Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Boys

As we get ready to bring the movers in and move forward with our lives in a different way, some of you may wonder how the boys are doing...? I'll be happy to tell you! :-)

Brandon is the most "cognitive" of our children and thus, has definitely been showing signs of strain towards the "unknowns" in our near future. Especially since Allen and I have been showing signs of distress ourselves...individually and together. It's a sad reality of the situation. However, with that being said, BOTH Allen and I are trying very hard to not only recognize his feelings about life at the moment, but also spend some extra time with him to reassure him that all will be well. He still LOVES his school with a passion and has all kinds of exciting events to look forward to at school. To top it off, it seems ALL of his friends were born in March. So, he has had plenty of birthday parties to attend this month to keep him very busy.

He comes home almost every day, asking us questions about science. He definitely enjoys learning about the world around him. He is a SUPER STAR reader now and often reads his book(s) for us before bed, instead of the other way around. Even Jaiden has enjoyed watching him flip the pages of his book and listening to his stories. He is currently bringing home non-fiction books and thus, combining two of his favorite things...reading AND science. He is SUPER proud of his "numeracy" skills (math). He agrees with his teacher that he is "very good" with his numbers and math skills and his teacher says he often finishes his work early and then helps others. He volunteers to write our shopping lists so he can practice his writing, although he admits it's not his favorite subject. We are very proud of his progress at BISS. It was definitely the right choice for him.

He came home one day very recently with a smile on his face. He told us that he is going to marry his [current] girlfriend, Karen. She's from Mexico and they will get married and live in Mexico. Last year, he had been very loyal to his previous girlfriend, Renee. They had planned to get married and move to Japan. I'm amazed at how loyal that child is to his love interests at such an early age! He had the chance to get cozy with a VERY pretty girl his age over this last summer...but stated over and over, his loyalty was to [then] Renee. And now...Karen. He has been smitten with her this entire school year, and apparently she with him as well. They're an "item." He likes her because she is smart and is "SUCH a good soccer player!" I suspected that Renee from last year, held his appeal because she often gave him presents. haha Do boys change all that much over time?? ;-)

The biggest event in Brandon's life right now is losing his very first tooth! All school year, he has been talking about how excited he was to lose his baby teeth. I guess it's some sort of right of passage for a six year old. He talks about it, his friends talk about it, etc. All the six year olds are excited about it...and, I think, especially the boys. And the SWEETEST thing about this very special event in MY six year olds that he still believes in things like the Tooth Fairy. I find myself making up answers about the who, what, where and when of tooth fairies. With Easter (and the Easter bunny) JUST around the corner as well! hahaha

All in all, Brandon is doing fine. He's our most sensitive child, but I have to say how proud I am of him. Even though he feels some anxiety about the next couple of months, he handles it very well. He is SUPER attached to Jaiden. He STILL kisses Jaiden when he first sees him in his day, when he gets home from school and when he goes to bed at night. He LOVES his baby brother and constantly wants to spend time with him. It's so sweet to watch. He reads to Jaiden, puts up toys for Jaiden to play with, draws pictures for him and lots more! He is such a sweetheart...

For several months, Ryan has been going through his "terrible 3's." While he started the school year in a positive way, it all kind of slid down hill for several months after that. I think it was a combination of getting a new teacher at school, mommy having a new baby and going through his terrible 3's. All of it.

When I was pregnant with Jaiden, Ryan kept hearing us talk about the baby. He asked us questions, but I'm not sure he truly understood what was supposed to happen. Mostly, he may have had questions like, How does the baby get out of mommy's tummy? Will mommy be hurt or even die because of the baby? What will happen to me after the baby comes? Just to name a few...

After we had the baby, Ryan wasn't the personality type (unlike Brandon) to instantaneously accept the baby. He was shy around him at first, not sure how he should act around "it." But, after about a week, he really started to like Jaiden. First, he was ok with being around him more and more. Then, he attempted a kiss or two on different parts of Jaiden and would run away. Then, he stuck around after kissing him. The kisses also became hugs. And then he felt comfortable enough to talk to him in "baby talk." He watched us around the baby and once he learned how it was done, he was acting like everyone else around the baby. Watching Ryan during this "process", I couldn't help but think of the movie Lady and the Tramp, when Lady was unsure of what a baby is. It was cute.

A couple of weeks after having Jaiden, we noticed a big difference in him. He seemed more relaxed. He also enjoyed going to school more. We had decided to cut him back part time so that he would have both mommy and baby time at home, and that seemed to help a whole lot as well.

Between now and then, we have seen him grow more and more into a preschooler and more and more out of babyhood. Now that we have a new baby, he is VERY happy to remind us that he shouldn't be called a baby anymore...because he is a big boy now. And as time passes, we notice he is settling down a little more each week...FINALLY! But, this is all normal for any toddler/preschooler and Ryan isn't any different.

Ryan has been WOWING us with his artistic abilities! He is very focused on his "art" when he is in the activity and won't be deterred until he decides he is finished. For a THREE year old, he is an amazing colorist and draws pictures that continue to "wow" us. I feel that he also communicates with his pictures and I try and look to see the deeper message about his feelings for that day. For example, when he draws a picture of our family and each member in it...are we smiling or are we all having bad days? So far...yes, we are smiling. So, that's good. Also, so far, nobody is being consistently excluded in his pictures of the family...Jaiden AND Blue are there too. :-)

Ryan is a kid who knows what he wants. I love that about him. He is direct in his feelings and says what's on his mind. He often shows us a "no fear" attitude, but without being stupid. He is cautious at all the appropriate times and fearless when he can be. We are very proud of him and he is growing up so fast. He has always been the kind of kid that looks "wise" for his age. Even when he was first born. Sometimes, I can hardly believe he is only 3.5 years old. The kid amazes me in so many ways.

Ryan absolutely ADORES his older brother. Since I'm the younger sibling as well, I recognize the "God" syndrome Ryan shows towards Brandon. Ryan wants to be around Brandon ALL OF THE TIME! He asks about Brandon...When is Brandon going to be home? Where is Brandon? Brandon!? haha Brandon, unfortunately, doesn't always want to be around his little brother because, as Brandon puts it, "Ryan annoys me." hahahahaha It's like being in my own childhood all over again! Some things just never change...

Ryan is doing really well at school. He is helpful and listens to the lessons. He knows his alphabet and is working on writing his letters as well. He continues to learn his numbers from 1-20. He is also learning how to be more self sufficient by dressing himself, putting on his own shoes, wiping his own bottom, etc. You know...all the normal stuff for a 3.5 year old. :-)

What a little CUTIE!!! Jaiden is the baby of all babies. He is SERIOUSLY...SOOOO GOOD!!! I can hardly believe what a good baby he is all of the time. From birth, he was even a GREAT sleeper at night. Unfortunately, all that travelling we did in February messed him up permanently and he is the "typical" newborn sleeper now. He never went back. *sigh*

He is GROWING!! And, yes, he looks just like his big brothers. They all look alike! Right now, and like Brandon at about the same age, he is a Charlie Brown headed kid. He looks really big! He is starting to recognize his brothers now, which is exciting for the other boys...but especially for Brandon since he has such a keen desire to bond with Jaiden.

I don't really have any updates about his vision since we really don't know what he can see until he can talk and tell us. However, I watch him closely and so far, he is hitting all of the developmental milestones for his age. He looks at toys, bats at them, grasps them, etc. There are some things he enjoys more than others and it may be because it's easier for him to see. He loves looking at stripes and any contrast in patterns. He loves looking at toys that light up. He likes looking at anything colorful. Although, I'm not entirely sure this is any different from any other baby at this age.

Jaiden DEFINITELY has a favorite toy! It is absolutely amazing how quickly and most definitely he bonded with this toy, in particular. It is a baby blue, soft, blankie that has a bear (head and arms) sewn into it. The entire toy is baby blue, except for two oval, brown, embroidered dots for eyes, a brown embroidered nose and a thin brown smile. One day, I was putting several toys in front of Jaiden to see which ones he responded to more. I was actually going to include this blue blankie bear in a little gift bag for a friend of mine who is having a baby. It even had the tags still on it. But I decided just to see if he would like it any more than anything else. BOY, DID HE!! Jaiden immediately pursed his lips when he saw the bear and his eyes got big and round. Then, he smiled at the bear and started giggling - for the first time! Since then, his reaction to this bear is always the same. He smiles at it, like it's an old friend. Then, as if sharing some secret joke with the bear, he giggles at it. Then, he grabs for it and hugs it to him. And now...he grabs the bear and bites on his nose or arm, like he's teething or something. When Jaiden is sleepy, but having a hard time settling down, the softness of his bear blankie calms him right down and most of the time, helps him to fall asleep right away. As soon as he feels the blankie next to his face, his eyes roll in the back of his head and he's in dreamland. Ahhhh...he's found his blankie...!!! And what surprises me the most, is the instantaneous bonding Jaiden had with this particular toy. Amazing...

He has had an allergic reaction to the latex in the glasses that were prescribed to him. So, he hasn't been wearing them lately. And without the glasses, we were told not to use the eyedrops. But, again, SO FAR, he seems to be hitting all his developmental milestones...which is very good.

And that's about all the updates we have for the boys. Many of you will be seeing them soon! They are excited to be going back to AMERICA...especially via HAWAII! ;-)

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