Chase turned eight years old on Saturday and it’s kind of crazy to think we’ve been parents for eight years. A few years ago, I remember asking my mom if she sees me as a grown up or still pictures me as a little girl when she looks at me and she said she sees me now but still vividly remembers “little girl Julie.” I get that so much. When I see Chase now I see an outgoing, imaginative, energetic, social, active, dependable, creative and kind kid who adores his friends, family and animals but I can also see baby Chase and toddler Chase. They all swirl together in my heart to make up the kid we know and love so much today.
So much of eight-year-old Chase is toddler Chase all grown up. Toddler Chase was extroverted, imaginative and friend-obsessed and big kid Chase is very much the same. We joke that he doesn’t have an “off switch” when it comes to friend time and would fill every minute of his day with social playtime if he could. He’s creative and thoughtful with his friends and loves sharing his passion for animals and outdoor exploration with anyone and everyone.
Chase is happiest when he’s outside looking for creatures to catch and release and the number of critters he’s caught throughout the years easily stretches into the hundreds. From anole lizards and frogs to turtles and bugs, Chase hasn’t met an animal that hasn’t piqued his interest. I thought Chase’s love of animals was just a typical kid obsession but when one of his teachers said, “Oh, no, I’ll be truly shocked if he doesn’t end up doing something with animals in his life,” I began to realize that maybe his passion for animals might be just that… a passion. It’s something we love fostering within him because it lights him up so much and we honestly all love animals in our family so it makes it easy to share in his animal-loving joy.
Outside of animals, Chase loves soccer, martial arts, playing with friends and family, imagination games (especially “animal rescue” with Ryder), Legos, playing with cars, building with Picasso Tiles, books, listening to children’s podcasts, swimming, riding his bike, exploring in nature and pretty much anything outside.
He loves school but during the school year I admittedly heard a lot more about Maddie, Hadley and Jack than I did about anything he actually learned during the day. He loved science above all other subjects and genuinely seemed to adore his teachers, classmates and learning new things. Chase has always been curious and inquisitive and though the social aspect of school was clearly his favorite thing, he would also light up when he’d tell me about something new he learned, especially if it had to do with nature, animals, the planets or space. Though we’re fully embracing summer and loving a little break for school, he’s excited about the school year ahead and I cannot believe he’ll be starting second grade in less than two weeks!
Big Brother Chase
Big brother Chase is the best. We tell Chase daily how good of a big brother he is to his siblings and I cannot say how grateful I feel for such an inclusive, kind, creative, thoughtful and playful first born child.
While Ryan and I joke that we wonder what in the world we disciplined Chase about before we had multiple children (brother battles are REAL and can be so frustrating), we also fully recognize the fact that the relationship between Chase, Ryder and Rhett is one of the biggest blessings in our lives.
Chase and Ryder share a room and playtime between our oldest two boys begins the minute they wake up. They waste no time every morning diving into various imagination games, only breaking to tell us they’re hungry for breakfast. This is one of the reasons I LOVE summer; they get longer uninterrupted morning playtime! It kills me to break up such fun play in order to make it to school in the mornings even though school is something they all love, too. Chase and Ryder immediately fall into step and resume their playtime the minute school is out and clearly love being each others’ go-to playmates. Chase absolutely looks to Ryder to be his playtime buddy and thankfully our two oldest boys share similar interests so they rarely tire of each other and time together.
As far as Chase and Rhett’s relationship, it’s such a sweet one but very different from Ryder and Chase as the five year age gap between our oldest and youngest means Chase takes on more of a “let me show you how” role with Rhett. He’ll show Rhett how to do various new things, incorporate him into playtime, encourage him to try this and that and give him certain roles in their brother imagination games. Rhett also cracks Chase up on a daily basis and Chase is admittedly much more gentle when playing with Rhett. Of course there are games we’ll have to put an end to because Rhett was given a role like “trapped animal” but for the most part, play between Chase and Rhett is loving, fun and creative.
Chase is idolized by Rhett and Ryder and the importance of his big brother role is one he seems to understand and embrace. On his birthday, when he turned in the tickets he won at the arcade, he immediately began selecting three of each little prize from behind the counter to share with his little brothers. I told him watching him make this choice was one of the best parts of the whole day for me. His reply? “Mom, it feels good to do stuff like that. I knew they weren’t going to get anything else today so I wanted to get them something.” We often reference the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? and I cannot recommend it enough for encouraging kindness in kids in way that makes sense to them. We told Chase he majorly filled his brothers’ buckets with that choice.
Random Things to Remember
- Favorite Foods: Apples, ice cream, donuts, carrots, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, pizza, cucumbers, edamame, cheese, Bobo’s chocolate chip bites, yogurt, waffles, hot dogs, burgers, strawberries, popsicles
- Favorite Color: Blue
- Favorite Book: Dragon Masters series, Owl Diaries series, Eerie Elementary series, non-fiction animal books
- Favorite Friends: Maddie, Jack, Hadley, Lilly, Tommy, Claire, JJ, Caleb
- Favorite Song: “We Will Rock You,” “Top of the World Tonight” from Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, “I Believe That We Will Win”
- Favorite Show: Wild Kratts, Octonauts and Creature Cases
- Favorite Animal: Birds of prey (especially bald eagles), lizards, parrots
- Wake Up Time/Bed Time: Bedtime is right around 7:30 p.m. but sometimes Chase will come downstairs after Ryder is asleep if he’s not too tired and head back upstairs for bedtime 2.0 at 8:30 p.m. Wakeup time is right around 6:30 a.m.
- His friends and family
- Catching and releasing creatures
- Playtime outside
- Riding his bike
- Martial Arts
- Imagination Games
- School (especially science, recess, gym and art)
- Building with Picasso Tiles
- Podcasts (his favorites are Stories Podcast, Finn Caspian, National Geographic Weird But True, What If World, Reading Bug Adventures and Story Pirates)
- Urban Air Trampoline Park
- NightHawk Ride-On (Chase’s big birthday gift and his current obsession!)
- Kid Kayak (Easy for kids to use and so wonderful for lake exploration.)
- Picasso Tiles (Forever and always a fav and my #1 toy recommendation because they’ve been a hit for YEARS.)
- Refillable Water Balloons
- Melty Beads + Melty Bead Pattern Books for creation inspiration
- Underwater Digital Camera (Another birthday gift Chase has been loving for the pool and beach!)
- Bug Cages, Nets and this Catch-and-Release Aquarium
- Art Supplies: Crayola Retractable Markers, Washable Paints
- Glider Airplanes
- Plasma Car
- Cars (HotWheels forever and everrr)
- Power Wheels Jeep
- Surprise Inside Bath Bombs
- Razor Scooter
- Wild Republic stuffed animals
- LeapFrog Learning Tablet (we save this for road trips)
Past Chase Updates
- 7 Years Old
- 6 Years Old
- 5 Years Old
- 4 Years Old
- 3 Years Old
- 2 1/2 Years Old
- 26 Months
- 20-22 Months
- 17-19 Months
- 13-16 Months
- Twelve Months
- Eleven Months
- Ten Months
- Nine Months
- What I Wish I Knew Before My Baby Was Born
- Eight Months
- Seven Months
- Six Months
- Our First Sleep Training Experience
- Traveling With A Baby For The First Time
- Five Months
- Four Months
- Three Months
- Two Months
- And Then He Smiled
- Three Weeks
- The First 12 Days
- Q&A: All About Birth & Life With A New Baby
- Chase’s Birth Story: Part I, Part II