Well, Drew no longer can tell people he's 3 and 3/4, something I think he learned while in Colorado in February. Now he happily tells people he is 4! It's been a quick 4 years! When our old computer died, we lost some of our pictures off of iPhoto, so I just looked back and picked some old favorites of Drew from what I have available.
This is Drew on his first birthday. I remember taking this picture. It was back when it was okay to turn your child's car seat around at 1 year and 20 pounds, and I had done just that right before he and I went to pick Zach up from preschool.
Drew on his second birthday. By this point, his obsession with Lightning McQueen had already begun.
I'm not sure when this picture was taken exactly, but sometime during the summer of 2010. I just love this picture.
These are two of my favorite old pictures of Drew and Anders. They were taken on our trip to MN where Drew had no idea how to interact with Anders, who wasn't yet two. Every time Anders came near Drew, Drew would freak out that Anders was going to steal the toy he was playing with. It was hilarious. Good thing he's not afraid of his "best cousin" anymore.
One of my favorite action shots of my little man.
Now to present day. We started Drew's birthday celebration a little early. The club does a free kids buffet on Thursdays in March, so we try to hit it up if we can as our dining out experience for the week. March 1 was a Thursday, and we had also just received the certificate for Drew's free ice cream sundae, so it was a no-brainer.
Mike was out of town all weekend, but I braved the bounce-house place with all 3 boys one morning after Jake's nap. I didn't get any good pictures, but they all sure had a great time. Drew had said at one point that he wanted to go there for his birthday party, and I kinda wanted to avoid having a friends party (he still doesn't remember many kids names from preschool, so it just felt weird to do a big party), so taking the boys there was my way of compensating, I guess. As we got there, Zach ran into his best friend from kindergarten, and he basically ran off and played with him the whole time, which was kind of a bummer, because I really wanted him to play with Drew and give his attention to Drew. Instead Drew played on his own and with Jake and me.
We celebrated Drew's birthday with Mike's 2 sets of parents on Sunday evening after he returned home, which was the day before Drew's actual birthday. He was pretty excited to open presents.
With the Playmobil construction set from Anders.
The snorkel that he asked Grandma Linda and Grandpa Curt for.
Originally, Drew said he wanted a rocket ship cake. And then, like a fool, I asked him if he wanted a rocket cake or an Angry Birds cake. Of course he chose Angry Birds. Then, like a bigger fool, I said, "Let's look on the computer for some ideas." And then we started seeing cakes way out of my league that of course Drew loved. I was really beginning to wonder what I had gotten myself into, and then we found a picture that looked doable. So I tried my first try at working with fondant. Over the course of a week, I made these little birds and pigs. I started with the red bird, and ended with the small pig. I think my work got better as I went along and kinda got the hang of what I was doing.
At the grocery store one day, Drew originally said he wanted lemon cake with cherry frosting, but I managed to talk him into lemon with vanilla frosting. It was really quite tasty. This is what the final cake looked like. Drew did not want any writing or anything on it, which was fine by me!
Zach and Drew kept calling which birds/pigs they were going to eat, but in the end, I convinced them that they probably wouldn't taste very good.
Is that kid cute, or what?
Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Dick got Drew a Cars 2 scooter, and Jake loves riding around on it.
On Monday, March 5, Drew's actual birthday, we did our usual grocery store run, and I decided Drew and Jake could each get a balloon for Drew's big day. I debated, wondering if I should get one for Zach, and decided in the end that he'd be ok with not having one. Oops. Wrong decision. He was pretty sad when he got home from school and found out that both younger brothers got balloons and he didn't. I felt pretty bad about that.
Anyway, Jake loves to climb up on things like the laundry basket, and I'm so glad I snapped these two pictures of him and Drew sitting up there. I just think they look so sweet.
We decided not to let Drew open the presents from us at his party on Sunday so that he'd actually have something to open on his real birthday. Unfortunately, Mike had a meeting at 6:00 that night, so we had about 30 minutes to open presents and eat dinner once he got home from work.
We gave him "Angry Birds Knock on Wood," which is a "real" version of the electronic game. Drew can build little structures with the fake wood pieces and shoot birds at them to knock off the little green pigs. He'd been sort of doing this sort of thing with Legos for a while, so he was pretty excited to have the real thing. As usual, Drew doesn't necessarily like using the cards that show how to build structures or playing the way the rules state- he just wants to build his own and knock them down, which is fine. The only trick is that we have to be extra vigilant to pick up the birds as we are playing, or else our devilish senior dog Maggie, who turns 12 tomorrow, sneaks off with them. I have no doubt she will ruin at least one of them before long.
I think Drew had a great birthday. We also got him a Lightning McQueen app for Mike's iPad, and a retired car from the first Cars movie that he really wanted. He was pretty happy with all of his gifts, and he was so sweet- always saying thank you (both at his party to grandparents and on his birthday to us). His preschool teachers have commented on what nice manners he has, so that is nice to hear. He has grown up so much over the last year. He is a loving, funny kid, with a great sense of humor. There are so many things he just "gets"- like jokes that seem too advanced for a just-turned-four-year-old. For example, we were going to play group a few weeks ago, and we were talking about who would be there, and Drew said, "I think Chase will want to play tag with me.... 'Cause you know, Chase? Get it?" There are other examples that I can't think of, but he just picks up on things so quickly, and he just has a witty sense of humor. I am hoping that he starts reading this summer. He knows his letters well and knows the sounds most of them make, and does a good job if I ask him to sound out a word and tell me the letters in it. He already counts higher than Zach did at the beginning of kindergarten, which is probably because he's heard Zach counting for so long. He still loves his cars and trucks and isn't as into sports as Zach is or was at this age. Drew really enjoys preschool and sure does love his teachers. One of them told me the other day that when his job is prayer leader, his prayers are so sweet, the teachers get choked up. He can still be a pistol at times, but like I said earlier, he really has grown up. He tells Zach all the time, "I love you Zach. You're my best friend." And he tries so hard to be sweet to Jake, who seems to want to hit poor Drew every chance he gets. I am so glad I've been able to be home with Drew for all 4 of his years. It's hard to think that he'll be off to kindergarten in 18 short months. Where does the time go?