Friday, August 25, 2017

Celebrating FIVE

Summer birthdays are the BEST (and the easiest)! 

Swimming pools, water slides and water balloons for the kiddos.
Lawn chairs and cold drinks for the adults.

Throw in a little cake and ice cream and you can't go wrong!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

{Harrison Paul} 5 Years

Earlier this summer we celebrated a big birthday milestone in our home as Mr. H.P. Ritchie turned FIVE! Holy cow...5 years old already!? It hardly seems possible. I still remember the first time I felt his weight in my arms. His sweet baby smell. His dark hair and crazy cowlick. His insane resemblance to his big sister. It was such a surreal moment after everything that we had been thru, and for the first time in forever...everything felt right. Five years later and he continues to fill our hearts with love in ways we never imagined possible. This boy. Oh my. I'm so glad he's ours.

Harrison Paul, here's a snapshot of you as a hot-shot 5 year old. 

It has been so fun to watch your sense of humor develop over this past year. While you were once extremely sensitive to playful teasing, you now recognize that when I tell you we’re having bugs and broccoli for dessert, you should just play along and tell me how delicious it will be. You are quite the little ham and know exactly which of your antics will produce smiles and giggles from those around you. Most often this includes sporting undies on your head and/or over your pants, farts, butts, or silly dance moves.  Boys.

For as long as I can remember we’ve been having conversations with you about “waking up your brave.” You’ve always been a little timid when it comes to trying new things, but this year we watched in amazement as you broke out of your shell and started to embrace the opportunities around you.  T-ball, a bike with no training wheels, swimming in the lake/river, swimming in the pool sans floaties….these are all things that would have had you all worked up just a year ago….but you managed to conquer them all and had so much fun in the process.

You like to reminisce on things as though you actually remember them…while in reality you’re re-telling stories that you’ve heard from us. “Hey mama, remember when I was really little and I used to call bulldozers, boss-i-boppers? That was hilarious.” “Hey dad, remember when I used to spin around in a circle and pretend to fall on the floor to make you laugh?” Oh sweet boy, I remember AAAAALLLLLL the things. A mama holds tight to memory of her babies, knowing full well that you grow up so quickly.

You’ve gotten really good at “responsibilities.” You get yourself dressed and your teeth brushed each morning before coming out of your room, can get yourself in and out of your carseat independently, help put away your laundry, fold towels/wash cloths (which ultimately end up being refolded by your OCD mama) and put away the silverware when I unload the dishwasher. Having said that - the simple act of cleaning up toys takes you anywhere from 5-7 hours to complete. 

There's no denying that you have a feisty side (good Lord are you feisty), but its perfectly balanced with an insane amount of sweet. You love to snuggle on the couch under a shared blanket, give the most breath-taking hugs (literally…BREATH-TAKING), and have a huge soft spot for your brothers, especially the littlest one. Just the other day you came up to me while I was making dinner and said "You know what we haven't done in awhile, mama? Hugged." and proceeded to wrap your arms around my legs. Made. My. Day.

You and Maxo...oh my...the friendship between you two yahoos is like nothing I could have imagined. The giggles. The shrieks. The crazy antics and belly laughs. You're equal parts brothers and best friends, and your little brother looks at you with such admiration. He's so lucky to have you. Aaaaaaaand I have to move on to the next topic now...mama's got sappy emotional tears going on. 

{Odds and Ends} You still call girls, grills...and I hope with all of my heart that you never stop. You have a new obsession with chewing gum, preferably "grape gum" or bubble gum. Your dad is competitive. Your mom is competitive. And guess what? You're just a tiny bit competitive too. Throw a little stubborn on top of it and we definitely have our hands full. You're smart as a whip, reading short words, and sounding out things like "Optimus Prime" so that you can write them on your own. You also have a lot of plant knowledge (which makes me laugh). I guess thats what happens when you're raised on Ritchie farm. 

Oh H.P. You're growing up a little too quickly for this mama's liking. Maybe we could slow things down a little bit from here on out?? I love you. I love you. I love you. And I can't wait to see what 5 has in store for us!