Favorite Toys For 4 Year Old Boys

Every year after the kids’ birthdays, I post about the toys they are loving. When I first found out I was pregnant with Thomas five years ago, I was determined to keep plastic and baby stuff to a minimum. Well…that is laughable now. BUT, I do try to limit the toys to things that are truly loved and (when possible) higher quality toys that will last through all of our children. When possible, we gift experiences and time rather than things to our children, but sometimes, you just need an idea of what to get a kid. So, that’s why I do these lists.

We really struggled when Thomas’s birthday came around this year with what to get him because he had a lot of the “big” gifts that we would normally have gotten him for his fourth birthday already – hand-me-downs from friends, etc. We ended up getting him a new bike helmet, a new swimsuit and towel, and a Fisher Price doctor kit (not on the list below, but he and Nell love it, so maybe it should be). Not exactly a “big” birthday, but some years are like that. I try to remind myself that not every birthday needs to be some big production and that gifts are such a small part of a birthday experience. So when it came time for me to put together a list of things Thomas has loved over the last few months, I struggled. So finally, I just asked him what his favorite toys were and we put together this list (as always, these are just regular old links and not affiliate links, so click away!). Disclaimer: Thomas loves to be outside playing and is obsessed with sports – playing them and analyzing them – so if you’re kid is not a sports fan, this list is probably not going to help you out.

 

4 Year Old Toys

1. Sports Guys. We gave Thomas Football Guys for Christmas last year and it was a hit. He plays with them every single day. So, for his birthday, he asked my parents for Baseball Guys and Hockey Guys. And those are equally as loved. I step over sports fields all day long, and I’ve just accepted it as a way of life.

2. Going along with the Football Guys, Thomas also got these mini NFL football helmets last year for Christmas. They don’t get put away during football season, and every weekend Thomas sets up the teams that are playing that week. This weekend with much of the NFL on a bye week, he lined them up across our entire family room in rank order of his first favorite team (Broncos, obviously) to his least favorite team (the Seahawks).

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3. Fisher Price Triple Hit Baseball.  This was a favorite for the whole neighborhood this last Spring and Summer…Thomas calls it his Pitching Machine. It’s a lot of fun – we use it simply for pitching and not as a tee, though you can do both.

4. Nothing new here, Plasma Cars continue to top our list. They are just so fun – kids and adults love them. T got his for his second birthday and it’s a coveted toy by many kids who come over to play.

5. Gears. One non-sports oriented toy on the list. This has been really fun, T likes to build lots of different gear designs, and it’s something to make him think differently, which we like. B is an engineer, and though Thomas does not seem particularly engineering geared, which is just fine, we do like to have a couple things around to encourage him to look at things differently.

6. 12″ Bike with the training wheels discarded for transitioning from a Strider (link is to a similar bike – the one I was planning on purchasing before we received one as a hand-me-down). Thomas was ready to pass his Strider bike down to Nell by the time he was 3.5. I was still going to hold off until his birthday, but after doing a ton of research about what bike to move kids to after a Strider without much help, I finally just asked my friend whose twin boys never used training wheels. Her answer, “An inexpensive 12 inch bike, just take the training wheels off. I bought ours at a consignment sale and the boys are done with them, you can have one.”  This was the best advice ever (and the hand-me-down was great, too). Thomas will be ready for a bigger bike by the time he’s 5, so I’m glad I didn’t invest a lot of money in a 12″, but I think it was really important to keep Thomas on the small frame (Strider’s are about the size of a 12″ bike) for him to get used to pedaling. It took a couple days of working on balancing the heavier bike in the street and he was off and pedaling about a month before his 4th birthday – and thinking he was the king of the road.

So that’s what Thomas is loving these days in the toy department. He also loves all kinds of books and someday I’ll get together a roundup of our favorites, but honestly, his favorite reading material is a Fantasy Football magazine my dad gave to him. Weird. I know.

A few more past toy posts:

Toys for 1 Year Old Girls

Toys for 12 – 18 month Old Girls

Toys for 2 Year Old Boys

Toys for 3 Year Old Boys

Our Favorite Games

My Boys

I was really worried about how Peter’s arrival would affect Thomas. I knew Nell’s world would be temporarily rocked, but I also knew that she’s young enough (not quite 21 months older than Peter) that she’d quickly get over it and will honestly not remember life before she was the middle child. Thomas was over the moon about the idea of a new baby from the moment we told him. He’d ask us all the time when the baby was coming, and checked the calendar frequently to see when March was coming. He told me that he wanted the baby to sleep in his room – in his arms – and actually cried when B set up the crib in the nursery. I was worried that the reality of a new baby would not quite meet his expectations – especially since his memory of Nell joining our family is limited {at best – I’d say his “memory” of Nell being born is all thanks to our family photo albums, not his actual memory} since he was just shy of 2 when she was born.

IMG_8707 I was also worried because Thomas desperately wanted a brother. Not because he doesn’t love his sister, but because “I already have a sister, so now I need a brother.” And also, because he apparently has Manning brother-esque dreams for himself and Peter {we’ll worry about the fact that my sons playing football terrifies me and I’d rather they just be great soccer players and then become football kickers/punters in high school should they still have football dreams later}. I actually started to second guess our choice to keep the baby’s sex a secret until delivery because Thomas was so set on having a brother. We talked a lot about how the baby was going to be either a brother or sister, and either one would be wonderful. And I know that B and I would have totally handled Thomas being the older brother of two sisters well and made him so proud to be our boy, I know that it wouldn’t have really been an issue. But I was worried all the same about his sweet, sensitive heart.

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Well, all that worry was unnecessary. As we went into the final weeks, I was pretty sure we were having a boy (my original gut instinct has been right every time -  I never wavered on Thomas being a boy and told everyone that we didn’t know but that he was totally a boy, but with Nell and Peter I was never certain enough to shout my predictions from the rooftop, and I did a lot of second guessing my gut instinct throughout each of those pregnancies, but always went back to my gut instinct when asked right before delivering what my final guess was). And when Thomas and Nell came to meet Peter in the hospital, their reactions were priceless. Nell was interested for a second and then just wanted to snuggle with me and be held by me and ride the hospital bed up and down. I was happy to oblige. Since we’ve been home she’s far more interested in “Pete the Baby” (as opposed to her other favorite Pete – the cat) and she loves to look at him, kiss him and hold him.

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And Thomas? Was over the moon. He hasn’t stopped grinning from ear to ear since Peter was born, and he requests to hold him, kiss him and teach him things all the time.

Thomas and Peter

And Peter seems pretty content to hang out in his big brother’s arms.

Tom’s Room Reveal

Thomas’s room has been mostly “done” for six months – but it took me until now to get things on the walls and declare it done. I’m going to have a nursery to decorate soon, I needed to get Tom and Nell’s rooms done before #3 is here. So let’s start with Thomas’s room, which I really should have shared pictures of months ago. When we moved into our house in June of last year, Thomas’s room looked like this:

 

You know how I feel about neutral paint colors in kids’ rooms – that a neutral base allows the decor to change and grow with a kid easily. But the bottom line was even though blue is Tom’s favorite color, baby blue wasn’t working with his navy blue, white and orange scheme. So the baby blue had to go. Tom’s room was the first upstairs room we painted – I wanted it ready to go for him before he started preschool. But I’m pretty sure I never posted pictures of that. So here you go:

Bed

All Fall, Tom’s chalkboard had the Broncos schedule on it – we would write a W for a win and an L for a loss. We’re waiting for baseball season to fill up the chalkboard again – but being that we’re Colorado Rockies fans, it’s going to be a hell of a lot more disappointing than the Broncos season was (you know, save for that whole Super Bowl blowout thing…).

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None of the furniture or bedding or decor is new – it was all in Thomas’s room at our last house. But it’s funny how the same pieces can take on a different vibe in a different room. I love the pegboard we hung above Tom’s bookshelf (also in our old house) – it provides a nice textured backdrop for photos and other things.

peg board

Here’s where it becomes obvious that I’m not a good blogger: I didn’t straighten the books for these pictures. But this is real life! We don’t have books to make ourselves look well read or to provide colorful art and vignettes for a room – we have books because we LOVE to read. And a bookshelf full of hastily shelved books makes me happy – it means that Thomas has crawled out of his bed during his rest time and picked books to read as he rests. It means that he’s talked us into more than 3 bedtime stories. Books – hastily shelved or scattered on the floor – tell me that we’re doing alright. So that’s what you get to see, real life:

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And because I believe that the closeups are nice but that you need to see a room in its entirety, here’s the whole picture. Bed-rail and all.

gray owl boys room

This room is just Thomas. His favorite colors: blue with pops of orange and red, a neutral gray background for everything to play off of. A nod to his love for sports without being a sports themed room. It hints at his love for numbers, letters and maps. It’s just so perfectly my guy.

Thomas-isms: Denver Broncos Edition

A few key Thomas-isms from watching the first half of last night’s (what turned out to be heartbreaking) Broncos game with my Broncos loving boy.

T: “Mom, I am REALLY good at saying Sports Authority Field at Mile High”. I’m absolutely certain that will take him far in life…

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Regarding Peyton Manning’s throw right into a block in the 2nd quarter, I asked: “What was that???”

Thomas: “We can’t ask him, mama. He’s all the way far away down I-25″.

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Thomas: “Mom, when I play for the Broncos, I’m going to be a wide receiver and I’m going to wear #84. If the Broncos buy me number 84, then I will play for them.”

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Thomas: “Do you know why I love the Giants? Because Eli Manning is Peyton’s brother. When my brother* plays for the Giants and I play for the Broncos, I’m still going to love them. Won’t that be so nice of me?” Pressure is on, apparently, to provide Thomas with a brother.

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A Walrus Costume (and mini-tutorial)

My 3 year old decided last year on November 1st that he was going to be a walrus for Halloween 2013. His walrus obsession began when his Gigi took him to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for a “Thomas Day” shortly after Nell was born, and continued into our trip to DC last November when we took the kids to the National History Museum. So, the walrus costume has been on my mind for a year, but I wasn’t going to get started until October since Rickie Fowler (I vetoed on account of no one in Colorado really following PGA golf outside of my dad, Mr. B and Thomas) and Peyton Manning (pretty sure he decided that he dresses like Peyton every day, so what’s the fun in being Peyton for Halloween?) were both thrown around as Halloween costume options for awhile.

  DIY Walrus Costume

Nell’s costume is a Carter’s Elephant (she loves elephants and we sometimes call her Nelephant, so it fit) and is basically a well padded sweatshirt with an elephant trunk on the hood, and her costume inspired me to create the walrus out of a brown hooded sweatshirt. We live in Colorado – chances are good there will be snow on Halloween, so Colorado moms know that costumes need to fit over a snowsuit (or just act like a snowsuit itself). When T was firmly decided on the Walrus on October 1st, I ordered a brown hooded sweatshirt from Amazon and found brown sweatpants at Walmart (of course they couldn’t sell a hoodie with their sweatpants, that would be too easy). Then, I googled around for my favorite walrus – the walrus costumes out there are kinda meh, so I just found a stuffed walrus whose face I liked and made the walrus face based on that.

Toddler Preschool Walrus Costume

First, I cut two bean shapes out of carmel covered felt to make up the walrus snout. Then, I cutout a quick heart shaped felt nose from black felt and hand stitched it onto one of the bean shapes at the top. I turned the bean shapes inside out and sewed the two sides together, turned them right side out and stuffed it to make a Walrus snout.  My mom was over while I was doing this and decided that a simple stitch around the snout would add detail and also that classic home-grown Halloween costume feel, so Caroline is responsible for the detailing. I also used the same colored felt for the walrus stomach – just to provide some variation in the costume. The tusks were the same idea – I cut four long curved tusks out of white felt, stitched two together twice to make two tusks, stuffed them, and sewed them to the snout. Then I attached the snout and tusks to the hood with a hand stitch, and cut two oval black walrus eyes to hand stitch on, too. Overall, it took me about an hour, and Thomas was giddy watching his long awaited walrus costume come together.

Walrus Costume

I love making Halloween costumes for the kids, but I’m also a reasonable person. Carter’s made a damn cute elephant and I bought it at Costco for $12.99. I spent more than $12.99 on T’s hoodie and sweatpants alone, though his costume didn’t total more than $20. Sometimes you have to make a costume (when your three year old decides he’s going to be a walrus, for example), and sometimes it’s okay to buy one (when your one year old’s only opinion is that every costume she passes in any given store is “MINE!”).

Walrus and Elephant costumes

Our walrus and Nelephant are pretty happy with their Halloween gettups – and Thomas is already scheming for Halloween 2014. Let’s hope it’s something I can make out of a sweatsuit. So, Happy Halloween from our zoo! Hope you all have fun and safe trick-or-treat adventures!

Traveling With Kids: Beach Vacation

We just got back from five days on Siesta Key, Florida. It’s one of the best beaches I’ve ever been too, and the fact that Mr. B’s sweet grandparents live nearby makes it pretty much our number 1 vacation destination at this point in our lives.  We try to go down to Florida once a year to visit B’s grandparents and get some beach time – it doesn’t always work out to be exactly on the calendar year – it was a year and a half between our first visit with Thomas and when we took both T and Nell last Fall, but less than a year between our November visit last year and this one – but in five years of marriage, we’ve made five trips to Siesta Key, so I’d say we’re doing well with our goal.

We love traveling with our kids. I know it’s not for every family, but B and I find so much joy in watching our children discover the world. Whether it’s Nell’s first real encounter with sand – she was meh about it – or Thomas discovering that he loves the ocean and body surfing waves after a summer of refusing to be anywhere near water without pitching a relatively large fit (which broke his swim instructor mama’s heart), it’s almost like we rediscover the world through our children’s eyes. I think the biggest key in enjoying a vacation with your young kids is to manage your expectations. The plane ride (or car ride) will have its tough moments. You won’t stay out late drinking and eating like you used to. What used to be my idea of quality beach time – at least half a day every day in the sand and the surf – has evolved to mean that two 90 minute beach sessions a day = success. Rather than walking the entire beach hand in hand with Mr. B talking about our goals for the next 5 years, we’re now running the same 20 yards of beach over and over again after two kids and talking about how to survive bedtime with four people in one tiny bedroom in our hotel. Our late night extravagant dinners have changed to early dinners, and drinking wine on the beach at sunset has become eating ice cream on the beach at sunset. And I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Siesta Sunset Ice Cream

On the first night we were at the beach, we walked up to Siesta Village from our hotel and grabbed ice cream to eat on the beach and watch the sunset. And for the first time in my life, I saw the green flash. Well, I’m calling it a partial see, because I had my camera up to my eye to take the picture above of the sun setting into the ocean and definitely saw the flash, but had to wait for confirmation from those around us that they saw it too before I felt comfortable saying I’d seen it and it wasn’t just some camera effect. Thomas’s mind was blown seeing the sun set into the ocean. “The sun goes Night Nights in the water?!? Can I sleep underwater? Pllllllease.” These are the moments that make playing musical Nell for 3 hours on an airplane so worth the trip.

Beach with Thomas

Thomas adored the ocean. I was nervous, as I mentioned earlier, because this summer he gave his mama a lot of trouble refusing to swim. In typical Emily fashion, I said since before I had children that I would never use any kind of floatation device for my kids and never, under any circumstances, would I put them in water wings. When my friends asked me for advice, I said, “If you HAVE to have something, please pick a life vest so that they learn their torsos are how they float, not their arms.” I mean, honestly, I’ve probably deterred 5 friends from putting their kids in water wings. And last Tuesday when T was at school and I was running last minute trip errands? I threw the freaking clearance Target water wings in my cart, because our summer had been such a mess and I was willing to do anything to at least have T enjoy the water again. I didn’t break them out until he’d already been out in the ocean with me, jumping waves and having a blast, and then I gave him the water wings and he had an absolute blast. He loved floating with the waves. We held hands in the ocean and kicked our feet up together towards the sky. And I looked at B and said, “I don’t care how lame they are or the fact that I think water wings look dorky. I don’t care that I think they’re the worst invention ever for teaching your child to swim. He’s loving the water. I’m sold.” Sorry, friends who I’ve told to avoid water wings. Do whatever you need to do for your kid. Oh, Emily.

Thomas on the Beach

Nell on the Beach

Little Miss Sis was hit or miss about the beach and the water. Some moments she loved it, some moments she wanted nothing to do with it, marched herself over to the umbrella stroller, climbed in by herself and sat with her arms crossed staring at us playing. She’s hilariously herself and we love every spicy little part of her personality.

Tom and Nell going to the Beach

This was one of my favorite moments of the trip. The second morning we were going to the beach, B and I were still packing the beach bag and finishing sunscreen and T and Nell were ready to go. Thomas took Nell’s hand and said, “Come on sister! Let’s go to the ocean! Mommy and daddy will catch up wif us.” Ha. 5 minutes later he fell on the walk to the beach and his skinned knee was apparently impossible to recover from, so it diverted our entire beach trip – we ended up driving to Longboat Key to see it and hope the kids fell asleep in the car.

It was a fabulous vacation, and one that we look forward to every year. So that’s where we’ve been the last little while, now I’m ready for Fall.

First Day of Preschool

Thomas started preschool today. He did awesome when I dropped him off, and I only shed about 5 minutes of tears as I drove away to pick up Nell at my friend’s house. He’s over the moon. We chose a little Christian preschool near our house. We have a history that made handing our son over to a relative stranger pretty tough on me, and with T’s June birthday we will have to make a decision next year about whether he should start Kindergarten when he’s 5 or 6, so I considered not starting him in preschool this year at all. But I know that preschool is what’s right for T – he’s been asking to go to school for a year – I know he will love it, and I know that it’s an important aspect of early childhood education. I can’t wait to pick him up later this morning and hear all about his day…and hold him…forever.

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And so, we have a preschooler. And with the start of school, Fall is unofficially here.

A Combined Sibling Birthday Party: Bubble Birthday Brunch

Note: You can still enter the $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway through Sunday night (closes at 12 am Monday morning).

Two things you should know: 1) Entertaining and parties don’t come naturally to me. 2) If I’m going to throw a party, I want it to be a good one. Enter: Bottle Pop Party Company. When Shannon announced she was taking her party planning business virtual, I emailed her pretty dang fast to see if I could hire her (not a sponsored post, I hired Shannon to plan the party and it was worth every penny and then some) to plan Thomas and Nell’s joint birthday bash. Because, referring to #1, if I’m going to have kids with birthdays less than a week apart, I’m definitely going to combine their celebrations into one for as long as I possibly can. And referring to #2, if I’m going to get away with a combo birthday party, it’s going to be a good one!

bubble birthday party

So, I approached Shannon with a few ideas I had and she gently steered me in a better direction. Love that girl. And when I threw out bubble party, she ran with it and made it awesome. Shannon came up with a navy, seafoam, coral and teal color scheme for this boy/girl birthday party and I was so in love with it, I used it for our family pictures we had taken in May, too.

Shannon’s plan was awesome. She laid out everything from the decor from the entrance to the backyard, from tablescapes to entertainment ideas, and having her plan made this party so much easier for me – especially considering we’d moved to our new house six days earlier. The house wasn’t in the ideal state I’d love to have it in for the party – would I have loved to have had every room repainted before inviting 50 people over? Sure. But you work with it. Here’s the party:

The entrance. A bubble machine greeted guests with tons of bubbles! A clump of coral, navy, sea foam, and polka dot (bubbly) balloons said “Party’s here!” and at Shannon’s suggestion I laid bubble wrap at the entry so guests would pop bubbles as they walked in (happened to have about six rolls worth around anyway, we could have bubble wrapped the entire house).

entrance

bubble birthday entrance

As for food, Shannon recommended a bubbly brunch which was perfect with the morning party I was hoping for – love to get a party wrapped up before lunch so everyone can go about their days. The food choices included a bagel bar with all the fixings, a bubbly bar, and donuts for dessert! Of course, Thomas apparently has an opinion now and demanded cupcakes, so we had both cupcakes and donuts. Obvs. You can never have enough sugar at a 1st and 3rd birthday party.

bagel bar

Bagel Bar Birthday

bagel bar birthday party

These cute utensil and napkin pouches were one of my favorite touches. I normally would have thrown a chunk of silverware in a bucket on the table, and after I put these together I texted Shannon that I would never present silverware and napkins another way again. Even my dad, who’s been known to not notice when my mom has had the exterior of their house painted for months, came up to me and said, “Em, I love these.” That’s saying something, right there.

Napkin Utensil Pouches

The Bubbly Bar. I offered three different juices and Champagne and Pellegrino (for those few friends of ours who don’t drink at 10am on Saturdays). I loved Shannon’s idea to anchor balloons behind the table, and I wish that we had another blank wall at our house to have set this against, but you work with what you’ve got, I guess. Like 13 different wall colors.

bubble birthday bubbly bar

A highchair full of balloons for the 1st Birthday girl (and the 3rd birthday boy had a regular chair full of balloons, no one was left out in this party plan).    1st birthday highchair

And some very happy birthday kiddos. Which is all that really matters in the end. It was the best party I’ve ever thrown (from my standpoint – I wasn’t stressed AT ALL) and we got tons of compliments so I assume our guests had a good time, too. Out back we had bubble stations setup, bubble hop scotch, and another bubble machine, but I failed to get pictures before guests arrived in true Emily fashion.

Birthday Collage

So that was our Double Bubble Birthday Brunch. What do you think?

My 3 Year Old

Just last week I was getting weepy about my baby turning one, and here I am, now the mother of a three year old. Impossible. My sweet baby boy is 3 today, and I can’t help but reflect a little bit on the young man he is becoming.

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In the past year, Thomas, you have developed an absolute obsession with all sports. Golf, football, baseball, basketball, hockey…even swimming and diving and lacrosse. You have a ridiculous memory, and so daddy has taken to teaching you the names and numbers of all the Colorado athletes so that you can rattle off sports trivia Rainman style at his request. To quote daddy, “Thomas is everything I ever wanted in a son”. But oh Thomas, you’re so much more than random sports trivia. You are funny. You are tender. You are smart. You are thoughtful. You are athletic. You are tenacious. You are pure joy.

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I love the way you view the world. Everything’s magical in your eyes. I want to remember these days when everything is new, different and amazing. When a Peyton Manning jersey is the only article of clothing you’ll wear for weeks on end. When we have to tell you that an orange and blue striped polo shirt is Peyton Manning’s church shirt to get you to wear something other than your “one-eight” jersey to church. When happiness is so easily achieved by pitching a baseball to you in the backyard, or sitting down and really working with you to put together a puzzle.

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I want to remember the things that one day all too soon will be no big deal – riding a light rail train with Gigi and Papa and Auntie Kate to a baseball game, getting asked to play with the big kids you adore in our neighborhood, taking bike rides to the park, and playing with your mama, daddy and sister – are the things that make your day. I want to remember the nights when you wake up and can’t go back to sleep, and you come into our bed and snuggle between daddy and me. I want to remember you love for the “If you give a mouse a cookie” series of books. I want to remember your absolute adoration for your daddy and papa. I want to remember how you watch out for your sister, how you kiss her and hug her – and sometimes move her out of your way. You are the most phenomenal big brother, and I love watching your relationship with your sister develop.

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I want to remember how much you love your “guys” – Corduroy, Hippo, Lambie, Duck, Goose, and Tiger to name a few. I want to remember the look on your face when you opened a musical Snoopy card at the grocery store and insisted on getting it for Papa, then danced around King Soopers to the music.

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You are so much fun, Thomas. As you hit three, you’re also tough. That tenacious attribute I mentioned above? You never give up. You want to play WITH someone at all times. You whine when you don’t get your way. But oh my, when we focus on you, you are absolutely delightful. And I know that one day, I will miss the requests to play with you all the time. I will miss you hanging on my leg when I’m cooking. And so I try to remember that in these moments, that sooner than I’m ready, you’ll be independent.

In fact, you just took your first set of swimming lessons. Having taught swim lessons, I didn’t see a huge benefit to putting you in parent tot lessons – especially since we have a neighborhood pool so you’re exposed to water all summer long. But I’m a huge proponent of swim lessons in general, so once you were old enough to take them without a parent in the water with you, I signed you right up. I talked your way into the three year old class since you were two weeks shy of the age requirement, and you rocked your first true teaching experience by someone other than mama or daddy. And we think you developed your first crush, too, on the sweet instructor. You pretend to talk to Maddie on the phone, you talk about her all the time, and when we take you to the pool you tell me your practicing your kicks so Maddie will be so proud of you.

thomas two to three

You’ve had such a big year, Thomas. From becoming a big brother to potty training, you’re certainly much older than you were a year ago. And when I look at pictures of you a year ago to now, I’m shocked that I thought you were so big at two. You, my sweet, sweet boy, are an absolute dream. As we tucked you into bed last night we said, “Good night two year old, see you in the morning when you’re three!” and I almost cried. Because two was such a great year. And I just know that three will be equally as wonderful. There’s so much that you are “allowed” to do now that you’re three. You’ll start preschool in September, you’re eligible to play soccer which we’ve you’ve informed us you will be doing.  We love you, Thomas Kirby – our 3 year old boy.

Thomas-isms

Out for a walk the Monday after Thanksgiving (still November) Thomas asked to start counting the “Christmas”. So we counted every house we passed that had lights in the neighborhood. When we got back to our house Thomas looked up at me from the stroller and said, “No Christmas at Thomas’s house.” I put the lights up the next day while he napped. 
 Our Christmas Light Stroll


Driving around looking at Christmas lights with my mom, dad, Nell and Thomas while B was taking his last final of his MBA career: “That is a lot of Christmas! It’s adorable.”

 
Thomas got a plasma car for his 2nd birthday from my mom and dad and he loves cruising around the house in it. Last week he cruised into the kitchen while I was making oatmeal and said, “I be back right quick, Mama. I going to McDonald’s for one large Diet Coke, first.”  I put a stop to my far too frequent calorie free but chemical laden caffeine fix that day.
 
Unrelated but pretty much sums up Thomas these days: Peyton Manning jersey with every form of sporting equipment he can shove in his golf bag. Oh Thomas.


I took Thomas to Nell’s 6 month appointment yesterday, but after his two year appointment Thomas associates the doctor with shots. I explained that we were going for Nell’s appointment and Thomas was just going to be my helper to avoid a breakdown when the nurse called us back, so as Nell started crying when she got her first shot, Thomas popped up on the chair next to us and said, “It’s okay Nell, Thomas is not getting shots, just you!”
 
While we were in Florida visiting, Thomas fell in love with a large tiger, a polar bear and a beagle stuffed animal that his Bunny and Pop had. When we got home, Mr. B’s grandparents surprised Thomas by sending him Tiger, Polar Bear and Two-ie (the beagle). Tiger does everything with Thomas, including watching golf, which is a bit confusing because Tiger Woods plays golf, and Thomas has been expertly coached to tell people that Tiger Woods is not a nice man, and he calls him “Boo Tiger”. T asked me in the car yesterday, “Mama, my Tiger is a nice man, right? Boo Tiger is not a nice man, but I like my Tiger.”
 
Eating Breakfast with the good Tiger.

 
We were driving past the neighborhood soccer fields yesterday on the way down to my parents’ house and Thomas and I had this conversation:

Thomas: I going to play soccer next week, Mama.
Me: You are? On a soccer team? You mean when you turn three next summer?
Thomas: Yeah! And I need a bag.
Me: {Asking for clarification} You need a bag?
Thomas: Soccer players have soccer ball bags.
Me: Okay, we can probably arrange that.
Thomas: I NEED a blue soccer ball bag when I three.
 

 
 
I love this boy with all of my heart.

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