Officially.. Magical 4!!

My boys officially turned 4.  The days leading up to I just like in years past spent time late and night reading through my blog post about when they turned 1, 2, and 3.  Amazing how much they change, and how many little characteristics have stayed the same.  I love remembering all the tiny details about their likes, dislikes, current favorite sayings, and sweet little faces.  

Tucking in and saying goodbye to 3! 
The night before their birthday,  I again told them the "best story of my life." The story of when Beckett and Eli were born.   

This year they were FULL of questions.  Why do we share a birthday? Eli was cracking up at the pictures of me at the hospital. He said "Mom. That's the biggest tummy I have ever seen!" and when we got to the C-section pictures and they were being pulled out Beckett covered his eyes and said "I can't look I can't look!"  Ha.  Their favorite story by far is when I tell about how when the doctor opened me up, Beckett's elbow stuck out.. and when they brought Eli out, he started going tee tee all over the place." Gets the biggest giggles every time.

They truly have the most incredible relationship.  I am constantly touched by how close they are.  Eli rarely goes into the pantry to get a snack without picking one for Beckett too.  And always the one Beckett would like.  Beckett rarely comes down stairs for a cup milk without getting a cup of juice for Eli.   While Beckett tends to be the more loving of the two, Eli is the thoughtful one.  And even when they fight or hurt each other, they are so incredibly quick to forgive and make up.  They really are the most amazing kind of best friend!

silly face day!

Recently on their birthday trip to Sea World,  Daddy had a great idea to stop and let them play one of the carnival games.  Well, as it just so happened Beckett won.  And Daddy realized he didn't have cash to play again so Eli could try and win.  Eli was devastated about the loss mainly because Beckett won a cool Shamu.  He cries and fusses in a sad way, not a tantrum.  Beckett says "here eli, you can hold his tail and I can hold his head. we can share."  Eli stops crying and along comes Poppy to the rescue to pay for them to play again.  Beckett is playing Eli and this time Eli wins.. look at this video my sister caught for the reaction.  I am telling you.  This is true love friends. 

One thing they have in common? A HUGE love of costumes, dressing up, and imaginative play.  And I assure you we have tons to choose from!  Everyday when they get home they immediately put one on and wear until bedtime.  Sometimes even begging to sleep in them.  

I try so hard to video their stories and dramas.  They always stop when they see me watching. I love how creative they are. Currently their favorite.. shows?  They each take turn performing some type of move or talent with pillows and animals spread all around watching.  Funny that was mine and my brothers favorite game too.  They also love ninja training.   Hey mom! Watch this move! 

Here they are singing the theme song to their favorite ninja show.. Ninjago.  Oh yeah. We rock out to this song in the car too.

They take gymnastics every Friday.  And they love it.  Recently Eli tested out of yellow fish and into green turtles.  Beckett stayed behind in yellow.  This mommy's heart was so worried and concerned about how this would go.  On the first Friday that they were different colors, they walked in and got on their colors.  Eli saw that he wasn't by Beckett so he went up front, got a yellow dot and took it back by the green row and put it right beside him.  Not only me but some of the other coaches were a little misty eyed.  Now when they go with different coaches to different areas, they always wave and say hello to each other.  Then they run and hug when they are reunited at the end on the green mountain. 

My first born Beckett is the sweetest, kindest, most loving, hunk of huggy squeazy child ever.  Really.  Those dimples when he grins.  That shaggy hair and stunning blue eyes.  The softest skin, squishy cheeks, and gentle hands.  The way his favorite thing in whole world is to "get my snuggle blanket, milk, and snuggle on the couch with my  mommy".   

Yes. A real living doll. 

loves his cereal with frozen blueberries

I love this video of one of his favorite sayings.. "Lord, have mercy!"

His heart, its made of gold.  Love freely flows.  There are so many times that he has given me a little glimpse into the kind, caring tiny person he is becoming.  If I say my head hurts, he is the first to offer to kiss it or bring me something.  He always climbs in my lap.  Freely gives kisses and hugs.  Surprises me all the time.   On Halloween we were riding on the golf cart in the dark and he leans over and said to me "mommy. I'm not afraid. God is with us."  He can tell so many stories and is one of his favorite things to do.  I love to lay in his floor and hear his precious little voice tell me one of his big imaginative story or about Jonah and the big huge whale.

Eli.  Within minutes of meeting him most people look at the two of them, point at Eli, and then say "that's your little mischief maker there."  He is naughty in a sense of doing lots of bad behaviors.  In fact, he really is quite the rule follower.  But he is a prankster. He is a Riley.  Through and through. Generationally handed down from his great grandfather through now the 4th generation.  He takes every advantage to scare you if he thinks its funny.  He cannot walk by you without touching you or messing with you in some way.  He is full of joy and laughter.  I am obsessively in love with his inquisitive, almond shaped eyes. The way he taps his finger on his face or scratches his head when he is trying to think about something.  His little crinkles.. eye dimples light up my life.  His big boy talking.  He is one of my favorite people to have a conversation with.  He is crazy analytical and always working through things.  His favorite thing to do? Something.  Taking a part, building, sports, etc.  Not tv. Not snuggling.   Action.

do I look like a real cowboy mom? His favorite thing to do.. craziness!

loves baseball with Daddy

They both love books and stories.  Each night they each get to choose a book, then we read a book from our favorite "Adventure Bible book".  Often they will then want a story before prayer time. I love peaking in on the video monitor.  Eli is telling "ghost" stories.  He has a captive audience.   

  We continue to struggle with sleep.  No matter what we try. And believe me, we have tried everything.  For now, most nights we end up with a little boy and his favorite beaver in our bed some where between 3 and 5.  Honestly, as hard as it is to go without sleep, sometimes the snuggles are just so sweet. 

31/2 to 4 brought lots of changes to these little lives.  More intentional parenting and discipline for one.  We implemented the magnetic chart system.  It has work SO well.  They love it.  We are able to change them out based on what they are really needed to change.  "eat your vegetables, show respect, keep your hands to yourself, pick up your toys" being some consistent choices.  Beckett says "Mom. Did I spect today?" Ha!  I talk through it with them and let them pick out a few they want to do for the week. Recently Eli said "let's do please and thank you. That's easy. I can't do potty words. that's just what we talk about at school."  STINKER.

The boys have also transitioned to a new house, new neighborhood, and new school.  I think we are finally seeing the light on the other side of transition.  They are beginning to really thrive at their new school.  Each day they get a color for the day.  They start at green and then move down.  After a few rocky days here or there Justin and I really started to talking about green and what they means.  Eli has worked so hard.  In fact, he was the SUPER STAR student once! This precious boy got to wear the hat, have everyone clap for him, and got a trip to the treasure chest in the office.  What did he choose?  A piece of candy for him.. and a rose pen for his mommy.  He brought it home to me and said "mommy, I know you are going to love this."   One of my greatest mommy's treasures.

The reward for a full week of green? Ice cream after school on Thursday of course!

Happy green faces!
So many moms friends of twin have talked to me about what they have dubbed "the magic age".  They all talk about 4 and how in infinitely got easier in terms of multiple hardness that we have experienced from birth. I am hear to report that is the truth!  There are aspects that have become more challenging of course.  But the overall in the trenches, must do everything for you, full time care has eased.  They actually play together in their playroom without fear of one of them hurting the other.  Or swallowing a small toy. Or having an accident on the floor.  They can get their own snacks.  They can carry things to the car and back.  They help me with "their chores".   I can actually take them to places like Walgreens that don't have shopping carts without fear of destroying the place and embarrassing myself!  Ah.  I have even ventured into Starbucks with them and lived to tell about it.  

breakfast date. Pouring his own syrup 

snack in the playroom 
shopping for cards
riding scooters in "their happy place" 
Family date night so see "Planes"!  
I could not be more proud of the generous, loving, thoughtful, fun, adventurous, silly, joyful, Jesus loving people they have become.  We thank God for His goodness and His mercies everyday.  And every night I tell them that I am the luckiest mommy in the whole world to get to their mommy.  Each year brings such surprise and excitement. 1 was incredibly sweet, 2 was adventurous, 3 was hilarious, and 4.. remains to be seen but I plan on thoroughly enjoying the MAGIC!

The Riley's 

The Riley FamilyComment