Friday, August 10, 2012

Caden at the Half... the 3.5 that is!

This post is about to be a monster! (Read at your own risk... this is def. a memory preservation post!) I've been wanting to write it for some time now. Knowing that I needed to put all of Caden's best and possibly even his worst on paper... the digital type, so that I could remember what Caden was like at the half... the three and a half that is!

When anyone asks Caden how old he is, he is always sure to say THREE and a HALF! And if they guess three first, he'll follow up with, "and a half!" The halfway point to four is a big deal to him. And he even knows that on January 1st, he'll be four! Although sometimes he thinks tomorrow is January 1st or that everyone has a birthday on January 1st. For instance... "Caden, today is KK's birthday!" He will reply,"It must be January 1st!" We have such a hard time with today, tomorrow, next week, last week... and is always very concerned about what's next and what time it is and if the day is over yet. He'll ask me a lot of times, "Is the day over yet?" I like to think it's because he is so excited about getting to the next thing and not that his day has been so dreadful that he is wishing for it to be done! He asks almost every day what day it is... I'll reply with Friday or whatever... and he'll say, "No, what number is it?" So I'll have to say, "today is Friday, August 10th, 2012." To that he replies, "oh, okay!" And then we're done with that.

He is a VERY verbal child. Which makes me laugh as I think back to the days when I thought he'd never talk or if and when he did that talking just wouldn't be his thing. Turns out Kaki is the same way... not an early talker by any means, but I am just holding my breath this time around because I know what's coming. From the moment he gets up in the morning he is ON it... and ready! He is curious and often says "Why not?" after EVERYTHING! Not "why" but "why not?" ALWAYS, "why not?" It might be the most frustrating speech thing for me to correct of his... because it happens ALL THE TIME. The questions... the questions! He is inquisitive and loves to learn and he retains WAY more than I wish he would sometimes. He is on it and is often reminding me not to say words and phrases that he is not allowed to say like "shoot!" "dad gummit" and the like. I even said, "I hate that for you, Caden..." and he said, "Mommy, don't say that word. That is a BAD word!" Yes, yes it is, although I wasn't really thinking of it in that context... but how do you explain that to a 3.5 year old. You don't even attempt it! You just change your phrasing and apologize, amen?

Speaking of apologizing... Caden is the King of letting me know that he "forgives me" when he has gotten in trouble. And that I am still his friend and that he loves me. He often says these things after he has gotten out of time out. When he is in timeout he is usually screaming "Mommy, I love you! Please let me out of here Mommy! I love you still Mommy!" 

When he is supposed to be taking a nap he comes out of the room and says, "Mommy... the good things is... I can't take a nap because I miss you so much!" He says, "The good thing is..." or "the good news is..." before anything he knows isn't right. For example, "the good thing is... I POOPED in the potty!!" The bad thing is that he didn't tell me and tried to wipe himself... which all moms know how that ended... ick

He is a master manipulator which is why I have told people on more than one occasion that if he ever runs for public office you should NOT vote for him... nothing like a mother's love is there? I'm just saying... he's good at what he does. He is a charmer and knows exactly what to say to get you to think twice. It's been a discipline for me to master his ways! :) 

Oh that boy! He is a little stinker sometimes and he goes to great lengths at times to test our patience but then he goes to even greater lengths to please and to be a contributing member of our family. He is a doer and loves a task. If he could write his own check list he would and he would take such pride with each item he crossed off. He does well with jobs around the house and loves to feel like he is needed and even more so adding to the family. It is fun to see him work to accomplish a task and to see his smile and his little chest puff up when he has completed whatever it is we have asked of him well. He is a hard worker and I love that about him. Of course, like all kids he has some impressive stall tactics... especially when it comes to pottying, washing his hands and/or cleaning up! :) Go figure, right?

All the boy needs in life is a ball and a bat... and a big field to run in...oh and a pitcher... and a catcher... and some fans... so I guess he needs a lot! :) But all joking aside I have never seen anyone want to play baseball more than that kid. It brings him great joy and he is oh so focused when he is playing. We are letting him play t-ball this fall and I am anxious to see how he likes it. He loves nothing more than having someone pitch him the ball so he can hit home runs! Such a funny little man. He cannot wait to have a backyard again... 

Caden has turned a corner socially... he is always so excited to go to church and always says how much fun he has with his friends. Don't get me wrong we still have a shy guy at first when we arrive at most places especially anywhere new... but he warms up quickly and get right on in there and plays! He loves to play! I think having Kaki around has been especially helpful in this area. They play well together and I enjoy their little giggles and laughs and even SCREAMS at each other. Just tonight they were playing in the floor and Kaki went into their bedroom and shut the door and Caden looked at me to make sure I saw what just happened and rolled his eyes and laughed as he said, "That Kaki, Mommy! She just shut herself in our room!" He went and opened the door and said, "You silly girl! Come here you Missy Priss, don't shut the door on yourself. Come on!" And he helped her out. He was so tender and amused by her. It was the cutest little interaction. Those types of things happen all day long. 

Kaki has started taking lots of steps on her own... I think we're up to 12 or so. The other night she was on a roll and Caden was genuinely SO tickled at her success that he was laughing uncontrollably. Pure joy and delight in her accomplishment! I thought to myself, now that is what true love is all about. Not jealousy of her lime light, no need to compete, just a desire to celebrate Kaki!

Now, it may sound like Caden never gives his sister anything but love, BUT we all know that's not the case. He gives her plenty of trouble and her right back at him. They fight already but it is mostly over toys and Kaki's need to play with whatever Caden has and vice versa. We're working through it and have mastered the use of the microwave timer when it gets too sticky. Of course Caden is always the first to say, "Mommy, I've got a great idea. You go set the timer and I'll give it to Kaki when it goes off!" Of course he gets to go first... great idea! :)

Caden is starting to understand more and more about our faith and how it applies to his life. He is asking questions and is very curious about certain things. He is starting to connect stories together and is learning real lessons from the things he studies at church, school and at home. It's been fun to watch those first stirrings which we pray will lead to his acceptance of Jesus someday! Glory! Last Sunday after church we were asking Caden what he learned in class and he said, "Well, we learned about Joshua, but not the Joshua in the battle of Jericho... the other Joshua!" Right... the other Joshua... :) It was pretty funny! A work in progress I suppose!

He has been known to tell me what God thinks of certain things at times. Like if I comment on something he's said that was wise... he'll say, "Yah... God is pretty proud of me because I said that." You have no idea, little man! :)

Justin and I make lots of mistakes... I mean we're only human. And Caden as I mentioned earlier is quick to point them out. The other day when he was pointing out a mistake of mine, he said, "It's okay Mommy we all make mistakes. I make mistakes, Kaki makes mistakes, Daddy makes mistakes. But you know who doesn't make mistakes? My grandparents!!" To which Justin and I both said almost simultaneously... "WE BEG TO DIFFER!!" HAHAHAHAHAHA! But how sweet is that really... he thinks all four of his grandparents and four of his great-grandparents... HUNG THE MOON! And in truth... they probably don't make near the mistakes we do... maturity at it's finest people! What we're aiming for!

Caden loves to SING! And break it down with his instruments and his dance skillz! I mean he is on it! I love singing along to CDs with him in the car. He is a great singer and is getting better at deciphering lyrics... the Star Spangled Banner is one of his greatest challenges but one of his very favorite songs... thank you Baylor Band! :) In fact he told me tonight, "the star spangled banner is my hardest song!" And I told him there are plenty of adults who don't even know all the words so he shouldn't feel bad! 

When we are singing in the car sometimes or even if he is just singing and I happen to say something to him he'll say, "Um Mommy I can't talk to you right now. I need to sing my songs!" To which I can totally relate. I used to get so annoyed if someone would interrupt my singing especially during my best part or something. Oh man! God Bless my parents... I was a singer too! And no one else was... but now it's all well and good because I've got my man! And even Kaki tries to belt it out... and let me just tell you that that girl can DANCE! It's crazy!! 

So much to remember and so much to say about my sweet boy! I can't believe how much he's grown... mentally and physically... he's outgrown shoes and shorts this summer that I didn't even think would ever be a possibility this soon. He's sprouted up this summer and is continuing to lean out into this long string bean of a thing... and I just can't help but wonder where all of that baby chub went? I guess it was a swing here, a throw there and a lap around the backyard in between! He's growing up so fast and reminds me every time I try to call him my baby that he is NOT my baby but he is a big boy. Of course he is sure to follow up with, "I'll always be your big boy, Mommy!" Oh he knows my heart so well!

Caden loves life and takes great joy is almost everything he does. He loves being with the family and gets recharged by our quality time together. He can make a trip to the gas station the best place he's been that day. He can find awe in the smallest things and delight in things that most people don't think twice about. The eyes of child are so wise! They see joy in it all. He inspires me to see brighter and bigger and find thrill and adventure in the mundane! 

Oh but there is more... so much more! Like he LOVES sour cream and hot sauce mixed together on just about anything... on triscuits tonight. He loves Mighty Fine "hamburgers with cheese" and milkshakes better than anything else. He loves ice cream and purple gatorade. He loves ordering for himself in restaurants and is enjoys making his selection from his menu. "Mommy, what do they have for me to eat?" And we run down the list. 

He still loves to read and enjoys a good, long story. He loves going to the library and picking out new books and videos. He can be content watching TV and enjoys it as his downtime when he is playing with his toys. In between the running around and throwing the ball... :) It is a perfect break for him. His favorite shows are Doc McStuffins, Special Agent Oso, Jake and the Neverland Pirates (and meeeee), Mickey and still gives Yo Gabba Gabba, the Wiggles and Sesame Street a whirl from time to time. 

He LOVES his Pray and Play Bible... we use it almost every night... although the past two weeks we've had a special time with Caden each night when he gets to stay up late to watch the Olympics with us. He became a quick fan of Gaby Douglass and asked about her constantly. "is Gaby on tonight?" We saw her on the cover of a magazine at the store the other day and he told Justin, "I saw Gaby at the store today Daddy?" Haha! He is chanting U-S-A and loving all of the excitement of the games! It's been a fun experience to share with him! To think it will be another four years before we get to do it again... special, special moments!

How do you wrap a post like this up???

I know I am missing so much but this will help trigger the memories when I need them so that the other things will just flood back like it was just yesterday. Especially, when I am aching for my three and a half year old BIG BOY! Who I love to the moon and back!!! And back again... and again! :)


Emily and Josh said...

love this post and those sweet kiddos! it is so much fun to watch them grow up!

Sharla Cox said...

Sweet, sweet boy! I can't believe he is 3.5! I can't wait for t-ball season.

Cori Agnew said...

Love that sweet boy and his fun personality so much! Give him a kiss for me!