Dear Whit and Davis: You’re Five Years Old!

My sweet, sweet boys, today you are five! It’s hard to believe five years ago I was laying in a hospital bed with severe preeclampsia waiting to deliver you. I was so scared and anxious in that moment because it was so early (34 weeks), but I also had a peace in my heart. I knew deep down that you would be safe and that it was time for you to take your place in our family.

When you were born I was thrust into the life of being a boy mom. I honestly thought I would have all girls and was unsure of my ability to mother boys. I didn’t know if I’d be able to relate to boys or understand what your little hearts needed from me. For a lot of my life I felt disconnected and misunderstood by a lot of the males I was around, whereas with women I felt seen for who I really was.

God clearly had a plan in mind because now I am a mom to three boys! And the uncertainty I had about being a boy mom have disappeared. I very quickly was able to see you boys for who you are deep inside, sweet, sensitive, loving souls. And the love you show me absolutely melts my heart – it’s true what they say, “boys love their mamas.” The experience of raising you two and Alden has opened my heart to the joys that come with having sons.

After getting gipped for your fourth birthday (due to Covid), I wanted to go BIG this year. Your fifth birthday became more like a birthday week! Last Friday we hosted most of our family for a joint First Communion / Birthday party for Lila and you. We had a delicious brunch catered, two cakes and beautiful weather to enjoy being together outside in our backyard.  You loved running around with your cousins!

Then you celebrated your day at school with little goodie bags for your classmates. On Friday we hosted our close family friends over for a party with a magician! (Magic with Eli) You absolutely LOVED the magic show and were laughing so hard the whole time. I loved seeing you enjoy yourselves so much! You’ve been surrounded by so many people who love you this week, which is exactly what I hoped for.

Whitaker, this year you have grown so much both physically and emotionally. You are a good six inches taller than most the kids in your class and are seriously made of pure muscle. I can barely pick you up anymore because you’re built like a brick! Thankfully you love my piggy back rides.

You have shown what a natural athlete you are this year playing basketball, soccer, volleyball and t-ball. You pick up sports very easily and I foresee a future of cheering for you on the sidelines (which I will LOVE). You are always climbing and jumping off the furniture, wrestling with Davis or doing your silly dance moves (which always make me laugh).

While you are bold physically, you are my most sensitive kiddo. You have a tender little heart that can get bruised easily. I always say that “Whit is a little lover,” because you show your love for others easily. At school it’s common for you to tell your teacher and classmates that you love them, which melts everyone’s hearts. And while you have a hot temper sometimes, you want so badly to make those around you happy. You feel absolutely awful afterwards when your hot emotions take over. I always tell you that “you’re still learning and it’s okay to make mistakes.”

You discovered video games this year and love playing them with your brother. You are extremely focused and persistent when you have a goal in mind – like beating a game. It actually really impresses me how determined you are when you find something you really care about.

You are Mario-obsessed and will play for hours with Davis pretending you’re inside the games you love. My favorite time is when you two are completely engrossed in your pretend play and I can just observe and listen to your little creative storylines and collaborative play. It’s truly amazing to see how close you two are. You play all day long and rarely fight or get sick of each other. I can’t imagine how wonderful it would have been to grow up with my best friend every day!

Davis, out of all my kids, you have grown and matured the most this year. You suddenly want to know how everything works and are constantly building or taking something apart. Your interest in numbers, letters, puzzles has exploded and you’re taking in knowledge at a very fast rate. Everyone who knows you says you have an engineer’s mind, which I think takes after your Grandpa Batman.

Emotionally you have become much more adaptable, in-control and aware of your emotions this year. You are noticing how others are feeling around you and showing your empathetic heart. You particularly are in tune with Whitaker’s feelings and often are the first one to try to comfort him when he’s upset. Like the other day when I was taking a “time out” with Whit in his room and you came up and tried to cheer him up with some of your ice cream. You have a very loving, nurturing heart, sweet boy.

You still love transformers, but have also discovered a love of legos. You are able to build complex lego sets meant for 8 year olds and complete transformers with 30+ steps. You even took apart a lego set and rebuilt it perfectly with no instructions, which sort of blew my mind! You also love playing pretend and are often begging Whitaker to play with you. Usually you are the one “directing” the game you two play – coming up with challenges and storylines for you both to act out.

You’ve had a wonderful year at school this year after struggling the year before. Both you and Whitaker get nothing but great behavior reports and are progressing so well with your social and academic skills. We decided to have you guys do Kindergarten Readiness vs going straight to Kindergarten, and I think it’s going to help you be even more confident and prepared. I have a feeling you’re going to be a very smart boy who excels in school.

You are still my most snuggly child, which melts my heart. You will often plop yourself down in my lap or ask me to tickle you. I love being so close to you and dread the day you no longer want to cuddle. I love lying with you and Whitaker at bedtime, reading books, singing songs and drawing letters on your back. Will you do me a favor and promise to always let me hug you even when you’re grown up?

You boys have blessed my live in more ways than you’ll ever know. I feel like I finally understand how the “boy brain” works, and love how complex, sweet, caring and sensitive you are underneath the loud, physical exterior that comes with being growing boys.

My hopes for both of you is that as you grow, you don’t hide away that sensitive, loving side of yourself, because to me that is the most beautiful part of you both. Don’t ever be afraid to let your emotions show or to ask for help when you need it. The world needs more love, kindness and empathy, which you both have so much to give.

I hope you both know Daddy and I will always love you unconditionally and completely. There’s absolutely nothing you could do that would change our love for you. Have a wonderful time being five, my loves!

Love always,

Mommy

Giveaway: Get $100 a Watermelon Session with Brittany Ann Photography

Summer is in full swing here in Ohio! Our kids have been enjoying getting outside, going to the pool and playing tennis. Even though this summer looks different than years past due to COVID, we are making the most of the beautiful weather.

One thing I wanted to do was capture the kids in a photo session, so when Brittany from Brittany Ann Photography offered to do a watermelon mini session I jumped at the chance. The photos turned out so adorable and the kids had a blast!

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Brittany does such a fantastic job of capturing the kids personalities. She’s so good with the kids that I honestly didn’t do a thing for this shoot! And can we also talk about how Lila looks 16!?

Brittany Ann Photography is offering one of my readers $50 off their Watermelon mini session (normally $175) PLUS $50 in print credits! The session must be booked by end of August.

To enter, follow @brittanyannphotos on Instagram and comment below with your kids favorite summer fruit. I’ll pick a winner on July 3rd!

Dear Boys, You’re Four Years Old!

Dear Whitaker and Davis,

A few weeks ago you guys turned four years old! We had grand plans to throw you a big birthday party with a magician, but the coronavirus pandemic foiled our plans. Instead, after 56 days of isolating at home, we decided it was safe enough to spend your birthday with Grammie and Gramps.

You both were SO HAPPY to be out of the house visiting your grandparents. They as usual made the visit lovely for you, with special toys laid out all around the house, big wheels in the garage and all your favorite foods ready. I was so relived to see both of your happy, sweet spirits return while we were there. At one point, Davis, you said “I’m so happy here.”

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The morning of your birthday, you woke up (Davis at 2:45 am from excitement!) to gifts, cake, balloons and transformer decorations, because if there’s one thing to know about you right now, it’s that you LOVE transformers! We ate a breakfast of cinnamon rolls, eggs, bacon and fruit before you tore into your presents (surprise! More transformers).

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It was a great end to your third year. Honestly, three has been a tricky year for you guys in many ways. A new sibling joining the family, starting school, then your beloved preschool teacher abruptly leaving and finally a global pandemic completely halting your life. So many big changes happened this year, that any one would struggle with, let alone a little three year old.

Three is a big year already with a lot of milestones. You both became more independent, yet still wanted to be little. In fact leading up to your fourth birthday, Whitaker, you asked me “Do I have to become a big guy on my birthday?” I reassured you that you have a lot more years as a “little guy” before the pressure of growing up is upon you.

Despite all the changes, one thing remained consistent this year, and that is your brotherly bond. I feel bad at times that I group you two together (like writing you one blog post vs two separate), but in reality you two are still very much a package deal. You love being together, playing transformers for hours. When I try to do “special time” with you separately, you both ask where the other one is and why did I leave them at home!?

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Although you’ve got that amazing twin bond going on, you both are very different in many ways.

Davis, you are our little builder. You love playing with legos, connecting blocks and other toys that require you to use your imagination to build something. I think that’s why you love transformers so much, because you can use your hands to change and morph them into something new. Your focus and concentration amazes me – you already can complete transformers that are 20+ steps meant for 10 year olds.

IMG_4696You are still my sweet snuggler and are content to lay with me watching a show (usually transformers). It absolutely melts my heart when you let me hold you, because your siblings are far too active for that. I will miss that time together so much when you get older and don’t want your mommy as much.

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I’ve realized this year that you are far more sensitive than I ever thought. You pick up on things that other kids are oblivious to. No small detail passes you by. You are the kid stopping to notice the roughness of the tree bark, or the feather underneath the grass.

This also has meant you have stronger emotions to things like the coronavirus. You ask me a lot about the virus, when it will end and why you can’t go to school or go to all the places you love. While my heart hurts seeing you struggle with these big feelings, I know this sensitivity will be an amazing asset for you as you grow up. You’ll be the man who is a empathetic husband, father and friend.

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Whitaker you have grown up so much this past year and yet in many ways are still my baby boy. You enjoy your creature comforts and honestly find the whole school thing a little bit uncomfortable. Pretty much every day you would cling to us at drop off and start your day crying a bit. The teachers assured us that you warmed up quickly, but let’s just say the stay at home order from the pandemic was a welcome change from you!

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You are such a BOY it’s almost funny. My friends laugh at all my Instagram stories showing you scaling some part of our furniture, making giant messes or just being your loud, boisterous self. Before having boys, I thought all that gender stuff was mostly conditioning, but you have shown me that it can be absolutely just inherent!


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You are a strong little guy and have such coordination. Before your fourth birthday you were riding a bike without training wheels. I can see a future in athletics for you for sure. Beyond your physicality, you also love playing transformers with Davis. You love making up little story lines and I’ll often hear you mumbling to yourself followed by a “blast! blast!”

 

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Oh and if you can’t tell by these photos, you spent most of your third year of life naked! lol. You definitely make your preferences known and can be extremely persistent in what you want. This will serve you well later in life when you won’t let yourself be peer pressured. I have a feeling you’ll be the person who always knows what they want in life.

I am so excited to see what this year brings for both of you. If your experience is anything like your sisters, I think you’ll love being four. For her things just sort of “clicked” shortly after her fourth birthday and life for everyone got a lot easier.

My hope for both of you this year is that you know how much you are loved and that no matter what challenges come your way, you are capable of overcoming them. You’ll have your family cheering you on every step of the way.

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We love you both so much and are so glad we get to watch you both grow up together.

XO,

Mommy

 

Dear Boys, You’re Three Today!

Whitaker & Davis,

Today you little sweeties turned three years old! We are celebrating your birthday this weekend with a party with your family. You are both so excited for “pwesents” and “cake!” This year the theme of your party is “construction.” I got you a cake that looks like a construction site with trucks on it, a truck piñata and shirts that say “I’m digging being three!”

Life sure has been fun with you two lately. As if it was even possible, you two have gotten even closer. You play together so well and generally do not want each other to be out of sight. Yesterday you got new baseball hats in the mail from Aunt Amy and Uncle Mike. You both put them on and immediately said “now let’s play baseball!” We set up your little t-ball and you took turns whacking the ball.

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The sweetness you both display melts my heart. We get a LOT of unprompted “I love yous” from both of you along with big long hugs. You are quick to call nearly anyone your “best friend,” including last week when Whitaker follower our cleaner around saying “you’re my best friend, Abby!” You melt hearts where-ever you go.

You both are starting to drop your naps, but still tolerate quiet time in your room (mainly because it’s really just playtime with each other). You both are also extremely physical – climbing, jumping off things and generally pushing your abilities to the limit whenever you get a chance.

Davis, you have become quite an applesauce lover. In fact, it’s pretty much the only thing you want to eat these days. You still love your “blue bankie” and have also amassed a large assortment of “snuggle ings” that you MUST have in your bed in order to sleep. Laying with you at bedtime is my favorite time. You hold my hand and say “I love you mama” over and over again. You also have started asking us all “are you happy, dada?” The answer is always yes when we’re with you bud.

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Whitaker, you are SUCH a ham. Seriously you have the biggest personality and are not afraid to talk to any one. It’s not rare for you to approach adults, kids or even grandparents when we’re on an outing and strike up a conversation. You are still insanely loud and prefer yelling vs talking. I think you just have so much personality in there it bursts out of you! You are not much of a cuddler still, but will happily give me big bear hugs whenever I ask for one.

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You two bring so much life, laughter, silliness and vibrant energy into our house. It’s often loud, chaotic and busy around here, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I love hearing your trucks roll across the floor, your giggles as you chase Finn and yes, even your requests for a SNAAAACKS (seriously can you eat any more??).

It’s hard to believe how quickly time is going by. It feels like not long ago you were teeny tiny babies home from the nicu. It’s hard not to cry when I look through your baby photos. It’s just so bittersweet! But I will say I am beyond thankful I’ve gotten to spend every day with you since you’ve been born. What a blessing it is to watch you grow up.


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We all love you both so much. Three is going to be a big year for you – potty training, preschool and becoming more independent. My wish is you stay your sweet, good-natured selves, keep your special twin bond strong and know how dearly you both are loved by so many.

Love always and forever,

Mommy