Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Tommy!

One week old

4 months old

1 year old

18 months old

Two years old

3 years old

(almost) 4 years old

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tommy at 4 Years

Your fourth birthday is tomorrow. I know every parent says this at some point (or many points), but it really is true that time is going by so quickly. It really seems like we brought you home from the hospital just the other day. But when I turn around, I see this big kid! Who talks to me, and says things like, "Mommy, how does gravity work?" I am amazed every day at how fast you are growing. It hits me at different moments throughout the day: sometimes while doing laundry and folding your size 5 pants and remembering that just a short time ago I was folding your tiny onesies, and sometimes when I realize that you're finally pronouncing the "th" sound when you say, "Can I have another apple?" instead of "anonner" like you've always said. I guess I'm going to have to get used to this growing up thing!
Here are some of your favorites, as deemed by me. Because we know that if I asked you, you'd say you love books about cars, shows about cars, food about cars (oh, wait...) and car toys.
Books: You love the Knuffle Bunny books. It's a good thing these happen to be your favorite, because I don't think I could tire of reading them. over. and over. Millions of Cats is also a favorite. You like to listen to books on CD in the car, and Burt Dow, Deep Water Man is so far your favorite book on CD. We've actually only read it together one time, because it's very long and has a lot of colloquialisms that I can't wrap my tongue around. But you're more than happy to listen to the story on CD for the whole fifteen minutes it takes to read through.

Shows: Cars still holds a special place in your heart, as does Wall-e. You also enjoy watching Little Einsteins--we only own three episodes (via iTunes), but you're content to watch those over and over. You really love our family movie nights. Daddy makes his homemade popcorn and we all watch a new movie together. So far your favorite movies have been Toy Story and The Sword in the Stone
Food: You love veggies, as always, and still dislike meat. We've been eating salad with dinner a few times a week, and I've been surprised to see that you actually love salad! For some reason I thought that children wouldn't like to eat lettuce, but you commonly empty your salad bowl. One new development in the past six months is the quantity of food you've been eating. You commonly eat as much or more than I do at meals, and you frequently need snacks in between meals. It's customary to hear, "Mommy, I'm hungry more!" an hour minutes after you've just eaten a meal. 

Toys: You're really into Legos, particularly building Lego vehicles. Besides Legos, you really only play with vehicles of one type or another. You play with your dump trucks and construction vehicles in the sand box and in the dirt, you race your matchbox cars on the floor, and turn your Lego cars into roller coasters and race them across the kitchen counter. It's amazing that your love for cars started when you were as young as nine months old and has continued. Makes me wonder if you'll be a car enthusiast when you're older. 

New things: We're very excited that you're beginning to read. You can read simple words like "cat", "hat", "the", and some words in the "oo", "or", "ch", "ar" families. Daddy was very impressed when he took you with him on an errand the other day and you read a sign that said, "Wet Floor"! I've realized that they way you've been learning to read is mostly on your own. I'll give you a mini-lesson when you seem interested in how to read a word that has a certain sound, like "book", but then later we'll overhear you reading words on your own and trying to sound them out.

We are beginning to see some new aspects of your personality. You are a rule-follower and enjoy telling Ben what he should do and what he shouldn't do. You are growing into your masculine tendency towards protection and often tell us, "Mommy, I'm the one that will protect you!" when we go on walks and there is the potential of a...lizard attack.

Your behavior has been uncannily good lately. We went though a few rough months this summer of serious heart training with you and it looks like we are enjoying the fruits of that...for now...until the next phase that we have to learn how to respond to. But for now we are enjoying a very polite, (relatively) respectful, joyful little boy who is a pleasure to be around.
You're remembering your dreams a lot lately. It seems that you mostly dream about typical little boy subjects, like submarines, trains, rocket ships, and race cars. One particular dream you recounted to us went something like this: "Mommy, last night I dreamed about a rocket ship! There weren't any windows. There were people inside that were yelling because they wanted to get out. And the rocket was on fire!" I was horrified, and thinking of the Apollo 1 fire asked, "Did the dream make you sad? (trying to figure out if it was a nightmare). You answered, "No, it wasn't a nightmare. The people weren't sad. They were just trying to get out." I was really confused at this point, but moved on to another topic.

You are becoming such a fun conversationalist. I genuinely love spending time with you, especially when it's one-on-one time and we can really talk. I'm looking forward to watching you grow out of toddlerhood and into little boy-hood.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This Kid...

...yep...he still likes to climb.

Psst...more climbing fun here and here. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pre-Birthday Interview

This is a pre-birthday interview conducted by me, Autumn. The answers are pretty short and to the point - not much elaboration here. It's amusing to note that the only answer he expanded on excitedly was when the subject matter related to race cars, which are obviously his passion. As is anything else that has an axle.

What is your name?  
How old are you?  
When is your birthday?  
October. In four days.
What is your mommy's name?  
What is your daddy’s name?  
What does your mommy do?  
You do work.
What does daddy do?  
Fix the car. 
What do you like to play with mommy?  
Hide and seek.
What do you like to play with daddy?  
Hide and seek (So I gather he likes to play hide and seek...)
What is your favorite color?
Purple.  Really? Purple? Oh, I like blue.
What do you want to be when you grow up?  
Taller than daddy.
Where do you want to live when you grow up?  
What is your favorite food?  
Peanut butter jelly sammich.
What is your least favorite food?  
Do you know what church is? 
I like church. And I like monkeys. (I think he was really distracted at this point. I'm hoping.)
What is your favorite thing to eat at a restaurant? 
French fries and burgers.
What do you like to play with Benji?
Hide and seek.
What is your brother’s name?  
Do you have any friends? Who are they?
Benji. Oh, and Eliana and Kirsten.
What is your favorite thing to wear?
My race car jammies.
Where do babies come from?
A baby shower. (He knows I've been going to a lot of these lately!)
What is your favorite show?
What is your favorite toy?
What is your favorite thing to do?
Play with toys.
When do you want to be when you grow up?
A daddy.
What is your favorite thing to help Mommy do?
Make dinner.
What kind of food do you like for dinner?
Peanut butter jelly sammich.
What is your favorite vehicle?
I love race cars!! And race car dump trucks that race and crash a lot.
What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Play in the sandbox.
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever made out of legos?
Cars. (I think it's safe to say he likes cars.)
Where do you like to go in the car?
To Chuck E. Cheese. Is there anywhere else you like to go in the car? To the pumpkin patch.
Where do you live?
In our house. What town do you live in? Morgan Hill.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Garden

My garden has certainly come a long way from just a month ago when I first posted pictures of it. I'm doing my best to keep weeds out, but I've not been very successful at keeping the bugs out. So far everything seems to be fairing well despite the extra residents. 

I've used spinach in a few recipes and it was a lot more bitter than the store-bought kind-but also a lot cheaper and more convenient! I made this swiss chard recipe for dinner the other night and it was so good! Fifteen-minute old chard is worlds better than week-old (or longer) chard you buy at the store. I'm hoping to start throwing these greens in smoothies and eat them for breakfast (Shhh...don't tell Ben!)


Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts
Spinach (left) and Lettuce (right)
Swiss Chard in front. I'm pretty sure I planted chard in the back too (red leaves), but it looks very un-chard-like. I'm still investigating this plant.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Kid...

Knows how to make funny faces!

(And in case anyone wonders why there aren't very many pictures of Ben here, it's because that kid doesn't stay still long enough for me to take a decent picture of him!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stay & Play

It's been a few weeks since my last post. Last week was crazy busy. Our weeks are normally pretty lively (at least compared to what we're used to), but last week was busy times two. It left me little time to contemplate life long enough to write about it or take pictures of it, only enough time to recover from one activity in time to prepare for the next. And so, I was forced, thankfully, to revisit the idea of Stay & Play Days. I got the idea over a year ago from my friend Jodi, who started this tradition with her family.

The basic idea of Stay & Play is pretty simple: we stay home and play. For me, it is a day that is completely unscheduled, laid back, and mostly child-led. I may have some chores to do, but it's usually something like laundry or dishes that is hands-on for just a few minutes, and then I can walk away.
YouTube crash test videos...who needs PBS Kids when you've got YouTube?
For example, last week on Thursday morning, Tommy woke up at 6:30am (way earlier than usual for him). No problem. I got him up, and we watched crash test videos on YouTube for the better part of an hour. Then we made breakfast together. By the time Ben wandered into the kitchen around 8:30am, Tommy and I had spent some great quality time together. And then we ate pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast we flew paper airplanes back and forth to each other for about thirty minutes. Why? Because I didn't have anything else to do! 

Thursday morning has become an oasis where I know that I don't have to prepare for anything, get dressed for anything, cook for anything, or clean for anything. I just hang out with my kids do things that they like to do. I look forward to Thursday all through the week. So when my little guy looks at me with his big blue eyes and says, "Mommy, can you fly airplanes with me?" I can say "Sure, buddy!" with a clear conscience and not have to put a time limit on our fun. 

Enjoying a puddle on our morning walk
Flying the Lego car we built together this morning
Quietly contemplating his new Lego car
Building a Duplo fortress