Sunday, April 30, 2017

7 year well visit

The boys had their well visit a week ago.  Good news- they are well!  Again, we are so fortunate that both boys are continuing to grow and thrive, with no major health concerns.

Asher's measurements:
48" tall (47.9%) (+2.25" from last year)
54 lbs (63.7%) (+6.2 lbs from last year)

Benjamin's measurements:
46.75" tall (26.1%) (+2.25" from last year)
49.6 lbs (41.3%) (+4.8 lbs from last year)

I got those percentiles from the CDC, so the ones the doctor gave me were slightly different, but that is the idea. It is surprising to me every year that their weight percentiles are higher than their height percentiles, because they are some of the skinniest kids we know.  Regardless, they seem to be in excellent health and are growing steadily.

Both boys' vision and hearing checked out fine.  The doctor's only concern was Benjamin's speech- although we are very accustomed to his mispronunciations, they must have stuck out to her.  She suggested we get him evaluated at school and see if he qualifies for therapy there.

I asked about Benjamin's tonsils, because he had strep twice this winter and the other two didn't get it at all (and neither did I!). She said the strep isn't frequent enough to warrant removing his tonsils, and that they looked fine when she examined him.

Other than that, she said we are lucky in our good health, and even though she loves to see us, she is glad we aren't there more often.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Benjamin: 7 years old

One super cool cutie (and Eric isn't so bad, either)
A post to celebrate Benjamin's 7th birthday.  Over this past year, I do think I have watched the boys' personalities emerge even more.  Benjamin is smart as can be. He can do his homework in 30 seconds, and remembers things I didn't know he'd even heard.  He loves to read (he came home from school today and told me he had forgotten to eat his snack because he had his nose "buried in a book"). Now that he is such a competent reader, he says he doesn't want to be read to anymore.  I miss our moments of sitting together, engaged in a book we both love.

While before I have always described Benjamin as easy-going, he has hit more obstacles this year. His first grade class isn't the same amazing group that he had in kindergarten, and while we had heard that his teacher is one of the best, she seems somewhat lackluster.  The year started with mixed reports- Benjamin hated school, hated homework, and had no friends (his reports); and that he was having trouble sitting still and paying attention (his teacher's reports).  At our most recent conference, we were told that he has matured over the year, and is better at paying attention, but he still doesn't love school the way that I wish he would.  He says he is "bored," and I do wonder if he finds the slow pace of his class frustrating. We decided that we will get him tested to see if he qualifies for the gifted & talented program.  Socially he doesn't seem as adept as his brother, or some other 1st graders.  It all seems age-appropriate, but his social skills are not as advanced as his academic skills.
Benjamin doing his 2 lines in the 1st grade musical.
Benjamin loves to draw and write.  I think he is a pretty good artist, and love what he comes up with while he is just hanging out (it usually involves a dragon and a battle of some kind).  He has written some pretty funny notes to us, especially when he is forced into quiet time in the afternoon while Asher naps.
Benjamin's hostage note
Practicing writing some of the new words he is learning at school
He is still my most adventurous eater, and will try sophisticated foods with more frequency than his siblings, but he occasionally will decide that he just doesn't like something before he even tries it.  His favorite food is probably Japanese- he likes cucumber sushi and yaki udon with chicken and vegetables.  He likes meat over vegetables, and fruit over vegetables, and is always happy to eat pasta.
Benjamin with Blankie as a hat. He is like an orangutan with his blanket.
Benjamin likes to play with Legos, but not so much to build them. He likes to collect Pokemon cards, but is known to make many a poor trade and he seems to get swindled often. He still has a particular attachment to his blue blanket (Blankie), which is now almost gray. Unlike his brother and sister, he is not competitive.  Of the three, his most likely to be on his own, whether it is reading or playing on the iPad.  He loves the iPad, and it is a constant battle to keep him off of it and engaged with the rest of life. When presented with the option to go somewhere or do something, he will ask to stay home, in the hopes of spending more time on the iPad. Eric is more inclined to let him play on it than I am, but I often lose track of who is where and doing what, so it happens under my watch all the time, too.

Benjamin does seem to have some anxiety around strange/new situations.  After one visit to the planetarium (where he declared it "too loud"), he would panic anytime we would talk about going back. The planetarium is really not that loud, but it seemed like he was somewhat troubled by the existential concepts presented. There have been other situations where he begins to panic and doesn't want to try something new, but often enjoys himself once he gives it a try.

Benjamin is often the odd one out among the siblings- Asher and Charlotte are more likely to play and engage with each other than they are with him. Most of the time this doesn't seem to bother him, but occasionally Charlotte will push him away or be hurtful, and then he comes to me with tears in his eyes. Although he often seems unaffected by what goes on around him, he does seem to be a sensitive person, and is more aware than I usually give him credit for.
After his haircut at the barber shop. I can't get his hair to look nearly as nice. 
I love him like crazy- he still has the sweetest little face, and sometimes, when he frowns a certain way, I can see him exactly as he was as a newborn. I am thrilled and astonished by how bright he is, even if it means we have conversations I'm not ready to have, or I have to shush him when he tries to tell Asher what "the F word" is (Asher said, "is it fart? It's fart, right?").  He still climbs into bed with us in the morning to be snuggled and kissed. Despite the growth and the changes and the new complications 1st grade has brought, he is still my sweet and lovable boy.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Things they have said

Asher: "I am so happy. I'm happy for you, and daddy, and that you make enough money to pay for our house, which is a home, and to do things with us."

Benjamin, when I asked him if he could hear me when I talked to him: "No, I'm deef." The true sign that he is a reader and read deaf as if it rhymed with leaf. English is tough!

Charlotte, when I told her she needed to go use the potty at home because her pants were a little wet and she had started to pee in them. "How do you know that? You don't know everything. You know NOTHING. You're not my mom." and when I said I was her mom, and had in fact watched her emerge from my own body, she said, "You don't know that."

My kids in a nutshell.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

7 years old!

The boys on their birthday. Benjamin is rolling his eyes at me because I requested he look at me and smile.
I am late in posting this, and I am also working on individual posts for each boy, but on March 26, Benjamin & Asher turned 7 years old.  These years have flown by, and yet the little men I now know as my sons are so different from the babies and toddlers they used to be.

We celebrated with a birthday weekend.  On Saturday, March 25, my sister and I took the kids to the mall and she treated them to Build-a-Bear.  This was the boys' birthday dream come true, and she let them each pick an animal- Asher picked a rainbow monster, Benjamin a snow leopard, and Charlotte an Elsa (from Frozen) bear.  They enjoyed the ritual and named their animals- the monster got named Cute (later changed to Cutie), the snow leopard Snowy, and the bear Elsa.  Of my children's many talents, creative naming of animals and pets is not among them.
Benjamin at Build-a-Bear
Then I treated the kids to Panera for lunch, and then we were off to Benjamin's birthday party.  He had it at a gymnastics place about 25 minutes away.  The kids did an hour of gymnastics, and then we had a half hour of snacks and cake. He said he had a great time, and came home and excitedly opened all of his presents.  He then promptly wrote all of his thank you notes!
The cake I made Benjamin. He requested a blue cat with marshmallow eyes.
About to get embarrassed by a room full of singing friends
Our family. 3/5 looking at the camera- that's as good as it gets.
That night we had dinner at my parents' to celebrate my dad's 65th birthday. The children joined us, but they tired of our company and the food within 5 minutes, so we had plenty of time with adult conversation.

Sunday was their birthday.  I made a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls, and then the boys went to Hebrew school- it was pajama dance party day at Hebrew school, and there wasn't a word of protest.
Eric made a movie poster for the show at our house
Sunday afternoon we had Asher's birthday party at our house.  He had asked for a movie in our basement movie theater, and popcorn- easy enough! I didn't take pictures, but we had little cardboard concession boxes and paper bags for the popcorn, and juice for the kids to drink.  They watched Big Hero 6 relatively peacefully, and then came upstairs for cupcakes.  All the parents were very prompt in dropping their kids off and in picking them up.
The little cake I made for Asher. He and his classmates got cupcakes at the party
Asher enjoying his friends singing Happy Birthday to him
For dinner on Sunday, Asher requested risotto, and Benjamin requested macaroni and cheese.  Since it was their birthday, and I couldn't say no, I made both.  It was a very delicious, carb-filled weekend: I baked 2 batches of yellow cake, 1 of chocolate cake, a challah, cinnamon buns, risotto, and macaroni and cheese.  Good thing I also went for a run!

I will post soon about the boys individually.  I am impressed by them everyday- their intellectual and physical capabilities seem to be growing rapidly, and it is a joy to watch.