Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dear Ethan, you are 4!

Dear Ethan:

Happy Birthday my sweet boy! I say it every year and sometimes every day, but time is just going by way too fast. You are not a baby, not a toddler, but a little boy and this Mama just cannot believe it. I am amazed at how much you have grown and changed this year. 3 was a great year for you. And as sad as I am that another year has passed by, I look forward to reminiscing about all of the wonderful things you have done this year. So let's talk about you and what you are up to at four years old!

First, I can confidently say you are no longer shy. You spent much of your first two and a half years being quite tentative and shy with people but that is no longer the case. You are loud, outgoing, funny and seem to get more and more fearless by the day. You sit on alligators, hold snakes, hunt for bugs and worms, things some kids are squeamish about. Even though you have come out of your shell, you are still the sweetest, kindest little boy. You are naturally very caring and loving. You play very well with others and rarely cause trouble. You are still a Mama's boy and I love it. You call me your love and say that I'm your best friend on a daily basis. I love our bedtime routine the most. You pick out your books, crawl in my lap and we read together. Then I sing to you, lay with you and right before I leave, you grab my face, give me a kiss and say, "I love you so much Mama, you're a great Mama." I know you won't always do this, so I soak it in every single time. I am so thankful for how special our bond is.

Speaking of reading before bed, books are one of your favorite things. We read books at every nap and bed time and we figured out that you've been read to somewhere around 3,000 times! If you are getting into trouble before bed time, if we threaten to take away one of your three books, you immediately stop what you're doing. You do not want to lose any books! I love that you have such a passion for reading because I have always loved books as well. You have a huge library and I am constantly adding new books to our collection based on your interests. Lately we've added some bug books, pirate books and dinosaur books. You are constantly wanting to learn about things. You are going to be starting preschool this September and while part of me is sad that my baby is old enough to go to school, I am so excited for you. You love to learn new things and interact with others and I know you are going to thrive in that environment. I can't wait to see all the fun projects you make and bring home and the fun events I will get to take part in with you!

Animals still remain one of your top passions. You want to know anything and everything about every animal. Right now your favorites are sharks and bugs. If it's raining outside, you want to know how long it's going to be before you can go out and go worm hunting! You have such an excitement and zest for everything going on, nothing gets past you. A car ride is never boring with you either. You see everything. Every cement truck, garbage truck, digger, goose, duck, squirrel, school bus we see along the way is noted. You love to ask questions about all of these things too. The other day we had a 10 minute conversation on the way to daycare about spiders and spider webs. I love this side of you, even though it is exhausting at times, I love that you take such an interest in the world around you. You still love being outside more than anything in the world. I can't wait to have our first campout in our backyard, you might never sleep in your bed again! With so many kids glued to tv's, iPads, and video games these days. It makes me so happy that you would rather be outside playing, exploring or playing at the park any day.

Besides playing outside, your other interests are dinosaurs, any kind of car, truck or construction equipment, sharks, whales, bugs and pretty much any animal. Sunday mornings in our house revolve around the shows, Animal Atlas and Zoo Clues. You and your sister stop and sit to absorb every second of these shows dedicated to fun facts about animals.

Speaking of your sister, you guys are the best of friends and it makes me so happy. You are such a good big brother, I am very thankful for that. You really do look out for her and help her all the time. Now I'm not saying that you are perfect because you rip things out of her hands and get mad when she takes something of yours, but 95% of the time you are nothing but sweet to her. The funniest thing you do with her is if she has something you want, you bring her something else so she'll give you the thing you want. Dado and I laugh at you and tell you you're giving her the ol' bait and switch routine. She falls for it every time, but I promise you it won't last forever so enjoy it while you can buddy! I love watching you two interact because Sofia looks up to you so much. She studies everything you do and copies it. You have so much fun playing together and I know it is only going to get better!

Last year when you turned 3 you were finally old enough to take some park district sports classes. You did soccer, baseball and a multi-sport class. You loved them all and had a great time. You finished your last class in December and then in February we signed you up for swim lessons. You have always been tentative about getting your head wet since you were little but it seemed to be getting worse than getting better. So what better than to sign you up for swim lessons! I know we're mean, but we thought it might help and we were so right! You started the first week in February and the first few weeks were a little rough. But somewhere along the way you completely got over your fear and you are a total fish now! You are swimming all on your own with no flotation needed, it's amazing little man! You just got moved from level 1 to level 2 and you are learning backstroke and breaststroke now. I would never have imagined that you would have taken to it so well. You are so proud of yourself and building such confidence too! You really enjoy it and get so excited each week when we tell you it's a swim lesson day! I can't believe how far you've come in 3 short months and look forward to seeing how far you will be 3 or 6 months from now.

Some other milestones you've met this year include: being fully potty trained both day and through the night, learning to ride your bike, writing all of your letters upper and lowercase, writing your numbers, count to 100 without help, recognizing and spelling some words, and I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. We are constantly surprised at the things you know and understand.

Ethan it is so hard for me to put into words how much you mean to us. You are the most amazing, adventurous, curious, sweet, loving, helpful little boy I have ever met. You are so incredibly special in so many ways. You will forever be my favorite little boy in the whole-wide world! I am so lucky to call you mine and you make us so proud to be your parents. I am looking forward to see how much you grow and change during your fourth year. We love you so much Ethan Michael!

Your 3 year stats:

Height: 45.5 inches - still off the charts and I'm pretty sure you always will be. You are so tall people think you are 5 or 6!
Weight: 39 pounds - 75% You keep stretching in height and you never stop moving so you are very thin. You've only gained 2 pounds in the past year.
Clothing Size: 4T in bottoms and 5T in tops.

We asked you about some of your favorite things right now and these were your answers in your words (we did this last year year so I thought I would ask you the same questions again):

Favorite food: Chips, strawberries, cucumbers, chicken, pizza
Favorite drink: Milk
Favorite color: Blue, light blue
Favorite holiday: Halloween
Favorite toy: Semi truck (it's new)
Favorite person: Mama and Sofia
Favorite friend: Conner
Favorite tv show: PJ Masks
Favorite movie: Hotel Transylvania 2
Favorite animal: Lion, because they're the loudest and the king
Favorite bug: Ladybugs, because they don't bite, they tickle me
Favorite books: Pirates in Pajamas; Digger, Dozer, Dumper; I love bugs; Bubba, a true story of an amazing alligator; Press Here
Favorite song: The Wheels on Bus
Favorite place to go: The Morton Arboretum
Favorite stuffed animal to sleep with: My piggy
Favorite thing to wear: Black Croc shoes

A photo recap of your third year!

 Happy 4th birthday my sweet boy!

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