I originally posted this on August 1, 2015 when I first started my blog. I was hospitalized waiting to give birth to AJ. You can read more about that adventure here: Here We Go .
Since I have been writing more about our family, I thought it was a good time to update this post and let you know what the 5 boys are like now. I hope you enjoy reading about our crew!
Wait, we are going to have 5 after this. We could start a basketball team…or more likely a boy band!
We have heard a lot since we started telling people we were pregnant with #5. Everything from “Were you trying for a girl?” to “Better you than me”. But our favorite by far “I am sure it is crazy, but Christmas must be a blast!” Having a big family is not for everyone, I get that. But neither is having a small one. This works for us and we wouldn’t change anything. We didn’t take the most conventional path to get here but it is now our path.
We truly have wonderful kids. They each are so unique and bring such joy to our lives. I am going to take a break from talking about the details of my placenta and uterus today and talk about each of the little men. People have suggested that we could be a TV show so here is our list of characters…
People still ask if we were trying for a girl or if we are going to try again. Makes me laugh every time. I love that our family sparks curiosity and invites so many questions.
#1 is almost 10 now (when did that happen) and getting ready for 5th grade. He is our true outdoors man. He loves to surf, fish, bike, get and stay dirty. When #1 is interested or passionate about something, he is unstoppable. When he is not interested or doesn’t see the value in a task, he can be a bit of a stinker (ask any of his teachers). He can argue his way out of having to do anything and that usually ends with me saying, “You are not an adult, I am. Just do it!” I don’t think that is in any parenting book anywhere but it works for him. He can’t argue his age! As much as this can cause challenges, I love it! He is not afraid to speak his mind and stand up for what he believes in. He doesn’t value age, he values intellectual peers. He is so excited to be a big brother, AGAIN. He takes pride in being the leader of the group and we are trying to cultivate his leadership skills. He wants to teach AJ all about fishing and surfing. But he will not, under any circumstances, change any diapers. #1 is like Ron from Parks and Rec.
Tyler is15 years old and he is a sophomore in high school. He has continued to be a true outdoorsman. While he no longer surfs, he has developed a true love for fishing. This summer he started making and selling his own fishing lures. He has a small workshop set up in the garage where he melts down old lures, molds them, and then lets them cool until they set. Tyler has continued to golf and has been able to play on the high school team. I admire so many of Tyler's qualities. He is confident in all his decisions and is never afraid to advocate for himself even when that means speaking up to an adult. I have to remind myself to not ask his opinion unless I really am prepared to hear it. He has worked hard to understand that sometimes this can be interpreted as disrespectful. He tries hard to recognize that and rephrase his opinions (sometimes with a gentle reminder).
Tyler has always struggled to love school. He was never motivated by good grades or a reward program. He just truly loves to learn -- on his own. When he is interested in a topic or era, he researches and reads until he knows all he can about it. He may not produce that in a way that most teachers value. He has to see the value in an assignment in order to complete it. He loves to use his knowledge to solve a problem, not just fill in a blank.
He is currently attending the high school that completely embraces and encourages this type of thinking and learning. It has been an amazing experience for him and for us to watch. We have no doubt that Tyler will be a successful adult in all areas of his life. We don't know what his plan is for after high school, but we know it will be exciting.
Tyler is most definitely still Ron.
#2, oh #2. You know how they say What goes around, comes around? or that you will have a kid who is just like you… well #2 is mine. He is quirky and particular. Don’t let his food touch, forget to pack a second drink in his lunch box, or say goodnight without a kiss, hug, kiss, hug. Now, I would probably read this and say “that kid needs to get over it”. But this is the problem with him being just like me, I get it. These details and rituals really matter to him. They help him keep his world in a predictable order. Weird, yes, annoying, sometimes, but I get it. So what happens when things don’t happen as #2 would like them to…He will make sure you know that things aren’t as you said or as they should be and do all he can to put them in that order. Even if that means fitting a round peg in a square hole. Let’s just say it’s bad, real bad. We work on this, a lot. We prep him for things that may come up and how to handle yourself when things don’t go the way you want. But I can see the brilliance in his schemes and it makes love him even more. I often remember when he was 2 and would line up all his cars in his particular order. He would play with them for hours, name them, define their purpose and explain everything. Then a week later, he would recall the entire scenario, verbatim. #2 is a 8 year old version of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
Michael is 13 years old and he is in the 8th grade. He remains a quirky, particular, young man. He hates to be late and does not like to walk into a new place alone. He is the only family member who sits in the same seat each night for dinner even if he is eating a quick bite after practice. "Mom he is in my seat". Now, the boys just all together avoid that seat. Also, Michael still has serious rules about food. He will not eat anything with cheese and his food can not touch. I can completely understand his rules and try hard to make sure I am respectful of them.
He has worked really hard to develop his soccer skills. He is not the strongest or biggest on his team but every coach has commented on his soccer IQ. He understands the game, strategy, and rules. He can remember every play and replays them over and over in his head or out loud. When he gets bigger and stronger, we have no doubt he will be a force on the field. We love how soccer has helped Michael become more well rounded. Remember those melt downs I talked about, being on a soccer field with 20 other kids and missing a shot or letting a goal in, you have no choice but to move on. We have seen so much growth in Michael in being able to handle situations that don't go exactly as he planned.
Right now, he wants to pursue career in sports analysis. He loves to watch and analyze football, soccer, and baseball. He plays in multiple fantasy leagues and if you ask any of our adult friends, he is quite good.
Michael is without a doubt Sheldon! This comparison is even funnier since the show Young Sheldon has come out. We watch it as a family and the boys all laugh because Sheldon is so similar to Michael. Michael laughs but not Sheldon, he laughs at the other people like he and Sheldon both get it.
#3 is our 5 year old Rocky. I want to talk about his soft side first. #3 is a love bug and true momma’s boy. He is the first to hop on the couch and snuggle up with me. He is always concerned when someone gets hurt and wants to make sure everyone is okay. He is always more concerned about other people. He is a huge helper when it comes to cooking, cleaning, and yard work. He aspires to open his own salon (in California because people have big hair there). He has helped me curl, straighten, and brush my hair. He has even taught me a few things. What makes him a Rocky is that he is a lover AND a fighter. He is freakishly strong with muscles and he knows it as he prefers to be shirtless but will settle on wearing a muscle shirt. He refers to himself as “Tough Nut, Rough Nut” and prides himself in being able to do perfectly formed push-ups dozens of times, lift the kitchen table, throw the couch ottomans, and beat #2 in arm wrestling (He is 5 and #2 is 8). We signed him up for soccer this fall and told us that it was okay, but next year he wants to play football so he can ram his head into other kids stomachs. He has a high threshold for pain so when he gets hurt and cries, we get immediately concerned. Because of all this it is often hard to remember that he is only 5 and just a little boy.
Jake, oh Jakey! My favorite part of the day is when Jake and I watch a show together. We both love to watch sitcoms. We have watched (and rewatched) The Office, Parks and Rec, SuperStore, Blackish... the list goes on. I enjoy that time with him so much. Jake and I were at school together 2 years so we spent a lot of time before and after school together. This year that changed and so I love when we get just him and I time, we always laugh and giggle at the same things.
Just like when he was five, it is easy to forget that he is just a little boy. He is big and strong, but also smart, witty and enjoys talking with adults. He is sensitive and cares very deeply about other people and fairness. We have to be careful about what we say because he is always listening. He is not scared of a challenge and is not shy.
Jake plays baseball and loves being active. Last year he completed a solo triple play while playing second base. In true Jake fashion, he did not really celebrate until we were in the car on the way home because to him, team is more important than that one play.
Jake is our Rocky.
#4. And the Emmy goes to this adorable 4 year old… #4 is our performer. He is usually dressed as a knight or superhero and always carries a sword. He lives in a musical and is always on stage. He has a love for life that is contagious. Everything is happy, fun, and awesome (you can sing it–he would). I hope he keeps that forever. #4 loves his “brudders” and his family. When he meets someone new, he is the first to introduce all of us. He will proudly tell the new friend each family member's name and rank. #4 plays with toys more than any of the other boys. You can tell everything he has done all day because of the trail of superhero figures and legos that circle the house. He will gladly clean them up with a salute and “Yes Ma’am” when asked and then tell you about all the games he invented. Just like Carlton, he is a dramatic, goofy, comedian who at a moments notice will break out into song and dance and steal your affection.
Zachary is 9 years old. He is currently in the fourth grade. He has been playing piano for the past four years. He works very hard at it and always amazes us with his confidence on stage. Last year he performed at his school's talent show. He also loves to draw and create. He will work for hours on creating a comic book or a graphic novel. He watched YouTube videos to learn how to draw certain characters or animals.
Zac has a true talent in all things technology. He has been coding since he was four and has continued to grow these skills. While some kids would make you a card for your birthday, Zac will create a animation that moves to your favorite song. When a school project calls for a poster, he will create a movie. Zac also, likes to refer to himself as the Dog Whisperer because he loves animals and they love him. Whether at a friends house or meeting a dog on a walk, Zac seems to be able to connect with and calm all dogs.
Zac is for sure our most cautious of the bunch. As parents we try to encourage him to take safe risks that we can monitor and help build his confidence. We also love knowing that he will also come to us when something is not right or maybe a brother is taking too big of a risk.
Zac is still like Carlton!
All of us have talked so much about what #5 will be like. We all have our theories. No matter what TV character he favors, he will be the most loved little boy–with 4 older brothers, how couldn’t he be.
Well, he arrived in a dramatic fashion but has brought a lot of calm to our family. AJ has pulled our family together in a way that we did not even know we needed. He has taught each of the big boys how to be more patient and how to love big. He has caused us all to slow down and appreciate childhood through his eyes. AJ loves to be with his brothers, play MineCraft, and play outside. In the summer, he wants to spend his days at the beach or at the pool. He loves to snuggle and "relax".
When AJ was about 9 months old, I decided it was time for him to cry himself to sleep. I set him down, set a timer, and listened to the monitor. He was crying but I was committed to it.. then the crying stopped. I was proud of him and myself. I went upstairs to check on him. And there was Tyler standing over the crib, rubbing his back, and making sure he had his paci. This one story explains AJ.
On one hand, it is so sweet and endearing that Tyler went to help him and really shows the love they all have for one another. And then on the other hand, there is the little smirk and wink of an eye that we see AJ do all too often. He has this ability to smile, tilt his head, and get whatever he wants. And that is why AJ is Zack Morris.
Staying boring again today! Stay tuned til tomorrow!
Thanks for reading!
Stay safe and take care.