Carter, my sweet baby! I can't believe you are 4 whole years old! It amazes me to think back to the day you were born and how much our life has changed over the past 4 years. You bring me so much joy and my heart is full of so much love for you. You are my sweet, little snuggle bug still. I love that about you. You absolutely love to sit on my nap, snuggle up to my side, play with my hair, generally just cuddle. You still hug me and give me kisses anytime I ask and you love to be carried to bed. You have a hard time falling asleep for naps but are grumpy without one so I lay with you at naptime and you typically fall right to sleep. Some of my favorite moments of the day are laying in bed with you snuggling at naptime. I love the feel of your hand resting on me once you've fallen to sleep and I love laying there listening to you snore. At bedtime you get two books and then a song before I cover you up and leave you to sleep with Harper on your bed. Every night you ask for No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. As tired as I get of singing the same song over and over, I'm surprised I don't mind singing the same song to you every night. You like to sleep with your fans on and dress accordingly. Now that it's getting colder you sleep in footie pajamas. In the summer you slept in just a pull-up. If I forget to turn your fan on, you'll call me back in a few minutes after I put you to bed because you have the blankets off and are still hot.
I love your sense of adventure and love for exploring. You think going on a walk or a hike is the best thing and we are always stopping to inspect something, to climb a tree, or to play in the dirt. You have a wonderful imagination and it is so much fun to listen to you play. Pretend play is at an all-time high right now. Your current obsession is PJ Masks. I can get you to do anything by asking you to do it and show me how fast you can do it with your Catboy speed! You also like to show off your Gekko muscles. Sometimes you fly around like Owlette making whooshing sounds while you move your arms up and down. Catboy is definitely your favorite. When you want me and Elise to play with you, you are always Catboy, I'm Gekko, and Elise is Owlette. Sometimes you want us to switch it up and occasionally Elise is Luna Girl so she's a bad guy and you run from her. She really doesn't care what part she plays and usually just wanders around doing her own thing or runs around following you when you run circles while yelling out "Catboy speed!" The only downside of the game is that you sometimes grab things and throw them while yelling "Gekko muscles!" Or you stack a bunch of stuff while saying that. Thankfully you only throw stuff outside otherwise you wouldn't be able to play as Gekko! You also like playing school where you are the teacher and I am the student. It is cute to have you take me through the routine for a typical day at school! You always talk to me so sweetly too and I love that!
You love school and get so excited to go. When you wake up you'll ask me what day it is and if I say it is Tuesday or Thursday, you yell out, "I get to go to school!" When we are out and about you tell people that you get to go to school. It is so cute. Your favorite parts of school are playing with friends, playing on the playground, and doing words. You say doing words is when the teacher chooses a letter and asks the kids to come up with words that start with that letter. You love telling me the words you came up with while we are driving home. I've been really impressed with your ability to do that and then to remember what words you said. You can write your name without help and love sitting down and doing it by yourself. For some reason you like to color in your a's after you've written them. It cracks me up! You've also started asking how to spell other people's names and will write them on your own when I spell them out for you. You come up with some really neat ideas and I'm impressed with how many activities you come up with that are really educational. One day we were playing I Spy in the car and you wanted to spy certain shapes. Then you wanted to find things that start with certain letters. You love to be challenged!
Something that warms my heart every day is how much you love your sister. When we are out and about you are always so proud to introduce her to people, telling them her name and that she is your sister and sometimes adding in her age. When we did our thankful strips in November you put Elise down as something you are thankful for a lot. You still say you want another baby. You talk about how little babies are so cute. I think you would be a really good big brother again but we are pretty sure that isn't going to happen. I've started telling you that when you mention a baby and I've noticed you don't talk about it as much but still mention wanting another baby. I'm thinking you will love meeting your cousin, Wyatt, next week! You adore watching videos of him and anytime I watch one without you, you'll hear him cooing and come running from a different room demanding I start the video over so you can watch it. There are a couple babies in our playgroup and you are so sweet and gentle with them. Really the only part of me that still wants to have another baby outside of wanting sweet baby snuggles, is the part of me that wants to see you as a big brother to a baby at this age because you love babies so much!
You also love Harper dearly. She sleeps with you at night and daddy has many times found you sitting up in bed, petting Harper, and talking to her when he gets up for work. You will happily sit in bed, chatting with Harper until you get hungry for breakfast or have to use the bathroom. Something that has impressed me is that you just started wiping on your own. I figured it was something we'd have to start working on soon but you just started doing it all on your own. Most the time you don't even want me to help you when I see you haven't quite done a sufficient job. It has been so nice after how difficult potty training was for you that you so easily and without fuss took over that part of the business. I'm so proud of you and what a big boy you are! When you wake up from your nap you often times lay in bed and read a book before you get up. That is my favorite thing to do and pretty much the only thing I miss from my days before having kids is waking up on my own and reading for a little while in bed before getting up! It is glorious and I love that you have started doing that! You are such an avid reader. You love to sit down and read book after book. When you read by yourself you tend to sing the story. You look at the pictures and as you make up what you think the story is, you sing it out loud.
This Christmas season has been my absolute favorite. Your joy and enthusiasm just bursts out of you. When your elf, Marco, returned he brought doughnuts for breakfast. You enjoyed it so much you kept turning and thanking him for the special breakfast. You like to tell people all about your elf and how he goes in places that are not safe. It is so cute. I am looking forward to Christmas morning so much. It will be such a delight to watch your face as you open presents!
Carter, you are so special. I love you more than you will ever know. You breathe love and life into me every day and make me grateful to be your mom. Even when you were struggling at school and I was so worried and upset, you still made my day brighter every single day. You love your momma so much and it is the best. You always want to snuggle me and will randomly tell me how much you love me. I love that you are a momma's boy. I also love that you are becoming more of a daddy's boy too. You now ask for daddy sometimes and want daddy to be the one to take care of you. You like riding in the stroller with daddy in races and I feel like that has been a special thing for you. I love you so strongly and so fiercely. Always know I will love and protect you every moment of every day. You are the best Christmas present your daddy and I have ever gotten and we treasure you always! I love watching you grow into a little man, long hair on your legs and all! Thank you for always opening your arms for me and giving me kisses when you know I need them. You are the sweetest boy!
FOUR! You are getting to be such a big boy! I am so happy that I got to be here to sing you happy birthday this morning (even thought it was because I was sick). Your mom is so good at making this day so special, it has been wonderful to get to experience this with you.
You are such a sweet little boy and so much fun to be around. Watching you interact with your sister and teach her something new every day is so cool. She really does look up to you.
Today four years ago was such a special day for us and I am so glad that you were born into our family. Have another good year son!