And now you are four, Kieran. What a year this has been! You had a lot of firsts this year – some good, some bad.
The week after your 3rd birthday, you moved from your converted-crib toddler bed to an actual twin-sized bed! You started in the lowered trundle bed from Grandma’s room, and within a month had moved to the full-sized, full-height twin bed. A month later, we re-painted your room a bright orange color called “Cheese Puff” and turned it into a Space room complete with planet and rocket wall stickers, and a ceiling FULL of glow-in-the-dark stars! The rocket-themed quilt you got for your 1st birthday from our friend Kym Jensen is the centerpiece of your Big Boy room. (We were surprised to learn that you figured out how to use the tool to pry open the full paint cans just before we started painting your room – which explains the 2-foot-diameter orange stain on your carpet… you have a rug there to cover it up now!)
Last summer you went to your first movie theater movie: Planes!! It was pretty loud, and you spent the movie trading between Daddy’s and my laps… but you loved it all the same. We went and saw Frozen just before Christmas and you LOVED that movie! We’re looking forward to taking you to see Planes: Fire & Rescue next month when it comes out – it’s two of your favorite things: helicopters and fire trucks!
You started official pre-school in late August, and have been learning SO MUCH this year! You love to be a helper to your teachers, and have really improved in making good choices and following the classroom rules. You count up to through and into the 30’s (although we have heard 28, 29, twenty-ten, twenty-eleven….. a time or two.) You know EVERY color that gets thrown at you. Your vocabulary is off the charts. (Really, you surprise Daddy and me multiple times a week with 3 or 4 sylable words – we’re shocked at what you know and how well you articulate yourself!) You LOVE to count – you count everything you see, and you’re ALWAYS looking for patterns. You love to make patterns – it’s your favorite game to play at school, using the little rubber vehicles to match color and number patterns on the cards. Your coloring and writing has improved so much – you write your first and last name clearly and without assistance! You color beautifully within the lines, and have finally learned to use more than one or two colors! You draw with such imagination – firetrucks, helicopters, guinea pigs and Batman are your usual subjects. But my favorite drawings are the ones you draw of your family. My office is decorated with your drawings and pictures.
Speaking of family, yours got smaller this year. In October 2013, your PaPaw (Mama’s Daddy) died. It wasn’t your first time dealing with death though – our beloved Boxer dog Kishou died in January 2013. You called it “Heaven House” – the place where Kishou and PaPaw are now. It was hard for you to learn why Kishou wasn’t coming home again – but you understood that Kishou was old, had too many owies inside her and the doctors couldn’t make her better again. So when PaPaw died, you told me “PaPaw went to Heaven House to play with Kishou. And it’s OK, we still have Grandma!” It’s been a hard thing this year, but you’ve been a comfort to me when I’ve been sad, Kieran. And your PaPaw loved you so very much.
We got a new dog just before PaPaw went to Heaven House – a black and white rescue pitbull mix that you named Hera, since you told us Kishou sent her from Heaven to be our new doggie. (Hera is the Queen of Heaven from Greek Mythology.) She’s a good doggie who loves her boy so much!
You had your first real Chrsitmas this year too! You were SO excited to see Santa and tell him about the “Blue Helicopter with grey rescue hook” you wanted for Christmas. We made cookies for Santa and left carrots for his reindeer too! Your big gift was a big boy bike, since you’d outgrown your Strider running bike. (Oh, and the helicopter too, of course…)
But probably the biggest thing for you this year was your first visit to DISNEYLAND! We went in early February, accompanied by our dear friends Sean & Kristy Mayo. They’re like godparents to you, and we have a sneaking suspicion they love you nearly as much as we do. You loved holding Sean’s hand and riding on his shoulders, since he’s so much taller than the rest of us! You were thrilled at riding your first roller coaster wtih Daddy – and we thought you would never stop shreiking in glee from riding the Radiator Springs Racers ride in Cars Land at California Adventure! We spent three days at the parks, and had a ball. You loved riding the old-fashioned fire truck up and down mainstreet – and meeting Mickey and his friends! You got to meet TowMater and Red the Firetruck too! It was a magical week for sure.
Around the same time we went to Disneyland, you started talking about wanting a Guinea Pig for a pet that you would name “Street Sweeper.” We let you talk about it for a couple of months to see if you were really serious – and it turns out you were! So this spring we added two more pets to our family: Street Sweeper and Car Wash. You love to talk to your guinea pigs – you make a perfect piggy “EEP!” sound (although you had to learn that it wasn’t a good choice to make that sound during circle time at school…)
Your most recent adventure was to Comicon in Phoenix, Arizona at the beginning of this month. We went with Sean and Kristy, who like to dress up as superheroes! Kristy made a Robin costume for you with a cape and everything! You got to meet Batman and Superman and Spiderman! You even met The Joker and had a talk with him about making good choices. You’ve been exploring the world of Superheroes for the last two months – and Batman is your favorite.
So let’s see… about you. You’re growing into quite the sturdy little boy. You’re 37 pounds (down from 41 pounds before you got a fairly awful tummy bug last week…) and 42″ tall! You’re wearing 4T pants still, but you’re about to break into the 5T ones. You’re wearing size XS or S shirts in the Big Boys sizes though – so I’m shopping on both sides of the aisle for you! Your feet are holding steady at 10.5-11 (There’s nearly a half-size difference between your feet though!) There’s nothing ‘baby’ about you anymore to look at you… but that doesn’t stop me from calling you “Baby”.
You are still super picky with your food, but you’ll eat crumbly-breaded chicken nuggets and fish sticks with ketchup. You love hummus, guacamole, Greek yogurt with honey, orange cheese, and peanut butter. Daddy makes you graham crackers with peanut butter, chocolate chips and whipped cream often. We’re working on expanding your palate, but we don’t push you. We just keep offering what we’re eating. You won’t go to high school eating like this, we know. You’ve recently added grilled cheese sandwiches, PB&J, and toast to your repitoire! You drink your milk and take your vitamins just fine, so we’re not worried. You sleep great at night, from around 8:00pm to 6:00 or 7:00am! You nap occasionally, not as often as you need to.
You talk ALL.THE.TIME. Your favorite words are all about emergency and rescue vehicles. I’m pretty sure “Heticopter” is the most commonly-spoken word in this house. You talk about “Amboolence” taking people to the “Hostiple” all the time. When you go to bed, you call out to us “Don’t let the Frostbite” from Frozen – although you don’t quite get the joke. We tell you “Don’t let the Bedbugs bite” in response before closing the door.
But the best part of you talking incessantly? You say “I love you” all the time. And this week, you told me “You’re the sweetest Mama” which absolutely melted my heart. You’re so kind and loving, Kieran. I hope that continues – Daddy and I are trying to raise you to be kind and generous to everyone you meet. We (try to) give you 100 kisses a day and at least 17 hugs. Some days you’re up for it. Some days you’re not. But we love you through everything, and help you get in touch with your emotions to deal with situations when you’re angry or sad. We assume from the comments we get from friends, family, teachers and strangers that we’re raising you right. Most of all though, we just want you to be happy.
As I write this on the morning of your 4th birthday, you’re still wearing the Elsa shirt we got you for your Frozen-themed party yesterday. You requested (and got) your fingers and toes painted with sparkly blue nail polish. And Elsa herself visited your party and brought you a stuffed ice friend! But best of all, you inherited a huge stash of LEGO bricks, courtsey of Daddy and Uncle Sean – they gave you the LEGO that they played with when they were kids. Our friends and family added to your collection with new LEGO sets. The train table I built for you almost two years ago has been re-christened a LEGO Table. You are SO happy to have all this a year earlier than Daddy and I have been telling you that you could have it. (We did make you step on a LEGO brick yesterday though, so you could see how much it hurts and impress upon you how important it is to clean up your bricks so nobody steps on them, and Hera doesn’t eat them.) I think I’ll go join you and Daddy in building a (wait for it…) Batman Helicopter.
We love you so much, Kieran. You make your Mama and Daddy so happy every day. Happy Birthday, Buddy.