Monday, June 3, 2019

Krewson Lee at 9 Years Old

Dearest Krewson Lee,

We are now well into your year of being 9 years old! You turned 9 nearly three months ago, but I am learning to be ok with getting these yearly updates completed months after your birthdays. I figure, at least I'm actually doing them at all, right? :)


We sure love you, buddy. You bring such depth and feelings to our lives. You continue to be our introverted, sensitive, and introspective child. You react to everything around you with emotion and as a result remind us of the deeper parts of life.


You continue to be smaller for your age (19th percentile for height this year). You still have your longish blonde hair (which you are very attached to) and gray-blue eyes. At your wellness doc visit this year, your eyesight was not as perfect as it's always been, but the doctor said you can probably wait another year before needing glasses. (You did not like this news about future glasses one iota.) You've lost eight teeth so far and I'm relieved that they're coming in pretty straight (although with a large adorable gap between the front two).


Your absolute favorite pastime (other than screen time, which I'm pretty sure is every kid's favorite) is reading. You read, read, read, read. Your current obsession is middle-grade fantasy. It is not uncommon for you to read an entire novel or more in a single day (especially on the weekends or when tracked out of school). You go through series so quickly that we've resorted to going to the library and walking up and down the middle grade aisles to find new books for you, because I've run out of recommendations from others.


Another favorite activity is ninja warrior obstacle climbing and jumping, so we may get you involved with that more in the fall at a local ninja warrior gym. Your daddy built you and your brother a small ninja-warrior-type gym in your playroom for Christmas this year, and you two have had a blast in there. Right now you are being kept busy with soccer and swim team. Despite having a decent amount of natural ability, soccer is not your favorite due to the unpredictability of whether you're about to get a kick to the shins or a ball to the face. Therefore, you don't do a whole lot of actual playing on the field. However, you keep requesting to do soccer because you love seeing your friends on the team. You seem ok with swim team (and actually are a very good swimmer!) as long as the water or air are not too cold. If you feel cold then you become quickly discouraged.


You are still taking piano lessons, although the daily practicing at home is a frequent point of tension between you and me. You do NOT like making mistakes, and making mistakes is part of learning to play. So we frequently hit stand offs during our practice sessions after you've struggled with a certain piece of music. You will say that it is too hard and you cannot do it, and then you will refuse to play again despite all my prodding and encouragement. On the other hand, if you decide you like a certain piece of music, you will go to the piano and play for 30 minutes straight all on your own, frequently adding to the music with your own improvisations. The way you seem to "feel" the music as you're playing has brought tears to my eyes as I've watched you. I hope we can continue to get through practicing and lessons so that you can continue to have music as an outlet in the future.


Your favorite school subject seems to be science. You love learning about the world and have hundreds of facts memorized, which you'll share whenever the opportunity arises. You do well in all your school subjects, but you really do not like writing. You also get frustrated in math because you can get the right answers but cannot always understand the ways the teachers want you to get to the answer (unfortunately that's Common Core for ya).


You still love building and designing, and you make frequent Lego creations or other creations out of supplies you find around the house. You also love taking apart electronics and figuring out how they work. You have a large bin in the garage full of electronic parts that you play around with on a regular basis.



You are still cautious, careful, and responsible, always following the rules and watching out for your safety and the safety of everyone around you. If something seems unsafe, you will basically refuse to do it.


You are still very emotional and can switch from hyper-joyful to devastated crying in a split second. You feel everything so incredibly deeply, and anxiety and frequent bouts of depression have become a regular part of your life. After implementing diet changes last spring, we saw incredible improvements, but the last few months have been a struggle again. You are also incredibly hard on yourself and very upset whenever you feel that you've done something wrong or are incapable of doing something the way you think is best. So we are doing all we can to help you at home, and you've also begun seeing a new talk/play therapist. You've only had a few session so far, but I am feeling hopeful because you seem a little more relaxed and a bit more able to handle yourself after each session.


Although you are most commonly quiet and subdued, you also have a very goofy, wisecracking, sarcastic side that can surprise people. You love to crack jokes and make people laugh, but you save that side of yourself for those you feel safest with. When that side of you does come out, you can even get a little bit hyper-crazy.



You don't like crowds or being the center of attention, but you absolutely love your close friends and are happiest with you're with them. You are also incredibly dedicated to your family and become broken-hearted when one of us is away from home for very long. Although I don't know you'd say so, I think your brother is your best friend. You boys get along amazingly well for how different you are from one another, and you can sometimes play all day long without even a little fight. You do have your squabbles and disagreements, but for the most part you support each other and love each other very well.


We are so thankful for you, buddy! We love you so much. Until next year. :)

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Krewson Lee: 9-Year-Old Interview

Krew turned 9 years old on March 5th. What! Last year being a single digit!!

Here is his yearly interview. This year it just so happened that I captured many of his personality quirks and how he responds to and handles life. It makes me so happy to watch this video. It's very Krew-y. :)

Past years' interviews are below, too, if you'd like to compare and see how he's changed. :)

We love you Krew!!

Age 9:



Age 8:



Age 7:





Age 6:


Age 5:


Age 4:

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Greyden Roy at 6 Years Old

Hey Greyden Roy, it's time to write about you as a 6-year-old!

You turned six on July 28th. You sure love your birthdays. You usually talk about them for months ahead of time and then expect lots and lots of celebrating (which is exactly what happened this year).


You are right around average for height, weight, and BMI. Your eyes still typically look brown but can show a smidgen of green in certain lighting. Your hair was light brown last winter and blonde again this summer, but it really seems as if it may have turned blonde now even at the roots. We will see come this winter. :)


You started kindergarten in July and you LOVE it. You are actually disappointed when you have school breaks because you like going so much. You are doing great with your math, writing, and reading (you actually taught yourself to read simple books over the last year!). Still, I'd say your favorite part of the school day is probably recess or PE, because you love being active and you love playing with friends.


If I had to describe your personality, I would say the best words to describe you would be happy, joyful, goofy, excited, outgoing, determined, social, and energetic. You always look forward to every day, finding something in it that you expect to be fun or exciting. Every night during prayers you say, "Dear God, thank you for today and thank you that it was so much fun...and please let us have a fun day tomorrow." You cry easily when you have expectations and they aren't met, but you get over it quickly and are grinning again before long. Really, nothing keeps you down; you are always making lemonade out of lemons.


You crave interaction with others and really don't play alone well. In fact, being told to play alone is one of the few things that will quickly send you into tears. You usually don't mind being the center of attention or having others focused on you. You love to talk, talk, talk and you love being with friends. You love to act goofy and make silly faces and talk in a baby voice (which drives us a bit batty at times). You are incredibly competitive and would prefer to turn everything into a competition if possible. Sports are your favorite, basically all of them. Your favorite teams are Notre Dame, Panthers, and NC State, just like a year ago, and your sports jerseys are still your favorite shirts. You currently play soccer in the spring and fall and swim on the swim team in the summer, but you also love to practice basketball in the house or play football in the backyard. You also do great throwing a frisbee (no shocker there for anyone who knows your daddy). You pretty much always prefer to be active, but will sometimes settle down to read a book or draw.



You get distracted SO easily, and your daddy and I have gotten to the point where we just laugh about it because it's so "you". You get distracted while getting dressed, while walking places, while doing chores, while brushing your teeth, while going to the bathroom, while eating. We frequently have to remind you to take another bite during dinner (because you're so busy talking) or to keep cleaning up your toys (because you've noticed something and have started talking about that thing to anyone who will listen). We often hear you singing in the bathroom and have to remind you to stay focused if we're in any sort of rush. We bought you a watch that beeps every day when you have ten minutes left for lunch at school, in an attempt to help you finish your food on time. Still, most days you come home and your dessert is still in your lunch box, and you tell us it's because you "ran out of time".


Your favorite toys right now are hot wheels, bey blades, and anything sports-related. You love to play games still, and it's one of my favorite things to do with you. You also still love the iPad and video games, and you and Krew have been playing the Wii or X-box quite a bit.

Krew is still your best friend, and it makes me so incredibly grateful. You two do everything together and honestly very rarely ask for a friend to come over because you have each other. You really support each other through your different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses and are quite the team. It makes my heart sooooo happy.


Over the last year, you successfully reintroduced chicken, peanuts, and tree nuts and got to keep those in your diet. We also tried reintroducing pork and green beans, but those foods failed and you had your second worse scope results ever. We tried green beans again after you healed, but you became symptomatic again and it's now been many months of lingering mild symptoms. You struggle with stomach pain and esophagus spasms, and occasionally food gets stuck in your throat. We increased your medication dose (per your allergist's suggestion) to see if it would help with the symptoms, and it did seem to, but still you haven't been symptom-free long enough to reintroduce another food. We are planning to look into trying a new GI doctor to see if we can get a new viewpoint and some fresh advice. Other than your EoE, some nightime leg pains, and cyclic vomiting syndrome (which has unfortunately happened three times since your 5-year-old blog post), you really are a healthy kid. You don't get stomach bugs and rarely get colds or flu-like sicknesses. We are very thankful for that.



I mean this with love, but I must say that you have always been incredibly clumsy child. Fortunately, over the last few months, you seem to finally be figuring out your body a little more. You are still frequently covered in bruises and scrapes, but you seem to be falling and slamming into things a little less. Just in the last couple of weeks, your daddy and I have noticed that you seem much more in control of your body on the soccer field. And I actually don't remember the last time that you tripped while running down the sidewalk, which is such a huge relief.


One of your favorite ways to start sentences when explaining something is by saying, "Well, exactly...", which is super cute. I was shocked to look back at a video from a year ago and realize that it was sometime over the last 12 months that you learned to say your Rs and Ls. I didn't even remember that it was a struggle for you! But you definitely have them down pat now. Which is a good thing, because you absolutely love to sing and have now joined a nearby Glee Club, where you learn songs with a few other children and sometimes perform for the local farmers' market. You are also now taking piano lessons and really seem to have an interest in music.


One of our biggest struggles with you is still bedtime every night. Due to your EoE and maybe some growing pains, you seem to feel pain and discomfort a lot at nighttime. Probably five out of seven nights you come out of your room complaining that you are experiencing pain in your stomach, throat, or legs. On the nights you aren't experiencing pain, you come up with some other ridiculous reason for getting out of bed (you can't get your covers on the right way, you feel an itch, you are thinking about something, you have a question, etc.). It is a very rare night that we put you to bed and don't see your face at the top of the stairs within the next hour, voicing a concern. Sometimes your daddy and I have a hard time controlling our tempers when you come out of your room three times in 30 minutes. But then, you've been this way ever since we can remember, so I'm not sure why we expect otherwise. I really don't remember a time when you didn't get out of bed at night. You rarely fall asleep before 10pm, and sometimes it's even 10:30 or 11 depending on the night.


Along the lines of bedtime, there is something you do at night when saying goodnight that I never want to forget. It is one of my favorite things that you do right now. You always hug me tight around the neck, wait for me to kiss your cheek, then turn your little face and put a kiss in the center of my cheek. Every. Single. Night. And oh my gosh how it melts my heart.


Alright Roy Boy, I think that sums you up pretty well at age 6. We love you SO much!!

Love,
Mommy (and Daddy)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Greyden Roy: 6-Year-Old Interview

Our Roy Boy turned 6 years old on July 28th! As is typical, given all our extended family who visits with us at different times, his birthday celebration lasted a couple weeks. He had several mini parties with relatives, and we also had some friends meet us at the nearby park on his birthday morning. :)

My usual yearly blog post with fancy pictures will be coming hopefully soon. In the meantime, below is his 6-year-old interview! I've also included his 5-year-old interview (same questions) and 4-year-old interview (different questions) for fun if you like to compare. (The way his voiced changed from age 5 to age 6...oh my goodness I couldn't believe it!)

Enjoy!







Sunday, May 6, 2018

Krewson Lee at 8 Years Old

Dear Krew,

You’re 8! It’s so great! (Yay for cheesy mom rhymes!!)


Of course I am two months late writing this again, as I am with every one of your birthdays or your brother’s birthdays. Since I have to find a good time to take photos of you and then edit them, and then I have to write a long post, it just takes me some time. But I always get it done eventually. :)

What can I say about 8-year-old Krew? We sure love having you in our lives. You make us smile and warm our hearts daily. You love deeply and love to show people that you care through your words, hugs, and drawings. I have countless cards with hearts and poems on them where you've expressed your love for me. It's adorable.


As I say almost every year, you are our sensitive, introspective, and inquisitive boy. You are very consistent in those characteristics.


Also consistently from years past, you are still very cautious, careful, and responsible. You follow the rules, do not like to take risks, and are always concerned about safety.

Interestingly, we’ve discovered that at times you will decide that you cannot or should not do something (such as write a school paper that you don’t feel equipped to write according to your own personal standards) and you will adamantly refuse to do it no matter the rules. Your teacher even commented on this, mentioned that she’s had to learn work-arounds with you, because if you decide that you cannot do an assignment well enough, you will absolutely refuse to try no matter what anyone says. I tried to discuss this with you once and sway your thinking. I told you that you get grades at school, and that if you do not do any writing at all you will get a bad grade. Then I said, isn’t it better to write something and get an average grade rather than write nothing at all and get a bad grade? You replied by telling me that you don’t care what grade you get, all you care about is if you think it’s written the way YOU think it should be written. (Insert mom face palm emoji.)


You will react similarly in other situations, such as soccer practice and piano lessons. Some of it seems to be issues with perfectionism, a lot of it seems to stem from your struggles with anxiety.

Anxiety has been a hard thing this year. You’ve struggled with both social and situational anxiety. We had you seeing a therapist for a while, and we also do some workbooks together to help you with cognitive behavioral tactics. Your daddy and I are also reading books and listening to podcasts to learn how to best help you. It’s been a relief to see some progress lately, now that we’ve figured out some methods that seem to help you.


You also have times of what appears to be depression, which usually lasts a couple weeks to a month. We haven’t been able to figure out what triggers these episodes or what helps you eventually pull out of them. However, we’re always watching you carefully, ready to get some outside help if we need it.

You feel things so deeply, both emotionally and physically. You still avoid almost all movies and sad or scary stories. It’s rare that a day goes by without tears springing to your eyes over something. Sometimes it’s that you’re concerned about another person or worried you’ve done something wrong, and sometimes it’s because your socks are too scratchy or a sound is too loud or you feel too hot or too cold. Oftentimes it’s because you’re being asked to do something that makes you feel anxious, and you become so overwhelmed that you can’t help but cry. But I love this sensitive side of you. It makes you YOU. You wouldn’t be Krew if you weren’t tender. And because of it, you tend to see more quickly when others are hurting and reach out to try to offer comfort.


I't's not all tears and struggles with you, and I don't want to give that impression. You are also a very smart, witty, and giggly boy. You crack jokes and frequently use sarcasm (I credit that acquired skill to your father's influence). You can be goofy and silly and so much fun.


And interestingly enough, if you get overly comfortable or self-assured with someone, you can swing to the opposite end of the pendulum and become CRAZY. You’ll become loud, somewhat obnoxious, hyper, and smart-alecky. It’s something we’re working on learning to manage together. ;)


You have great body awareness and control, and when you put your mind to it you can do well at many athletic activities including soccer and swim team. It is usually the mental component that causes you to struggle. You get incredibly anxious when you think about others watching you, which causes you to panic and shut down while playing sports. But with enough encouragement and external motivation, we’ve kept you active with both swimming on the swim team and playing soccer. We've give you the option to switch to different activities, but you tell us that if you have to do something then you guess you'll do sports. (Insert mom shrug emoji.)


You are also still taking piano lessons, and it’s so fun to watch and listen to you read music. The last recital a couple weeks ago was hard for you due to all the people watching, but with a little extra encouragement you DID IT and we were SO PROUD of you!!


You love to read and it makes me so happy to see you in your bed or on the couch with a book in your lap. Your favorite things to read are nonfiction books full of facts and graphic novels (long comic books). You are also still very much into Minecraft and will spend hours playing it if we let you.


You are an amazingly creative child, coming up with all kinds of fascinating ideas, drawings and other artwork, and creations out of Legos. You also love to learn about science and really enjoy science kits.


You are still small (17th percentile for height), but we don’t notice it as much because you are one of the oldest kids in your grade and so you look average next to most of your friends. You’ve lost six teeth. You have longer hair now because you requested to grow it out, and I think you wear it well. :) Also I think your eyes are looking more and more gray rather than blue.


Alright buddy, I think that’s it!! We love you!!

Love,
Mommy