bigger.  I worry that people think I favor Ash, since I post so many more picture of him, but I promise, it's just to save myself a fight, should I try to sneak a photo of River.

River has matured so much in this last year.  I could not be more proud of him.  He started off the year a little rough.  He was having anxiety about a lot of things; the order you said good night, hearing people say goodbye, what side of the sidewalk you passed him on, etc...  We experienced quite a few mega-meltdowns as a result.  We didn't know if he would outgrow them, if we should cater to them, to ease his anxieties, or if he would be better served by us being super strict.  Long story short, after lots of patience and talks about thoughts just being thoughts and they have no power over you, he is completely fine.  Thank goodness.

He could not be more excited to start school.  He has quite a few friends born before the September 1st deadline that already started school and he kept asking me when he could go.  I kept answering, "When you turn five."  I should have thought that through a little better, because I found him in his room, rummaging through his dresser, on his birthday and when I asked what he was doing, he said, "Picking out clothes for school tomorrow."

He loves, loves, loves playing Clash Of The Clans.  We purposely have not invested in video games, because I don't want to fight that battle, but Bear had a village and was part of a clan with people at work and we thought it would be fun for River to help strategize a few of the battles.  Little did I know, River would take over the village and it would consume him night and day.  He wakes up desperate to check on it and goes to bed "replaying" all the battles for me.  It's good and bad.  I love watching him have fun and advance in his playing, but I feel like policing screen time has become my main job as a parent and that is no fun.  Can we just go back to the days of checkers?  Anyone, anyone???

River is still super competitive.  If he won't eat, I say I'm going to finish my food first and suddenly he is chowing down.  If he won't get in the car, I make it a race and suddenly, he is zooming by me.  He is getting better about not always needing to be the winner, or getting to go first during an activity... I said better, not great.

Football is his jam.  He goes into hyper-drive whenever our neighbor kids knock on the door to ask him to play.  I usually catch him just in time to force him to put on shoes.  My little Chiefs fan is no longer and now he loves his daddy's Dolphins, but he tells me the Chiefs are his third favorite team... hey, as long as he's not a Bronco's fan, right?  He watched the Superbowl intently and continues to give me play by plays of the entire game.  His memory for details is ridiculous.

He only has a few of his toddler habits left and I don't have the heart to correct them.  He says, lesterday, instead of yesterday and it makes my heart happy, because it's one of the few words he pronounces the same as when he was two. When he talks about his Clash of Clans village, he says billage.  He also still sucks his thumb and I know the time for that to end is coming soon, but man alive, it is going to be bittersweet when he stops.  The first photo I have of him was of him sucking his thumb in my womb.  It was such a comfort to him and a blessing to have the ability to self soothe.  I might be the only mom to cry, because her kid STOPS sucking his thumb.  Oh well... sappy is my middle name.

His favorite color is green and is favorite number is 18.  He will watch any sport on TV and loves to be contradictory, so don't let him know who you want to win.  I learned this the hard way when my Royal's were in the World Series.

If he gets in trouble and I yell at him (which I swear I never do), he will breakdown and want me to hold him.  The worst thing I can do, when he is in trouble, is make him go to time out by himself.  He might be so mad at me, bawling and feeling hurt by me, but he still wants me to hold him.  It isn't in a manipulative way either.  It is pretty humbling and has caused me to do a lot of research and soul searching when it comes to the classic reward/punishment paradigm of discipline.  I don't have any answers, but I feel like he's causing me to ask important questions.

My heart skips a beat, when he asks me to snuggle, which thankfully he still does.  I've never been one for etiquette and I fully plan to continue this long past the time society deems it appropriate.  I can't imagine not snuggling my little man.

River learned to read this last year, does daily lessons with us and an on-line preschool.  He will be one of the few kids whose first day of school is Kindergarten, but we know he is prepared.

Some of his favorite expressions are "What THE heck!", (Yes we've lived in Utah too long.) and "Aye Aye Sir!", when you ask him to do anything.  Ashy Boy copies him now and I swear there is nothing cuter than little boys saying the Aye Aye Sir.  He also asks, "Do you want to see the replay?" about everything he does.  Lucky me.  I get to see every football game twice.

He is pretty reserved and takes a while to warm up to new situations, but can be surprisingly bold at times, like when he bares his testimony at church, in front of 100 adults, or tries to join in a football game with boys twice his age.

His brother is his best friend and though he has outgrown using Ash's baby foot for comfort, he is happiest making his brother laugh.  It is not hard for him to do, because River's laugh is infectious and rings in the air like sleigh bells.  His mega-wat smile is sure to cheer anyone and should my boys fight, as all brothers do, River is quick to give "gentle loves" by patting Ash's shoulder.

He notices and cares about what people are thinking, or feeling.  He wants to know why they are sad, or why they yelled.  He is very aware and compassionate... unless fighting over a toy, or something.

He asked some tough questions about dying this year and while that conversation deserves a post of its own, the reason he cried the hardest when he found out that everyone dies, was because he did not want Ashy Boy to die.  He said Ash was too little and too sweet and it wouldn't be fair.  Oh, how tender his heart is.

He loves his Kindermusik class and he likes to make up silly songs and if he can't remember a word, he'll substitute it with poop, or fart.  He is becoming more vocal in his class and also at church and I am excited to see his confidence building.  He wants me to put him back in swim lessons and misses being in the water.  He remembers, from a year ago, that he was supposed to start the blue class and he reminds me constantly.

Lowe's Build and Grow projects were a huge part of our life this last year and he was not happy when we missed one of the projects.  The first note he wrote by himself said, "I love build and grow, even though mom made me miss the dragon one."

He was able to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time and see the Redwoods.  We were up in Northern California, on a blustery day and you could not pull this child out of the Ocean.  He loved the waves.  He also saw Devil's Tower and Mount Rushmore for the first time.  His favorite part was keeping track of  the number of the trail marker we were at.  His love of numbers, orders, charts, etc... is something so foreign to me.  Ha ha... but he really does love it.

I could go on and on.  Yep, I am one of those moms, but I will end with this... I knew I would love my children, but what never ceases to amaze me is how early on in their lives they have become so fun and interesting and entertaining to be around.  Don't get me wrong, I still need my occasional adult time, but who knew that you wouldn't have to wait for your kids to grow up, before you really just enjoyed each others company and sense of humor.  I love you River Lucas Bear and I am so very grateful you are mine.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Because Love

It's hearts and the color pink and everything I said I would never do, but hey...Sometime's you need a little Sugar!  Happy Valentine's Day to my Soul Matey.  Ours is a simple love story, but it is also my favorite.  Thanks for riding this crazy train with me and for choo, choo, choosing me over and over again.