Soren is 4 years old!

This kiddo came tumbling into our lives 4 years ago. He has been getting more adorable each year and I would say he has melted Adam’s, Sloane’s, and my hearts.

Soren has continued his game of pretending to be a character for hours or even days at a time. His current favorites are Duffy the gibbon (after a gibbon at the Oregon Zoo), Timbee the wolverine kit, and an iguanodon. He will still come up to ask us the extensional question “who am I?” Sloane and Soren also have a new favorite show- Bluey. It is about a blue heeler dog family. It is Australian and has made for some cute pronunciations and vocabulary- to-mah-toe; cheeky; and dearie. They also play a game the dog children play called ‘the grannies’ in which they wrap blankets around their heads, slowly walk around causing mischievous, and call themselves Rita and Janet. It is one of my favorites that they play.

Helping in the kitchen is one of his favorite things to do. Thank goodness Pa made us two Shaker stools because we need one for each kiddo. Soren is really good at measuring and mixing. Opening cans is still a bit tricky, but we have such a strange can opener, I took me a few years to perfect it!

Sloane and Soren have been sleeping in Soren’s room together for the past three months. We have been working hard for the past three weeks on the kids not needing us through the night. We tried not to say sleep through the night, but just that they might wake up and not call for us unless they really needed something. They are doing so great, but Soren still pops awake most mornings at 6:15. Though he is awake, he is not bright eyed! He doesn’t like lights on or the blinds open.

When I was back in NH, my dad gave me a hat of his that was a little too small. I did not think that it would fit but it has been a big hit with Soren. He even slept with it on for the first few nights. He is a bit of a hat kid and he gives them great names. There is helmet hat, cousin Dinky hat, toucan hat.

He is getting super strong too. He likes to hang and can even hang on by one hand. He’s been riding Sloane’s old bike with training wheels and getting around so well on the strider/balance bike. The other day, he did this lean back move on the swing. I think it is also a good pic of his fashion sense. His current favorite look is red leggings with a neon green dry fit shirt with a bear on it.

He is also a complete goof ball, very giggly and silly. I put Sloane’s hair in pig tails for school one day and he wanted them too. The little puffs of curls were adorable, but the best part was he couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at himself. He also does little dances and tricks for us.

He is just so loveable. Here is a few more pics.

Soren starts pre-K

After much deliberation, we had Soren start preschool at Clark College this fall. We were so excited to have him start going to school for socializing and learning. About a month before we started him, they (thankfully!) changed their mask policy to all children over the age of 2 required to wear masks. He started on 9/13, and leading up to that was lots of tears. He kept telling us he didn’t want to meet his teacher or any new friends.

Soren likes to use the hairbrush to ‘style’ his own hair

The first morning he cried most of the way through the morning routine. He told me he didn’t want to bring figgy bar snacks because his teachers don’t know about them, but he could bring blueberries because his teachers do know about them. We had to pry his arms off my neck to get him into his car seat. Drop off was quite sad, but we heard from his teachers that he recovered. When I picked him up, it was quiet time. In all of our discussion of school, we forgot to talk about quiet time. He had told his teacher he didn’t sleep on a mat, he slept on a bed. Then he told me he didn’t like the tall ceilings of his classroom.

The rest of the week slowly improved. It really had no where to go but up after the second morning when he told me that he would ask Adam to put his lunch box up so high I couldn’t reach it. Week 2 had started off much better- he actually had good things to say about school when we were chatting at dinner. He likes the fish tank and that he even got to feed them once. Sloane has been super understanding and patient with Soren- like giving him her last strawberry at breakfast the first day because he wanted more, and reading him a story in the morning to distract him. Having an older sibling going to school has been a good example and helps him feel like he is growing up too.

Extra park time on the weekends helps with the school schedule

Sloane’s in 1st grade

We have started this year with full time in person school for Sloane. She was very excited to get back to school and see her friends there, but was concerned about being away from home for so much of the week. There were a couple of sad chats we had- Sloane crying and me explaining that she would have more time to learn and be with her friends. Through her tears she told me that those things weren’t important and that we (her family) were the most important. I am stashing the memory for when she doesn’t want to be seen in public with me as a teen.

The first day of school was 8/31 and right after I came back from NH. We walked to school together and she was very brave walking to her classroom. This year her room is around the back of the school. We have to drop her off at the sidewalk and she walks down along the school, disappearing around the corner. The goodbye was hardest on Soren- he shed some tears after she left. They have been buddies this summer and it was going to be long days without her. There is a state wide mask mandate (which we are really grateful for!) and that makes it easy to see in her eyes how she is a little nervous.

Sloane’s teacher is Mrs. Demert and so far it has been great. There was a little incident of another 1st grader yelling at Sloane that she was not allowed to play because Sloane wanted to include the boys and girls. Things have settled and she has found a fun group to play with through the day. Though we worked a little over the summer, being back in school has dramatically increased her reading ability. The other day she started reading me facts about random birds from our bird book. She also made some math problems for herself over the summer and has been enjoying that work in school

Sloane had some homework the first night! There were questions to answer about herself. She wrote that her favorite places were Nini and Papa’s; and G and Pa’s. Sloane wanted to add Camp Echo Rock as her favorite, but thought that was too much to write down. Also, she wanted to write Burgerville burgers were her favorite food, but decided on pancakes because it was shorter. While working on the sheet, she put her pencil behind her ear and requested a photo because she looked like Pa.

Sloane learned a breathing posture to relax in school and taught it to Soren. It was quite an amusing for me especially because we were on the side of the road doing it. Sloane also helped me slice her roll up sandwich. Packing lunches 5 days a week is a new skill for us all. We have been working on Sloane’s hair-do to make sure her fringe doesn’t fall into her face. The up front pigtails has been a hit, plus Sloane can make the shadow that she calls her ‘alien’ pose.