I cannot believe I am typing these words, but my firstborn baby boy is now a five-year-old.

Over the past year, I have remarked over and over again “I just LOVE four!” LJ at four years old was so awesome and I intentionally soaked it all up. It was such a fun, sweet, silly, innocent, enjoyable year of his life and it is definitely bittersweet for me to see it go, but I’m also incredibly excited to see what five will bring.

LJ is an incredibly inquisitive child. He has 87234 questions a day – he wants to know how things work and can you teach him how to do this and why this or that happens and what are we going to do next and “what’s today for?” and on and on. About a month ago, he asked us if he could have his own calendar because we kept talking about Halloween and his birthday (and other family members’ birthdays) and Thanksgiving and Christmas and he wanted to see it all laid out to make sense of when things were happening. We printed some pages off for him and mapped everything out – holidays, school days, his party, etc. He now checks off the days each morning to keep track and it’s just the cutest thing.

He also has a very sharp memory for details so we’ve learned that we have to answer his 87234 questions in the most truthful, age-appropriate way because he WILL remember what we said! It’s been exciting to see his critical thinking skills develop over the past year; as we give him answers he’ll think about them and process and then have either more questions or an “oooooh, so …” and explain it in his own words or come to a conclusion that makes sense.

LJ is still very into all things tractors and farming. He helps my dad on the farm and enjoys it so much. He has already told me that when he’s 10, he’ll be done living with us and will move to grandma and grandpa’s farm, ha! This love of all things farming has been going strong for years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

His other love right now is Legos. Justin was also very into Legos as a kid so he has started passing his collection on to LJ – I love seeing them work on building things together! No surprise here, but LJ loves to build tractors, combines, wagons, etc and he has multiple Lego farms set up around the playroom at any given time. This has been a great way for him to use his imagination and makes us so happy to see him have such joy in creating with Legos.

LJ has always been a great big brother to Vi, but I was still surprised to see just how wonderful he is with Ollie. There are only 21 months between LJ and Vi, so while there is still the big-brother-little-sister dynamic, they are also peers with shared play, a shared room, similar activities, etc.

With Ollie though, there is a big gap and LJ has very much embraced the caretaker role. He enjoys helping with Ollie – bringing burp cloths and pacifiers, giving him hugs and kisses, holding him, feeding him a bottle, etc. He is sweet and nurturing and his tender heart really shines in his big big brother role.

Last week Justin and I went to LJ’s Thanksgiving program at preschool and several moms introduced themselves to me, saying they hear all about LJ from their child (in a good way it seems, haha!) Seeing LJ wave and say hi to everyone and watching other kids interact with him – it just makes me SO proud as a mom to see him be kind to everyone.

Of course, there are stubborn moments in our life. There are times when LJ doesn’t listen or throws a fit or gets in trouble for doing something sneaky, but honestly, that’s infrequent. Overall, he is sweet, loving, cautious, affectionate, curious, kind, smart, honest, energetic, playful, and just so much fun. The other night, Justin and I were talking about how much we just really enjoy LJ at this stage – he is fun be around and talk to and do activities with!

This morning when he woke up, I gave him a big birthday hug and talked about how he is older and bigger today. He grinned and jumped up and then asked if we could check to see if I can still hold him – my mama heart MELTED and I immediately scooped him up. That’s LJ in a nutshell – excited to be big but still wants to know he can cuddle too.

Happy 5th birthday sweet boy!