Friday, August 31, 2012

Four Years Old

Four!?  Yes Ace has had a wonderful fourth year on this planet and I couldn't be more proud of him.    He started out his fourth year in Mississippi and it comes to a close back in the NW.   He's quite the U.S. traveler! When we last checked in with Ace he was as busy as ever.  No slowing down since then.  :)

New things for his fourth year:   Potty trained (day and night!),  fully independent and sleeping through the night after we say good night (YAY! HOORAY!! REJOICING!!!), a *big* boy bed, first professional haircut, first filling, and preschool!

Yes, the Monday after he turned 3 I told him that all the diapers disappeared.  I prepped him all of August, made it a big exciting deal that potty training full force was happening and it was.   He of course did great.  Early progress can be read about here.  Overall, he's done great.  In January I decided that he had done so well with the night time pullups (I couldn't remember the last time he had peed in one in weeks and weeks) and so I told him when they ran out they were all gone.  They ran out the beginning of February and we've not had one accident.    A fully potty trained and self-sufficient pottier is what we have now!  Hooray.  Hopefully this marks the end of toilet talk for our eldest son! :)

In general I am in awe at how smart Ace truly is.  He uses sentences like "Actually mom if given a choice, I choose to do this because it seems like the best choice."  or "I just assumed we would be there shortly and that was why I made the decision not to take a nap in the car."  I know adults that aren't that articulate!  He is a sponge for language and words.   Every now and then he still has something just ever so off in his vocabulary or phrasing.   Our dog he calls "Pixeled", he still refers to yogurt as logurt.  It drives his father crazy because it is true Ace when pressed will properly call it yogurt, I find it endearing and cling to the shred of toddler he ever had in the first place when it comes to language.   My favorite misstep in language though has to be the dirty hamster.  I nearly die laughing every time he says it and since it's not a regularly discussed topic in our house I forget about it and it makes it all that much more funny... because honestly how often does one talk about the dirty clothes hamper?  hehe dirty hamster!  I love it! :)   He often thinks faster than his words coming out of his mouth and so this leads to a jumbled repetition of the early phrase of whatever his sentence is while he works out the rest of his thoughts.   Patience is key in these moments, but sometimes we have him stop and think and then speak.  :)

Ace has such a kind heart and it only continues to grow.  He has great patience for his sister - in spite of her right on track status of a younger sibling.   Don't get me wrong they still have struggle wars over non-sharing,  he still gets frustrated when his sister hits him, stands in his way of tv, etc.. but on the grand scheme of things he is quite the loving brother.   He is good to share with other kids in school, church, and play dates - yet doesn't let himself get bullied either.    He has a kind heart toward 'other kids' that are in need and is generous at giving away toys to others.   A sign perhaps he has too many toys himself, but I've known plenty of kids that have too many and still don't want to share with the less fortunate.  If I have to choose one I'll take the kind hearted motivation.   I think one of my favorite things is that on Loving Husband's birthday Ace came running in the moment he woke up and said 'Happy Birthday, Dad!' and then ran off to go potty (typically the first thing he does every morning.)  It was so sweet!  Made me smile, and I'm sure it made his dad smile too.    He is very good at giving positive feedback to others as well.   We were coloring something the other day (he, myself, and his sister) and he was quite the motivator.  "You're doing a great job, mom!  That looks really nice.  Sister's is very pretty too!"  I of course returned the compliment on his fine work as well.    

In this last year Ace has gone through waves of gratefulness and ungratefulness.  It's a learning curve for sure between entitlement and appreciation.    We had a few bumps but for the most part Ace is very quick to tell me thank you and to show me that he appreciates the things and activities that I do for him.  Loving Husband tends to get a shorter end of that stick and we're not entirely sure why other than maybe Ace doesn't feel he needs to provide as much feedback to his dad.  It's a current existing question mark as we trudge into Year FIVE.

Ace is growing!   In this last year he has gained 3lbs and grown 2.5" topping off at 32lbs and 39.5" in the charts.  The end of spring was met with a huge growth spurt that resulted in the need for new shoes.  The others made it about nine months.  Not bad.  :)  In all this growth somewhere along the way his car bed just became impractical!   Every night we'd hear him thumping his arm, leg, head, hand... everything on the side of that small toddler bed.   The next morning he'd complain my ___ hurts.  Poor kid was beating himself up!  So we knew we needed to upgrade.  I looked at a twin but figured that width wise and his star-fish sleeping habits that it wouldn't last long either and so we jumped head first into a full-size bed!  Yep my giant 3.5 year old now slept in this bed that made him look tiny... and I loved it!   He still looks pretty small once again after another summer growth spurt but that first night or so he looked utterly tiny to me and I cherished it!   Sleeping through the night has been in full swing most of this past year - but around 3.5 he was in massive stall before bed mode.   Thankfully as a general rule that has been eliminated and he is pretty easy to put to bed.   Napping is about 70/30 these days with 70% of the time no nap occurring.  For the most part I'd say he still NEEDS the nap but he avoids it and I don't push it unless it's dire.   I suspect in a few months they will cease entirely.

Ace started preschool in January.  We waited until January since our return from Mississippi landed smack in the fall semester and we didn't want to just throw him in right when we returned.  We wanted to ease him back into the NW and give him a good start in preschool.   Overall it was a great experience for his 2 days a week half day program.   He made one really good friend and the two of them started on the same day.  Ace loved school, being able to take a toy to show and tell on a few occasions, being the "special leader" and doing the music program there.   It was so great to attend my first Mother's Day program and his first graduation!   This mommy couldn't be more proud to watch my son sing (and squirm) on stage and sing to us. 

As far as favorite things goes his dad ranks #1 for sure.   He always wants to know where he is, when is he coming home, when is it the weekend and he's STAYING home?  It's adorable.   He has declared that his favorite song "is that one that says 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' you know that one that girl sings"  Yes, it's true Ace's favorite song is Stronger by Kelly Clarkson at the moment. :)  A favorite series of phrases he's been on a roll with lately have been along these lines  "Sometimes I like to do stuff with just you, me and sister; and sometimes I like to do things with just me and you; and sometimes I like to do things just me and dad... yah."  He alters the the order, the coupling of people, etc but he always seems to say it in this soft and sweet voice sometimes with his head tilted and his eyes squinted.   It's adorable.    I also love his phrase "That's so sweet of you."    Ace is a people pleaser and is always trying to make those around him happy.   As I've said he has a very kind heart!

It's been a great fourth year for our little man.   He's kind, sweet, nervous at times, strong willed, opinionated, and full of energy and we love it all.  I love that he's so aware, engaged, and loves his family.    He loves to do 'something special'  nearly every day and as a mommy I try my best to find fun activities that create lasting memories, lessons, and excitement.   I can't wait to see what year five has for us!!!

1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE T. V. SHOW? Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Meeeee (said singing.)

2. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?  (Skipped this question as we were still in bed and had yet to have breakfast and I wanted him to focus and finish... mentioning breakfast would have not worked in my favor.)

3. WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME? He repeated his whole name (No just your middle one.) I don't know.




7. FAVORITE LUNCH?  Apples (Seriously, what else?) Peanut butter and jelly (Hmm maybe I should make that more as I can't recall anytime recently that I made it.)

8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO? Go out with my dad.

9. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD ON VACATION, WHERE WOULD YOU GO? The owl park! (said with enthusiasm and it a park near our house, sounds like a cheap vacation and same vacay as last year.)


11. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? August 24th!!!!!

12. ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT PERSON? A daytime to person that loves to eats apples.

13. PETS: Yah, Pixel.

14. ANY NEW AND EXCITING NEWS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH US? Um... I don't know.  We don't really have that kind of stuff.  You guys do but I don't know I don't... I mean my birthday is exciting!

15. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP ? I don't know yet.  I just don't know yet. (An improvement from last year where 'nothing' often was the winning 'choice' for a profession.)

16. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CANDY? Blueberries!!!! (That's not a candy) The red things that are in red packages. (Skittles?) Oh yah Skittles. (He hasn't had them in months, but sure why not.)


18. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? The King and His Six Friends  (He and his dad do read this one together.)

19. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?  I don't know... spending time with you?  (I'm not looking for a RIGHT answer but that's sweet.)

20. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?  The Avengers with dad (He hasn't actually seen the movie - he just watches episodes of the cartoon with his father.  But in general  he has abandoned movies a lot in place of many many episodes of a variety of tv programs)

21. WHICH CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG? I don't know... The chicken... or the egg.  The chicken came out of an egg and grew up into a chicken. 

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