Monday, February 28, 2011

4 Going On 1,000

Life has been pretty stinking amazing lately.

I continue to worry about when my affectionate little boy will become a "don't kiss me in public!" kid... and every milestone is another reason to worry. But just days after his 4th birthday, he is sweeter than ever.

He tells me a few dozen times a day, "Mommy, I want to stay like this forever" as he hugs me or cuddles at bedtime. He holds my hand happily in public. He lavished kisses on me and doesn't seem to care who is around. And he still screams with happiness when I appear in the doorway at preschool to pick him up - and he about tackles me to the ground with a huge hug - the best moment of every day.

Although one big thing DID change at the 4-year milestone: His taste buds. All of a sudden, he is eating broccoli and asparagus happily without even a tiny complaint. Tonight we're trying brussel sprouts just for fun.

Daniel has been talking more about growing up and getting bigger. He wants to be 100 or 1,000 years old still, and seems to think that as he ages, I will get younger. He frequently tells me that when he is a hundred, he will take care of me as a baby. We had a brief set back when his desire to grow up last week when growing pains hit with a vengeance. He sobbed quietly on his bed, holding his legs, crying "I don't want to get bigger! I want to stay small!!!" But the next morning he was back to his old aspirations of being 1,000 years old.

Recently, Ms. Stephanie came to visit again (always a favorite of the kids!). She took some amazing family photos of us, and I'm so grateful to her for capturing this magical time in our lives. Enjoy... these are some of my favorites.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In a Rainbow Submarine

If there's a time to break my "black and white photography only" rule for this blog, it's today: In honor of Daniel's Rainbow-and-Submarine-Themed 4th Birthday Party.

(By the way... that theme happened because Daniel loves to pretend to paint his imaginary submarine every color imaginable. And because we have a super talented friend who offered to make him a custom cake - he blew us away!)

So, we just filled the house with as much color as possible. Rainbow-theme was pretty stinking fun - everything from candy to clothing.

My folks were still in town, and Fernando family came over to join the fun. Which means that I got what I wanted: Photos with each kid and both sets of grandparents.

Happy Birthday to my little 4-year-old... as hard as that it to write. You are so smart, funny, sweet and I just couldn't be prouder to be your mama.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Secret View

Tex and Gramma came to visit. It was a fabulous trip... more photos to come. I just had to share these two gems.

Tex is the original jigsaw master. Daniel helped Tex work a glow in the dark puzzle, and then showed him the Amaro Family Secret Technique of how to make a glow in the dark puzzle glow with all the lights still on: Under a blanket.

The things a grandfather will do for his grandkid.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz, Day 1:

Last night, Judy Garland entered Daniel's frame of reference.

We were going to do "dinner and a movie" and settled in to pick something fun to watch while we ate. Wizard of Oz was a staple childhood of mine, and strange and scary as it is at various parts, I figured I could pick the fun colorful parts to show the kids.

I thought I'd have to skip the black and white bit at the start to keep them interested, but they were captivated from minute one. And when Dorothy sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", they sat in magical silence, not moving a muscle (or even chewing the bite that was in their mouths). It was beyond beautiful to watch - my babies witnessing for the first time something that was so integral to my childhood. I blinked back tears as Daniel sighed deeply at the end of the song and leaned his head on me. It was a moment I will never remember.

We only watched up until the part where the "green lady" (Wicked Witch of the West) begins appearing in every scene and throwing *very* realistic fire balls. It was nearly bedtime, after all. But Daniel loved when the movie begins in color - "Wow! Look at her red lips!" and then when they walk into Munchkinland for the first time, he was so excited - "Mommy, that's SO VERY beautiful! High-five for beautiful!!" And he thought it was just hilarious to have little people hiding in the bushes. (He said, "Munchkins?! Those aren't munchkins! They are little people!") The "Lollipop Guild" gave him the giggles. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about that whole scene. But I guess it's a classic...?

Wizard of Oz, Day 2:

Welcome to today. Daniel has not stopped singing "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" all day.
And he keeps asking to watch "Tezzard Hahs... I mean Groundhogs... I mean the movie with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and Follow the Yellow Brick Road!"

So we resumed the magic. Both kids adored it as much as yesterday.

Violet got scared twice: Scary trees throwing apples and Weird lion singing "If I Were King of the Jungle". I don't blame her, really.

Still skipping the really intense scenes, both kids were riveted during the colorful musical numbers. As the credits began to roll, Daniel declared to us all, "Wow, that was a great movie! Such a great movie!"

And I will admit - it's refreshing to watch something (anything!) other than Dinosaur Train, Shawn the Sheep and Ant Bully. Judy Garland, you are welcome in our home until we overdo you and get sick of you.

Just being honest.