Thursday, April 21, 2005

The third kid has attained school age

Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Yesterday the big guy turned 5. He's been waiting for this day since Katherine had her birthday and last week we made up a countdown chart for the wall. He crossed off each passing day, picked out his birthday cake, chose paper plates and wondered every day what he would receive as gifts. OK, the last one I'm not so proud of, but what can you do? The boxes arrived a week ago and since then they've been on top of the TV cabinet. This place isn't big enough for us to really hide anything so he had to deal with being teased by their presence every day.
Finally, the dawn of the 20th arrived. Shortly after 6 I shooed him back to his room. For a kid that wakes up around 7 these days, 6 was way early for him to be wandering. Besides, we'd set up a preschool scavenger hunt (an idea I stole from elsewhere) to find his gifts and I didn't want him moving things around. Around 7 when everyone was awake, he was allowed to move the cereal box from blocking his bedroom door. In fact, he put it back on the kitchen counter where a DVD was waiting. Looking confused, he put that back on the movie shelf where one of my shoes was sitting. The shoe went in the pile, Katherine's reading light went back on her nightstand, the pot moved back to its cupboard and the bug vaccum returned to the bug house. And in the cupboard under the bug house were his gifts. The night before the girls disappeared off to Target with daddy to purchase gifts as well so he had quite a pile. An action figure of Anakin Skywalker, a big bouncy Spiderman ball, a toy Spiderman camera, a Spiderman game joystick and a tape player. Somehow I completely missed on the Amazon site that the camera wasn't real! How did that happen? It doesn't seem to bother him though, it flashes and makes noise and what else does a little kid really want?
A quick breakfast and we dropped the girls off school. The playground across the street has finally opened so I promised that we'd pick the girls up from early release and play there for a bit in the afternoon. Dropped Ian off at FSI then picked up the birthday cake at Heidelburg Pastry Shop on Lee Hwy. It looks and smells so good in there, but does anyone really pay $4 for a cookie? Granted it's a lovely cookie, but $4? I don't even ask how much the chocolates are. They don't have prices on them.
We dropped the cake off in the fridge then attended storytime at B&N. It was held outdoors because most of the county was out of power which made intersections interesting. Generators kept the construction going so it was difficult to hear over all the noise, but we listened and then hopped right into the car (for the first time, we drove to B&N and I did miss the nice walk) to go to Annandale. Nicholas had asked for McDs for his birthday lunch and who better to have it with than grandma? She even splurged on fudge sundaes. Nicholas did say several times "I don't feel 5". As mom, I can definitely say he looks 5. He also said several times "I wish I was 6". As mom, I can definitely say I'm glad he isn't.
We were back in Arlington with about 20 minutes to spare beofre school got out. The boys got dirty in the playground sand pit and sweaty on the spiderweb before the girls joined us and we made sandcastles and sand food. Ah, the joys of sand. Can't wait to go to the beach in August.
Katherine still isn't feeling well as her cold lingers and laryngitis sets in, so after brushing off pounds of sand, we came home for homework and some down time. Rebecca's class is working on Time and the "igh" combo, Katherine's class is focussing on recycling and multiplication tables.
A box arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon that will help Rebecca and the boys quite a bit. Watches for all four of them from, for about $5/each the boys' watches have labeled watch hands with an outer ring of numbers for the specific minute times. This morning Nicholas looked at his watch and said "It's almost 8" and right he was. We've been working on time for over a week and it's slow going but he's definitely getting it.
After dinner of fish sticks and farfalle (butterfly) noodles (another Nicholas request), the whole family watched the twins play baseball at the park next to the library. The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed watching so live sport before getting back home to wait for Jeff. He came over to have some cake and he brought gifts for all the kids. I had been hanging on to music tapes for, well, at least a decade past the time I actually listened to music tapes. During the past couple moves, they have all been disposed of. And now, all the kids have tape players for use in the car. Well, Jeff was so kind as to go through his old stashes and let us have such classics as the theme to the Ghostbusters and FootLoose, along with Cyndi Lauper and Weird Al. All tapes that the kids will love to listen to, especially on our drive to the midwest later this year.
When the baseball game was done, the twins and their parents came by to share in cake as well. Izumi and Dan were in Manila will us and they're off to Beijing this summer. They brought Nicholas gifts as well and totally floored Nicholas with Spiderman legos. Over this past weekend Nicholas found a small set of legos that I had as a kid and literally spent hours playing with them. My parents have bought him a huge set that he'll receive this coming weekend and I just know that he will be beside himself. We've never had real legos and I'm almost as excited as the boys are. He also received a floor puzzle of the States which I am completely thrilled with. We put it together today and talked about our trip this summer. We'll be doing a week on the States this summer (so the girls can do it too) and this map will be great.
No one got to bed before 9 but until the last few minutes no one was cranky about it either.
I just can't believe he's 5. He's learning to read and write, tell time and draw great pictures. He can tie his shoes and gets himself completely washed and dressed. He makes his bed better than his sisters. Earlier this week I'd asked him to organize the art corner, basically just stacking up papers and putting the makers away. He pulled out all the construction paper and organized it by whole sheets and scraps, and then by color. He folds clothes from the laundry pile, carries his stuffed dog everywhere, still stuffs his pockets full of treasures, and loves spinach, mushrooms and pickles. He adores Katherine, tolerates Rebecca and is Jonathon's best friend. He is so sensitive and I love having him home with me where he's outgoing and doesn't have a malicious bone in his body (except, sometimes, when Jonathon is on his last nerve, but then that's not really malice is it?). He's such a wonderful kid, and I just can't believe he's 5.

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