Tuesday, January 2, 2018

tj turns 7.

you know that old saying, "one year & wiser, too," well, that totally doesn't apply to my tj. he's one year older & about five years wiser. he may only be 7 but he's a well put together seven year old. he amazes me on the regular.

tj is not just smart, he really is wise. he just gets things. he understands life, people, the way the world works. he's a numbers guy. math in all forms is just his thing. he memorizes everyone's license plates.  he's always counting & adding & subtracting. he's even figuring out the basics of negatives & fractions & multiplication on his own. he just thinks about the world & what goes on around him numerically. it's fascinating really. his teacher says that she always calls on him last when searching for a math answer because she always knows he will get it right. and she likes to try to trick him with tough questions-but it never works. tj's memory is a steal trap. that guy remembers every detail or everything that anyone ever said or did. he remembers every where he's been & how to get there. again, it's fascinating. until he's correcting me on every account. then it's humbling.

tj is mature. he is reliable & responsible. i always know i can count on a tj. he is conservative & cautious. he never pushes his limits. he is intuitive, empathetic, aware, & thoughtful. his heart is so big that i amazed it fits in his little chest. he is understanding. he never wants to put anyone else & he is always so content with what he is given. he's always telling me, "it's ok," & ensuring me that my mistakes actually worked out for the better when i get things wrong. he is a peacemaker. he gets along with everyone-but that doesn't mean that he likes everyone. he cracks me up. he plays with every kid that comes his way but at the end of the day he really prefers to be around nice people. he really doesn't care for rude, grumpy, or snotty people. he is kind & good. tj has an incredible sense of right & wrong. and he truly likes to choose right. he really just likes to be a good person. but he does have one weakness…swear words. the kid loves to curse. and i figure if that's the one bad thing he does, i'm totally ok with it. plus, it's pretty damn funny. he always considers others, to the point that it can make his life unnecessarily hard. he wants to include everyone, make every thing fair, & help everyone he passes. especially babies. he has a real thing for babies. it's adorable to see this shy guy around an infant. first, he'll spy the baby & stealthily watch it from across the room. then he'll slowly inch his closer. after a few minutes, he's suddenly next to the baby. he'll discreetly start rubbing the baby's hand or foot while maintaining a neutral stance focusing else where in attempts to hide his excitement. and when no one is looking he'll start kissing baby's forehead & rubbing his cheek on the baby's. it's hilarious. i always tease that he has two weaknesses, babies & balls.

this kid loves sports. he will play anything with a ball. i'd dare say 90% of his free time is spent in a sports related activity. really, nothing excites or frustrates him like a sporting event. tj is really the most chill child. he is so easy to please & cruises through life. until a ref makes a bad call in the game he's watching or his brother makes an unfair foul or his video game character commits an error in a game. then my little angel turns in to a total beast. he never throws fits, ever. unless a sports game is involved. i guess that's true passion. his favorites are still football & soccer but he switches things up & throws in some baseball, golf, tennis, & basketball on the regular. he doesn't just have incredible physical abilities, oh no, this kid has quite the mental game. he understands the rules, plays, & ongoings of even the most complex games. he puts me to shame. he will call plays before they are run, & he's always coming up with better alternatives than what the coaches call. and that's why we call him "coach." it's kind of his calling. he doesn't have the best work ethic, he prefers to exert the minimal amount of physical & mental effort to accomplish menial tasks. but when it comes to sports the kid just won't stop. there is nothing worst for a tj than having to quit a game early. or even on time. he wants to keep playing until long after the sun has gone down.

tj is quiet, until he's not. we always tease that tj has two volumes, he's either making my heart swoon with his tender raspy voice or he's making my headache with his high pitched squeals & screams. his teacher says that she never hears him talk until free time, when he gets so caught up having fun he forgets he's in school. then he's suddenly loud, like real loud. he loves to be with his brothers & friends but he really cherishes his alone time. he's the best snuggler the world has ever seen. nothing lights my life like his surprise kisses, his cheek rubs, & his bear like hugs. tj, you own me. he loves art. he is often found with paper & crayons doodling away. he loves music & warms my heart with every note he sings. he is a sucker for oreos & milk. he is a guacamole master, no bowl of guac leaves our kitchen without his critical approval. he'd eat mexican food for every meal if i'd let him. he's mad about race cars & dreams of owning a corvette one day. he's a friend to everyone, but his bff's are his brothers. 

tj, we love you more than words can say. you've had a pretty awesome seven years & i am pretty excited to see where these next twelve months will take you. there's nothing you can't do. you're going to do big things one day, tj. you just wait & see. you fill our hearts & our home with so much joy, so much peace, & so much love. we are forever grateful for you. happy birthday, tj.

tj insisted on celebrating his big day with a soccer party. no big surprise there. i decided to combine his three loves soccer, flags, & trophies to put together a world cup party. he was totally surprised & loved every bit. he invited his closest friends & played soccer until we literally ran out of drinks & were near dehydration. his only party requests were soccer, a milk bar style birthday cake, & flags. tj, we love every excuse to celebrate you. 

1.  tj's best friend: kam (he had a tough time answering this. he hates to make anyone feel left out.)
2.  tj's name: todd t.j. watkins jr.
3.  tj prefers to go by: t.j.
4.  tj's favorite animals: penguin
5.  what does tj want to be when he grows up: a football player
6.  tj's favorite movie: college football games
7.  tj's favorite song: "watch me" by silento
8.  what makes tj happy? "when cooper & daddy go with me to the park to play football"
9.  what makes tj sad? going to school
10.  tj's favorite food:  joe-joe's & pancakes & eggs
11.  tj's favorite place: football fields & football stores
12.  tj's favorite color: really, really light blue
13.  tj's favorite game: football
14.  tj's #1 wish right now: "to have my own real football helmet. i would want to play for auburn & have a football helmet & jersey."

Friday, August 18, 2017

cooper makes 10.

cooper, my cooper, is 10. double digits. a full decade. it is bittersweet. i am so proud of the young man he has grown to be through his short life span. i feel so blessed to have spent 10 years with this sweet guy. but it breaks my heart to think that the years with him under my roof are quickly dwindling. can time please slow down?

cooper is incredible in more ways than one. i could brag about his brilliance in the classroom. I could boast about his abilities on various sports fields. i could rave about his reading. i could gloat about his goodness. i could even puff about his pleasant personality. but that's all true cooper form. that has been in his being since the beginning. instead, i'll focus on some of the new ways cooper has blossomed over the past year.

cooper has become quite courageous. he has always been a pretty shy guy but he has really shed his shell over the past year. there are very few signs of the timid tot he once was. he's not just brave in social ways, he's also pushed himself to try new things and set new limits. i love it. he was once afraid of the unknown but lately, he has welcomed new scenarios, new scenes, and new challenges. like basketball. he gave it a shot a few years ago and really wasn't a fan. and he hasn't picked up a ball since. so you can imagine my surprise when he asked to give the sport another go this past summer. i was so proud of his willingness to try. going in to it he said, "it's going to be hard going from being one of the best players in soccer and football to being one of the worst in basketball." i was amazed by his honesty, humility, and perseverance.  couldn't believe how much effort and how great his attitude was through the entire season. starting out he was hands down the worst on the court. but he never stopped trying, he never gave anything but his best, and he thrived. he learned so much during that season. not just about basketball, but about life. i am so proud of this brave boy.

this has been the year for so much emotional growth as cooper slowly transitions from boyhood to teen. i am so amazed with how well he handles most everything. he is pretty good at understanding his needs, wants, feelings, and body. what amazes me most is how he chooses to talk to me about any & every big thing on his mind. this is an honor i do not take lightly. i strive to answer all of his questions & concerns with as much honest fullness as i can. he isn't loving this new transition. he likes to cling to his childish ways. and i don't blame him so we don't rush him. he has his whole life to be grown, i think he deserves as much time as a kid as he can possibly get. he is not as mature & a little more naive than most his friends. in my mind, that is a really great thing. i'm learning to loosen the leash a little & give him more control over himself (with plenty of coaching & encouragement, of course). like his room. he is a natural tornado & always ends up with a stream of messes behind him. he's pretty good about cleaning up with instruction but i'm trying to let him take charge of his own space (which is torture for my OCD).

he isn't a very flexible kid. he loves predictability & structure. he thrives with a full nights sleep. he does not like when things disrupt our family time, especially movie nights. he is an extroverted introvert, so as much as he loves hanging out with friends he needs his quiet time. and that's ok because four out of five watkins teammates are natural introverts so we all depend on a little me-time.

cooper has big dreams & i do not doubt he will make all of them come true. he wants to attend college, play professional soccer, live in europe, own a corvette, be a husband and a father, become an author, and make it to heaven. he is practical in everything and he knows that these are all attainable things. we finally made a year long dream come true when he opened his first bank account last week. he takes his financial situation very seriously. he is a saver.

he loves nothing more than playing soccer at the park with his mom, dad, & brothers. his favorite treats are chocolate chip pizookies & insists on having them every time he is in charge of movie night dessert. he is a major bookworm & always has a book in hand. he loves playing fifa & watching soccer videos. he is always down for an adventure & can never get enough of the outdoors. he has more energy than any child i've ever known. in fact, the only things i can think of that he truly hates are steak, shopping, & sleeping.

happy double digits, cooper! you are going to rock this being a 10 year old thing! we love you so much. more than you will ever know. you are the leader of our pack, our team captain. you started our family off & in so many ways you have been the glue that's held us together. you are so wonderful in so many ways. and we are forever and ever grateful to call you ours.

1. cooper's best friend: Rex & Jameson
2.  cooper's name: cooper watkins
3.  cooper prefers to go by: Cooper
4.  cooper's favorite animals: Megaladon
5.  what does cooper want to be when he grows up: A professional soccer player, a dad, & an author.
6. cooper's favorite movie: Wonder Woman
7.  cooper's favorite song: Believer by Imagine Dragons
8.  what makes cooper happy?  When I get things, going to the park, & playing video games.
9.  what makes cooper sad? When he is left out by his brothers.
10.  cooper's favorite food:  Five layer burritos from Taco Bells & omelets from Koa's & McDonald's Pico de Guacamole burger
11.  cooper's favorite place: Utah & Hana
12.  cooper's favorite color: Teal
13.  cooper's favorite game: Soccer
14.  cooper's #1 wish right now: To be the best soccer player of my time.
15: cute cooper quotes: while playing their real life version of the game of life (they act out the board game by finding books to match their career, buying cars, houses, & even wives & children) tj offered cooper a wife & coop asked, "is she the prettiest lady in the world?" and tj said, "yes." then cooper said, "yea, but is she the smartest lady in the world?" and tj said, "she's the second smartest lady in the world." then cooper said, "ok that's pretty good. but is she good at soccer?" he knows what he wants in a woman!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

cinco de mylo

we celebrated mylo's big fifth in the only way that seemed natural, a cinco de mylo party. the entire party was focused on the birthday boy & his new number. he invited his cinco best friends (& their brothers), he played his cinco favorite party games, he had his cinco favorite foods, & his cinco favorite desserts. it was a everything this little boy wanted & more.

he planned the entire event from start to finish & knowing the every adapting mylo i made sure to keep things flexible so he could adjust his birthday plan as the party evolved. the one thing he insisted on having was a piñata, & what cinco de mayo party is complete without a piñata? he also had the idea to save our bean cans to make a "super knock down can tower." there was also donuts on a string, a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, a few rounds of musical chairs, & mylo's personal favorite, water play. with a house full of boys all you really need is room to run & a few hundred water balloons & they are set for hours of fun. seriously, boys are so easy to please. 

 mylo opted to order taco bell for his birthday lunch. we picked up a few boxes of his favorite burritos & tacos. he helped me make salsa, pico de gallo, & guacamole. we also his favorite fruits & street corn. as for treats, which is basically the whole reason mylo has parties (friends + presents + treats) we opted to try our own rendition of milk bar's famous layered birthday cake. it was just as delicious as we dreamed. worth every second of labor & every trip to the store. we also made milk bar's birthday cake truffles (we weren't huge fans), milk bar's birthday cake cookies (by far the best sugar cookie/funfetti cookie we've tried), churro chex mix, virgin strawberry margaritas, & cake batter ice cream.  

if there's anything mylo loves about a birthday it's the opportunity to be the birthday boss. he loves running the show. and when it came to his fiesta i think he did a pretty fantastico job! he made sure everyone left with their own "mucho gracias, muchacho" treat bag.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

mylo makes 5

It's hard to imagine that my little baby is 5, but in the same breath it's hard to imagine his as anything else. I've considered him 5 for months now. He is just so grown up. He is organized, he is a planner, & he loves rules. He is so on top of things. Around these parts he is known as Mylo, Mighty, My-els, Hajibaba, Haji, Bybo, Chubby-maan, Brylo & Wild Thing. I often times try to see things through Mylo's eyes & it is purely magical. He has a wild imagination & the boy is pure fun. He was in heaven at Disneyland & Universal Studios. He really believed everything he saw. Like the dinosaurs at Jurassic Park. He was captivated by them & still tells everyone he meets about how he saw real life dinosaurs. Oh, & Darth Vader. He brags about how he fought Darth Vader at Disneyland (he had a plan to choke Vader & kick him in the legs but after his Jedi instructor said he needed to hold his light saber with two hands he had to change his fight strategy). He thinks of things that no one else would consider & comes up with ideas that our truly all his own. He is one of a kind. 

This little guy is extremely independent. He can take care of most things "by myself." He bathes, brushes his teeth, styles his hair, & gets dressed without any assistance. He makes his own oatmeal & toast & cuts the tops off his strawberries. He calls his daddy at work & schedules their own lunch dates & beach meet ups. He packs his own ounces, snacks, & toys. He knows how to use our essential oil diffuser & his favorite scents are lemon & lavender (not mixed together). He gets his own slurpees & sodas when we eat out. He once tried to remove a splinter himself! He is just so on top of things.

He rocked prek & cannot wait to join his brothers in elementary school. He is a smarty & is beginning to sound out words, add, & subtract even before kindergarten. He is probably the best problem solver I've ever met & he loves a good riddle. But that's not his strongest school quality. He is a social butterfly. He is by far the most extroverted of the team. He has a million friends & knows every detail about every one of them. Mylo is thoughtful. He makes sure everyone is involved in everything & never leaves anyone out. He uses his own money to buy treats & toys for his brothers & best friends, & he's known to give away toys when friends that come to his house show extra interest in certain things. He picks me flowers every chance he gets & always insists I put them in my hair. His prayers rival his grandmother's in length & depth. He insists on saying every family prayer & they are known to last more than a few minutes. He makes sure to pray for every person & every thing he can think of, including Jesus, the Holy Ghost, God, & Mary. Every single night. He has a major sweet tooth to go along with that sweet spirit. This guy loves treats, in every shape & form. One of his birthday requests is to have dessert for dinner & that's after he has cinnamon roll waffles with ice cream for breakfast, & donuts, cake, cake pops, cookies, churros, & ice cream at his birthday party! He could eat sugar all day (just like his mama). 

Mylo beats to his own funky drum. He knows who he is & what he wants, & no person or thing wills stand in his way. He is definitely the most stubborn of our stubborn crew. He isn't exactly what I would call a goal setter or an overachiever. Don't get me wrong, he is super smart & super talented. He just prefers to rely on his natural abilities rather than develop his skills. A few weeks ago Todd asked him what he wants to be when he grows up, Mylo said, "nothing." So Todd asked him how he was going to have money & how he would buy a house. Mylo said, "I'm just going to be homeless." I'm pretty sure he is the only four year old who had homelessness on his list of aspirations. Fortunately, he changed his mind & now he wants to be a builder. He wants to build a house that connects so I can live on one side & he can live on the other. He wants to have 10 kids, a dog, a cat, & a snow leopard. He wants to have a truck, a worker truck, a race car, a motorcycle, & "daddy's race car." How's that for a plan? Mylo is structured to a T. When given options he pretty much sticks with a routine of sorts. Dessert? Pizookie. Dinner? Pizza. Mommy date? Fun Factory & slurpees. Video game? Minecraft. Board game? Bingo. Book? No, David. Again, & again, & again. 

He loves having places to go, people to see, & things to do. He's really taken to surfing & begs his daddy to take him almost every day. Mighty is quite the soccer player been though he claims baseball is his true love (probably because that's the only organized sport he has yet to play). He jukes, out dribbles, steals the ball from, & straight takes on boys nearly double his age. And all with the biggest smile on his face. It's pretty incredible. He loves to play & the boy is fearless (well, that's not totally true. He is terrified of sleeping in his own bed & the mythical Wailuku Wolf daddy insists is real & preys on small children who don't go to sleep at night). When Mylo was just an infant, not more than a few days old I named him my wild one & in his birth announcement I warned the world to "watch out for this one". Little did I know then how true these statements would be. He is WILD. He has more energy than the rest of us Watkins combined. He is too brave in the water, constantly diving in to waves twice his size without any thought possible consequence. He's been caught standing in front of waves with his arms spread wide & letting them crash him. He could do flips in the water well before he could swim. And he gets so frustrated that the roads on Maui don't have any loops or ramps. When he first learned to ride a bike he was so trying to do tricks on his bike before he had the hang of peddling. He definitely keeps us on our toes.

Mylo, we love you more than words could possibly say. You bring so much constant life to our lives. I can't even imagine how dull the world would be without you. We love you more than words could possibly say. You complete us.

1. mylo's best friend: mosiah & tave
2.  mylo's name: myles watkins jr.
3.  mylo prefers to go by: mylo
4.  mylo's favorite animals: turtles
5.  what does mylo want to be when he grows up: a builder
6. mylo's favorite movie: ninjago & beymax
7.  mylo's favorite song: everything is awesome
8.  what makes mylo happy?  playing screen like Lego Marvel & Mario Kart & surfing big waves
9.  what makes mylo sad? going to stores that i don't want to
10.  mylo's favorite food:  steak, chicken, & bacon
11.  mylo's favorite place: taco bells & the cove
12.  mylo's favorite color: green
13.  mylo's favorite game: uno
14.  mylo's #1 wish right now: lots of presents
15: cute mylo quotes: oh, man. there are way too many god mylo quotes. a few weeks ago we were heading to one of his baseball games & he said, " Is today the championship?" "Mylo, there is no championship." "Well, if we don't win this game today we are not going to get the trophy." "Mylo, every kid gets a trophy." "We play the Phillies. We played them before. And we smoked them." "Mylo, they don't keep score in t-ball." "We are totally going to get the trophy." I love his enthusiasm, even if he doesn't quite understand the game. Then today when cooper was explaining the rules of soccer he said, "there's no kicking other people. if you do that you get a penalty." and mylo said, "ok. but is there punching allowed?" 

Friday, December 2, 2016

tj turns 6

today tj turns 6. and it's about time, too. he's been claiming the age for over a month now. he's mature, intelligent, & sizable enough to pass, too. tj is an absolute delight. he brings so much joy to my world. he is a natural caretaker, peacemaker, & friend. he is thoughtful, kind, & sweet beyond compare. he is aware of those around him, and their feelings.  he likes to make sure that everyone around him is included, cared for, & happy. he has a big heart & he isn't afraid to use it. he is a major snuggle & up until this past month only todd & i reaped the rewards of his boundless bear hugs & sweet snuggles. but during our trip to the mainland he was handing out loves left & right to his aunties, uncles, grandparents, & cousins. he truly loves his family. and their dogs. tj is a major dog lover. i would argue to say that he is more in love with the dogs we visited than the people. tank & lola being his favorites. tj is shy, the shyest of all my guys. he's cautious with people, and very observant of their actions, and aware of their natures. but once you break through his walls & earn his trust, he will love you something fierce. and you will witness the immense emotion & energy that he hides inside. he is silly & wild & a real crack up once you get to know tj. he is absolutely hilarious. but he is a bit of an introvert. he enjoys his friends & family but he does get overwhelmed at times & craves alone time. he could play football by himself for hours. speaking of which, this kid's love for football has only grown since his last birthday. i would dare say that he is obsessed. he wakes up & plays football. gets home from school & plays football. talks about football. watches football. reads about football. and according to his accounts, he dreams only of football. he has a natural eye for the game & understands so much more than i do. his physical skill is nothing compared to the mental game this boy masters. tj just completed his first flag football season. he started out a bit reserved but quickly let his skill shine. he scored touchdowns, ran plays, & pulled flags with the best of them (which is pretty rad considering he was the youngest on his team.) he has crazy good running skills & made some pretty incredible jukes to dodge defenders. but he is just as incredible in the classroom as he is on the field. tj is excelling in school both academically & socially. he is sounding out words, performing basic addition and subtraction, & solving pretty complex critical thinking. he is a natural leader & the kids in his class recognize it. when asked to choose someone to take charge they always vote tj. they recognize that he is capable & fair. his teacher is always sure to call on him because she knows (what we have come to understand around our house) that tj doesn't speak up a ton but when he does he has put a lot of thought in to what he has to say & you should pay attention. tj earned the pueo award for "beginning with the end in mind" which didn't surprise me in the least. tj is a bit of a rebel deep down inside. don't tell him i told you, but he secretly loves saying swear words. i don't know why, there's no explaining it, but he has had a love for bad words since he was only two. and he has been known to walk the line on house rules on more than one occasion. 

tj we love you more than words can say. you are such an incredible blessing to our family. you bring so much peace, joy, & love in to our lives. watching you grow has been a true pleasure & i can't wait to see all the things you accomplish as you continue on your adventure we call life. you are great in so many ways & greatness is a natural part of you. we love you, tijjy buns. inside & out.

1.  tj's best friend: kam (he had a tough time answering this. he hates to make anyone feel left out.)
2.  tj's name: todd t.j. watkins jr.
3.  tj prefers to go by: t.j.
4.  tj's favorite animals: penguin
5.  what does tj want to be when he grows up: a football player
6.  tj's favorite movie: college football games
7.  tj's favorite song: "watch me" by silento
8.  what makes tj happy? "when cooper & daddy go with me to the park to play football"
9.  what makes tj sad? going to school
10.  tj's favorite food:  joe-joe's & pancakes & eggs
11.  tj's favorite place: football fields & football stores
12.  tj's favorite color: really, really light blue
13.  tj's favorite game: football
14.  tj's #1 wish right now: "to have my own real football helmet. i would want to play for auburn & have a football helmet & jersey."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cooper's 9.

Yes, you read that right. Cooper is nine. Nine! That's half-way to adulthood. The empty-nest syndrome has already kicked in & I am dreading his uncontrollable growth. He almost reaches my shoulder & it's only a few short years until he's passed me up completely. And i'm not just talking about height. This kid's intellect is leaps & bounds beyond anything I understand. He's a brilliant little star. He read the entire Harry Potter series in 2 months. He taught himself how to multiply. And he has a memory like a steel trap. He can watch, read, or hear something once & it is forever committed to his memory. No joke. His comprehension is off the charts. He understands concepts, theories, ideas, well beyond his tender years. And the best part? He loves to learn. He constantly asks to go to the library & he can never get his hands on enough books. His favorite subjects are history, geography, geology, & science. But this little bookworm has had a new distraction…video games. He loves video games (what 9 year old boy doesn't?). His favorites are Star Wars & FIFA. He would play all day if I let him-but I don't.

Soccer is dominating this little athlete's life lately. After winning his first (and second) tournament(s) this summer he has been a little soccer obsessed. He prefers to wear soccer jerseys, he loves getting outside to practice his skills, & he wants to learn everything there is to learn about the sport. His favorite players are Messi & Pele. This year he will be playing flag football & running cross country in addition to playing soccer. I know that sounds like a lot, but trust me, he loves it. He is happier when he is busy doing what he loves. Without school & sports for a month this summer he was going stir crazy & he is more than ready for a busy fall. Coop is a big ball of endless energy. Seriously, I think I've heard him say that he was tired maybe 5 times in his 9 years. He is my Energizer bunny that just never quits.

Cooper is really such a gem. He is a good kid. Always has been. He's never gotten in trouble at school, sports, church, or with family or friends. He's never been scolded by anyone other than his parents. In fact, he is always praised by teachers, coaches, & other adults. He just listens, obeys, does his best, & has a good attitude (ok-he doesn't always act like this at home, but hey, nobody is perfect! I'm ok with a little rebellion in the comfort of your own home). We've really lucked out with this guy. He sets a great example for his brothers. He really is just so good. I love knowing that I can trust him in most any situation because he never fails to be good. He has turned in to a big boy in the last few months. He's lost some of his sweet innocence & taken on a new fascination for everything gross like bodily functions & messy foods, & bugs. But, that's just boys, right? I hope it's all a phase. He's also taken to teasing. This is a new one for us, but his little brothers roll with the punches pretty well & are pretty good at giving Coop a taste of his own medicine.

We are so blessed to have this big guy as the leader of our pack. He is strong, curious, brave, obedient, observant, persistent, energetic, responsible, smart, & in so many ways purely fantastic. He sets the bar high with his endless expectations but his hardworking attitude helps him achieve his dreams no matter how big they are. He pushes me to always be better & do better. He's never satisfied with mediocre. He's always setting new goals & striving to achieve them. He teaches me so much. He melts my heart with his genuine smile, his joyful laugh, & his sweet "the amos" at the end of every night. He is a leader. He is so wonderful & we love him so. Cooper, we fall more & more in love with you every day. You are my very best friend & there is no one I enjoy talking to more than you, Sonshine. Thanks for being you. We love you more than words can possibly say.

**I asked him if we could take his annual birthday pictures. He wasn't keen on the idea so we made a deal. He agreed to take the pictures as long as he could wear a soccer jersey & play soccer while I took pictures. I'm not at all surprised. And I love how these shots show the true Cooper in his element.**

1. cooper's best friend: TJ
2.  cooper's name: cooper watkins
3.  cooper prefers to go by: Cooper
4.  cooper's favorite animals: Spinosaurus
5.  what does cooper want to be when he grows up: A professional soccer player, an inventor, a dad, a lawyer, a president, & that's all.
6. cooper's favorite movie: The Hobbit 3
7.  cooper's favorite song: You Can Count On Me by Bruno Mars & Hey Soul Sister by Train
8.  what makes cooper happy?  Having fun. Playing sports, reading, playing on the PlayStation, seeing new things, & exploring.
9.  what makes cooper sad? When he is left out by his brothers.
10.  cooper's favorite food:  Five layer burritos from Taco Bells & omelets from Koa's
11.  cooper's favorite place: New York
12.  cooper's favorite color: Blue
13.  cooper's favorite game: Soccer
14.  cooper's #1 wish right now: To invent a time machine to study history.
15: cute cooper quotes: "buenos nachos" he's been learning Spanish & hasn't quite mastered "good night." But that's partly my fault, I refuse to correct this cuteness. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mylo's Minion Mayhem.

Mylo decided on a very appropriate theme for his birthday, again this year. Minions! I really couldn't describe his curious, wild, & silly character in a more perfect way. I felt awful going in to this party because I was pretty swamped coming home from a long vacation to a lot of lose ends that needed tending. Normally, I would have started his birthday prep long before but this year it all came down to the last minute. Due to time restraints I limited his celebrations to a movie party. I outlined all the movies that would be playing the week of his birthday & I wasn't the least bit surprised when he picked Minions (a dollar movie, nonetheless. Score!) Mylo wasn't the least bit bothered by the last minute party prep. He was just happy to have some new toys, his "buddies," & a belly full of goodies. He is really such a sweet & easy-to-please guy. His only party requests were 1. Squirt guns 2. Pizza 3. Banana pops 4. Bingo 5. Friends. Totally doable.

We went to the movie to watch Minions. We brought goody bags full of some of Mylo's favorite snacks (juice boxes, fruit snacks, lollipops, & "minion munch"). & of course, some Minion glasses for all the guests. After the movie we went to the fountains so the kids could play while eating their pizza, minion-ade, chips, banana-pops, & cupcakes (all per Mylo's requests). We played Minion Bingo, had a Minion-ish language lesson, played with Minion props, & the kids got their own "anti-gravity" serum, & "sting ray" guns to use in the fountains.  Everyone seemed to have fun, but none more than the birthday boy. He was so happy to have the spotlight. He loves being boss (or as we call him, Mr. Mylo) & he loved his birthday boy role.

Birthday parties are often exhausting, but Mylo makes them easy, light, & fun. We sure love you Minion Mylo. We loved making your special day a little more special. We can't wait to celebrate with you again next year!

**Oh & I totally forgot my camera for the party. Go figure. So ignore the poor picture quality & focus on the adorable little birthday boy.