Space Birthday Party

It’s my M.O. to get behind documenting birthdays, so here we are 2 months after the fact for George’s 4th birthday.

Better late than never.

Tom is obsessed with space so when George was little, I started collecting all the space books I could for the two of them to read together. And George has also grown to love all things space, so it was only fitting to have this as one of his themes.

It was out of this world!

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My mom drew this sign. She is so talented!

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I got these treat boxes on Etsy, here. I just filled them with candy (Milky Ways, Starbursts and a star whistle). While they are cute, they take forever to cut out. If my mom had not been so patient with them, Tom and I would have given up after 2 rockets. They are a beast to put together.

My sister-in-law put together these centerpieces. Aren’t they cute with George cutouts on the planets?

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My sister-in-law also owns blow up planets for her classroom, so they came in handy for our decorations.

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I did pretty basic on the food. I got these cookies from Hy-Vee. However, I don’t think I will do that again because they were pretty pricey. Their cakes are where they are at anyway.

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As per usual, we had it in the church gym. It is so easy to do here. We had a couple activities in the gym. Daphne was just having a blast running around living her best life.

One activity was this cardboard rocket that the kids could color. I had gotten it for my niece years ago off Zulily. She gifted it down to George, so it was perfect to bring out. Unfortunately, it did not make it past the party.

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I got these balloons from Wish for like a dollar, so it was a steal! I am kicking myself for not buying more than one packet because George still asks for these.

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My mom made this meteor toss game. Seriously, she made it out of our trash and a little spray paint.

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We decided to go all out on this party, and we got a bounce house. It was totally worth every penny. Although for the size of the thing, I really paid nothing!

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I got this astronaut outfit on Amazon from Melissa and Doug. We love dress up in our house, so this has gone into our dress up box.

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My mom put aluminum foil over some rain boots. It turned out just perfect! (Also my mom was the real MVP of this party.)

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We had the best time celebrating our boy!

Putting together his birthdays are so much fun. He is the best.

Apparently so much fun, that we forgot a family photo…whoops!

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George Gabs

I could listen to George talk all day. His sweet little voice just melts my heart, and he says some of the funniest things. So I want to start documenting those things before I forget.

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Here are some of the phrases and words that he has had.

For the longest time he called his cousin Ava, Eva.

He likes to drop parts of words like “liveries” is deliveries, and “arm” is alarm.

Broccoli is “backoli.”

A piggy bank is a “moneyer.”

Uses is “oozes.”

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Caterpillar is “lalapiller.”

Pretzels is “printzels.”

He says “full it up” for fill it up. And “hot it up” to warm things.

For a long time he called a police car a race car.

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We live next to the capital of Missouri, and every time we drive by, George says “There’s the catapult.”

A yoyo is a “sticker roller.”

A peacock is a “peahock.”

Before we got chickens, he used to call them “brockers.”

A pepperoni pizza is a “macaroni pizza.” He does know the difference of pasta macaroni.

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A chimney is a “smoker arm.”

An ostrich is a “raustid.”

Fire sparks are “jumpers.”

A microwave is a “counterwave.”

He is so smart, but there are moments where he uses these phrases that remind me how small he really is.

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My Georgie

Today you turn FOUR.

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The day you were born I knew that everything I expected about parenting was thrown out the window.

Experiencing the NICU with you, I was terrified. I felt like it was a mistake to be trusted to take care of you since I couldn’t keep you out of harms way as soon as you came out. You didn’t come with an instruction book. No matter how many books or articles that I read, I knew watching your sweet face fight to breathe on your own that I would fight to catch my own breath for years to come when I look at your face.

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You are nothing like I imagined, but you are everything I need. It was no mistake that we were put together.

I still have no idea what I am doing most days, but we are on this ride together.

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You make me laugh every single day with your stories. I love listening to your sweet voice. I wish I could just record all of our conversations. You see the world for its beauty and simplicity, and you remind me all the time to pause and to breath it all in. How you piece things together is astonishing to me.

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You are so smart, and I am so proud of everything that you learned this year. You know your ABCs, and you can write most of your letters. You know how to spell your name, and you can count to 20. You love doing crafts and infusing your own imagination into it all. You sing the sweetest songs, and I hope I never forget how you sound right now. You know things like what a counter weight is and why it is necessary. You use words like humongous and adorable and a whole host of adverbs that I feel are above a 4 year olds vocabulary.

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You had new experiences this year like Vacation Bible School and Gymnastics which both made it clear you have no concept of how to stand in lines.

You are so passionate, and you love so hard. Georgie, I hope you never lose that sense of wonder towards those around you. I wish I had your confidence and commitment.

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Energy just pours out of you, and while it can be frustrating trying to reign that in at times, it is also one of the things I love most about you. When you put your mind to something, you go all in. I also love how much you release your emotions through your facial expressions. Your face tells me everything I need to know about how you are feeling inside. I hope that you never lose that sense of sharing your feelings with me or the world.

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And I forever want to remember this time where you hardly go anywhere without your purple shoes (crocs), and that you put your pants on backwards because the drawstrings give you a tail.

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Ever since you were born, God has been teaching me to let go of you and trust in the plans He has for you. You have been my greatest teacher. As I said last year, I continue to pray that I can gracefully let you go and let you grow, even though it may leave me breathless.

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Georgie, you bring so much life to our days. My favorite moment of every day is waking you up and seeing the smile on your face as you embrace the day.

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You are my bestest boy. I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow and see how you knock the wind out of me this year.

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(Re)Member Mommy

Today, George is 3 and a half.

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He is always saying to me “Member, Mommy. Insert random instructions he has for me.” He uses his pointer finger to emphasize the importance.

I do want to remember. I want to remember how quirky and fun he is. I want to remember how sweet and caring he is. I want to remember him at three.

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I wish you all could meet him in person. He is the best little boy. He is such a gift every day.

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Here is a small glimpse of our perfect little man with an “interview” with him. We told him that we needed to talk, and he turns to me and said, “Ok, Mommy. I need to talk to you too.”

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What’s your name? Georgie, Georgie Winter George (He will sometimes say his full name…George Lawson Whitener)
How old are you? four (Uhhh…)
What is your favorite color? Blue
What is your favorite animal? A gray animal like an elephant
What is your favorite book? The George Book (No idea what this book is.)
What is your favorite TV show? Team Umizoomi
What is your favorite food? chicken (Interesting because about 50% of the time he does not eat it.)
What is your favorite drink? Shake
What is your favorite breakfast food? peanut butter balls and milk
What is your favorite snack? milk (He would drink his meals if we let him.)
What is your favorite toy? Little People (These are old Fisher Price toys. He loves making a city and doing all the people.)
What is your favorite activity? To make paper flowers
What is your favorite tool? The hammer hitting tool
What do you like to do with Sister? hold her
Who is your best friend? Daddy
What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with my firetruck
What is your favorite holiday? I want Christmas to come back.
What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Kirby
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to stay home.

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So many people have warned us about age three, but I have absolutely adored him at this age. I love talking with him and seeing him making connections to ideas. My favorite time of day is when we are doing our night-time prayers and we process the day together. He is so smart and learning with him is so refreshing.

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Yes he is a toddler who is super in tune with emotions, but I hope that we can continue to encourage him using those emotions to connect with people. He definitely wears all his emotions on his sleeve. He never ceases to amaze me about how he cares for others and wants to make sure we are all okay. More often than not he has to check on everyone in the house before he feels ok going to bed. He professes his love for us all the time. It’s these little moments that give me so much excitement, and I hope he never loses that ability (and carefreeness) to be open with his feelings. And he seriously gives the best hugs.

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His imagination is one of a kind. He does voices and really thinks through what would happen in his make believe scenarios. (However, he likes to boss you around if you play with him. You have been warned.) And his ability to stick with an activity seems unreal for a kid his age.

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He is always a little wild, and he is always going full-speed. He is all in all the time. Some days this can be difficult to harness, but I do love this quality about him. And my gosh, he is so funny.

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This boy-he is a gem. ‘Member that.

George Turns Three

To the boy that made me a momma,

I have loved watching you grow this year., and I can’t believe how much you have changed in just 365 days. I feel like I am taking this birthday harder than I have the last two. It seems as though this time you really have outgrown being my baby. Maybe it is how you talk and play. Maybe it is because we have another baby in the house. Maybe it’s just what happens.

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I have loved seeing your personality really develop this year into a sweet charismatic little boy. You are so fun, and you make me laugh every day.

You are so passionate and determined when you play. Your obsession with trucks and trains has only grown over the year. And you want to rescue every animal in sight, which lets me know how caring your heart is.

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I see bits of both your dad and I in you.

You are so cautious when you meet new people, but once you get to know them-hold on. You love so hard and are very attached to your people.

Your eyes light up when you are able to work on a project with your daddy. You are very hands on and see the world in a way to build it up again.

You have no time for nonsense, and you want to make the most out of every ounce of the day. You are non-stop from the moment you wake up until the moment you go back to bed.

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This is the year you have learned to pray, and I look forward to hearing what your are thankful for every day. (My favorite is that you still say thanks for Henry (Honey) and Arlo even though you haven’t seen these friends in months.) Talking about faith and prayer with you has not only grown me closer to you, but also to God.

While you still have your moments of Mr. Indepedence (aka Defiance), you are getting so much better at helping and being a good listener.

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We have seen you learn new things like becoming a puzzle master and heard your vocabulary grow everyday. You are so very smart, and I know big things are in store for you.

You remind me each day to pay attention to the little things and soak up the moments where you ask me to “hold you” or for just one more kiss. I love seeing you get excited when you see train tracks or the fire house to wave to the firemen and say goodnight to the trucks when they aren’t out. I love how you have made a walk to the mailbox as exhilarating as a trip to the moon.

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I know some days I am not the most patient with you, but you have taught me more about forgiveness and enduring love when you still want to snuggle even though we may have spent the afternoon both in tantrums.

One of my greatest joys however was watching you become a big brother this year. You are so sweet to your sister, and I can already tell that you are going to have a great bond. I have been so proud of you and how easy you have taken on this new role.

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Over the last three years, I have watched you become you. It’s bittersweet for sure. I have watched you go from being a NICU baby to now being taller than every kid your age. It was exciting to see you take your first steps, but now it’s heartbreaking at times to see you run to play on your own. I remember the excitement hearing you gurgle for the first time, now we get to have actual conversations with each other and at times I am so overwhelmed by emotions I almost burst into tears from hearing your little sentences. I miss how little you were, but I am thrilled to see you continue to grow. I know that ultimately my job is to send you out into the world to make it a better place.

I have wanted to be a mommy my whole life, and God knew what he was doing when He gave me you first so we could go on this journey together. You have taught me how to be a mommy, and I am so thankful for every second of playing trains and reading a million books with you.

I pray for your future and I pray for God to give me the strength I need to let you go and grow.

I am so happy to be your mommy, and I have cherished these last three years with you so much. And even thought it’s not just us anymore and we have said goodbye to you being a baby, you will always be my first born and the one who stole my heart as a mommy. So no matter what changes or how crazy this world gets, my favorite thing is watching you become you.

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To the one who made me a mommy,

I have been enamored by you since the day you came into this world three years ago. And my love grows bigger right along with you.

Happy Birthday Georgie Man.

Love,

Mommy