Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three Years Old

"It's my birthday!"  Ace screamed with excitement this morning.  Yes it is dear one!  You are three today.  It is a special day!  All of your third year of life was special.   There's so much to review.

Newness in the last six months since our last update:  a move to Mississippi, a couple of inches, knowing the alphabet, singing on his own, playing music on his instruments, school with mom, and a love for pirates!

Ace continues to love the outdoors.  He loves to play in water, run around, go to the park, take walks with his dad and collect a rock walk each time, and get the mail.   He also loves to hear the music play (the national anthem play during the retreat of the flag every weekday at 5pm) and run outside and put his hand over his heart and patiently stand there thru the end of the song. 

Smarts! First let me say that he just really is extremely intelligent.  I know all parents say so, but we are truly amazed out how well he retains information, observes and processes things on his own, and retains details from ages ago and recalls them without prompting.  He can identify almost anything we point to and we are so proud of him. 

Lots of absorption of information, language, and education has taken place these last six months.  He rarely says something not in a full sentence.  He still says "I'm are" which I cling to as his toddlerhood slips quickly away... and he has the funniest accent for the word 'world' - I hope I can get it on video.  He can say the whole alphabet song,  he can recognize all the capital letters and a few of the lower case ones.  Shapes and colors are second nature to him and he's doing great to teach his sister now.  :)    He knows the days of the week and is working on the months of the year.    He's growing up so fast. Ace has started to enjoy 'school' as taught by mom.  He gets so excited to learn new things and loves to have the 1 on 1 time of just the two of us learning... although he doesn't mind if his sister is around to explore with him.   

He is a great big brother!   He loves to hold her when allowed, is happy to help calm her down and asks us to put Kokomo on for her.   He didn't revert too much upon her arrival, he does get very happy to 'recall'  "When I was a baby I..."   and it isn't meant as a desire to return, just as a relating to his sister.    He does still occasionally get hyper and act out if Dad is providing more attention to Mae than him, but in general those moments are rare.

Ace still takes his tiger where ever we go (mostly at mommy's behest) and it sleeps in his bed every night, but he rarely acknowledges unless I hand it to him when he's scared in his bed.  Other toys that are favorites right now include: duplos, his kitchen, swords of any variety,   Favorite movies right now are The Incredibles  and Shrek movies.   He also rotates in the Toy Story movies, Tangled, and Cars... and every now and again Mary Poppins.  :)   TV wise he's really enjoying Super Why on PBS.    His favorite book for most of his third year was 'Cuddle'  in the last couple of months he moved onto 'Don't Let the Pidgeon Drive the Bus' and most recently he has a special place in his heart for the David and Goliath story.   We have a book and if we don't read that, he wants us to tell him the story - every night.     Ace's imagination has also really started to get off to a great start - from pretending back in April to let elephants into the house through the front door and leading them to his room to the other day playing in the park with his dad and crushing aliens with his bare hands (his dad was merely shooting them at a safe distance.)

Illness wise it wasn't such a bad year - I'd say pretty average.   He managed to overcome the C. Diff with that medication and then in September had a week off/on with a stomach bug, another in November and then only a few sniffles in February.   March was the worst of his 3rd year of life and he got pneumonia.  He was pretty sick for a week, but after some antibiotics was back to his spunky self and was happy as can be.   Injury wise he did very well considering how fast of a runner and busy boy he is.     He injured his ear by spinning in circles and then running...straight into the coffee table... and Ace suffered his first (and second) skinned knee upon arrival to Mississippi.   No ER trips required and we consider that a success!  :)

Nap wise - we are still going on about 90 minute stretches sometime around 1pm (which is exactly what we were doing this time last year.)  I only pray that it continues for a while longer!   Sleeping at night has improved leaps and bounds from where we were a year ago and even six months ago.  He sleeps in his own bed exclusively.   Does not wake us up in the middle of the night hardly at all (if he does it requires no intervention on our part)  and while night terrors do still happen on occasion (as they did last night)  they usually are for a short cycle for a few hours in the night and then he drifts into a deeper sleep.   He is waking earlier and we implemented the rule of not getting out of bed before there is a 7 on his clock, but he's gotten smart and simply wanders quietly around the house and waits for me to wake up on my own.  Often he'll come and sit in the bedroom hallway and will make just enough rustling noise that I awake.    It's cute most of the time. ;)

To be fair it's not all roses all the times - in the last six months Ace really has started to exhibit some of the classic signs of 'terrible twos/threes'  and while the moments are rarer than the good ones, they are still battles of control, independence and frustration.   He seems to like to do a revolving fashion show just for him after we say good night - this latest round resulted in the removing all of his pjs from his room.  What he does is wait until we say good night and then he starts the show of changing his pjs over and over.    He's done this off and on for over a year, but it was getting to a point of nightly disobedience and staying awake for well over an hour after we said good night just being spastic and changing his outfits... so one day we might return the pjs to his room - but not any time soon.    Back talk also has arrived and it isn't so much of a  simple "no" as it is just opposition and explanation on why he doesn't need to be doing that or why he thinks he won't be doing it.   It doesn't often work out well for him and usually still has to comply with our wishes.   He SIIIIGHS - what three year old does that?     He'll comply but he'll sigh.   It would be funny if he wasn't mine.     He also puts his hand up in your face when he wants you to stop talking... um no.   All of these things we are obviously on top of and working to help him change his attitude, and overall he is a very respectful and loving kid.   But I didn't want to skew the blog post that he was a complete angel.  He's not, he's normal.  ;-)

Ace's stats aren't exactly known - he is about 37" tall and last weighing was 29lbs.   He has all twenty of his teeth in - two of which are fused together, he has a chip on two of them, and there is ZERO room for anything else... so he will be a cash-cow to orthodontics down the road.    He's doing great and is growing and developing so well.

Overall, this has been a great year with a lot of changes for Ace.   He did experience a lot of growing pains and change from his dad being away for six weeks of training, a brand new sister, a brand new state and home to live in and through all of that he did tremendously well for a little guy his age.   I'm very proud of all he accomplished, learned, and experienced this last year and I can't wait to see what he'll do in this next one.   Happy Birthday, Bear!  Mom and Dad love you so much and are so thankful you're growing up so well!

And now that he is three (I probably could have started this last year, but I forgot, so I'll start now.) I plan to ask him these questions every year (yes I'm swiping the idea and questions from my friend Lori.)

1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE T. V. SHOW? I don't know... um Seasame Street (that's what's on tv at the moment... turning off the tv) umm I think Super Why.

2. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? I think I ate... the first time mom? When you were sleeping mom?  (um sure) umm... cheese! (That is what he's eating during this interview.)

3. WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME? You could spell it.  (Um close!, but no.)
4. FAVORITE FOOD? Um well... let me see what I like to eat...I think... I think... but why cannot I turn on the tv right now? (FOCUS!) Cheez its!

5. WHAT FOOD DO YOU DISLIKE? Food that is spicey

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Blue (same answer he gave when I asked a couple hours ago, it must be true)

7. FAVORITE LUNCH? Nuggets!  (this is the first answer he answered quickly, without question!)

8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO? Help sister (sweet, but she was starting to fuss in the moment, so I think that influenced his answer)

9. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD ON VACATION, WHERE WOULD YOU GO? I would go to the park! (Um ok)

10. FAVORITE SPORT? Soccer, I like playing with dad.

11. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? Today, its my birthday! (ok, fair enough.)

12. ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT PERSON? A morning person. (sadly true.)

13. PETS: Nope.  I think we had two kitties, why can't they live here? (Sad, why did I ask this question... he was quickly distracted.)

14. ANY NEW AND EXCITING NEWS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH US? Um... I don't... (stuffing cheese into his mouth) know.  (Asking again) No.

15. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP ? I want to be nothing. I don't know what to be.  I just want to be a person.   (Well that's fair.  I've attempted this question before and he always says 'nothing'  I am hoping his aspirations increase over time.)

16. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CANDY? Do we have any candy?! 

17. WHERE IS THE FURTHEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN FROM HOME? A little bit away... all the way.  Sometimes the movers come here and it took a long time.   (Yes, I suppose 'home' is a bit confusing right now to him.)

18. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? The Velveteen Rabbit (It is true that he does like that one read to him a lot during the day, but since it was the one on the floor and he's over this interview I'd like to answer for him and say David and Goliath.)

19. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? I think I'm proud of...well... books and well... knowing the whole alphabet.  (Neat me too!)

20. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? The Incredibles!  (In the last 3 weeks I'd have to agree.)

21. WHICH CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG? The Chicken (there was a massive struggle in that little mind of his, you could see it in his mind...then he asked...)  What chicken, mom?

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