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Saturday, June 5, 2021

Oskar turns SEVEN

 Dear Oskar,

You’re seven years old today. A tall, long-legged boy missing his front two teeth—exactly what you’d picture a seven-year-old to be. A boy growing into his lanky body. There has been so much change for you this year and we can’t even begin to tell you how proud we are of you. The most beautiful, smart, kind-hearted, and empathetic little soul.


 

You spent almost your entire kindergarten year at home, learning on a laptop and working so independently, making your way through your required curriculum but also begging and pleading to skip ahead, diving into 1st and 2nd grade workbooks when given the chance. We finally felt comfortable sending you to in-person school for your 4th quarter and held our breath, hoping that what you learned at home was enough to make it through. Oskar, you thrived. You made friends immediately when most of the kids had already spent the entire academic year together. You know, and say hi, to every single person you pass on your way in the door and spend most of your days alongside two little boys, an inseparable trio. We received feedback at every drop off or notes written home, with just one representative example being the following:

I also just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much we truly love having Oskar in our K-plus program.  He has joined right in like he has been here all year.   He also is very intelligent, and I would highly suggest that he is tested for advanced math if his kindergarten teacher hasn't already suggested it.  He is also such a polite and respectful little boy and I wanted to let you know that you have done an unbelievable job in raising him. Thank you so much for allowing him to be a part of our program.  

My heart exploded reading that, and it does every. single. time. Kind and polite most importantly, always, but also just so smart. You did sit for that advanced math test they talked about and qualified to skip an entire grade. You’ll be starting second grade math in the fall. It’s not an exaggeration that it was YOU who did this, always wanting to know more, learn more, and to work ahead on your own. You’re so curious and so driven, and truly do not give up until you get whatever you put your mind to. 

 

You’ve also grown into such a good big brother. August and you are as close as ever and fight just as much as ever. The way brothers just 21 months apart are bound to be. August still idolizes you and loves nothing more than playing with you, whether it be LEGOs or Nintendo or Star Wars, your three favorite things. When you two fight it drives me insane, with me forcing apologies and time outs, but you’re always both over whatever it was that happened approximately 5 seconds later, like you have no idea what I’m even talking about anymore. Then its back to whatever it was that you were playing in the first place.

You’ve also had a special connection with Maren from the very beginning and watching you two grow up together is something really amazing. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting glimpses of what you two will be like as adults and I imagine you calling each other or hanging out on a weekend.  You’re always watching out for her and will always jump to help me when I need it. She makes you giggle all the time, and she’s just now starting to try to say “Oskar” (which really sounds like AW-K) and you eat it up. Your favorite game together is hide and seek, and you always hide in places where she can find you so she’ll give you her biggest smiles. Her favorite thing in life is going to the bus stop to pick you up, and screams, “BUS! BUS!” when she sees it coming, knowing her big brother is coming home.

As far as routine goes, you’ll ALWAYS be Oskar, I just know it. Up at 6am (or before), every day. School really does wipe you out, and on the days you still have soccer practice or a game to go to afterwards, you can hardly keep it together at 8pm and are fast asleep shortly thereafter. You still love and take care of 8 little stuffed animal bunnies, your “Hoppies”, that you line up methodically in the same order on your pillow where you sleep every night. You really believe in their magic and that they come alive every night, some of the last true bits of childhood innocence and wonder.  You still go to karate every week, your longest lasting activity (going on 4 years now) and tested into a yellow belt earlier this year. You were so proud of yourself. You love to read, and we made our way through the whole Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Dogman series (again), Bad Guys Club series, and are now starting the Goosebumps series, which you just can’t get enough of. One of my favorite things in the world is sitting outside under our awning reading with you.

The biggest change from last year in you is that I’m starting to feel the slow and subtle shift of your needs, changing from physical to emotional. You don’t need me to pick you up or to cuddle you that much anymore, but instead we have talks about how it feels to play on a soccer team that loses a lot, or how nervous trying something new makes you, or your friends at school, or how weird and hard COVID has been. I knew this would happen, eventually, but it really feels like a huge leap into being a big kid. 


Overall, we’re just so thankful that life is slowly shifting back to some normalcy, with school, friends, and trips in our future. I’m so thankful we’ve all stayed healthy and you’ve still thrived beyond our wildest dreams. Oskar, we are so, so, lucky you are ours. You’re truly an amazing and resilient little human.

Part of me can’t believe you’re seven, but the other part knows you’ve been an old soul all along. What we wouldn’t give for another year like this one: a happy, healthy, beautiful, curious, and kind little boy who loves his friends and loves his family and does pretty darn well with all the other stuff too. 


Happy seventh birthday, Oskar. We love you more than you’ll ever know.

 

Love,

Mama

 

 

 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mothers Day Gift Guide 2021


Hi! Here with a quick list of some of the things I'm loving lately, which can double as a list of fun gift ideas for Mothers Day. Hoping for a sunny, beautiful day spent outside with my people, and maybe that cooler bag to match :)

1. Birkenstocks: my spring/summer must have shoes.

2. Button Front Jeans: my new absolute favorite pair of jeans that I got in a Trunk Club try-on. They fit me like a glove.

3. Paper Clip Chain: affordable and adorable.

4. Avocado Tree Growing Kit: this little cutie has been sitting in my shopping cart for a long time. I've been wanting to grow a few avocado trees to pot around the house when bigger.

 
5. Cooler Bag: Such a beautiful cooler/tote to take to the pool or on picnics.

6. Wrap Sweatshirt: my favorite sweatshirt that I just ordered in this pretty color for spring.

7. Drunk Elephant Day Cream: this makes my skin feel incredible.

8. Bra: my favorite bra ever.

9. Electric Milk Frother: if you're not frothing your milk with your coffee, you're not living.

10. Raffia Handbag: a splurge, but goodness, what a beautiful bag.




Sunday, March 28, 2021

August Turns 5

It’s your 5th birthday today, my sweet August James. How it’s possible, I’ll never know. I’m so lucky to have spent this entire year with you, soaking up all of the August-isms and funny things you say. I watched you month by month, learning, growing, and changing little by little without me ever really noticing what was different. But now, looking back, so much has changed. What an absolute light you were. Such a joy during a year that was so hard for everybody.


 You start so many of your days sleeping later than anyone in this house, and man, do I love you because of it. I peeled your covers back the other day to wake you up, and you told me that you didn’t even get to sleep yet. But then you’re off, talk-talk-talking your way through your entire day (your life, really), and it doesn’t stop until you’re ready for bed again that night. A little tornado. You’re a lover of muffins, cheese, meatballs, and anything chocolate, and I can convince you to try way more foods than your siblings combined. You’re finishing your Pre-K home school year, and while I thought this year would be an academic loss, you’ve actually thrived. You learned a hundred sight words, are learning to read, can write all your letters beautifully, and can identify all of your 0-100 numbers. You write the best notes and little stories and are so proud of your work and yourself. You’ve been separated from your two little best friends from school for an entire year but still talk about them all the time. I’m so happy to have you reunited with them in just a few short days, back to in person school after all this time. You’re so ready to go, to learn and to play and to leave the four walls of this house, and also to spend some time apart from your brother. The two of you have grown so incredibly close this year, and I have no idea how you would’ve survived without each other, but being able to do your own thing will a breath of fresh air for you both. What a year it has been.



 

Your love of Batman has slowly waned (but still there), taking a backseat to Mario and Luigi and all things Nintendo. You spent most of your year dressed as Luigi, and this is hardly an exaggeration. I had to buy up every green t-shirt in the tri-state area, and your underwear drawer is full of white cotton Luigi gloves. When your gloves were all in the wash, you wore oven mits, and some of the first pictures I have of you learning to swim are those where you have oven mits on your hands in the pool. Your Mario LEGO set is one of your very favorite things from this year, something you can free-build imaginatively and to have Mario complete whatever course you come up with. You play all around our entire house, so your toys are scattered EVERYWHERE, and you can never seem to find what you’re looking for. You spend your days looking for things that you lost somewhere along the way, and we have to laugh at how type B you are. Your clothes are often mis-matched, you’re always running into things or getting bumped and bruised (you call black and blue marks “bump and blue marks”), and you speed through your work or coloring, onto the next thing as not to miss out on a second of whatever’s next. You’re going to KINDERGARTEN this fall, which is so hard for me to believe, but I also know you’re ready. You’ve been working through Oskar’s kindergarten curriculum a year early and have been playing “up” to anything that your big brother has wanted to do for your entire little life. I know you will be amazing.


 
 


You started soccer this week and were finally brave enough to try something new. I’m so proud of you for it. Your personality has always been enormous, but your bravery to show it off in front of strangers has been just the opposite. You’re really growing up now, easing your way into activities for big kids all by yourself, sharing our August with the world. 

 



You’re still my favorite little sidekick, always willing to tag along with mama to the store, to run errands, or for a walk. It’s probably not neutral of me to say it, but you’re my pacifist and rarely the one to instigate anything or to bother anyone first. You’re still independent, imaginative, and playful, and your creativity knows no bounds. You’re happy when everyone else is happy, too, and pick up on everyone’s feelings if they’re not. You love your baby sister and love to celebrate her milestones as one of her biggest fans. She demands your toys, your food, and your drinks…really anything that you have…and you’re always offering whatever it is right up to make her happy. Such a little sweetheart you are.

I always tell you before bedtime how beautiful, amazing, and loved you are, and I can tell how much it fills you up every single time. I’ve tried so hard to make sure I pay extra attention to all of those middle child stereotypes, pulling you aside for as much 1:1 attention as I can. I totally understand how this is a thing, now, though, with your brother demanding activities way above your ability and interest level, being that he’s a few years older, and your baby sister needing me all the time, for, well…everything. You’re the perfect middle child, easy going and independent, made happy by a hug, a cuddle, and a book together. You were made for the part. I can't imagine our family without you.


 

I am so thankful for every second I had with you this year, the good ones and the hard ones, and I know that I’ll look back on this time, years from now, so grateful for our slow days together. Your smile, your laugh, and your goofy, weird, self is so contagious. How lucky I am to have a front row seat to watching you grow up. My beautiful, big, 5 year old kid who will always be my baby boy.

I love you more than you will ever know, August. Happy one whole hand.

 

Love,

Mama

 

 

 

 
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