Category Archives: Letter to William

Letter to our 4 1/2 Year Old

Dear William,

On June 8th, 2016, you turned 4 1/2 years old (or 54 months old).  You are 46″ tall and weigh 49 pounds 8 ounces.  Despite it seeming as if you are getting lanky and your father thinking you were getting stretch marks on your sides (you’re not), you are wearing the same clothing and shoe sizes as last month.

Things we did this month…

  • Finished Ms. Robin’s class with a great performance (Road to Rio).  We are now taking a break.
  • Completed Tot 2 Ice Skating Class; taking a break.
  • Finished the 1st season of Cubbie Bears in Awanas; starts again in September.
  • Took a vacation and went to Michigan for a family wedding.

Monthly interview of favorite things…
Color: I have no favorite color… uh, white and red.
Song: It’s about… Who’s Dory
Movie: Finding Nemo
Food: Chicken and chocolate
Snack: Melon balls
Dessert: Cake! Uhh, fudge, actually.  And cake.
Fruit: Grapes … and plums.  And peaches.
Vegetable: Broccoli
Class: Basketball
Teacher: My basketball teacher.
Store: Where they have lots of restaurants and a lot of stores in a building.  A mall.  All of the stores.
Restaurant: All of the restaurants.
Vacation spot: Michigan and Big Bear
Toy: Garbage truck and Big Buzz and Woody, and Big Jessie and Bullseye and Big Rex.  But I couldn’t find him today.
Favorite Park: All of them.
Theme Park: All of them.
Best friend: That girl I found at the park today.
Favorite Story: The Sugar Plum Tree
Favorite thing to do with Mommy: Go to Disneyland
Favorite thing to do with Daddy: Go to church
Favorite thing to do with Grandma: Eat ice Cream
Favorite Shirt: All of the travel shirts.
What do you think about being 4 1/2?  It’s good.  But that girl I met at the park today was 4 1/2, too.

How did you sleep this month…
Sleeping has been great this past month.  Even with the travel we did to a different time zone (East Coast), you slept great.  I was so surprised when you slept until 9 AM at the hotel in Michigan our first night there.  You had trouble falling asleep one of the nights when we were traveling, but that had more to do with the room, than you.  You’ve had a couple nights where you had trouble turning your brain off since we got back, but eventually you did fall asleep on your own (I had to go take care of chores.)

Things I want to remember about this month… 
You greet me when I come home from work with an exuberant, “Hi Sweetheart!”

We were using anything and everything as leverage for you to do well in your aerial show.  We had a credit for 3 admissions at an indoor playground and I came home from work to you telling me this:  “Grandma says she’ll take me to We Play Loud if I do good in my show!”

Our neighbor has a little dog that she carries in a sling when she is outside.  The tiny dog is really old and her youngest son just learned to ride his bicycle without training wheels, so she was on her bike with her dog in the sling and her two boys were riding around her.  You were on your “balance” bike and the only thing you were interested in doing is petting her little dog.  She kept edging away, trying to get her boys back home, but she adores you and kept talking to you and you kept petting her dog.  It was so funny to watch you reel her back to you so you could keep petting her little dog in the sling.

You have all these plastic bugs that your Godmother gave you when you were about a year old.  You love them and role play with them now.  You were putting them in the birdhouses that we decorated a couple years ago, and I don’t allow you to play with mine because I have tiny, breakable furniture in it.  So you told it, “I’m sorry, Cricket, but you have to sleep somewhere else tonight.”

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Monday mornings are never easy for you, or for us, as adults, either.  Some mornings you sleep through our morning snuggles, or fall back asleep.  One Monday morning, your Grandma D. reported this to me via text:  “Mommy?”  “Daddy?”  “Oh.  It’s YOU again!”  — these were William’s words as he woke up a few minutes ago.  I thought it was hilarious!

You like to watch the Signing Time videos, and sometimes they’re kind of like a game show spelling bee.  One night, you told me, “Lollipop, it’s like you’re holding the stick and sucking on it. Lollipop.”

One of our friends has a new baby, so I asked you what you would tell a mommy who wants to nurse her new baby.  You responded, “I think she should let her baby suck on the nah-nahs whenever the baby wants to. It’s very good.”

Your father and I always try to get as many snuggles from you as we can.  You kind of skimped your father on the hugs one day and your daddy asked, “When will I get more snuggles?”  You replied, “When I get dessert.”

One night you asked us, “Where are we going to eat tonight?  Rubios?”  Then you asked with a huge grin on your face, “Is it Taco Wednesday?”

We took you to the doctor to have your ears checked, because you were complaining of ear pain.  Afterward, outside, you spotted a sea gull who was hanging out near the fountains.  You started to chase him, and I admonished you not to chase the bird.  You said, “I’m not chasing the bird.  I’m doing a fast dance.  See?”

You said to me, “Whoa, Whoa!!”  I said, “What’s that?”  You said, “It’s like a Spanish word.”  haha

Driving down the freeway to a little petting zoo, your father said, “We’re almost to our exit on the freeway, and then what are we gonna do?”  You replied, “Go to the zoo and poo!”

Just this last week, you told me, “I’m tired of summer. I just want it to be Halloween now.”

After our visit to Mackinac Island, you were playing with my five legged camera pod.  You twisted and bent it all around and then told me, pointing at it, “This is the island, here’s the fort and the flag… We’re right here right now.”

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Reading the menu on the airplane, you pointed at the picture and said, “I want the chocolate dinner.”

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We went to breakfast one Sunday morning, and the wait for our food was interminable.  You were looking for something to play with and you asked for some cars.  We didn’t have any, and so you told your father, “Daddy, if you don’t go home right now and get my cars, I’m going to be a bad boy.”  That threat didn’t work out for you at all, of course, but nonetheless, we found it to be quite funny.

Out of the blue last week, you told me, “I miss Awanas, mommy.  I want to do Awanas again.”

There have been a couple of times this past month when I’ve purchased various items with the intention of doling them out as a treat, or I purchased some figurines on sale for the upcoming movie, Secret Lives of Pets, and I left them on my lounge couch in a plastic bag.  The curiousness that is you has asked, “What are these?”  I smile at you without answering and you ask, “Are they surprises?”  When I answer in the affirmative, you happily walk away, without investigating further.  This is an amazing thing to me, because it’s not something that I’ve really thought about all that much, but you are accepting of the fact that it’s a surprise, therefore you WILL get it sometime in the future, and you’re willing to wait until that time.

Another interesting example of this is that one weekend we went to Walmart with you on a Saturday, all three of us. You requested to visit the toy department and we reminded you of our rule that we take care of our shopping list first.  Well, we didn’t end up visiting the toy department that day, because we ended up on the other side of the store and we all forgot about ti.  We went again on Sunday, just you and me, and you again made your request about seeing the toys, and I reminded you that we had to take care of our list first.  Again, both of us forgot about it.  On Monday, your Grandma D. took you to Walmart and you requested to go to see toys, she took you to visit the aisles and you had the best of times… and you even thanked her for taking you to the aisles.  I told her what had happened over the weekend and she was so surprised and so pleased that she had been able to make the time to take you.   She shared that she had even asked you to go get her a shopping cart to help her out (watching you, of course, the whole while) and that your reward for doing that would be a visit to the toys.   Of course, when your father asked you about your day, you told us that you hadn’t gone to Walmart.  Furthering the cliche of what happens with Grandma stays with Grandma.  haha

And, finally, it is noteworthy to me that life lessons start this young, as evidenced by this text my mom sent me one day about a couple of older boys who were being generally unkind to you (they took your shoes away from where you had left them to climb a structure, and then laughed at you when you got upset) and were just looking for ways to get into trouble… “William learned about trouble makers today…two little boys at the park. I tried to teach him about getting in with the wrong crowd as i took his hand & we left for a different park.”

There are times when all I can see in this world is the evil, the scary, the terrifying and the frightening.  It can all be overwhelming sometimes as an adult.  I’ve often made the joke to your father that the reason I don’t watch TV or the news is because I’m always left with the sense that it’s a miracle there are even people alive any more, and the news seems to revel in reporting the most horrific ways a person can lose their life.  Horrifying stories about shootings, acts of terrorism and, even, devastation that crawls and wiggles its way into a family vacation in the form of an alligator in Disneyland, leaving a family bereft of a child that is younger than you.  My reaction to these stories is to hold you longer when I put you to bed, to feel your heart beating more often, to seek to watch you laugh more often, I bend down to hear your words more frequently, I hold onto the miracle of the time that we have with you and each other as a family.  I pray more passionately to God for your protection, for our protection, and that He will guide the path of our lives.  I know that no matter the safety precautions in place that the very act of living, of having a heart beating inside a human body, is a miracle.

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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

Letter to our 4 year 5 month old.

Dear William,

On May 8, 2016, you turned 53 months old.  You are 45-3/4 tall and weigh 49.5 pounds.  Sizing is the same as last month.

Things We Did This Month:
Recurring things: Library, Awanas, KinderCirque, Ice Skating Class
4/9 – Tai-Kwon-Do Birthday party
4/16 – Big Bear weekend
4/20 – Disneyland
5/7 – Breakfast at Grandma D.’s condo
5/8 – Breakfast at Grandma H.’s house

Monthly Interview of Favorite Things:
Color: Black
Song: Pirates life for me, pirates life for me, pirates life for meeeeee
Movie: Peter Pan
Food: Treats
Snack: Cake!
Dessert: Cake!
Fruit: Cake!
Vegetable: Cake!
Class: Guitar class, piano class and basketball class!
Teacher: Miss Robin
Store: Sprouts!
Restaurant: Rubios
Vacation spot: Big Bear and Nebraska
Toy: Play kitchen (at Grandma’s condo)
Favorite Park: Awesome park
Theme Park: Disneyland
Best friend: MacKenzie (she was in ice skating class)
Favorite Story: The Little Mermaid
Favorite thing to do with Mommy: Go to Disneyland
Favorite thing to do with Daddy: Go to Disneyland
Grandma: Go to her condo
Favorite Shirt: Elmo Shirt
What do you think about being 4?  Four is NOT good.

Sleeping:
Sleeping has been great this past month.  I’m so grateful for that!

William’s Prayers:
You now always pray for a good night’s sleep with no bad dreams.   If I forget, you don’t.

Classes:

Aerial Arts:
You struggled again with paying attention in this class.  As a result, we removed all privileges:  desserts, treats, movies and games on your iPod.  Those are your currencies, so that’s what we focused on.  Our goal was to encourage you to listen, work hard and finish the season (2 weeks & a show).  You were not happy about this, but you understood the restriction and what it meant (i.e., mommy, daddy, other people could have those things, but you could not) and that you had to make good choices to earn it back.

Your father had the grand idea to actually eat a cake pop in front of you one night. We planned it out the day before and everything.  When the time came, I nonchalantly agreed when he offered it to me, like it was no big deal.  You came over and looked at it and said, “I can’t have one because I made bad choices.  Can I smell it?”  So, I let you, and the thought occurred to me that you might take a bite, but you are always honest about that stuff, and you didn’t, but you sure did inhale deeply.

For the duration of those two weeks, anything you liked became a treat and you would intentionally rub it in.  At Awanas, the snack was plain Cheerios and a half banana.  All the way home, I heard about , “Those were honey Cheerios and sugar on the banana.  It was sooooooo sweet!  I think it was a treat, mommy!”  Or at dinner a couple nights later we had steamed broccoli with butter and salt.   Your response was, “Mmmm, I think the broccoli is sweet because there’s butter on it.  Is this a treat?”

Text from your Grandma D.  “At library story time, he asked Ms. Mary what books she was going to read. Later he asked other questions and then told her that he likes her class. He told her that mommy won’t let him have dessert cause he didn’t do well in Ms Robins class. Everybody heard, of course.

Ice Skating:
With this class, you seem to be flat out bored, excepting the social aspect of it.  The day before Mother’s day, I skated an open session with you and your teacher happened to be on the ice.  We started talking while you skated around us, as I was curious why she had rated you low on a couple of the skills — preparation for snow plow stop and moving swizzle — she explained that you would do the skills if she stands in front of you and makes you, in a 1-on-1 setting, but that you won’t do them if she tells the class to do them.  To demonstrate her point, she got your attention and asked you to do those two skills, and you immediately did it flawlessly, but she said you won’t do it in a class setting.  I have a feeling that this will be a lifelong issue with you and I’m not sure how to deal with it.

The irony of this conversation to me was that the next to the last class of the season, a substitute teacher was there.  He was brilliant.  He turned the entire class into a game and no one was standing around on little circles for 70% of the class.  There were no cute hearts or things drawn on the ice that you were supposed to skate around for 20% of the class.  It was all movement and games, and all the kids in your class were sailing across the ice in an effort to catch the teacher, while laughing hysterically about it.  You performed all the skills necessary as part of the games.  Unfortunately, that teacher travels a lot and just does subbing when he’s in town.  An observation of that would be that teaching styles can have a lot to do with how children perform, that it’s not always a student’s skill level, that often times a student’s skill level can be a direct reflection of the teacher’s ability.

Other Sports:

You have been very active this month with other physical activities.  You are learning to balance on a bike that your daddy removed the pedals from (a self-made balance bike) and you’re doing really well with learning to glide and balance.

You are doing better and better with scootering and with rollerblading.

Swimming, you are so silly.  You refuse to use your big arms and big kickers unless I prompt you and threaten to put you in swim class.  You are working on underwater swimming, and you are doing really well with getting dive toys.  You have also started doing flips/somersaults in the pool.  Funny thing, you have discovered that if it’s too hard to get your dive toy, you’ll get out and jump back in from the side of the pool because you’ve figured out that takes you to the bottom of the pool with because of gravity.

Awanas:
You really love your new Awanas, and was sad when they had a week’s break on 5/5.  What’s even sadder to me is that every single time we go to our new Awanas, you ask in a concerned voice, “We’re going to the new Awanas, right?  Not the old Awanas?”

At one of the Awana classes, there was a magic show.  You were enthralled.  For the next week, you were putting on magic shows for me, showing me four fingers, blowing on them and telling me it was two fingers.  Showing me food and making it disappear after you ate it.

Things I want to Remember:

You love your Bible story app, and you memorize the script of the stories.  You act out those stories with any prop you can find.  At a restaurant, stacking jelly, you say, “Who can fight me today?  I’m stacking jelly, and this is Goliath!”

Picture:  “I’m a rhino!”


Sometimes you just are silly beyond all boundaries, and usually it’s related to you not wanting to go to the restroom.  In exasperation, I will ask you, “Why are you being so nuts?”  I never know what response I’ll receive from you, and this particular time you replied, “Because I want to be funny!!”

Picture: “It’s naked William with glasses!”


Getting ready to drive up to the mountains, we stopped at Chick-Fil-A for dinner to go.  We’re in the drive-thru line placing our order, and you in the back seat talking loudly over us, “I want chicken with French fries. LOTS OF FRENCH FRIES, PLEASE. No, NOT a medium ice tea, a medium KID’S water with LOTS of ice!”  I’m in the passenger seat up front looking at your father asking him where the button for the soundproof barrier is.

When we drive to the mountains, I wait for you to ask for your iPod.  Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t.  This particular time, we drove up Friday night, so it was late and dark, and you didn’t want to fall asleep, so you asked for it about halfway through the drive.  There were some vehicles ahead of us who were having road rage issues, they were passing in no-passing zones, and were driving in a hazardous, illegal manner.  You opened the piano app on your iPod and started playing horror type music.  Amused, I asked you what you were doing.  You replied, “I’m playing this music because it’s scary and dangerous!!”  So, basically, you were “scoring” our drive up the mountain.

Picture: Digging in the dirt at our cabin, you were saying, “It must be here somewhere.” Curious, I asked, “What?” You replied, “Money!”


Whenever we come home from somewhere as a family, you announce, “It’s Monstro! He’s opening his mouth!  We’re going into Monstro!”  This hales from the movie Pinocchio, and our garage is Monstro the whale.

When we were talking about Disneyland, and you were asking to go and we were telling you we couldn’t because a lot of it is under construction, your solution to this problem was, “I wish they could just sew boards together and be done with it… I want to see the new Star Wars Disneyland!”

Picture:  Driving around, you placed Froggy on a pillow and informed us that “Froggy is asleep in his bed. I will wake him up when we get there.”


As a treat, I bought you some chewy granola bars with tiny chocolate chips in them. I saw the mischievous gleam in your eyes, and I told you to eat the granola bar in bites, do not get your fingers messy by picking things out of it.  I looked around at you, and you were delicately taking tiny bites out of it.  I must have given you the Mom Look, because in a defensive tone you said, “What?  My teeth were picking out the chocolate chips!”

One of the highlights of this past month was a surprise “family day” to go to Disneyland.  Our good friend (who works there) made arrangements for us to go.  You were SO surprised and SO excited!  Even the drive there, as we got near and saw shuttle buses driving around that had Disney characters painted on the side, you were exclaiming, “That’s a Toy story bus!  Amazing!”

On the walk from the parking structure into Disneyland, there were blooming honeysuckle vines.  I picked some and let you taste the honeysuckle.

One of our last rides at Disneyland was the haunted mansion.  You didn’t like it and asked us to cover your eyes and your ears.  We did and regretted our decision to go on it through the entire ride.  When it was over, we let you walk out, and you kept staring at the ghostly image of the woman that told us goodbye.  When we got outside you told us, “That was a good ride, let’s do it again!” We didn’t, of course, but the next day you told me, “That lady told us to come back, that’s why I wanted to go again.”

The next day, your Grandma D. texted me, “He woke right after you left. He’s telling me all about yesterday. We want your patio to become Disneyland & play out there every day.”  You STILL talk about our day at Disneyland, even nearly a month later.

At Denny’s there was a bird hopping around the patio looking for leftovers to eat.  You wanted to pet the bird, and so you were following it around talking to it, saying, “Come here little guy, I’m not going to eat you!”

After breakfast, I gave you some instructions and you responded, “OK.  Well, I’ll listen to you just this time.”

I guess one day, you and Grandma D. had been learning about the Statue of Liberty, because I arrived home to find you standing on your tall Ikea chair (pedestal), with the paper crown you had made at Awanas on your head, holding a Pez dispenser in your raised hand, and a paper with a bunch of combined WMWMW written on it as the law, and you saying, “People are climbing up inside of me.”  It was quite hilarious.

At Taco Tuesday, you were giving us a report of your day that went like this, “Grandma let me watch a movie… Sleeping beauty. She paused it when daddy got home and then we watched the Prince and the Pauper!” I sent Grandma a text with that information and she replied, “No, we did not.”  I read that aloud. You clarified, “No, no. That was a lie.” Your father said, “Thanks for admitting your lie.”  You clarified further, “No, GRANDMA told a lie.”

One Saturday, you went into our shower and started making noises and saying “Oh, this feels so nice! It feels so nice and warm. It feels so good! I’m gonna play with my ducky!” I looked in over the shower door and you were sitting in a totally dry bath tub pretending that you were taking a shower.

We bought a hand shower for your shower, and on late nights like Awana nights, or if we are out late, we give you a shower. On other nights, you get a bath, however, you have started telling us that you prefer the shower.

At Walmart, you were being silly in the parking lot in daddy’s car. You saw people walking past and, ever the extrovert, said to them, “I will see you inside.” When inside, we had gone to the store, and you saw the lady you had talked to outside in the parking lot shopping in the candy aisle as we were walking past the and you said, “There’s the lady in the black shirt, I need to go say hi.”

One Saturday, I was vacuuming the stairs, and you decided it would be a fun idea to slide down them.   I grabbed your legs and pulled you to get you out of the way, and you turned it into a game… “Ow ow owwwww” you would say, laughing, and then “Let’s do that again!”  I didn’t get much vacuuming done that day, but we had some laughs.

You opened your own business selling withered leaves that have dropped to the ground. Your Grandma D. bargained and bought $.75 worth of them and you immediately left your station to go put the money in your piggy bank. You tried to sell me some and I told you I didn’t have any money (true, I spent it on a balloon artist who made you a balloon Buzz Lightyear that morning). You said, “Oh, that’s OK, mommy. You can use these leaves as pretend money!”

On your razor scooter, you push with your leg and then kick your leg back really far.  It’s so silly and I demonstrate the correct way to do it, and then you do it your way and tell me,  “I am kicking my butt!”  I guess you learned that trick from doing the trampoline at Ms. Robin’s class.

Text from your Grandma D. “Before storytime starts, kids work with puzzles. William grabs 2 magnetic boards…one to give to another & one for himself. Then he says to the other kid, “I’ll show you how it works.”

We have a bag in a cabinet where we store our recyclables.  When I smoosh plastic water bottles, as a joke I toss them on the ground.  In response, you run over and grab them and put them in the bag in the cabinet.  You also ask me when I come home if I have any bottles for you in my car.

You have become obsessed with my toothpaste.  I use Arm & Hammer’s Sensitive Teeth toothpaste and every night, after I floss your teeth you yell out, “Daddy? Please get mommy’s mint!”  And you want your teeth brushed with my toothpaste.  I finally told you I was going to get you your own mint toothpaste.  So the next time we went to Walmart, you reminded me to get me your mint toothpaste.  We held hands to the toothpaste aisle and I set  you loose and said to pick your toothpaste.  I was a bit flabbergasted when, you looked around at all the boxes of toothpaste, even the regular Arm & Hammer toothpastes and picked the box with the sensitive teeth.

In Big Lots, you found a nickel on the ground.  You recognized it as being money, so you picked it up and attempted to turn it into the cashier.  She suggested that you keep it and I suggested you put it in your pocket and put it in your piggy bank when you got home.  So, you stuck it in your pocket, and then you went to show your father your find and, man, is there anything cuter than a 4 year old digging in his pocket for money?

We had dinner at Mimi’s cafe the night before Mother’s day (thanks, BOGO coupon!!) and there was another family sitting next to us who had a little girl named Ava. You two were going on and on and on with a silly conversation game, you would ask her, “Did you say… booth?”  She would reply, “Nooooo, did you say … red?”  You would reply, “Noooo, did you say flower?”  On and on it went.  She got silly and flipped herself over and poked her butt in the air.  You laughed and laughed and exclaimed, “Look at that cute little butt sticking up in the air. Hahaha”  I kind of wanted to die and laugh all at the same time.  I looked at Ava’s mom and she was laughing so hard she was starting to cry.  She shrugged and said, “Well, he’s right.”

Grandma D. has shown you that we send kisses and hugs to you via text message by using  X’s and O’s.  Now she lets you send us text messages by pressing X’s and O’s and says, “from William” after them.  We get lots of those types of text messages now and I love every single one of them knowing that you typed them in.

One night, I had nursed and snuggled you to sleep in my arms, as I do every single night.  I listened to your breathing even out, and your entire body relaxed against me, warm and snuggly.  I sniffed the top of your head, kissed your forehead, and just held you for a few minutes, as I do every single night.  Savoring your trust in me.  After a bit, I lifted you and stood up to put you in your bed.  You turned your head and sleepily kissed my arm and whispered, “I love you so much, mommy.”

I whispered back, “I love you, too, sweetheart.”  And I lowered you into your bed, gave you your second Froggy and kissed your forehead as I left.

Love you forever, little one.

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

Letter to our 4 year 4 month old

Dear William,

On April 8, 2016, you turned 52 months old.  You are 45-1/4″ tall and weigh 49 pounds.  You are wearing size 5 (boys) pants, size 6 shirts (boys) and size 1 (boys) shoes.

Things We Did This Month:

Recurring things:  Library storytime; Awanas; Aerial Arts; Ice Skating
Special with Grandma D.:  She has been taking you to the beach during the day this past month.

3/13 – Legoland
3/19 – Green Dinner (Annual St. Patrick’s dinner at church)
3/26 – Breakfast with Elmo and Friend at Sea World
3/27 – Easter egg hunt at Grandparent’s house
4/2 – Breakfast at the Irvine Spectrum with friends

Monthly Interview of Favorite Things:
Color: Blue and Red.
Song: El Shaddai
Movie: Pinocchio
Food: Hash browns and Rudolph pancakes
Snack: My favorite snack is melon balls and peanut butter pretzels.
Dessert: Mmmm, good one.  Rudolph pancakes.  Uhhh, actually, my favorite dessert is mint-n-chip ice cream.
Fruit: Cherries
Vegetable: Broccoli
Class: Miss Robin’s class and ice skating
Teacher: Miss Robin
Store: Good one!  Sprouts!
Restaurant: Good one!  Denny’s.  This one.
Vacation spot: Nebraska… Big Bear
Toy: My little toy garbage truck (he got it at Awanas Carnival night)
Favorite Park: Awesome park or the sports park
Theme Park: Disneyland
Best friend: MacKenzie (she is in ice skating class)
Favorite Story: The Prince and the Pauper and the bumpy little pumpkin
Favorite thing to do with Mommy: Go to Disneyland
Favorite thing to do with Daddy: Play doctor
Grandma: Go to the park
Favorite Shirt: Catalina Island shirt
What do you think about being 4?  Four is good.

Classes:

Aerial Arts:
Overall you are doing well in this class, but you are consistently challenged.  Your Grandma D. asked you after the last class why she kept hearing Miss Robin call your name.  You responded that you didn’t want to do the hard things she was asking you to do.  Grandma D. told you that if you do the hard things then they become easy.  You responded, “Yeah, but then she gives me harder things to do.”

Ice Skating:
You are doing amazing in this class.  You successfully completed the Tot 1 class on 3/11.  The instructors said you were ready for the Tot 2 class and you said you wanted to continue with ice skating.  So, I enrolled you in the next level. You have a friend, a little girl named MacKenzie, who is in the Tot 3 class (you are in Tot 2).  After your class is over, you two seek each other out and practice skating together.  If she’s not around or leaves early, then you’re not interested in continuing to skate.

Awanas:
You love Awanas.  You learn your verse so fast that I find it hard to believe that you actually have it memorized, but you do.  We watch YouTube episodes to reinforce the learning, and this past week I brought up the current episode and you told me you didn’t want to see that one because it is boring.  I told you that you can watch whichever episode you want to as long as you tell me the verse.  You looked at me and without any hesitation said the verse and then said, “Now I want to watch the episode where he’s hiding from me.”

On YouTube, someone created supplementary puppet shows with Cubbie Bear (the mascot for your age group at Awanas).  However, they didn’t create one for the last three lessons, nor for Easter.  So, we borrowed a stuffed bear from our Awanas teacher and filmed the missing episodes.  You love being Cubbie Bear’s helper in the videos… and after they’re done filming, I’ve seen you go get the bear and “pretend” film the episodes.

One evening at Awanas, you walked around the playground and were drawing the letters “i” and “o” and happy faces in the sand.

Your father brought home some brownies that were leftover from a meeting at his work. I split one with you. I took the rest of them to Awanas for snack time, and you had another one there. When you got home, you told your father, “Mommy snuck me a brownie, and then Awanas snuck me a brownie, too!”

There was something that broke and I called your father’s name, “Tony!” but you misheard me and thought I said your Awana teacher’s name. Confused you asked, “Tawny? Tawny? She’s someone at Awanas. She tells stories. Does she also fix things??”

Your imagination again… on Awana night, you crawled into your car seat and started fake-crying. I asked what you were doing, you told me you were a baby. I snickered at you. Half way there you told me you were growing up. When we arrived, you told me you were all grown up as you could be. You stepped out of the car acting all mature and then reality struck and you took off to the sanctuary for the start of Awanas like the excited 4 year old boy you are.

We arrived home one evening after Awanas and your father’s car was in the garage. I hadn’t expected him to be there, because he’d had a prior commitment that night. You stared at it, and asked about it, and you went in the house and called for “Daddy” with no response. You burst into tears because his car was there and daddy wasn’t. I told you that maybe one of his friends came by to take him. You weren’t having that at all. We went upstairs and it turned out that daddy had been in the shower.

Things I want to Remember:

One morning you awakened early, and I went in and you requested to nurse. Relaxed, you went back to sleep. When I got up a couple hours later, I decided to leave for work without nursing you. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I wanted you to get the sleep you needed.  Apparently, you woke up when you heard the garage door go up (your room is directly over it) and you ran down the stairs to try to go outside to catch me. Your father was still there, and when he got to you, you were sobbing and told him “Mommy didn’t goodbye nurse me.” I knew it meant a lot to you, but I guess I didn’t realize just how much it meant to you.  I know now.

One Saturday morning, you inquired of us, “Mommy and daddy? Today is a William day… does that make you happy?”

You were playing and you walked over nonchalantly with a coin and dropped it in your piggy bank and went back to playing. I asked you where you had found it, you shrugged said, “I don’t know.” I guess if someone visits, they better not leave coinage out, or it’s yours!

Anything at all is a possibility for imaginative play these days… your etch-a-sketch was a map one evening, with the dots at each end of your diagram being a character running away from each other.  Your Squigz all stuck together were “fighters” who were fighting each other.

We took you to evening mass one Saturday.  During prayer time, you knelt and I overheard you praying, “Thank you God for cake, thank you God for candy, thank you God for cookies…”

I’m teaching you how to make my coffee and your own hot chocolate with my Keurig machine.  Even though you’ve got it pretty much down, I supervise you because you forget to put the cup underneath.  haha  You like to call the K-cup that holds the hot chocolate “chocolate salt” because when you shake it, it sounds like a salt shaker.

I’ve had some problems with my car this past month, and your father was watching a YouTube to tutor himself in advance of changing the fuel filter.  You parked yourself in the chair and watched the video of that on repeat 3 or 4 more times and informed me that you were going to fix my car in the middle of the night.

With my hair still wet from taking a shower, you cuddled me and suddenly started sniffing.  You announced, “It smells in here… ”  Curious, I asked, is it a good smell or a bad smell?”  You answered, “A good smell, like mint and chip ice cream.” I laughed because I’ve started using peppermint conditioner.

Driving to LegoLand, we passed the nuclear power plant and you pointed and said, “That is the tents that look like nah nahs.”

You’ve been working on your beat boxing skills… you love to watch a video taken a couple years ago of us where your father and I are beat boxing while driving somewhere and it has inspired you to practice your beat boxing again.  You have improved and are now able to make all the rhythm sounds, too.

You are working on phonetics these days and your favorite letter to say is the “P” sound.  You do it all the time and it’s like a game show. “P P P brain, no that’s not right, cross it out… P P P  Pot, yes, that’s right, I colored it.”  You like to do the words that start with an incorrect letter just to make us laugh.

On our way to LegoLand, without consulting anyone in the car, your father pulled into Jack in the Box. From the back seat, we heard you say, “I don’t want this, I want an egg mcmuffin.” I shrugged.  No one was behind us, so your father backed out of the drive-thru and we went to McDonald’s. You ended up eating 3/4 of it and finished the egg part completely, so I guess you really did want one.

The morning after the time change, I was listening to the radio while I put my makeup on. You were seated next to me and the DJ was talking about how to help your body adjust easier to the time change. She said, “Light exercise, keep hydrated, take a nap, but keep it short…” You immediately perked up, turned to me and said, “I’m NOT taking a nap. Do I have to take a nap?”

When I had changed to go swimming, I had left my earrings on the counter in your bathroom. You saw them and asked, “What are these?” I replied, “They’re my earrings…” You picked them up and carried them away. I followed you, and you reached up and pulled out my earring drawer and put them in there. It made me laugh, because I remember when you were smaller, you would relocate things all over the house to the wrong places. Apparently, you now do that, but you relocate them to where they belong.

One morning before work, you said, “Today I want to go to Grandma’s house … because of all the new foods.” Surprised, I asked, “All the new foods?” You replied, “Yes, all the new PLAY foods.”  Apparently, your Grandma D. has been finding all sorts of new play foods at the Goodwill.

You, “I want to color Easter eggs and then eat the candy. Me, “Well, these are real eggs, not candy eggs.” You, “Oh…. OK, so buy me some WHITE play eggs and I’ll color them then and we can put candy in them and I’ll eat the candy.”

Grandma, “Do you know how to cook eggs so they don’t explode?” William, “I know how to color them without the shell exploding.”

Somewhere you’ve picked up the expression of, “Better get crackin’” and you use it all the time for starting something.  Need to leave?  Need to eat dinner?  Need to read a book? “Let’s get crackin’!” You say.

You had a popped blister on your toe and I took a picture of it to show your father when he got home. The next day, I was flipping through pictures on my phone and you saw that picture and you said, “Awww…” in sympathy like it was someone else’s toe.

One afternoon we were out in the garage playing and I got the hiccups. Surprised, you asked, “Mommy? What is that? Do you have the hiccups?”  An awful, gut wrenching hiccup sounded from me and I replied, “Yes, I do.”
Concerned, you said, ‘Oh dear, oh me. I guess you need a pill. Open your mouth.”  You picked up a blueberry and put it in my mouth.  We waited, I’ll be doggone if the hiccups didn’t up and go away!  You said, “Well, I guess I’m a doctor.”

I handed down my old Razor scooter to you this past month and you’ve been working on your scootering skills.  When your father came outside to hang out with us, you gave him your old, 3-wheeled scooter and told him, “Mommy gave me her old scooter, so you get my old, OLD scooter.”

We got in the car to go somewhere and I got you all buckled in and you asked me, “Do you have a surprise for me?”  Confused, I replied, “No, why would I have a surprise for you?”  You replied, “Welllll, because I like surprises…”

At the mall, we took the escalator.  After watching it, you observed, “It’s sucking up the steps!”

You climbed to the top of your playhouse and with an impish grin said, “Daddy’s mad is getting worser!”

At Sea World, we took you on the Atlantis ride.  It was pretty wild and we got soaked.  We pulled into the unloading area and you said with a sigh and a little frowny face, water dripping off of your nose, “Well… that was exhausting.”

One Saturday morning we were making cranberry muffins for breakfast and you were helping me, you told me, “Oh, mommy… we’re having a love day!”  After I bit, we had cleaned up, and I had put dishes in the sink.  I put the muffins in the oven to bake and heard a clunk behind me, which turned out to be  you, climbing on the counter, grabbing the bowl with the leftover batter to finish eating it… while sitting on the counter.

Text from your Grandma D.  “Were discussing going to Miss Robin’s class right now. I mentioned a yogurt treat after. William said Mommy is his treat.”

I was texting with your Grandma D. and teasingly texted that I was going to eat your chicken wing (meaning your elbow).  Grandma D. replied, “I asked William where his chicken wing is. He showed me one. Said the other is lost outside.”

Sometimes when you get hungry or tired, you’ll get upset and when that happens, I tell you that you need an attitude adjustment.  One day you were particularly grumpy while we were driving and you headed me off when I turned around to ask you about it.  You said,  “I don’t WANT to adjust my attitude.  My attitude adjustment fell out the car… absolutely, yes, it did, because that was a scary turn!!”

In the bathtub one night, out of nowhere you asked, “Is daddy home?”  “No,” I replied, “He left 10 minutes ago.”  Disappointed, you said, “Oh… well, I heard something squeak like *made a sound imitating the garage door*”

Another night, you heard your Aladdin book that was downstairs sitting on your toy box start singing. You asked, “Is daddy playing with my Aladdin book?”  I told you that your father had left awhile ago… and I went and looked, and there were 3 cats all sitting around your toy box with really big eyes.  Apparently one of them had jumped up there and accidentally stepped on the button.

At breakfast you made an uneven stack of the various jelly squares. You roared, “Who can fight me today?” You then explained yourself, “I’m stacking jelly like David and Goliath.”

Joking around at Walmart one day, you were pretending you were a toy on the shelf.  Your father teased you and told you that you were an interactive toy and he turned the switch to off, so you had to be quiet.  You started talking and said, “I’m defective, I turned myself on!”  Your father teasingly started to take you to the return line and you were giggling so hard.  We got in the car to leave and you informed me, “You are NOT returnable, mommy, because you have nah-nahs. But daddy is returnable.”

In the mornings when you wake, the first thing you say to me in your sleepy little voice is, “Oh mommy… I love you so much.” You love to stroke my cheeks and comb my hair. I told a friend who has a 13 year old boy about all these sweet things you’ve started doing the last few months, she smiled tenderly and said, “Ohhhh, you’re in THAT phase. He’s in love with his mommy.” I think she’s right and I have to say, I really hope this phase lasts a long, long time.

Love you forever,

Mommy

52 months old -IMG_5816

More pictures from this month can be found here:   Link

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Letter to our 4 Year 3 Month Old

Dear William,

On March 8, 2016, you turned 51 months old.  You are 45″ tall and weigh 49 pounds (as of 3/14/16). You had a smidge of a growth spurt this past month at some point.

Things We Did This Month:

02/13 – Mountain Cabin
2/20 – bought you some rollerblades; turned a hand-me-down bicycle into a balance bike; let you clean my car

Recurring things: Aerial Arts Class; Awanas; Ice Skating Class; Various Library Story & Crafts

Monthly Interview of Favorite Things:
Color: Brown and red!
Song: Goliath fell down
Movie: Snow White
Food: Meat and red potatoes… and hot sauce. But pretend hot sauce. And what else?
Snack: Crackers, cheese, cheerios… umm, vitamins. Umm, stretchy candy.
Dessert: Mint & chip ice cream and chocolate chip cookies!
Fruit: Grapes!
Vegetable: Broccoli and carrots
Class: MyGym. Uh, no, swimming class. Uh, actually, nothing. No one. Nothing. (Said in Eeyore voice)
Me, OK, let’s take a break. A few minutes go by… OK, now, what’s your favorite class? William: Silks.
Teacher: Miss Robin
Store: Sprouts!!
Restaurant: Denny’s
Vacation spot: Big Bear
Toy: Fire truck!
Theme Park: Disneyland
Best Friend: Jesus!! (Has also said Ryan and Uncle Al are his best friends this month.)
Favorite thing to do with Mommy? Copying! Printing!
Favorite thing to do with Daddy? Go to Disneyland.
Favorite thing to do with Grandma? Go to stores.
Favorite Shirt: Catalina Islands shirt.
Favorite Story Book: Pinocchio
Anything else? Ummmm, What’s my favorite fruit and my vegetable… grapes and broccoli, carrots… hey, I see a fish in there. It’s not a real fish. It’s just a little fish. It’s a… see? See in there? There it is, there it is right there. Is that a picture? I hope so. His tail’s not moving. Now you don’t see anything. Ruh roh, we can’t get that fish away… let me drink it. (All this was about a Smart Water bottle sitting in front of him.)

Sleeping:

This past month there were a couple nights that you intentionally put yourself to sleep. You unlatched from nursing and asked to be put in bed.  You reached for the blanket, pulled it up over yourself and went to sleep. All by yourself.

Sometimes you do have trouble falling asleep, and you love to talk about what’s on your mind.  Usually, I’ll let you talk for 10 minutes or so before shushing you and telling you it’s time to turn off your brain.  Your thoughts are so sweet and so funny and I just love hearing what’s going on in your brain.  One night you were asking me what angels look like, what God looks like, and when you go to Heaven, will you get to meet Rachael and Noah and David, because they all seemed like nice people, you said.

Morning Conversations:

“What do you want to do today?” I asked. You replied, “I want to own a cow.  We can keep it in the living room.”  “What will you feed it?” I asked.  “Food.” You answered.  “I don’t think we can keep a cow in our living room.  It’s too big.”  You answered, “We can keep it in our back yard then.”  “Hmmm, well, cows like to eat grass.  We don’t have any grass in our back yard.”  You replied, “We can keep it at the park.”  You were pretty sad when I told you we would have to visit your cousin’s cows, that we couldn’t have our own cow.

Classes:

Aerial Arts:

All of a sudden you decided that you didn’t like this class and didn’t want to participate. You spent 3/4 of the class bawling and flopping down on the mat, saying “I can’t do this!” and then when the teacher moved to the next activity, you bawled some more because you missed your turn. At my wits end, after two or three classes of this behavior, I dropped the class and emailed your teacher to explain myself. Your teacher emailed me back and requested that I keep you in the class. She reworked her schedule and moved your class to Thursdays (instead of Mondays). She moved her other student to a different class, so you are her only student in that particular class for now. She said she would credit my account, which completely surprised me. She believes you are going through some sort of funk and that you will move through it within the next few weeks and will be back to your normal, happy self. I guess time will tell.

Ice Skating:

You LOVE your ice skating class. Your Grandma D. takes you and I arrive mid-class (due to my work schedule) and every time I arrive, you are happily participating in the activities of the class. You tell me anytime I ask you about it that you want to be an ice hockey player. You love watching the hockey players line up to get on the ice after your class, and you love to wave hello to them. But when they take the ice, you say you want to leave, because watching them on the ice makes you sad… because you wish you were out there.

Awanas:

I am just astonished how smoothly this new Awanas goes every week.  You just love it there & you do so well. You literally race inside to the sanctuary each week, and dance and sing your verses. Even when the Leader says she’s flustered and thinks she did poorly, she is actually doing a thousand times better than your old Awanas. Your “homework” is to hear the accompanying story out of your workbook and learn your Bible verse. This isn’t a problem, as you beg to watch the Cubbie Bear videos online every night. Your new teachers have dubbed your Pastor William because anytime prayers are requested, you verbosely begin praying and thanking God for things; mostly cake or cookies, and I imagine God smiling about that.

One night, after Awanas, your father asked what you had learned. You summed it up by saying, “Tonight’s lesson was on truth. The difference between truth and not truth.”

Always Learning:

Your Grandma D. tells me that time just goes by so quickly, she hardly knows how it gets to the end of the day.  She shared one morning’s adventures, that you two “flew” to Jerusalem together. Wearing your pajamas and using imagination, you started out at “mommy’s airport” (by my work) and flew to New York.  During your “layover” she told you that you better go potty before the long portion of your flight started, because airplane bathrooms are very small. You agreed that was a good idea, so during your “layover,” you used the restroom and changed into your day clothes, and then continued your “flight” to Jerusalem.

You: “There was an earthquake on the newspaper last night. It was in Taiwan. But everybody was OK. There was a rainstorm also, there was hail. Hail, water, soil. Sunshine. Sun. Little donuts…fell down from heaven.”  Your father looked at me and I said, “Uhh, maybe he means manna from the Old Testament in the Bible? Not sure about the earthquake thing.”  Your father replied, “Well, there was an earthquake in Taiwan, maybe your mom read him the story?”  I replied, “I guess he’s mixing his studies at Awanas into modern calamities?”

While at the park, you were playing with some children the “mermaid game.”  You didn’t really know what mermaids or mermen were, so later we introduced you to the movie The Little Mermaid.  Turns out, you like the movie trailer better than the movie itself.

Text from Grandma D. “We’ve been talking about the planets & space. Big news: Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves have now been detected & may revolutionize astronomy!”

You like to attempt to spell things. One night you told us, “There’s dangerous raccoon out there. Very dangerous raccoons, lions and goats. That’s P-I-N, goats.”

Your father was suggesting that we watch a movie, and instead of saying it, he said, “Shall we W-A-T-C-H a M-O-V-I-E?” Without missing a beat, you asked, “Does that spell movie? Because I want to see Pinocchio.”

Things I Want to Remember:

 

“Webodejo whoop…” You paused, I looked at you weird.  You clarified for me, “That’s the Spanish Buzz Lightyear.”

“Mommy!” you called.  I went to find you and there you were on the toilet.  “Yes?”  I asked.  “Smell, mommy.”  So I sniffed and said, “You sprayed the toilet spray.”  You said, “Yes, I did it right.”  I said “Oh, OK.”  You said, “OK,” and dismissed me by saying, “Now you can go back to your job…”

“Oh no!! My water fell in the water!!!” (Your drinking cup fell in the bath water.)

Going up the mountain to Big Bear, I had forgotten the external Bluetooth speaker. You were using your father’s OneSpace to watch a movie and I said, “The computer is not very loud.”  You said, “That’s OK, I can put the butt phones on.”  Incredulous, I asked, “Butt phones??”  You replied, “Pants phones or is it head phones?  Actually, let’s don’t use phones, I’ll just listen.”  And I’m just staring out the windshield laughing.

Going down the mountain, you were watching a movie, and you looked up after you finished and asked for another. I told you we were almost home.  You looked around and said, “This was the short way home… ”  Then you said you wanted something from your snack bag.  I informed you that there was nothing left, you’d eaten it all.  Disbelieving, you asked, “Can I see?”  If there were ever proof needed that movies make a person brain dead, I think this would qualify.

Trying a new toothpaste, you said, “This is weird toothpaste, it doesn’t taste like the picture looks. Maybe I’ll give this to daddy. I think maybe it’s grown up toothpaste.”

Your Grandma D. shared a story about your mustache glasses that you acquired after your last dental visit.  You put them on and looked in the mirror and said it looks like the guy at Weinerschnitzel and, grandma laughed, because sure enough, with those glasses on, you did look like the manager at our local Weinerschnitzel.

I was using my camera stabilizer, which has five legs, and you were fascinated by it. You finally told me that it looks like Mr. Waternoose’s legs from Monsters inc. You were right about that, too!

You woke up on February 14th and I asked you what day it was. You enthusiastically responded, “Valentine’s Day!!” I asked you what valentines day is about. You responded even more enthusiastically, “Eating candy!!!”

You asked if you could have candy for breakfast and I told you that you could have it later. A minute went by and you asked, “Is it later now??” I told you it wasn’t later, and you had to wait longer. You replied, “OK, well if you exist.” (Meaning insist.) I don’t know how you take anything I say seriously, because it is so hard not to laugh at all your responses.

One afternoon, you said, “I want apple, Mommy. Oh no, I forgot my manners didn’t I? Please, mommy, please may I have apples cut up in my cup?” And I pondered that perhaps the manners we are teaching you are getting through after all.

Every night, before your bath, you strip yourself down… lately you’ve taken to throwing your underwear on the floor and telling your father, “That’s a treat for you. You’re welcome!”

I sneezed pretty loudly one night in the bedroom while you were taking your bath. I heard you respond, “Dry Pee!”

You had something on your nose and you wouldn’t let me wipe it off. I shrugged, so you left and then came back and said, “I’m here to fight about my nose again!”

On our way to dinner, you wanted some snack food I told you not right now. You replied, “How could you do that to a little fellow like my body? The body is sad now.”

Overheard driving around, while you played with some toys in your car seat, “This is an actual phenomenon… The whale of the deep, the whale of the deep. Pinocchio movie…”

After our friend’s birthday party, I was consoling you about leaving, and told how you’re all full with good food and cake… and you said, “and joy?”  I said, “Sure, joy, too.”  You replied by singing, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, where?, down in my heart, where?” song.

While at the party, our friend brought a serving tray out of deviled eggs. You took one of them and took a bite, eating half of a half. You chewed and finished it. I offered the second half, you politely and calmly said “No, thank you, I thought they were cupcakes.”

After showing you the Mary Poppins movie, I dug out my vinyl record and I think Grandma D. plays it for you occasionally.  I know I do.  Somewhere you’re hearing it, because you walk around singing the Chim-Chimney, SuperCaliFragilisticExpiAlidocious and Love the Laugh songs.

You scribbled on the front of a library book with a crayon, Grandma D. told you that she was going to pay for it out of your piggy bank. You immediately ran over and grabbed your piggy bank and ran upstairs with it. Fortunately, Magic Eraser took the crayon markings off the book.

Your father bought you a traveling art packet, it has markers and paper in it for drawing, and we added a small packet of water paints.  You love this thing and one day driving around, you took a piece of paper out and drew a bunch of circles and squares on it.  You put it up to your ear and started talking, and told us, “I drew a cell phone.”

You asked to go to Disneyland. I told you it was too much money. You responded with your solution by telling me, “I will pay for us to go, we can use my piggy bank.”

You love the scent aisle in stores… I know I’ve shared that before.  My last foray into TJ Maxx, we visited the soap aisle first thing, and I told you I would buy you your favorite bar of soap and you could put it in one of your dresser drawers. You took your assignment very seriously and ended up choosing a pineapple bar of soap.  You then proceeded to sit in the shopping cart for the rest of my shopping time, unboxing your bar of soap, sniffing it, and reboxing it.  Repeat for 45 minutes.  We even walked through the toy section and you didn’t even notice.

One morning you were cuddling the cats. You told me, “Tug is my brother and Bug is my sister. Snuggy and Ripper are nothing to me.”

One afternoon we both got on our scooters and were heading down to the park in our neighborhood. It’s quite a ways and you switch which legs you use to push your scooter along. Halfway there, you stopped and turned around and looked back at our house and said, “Look at how many legs we’ve gone!”

There was some concern about a Green Dinner happening this year at your father’s church. This is an annual St. Patrick’s event that we have dubbed “Green Dinner.” When we told you that there might not be one this year, you immediately replied, “If there’s no green dinner, then I will be very sad and starve.” Fortunately, your Grandpa H. has the ear of the coordinators of the event, so one was eventually scheduled.

You love to play hide-n-seek and if your father has gone somewhere, you like to go hide for him to find us in the house.  All the while you are shushing me for snickering about it.  “Shush, mommy, daddy will hear you!” You take this VERY seriously.

You are so gregarious, silly and such a jokester, and can often pull off a joke with a totally serious face.  You will also exuberantly continue with a joke long after other people are done with it, so I find myself being conscious of this and reining you in.  Several people have commented to me over the last couple of months how happy, social and full of smiles you usually are, including your ice skating teachers. As is usually the case with people who have this type of personality, there is also a serious and sensitive side to you that isn’t always readily apparent.  Sometimes I find myself asking you if you’re joking or serious, because I don’t want to misinterpret something as a joke if you meant it seriously.   You have always been an exuberantly happy child, and I’m finding it fascinating to watch the depths of your personality refine itself.

51 months old-DSCN0020

Love, Mommy & Daddy

More pictures from this month can be found here:  LINK

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Letter to our 4 Year 2 Month Old

Dear William,

On February 8, 2016, you turned 50 months old.  You are 44 3/4 inches tall, 48 pounds and wearing the same sizes as last month.

Things we Did:

1/23 – Friend Joseph’s birthday party (Pump It Up!)

–Monday, aerial acrobatics class
–Various days, Library Story Time and Craft; Special Lego building day
–Thursday, Awanas
–Friday, Ice Skating Class

Ice Skating Class Highlights:

Overall, this class appears to be going well.  You have progressed from holding onto the sides for dear life to moving with great confidence across the ice and are able to get up easily, even when you’re nowhere near the sides.   This is something you achieved after the first class, by the way.  So it was particularly exasperating when you were in the practice skate portion of your class and you intentionally sat down on the ice and then lured a couple of little girls to come help you up.  There they were, attempting to pull you to your feet (both on ice skates) and both of them fell.  You looked around for another “victim” and determined it was all up to you, so you put your knee up and got up like it was nothing.

A couple weeks ago during class the teacher showed the kids how to make snow, the idea being an incentive to learn how to move their blades. What did you do? You plopped down on the ice until someone came over to help you up and then you begged them to show you how to make snow.  The couple people who you lured into doing it had a perplexed look on their face as they did your request, and then you smiled, thanked them and grabbed the “snow”, made a snowball, got up and skated off.

When we go to Taco Tuesday at the local bar, there are televisions all around us. Several of them have ice hockey games that are going on, and you watch those games transfixed.  You have told me that you want to be an ice hockey player when you grow up.

Aerial Arts Class Highlights:

You love to tell Ms. Robin about everything.  After our weekend in Big Bear, your father told you to tell Ms. Robin about what you did that weekend.  So when Ms. Robin asked you where you went that weekend, you told her you’d gone to Europe.  Guess that’s what happens when you work on geography in the morning between the weekend and class time.  Your imagination really takes you places!

One of your classes Ms. Robin canceled this past month because she was sick. You did a makeup in the beginning aerial arts class (instead of the Kinder class), there were 6 other students that Ms. Robin was working with, leaving you to your own devices much of the time… miraculously, you did your skills with confidence and a great attitude.  More confidence than either Grandma D. or Ms. Robin had seen before.  Yet, when you went back to your Kinder Arts class the following week, you were flopping on the floor and crying.  I’m not sure where to go from here; sometimes parenting is confounding and confusing.  But what I know is that you like Ms. Robin; you enjoy the class; you can do these skills; and I didn’t want you to give up.  You weren’t acting out, you were imploding within yourself and your self-talk was full of “I can’t.”  So I threatened and pushed and encouraged you to finish the class,  (1) because I want you to know that “hard” things are doable, (2) choices have consequences and life doesn’t wait for you, (3) you only have try to do your best, learning takes time, (4) tough days and classes happen,  (5) I wanted you to be able to say that, whatever else you did or didn’t do, you at least finished the class.  Because sometimes the only good thing about a bad day is the fact that it’s done.

Awanas Highlights:
The “new Hawanas” (as you call it) is going well.  You are thriving in the class and you don’t even miss me when we’re there. One of the nights this past month was Carnival night, and you were given “Awana Bucks” for learning your verses.  You were thrilled to pick out toys and spend your money, but mostly you were thrilled about the bouncy house that was there.  You also told the balloon artist that you wanted a sword, so he made you one… and as we walked away from him, you said, “That guy made me a sword, like a Philistine’s!”

You love snack time, even though the snacks are seriously ridiculously easy, like animal crackers and a cheese stick.  You don’t care, you’re just happy to get a snack.  Although, you get so involved in story time that you often miss the set up of the snacks and you’re the last one scrambling to find a seat.  It’s been good for you, because it’s teaching you to be flexible and to understand  that you don’t get the same seat every single time you go to the tables.  One night, I was across the room talking with the Leader, and after everyone had eaten their snacks, you said, “Uhh, excuse me, but my mommy needs a snack, too!”  Apparently you realized that everyone had eaten something but me, which was kind of funny because I really didn’t want a snack that evening.

Doing your craft at Awanas the week prior to Valentine’s day, there were a ton of cut out hearts you were supposed to affix to the paper with glue.  As usual, you were narrating your way through the craft and one of the things you said as you applied the twentieth heart was, “All these hearts remind me of Valentine’s Day.”

Then, later that night, instead of toy play time, one of the assistants came up with another craft.  Everyone sat down and you were gluing sparkly things to a paper.  You asked, confounded, “My goodness.  How many crafts do they have tonight, anyway?”

Morning Conversations:

“OK, I just want to talk. Ask me if I had a good dream…” “Yes, I dreamed of being a doctor and I fixed everyone. I dreamed of being Cubbie bear and growing and growing like a plant. I even dreamed of Spirit and I was riding him, and we JUMPED!!”

You told me the entire story about Jack and Jill and then ad libbed elaborate details into the story, about how they had friends to help them collect the bucket.

One morning after you woke up you said, “So I want a little cake.”… When I told you we didn’t have any little cakes, you replied, “Ok… so, how about some big cakes then?”

I told you one morning that my alarm clock had somehow been turned up really loud and it scared me when it went off that morning and that I was afraid it had awakened you.  You replied, “It was Tinkerbell.  She did it.  She turned up your alarm volume because she is *mis-cher-vous!”

*Phonetic mispronunciation.

William’s Prayers:

“Dear Lord, I do not thank you for this snot!”

“Dear Lord, please let there be more birthdays soon. Amen.”

“Dear Lord, please let me dream of Peter Pan and, Lord, let me be Tinkerbell in my dream. Thank you. Amen.”

“Dear Lord, I don’t thank you for this stuffy nose or for hail. Amen.”

“Dear Lord, please put a bubble around my bed and keep the bad dreams away. Amen.”

“Lord, please help tomorrow be a mommy & daddy day…. and if not, please put a bubble around my bed and keep the bad dreams away, and help me to dream of Tinkerbell or chalk drawing or mommy and daddy days tonight. Amen.”

Things I want to remember:

This past month I pulled out my Disney Story book that has 55 classic stories adapted from Disney movies. I read you one in the bath tub each night, as well as a mommy/son devotion. You love it and I love it. You ask for specific stories, and I always check the page count, some of them are quite long. But I’m thrilled that you love my Disney book.

Pretend play is a huge thing. You wait for Peter Pan in the mornings and say that you’re sure he’s hiding because I’m in your bedroom.  Any noise you hear is Peter Pan coming back to claim his shadow. When at the park, you run and put your arms out and say you’re flying to Neverland. You make up stories, and anyone who comes over gets to see a puppet show of an odd assortment of characters, while you stand in the hallway upstairs that looks over our living room.  Your current puppet choices are a Monster puppet, a pig and wolf.

You learned recently that I carry one of your flossing sticks in my purse.  Apparently, you’ve been getting stuff stuck in your teeth when you eat and then dealing with it.  But now that you made that discovery, you have no hesitation asking me to floss your teeth whenever or where ever we happen to be.

This month you have started running your fingers gently through my hair.  When I  look at you questioningly, you tell me, “I’m trying to brush your hair.”

I ordered a small, handheld, rechargeable vacuum cleaner to help keep the rogue cat fur tumbleweeds and the bird’s seed droppings under control.  When it got here, I told you it was your vacuum cleaner and that it is your job to clean up those things.  The $50 I spent on that vacuum cleaner has been one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.  It has given you the freedom to clean when the mood strikes and even at the slightest mention of it, or if I claim the vacuum for a second, you come running to take over!

You take the health of Tug (our cat) VERY seriously and gives him regular check-ups with the doctor kit your father gave you for Christmas. From all appearances, Tug appears to be in good health.  You kindly informed your father that if any more of his cats die, that you’ll let him have one of your cats, either Tug or Bug.

We went to our mountain cabin this past month and it had snowed pretty heavily.  You told us on the way up that “I love Big Bear and I love sleeping!”  What went unsaid was that you love Big Bear because you get to sleep with mommy… and watch movies… and play in the snow.  We built a family of snow men  Even funnier, after our visit, we were halfway down the mountain, you said, “I’m going to tell you a really big joke.”  What’s that?, we asked.  You replied, “Let’s go back to Big Bear!!”  You saw a truck hauling a load of snow in the truck bed and you said, “Look!  That truck is carrying white!”  Whenever we ask you what you like best about Big Bear, you reply, “Fireworks!”  I guess last year’s 4th of July sojourn up there is stuck in your mind as a good memory.

Eating a snack in the car, “I need my water, please.”  I hand it to you, you drink, hand it back to me.  A few minutes later, “Water, please?”  I hand it to you saying, “Whaaaat?”  You reply, “I want some water. It’s healthy!”  Then again, you say, “I need my water, please?”  And then in a high-pitched, silly voice and a grin on your face, you answer yourself, “How many more times do you need to drink water anyway?”  There’s a slight pause and you answer yourself again, “Until I drink it all gone!”  And then you fake sneeze, “AIICCCHHHOOOOO” and it rains all over me and you burp, hugely, and add, “Say that’s not nice and you need to say excuse me!”  And I’m left wondering exactly how these manners we’re teaching you are being applied to your life.

You love birthday parties, and one of my friend’s son’s birthday was this past month.  You were excited for about a month beforehand, almost as if you thought it was your own party.  The day of the party, we went to the park and you were inviting every kid you were playing with at the park to the birthday party that was that evening.  As if they passed the fun factor, so they get to go to the party with you.  Then, at the party, you were so surprised that you were given a goody bag, and all the way home you were telling us, “Joseph gave me a goody bag because I was so good at the party!”

You have started the silly arguments of, I’ll say “You did, too!”  And you’ll reply, “Didn’t, didn’t, didn’t, didn’t!!”  Meanwhile, I’m interjecting, “Did, too… Did, too…Did, too!”

Mid-January a traveling horse show started setting up enormous white tents off the I-405 freeway.  They are huge and quite the vision.  One day I came home from work and was talking to Grandma D. about the show, and how ridiculous the ticket prices were.  You interjected into the conversation, “I could see the tents from the show from the awesome park today.”  The next time we were at the awesome park, I looked that direction and, sure enough, there were those tents.

At the awesome park, I sat myself down at the bottom of one of the slides.  You were running around and you took the time to come over and assure me, “Just call if you need me and I’ll come right over. OK, mommy?”

At the park there is a black chain obstacle course, and you like to climb on it and say, “I’m a happy spider!”

We are always pretending that we’re going to nibble you and one evening, your father told you, “I will sneak in your bedroom and nibble you because you ate pancakes for dinner.”  You replied, “And I’ll wake up and say. Dude! Go away!”

Always learning:

I asked you, “Do you know what Easter is about? It’s about Jesus rising again!”  You replied, “Nope! it’s about eggs. In the bushes, on the ground…”

Grandma put  4 items on a tray. She took  one away, two away, etc. Now you do it with other things, like when she puts food back in fridge.  Then I came home and we were talking about eating imaginary cookies. I asked, “So, you have four cookies, you give one to me and one to daddy and one to grandma.  How many do you have?”  “One!”  You replied, looked at me and said, “I guess I don’t want Grandma to have a cookie, because I want two.  But you and daddy can have yours.”

Drawing in the bathtub, I asked you to draw a person and you said, “OK” and then drew it like it was no big deal and as if you didn’t refuse to do it just 6 months ago. And everything had to have a dress on, and a hat. And the police man was also a daddy.

“I’m making bath crafts.” With your bath crayons, you drew people… and narrated, “That’s the son, the mommy and the police man.”  Turns out the police man is also the daddy and they wear dresses. “I like rainbows. God did something really special when they got out. He made a rainbow. Excuse me I need to draw the boat. Cuz the police man was in the ark right?”

Going on and on, you were giving details about toys that you wanted to go to Walmart and buy, “a bicycle with a bell and handlebars that go right and left.  A firetruck with a shiny ladder and a siren.”  I asked where you heard about all these toys, and you said, “From a book Grandma read me.”

I read you a book about various types of stones and you asked, “If you can have granite counters, can you have pomegranate counters?”

One Liners:

In a narrator voice, channeling Toy Story, “Welcome to Pizza Planet, with the new monitor and the T-Rex!”

When your father did something you didn’t expect, you said, “You’re fired, daddy.”  Aghast, your father asked, “Where’d you pick that one up?”  Deadpan, you replied, “At Walmart.”

After your iPod time with your Bible stories and favorite games, you informed me, “Playing candy games makes me want a treat!”

When it’s time for clean-up in the bath tub, I tell you, “Give me your feet!”  Laughing hysterically, you give me your hands.”  I then instruct you to “Give me your hands!”  You turn over and stick your butt in the air.

At lunch it took an inordinate amount of time for our order to come and you informed me sadly, “I’m over here waiting and waiting and no cheeseburger comes.”

We went shopping at TJ Maxx one Sunday, and after an inordinate amount of time in the soap and lotion area where you were twisting off lids and sniffing everything and then carefully twisting it back on, your father asked you hopefully, “Do you want to go see toys??”  As if you were doing your father a favor, you replied in a dismissive tone, “Oh, sure, daddy.”  SNIFF  “Just as soon as I finish smelling all my good smells…”

You had some real issues with hiccups this month, I think we’ve figured out that it is due to you swallowing air?  Your Grandma was quite concerned about you….  I’m not sure, but burping seems to help you.  We will continue to monitor you.

Text from Grandma one afternoon:  “William moved his trampoline over between the table & the kitchen. While jumping on it he realized his head was bopping up in the mirror & he is totally laughing at himself…peek a boo.”

We drove past an enormous furniture store one afternoon.  They were holding a tent sale in the parking lot to clear out inventory and they had various “rooms” set up under the tent as a display.  You asked what it was, and I explained the situation.  You replied, “This looks like a big house.”

You found a Pez dispenser that had Sally (from Cars movie) on it.  You informed me, “This is a Cars elevator.”

We have two bottles of Kid’s vitamins that you get to choose from each night.  One is Cars and the other is Frozen themed.  You’ve been getting these for about a year now, and I finally figured out that you intentionally alternate which one you get each day.  One day you choose Cars, the next day you choose Frozen.  I was astounded when I realized that was the crux of your problem some days when you take extra long to figure out which one you want, you’re trying to remember which one you had the day prior.  I think we solved the issue, though, because I came to the realization that you get to have two vitamins now because you’re 4 years old, so now you get one of each.  Your understanding of the resolution, in your own words, despite what I told you is, “I get two vitamins because I’m 2.”  I guess in your mind you’re forever 2 years old.

When anyone asks you how old you are, you immediately hold up 2 fingers and say with a huge smile, “I’m two.”  I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion, you know very well how old you are.  Personally, I think you believe it’s a great, big joke, because you like very much to make people laugh and, given your size, telling people that assures you a laugh and a conversation.

50months-DSCN9734

Love, Mommy and Daddy

(More pictures from this past month can be found here:  LINK)

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Letter to our 4 Year 1 Month Old

Dear William,

On January 8, 2016, you turned 49 months old. You are 44 3/4″ tall and weigh 48 pounds. You are wearing boys XS pants and shorts, and boys 6 in shirts. You are wearing size 7 in footed pajamas and size 13 Wide in shoes.

Things We Did:
Recurring things: KinderCirque; Library and Awanas

12/11 – Fashion Island
12/12 – Medieval Times Tournament & Show
12/19 – LegoLand Christmas
12/21 – Queen Mary Chill Event
12/24 – Christmas Eve with Grandparents, took pictures of the full moon
12/25 – Christmas Morning at Home
12/25 – 12/27 – Big Bear Weekend
01/01 – New Years Morning (watch Rose Parade on TV)
01/01 – New Years at Grandparent’s house
01/02 – undecorate from Christmas
01/07 – Awanas (1st class at new church, changed church)

Favorites this month:
Color: Blue and Red!
Song: Mack song from Cars
Movie: Aladdin
Food: Chicken strips
Snack: Popcorn
Dessert: Ohhh, peanut butter! I can’t do this, because this candle thing is all around… Oh!  Gingerbread!
Fruit: Grapes and apples! And oranges!
Vegetable: Carrots
Class: Ohhh, ice skating class and Miss Robin’s class
Teacher: Miss Robin
Store: Target!!
Restaurant: I can’t say it!  (pause) All of them!
Vacation spot: Big Bear and Nebraska
Toy: Big Buzz and Big Woody
Theme Park: Disneyland
Anything else? I like candle light and snowman and Frosty!  And snow angels and snow ball fights!  Magic carpet!

Sleeping:

The holidays and our long weekend in Big Bear have messed up your sleep this month.  You are kind of a night owl, I think, just like your father and I.  You like to stay up late and hang out with us.  With one of us being home with you for two weeks, your bedtime inched later every night and you were sleeping later in the morning and waking up on your own.  Which was glorious for us, however…

Since you were naturally ending your sleep, you were having dreams, and apparently NOT good ones.  The last two weeks, you have been scared to go to bed because you were afraid to have bad dreams.  At present, you haven’t had a bad dream since we’ve been back to work (when I wake you before your REM sleep), but every night you say in a wailing voice, “Oh no!  Tonight I’m going to have another bad dream!”

Food:
You have a good appetite and are adventurous in your culinary exploring.  I’m grateful that you are such a fun person to eat meals with.  The Silly sometimes takes control of you and we often have to remind you that we’re eating dinner and not having a race around the house, and that you can do most anything as long as your bottom is on your chair.  So, for those days when you don’t feel like eating much, I remind myself that tomorrow will be a new day.  Also, you have quite a sweet tooth and love anything that has sugar in it.  I predict, if you’re anything like me, that this will be a life long love.

In fact, you have recently discovered that if you take a lemon and rub sugar on it, that you quite like it. So now at restaurants, you take our discarded lemons from our iced teas and mix your own concoction.  I guess, not knowing you put sugar on it, it probably looks quite funny to see a kid sucking on a lemon.

One evening, you had eaten your dinner and were satisfied.  We had eaten leftovers and your father didn’t have any, so on his way back from running errands, he stopped at Weinerschnitzel and grabbed some food and came home to eat it.  He put it on the table and went to take care of something.  Nonchalantly, you walked over, looked at it, sat down and said, “I feel like eating a second dinner.”

Side note:  You do not like broken candy canes.  No way, no how.  They are an insult to you and you take it quite personally if they’re broken.

Things I want to remember:

This month you have really had extreme emotional reactions to things not working the way you want them.  I think you have a bit of a perfectionist gene in you.  I have NO IDEA where you got that from.  Neither your father nor I are perfectionists, nope.  Ahahahahaaaaaa!  For example, one evening, you flushed the toilet before the toilet paper was in there and you cried at yourself, “WHYYYY DID I FLUSH THE TOILET SO SOOOOOOOONN!!”  I had to remind you that it wasn’t a big deal, we would just leave the toilet paper in there (not wasting water).  The next person who used it could flush it down.    Or when you ask for something and the answer is no that you can always ask, “Are there any other options?”  Just because the one thing you asked for isn’t available doesn’t mean it’s a HUGE NO TO EVERYTHING YOU WANT, it just means it’s a tiny “no” to one thing and there are likely other options.   I realize this will probably backfire on me when you’re a teenager.

Last week I was in the trunk of my car preparing to go inside a restaurant. You were standing beside me waiting, when all of a sudden you reached up and pushed me on the behind and yelled, “BUTT MASSAGE.”  I was so shocked, I’m not certain where you got THAT from.  Your Grandma D. tells me that you’ve been doing that to her, too, so now we’re working with you to not do that.  Seriously, where DO you come up with this stuff?

When in your aerial acrobatics class, there are other classes operating in the gymnasium concurrently.  One of them is a gymnastics class with your former dance instructor, Ms. Ofi.  I took you to one of your aerial classes and you ran over (with Ms. Robin’s instruction) to get your water.  On your return to Ms. Robin, Ms. Ofi walked in front of you.  You froze, your water in your mouth and locked eyes with her and then silently kept walking.  A few seconds passed, you got back to Ms. Robin and Ms. Ofi said loudly, “I saw you, William.  I saw you!”  It was such a funny social interaction.  I think there’s still a little bit of horror inside of you over your dance classes.

On the flip side, when you saw Ms. Robin at the first class after the holiday break, you politely asked her how Thailand had been for her (that’s where she went over Christmas), and she replied it had been awesome, and asked about your break.  You erupted giddily with a description of your new toys and Big Bear, that you went ice skating up there and fell down and it took your butt FOUR DAYS to heal, and ice skating at the Queen Mary, and you want to take an ice skating class but she has to hold your hand and teach you.  That you had a new Buzz and Woody doll and your favorite movie is Polar Express, and… on and on you went.  She was surprised and laughingly told you that she doesn’t ice skate very well and looked at me and said, “I guess he was saving it all up for me, huh?”  I told her that the timeline was a little mixed up, but she pretty much knew everything he had done over his Christmas break.  I’m not sure if she ever realized just how much you adore her, but if she didn’t, that should have told her.

Ms. Robin is so good with you. During one of your aerial classes you were her only student, and half way through you finished practicing something and you flopped on the ground. Instead of admonishing you or picking you up, she took note of your posture and said, “Oh, you need a break?  Good idea!”  And she casually chatted with you for a minute and then asked if you were ready to get back to work.  You were, and the class proceeded smoothly from there.

Our Awanas adventure continues… several of the meetings in December were canceled or didn’t occur because of the church’s Christmas activities.  The one that was supposed to occur, the leader texted me that they were repeating a lesson that had already been done.  Then we showed up for the meeting on 1/6 to find out it had been canceled that afternoon. You had worked hard on learning your verse, you were amped up to do your craft, and when the person said it was canceled without notice due to the commander not being able to make it because of traffic and rain, you dissolved into sobs.  I crouched down and held you, rubbing your back, telling you I was so sorry.  When you reached the end of your grief, I asked if you wanted to look at other options, maybe another church. You said you did.  So we drove to another church, not to attend that night, but to check it out.  The next night (Thursday, 1/7) we attended a different Awanas.  It was like night and day. The teachers were so prepared, so kind, so warm, so welcoming, so loving and all the kids were so engaged that they were very nearly telling the teacher the lesson instead of the leader teaching them.  After that experience, we will be changing Awanas.  I’m sad for the other church, I wish we could find a way to make it work with them, but I’m not willing to sacrifice your happiness for their growing pains.

Something endearing you have started doing is that you kiss my cheek in rapid succession and your voice gets higher and higher as you say, “Muwah, muwah, muwah, muwah!”  And then I’m supposed to say “POP!” as I explode because I’m so full of love. You love it when I do that back to you, and then sometimes you put your hand on the top of my head and tell me you’ve locked my popper and I have to whoosh it out of my mouth!

Shortly after I had decorated your room with Toy Story bedding and wall decorations, I asked you if you wanted me to decorate your bed with your Christmas bedding.  You politely declined, saying, “No, thank you.  I’m fine with Toy Story.”  I continued with, how about wall decorations? You replied with, “No, thank you. I’m fine with Toy Story.  But, uh, uh, you can put Christmas decorations above it!!”

After your birthday party and all your presents, you declared, “I ABSOLUTELY want to do this night again!”

Your Grandma D’s friend, Beth, came to visit her this month.  She hung around with you and Grandma D. and you really enjoyed her visit.  You made up a song about Beth being out in the rain and sang it to her.  You were very sad when she left, but you hope she comes back to visit.

A week after our friend, Sonia, let you into Disneyland for your birthday, saying your bedtime prayers you added Sonia to your prayers that night, “Dear Lord, I pray for Sonia that she would have a good day at work tomorrow because she’s a nice person.”  It was so sweet and so spontaneous.  I just love asking you if I missed anything in prayers, because I never know what you’re going to say.

On leftover dinner night, you asked for “the mac-n-cheese I got for my birthday from Flo’s Cafe, please?”

Some mornings, after we nurse, you fall back to sleep.  When you wake up an hour or so later, you’re always so sad that I’ve left.  Grandma D. reported that one morning you woke and she heard you say, “Oh dear, oh me.  Mommy’s gone.”  She said it was so sad and so cute.

One night for dinner, I pulled out a huge vegetable tray and a huge tray of shrimp to snack on before dinner was served. Your Grandma D. was staying for dinner and you danced your way over to the table saying excitedly, “Look grandma! We’re having vegetables! And shrimps!! Sit down!!  I need some potatoes, too!”  Grandma said she’s never seen anyone so excited about having vegetables.

One afternoon, you were trying to remember a word and you asked me, “What is sillytarry!?”  Confused, I clarified, You mean military?”  You frowned and said, “I don’t think so, where do you bury pets?”  I replied, “Oh, you mean the cemetery?”

When we went to the Medieval Times dinner tournament, you were adamant that you wanted iced tea instead of water.  I shrugged, because I’ve offered you sips before and you’ve never cared for it. The tea was pretty weak there, so we gave you a mug of iced tea.  You took a sip and declared, “This isn’t iced tea!  This isn’t good at all.”  Despite your father and I reassuring you that it was indeed iced tea, you were having none of it.  Hilariously, 4 weeks later, you asked your father if a drink at a restaurant was the same drink from the Medieval Times… when he said it was just water, you drank it.  I guess, given how much your father and I love iced tea, it apparently failed miserably to your expectations.  Sorry, dude.

With the opening of the new Star Wars film this past month, there has been a lot of Star Wars talk.  One evening your father decided to go to an evening showing of it.  Normally you are upset if your father leaves when you’re in your bath, or even if it’s after your bedtime.  That particular evening, however, you asked him, “Are you going to see the new Star Wars movie, daddy?”  He replied, “Yes.”  You said, “Oh, OK. That’s fine.”  Apparently the Star Wars movie, even though it’s a grown up movie, is an acceptable reason for your father to miss your bedtime.

The next week, you started closing the shutter and turning off the lights.  I asked you what was going on.  In response, instead of answering me with words, you went over to the side of the couch and pulled out your father’s light saber, turned it on and wielded it and said, “It’s time for a light saber battle!”

One afternoon I decided to let you in on a secret and I told you, “Did you know that there are mommies and daddies who go on vacation without their children?”  Your response was immediate and dramatic, as you inhaled sharply and said, “Huh??  That is TERRIBLE!  Vacations are for children, too!”

Over the break, I had a sinus infection that when it drained, I lost my voice.  I went to the doctor and was given antibiotics.  A couple days later, I told you I had my voice back.  You said, “Yay! Yay! Yay!  You can sing me to sleep again!”

You were sick, too, over the holiday. You’d been struggling with a stuffy nose and sneezing for a couple weeks.  But one night around midnight, you woke up trying to cough but unable to get a breath.  After I calmed you down, you were able to breathe and cough, but you were kind of freaked out.  I was freaked out facing the holidays with you being sick and didn’t want a repeat of last year’s sick, so I so I took you in to see the pediatrician.  The doctor said that one of your lungs wasn’t clear, and that you had pneumonia and that she was really glad I had brought you in.  The next day, after one dose of antibiotics, you said, “My nose is not stuffy!”  Surprised I asked you, “Really?”  You coughed and sniffled and said, “No, I’m just kidding.”

One of your favorite things to say is, “I love you, but… ” and then finish with a request.  Like, “I love you, but can I have more apple?”

You really loved Christmas and having mommy or daddy home with you every day for two weeks.  Daily you were telling us, “Christmas is so fun!  I love holidays!”  I couldn’t agree more!

On Christmas, I was tutoring you to remember your gratitude and even if you weren’t thrilled with your present, to say to the person who gave it to you, “Thank you so much!”  I went down a list of examples, like what if you opened your present and it’s a piece of yarn, or what if it’s socks, or what if it’s a toothbrush, or what if it is a toy you already have?  And the correct answer was, “Thank you so much!”  Because it’s not about the gift, it’s about someone loving you enough to give you something.  So after all that, one of your Grandma D.’s presents was a pair of fluffy socks.  You immediately walked up to her and said, “Remember your gratitude, Grandma… say thank you so much!”

A conversation that was had while driving up to Big Beare, and there was a traffic jam (as usual) on the freeway.  We heard you in the back seat saying, “Excuse me, could you turn off the music! I’m trying to talk to you! I hope there’s not an accident! So, falling off your chair, bonking your head, peeing in your pants and car crash… those are all accidents. Accidents should only happen on summer days, not on Christmas.”

You said, “I want to be like daddy when I grow up!  Then I can eat daddy candy!”

Your interest in ice skating has continued since our jaunt at the Queen Mary.  So we went over to the local ice skating rink to get some information and scheduling, I told you in advance that we wouldn’t be skating that night.  You were so excited to go check it out.  There was an ice hockey game going on, and you were so excited to watch them.  Then you got more and more quiet and finally said, “Can we go?  This is making me so sad because I really, really wanted to do it. And I can’t right now.”

One day you were begging for a movie and I told you that you need to go play with your toys!  You were balking and I suggested that if you didn’t want to play with them, you could go through them and pick some toys to give to children who don’t have any.  You went over to your toy box and I heard you saying, “Oh, I forgot about this toy … This is fun!” No toys were chosen, but at least you weren’t watching a movie!

One day, you yawned a huge yawn.  I glanced askance at you and you said, “I’m not tired.  That’s just a gingerbread yawn.”

I love to ask you what you dreamed about, because despite your one night of bad dreams, you usually have some really interesting ones.  For example, one morning you told me you had dreamed about Halloween, and the pumpkin cooked your dinner and you were a baby bat.

On Christmas eve we went looking at people’s decorated homes.  One that we visit every year had a display on his driveway with moving laser lights (among other things).  There were probably 7 or 8 kids running around chasing the various colors of lights that were swirling around, and you enthusiastically joined in the running.  You were so excited and ran up to a girl who was probably 6 or 7 years old and breathlessly told her, “I stepped on the red light!  I got it!”  In a dismissive, irritated tone, she told you, “If you step on the red light, that means you’re out.  You’re NOT supposed to step on the red light.”  You stared at her for a second and then said, “So let’s play the you’re out game! Let’s step on the red lights!”  And you ran off to step on more red lights.  She stared after you, shook her head and went back to her method.  Child of ours, I hope you always continue to blaze your own path and create your own games.  Don’t ever let anyone quell your joy, take your breathless wonder, or steal your exuberance for life.   Always, always look for other options.

DSCN9571 49 months 1

DSCN9573-49 months 2

More pictures from this month can be found here — Link

We love you forever,

Momma (and Daddy)

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Letter to our 4 Year Old

Dear William,

On December 8, 2015, you turned 4 years old. You are a smidge below 45″ tall and weigh 48 pounds. You are wearing 5T pants and shorts, and boys 6 in shirts. You are wearing size 7 in footed pajamas and size 13 Wide in shoes.

I’ll give fair warning here that this has been a Very Big Month for you. So if you’re here for a quick read, you may want to either skip to the end for the picture link, or grab a bottle of water and settle in. This is a long letter. 🙂

Things We Did:
Recurring things: KinderCirque; Library and Awanas

11/14 – Day out With Thomas (Reminder for next year to me, BRING YOUR THOMAS USB THUMB DRIVE!!! The photographer gives a $10 discount on pictures & will load them on the drive!)
11/20-11/22 – Weekend in Big Bear
11/22 – swimming w/ Mommy
11/26 – Thanksgiving with family
11/28 – Sea World for Grandma D.’s Birthday
11/29 – Breakfast with Grandparents and a birthday party for family friend
12/05 – Your birthday party
12/06 – Your first performance as an aerialist
12/08 – Disneyland

Favorites this month:
Color: Red, blue, yellow and brown
Song: Siamese Cats
Movie: Frozen
Food: Chicken strips
Snack: Sea World snack (little crackers)
Dessert: Cake
Fruit: Cherry
Vegetable: Carrots
Class: Miss Robin’s class (KinderCirque)
Teacher: Miss Robin
Store: Target
Restaurant: The one with the planes at the hall (Ruby’s at the mall)
Vacation spot: San Francisco
Toy: Big Buzz and Big Woody and Big Jessie and their hats and Big Bullseye and the stand
Park: Awesome park
Theme Park: Zoo and Disneyland
Anything else? Rock, truck, car, restaurant, stop sign… trains, street.

Sleeping:

You have been sleeping with no issues this past month. Falling asleep easy, and despite how you tease me in the evenings (saying, “I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night and call and call for you and tell you that you forgot to do my nose spray and I have a stuffy nose!”), you are sleeping through the night until I wake you in the morning.

You are now of an age where, if we’re doing something exciting the next day, we can’t tell you because the anticipation gives fuel to your imagination and you can’t fall asleep, and then you wake up early and then you’re tired for the exciting thing!

Food:
You have a good appetite and a sense of culinary adventure. You have no issues eating. In fact, one night, you dipped your chicken nuggets into your chocolate pudding. Gross! Your grandma D. tells me that she serves you most of your leftovers cold, which kind of icks me out, but she says you eat it fine. So I shrug and say, “Whatever works!”

Things I want to remember:

How you love sticks and can entertain yourself happily for hours outside with just a stick. I never knew sticks could possibly have so many uses. From being a “digger” to an “ice poker” to being a “shooter” to who knows what tomorrow!

One morning you told me, “I’m going to go upstairs to wake up daddy.” I said, “You can, but you know he’s going to snuggle you.” You replied, “Oh, that’s OK because I like that. But I can’t right now because I’m finishing my hot chocolate.” A few minutes passed, you got up and said, “OK, I’m going upstairs now.” I say, “OK, have fun.” You said, “OK, but I better take my froggy because daddy’s going to try and snuggle me!”

Miss Mary, your Awana leader, has nicknamed you Pastor William because when asked if anyone knows their Bible verse, you blare it out as loud as you can. I admit that I role play with you for the entire 10 minute drive there, just because I think it’s funny to hear you say the verse so loudly.

I took you swimming the evening we got back from Big Bear. It was 5:45 PM when we got to the pool, the sky was already dark and the moon high and bright in the sky. You exclaimed over the wonder of it, and a couple of times you stopped swimming and were staring vacantly and I asked you what was wrong, you said, “Nothing’s wrong, but the moon is following me!” The moon has been coming up in the afternoon, we see it sometimes as early as 3 PM, and sometimes it’s still wandering the sky in the morning. You have determined that the moon is lost!

You told me the Monday morning before Thanksgiving that you weren’t going to enjoy Thanksgiving, that you’re not going to eat turkey or mashed potatoes or ANYTHING at Thanksgiving. Later that day at KinderCirque class you told Miss Robin that Thanksgiving is fun and turkey is your favorite thing to eat. I laughed and laughed when your grandma D. told me that!

You can be a little bit of a contrarian sometimes, One evening, I told you we were eating leftovers for dinner and asked you what you wanted from your leftovers. You replied, “I want broccoli, steamed broccoli. Also, some hot dog that daddy made. And some apple, cut up. Please.” So I go gather these things for you and you say, “I don’t want any of these things. What I really want is a cherry popsicle.” I would be very annoyed with you, except your outlandish requests are couched in such sweetness. As it is, I simply told you that I spent 15 minutes putting all these things together at your request and you need to tell me thank you and my appetite has changed. May I have one or two bites of these things and then have a cherry popsicle, please? See, the thing is, I’ve dealt with “food issues” and “appetite changes” every day of my own life. I understand that sometimes something that seemed appealing 15 minutes ago maybe isn’t anymore. But I’ve learned that showing gratitude before changing my request can make a world of difference to the recipient, so I hope to teach you the same thing. Also, the cherry popsicles are homemade, so they’re just as healthy as the rest of it. And sometimes, we all just want to eat dessert first, because often times I’ve found with you that if I serve your dessert with your meal, that you’ll eat it all at the same time with no issues.

Watching Toy Story 3 over the weekend, you exclaimed, “Andy’s hat is red, just like Jessie’s hat!” The timing of that observation by you is striking because I had just the week prior emailed your father a link to a theory about Jessie’s owner being Andy’s mom, and one of the primary pieces of evidence of that theory is the red hat!

How in the mornings, one of your favorite things to do is to lie in the middle of the walkway and say, “Oh no, there’s a speedbump in your way!” And then you laugh and laugh when we faux trip over you. And then the speedbump moves and we have to trip over it again, and more laughter. Sometimes the speedbump gets really tall as you bear walk, and other times the speed bump gets really long when you stretch out on the floor.

Saying prayers one night, I prayed for Miss Mary at Awanas. You interrupted to clarify, “Excuse me, mommy, we have TWO Miss Marys. One at Awanas and one at library.” I said, “Yes, we’ll pray for all the Miss Marys!”

One morning, you pulled all your toys out and they were strewn all over the living room. I told you I was going upstairs to get dressed and that I would love to be surprised when I came back down to find all your toys put away! About 3 minutes after I was upstairs, I heard you screaming and crying. When I came running down to check on you, you were kneeling on your knees and leaning on the lid of your toy chest. I gathered you up and asked what was wrong, you pointed at your toy chest and said, sobbing, “It won’t close!! They don’t all fit in there!” Oh, dear child. I told you if that ever happens, it is OK, to please just call me and we’ll figure it out together. And I showed you that, if it doesn’t fit, you could just pull something out and set it aside, as long as it’s not in the walkway.

Then when I was going upstairs, you stopped midway to pet the cats. I told you I was going on up and you could come up when you were ready. You acknowledged me and then again 3 minutes later, you were crying because I left you petting the cat. Goodness!

How you love to dance (but NOT in a class) and most of your dancing consists of walking with the crown, like you did in ballet class. Also your KinderCirque training is showing up when we dance, you love to jump up and circle me with your legs, then go upside down, and then legs together and to the floor. You call it “our trick.” In fact, we went to a birthday party for a family friend and there was a live band and lots of people were dancing. You, literally, dragged me out to the dance floor so you could do “our trick!”

At the birthday party, after a particularly rousing dance you went back to the table to take a break. You got up and went over and looked at all the mini birthday cakes that had been set out. After your inspection, you came back, sat down and declared, “I need a beer before I dance again.” I’m guessing you overheard someone say that.

You are also very into “saving food for later.” I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been out somewhere and you don’t finish your food and you tell us, “That’s OK, we’ll just put it in the fridge and save it for later.”

Your Grandma D. couldn’t find her camera for one of your aerial class practices. Unbeknownst to you, I lent her one of mine. You arrived at your class and you told your Grandma D., “You can’t find your camera, I don’t have to do well today!” Grandma D. pulled my camera out and said to you, “I have your mommy’s.” You stared and said, deflated, “Oh.”

At one point during that practice, you declared yourself “tired.” So instead of letting you flop on the floor, Miss Robin escorted you over to sit next to Grandma. She told you that when you were ready to work again to come back over. Your “rest” lasted about 30 seconds and you tore off after Miss Robin and listened a bit better after that.

Miss Robin challenges you to do the things in her class by yourself. You struggle, but you keep trying and I’m grateful to her for encouraging you and keeping you interested, even though it means that sometimes you flop on the floor. I encouraged you to do your TA DA!! when you land. For some reason, that has gone by the wayside in the last few months.

Every morning, after you’ve snuggled awake, you ask me< "Is this a mommy and daddy day?" I've learned that when it's a work day, I simply tell you that we have to go to work, and you cry. If I answer that it's a grandma day, then we go down a path about how you don't like Grandma (although you love her to pieces and you say that you're her sweetheart) and that you don't WANt a grandma day.

At breakfast one morning, your father was talking to his dad and you were trying to talk to your Grandma H. who is a soft-talker. You politely interrupted your father and said, "Excuse me! You're talking to him and I'm talking to her, but I can't hear her when you're talking, so you need to be quiet while she is talking, please."

When we went to Big Bear, there was still some snow on the ground from the week’s prior storm. You had a grand time walking around in the back yard with a stick, digging holes in the snow. We left for the day and came back that evening and there were dog tracks in the yard. We examined them for a minute and you said, in the perfect intonation of a private investigator, “Someone’s been walking in our snow! Who was it?”

We have found that it's really important to pay attention to you and what you're saying. You are really good at entertaining yourself and you generally tell us what you're doing, whether we listen or not. For example, at breakfast one Sunday morning, you were bending over your chair facing your father's direction. He was busy talking to his dad, who was seated on the other side of him, and you were repeatedly saying, "Pbbb pleb pooh! That's disgusting!" You would finish your routine and take another bite of eggs from your plate, and then do the same thing. A lady at a table across from you gave us the side-eye. Curious, leaned around your backside to look at your face. I couldn't really see, I could just hear you, so I nudged your father and asked him what you were doing. He looked at you, not expecting anything, after all, you were playing peacefully. Turns out, you were creatively spraying egg bits all over the floor. "Pbbbb Pleb Pooh! That's DISGUSTING!"

The morning when we got up to go to Sea World, you exclaimed, "I'm William the whale speed bump!" You then told us that you were going to bring your small bucket and you were going to take Shamu home in a bucket. When we told you Shamu was too big to bring home in a bucket, you told us, "Then I'll bring baby Shamu home in my bucket." I had to tell you that even baby Shamu was too big to bring home in a bucket.

Your grandpa tried to tease you by placing your underwear on your head after you went to the restroom. You emphatically told your grandpa, "My underwear goes on my butt, not on my head!"

Driving around, your father was listening to his music. You said, "Excuse me, I want William songs, like Lightning Lost or something, please?"

Talking about Thanksgiving, you explained to us, "So my birthday is way far away, all these other things have to happen first."

One evening you found my Bible sitting on a chair. You made off with it and I asked you where you were taking my Bible. You corrected me and told me it was GOD'S Bible and you needed to read God's word.

You stood on a chair, reached into the bag to pull out dry erase markers and proceeded to write on the white board. You told me, "Mr. William is the teacher today, you are Miss Mary. I am drawing words right now."

Listening to tractor tipping song, you exclaimed, "Frank ate the old William and now you have a new William!" Surprised, we asked, “We have a new William??" You replied, "Yes! Absolutely!"

In Big Bear, you discovered the play kitchen (that your Grandpa made probably 40 years ago) in the storage room under the bunk beds. You spent at least two hours playing with that thing and were sad that we had discovered it the last day there.

You put a pair of sunglasses on and then over it some party glasses. You informed us that you were wearing some "Watch where I'm going glasses and sunglasses."

One evening I was reading a book and you told me, "You're concentrating away from me, I need you to concentrate on ME!"

In Big Bear, you were sitting on the toilet and you exclaimed, "This toilet seat is not very loud." I realized you were banging the lid against the tank and because it's a padded seat and lid, it wasn't making any noise. I then also realized that you bang the toilet seat against the tank a lot at home. I never noticed that before.

At the bar for Taco Tuesday, they have many TV screens. You were watching them and all of a sudden you exclaimed, "That's the Nutcracker!" Sure enough, an advertisement had come on for an upcoming showing of the Nutcracker Suite

After Taco Tuesday, there is a sidewalk that you like to run down. The week prior, your father had freaked out because the sidewalk ends and it's the street. I knew you would stop, as you and I have discussed it many times, but your father did not. So this time, you took off running running and turned back and reassured your father, "I will stop at the end, daddy!"

Going to the bathroom, you intentionally locked the door. I unlocked it to check on you and you ushered me out of the bathroom and told me, "I don't need you in here." Then you locked it behind me. This has it's benefits, because when I'm going to the restroom, you will ask if I need privacy and if I say yes, you turn and leave.

We took you to see the new Peanuts movie. The previews and advertisement were endless. After about 20 minutes, you got up and went to the opposite side of the theater and said, "That's it, I'm going away from you advertisements!"

One of the previews was for the upcoming movie called, The Secret Lives of Pets. You thought that preview was hysterically funny and now you ask to watch it over and over again. You always get my attention before the weiner dog massages himself with the kitchen mixer because you know that’s my favorite part of it.

Speaking of previews, one of the things that you love is to watch the shorts that come on the DVDs of your movies. Recently, after watching Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron, you asked to watch one of the behind-the-scenes shorts. Your father suggested that maybe you wouldn’t enjoy it, but you insisted. So, we sat there and watched how they drew Spirit, and the artist gave a tutorial on how to draw the horses. Halfway through it, you stood up, went to the table, asked for your school supplies and you sat down and started drawing circles on the paper. You then asked for help to draw a horse from the circles, just like you had seen in the “short.”

Driving along in a train, you pretended to stick your hand out the window. You said, "I won't fall out, I'm not like Mr. Potato Head or something."

One morning you went out in the hallway. I could hear you talking to someone and giggling. When I asked you what you were doing, you told me, "I don't want to tell you!" I assured you that if you told me, you wouldn't get in trouble. You looked at me, taking my measure, and then replied, "I'm messing with the bird."

Sitting on the landing of our stairs, where all the cats congregate and our bird cage is hung, you exclaimed in your best narrator voice, "Welcome to Pet Land!"

About a month ago, I bought a Keurig on clearance at Walmart. Now whenever you hear it, you come running and ask for hot chocolate, in your whale mug, with two ice cubes, a lid and a straw. You gather everything that you can reach and group it on the counter so that it's all organized and convenient. How can I turn that down??

From Halloween, you still have tons of candy. You get a piece every day and you get to pick it. You saw the lollipops when they were given to you and I think they're horrible, so I threw them away. I'm silly for doing that, I know, but I can't help it. You still ask for them every day and the way you say "lollipop" is just the cutest thing ever. I'm glad I tossed them, because I would give them to you if I had them anymore.

You say some pretty deep things sometimes without provocation, and I'm always shocked when stuff like that comes out of your mouth. This month, the one that took me aback was when we were Watching the opening scene of Lady & the Tramp, you exclaimed over the cuteness of Lady as a puppy. The scene changed to the night time and Lady being put to bed all alone and the commentary by Jim Dear about being a master and training the puppy from the beginning, and then he locks Lady in the room. Watching all this, you exclaimed, "He locked her in there!!" Then you said, "The thing about being a master is… it's not about locking someone away, it's about loving them." I'm guessing that it's because in Awanas one of their core teachings is that Jesus our master loves us… Plus, you have been very much into loving our pets. Apparently, the way the movie's script is worded triggered this in your mind.

On the eve of your birthday, I put 3 year old to bed. I feel immensely blessed to be able to hold you in my arms as you fall asleep each night. There is some sort of magic that happens when your eyelashes flutter against your cheeks in trust as you fall asleep. On the cusp of sleep, your eyes close slowly, open, close slowly, open, I hold my breath… and your eyes drift closed, your hand twitches, your leg moves, your breathing deepens, your body relaxes. One thousand four hundred and sixty times you have fallen asleep in my arms at night. You say it makes you feel loved and safe and that you like that. I will hold you and let you fall asleep in my arms for as long as you let me. Just as you obsessed yourself into rolling over, crawling, pulling up and eventually walking, I know it is inevitable that, when you are ready, you will pull away and fall asleep on your own, too. However, for as long as we waited for you, dreamed of you, longed for you, and all those nights I would lay in bed and wish that I had a child to hold in my arms. Now you are here. Now I can hold you in my arms. My very own child. Sometimes I still don't believe it. And it seems that time with you goes much faster than the time did without you. So, I hold you for these fleeting moments, and you gently cross into dreamland in my arms, for I know the day is coming all too soon when you will fly far and wide on your own wings, and I will remember with gratitude these times, with no regrets. No regrets ever.

2015-12-08--48 months

More pictures from this month can be found here — Link

We love you forever,

Momma (and Daddy)

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute