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Friday, December 31, 2010

One Day after…{3 years & 6 months later}

My booga boy turned 3 and half the day after Christmas. Oh.how.I.love.him!  I took these pictures of him (on December 26th) and to me, he is just absolutely perfect.  I love the way these pics turned out.  I think they capture so much of his curious and silly personality.  The inner photography geek in me appreciates & admires the bokeh in the background.  Stuffing that geek back in, the mommy in me sees a happy, smart, confident, & lovable little boy.  AND that is what’s important!

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This little boy never ceases to amaze me.  He has such a funny little personality.  He gets jokes.  He reads his environment.  He assesses emotions.  Totally, above average when interpreting non-verbal communication.  He just gets it.  One day, a few months ago he changed his Jumpstart character, Blake Silver Coyote from a cool dude with wild-black hair like his own to a girl with a hot pink wig (bobbed style). Well, I initially thought Nealy was playing a not so nice trick on him.  She’s totally known to do that!  So, I changed it back to the cool dude for him.  (He had taken a break from the game).  When I walked back into the office later, he had already changed it back to the girl with the pink ‘do.  This time I inquired!  I asked him if he wanted Blake Silver Coyote to have girl hair….pink hair?  He said, “yes” eyeing my face to try and read my response.  I just smiled. 
I left it at that.  Well, a couple days later, daddy sees his character’s transformation.   He wasn’t too happy, and only encourage him to change it back (never saying anything negative).  Brayden was having NO part in it.  After he played a while he came out to the living room and announced, “I get it, I’m a boy!  I was just pee-tending.”  He had an attitude (as to say), “what’s wrong with you people?  Don’t YOU get it?  Pretend.  It’s what little kids do! Duh?” We all just looked at him wide-eyed.  So funny!  Since?  Blake Silver Coyote is back to his original coolness!

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Just a few of the things Brayden LOVES!

playing hunting games on the wii, reading (YES!  He can read! NOT even kidding), playing Chutes and Ladders for preschoolers, guns (yikes!..I know), playing some (eeks! not so age appropriate) Playstation games, going to restaurants, playing outside, riding his new Jeep, wrestling with Nealy, watching Bambi, going “hunting”…he takes his scope, building a thicket to hide in out of the laundry basket, doing cartwheels (they’re actually pretty good), playing on the iPad, or his iPod, playing Angry Birds on daddy’s phone, playing Jumpstart on the computer, snuggling with mommy and daddy in bed, running around the kitchen sink, Pecan Spin-wheels, grapefruit, blueberries, bananas and strawberries.  Best of all? Eskimo Kisses!

A few things that have surprised mommy!

* A few months ago he asked daddy an interesting question. (In conversation, Scott was telling B that he was going to Gran’s house the next day bc we had to work).  We always tell him the night before where he’ll be.  He stays with Gran 3 days a week and my mom here at home 2 days a week.  Anyway, Brayden asked, “Daddy what do I do when I miss you?”  OMG!  This gave me a knot in my throat. Isn’t that a mature question? Scott told him to tell Gran and she would help him, hold him, and that we’d be there soon to get him, AND that it would be okay.  Brayden nodded and said, “Okay, that sounds like a good idea.”  Are you kidding me, this kid is so in tune with the basics!

* During the potty training stage (we’re still there…just a little), B had an accident (and of course we never shamed him or reprimanded him) rather continued to encourage him.  So, after the fact, he says, “I’m still little, I’m still not a big boy.”  This just told me, he subconsciously was struggling with the added responsibility.  Now, that may seem too much of a far fetched analysis of his comment but, seriously the primary years are SO developmental.  He was expressing that he was still “little” almost like he wanted us to be understanding of his mistake.  Sweet boy. 

*  He is a computer wiz kid!  He loves launching Jumpstart himself and can even get to our Google Chrome page and launch this very blog.  He exits out of programs like it’s nobody’s business and launches what he wants.  In his words, INCREDIBLE…just INCREDIBLE.

*  He is so good at playing Smurf Village on the iPad.  He grows crops, and bakes all kinds of goodies for the Smurfs.  Bottom line? He loves technology.  He’s interested in it and learns quickly.  It was a surprise when he entered the code in to my phone to unlock it one day a few weeks ago.  I didn’t even teach it to him.  He must have taken notice a few times I entered it.  Crazy.

* He reads.  Really.  He reads words…pages….BOOKS!  Yes, it started as memorizing patterned books but, as he learned his letters and all the sounds (along with having a bank of picture/letter sound associations..several for each letter)…and this was well over a year ago, we moved on to simple high frequency words.  All the while (before he even knew all his letters) I was hitting concepts of print pretty hard…just out of habit.  Anyway, he started finding the hfwd’s within text and can read them in isolation too!  Then I started a very simple guided reading program with him (that I learned as an early childhood teacher but, changed it up to meet a toddler’s needs…more specifically his needs).  Once engaged, this little boy can stay focused for a good 10-15 minutes.  Longer if he just has to listen and look but, if he is actually “doing,” the time is considerably less.  Oh unless it’s on the computer, wii, or playstation. (grin)  So…don’t get me wrong, he’s not reading chapter books or picking up any ‘ole book and reading away (not just yet, anyway), but he certainly can find a word, or two, or three..heck, maybe even more in the text.  As of right now, he is reading patterned books, familiar-simple books, books that are in no way patterned yet, are easy to decode and he is unbelievably good at using picture, and “getting his mouth ready” strategies.       (P.R.O.U.D momma)

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A few things Brayden has taught all of us!

* never and I do mean NEVER underestimate a young child’s cognitive ability.  Oh, and same goes for their “trickery” ability.  The smarter, the more manipulative.  Mark my words.  I provide the info based on real-life experience;).

* a positive attitude, positive words, and a positive behavioral management approach goes a LOT further than the negative.

* It’s okay to be reserved and a bit particular about certain events, & activities.  Sure, sometimes we must leave our “comfort” zone, but life is too short to worry too much about it.

* go with the flow and don’t worry about mishaps…they happen.  Some may be avoidable, some aren’t…just deal.  Make the best of it!

*  say, “I missed you SOOOOOOOOO much.” even if you were gone just an hour. 

*  White rice for dinner is okay.  Yeah, and just white rice. Nothing more.  As long it’s every now and then and the rest of the family is enjoying Chinese.  It’s okay that the big boy eats plain ‘ole white rice.  We don’t “restaurant” our kids.  They eat what we eat. We have a balanced diet (most of the time:) so all is good!  

* PJ day…all day is a good thing.  It’s fun, comfy, and quality family time.

*  validate validate validate!  Just bc he is only 3 1/2 doesn’t mean what he wants or feels isn’t important.  Yeah, he may not want to go to bed at our scheduled bedtime…but, validating his want to stay up and being sensitive about it brings the outcome WE want and leaves him feeling okay about it.  I didn’t say happy, but okay.  AND that works!

*  he didn't teach us this one…but, he sure does give us a nice reminder.

LOVE LOVE LOVE unconditionally and be so very thankful!

We ADORE you, our Booga-licious.  You have that one little spot on your neck that is an addiction and I MUST give it kisses.  It gives me energy.  YOU give me energy!  We ALL LOVE you our little Booga-boo!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this little guy so much!!!!! Aunt Pia