My BIG boy Sawyer is 4! Its weird to think I've been a mom for a whole 4 years already, but at the same time it seems like it's been a lot longer than that!!! I am so grateful and happy to be home with my sweet kids everyday and to be witnessing the miracles of growth and development that happen constantly. It really is amazing. I just went back and read over my post from his 3rd birthday. Some things have changed, but overall Sawyer is the same energetic and loving boy he's always been.
After our summer adventures in Germany and Virginia, we moved to Las Vegas and started him up in preschool 3 days a week. At first it was a bit of a challenge, for him and me, lol. He wasn't sure how to handle following classroom rules or sitting still for long periods of time. And I wasn't sure how to handle having a child that was the 'difficult' one in class. I've suspected for a while now that Sawyer definitely has some characteristics of ADD, just like his daddy. Knowing Nathan, I've been prepared for that and it is fine with me, but starting preschool was my first introduction with helping him deal with it outside of our home. He has some awesome teachers, though, and they discovered fairly early on that he does really well with positive reinforcement. And as long as he is interested and engaged in what they are doing he does fine. They said once they figured him out things got a lot better. And I think he became more comfortable with the routine, etc. He still needs more reminders and 'refocusing' efforts than some of the other kids, but he's doing so much better! We had some similar struggles when he started Sunbeams in Primary at the first of the year, but I think he is learning to adapt in there as well. And he is happy to go to both Preschool and Primary, so I am glad that he enjoys it. That's not to say that I don't frequently hear moans and groans as I tell him it's time to go, but he always seems to have had a good time when it's over! It's just getting out the door that's a struggle! I think we can all relate to that :). His preschool also teaches letters by sound, and he seems to have really grasped it over the second half of the year. He knows his sounds/letters very well and also is learning several 'sight words'. He loves learning and succeeding! His eyes truly light up and pride just emanates from him when I praise him for doing something well. I love to see that.
I have seen some tremendous growth in his maturity levels over the past few months. He is starting to take more responsibility for things in general. I made him a little magnetic chore chart a couple of weeks ago and he was so excited! He still needs reminders, of course, but giving him that little bit of responsibility and independence to do things on his own (say prayers, get dressed, make bed, brush teeth, go potty, eat breakfast, pick up toys) has truly motivated him! Some mornings he will go pick out his own clothes and get dressed without a reminder, and he always comes and finds me with a certain look on his face that says, "Look Mom! I did it all by myself and I am so proud of myself! Aren't you proud of me too?!". It's super cute and I make sure to praise the heck out of him.
This past year we've seen a bit of a picky eater emerge, and it's been a struggle for me. In fact, most times as I would bring dinner to the table, Sawyer would plug his nose and exclaim, "WHAT is that AWFUL smell?!!??". It was driving me crazy. He's always been great about eating fruits. But the main dish has been a huge problem. And veggies are hit or miss...raw carrots and cucumbers are favorites, and he even likes broccoli. But to get the kid to eat some lasagna!? Forget it! Well I finally had the idea to make him a "New Foods List". Each time he tried something new, we put it on the list. After a certain number was reached, he got a special treat. Call it bribery, or call it positive reinforcement...whatever it was it worked! If I can just get him to try things I'm happy. And he's become more adventurous with food thanks to that. I think he'll be ok afterall :).
Sawyer has always been technologically minded. He has a true curiosity for how things work and for figuring things out. The other day he changed the batteries on a toy pretty much by himself. Found the screwdriver, took it apart, and put it back together. I just had to tell him to match the + and -. And he got some Star Wars Legos for his birthday and did super well with following instructions and putting it all together. He has no trouble focusing when he's doing something he loves...you should have seen the concentration on his face while he built those legos!
He is also officially riding a bike with pedals! He learned on a balance bike, and a couple weeks ago found a regular bike at grandma and grandpa's house and literally took off! The only trouble he had was getting started a couple times but he's got it figured out. So of course he got a bike for his birthday. And he is loving it! We also started him in a little baseball league at Nellis. It's pretty low key and mostly involves learning basic skills but he's having fun being part of a team. His favorite part is the huddle and yelling "Blue Bugs" at the count of 3. The other day he told us his name wasn't Sawyer anymore, it was Blue Bug.
We are finally pretty much done with naps. If the kid goes down for a nap, he sleeps FOREVER. And then he won't go to sleep at night. So I stopped pushing it. And if we do take one, I wake him up after an hour or so. Somedays he struggles in the afternoon/evening because he's tired, but overall he's done pretty well with it. We also have advanced to a high back booster in the car and he is loving the independence/freedom that it offers.
Sawyer makes friends wherever he goes. Seriously. He has never been shy and I don't see that ever being a quality of his. He is also the best big brother I could have asked for for Violet. His fearless, energetic nature is a good compliment to her more sensitive personality. He loves her so much and, despite the teasing, goes out of his way to help her and share with her. He is so excited for the new baby to come. He kisses my belly all the time and talks to the baby in there, saying "Hey baby, we're excited for you to come out!". He's always been a little 'aggressive' with his love, but he's getting better at being more gentle. I'm looking forward to seeing him interact with the baby. I know he will be my big helper. He's a loud, rough and tough little boy but inside he is such a sweetheart. He recognizes when he does something wrong and feels bad. I probably don't even need to reprimand him because he senses it already. He seems to really understand prayers and I have often seen him run to his room, kneel down, and then get up a few minutes later. I love asking him afterwards what he was praying about...it's always awesome. He loves his family and tells us often. Tells me I'm pretty and gives me hugs and kisses...what more does a mom want!? And he ADORES his daddy. Those two are peas in a pod. For real. They look the same and they act the same. I love watching them together. I'm so glad Sawyer's got someone to play super heroes with and to build legos with. I'm so glad that he wants to be like his daddy and do the things his daddy does. And he's definitely got his Daddy's sense of humor. The kid is constantly making us laugh! He's such a sweet, funny boy and our family would NOT be the same without him! I'm grateful to have my little buddy around each day (and I'm glad I've got another year to enjoy him before he goes off to school for reals!). Happy Birthday Sawyer! Thanks for making me a mommy and for being such a bright star in our family! We love you!
We had a Star Wars Party this year. Sawyer was super excited about it and I definitely felt the pressure while making his cake. I made the mistake of letting him look at cakes on Pinterest with me, so his expectations were a bit higher than I had anticipated. But I am glad to say that he approved! :) It was my first time really working with fondant to cover a cake. I'm so glad it turned out ok!
|We opened the presents from Omi's package in the morning! Always a fun treat!|
For the party we just invited a couple of friends and Grandma & Grandpa. We had it at a park by our house and it was SOOO windy that day. My attempt at streamers, balloons, and decoration in general was futile, to say the least. But we all had fun so that was the important part :)
Our poor Darth pinata went through the ringer the week before the party. It got broken several times by our stinky kids, so in the end he had a nice chin strap of packaging tape to hold him together. It was a pull string pinata so Nathan ended up just holding it up while the kids pulled away! Fun, nonetheless.
We also did a mini water balloon toss...which turned into just throwing them at each other. They thought it was pretty fun!
|It is hard to watch your brother open presents :(|
|And these were his cupcakes to take to Preschool the next day :)|