Monday, June 3, 2019

Marshall is FIVE

Happy FIFTH birthday to our big boy!

It's been quite a year from four to here. 

Marshall, you have grown into a little boy who continues to make us so proud every day.

We love your thoughtful, curious nature. I think these are your most noticeable qualities in this stage. You wonder about the world. You ask endless questions, and most of the time we end up stumped. I'm sure you'll figure out the answers someday.

But beyond being curious, you are also in a stage of inventing stories about the world around you. When you ask a question that we can't answer, you almost always come up with an answer of your own. (Sometimes, you make up an answer when you aren't satisfied with ours, which comes off a little like mansplaining, but you're still cute so we'll give you a pass.)

You've also created something of an imaginary friend for yourself. His name is Formy, a Formadon (he's a dinosaur, but you also made up the species of Formadon). We learn more about Formy every day. Generally, when you are processing a new idea, you tell us a story about how Formy dealt with a similar situation. Formy goes on some wild adventures. :-)  He also has a sister named Gersa, and she occasionally has opposite experiences from Formy, so as not to leave any options unexplored.

This year, you stopped sucking your thumb! Adorable as it was, we knew it would be best to break the habit, and you kicked it in just one day.

Your enthusiasm brings so much light to our family. We never know what's going to get you excited, and it's always a fun surprise to see what you'll get into next. We tried out soccer this year, but we think we'll wait a while before trying organized sports again.

Instead, you're bouncing (literally) from one exciting thing to the next, like baking muffins with Mommy

or creating your own "pepper soup" recipe

visiting San Francisco as often as possible

getting excited about adventures.

More pictures and fun facts:

You and your brother are getting really silly together. Today in the car you had him completely cracking up, and I'm loving watching your bond growing.

You LOVE school. We can already tell that kindergarten will be a blast for you and for all of us to watch.

You're really in the middle of that phase where you turn every stick-like object into a sword.

You've been bitten by the travel bug and definitely get excited about new places and hotel stays!

You're learning to ride a bike, but sometimes it's tough to convince you to try new things.

You still LOVE Legos.

You spend 90% of your outdoor time bouncing around or running in circles.

I think Daddy is still hoping you'll find a favorite sport! (Mommy hopes it will not be soccer.)

 You still love to cuddle, especially when we're reading.

You love creating and building. In addition to Legos, you're all about Magnatiles and other construction materials.

You can READ! I am absolutely stunned. You even read to Declan sometimes!

Oh, and you still love food. :-) 

We love you so much, sweet boy. You teach us so much every day, and we love how you keep us on our toes. We never know what you'll ask next! 

If you do become a boat engineer someday, we can't wait to see the adventures you embark upon!

(adding the candles to the back of the rocketship cake like boosters was your idea!)

Happy birthday, Marshall!

We love you!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Perfect Weekend

It's Sunday night, and this weekend was one (not unlike most) that I want to remember forever. We didn't plan it--in fact, we couldn't have planned a weekend like it if we tried--but I couldn't stop smiling from Saturday morning through to right this moment.

And so, I felt it was worth dusting off the old blog to say hello and add to this little time capsule. I'll also say how much I miss writing and that I'm still in that habit of imagining what I would write about if I had time to write daily, or even weekly, but it's simply not in the cards right now. Still, once every long while is better than nothing!

Okay, so Thursday night doesn't count as the weekend, but it's close enough and this little after-dinner rain shower was a fun surprise! (It looks like it's sunny, which it was, but it was pouring, too!)

Thanks to the sun, we got a beautiful double rainbow!

("Mommy, I'm showing Pepperjack!")

Declan is currently almost 2.5 years old and radiates pure joy most of the time. The rest of the time, he's fairly miserable, but we're chalking those times up to teething, being two, and just the general reality that we all get grumpy sometimes. He's in a stage where he very seriously imitates those around him and speaks nonsense ("Mommy, we're going to piume the cannons!") with such conviction that you find yourself nodding along, utterly absorbed in his world. He still LOVES his blanket, and now he has a strong fondness for his stuffed owl, Pepperjack. 

Okay, so this weekend, on Saturday we were all up by 6 am. I had actually hoped to wake up early to really enjoy the day, so when Declan called for us earlier than usual, I forced myself to resist bringing him back into our bed (much as I love love love the way he wiggles closer to me and only stops when his head is resting against mine--please let this be something he does forever and always), and we snuggled on the couch instead. Marshall was up within a few minutes, and Terry joined, too, for a long reading session. The two of them would easily rank reading as a top three activity, and for this I am eternally grateful.

We headed out a bit later for a walk and took our time, stopping at the park to play a while. At home, the boys played with chalk in the front yard and then roped Terry into a game of "push down," which is exactly what it sounds like.

We headed out for errands and a treat at Paris Baguette, then came home to play more while I made lunch. After some homemade pizza, Declan snoozed while we hung out with Marshall and took care of some chores.

Why does he look like a middle schooler here? 

Marshall is four and a half (almost FIVE!) and makes us so proud every day. His mind seems to be expanding infinitely, and I can't keep up! He soaks up every word he hears, and I'm amazed at how much energy he has in everything he does. He's even able to sound out words and can write a few, too! He still loves Legos--for about six months he was building intricate sets almost daily--but now his imagination and curiosity are his favorite building blocks. Right now he's into outer space and dinosaurs! He's also loving Harry Potter-related talk, and Terry plays the audiobooks for the kids in the car when they ask for it.

In the evening we met up with my parents, because they had an event near us and booked a hotel. We headed over and took advantage of their pool--first time swimming in awhile for both boys!--before going back home for dinner and bath.

And we used a Christmas gift rocket bath bomb from Aunt Ashley!

This morning, we were up early again and spent a quiet morning at home before going back to PopPop and JanJan's hotel room.

Fun watching roller coasters from the window!

 After lots more swimming and a special lunch treat by the pool, we came home for Dec's nap. Marshall chose to do some typing! He asked me to write out words and he typed them.

It was such a beautiful day today, I couldn't handle staying inside too long, so I brought my food prep out to the garage while Marshall and Terry washed the car!

When Declan woke up, the family indulged my request for a long walk. The boys got to rest after a very fun weekend, and Terry and I got to talk!

And we wrapped up the weekend with a new recipe, more food prep for the week, and our first outdoor meal of the year!

Simple, yes, but this weekend made me so happy. Spending time with the boys and Terry, squeezing in a little grandparent time, being outside as much as doesn't get better. Bring on Spring!