June 21, 2017

And Then He Was 7

When I started writing birthday blog posts over 5 years ago it was because I was writing just that...a blog post. Over the years though this became a highlight of your birthday and turned into a tradition. About a week before each of your birthdays, which often coincides with when you start counting down the days until your big day, you start asking when we can take birthday pictures. I usually push it off for a couple days and then a day or 2 before your birthday I can't take the constant asking any longer and we get them done. What I realized last night while taking your pictures was I had been looking at this all wrong the last couple of years. It is more than just a blog post to you. It takes less than 15 minutes total but for you it is time I devout to you alone; letting you direct where we take your pictures, letting you pose however you want to pose and allowing the plans you have made over the last week for your pictures to be captured forever. Your smile never left your face last night Drew and I couldn't believe my little man was turning 7.

This year you went from being a preschooler to a kindergartner and now you will be a 1st grader in just a few short weeks. This year you grew more than any other year and I am not talking height. Never once were you nervous to go to school. You walked in on your first day and didn't think twice about it. Yet at the same time you still wanted me to walk you to your room and wait for you to use the restroom so that you could give me a kiss and hug before I left you for 8 hours. You love school, I will never say you love the learning part of school,  but you do what you have to do and you do it well. What you do excel in is sports. It doesn't matter what sport it is, you give it your all. You haven't found a sport you don't like and are willing to try anything I sign you up for. You don't care if you are with all of your friends or go on the first day to a team that you know no one. You become quite competitive when you are out on the field but you never put down a team mate for your own competitiveness. You had one baseball game in which you tried out smack talking but Dad and I put a stop to that faster than you could get the trash talk out of your mouth. You never tried it again!

Making friends comes so easy to you and it doesn't surprise me. You are your father's son which means you get along with everyone. When you arrive at school you have kids from preschool all the way to 8th grade that know you by name and call out to say "hi". You have multiple girls vying for your attention but you were dedicated to one in particular all year long. You listen to your teachers and you are respectful. Your teacher didn't believe me when I told her you often fall apart when we get home by becoming whiny and throwing fits when you don't get what you want. That was until this spring when it had rained for days, school had been busy and you were exhausted. This combo lead up to a day that you fell apart at school and you had to change your color on your behavior chart. I believe this may have been the only day you ever got in trouble your entire kindergartner year and Mrs Childers finally saw the side of Drew I occasionally mentioned.

You have a love for life and are so willing to always help me out around the house. You still call your older sisters "the big girls" and I continue to love it. You have a best friend in Tate. You are so gentle with Kenzie and Bella or at least until they don't want to play your game with your rules. You love to wrestle with your brothers and act how brothers do but this year you found you have a little more strength and often forget that you can't hit or push your brothers when they are driving you crazy. You are also still really good at throwing a tantrum when things aren't fair. This most often happens when you are overtired and often we know it is all for show because if you are not careful you will start to laugh and then you know your gig is up. You eat like a teenager but are only 7. You despise being cold at swim team and will swim a whole practice crying if the water is anything but warm but will refuse to quit early. You are not to big to need cuddles with mom and you get pure joy from dad spending even 10 minutes with you playing baseball. You officially graduated to a 50cc motorcycle this year and you couldn't wait to ride it. First Uncle Jess had to clean it and check it, next you had to wait for daddy to buy you gear and finally when you were ready to ride it you lost your motorcycle privileges after the first ride because of lying to mom and dad. That week was so hard for you and I both; you because you were looking so forward to it and me because I needed to be strong and follow through with your consequence. 

You are so excited to turn 7 this year. I don't think it has anything to do with you getting older though; instead it is because you have been looking forward to getting the mail all week to see if there is anything with your name on it, you get to pick the snack out at Vacation Bible School, you get to spend the day with your whole family, you got to pick your dinner of tacos and you get to have a cake with a motorcycle on top while opening presents and let's not forget about your birthday pictures that you planned all week! Turning 7 had nothing to do with being 7 but everything to do with a day dedicated to you. Drew Bear you are 7 and though I keep telling you I only want you to turn 4 again I am okay with my little man getting older. The only reason why is because I love who you are becoming. I love seeing you as my athletic, caring, responsible, life loving, smiley boy who I hope will always know how much brighter you made my life on this day 7 years ago.

I love you buddy in a way that only a mother can love her "single" child!!

Happy 7th Birthday my little Dabber

April 02, 2017

Big girls are 9!!

I started to title this post "My baby girls are 9" but that did not seem fitting at all. Natalie and Aubrey you have not been my baby girls in years. You have always been so much older than your actual age. Thinking back I don't think this happened when the babies joined our family or even when Drew made us a family of 5; I think maybe you knew that you were going to have a big role in our family and you just started filling it from a very early age.

You are 9. I remember in years past I couldn't believe that my girls were turning 5 or 7 but this year it seems totally appropriate that you are turning 9. You are still kids at heart but yet you are yearning to be one of the older kids. This year your birthday list had one thing...an apple watch! You also have asked how old you have to be to get a cell phone (at this time the answer is 18), you have already started counting the years until you can drive and you really want to start babysitting. At the same time you have trouble reading time on a hand clock, you get scared to go to the chicken coop at night and you still love to play with your American Dolls. You may want to be older than 9 but you are still just 9.

The memories I have as a kid are really sketchy until around the age you are now. It makes me wonder which parts of your childhood will you remember? Will it be that Natalie was always the fashionista? That Natalie loved helping mom until she was actually given tasks. Will your wooden spoon book report that you loved doing be something you always remember or will you forget all about Jane and her yellow house? Aubrey will you always remember that you hated to have your hair combed and had no problem going to school with bedhead? Will you remember how you found your birthday presents ahead of time and opened the box and then acted like you never found them? Maybe the time of going to see Beauty and the Beast or Moana will forever be etched in your memory.

When I look back at you at age 9, I hope I remember that this was the time in your life that you learned the words to the songs on the radio and asked us why "damn" was in a song if it was a bad word. I want to remember that you had no fear to be in front of people. If there was a reading, a part or a solo you wanted to have it. You volunteered yourself for things before checking with mom and dad if it was okay and it was pretty hard to tell you no you couldn't be in the Christmas program or the choir for Easter mass. I want to remember that this was the year that you became best friends with each other. You are more than just sisters; you have found a person that gets you no matter what kind of day you are having. You haven't slept in the same bed in years and all of a sudden you can't imagine not sleeping together. You are with one another all day in school and in the same activities yet the minute we get home you are off together. There have been times we have had to separate you because you get silly when you spend too much togetherness! You get annoyed with your other siblings but for some reason you two very seldom argue or get frustrated with each other. I don't understand it but I'm guessing its a twin thing. Today you thought it was so cool that at 2:41pm Natalie was 9 and for four minutes you were different ages. Natalie was 9 and Aubrey was 8. You both counted down the minutes on your new "fitbits" (that aren't really fitbits) until Aubrey was your twin again. I never thought I'd have two girls who are the same age but you two complete each other.

Natalie & Aubrey, now that you are both 9 I can officially say Happy Birthday. Each year I say what my wish for you is and this year is no different. For the next 365 days my hope for you is that you can just continue to be a child. You have years to grow up and I know your innocence of being a child will be gone sooner than I want it to be. And may you also always remember that your best friend is right next to you even if for 4 minutes you are different ages.

I love you Talie & Aubrey and Happy Birthday!!

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