Category Archives: Letter to William

Letter to our 5 year 6 month old

Dear William,

On June, 8, 2017, you turned 5 1/2 years old.

Personality:

These days you seem to be a very sensitive and sentimental person.  You hold on to each moment with a desperation akin to the way my grandma used to save the last bite of food on her plate at dinner.  She had been through WWII, but I’m not sure what your excuse is?  Maybe that you’re 5.

One morning when you had awakened, you told me you’d had the best dream about a Monstro whale and that he was a really nice whale, and he liked you.  And you really liked him.  And  you were so sad that he had left you.  You started sobbing.  I told you that sometimes a goodbye isn’t forever, sometimes it’s just “goodbye for now.”  This gave you hope.  I also told you that sometimes you can see your dreams again the next night.  I know sometimes i have the same dream.  You took hope from that… but then there more tears the next morning, because you didn’t see your whale again.  At that point, I suggested that you draw your whale so I could meet him, too.  You were thrilled with this suggestion!  You sat down the next day and drew out the story, like it was a comic strip story… the initial meeting and how happy you were, the playing time with each other, and the the sadness when you left each other.  Now, whenever we go somewhere, if you see a picture of a whale, you claim it as “your whale.”

Dentist:
I finally found a dentist who was willing to do the work that was needed on your molars without general anesthesia. You met with her for a cleaning and you both just fell in love with each other. It was an instant connection. The first visit was cleaning and x-rays, the 2nd visit, she tackled the toughest two teeth (2 hours in the chair), the next visit she did two more difficult teeth (1 1/2 hours in the chair — you decided to take a nap), the 4th visit she did 2 easier teeth (you told her you were going to take a nap… haha) and the last visit she did just a couple fillings… all on your molars. I am relieved and thrilled that we were able to find someone who is so skilled with teeth, such a good fit for your personality. She is now my dentist, too, and when I leave her office, I feel like I’ve just visited a really good friend. We are so blessed!

Travel and Activities:
We traveled to see my Aunt Marjorie in April, and when we got there you curled up in the hallway under all the family photographs and started crying, “I want Uncle Jim back.”  I know you were grieving his loss, and I know that it wasn’t really real to you that he was gone until we got there and you actually realized that he wasn’t there, but … damn… could your timing have been just a bit better?

We’ve visited Legoland and Sea World several times each in the last six months.  One of the times (for each park) we brought your Grandma D.  You held her hand and acted as her personal tour guide around each park, sharing all the things that meant so much to you.  Your Grandma D. is a true treasure, she just let you lead her around and soul-feasted on your joy in sharing with her.

In April we enrolled you in beginner’s basketball. My boss at work was coaching her son’s basketball team and she said she wanted you to remember her always as the first person who contributed to your fame, so she sponsored you.  We have tried… gymnastics, dance (ballet and tap), swim class (although not as a sport, just to learn), ice skating, aerial arts … and it appears as if basketball is your love.  You LOVE basketball.  You were excited the first night, even though it was orientation, and wanted your ball despite the fact that your ball was flat. You didn’t care. You wondered where your coach was… you’were ready!  As far as I can tell, the stories I’ve heard, you are a willing and eager participant in learning to play the game.

The end of May found us doing a road trip to the Monterey peninsula, with an overnight stop on the way to visit a long-time friend of mine in Ojai, who graciously offered their home to us so our drive wouldn’t so long and sent us on our way the next morning with a delicious breakfast under our belts.  We stopped next at Hearst Castle on the way to Monterey. We also, later, drove up further north to see the Redwoods. We were thrilled to be able to meet our friends, Cat and Jake, and their daughter, Scarlett at both Hearst Castle and the Roaring Railroad camp near the redwoods. It was such a unique trip and you loved having Scarlett there to play with. We also met up with my best friend from high school, Bridgett, who also happens to be a cartoonist and she drew you an octopus in your sketch pad, and her friend, Judy, looked for shells with you. They also brought us a yummy lunch from a local deli. It was just a delight to spend the afternoon on the beach with them! Pictures from our trip can be found here: LINK

Education:
You finished out your Awana season in the Cubbie group, and next year you’ll move up to the Sparks group. You were excited about that and then the next day you randomly realized that by becoming a Spark, you would no longer be a Cubbie.  Child, I think you outgrew being a Cubbie about halfway through the season, as you towered over the other kids in your class.  You are going to thrive in the next level; you are SO ready.

Your teacher at the co-op preschool group you’ve been attending left the group.  She was driving a long distance to teach our little group and traffic in California is increasing rapidly every day.  It just got to be too much for her.  With her leaving, the other child who was your age also left the group, and the remaining children are a year younger than you.  I think the socialization has been good for you, but I’m evaluating whether it’s time to move on.

In the last few months, you went from shunning coloring other people’s pictures to coloring them with vivid colors and you focus really hard to stay in the lines. You prefer to paint things over coloring them. You still prefer to draw your own pictures. To that end, I found the Draw. Write. Now. books that show you step-by-step how to draw things, starting simple and gradually getting more complex.  I will find you with those books pulled out, a piece of paper folded into fours, and you diligently working on drawing something.

One evening after finishing watching the Moana movie, I had instructed you to go upstairs for your bath.  You disappeared and I followed you upstairs… except when I got up there, you weren’t there.  You had tucked yourself into the corner in the living room behind your desk with construction paper and markers, and you were drawing freehand the kakamora (coconut pirates) that you were seeing on the screen like it was the most important thing you’d done you’re entire life.  When you were done, you instructed me to send them to Disney so they would use them in the next Moana movie.

You’ve also had a turn of attitude in the last few months about workbook sheets, you are now seeing the value in them. You still prefer to work on a chalkboard or a slate instead of paper. If we do that, you will sit there with me for 2 or 3 hours and do the work.  We completed one workbook in a weekend that way, you just wanted to keep doing more and more pages. Even in just the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen that you fix your “pencil grip” yourself without a reminder from me. It is so thrilling for me to see each step of progress that you’re making!

You love, love, love to be read to, especially The Magic Tree House books.  You love good story lines that involve adventures,  journeys or mysteries.  Because of that love, I somehow stumbled onto the Five in A Row curriculum for learning.  We have had the BEST time working through those books and we love the flexibility of it to explore every topic and subject we can think of while reading through the recommended classic literature. You are working hard to learn to read and write, sounding out letters, learning how to shape your letters. One day you sounded out Happy Birthday all by yourself, and wrote it down… backwards. That’s OK, if I remember right, Leonardo da Vinci wrote things backwards, too. ha

As you’ve grown and changed in the last few months, I find that you are more analytical and are sometimes a step ahead of me in your mental processing skills. Yet, there are still gaps that I’m seeing as far as the end result of your decisions. I find that I’m working harder these days to evaluate how the things I teach you will impact you as an adult, and find myself pausing more as I respond to you, while I try to give you coping and problem solving skills that will serve you well throughout the next few years. I see everything in that perspective these days because I’m realizing that some of the methods that have been used by the people who taught me were designed to “shut down” the process of learning instead of “working through” the problem to a solution. I see now, in parenting you, how I have “learned” responses that result in panic and anxiety, because of the “shut down” method I was taught as a child resulted in a fear response instead of a “solving” response.

Our sweet boy… I treasure my time with you. You are equal parts silly, funny, sweet and mischievous. You are always on the move, experimenting, and yet you go completely still if I’m reading to you. I love our snuggle time and I love our active time. Time spent with you and your father are the best times of my day.


Love you forever,

Mommy

Pictures from the last few months can be found here:
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Filed under Best Husband, I did something Special, I have Friends, I Left Home for Awhile, I Stimulate the Economy, Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute, Travel and Adventures

Letter to our 5 year old

Dear William,

On December 8, 2016 you turned 5 years or 60 months old. You are 52 pounds, 47 1/2 inches tall, according to the doctor’s office measurements. However, you show as being 48 1/2 inches tall on all the theme park measuring signs, possibly due to your shoes? Your sizing is running as Boys Small in shirts. You are size 8 in pajamas. You are in between pants sizes, the Boys 4/5 size is too short, but the Boys 6/7 size is too long.

Things we did this month:

This past month has been a whirlwind of activities for us. It’s always this way for us the last two months of the year, because we have an obsession to go to theme parks and visit Santas.  Earlier this year, you were obsessed with finding out if Santa was real, and we bought a book that talked about the history of Santa and who he was, and yet now you tell me one day that he’s real and the next day you tell me he’s not.

On 11/13, we hung out for a couple of hours after family breakfast with my friend, Lynne, and her son Joseph. You played with his toys and loved having a boy your age to hang out with.

On 11/14, you started attended pre-school two times a week. It’s really informal and is play based learning.

On 11/24, we visited your great aunt’s house for Thanksgiving. Both of your second cousins were there (Fiona and Griffin). You had a FABULOUS time exploring their house and playing with them. You have a bit of an issue with “play-roaring” and these guys are about half your size and a quarter of your age, so we were constantly reeling you back from roaring at them.

On 11/25, we visited the Queen Mary and participated in their Chill event.

On 11/26, we went to Sea World and had breakfast with Santa.

On the evening of 11/26, we went to LegoLand and stayed at their hotel, and the next day, Sunday, 11/27, we went to Legoland.

Classes:

Preschool:   You are the 8th child to join this little preschool group, and it’s almost as if they were waiting for you to complete them. You’ve changed their dynamics a bit and there’s been a few times the teacher has needed to correct one of the other children in the group on their attitude and handling anger.  There is only one other little boy in the group. I’m grateful for this opportunity and hope that things mesh for you and the other kids.  I think this is a necessary change for you.  Along with you beginning preschool, your interest in writing has soared. Your little train table that we bought you for your 2nd birthday has been used less and less, and it’s just been taking up space on the upper landing. You asked if you could convert it to a writing table. I said, “Sure.” You went to my desk and scoured the drawers for envelopes and paper and … I let you have a few envelopes, but then took you to Walmart and bought you your own box for $1. I gave you your own marker and pencil holder and gave you some notepads. We’ve now been finding letters everywhere, stuffed in envelopes. The writing is really long W’s and M’s, but there’s interest!

Also, when I was writing out Christmas cards over the weekend this past week, you said you wanted to sign your name in them. So, you sat yourself down, I gave you a choice of three colors to write with, you chose purple. You made an X and an O and put that at the top of the verse, then you drew a duck, either on land or in water, or for a select few, you drew a snowman.  As the finale, you wrote your name at the bottom. The first few you wrote, I reminded you of the order of the letters of your name, by the end, you were saying the order yourself. You have a little trouble with the “a” in your name, you write it like a square.  You’re also holding your pen (or pencil) more correctly, too.  I am so proud of you.

For the first class at preschool, you were not feeling “safe”, you would do your drawing and art, but check every few minutes to make sure grandma was still there. After a few times, you were OK with grandma leaving, however, you did tell me that you liked it better when grandma stayed.

At one of the classes, the teacher was reading a book about a mouse gathering food for winter. Children gave examples…corn, etc. You volunteered, “brussel sprouts!”

At one of the classes, the mom who was supposed to TA called in that her child was sick. So Grandma stayed and you were pleased about that. I got the following updates via text message, “William is playing in the sand & girls are doing a table activity….string beads. They did turkey songs earlier. One was real cute, I thought.” After a bit, “He’s doing the beads now. Guess he had to observe first.” And then, “William is giving tractor rides today. He’s pulling a ride-on tractor around the yard, giving a tour, the same tour for each rider, each girl taking turns.”

Awanas:  I brought the pumpkin pie for the “before Thanksgiving” class and tasked you with helping to serve the other students. You were happy to help serve and you were particularly excited about the whip cream.

Things I want to remember:

After our weekend in Big Bear, you started a game at home with your Grandma D. called “Hiking to Big Bear.” You drew a map and packed a bag. I got this text, “We hiked to Big Bear…his room. He brought one cheese stick & no water for our weekend here. But brought his bag of toys!”

Heading to dinner one night, we were driving past the fence in the center meridien, and you looked up from your book and drolly said, “Whoa! That fence is going very fast there!”

A conversation about your future went like this:
Me: When you grow up, you could be president.
William: No, thank you.
Me: No, thank you? Really?
William: I don’t want to be president when I grow up. People don’t like the president.

Your Grandma D. came over one Saturday afternoon and when she walked in the house, you got up from your play and grabbed her hand to escort her right back out the front door. You said, “No, Grandma! Don’t ruin my weekend!” Thankfully, your Grandma D. has a pretty good sense of humor, she just thought it was funny.

You woke up in the middle of the night one night and cried out for me. Concerned, I went to you and asked you what was wrong. You replied, “I’m sorry, but, uhhh, my neck is thirsty and I couldn’t find my water.”

After swimming one evening, we were getting our things together. You went over and waited by the gate to leave and I heard you saying, “I have two shadows, isn’t that strange. I have TWO shadows!” Sure enough, the way the lights were behind you, you did indeed have two shadows on the wall.

One night after dinner at Red Robin, you were carrying your balloon around outside and spotted a bunny rabbit in the shrubs. You froze and stared at her. I took a picture, but couldn’t get the exposure right, so I took another one. You were still frozen, so I thought you were trying not to scare the rabbit away, that you were enjoying looking at the rabbit. So I just kept taking pictures, playing with my camera. I finally paused, and I heard you say in a voice laden with boredom, “Are you done taking your pictures yet?”

There was an amazing full moon this past month. The biggest ever, they said. It seems they always say that. But it was fun to make a big deal of it.  The first night, I packed a simple picnic and took you to the Awesome Park. We sat under the super moon and ate our fare. Then we climbed and played and ran a lap. You thought that was pretty fun to be out when everyone else was asleep (at 6:30 pm haha).

The next night, we decided to take our telescope to the park in the community next to us. Our telescope is in a backpack and you wanted to wear it. It was pretty big on you, even after I adjusted the straps. As we walked, I heard you saying something repeatedly, but I couldn’t hear you. I asked you what you were saying, you stopped and said, “The back pack is spanking my butt!!” With every step you took, it was smacking your behind, and you were saying, “Spanking my butt. Spanking my butt.” Hilarious!

You have been so affectionate this past month. Full of kisses and hugs and lots of, “I love you so much, mommy.” You have been very concerned about my “love bank” and making sure that it’s filled up.

In light of this new affection, you have also been a little more able to let me do my chores and you’re not so scared to let me out of your sight.  When you’re in the bathtub, after a few minutes, you will call out, “MommY?” I reply, “Yes, William.” You say, “I love you, mommy.” And that’s it. This is a lot less tethered than things have been the last couple of months. I’m glad you’re feeling safe again.

One day, I told you I’d bitten my lip three times that day and it was really sore. I showed you the inside of my lip where it was all bitten up. You were so sad for me. Later that evening you asked if I’d had a good day. I told you that I’d had a great day! You replied, “How did you have a great day if you bit your lip so many times?”

We’ve had a lot of fun the past couple months with the “mummy” and “mommy” word similarity. With Halloween having passed, you were saying, “That’s a mummy!” I would reply, “No, I’m your mommy.” You would so, “No!!! That’s a mummy!” I would say, “No, I’m your MOMMY!” And you would say, “NO! A mummy is wrapped in toilet paper!” or “A mummy has bandages.” It’s so funny to see you define the difference to me.

We went through some old photo albums this month. I was showing you pictures of our cats when they were kittens. In one of them, I was holding Tug. Surprised, you asked, “Is that young mommy?” I answered, “Yes, it is.” You looked at that picture, then you looked at me. You snuggled into my arm and said, “I like old mommy better.”

I felt a certain amount of success about shielding you from one of the hideous cartoons of all time. You saw a picture of Spongebob and said, “A cracker! Look it’s a cracker!”

One afternoon, you and I were hiking up the stairs. You had your hand drawn map and your hiking stick. We encountered a mountain lion (Snuggy) and a wild bird (Yoda, our parrotlet). Thankfully, we made it to Big Bear safely!

Driving away from our house to go to dinner one night, you were “reading” the comics in the newspaper. Your father asked, “Is that our porch light on or the neighbor’s?” I replied, “It’s the neighbor’s. Their porch light drives me crazy!” From behind your newspaper, I hear you say, “Me, too.”

One evening, your father was having issues with swallowing and kept coughing. Exasperated, your father said, “I need to figure out why I keep choking!” You replied, “OK, fine. We’ll take you to the hospital.”

We were getting ready to go to an all day event. You wandered in the kitchen and asked what I was doing. I replied, “I thought I’d pack you a lunch for today…” You replied, “Oh, instead of daddy spending money on something I don’t like?”

Watching Rudolph, with the snow monster, you said “That didn’t scare me because it’s not 3D.” (When we were at Legoland, you asked to see one of the Lego Movies there, but it’s a 4D experience. You were not thrilled.)

One morning, it was quite chilly and I asked you, “Can you warm up my hand?” You replied, “Of course! I can toast you!”

Placing our order at Sonic, we rolled down the window and you said, “Daddy is having a strawberry shake tonight and mommy is having s spinach shake.” I guess you think I eat healthy all the time, even for dessert. Then you revised the order to include you and you said, “Oh, OK, one candy cane shake for William and actually a butt shake for mommy.”

Watching the movie Elf and the raccoon scene comes on. You commented, “I don’t think that raccoon wanted a hug, he is kind of like Snug, grumpy!” Then after a bit you said, “I don’t think he got enough sleep.”

I put you in a pair of sweat pants for a chilly day. I noticed you were playing with the drawstrings, and commented, “I see you have your pant strings to play with?” You replied, “Yeah, they’re my pet snakes.”

One afternoon after we’d been sick but getting better, I took you to the pool. It had been windy that weekend and we swam for 35 minutes, and made a game of diving for leaves  You were pretty proud of yourself when I turned around and saw you under the water pretty deep, diving for leaves. You said, “You were surprised, you didn’t know I could do that, did you?” We had used my kickboard like a hauling boat for the leaves and grouped all the leaves together in one spot. When we were done, we noticed that they kind of looked like a Christmas tree, so you asked to take a picture with our pile of leaves.

That apparently inspired you to have your father haul out our Christmas tree. Your father had been sick that weekend, and I felt bad about asking him to get stuff out from the storage area, but you had no issue with it. We had a bit of a false run with it, because we thought you wanted to get a real tree, but after we all got dressed and ready to go, you said you didn’t want to go anywhere, you just wanted the fake tree again. So, we hauled out the fake tree and I let you decorate it. Saved some money and some time, I guess.

You’ve been owning your age this past month… it used to be that when people would ask you how old you are, you would either say, “I don’t know” and walk away, or just say, “I’m two!” And grin like a goofball.  Now you answer correctly.  Along with that, however, has come a concern from you asking me, “Am I still a kid?”  Or, “Am I still a little boy?”  I’ve never seen a kid so concerned about staying a child as you.  I’m not sure why that is, because as a kid, I remember wanting to be grown-up!

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It’s so strange looking at the amazing boy you’ve become and to remember those early days when you were a newborn. Leaks everywhere, milk (mine), poops (yours), spit-up (yours), snot from a cold (mine), other stuff (mine) and then the odd sleep schedule and for those first months I remember joking to your father that I was going to write a book entitled, “Walking William to Sleep” because the number of times that we walked the neighborhood with you in the carrier, tucked into a giant jacket, so that you would fall asleep was innumerable! People would tell me how small you were and I remember thinking how huge you were (for a newborn) but now I understand what they were trying to say. Even though you were a big baby, you were a newborn, a new life, the smallest YOU would ever be. Five seemed so far off, even 4 seemed like such a big boy. Although I feel like I remember every single moment of those newborn days, how loud you were when you nursed, and every single moment of you learning to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, saying your words, signing your words, how delighted you were to be able to communicate, how happy you are inside and how full of smiles and laughter you always were and still are. You’re just a happy soul. How when I sat down to be with you I realized what a tall world we live in … and then, we kept so busy making memories, going places, doing things, and being sure to take pictures and videos, and in retrospect, I’m so glad we did. You grew and grew and now you’re tall enough to ride the “big” rides at theme parks. In the last 5 years, you have more than doubled in height and quadrupled in weight! And it wasn’t all that long ago that you were hanging onto your daddy’s leg, giggling, saying, “I captured daddy!” with utter delight and joy. You see, when you’re an adult, 5 years isn’t really all that long. We still look the same, we pass time at our jobs or hobbies or our causes and we take pictures and nothing really changes except our clothes. But when you’re a little person, well, your brain grows, your body gets longer and you learn to do more stuff and it all seems much more dramatic than an adult’s Ecclesiastical life.

I distinctly remember looking at your newborn face and searching your tiny features for the face you’d have as a child, knowing that when you grew into the child’s face of the future, I would be searching for the newborn face that you grew out of. Parenthood is such a journey. It heals, because the choices we can make raising you can be different than those our parents chose. It teaches, because I find that I’m learning how to navigate situations I’ve never addressed before. It humbles, because there are things I never thought I’d have to face, and I seek thoughts and guidance from those that I trust. It stretches, because there are things that I know, but find that I have to find a way to explain them. It yields wisdom, thoughtfulness, kindness, openness, vulnerability and a certain amount of fear. I find myself praying repeatedly for you, your safety and your future. I also hold you close when you fall asleep at night, still, because I know you’re as safe as you’ll ever be at that moment, and I listen to you breathe, with your little fist knotted up clenched around your favorite corner of your Froggy, placed gently on my chest, your knees curled up against my legs, and you whisper to me, “I love you so much…”

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We love you so much, too, sweet boy.

Love you forever,

Mommy and Daddy

More photos from this month can be found here: Link

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Letter to our 4 year 11 month old

Dear William,

On November 8, 2016, you turned 59 months old.  You are 47 1/2″ tall and weigh 52 pounds.  You are wearing boys size “small” shirts, size 6 in pants and shorts, size 13 1/2 EW shoes.  You are in size 7 or 8 pajamas for the length.

Things we did this month:

10/9 – Photo session at the Park (our photographer didn’t show up, so we used the timer and the handle of our wagon)
10/22 – Big Bear weekend
10/28 – Winnie the Pooh Party (city’s community center) — Painting pumpkins, storybook time, song, 2 games, favor bags, candy, snack time, lots of interaction with the party leaders.
10/29 –  Halloween party at Dr. Werlin’s — picture, bouncy house, Costume Parade, balloon animal
11/4 – Super Heroes Party (city’s community center) — Right on target with the vet outfit!  another child is wearing fireman outfit, etc.  1st project was to make a police vest out of a paper bag. Only about 10 kids.  Surprise was a visit from fire dept. Firetruck & 4 firemen.
11/5 – Big Bear weekend
11/8 – US Presidential Election (Hillary Clinton/Donald Trump)

Recurring things: Library (Spanish and English)

 Quick Interview:

Name: William
Age: I’m 4
DOB: Is it on day 6? Day 4? Which day is it on? Day 8?
How old is mommy? I don’t know.
How old do you think I am? I think you’re 5.
Favorite color? Red
Favorite food? Chicken nuggets
Best friend? My best friend? Is… Awana Club… the kids in Awana Club.
Favorite TV show? It’s Scooby Doo
Favorite movie? It’s Scooby Doo
Favorite song? Scooby Scooby Doo coming after you… and Everything is AWESOME (Lego movie) (He sang these enthusiastically…)
Favorite animal? Froggy
What are you scared of? Monsters
What makes you happy? Ice Cream!

Things I want to remember:

 The weather has fluctuated this fall, we’ve had some crazy thunder & lightning storms one day and the next unseasonably hot.  We were outside on one of the hot days and you exclaimed, “It’s hot here.  Someone needs to turn on the AC!”

On one of the rainy days, you woke up feeling grumpy and you told your Grandma D. that rain is boring.  Yet when I called you a bit later, you were outside wearing your rain boots and squealing with laughter as you tried to stomp the puddles and splash your grandma.

One Saturday, we had been out and about and there was an incident that involved you not listening and getting in trouble.  As you took your bath, you were apparently reviewing your day in your head and you said to me, “Today was like a banana. There was one bad spot in it but overall it was good.”

One night, you were begging for dessert and I informed you that the food on the table was all the food we had in the house.  You looked very worried for a few seconds until you looked at my face and then you tentatively said, “Uh, you’re just kidding, right?”

You’ve been in the “bath tub painting phase” this month, and one night I heard this from you while you were madly mixing paints in there, “What happens if you mix up red and blue paint? It makes fresh and fruity paint.  And if you mix up red and blue and pink…. uh, it looks like it makes brown, just like this brush I’m using.”  (Your brush had a brownish handle to it.)

While you take your bath is when I typically undertake upstairs chores.  Ever since your “lost” incident at Saddleback Church, you’ve had an issue with letting me or your father out of your sight.  Even when you’re in a safe place, like your bath tub.  It’s been a bit of a challenge for us, and I’ve tried stretching the time.  I’ll start with, “Hey, I’ll be right back, I’m just getting my water.”  Hurry out, hurry back.  Then, “I’ll be back in 2 minutes, I’m just going to get my pajamas on.”  And so on and so forth.  One night I was taking too long and you started making a terrible screechy growly noise.   I went back to you and asked you not to make that noise and explained that I was almost done.  Apparently I took too long again, because I heard you say,  “Uh, mommy, come back or I’m going to make that awful noise again!”

Another night you were having a tough time and you sweetly asked me to sing to you while you took your bath and I moved about doing my chores.

One night, you were tossing and turning, having trouble going to sleep.  I checked on you, gave you extra snuggles and you explained, “My mind is tired but my body is thirsty.  That’s why I’m having trouble sleeping.”  You were having trouble finding your water, so I handed it to you.

You love to ask Siri on your iPod to show you pictures of kittens and puppies.  You also like to see pictures of “Toy Story.”

On Halloween you came to my work and trick-or-treated.  You were the only kid I saw who did that, and everyone had loads of candy. Some people had none, but the ones who did made up for the ones who didn’t.  One of my co-workers dressed up like the Joker and you found him to be a little disturbing.  He was really good at playing his character, and at one point, he got in the elevator to return to his cubicle on the 3rd floor, and he laughed loudly as the door shut.  You stared at him.  When it was time for you to leave, I called the elevator and it opened and you bemusedly said, “The Joker isn’t on the elevator any more. You just never know where he’ll show up!”  Then the next day, your grandma D. couldn’t find the cinnamon in my spice cabinet.  You told her, “Don’t worry, Grandma, it will pop up somewhere, like the Joker!”  But when I told you that the Joker had won the Halloween costume contest, you started crying.  You told me you didn’t want the Joker to win the contest because he was scary.

Trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, a family with 18 month old triplets came along.  You trick-or-treated with them at a couple of houses, and at one house, they were too scared to go to the door because of the decorations.  You told them, “That’s OK, I will give you some of my candy.”  And so you pulled candy out of your pumpkin and put it in all three of their pumpkins.

In your Scooby Doo costume, running from door to the door to trick-or-treat, you said, “My tail is waggin’.”

At the park with Grandma D., you and 4 or 5 other kids were on the merry-go-round, and when it slowed, you would “fake fall” off of it.  Several of the other children started doing it, too, and it freaked their parents out.  After awhile, several of the kids who were pushing the merry-go-round left to go to lunch with their parents, and as is the way, they didn’t say goodbye, they just left.  Pretty soon, the merry-go-round came to a stop.  The riders (including you) looked at each other in confusion and finally you spoke up and said, “Who’s going to push us now?”

After a tough night at Awanas the prior week (pushing), the next week you were the exact opposite.  You were putting down sand for one little boy to rake up (he wanted to rake haha), and when the leader told you it was time to go inside, you helped pick up sand toys and told another little boy that he could lead the line inside with you, since you were first in line.  Then when the teacher randomly decided to choose someone as the line leader (she’d never done that before), you were upset for a minute and then you went to the little boy (it was the same boy you’d been nice to) and you asked him if you could hold his hand. I was so impressed with the way you resolved your problem, and what was the teacher going to do?  You were peaceful, you solved a problem that was caused by her, so… she said, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” And let it pass.

One day, your father sat down and closed his eyes and you said, “daddy’s sleeping already!”

We surprised you with a visit to the park one day, and your response was epic, “I never planned on this park!!  I love this park!”

We finally found you your own die cast Mazda Miata, and before you opened the package, you were waving the car around saying, “Get me out of here!!”  When I looked back at you, you explained, “Oh, oh. That’s the car talking…”

Funniest nursing moment to date… when we travel, I co-sleep with you.  It alleviates your fears of sleeping in a different place.  With the time change last weekend (from daylight savings time to standard time), you woke early.  Of course you did.  You were on the other side of the bed from me, and in the dark room you shouted, “MOMMY!! MOMMY!!” I reached my hand out and flopped it on you and you instantly quieted and rolled toward me.  I was on my side, facing away from you, and I felt your little hands feel my back, quickly patting them over my shoulder blades. I thought for a second you were just making sure I was there, but then In a frantic, slightly panicked voice, you said, “Where did my nah-nahs go???”

You like to make up jokes with your own punchlines.  One of the funniest was a situation that was a couple weeks in the making.  Your father made a pretty big decision this past month.  He was flown to another state for a job interview, and they made him a job offer.  Subsequently he spent a week or so evaluating, thinking, researching, agonizing, praying, discussing, about whether this was the right decision for our family, and the right opportunity for him in his career.  He went up to the mountains to work with his dad on a project with the cabin, and you and I drove up the next day.  When we go up to the cabin, we do not have Internet access, so we use the data on my phone plan.  He still needed to research some things, so I made a hotspot on my phone and “loaned”  him my data, which used it all up.  He ultimately ended up declining the job offer in the other state and transferred within his current company to another account.  The provided him with a new iPhone 7 with data/hotspot capabilities.  The next trip to the mountains, I had some projects I was working on that required internet access.  So I was perpetually asking your father to make me a hotspot.  This went on all weekend long, because inactivity causes the hotspot to expire.  Your father started getting exasperated with me… erroneously so, since he was the violator in the first place.  Anyway , driving down the mountain, we kept getting stuck in construction traffic and I asked, “Can you give me a hotspot?” You, from the back seat, in an exasperated voice says, “No, mommy, he CANNOT give you a hot spot. But I can give you some hot SAUCE.” And then you laughed and laughed.

Another of your jokes, one morning you had your Grandma D. send me a text message saying “You can have a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. Bahahahaaaahaa That’s a joke, mommy.”

Upon waking one morning, you said, “You know what would be fun? Finding fish and playing games with them.”  I pointed out, somewhat validly, I thought, “I’m not sure how well that would work… they have to have water to breathe!”  You replied, “Oh, that’s ok, I’ll put them in a fish tank and play games with them.”

After we returned from Big Bear, Grandma D. sent me this text, “We hiked to Big Bear…his room. He brought one cheese stick & no water for our weekend here. But brought his bag of toys!”

On our way to the freeway on-ramp, we were driving past the fence in the center meridian by the skate park, you observed randomly from your seat, “Whoa!  That fence is going very fast there.”

I’m not sure of the significance of this conversation, but I think things like this are kind of funny, especially if they do become significant later in time:

One day, with the presidential election looming on the country’s horizon, I told you, “When you grow up, you could be president.”  You replied, “No, thank you.”  I asked, “Really?  No, thank you?  Why not?”  You replied somewhat curtly, “I don’t want to be president when I grow up. ”

And finally, after all these conversations we’ve had about your birthday and the upcoming holidays, and your displays of braveness and the adamant ways you phrase things, you asked me quietly one night as I snuggled you to sleep, “Am I going to be all grown up at the end of the year?   Will I still be a little boy ”  I told you that you will always be my little boy.  And I will tell you here that I don’t really know how these things work, but I know my friends I talk to tell me that “boys love their mommies” and that even 9 year old boys like to snuggle.  So, I think we have a few years left of you being a little boy.

 

dscn5272

Love you forever,
Mommy

Pictures from this month can be found here: Link

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

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

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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
slide-comparison-picture-08-2012-to-09-2016

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.

Sleeping:
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.

Awanas:
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.

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More pictures from this month can be found here: LINK

Love you forever, sweet William,

Mommy

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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.
DSCN2997

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

Letter to Our 4 Year 7 Month Old

Dear William,

On July 8th, 2016, you turned 4 years 7 months (or 55 months old).  You are 46 1/2″ tall and weigh 49 pounds 8 ounces.  Despite the extra inches you seem to be gaining each month these days, you are still wearing the same sizes as last month.  You’re just filling them out better.

Things we did this month…

We stayed close to home this past month. Both your father and I are having issues with our cars.  Your father’s car has had intermittent “no starting” issues.  My car has been having overheating and loss of power problems.  We’ve spent a lot of time troubleshooting and doing maintenance, but that means we don’t go too far because we don’t want to get stuck somewhere!  You have enjoyed helping us with all of our car maintenance, and it was really cute when you curled up on your father’s piece of cardboard as he drained my car’s radiator.

We visited the Orange County Zoo one Saturday.  It was kind of a spontaneous trip.  It was hot and we didn’t want to go home, so we just… went to the zoo.

Your Grandma D. consistently takes you to the library craft & story times, as well as various playgrounds.

On June 11th, we went to Chuck E. Cheese.  We hadn’t been for a couple of years, yet somehow you remembered what was in there and were beyond excited to go.  You had a fantastic time, even though some of their games were broken and their car ride with Mr. Cheese was out of paper.

I enrolled you in two swim classes.  The first week it ended up being a private lesson, because no one else showed up for the class. The second week, it was a full class (4 students to 1 teacher), but you still did really well and were focused. I think it helped that you knew it was just the two classes.  I was in shock at how much just those two classes improved your swimming form!  And even though your stroke isn’t perfect, you are going for much longer stretches across the water!

Your Uncle Chris (one of your father’s brothers) came to visit his parents (Grandma & Grandpa H.).  They all came over to celebrate Independence Day here at our home and have a pool party.  You trailed your Uncle Chris everywhere he went.  Your Uncle Chris is a pretty awesome person, and you are very fortunate that you have a lot of really good male role models in your life.

The 4th of July was pretty low key, but still great this year.  As mentioned just above, we had a family get together here at our home.  We did a traditional BBQ and then went up to the pool to cool off.  After that, we came back and did little party poppers, some sparklers and a couple random fireworks we found from our “wild” younger days.  When the family went home, we drove down to the lake in our city where their HOA does a pretty spectacular fireworks show every year at 9 PM.  You were amazed and enjoyed it thoroughly, sitting there on the street in your little fold-up chair, snacking on cut-up apples and corn chips that I had put in little plastic sandwich bags.  You declared the fireworks show the best you had ever seen.

Monthly interview of favorite things…
Color:  Red. Like this strawberry.
Song: The one that has the words all fall down.
Movie: Secret Lives of Pets AND Finding Dory
Food: Chicken
Snack: SUGAAAARRR!
Dessert: Ahhh.  Cupcakes and blueberry cookies.
Fruit: Strawberry and bananas
Vegetable: Broccoli and carrots
Class: Ummm, uh, uh, uh, Vacation Bible School
Teacher: The nice one that loves kids.
Store: Store?? Sprouts.
Restaurant: Ruby’s
Vacation spot: Big Bear
Toy: My favorite toy is my garbage truck.
Favorite Park: Music!  The musical park.
Theme Park: Disneyland, Sea World and Pretend City
Best friend: Uhhh, oh dear, uhm, uhm, Kristin.  At Vacation Bible School.
Favorite Story: Star Wars
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 Library
Favorite Shirt: My favorite shirts starts with SS SSS Sss… can you understand it?  It starts with Star… S S S, can yoiu think what it is?  Star Wars?  Yeah, now can you say it?
What do you think about being 4?  It’s not good.  I would rather be 7.  Because I would just play with toys.  Now I just go to work.  And I don’t like it.  Sometimes I just go home.  I do the same thing at work as you do.

How did you sleep this month…
You’ve been sleeping restlessly this month. It’s been hotter, though, and that seems to make you sleep restlessly.  You’ve also had some trouble falling asleep at night, sometimes taking upwards of an hour.  You say you’re comfortable, and I think that’s true. It seems more as if you’re having trouble turning off your brain.

Things I want to remember about this month…
Your silliness knows no bounds. You pushed your foot into your father and said, “Ha ha, I made you burp.”  And then the “No, you didn’t.” and “Yes, I did.” Argument ensued.

Morning conversation:
William: Daddy is this your work phone?
Daddy: Yes, it is.
William hides it in the drawer.

Your Grandma D. took you to Pretend City. You were so excited and were really enjoying yourself. Your Grandma was sending text message updates about your adventure. Then she sent this: “I told William I need a potty break. He says, “Oh, Grandma, we don’t have time. Can you go standing up?”

Text update from Pretend City day– “A bit overwhelming in a good way. He was buying groceries & running to the kitchen round & round for first half hr.. Now he’s checking the x-rays in the dentist office. Did small boat float. Also did some cutting & gluing.”  He did the theater dance and the microscope. Ended up back in the kitchen & stated “I’m home.”. Now he found the bakery.”

We found a lost kitty one evening.  He came over to the pool area where we were swimming, and we didn’t know who he belonged to, but it was getting to be dusk and I know if I had a kitty who was an outside kitty, I would want him home.  So we called the number on the kitty’s collar, and sure enough, they were looking for him.  When the owners came to pick him up, you cried because “Carlos the Cat’ had to go home.

Friday night… one Friday night, you told us that, “I’m happy because I can sleep and sleep, because tomorrow is a mommy and daddy day.”

One particular morning you whacked me across the face with your Froggy. I had told you once already not to do it, and this is your current ongoing thing, getting in people’s faces with his hands or an object, so I took it away from you and asked him to tell me what he had done. You replied, “I can’t tell you. I just can’t. Because the sun is big and the earth is small. That’s why I can’t tell you.”  I told you that of course, those things were true, but didn’t answer the question I had asked.  That I wanted to be sure that you knew what you had done, that you knew I didn’t like it, and that way I could be sure you knew not to do it again.

Your father and I were talking about our visits to the doctor (we both had sinus issues this past month), and that the doctor had prescribed a nose spray with steroids to help with allergies. You piped up from the back seat, “Did the doctor ask if you wrote Star Wars?” Your father and I laughed and explained, “No, he asked about a type of medication.” You sought clarification, “What did he ask? What was the name of it!?” We had to tell you he was talking about steroids, because it was clear you had heard “Star Wars” and nothing else we were telling you was matching up to what you had heard.

Your big question the last two weeks has been, “What company made this?”  So, anything… your scooter or our plates or candles, you ask what company made this.  Your Grandma D. says you’ve been asking her “What brand is this?”

Photo: Look, the red letters! It says movie theater!
Photo red letters

 

We watched the movie Finding Dory, As we walked out of the theater, you asked if we could go see Secret Lives of Pets the next day. We were sad to inform you that the Secret Lives of Pets movie doesn’t come out until next month

You have this new thing where you cuddle up in your blanket to go to sleep. We had a heat wave this month, where it was around 90° at night. You asked for your blanket and I told you it was too hot. I tried to substitute a lighter blanket and you told me, “I want my blanket back.” I replied, “No, because that’s even more hot.” You replied, “Well, then, I don’t like my bed anymore.”

Swimming with you and your father, you did a flip underwater and grabbed my arm. Surfacing and tugging my arm, you said to your father, “I found a wife for you, daddy! Here you go!”

I quoted a line from a movie and your father got to thinking about it and wondered if it would be OK for you to watch, but that he needed to watch it first to make sure it was OK. You were all excited about possibly getting to see a new movie and repeated back your interpretation of what he had told you. “Daddy is going to watch the movie and see what’s wrong with it.”

Text from your Grandma D., “I told William to eat the yam, that vitamin A would help him see in the dark. Then I went in the kitchen & he disappeared. “William, where are you?” He was in the dark bathroom checking if he could see. Ha”

Your sweet little sleepy voice, sweetly asking me, “Will you sleep with me, mommy?”

The first time ever, you finally asked me what will happen if I count to ten and you didn’t do what I asked.  You’ve never thought to ask before.  I just count and you get up and go do whatever I’ve asked you to do.  So, this time, I said, “Can you go to the bathroom, please?  I’ve asked you several times.  If you don’t, I will count to ten.”  Curiously, you asked, “And then what will you do?  Will you shout?”  I replied, “I will pick you up and carry you to the bathroom.”  I was glad I had an answer ready for you.

You stubbed your toe one night, and after your bath, I asked “How is your toe?”  You replied, “Now my arm hurts.”  Surprised, I asked, “Your arm hurts? How did you do that?”  You replied, “Oh, I’m just having problems tonight.”

Photo: The making of your first video
Photo-first video

One Saturday morning, you informed me, “Today we’re going to have healthy food, but first we’ll start with dessert, which is hot chocolate. I thought we would have coffee and hot chocolate together. Is that fine?”  To which I replied, “That sounds like a perfect plan to me.”

Because this is what you say to me, I decided to say it to you.  You had been in and out of my private time in the bathroom, so I said, “Can you come wipe my icky poopy butt?”  You were in the kitchen and you shouted back at me, calm as you please, “No, thank you.”

Reminder every time we go in the store that we do grown up shopping list first. So then, walking to the veggie area, you said, “After vegetable island, uh, that’s not the right word… But after vegetable island, on MY shopping list is to check for a cookie. That’s what’s on MY list.”

William: I’m hungry
Daddy: But you ate a good dinner!
William: But don’t forget fudge !!

Photo: Eating your Mackinac island fudge, that we got while on vacation last month.  Your eyes closed, head swaying back and forth.
Photo mackinac island fudge

One morning, you came in and plopped yourself on the bed as I was getting dressed for work.  You sleepily eyed me and asked, “Are those bats on your dress?”  Confused, I replied, “No? They’re really big flowers.”  You were skeptical, but took a second look and finally said, “I don’t think so. I think they’re bats and it’s Halloween today.”  I laughed and said, “Definitely flowers… see here? The orange is the center of the flower.”  You replied, “Oh… OK. So you have flowers and bats.”   I replied, “Sure. We can compromise.”

Photo: “What’s for dinner?” I asked you.  You stuck your lollipop above your head like it was a light bulb and said, “I’m thinking…”

Photo thinking about dinner

Photo: Every time we go to the store, you love to sniff soaps. I can give you a soap bar with the promise of buying it and it will occupy you the entire time we’re in the store together.  My kid, the Soap Sniffer.
Photo soap sniffer

Photo: Before we got to the soaps, you found this car.  And you were driving it around the store telling me, “This car is from 1909!”
Photo 1909 car

Photo: Looking at your piece of chocolate chip cookie pie, you said, “Oh no!  A bee got in my dessert it pooped!”  I replied, “Oh?”  You replied, “Oh, I guess it’s just a chocolate chip.”  And started eating it.  ha
Photo bee in my dessert

Getting ready to leave, you went to use the restroom.  I was surprised that instead of using the downstairs bathroom, you turned and went upstairs and I thought maybe your father was in the downstairs bathroom. A couple minutes later, you came down carrying your pants and underwear.  I looked at you weird and asked, “What… happened?” You replied, “I went upstairs because of the beautiful water.”  Surprised, I asked, “What beautiful water?”  You said, “The beautiful water in the toilet.”  I went and opened the toilet seat and your father had put blue cleaner in the toilet water.  Knowing that when your father cleans one toilet, he usually does them all, I asked you, “Well, wasn’t the toilet water upstairs beautiful, too?”  You replied, “Yes, but I peed in it anyway.”

I handed you your water to drink and you said, “Let me look down that straw….”  And instead of drinking, you peered down the straw and declared, “OK, it’s all wet.”

From the Cubbie Bear episodes, you sing the intro/ending song as you run to your bedroom after your bath to put your pajamas on.  But, instead of singing, “Here comes Cubbie, it’s a bear in a vest.”  You sing, “Here comes William in his birthday suit!” One night, you changed the song to “See the pony galloping down in the birthday suit!”

Oftentimes when making up stories, you put them to songs.  So you sing your stories.  So hilarious.

One evening I had left in a hurry while you were selecting your treat.  When you had picked one, you put them all back in your treat box and then asked, “Daddy, do you want a treat?”  Your daddy told you, “No, thank you.”  You replied, “Here’s your treat, daddy, it’s kisses.”  And you gave him kisses.

Photo: “My bike was tired, so it sat down. Actually, it accidentally tripped.”
photo tired bike

One afternoon, you asked me, “Do you need help with your computer?”  I replied, “Nope, it’s all good.”  You answered, “Welp, if it’s all good, then pay the bill.”  Surprised, I asked, “Pay the bill?”  You replied, “Yep, Twenty Dollars!”  Well, then.

Genetics are a funny thing, and it’s funny the way people are always searching a child’s face for similarities of their parents. With you, depending on who’s holding you (me, your father or your grandma D.), people will say, “He looks just like [you]!” In just the course of 5 minutes at a family event last month, one person told your father that, and 5 minutes later someone told me that. The eye of the beholder, or the angle of your face. Who knows?

When I look at you, you just look like William to me. But there are times it’s like looking in a mirror and seeing a younger me, especially the eyes. Other times there’s something that makes me think I’m seeing a younger version of your father. Then there’s something that makes me think you look like my brother, your uncle. Like this picture, the way you’re sitting with one knee up and the tilt of your head, the first thing I thought of when I saw it was, “Wow, that looks like your Uncle.”  And it’s even funnier, because you’ve only met your uncle once and it was somewhere around 10 or 11 months old.

sitting like keith

You did your first Vacation Bible School this past month at the same church where your “new” Awanas is held.  The theme was Mount Everest.  Because you were familiar with the church, you were OK with Grandma D. leaving.  She said she gave you a hug after you got your t-shirt on and you sat down with the other kids.  It was really great to see you doing so well.  It was a natural transition and you did great with the three hours every morning that week.  It was kind of funny, watching the video of the finale show, how you just disappeared and Grandma D. said she looked and looked for you and you had just sat down during the song. She guessed that  you decided you didn’t like the particular song and when one came on that you did like, you stood up to sing it.  Funny kid, whoever you end up growing up to be, you definitely march to the beat of your own drum.  And you are certainly growing up to be a funny, silly boy with a hilarious sense of humor.

 


Love, Mommy

More pictures from this month can be found here:  LINK

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute