I remember writing Truman's six year post really well for some reason, feeling like it was very in-depth and captured him perfectly. I remember being proud of that post because it fully encompassed the personality of my biggest boy. I will attempt this feat again, but I'm not sure I have the creative energy or words for this guy anymore! Truman turned seven last week and in some ways it seems like he's been seven forever, but then I see a picture of him when he was a baby. And THAT was a different lifetime ago!
Today? Truman is the HANDSOMEST. Seriously.
Loving: Truman still loves routine, loves to follow the rules, loves school, and loves the fact that he's getting another baby brother in July. He'll mention the last part to any and everyone that will listen, no innocent grocery store attendant stands a chance;) He absolutely adores Nate and would play catch with a football all day long with his dad if they could pull it off. Truman gets very demanding with Nate's time at home, actually. He still loves me and also his siblings very much but Nate is top dog to our guy. He played outdoor soccer in the fall, and a session of indoor soccer this winter, and truly enjoys soccer (and basically all sports) so much. He loves math and numbers, loves Legos and building things, and wants to be outside playing with friends in any weather.
That dimple, tho.
Best ring bearer ever!
Hating: Tru can be a little rigid with his routines, so he is not a fan of trying new foods (see below), or being told that he cannot do something he is planning to do. I'm noticing that he also likes to rule the roost with his younger siblings, so if Porter or Cecelia don't respect Truman's idea of what needs to happen, T loses it. For instance, if Truman wants to read a book to Porter, Porter BETTER WELL sit still and listen or else Truman just gives up and doesn't want to bother, maybe even pouting if he's really tired. I can't blame him really;) Truman is a pretty chill dude though, and recovers well if he can't always get his way.
Loves snow and is super bummed that we haven't gotten much this winter.
Loved helping me make these giant elf crafts for his class during their Christmas party. Aren't they hilariously huge?
Loves being outside. Ah, summertime, we miss you!
Eating: This is a topic of heavy conversations in our house. Truman remains the pickiest of picky eaters, and prefers about five foods total. He eats the same thing for breakfast these days: Oatmeal Squares cereal and whole milk (two big bowls). He eats the same thing for lunch, and I pack a PBJ sandwich, an applesauce pouch, a Kids Clif Bar, pretzels or chips, a special treat (Girl Scout Cookie), whole milk and a note from me. Dinner is a battle zone if I deviate from any of his three favorite 'meals': cheese pizza, chicken nuggets, or cheese quesadillas.
We decided to implement a plan going forward for our guy, after a few events were the 'last straw' recently. I mean, I don't want Truman to grow up fearing new foods, especially as he is spending more time at friends' houses with potential sleepovers. So! I made a food chart with different options listed. We've started with burgers, avocados, soups, tacos, chicken (anything but nuggets count), and deli sandwiches. Each time he eats a good sized portion of these foods he shades a square. Nate and I decide on portion sizes, we've started small and work up to a full serving of these items. He needs seven days of each food, plus one time eating out or at a different location other than our house. THEN he gets a special one on one date with a parent, or an activity, or maybe a toy. This has been working like a charm, and he's almost earned those seven slots for both deli sandwiches and burgers. We are super proud of Truman for branching out, eating foods that might not be his favorite, and rolling with the punches if I put other random things on his plate at dinner time.
I only list all of this here because I'm sure we are not the only parents with a picky eater, and not the only ones who struggle with how to handle it. Do you just ride it out and assume 'someday' he will eat a freaking salad? Or do you push a little bit now and encourage growth even though it's awful, especially when solo parenting most nights of the week? I know I was a horribly picky eater until college, and I want our kids to enjoy different foods while they are young. Super proud of Truman and what he's done here in the past few months!
Note the food chart in the background, and this next photo is proof that he does look like his mama sometimes. Right?
Our guy and his spiky hair.
Reading: It's clicked for him this year and he's reading to himself and often to his siblings. His teacher says Truman can read and comprehend at a third grade level, which is huge growth since the beginning of school when he tested right at a first grade level. He doesn't get stumped on many words anymore, although he does sometimes gloss over words that are 'hard' and makes them up instead of sounding them out. He loves the book Press Start, joke books, and super boring informational books about bugs, or snakes, or football or whatever he finds in the library at school.
Porter and Cecelia LOVE to have Truman read to them. Note her hand placement. <3
Writing: Truman's penmanship is a lot better all of a sudden! I love reading what he brings home in his backpack each day and I have a photo album in Flickr of all the stuff I want to remember but don't want to actually KEEP (physically) forever. The little notes he will write on the back of the post-its I send to school? That's the good stuff in life, I think.
I mean, seriously. His loving parents. And 'going savage'?
"Happy Monday, Mom. Have a good day at work. I'll do more bottle flips at home." All on the back of a post-it, that I sent in his lunch bag, with my love letter on the other side. Have you seen the bottle flipping family on You Tube? Pretty insane.
His love for his teacher runs DEEP.
Drawing: I feel like art has never been Truman's favorite thing. He rarely sits down and just DRAWS for fun (unlike his sister, holy cow). He has always tolerated the crafts I've done with him, simply because he knows I love crafty stuff so much. But this year? We got a note in his backpack saying Truman's artwork was selected as one to be featured at our local grocery store for a district-wide art show. To say we were all incredibly proud and made a huge deal of it would be an understatement.
Note the 'owl painting on black paper' above our guy:
His people are much more detailed now, lots of conversation bubbles, and then this description of 'love'...
I thought this Pete the Cat was pretty impressive!
Kind of love this shark, too.
Doing: So much! Aside from going to first grade all day long, you can find Truman playing football with his super sweet 'sticky' football gloves on the playground at recess and after school. He will happily put together train tracks for Porter and is a whiz with spatial relations. He got a ton of Lego sets for his birthday and all of a sudden, he can put them together without any assistance. This is huge! I think most of the sets are in the 8-12 year old range and it was amazing to see him focus and whip through about six sets in two days.
He also got Snap Circuits, Jr. from Memaw and LOVES creating different arrangements. Again this toy is sort of beyond my level of thinking but he rocks it.
If he isn't at school, isn't playing football, entertaining his siblings, or reading you could also find Truman helping around the house. He can now pour his own milk, basically get his own breakfast and snacks, will open up the blinds in the house on weekends, will pull Porter out of his crib some mornings, and happily grabs food from our second fridge in the basement when we ask. He is just so genuinely HELPFUL, it's hard to put into words how wonderful this is. He can tie his own shoes, rides a bike really well, and has lost four teeth. Legit big kid status!
Talking About: I don't have to tease out details of Truman's school day anymore, he will usually tell me bits and pieces throughout the evening on his own. He'll alert me to any homework that is due the next day, if anyone was sick, which special class they had, and what they played at recess. He will talk about his friends quite a bit, and of course his teacher, and he loves discussing the baby. The size of the baby, naming the baby, how many more weeks until baby comes out, and how he can't wait to meet this baby....all frequent topics. Today he randomly said, 'Mom? I wonder what the baby's first word will be!?' Since it was before 8 am and before my coffee, I couldn't even guess the answer, but now that I'm thinking about this question, it's really cute.
Wasn't HE just my baby? The night before coming a mom, and the night before Truman's seventh birthday. Be still, my heart. He's too big. TOO BIG.
He's such an amazing leader to this pack!
Singing: Truman isn't big into singing, but we do our fair share of dance parties around here. Aside from a wicked 'moonwalk move' that he's perfected, Truman loves to dance to Major Lazer, Everything Is Awesome, and Turn Down for What. Anything fast and manic will win in his book, and he taught us how to 'dab'. Kids these days.
Christmas morning, so fun with three kids this year!
Wearing: T really prefers athletic pants and short sleeved tee shirts, but has been wearing more long sleeves and lined khaki pants, too. He will oblige me and wear 'nice shirts' randomly, and I know this was NOT happening last year. I mean, button up shirts on this guy? Too much!
He has to be busting out of his size 1.5 shoes these days, we should really get him another pair. He needs a 7-8 or sometimes 8-10 top for the length. Pants are a solid size 7 and slim fitted styles are really best for this string bean. I have no idea how tall and how much he weighs...he tells me he is 52" and he's about 57 pounds. This also reminds me that I need to schedule a well child check for our birthday boy.
Watching: Truman can watch one show before school once his other tasks are done, and gets about 30 min of iPad 'screen time' while I make dinner at night. He will watch Zig and Sharko on Netflix, or Ninjago, or Skylanders Academy. On the iPad he is a sucker for the Skylander Family on You Tube. I'm told he wanted to name this baby 'Rose' if he was a girl, simply because the Skylander Family as a dog named 'Rose.' They must be doing something right, their channel has millions of viewers and I think they make a fortune from playing video games on camera.
At Truman's class Holiday party this year. We have a nearly identical picture from last year! Hope I can make it a tradition.
Sleeping: This kid goes hard all day long and then crashes at night. There have been evenings that he excuses himself from the dinner table and promptly passes out on the couch at 7pm. Bedtime is usually 7:30-8 and he is always awake right at 7am. There is no such thing as 'sleeping in' in our house, ever, but I think clocking 11-12 hours at night is pretty amazing. He sleeps deeply and if we bump into each other in the bathroom at night, he is clearly not fully awake and barely grunts in my direction to say 'hi, mom.'
Oregon beach this summer, not his first time to see the ocean but the most memorable!
Playing after school, probably starting a football game.
Feelings about his family: He is a baby pusher from way back, and it's no secret that he loves having younger siblings. He loves his dad and loves me. He loves his grandparents. I'd say that he and Cecelia have the most volatile relationship, as they enjoy pushing each other's buttons more than the rest. But they also have a connection unlike anything else. They fight over who comes downstairs first but they don't want their own bedrooms just yet. Cecelia always wants to 'help' Truman with Legos but then declares them boring within a minute. Truman ran over to tell me that Cecelia fell on the playground the other day, and was genuinely concerned for his sister (she was fine). As much as they annoy each other, I see the two of them being best of friends growing up.
And Porter just worships the ground that Truman walks on, while Truman tolerates his antics. Tru is still proud of his 'baby brother' and is happy to oblige Porter's requests for a hug and kiss goodbye each morning. 'The boys' are so sweet together, in a totally different way that Truman and Cecelia are to each other.
My favorite note Truman wrote to me!
Obviously I will buy them matching outfits until they flat out refuse. Then I'll make Porter and this current baby do it instead. Bwahahahaha.
Party: We celebrated Truman's seventh birthday with seven of his friends and our family. We rented the same soccer place as last year, and Truman requested that they play soccer AND football with the parents. We ordered pizza, brought Gatorade, water, Pirate's Booty, grapes, Gogurt, and a store bought Skylanders cake. The kids all had a blast, as did the parents who played non-stop (and you better believe they were sucking wind, keeping up with the kiddos). Mom and Memaw both flew in for the party and stayed from Wednesday through Sunday. Truman had an excellent birthday AND party and I remembered why people host parties outside of their own homes. ;)
Birthday Interview: This was about a week late, but we still had to do it!
Truman is just such a great person, you guys. One of the dads on the street was telling his son that he shouldn't blindly follow this other kid, who can be kind of naughty. The dad said, 'you are only allowed to do everything Truman does, nobody else.' Do I sense a 'What Would Truman Do?' bracelet coming up? We love him so much and even though we tried to convince him to say six years old forever, I guess we are alright with age seven. But no bigger, buddy, do you hear me?