Half a Decade

June 23, 2014

ClementM_Silas5Bday_11May2014-194

This guy: five.  Incredible and not, at the same time.  As is my custom these days, this post is woefully belated. We celebrated his half-a-decade on Mother’s Day.  It seems our lot to share that festive weekend most years. Quite appropriate, I’d say, since this young man is the one who made me a mother.

The picture above was taken by my sister and is a very accurate reflection of his personality.  Not much gets this boy down and he’s basically full of merriment and wonder and conversation from sun up to sun down.  The scab on his cheek reflects his home gymnastics escapades, of which there are many.  The Navy t-shirt was a gift from Uncle Sam, who graciously led the kids and their cousins on a rowdy tour of his alma mater, the United States Naval Academy, in honor of Silas’ birthday.

Our boy is patriotic and military-loving to his core.  He’d probably tell you that his favorite color, red, is followed closely in his estimation by white and blue; for the U.S. flag, of course.  And his favorite songs are “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” and… “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Silas loves to learn, truly, and to share information with others.  We’ve begun our homeschool kindergarten this summer, and I’m hoping he can make the leap into reading in the not-too-distant future.  All the stereotypes of boys and school are true, it seems: this guy looks for any opportunity to slip under the table or out the back door the minute I’m not hovering over his work with him.  He rocks in his chair and has little interest in coloring…though his interest in that sphere is growing and so is his ability to draw more realistically.  And he loves “science activities” and “science experiences” as he alternately calls experiments.  Particularly the kind that involve mixing water and flour and putting the concoction in the freezer to see what happens.

As many kids this age are, I’m sure, he’s a curious blend of independent and dependent.  Melts into a puddle if he’s been left “all alone” on the second floor of the house, but perfectly content to speed away from us on his bike headed to whichever neighborhood playground suits his fancy that day.

He’s great with his little sister, making sure she doesn’t do the things she’s not allowed to and giving her spontaneous hugs & kisses.  {Both boys call her “Baby” and it’ll be funny to see how long that nickname holds.}  And he’s super competitive with Asher, making for some challenging days.  They can play baseball and Duplos and “water play” for eons without a peep; or an entire day can be spent with tattle-taling (?) and verbal sparring and time-outs on the couch.  But then I’ll catch a peek of them trying to walk arms-around-each-others-shoulder and calling each other “Broth” and I just about die from the sweetness.

He’s a hard-worker, that one.  Well, when he wants to!  He loves to shop-vac, and to water the garden, and to wash the car and the dishes, and to fold laundry (and iron dish towels!).  And if someone has a leaf blower we could borrow…that boy’s day is made!

Silas loves God and we’re hoping and praying that his head knowledge of the Bible will continue to permeate his heart and guide his actions.  That he would grow in compassion and kindness and generosity and self-sacrifice daily.

Happy fifth birthday, Silas Alexander!

 

Sugar is in the Air

February 21, 2013

…because that’s what a preschooler’s Valentine’s party is really all about, right?

Even the big kids participated:

There were valentines to display:

And friends to make eyes at:

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!

Birthday Boy, January Edition

January 19, 2013

I’ve been trying to get this post up for days, but there’s something about a mother sitting down at a computer that makes her children suddenly needy & clingy and/or unimaginably destructive.  So…it’s taken awhile.  As we speak, every.single.toy. in this house is being piled up in a heap, and the toddler is using his little potty perched precariously on a couch cushion.  Should I intervene? Probably.

But anyway, the point is….there’s a new two year-old around here!

We celebrated with brunch and cake last weekend.  And cousins.

A second-born two year-old is a whole new ball game, that’s for sure.  The independence, the mischief, the intentionality, the mannerisms…he’s wise to the world, I tell ya.

Dear second son, you are such a spunky, fun-loving, emotional roller coaster of a class (family?) clown.  You have dance moves that crack us up constantly, but somehow manage to elude video graphic documentation.  Though an incredibly low-maintenance infant, you are now intensely attached to your parents: sneaking into bed with us every night, avoiding childcare situations like the church nursery at all costs, and constantly asking after the parent that’s not in your immediate line of sight.  You give spontaneous hugs and kisses (that sometimes become bites…ouch!).

You can jump like no other toddler I know, and have been getting serious air for months.  You love to pretend to be a baby, crawling around on the floor and using “baby talk”, even though your own vocabulary is pretty limited.  You frequently utter long sentences full of inflection and punctuation, but consisting only of the “nhn” sound.  You even have “fake” words — like saying “all DAY!” for “all done” on purpose because we laughed at it one time — that you know frustrate us, but that doesn’t bother you.  That’s right, you can’t really be bribed or coaxed into doing anything you don’t want to.  Taking walks with you is an exercise in extreme patience with a side of reverse psychology thrown in (that often backfires).  The flip side, though, is that when you decide to do something, you’re determination and independence are incredible.

You’re basically completely potty trained.  It’s incredible, and not a reflection on your parents’ skills or competence.  You sleep in a big boy bed.  You peel your own bananas and clementines.  You effectively take off articles of clothing and try your darnedest to put things on as well.  You can buckle the top part of your car seat, and always insist on it.

You love trains and tolerate books (you’d prefer to look at one in solitude than be read to).  You love to imagine that you can eat the food or play with the toys or really hold the animals you see in books.  You’re not too into television programs yet, but you’ll always take a minute to demand a “choo choo” show (Thomas the Tank Engine) if your brother is about to watch something.

Speaking of your brother, you two are a force to be reckoned with.  I’ve heard some parents say their two children took a while to acknowledge one another, or to begin to have interactions.  I can’t say that’s been our experience (other than the obvious time when you were too small to move around or play); to the contrary, you two are so aware of the other that the fighting and competition and joint mischief-making and wrestling and laughing that take place are constant.  (I’m hearing broom noises and what sounds like beads in a glass jar coming downstairs right now…but I just want to finish typing!) You can’t leave one another alone, and I’ve had to slowly learn to make all kinds of rules up for whose turn it is to do what, because if I give one of you a task, the other is immediately there, clamoring “me, no, me!”  But you love and adore your older brother and are well on your way to being an equal playmate for him; I’m never concerned that one or the other of you is being overrun or bullied.

Ok, I guess I really must go now or else I’ll be kicking myself for allowing the destruction currently occurring to continue.  But, Happy Birthday, son!

 

Merry Christmas 2012

December 28, 2012

A tenacious stomach bug held 75% of the household captive over a span of about 8 days, so things weren’t quite as put-together or photographed as they might have been.  But, boy, did we do a lot of laundry!  And enjoyed Aaron’s sick leave as if it were an extended vacation.

But here’s a little glimpse of things around here.

Getting ready to leave for a family Christmas Eve gathering (sorry for bringing the germs!  We thought we were done at that point!):

Enjoying some new gifts:

Lots of resting:

Some eating:

Fleeting snow the day after Christmas:

Posing for mom’s new lens:

And a teensy bit of making:

Sadly, those cookies just had to be tossed, as the decorator was quite contagious.  But the dough had already been made and tradition must go on!  The good news is that gingerbread cookies made with honey instead of molasses, and covered in vanilla frosting, aren’t really a winning combination.

Trimming the Tree

December 19, 2012

Feeling festive around here!