Winter Photos

Many weeks ago we had a cold, snowy storm. Our backyard is filled with tall trees, and it looked beautiful with the snow. On one particular morning, a small bush by our front door was covered in little icicles. It was really neat. All this said, I am so grateful for a warm, comfortable apartment.


a birthday story

Michael was bouncing around the room excitedly, "It's my birthday tomorrow! Yay! Mom, I'm so excited for my party!"

This is what excitement looks like at our house

Unfortunately, Michael has parents who dream about awesome parties but procrastinate too much to ever execute them. In fact I was sort of hoping to wrap a present for Michael, take him out for ice cream and call it good this year. But after his cute exclamation about his (inexistent) birthday party, the wheels in my head started turning. How could I let this cute boy down?

We live in a new area. A month ago I thought maybe we'd invite a bunch of our Seattle friends to come hang out for an afternoon at our new place. But now with only a day's notice, I changed my mind. Instead I called up a new friend from church. She has two boys about Michael's age, and an adorable daughter too.

I said, "Hey friend! Do you and your kids want to join us in singing happy birthday to Michael, and help us eat some cake and ice cream?" She was more than delighted, and Michael was thrilled. Rachel told me her son, J, had sung Happy Birthday to Michael in primary that previous Sunday and had already asked to go to Michael's party (because he assumed there was a party, right)?

Michael was also very excited for his Star Wars cake. After Richard planted this cake idea in his mind, I went on the search for the most simple Star Wars cake I could find. Michael helped me out in the kitchen, wearing his birthday crown he got at preschool. He shares his birthday with one other girl in his class, and his teacher--so it was a big preschool party.

We baked a light saber cake made from scratch, chocolate cake with basic buttercream icing. (It's very easy. Just cut a 13x9 cake into thirds, shape it correctly and wal-ah)!

Using the force
We actually went to our friend's home for the party, cake and ice cream in hand. They have more room than us, and parking is a pain at our complex. We also brought balloons as a source of easy entertainment.
Come on, birthday boy...
His cheeks look puffier than the balloon
Rambunctious children!
If you watch last year's birthday video, Michael was absolutely scared of the candles. This year, he told me he was going to blow them out. I wish I had someone video recording him again this year. Holy smokes...this kid is hilarious. He started off standing on the chair, and with each blow he backed up just a little bit, until eventually he climbed down and stood by me. But he continued to blow from a distance, and finally hit that 4th birthday candle. Phew!

Michael is very good at puzzles, so we decided to skip 100 piece puzzles and jump straight to a 300 piece puzzle. That was obviously too complex, but not with daddy's help!

And then we all lived happily ever after. Already counting how many sleeps until his next birthday.



I felt pressured from doctors/nutritionists to make sure we started getting Michael to the dentist (even as early as one-year of age)! We also had a couple of friends with kid's Michael's age who already had some terrible teeth problems. I wasn't concerned about Michael's teeth, because I couldn't see anything abnormal in there, but we did set up an appointment when he turned 2 years old.  He didn't like anything about it (except the waiting room with toys). I sat with him but was very turned off by the dentist who just came in and counted his teeth and then walked away. We were in the room for less than a minute and I paid $10 for that visit. I could've counted his teeth! In the future, I won't be taking my kids in to the dentist until they are 4, unless of course I can see something wrong in there.

With that backstory unfolded for you, I consider this week's adventure: 
Michael's first "Official" trip to the dentist

He wasn't sure what to think of this ensuing field trip. In fact, on one of the patient forms that I was filling out, it said, "Does the patient have a fear of the dentist? Rate on a scale of 1(not at all)-10(very scared)." Michael answered, "3", so I wrote it down. :) 

Our dentist is also our Bishop, so I was pretty sure he would be awesome with Michael. In fact, he had just been to our house a couple of weeks before and played some inside-ball with him. Dr/Bsh Tanner reminded Michael of this fact when he entered the room, but Michael "didn't remember that."

The hygienist was way awesome with Michael. She prepped him on all the tools, and enthusiastically kept Michael in-the-know of exactly what she was putting in his mouth. She even gave him the yellow sunglasses because the small black ones just weren't cool enough. 
He initially held onto that chair for dear life, especially when she started lowering it. He didn't want to lean back at all! She got him to go back a little bit and worked with him like that. Dr. Tanner was unaware of this though, and when he came in, he just lowered the chair on him without warning! His face broke out in utter fear like he was about to go on a loopy-rollercoaster. But, he was just fine and even got a prize and a new toothbrush.
 I knew it was a success when he said afterwards, "Okay Mom! Let's come back tomorrow!"



The other day, Michael took a pen and did this:

I was thrilled! I have done some coaching on writing out some letters with him, but we certainly had not hit up all the letters in the alphabet. We practically did the letter "O" a lot.

Preschool has definitely helped him, for sure.

And, he's just a smart kid on top of that.

Little things like this are so exciting for me to witness.