Thursday, January 31, 2013

Caden... at four, 4, IV

Caden!! You are FOUR! Which is SO big, if you are wondering... SO big! With each passing year I am amazed at how fast time flies... life with you is FUN! On the eve of your birthday this year I invited you to take a trip with me down memory lane... to the night/morning you were born and your Daddy and I's lives were changed forever. You loved looking at your pictures and were so impressed how many people came to see you... you thought that was so cool! And you made sure to tell me that you remember wearing those goofy sunglasses and didn't like them one bit. Me either, little either! 

We looked at the picture where I first got to put my nose up to yours and we decided that that moment must have been where we learned how to "nose kiss" and it has been our thing ever since. I cherish my nose kisses with you and pray that you're still willing to give me one when you are 4+14... 

You are special boy with a personality full of contradictions. While you still tend to be a bit on the shy side in new situations, you have come so far. You have developed coping mechanisms that have allowed you to dive right into social settings... the tongue in the cheek and the head scratcher are two tried and true ways for us to know when you are a bit timid and working up your courage. And courage you have. You have played on two teams this year, joining right on in on the fun. While I am sure you learned something new about both soccer and t-ball, I think Daddy and I will both agree that your social skills are what really blossomed through your involvement in sports this year and it was so fun to stand back and watch you grow, making friends, being a teammate and getting your first taste of competition. 

You love sports very much. You love to play just about anything and tend to become obsessed easily... with whatever sport season we find ourselves in. Football still ranks supreme and you say almost daily how excited you will be to play football some day... and we're going to leave Mommy's personal opinions out of this particular discussion for now, because after all you are only 4 and in the very next breath you aspire to be a BIG TUBA player in the band someday. Or maybe a hockey player...

Or maybe just a Daddy like Daddy who lives with Mommy and goes to buy money at HEB because that is how the world works when you are four and I am grateful that the realities of our lives have allowed you to think this way. The world is a dark, scary place at times and I am thankful you still see most things Sunny-Side Up. :)

In fact, you prefer everyone to see things on the sunny side of life. You have become quite the comedian, wanting to tell jokes ALL THE TIME. I am not sure your career path will land you in the comedic arts but you give it your best shot... you just need to find a new punchline. Your jokes sound something like this: "Hey Mommy! Why is the coconut so loud under the beach towel??"
"Why, Caden?"
And we must laugh on cue or else it is VERY offensive to you and you ask us why we don't think you are funny! So we have learned to roar with giant laughter at your HILARIOUS jokes. The raucous applause and laughter tend to spur you on to a great number of jokes after which we are all officially and completely worn out! :) But we love you for your attempts to make us all smile and laugh. Of course, your biggest fan is Kaki... she finds you quite funny. Although, the other day you asked her if she'd like to hear a joke and she said, "NO!"

Now that you are four you have taken on some new responsibilities or "jores" as you first called them. You love completing your daily tasks and always ask what your bonus chore is for the day, anxiously awaiting the moment where you get to check it off your list. I have been pleasantly surprised by how easy this transition has been and how well you have done. You are a hard worker which will take you farther than most any amount of talent. Remember that!

One of the things you have worked so hard at, and actually it has seemed to come remarkably easy to you is scripture memory. Your Daddy and I are amazed at how fast and for how long your remember your verses. It seems God has allowed you to truly hide them in your heart and I am so thankful... You love learning about God and are starting to connect those lessons to your little life and even more so to the bigger picture God holds for all of us. You picked out your very first big boy Bible this year and love marking each verse you know in it. Jesus is stirring in your heart sweet boy and you have told me several times that you BELIEVE that Jesus is the son of God. Preach it, Caden! I suppose many boys become interested in the "bad guy" principle and ask lots of questions about God's relationships with the bad guys. You have asked several questions about Heaven and when we go there and not wanting to go there yet and who will be there when you get there. I am amazed by the things you ask... and I love our conversations about our faith and feel blessed to be able to share the love, power and grace of our great God with you! Our God is an awesome God, Caden! 

You know who else is awesome? YOU are! Truly you are! As crazy as you make your Daddy and I sometimes, we laugh about you all the time. After you and Kaki go to bed at night or when we are just sitting around on the weekends while you and Kaki are playing/napping we sit and talk and laugh and sigh all about you! We shake our heads and use words like "terd, nugget, problem, the Chade, etc." as we talk. You are the source of our entertainment and most of our grief and we love both parts and don't let us ever make you think we don't... because we love being your parents... more than anything else in this world! 

A typical day in the life of Caden looks something like this: wake-up, eat breakfast and drink chocolate milk. Watch some TV. Play. If you have school we get dressed and head off to school, if not we may run errands or we may just make the best out of our day around the house. You love to play outside and prefer that to nearly anything else. You love to ride your scooter up and down the sidewalk. We even played in the rain the other day because you and Kaki were so desparate to be outside and who am I to argue about that... I can stand a little rain any day! You love to march and wave your flags out in the backyard. And you love to pick up a football and play a game, complete with full body tackles. You love tackling yourself... I have never seen a more bruised child and it's all self-inflicted. Ay! You still like to act out EVERY piece of each sporting event. You love the band, you love the players, you love the fans... and the SMOKE... you love the fog machine. Maybe, I should get you one for your room someday and every morning you could run out of "the tunnel" through the fog... what a way to start the day. I am sure you would be able to accomplish anything the day had for you if you began it in the fog! 

One of your newest hobbies is coming up with new dance moves... which are an interesting combo of Salsa dancing and Karate ... lots of hip shaking and kicking going on. You also have found an afinity for breakdancing, which is hilarious because your sweet sister seems to think she can do it too and takes her spot rolling around on the floor just like you. Oh my... I think you two could take your show on the road and be quite a hit!

Speaking of you two... you are becoming better and better friends. Y'all play so well together at times and then at other you pick and pick and pick at each other. We've noticed that the picking usually happens more when we are watching, but when you think no one else is watching you two giggle and laugh and play together. In fact, you guys get going so much sometimes that we can't stand ourselves not to come in and check on you because we think that surely anything that funny has got to be no good... but nonetheless it usually involves you and Kaki under a blanket playing peek-a-boo or I'm gonna getcha! Y'all are so funny!

A few new privledges have come with being four. You are allowed to read before bed and sometimes get to play with your new leap pad. You love doing both. You always say that you are never going to be able to go to sleep without doing something first. You are a master at stall tactics and we are constantly having to weigh your requests, based on what we know to be true, to try and sniff you out. You have become an EARLY riser, ever since we lived in the Melo you have decided that 8am is for the birds and 6am is for the worms like you. Likewise, Mommy has learned to become an early riser too and have enjoyed our mornings in the quiet, eating breakfast and hanging out with Daddy before he leaves for work... and then Kaki wakes up... :)

It's always fun to remember what your favorite things are at different ages and see how they change. 

Caden's Favorites:
Food: Hamburgers and onion rings, Bean and cheese burritos, corn dogs
Drinks: Sprite, Gatorade, Water and still a chocolate milk guy
Restaurant: Mighty Fine
Dessert: M&M Blizzard from DQ
Snack: Chex Mix
Fruit: Banana, Strawberries, Grapes
Veggie: brocoli, brussel sprouts (these is new), green beans
Movie: Brave, Cinderella, Polar Express, Peter Pan
Show on TV: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Doc McStuffins, Word Girl (you also love Austin and Ally on Disney but are not allowed to watch it without me)
CD: Baylor Band and Hillsong Kids
Indoor activity: playing with "men," hockey, orchestra
Outdoor activity: scooter, football, soccer, see-saw
Book: B is for Baylor
Things to do on the weekend: You love FAMILY days and love asking each morning whether or not today is a family day or not. 
Song to Sing: Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer and Jesus Loves Me (the fast version)
Song to Dance to: the High School Musical "basketball song"

UPDATE: Because it has taken me so long to write this letter to you I now must add that you are 110% won-over by all things Batman and Robin! Oh my! The superhero phase has started sweet boy and I think it might be here to stay... for a while...

You decided just yesterday to spend some of your birthday cash on some costumes... Batman, Robin AND Superman for the low, low price of $20... I know that will be the best $20 you ever spent...until the next obsession rolls around! I am sure there will be much more on this to come! Phew!

As I read back through this letter I realize that no matter if I kept writing for the next three weeks I would never capture it all. You are one special, special lil dude and I love you so very much. And more than anything else in this life I want you to know that I LOVE YOU and that Jesus LOVES you and there are a whole lot of other people who love you too... and those things are the most important things for you to know! Don't ever forget how much "your village" loves you! Because OH HOW WE DO... LOVE YOU!!

Happy Fourth Birthday, sweet boy!! We are proud of all you have accomplished this year!

4 Year Old Stats (to come)


KK said...

Ah sweet sweet Caden. He is such a delight and warms this kk's heart! We love you so much!!

Emily and Josh said...

love love LOVE that sweet boy!

Sharla Cox said...

Caden is such a precious,big boy! He is such a delight to all of us!