Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Ryan!

Dear Ry-Ry,
Today you are four years old.  Four. Years. Old.  How did that happen?  Weren’t you just born???
You are my “blondie” (as we call you often), and you are going to be a huge girl-magnet as soon as girls realize boys aren’t yucky :)  You have the most beautiful blonde hair and the most GORGEOUS, huge blue eyes and long eyelashes.  Seriously, where did you get all that from???
You are so very different from Josh and Kylie, and since they are so similar, it’s like having my first child again sometimes with you.  You have some very different interests than the other two, you tend to like different foods, and your personality is very different.
Right now you are into football and baseball (in that area, you are identical to Josh).  You love playing your own games and will always ask if I can watch your game or play with you.  You have also taken an interest in soccer (new territory for us here…), and I was all ready to sign you up, but you missed the age cutoff by two months, so maybe in the spring?  So you’re good with playing football with Daddy as your coach.  You’ve had two practices so far and I think you’re really liking it.
When it comes to playing with friends, you’ve tended to migrate more towards the bigger boys and less towards Zora :(  I can tell it makes her really sad, but I knew this day would come…you’re ready for boy things.  So you love playing with her when you’re doing things like jumping on the trampoline or trying to play baseball, but the days of pushing around babies in strollers and playing doctor are gone I’m afraid.  You have also started riding your bike, which I’m so happy about!  That was another one of those “stubborn Ryan things” in that I tried and tried to get you to ride it, but until you wanted to, you weren’t going to do it.  You love going on bike rides over to the new bike path and you can ride all the way over there and back!  I’ve finally gotten you riding up and down the driveways so that you can make the whole circle in the court instead of getting off your bike each time and walking it down/up the driveway.
You have gotten tougher and tougher…you can wrestle with Josh and hold your own and you try to wrestle with Colton but you can be so rough!  You always want to do what Joshie is doing and often you don’t want to do it with him, you just want to do it because he’s doing it.
You have been able to completely use the bathroom by yourself for a couple of months now…no more helping from mom and dad at all, which of course has been a huge help to us.  You are always so proud of your accomplishments and I think that feeds in so much to why you only do things in your own time…you just have that personality.
You LOVE to spend time over at Grandma’s and Pappaw’s.  You would stay over there 24 hours a day if we let you!  Every night you ask to sleep over there and so many times when I get home from work, you’re over there playing.  It is so nice that you’re able to do that!
You are really a great eater!  When you want a snack, your first request is either “fruit snacks” (which I usually say “no” to) or yogurt or an apple.  You really do eat a variety of foods and you love to have bread with dinner.  You can get your own cup out and get yourself water out of the refrigerator, which again, has been a huge help to mommy and daddy.  And you love gum!  You are always asking me if you can have a piece of gum :)
As far as TV shows go, you LOVE Team Umizoomi.  Period.  That is always your request.  You will watch football with Daddy and Sesame Street with Colton, and Dora and Max and Ruby and Diego, but you will always ask for Team Umizoomi :)
I can’t believe that you are going to start school next year!  We are working on writing your name (and you’re getting close!) and you love watching Letter Factory and know the sounds of just about every letter.  You will be so young when you start school…I hope we can have you ready!  I’m trying to work on math with you the way we taught Josh – with sports!  You try to give touchdowns a point value of “1,” so I’m teaching you about how much a touchdown is worth and how much the extra point is worth and using your fingers to add up points.
You, so far, are the most stubborn child of the family (Colton might have you beat pretty soon).  Again, VERY different from Josh and Kylie.  And while it’s extremely exhausting for your dad and I, I know that this personality can be beneficial if used correctly :)  You fight for what you want and when you want to do something, you work hard until you get it.  But when you want something and I say “no,” watch out!  You make this angry face, purse your lips together, and go pout.  We’re still working on teaching you that you are not allowed to act that way, but it’s been an uphill battle.  Daddy calls you “stink” because you have always been such a stinker!
But on the other side of all of that, you are super loveable.  You always want to give me hugs and kisses (although a lot of that is out of jealousy of Colton).  You also love when I let you sleep in my bed :) You still want me to carry you around and your heart is so big!  I know that between you and Joshie, I will always be well taken care of and protected :)  And you love Kylie, even though you tend to push her away a lot.
At church you are wonderful about singing…you sing super loud so that you can wear the special hat :) And you memorize your verse and do a good job at listening to the story.  I really hope that you are absorbing what we teach you in there!
You still take a nap every afternoon, usually for about 2 hours.  You are usually very good about going up and getting into bed (as long as we come up and tuck you in!).  When you wake up in the morning, you come down with a big smile.  After naps though, you just hang out in the loft area, and if no one notices you for a while, you start making noises, and if no one notices you still, you start knocking on the railing.  You won’t come down until we say “hi Ry-Ry” and then you smile your big smile and come downstairs.
You always, always want to be around me.  And you don’t stop talking :)  I can’t even go change my clothes without you following me and telling me about something.  Part of the reason I find it so exhausting is because I want to respond to everything you say, so you talk and talk and I respond and respond and there is rarely any peace and quiet :)  But I love that you still love to be around me, and you talk to me while I cook dinner and keep me company whenever I’m doing anything!
Last night we sat and watched the videos from the hospital when I was having you and you just sat there quiet, taking it all in.  I rarely see you so quiet and content…it was so sweet!
Ryan Mark Stickel, I love you with all of my heart and I’m so glad that you are my little boy.  You always run up saying “mommy” when I get home from work and I can always count on you for company.  You are the biggest sweetheart and I just can’t imagine what our family would be like without you.  Thank you so much for being my special boy :)


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