Simon, Questions Age 6

I haven’t written his annual letter yet, but I think about him all the time. So grown up and still so innocent, I’m grasping into these last moments when he still wants to cuddle and snuggle with me. He still reaches for my hand when we walk places. I am so in love with this growing boy.

“Mommy I’m just going to go and read my book out on the porch before school, OK?”

1. What is your favorite color?

“Dark yellow. I mean gold.”

2. What is your favorite toy?

“This thing that has a rip cord that has a ninja on it” LEGO Ninjago thing Lisa got me.

3.  What is your favorite tv show or movie?

Big Hero 6

“Send this to Grandpa. It’s my teenager face.”

4. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?

“Peanut butter and jelly but NOT WITH THE FAKE PEANUT BUTTER”

5.  What is your favorite outfit?

My Big Hero 6 shirt

6. What is your favorite game?

chess
7. What is your favorite snack?

candy. or apple slices with peanut butter

8. What is your favorite animal? Camel

“Let’s take a picture of us in our glasses.”

9. What is your favorite song?

“I don’t really sing that much songs. I like the star spangled banner.”

10.  Who is your best friend? Tommy.

11.  Where is your favorite place to go?

Kids’ Club

12. What would you like to learn more about now that you’re 6?

“Inventions. Like, that they can do all your chores when your mom doesn’t know. She doesn’t know that you have a robot…”

Walking home from school.

13. What do you love about yourself?

“That I have glasses. I like wearing glasses. I like my skeleton.”

6th Birthday Party

14. What does Daddy do at work?

“He makes sure people drive safely. He doesn’t teach people how to drive anymore.”

15. What does Mommy do at work?

“Works at a library. You help people find books.”

16. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

“I like to take my mommy to bed at night.”

17. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

cereal bars

18. What do you want to be when you grow up?

An Inventor

Here are Simon’s answers at age 5.

Updates- July 2015

I am embarrassed by how much I’ve neglected our little blog. When I finally get time to sit down and relax, I never think to update here. Sometimes I just think about how much there is to update, and it gets overwhelming.

I mean, all in all, not much as changed. The day to day is the same- working through the week, busy on the weekends, chasing George around and carting Simon to tball or Kids’ Club or the park. But let me see if I can paint some broad strokes here.

DSC_0203  Simon ended his Kindergarten year with a late spring Y-Tribe camping trip, and a final musical program. He had a great year and I don’t think he really knew that there was a “summer vacation” off of school until the very end. Technically for him, there wasn’t really a summer vacation since he goes to childcare all summer long, but in between the end of school and Kids’ Club beginning, we took a trip to Hilton Head with my parents and siblings’ families, and it was so fun, and funny. 6 kids between the ages of 6 months old and 5 years old. It was hardly “relaxing” but it wDSC_0310as definitely memorable and I loved spending time with my family.  Simon loved going to see the music performer Shannon Tanner almost every night. We came home with the CD. The DVD. The Shirt. The Hat. We went on the Pirate Cruise. I think it’s safe to say that Simon is Shannon’s Biggest Fan.
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The weather was perfect in Hilton Head and we stopped on the way down and on the way back at Nonni and Papa’s house, just long enough to have a nice meal and hangout, wishing we could do it more often.
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June was also the start of T-ball, which was every week for four weeks. Practice was on Mondays and Wednesdays, games were on Fridays. It was quite a lot! But George loved going to the park so often, and we only got rained out like — 3 times? So it was a good time. Almost everyone Simon’s age in our neighborhood played t-ball so it was a nice way to keep in touch with kids over the summer.

We managed to catch up with my mom’s side of the family at a somewhat imprompu Family Reunion for my Aunt Karen’s 70th birthday. The boys were really good in the car and the weather was beautiful. I saw my cousins for the first time in years, and met many second-cousins I’d never met before. It was a nice afternoon to catch up and have great food and conversation.

We celebrated the fourth of July by walking down to the Grandview Yard and having a little picnic. George couldn’t hang for too long because – bedtime. But Simon and I stayed to watch the fireworks they put off downtown. He got a really cool light up sword and it was nice to have a little “Date night” for just him and me.

And recently Simon’s learned how to ride his bike with no training wheels! He picked it up really quickly and I am so proud of how fearless he was at giving it a try. Now he asks to go on bike rides a lot. I also got a bike but have been nervous aout riding again! I don’t feel as confident as he does, I suppose.

This summer has flown by all too fast. We are now prepping for Simon’s’ birthday and another trip to South Carolina, this time to see family, and then school will start on August 18th. First Grade for Simon, and a new daycare setting for George. We have had an awesome summer with lots of fun things to do. I cannot believe how fast these two guys are growing up. I waffle between wanting to slow it down, and trying to catch up. But I always always know how very lucky I am, I have the three best dudes on the planet. Lucky lucky me. XO

For George, month 18

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**I wrote this in July, and never added photos. Now I’m well past 20 months and behind yet again. Just believe me when I tell you George, we are busy keeping up with you and your antics.**

Dear George,

Yesterday we had your 18 month appointment, and you have lost 2 pounds. You also grew 2 inches. You are becoming a little boy before you even turn two. This is happening for you far faster than it happened with Simon, who still had chub around his wrists and ankels until he was at least 3. You have stretched out already. You are a very picky eater, and I think it’s still mostly a texture issue for you. You like melted cheese, bread, mac and cheese, bread, meat, yogurt. You will only drink milk out of a bottle, twice a day (nap and bedtime) 4 oz. each time. Otherwise you will only drink water out of a sippy cup. Nothing else. Your favorite treats are yogurt melts, goldfish and pirate booty. You also like animal crackers, graham crackers and cookies. You like carbs and meat. You do not like grapes. You do not like strawberries or blue berries or any berries for that matter. You are a really interesting kid to feed, George.

You stopped calling us Mama and Dada last week. We are firmly Mommy and Daddy now. Your favorite thing to say is “Doe Doe” and sign “go-go”. You want to Go. You don’t even try to say Simon’s name anymore. But, you sign it frequently. When one of us isn’t there, you ask for the rest of us. You want us all together, all the time. I think this is from our vacation last week. I think if we could all sleep in one room forever, you would be happy. So would Simon, honestly. You adore your big brother and will run to him to give him hugs a lot. Simon loves you right back. You sometimes bully him and take his stuff. He doesn’t stop you from doing it, because he is not great at conflict (unless it’s with his parents).

Your favorite things to do are movement and music. Your favorite songs of the moment are Wheels on the Bus and Bringing Home my Baby Bumblebee, but any song at any time will make you move and dance. You also like to wash your hands over and over, and play with running water. You like to be up on my hip or back, and you still like to be carried around in the Ergo carrier.

You love books, but don’t sit still long for them. Before nap and bedtime you drag out the routine asking for more books. You are quick to bring them to us and sit in our laps for a story. Your favorites are No no, Yes Yes, Little Blue Truck, Are you My Mother, Bedtime Peek-a-boo, Baby Signs, and every Mickey Mouse (“hot dog”) book you can find.

You thrive on routine, you like knowing what’s coming next. You are VERY smart and understand whatever we’re telling you. Sometimes you don’t like it, but if I explain to you why we’re doing something, or what we’re doing next, you do seem to understand. It’s very strange how very rational and irrational you can be all at once.

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You have these curls, these fantastic curls at the back of your head. I spray them with water and detangling spray so they look bouncy and adorable. Your dad makes fun of me for “styling” your hair but everyone who sees you compliments you on these curls. I love them. You look like 100% little boy, so no one has confused you for a girl yet.

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You have completed this family and we are so happy to have you in it. As you grow up, and I get rid of baby things each week, a part of me is sad that the “baby” part of raising you is coming to an end. You were not an easy baby, though- so it’s bittersweet. But your dad and I are also very excited about all of the  Big Kid stuff we’ll get to do in the near future- like amusement parks and camping, throwin the football or frisbee, sporting events and more.

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I am madly in love with you and worry I don’t get to show you enough. But rest easy knowing that you are so very special to me, and we love you so very very much Georgie boy.

XO

For George, month 16.5

Dear Georgie,
I never wanted to call you that, but yet that’s what we call you, every day. You’re our “puddin’ and pie” as we say. You are impossibly stubborn and courageous. You want to be at the highest point of the room at all times. If you are not scaling a chair to stand on the table, you are sitting on top of the train table, eating the snacks you demand via sign, and you will angrily look at me and sign/say “No no, down” because you know full well that you aren’t to be up there. You just truly do not care.

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You feel ALL the feels. All of the emotions, you go with them fully, and I love that about you. This morning after we’d finished off breakfast and I was cleaning up the kitchen, I put on some music and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen came on. Daddy made a comment about how that song wasn’t really appropriate for kids to listen to, what with the “Mama…I killed a man…” lyrics. I just laughed and moments later we are all watching you headbang to the best part of that song. No one else was in the room, you just felt the beat and went with it. You like to go fast, feel everything, dance, run, climb, explore, all of it. Your strong will and ambition to do these things makes it difficult to be your parent right now, but it also makes it awesome.
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if you are that way NOW, at 16 months old, I can not WAIT to see what you’re like when you get older. You make us smile so hard and laugh so hard, and George- we are very tired.

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You mostly sleep, but you do occasionally wake up with very lound yelling/crying. I can’t figure out if it’s your teeth, or a bad dream, or what, but you wake up super angry most nights at least once, usually 2-3 times. You’re getting better about going to sleep at night time and naptime most days, but you still love your bottle, and I’m so reluctant to get rid of it because you love it so much.

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You have 6 teeth, and the only fruit you will eat are bananas and watermelon. You really only like bread-like things, and macaroni and cheese. You will also eat yogurt. You are a strangely picky eater, but as long as we have bread and Pirate Booty puffs, you’re pretty satisfied. You have curls on the back of your head that are getting long, and I should probably cut them but I just love them and I’m afraid they won’t come back.
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You absolutely LOVE Mickey Mouse. You call him Hot Dog. We bought some books this weekend with Mickey in them and they have kept you occupied all weekend long. You are so interested in them. You still also play with your barn toys and any kind of ball you can find. You absolutely adore Simon, and your favorite thing to do with him is run, shriek and wrestle. You are 100% physical and feeling boy. I love the tenacity you put into everything you do, even if it’s a shit fit you’re throwing because we won’t let you eat crayons. We still love who you are, and are so excited to be a part of your life to watch you grow up.
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You are my special baby boy. I catch myself oohing and aaahing (still) over your cheeks and chin, and belly. I will be so sad when those parts of baby melt away as you inevitably grow up. For now I will keep working on my patience, and enjoy each moment of your baby and toddler-ness. You have made this family whole, kiddo. Thanks for joining the show.

I love you more than you will ever ever know.
Mama

It’s March

For the record, I would write more blog posts but I’m tired. Because that sleep training has been going on since my last post– IN JANUARY–and George didn’t sleep through the night until three days ago. March 6th in fact. So George, if you’re wondering where your letters are, for those months that I missed writing to you- just assume that I more than made up for the love letters with constant visits to your room, rocking and holding and nursing and trying to figure out how- for the love of all that is good, to get you to sleep.

I’m still not convinced he has it down pat, but he’s slept OK (not great) for 2 of the last 3 nights so I’m calling it a win.

All Ohio winters are long and cold. March usually is too- but we only recently got a taste of spring with the high today being 55 and it felt amazing. 



There is still snow and mud everywhere, the grass is dead and gross looking. I haven’t seen any green sprouts of anything yet, but it was finally warm enough that my boogers didn’t freeze in my nose this morning so I’m going to assume spring is around the corner. And should be here by May at least.

Both boys have been doing so much. Simon has been doing y-tribe and swim lessons again at Ohio State.



 George has started talking more, and throwing more fits and really getting into everything. George likes to climb, and put things in his mouth, and run. He is either perfectly happy or perfectly pissed. 



His hair has gotten longer and I accidentally snipped off his baby curls when trimming his hair a few weeks ago. It made me sad that they’re gone. George still just loves his brother and most days Simon loves him back. 



Simon has been doing really great in school- reading really well and showing an interest in math and really loves music class. We’ve got him signed up for t-ball this summer and Kids’ Club for childcare, and we think we might be heading to SC twice this summer- once in June and again in August, if we can manage to maintain our vacation time so we still have enough to cover all the school breaks we need coverage. 



volunteering at the valentine’s day party



 We have some other fun overnight trips to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh planned, and Gabe and I both are excited to have “retreats” on a weekend coming up. He will go off with buddies to TN and I’ll be heading out with some mom friends to Hocking Hills. We both need a break! Soon we’ll have a break for the two of us, too– I think. Our anniversary is coming up at the end of March so I’m sure we’ll get a date night or something, too.

I know this sounds disjointed and strange- the update is long overdue and we are tired as all get out. THe Daylight Savings Time thing Sprung Forward saturday night and I’m still catching up from all of that. Hopefully over the next few days we’ll get our new groove with more daylight hours in the evening. Things are good to great with us– just living and loving life with two fun little boys. (And one big one.)DSC_0646

Sleep “training”

I don’t like calling it that, George, but that’s what they call it, and that’s what we’re doing. You are 1 year old, and for the last year we have rocked you to sleep. I nursed you almost every night, but on the very very few nights when I didn’t, someone fed you a bottle and rocked you and rocked you until your perfect eyelids closed and your lower lip was sucked into your mouth, in and out, in and out, in peaceful slumber.

We would lay you down in your bed, asleep, and you would wake up over and over again all night long, presumably upset because you were no longer being cradled in someone’s arms and being rocked. And when you would wake, I would zombie walk to your room and hold you and nurse you until you fell back asleep, and then I’d place you in your crib to sleep again, until you woke again, and so on.

But now, I am in the hallway outside your bedroom, on night two of what they call “sleep training” – otherwise known as parental torture and probably childhood trauma. I got a book at the library called the Happy Sleeper. And it tells me to go in and “verbally comfort you” every five minutes. So I have stopwatch. I have a book. I have this computer. I have anxiety. I have a glass of wine. And I am listening to you scream angrily on the other side of this door, wondering why I have forsaken you.

There’s supposed to be a phrase we repeat, exactly, word for word, each five minutes that we go in to “comfort you” without touching you. THe phrase I’ve chosen is, “It’s time for sleep, I love you, goodnight.”

You are NOT amused. You are the as far away from Happy as I’ve ever seen you. You are angry. And you are not sleeping.

The book tells me that you are screaming because you are protesting change, not because you think I don’t love you anymore. The book says that you will appreciate the “sleep wave” of me going in and reassuring you by saying the same thing each time. But instead you stop screaming and reach for me, and it is breaking my heart sweet boy.

But you have to learn how to fall asleep on your own or else we may never be able to take a vacation again. You need to know that, although I wish I could, no one will cradle you forever, and at some point you’ll have to make yourself fall back asleep in the middle of the night when you wake up at 2, 3, 4 and 5.

I wish I didn’t have to do this, because I feel awful and terrible. And there isn’t enough wine in the world to numb the pain associated with hearing your baby cry. Last night I sat outside your door listening to you weep in your sleep after you’d fallen asleep crying.

This part of parenting is so hard. Everyone says it’s the right thing to do. I know that I have to do it because I am tired. I worry about you. You have to learn.

But I am sorry. I’m so sorry to make you cry and yell like this, George. I hope you don’t remember and talk about it in therapy as an adult.

Just know that I am sitting outside your bedroom door, broken hearted and almost crying myself, drinking a glass of wine and wishing I could make everything better for you all the time. But this is the first of many times that I’m having to step back and say, “I’m sorry buddy- you gotta figure this out on your own.”

I do it because I love you. Please don’t cry much longer.