Wednesday, February 22, 2012

4 years old!

My boy is 4! I can hardly believe those words as I say them. This past year has been by far our best year with Eli. Age three was WONDERFUL! I am actually sad to see it go. After going gluten free last year, his whole world changed for the better. Tantrums stopped for the most part, talking started, his attention span increased, and most importantly he started feeling good! I feel lucky every day to have such a smart, sweet, and funny boy. There is never a dull moment around here with his hilarious comments and daily adventures. He lives in the amazing world of imagination constantly. He is growing and maturing and learning SO much! He is full of questions about how the world works and we are happy to help him figure it all out. I have loved all the "why" questions because it gives me an opportunity to teach him something new. I can just see the gears in his brain turning and soaking it all up. At four years old:

1. His favorite toys or interests are: trains (especially Thomas), railroad crossings, traffic signs, marbles, toy animals of all kinds, cars, army men, wrestling, hide and seek, playing "nests" on the bed, jumping on the trampoline, bear hunting, climbing trees or the ropes at the park, memory, High Ho Cherry O, Don't Spill the beans, Dominos, swimming, and airplanes.

2. He LOVES riding his bike. He can't get enough of it. We usually go on one to two bike rides a day. He wears his little helmet, pushes his bike across the street, and likes watching the world race by. The faster the better. He always makes an agenda with Brandon. It goes something like this: 1. Gorilla 2. Waterfall 3. Park 4. Playground etc. It is adorable! Brandon is able to ride his biek and pull Cora in the trailer so she can be a part too (usually I walk and push her in the stroller if I'm involved).

3. He is flourishing in preschool and Sunday school. He absolutely loves his teachers Ms. Ladonna and Ms. Sheryl and his friends at school. He can write his name, rhyme, knows all the phonics, can actually sound out words, knows patterns, opposites, etc. He has been working lately on writing his numbers. He is super ahead in cognitive areas and average at fine motor skill things. He has a very rowdy class of mainly boys, but the teachers always tell me he is SO good and they never have any issues with him like the other boys.

4. Eli loves clocks. He has a learning clock that is a constant companion. He will ask what time it is and then set his little clock to the correct time. His teachers call him "Mr. Time" because he is always looking at the clock to see what time it is.

5. His best friends are: Seth Horst, cousin Gavin, all Isaacs cousins, Brodie, Piper, Asa, and Max at school.

6. One of my favorite parts of this year, has been his singing. He LOVES to sing and sings all the time. We love listening in on his little songs. He will sing songs from Chapel, Sunday School, or ones we've taught him. His favorites right now are "Bare Necessities" (from Jungle Book), "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho", "Deep and Wide", etc. He sings in a really high pitch voice. It is just adorable! When he is scared at night he will sing himself a song from school, "The Lord's my helper, I will not be afraid!"

7. Eli is a talker. It is so ironic, since he didn't talk in full sentences until he turned 3. I can just imagine how frustrating it must have been for him. He NEVER stops talking. He is a chatterbox and even continues to talk to himself or play out loud when in his room alone for nap or bedtime. His speech is constantly improving...even his teachers mentioned how much he has improved since school started. He now does speech once a week at Heartspring and once a week after school with Rainbows.

8. He got his very own rabbit this year and has done a great job being responsible for him. When the weather is nice enough, he feeds Carrot (who he named himself) hay and pellets. He always remembers to get some carrots or celery out of the fridge to take to him if we're headed outside. He loves petting him. I am so glad we got Carrot!

9. We don't have tv, but we do let him watch parts of movies or videos. His favorites are: Cars, Jungle Book (definitely his favorite), Cats. vs. Dogs, Curious George, Thomas the Train, Chicken Run, and Beauty and the Beast. He acts them all out after watching them with his little animals and figures.

10. Eli has a great spiritual connection and yearning. It is amazing the deep comments and questions that come out of this kid's mouth! He is very thoughtful and prays for different people constantly. He asks a ton of questions about God/Jesus and loves doing devotions.

11. He loves traveling anywhere. He especially loves going to the farm, Texas, or Great Wolf Lodge.

12. He talks a lot about Asher and how excited he is to have another boy. Just yesterday he said, "I am so happy that Asher is a boy! I wanted a boy SO bad. I just LOVE brothers!" He calls the baby Asher Leaf. We have no idea where the "Leaf" came from, but he tells everyone that is his name. He has already asked if he can help me give him a bath like he used to with Cora.

13. Eli is such a character. He is SO funny and cracks us up constantly. He is very imaginative and creates games for him and Cora to play. They love each other and play together all day (with a few fights sprinkled in). He is passionate in every area of his life and is a perfectionist. This can lead to some emotional moments when he can't get things exactly the way he wants it. He also has a low pain tolerance, which can lead to some drama. We still do time outs for discipline, which works wonderfully because he loves attention and doesn't like to be by himself. One great thing about this year has been the fact that he will play by himself now and let his big imagination be his guide. He is stuck like glue to Brandon when he's home and loves helping Brandon with all the projects around the house. Eli also loves going on errands with Brandon. They have a lot of boy time!

I will forever be so thankful to God for giving me Eli. Eli is constantly teaching me how to be a parent and my love is forever expanding. I look forward to seeing what age 4 has to bring and in what areas he will grow and change this upcoming year. Happy Birthday Eli Jud!

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