Monday, January 6, 2014

4 Years Old

August 2013

Our baby boy is 4 years old as of a few weeks ago...and he's still as sweet as he can be!  But he is also very good at the fine art of temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way...especially when he's tired.  He gives the best hugs and kisses and he gives them all the time.  He is definitely still a snuggler and there is little (actually no) doubt in my mind that his primary love language is physical touch.  He asks me to snuggle him every night when he is going to bed and many times throughout the day. He is usually quite easy going and will go along with what his sister or parents suggest, BUT if he makes up his mind, there is no changing it!

January 2013

I think that he will be an engineer when he is grown.  He is constantly touching things, seeing how it works, taking it apart and exploring everything with his hands.  I hear from his Daddy that Daddy was like that as a child as well.  It makes Jacob happy to hear he is like Daddy.  He is trying harder and harder to be like him and he wants to spend more and more time with him. He even threw a fit the morning that Daddy had to go back to work after being home for Christmas because he just wanted to be with his Daddy.

February 2013
He is also a climber.  That one can probably be blamed on me since I climbed everything as a child.  I caught him climbing the shelves in the linen closet one day.  He got the pillows off the very top shelf.  The same shelf that I have to use a ladder to get to.  And he has gotten things off the top shelf of the pantry.  The child has no fear of doing anything physically.  It scares me quite frequently, but I try to stand back and be calm while still setting limits for him.

Falling asleep on his chair after insisting he was not ready for a nap. August 2013 
His 4 year well check isn't scheduled until February, but thanks to the flu, we went to the doctor the week after his birthday and got his official height and weight.  He is 44 inches tall and weighs 46.6 pounds.  He wears size 5T pants and shirts, although he can wear size 6 shirts sometimes and his 5T pants are getting a little snug around the waist.  He wears size 12.5W shoes.  He is definitely a big boy now!

Sleeping in the car after church. June 2013
In the past year, Jacob went on two trips to San Angelo without a parent, but with his sister.  The first time was during spring break and the second was the end of June/ beginning of July.  My parents were here for the first weekend of spring break and when they were getting ready to go back to San Angelo, Kathy asked if Jacob and Samantha wanted to go to her house and have her bring them back to me the following weekend.  Samantha immediately said yes, but Jacob had a hard time deciding.  He wanted to go but he didn't want to be away from me at night.  He finally decided that he would go.  So I waved goodbye to my babies when I waved goodbye to my parents and they were so excited to be going on a trip.  This was the first time I had been away from the kids at night since Samantha was born and it was definitely a little strange for me.  I was worried that Jacob would have a very hard time, especially at bedtime, but there were very few tears and that was only for the first day or two.  He stayed at Aunt Kathy's house and Grandma and Benjamin took care of the kids when Aunt Kathy was at work.  They had a wonderful time!  In fact, they had so much fun, that they day before it was time to come home, Jacob said he didn't want to come home!  But once they got back home, he hugged and hugged me and didn't want to let go.

Making sun bread as part of our sun unit. September 2013

He keeps up with his sister in almost everything, and they are the best of friends.  He is so sweet, loving and tenderhearted nearly all the time.  He is concerned when his sister (or anyone else, for that matter) is upset.  If she has been hurt, he comes to give her kisses and hugs and will often bring Mr. Puppy for her to snuggle to help her feel better.  One time when we were leaving the grocery store and Samantha was throwing a fit on the floor rather than walking out the door with me, he went back to her, put his arm around her and helped her to stand up and then supported her to walk out the door.

First day of kindergarten for Samantha. August 2013

His favorite foods are spaghetti and "all the pizzas."  He will try almost anything and likes most foods.  His favorite color is least today, in a few days, it might be green, purple or pink, which are his other answers when you ask what his favorite color is.  He likes to play games including Chutes and Ladders, Guess Who, Candy Land, Blokus, and Chinese Checkers.  He loves to run and dig outside, play on the teeter totter airplane, "read" books, especially the "Things to Spot" books and mazes, build with blocks, duplos and regular legos...although he still needs quite a bit of help with the legos since his fine motor skills aren't quite good enough for those tiny blocks, and he is good at working puzzles.  He tells me, without any hesitation, that his best friend is Luke G. and his other best friend is Luke B.

Dino valley with Samantha and Luke G - December 2013

Mr. Puppy is still his favorite, his comfort object.  There was a 2 week period in September when Mr. Puppy was lost.  Samantha thought he was left outside and blew away in the wind. I knew that he wouldn't have blown away, and didn't think he had been taken outside, but I was concerned that if he had been left outside, an animal had dragged him off because he was NOT there any longer. And the longer he was missing, the more I was worried that was what happened. Jacob was getting more and more concerned as time went on, even getting up to look for him several hours after being put to bed, so I started looking to see if we could find a new one.    It was not easy to find since we got Mr. Puppy when Samantha was a baby. If I had known then that several years later Jacob would choose it as his favorite, I would have bought two to begin with!

  I found a new one on Amazon for a ridiculously high price. I found a used one on eBay for half that, but still ridiculously priced. They agreed to come down to a little less than half of their list price and shipping was free. Thanks to a fabulous auntie and uncle who suggested that they pitch in to help pay for it, we went ahead and ordered a new Mr. Puppy.  Jacob came in and saw the picture on the computer and commented that it was Mr. Puppy when he was new. I asked him if he would like Mr. Puppy to be new again and he said "YES!" So I told him that auntie and uncle were helping to pay for Mr. Puppy to be new again and he would be coming in the mail. He was excited and kept asking when he was coming and if the mailman had Mr. Puppy yet. So then, one afternoon, the kids came running out of Samantha's room yelling "We found Mr. Puppy!" and smiling like you wouldn't believe. An hour later the new Mr. Puppy came in the mail.  We had one happy little boy!  And he asked me to take lots of pictures of both Mr. Puppies.  For a while he called them Mr. Puppy and Mr. Puppy Too.  Then he called them Old Mr. Puppy and New Mr. Puppy, but he has recently changed the new one's name to Mrs. Puppy and the old one is Mr. Puppy again.


Jacob had a monster birthday party for his 4th birthday.  I talked him into it because I wanted to make fleece monster pillows for a craft and had a really cute cake I wanted to make.  However, when I was showing him the cake I was going to try to make, he saw a different one and insisted that the other one was the cake he wanted.  He would not change his mind, so I changed my plans and ended up constructing a VERY tall cake.  This was the first birthday party that Jacob invited friends to rather than just having family.  Luke G and Luke B were his choices, along with his sister and Luke B's sisters.  The kids had a great time eating monster eyeballs (grapes), making monster masks, magnets and fleece monster pillows.  We were worried about whether the party would actually happen because a crazy ice storm came in the day before and many people were stuck in their homes, but fortunately, his friends were still able to come.

At City Park - May 2013

Samantha started kindergarten this year and we are homeschooling.  Jacob wants to have school most of the time when Samantha does, so he is often at the table doing his "work" while Samantha does hers.  Sometimes it's the same stuff she's doing, sometimes it's a preschool workbook while she does something else, and sometimes it's alphabet bingo.  Thanks to his sister's schoolwork, Jacob now knows almost all of his upper and lowercase alphabet and knows about half of the alphabet sounds.  He also counts beyond 20 and understands what 20 of something is.  He loves to listen to me read and brings books for me to read to him all the time.  He is a wiggly little boy, though, so he is frequently turning himself upside down on the couch while he listens to his story.  He isn't really showing signs of being ready to start learning to read yet and he isn't asking to learn, so we haven't started that yet.  He has plenty of time in the future to start reading.

pictures at his sister's preschool in April
Running in the rain September 2013

He has also been part of all the read-alouds and Bible study that we have done with Samantha.  Every six days we have a phrase of words to remember.  One unit was "I don't quit, I persevere."  A couple weeks after that unit, around Thanksgiving, I had put Jacob to bed and he called to me a little while later "Mommy!  Mommy!"  I said "Yes, Jacob?"  Mommy!  I'm purse-of-the-yearing!"  I smiled as I walked to his room and asked him, "What are you persevering about, Jacob?"  He replied, "Waiting for you to snuggle me."  My Mommy heart smiles at things like that, not only because he is so precious and loving, but because I am so grateful for the lessons that his heart is absorbing.

Dressed as a "skeleton rocker" for Halloween

He is such a sweet blessing in our lives. He makes me smile and he makes me want to scream in frustration, sometimes within almost the same heartbeat.  He frightens me and he melts my heart.  I am so grateful for the awesome privilege of being his mom and look forward to seeing how he grows and changes in the next year.

Digging in the backyard, one of his favorite pastimes - August 2013