Simon letter, month 72 (age 6)


Dear Simon,

You have been six years old  for almost a month now, and I’m so sorry for not having written this sooner. The last part of the summer and each week that you’ve been in first grade- FIRST?! grade…have sped by lightning-fast. You are a boy now. There is absolutely not even the tiniest bit of baby left on you. There is no chunk in your cheeks. You are all knees and elbows and full of amazing ideas and observations. Though I lay my eyes on you every day and am amazed by your growth, one of the coolest things about being your mom, is how much I really just enjoy spending time with you. You are such a nice, thoughtful and funny boy.


No one could ask for a better big brother than you. And George is NOT the easiest little brother, as we know. But you have patience unlike any that I’ve seen before. And you laugh at George when he is doing the most annoying things. He loves you so much and mimics every little thing you do. I KNOW that will get annoying in months and years to come, but consider it a compliment. He wants to be like you because you are SO COOL.


This summer we went on a bunch of adventures- to parks and festivals and picnics. You learned how to ride your bike without training wheels, you had 2 birthday parties (again!) and went on two beach vacations. You started first grade with the smallest bit of nervousness, and only needed me to walk you into your classroom 3 days out of the first 5. We are so proud of you. You have become this incredibly smart and intuitive kid. You pick up on emotions and situations that I don’t think other kids would recognize.


At the same time, you still very much love to imagine and play, which is another reason I am so proud of you! Not everyone can be creative enough to entertain themselves with two metal hair clips, or a travel book light, or whatever thing you’ve found in the house. But, you do. You come up with these great scenarios in your head and I love to watch you play them out, or listen to you play. Your imaginative playful nature is one of my favorite things about you, second only to your caring and kindness towards others. You are awesome and amazing, and turning out to be such a lovely young person.


All of this is not to say that we haven’t had our share of growing pains, ups and downs, fits and dizzyspells, if you will. In the recent past, you’ve gotten incredibly angry with us over seemingly unimportant things (in the grand scheme of life) — though they are very important to you. You have become filled with rage over: bedtime, losing privileges because of the way you’ve talked to us, the fact that we don’t have a finished basement playroom (?!), us asking you to eat dinner, “chores”, among other things. Though it is hard for us to understand in the moment why you are screaming at us, what is very apparent is that you are frustrated to a point of complete and utter loss of control over your emotions. We have talked about ways to deal with being angry. We talk about pillow punching and yelling into the pillow, taking alone time, etc. I know that after you have these fits, that you feel bad about it- I can tell. I can also tell that part of the frustration is our fault. Either I’m not listening, or I’m not stopping to hug and kiss you enough, or I haven’t fully acknowledged your feelings on an issue.

Does this make your behavior ok?

No.

But, I can admit that you are not the only person at fault in those moments. Though surprising, (because you have never been a child to throw fits), I know that I should NEVER be surprised by a child’s behavior, and I should only be surprised by my own reaction to it. And I have been, I have. I hope you know that we’re trying. I hope you know that we’re listening, and that being a parent is almost as hard as being a kid. Rules are hard. It’s hard to not have fun all the time, and to have to do things you don’t want to do like go to bed or wake up on school days. There are lots of times when I too want to scream at someone or completely lose it over what would seem silly to anyone else. We are all just learning together.


And buddy, in the mornings, after dad and George leave for work and daycare, you and I have the house to ourselves. It is quiet, and we talk. Sometimes you watch a show or sometimes we’ll pack lunches together or read a book. Sometimes we’ll eat breakfast together. But it is quiet. It is calm, and most of the time, it is our time, and it is my favorite part of the day. We walk to school and you still hold my hand. You still turn towards me and rub your face in my belly like you want to hug and stay there in the yard of the school instead of going in with your friends. But eventually the bell rings, and the doors open. You find a friend to walk in with- usually Madelyn or Owen, and you run towards them. You turn around when I yell “I love you!” and you sign “I love you” to me, and wave. Mornings with you are my favorite.

This morning after you signed “I love you”, you turned around a second time and signed the word “poop”. I spent about 3 minutes trying to decide if I was annoyed by this or thought it was funny. I’ve decided it’s funny, because becoming a big kid is hard. Wanting to be a funny cool kid is hard. And the sign for “poop” is funny and I don’t think any of the other parents know it. And at least it wasn’t a different sign.

Oh Simon. Watching you grow up makes me wonder how I will ever manage to make it without my heart exploding into a million pieces with love for you and your brother.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

Poop.

XOXO

Mandy

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Letter to the boy, month 60

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Birthday Cupcakes at the rained-out baseball birthday party

Dear Simon,

Once again I’m faced with the challenge of composing a letter to you that sums up all of the feelings I’ve been having over the last year as you’ve gotten older. This year is the hardest I think. I am having to let-go far more now than ever before. I have to let you go to a new school, where there will be new kids and new routines, and a whole new set of expectations. I am far more nervous than you are.

DSC_0235There is no baby left in you at all, not a smidge. You are all 100% boy. It is simultaneously breaking and bursting my chest with heartache and pride.

Over the last year, you have learned to go across the monkey bars all by yourself. We let you wander further away from us at the park. We let you play outside in the yard or on the porch with limited supervision. Occasionally I’ll leave George with you in the other room and ask you to keep an eye on him. You are just getting bigger and bigger. I love it and wish it would stop all at once.

Every so often you will branch out and try a new food. At times you can be reasoned with and your logic seems far more advanced than a 5 year old’s should be. You listen to us talk, really listen to conversations grown ups have. This year you’ve started to ask the Big Questions- about God and Death. For five years old, you have an awfully smart head on your shoulders. One night after a particularly bad episode at the park, you sang the song “You can’t always get what you want…” to yourself, as though you were reminding yourself of an important lesson. When you do things like that, I catch a glimpse of your conscience and I couldn’t be prouder. You are such a sweet and kind little boy.

You still eat peanut butter and jelly every day at school, and you LOVE Gatorade even though it is a very special treat (and we still water it down). You love to watch shows on Netflix like Daniel Tiger, Reading Rainbow, Mr. Rogers and Justin Time. Sometimes you will do projects in workbooks with your Daddy, who plays much more often than I do. You and Daddy play all sorts of sports together, and all sorts of imagination games. Often you are pirates or explorers or knights. You love to use accessories and costumes to add excitement to your playing. It is one of my favorite things about you, your imagination and love of dressing up and acting.

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At times you get very shy, which is difficult for me to deal with because I’ve never really been that way and I don’t know how to handle it. You are the sweetest big brother, and George just adores you. You love to give him hugs and kisses and you also love cuddles from your dad and me.

Tonight we went to your Kindergarten Ice Cream social. It was a night for kids to meet their teachers and have ice cream and see their classmates. The school was hot and filled with people swarming around the gym. It was overwhelming for me, so I know it was even more so for you. As often as I could, I kneeled down and told you that real school wouldn’t be so filled with grown ups. Real Kindergarten would be more kids. It wouldn’t be as noisy and busy. You wouldn’t let go of my hand. Suddenly you seemed much smaller than usual. And while we sat at the cafeteria table eating ice cream, you got chocolate all over your face. A wave of nostalgia came over me and I remembered you as my baby. I told you I couldn’t believe how fast you grew up. You shrugged and kept eating. I just can’t believe it. Kindergarten.

I wonder all the time, how I lucked out to have such a great little family. But I also wonder – all the time, how you turned out to be so special. You are a helper, a thinker, and a person filled with such wonderful ideas. I love watching you learn and put those ideas into action. You are going to do amazing things in this world. And a day doesn’t go by where I don’t thank my lucky stars for having you in my life. I am your biggest fan. Thank you for being you.

I love you. Happy Birthday.

Mama

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Letter to Simon, 4 and a half

Since February 4th, I have been meaning to sit down and write a letter to Simon, but I have opened up my browser, made it as far as the dashboard of this web page, and fallen short on what to say. Instead of thinking and thinking and thinking, I’m just going to try to put it all out there right now, and hope it comes out okay.

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Dear Simon,

On February 4th you turned officially Four-and-a-Half. You are such a sweet and good boy. I feel like I’ve been repeatedly letting you down- over and over again, whether it’s space on my lap that you want, or just a few extra minutes at bedtime to snuggle, I feel like I’ve not been the mom you once knew.

A baby came and changed everything. I had the chance to take you out to Bob Evans, just you and me, before we went to a special school program for moms and preschoolers at your school for Valentine’s day. When you pointed at the lady with spiked hot pink striped hair and I snapped at you “DON’T POINT.” I realized from the look on your face that, even when the baby isn’t around, I am different. I am tired, I am probably short tempered. And Simon, I am sorry.

I’ve mentioned my concerns and my sadness about this to several people. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how sometimes you reach out for my hand and tell me, “I just want to BE with you,” or ask  me “will you snuggle wiff me?” RIGHT at the end of a day when I’m just aching to get the rest of the chores done and sit down by 9pm.  It breaks my heart. When we were driving in the car alone on the way to the restaurant, I had such a nice conversation with you and I thought to myself, “I miss this boy” even though you’re in front of me every day. I miss our time together that doesn’t seem like it happens often anymore. I am sorry.

I do try to give you more hugs and kisses and cuddles than usual. I try to talk about feelings. And I think that when you say “I just miss somebody” each time you start to cry these days, what you’re really missing is the way things used to be, before mom and dad were busy and tired and often more frustrated than they used to be.  And I’m sorry that you feel like you miss people who are right in front of you, but I also understand.

But a friend reminded me that “new life changes everything” and OH how that is true.  And though I am sorry for missing the time I used to have with you, and I am very sorry that the adjustment to living with an infant is so tiring and frustrating for a lot of people living in this house, and I am very NOT sorry for giving you what I think is probably the best gift you don’t even fully understand yet, a brother.

When I told my friend I felt terrible about forcing you to grow up too quickly, and how I need to remind myself that you’re “only four and a half” she said: asking your older kids to step up their game to make room for the gift of a sibling, don’t feel sorry for that. And I have two brothers, and one sister, and they are tremendous gifts in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. So I keep telling myself this, that for all of the change and the frustration and the hurt that we may be temporarily feeling about this gigantic adjustment, we just added new life. And the baby stuff, it’s temporary. George will grow, and you will get so much joy out of having him in your life, I just know it.

And when I am gone, and your dad is gone, you will have each other. And there is no greater gift than a sibling, I don’t think. And it is also a gift of relief to me, to know you have each other to lean on and love if I’m not here.

So I know that things will get better, little buddy. The baby will sleep more, I’ll sleep more, we’ll all be happier when the snow melts and moods improve and we can all get outside with strollers to the park and play a little more. I just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking all of these things, and my heart breaks a little bit to see you hurting. I will continue to try and mend it as often as I can.

All my heart,
mommy

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Letter to the Boy, month 43?

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Dear Big Boy,
Today was an odd Monday. Usually I work late but because of a meeting I had to go in early. You were so tired this morning. Your tiny face and what chub is left of your cheeks was all matted with red marks from sleeping on your blankie. The sun was shining bright even though it was a cold cold day today. I opened the drapes in your room and talked through your Peter Pan stuffed toy in order to get you to wake up. (You weren’t responding when I was talking as myself.)

You asked to wear your Party Clothes again, which basically meant a button down flannel shirt and jeans instead of the playclothes and sweatpants I usually dress you in to go to the sitter’s. I packed a homemade cookie in your lunch, which is an extra special treat since we never have cookies or sweets usually around the house.

Lately you’ve been so interested in helping me cook or bake. It’s so fun and I love that you get your stool out and take up all the room in the kitchen, asking me what’s next and if you can stir or dump it. I think your assistance MAY have caused my meatloaf to become more meat, less “loaf” but it was still delicious due to ALL the ketchup you added in. Thank you for that.

After a busy weekend of visiting other people’s houses- your friend Sion next door and Uncle Bert and Aunt Kristen, you decided that you didn’t want to live with us anymore. At bedtime you said you didn’t want to live here anymore “because it is too stinky.” I think that was just carried over from the fact that I sneaked your blankie into the laundry because it smelled so bad of pee that if anyone found it they would assume it’d been lining a kitty litter box. When you smelled the lavender scent of Tide, you gagged and yelled, “MY BLANKIE IS SO STINKY NOW! YOU WASHED IT!” For shame! How dare I?

You have a pimple on your nose and I can only assume it’s from either a) not letting me wash your blankie that you wrap around your face or b) that your dirty little fingers rub against it when you push your glasses up the bridge of your nose.

Tonight at bedtime, you threw a fit that was clearly a flag of pure exhaustion, over three days of no naps, constant fun. You did not want to take a bath, you wanted to play. Play. PLAY!!! And you cried and cried as I washed you up and put your pajamas on you. You cried and cried as I tucked you in and turned out the light and explained that we can’t tell stories on nights that you cry like that. And you stopped crying to apologize, which ALMOST makes me cave to tell you a story- until I brush my hands over your face and place with your hair and notice your eyes are so heavy and look rimmed in pink eye liner that it REALLY needs to be time for you to go to sleep.

I left your room feeling victorious, because you did not notice that you didn’t have your pacifier, and I thought maybe you would kick the habit in one night, just like that. As soon as I texted your grandpa that I thought I was winning the pacifier fight, you yelled for me to come upstairs. Upon entering your room you said, “I need my nuk no I WANT my nuk, just until I go to pweee-school” I said, “Oh, I thought you were being a big boy and didn’t need it anymore so I didn’t give it to you.” But I reluctantly handed it over and you said “thank you” three times. And you were passed out quickly thereafter.

You are such a big boy. You are so tall, wearing big kid clothes and adding words like “actually” into your sentences. It is bizarre to watch you draw letters and explain to me how to pronounce things. You rhyme words and ask questions that make me think about my answers. Being your mom is only hard because you make me think. Everything else about it is so tremendously easy.

In the car on the way to our friend Jack’s house we mentioned that Jack is going to have a baby brother soon, and that a baby is in Jack’s mommy’s tummy. For the umpteenth time, you said, “Someday I am going to have a baby sister.” I said, “Are you sure? Wouldn’t a baby brother be cool?” You said, “No, I want a sister like daddy.”

Gabe confessed that he preferred having a sister to having a brother. And I like having both equally, though I suppose it doesn’t count since I AM a sister. The whole thing about you wanting a sister so badly makes me ache and smile at the same time, with the same amount of force. It also makes me nervous in case you would end up with a brother someday. (I would be thrilled by it, but I’m not sure we could convince you to feel the same way.) At any rate, kiddo. We’re trying, I promise. I know how bad you want one.

Thank you for being the bright spot of everyday. I love you the best.
XO
Mommy
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things you say/have said

Levinade= lemonade

Talkabook= Read the book mommy, shut up and quit asking me questions.

bubble face= shaving cream, “Daddy, are you gonna do bubbleface?”

tennis ports= tennis courts, “Mommy, tell me the story about Simon and Erin and mommy go to the tennis ports.”

cooked milk= warm milk, always, always. Almost 3 years old and I”m still nuking your milk for 30 seconds in the microwave in a coffee mug before transferring to a sippy cup.. WHEN WILL THIS END?! And what would you have done if we were pioneers?

I’m not pooping= I am in fact, pooping right now in my diaper.

“I am so upset. I am lonely.” = saddest thing ever in the world, to hear your son say while hanging out with grownups all the time and the next door neighbor kid is out of town.

Stumped = stubbed, as in “I stumped my toe”

“I’ll kiss it, *smooch* all better!” = You will kiss anything on anyone and you expect a kiss on whatever you hurt, too. This means you have kissed my ass, and you asked me to kiss your tongue when you bit it last night eating grapes. I did not, I kissed my finger and touch your tongue.

“Can I go here? Can I go here? Can I do this? Can I touch it?” = It is incredibly sweet how often you ask for permission for things and I am thankful that you do. But it’s a lot.

“Sometimes you have to play baseball” = stop doing whatever you’re doing right now and understand that I am going to hold your hand and escort you from whatever chore you’re currently doing and make you play whatever I want. This is usually a sport.

“Hi Hand!” = you often bring out your pointer finger and have conversations with him and through him.

Dear Simon,

This letter is sort of a cop-out I know. I started jotting down things that you say or said recently and now this letter seems more like notes from a work conference instead of a letter to you. I’m sorry.

I feel like I should apologize to you son. I have been irritable lately. I’m sure it’s a combination of me attempting to get healthier, succeeding in some ways and failing in others, and being exceedingly overwhelmed with work and possibilities of the future. I’m thinking about school, I’ve been accepted to yet another graduate program and I’m just thinking…thinking…thinking…about new babies and school and work and then I get sidetracked by dishes and toys and lunches and when do people ever get anything done?! That’s life I suppose.

Anyhow, I’ve been trying to remember that you are a little, little boy. You are constantly, constantly making noise, all the time. This is good. This is important. I want you to imagine, to play, to sing, to talk to imaginary and real creatures. I want you to talk to me. But sometimes I feel like I’m not answering you fast enough. I’m not engaging as much. I’m tired and I don’t know how to tell you that sometimes, it’s hard for me to pretend all the time. I wish that it wasn’t, but sometimes it is. I’m going to try harder I promise.

So in this busy month of June I worked this weekend, and then I head off to Boston next weekend to meet Cormac, your new nephew. Then the weekend after that, I work, and the weekend after that, we all go to California, (you for Disney, me for work). Then the weekend after that, I work and then the weekend after that we go to Salem for your other cousin’s baby shower and the weekend after that, I work and the weekend after THAT- is July 21st and that is the next weekend that we will all be home again together, with the ability for me to make breakfast and relax.

So I’ve been a little on-edge kiddo, I apologize.

We did sign you up for the summer reading program at Grandview Library though, and I hope they don’t think I’m cheating when I go in there and it’s halfway filled out. But, we read all the time and I know how much you want that ladybug toy. So I’m keeping track and coloring in those stars. Plus, I really really want you to win a t-shirt. What a cool prize!

So I hope you’re not upset with me right now, I came home from work at 9:15 and you were still up in your room wanting stories. I read you three and then sang two songs (Bushel and a Peck and Take me out to the Ball Game) and told you I had to go and you had to go to sleep. You told me you didn’t want me to go, which is so sad and pathetic to hear, even when it’s 10:00pm and I’m thinking- “I still have to clean the kitchen and do a million things before I can take my shoes off and relax” and that’s unfair to you but also YOU NEED TO SLEEP.

So I love you, I have a million more things to say to you, but I am tired and will find the effort to articulate it all better on another night, I promise.

All my heart,

Mommy.

 

Letter to the boy, month 26- year two, month two

Dear little boy of mine,

Please never grow up. The things you do these days make me smile hours and even days later. I catch myself telling the same stories over and over again to people and I’m not sure if I’ve told them already. It’s like when you’re in love for the first time and you just can’t stop talking about the person to everyone you see. I am ridiculously infatuated with you.

Visiting with Grandpa and Grandma- a trip to the grocery store.
wearing daddy's shades

Some of the things you do lately that make me laugh or chuckle include:

  • Grabbing the back of my pajamas, pulling on them and asking me if I’m “poopy” and then giggling hysterically
  • While in the yogurt aisle obsessing over which kind to get- the low sugar, the pure sugar, the non-HFCS kind, or the bags versus the cups, I asked you in exasperation, “Simon, what do YOU want?!” hoping you’d help me make a decision. You looked at me like I was crazy and said, “a spoon.” Duh, mom.
  • Instead of saying yes, you usually answer everything with “ok” or “kay”. Occasionally we’ll also get a German-sounding “yah”
  • You love your dad’s iPad, and call it is the “new toy”. You go through phases (much like your books) of preferences for apps. Right now it’s Elmo playground, ABCs and tractors.
  • You love talking about the moon, and where it goes, and if it’s sleeping, or if it’s hiding, and where the stars are, too.
  • Your imagination is really starting to come through. You will pick up household objects and they become your “computer” or you’ll drive “the tractor” (couch), you water flowers, you mow the lawn, or turn a laundry basket into a “boat.” It all makes perfect sense to me, and I love it.
driving the Firetruck
  • An old hand at your ABC’s, you now regularly count to ten (often skipping 3-4 if we don’t remind you). You know most of your colors, most shapes, and even called out “Triangle!”  in the living room when you noticed the curtains and blinds form a triangle when pulled back.
  • You are dancing more now, shrugging your shoulders or spinning around and around. I love it.
  • Though I’m constantly convinced we don’t listen to music (“noon-nick”) enough in our house, you did manage to learn most of Happy Birthday (to daddy only) & the ending of ABC’s “now I know my abc’s”. You also ask me to sing “Sunshine” (You Are my Sunshine) when we lay in the dark in your bed before you go to sleep.
  • You call peanut butter toast “Cream Butter toast” and you always mix up the words bring and make. So you’ll say, “Simon brings the mess” instead of Simon made a mess. I love it, because it’s true. You DO bring the mess, most of the time. Though you’re quick to point out when I “bring the mess” as well.

This weekend was full of visitors. First your Nonni and Papa picked you up from the sitter’s house and took you swimming in a hotel pool downtown and out to eat at an italian restaurant. You ate a ton and won over all the staff there. Nonni and Papa are so proud of you and just love the fact that everyone says how “cute” you are when you’re with them. Then your dad and I went out on a fancy dinner date and you had a sleepover at the hotel with them. We got to sleep in in the morning while you swam some more with them. Then they stayed with you all Saturday afternoon while your dad and I got lots and lots of groceries and diapers. We all came back and went out for a late lunch and watched some of the football game. It was a great day.

Then this morning, Sunday, we met your OTHER grandma and grandpa out for breakfast and took a nice long shopping trip to the fancy grocery store in town. You love to drive the car there (grocery carts that look like race cars) so it was a nice trip too. Then everyone came back and visited for a while at our house before you went down for a nap. It was also a good day. This evening we went to a new park and to the Taste of Grandview festival. You loved watching the rock band perform and watching all the people there. You and I split some ice cream from Jeni’s, and then we played at the park until it was too cold and came home.

And we came home to get ready for bed, but you wanted to keep playing a bit since you WERE wearing your Super Simon pajamas. Understandable.

The whole weekend flew by, and now it’s another Idon’twanttothinkabouthowlong-many days until we have a weekend off all together again. It makes me sad. It makes me miss things. Funny moments like this, that happen when I’m not around, and I just find them later on my camera because your dad took the picture while I was at work:

So slow down on the funny stuff kid. Stop growing so fast and learning so much. I need to witness it all and drink up every minute of it. I am so proud of the baby you are to me, and the kiddo you’re growing to be. Here’s to a crisp and fun fall.

All my heart,

Mommy

2 years, 2 months- 26 months, the big boy.

Letter to the boy, Month 25

checking out the wildlife at Audobon Metropark

Dear Simon,

As you say, “Have a good day?” I think we had a few really good days in a row buddy. We moved you into your big boy bed, and changed up your room to reflect the boy you are, not the baby you were. Little sports ball decals are on your walls, and periodically throughout the day, you ask to go “up and see new room?” Just so you can be in there and hang out. You love that daddy and me can “fit in the bed” with you. You have gone through your routine of bedtimes and naptimes just great. I’m so so proud of you for taking this step like a real champ. It’s made our weekend so relaxing and great.

We spent most of the weekend at the park. Our park and a “new park”. We spent the weekend laughing and pretending. I scored some new toys at a garage sale and you were just tickled by all of them. A hard hat, some tools, a “sweep” (broom) and a tractor book. On Friday evening our friends the Davis’s came over. They have a little boy named Jack and you guys hit it off again. He’s just about 17 months old, but you were awesome playing with him. You’re getting the idea of sharing, though you’re still not a fan, you will do it begrudgingly and that makes me so proud.

These days you want to “touch it” to everything- trucks, tractors, flowers, trees, whatever’s within arm’s reach. You ask sweetly, “Touch it?” You also say “Thank you” so often that it makes me think we’ve done something right. More often than not you add “Simey” on the end of it. You’ll hand me your napkin after eating and say, “thank you Simey”.

We’re starting to gain some interest in the potty. You like to “go potty” which basically means to go upstairs, demand one of us sits on the big person toilet, and you take off your diaper and sit on your potty seat. You’re not really sure what to do next, but each time you ask to go potty, we hike upstairs, go through the motions, let you continue to gain interest in that past time. We’ll probably be talking about it and reading books about it for a year before you get it all, but I’m just so thrilled by your interest in everything these days.

You say “love you” and it sounds a lot like ‘rabbit’ to me for some reason. You wave when you say it, since Gabe and I sign it to you all the time. You still sign quite a bit, and you like to learn new signs still, so we keep doing it. Your memory is amazing to me. The other day we were driving to the sitters and we passed the same excavator that we always pass (it’s parked near a construction site on the road). As I was telling you we couldn’t “touch it” because we were in the car, a Jeep was passing us on the other side of the road. I pointed out the Jeep to take away your attention from our inability to touch the excavator. “There’s a Jeep!” I said as it drove past us. The next day as we passed the same excavator on our morning route, you pointed it out and then asked me, “Where’d the Jeep go?” It’s almost scary the details you remember.

We have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. The Grandview Ox Roast starts on Thursday, and already they’re unloading the carnival rides in the field next to our park. We checked them out today and I let you touch them. You really liked looking at the carousel, wanting to see the horsies and animals on it. I hope we can get you on a ride (they’re all pretty small) and get some pictures. I think you would love it.

You’re starting to show more interest in dancing, so we’re also hoping you’ll dance at my sister Kim’s wedding in Hilton Head on September 17th. We’re heading down for our annual trip over your Dad’s birthday next week. We’ll spend a few days visiting with Nonni and Papa and Aunt Gretchen and all the kids, then head over to the beach on Thursday morning for the big event. I can’t wait to see ALL of my family. You’re constantly asking for Uncle Eric, Uncle Bert, and Uncle Kimmy. haha. Yes, UNCLE Kimmy. Nonni and Papa are coming to the wedding too, so it will be so nice to have everyone all in one spot. And I just know you’ll love the beach. We’re already signing “sand” to you and explaining the ocean. Everytime we leave the house these days, you’re asking to “go swimmin?” So I’m glad we’ll get another couple of swimming days in before fall hits in Ohio. The air is already crisp this evening and all day it was pretty dreary here. That didn’t stop us from outdoor adventures however, and I’m looking forward to going on some nature walks when we get back at some area parks we enjoy like Inniswoods up in Westerville. Those parks are so pretty in the fall.

I gave your dad an early birthday present, which is basically a webcam that streams live video to your mobile device (iPhone or iPad). I got it because we can now watch you in your big boy bed and know if you’re getting into something or sleeping. It’s so cool. It’s one of those things that I wish I had invented, you know?

So this will be a short work week for you. Since tomorrow is already Tuesday, I work just three more full days and two half days before we head on the road. I feel like I have a LOT to get done before our 12 hour road trip to SC, but I’m confident it’ll all happen in good time.

One of your favorite things: Running

You are so much fun, so sweet and obedient and always surprising us by saying something new or remembering something random. This has been a great weekend with you and I love knowing that I get to spend all my spare time with you and your Dad. I truly don’t need much else in my life to be happy.

Thank you for being you, sweetheart. You’re the best.

I love you,

Mommy