Sunday, February 19, 2012

Almost 5

So this is what it's like to have a 5 year old.  Well, almost 5 year old.

Everything is changing, and fast.  It's like his little developmental clock KNOWS that his birthday is around the corner and has decided to kick into full gear.

The funny part is that the "kid" side of him is going strong - he is playful, silly, imaginative and would still rather be in his pajamas (or less) than anything else.  The part of him that is quickly changing is the part that surrounds the play - the vocabulary, the type of play, the humor, and especially his ability to join us at our level of humor, participating more and more in the conversations next to which he previously just existed, oblivious.

His smile is, as ever, changing.  He daily looks more and less like himself as his identity continues to evolve.  I miss the boy that was here yesterday, but not quite as much as I love the boy that's here today.

I suppose this very conflict is at the heart of what it means to mother a child, to be torn between two minds.  Between guarding them and preserving their innocence (even if the motives are slightly selfish) and relishing their growth, progress and new ventures.  Fernando doesn't struggle with this like I do, he is ready to celebrate the changes now underway.  He is patient with me though, understanding that mamas have a different tug on their heart than dads do.  Fernando knew the time had long passed to buy Daniel a booster seat in the car and be done with his toddler seat (in retrospect, it DID look a bit ridiculous to have a kid his size in a seat like that) but he allowed me to come to terms with yet another rite of passage before we made the change.

Anyway.  I could ramble about my exhausted heart strings all day.  I'm so proud of him I could just burst. He loves his family.  He loves God.  He does well in preschool.  He is kind to his friends.  He is respectful to his teachers.  He is patient and loving towards Violet.  He is creative beyond my comprehension. He is blossoming in front of me, and it's a privilege to have a front row seat.

But no matter how much he changes, he is still my baby boy.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tricky, Tricky

His latest game:  Feigning sleep to lure us in, then surprise us with a shout or tickles.

He can hold out a surprisingly long amount of time, withstanding our poking and prodding him without even opening an eye.  It frequently happens in the car as he attempts to convince us he has fallen asleep on the drive.  Violet tends to fall for his traps, squealing in delight when he jumps up.

I'm pretty sure it's a "Please Give Me Attention RIGHT NOW" stunt (that's very effective).  I snapped these after doing V's hair and doing photos of her style... entirely too many hours had passed without Daniel as the center of attention.  He decided to fix that by "breaking" and falling asleep in the backyard, immediately garnering his sister's attention.

Just a little, sweet piece of our world as of late.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Disneyland Surprise

Fernando and I are "surprise" kind of people.  We love surprising each other (a la romantic date nights, little funny notes, or baby doll hands hidden in the mayo... don't ask...) and apparently this has transferred into a love of surprising our kids.  The Reveal is nearly as fun as the actual surprise.

So when we decided to take them to Disneyland, we knew it had to be a fun reveal.  We started with a puzzle of the most beloved piece of Disney architecture: Sleeping Beauty's castle.  But then we divided up each piece into it's own envelope, labeled with a number and hidden throughout the house.  The kids raced through the house place by place as I read them rhyming riddles I had drafted (no idea where THAT paper ended up).

They collected the pieces, assembled the puzzle, and figured it out rather quickly.  There were periods of elated screams and jumping followed by periods of stunned silence.  It was fabulous.

Fernando created an adorable checklist for the refrigerator of "days left" until Disneyland, and with that, we began "Disney Indoctrination 2012".  After so carefully withholding stereotypical princess movies from my sweet little lady, we threw caution to the wind and introduced her to Arial, Belle, Tiana, Aurora, Snow White and Cinderella.  The kids laughed their tails off to old Mickey/Goofy/Donald shorts, and we all just kind of fell into a ridiculously fun Disney coma.  

Disneyland is a fun place no matter who you are.  But I have a pretty good feeling that this trip is gonna be one for the books.  Or, blog, as it were.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Little Valentine

Valentine's Day came and went without too much hooplah (is that a word?) this year.

However, for the first time, Daniel actually took an interest in MAKING valentines for his preschool friends.  Violet joined in the fun, leaving her trademark "V" on her valentines.

It was a labor of love, and he was pretty darn proud of those little sucker-taped-on-a-red-paper when he was done with them.