Entry: Siblings Journal: aaaalmost 4 years, and 18 months Dec 21, 2012

Hi Boog! It's December again. And now that the weather has turned colder, I'm finally finding some inspiration for the holidays as well as having my memory jogged as to what you have been up to lately. Soccer! You participated in four weeks of Munchkin Soccer thanks to JYSC. Each week, you learned something new. You also learned the value of practice. While you're still a bit young and distracted to full on participate in a team, you learned some basic skills through all the drills they put you through. By week two, you were dribbling and maneuvering the ball through a line of flags. You kicked goals, and learned how to wait in line. You learned how to try and try again, and even learned a bit of disappointment by not making a single goal during the two turns you were given. But, you didn't give up. We talked about that on the way to get ice cream. I was very proud of you by the end of week three and how far you had come. You'll definitely participate again in the spring, and I'll start working those basic drills into your outside time during school. After spring Munchkin League, if you are still interested, we'll sign you up for the next level, and you'll play on a team for a season. I hope you like it. I really want you to participate in a team sport. I truly believe that they teach so much. School is going really well this year. You are making headway in the handwriting department, and can fully write your name. Granted, it's in graduated sizes, but all the letters are legible, and you can do it by yourself. My goal for the year has been met. We'll keep working to help perfect it and see if you can keep creating letters. I want you to enjoy learning how to write and write well. Handwriting is a lost art in the generation of keyboards and touch screens. Your manipulative skills (as well as your patience) is getting better. You're still not a huge fan of arts and crafts, but your learning to cut better with scissors. You're also learning to draw actual things rather than scribbling and telling me what you scribbled. You're rocking out jigsaw puzzles! Granted, they have to be about 7 or so pieces or less, but you're still figuring them out and enjoying them. I see such concentration when I place one in front of you while I prepare to transition us to the next lesson. You love songs and circle time (at home). You sing constantly. I love it. Little things have gone away that make me a bit weepy eyed. "Kabuzz" was my favorite word ever, next to the "Eeechow!" squeal from way back. In response to any question, you'd start with Kabuzz. It was used in place of Because. I'd ask you questions just to hear it. Then one day, it just vanished. You no longer say it. Makes me sad that it finally corrected itself, and you are leaving more and more of your baby speech behind. I know, I know, you are growing, you're a big boy... I know! But there are certain things that are just so. darned. cute. This was one of those things. It kept me grounded in the fact that while you are coming up on four years old, you're still only four years old. Now? Everything, and I mean every single thing, that I say to you, or ask of you, is "why?". I mean, you barely process what has just been said, and out of your mouth so fast is "why?" You have even asked me why, then immediately asked me what I asked you. I cannot explain how frustrating it is. I now fully understand why my parents fell back to "because I said so." Because, seriously, I said so. I have to offer to satisfactory (to me) choices to get around being asked why. We'll see how long it takes you to figure it out. You also ignore me, on purpose. You completely tune out anything you don't want to hear. I shake my head, then tap you on the shoulder to get your attention, or I resort to yelling. I despise yelling. You went through quite a few transitions recently. One of the biggest was when we had to put Duke down. He had cancer, and a cancer that, even if treated, would diminish his quality of life, and not extend it much beyond what it would take to heal from such surgery and treatment. We couldn't do that to him. So, with heavy hearts, we put him to sleep, and had to go through the process of explaining to you what had happened to him. It was agonizing for your Dad and I. You took it in stride, and thankfully, because we had a full week, we made sure to make the most of it. You ask about him occasionally, and still make mention of him, but overall, I think because he was not your favorite of the two, it just didn't hit you as hard as it hit us. It was hard not to transfer the pain of what I was feeling by getting extra hugs or absent mindedly making you responsible for making me feel better. You are incredibly obsessed with Transformers. Gone are the days of Cars, now it's Transformers and super heros; particularly, The Avengers (yay Marvel!). I can totally get on board with super heroes, but I'm having a bit of flux when it comes to Transformers. To be fair, I wasn't into them when I was a kid, either. But you looooove any and everything to do with them. You quote them. You play them. You make other people play them. You ask everyone if they like Megatron and all the other characters. You make up stories about them. And every single wheeled vehicle you have is a Transformer. You flatten out on the ground and consider yourself transformed into a truck. You just love them. Gigi has been dubbed Bumblebee and you won't call her anything else. The two of you banter and play back and forth. I love how much you love your family. You adore every member, and will usually request to stay the night over being home! We have lots of fun memories of holidays and parties being spent with everyone. You're getting both better and worse with your sister if that makes much sense. You love her. Yes. But you are annoyed as all get out by her. She invades your world and space all the time, but you are learning to take it in stride. She is starting to full on play with you, and I think you appreciate that on some level. You like being able to make her laugh. You are seriously displeased when she touches you in anyway that is uninvited first. You can dish it, but you sure can't take it. And I completely understand and empathize, though half the time, I have to step in just out of sheer safety for her. I hope you grow to like her, and I think you will... in time. We've had a busy year this year. You've grown by leaps and bounds, and I can hardly believe it's been four years already. The time, while in the middle of things, seems slow, but when I look at the spectrum, it's gone by so fast. I love you... with my whole heart... I'll always be cheering you on, sweetheart. Always. MarBear! You! You are just the most vivacious and happy little creature I have ever seen. I turn around, surprised most of the time, at how much you are doing. I'm very hands on with both you and your brother, but you still surprise me daily. You climb fearlessly! And once you have climbed, you stand up triumphantly! As I let go of the breath I hold, I pull you down, and you go find new troubles and discoveries. You love to paint and create. I can hand you any medium, even food, and you'll sit there and put your full little hands in there to discover and make something out of it. You love blocks, and the tubes/connectors set that Gavin has. You put things together, take things apart. You stack them up, knock them down. You love, love, love taking clothes off of folded piles and walking around with them, showing them to whomever might notice and respond. You like digging through clothes drawers, and taking shoes out. I'm not sure why you like toting all of these things, but you just get satisfaction from carrying things around with you. You speak very few words, but you say poop (and giggle) when I change your diaper, you say shoes when you bring them to me, you say doggie, mama, daddy, papa... and that's about it. Really. On the flipside, however, you understand just about every single thing I say. I can tell you to put something back, and you put it back. I ask you to get shoes and socks on, and you sit down and hold up your feet. I ask if you are ready for a diaper change and you say "mmm" and walk back to your room (try to scale the changing table). You respond appropriately to most anything. You give kisses or say no if you don't want to. You give bonks on request, you rub noses on request. You point out body parts, you sign across your chest for "please". Your comprehension is amazing. And so I don't bat an eye lash at your lack of speech. You don't have to ask for much. You bring me a cup when you are thirsty and sign for please, and say something that soooounds like thirsty, but it's just not concrete yet; but it sounds the same every time you say it. "mmm" means yes at the end of a question for you. When we are done saying our blessing for food, you end with "agoo" for Amen. Every time. It's adorable. You practically run everywhere you go. You love walking... but when you are done walking, you hold your hands up and nuzzle your head into my neck, placing your hands into my chest upon being picked up. It's mega sweet. You allow me to rock you to sleep, other times not. If you raise your head up three times or more, I'll ask if you want to lay down in your crib for sleep, and you say "mmm". You still adore water. We still have to keep the bathroom door closed to keep you out of the toilet. You actually swim in the tub. You will lay back, turn over, and pull yourself up, looking incredibly proud and happy with yourself. You have zero fear of water. You love taking baths with Gavin. You love Gavin anyway. You'd live in his entire world if he'd let you. You've started to protest when he takes things away from you. Oh! Add that to your list of words. You say noooooooo! when he picks you up or takes something out of your hands. You pout really well. You also ignore me really well. Mary, Mary, come back! No way. Gone. Teedle toddle, motorin' off. You love dirt! If there is dirt, much like water, you are in it. You eat it, you sift it, you dig in it, you eat it some more. I cringe, then throw you in the bath tub when you're done. You're a super messy kid! You look so positively precious and adorable with pigtails, and yet? You will practically pull the hair out of your head to take them down. You had your first visit with Santa Claus - you cried. My child who loves everyone broke down and sobbed. You took a look at your brother and briefly smiled long enough for the shutter to click closed, and we had a non crying picture, but the other five shots, you were screaming. This whole ordeal lasted probably 90 seconds. I'm not in the business of keeping babies angry for a picture. No way. It's never worth it to me. I pulled you up from his lap in a hurry, told him my thanks and wished him a Merry Christmas, he looked tired and relieved that I wasn't going to make him hold you until you smiled. My little outgoing baby girl. I love you. You bring me such joy. To my children, my life... Thank you both. You are both incredible and amazing, each in your very own ways. For there is never going to be another Gavin, or another Mary.


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