In case you wanted garden soil without poop, here’s your brand.
Monthly Archives: May 2016
On May 8, 2016, you turned 53 months old. You are 45-3/4 tall and weigh 49.5 pounds. Sizing is the same as last month.
Things We Did This Month:
Recurring things: Library, Awanas, KinderCirque, Ice Skating Class
4/9 – Tai-Kwon-Do Birthday party
4/16 – Big Bear weekend
4/20 – Disneyland
5/7 – Breakfast at Grandma D.’s condo
5/8 – Breakfast at Grandma H.’s house
Monthly Interview of Favorite Things:
Song: Pirates life for me, pirates life for me, pirates life for meeeeee
Movie: Peter Pan
Class: Guitar class, piano class and basketball class!
Teacher: Miss Robin
Vacation spot: Big Bear and Nebraska
Toy: Play kitchen (at Grandma’s condo)
Favorite Park: Awesome park
Theme Park: Disneyland
Best friend: MacKenzie (she was in ice skating class)
Favorite Story: The Little Mermaid
Favorite thing to do with Mommy: Go to Disneyland
Favorite thing to do with Daddy: Go to Disneyland
Grandma: Go to her condo
Favorite Shirt: Elmo Shirt
What do you think about being 4? Four is NOT good.
Sleeping has been great this past month. I’m so grateful for that!
You now always pray for a good night’s sleep with no bad dreams. If I forget, you don’t.
You struggled again with paying attention in this class. As a result, we removed all privileges: desserts, treats, movies and games on your iPod. Those are your currencies, so that’s what we focused on. Our goal was to encourage you to listen, work hard and finish the season (2 weeks & a show). You were not happy about this, but you understood the restriction and what it meant (i.e., mommy, daddy, other people could have those things, but you could not) and that you had to make good choices to earn it back.
Your father had the grand idea to actually eat a cake pop in front of you one night. We planned it out the day before and everything. When the time came, I nonchalantly agreed when he offered it to me, like it was no big deal. You came over and looked at it and said, “I can’t have one because I made bad choices. Can I smell it?” So, I let you, and the thought occurred to me that you might take a bite, but you are always honest about that stuff, and you didn’t, but you sure did inhale deeply.
For the duration of those two weeks, anything you liked became a treat and you would intentionally rub it in. At Awanas, the snack was plain Cheerios and a half banana. All the way home, I heard about , “Those were honey Cheerios and sugar on the banana. It was sooooooo sweet! I think it was a treat, mommy!” Or at dinner a couple nights later we had steamed broccoli with butter and salt. Your response was, “Mmmm, I think the broccoli is sweet because there’s butter on it. Is this a treat?”
Text from your Grandma D. “At library story time, he asked Ms. Mary what books she was going to read. Later he asked other questions and then told her that he likes her class. He told her that mommy won’t let him have dessert cause he didn’t do well in Ms Robins class. Everybody heard, of course.
With this class, you seem to be flat out bored, excepting the social aspect of it. The day before Mother’s day, I skated an open session with you and your teacher happened to be on the ice. We started talking while you skated around us, as I was curious why she had rated you low on a couple of the skills — preparation for snow plow stop and moving swizzle — she explained that you would do the skills if she stands in front of you and makes you, in a 1-on-1 setting, but that you won’t do them if she tells the class to do them. To demonstrate her point, she got your attention and asked you to do those two skills, and you immediately did it flawlessly, but she said you won’t do it in a class setting. I have a feeling that this will be a lifelong issue with you and I’m not sure how to deal with it.
The irony of this conversation to me was that the next to the last class of the season, a substitute teacher was there. He was brilliant. He turned the entire class into a game and no one was standing around on little circles for 70% of the class. There were no cute hearts or things drawn on the ice that you were supposed to skate around for 20% of the class. It was all movement and games, and all the kids in your class were sailing across the ice in an effort to catch the teacher, while laughing hysterically about it. You performed all the skills necessary as part of the games. Unfortunately, that teacher travels a lot and just does subbing when he’s in town. An observation of that would be that teaching styles can have a lot to do with how children perform, that it’s not always a student’s skill level, that often times a student’s skill level can be a direct reflection of the teacher’s ability.
You have been very active this month with other physical activities. You are learning to balance on a bike that your daddy removed the pedals from (a self-made balance bike) and you’re doing really well with learning to glide and balance.
You are doing better and better with scootering and with rollerblading.
Swimming, you are so silly. You refuse to use your big arms and big kickers unless I prompt you and threaten to put you in swim class. You are working on underwater swimming, and you are doing really well with getting dive toys. You have also started doing flips/somersaults in the pool. Funny thing, you have discovered that if it’s too hard to get your dive toy, you’ll get out and jump back in from the side of the pool because you’ve figured out that takes you to the bottom of the pool with because of gravity.
You really love your new Awanas, and was sad when they had a week’s break on 5/5. What’s even sadder to me is that every single time we go to our new Awanas, you ask in a concerned voice, “We’re going to the new Awanas, right? Not the old Awanas?”
At one of the Awana classes, there was a magic show. You were enthralled. For the next week, you were putting on magic shows for me, showing me four fingers, blowing on them and telling me it was two fingers. Showing me food and making it disappear after you ate it.
Things I want to Remember:
You love your Bible story app, and you memorize the script of the stories. You act out those stories with any prop you can find. At a restaurant, stacking jelly, you say, “Who can fight me today? I’m stacking jelly, and this is Goliath!”
Picture: “I’m a rhino!”
Sometimes you just are silly beyond all boundaries, and usually it’s related to you not wanting to go to the restroom. In exasperation, I will ask you, “Why are you being so nuts?” I never know what response I’ll receive from you, and this particular time you replied, “Because I want to be funny!!”
Picture: “It’s naked William with glasses!”
Getting ready to drive up to the mountains, we stopped at Chick-Fil-A for dinner to go. We’re in the drive-thru line placing our order, and you in the back seat talking loudly over us, “I want chicken with French fries. LOTS OF FRENCH FRIES, PLEASE. No, NOT a medium ice tea, a medium KID’S water with LOTS of ice!” I’m in the passenger seat up front looking at your father asking him where the button for the soundproof barrier is.
When we drive to the mountains, I wait for you to ask for your iPod. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. This particular time, we drove up Friday night, so it was late and dark, and you didn’t want to fall asleep, so you asked for it about halfway through the drive. There were some vehicles ahead of us who were having road rage issues, they were passing in no-passing zones, and were driving in a hazardous, illegal manner. You opened the piano app on your iPod and started playing horror type music. Amused, I asked you what you were doing. You replied, “I’m playing this music because it’s scary and dangerous!!” So, basically, you were “scoring” our drive up the mountain.
Picture: Digging in the dirt at our cabin, you were saying, “It must be here somewhere.” Curious, I asked, “What?” You replied, “Money!”
Whenever we come home from somewhere as a family, you announce, “It’s Monstro! He’s opening his mouth! We’re going into Monstro!” This hales from the movie Pinocchio, and our garage is Monstro the whale.
When we were talking about Disneyland, and you were asking to go and we were telling you we couldn’t because a lot of it is under construction, your solution to this problem was, “I wish they could just sew boards together and be done with it… I want to see the new Star Wars Disneyland!”
Picture: Driving around, you placed Froggy on a pillow and informed us that “Froggy is asleep in his bed. I will wake him up when we get there.”
As a treat, I bought you some chewy granola bars with tiny chocolate chips in them. I saw the mischievous gleam in your eyes, and I told you to eat the granola bar in bites, do not get your fingers messy by picking things out of it. I looked around at you, and you were delicately taking tiny bites out of it. I must have given you the Mom Look, because in a defensive tone you said, “What? My teeth were picking out the chocolate chips!”
One of the highlights of this past month was a surprise “family day” to go to Disneyland. Our good friend (who works there) made arrangements for us to go. You were SO surprised and SO excited! Even the drive there, as we got near and saw shuttle buses driving around that had Disney characters painted on the side, you were exclaiming, “That’s a Toy story bus! Amazing!”
On the walk from the parking structure into Disneyland, there were blooming honeysuckle vines. I picked some and let you taste the honeysuckle.
One of our last rides at Disneyland was the haunted mansion. You didn’t like it and asked us to cover your eyes and your ears. We did and regretted our decision to go on it through the entire ride. When it was over, we let you walk out, and you kept staring at the ghostly image of the woman that told us goodbye. When we got outside you told us, “That was a good ride, let’s do it again!” We didn’t, of course, but the next day you told me, “That lady told us to come back, that’s why I wanted to go again.”
The next day, your Grandma D. texted me, “He woke right after you left. He’s telling me all about yesterday. We want your patio to become Disneyland & play out there every day.” You STILL talk about our day at Disneyland, even nearly a month later.
At Denny’s there was a bird hopping around the patio looking for leftovers to eat. You wanted to pet the bird, and so you were following it around talking to it, saying, “Come here little guy, I’m not going to eat you!”
After breakfast, I gave you some instructions and you responded, “OK. Well, I’ll listen to you just this time.”
I guess one day, you and Grandma D. had been learning about the Statue of Liberty, because I arrived home to find you standing on your tall Ikea chair (pedestal), with the paper crown you had made at Awanas on your head, holding a Pez dispenser in your raised hand, and a paper with a bunch of combined WMWMW written on it as the law, and you saying, “People are climbing up inside of me.” It was quite hilarious.
At Taco Tuesday, you were giving us a report of your day that went like this, “Grandma let me watch a movie… Sleeping beauty. She paused it when daddy got home and then we watched the Prince and the Pauper!” I sent Grandma a text with that information and she replied, “No, we did not.” I read that aloud. You clarified, “No, no. That was a lie.” Your father said, “Thanks for admitting your lie.” You clarified further, “No, GRANDMA told a lie.”
One Saturday, you went into our shower and started making noises and saying “Oh, this feels so nice! It feels so nice and warm. It feels so good! I’m gonna play with my ducky!” I looked in over the shower door and you were sitting in a totally dry bath tub pretending that you were taking a shower.
We bought a hand shower for your shower, and on late nights like Awana nights, or if we are out late, we give you a shower. On other nights, you get a bath, however, you have started telling us that you prefer the shower.
At Walmart, you were being silly in the parking lot in daddy’s car. You saw people walking past and, ever the extrovert, said to them, “I will see you inside.” When inside, we had gone to the store, and you saw the lady you had talked to outside in the parking lot shopping in the candy aisle as we were walking past the and you said, “There’s the lady in the black shirt, I need to go say hi.”
One Saturday, I was vacuuming the stairs, and you decided it would be a fun idea to slide down them. I grabbed your legs and pulled you to get you out of the way, and you turned it into a game… “Ow ow owwwww” you would say, laughing, and then “Let’s do that again!” I didn’t get much vacuuming done that day, but we had some laughs.
You opened your own business selling withered leaves that have dropped to the ground. Your Grandma D. bargained and bought $.75 worth of them and you immediately left your station to go put the money in your piggy bank. You tried to sell me some and I told you I didn’t have any money (true, I spent it on a balloon artist who made you a balloon Buzz Lightyear that morning). You said, “Oh, that’s OK, mommy. You can use these leaves as pretend money!”
On your razor scooter, you push with your leg and then kick your leg back really far. It’s so silly and I demonstrate the correct way to do it, and then you do it your way and tell me, “I am kicking my butt!” I guess you learned that trick from doing the trampoline at Ms. Robin’s class.
Text from your Grandma D. “Before storytime starts, kids work with puzzles. William grabs 2 magnetic boards…one to give to another & one for himself. Then he says to the other kid, “I’ll show you how it works.”
We have a bag in a cabinet where we store our recyclables. When I smoosh plastic water bottles, as a joke I toss them on the ground. In response, you run over and grab them and put them in the bag in the cabinet. You also ask me when I come home if I have any bottles for you in my car.
You have become obsessed with my toothpaste. I use Arm & Hammer’s Sensitive Teeth toothpaste and every night, after I floss your teeth you yell out, “Daddy? Please get mommy’s mint!” And you want your teeth brushed with my toothpaste. I finally told you I was going to get you your own mint toothpaste. So the next time we went to Walmart, you reminded me to get me your mint toothpaste. We held hands to the toothpaste aisle and I set you loose and said to pick your toothpaste. I was a bit flabbergasted when, you looked around at all the boxes of toothpaste, even the regular Arm & Hammer toothpastes and picked the box with the sensitive teeth.
In Big Lots, you found a nickel on the ground. You recognized it as being money, so you picked it up and attempted to turn it into the cashier. She suggested that you keep it and I suggested you put it in your pocket and put it in your piggy bank when you got home. So, you stuck it in your pocket, and then you went to show your father your find and, man, is there anything cuter than a 4 year old digging in his pocket for money?
We had dinner at Mimi’s cafe the night before Mother’s day (thanks, BOGO coupon!!) and there was another family sitting next to us who had a little girl named Ava. You two were going on and on and on with a silly conversation game, you would ask her, “Did you say… booth?” She would reply, “Nooooo, did you say … red?” You would reply, “Noooo, did you say flower?” On and on it went. She got silly and flipped herself over and poked her butt in the air. You laughed and laughed and exclaimed, “Look at that cute little butt sticking up in the air. Hahaha” I kind of wanted to die and laugh all at the same time. I looked at Ava’s mom and she was laughing so hard she was starting to cry. She shrugged and said, “Well, he’s right.”
Grandma D. has shown you that we send kisses and hugs to you via text message by using X’s and O’s. Now she lets you send us text messages by pressing X’s and O’s and says, “from William” after them. We get lots of those types of text messages now and I love every single one of them knowing that you typed them in.
One night, I had nursed and snuggled you to sleep in my arms, as I do every single night. I listened to your breathing even out, and your entire body relaxed against me, warm and snuggly. I sniffed the top of your head, kissed your forehead, and just held you for a few minutes, as I do every single night. Savoring your trust in me. After a bit, I lifted you and stood up to put you in your bed. You turned your head and sleepily kissed my arm and whispered, “I love you so much, mommy.”
I whispered back, “I love you, too, sweetheart.” And I lowered you into your bed, gave you your second Froggy and kissed your forehead as I left.
Love you forever, little one.
More pictures from this month can be found here: LINK
I love phrases that switch words around to completely alter perspective. So simple, so clever, so complex. Word plays.
From the Start Where You Are, a journal of self exploration comes the phrase: “The question isn’t who is going to let me. The question is who is going to stop me.” –Ayn Rand
I love that. It makes me think about my first mind breaking trip that I took back to Oklahoma in 2004. A return to my roots. A trip that I had anxiety attacks about every day and night, over and over. My mind was broken like a too oft played record, the grooves too deep to jump the needle of thoughts out of the rut. Not only was I facing down my fear of travel, but I was going back to somewhere that I hadn’t been since I was 8 years old. A place that memories had somehow fled out of my mind, except for a couple… and those weren’t very good ones. By the time I went to the airport, I felt like I had been through a harrowing journey in my mind that had taken an exhausting toll on my body. I don’t really know how I managed to do it, but I look back at that woman and tears stream down my face in compassion at the courage I manifested. The strength of will I had to move forward through the terror.
The trip itself, of course, was a journey through time for me. The woman I sat next to on the airplane asked me where I was going. When I shared that I was returning to where I grew up, not to visit anyone in particular, but just to see it… she said, like it was a natural, coming-of-age thing to do, “Good.” And that was it. I didn’t feel belittled or dismissed, or like she was uninterested. In fact, her response was just the right amount of “normal” in the sea of emotional turbulence I had put myself through. It was perfect, and I’ve always been grateful to her in my heart for that. Sometimes people, even random strangers, can say just the right thing at the right time without even knowing it.
There were many memories that I made on that trip… I remember arriving in OKC and getting my rental car and driving out to the lake that my parents used to go boating at. I remember talking to my former neighbor, and her simple joy at finding out who I was and learning that my mom ended up being OK, she had worried for her. She was so pleased at “what a fine lady you’ve turned out to be.” She had lost her partner, and she openly shared her grief with me about that. She happily shared my trek as we trespassed on the land where I had formerly lived. On that property, I remember walking down a hill that was overgrown with weeds as high as my breasts and not knowing why I needed to do it, until I realized as I came out from under an overgrown shrub that there had once stood the playhouse my daddy had built us. The way I had gone, my body remembered, but not my mind. The Oklahoma Bombing Memorial and the somber sadness that overwhelmed me as I walked along looking at the pictures and momentos weaved through the chain link fence around the memorial. So many memories, and none of them I would hold in my heart now if my anxiety had won.
The most stark memory I have, though, of all those that I made, was on my flight back home I was sitting in the airport during my layover in Denver. I looked around at all the gates. Flights were leaving to JFK, LAS, SFO, DTW … all of those places, and like a flash in my brain I thought to myself, “I could change my ticket and go… anywhere. Right now, this second, I could. There is no one to stop me. I am limited only by me.”
It was a revelation of freedom and a recognition of my choices.