Yep. They are 5.

 5.  One whole hand. Why does that number seem so big when I know I will look back at 10, 15, 20, 25 and more and think "they were so little"!  But really.  This year from 4 to 5 has been the sweetest year.  As the continue to grow and change and develop as their own little persons, I fall deeper and deeper in love.

What a year of gaining independence right?  And responsibility!  Not independence in a "I can do it myself tantrum (but you really can't) but in an I can do it myself and they really can!  

grocery shopping

yard work 

golf caddy 

checking mail 
helping mommy unload the car
We still do the chore chart which works well and we recently implemented the "warm fuzzy jar".  When they do something nice or kind for each other, a friend, or us they get a fuzzy in their jar.  When they aren't so nice, they lose them.  When they fill the jar they get to go on a shopping trip with their money they've earned from chores.  

One thing remains constant.. an unwavering, unending love for all things superhero, transformer, and Lego.  Dressing up in costume is our favorite past time and there aren't many places (other than school) that we don't go all dressed up!

Beckett has so many praises and success stories this year.   He graduated from his orthotics, the ankle braces he has been wearing since 17 months!  He is now officially only in a foot orthotic which is fancy insert that goes in his regular shoes. It's amazing the improvement in his running and overall coordination over the last year.   His hypotonia that affects his gross motor skills also has begun exhibiting some delays in his fine motor skills.  Mainly in hand strength since the low muscle tone affects strength.  His evaluation this spring showed about a year behind in hand strength and fine motor.  He's been working so hard at school one on one with his teacher and is now in occupational therapy once a week.

He said "mommy, I'm so nervous about my appt" so we prayed and brought 2 penguins!
He loves it!  He looks forward to it every week and is progressing quickly.  Writing his name better, moved to smaller buttons that he is working on and has moved levels in almost every activity. 

He wrote me a note back in his lunch box 
It's such a fun place Eli said "what have I got to do to get an appointment at this place?"  Ha!

Another appointment that I would rather have avoided was Beckett's first trip to the ER.  He had a bad fall and came up dizzy.  He said "mommy my eyes aren't working".  He failed most of my test so I called my friend that was a nurse and she said take him in. 24 hours later, a lot of tears, and a sleepless night the cerebral contusion (brain bruise) showed it was healing all on its own.  The scariest night as a mom in my life.  So grateful he is ok.

Eli taking care of him 

he had to get in bed too

a good report the next morning!

my precious boy 
I recently had to write a description of Beckett for his new teacher.  Words to describe him:  snuggly, loving, silly, sensitive, and imaginative.  He continues to the softer of my two and loves quality time and lots of hugs, love, and wrestles.  He is the more imaginative of the two and can be the silliest.  He is crazy about books.  He will often get stacks of books of the shelf or the library book and lay with them and "read".  He also has the sassiest mouth of the two.  He is prone to talking back when he doesn't agree.  The worse 2 punishments for Beckett are taking away reading at bedtime or a squirt of sassy spray in the mouth!  Or maybe taking the ipad away.  His favorite thing to watch are youtube videos made my people that review toys or create stories from toys.  Fits right with his favorite activity of imaginative play.  Beckett loves for music to be turned up loud and he often will ask me to "rock it out" when we get in the car. 

will not eat bread.  picked the sausage out of everyone on of these 

sweet sweet boy 

always chooses to come with me to the grocery store 
my baby and his favorite time - ipad time! 
hand strength therapy with squeezers in the tub 
shooting darts off our balcony 

pink with sprinkles. Shipley donut drive thru. 
those eyes.  That smile. 

His favorite Bucky slippers

This morning daddy was trying to get dresses and packed.  Beckett's input?  "Daddy don't say hate.  It's a bad work.  It's not nice to say you hate."  Ha!  Every time daddy tries to get dressed. 

And my Eli.  Adventurous.  A thinker. Problem solver. Man with a plan.  And in charge.  He tends to be a bit more reasonable and likes to engage in conversation where he figures everything out. Inquisitive. He is usually the first up with me while I am doing my quiet time. As soon as he wakes up he bypasses everything and everyone to come and find me and crawl in my arms. Sometimes he is content to just snuggle me while I read but sometimes we talk.  And then he follows me in the bathroom to talk.  

early quiet morning

bathroom conversations
Super great at school.  A perfectionist although over the last year has soften in his expectations and tantrums around things that aren't presented perfectly.  Not long ago a broken cookie would send him over the edge.  I could not be more proud of the way he is growing and maturing when it has come to discipline.  We had a hard couple of years with this strong willed child from about 2 to 3.5 and now he is our 3rd parent.  He is quick to let know Beckett know the consequences of his actions!   He loves legos, Imaginext toys, and Wild Kratts.  

building forts with mommy

hey mom! Someone left a trail of goldfish to your
carries his lego box all over the house building in what ever room I'm in 
One our early morning talks .. "hey buddy? you sure are getting up early these days. Your brother is still up there snoozing" to which he replied.  "You remember why right mom?  That's because God made us different." 

loves his headlamp

a fairly usual choice of clothing. 
reading with daddy

heading out for golf  

loves to draw  
They are seriously the best of friends.   Not long ago Eli had the stomach bug.   Beckett could not stand that I would not let him in the bathroom with us so he ran upstairs got his pillow and laid outside the bathroom.  Every few minutes he would ask about Eli and say "I'm right here if you need me. " 

One day we were at the car wash and I gave them each a quarter for the gum ball machine.  As Eli put his quarter in I saw the gumball drop down and it was green.  Green is Beckett's absolute favorite and I just observed from a distance to see what he would do.  Beckett got excited and said "it's green it's green!" and Eli reached down to grab the gumball out.  He came up arm outstretched and said " Here you go Beckett.  Green is your favorite."  Precious brothers.

It's like always having a friend over for a sleep over! Constant giggles, big adventures, great playing, and the occasional tiff or fight.  Our sitters that watch them often comment on how well they get along with each other and how kind they are to each other.  Fruits of some really hard discipline between 2-4.   I am constantly ready to jump in for things that I think would be offensive or hurtful but they have their own way of sorting things out.  Quick to say sorry and the worst punishment ever?  Alone time! 

absolutely cannot keep their hands off each other.  constant wrestles 

Beckett is a memory game champ.  Can't beat him. 

calling themselves the "bumble bee brothers" 

Not happy that I wouldn't let them out of the pool right after they got in. 

Face Timing family 

they think its so fun to ride in the back from the mailbox on the corner
5 years has taught me a lot about my parenting.  I said I would never let them wear characters.  Yep.  I said that.  But they love them.  They make them happy.  AND they cause a complaint free- fuss free morning and that is worth getting over the character issue.  I said they would never sleep with me. Yep.  They sleep with me pretty much every night.   I thought we would sit down EVERY night as a family and eat and although that happens a few nights a week, I've learned that creative fun, flexible nights are even more valuable.  I've learned what God meant when he said "fearfully and wonderfully made" because even though these 2 guys were born at the same time, on the same day, they are each uniquely designed for His purposes.  And mainly I've learned to live in a constant state of gratitude for each precious day with these boys.  


The Riley's 

The Riley FamilyComment