Letter to our 5 year old

Dear William,

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

Things we did this month:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I want to remember:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


We love you so much, too, sweet boy.

Love you forever,

Mommy and Daddy

More photos from this month can be found here: Link



Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Our Little Planner.

This morning when William woke up, the first thing he said was, “Do you wanna know what I’m going to be for Halloween next year?”

Interested, I replied, “What?”

“Next year, I’m going to be Frank (from Cars movie).  And I’m going to scare EVERYONE at your work and then you’ll get a day off.  Like the Joker did.”

“Oh, I see.  You’re going to compete in my company’s Halloween costume contest with a Frank costume?”  I clarified.

“Yes, and then you’ll win and get a day off from work to spend with me.  And you can be Scary Sally and daddy can be Scary Lightning.”  William replied.

“Is that what you were dreaming about last night?  Is your Halloween costume for next year?”

“Yes, and you winning and getting a day off.”  He said.

This child.  My heart.

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Filed under Our Kid is Cute, Tidbits

Letter to our 4 year 11 month old

Dear William,

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

Things we did this month:

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

Recurring things: Library (Spanish and English)

 Quick Interview:

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

Things I want to remember:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Love you forever,

Pictures from this month can be found here: Link


Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Focus on Gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Gratitude Quest


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

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Filed under Our Kid is Cute, Tidbits

Letter to our 4 year 10 month old

Dear William,

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

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

Things we did this month:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things I want to remember:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other things:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Love always,


More photos from this month can be found here:  LINK


Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Smile on.

I’ve had a bit of a go of it today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Money Hump Building, Who I am

Puddles in Pajamas.

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

Photo credit: My mom

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Annually We Pose.

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

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Filed under Our Kid is Cute

When Headaches Strike & You’re Still Loved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Best Husband, Our Kid is Cute