Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Boy One is SEVEN!

Before Zac's birthday sneaks up upon us (there is only 9 days to go, and less than that to his party!) it is about time I did a little Xander update. A month ago he turned seven and it is a whole year since my last blog update about him. 

Seven! Another year has whizzed by in a blink of an eye.  Xander seems more grown up by the day. Floating into the older boy bracket now and I'm not sure I like it! From the clothes section (and all the dark colours), to a changing looks (from cute to, well, teeth!) and the attitude and pushing all those boundaries (is seven the new kind of toddler stage?!), seven seems like a whole new ball game! 

What a year it has been. 

My beautiful lovely boy. You are seven. You are so desperate to be considered grown up and so often recently you talk about "when you are a teenager". You are so like me in that respect when I was a child. I always looked forward to a time when I would be a bit older. But I'm not ready for you to be older at all, never mind a teenager. These last few months I've felt you transitioning; challenging me for some independence and autonomy, so ready to assert your own identity.   

You may think your fisherman sunhat is too babyish now (you insisted I bought you a cap at the end of this summer), but I'm not loving the jump into 'older boy' clothes as we sneak into size 6-7. You are getting keener to have more of a say in what you wear and will certainly tell me if you think something isn't grown up (your star hoody for example, haha!) Clothes are so much darker and boring, or covered in aggressive looking dinosaurs or skeleton logos instead of the cute versions in the younger section. Luckily I think H&M have a younger range that spans to age 10 so I think it may become one of my favourite places to shop for you for the time being. 

It has been a year full of wonderful highlights from turning six to turning seven. 

Just after your 6th birthday we were on our first fly away holiday since you were born. Your first time on a plane! You could not have been more excited; even then being the grown up boy pushing along one of the smaller suitcases and helping Mummy and Daddy. But the best bit of probably that entire holiday (apart from some much needed mid-autumn sunshine) was the absolute treat of getting inside the cockpit as we were disembarking after arriving in Spain. The door was open and the pilot spoke to the three of you and invited you to sit inside with him. What a treat! You won't understand what a special and privileged treat that was until you are much much older but it was a special moment for a first flight indeed. 

And in stark contrast to Spanish sunshine, within just over a month after getting home we were having our first proper snowfall since you were a year old. You couldn't really remember snow, and then over this last year we haven't just had one day of snow, but five! March of this year was incredible, the snow was deeper than it had been since I was about 10 years old, up and over my knees and up to your bottom in places. One of my very favourite photos of you this year are from that snowfall; throwing yourself into the snow and making snow angels. The joy on your face is just wonderful. I wonder if you will remember this time in your life? 

Oh but all this growing up. I think slowly slowly your disbelief in magic is on the horizon. Last Christmas we bought you all an elf each and you told me the elves were just toys, it took all my enthusiasm and insistence that the elves were magical. Then once you had got into it you believed again wholeheartedly. Like you do in Father Christmas still and the Tooth Fairy. Oh boy am I determined to keep this belief for as long as I possibly can, although I'm aware my time and years are limited. All this growing up. 

This year you have lost another three teeth between your 6th and 7th birthdays. Over the summer in fact. Two more bottom teeth and your first top tooth which you were incredibly proud to lose! Your other top tooth is also loose but the adult tooth has cut over the top of it (after two months of this I'm giving it another 24 hours to shift and then I'm ringing the dentist about it Monday, food is now getting trapped between the baby tooth and the adult toot and it just has to come out!) Losing a top tooth and both big teeth cutting has completely changed your looks; no longer do you feel baby faced at all, instead you've reached the awkward 'teeth too big for your face stage' while your growth catches up with these adult teeth over the next few years! Yet more of this racing to being grown up. 

At the moment you no longer wear your hearing aid. You passed your first hearing test in two years in the middle of September and with your hearing now in the normal range bracket the audiologist said you could have a break from your hearing aid. You've accepted it amazingly, but you were pleased that you would 'be like everyone else now'. It isn't a guaranteed thing of the past yet, you have to pass more hearing tests in the months to come before we will be discharged from service, and there is every chance the winter months may see your hearing aid return. 

You have an another incredible year at school. In February you moved into the new build at your school (two years after the fire that devastated the entire infants building) and you continue to thrive. Year 1 was the year where your writing has transformed. You enjoy writing now and have created countless books this year; stapling paper together and creating your own stories. Countless times your writing tasks in school have been raved about by your teachers in school, in both formation and imagination. In February you even bought home a trophy for your amazing writing! 

And then there is your reading. You are becoming so much more fluent and confident. Over this year you have started to read the bedtime stories to me, the first one you read all by yourself was 'The Smartest Giant In Town' and you've had a go at many more since. I think you have become bored with your school reading books though; often because I think they have not been challenging enough for you and sometimes school has been slow to move you to the next reading level band. But you are getting there and although you are not always motivated to read your school reading books (with lots of 'why do I have to read it? I can read already now Mummy') we'll see tomorrow how you fair with the highest level book sent home yet... level 10! 

Now you are in Year 2 and into Mrs Knights class. Goodness have we noticed an attitude change at home. You have an answer for absolutely everything these days and are trying to stand your ground more and more. You answer back and pull faces, stamp your feet and point blank refuse to co-operate at times! I had no idea being nearly seven and seven became so boundary pushing all over again! 

But Year 2 is such a jump in expectation and you have been so clearly exhausted at times at the end of the school day. You have gone from being expected to concentrate for 20 minutes at a time to 40 minutes at time in your lessons, the workload has increased, there is less choice time than there has been before. Of course you are tired. Although getting up after 6.00am instead of before would also undoubtedly help. 

Yes you are still a ridiculously early riser. If it as late as 6.00am you've basically had a lie in. Somewhere around 5.30 is usually your norm. You quietly take yourself downstairs and play with your lego, or your iPad or watch TV until the rest of the family gets out of bed at a slightly more reasonable hour of the day! Oh I look forward to the day when you finally sleep late and I can wake you up and silly o'clock! 

But for all the strops and standing your ground you display you are a little boy still full of love and kindness. You shower me in so many home-made cards tell me I'm beautiful or the best Mummy. You are quick to console your baby brother if he is crying and have such a gentle way with your little Luc. He looks up to you no end and I hope this biggest brother littlest brother bond never fades. And then with Zac you spend so much time being loons together, little laughing companions and best brothers of old, you might not always have the best patience with Zac, and sometimes you need to be reminded that Zac's achievements are as clever as your own, but underneath it all you show him you love him in your actions too. Even today gave him the end of your slush because he had dropped his on the floor. 

This has been the year of swimming badges, progressing through Wave 2 and Wave 3 and achieving your 5m and 10m distance badges too. Something over this last year has clicked and although you're still not the most natural swimmer in the world your technique is definitely improving. A change of swimming teacher has done you the world of good and Sian has a way that works for you. You're in Wave 4 now, and I think to have gone through two Waves in a year is amazing! 

Not only that but this was the year you learnt to ride your bike without stabilisers. You found it really tricky at first, but once you found that self-believing Sam in you you became determined. Within a week you were off and away. What a wonderful way that was to end our summer holidays.  

And now because you are now big, and in Year 2 you have started to learn the guitar at school, you have inherited my childhood guitar and are so proud that you have your own instrument. Your first report from your teacher indicates you are doing well and certainly enjoying. You know the names of the open strings and have learnt what a 'rest' looks like in the music. Just this week you impressed me playing a piece in your book from beginning to end. Four lines of knowing which string you had to play next and how many times you had to play it and when you needed to pause and rest. I'm really excited that you are now learning to read music just like Mummy. I think of this next year I will try and teach you a little bit of the piano too, if you are interested. 

At age seven your favourite things are How To Train Your Dragon, Lego Ninjargo, Lego lego and more lego, slime, anything STEM related (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and more recently you have got into Voltron on the TV.  It is still all about Lego. For your seventh birthday you even asked for a Lego party at the village hall.  We bought tons of lego, and transported all of it, and the Duplo up to the hall, hired a bouncy castle and you were all well away. You loved it. We continued celebrating with a special Mummy, Daddy and you day out on your own, no brothers, which of course included the Lego shop and a mega treat visit to Kaspas pudding restaurant. And then we finished your birthday celebrations with a family day out to Cadbury World. One birthday, spread out over three weekends and summed up in three words; Lego and Chocolate! 

Now we have another year of exciting adventures planned. I absolutely cannot wait to share them with you; especially our biggest surprise for you all at Easter. Eeee! 

Keep being you, my rainbow boy Big, we're so lucky to have you. 

We love you beyond measure, always. 

Mummy and Daddy xXx 

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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