Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Krewson Lee at 7 Years Old

Dearest Krewson Lee,

You have now been 7 years old for nearly three months. I've been stressed about writing this blog post for nearly two months. I'm excited to be finally sitting down to do it. :)


It's been so fascinating to me to see how the personality traits we saw in you at a very young age (even at age 2) have continued over time and have developed. You are our sensitive, introspective, and inquisitive boy. It's been that way from the beginning and I'm thinking it will continue to be that way into the far future.



But really, I love that about you. I love your sensitivity, your emotions, your tenderness. You feel deeply but that means you love deeply. You hate to hurt others and often become very upset when you realize you've done so, even if it was an accident. You do your best to make sure that your daddy and I always know that you love us, through your hugs and cards and gifts and attention. You have so many children who consider you a friend at school, and I know it's because of your sweet, kind personality.


You are also a very cautious, careful, and responsible child. Although I wouldn't, I think I could leave you home alone for quite a while and you would be fine. You'd probably follow most of the house rules, even without someone there to hold you to them. You do not like to take risks, and you are very aware of safety, often cautioning us about "precarious" situations ("Mommy, make sure you put that candle up high so that the dogs can't bump it, and also put it in a bowl so just in case it does fall over, it lands inside the bowl and doesn't catch the house on fire..."). You are also a perfectionist, and become upset when something you've done doesn't meet your high standards. Because of this, we actually haven't even told you yet that you get report cards. We don't want you worrying about them any earlier than you have to.


Of course, your sensitivity can also make things harder for you. I'm trying to be careful with my words here, because you're at the age now where I don't want to say things that would embarrass you if you read them online. But I think you'd be ok if I said this: You struggle sometimes with participating in your extracurricular activities such as soccer, swim team, and piano, because they cause extreme anxiety for you (even though you do really well at all of them). I think it makes it hard for you at school as well, when you're the center of attention. We are working through this together, though, learning day by day and helping you find ways to overcome your anxiety when it keeps you from doing things you want to do. Also, certain things such as movies and parts of books or even comments that people say to you can really affect you emotionally. You will readily admit this to others and often tell people, "I don't like movies" if they ask to watch one with you. And you will tell us when we have hurt your feelings or said something that makes you sad. I'm so grateful you feel you can be honest with us and tell us what's going on. And we are working together on figuring out these emotions. We got this, buddy.




On the other hand, once you are comfortable with someone, you can become quite outgoing, goofy, talkative, and even a bit of a smart aleck. I also enjoy this side of you because it keeps me laughing and on my toes.


You started your piano lessons in April and have really been doing well. You are currently learning the difference between 4/4 and 3/4 time. You also just finished another season of soccer, with your daddy as the coach, and you're currently beginning your second season of swim team. You do well at all of these activities (especially when you're able to overcome your fears), and I love seeing you figure out how your body works. You've always been very attuned to the details of movement, and it shows as you're learning how to position your fingers in piano, kick a ball, or learn swim strokes.


You love to learn, build, and create. Your favorite activities are Minecraft, Legos, K'Nex, drawing, and making creations out of cardboard boxes. Your reading ability just recently shot through the roof, and now you've begun reading chapter books such as The Magic Tree House. You are loving this and it makes me SO excited because I am a book lover myself.


You lost your third tooth five nights ago (it was your first top tooth, the one on the right when we look at you), and you now have the cutest giant gap in the top of your mouth. It really makes you seem older to me, seeing that hole in your smile. It's going to be crazy when a giant adult tooth comes in! You don't get to see the missing tooth in these pictures because I took these back in the beginning of April, but I have plenty of other photos of it. :)

You and your little brother are best friends now and play together all the time. It really is so wonderful, and I feel so fortunate that you get along. Not that you never get into spats, because you do. But they're pretty infrequent and pretty quickly over when they do happen. I'm so, so grateful for your friendship and plan to do all I can to foster it and help it to stay strong as you both grow.


Your first year of elementary school has gone well. You've learned to read, as I mentioned, and also still love math and can do addition problems with fairly large numbers and also some simple multiplication problems. You do well at writing, but you don't enjoy it. You complain about how much you have to write in school, and I hate to tell you that it's going to be that way for the next 12+ years. You are tracked out right now, but go back to school in a week and a half. Then you'll be in school for three and a half more weeks before you have a week off and then begin first grade. I'm honestly very sad that you'll be leaving your current kindergarten teacher, because she has been an incredible blessing to us this year. Hopefully your first grade teacher will be just as awesome. :)


Alright buddy boy, I think that's all for now.

Love you SO MUCH!!!
Love,
Mommy



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Krewson Lee: 7-Year-Old Interview

Krew turned 7 on March 5th! He had several mini birthday celebrations with family, we met some friends at a bounce house one night, and then he even gained an aunt on his birthday day (welcome to the family, Amber)!

As usual, I'll soon be doing a blog post to sum him up at age 7. But first, here is his annual interview. I decided to switch up the questions a little this year from past years, to be more relevant and personal and really capture more of who he is. I'm hoping these same questions will continue to work as he grows older, and also with Greyden in his birthday interviews.

Enjoy the interview! Past interviews are posted below, too, so you can see how he's changed. :)

Age 7:





Age 6:


Age 5:


Age 4:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Greyden Roy at 4 Years Old

Hey there Roy Boy,

It seems to be my rhythm these days that I post the yearly updates for you and your brother a few months late. Better late than never, though, right? I just want to be able to remember your personalities and quirks, the things that made me and your daddy laugh when you were these ages, the things that made you YOU.


You turned four years old on July 28th, 2016, and you were excitedly talking about it for at least the six months prior. You just couldn't wait for the big day.

We had a few small get-togethers with family and friends, and those were good enough "parties" for you. You of course got more presents than we knew what to do with, but you loved it all.

Let's see, what are you like at age 4...


You are loud and excited. Oh so loud and excited. You really struggle turning the volume down, even in just normal face-to-face conversation. You just can't help but belt out whatever you want to say with extreme enthusiasm. You are vocal and expressive and SO excited about life. It takes very little to get you wound up, wiggling and jumping around and shouting out goofy words. It's hard to get you to sit still long because you're easily distracted and ready to move on to the next thing. You're a very happy-go-lucky boy about most things, and even when something upsets you, you brush it off a moment later. Tears rarely last more than a minute or two, and you're incredibly quick to forgive.


You have never-ending energy and really don't sleep much. You're always wired at night time and rarely fall asleep quickly. Almost every night you get out of bed at least twice between the time we officially tell you goodnight and the time we climb into bed ourselves. You have all kinds of excuses for getting out of bed - you're hot, you're cold, you can't get your covers pulled on correctly, you need us to wipe your bottom, you need water, you can't find your stuffed animal...the list goes on and on until Daddy and I are about to pull our hair out. And then you're almost always up early in the morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to seize the day. You have to wait until your clock turns green at 7am to come out of your room, and then you'll go wake up Daddy and stick your face into his and announce, "Daddy, it's green o'clock!" Sometimes you'll sleep in until 8:45 or so, but that's a rarity. I swear you need less sleep than me. I'm not sure how you do it.


You love music and singing, and if you're not talking then you're usually singing. You frequently sing about things as you're doing them, making up words and the tune as you go. You can still sing on pitch fairly well, as you've been able to do since you were two. It still impresses me and I just hope that you continue to like singing as you grow older. You have a strong, clear voice and I'd hate to see your ability to sing go to waste...but at the same time I am determined to not force my dreams onto you or your brother. I want to let you grow to pursue your OWN dreams, even if that doesn't include singing as I've always wished I could. :)


You still have an ornery streak as you have for a while. It's not uncommon for you say things that are intentionally hurtful or self-serving, and so we've been working on learning to use our words to love people and not be mean. You can be very sneaky and are very quick to use white lies to cover up things you've done if you're worried what you did was wrong. You're incredibly skilled at coming up with quick excuses that sound logical, and I oftentimes find myself stumbling over my words as I try to respond to your reasonable-sounding explanations for your misbehavior. When we do discipline you, your face will become downcast and you'll immediately apologize in a remorseful voice. But then two seconds later you'll be grinning and laughing again. I'm never sure if our lessons and disciplines are getting through to your heart, or if you're just acting the way you believe we want you to so that the moment will pass. It's a tricky thing.


You're still very accident-prone and give me about 800 panic attacks per day. Every time I hear a thump or bang or yell, my heart jumps through my chest wondering if you're hurt. You always have bruises and scrapes and cuts. When you run on the pavement, your daddy and I both cringe inside because you trip and fall so frequently. You're falling less than you used to, thank goodness, but it still happens.


You love cars and action figures and all kinds of sports. You love, LOVE playing on a soccer team. When your team scrimmages, you keep track of the score and run over to me and daddy on the sidelines to enthusiastically update us on the points after each goal. You always want to play football in the house or throw a frisbee outside or kick a soccer ball or swing a bat. Or wrestle. Basically anything physical and competitive, you love it. In fact, you turn almost everything into a competition. It seems to be in your blood. It doesn't matter if you're getting dressed, brushing your teeth, cleaning up toys, or getting in the car - everything is a race or a test to see who can win. Oftentimes we don't even know we're competing with you until we lose.


You also love to play make believe, and even when playing by yourself, we'll overhear you talking for your action figures, having them live out their pretend lives. You love playing nearly anything with your brother. He is most definitely your best friend and I would say you are probably his now as well, although he may not willingly admit it. Your daddy and I felt like we waited so long for you two to get along, and sometimes we wondered if the day would ever come when you'd play together. Now you've become favorite playmates and do almost everything together, and your daddy and I talk quite frequently about how incredibly happy it makes our hearts to see you loving and enjoying each other.


You're in the 4s class at preschool now, and since starting this school year you've finally learned how to hold a pencil correctly, hurray! And you're totally a lefty, which is just yet another genetic quirk of yours that we've found. (Add that to your brown eyes, two partially webbed toes on each foot, and, bless-your-heart, rare health conditions.) Now that you can hold a writing utensil, you're starting to write and draw more which is precious. You still really don't like coloring much, and your coloring pictures from school often crack me up. It always looks like you scribbled the absolute minimum necessary to get your teacher's approval so she'll call it done. But you are now writing your name and drawing pictures on your own accord, and that's very exciting.


In terms of health, you're growing well, learning well, and abounding in energy. At your 4-year checkup in August you were 40 inches tall (42nd percentile) and weighed 37.9 lbs (67th percentile). You continue to be on your restricted diet and handle it like a champ. You're very trustworthy and careful with your restrictions, but at the same time you don't let them get you down. Very rarely do you seem sad or left out when you can't eat what others are eating around you. I thank God for your easy-going personality, because it's made this journey with you so much easier, on both you and everyone around you.


We're so grateful to have you in our lives, little buddy. You make us laugh and challenge us, and we can't imagine our lives without you.

Love you lots,
Mommy

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Greyden Roy: 4-Year-Old Interview

Our littlest man turned 4 years old last Thursday! We had a fairly low-key celebration with him this year, having several little mini-parties with just a couple friends or family. I'll be writing a longer post about him in the near future, with pictures and updates on his big 4-year-old personality. But in the meantime, in keeping with tradition, I decided to start doing interviews with him at each of his birthdays as I have with Krew. So below you'll find his 4-year-old interview. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Krewson Lee at 6 Years Old

Dear Sweet Krew,

You are now 6 years old.  You've actually been 6 for 2 1/2 months now, as your birthday was on March 5th, but your mommy here is still working on getting her act together and so is a wee bit behind on writing life updates. :)

I look at you standing next to me sometimes and it feels odd to have a child this old and large.  Not that you're large at all, you're actually still on the smaller end of the spectrum for your age, but it still amazes me that a baby that came out of my body is now so big and not at all a baby anymore. You're a KID.


Your personality has stayed pretty consistent over time.  You are our deep thinker, deep feeler, questioning, creative child. You are very independent, responsible, and eager to please, often gladly helping around the house and doing lists of tasks we ask you to do (e.g. get dressed, brush your teeth, put on shoes, and finish your breakfast). You are a perfectionist, wanting everything to be done just right, and because I have personally struggled with this myself I'm trying to teach you at a young age to let it go.  You cry very easily and often, not because you're demanding attention (really, you most often hate having attention on you) but rather because everything strikes your heart and stirs up emotions in you, and you have a hard time turning off the emotions before they pour out from your eyes as tears. We have to be very careful about what movies we let you see or what stories we tell you, and you actually encourage us to implement these restrictions.  We've all come to learn that if you're exposed to anything emotional, whether it be happy or discouraging, you will have a hard time erasing it from your mind and will feel consumed to the point that you are sometimes unable to fall asleep at night.  Mommy here understands this, because I'm also this way.


We have to handle discipline with you carefully. When you are in a stable mood, we can talk to you about our frustrations or concerns and you are very receptive and understanding and will quickly adjust your behavior. However, if we have to discipline you in a time of high emotion, it can easily derail you into a full meltdown. You will sob and scream and find yourself unable to calm down and begin saying self-deprecating things such as, "I'm never going to [allow myself] do XYZ again because I'm a such a bad person!!!"  The frequency of these types of meltdowns goes up and down over time, with weeks or months without one and then a period of time where you'll have one every other day.  I've determined that there is a direct correlation between the frequency of these meltdowns and the number of parenting books I'm reading at any given moment. :)


You are a very creative boy, frequently building things out of cardboard boxes, tape, paper, and markers. You also love to draw and your drawings always fascinate me because you include details I never would have thought of.  Legos are your favorite toy, and you will spend hours building, either following the instructions that come with the sets or making up your own creations.  You never played make-believe much as a toddler, but it is one of Greyden's favorite activities and so I see you doing more and more of it as you and he become better friends.



Speaking of which, you two really are becoming good friends.  And it makes my heart SO happy. You do all sorts of things together and genuinely seem to care about and love each other.  Yes, you get into your sibling squabbles, but on the whole you do way more playing together than you do arguing or fighting. It's become such a blessing as you've started turning to each other more for entertainment and expecting it less from your daddy and me.  Also, you watch out for your little brother and oftentimes do things to take care of him when it's within your abilities.  It's the sweetest thing ever. You've turned into an awesome big brother.


You just graduated from transitional kindergarten at the preschool this past week and will start kindergarten at the local elementary school on July 14th in Track 2. I'm excited for this new stage in your life and really think you're going to do well once you get over the anxieties of dealing with new people in a new place.  I know it's going to be scary and overwhelming and basically your worst nightmare at first, but then I know you'll make friends and it will become your new normal and you'll love it.


I really think math and science are going to be your favorite subjects in school, as you love learning science facts from books and can already do quite a bit of addition and subtraction of numbers in your head. You also know all of your letters and their sounds, but you're not yet reading a ton of words and cannot yet sit down with a beginner's reader book and read to yourself. Which is totally ok with your daddy and me. You'll get there at your own pace.



You're now in your third season of soccer (they run twice per year) and, as it's been from season one, you fluctuate between having rock-star days and days where you're just not in the mood. You're a pretty decent little soccer player when you apply yourself, but being aggressive isn't quite your thing. So you tend to keep your distance from the mob of kicking children and wait for the ball to pop out so you can kick it without being body slammed by five other kids.


We also just had you join the swim team at the nearby pool. You've only gone to three practices but you've already learned to do a kneeling dive and the breaststroke kick which is so neat to watch. It took a lot of talking and some tough parenting and bribing to get you to attend the first practice, but now that you've gotten past the anxieties and awkwardness of that first time, you seem to be pretty happy to go.  We're going to have to do some major praying before the first swim meet.  I'm not sure how you'll feel when it's unfamiliar children swimming next to you and there are a million parents watching. That's really not your cup of tea. But I really do think you could be awesome at it if you can be brave and get past your fear. You're a pretty good little swimmer. :)


Alright buddy boy, I think that's about it for now. You bring so much joy to our lives and we love you so much. I'm so excited to watch you continue to grow into the young man you're becoming. You challenge me, and God grows me through that, and at the same time my heart just swells with my love for you. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you and to be there by your side. :)

Love,
Your Momma