happy birthday!

happy 5th birthday ryder! oh my gosh...my baby is five.  how did that happen?

ryder, i love you with all i have to love. and seriously cannot believe that my baby is now five and a big boy. thank you for being a good, kind, caring big boy. i love that you have manners and respect adults. i love that teachers share,

he's such a sweet boy.

you engross yourself in make-believe play just as well as your sisters, but with legos, super heroes, cars and playmobil. i could sit here and listen to you play like that for hours.

i can't wait to see where gymnastics takes you. you are strong and powerful and in a class with boys 2-3 years older than you. last monday, i knew you weren't feeling well, when you walked instead of ran your laps. when i asked you if you were okay, you shook your head yes and no, but said that you wanted to continue doing gymnastics. i let you. the minute you came up after the lesson, white as a sheet, i knew something was wrong. and within 30 seconds, you puked everywhere. only to puke again in about 10 feet away and slip and fall in it. while i was mortified that you puked so much, twice, at gymnastics; i was proud that you love gymnastics so much, you wanted to continue on, even when you weren't feeling the best. (although we did have a big long talk that you really shouldn't do gymnastics when you're not feeling so good). :-)

you learned how to ride a bike at 4 1/2 with barely any help. now, you long for a skateboard. and try soccer and football. and we can't wait to watch you do both.

you are an artist just like your sisters and can draw for hours. you write your letters well and are trying to put letters together, to make words. you're ready for kindergarten.

while we transitioned you into your own bed, with our move to KS, you discovered that if you sneak into mom and dad's bed in the middle of the night, mom will move over most of the time. (aye!).

you didn't transition well to the cold weather kansas brought us.  i had to force you to wear long sleeves and pants.  and then for the longest time, you rolled your pants to your knees.  you don't wear socks...ever, which drives me crazy because you have the stinkiest tennies.  most of the time (even in 20 degrees), your coat consists of a hoodie.

your daddy says i spoil you. and i probably do, although i'll never completely admit it.

i am proud of you. i can't wait to see where the next few years take you.

happy, happy birthday big boy!!

p.s. thank you for letting me take five-year-old photos of you.  and thank you for wearing your daddy's shirt from when he was a little boy, for the pictures.  you melt my heart.


on a completely different note...

steve did not make XO.  i know those letters mean nothing to most non-military, but let's just say XO is kind of like the next step for one day becoming a commander.  what does that mean?  it means that steve will not be an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) commander and instead will follow a different track; it kind of opens the doors to other paths in the navy.  many believe that this is a great thing--more options, less deployments, less time away from the family.

we're hoping to find out more about steve's assignment options next week.  some places that steve has mentioned are staying here another year, san diego and tampa.  BUT, we could very, very, very well end up going to somewhere completely different.  i think after steve talks to the detailer (the assignment man) next week, he should have some specific choices.

this phase of not knowing is tough. i really just want to know.