Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Asher: 4 years old

Before our race on Saturday

at his PT eval
This is hard- I don't know where to start, to describe this sweet boy.  It is impossible to believe that Asher was late to talk, because he is always talking.  It is hard to believe that he's only been potty-trained for 4 months, because he is 100% accident-free.  

Asher knows how to talk to people.  He is pretty clever about interpersonal things, and knows how to work things in his favor.  He knows how to sweet-talk people and compliment them to get a positive reaction.

Asher has a serious sweet-tooth.  He still asks for treats when he poops on the potty, and every once in a while will try to get a treat for going pee!  At night, he asks for one dessert as soon as he finishes dinner, and then will ask for another if the rest of us are eating dessert later.  

He is my snuggle bug.  Ever since he was little, he has known just how to fit his body to mine for the perfect snuggle.  I love the way he feels tucked up next to me.  I worried when I had Charlotte that he might not want to be my snuggle bug anymore, but fortunately, we still get our cuddles in.  

Strong elements of Asher's personality are emerging.  He is caring and concerned, but also bossy and sometimes argumentative.  He wants what he wants when he wants it, and just this morning, I watched him climb over Benjamin's head in order to get into his preferred car seat.  He is extremely competitive.  He wants to "win" everything (the getting undressed race at bath time; his kids' dash last weekend).  He has a favorite spoon (yes, that is ridiculous) and he races downstairs in the morning to grab it so that Benjamin won't use it.  
Getting "the most" eggs on Easter
He is collecting treasures- basically pieces of trash- that he carries around in his hand or tucks in his pocket.  Things like a broken button he found on the playground, or coins we find on the ground.  He doesn't seem overly emotionally attached to these things; he seems disappointed if he loses them (which he always does, because they are small and he is forgetful), but quickly moves on.  

At night, Asher sleeps with a stuffed animal and a blanket.  He changes his mind about which are his favorites, though.  Right now he sleeps with Broccoli and a brown fleecy blanket that was a throw blanket on our couch; before, it was his big dog he got for potty training and a fleece blanket I made for him.  And as long as he has his thumb to suck, he is happy.

Asher still naps everyday, except for the day at school where they baked cookies but weren't going to eat them until after nap, and he was so excited he couldn't sleep.  He will sleep 3-4 hours sometimes on the weekends, more nap than Charlotte!  

Asher's favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly, string cheese (only Polly-O brand), dried fruits, applesauce pouches, and pasta.  He also loves pizza from Poppi's and Chinese food noodles.  He no longer eats a single fresh fruit or yogurt.  He loves vegetables, especially broccoli and carrots.  And of course, all desserts, no matter how terrible.

His current favorite movie is Wreck It Ralph; before that it was Aladdin, and before that, Frozen.  He loves snuggling up to read stories, and we are working our way through a collection of Winnie the Pooh.  He is good at imaginative play, and it has not yet stopped thrilling me to hear him and Benjamin playing and pretending.

He also loves to play outside, and loves to see his friends and family.  He's always requesting dinner with someone- I guess his family just isn't exciting enough!  He's now spent the night by himself at Meema and Papa Nick's twice, and is perfectly happy to stay there without us.  I love that he feels just as at-home there as he does here.

There is so much more to say about Asher, and I've been thinking about this post for days (weeks), but I know there are things that I'm forgetting.  So for now, this is Asher at 4 years.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

last weekend

I am delayed in posting this- we had a hectic weekend, capped off with 2 nights of Passover seders and then 2 nights of me working.  This is my first lazy night on the couch in a week!

We had beautiful weather over the weekend, which put everyone in a good mood.  Saturday was Eric's birthday, and we had a family morning at the zoo.  The first time we have been to the zoo as a family of 5!  Ever since Charlotte's birth, I have taken the kids to the zoo by myself.

no way to get all 5 of us looking at the camera
Boo at the Zoo
 The weather was beautiful, and we had a great time.  We left right as everything was getting busy, and everyone but Benjamin (and mommy and daddy) took a good nap.

After good naps, we went to get ice cream and water ice at the Rita's near our house.  The boys each got a water ice, and Charlotte and Daddy shared an ice cream cone.  I love this series of pictures:


"What's that in Daddy's hand?"

"Oooh, I want some..."


Playing around

Taking a break from intense water ice consumption
 Saturday night, Eric and I had a date night dinner in the city, which was really nice.  We got home a little early, so we went on a walk around the neighborhood while my parents continued to babysit.

Sunday the weather was even more beautiful.  I took the kids to Smith Playground, and I don't have photos because taking 3 mobile kids to a place like that is very anxiety-producing and requires every bit of attention I have.  I definitely lost the boys every now and then in an effort to keep an eye on my escapee daughter.  Asher insisted on wearing his super-cool sunglasses, which he lost when we got there.  Then I kept losing the kids.  They did have fun, and we met up with my cousin's husband and son for some play time and a picnic.  Unfortunately, people are kind of rude and disgusting and let their dogs poop all over the lawn where kids play and people picnic, so Asher stepped in dog poop, and then Charlotte stepped in poop, too.  Then I was overheated and we got in the car to go home, and sat in traffic the whole way home.  I was so exhausted!

My sister and I went for a jog together- I am supposedly getting ready for the Broad Street Run and wanted to do a long run, but it was 80 degrees and very sunny, so I pooped out.  She scolded me and I think isn't convinced I will be able to finish the 10 mile run, but I'll show her!

Sunday night we had our first dinner outside.  Our neighbors were all gathered, but we had invited my parents and a friend of my sister's to our house.  We stayed out way after dark, talking and eating. It was nice, and the kids were great and in good moods.

The kids are in spring break this week, so we have had some extra play time together.  Our Passover was fun, and the boys loved playing with their big cousins.  Even Charlotte loves being one of the gang!  Now we are looking forward to a weekend with Memere and Pepere and celebrating Easter.

Friday, April 11, 2014

4 year well visit + 15 month well visit

Asher/Stevie Wonder at lunch today

Big girl tackling the playground
Benjamin playing with photo booth on my computer
Today we had a combined appointment for all 3 kids.  Being the super-mom that I am, I forgot to write down anyone's height or weight, but here is what I remember.

Asher: 36.8 lbs, 40.25 inches
Benjamin: 34.2 lbs, 39.25 inches
Charlotte: 27 lbs, 31.25 inches

Charlotte is rapidly gaining on her brothers!  Asher was around the 50th percentile for height and weight; Benjamin's weight was much lower (30? I can't remember), and Charlotte's weight is in the 96th percentile, and her height is around the 70th percentile.  She is one very solid munchkin.

Overall, the kids are all in good health, and there were very few concerns.  The doctor said we could try to get speech therapy for Benjamin since he still mispronounces words (or, as he says it, "I say the wrong words"), but he will also be able to get speech once he starts elementary school.  I don't think he has trouble at school, or with friends understanding him, but I'll check in with his teacher.

We did get a referral to PT for Asher, because his torticollis is getting worse.  It had improved for a long time, and I had stopped noticing it, but now I'm noticing it again, and the doctor agreed that it is noticeable and could become problematic as he gets older.  Ugh.  She didn't seem overly concerned about the fact that Asher doesn't eat fruit, even though I am.  She said we could start giving him rewards for trying bites of fruit, but I can guarantee he won't put a piece of fruit in his mouth.  He eats enough dried fruits and veggies that he isn't stopped up, but I don't think it's healthy to exclude an entire food group.

Charlotte checked out just fine in every way.

All 3 kids got shots.  Asher went first, he was quite anxious and the nurse asked that I pin back his arms (he was snuggled in my lap).  He shrieked!  Then he got on Daddy's lap and calmed down quickly.  Benjamin was next, and he didn't make a peep!  I was really surprised.  Charlotte was last, and Asher got upset that he was going to hear her cry.  He had to put his hands over his ears while she got her shots.  She did cry- but stopped quickly.  I think she is just more pissed off that someone is hurting her than she is in actual pain.  I told Asher later that he had been so brave.  He said, "but I cried!"  And I told him that you can be brave and cry at the same time.

Then we were finally on our way.  Everyone was hungry, so we went straight to Panera for lunch.  There wasn't a scrap of food left! I ordered 2 kids meals for the 3 kids, and a lunch for both Eric and me.  I guess we were all starving.  Asher kept going on and on during lunch about how great lunch was, and how special it was that we were all together, and that Daddy was there.  He was laying it on thick!

We had planned to take the kids to the playground, but Charlotte was exhausted, so she and I got dropped home while Eric took the boys to the playground.  I think they had a good day- we ended the day with dinner with Meema and Papa Nick and Aunt Jane and Uncle Ed.  Meema made brownies for dessert for Eric's birthday, and we all enjoyed brownie and ice cream for dessert.  Tomorrow is Eric's birthday, and hopefully beautiful spring weather and a trip to the zoo.

Monday, April 7, 2014

This happened today:

My kids ate Pad Thai at 9:20 am.

Asher wore his super hero cape and mask to the Please Touch Museum.

Asher got into his birthday presents when no one was looking and opened his paint-your-own tractor and painted it (and himself) on his own.

Benjamin had a meltdown before dinner over not wanting to eat what I cooked.  Then he calmed himself down, came downstairs, and ate two helpings of everything.

Charlotte took a snack and went to eat it on the couch.  When Eric told her to get off the couch, she looked at him, shook her head, and said, "unh-uh."

Hurray for us that we are raising independent-minded children?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Four Year Old Birthday Party

We had the boys' 4th birthday party on Saturday.  It was at a fire house- a big fire house, with a big fire truck, and even a boat in the party room!

I thought the party went well.  My mom described it as "low-key," which I will take as a compliment since we had about 25-30 kids there.  I owe my mom a huge thank you for all her help with the party- I got strep throat on Thursday night and got more sick than I have been in as long as I can remember. I could barely get out of bed on Friday, and of course there were cupcakes to bake and frost, and our favor bags had never arrived.  My mom ran errands and picked up substitute favor bags (the same ones I had ordered but slightly more money) and fruit for the party, then came over and baked cupcakes and helped stamp the bags.  I was so sick that I couldn't even put a fire engine stamp on all 36 favor bags!  So with her help and the help of an antibiotic, we pulled it off.

When we arrived, the truck and firefighters were out on a real call.  I don't think it was a very serious one because they returned without any dirt on them (fortunately for everyone!).  All the kids got a turn to climb on the fire truck and play with some of the tools on there.
The boys, our firefighter host, and their friend Dana on the truck
Charlotte on the truck
After all the kids had as many turns as they wanted on the truck, it was time to try spraying the hose.  Thankfully not the huge hose, but big enough to still be fun.  Benjamin got to go first, and the look on his face made the whole party worth it!
Asher also took a turn, but was preoccupied with keeping his hat on:

Benjamin was also thrilled that his favorite teacher, Miss Alex, came to his party.  He will do anything for her, I think he's in love.
Wearing Miss Alex's super cool glasses
 Just as the last kid sprayed the hose, the pizzas I had ordered arrived, so we went in and had lunch.  Asher said, "I don't want to eat."  My mom and I both instantly thought about last year, when he got sick at his birthday party and threw up in a trash can.  Please, not again!  Fortunately, no vomit, but he definitely started dragging.

Here is a picture of them with their cupcakes.
My mom took it.  It is out of focus.  But here are some things I want to point out:

1) You can see, behind us, the party table.  No super cute cupcake holders, no decorations, no themed nothing.  I even forgot napkins.
2) Asher asked for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Benjamin asked for vanilla cake with vanilla frosting.  Good thing I made some of everything.
3) On top of the chocolate-frosted cupcakes is a lid to a half gallon of ice cream.  I looked at, looked at all our guests and said, "Forget it." Eric put it back and then we forgot it there!  I hope firefighters like ice cream.

I apologize for the quality of these pictures- I think I need a photography class.  I am disappointed in our photos and the fact that I think I'm getting cute pictures but miss everything.

Despite my illness, my lack of pinterest aptitude, and Asher's feeling bad, it was a good party.  The boys got more gifts than any boy would need, really wonderful and thoughtful gifts.  Books, workbooks, crafts, building activities- just what they like.  And, I still can't believe my babies are four!  Such big, handsome guys.