Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dear Nolan... You are 6.

 Oh, our sweet Noley-Bear,

SIX. Whoa, my love, that sure happened fast. You are truly special to us and the last 6 years of having a son have been such a joy to me as your mommy. I am so proud of you. 

This year was an interesting one with the COVID-19 Pandemic. It came along in March and changed the world as you have known it your whole life. Suddenly, you couldn't go to preschool anymore, couldn't see your friends, and you weren't able to start Kindergarten in-person in August. It was hard as your mom to see all of the fun and exciting adventures of starting elementary school taken away from you. 

Your first 3 months of school were virtual and although it was very challenging, you did such a good job keeping a positive attitude and following along to learn what you could. We worked together and you are truly impressing us with your ability to persevere and learn more about how to read and write. You are now reading and your handwriting is really impressive. You love to sound out words and I love the excitement I see when you get them right. You are also getting much more artistic and your drawings are from your heart, which is why I struggle to get rid of a single one of them. You have a wonderful teacher who has reached out and bonded with you, which makes me so happy.

This year, there was no soccer, but you did pick up golf this summer. You and sissy are playing once a week and it has been fun for you to learn some new skills. You two are so cute with your little golf sets. The two of you have really grown even closer this year with the amount of time you are spending together. We did a lot of swimming this summer, playing outside, making forts, and having sleepovers all over the house. You guys get along pretty well, with the occasional tif here and there. Seeing your friendship grow has meant so much to me. I love how protective you are of her. You always want to make her happy and I love when you go out of your way to give her the little things she wants. You also do very well sharing everything with her. 

You are also growing closer to Cody and seeing you in the big brother role has been very fun. Sometimes the two of you will play legos or tractors and you do very well working with him and helping him. It is so much fun to see how much he loves you, and you love him so much, too. I hope you and your siblings are always close. It is one of my life's greatest joys to see you all play together and support one another. 

This year, we didn't do a ton of traveling because of COVID, but we did go to Hawaii in January before it all hit the US. We visited the Big Island of Hawaii for a family wedding and then we flew on a tiny 8-seater airplane to Maui. The flight was fun because we flew low to the ground and got to see a beautiful view of the islands from up above. It was your first trip as a strong swimmer and you loved getting to go down the waterslides and swim with Andie. You also spent a lot of time digging in the sand and building sand castles on the beach. It was a lot of fun to go! 

We also spent a few days before Thanksgiving in a beautiful home Nana rented in Tahoe. There was the perfect amount of snow and you got lots of sledding it. We were also fortunate to have your cousins from my side there so you all could make memories together sledding and having a big sleepover in the "kids bunk" room. You built legos, a snowman, had sledding races, explored the wooded area around the house, swam in the indoor heated pool, made s'mores, and enjoyed being with family. So many special memories were made! We are truly lucky.

You are getting more adventurous with your eating, but you are still quite picky. Your favorite food is hamburgers and it's what you requested we have for your 6th Birthday party meal yesterday. You love chocolate cake, chicken sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, and all fruit "especially eating a banana like a monkey". You are quite thin, but growing taller and wearing a size 6, although it is a little baggy on your smaller frame. The theme for your birthday party this year was Super Mario Bros because you love the Mario Kart racing game we play on daddy's phone. You are also very into Legos still and you love to build anything you can. For Christmas, you got lots of legos and building things from Gramz & Pops, and it is so much fun to see everything you create. Your preschool teachers think that you are going to grow up to be an engineer of some sort because of how you love to build and assemble anything you can. 

It's been a bit of a crazy year this year with lots of adjustments, but you have handled it all very well. We have really valued the time together and I love getting to spend so much time with you. You have the sweetest voice, the tightest hugs, and you are wildly affectionate. You are extremely protective of your family and we are protective of you. You are such a special part of our family. 

I love you to the moon and back, times infinity. I am so proud to be your mommy and I always will be. Happy 6th Birthday, my love. 


Dear Cody... You are 3!

My sweet, content, happy Cody-Bear!

I can't believe you are 3. You are our happy boy. The other day I asked you "why are you so cute?". Your response to me was "because I like to be happy!". 

You have the sweetest giggle and when you laugh really hard, you squint your eyes and it shows on your whole face. You share that laugh with us everyday and you love to make us laugh, too. Your personality is pure gold, even though sometimes you can be a little stinker, too! We are all absolutely crazy about you.

You are growing closer and closer to your older brother and sister as the days go by. I love seeing your love for each other blossom. Yesterday, you jumped into the cold pool with out knowing it was cold. You started screaming for some help and your sissy jumped right in after you from the hot tub after saying she wasn't going in the pool. No matter what, I love knowing that my 4 babies will always have each other. 

You love preschool. You started in August as the youngest little one in your class, but you are keeping up and thriving. You look forward to going and on the days when you don't go, you always ask if you can go. You love your teachers and on the first day, Miss Kim sent me a photo of you with the biggest, most happiest smile. You're making new friends, learning new things, and really enjoying your time to shine. Your teachers told me that during story time you always go and climb into their laps. Your love of snuggling and affection has started to spread outside of our house, and I love seeing you share that. 

You are growing like crazy. You are wearing size 3 in everything and in pajamas, a size 4. Like your big brother, you love staying in your pajamas and with how often we have been home this year, they've been your staple outfit. You are still not potty trained. I know you are smart enough to do it, but you just don't want to yet, and I don't want to push you into it. You will get there in the next couple of months in your own time. 

You are talking and communicating so much with us. You really started to get talkative at about 2 and a half and since then, there's no holding you back. The way you say things like "I love you", "bro-der", "An-ee", and "Spence-ie" is just adorable. You are getting clearer every day and have a pretty big vocabulary. 

Living in a pandemic this year has really allowed us all to be home the past 9 months as a family. You've grown closer to your family and the group of friends and family that have been in our lives. You do pretty well holding your own with the older group of kids we have "quaran-teamed" with. The seem to love you, too, because you are so easy going and fun.

You are a pretty good eater and you sleep well through the night. Naps are definitely still a thing of the past but you go to bed usually between 7:30 and 8 and sleep until about 7am. You still love your crib even though you climb in and out of it on your own. I think you love the feeling of being cozy and enclosed in your crib and it will be yours for as long as you want it to be. You never give us any trouble when we tell you it's bedtime and you love to be covered up and use your pillows. 

It's been a very interesting year. We started out in January with a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii for a family wedding, and then to Maui. It was so much fun to see you enjoy the pools and beaches we visited. You did so well traveling. But besides that trip, we've mostly been home making memories here.  We also took a quick trip to Tahoe for Thanksgiving. You loved playing in the snow and being with family at the beautiful home Nana rented. 

This Christmas was a very fun one with you. You finally understood the magic of the season, our elves that visit every year, and of course - Santa. You loved waking up on Christmas and having your presents to open. You lined up all your goodies and admired them all day long. It was so much fun to see you get to experience it all with your siblings and with your cousins on Christmas Eve. The bond you are growing with the 4 of them is truly special and I am grateful that the 8 of you have each other. 

You are such a sweet kid, Cody. We all absolutely adore you and I am so proud to be your mommy. As much as it hurts to see you grow, change, and blossom every day, I absolutely love seeing all that you're growing in to. You have such a good heart and I know you're going to grow up to be a loving and sweet boy. We love you very much, Cody. You are such a special part of our family.

Love you forever and ever,