Letter to our 4 year 10 month old

Dear William,

On October 8, 2016, you turned 58 months old.  You are 47 1/2″ tall and weigh 51 pounds.  You are wearing boys size “small” shirts, size 6 in pants and shorts, size 13 1/2 EW shoes.  You can wear “youth” size 1 shoes, but your foot is really wide, so the extra length in the shoe is mostly about accommodating the width of your foot.  Which is a fancy of way of saying your feet are too fat for normal shoes.  It’s OK, I blame your father for this and you’ll understand when you’re a grown up.   You are in size 7 or 8 pajamas for the length.

Most people are shocked to learn that you are “just 4” because you are the size of most 6 year olds and are actually taller than some 6 year old kids.  When I took you to the dentist, she told you not to tell her how old you are, that she wanted to guess by looking at your teeth.  So, she took a look at your teeth, furrowed her brow, looked at the whole of you in her dentist chair, looked at me and said, “He’s not 6 yet… not even 5 1/2.”  I replied, “No, he’s not.”  She asked, even more confused, “Is he still 4?”  I replied, “Yes…” She looked back at you and said, “He’s really tall for a 4 year old.”  She’s a pediatric dentist, and so I’m sure she’s seen her share of kids sitting in her chair, but at first glance of your teeth, she called both of hygienists over to take a look because, “He has the nicest, cleanest baby teeth I’ve ever seen!”

Things we did this month:

Your Grandma D. takes to you library craft and story time weekly at several different libraries.

You swim with me at least once, sometimes twice a week.  You love swimming.

Awanas started this past month.  You were giddy with the happy over that and look forward to going every week.  I think it’s mostly about the snack, but these new teachers have cinnamon scented homemade play-doh that they use on one of the tables and then the night’s craft on the other table.  You practically dive at the play-doh and grumble about the craft.

On 9/18, your grandma D. took you to Pretend City. You had a really great day, stayed there for 4 hours exploring all the things they have there. It is *exactly* where you are right now in your development.

On 9/23, we took a vacation and went to visit my longtime friend, Tracey, who lives in Oklahoma.  We flew in and out of DAL (Love Field) in Texas, because Tracey lives smack dab in the middle between OKC and DAL.  The price was cheaper and the the flight from SNA to DAL was nonstop.

Since we were anyway going through Texas, I contacted a couple of other friends who I’ve only known through the internet.  They both have little boys (Barrett and Dillon) who are your age, so I thought it might be fun to meet these ladies and their children that I’ve admired for 5 years from afar.  It went so well and I really enjoyed these two ladies so much, that I can see doing something similar in the future.

From Dallas, we then flew to Omaha to see my aunt Marjorie and her husband.  Since we lost my aunt Donis earlier this year, I wanted to fit in lots of visiting time with Marjorie, as she is my dad’s last “immediate” family member.  While we were “stationed” there, we repeated our visit to the Omaha Zoo and met up with Nicholas and his mommy (and family) there, too.  Nicholas is also your age, and we met them the first time July of 2015.

You remembered last year’s trip and were begging us to go visit my cousin and her girls out on the farm (in Nebraska).  So we made a surprise trip out to Nebraska to visit them.  As it happened, my cousin had lost one of her favorite breeding / milk goats to a bacterial infection that spread rapidly, and I wanted to help her bury her.  That gave me lots of time to visit with her, which I was grateful for, and you had lots of play time with her two girls.  My aunt whipped up a pan of lasagna with three hours notice, which was kind of a miracle, and we managed to maximize our short time there that day.  I was grateful to them for being so accommodating to our whimsy.

You enjoyed everything about our vacation, but I noted a few things I wanted to remember…

When we checked into our hotel, you informed me, “I like our new life at Texas.”

Playing with a piece of paper, you said, “What do you think of my monster mask? It has a little roar box in it.”  The roar box was you.

When we left my friend’s house, from the back seat I heard, “No! I don’t want to leave! They have the good desserts and stuff…. Wah!”  And then, when you’d settled down, you said, “When we come back, we’ll have to stay a very long time, ok?”

You were nibbling an apple and your teeth made an entrance in the apple’s skin that looked like a peanut.  You handed it to me and wanted me to take a bite, but told me, “Start where I started it at the peanut one! Haha. Was that funny?”

Typing a text message, I verbalized the word ” you” as I typed it out and from the backseat, you started singing “are my sunshine.”

The ever present bucking of authority, as we drove here or there, and the GPS would articulate directions, you said, “Don’t tell me what to do, GPS!”

Climbing in your car seat, you said, “This seat is not comfortable, not like a Cadillac.”  This made me laugh, because you’ve never sat in a Cadillac.  Neither have I, for that matter.

I started chewing a piece of gum and kissed you, and you yelled out “AHH, I have a gum kiss!”  Which reminds me that this trip was the first time you’ve been able to chew a piece of gum without swallowing it, or pulling it out of your mouth 56,783 times.

Things I want to remember:

A text update from Grandma D., “We’re in pretend Candyland at Awesome park. William has 2 kids following him around as they find lollipops, caramel apples, cotton candy, etc.  So, they have found some carrots now. William is getting a lot of products I heard him say.”

You recognize automobile brands now.  It is a game that you like to play … for example, you will say, “Is that a Ford?  It IS a Ford, I was right!  I’m so surprised!”  You know that the logo on my car matches the logo on a building off the I-5 freeway (Mazda headquarters).  You know that your Grandma D. drives a “Chivy” and you know the Ford logo, as well as the Cadillac logo.  You probably know others that I don’t know, I’m sure.

At the end of the day one day after you’d not slept well and were not feeling well, you started crying.  It was random as far as I could tell, so I asked you what was wrong.  You said, “I’m crying because the circus isn’t in town.”  Well, that was certainly true, but they hadn’t been “in town” for a long time, like months.  I asked why you were thinking about it, if Grandma had talked about it or something. You said, “No, I just miss the circus.”

In an effort to cheer you up, I had dressed your stuffed Mickey Mouse with 2 of your underwears, one on his head and one on his body.  You didn’t notice.  Now, in your defense, you hadn’t been feeling well, but still… I was surprised and a little disappointed that your skills of observation were lacking, and when I pointed my silliness out to you, you didn’t even find it funny.  A word to the wise?  You should always find your mommy’s jokes funny.  Especially because I control the purse strings to most of your privileges, young man.

We took a day to go to Sea World this past month.  Your priority was to go to the kid’s park, our job was to rein you in and see other things with promises of their park in the afternoon.  Every time we would adjust our schedule to accommodate for lunch or anything, you would remind us, “First the show and then the park. Keep it straight mommy and daddy!”  Or, we would finish our lunch and you would hop up and say, “Quick!! We need to go to the park!!”  Like there was an emergency there.  Your take on the sky ride this time was, “The sky ride looks like a pill in the sky.”

I thought it would be a good idea to encourage your desire to learn to read by writing you love notes in the morning. So, one morning, you went back to sleep after I snuggled you before work, and I wrote a note that said, “I love you. XOXOXO and I drew the sign language symbol of I love you.”  Your Grandma D. sent me a text that said, ” William is awake…   Xxxxooooo William typed that in.  He absolutely loved your note. I told him “you can read!””

When I get home from work, we have a “treat taste test.”  What we do is we take 2 M&M’s of each kind of flavor that I happen to have on hand, and I put them in a cup.  It usually equals to be about 6 M&Ms and you see if you can distinguish what flavor each M&M is… is it the chili, honey nut, coffee, dark chocolate, crispy or what?  We always floss & brush your teeth afterwards, by the way.

We attempted to get your teeth fixed by the pediatric dentist who is on our HMO.  Her bedside charm is sorely lacking, combined with her desire to just do the work under general anesthesia, so she explained nothing to you.  So she numbed your quadrant of teeth, stuck a roll of gauze in your mouth, and then disappeared for 20 minutes.  Unbeknownst to me, you pulled the gauze out and started chewing your cheek to a bloody pulp.  Later, she gave me a baggy of stuff to take home and you were looking at it weird. I reminded you that it was from the dentist so you don’t chew your cheek when it’s numb.  But you know now, so we don’t need that anymore.”  You replied, “But my cheek tasted good.”  Surprised, I said, “It did?”  You replied, “Yeah.”  I asked, “Didn’t it hurt after the numbing wore off?”  You replied, “Not really, but I know I’m not supposed to chew my cheek now, but it did taste good.”

We were talking about how I split the Extra brand of gum in half.  Apparently that is linked in your mind about about earthworms, because you said, “When you were young, were worms your gum back then?”

One day I called your father, “daddy” and you said, “No, you call him husband I call him daddy. and he calls you wife.”  It sounds like you’ve got our inter-family relationships all figured out.

Another morning, you woke late, and your Grandma D. sent me a text that read, “William woke after you left. We’ve been discussing birthdays & holidays.  William says “I love you Mommy!” xxxxooo William says if you’re hungry, you can have a grilled cheese sandwich. Ba ha ha. (That’s his joke to you.)”

One evening, we had been sniffling and sneezing and coughing together.  Bemused, I said, “We’re quite a pair, huh?”
You thought for a second and said, “You’re quite a fruit.”  It took me a second to figure out the correlation, but when I did, I thought it quite funny that you were drawing a phonetic parallel between “pair” and “pear.”

And to round it all up, one Monday evening, when I asked about how your day was, you nonchalantly said, “We just joked off today!”

Other things:

You have informed us that you want a Scooby Doo birthday party, and it will be a mystery party and you have already designed your cake in your mind with Scooby and Shaggy and ‘that girl” and a skeleton head on top of it.  You seem more than a little thrilled that your friends might be scared… and, honestly, I’m a little scared the detail your mind has put into this cake!

In the mornings, you have taken to coming out in the garage after I have started out the door driving in my car. You come up and want m to climb on my lap to give me a hug.  It’s the strangest thing when you do this, it’s like you curl up and you fit there just perfectly and I can’t help but reminded of all those mornings when I was pregnant with you and I would get in my car and look down at my belly and see the big ball of you, contained inside of me all curled up.  Pregnancy and giving birth to you is one of those weird kinds of things for me, that even years later I remember every detail of it.  It was such an amazing experience, and even though it seemed like every day I was pregnant with you had its fears for me, the overall miracle of growing a life was an experience I will never forget.

You continue with the sweetness of sharing your Kix cereal with me and your father, making sure we each take two Kix balls with us each day to think of you when we eat them. I joke that it’s William communion.

You are quite the acrobat these days, doing headstands and somersaults on the couch while watching movies.  I’ve joked with you when you’re doing that stuff that it must mean you want to go back into Miss Robin’s class.  To my surprise, you have told me that you want to do it.  You’ve also mentioned that you want to start ice skating classes again.  Our budget has kind of been taken over with other things these days, like fixing our cars so we can get to work, so I haven’t put you in the class just yet.

You love it when I make up stories and you get a little half smile on your face whenever I start them with, “Once upon a time in a land faraway…”  And I’ve heard you starting stories that way, too, when you’re playing with your toys.  Truthfully, the hardest part of starting a story is the introduction and the ending, once you have those parts down the rest of it pretty much flows.  Since every Disney story has a set intro and ending, it opens up the world to all kinds of storytellers out there, including you.

I was reminiscing recently and read the letter that I wrote to you when you turned 9 months old.  I found myself surprised that so much of your personality was already developed at that time.  Your speech abilities, your love of rhythm, all the little things I mentioned in that update that I had forgotten about and, yet now, at almost 5 years old, you are still very much like the little baby you were then.

I’ve let you see some of the videos I took of you when you were a baby, and you watched the one where you were biting my leg and I told you to remember we don’t bite mommy… you said, “Awww, I told you ‘I love you!'”  At the time, I thought that’s what you were saying, but dismissed it because you were far to young to be talking with any sort of clarity.  However, now, knowing you and knowing the cadence of your speech, I think you WERE actually talking and that you did actually say “I love you.”  If anyone would know what you were saying, I would say it would be you.  And then you told me, ” I guess I’ve loved you forever, huh, mommy?”   Yes.  And I’ve loved  you forever, too.


Love always,


More photos from this month can be found here:  LINK

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Smile on.

I’ve had a bit of a go of it today.

It started out with a spontaneous decision to carpool with Tony.  Which was great fun.  Sometimes necessary fun, like yesterday with the surprise “rain” that we had here.  I’m pretty sure that no one in the world knows how to properly drive in the rain, and I definitely know that no one in California knows how to do it.  At least according to social media.  Except for us.  And the “us” is interchangeable to whoever is authoring the comment, of course.

So, yesterday was necessary. Today was spontaneous, and I even joked that it was a “wasted” carpool, because traffic wasn’t all that bad at all [compared to yesterday].  Tony thought I was serious until he looked over at me.  Apparently, I can deadpan like nobody’s business.  But seriously, how can time with my best friend be “wasted?”

Anyway, Tony’s cup holders in his car are smaller than the ones in my car.  Which is strange if you consider that my entire car is smaller than his, but my cup holders are bigger than his.  Anyway, so his car’s inadequate cup holders were not holding my coffee mug and it kept sliding out every time he accelerated, decelerated or turned  Well, after I booted Tony out at his work and took over driving to my work, my coffee cup slid out and hit the floor.  It must have hit harder than I thought, enough to twist the lid.  It’s a pressurized lid, so it must have hit really hard, and was unbeknownst to me until I parked at work and went to get my coffee, except my coffee was free!  It had spilled out onto the floor mat.  I was not happy about this, not at all.

I immediately pulled the floor mat out of the car so that it wouldn’t smell up the interior.  I laid it out on the ground under the car and rushed into work.  I grieved the loss of my perfectly good coffee and took a tiny sip of the remaining small amount, then another sip, and then … the rest of it somehow spilled out and got in my hair.  SERIOUSLY!  What the … WHY???

At lunch, I headed out for my walk to the deli, but got a text that the food wasn’t needed, so I turned around and came up with the genius idea to ask the car wash guy to pressure spray the coffee off the floor mat.  Which he did and then he declined payment.

As I was walking back into work, I pressed the elevator button and our human resources person came walking up, so I smiled and held the elevator for her.  She turned to me and said, “You know something? Since the day you started here, you’ve always had a smile on your face.  I don’t know if you have shitty days or not, but if you do, I would never know it.  You are always so happy and pleasant to work with.  It’s nice.”

I blinked, smiled bigger and thanked her.  I told her I do have crappy days, but they’re not her fault… or anyone’s really, so why not smile?  What a nice thing for her to say.

So, here’s to smiling through shitty days. Because apparently people do notice.

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Puddles in Pajamas.

When it rains in California and you’re 4 years old, you dig out your rain boots, clean out the spiderwebs and go splash in puddles.  You definitely don’t change out of your pajamas first.

Photo credit: My mom

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Annually We Pose.

Annually in our pumpkin shirts in front of our pumpkin. 🙂

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When Headaches Strike & You’re Still Loved.

I can’t believe all the stuff that happened this past month, from a 10 day vacation where we made a triangle (although someone told William we made a square and grandma made a line, and now I’m confused, because maybe we DID do a square but I’m too lazy to figure it out), because we went to Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa and then back home.

My job has picked up a little bit, my boss is trusting me with a little more responsibility, which I’m really happy about.  We’ve picked our Halloween costumes — we’re the Scooby Doo family this year.  And William wants a Scooby Doo birthday party for his birthday.

I was just getting through the day yesterday at work with a headache, not enjoying myself, really, except when my coworker left early unexpectedly, but my headache was just getting worse and worse.  I think the weather must be changing or something, or allergies are flaring, I’m not sure, but it’s all in my sinuses… and the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I have a high-pitched whine in my ears like an old tube TV got left on somewhere … all allergy related, I’m sure.  I can’t believe I’m old enough to have tinnitus.

Anyway, the headache I was fighting yesterday flared into a disabling migraine overnight and I just wanted to cry when I woke up this morning.  Instead of crying, I took an allergy pill and pain meds and laid back down in bed, leaving William to his father.  They woke me at 11 AM to tell me they were going to Ruby’s to get some lunch… because this month, if kids dress in their Halloween costumes, they eat for free.

I just have to say, this man I’m married to blew me away with his love when we were dating.  As a husband, he is so intuitive and he cares so much about me.  He always seems to know just what I need without me ever having to say a word.  And while I’m so sad to be missing out on this fun outing today with my boys, I’m just so grateful for the love he shows to me, for letting me recover in quiet.  As a father, I adore watching them together, because the love they have for each other is so evident, and that they’re doing something special together just the two of them and I just know they’ll come home with some fun and silly stories that I’ can’t wait to hear all about from both of them.

So, I kissed them goodbye and sent them on their way in their “mystery van.”  Well, William licked me goodbye, because that’s what doggies do, you know.  There’s a part of me that’s wondering if they’ll let Tony eat for free, too, because he’s just such an awesome person.

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Letter to our 4 year 9 month old

Dear William,

On September 8, 2016, you turned 57 months old.  You are 47 1/2″ tall and weigh 50.4 pounds.

Time warp — 8 months old to 4 years 9 months old

Things We Did This Month:
8/13, we went to San Diego.  We drove down the night before and stayed overnight in a motel. The next day we left my car with the Miata Whisperer to get it fixed.  You loved the motel and I’m pretty sure you would love to live in a motel the rest of your life.  Ironically, the motel was nothing special, but it served our purposes.  You also really liked the shop I took my car to in San Diego.  It was a Miata Tech day and there were lots of people there, including another boy (who was 6) named Rylee.  Plus, they had a giant container of M&Ms on the counter and you “ate a lot of M&Ms” according to Rylee.

8/20, we were at our mountain cabin to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  You told your grandma that you didn’t like anniversaries until she told you there might be cake.  We didn’t get cake, but you got a virgin pina colada because your father ordered himself a regular pina colada and it was served in a pretty pineapple with an umbrella.  Sadly, yours came in a plain glass and you had to share it with me, your father generously gave you his pink umbrella.  We also made it a 3 day weekend and you pointed out that, while you had mommy and daddy days, we had William days.  I think going forward you’ll like anniversaries.

8/27, we had breakfast with a group of friends at the Irvine Spectrum.  You spent a lot of the visit running to the fountains and sticking your feet in the water.  Life is short and feet in the cool water is refreshing.

9/3, we had breakfast with you godmother, took Bug (cat) the vet and went to Saddleback Church’s end of summer cookout.  The summer cookout ended up being more of an adventure than a cookout, as you managed to inadvertently elude us and ended up being announced by the DJ as “we have a William who has lost his parents” over the loud speaker.  Your parents had a frantic 15 minutes and you had your 15 minutes of fame.

9/8, I took a sick day to spend with you. You were running a high fever and were feeling pretty crappy.  We took you to the doctor who said it was just a virus and it needed to run its course.  It was scary, because you were complaining of a sore neck and back.  But your overall picture of health wasn’t dire, so I had to keep a good perspective.  But… an extra day with my William was a blessing.

Recurring Things:
Saddleback Church Kids, Library Story Time,

Monthly Interview of Favorite Things:
Color:  White… no, no, actually it’s red.
Movie: Pocahontas
Food:  Pancakes!!!  At Denny’s!
Snack: Melon balls
Dessert: Cupcakes
Fruit: Plums
Vegetable: Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake.
Class: I have no class.
Teacher:  I have no teacher… Oh!  Grandma!
Subject to learn: Science.
Store: Sprouts.
Restaurant: Denny’s.
Vacation spot: San Diego.
Book: Toy Story.
Toy: Penguin family from Sea World.
Theme Park: Sea World and Disneyland.
Favorite thing to do with Mommy: Go to Disneyland
Favorite thing to do with Daddy: Go to Disneyland.
Favorite thing to do with Grandma: Nothing.
What do you want to do for a job? Nothing.  Oh, well, I guess heavy equipment.
Anything else?  No.
What do you think of being 4?  Not good.

You’ve been doing fairly well with your sleep this month.  The exception has been the last week.  You managed to contract a mystery virus and for some reason your sleep is always the first thing to suffer when you get sick.  In fact, restless/poor sleep is usually the first symptom of sickness with you.  You were up 3 times one night, 2 times the next and up at 5:15 AM the next night.

Classes:  Summer is over, so I’ll start looking into various “sport” classes for you again to supplement the curriculum you work through in your schooling.

This will start up again mid-September. You have mentioned a few times that you miss Awanas and want to go again.  You went with your Grandma to hand in the enrollment paperwork the end of August.

Always Learning:
On 8/8, you attended your 3rd dental appointment.  During this appointment the hygienist was able to get x-rays of your mouth (1st attempt in March 2015, they didn’t have the machine plugged in); 2nd attempt in November of 2015 they used adult bitewings, so you gagged).  Despite my requests for them to try one more time, we were unsuccessful previous to this.  The results of this appointment and examination revealed that your teeth are very tight together (they should actually be spaced further apart, like picket fences) and that you have significant decay in your back molars requiring extensive dental work to preserve your future dental health.

I find myself feeling discouraged about this, because we do a 20 minute routine of cleaning every night on your teeth — starting with an interdental toothbrush, then a small flosser, a larger flosser, tooth brushing with a Sonic toothbrush, a water pik, a spot shot of mouthwash and then you swish with mouthwash.   I’ve really struggled over the years for myself, and I think your father has, too, that despite the insane amount of time we spend in our own mouths every night cleaning (we joke we should move a couch in and set it on our tongue so we can clean and relax each night in there amidst our teeth, ha), it seems there’s always something that needs to be done.  It appears that trend will continue with you.

Your dentist recommended general anesthesia (“GA”) to enable her to do all the work in one sitting, but after researching the possible risks and side effects of GA, particularly given the amount of time she anticipated you’d be under, your father and I determined that we were not comfortable with that option for you.  We consulted with another dentist for a 2nd opinion.  He concurred with your primary dentist’s treatment plan, and said he understood why she would recommend GA for that work, but he concurred with our decision to do small appointments and break the work up into “quandrants.”  We have scheduled your first treatment appointment for later this month.

Interestingly, you really like your primary dentist and didn’t like the 2nd opinion dentist at all.  Let me add one important detail to that sentence…… rewind ….. You liked your 2nd opinion dentist until you realized he didn’t have TVs or videos for you to watch while you sat in his chair.  ha

Things I want to Remember:

One day with your grandma in Walmart, you apparently saw a battery operated police car.  You really wanted that car and you told your grandma, “Well, I’m not enjoying any of my toys…”  There was a distinct pause as you formulated your next sentence, and then you said, “But if you buy me this I will enjoy them.”  Analyzing that, I thought how clever that was as a negotiation tool.  The only thing you have as tangible currency is your toys, and so it was clear that you didn’t want to give up your current toys, you merely wanted something new to add to your enjoyment of them.

Our routine in the evenings has evolved into me going swimming for a little while and then you and your father joining us.  Sometimes we eat dinner first, other times you and your father go get take out and bring dinner to the pool.  ONe evening you and your father went to Chick-Fil-A and your father later told me that you told him you wanted a picnic at the pool and swimming, instead of staying at Chick-Fil-A and playing in their playground.

The summer Olympics were this past month. They were broadcast from Rio and we watched some of the races.  You recognized our nation’s swimmers by the American flag that was on their swim caps.  Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky were our top performers for this Olympics.  You were pretty clear about your belief in me as the fastest swimmer, though, even though I wasn’t in the Olympics.  What this translated into our lives, though, is that you started encouraging “races” in the swimming pool and you took the role as narrating our swim races like the Olympic announcers.

One evening we had a lap swimmer in our pool and I told you that you needed to stay out of her (unmarked) lane.  You tried to swim through it a couple of times, and I held you back.  Exasperated, you pushed away from me, swam to the steps, climbed out using the steps, walked around the pool to the other side (thereby avoiding swimming in her lane), hopped into the pool on the other side of her and started swimming with purpose down the side of the pool to the deep end.  You grabbed hold of the wall at the deep end and said, “I’m swimming laps, too, and she has to stay out of MY lane now.”

Dropping you off at your Saddleback Kids class, I give you lots and lots of kisses and tell you that I’m filling you up with love. This helps you handle the separation easily and I know someday you will push me away because you’ll know that I’m being silly. For now though, you love it and soak it up. You push your little face into kisses, and turn your head so I can get both your cheeks, your forehead, your nose and you snuggle your cheek against mine.  While we were waiting one morning, and I was filling you up with love, you turned to the little boy’s mom who was standing behind us in line and he was fussing about not wanting to go in, and you said, “Why don’t you fill him up with love like my mommy does to me?”

Picture: I have a movie to watch!movie-to-watch

Your grandma sent me a text that read:  “Just arrived at the little park down the street.  I said, “We’re now at Awesome Park.” William says, a bit sarcastically, “No, we’re not!” His tone of voice was so funny.

Fart humor is big right now in our house.  You correct us if we try to blame farts on anyone other than who did it.  And you hilariously lay ownership to your own.  For example, You: “Oh, goodness sakes!” Me: “What?” You: “Oh, goodness sakes!  I did a big fart!”

Your father was on the couch stretched out relaxing after work one evening.  You walked up and said, “You’re taking up the whole couch!”  You wedged yourself into the couch and said, “Now, look at my cute legs and look at your long legs, daddy.”  As if to say that your cute legs fit the couch better than his long legs.

Playing in the bathtub, you laid your foam bathtub Legos out on their side and said, “Look, I’m playing on my piano!”  More about these foam Legos in your bathtub?  They can be stacked tall and be a Christmas tree, a robot, and many other things in your imagination. Upside down, they sometimes serve as cups for concoctions that your bath water magically turns into, and sometimes your other toys are taking baths in them.  Other times, if laying on their side, they are ships of various sizes.  I have learned to listen carefully before I start getting you washed up, because I don’t want to interrupt the making of a dangerous (imaginary) chemical!

You have become tired of Honey Nut Cheerios in the morning, and now we’ve switched you to Honey Kix.  So, every morning as we leave for work, you hand us two Kix cereal balls with the instructions to think of you. You give your father two, too, with the same instructions.  You have followed up with me when I call you later in the day to find out whether I’ve eaten them or not.

Taking a bath in Big Bear, you were holding your new whale bath toy that has four baby fish that store inside the big whale’s mouth.  So, there you are holding it up and you narrated, “This is the story of a whale who doesn’t like to eat fish. By Walt Disney.”
We had gone into town one evening in Big Bear, I was looking for something in the stores.  You and your father opted to wait in the car and I entered a grocery store, shopped, returned and placed my bags in the car.  Then, instead of getting in, I went into the Dollar Tree store and your father reported to me later, “William just said, “Why does she keep going into stores. i just want to go home.”  Your father still, two weeks later, starts laughing so hard when he remembers your tone of voice and irritated expression you wore when you asked him this question.
Driving through the parking lot over by PetSmart, the furniture store had a giant red and white tent in the parking lot, trying to drive sales up.  You announced, “They must be having a sale over there in the tent. And, then, when I was with grandma I saw another tent, but there was poison in it, and it was killing all the bugs.”

In the waiting room of the dentist we saw for your second opinion, you wanted me to read you a book that they had there.  Unfortunately, I was working on paper work. You said, “Well, what am I gonna do? I can’t read.”

You are ready for Halloween already, the stores and their marketing ploys with holiday stuff out three months early has done their job with you. You tell us, “There is lots of fun stuff coming up!” Because you know that Halloween kind of kicks off the whole holiday season.  And then, one night you told us, “Grandma is scared of Halloween, but I told her I will protect her.”

Grandma D. told me that one day you told her, “That’s for dolts.”  Confused, she asked you, “What? ”  You replied, “Dolts.  That activity is for Dolts.”  And you pointed at a gathering of grown ups playing a game at the park.  Grandma finally translated that you meant ADULTS and, yes, that was indeed what you meant.  This was after our Big Bear weekend where we had explained that the pina colada drink your father was having, despite it being fancy and fun looking was an “adult drink.”

After we ate dinner at Souplantation, you informed me that “the goal is to run in the grass.”  Meaning that you come along and eat with us at Souplantation (or anywhere, really), just because you get to run in the grass.

When we were riding the ferris wheel at the Spectrum, we got buckled in and you told us, “We’re in jail!!”

Back in the car, with you buckled in, you asked for your water, but you forgot to say please.  I reminded you to use your manners, but apparently you were in a contrary mood, so you informed us, “If you don’t give me my water, you won’t be my mommy and daddy anymore.”  It didn’t get you very far, and you still had to say please.

One night, we had pork and beans for dinner and caramel apple for dessert. Outside playing later, you handed your father a bowl and said “here is some caramel apple soup!”

You love coming to my work place.  For many reasons, but the primary of reasons is that my co-workers keeps a jar of Hershey’s Kisses on her desk.  I let you have one of them and then you have a mouth full of chocolate.  The other is that I keep a collection of miniature model cars at my desk and you love to play with those cars.  One day you accompanied me back to my office to pick up something i had forgotten. As we were leaving, your mouth full of chocolate, you looked at an Audi parked in the lot and exclaimed, “It’s an Olympic car!”  Well, I guess Audi’s logo does look like the Olympic’s logo.

Your father received a card in the mail detailing the restaurants that will have free food in honor of veterans.  You overheard from the back seat and asked in an awe-filled voice, “All the restaurants have free food?”  Your father said, “Yes, for veterans.”  You replied, “For vegetables???”  We had to explain the new word, veterans, to you.  ha

Done in the bathroom, you said in a hurried voice, “Let’s get out of here before something else happens!”

Driving home late after dinner, you said “I have tired bones…”

After we got home from Big Bear, you lined up all your ceramic houses on the half wall above your train table and told us that was Big Bear. It does kind of look like the village.

One of the nights recently, after your dentist appointment, we went through our routine of flossing and interdental toothbrush and mouthwash, and we laid in bed to go to sleep and I realized I hadn’t actually BRUSHED your teeth with toothpaste.  Irritated, I asked if you were still asleep, and you answered, so I told you what I’d realized and we needed to brush your teeth.  You played dead log until I said you could spit your mouthwash again.  You immediately said, “Let’s go do it!”  And then you said, “This is strange, getting up to brush my teeth in the middle of the night? Weird.”  The next night, I didn’t forget, but you said, “Let’s get up in the middle of the night and brush my teeth like last time!”

You were playing a game on your iPod and one of our cats hopped up on the arm rest next to you. You started petting the kitty and without looking said, “My Tuggy is liking this.”  Amused, I said, “That’s not Tug… you need to look at the cat you’re petting.”  You were surprised to see that you’d been petting Ripper the whole time.

Along with fart humor, you’ve also had butt humor.  I admit this is likely coming from me, because I measure sizes of room in the amount of butts that can comfortably occupy the room at the same time.  So, you told your father one night, “Daddy Big Butt and William Little Butt!”  Your father asked, “What about mommy?”  You replied, “She’s just mommy butt.”

You authored a song this month, as you seem to do every few days. This one is quite the catchy tune and lyrics, it goes, “Daddy’s butt, daddy’s butt, little wooden dump… daddy’s butt, daddy’s butt, little wooden dump.”  I *still* have it stuck in my head and I last heard you sing it on 9/3.

At the dinner table, your father announced, “We’re all going to bed in 5 minutes!”  You responded, “Now daddy… What about dessert?”  Obviously your concern wasn’t bedtime, just missing dessert time.

At the vet, you were allowed to listen to Bug’s lungs and heart.  You said her lungs sounded like “Whooshie, whooshie” and her heart “sounds like a horsey galloping.”


Coinciding with your week of sickness this week, you told me last night (the night of your “month” birthday) that you needed to try and get more sleep, that you are tired.  I nodded my head sagely and said, “That makes sense.  How about we try to get you to bed early tonight, then?”  You agreed.  And so we did your routine a little earlier than usual, and when you got silly, I reminded you that you wanted to go to bed early and how about you try going to sleep instead of being silly and keeping yourself awake.  You agreed and drifted off to dreamland … and as I held you, your sweetness, your warmth, all of YOU, I thought to myself, as I do every night, just how sweet you really are… and that you will always be my baby, my little William, my child… even though you grow up every day and you adamantly tell me (and anyone who asks how old you are) that “I do NOT want to grow up.”  Time seems to march on, quickly, effortlessly, the Big Events of our Life mere pickets on our fence as we blast by it, bumping along on this dusty road we call life, whether we want it to or not.  But despite that, I will always remind you that I love you Ten Times a William.



More pictures from this month can be found here: LINK

Love you forever, sweet William,



Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Letter to our 4 Year 8 month Old.

Dear William,

On August 8th, 2016, you turned 4 years 8 months (or 56 months old).  You are 47″ tall and weigh 50 pounds 4 ounces. You are still wearing the same sizes as last month:  Boys Small for shirts, shorts and pajamas.  I just realized you haven’t worn pants for a few months because it’s been so hot lately, so I have no clue what size pants fit you.

Things we did this month…

7/10 – We saw Secret Life of Pets, the movie, at the theater.  You enjoyed it so much, that as we were leaving the theater, you were stepping on the lights on the stairs saying, “This will make it play again!”

7/11, week of – You had VBS at MOO Church (Walk This Way theme)

7/12 – We had our annual Dress Like a Cow event at Chick-Fil-A

7/16, weekend – Mountain cabin

7/18, week of – You had VBS at the local Catholic church (Cave Quest theme)

7/23, Irvine Spectrum w/ friends

7/30, stayed home (sick)

8/6, Legoland

Recurring events: Library storytime, Spanish library storytime, Saddleback Kids (Sunday mornings)

Monthly interview of favorite things…
Color:  Orange and red.
Song: Jesus loves us this I know, for the Bible tells me so, you like that one?
Movie: Hmmm, let me see. Dino Trucks, I hope that’s coming in my whale.
Food: Watermelon
Snack: Juice and sugar cookies and water.
Dessert: Sugar cookies…oh, uh, cake.  Cake, too.
Fruit: Plum
Vegetable: Broccoli and carrots.
Class: Class?  I don’t have a class. Oh, oh, the Bible School at Saddleback Church and the Bible School at Mountain View Park
Teacher: The ones at Mountain View Park
Store: My favorite store might be WALMART!
Restaurant: Shacks, do you know what I mean by Shacks?  It means Taco Tuesday.
Vacation spot: Big Bear, Michigan, Asia!  What part of Asia?  Restaurants
Toy: Toy fire trucks. Toy garbage trucks.  Toy vets.
Favorite Park:  Splash.  Splash means the water park.
Theme Park: Disneyland, because we haven’t went there for a long time.  Neeah.
Best friend: Bible School!
Favorite Story: Ice Skating Fast
Favorite thing to do with Mommy: Go to Disneyland
Favorite thing to do with Daddy: Go to church
Favorite thing to do with Grandma: Go to the park. Water, water. Splash, splash, splash!
Favorite Shirt: Lightning!
What do you think about being 4?  Not good.  OK, ok, that’s it.  I would be 4.  That’s it.

How did you sleep this month…
You’ve slept really well this month.  You’ve been falling asleep somewhere around 8:30 PM or 8:45 PM.  You’ve been waking up around 6:45 AM.  On weekends, you actually sleep until 7:15 AM or so, and I think that would be your “natural” wake time if given the opportunity to wake on your own during the week.  You prefer that I wake you before I leave for work, though, so you can say goodbye to us and give us kisses.  You enjoy our morning routine.

Things I want to remember about this month…

You were concerned about your father not having a sleeping friend. You have your 2 froggies and your ducky that Grandma H. crocheted for you, I have a bunny rabbit, but your father didn’t have anything.  So, one evening I noticed that you had put nursing bear on your father’s side of the bed.  You don’t use nursing bear anymore, and you hunted him down and relocated him.  Your father was touched by your thoughtfulness.

One Monday after I got home from work and I kissed and hugged you, and I heard about all that you’d done that day, I said jokingly, “You were so busy today, I bet you didn’t even have time to think of me!”  You replied in all seriousness, “That’s not true!  I thinked of you LOTS today.”

Every night as I snuggle you to sleep, you have a little routine you like to do.  Your father turns out the light and you whisper, “One, two, three, DADDY, IT’S BRIGHT IN HERE!”  And your father comes back and turns your room light on and says, “It’s not bright in here, THIS is bright!”  And you giggle and giggle, and then whisper, “One, two, three… ” You do this four times and you love it so much.  You told me one night, “We can do this every night!”

I picked up a bunch of Disney story books on discount at Marshall’s.  There’s a Star Wars book, a Disney pets book, a Mickey Mouse book, and you love having one of the stories read to you each night while you’re in your bath.  We also read a Bible story, too, and I love this book because the pictures are somewhat realistic and each story has a call out of some historical information about tools used, or clothing or instrument or something, in that time period.  Fascinating stuff.

You really enjoy your teeth brushing routine.  You lift your little hand and help guide me where the toothbrush needs to go next.  I’ve found that letting you hold my hand while I brush helps you feel like you’re in control (you’re not) and it helps you not gag when I get to your molars.  I switch it up with you, some nights I let you “guide” my hand, other nights I ask you to point to where the toothbrush should go next.  We have about five minutes of flossing to go with it, both before and after you brush.

We attended Chick-Fil-A’s Dress Like a Cow Event and you really enjoyed playing with the other kids in the play structure.  After we had eaten our food, you went back in and then came back out and told us, “Someone told me to find the purple bird and that is very hard to find.”  You placed your hand on the table and said, “So, can you get a milkshake for dessert?  Thank you.”  And you turned and left for the playground.

One of the days at your VBS was “crazy hair day” and we bought some temporary hair color, one can of red and one can of blue.  You thought it was pretty cool and everywhere you went that day, you proudly showed how we had colored your hair for crazy hair day.

Grandma dropped you off at your third VBS and she texted me this note, “Dropped the little one off.  He’s got this figured out now about going to different churches and comparing the toys. Ha”

You were very excited about going up to our mountain cabin, and so I tasked you with packing some food for yourself in the ice chest that we bring up for the weekend.  You said, “OK!”  I came back a few minutes later and you had 12 hot chocolate packets on the counter and 8 straws.

When I came to your VBS finale, your Grandma hadn’t told you I would be coming.  You spotted me and were so surprised to see me, you wrapped your arms around my neck and said, “I’ve missed you SO much!”  Then you looked around and asked, “Where’s my daddy?”  I told you that daddy couldn’t make it, but wished that he could, oh, so much!  You accepted that answer, and then as we walked to the sanctuary together, you proudly introduced me to everyone, “This is my mommy, but my daddy couldn’t make it.  He wanted to, though.”

When we were driving to the mountains, your father asked you, “Do you know what time it is?”  You replied, “Uhhhh, it’s past my bed time.”  I looked at the clock reading 8:40 PM and I said, “You’re right about that!”

You are very much into making lists. I have no idea where you get that from.  I make grocery lists and, as I always do, I leave them on the counter or table to add to them as I think of things.  Nowadays, I come back and it has scribbles from you at the bottom.  When I ask you about them, you tell me, “That’s my list.  See here, it says cookies and toys.”  While we were in the mountains, we told you we needed to go to breakfast and you said, “Well, on MY list of things to do is to go to the candy shop…. that’s on William’s list.”

While in the mountains, you said, “This is the best day ever, isn’t it?”  Your father replied, “Sure, are you happy?”  You replied, “Kind of.”  Surprised, you father asked, “Why ‘kind of’?”  You replied, “Actually, I am completely happy.”

Photo: Caramel apple from candy store

On your list of things to do in the mountains was to go fishing in the lake, hike Castle Rock, watch movies, eat salmon, and smoosh bugs.

For your first time fishing, we had quite the adventure.  It was kind of special that it was in a lake that we frequently visit.  Your father bought you a fishing pole, had to get a fishing license, and then he blew up an inflatable boat and put you in it and pushed you out until he was knee deep.  At one point, he decided it might be a good idea to get in the boat with you, but it turned out to be an ill-planned idea, because he got in the front of the boat and you were in the back and that meant in order not to squish you, he had to do a perpetual sit-up.  He got quite the ab work out!  You told me, “So, if I see a cute fish I’m not gonna cook him.”

Picture of first time fishing…

Picture of “I’m giving the fish sea weed!”

The next morning you woke up, startled, you cried out, “MOMMY!!”  I flopped my hand on your back and you said, “Oh, you were right there all along!”  I asked you what you wanted to do that day and you replied, “Hike Castle Rock!”  I started laughing and said, “Your daddy was thinking you would forget about that.”  You replied, “But I didn’t. HA HA!”

Picture of “Logs”

While hiking you said, “I saw on the map that it was not a very long walk, but it lied. It is a very long walk.”

Picture: Tree mailbox… there’s a mailbox in the tree and the mail is 1 BC.

You still like to wedge yourself between us when we hug, and so we try to sneak hugs in and while in the mountains you said, “I’m on my way!” and ran and wedged yourself between us.

After our day on the lake, since you didn’t catch any fish, you said you wanted to eat some salmon. So we went to Denny’s and you ordered your salmon. I suppose it’s noteworthy that it was your first meal that wasn’t on the child’s menu.

One of your favorite things in the mountains is the ice cream truck.  After we got back from our hike, you waited patiently out front of our cabin for the ice cream truck. He didn’t come that day and you were very sad.

On the 20th, you came down with a slight fever, we weren’t sure what was causing it. You weren’t complaining of pain, you just seemed tired.  We thought maybe it was related to not drinking enough water, so we asked the your VBS teacher to be sure and remind you to drink water.  The next morning, when your grandma came to pick you up, the teacher told her that you had mentioned you were a dragon, so she told you dragons drink lots of water.  Seemed to be the encouragement you needed for that day, anyway.

That night, you went upstairs for your bath, under your own motivation, at 6:23 pm.  You were in your pajamas and in bed by 7:10pm, although you had a bit of trouble falling asleep.  It was delayed because you heard kids riding their bikes under your window and they were hooting and hollering while they did so.  In their defense, it was still light outside and it was kind of early for you to be in bed.  You were so curious about who they were.  Then, a couple days later, you saw our neighbor and her two boys riding their bikes and you assumed it had been them, and you stood in your window and yelled at them that they needed to go home, eat dinner and go to bed. That you were tired and just wanted to sleep.  Thank goodness the mom of those two boys adores you and thinks you are sweet and funny.

The evening before, I had fallen asleep with you while I was snuggling you to sleep.  I love those times that I do that, although, I usually find myself awake at 1 AM and transfer myself to my own bed.  But the following morning, you sweetly asked me, “Mommy?  Did you sleep with me last night?”  I told you that I had fallen asleep with you and how much I loved that.  :)

Sometimes you get unexpected lessons in nature about the cycle of life.  One morning, getting in the car for VBS you and your grandma saw a coyote with someone’s pet cat going across the street in the community.  My immediate question was, “Have you seen all of OUR cats this morning?”  She replied, “Yes.”  And then I asked what color that kitty was, she said, “Black and white.”  I hope it wasn’t, but am afraid it was the kitty we reunited with his owners a couple weeks ago.  That thought made me sad, because that was a really sweet kitty, but I know that by the grace of God, our very own Tug was saved from the jaws of a coyote about 6 years ago, so it’s totally possible.
One Saturday as we pulled in the Spectrum for an outing with friends, you said, “I’m smart!”  I said, “Yep, you are.”  You said, “How about smarty pants?  Am I a smarty pants?”

After we had lunch at the Spectrum, we went out and walked around, rode on the ferris wheel and then we stopped at a fountain (which apparently was a Pokemon stop, based on all the people who were walking around with their phones out and poking at them).  You started a waterfight with me and, well, it was a hot day and it seemed like a good idea.  So we ended up drenched and it was very fun.

One afternoon, you went out to the back yard and picked some aloe vera and came back inside and told me that you were going to heal daddy’s wound on his back with the helpful plants.  You informed me that you had already healed the chair’s wound with it.

The next day, your grandma texted me that you guys had witnessed a fender bender on the way to the library. So, I guess in that instance you were able to see how accidents happen so quickly and how noisy they are.

Sometimes on Monday mornings I like to be extra silly to help with the tough separations that we all feel after a fun weekend together.  So, one Monday, I hitched you up on my hip and proceeded to just walk right out the front door with you.  You were perplexed and surprised and asked where we were going.  I told you I was going to walk to work with you.  You knew I was kidding, but were still a little sad when I turned around to go back into the house. But we had some special moments looking at the half moon that was still in the morning sky and the hibiscus flowers that hadn’t yet opened their blooms for the day.

A few days later, I came down sick, so apparently your fever wasn’t related to dehydration.  Your father got called into work on an emergency situation (the A/C in the server room went down) and so it was just you and me for the day.  We had been planning to go to Legoland that day, but my car’s engine was in pieces in the garage and I felt that your father needed his car so he could come and go as need be, instead of calling Uber.  So, I canceled our plans and we had a movie day instead.  We managed to watch Shrek, The Princess and the Frog, and some Scooby Doo episodes.  It was so funny, because some of the language in the Shrek movie is questionable for your age, I turned the volume to the lowest setting.  When your father came home that afternoon, he was supposed to start working on my car and, instead, he sat down and started watching your movies with you and complained about the volume being too low.  I reminded him that he was supposed to be working on my car.  haha

You had left one of your toys on the couch, a light saber.  I accidentally sat on it, and pulled it out.  You instantly asked, “Did it feel good?”  I asked you, “Did what feel good?”  You replied, “Sitting on the light saber?”

Picture: I’m the curb painter!

I ordered toilet paper from Amazon.com, and when it came, you absconded with the box and the toilet paper and said, “This is my little house!”  I wasn’t thrilled to have this in the middle of the living room, but I knew it would be funny to me later, so I took a picture of you in your little house.

Playdoh continues to be one of your favorite things to occupy yourself.  You could create things for hours on end, especially if it’s food related. You love to cook, pretend or otherwise.  You also really enjoy sharing all your creations (and toys) with your cat, Tug.  You treat him like a sibling and it really is the sweetest thing.


One afternoon, you came inside bearing an aloe vera plant cutting.  You declared, “This is the helpful plant. It will help daddy’s owie on his back heal.”


A conversation while you were in the bath tub:
What is this?”  I asked.
No, no, I want to keep it.  You replied.
But what is it? I asked again.
It’s just something I want to keep, you said.
But what is it?  I asked, yet again.
It used to be a paintbrush.  You answered.

You tossed your froggy in the air and it landed in the shutters.  We laughed and laughed over that one.  You kept saying, “Look at my froggy!!”

You love music and you always surprise me by hearing the beat or subtle sounds that normally don’t get noticed by themselves.  It’s interesting, because if you don’t like a song, you just sit down and refuse to participate.  Like the “head and shoulders, knees and toes” song, that is an instant turn off to you.  So, when your Grandma D. texted me this, it made me smile, ” Song: “driving in my car”. Cute song with actions & sounds…steering wheel, wipers, no muffler so have motor sound, wave”hi” to friend, horn. Wm got into that song!”

Mazda created the 1,000,000th Miata and it’s presently on tour.  It had a stop at the Mazda headquarters in Irvine.  I stopped and saw it on the way to work one morning, the same day that your Grandma D. brought you over to my work for a family lunch at the deli.  I suggested that she take you by to see the Miata.  That it was special to me since I’ve driven a Miata for 25 years now.  I was tickled when she later texted me this picture of you.  Although, she said you enjoyed the long fountain that is in the breezeway there more than the Miata.

When we were at Legoland, there was a little girl in the playground that you hit it off with right away. Pretty soon, you two were running around together. You got on the motorcycle together and then, hilariously, you both got off the motorcyle and, holding hands, ran to the store where you proclaimed, “OK, here’s the restaurant.  What would you like to eat?”  It sounded like you were really on a date!

legoland restaurant

You have some markers that stick together, bottom to top.  You had about 8 of them all stuck together in a long line.  You looked at me, holding that long stick of stuck together markers and said, “I heard in Korea Legos look like this.”

Your father barbequed some skewers for dinner. When he brought them inside, you looked at them and said, You eat off of a chopstick?   I guess skewers do kind of look like chopsticks.  ha

This is the time in your life when you are learning the foundations of navigating social situations which, I think most adults would even agree, can be very complex.  Children, especially if they have younger siblings, tend to be on the bossy side, and you were encountering that in some instances while you were at VBS.  One day in particular comes to mind, when I called at lunch time to see what you were up to, I could hear you crying.  I asked your grandma D. why you were sad and she said the other kids had knocked your tower of blocks down.  I asked why they had done that, as I wasn’t sure if you were playing a game with them or something else. She said it was because it was time for you to go.  I asked if there was a rush that she needed to be somewhere on time, she said she didn’t know it had happened before she had arrived.  So, I asked to speak to you, I got your side of it and I commiserated with you, validated your feelings and told you what they had done wasn’t right.  And I told you if that ever happened again, to tell the kids to stop it, and since there wasn’t any deadline from your grandma’s point of view, to be sure and put the toys away when the teacher instructs you to do so, but finish what you were doing.  I find myself giving you words to use, encouraging you to have courage and to always remember to be kind, so that hopefully the behavior you don’t like is something you realize isn’t OK and so you won’t imitate in YOUR future social interactions.  In other words, don’t be afraid to stand up for something that is the right thing.  It is never OK for people to treat you (or anyone) poorly.

 This month’s picture of you isn’t all that great in terms of photography, but I feel like it represents YOU.  You are all about jokes, laughter, and full of vibrant, beautiful LIFE.  And, yes, when  you fall asleep at night, I still lay my hand over your heart to feel it beating.

Love, Mommy

More pictures from this month can be found here:  LINK

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Filed under Best Husband, Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute