Happy 4th Birthday Lewie!


Little Lewie's birthday this year brought tons of laughter.  We hired a child comedian/entertainer named Mr. Bungles to come and entertain all of Lewie's friends, and boy did he entertain!  During the first part of his performance, he did a magic act, juggling, and balloon animals. While all the kids (and parents) sat on the lawn, he proceeded to do his comedic performance.  What made it funny is that poor Mr. Bungles could never seem to do anything right.  He told the kids he had a magic hat, and if he tossed it in the air, it always, always, always would land right on his head.  Of course, it didn't...not even close, and the kids, including my 4 year-old Little Lewie, thought it was hillarious.  He juggled, but had a difficult time catching the balls.  He had a large magic wand that shot out cloth snakes.  He had a hat that produced rubber chickens instead of rabbits.  I watched my little boy (and took pictures of him) throughout the entire performance, and I couldn't believe how hard he was laughing--a few times he was holding his belly from laughing so much!

During the second part of the party, Mr. Bungles brought everyone over to a kiddie pool that contained a special bubble solution.  Anyone that volunteered to stand in the pool would be able to have a life size bubble surround them.  Lewie wasn't interested in volunteering for this, but many of his little friends tried it.  Heck, I even tried it too.  Why not?  Adults can have fun at kids' parties too!

Overall, I was thrilled with how the party turned out.  I can't say the planning was easy--last minute, we changed the date from a Saturday to a Sunday because of the threat of severe winds and thunderstorms.  About four families couldn't come when I made the change.  Still, we were lucky that Mr. Bungles could make the switch and that most of our guests could still come too. 

By far, the best part of the day was watching Little Lewie laugh with all of his friends.  In fact, he seemed to be the one laughing the most, which was proof to me that "I done good."  Very rarely do I give myself a pat on the back for parenting.  Usually I'm hyper critical of my actions, wondering if I'm being too lax and not discipling or teaching enough.  Today, instead, I was on cloud nine.  For once, I felt like all my research and planning had paid off, and I got to bask in feeling like I was a great mom after all...

Mr. Bungles and his little audience


More Laughter...

More Laughter...

Even More Laughter (okay, okay...I have tons more laughing pictures, but I'll stop)

But not yet...laughter w/ balloons

Balloon concentration at its finest.

The human bubble...

The kid in a bubble...

Me in a bubble...

We had a Scooby Doo theme for Lewie's cake and treat bags...

Make a wish!!

"Can we have cake, Mommy?"

Chillin' w/ cousin Sarah after the party!

Happy Birthday Letter to My Four Year-Old


Dear Lewie,

Where has the time gone?  I just finished reading my letter to you last year, and while you still have that same little three year-old personality, you've, nonetheless, matured and learned so much in just 12 short months.  This year, Mommy and Daddy have really had to "let go" of our baby boy, for the Binky, diapers, and your crib have disappeared.  You are fully potty trained, preferring to use the "grown-up" toilet to your potty chair, you go to sleep in your "big-boy" bed, and the Binky is all but a distant memory.   Your car seat is about to turn into a booster seat, and you're quickly growing out of your 5T clothing.  Before long, I will have to say goodbye to the toddler section of the store for good and embrace the boy's section (gulp).  Do I want to be at this point right now?  My heart is torn.  Part of me is so proud of the little man you're becoming, and part of me yearns for the baby days when I tickled you in your crib, nursed you in the mornings, and yes, even changed your diapers.

You're a regular preschooler now.  You love numbers and letters, and you love to learn.  You also love playing with your friends at school and coming home with interesting jokes (mostly potty-humor) that you've no doubt learned from them.  Just the other day you told me, "You can talk to my butt."  I didn't know whether to burst out laughing or scold you.  It was one of those moments when I scratched my head and thought, now where did that come from?

My little boy in his big-boy bed.  (We still love the Boppy.)

You and Daddy in your new pool.

Showing off your medal at your "Moving Up Party" in Preschool.

This year I'm going to put a new spin on my letter.  Last year, I gave you a list of the top ten things I love about you and your age.  In many cases, those ten reasons still very much apply now, so instead, I'm going to provide a list of the top ten occupations I can see you having when you grow up.  (It will be interesting to see if any of mommy's predictions come true...)

1.  Meteorologist (Weather Forecaster)
You have a keen love for the weather and maps.  Sometimes in the morning you will ask that we turn on the news to watch the weather; other times, you're interested in giving me your own predictions.  "It's going to storm hard, Mommy.  Trees are going to come down."  (Well, I hope not, but after several bad storms this year where trees actually did come down in our yard, I can certainly understand your "futurecast.")  You love the sun, the moon, and the clouds, and you talk a lot about wanting to watch the sun rise or the sun set.   Your favorite book is called The Seasons, and you ask us (especially Gramy) to read it to you again and again.

2.  Elevator Repairman
Okay.  Your fascination with elevators has not gone away.  In fact, I believe it's become stronger.  You request visits to the mall just so we can ride the elevator, and when we pass by large cities in the car, you point to tall buildings asking if we can stop and see their elevators.  You're smart; you know that tall buildings MUST have elevators.  The sliding doors to our bookcase and bedroom closet continue to serve as your "make-believe" elevators too.

3.  Mechanical Engineer
If I were to predict your three Holland Code traits, one of them would be Realistic (this means you like to fix or make things with your hands).   You ALWAYS have very busy hands.  Wherever we go, you cannot let a button go unpressed or a door go unopened.  Furthermore, you love to figure out how things work.  If you're not asking Mommy and Daddy to show you how something works, then you're taking it apart and/or studying it very carefully to understand the "cause/effect" on its own. 

4.  Stand-up Comedian
You love making people laugh.  (That's the "Social" part of the Holland Code in you.)  As early as age two, you were trying to figure out knock knock jokes, so you could begin your stand-up comedy routine.  Now, you've increased your repertoire with fart and poopy jokes.  If you're not calling someone a "poopy head," then you're making the actual sound effects instead.  At times, your silliness is downright hilarious, but at other times, you don't know how to stop yourself.  While you'd like to be silly and crack jokes all day long, you are slowly learning that there are times when you have to be more serious too, especially around people that find potty humor to be offensive.

5.  Actor
While I can see you doing a stand-up routine for an audience in the future (heck, you're able to elicit an audience now), I can also see you take on a dramatic role in a soap opera or an on-stage performance too.  Whether you're happy, sad, angry, or bored, you always manage to show your emotions in an "over-the-top" sort of way.  Just today, you were very upset to learn that both Mommy and Daddy were going to the store without you.  You ran away from Gramy in the yard, ran up to the driveway, and then purposely made a flying leap to the ground for dramatic effect.  "Mommy, Daddy, don't leave me," you whaled.  "I want you to stay here with me." You sobbed and sobbed while burying your little face into the ground.  (I'm amazed at how you can turn a mundane event into a Shakespearean tragedy.)

6.  Politician
I suppose a stand-up comedian, actor, and politician all go hand-in-hand these days.  I'd personally rather that you stay away from any of these three professions, but I can't deny your ability to be diplomatic and to know how to handle yourself in certain public situations.  Even more, you usually know how to act in front of certain audiences.  For elderly people, you blink your eyes a little more, act adorable, and sing sweet songs like "I'm a little teapot" or "Twinkle, Twinkle."  For older kids and teens, you act boyishly cool and confident using phrases like "Cool Dude" or "Oh Man."  You've recently learned a few other "more colorful" words in our language too, but since you've been taught not to say them, you remind us that they're "bad words" when we mistakenly say them, too.

7.   Telephone Operator or Telephone Salesperson
In the future, I can see AT&T, Verizon Wireless, or T-Mobile all fighting over you.  Maybe they'd want to hire you to be their 411 operator or maybe they'd offer you a sweet deal to sell their cell phones, tablets, and computers.  The truth of the matter is that if you're not pretending to be on an elevator then you're pretending to talk to people on the phone.  (Lately a lot of these conversations have been with your "make-believe" sister.  Are you going to be a clairvoyant too?)  With all the phone experience you've been getting in these past few years, at age four, you already have the skill set and passion to work for any phone company.

8.  Lifeguard
Daddy came up with this one, and he's right!  Since you've been reintroduced to the pool this summer, we can't ever get you out!  You can spend hour upon hour swimming, kicking, and jumping in.  In fact, you've become so brave, now you're jumping in without anyone's help.  In a few more years, it may be Little Lewie to the rescue!

9.  Landscaper
This is another one of Daddy's predictions.  Every time Daddy goes to cut the lawn, you're out there with him as his trusty sidekick.  Most of the time, you're begging Daddy to take you for a ride on the lawn tractor.  Other times, you grab you little pretend lawnmower and begin pushing it around all over the place.  Lately, you've developed this huge interest in rocks, sticks, and leaves too.  If you're not collecting and putting all these things into your little pockets, then you're proudly giving them to me as gifts.  "Here Mommy.  I have a leaf for you."  (Mommy, of course, would prefer a flower, but for now, I'm happy getting rocks, sticks, and leaves as presents.)

10.  Chef
You love helping Mommy out in the kitchen.  We make cookies, cupcakes, and smoothies together.  We don't have a play kitchen at home, but surprisingly, when we go to other people's houses, you love playing with theirs.  You pretend to serve me hotdogs, pancakes, or yummy desserts.  Since you love to keep your hands busy, cooking seems to be the perfect hobby;  afterall, you get to press buttons too, whether it's setting the timer on the stove or pressing the "liquify" button on the blender. 

Bonus:  Photographer
You love taking pictures.  I'm not sure if this is an inate passion or an interest because you see Mommy take a lot of pictures, but this is now the second year that you've requested a camera for a birthday present.  Last year you received a Fisher-Price camera, but the picture quality isn't good enough for you.  You're still requesting the real deal.

It's fun watching you grow up Lewie.  In time, some of these little interests will fade away, but others may stay around for good.  One thing I know for sure is that you're a very social little boy who loves routine and loves to fix or maneuver things with your hands.  (A career counselor would label you Social, Realistic, and Conventional.)  Now that the three year-old chapter has ended, it'll be exciting to see what the 4's bring!

I love you with all my heart and am very, very proud of you!


Trip to Sesame Street


"I like Cookie Monster and Elmo and Abby Cadabby and Big Bird too."  That's the comment Little Lewie made at the lunch table on Monday when he had a chance to "dine" with all of his favorite Sesame Street friends.

Going to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania was a very last minute trip, but I'm so glad we went!  For a few days we told Lewie we had a surprise for him.  Even when we woke him up at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning to get into the car, he still had no idea where we were going.  He thought arriving at the hotel (with elevators) was an adventure in itself, but when he arrived at Sesame Place, he was thrilled to see all of his favorite characters up front and in-person. 

From the water slides, to the merry-go-round, to the Sesame "Rock Concert," to the Sesame Street Parade, he was smiling from ear to ear.  Although I got sick on Monday with the stomach bug (sigh), it was still a joy to see Lewie so happy in this land of "make believe."  When we returned home Tuesday night, Lewie wanted to watch Elmo's World right away.  He definitely wasn't ready to say "goodbye" to his red, furry, friend. 

Lewie and me at the Sesame Street Rock Concert

All his favorite friends dancing.

What does Lewie and Cookie Monster have in common? Yup, their love of cookies!

Getting ready for the Sesame Street Parade

Such a fun parade...

One, two buddies that go way back! (Ah! Ah! Ah!)

Finally, above is a short video of Lewie's first rock concert.  All the kids definitely enjoyed the performance!