This boy is the best. He has such love in his heart, and is so sweet and fun. He’s happiest when he’s making others happy, but he;s also sensitive and shy, and feels things deeply. He loves music and being silly and telling knock knock jokes, even if they don’t quite make sense – you can’t help but laugh. And he loooooves superheroes.
I’m so sad I haven’t done these updates as often as I’d like because I want to bottle up every moment with these kids and not forget a single thing. My last Jenson update was at 3.5 years old, so obviously he’s changed SOOO much, because he’s closer to 5 than 4 when I wrote this (and never got around to publishing). For consistency sake, this update is just through June 2018.
In this last year, Jenson completed his 2nd year of preschool, took gymnastics, swimming, and played soccer. He actually went to 2 one-day a week preschools – on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We all had a MAJOR preference to Thursday school, where he went last year. Tuesday was ok…it just wasn’t what we were expecting and he didn’t like it as much for a variety of reasons. He made lots of friends in his schools, though if we’d see them around town, he’d usually be too shy to talk to them. So I don’t know if he talked to kids in school or not. He’s still obviously quite shy, but when he’s somewhere that kids are playing, he finds a kid and starts playing along with him until it’s time to go – and he has so much fun and always says he wants to play with his “friend” again.
He and Marlowe now play a lot together. Sometimes nicely, other times, not so much. Marlowe is a little more “wild” than he is, so some of that rubs off on him. In return, he does things he knows he’s not supposed to, and Marlowe copies him…because she always copies him. But often they play amazingly well together, and they have a lot of fun. My biggest hope for them is that they’ll be close, and will be there for each other.
Jenson update: June 2017 – June 2018
Age: 4.5+ years old
Weight: 39 lbs. (+4 since age 4)
Length: 41ish inches
Size: 4T-5T clothing
Sleeping: He’s very consistent with sleeping. He typically falls asle ep around 8:30/9 pm (try to be in bed by 8:15) and wakes around 7 am. He stays in bed until his “Ok to Wake” Clock turns green still, but now he’s allowed to get up on his own and come downstairs then. He’s so excited to be able to do that on his own. He usually still takes a nap. For awhile, it seems like he was about to give up his nap and was only falling asleep every couple of days. Eventually he was back to sleeping every day for at least an hour, usually 1.5 hours. He’s the sweetest thing when he wakes up from nap. Our bedtime routine has been a bit extensive, but we’ve been streamlining it lately. After we go upstairs, we read 2 books and watch 2 songs on YouTube – everyone gets to pick something. Lo takes Marlowe to bed, and I put Jenson to bed. He and I talk and I sing 2 songs. He always asks for new songs, but I run out of songs off the top of my head…we end up doing a lot of Elton John and Peter Paul and Mary. He likes to do “If I had a hammer” and he makes up the thing in the next verse – usually tools. I sing – if I had a______ and he fills something in and I go with it. We talk about our favorite thing from the day, if anything made us sad, and what we’re looking forward to. It’s a good way to remember fun things about the day, and discuss anything that may be bothering him. We snuggle for a bit and he tries to get me to stay longer, and I give him a million kisses. I love it. (this has changed slightly due to a recent sibling room-sharing arrangement)
Eating: He’s a picky eater still. It seems to be a texture thing, but he still doesn’t like meat or vegetables. He’ll eat chicken nuggets, but that’s about it – and sometimes he wants to be picky about those. We’re trying to get him to do one tiny bite of vegetables – he’s mostly complying and doing okay – we usually have to bribe him with something. He still promises to eat things when he’s older. The pediatrician said that we don’t need to worry about it that much right now. He eats all fruits and lots of dairy (yogurt, cheese, etc), so he’s probably getting enough protein, fiber, and vitamins. He usually has some dry cereal in a cup while he watches a show or two in the morning. After that he eats yogurt or a yogurt smoothie, some fruit, and maybe some toast. Lunch is usually a PBJ sandwich (sometimes a butter sandwich – and they both prefer Hawaiian rolls), a piece of cheese and/or a few pretzels, veggie stix, or popcorn, and fruit. Sometimes he wants a spoonful or two of peanut butter. Dinner is usually similar to lunch, unless we are eating one of the few things he’ll eat, which is rare. He’ll eat mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, or pizza. He honestly doesn’t snack much…but if so, usually crackers, pretzels, applesauce, or fresh or dried fruit. He gets “something special” if he takes a nap and didn’t have any major behavior problems/listening problems in the morning- a small piece of candy from his parade/holiday candy container, or a popsicle or cookie.
Favorite sayings and misspoken words
- Every night we talk about favorite and least favorite part of our day, and sometimes one of us will ask during a particularly busy day what the favorite part was so far. But Jenson says – “what was your favorite part of the day so close?” instead of “so far”. I love it.
- We were making up a song while I laid in bed with him at bedtime and he was trying to think of an object – he said “oh – Jungle Jack”. I was like, what?? He said, you know the things you climb on at the playground. Jungle Jim, lol. Jungle Jack sounds like a cocktail.
- He loves to tell me how much he loves me. He’ll either say the phrase from “Love you Forever” book – or he has us rotate lines “I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby/mommy you’ll be”. Lately he’s been telling me he loves me from Earth to Mars and all the way through the planets and back around to Earth again. HOW SWEET IS THAT? And I’m his favorite mommy, thankfully.
- He regularly will call out “hug time!” or “time for a kiss!” and come over and give me a hug or kiss. He’s literally the sweetest. One of his favorite things every is to snuggle.
- He once told me that he was going to be good forever…and if I ever needed his help, he’d help me…and if I forgot to do something, he’d do it for me. He’s said this several times since, but his follow through on his promises is lacking.
He’s still so empathetic and intuitive and I hope he never loses those qualities. The other day we were having a perfectly nice morning…I hadn’t yelled at anyone, lol, we got out of the house on time, etc. We were in the car and he said “Are you mad at me?” It kind of broke my heart because I don’t know why he thought that. Maybe it was a look on my face (I do have resting bitch face) or I wasn’t very talkative. But he just notices everything – even if they are unintentional.
Fun things: Since it’s been a year, it’ll be impossible to cover everything, but here are some highlights for each month. Luckily I take a billion photos, so I can recontruct each month this way.
- July 2017: Started with a couple of days with his Dayton-area cousins and then Nana over the 4th. Gramma and PapPap came for their July car show and we went peach picking with Gramma. My niece Sadie came to stay with us for a few days. We headed to my parents for a long visit with with all my sisters’ families. He got to hang with his Vegas cousin Max, and it was his first time meeting Owen (2 months old). We celebrated my parent’s 50th anniversary and visited Noah’s Ark Animal Rescue, which was awesome (jungle cats, bears, monkeys, lemurs, etc)
- August 2017: We had another quick visit from Gramma and PapPap to pick up a car they’d left here. My SIL and family came to stay for a night. We went to Olentangy Indian Caverns, PBJ & Jazz Concert, and lots of other local attractions like the Zoo, museum, touch-a-truck, etc. We had a visit at Lo’s parents for a concert with his parents, and Lo and I had an overnight trip to Cincy for a Red’s game with Avett Brothers concert.
- September 2017: We headed to Indianapolis to see my niece play in a college soccer game and then stayed another night at my SIL’s. Then it was back to school time! He was still doing his Thursday school from the previous year, but we added Tuesday school at another church to give him a little more school. They were both 3 hour programs, and he really liked going each week. He also did preschool gymnastics at the Y and had a good time with that. We headed home for a weekend to see my nephew play football and my niece play volleyball. The end of the month wrapped up with my BIL’s wedding. Jenson was a ring “bear” and he did so well and was so excited to do it.
- October 2017: October is definitely Jenson’s favorite month because it’s his birthday month AND Halloween. We had a fun “Tractor” birthday with his friends and family. He wanted a pink tractor and luckily I was able to find one for his cake and have a shirt made with one. We had a bounce house, corn “bin” to dig in, and perfect weather. We had lots of fall fun, with farm visits, pumpkin patches, apple picking, Zoo visits, and lots of outside time in the fall weather. Of course he had several times of trick or treating again. He had his school Halloween party, trick-or-treating in a neighborhood near us (he wore his dinosaur costume), trick-or-treating in our friends’ neighborhood (he wore his new cowboy/horse costume), Hoot Halloween event (he went as Mickey and Marlowe was Minnie), and the Halloween party at the church where his school is held (he wore dinosaur again). He rode on a bus for the first time (with me) for a class field trip to Harvest Adventures for farm fun activities.
- November 2017: The kids had dental check-ups (no issues, though he gags when they try to xray, so they skipped that). They stayed at Nana’s for a weekend. Jenson had a Thanksgiving lunch/program for Tuesday School, and we went to the Chinese Lantern Festival. We headed to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving, and then to Dayton for the Shriner’s Christmas Party.
- December 2017: Jenson’s 2nd favorite month is December. It started out with Holiday Hoot and dancing with Santa (he wouldn’t let go of his hand, lol!) and the Santa parade in Johnstown. We cut down the Christmas tree on a nice warm early evening and decorated it that night. He loved going through the ornaments and talking about the ones he remembered. For years I’ve been buying an ornament on each trip we take, and it’s fun talking to him about them. St. Nicholas left some gold chocolate coins, Christmas pjs, and a book. Nana came up to see Jenson’s Thursday School Christmas program, and then his Dayton cousins/family came up for Breakfast with Santa at Rusty Bucket. The kids spend the night at Nana’s for cookie decorating and so that we could go see The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre. We went to a fun birthday party at an inflatables place for his friend. He had his Tuesday School Christmas Program. We made cut out sugar cookies and decorated them. It was really fun with him because he could cut out the shapes by himself this year. I was the “roll-out lady” and he was the “cutter”. When it was time to decorate, I was the “icing lady”, and he was the “sprinkles guy”. He was very serious about our roles. We also did a gingerbread house. We celebrated on Christmas Eve with Lo’s family so we could be home on Christmas Day. Jenson had recently gotten into Superheroes, so his Christmas gift highlights were Hulk hands, Thor Hammer, Spiderman Chutes and Ladders, 4 Marvel “dolls” from Nana, several sets of Duplos from family, Blaze Adventure Island and various Monster Machines, Paw Patrol stuff, small trampoline, a big doll house (for both of them) and SO much more. Our kids are very spoiled by family. We went home to visit my family after Christmas/over New Years. We celebrated my Dad’s 77 birthday, Marlowe’s 2nd birthday, and Grandma-Great’s 91st birthday, and of course, New Year’s Eve/Day. It was a pretty great year.
- January 2018: January brought lots of snow and COLD weather, but a few nice outside days. We went to a 3rd birthday party for his cousins, Luke and Levi (had a cake for Marlowe too since we were out of town for hers). We went through the first bout of stomach flu. He started a gymnastics class for boys and REALLY liked that.
- February 2018: He had a school field trip with Tuesday school to the library. He was going to ride the bus with the class (I was driving because I had Marlowe too), but he got nervous and teary before they left, so he rode with me. We had more snow fun, plus lots of days where it was too cold to play outside. We went to Nana’s so Jenson and Sadie could go to the Shriner circus with their dads and Nana. After Valentine’s Day, we had another visit to my family. His Thursday School went bowling and he had so much fun. He won on his lane with around 77, even though his ball stopped rolling in the middle of the lane 2 different times. He started swimming class at the YMCA, and we all went to the Zoo on a nice mild day.
- March 2018: The month started off with a fever for Jenson. We had a couple of short visits with Aunt Jackie and Aunt Amber and Emma. We checked out a kids museum that’s about 45 minutes away in Mount Vernon called SPI (Science Play Initiative) and they loved it there. We also got to see a planetarium show at the planetarium at Ohio State. He enjoyed that a lot, as he’s pretty interested in the stars and planets. Finally towards the end of the month, we had a few Easter Egg Hunts. We headed to Indianapolis over Spring Break time with Lo’s sister’s family. Initially we were going to go to an event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (some sort of trials/qualifying…I don’t remember), but it was cancelled because it was too cold for cars to run on the track. The first day we went to Indianapolis Children’s Museum, which seemed great, but it was WAY too busy to enjoy as much as we should have – especially for the price of admission. We swam and hung out at the hotel with the kids, and the next day headed to the Speedway for a bus tour around the track and a tour of the Dallara Indycar Factory before having lunch and dropping the kids off at Nana’s for two nights until we returned to celebrate Easter with his family on the 31st.
- April 2018: We had a fun Easter with going through Easter baskets and playing outside for much of the day. The big fun for the month was going to Sesame Street Live at Palace Theatre, and then heading to visit my family for an after Easter celebration (and obviously an Easter Egg hunt). Jenson started a soccer program (no games, just learning), and we had some great weather for a Zoo Day and other outside play.
- May 2018: The kids had dental exams, with no issues, and we checked out a new library (Granville). We left Jenson at his cousins and headed to Indianapolis for Lo to run the Indy Mini Half Marathon. After we picked him up, we headed up to Mansfield to check out the Buckeye Children’s Museum, Carousel, and then to Comfort Inn Splash Harbor, which is a hotel with a small indoor waterpark. Jenson had his end of the year program for Thursday School and we went to WildzFest at The Wilds to hang out with some Superheroes. Jenson wrapped up his last days of school and I headed to Vegas for Owen’s 1st birthday with my mom, while the kids stayed with Lo (with a visit from Nana). We got back just a few hours before his Tuesday school class picnic. Gramma hung out with us for the rest of the week until we headed with her back home for mu niece’s graduation party over Memorial Weekend (while Lo went to the Indy 500). We headed home for a family-friendly Memorial Day pool party at our friends’ house (very different than Memorial Parties of past), and then Jenson had his last day of soccer. He learned a lot with the program and loved it. He’s not quite aggressive enough to go after the ball while scrimmaging, but he had fun and did better at goalie.
- June 2018: We went to a Crew game in search of Crew Cat (and very little watching the actual game), the Newark Strawberry festival 40 minutes before it closed on a Sunday, and an opening of the Sci-Dome Planetarium at The Works. Next up was a vacation to Grand Haven, Michigan with Lo’s sister’s family. We stayed in a condo together, and even though it was only a 2 bedroom, it turned out to be the perfect size for our two families. It was a block from the downtown area, and just a 5 minute drive to the beach. Speaking of the beach, this was Jenson’s first beach trip, because we always go to Vegas to visit my sister and her family. He’s been to Vegas an abnormal number of times for a 4 year old. He (well, all the kids) looooved the beach. The water was only 58 degrees, but it really didn’t feel that bad -and it’s not deep, so I could walk all the way to the ropes and it was barely above my waist. We had great weather, and the kids spent most of the 2 days of beach time running back and forth with buckets of water to “melt” the sand, make “soup”, and whatever else they were doing with it. They had a blast. We also went to Holland for a day to check out some Dutch-themed places, and then played at a fun playground on the last day before we headed to Davison, MI for my nieces graduation party. We picked a hotel with a pool, so we had lots of swimming time there, plus my parents, 2 sisters, niece, and BIL stayed there as well. We wrapped up the 2nd part of the month with visits to a new park, the library to watch Moana, a splashpad with his cousins, and Popcorn Pops Concert with Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and a visit to Nana’s, so he could spend a couple of days at his cousins and then Nana’s house.
- Finished his 2nd year of preschool
- Enjoyed his 6 week soccer program
- Can write all of his letters (though sometimes he needs an example because he doesn’t want to mess up)
- Can draw things on purpose, as opposed to drawing shapes and declaring them to be something. He likes to draw the solar system, and it’s awesome. To be fair, he uses an example to get them in the right order, though he actually knows all of the planets really well (I think he learned them from Bob the Train).
- Lo finally found out Jenson could dress himself. I just found out this month that Jenson had Lo convinced that he didn’t dress himself for the past year. So on the weekends when I sleep in, Lo would always help him get dressed. Meanwhile, every day this past year, I literally just tossed his clothes at him and walked away.
- He’s great at addition. I can say – what’s 10+10, and he immediately says 20. I thought that maybe he had some memorized, so I asked him random numbers, (5+3, 6+5, 20+20, etc) and he can answer within seconds. I don’t know where he picked this up, and I don’t know how to foster it, because I suck at math. He’s also trying to sound out simple words to spell them, but when he’s not sure, he’ll just throw out a bunch of letters.
- First trip to the beach
- I’m sure there’s a million others, but when you don’t post for a year, it’s hard to keep track.
- Playing outside, at the playground, and throwing rocks in the creek
- Museums and play places
- Going to the library and coffee shop for story time
- Favorite shows: Muppet Babies, Octonauts, Mutts and Stuff, Special Agent Osa, and any superhero show or movie that is appropriate for his age (LEGO superheros and a few other options, but not he “real” ones). He also likes Minions, Despicable Me 1, and Despicable Me 3, but not Despicable Me 2 (because its “scary”). He recently watch Moana at the library and liked it too.
- Playdates. After doing playdates with a few friends and going to school, he’s big into friends right now. He talks about them a lot and loves when we have playdates
- Sadly, he really isn’t playing with any of his toys right now and its really frustrating because he wants to be entertained. He doesn’t do puzzles or what to play with anything unless Marlowe already has them.
- Leaving the house in a timely manner. Anytime we are going somewhere, it takes forever to get him out of the house.
- Sharing. Now that Marlowe is older and playing with toys that he also plays with, it’s a problem. He’s fine at sharing other kids’ toys with them, but he’s not good at sharing his own toys (or house toys) with others. Keep in mind that he doesn’t play with his toys unless someone else is trying to. (talk about frustrating)
This sweet boy. Even though he has his moments, he is really, truly, so loving. My favorite time of the day with him is when I put him to bed. We talk about the day, about what’s coming up, and we sing and snuggle. Sometimes I’m in there for 35 minutes, other times for just 10-12, but it’s just me and him, and I love it.
Looking forward to: (some of these things have occurred since I started this post and then forgot about it.
- Vacation to Vegas and San Diego in August (first visit to the ocean!) (already happened, and they loved every minute of it)
- My niece is moving in with us to go to school in our area – the kids are beyond excited (already happened, and they love every minute of it)
- New school year of Pre-K (4 days a week, which is 1 more than I wanted, but it will be so good for him) (already happened, and he loves it)
- Fall! I love it so much and it’s been SOOOO hot this summer.
- Watching Marlowe and Jenson’s bond grow.