Monday, February 04, 2013

Dear Freddy (On Your 4th Birthday)...

December 17th, 2012

Dear Freddy,

Dude! You're 4! FOUR! How did that happen?!?!? I mean, seriously, there are some days where I feel it was just last week that we brought you home and yet four years have passed us by.

Unbelievable. People told me this would happen - that time would pass by in a blink. Honestly, I wasn't sure if they were right.

I won't lie. There have been days over the last 4 years where I wished it would happen. I haven't been a perfect parent. We've both flared our tempers. Fortunately, far more often our love has been bigger.

You are a delightfully talkative and active little boy.

If you could really read, you would correct me and say that you're not a little boy. You're a BIG boy. So, excuuuuse me. You're a delightfully talkative and active BIG boy.

This year you've grown a lot! You're 46 inches tall and weigh 53 pounds. That would be the size of an average 6 year old in the United States. Your daddy keeps telling me that you're going to slow down on the growing part. 4 years later, and I'm still waiting for it to happen! You're almost past my elbows, so it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if you're almost as tall as me by Kindergarten!

Right now you are SUPER into Transformers, Rescue Bots, Super Heroes, Lego's and games on the Wii (Excite Truck and MarioCart). You have to "read" books before we let you have computer gaming time, and right now you're okay with that.

You are officially potty trained during the day, but still wear pull-ups at night. We're both working on the night time potty's but you've done a great job with the day time.

There was a BIG change to your life this year... you got a little sister - Charleigh! Fortunately, you adore her! (Well, for the most part!) You adore her so much in fact, that you often tell me that someday she'll be your "love". It's super sweet to hear you say because we realize you're probably not going to feel that way in a few years. You adore loving on her, and telling us the things she is "saying". It's really quite comical - especially when you tell us that she wants you to have a treat or a special snack. You are an awesome big brother! You are our "sanitation engineer" and take pride in getting me clean diapers or putting her used ones into the garbage can. You really do enjoy just being around her; giving her hugs and kisses. I wish it would always be this great!

You attend preschool two days a week at Fellowship Friends preschool at the Methodist church in Trophy Club and LOVE it! Ms. Tammi is your teacher, and you have 8 other kids in your class. When I ask you what you did in school, on our way home, you normally tell me "nufin", but if I ask you probing questions you'll tell me about gym time with Mr. Shawn, or music time with Ms. Kelli, or Spanish, chapel, centers, playground, lunch, snack, art time, and even quiet/nap time. You never ever fall asleep during nap time, but you do lay quietly and look at books. Your favorite thing to do after school is get a slushy at Sonic. (Fortunately, it's "Happy Hour" when you get out of school so drinks are half off!).

You do go up to your room each non-school day for "quiet time" but rarely do you take a nap. The goal during quiet time is for you to stay in your room and be quiet for an hour. You don't have to sleep, but you do have to be quiet. Generally, you're not quiet by any stretch of the imagination, but you do stay in there. (I'll be honest, quiet time is mostly for me!).

This year, you graduated to a "big boy" bed! Your room is in the middle of being redecorated from vintage planes to super heroes. You are SUPER excited about the change! :)

This year you're still taking swimming lessons, and you do a GREAT job during class. But, when we're with friends, you tend to forget how to swim because you're SO excited to play with the big(ger) kids. We still keep an eye on you. I doubt I'll ever stop!

You love music, singing, and dancing.You do not enjoy coloring with crayons, but you do with chalk and paint. You LOVE playing at the park and often give the local parks special names. Sometimes it is a challenge figuring out which park you're asking to go to, but we generally figure it out.

Your bed time is at 7:30pm each night, and often you're up until 8 or 8:30pm. You normally wake up around 7:30am. I love that you love your sleep!

You have lots of friends, and often refer to each of them as your "best" friend. I love that you love your friends so much! However, you don't love sharing so much. It makes playdates a challenge (but one that is still age appropriate.)

Your favorite foods and drinks are... goldfish, cereal bars, chicken nuggets, pork chops, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, hot dogs, milk, cherry tomatoes, celery (because the Super Pets eat it!), oatmeal, waffles, fruit snacks, oranges and apples, juices, mashed potatoes, and "squishy" bread (Hawaiian Rolls). You love McDonalds. I wish it was for their play area, but alas, it's for the toys that come in the Happy Meals. One time you told me that they're called Happy Meals because they make your heart happy. (Duh! Mom! Sheeesh!)

I love being your "Mudder" and I can't imagine my life without you!

I love you more than the sun, the moon, and the stars! (and... since you add them... more than diet coke and chocolate too!)

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Letter... the 2012 Version

Here we go... another attempt at writing a letter summarizing up our year. No pressure or anything, right? Before I get into reminiscing, I should share a word/explanation about our Christmas cards. Among the scads of things I learned this year, one of the most important is to be sure and look at photos close up making sure to look at everyone's facial expressions, before ordering prints or Christmas cards. No, Steve is not upset or angry in the photo, nor is he confused. Some might think that he's thinking... "Oh crap. What did I get myself into with this?" The truth be known... no one, not even Steve, knows what he was thinking in the photo! And... I ordered our cards without looking at everyones faces close up. It's my fault that I used that photo, and he said to just send them out anyway. What a good guy!

2012 was a year full of surprises, blessings, accomplishments, and lots of temper tantrums for the Ales family. Such is the life of a pre-schooler. Right? Looking back over our calendars, it doesn't seem like we did much of anything. But, looking at our photos, and reliving the memories reminds me that we had a great year. It was simple,and we spent it together. Perhaps that's the best kind of year to have!

We didn't do any traveling this year because... well, early in the year we found out we were going to have another addition to our family. Surprise! After lots of morning sickness, nausea, and general pregnancy fun, our little girl joined us on September 26th. Charleigh Marie weighed in at 9 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 1/4 inches long. She has a head full of dark hair and a smile that breaks hearts.

Our blonde haired, blue eyed boy, Freddy, turned 4 this week. FOUR! Everyone was right, time flies right by. He's tall! This summer, he attended Mommy's Potty Camp, and after earning a ridiculous number of prizes and awards (Steve coined it right when he called Fred a prize mercenary!), he graduated to big boy underwear. I have never been so grateful (neither has our budget!). He also moved up to a big boy bead! Fred has a huge vocabulary, and talks non-stop (he LOVES to remind us about words we "aren't supposed to say." Nice!). At his annual check up, he measured in at 44" tall and weighed in at 46 pounds. Right now, he LOVES Transformers, Rescue Bots, Super Heroes, Lego's and he still has his endearing love of cars from the Cars movies. He enjoys reading books, playing with play dough, singing songs, and attending his weekly swimming lesson. He is attending his second year of preschool and thinks his teacher, Ms. Tammi, is awesome. Most of the time, he is a ton of fun to be with. He's the light of our lives and we are proud of him for his accomplishments. His temper-tantrums... not so much. :)

For Mother's Day this year, Steve basically tripled my raised bed gardening area and we added a drip irrigation system. We spent the rest of spring, summer, and fall enjoying our garden. I continued to learn more about canning, so that we could enjoy our work and bounty all year long. The hades of Texas heat finally did the garden in. My being pregnant had nothing to do with it... at least that's what I'm telling myself! I found that I really do enjoy gardening.

Steve continues to be an amazing father to our children, and blessing to me as my husband. There have been many times where he has been the voice of reason talking me off of a ledge. He is still working with the same company, though we are uncertain as to what our long term plan will be. We are maintaining faith that it will all work out for the best. I am grateful, and blessed, that he works as hard as he does so that I can stay home with our children.

We made it through 2012 and we're looking forward to 2013!

Steve, Heather, Freddy & Charleigh

P.S. If you ever find yourself in our neck of the woods, we'd love to see you! You're welcome to come have a bite to eat - anytime!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween 2012

At Trunk or Treating
This year, we dressed up together as a family for Halloween.

I didn't get a single photo of us all in costume.

Not one.

Trick or Treating on Halloween
But, I did get a couple of Fred!

We were The Incredibles. We had a ton of fun. Though, Fred had more fun than any of us.

And, insists on wearing his costume every day.

And, if you don't let him... can often be found with a gold belt on under his clothes.

I should thrilled that he wants to wear something that I made.

Halloween Parade at Preschool. (Yes, he is taller than everyone else!)
It's cute!