4 years old!
You are SOOO excited for your birthday! You are so excited for your cake and ballons and the idea that everyone will come to your house to sing Happy Birthday to YOU! We've been counting down to the big day all month, and it's finally here. I hope it's everything you dreamed it would be the past few weeks because you have quite the imagination :)
At four you are still very much the same Ryder that every has learned to love over the past few years. I guess a good way to describe you is all or nothing. You are either totally into someone/something or not into it at all. You can make someone feel so special one moment and turn it off in a second. For instance you have been in a phase that last few weeks that we are "mean Mommy" and "mean Daddy" and you don't like us very much. We have tried or ignore it... and threatened to put you in a box and ship you to a family you think is nice (kidding... sorta!), but this morning you woke up and as soon as we saw you you told us "I'm going to love you guys today"... Why, thank you bud!
You have done quite well adjusting to being a big brother this past year. When you turned three last year Landon hadn't really rocked your world quite yet since he was still such a small baby. In the last year you have had to learn to share your whole world with Landon. For someone with such a temper and short fuse you really show so much patience towards him. Now don't get me wrong, you've had your fair share of hits, pushes, and wrestling matches, but for the most part you really cater to him and his needs. You are a very OCD type player with your cars and monster trucks and have learned that if you want to do this you need to head to your room where Landon is not allowed. At the park recently you told me that you wanted to wait for Landon because "he is my friend", and I truly believe you do think of him as your best friend. Landon absolutley idolizes you!! He calls for you as soon as he wakes up, "RY-DA!!!", and gets so upset when you leave the house without him.
Landon is at a very hard age to get out of the house with. Sixteen months is a challenge, and Daddy and I know that you don't deserve to miss out because of this. We have been taking turns getting out of the house with you for little "dates". It's a lot of fun and gives everyone much needed breaks. You really enjoy this time getting to do stuff that caters to you, and we are so glad we can do it for you.
You have started to really show your independent side and that has taken some getting use to for me. I have always been your #1, and lately that is not always the case. There are times that other things/people are more important then me... AKA Hershey Park and your Uncles Cole and Dalton. It makes me sad, but also so happy to know that you are growing up and can thrive on your own.
My heart ached for you when we found out we were making our move this year. You had really settled into your home in Florida. You had family around for the first time, were doing great a school, had settled into sports programs, made some best friends, and seemed so comfortable. I was nervous how you would handle it all, but you honestly never missed a beat. Luckily you don't process time passed very well yet, and don't realize the time that has gone by since we have been in Florida. It helps that we have cell phones, instant picture messaging, and Skype. You eat lunch with Auntie Ally and Grammy over Skype a few times a week. It makes me happy that they can still be such a huge part of your life.
Speaking of adjusting... You start Pre-K 4 in just two short weeks! You need this so bad. You were doing so well in the Pre-K 3 Mother's Day Out program in Florida, and I know you will do so well in school this year. You are very into wanting to learn, knowing what things are, how they work, why things happen... You talk A LOT and ask a MILLION questions! I can't wait for you to get to put all that thinking and brain power to use in school soon. You will go M-W-F from 9-11:30. I hope you make some new best friends because you sure do miss you friends Sophia, Connor, and Wyatt. I hear about them all the time, and can't wait for you to fill that void in your life right now.
You have moved out of the toddler section in clothes.
Size 5 pants/shorts
Small shirts in the boys section
Size 11-12 shoe
I believe you are around 43" tall, and I can't remember your weight? Around 35 pounds?
You're not the greatest eater right now. We make you eat dinner with us, and it's a battle every single night to convice you to eat a normal meal and not a kid meal. Your farorite foods right now are yogurt, Danimals yogurt drinks, Reese's peanut butter cup ice cream bars, pepperoni pizza lunchables, nutri-grain bars, gummies, milk, water, lemonade, pizza, chicken nuggets, hotdogs, mac 'n cheese, cereal, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and cheese puffs.
You are a very active sleeper. I think you have a hard time turning that wild imagination off at night. There are nights where you will be screaming from your room, and when I check on you you are sound asleep. You have to sleep in just your underwear and still wake up sweating most nights. Keeping your room cooler doesn't help the situation. I pity your future wife! You go to bed around 8:30 and wake up around 7:30-8:30. You have napped for three hours daily until the last few weeks. It's been around two hours instead. I am just thankful you still take such a great nap since some of your friends have completely given them up at this point.
Hobbies: Hershey Park (roller coasters), golf, and watching the horses at the horse track... Derrik hasn't had to much of an influence on him or anything huh?!
T.V. Shows: Bubble Guppies, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, UmiZoomi, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, Dora the Explorer, and Octonauts
Toys: monster trucks, cars, any sports toy, your Cadillac, and your Nintendo DS (favorite games are Super Mario (aka Mario Walks) and Mario Cart (aka Mario Race))
What you know:
Counts 1-10 backwards
Recognizes numbers 1-10
Can recognize about 1/4-1/2 of the alphabet
Can re-write words that I write for him
Knows all the basic shapes
Know all of his colors
Ryder, in the next year I hope you grow even more as a person. I hope you do so well in school and thrive in a new learning environment. I hope you make awesome new friends who can play with you. I can't wait to enjoy the holidays with you this year now that you understand and can anticipate what is going on. I can't wait to see your relationship blossom with you brother, and know that you and Daddy will grow so much closer then you already are with your new interest in so many of Daddy's favorite hobbies as well. I can't wait to see where we are and how much your changed over the next 365 days. These years are flying by, and I plan on soaking in your 5th year just as much as I did the first 4.
WE LOVE YOU RYDER LEE!!
HAPPY 4th BIRTHDAY!