Monthly Archives: October 2016

Focus on Gratitude

It was 7:45 pm on Tuesday night.  I had taken William to Rubio’s for Taco Tuesday and needed to pick up a few items at Walmart after.  Even though he does very well with later hours (I suspect he’ll be a night owl like his parents as he gets older), I tend to get stressed about keeping him on a schedule and the later it gets, the more stressed I get.

I know any trip to Walmart takes a minimum of 30 minutes.  With him along, it takes longer because OF COURSE he has to go to the bakery and see if they have a cookie, look through the “flip book” (the giant posters),  “play the music” (the music samples buttons), tour the toy aisles, the Halloween aisles and the Christmas aisles.

By the time we got to the registers, it was 8:20 pm.  There were 2 open on one end and 3 open on the far end, plus the self checkouts and all of them had long lines.  I decided to walk to the far end and evaluate which “poison” I was going to pick, knowing full well that which ever line I chose would indubitably end up being the one where the person in front of me would choose to pay with coins from their piggy bank, likely all pennies.  Because that’s just the way it goes.  Meanwhile, William was sitting in the cart getting sillier and sillier as the moments passed, because that’s how he rolls.

As I passed the middle check out stands, there was one register that had two people in line.  The person that was “up” was paying, the guy in line behind her had 2 items and he already had his credit card out.  I moved toward that register and realized that her light wasn’t on, so I started to pass it by, but then realized that she didn’t have the “lane is closed” sign out.  I hesitated.  I moved past, then back tracked and figured what would be the harm in asking?

Apparently, the guy in line had moved in without asking and my query triggered the cashier to point this out to him, in a good-natured sort of way, and she told me that I would be her last.  I thanked her, graciously, and teased that she was only taking me because I have a child who was up past his bedtime.  She smiled and admitted that was actually one of her reasons for taking me.  That meant so much to me.

I asked her if I could put her “line closed” sign up for her.  She looked surprised and handed it to me.  She engaged  William in conversation, he told her we had found Scooby Doo yogurt and he was going to try it out to make sure it was good, because he wanted it for his Scooby Doo birthday party.  She told him that was a fun idea. Then he told her he didn’t know if they normally stocked it, because there wasn’t a place for it on the shelves.  She told him that she would have to talk to her boss about that, since it was so important to him.

It was then that I realized that her name tag proclaimed her to be the assistant manager of the store.  And I’m betting that she will actually make sure that there is Scooby Doo yogurt in the store for William’s birthday party in a couple months.  And now I’m thinking I’ll write a letter to that Walmart and tell them how wonderful she was to me.

Someone once told me that if someone means something to you to be sure and tell them.  It’s funny the things that stick in a person’s mind, but that is one of those things that just bored its way into my memory… there is so much negative in this world, especially in retail.  If I can be the one positive thing in someone’s day, I’d like to try. She took the time to make sure some of my stress was alleviated, I think I can take the time to tell her how grateful I am for that.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Gratitude Quest

Getaway

We’re in Big Bear for the weekend, and having a jammie day today. William is drinking some hot chocolate and snuggling while watching a movie. All of a sudden he says, “I’m waiting for snow. Is it snowing yet?”
 
 
 – Posted from my iPhone

1 Comment

Filed under Our Kid is Cute, Tidbits

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.

dscn4889

Love always,

Mommy

More photos from this month can be found here:  LINK

4 Comments

Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Money Hump Building, Who I am

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

1 Comment

Filed under Our Kid is Cute

Annually We Pose.

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

1 Comment

Filed under Our Kid is Cute

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Best Husband, Our Kid is Cute