Monday, August 8, 2016

Max is TWO....errrr....and a Half.

As I sat down to piece together a post about Mr. Harrison as a 4 year old – I had an “oh crap” realization that I never did the same for our little Maxo when he turned 2 back in January.  I could come up with a million excuses for dropping the ball on this one, but the fact of the matter is that it just didn’t happen. Lucky for me, Maxo just celebrated his HALF birthday and a 2 ½ year old update is just as good, right?? Right.

Oh, Mr. Max, you are so many things all bundled into one – sweet, sassy, defiant, determined, smart, silly, and a total love bug to name a few.  Much like your big brother, you challenge us every single day (in both good and bad ways) but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Your dad and I always used to joke that when it came to you and your brother, Harry would be the brains and you would be the brawn. You’ve always been a “big” kid and at 2 ½ you’re fast approaching the size of your brother. The two of you have recently started having little wrestling matches and you can definitely hold your own. Having said that, in the past 6-9 months we have sat back and watched that little brain of yours flourish. You speak in complete sentences, say words that I would never expect from a kiddo your age, recognize all of your letters and numbers up to 20, and know all sorts of random tidbits about bugs, plants, superheroes, you name it.

You are a goofball with a capital "G" - and while I love you for it, it also drives me bananas. When you get that ornery twinkle in your eye, we know we're in for a treat. You're constantly looking for a laugh and will do whatever it takes to get one! And for the record, "whatever it takes" usually has something to do with your booty.

"Big Boy" is the name of your game these days. Big boy potty. Big boy undies. Big boy bed. We're so proud of you, but at the same time my heart breaks a little every time that you leave something "baby" behind. Thankfully you still give us a few glimpses of baby Max - like the way you suck your fingers when you're tired and never stray too far from your nigh-nigh.
As much as you love your daddy, you are most definitely a mama's boy. When you're sad or hurt, "I want my mommy" are the first words out of your mouth and one of my kisses can fix most anything. Life is about to get very interesting for you as we rapidly approach the arrival of our newest Ritchie babe, and I'm sure that there will be some moments of jealousy as you learn to share your mama. Just always remember that "I love you 100" - because "that's the biggest number, right mama?"
You absolutely idolize that big brother of yours and want to do everything just like him. I love hearing your little voice asking "Where's Hawwy?" or "You want to play with me, Hawwy?" or even seeking his approval with a "Right, Hawwy??" Luckily big brother thinks pretty highly of you as well - and I know that the two of you will be best buddies for life! Our home is always filled with loud little boy noises and giggles courtesy of you two  yahoos!
I already mentioned it at the beginning of this post, but your endless determination is worth bringing up again. Whereas your big brother is often hesitant to try new things and gets frustrated when he's not immediately an "expert", you are always willing to try, to fail, and to keep on trying. At 2.5 you want to be able to do everything that your 4 year old brother can do, and won't stop until you figure you how. 
A few odds and ends - You love reading books (usually the same ones over and over...and over) and usually throw a fit if we skip them at bedtime. Every night when I ask you what you want to dream about, you tell me Jesus and your sister Charlotte. Melt.My.Heart. You also say some of the funniest things, most of which you've picked up and adapted from things your dad and I say - A prolonged "Whaaaaat?!"  A thoughtful "Wait a minute!" with your finger placed deliberately on your chin. Or a goofy "Ok, what's the plan?" because apparently your mama says "Here's the plan?" more often than I realized! You call camels "canimals" and Nemo "Memo." You're a daredevil at the park yet always insist that someone catch you the first few times down the slide.

So there you have it, Sweet Maxo - a quick rundown of your life at 2.5 years old. You fill our days with so much love and laughter. I can't wait to see what the rest of 2 has in store!


Monday, August 1, 2016

A Big Boy Bed for Maxo

Summer 2016 has been the summer of Maxo the Big Boy. I never want to force him to grow up, but with another little babe on the way there were two items that we knew we needed to check off of our to do list sooner than later.  

First up was potty training. Matt and I both assumed that this was going to be disastrous, but our Maxo proved us wrong and mastered the concept of the "big boy potty" in one short weekend. We've even put away our night time pull-ups!

With potty training behind us, we set our sights on FINALLY getting Max into his new bedroom and big boy bed. He was excited about the move from first mention, but unfortunately had to wait while we played a game of musical rooms. Everyone shifted one room to the right, Harry to "Aggie's room" and then Max to Harry's room, all with the ultimate goal of making room for baby! It felt like a slow process, but after an unexpected kiddo-free day off last week, I'm thrilled to say that Max's new room was ready for the move. Don't get my wrong, it is still very much a work in progress, but there's a bed for sleeping and a nigh-nigh for snuggling - beyond those things not a whole lot matters to our super sleeper.

So far we're 1 nap and 2 nights in and you'd think that he'd been doing this big boy bed thing forever. Seriously - this kid is a total rockstar! Maybe a little bit TOO much of a rockstar. Tonight I tried to snuggle with him and he actually told me "Mama, I need more room. You go to Harry's room now." Sigh. Apparently he's adjusting to this whole big boy thing a little better than his mama is. 

 "Tonight I will dream about Jesus and Charlotte. Is Jesus my brother? Where is he?"

Only the sweetest dreams for you, sweet Maxo. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

And He's Four...

Our family closed out the month of June with a very special celebration. For weeks (possibly months) Harrison had been asking us...

"Is it my birthday yet?" 
"Am I 4 yet?" 
"Is today my birthday party?"

On June 26th we could FINALLY answer "YES!" to his questions (2 out of 3 anyway) and the grin that we got in return was overflowing with giddy excitement. And then - in typical Harrison form - the questions started again!

"Does that mean I'm big?" 
"Will I stop growing now?" 
"Will the new baby come today?" 

There's never a dull moment with you, Harrison Paul, but we love every minute of the craziness. Here's a quick snapshot of YOU as you kick-off FOUR!
 You, my dear, are a total goofball...and I'm not sure who you make laugh the most...your dad, brother and me, or YOURSELF! Days with you are filled with silly dances, wearing shorts on your head and "shants" (translation: a shirt worn as pants) on your legs, made up words, fart sounds and devious little grins that let us know you're already thinking of the next way to make us laugh. Like I said before - NEVER a dull moment.

 You’re smart as a whip, Harrison Paul - sometimes too smart for your own good!  You have a vocabulary well beyond your years and a memory that often catches us off guard. You can write your name, your brother’s name, and the rest of the alphabet as well. 

 You love your little brother something fierce - and while brotherly spats are commonplace in our home - you’re always the first to come to his defense if you detect a threat. You’ve declared him your “best friend in the whole wide world” and there’s nothing that makes us happier than watching the bond between you grow. 

Everyday it becomes more clear that you’re not our “little” Harrison anymore. You talk like a big boy, act like a big boy, and even give me occasional looks (teenager style) like a big boy. Its hard for my mama heart to let go of the idea that you're my "baby," but at the same time I am so proud of the big boy you are becoming. 

When you started taking swimming lessons last fall we had a lot of conversations about “waking up your brave.” You are timid by nature - an over-thinker and hesitant about all of the what-ifs that come with the unknown. While your dad and I often want to push you out of your comfort zone, we’ve learned that its best to let you ease into things at your own pace. This summer you’ve really embraced the concept of waking up your brave and its been so fun to watch you flourish. You love the water, are a speedster on your new bike and can climb to/jump from the highest parts of the playground - all things that have challenged you in the past.

A few odds and ends: You call jaguars "jack-whackers" and little girls "grills." We're working hard on our manners, and you've learned to be extremely polite when you want something! You love a good after dinner dance party and can't do the sprinkler without letting out a hearty belly laugh. You're amazing at enforcing rules, but not always the greatest at following them. You've moved into "Aggie's room" in preparation for the baby's arrival. The room is FAR from finished, but you always tell us how much you love it. You have a variety of "sleeping friends," but the most important members of your crew are Charley Bear, puppy and your seahorse. You always request "one more huggie and kissie" before I leave daycare in the morning. I'm secretly hoping that never stops.

 Here's to you, Harrison Paul. I hope that FOUR is filled with endless adventures, silliness, and continued growth of your amazing self! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Celebrating 4

This past weekend we asked our families and a few close friends to brave the heat and join us in celebrating Harrison's 4th birthday.  For the longest time we'd planned on a Star Wars party - but about 2 weeks ahead of time Mr. Indecisive decided that "Invengers" was the way to go! We quickly switched gears and threw together a simple superhero party perfect for our little dude.

The Omaha Cake Gallery never lets us down - "Mama, that cake is amazing!"

While the adults sat around, moaning and groaning about the heat (oh ok - it was mostly just me), the kiddos kept cool in the pool, water table and on a lubed up slip-and-slide! 

That grin gets me EVERY time. I can't believe he's 4!

After swimming, the kiddos also went on a little "treasure hunt" around the farm.  They followed numbered photo clues to different landmarks around our property and ultimately found special party treasures waiting for them in the back of Matt's trailer. It was so fun watching them scramble from point A to point B looking for their next clue!

A trail of treasure hunters making their way to "Mommy's Mother's Day tree!"

Our proud 4 year old after finding clue #4. 
On to clue #5...
and then #6!

Birthday treasure! Nothing makes a 4 year old happier than cheap slinkies, jelly beans, superhero tattoos and party snappers.

Treasure hunting makes a little boy hungry! Luckily we had cake and ice cream ready and waiting. 

All good things must come to an end. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this day so special! Harrison officially declared it the "best birthday party ever!"