Growing Out On A Limb

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Emery is FOUR!

Emery, you are four!


You have been talking about this day for many weeks because you are so excited to turn four!  You told me a few weeks ago that you figured it was close enough to your birthday, we should just call you four.  But, on the flip side, you can be a stickler for details at times and reminded everyone at your birthday party yesterday that you wouldn’t actually be four until today.

After preschool today I reminded you that this was the day, that you were finally and actually four.  Your eyebrows raised, your face lit up, and you said, “Really?  I’m four NOW?!”.

Sometimes I forget that you are younger than Oliver because you are almost as big as him, you do so many of the same things as him, and you follow his lead when it comes to your interests (you mostly skipped the Thomas phase and went straight to the superhero phase).  Sometimes I have to remind myself that you are just a little guy… still my sweet little four-year-old guy.

Here are some things about you as you turn four…

  • You are a big-hearted little boy and have always been affectionate.  Yet, oddly, you refuse good night kisses most nights.
  • You are not picky about food – you have a healthy appetite and will try almost everything.
  • You like being independent and can get upset when your big brother hones in or tells you what to do.
  • Your imagination amazes me.  Sometimes you carry around the same little toys in the palm of your hand for hours and hours, and act out little scenes with them.
  • You have patience (a lot of the time).
  • You are rugged.  If I have a football player, it will be you.  You are already wearing some things in a size 5.
  • You can count past twenty but still get mixed up in the teens sometimes.  You have been writing your name for quite a while now and can write all of your letters (with occasional help).
  • You like play doh and painting and legos.
  • For your birthday supper, you asked for corn chowder and cheesy bread.
  • The last couple of times you went swimming, you could swim a little all by yourself!
  • You are a pretty social little guy but you were really shy when starting preschool and it took you several weeks to warm up to the people there.  It must have been hard being by yourself all day long for the first time.  But today, on your birthday, you spoke a lot at your ‘show and share’ and you were so proud of yourself.  And I couldn’t possibly be prouder.
  • You don’t kiss her as much as you used to (mostly because she doesn’t slow down often enough), but you still have a big ole soft spot in your heart for Eleanor.
  • You love making people laugh and are funny.  You like the way funny words and sounds roll off your tongue.
  • Your little-boy lisp is disappearing (you found your Rs months ago and speak more and more clearly all the time).  It’s just another sign that you are growing up and it makes me just the tiniest bit sad.

I love your heart and your sweet tendencies.  I love how you want to be helpful.  I love watching you playing with your friends and siblings and hearing you tell stories from school.  I love how you speak up and answer the cashier who asks you if the balloons are for your birthday.  I love the proud look you get on your face when you say something funny.

So … now you’re four.  Let’s not rush it to five, okay?

I love you,


For your birthday weekend, we had visits from nana and papa, nanny and grampy, uncle jason… how great is that!  You invited five of your school friends to your birthday party … Luke, Jake, Nate, Isaac, and Aiden.  This was the first time that you had school friends of your own to invite and you were super excited to hand out the invitations and see them show up at the door.  I love that about you.

This is what six four-year-olds look like at a Monster-themed birthday party.


IMG_4894This picture makes me really want to know what the conversation was about.  
Once the boys all slowed down, we had a pizza lunch with fruit skewers and cheesies.  Mmm.  IMG_4839-001

What a fun group of boys!  IMG_4898 Everyone was anxious for cake and ice cream!  IMG_4900 The monster eye balls (pure fondant) disappeared pretty quickly once the candles were all blown out.  IMG_4904I lost control of the gift-opening really quickly, I admit.  That’s ok … Emery is so easy going, he didn’t mind that his friends were helping him out.
IMG_4908I loved meeting more of his little friends (and, as a bonus, their moms too) and seeing Emery so excited on his special day.  Planning parties is fun (but let’s not rush to the next one… okay, Emery?).


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Epic Lightsaber Duel

On Saturday morning, something came across my facebook newsfeed about Hal-Con… the local version of Comic-Con.  I immediately thought about how much fun that would be for Oliver, since he has been so into Star Wars lately.  I clicked through and saw that tickets were sold out but wait a minute… here are some free open-to-the-public events.  Wait … what?  A lightsaber duel in Parade Square?  Now that has the makings of an epic mommy-Oliver date.  Doing it.

Oliver was stoked.

I pictured and was expecting convention goers dressed in full Star Wars gear, performing light saber duels in front of a big rowdy crowd that was cheering them on.  When we showed up, there were half a dozen people waiting.  I thought, “Oh no, this is going to be lame and Oliver is going to be so disappointed”.  But, closer to 7 pm, people started piling in.  There was easily over 100 people there.  Then they started handing out cheap little light sabers out to everyone… red and blue (or dark side and light side to the Star Wars savvy).


That was when I realized… we weren’t going to be watching a lightsaber fight, we were going to be IN a lightsaber fight.

Sure enough, they separated the red sabers and the blue sabers on opposite sides of the park, yelled, “May the force be with you!”, and the sides ran toward each other.


Oliver and I were the “dark side” (and, considering his costume, how could we not be?) so we seeked out the blue light sabers.  I expected him to be shy but before the “duel” started, he put down his mask and it didn’t come up once the entire time.  It was mostly adults and when they came across Oliver in his costume, they were so playful with him, letting him win and pretending to be hit.  A few even came running to him when they saw him.



Perhaps the highlight of the night was meeting “big darth”.  He didn’t hesitate to pose with Oliver and I found out later that darth had been good with kids during the whole convention.  Pretty cool.  IMG_20141108_191142 On the way back to the parking garage, Oliver wanted me to take his picture “in the city”.  Everyone smiled at little vader walking around the city.  I’m guessing after a couple days of the convention, costumes on the street aren’t that surprising!


Oliver and I both agreed that was the best mommy-Oliver date yet!  I had so much fun doing something that was just for him and I.  We both came away from it with huge smiles.  And I’m already thinking about taking in more of Hal-Con next year.   Would I have been saying that a few years ago?  No.  But seeing how excited he was to see all the costumes up close and to take part in something that is such a huge interest for him right now, that’s the clincher for me.  (And if I am honest, the whole thing seems like good ole innocent fun to me so why not?).


Halloween 2014

Halloween has come and gone for 2014 and I think it was our best Halloween yet!

After trick or treating the next door neighbors, we went to a house party at our new friends’ house… six adults, eight kids, a few drinks, and lots of snacks and candy make for a great time!  The kids had a ball trick or treating in the dark with their little friends – six of them with glow sticks wrapped around their necks, toting their loot bags around until they were full and literally overflowing into parents’ bags.  They were beside themselves.

Even mommy and daddy got in on the fun.  We found out the other adults would be dressed up so we threw together a construction worker and scarecrow … rather last minute, but it worked!

Oliver and Emery have had their costumes for a while – Darth Vader and Spiderman!  Emery didn’t want to pose with his mask on but you get the spider-y idea.  IMG_4814

Emery’s poor costume has had the bun but he loves it.  IMG_4820“Emery, strike a Spiderman pose!”

And another!  IMG_4827 “Oliver, show me your best Darth Vader pose!”IMG_4824I was worried Eleanor’s costume wouldn’t fit but I could not stop laughing at how cute she was in it.  Cutest darned ice cream cone I’ve ever seen!  She didn’t mind wearing it at all.  She’s always a good sport.  
IMG_4829 IMG_4831The kids were up too late and ate too much candy, and we definitely paid for that a bit today, but they made friends, we made friends, and we all spent the evening with smiles on our faces.  That’s enough for me!