Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fabulous FOUR!

I cannot even begin to comprehend how FOUR YEARS could have possibly passed by so incredibly seems like just yesterday that we were trying to figure out this whole parenting thing (and truth be told, we still are....we are just better at faking it).

Four years ago today we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy after only 2 hrs and 38 mins of labor (yes you read that can read the whole birth story here if you are interested).  We chose not to find out the sex of our first baby, and we were so excited when Max came into our lives.

The transformation that has happened over the course of the last four years is AMAZING to witness.  Being in the thick of it, I don't think you notice it as much as when you step back and really analyze everything that has changed...
Minutes old.

Lil Max was born in a rush.  He took his time getting ready, but once he was ready...he was READY.  Wow has this ever translated to other events in his life:  rolling over, crawling, walking...just about EVERY single milestone of his he took his time doing...but when he did do it, he took off RUNNING...literally.  Lesson learned:  it may take Max awhile to try new things, but once he tries them, watch OUT!

Lil Max snuggles with Mommy minutes after his entrance to the world.

From the very beginning, lil Max has showed a strong preference for Mommy.  He is quite the Mommy's boy, that is for sure.  I sure don't mind, though.  He is a lover, full of empathy (he gets really upset whenever Sam gets hurt), full of concern for taking care of the Earth (love it), and just a good soul overall.  I hope he stays like this forever!

1 year old

He's a ham.  It might take him a little while to warm up to a situation, but once he's warm (and ready to go) watch out!!  The smile on this kid is infectious!! (and so is his laugh).

2 years old

It has been so remarkable to watch him grow and learn before our very eyes.  To watch the chub in his cheeks melt away....leaving a lean little boy.  Gone are the days where I could refer to him as 'baby', 'little' or 'toddler'.  He is ALL BOY now.

3 years old

He knows all his letters, his numbers, his shapes, his colors.  He can write his own name and spell quite a few words.  He understands left from right, up and down, etc.  He can identify the first letter of many words as he tries to sound them out.  He resists me when I try to ask him to read things...but as I've learned before, once he decides he's ready I know he'll take off full force.

He loves all things space-related, rockets, planets, stars.  He loves to use our iPad with Daddy to identify the stars he can see in the sky from our back windows.
4 years old

He loves to 'help' - whether that be baking in the kitchen with mom, cleaning up the house (vacuuming, dusting, etc), raking leaves outside, digging holes, etc.  He loves to be busy.

He loves 'treats' -- asking for something almost the minute he wakes up.  He gets spoiled by his grandparents with candies and cookies and he has a sweet tooth just like mommy.  He LOVES anything black licorice and big Max has started bringing him home 'salted fish' from Denmark (fish that taste like black licorice) and he LOVES it.
4 years old

He also loves watching TV, but I do not.  So we sometimes argue about how much TV we get to watch.  He has such an active imagination that I would rather cater to that than to have him veg out in front of the TV.  He loves doing worksheets, coloring, playing with playdoh, etc.  He also LOVES puzzles (he mastered doing puzzles when he was only 2 years old!) and board games too.  He is so expressive and can't hide his emotions too well.  But, he is also a huge goofball and is so much fun to be around!
4 years old
He still sleeps 11-12 hours at night and most days he takes a good nap (he has been trying to get out of his nap lately at school...but he takes 3-4 hr naps for me at home still so I know he's not ready to give it up yet...).  He almost always wakes up in a good mood...and ready to greet the day (neither Max nor I are morning people so this is NOT very amusing, LOL).

One of the thing we hear most frequently out of his mouth is "I love you".  Sometimes he is saying it manipulatively (trying to get something).  But most times, he is just so overwhelmed with his emotions that this is how he expresses it.  When he is super happy or super excited about something, it usually results in him exclaiming that he loves someone or something.  He has taken quite a few people by surprise by blurting this out about them....teachers, friends, etc.  I think it is endearing.
4 years old (isn't this the most PRECIOUS picture EVER??)

He loves his baby brother most of all and takes a lot of pride in being 'the big brother'.  His teacher at school has told me that on days when Max is having a hard time, they like to talk about Sam because it almost always puts him in a good mood.  He likes to talk about the day when he and Sam can share a room...  I love that these two are growing up so close.  They really do LOVE each other and it is so sweet to watch the two of them together.
Max - 4 years old; Sam - 18 mos old

What can I say?  I know I am completely biased, but this kid is AWESOME.  He is so incredibly special and wonderful and naughty and opinionated and imaginative...all rolled into one little tiny body (he still only weighs 34 lbs!).  He stole my heart the minute he was born...and I still love him with all my heart today.  I am a blessed person to have him in my life, and I thank God everyday and every minute that I get to spend with him.

So, my dearest Son, happiest of birthdays to you this year!  4 seems like such a milestone...only I know next year when you turn 5 I will feel the same way.  I wouldn't change a single thing about you .... not even on your naughtiest day.  You teach me patience, you teach me to slow down, you teach me how to love wholly and completely and with all of my heart.  You are an amazing little boy and I am SO LUCKY to be your momma.  XOXO