4.5 Years of Tommy


I’m sneaking in a post all about Tommy in between my updates for the girls and all of the baby favorites.


As Tommy gets older, I feel increasingly conflicted about how much I share about him online. I don’t think it’s appropriate to be sharing so much information about his day-to-day life with the whole world. Tommy also stopped wearing clothes when he’s at home sometime during the spring 2020 quarantine, which has made it hard to take and share pictures with anyone but very close family.


But in the midst of all the updates for the girls and a lack of general family updates, I’ve shared very few Tommy pictures and updates the past year. I would regret not writing any sort of update. So here we are.

Tommy Splash Pad
Tommy and Elizabeth Milwaukee Zoo

In my 3.5 years of Tommy post, I talk about the general challenges of raising a preschool-age kid, including that he has a hard time listening and often challenges authority. This is still very much true. I also don’t need to elaborate on all of the challenges that have come with raising kids these last couple of years, especially very social kids. Tommy’s had a hard time being so cooped up for two winters in a row.

Tommy Michigan Beach With Sand Toys

This past summer, Tommy became an independent swimmer. We couldn’t be more proud. I started swimming with Tommy when he was 18 months old. He transitioned to being without me at lessons at two years and two months. It’s been so neat to watch him build his skills. More than that, we love that Tommy has so much confidence in the water and enjoys spending time at the pool, splash pad, water park, lake, etc.

The other activity we’ve stuck with for Tommy the past couple of years is Kindermusik. If you’ve been reading my Tommy posts for any length of time or you know me in person, you know how much I love Kindermusik. The classes have such an amazing range of sensory experiences and give the kids exposure to singing, dancing, and playing instruments. Tommy loves to sing and does so on his own often. He sings favorite songs, makes up new words to existing tunes, and makes up his own songs. We take some of the credit for his interest in music. I definitely give credit to Kindermusik, too.

Tommy started school a couple of mornings a week over the summer. It’s a little bit complicated as to why he started then. Needless to say, it wasn’t part of the original plan. But we’re happy with the school and plan to keep him there until kindergarten. As Tommy has a summer birthday, we’re waiting an extra year for him to start kindergarten, right after he turns six. We’ve been taking a break this winter with Genevieve being a preemie newborn at the height of RSV season. When Tommy goes back in a couple of weeks, he’ll be going two school-length days. I’ve always felt strongly about not having my kids in school full-time at this age. But I also don’t want Tommy to be overwhelmed with the kindergarten transition.

Tommy Soccer
Tommy Soccer

Tommy did his first season of soccer this fall. As you can imagine, it’s pretty entertaining watching four-year-olds play soccer. But it’s also amazing watching how much they learn in just a couple of months. Tommy has always had a lot of natural athletic ability. He doesn’t have much confidence yet in a game setting but can outrun anyone in practice.

Tommy's Jeep

Tommy has had a major interest in cars all year. Whenever we’ve gone anywhere, he’s talked as much about the cars he saw as what we did. Everyone in our family has started noticing cars more. Tommy’s favorite cars have been Dodge Chargers and Ford GTs. For his birthday, Tommy got a hand-me-down Power Wheels Jeep from his birth family. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Not surprisingly, we own a ton of Hot Wheels and other vehicles. Tommy has gone through big periods of lining up all of his cars and having them race each other.

Tommy and Baby Yoda

Lately, though, Tommy is more interested in Star Wars than anything else. Ever since he was the Mandalorian for Halloween, he’s worn his costume at least once or twice a week, if not daily. The kids got a plush Baby Yoda for Christmas. Tommy as the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda have all sorts of adventures. A lot of people have asked and yes, Tommy has watched all of the Mandalorian episodes. He’s also very much enjoyed the new Boba Fett show.

Tommy as Darth Vader

A couple of weeks ago, Tommy and I watched the first half of The Empire Strikes Back. Since then, he hasn’t stopped singing The Imperial March. He spends a lot of time wearing a cape and pretending to be Darth Vader.

Mandalorian at the Domes

Tommy also has a Mandalorian action figure that he brings just about everywhere these days. We had some fun taking pictures of Mandalorian during our most recent trip to the Domes.

As I already mentioned, Tommy doesn’t like wearing clothes at home. He stopped sometime during the spring 2020 quarantine and never went back. These days, if he is wearing clothes, it’s the Mandalorian costume or one of his old knight costumes. When we get home from pretty much anywhere, Tommy immediately takes off his clothes. As we’ve spent so much time at home, it’s made it hard to take and share a lot of pictures.

Tommy and Olivia

Tommy has been the best big brother. If you’ve been following for some time, you know that Tommy has always loved babies and been so sweet with Olivia. It’s fun watching their relationship now that Olivia is able to interact with him so much more.


Tommy is just as sweet with Genevieve. All day long, he talks to her, gives her hugs and kisses, and brings her toys. He often wants to hang out near her and enjoys holding her and helping feed her.

The word Tommy can’t stop saying these days is actually. Sometimes it seems like every other sentence starts with actually. I’m always impressed with Tommy’s vocabulary and his ability to start using new words. For example, the other day, he used the word suspicious in exactly the right context.

The following are a few picture highlights from the past year.

Green Meadows Petting Farm

I’m not sure who has the better time at Green Meadows, me or Tommy. We probably went 10 times during the 2021 season and are looking forward to going back again this spring.

Elizabeth's 4th Birthday
Tommy's 4th Birthday
Tommy's 4th Birthday Party
Tommy's 4th Birthday Party

Here are a few pictures from Tommy’s birthday. His birthday buddy had her party on their actual birthday, and we had a cake for Tommy at home that night. Then we had his party a week later. It was the only time all year that we had anywhere close to this many people over, and it was so nice.

Bristol Renaissance Faire

Every year all year long, we’re excited to go back to the Renaissance Faire in the summer. After a year off in 2020, we were looking forward to it more than ever in 2021. Tommy was especially excited to watch the jousting and to buy a new sword and shield. We also watched a guy put a sword down his throat, and he hasn’t stopped talking about it since.

Tommy and Aunt Bethany
Tommy and Aunt Katie

Tommy and Olivia got to hang out with two of their aunts this summer.

Tommy and Olivia Seasons of Legend Domes Spring Floral Show
Tommy and Olivia Love Your Parks Summer Domes Show

It’s sort of a thing that I document my kids at the Domes. In the midst of everything else going on, we still haven’t missed a Domes show.


I had to share the pictures from Halloween one more time. Tommy was the Mandalorian, and Olivia was Baby Yoda. It was all Tommy’s idea. He hasn’t stopped pretending to be the Mandalorian ever since.

Tommy Christmas 2021
Tommy Christmas 2021

I also wanted to share a few pictures from Christmas. Tommy has reached such a fun age for holidays.

Tommy Jacksonville Beach in Ocean

Almost all of my pictures of Tommy and Olivia from Genevieve’s adoption trip to Florida are at the beach.

Tommy and Grandma
Green Meadows Petting Farm

Finally, one of the biggest reasons that we live where we do is so that our kids can grow up seeing both sets of grandparents regularly. I love how much Tommy always looks forward to seeing them.

Tommy Beach
Tommy Cracking Art Birds

You can find all of my baby/toddler updates for all three kids as well as general family updates and other family-related posts in the family section of the blog.

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