6.5 Years of Tommy

I’m sneaking in a post all about Tommy in between my posts about the girls and my general family updates.


I know that it’s been a minute since I wrote a Tommy post. I didn’t even put together a six years old birthday post because I was coming off of a huge week of hosting and then throwing his birthday party, all while third trimester pregnant. But there’s as much going on with Tommy as ever, and I wanted to write a little more than I do in my general family updates.

Tommy started kindergarten this fall two days after I had Annie. Jake took him to his back-to-school night, where he brought in his school supplies and then dropped him off on the first day. Then Jake brought me and Annie home from the hospital, and Tommy met her when he came home from school. I still can’t believe that the timeline worked out this way.

Tommy and Olivia

Tommy starting kindergarten has been a big transition for all of us, but it’s gone well. We’re really happy with his school. He’s doing well academically and has made lots of friends. At Tommy’s fall conference, his teacher was happy with how things are going. She used the words “chatty” and “competitive” to describe him, which I’m sure is shocking. It’s amazing to see how much Tommy’s learned already.

In Tommy’s 3.5 years and 4.5 years posts, I talked about how Tommy has a hard time listening and often challenges authority. This is still true, although Tommy has come so far in the past couple of years. We don’t deal with nearly the extreme range of behaviors that we did two years ago.

Tommy continues to have a lot of energy and often has trouble settling into calmer activities or reigning things in, so games don’t get too loud, aggressive, etc. He does pretty well when we’re out in public, especially when I have at least one other adult with me. Church is still a struggle, and he acts out more when it’s just me and the kids for activities like haircuts and swimming lessons.

Tommy remains very social and always up for the next adventure. I’m used to seeing him play easily with other kids, even kids he doesn’t know at all. I’m still surprised when I see how well Tommy talks to adults, especially adults he’s never met. I hope that these skills will be a big asset for Tommy his entire life.


Just a few of the places that we go regularly that Tommy always enjoys include the zoos, indoor playgrounds, children’s museum, and Domes. We also made a couple of day trips to Chicago in 2o23, which Tommy loves.

Last school year, Tommy participated in soccer and gymnastics and completed a year-long Kindermusik class. He’s been swimming since he was 18 months old. Tommy wanted swimming to be the one activity he kept doing when I had Annie and he started kindergarten. At some point, we will ramp up his activities again. But I’m very glad that we cut back for a little bit.

Tommy and Brookelynn

Tommy has enjoyed singing and music in general for years. His year-long Kindermusik class took his ability to match pitch and his general confidence in his singing to a whole new level. Tommy also learned so much general music knowledge about instruments and composers.

I’m completely blown away at how far Tommy has come with his swimming. He moved up to Swimtastic’s Intermediate Level 2 this fall. This means that he’s mastered freestyle and backstroke and the basics of breaststroke. Now Tommy’s working on breaststroke and butterfly as well as competitive swimming basics, such as wall turns. Tommy really clicked with the teacher he had all summer and fall and has been crushing the Intermediate 2 benchmarks.

Tommy and Olivia

I know that I’m a broken record on this topic. But the best part about Tommy making so much progress with his swimming is watching how much he loves it. He looks forward to class every week and had the best time swimming at the pool at our rental condo complex in the Dells this summer.

After two years of wearing his Mandalorian Halloween costume weekly, if not daily, Tommy decided to be a knight for Halloween again (see past knight costumes here and here). All of the kids have been a dragon, and it was Genevieve’s turn with the costume this year. Olivia completed the ensemble by being a queen.

Tommy wanted a Master Chief from Halo costume for Christmas this year (no, he’s never played Halo). Getting Master Chief has helped him semi-retire the Mandalorian costume, which is good, as it’s been through a lot.

While Tommy hasn’t played Halo, he has gotten into a few other video games/computer games this past year. Tommy has been especially interested in the Warhammer 40K universe, particularly the space marines.

Tommy and Annie

Tommy has been so excited about Annie right from the start. He always takes time to play with her and tell her that she’s cute. Tommy remains so patient with Olivia and Genevieve and plays all sorts of games with them daily. Having sisters three and four years younger than him definitely has its challenges, and they certainly don’t get along all the time. But they continue to get along better with Tommy as they get older. I hope that this trend continues.

Tommy remains a picky eater. Currently, he likes to eat buttered toast, peanut butter sandwiches and toast, Eggo waffles, Chobani coffee yogurt, Kraft three-cheese shells macaroni and cheese, breakfast sausage, bacon, hot dogs, beef jerky, summer sausage, cheese pizza, French fries, and fish sticks. Tommy does pretty well with breakfast food and on occasion, will eat scrambled eggs and French toast as well. For fruits and vegetables, Tommy will eat grapes, apples, and carrots. For snacks, Tommy likes pretzels, goldfish crackers, Gardetto’s, fruit snacks, fruit rollups, Chicken in a Biscuit crackers, and Oreos. Over the past year, Tommy has developed quite a taste for soda. It’s become a special treat for him when we’re at a restaurant. When we went to Jake’s cousin’s wedding this spring, during the reception, Tommy loved being able to ask for his own soda at the bar.

Tommy remains a champion sleeper. Unless he’s sick, it’s extremely rare that he wakes up at night. Even when Tommy’s sick, he settles again quickly. Tommy remains a night owl. I’m not sure how late he’d stay up if we let him. We’ve been trying to stick to an earlier bedtime during the school year, especially because Olivia tends to get up early, and she wakes up everyone else.

Tommy and Elizabeth

It wouldn’t be a Tommy update without a new photo of him and his birthday buddy. She and her family are some of our favorite people. We love getting to watch our kids grow up together.

Tommy and Grandpa

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. They see at least one set of grandparents almost every week. They all have such special relationships with each grandparent. I love seeing these relationships continue to evolve over time.


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

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