Hard to imagine that my baby boy just turned SEVEN. Wow, time sure flies!
Solomon (3) holding John (a few days old)
Johnny, as the youngest of the boys, is still my baby at heart. He is the only one of our children that was born in Indiana, so he likes to blame his quirkiness on the fact that he is a Hoosier. I remember what a hassle it was trying to get a birth certificate for him because he was born at home, in a state where midwives are not allowed to attend home births. So officially, my husband was the one who delivered the baby - which by definition is the person who cuts the cord (at least that's what I was told). To get the birth certificate, in addition to providing all sorts of ridiculous identification, a nurse also had to come by our house to make sure we had running water, and food in the fridge, because only druggies would ever dream of having a baby at home, right? Ah, memories! :)
Isaac (almost 2) with John (about 2 weeks old)
Back to John - he is such a sweetie. We waited to tell him that I was pregnant until right before his birthday, as a special surprise. He truly was thrilled. He said that last year, Anna was born just 3 days before his birthday, making it a special birthday gift just for him, and this year he found out he is getting another little brother or sister. It is so sweet to see how excited he (as well as the other kids) get about a new baby. One would think that in a large family, such news is rather ho-hum, but just the opposite is true. I guess I would find that hard to believe myself if I didn't see the living proof of it in our own home. Of course the kids have their moments of frustration with each other, but by and large, they are much more loving and pleasant than me and my siblings ever thought of being.
Due to the nausea, it took me the course of the entire last week to make John's birthday meals: cinnamon rolls for breakfast, tacos for lunch, and steaks for dinner. Tonight, finally, I crossed the steaks off the list and was officially done. I am just glad I was feeling well enough to throw him a party and fulfill any food requests - usually, both of these would be completely impossible to accomplish with full-blown HG.
Love John's face when opening Solomon's gift!
Becky playing with parts of the felt BBQ set I made for John
Since John's birthday fell on a Sunday, we didn't do much that day besides going to church and hosting his party in the afternoon between the services. We did a jungle expedition theme - the last time I did this party was when John was 2 months old, for Isaac's 2nd birthday. He had seen photos of it and wanted to have his own party just like it.
The birthday ribbon was a gift from Isaac
She is looking more like Dad every day...
Becky doing the obstacle course
Miriam doing the same
throwing sticky frogs for highest point value
I stuffed it with individual little packets of raisins, ducky crackers, various cookies, and fruit gummies - all organic, no food colors or other junk, and everyone STILL dove for it like crazy.
The cake - I was too sick to make one myself, so this was the next best thing. Everyone at our church LOVES the cakes from Whole Foods.
It was a nice party, and John enjoyed it very much. The next day, for a special birthday outing, my husband took all the boys ice-skating.
John's main characteristic is that he is very creative and artistic. He is almost always wearing a costume of some sort, and his hands are permanently stained by markers. He draws remarkably well for a child his age - he notices and includes many details in his art work that I would not even pick up on. He has always been an advanced speaker, too - speaking in sentences almost since the day he started talking. I remember when he was very little, younger than 2, he looked up at me and told me "When I grow up, I'm gonna call you 'Mom'. 'Hi Mom, how are you doing, Mom?'" He meant as opposed to calling me Mommy, his usual name for me. It was so funny to see him make that distinction between adults and children when he was almost still a baby. Another time when he was very young, about 18 months old, he was standing in front of the shower door crying. When I asked him why, he pointed at the shower and asked "Only adults do that?" He was upset because he wanted to take a shower like us, but knew he was too little to do so. It was so strange and funny, like he had this adult brain in a toddler's body. He learned his ABC's with almost no input from me at all, so I was very surprised to find that he had a distinct dislike for learning to read, and just could not wrap his mind around it for the longest time. Only recently has he started reading books by himself, and he still struggles with some words, while excelling in all other subjects. I guess the "rules" of reading just go against the grain of his free-spirited personality.
Happy Birthday, Johnny!