Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sawyer Turns 5!

Dear Sawyer,

My cute little kookey boy.  I am sitting here looking at a progression of pictures from your life, one from each year since you were born.  I can't believe how grown up you look now!  Seeing you as a newborn all snuggled up in my's hard to believe that was you!  You were such an amazingly good baby.  Especially as my first, I couldn't have asked for more.  You slept so well, right off the bat.  And you were just so mellow, so calm.  Hardly ever fussed unless you had a good reason for it.  But somehow I knew, that the wheels were just turning in that cute little head of yours.  I had the feeling that you were just observing...collecting information...getting ready to strike.  And as soon as you figured out how to crawl at 6 months, you were off!  Then it was pulling up to stand at 7 months, and before I knew it, we had a 9 month old walker.  I remember not being able to keep you off the counter tops as a toddler.  You were like a monkey with a constant surge of adrenaline running through you!  I always had to keep a close eye on you.  One time, daddy was in charge and mommy was at the gym, and you took your little buzz lightyear car and pulled it up to the front door, stood on it, and unlocked the door.  You went down 2 flights of stairs in the apartment complex before some nice man picked you up and found your daddy who was frantically running around calling your name.  That was around 18 months old.  At 3 yrs old, while visiting my German relatives, you figured out how to open some kind of window that most adults don't even figure out...and you almost managed to burn the house down.  Those are just a few of MANY stories we have of you that depict your wild, creative, and smart personality.  You definitely gave your mom and dad a workout at all times!  But all the while, we knew that underneath all of that energy was a very tender heart.  A well-meaning little boy who was just curious about the world, and wanted to learn everything he could about it as quickly as possible!  And today I look back on the past 5 years with nothing but fond memories.  Lots of laughs.  Lots of hugs.  And lots of learning and growth.

Today I look at you, Sawyer, and see a super cute kid who is still full of energy, but learning how to control it more and more everyday.  You show this energy in many ways.  Playing with your sister, Violet, for example.  The two of you run around and laugh and cry and sometimes fight.  But you play hard, and I love it.  For some reason, things always get out of control at bedtime.  The bunk beds suddenly become forts made for climbing and jumping rather than sleeping.  But when the lights go out, you know its time for sleep.  And you set the good example for Violet, that it's time to go to bed. You are such a good brother.  You and Violet are the best of friends.  And you are in LOVE with your baby sister, Isla.  You can be in the middle of a tantrum, and suddenly notice Isla on my arm, and your face starts beaming and you start cooing and coddling her!  It is actually pretty funny.  Instead of 'Squirrel!!!' it's, 'Isla!!!'...  And Isla gets super excited when she sees you, too.  You sometimes play kinda rough, and we have to remind you to settle down, but she seems to be ok with it.  And you take pride in making Isla laugh.  You always tell us that you are really good at making babies laugh.  Sawyer, you just have a lot of love to give.  Whether it's via hugs or a chokehold, it's the thought that counts ;).

Primary is getting easier for you, although you told me this morning that church is pretty boring because all you do the whole time is just sit there.  Sitting there is not easy for you.  But I know you are trying.  And that makes me happy.  We didn't go to preschool this year.  It just didn't work out with our transition to Germany.  And I know you are getting kinda bored at home and looking forward to Kindergarten next year.  You tell me all day that you are bored and always ask for something else to do.  That is--when you aren't playing the Wii :).  We limit your Wii time to 1 hr each day.  It has become an amazing source of behavioral reinforcement with you.  When you make bad choices, you lose Wii time.  We always warn you beforehand, and you almost always make the right choice when Wii time is threatened.  Speaking of obedience, you try very hard to be obedient.  When you do play the Wii, you set your own kitchen timer.  Usually for half an hour, because you want to save the last half an hour for when Daddy gets home.  Daddy is your hero.  You two are peas in a pod.  I love the bond you are forming with him.  You have even been going on campouts with him and all of the boy scouts lately.  I am so glad you have such a good daddy who loves you and wants to spend time with you whenever he can.

You amaze me constantly with your mind.  You are just so observant, and your memory is incredible!  You can easily tell me which direction we need to be going when driving in the car on a familiar path.  You recognize road signs, lyrics and songs, store names, etc.  You see the smallest details in things that I would never notice on my own.  And if something has a button or a gadget or some kind of mechanism, you will want to know how it works and why.  That's probably why you love Legos so much.  You have no problem retreating to the play room and sitting with your Legos for long periods of time.  Sure--it might be a complete disaster up there, and I might be going a little bit crazy trying to come up with a good solution for our Lego mess, but it keeps you entertained and gets your creative juices I'm happy!

You don't really care too much what you wear.  I pick something out and you put it on.  No complaints.  You even let me experiment with your hair.  You are not, however, the fastest mover when it comes time to get ready to go somewhere (another daddy trait, perhaps ;) ).  We are working on it, and hopefully it gets better by the time we start school!

You have somehow become a pickier eater with time.  I think you are afraid of smells and appearance of food.  Meats and random sauces are especially terrifying to you.  But if you close your eyes and eat something, you usually like it.  We have to set a lot of timers and enforce a lot of rules to help you become a more adventurous eater.  Dinner time is usually a struggle, but we are getting there.  And really, I can't complain too much because when I asked what you wanted for your birthday dinner you replied, "vegetables!!!'.

You have always been a funny kid.  You get that from your Daddy, for sure.  You constantly say things to make me laugh.  When we asked you what you wanted for your birthday, you said "a star wars lego set..but it HAS to have a light saber in it.  I'm not even kidding.  It HAS to have a light saber".  Ha!!  You are even starting to talk like your dad.  I love hearing the phrases you pick up and your interpretation of them.  You have a pretty good sense for sarcasm and jokes.  We recently bought you guys some reading lights to put by your bed.  Every night when we tuck you in, you do silly faces.  It's something you came up with by yourself.  You turn off your light, and in the darkness, you get your silly face ready.  Then, you switch on the reading light and shine it right on your silly face!  And we all laugh...  It's pretty great, actually.  I like that game.  But we have to limit it to 2 silly faces,  or else it will go on forever.

Some other things about bedtime lead me to what I love most about you, Sawyer, and that is your tender heart.  At your request, we started reading the old-school children's version of the Book of Mormon books to you every night.  We make sure to read at least one page every night, no matter what time, because we want you to know how important reading the Book of Mormon is.  And you love it.  I mean, if we start reading with out you because you are still brushing your teeth, you are NOT happy.  I feel like you are really starting to understand some fundamental principles of the Gospel.  And just today, you were telling me that you only had 3 more birthdays until you got to be baptized.  Your faith is so strong.  Daddy and I are always so amazed by this.  You have had a few blessings during the last year, and you really believe in the power of the priesthood.  One night, you were experiencing some discomfort and I had given you medicine and was trying my best to comfort you, and you said you wished Daddy was home.  I told you he was just down the hall, sleeping in his bed.  And then you asked if Daddy could give you a blessing.  Since then you have asked for them on several occasions, and Daddy is always more than willing.  You also have faith in the power of prayer.  You know that you can turn to your Heavenly Father if you are hurt, if something is lost, or if you are upset.  The power went out the other day and you secretly went up to your room and prayed, asking Heavenly Father if he could please turn the power back on so you could finish a level on the Wii...then He could turn the power back off if He needed to.  Ha!  I loved that!  Later you decided that the prayer didn't even work, and we had a talk about how and when and why prayers are answered.  I think you understood, or at least you were able to let go of your frustration.  We love your faith and your pure testimony, Sawyer.  And you give some of the best prayers I have heard in my life!  On the cruise, one night, you prayed that the boat would not get bumped by a shark.  Thanks, buddy...I really didn't want to get bumped by a shark, either.

Every night we tuck you in and we ask you what your favorite part of the day was.  Daddy always asks you to tell him something good that you did for someone that day.  You always have great answers for this.  We are so proud of you and the boy that you are becoming.  We know you are a special child of God and we feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has entrusted us with your sweet spirit.  As much as I miss that little baby Sawyer, I love watching you grow and learn, and I love that you are really becoming my little friend.  Thank you for always telling me I look pretty.  Thank you for wanting to be just like your daddy (not that you had a lot of choice in that ;) ).  Thank you for taking care of your sisters.  And thank you for always bringing joy and laughter into our family.  We love you more than words can say.  Happy 5th Birthday, Sawyer!

     Love, Mommy

Weight  43.65 lbs (70%)
Height  45.12 in (89%)
BMI  15.08 (38%)

Sawyer wanted a Lego cake this year.  He decided that, instead of a party, we would go to Legoland to celebrate.  Unfortunately, the timing for a Legoland trip didn't work out for us until June.  So we are still planning to go, but in the meantime, we went to a smaller theme park that is closer to us.  Our friends came along and we had a fun day.  We are looking forward to Legoland in a couple of months!  On Sawyer's actual birthday, we had friends over for dinner and cake.  He was a little discouraged that I only used two lego guys on the cake.  He had brought down a whole pile of his lego creations the night before, for me to decorate with.  It was way too much stuff for the size of the cake. So after we took a picture, I let Sawyer and Violet add some more guys.  They had fun with that.

Holiday Park with the Barons...
(I'm gonna pretend that I let Sawyer's hair get this long to give him some height for the rides, lol)

He was pretty proud of himself...
(and again, really needing a haircut)


Sabine Schindler said...

Oh!! How I love my Sawyer Männel!! From the beginning and my love for him is always growing! You just made me cry talking about him and what a wonderful (yes also very wild, creative and smart) boy he is. I have always loved his tender heart and readiness to make good choices. I love how much he loves his sisters and what a strong testimony he already has at such a young age.
I'm sure he had so much fun on his Birthday!
Can't wait to see him and all of you SOON!!

Kristie said...

I love this so much!!! he is a seriously awesome little dude. and getting so handsome!!!! love him and you!!!!!