Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Xander Update - 4 years

As you know, my boy is four years old. He has been for a month...and that's about how long I've been working on this post. Life has gotten a tad crazy up in here!

I love this kid. Here are some things he's up to now:

He goes to preschool three days a week. And loves it. He has friends there. I love to see their smiling faces and hearty waves when he walks in the classroom and I love to see them hugging each other goodbye when we leave. It's such a treasure for me to see my son interacting with other kids.

Some of the kids in his class are teaching him some not-so-nice behavior and responses. He talks back a lot. We've had to have many, many conversations about that.

He definitely still prefers the friendships of adults and older kids. At church, I often see him playing with a couple of the middle school boys who help out in his class. He also loves his small group leader, Mr. Chad. But the most fun I see him having is with his cousin, Patrick.

He wants to be a chef when he grows up. How cute is that? He really does love helping me in the kitchen.

He's gotten to that dreaded, whiny, yet demanding 4 year old stage. One instant he's demanding I do something and the next he's whining about it.

He's testing his boundaries. Constantly.

The "why" questions are quite overwhelming at times. And I love to talk, so I can't imagine how overwhelming it must be for someone like my husband. I'm thankful for his curiosity, though, and how he wants to know everything. I'm glad he likes to learn and that he's willing to ask questions. I hope that never changes.

He started soccer practice about a month ago. It lasts for 10 weeks. He absolutely loves it. His coach is quite enthusiastic and that helps Xander get excited, too. Not that he needs it - he LOVES soccer! He's learning how to follow directions, pay attention, and submit to authority; discipline, teamwork, and soccer skills. Amelia Jayne and I love standing on the sidelines cheering him on.

Sometimes his emotions remind me so much of me that I want to cry. He is so sensitive. Just the other night he got in trouble, so I took the iPad away. He cried. When I told him gently that he couldn't have it back until tomorrow - he'd lost the privilege - he bawled. And it wasn't until I knelt down and looked in his eyes, told him why he lost the privilege and that tomorrow is a new day to try again, he layed his head on my shoulder while I held him, and I knew. I knew exactly how he felt and I loved him all the more for it. I felt that familiar feeling of my heart tugging inside me because I know I did the right thing, but it can be oh-so-hard at times. I love that boy with all my heart and I would give him anything! But one of the most important things I can teach him is discipline and respect.

He and his sister play pretty well together. They love to chase each other around the house, ride bikes, slide, and chill together.

He's a big boy now. He's growing up so quickly.

His doctor's appointment proved that he's big - 43 lbs and 42 inches! He's gained three inches and three pounds since last year.

This year I felt compelled to write Xander a letter. Here it is:

My dearest Xander,
You, my boy, are growing up so fast! Four years old! It's been a big year for you. I'm so proud of you. Proud of the person you are and the person you're becoming.

You challenge me. You're so like me in many ways. You're outgoing, verbal and emotional. Yet, you're lots like your daddy, too. You're a perfectionist, cautious, and so smart.

I love that you "need me" so much. That's what you always say, "Mommy, I need you!" And though those words can sometimes sound all-too familiar and elicit an eye roll from me, I know I'm going to miss it when you don't say it anymore.

I love when Daddy takes you to sporting events. And anywhere, really, when it's just the two of you. You come home so excited and ready to tell me every single detail of what happened. I like being alone with you, too. We need to be better about going on some mother/son dates and hanging out, just the two of us. I'll work on that during this upcoming year.

I love the way you play with your sister. You don't really know how to play together yet, but you're learning. Sometimes you get too rough and she cries, and sometimes you forget to share which also leads to tears. But you, more than anyone else, can elicit giggles and laughter from her like no other. Every giggle that erupts from her encourages more silliness from you. I know you two will have lots of fun in the future, playing together and teaching each other.

You've done so well at school this year. You're so bright, but that's always been evident. This year you have come out of your shell socially. I love seeing you play with your friends and learn how to interact with other people. You adapt well to situations that are unfamiliar to you. I didn't always think this would be the case. However, as you have done many times since you were born, you've surprised me.

I love you, Xander-boo. I look forward to all the adventures we'll have this year!

Love always,

You may remember this interview from last year. Here's this year's version. :)

TV show - Curious George
Movie - Cars
Song - "Call Me Maybe" or as he calls it "Here's My Llama"
Musician - Fun.
Food - Waffles
Candy - M&Ms
Toy - Big Lightning car at Mimi's
Activity - Making a cake
Cereal - Yums (Shredded Wheat)
Vegetable - Peas
Drink - Milk
Game - Puzzles
Book - "New book I got for Christmas" - Disney/Pixar's 5 Minute Bedtime stories
Restaurant - Chick-Fil-A
Holiday - Christmas
Animal - Cow (Not sure where he came up with that one!)
Color - Blue
Vacation - "I like to go to Mimi's and the beach where the aquarium is."

If you could change your name to anything, what would it be? Peter
If you could have anything you want this year, what would it be? "I'd like to have a real truck."
What do you love most about Mommy? "I like reading with Mommy."
What do you love most about Daddy? "I like carving pumpkins with him."
What do you love most about Amelia Jayne? "I like to play with her princesses."

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