Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Dear daughter, you are six.  I was actually with you at lunch today right when it happened.  I walked with you to the restroom, and when we were walking back I saw that you had actually turned 6 five minutes earlier.  I mentioned it to you (since you had been asking when exactly your age would change), and you happily skipped back to the table singing about being 6.  That is pretty much you these days.

So yeah, school.  You started kindergarten this year.  It has been quite the adjustment for me.  You and your brother are both so busy, and this is our first year where you two are going to school in different places.  With very different schedules.  My work has been very flexible, and I think I finally have it figured out.  You started off so well with school.  I must admit I was worried a bit.  You had been with your old friends for so long and aren't quite as outgoing as your brother.  Plus, you know, the actual change from daycare to actual school.  You did fine, though.  As the year has worn on, I do get mornings where you tell me you don't want to go to school but I think that has more to do with your brother still getting Grandma/Grandpa days.  Today you told me that y'all don't get to play enough at school.  I feel ya, honey.

I mentioned your schedule.  This year you kept taking swimming lessons.  You can keep yourself alive now so that's good.  We still need to work on strokes.  We're currently taking a break but will start back up again at a different place.  You have kept taking art classes and still enjoy them.  And you joined Girl Scouts. You're a Daisy.  It's been a learning curve for me since I wasn't one.  You sold cookies for the first time ever.  Your goal (driven solely by wanting to earn the stuffed llama) was 200 boxes.  You sold 231.  I'd guess that you yourself sold about half of those by going door-to-door and to your grandparents' Sunday School.  Pretty good for a 5-year-old.

You really enjoy books and hearing stories before bedtime.  You like playing with dolls and ponies and Legos and your brother. Y'all build forts.  You enjoy playdates.  You like watching tv or playing games on the iPad.  You're still interested in drawing and coloring and crafting.  You love your family and Callie.

You're a good kid.  You generally do what I ask (sometimes way more slowly than I'd like).  You can be sensitive (you come by that honestly).  You're kind and mostly happy.  Sometimes dramatic.  You're very smart.  I can hear the wheels turning when we read about history or people or different time periods.  You ask me really thoughtful questions that make me proud of you.  You basically have a really good heart. 

Your birthday party this year was My Little Pony.  You do really love watching that show.  Your grandparents have a friend who made a giant MLP and we borrowed it for the party.  Your friends also got pool noodle ponies and generally just ran around our house being crazy.  I let you invite who you wanted (with limits on numbers) so it was your first "kid" party.  I liked that you invited friends from school, your old daycare, and the neighborhood.  I didn't have friends from different places like that when I was growing up.  You have so much opportunity.  Anyway, it's interesting to watch how these parties evolve with age.  I think we're close to having girls-only parties since the boys sort of segregated themselves. 

You still keep your blonde hair long.  We don't have fancy hairstyles very often because we're just trying to get out the door in the morning.  You wear tennis shoes more now due to PE, but no other real trends on clothes.  You pick out what you like or--if I'm trying to speed y'all along some mornings--I make it a game to have you and your brother pick out each others' clothes.  You lost your first two teeth this year and two more are loose.  So for your first tooth?  The tooth fairy brought you two sparkly dollars.  Shortly thereafter, we were watching something on tv (Amazon Prime) and you and your brother wanted to watch an old Ghostbusters cartoon that was not free.  I told y'all as much and asked if you had $2 (as one episode was $1.99).  You jumped up and said, "Yes!"  You ran upstairs and brought down your money.  After confirming you really meant it, I went ahead and bough the whole season for just a few dollars more just because I was so impressed with you (and thought you were pretty funny). 

And this year's questions:

  • What is your favorite food? Chocolate
  • Favorite movie? Beauty and the Beast 
  • Favorite color? Silver
  • Favorite thing to do? Watch TV
  • Who is your best friend? Mireya
  • Where is your favorite place to go? Home 
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Artist 

  • Oh, kid.  You're something else.  I'm very proud of you and the person you're becoming.  It's weird to sometimes feel like you're a real person.  Not just my kid.  And at the same time, I see the 5th graders (who look HUGE) and can't believe that will be you before I know it.  Daddy mentioned that you're 1/3 of the way to moving out of the house for college.  Kill joy.  I'm just going to hang onto you as long as you'll let me.  Happy birthday, girl!

    Monday, January 02, 2017

    2016 reads

    I guess if nothing else, I keep track of the kids' birthdays and what I read.  Perhaps I need to start blogging anew.
    1. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
    2. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion
    3. The Boys in the Boat
    4. As Always I Smiled
    5. The Ladies of Garrison Gardens
    6. The Friday Night Knitting Club
    7. Everyone Worth Knowing
    8. Been There, Done That
    9. Hamilton: The Revolution
    10. Top Secret Twenty-One
    11. A Grown-up Kind of Pretty
    At least I read more this year.  I had been keeping a list of recommendations for the last several years but never found time what with raising two small children.  Vacations helped a little. I think all of the books were interesting in their own ways.  I've recommended #3 to others and even gifted it.  And #9 helped fuel an already unhealthy obsession. 

    Sunday, July 31, 2016

    4 years! (the boy edition)

    Buddy Bear, you're finally 4!  I feel like we've been leading up to this birthday for quite some time.  You wanted to go with Transformers this year, and it was pretty fun.  Because there are a TON of kids in your class, we stuck with a kid party this year.  You wanted to have it at the splash pad, and that worked out well.  In order for us old folks not to die at an outdoor party in Texas in July, we had it at 9am.  That meant breakfast foods!  It was fun.  You had a doughnut tower instead of a cake (which was your decision). 

    You still have lots of nicknames.  Buddy, Buddy Bear, Mojo Jojo, Jojo, Joji (for when you say "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy").  You're not really Buns anymore.  Funny how that happens.  You're still my tiny guy.  I think you're in size 3 usually.  Skinny minny.  We won't have official measurements from your well check until September since I totally missed your appointment last year and now we're off schedule. 

    You are still full of joy at 4.  You do have an occasional meltdown or tantrum but usually it's when you're tired, hungry, or need to potty.  Your friends (and their parents) seem to love you.  We do, too, obviously.  You're a spunky kid.  Very funny, smart.  You have a big ol' heart and are a softy.  We were watching the first "Land Before Time" yesterday and when the mom's memory said "You'll always be in my heart" or something like that, you said "Aww" and then repeated it to me.  You are free with the hugs and kisses and cuddling and "I love yous."  It's awesome.

    We're back in the house for this birthday.  You and your sister have your own rooms but you sleep together.  Sometimes it's in your bed and sometimes it's in the twin beds she has in hers.  Y'all usually jibber jabber before you go to sleep but almost always sleep all night.  Then in the mornings you each wake up and join us in the big bed for a few minutes before we start our day.  I really love that.  You still nap almost daily, and you're the best napping partner.  You'll cuddle but you don't move a lot and you're quiet.  The same cannot be said for your sister. 

    She'll start kindergarten in a month, and I'm interested to see how y'all handle that.  You're both a little anxious, I think, to be separated.  Y'all get along so well.  It's such a relief.  You're definitely a mama's boy these days but you do love Daddy, too. 

    You enjoy all things building like Legos, etc.  And anything science-y.  You took a programming class last month at the university and enjoyed that.  You like robots, dinosaurs, Transformers, super heroes.  You did karate for most of this year and you've done a lot of swimming.  You also played a team sport for the first time--soccer.  That was interesting.  You love riding your scooter...your bike not so much.  You enjoy being read to and we started lessons to learn to read. You're REALLY catching on.  It's surprising how easy it seems for you.  And it's pretty exciting for me, too.  You'll switch classrooms next month at daycare, and I know you'll do great with your new teacher.  She's my favorite one at your school as far as teaching goes.

    You are a picky eater these days.  I think you could survive solely on cheese and sausages and gummies if I let you.  You seem to like protein more than lots of kids.  You don't really go for ice cream or cake or cookies very much.  But you do love your candy!  And the aforementioned doughnuts.  You eat a peanut butter sandwich for school lunches (no jelly).  And your preferred breakfast these days is a Pop-Tart straight from the pantry.  (At first, you called them Tart Pops which was pretty fun).  Speaking of, you say almost everything correctly these days which is bittersweet.  I miss "gils" for "girls," but you do say "patteren" for "pattern."  I guess I'll hang on to that one.

    This year, I'll start asking you some questions about yourself.  Here we go...
    • What is your favorite food?  Cheese
    • Favorite movie? Scooby Dooby Doo
    • Favorite color? Purple
    • Favorite thing to do? Play with Transformers and transform them into cars and robots
    • Who is your best friend? Jacob
    • Where is your favorite place to go? to the new splash pad
    • What do you want to be when you grow up? a Transformer
    Oh, Buddy.  You are my heart.  I'm so happy I get to be your mom.  Happiest of birthdays to you.  Looking forward to what the next year holds!

    Tuesday, February 02, 2016


    Five!  How is my firstborn so old?!  Well, you are and you're getting super fun.  You are your own person, for sure.  When I asked you what kind of birthday you wanted this year you said "Wonder Woman.  And I want all my friends to dress like their favorite superhero."  I thought that was a GREAT idea so we went with it.  And let me tell you, it was so fun seeing all your friends in their costumes.  The neighbors said it looked like Halloween all over again.  Y'all are the cutest.  This year, I mostly bought the food but spent more time on favors (capes!) and games (superhero training!).  Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the weather held up again this year. I'm also not gonna lie--it was nice to be back in the house for your party.

    This last year was a challenging one what with us moving all the time and living everywhere but home.  But you and your brother handled it like champs.  You were so well-behaved in the hotel and apartment where you had to change your behavior a bit to be more considerate of neighbors.  You usually are pretty well-behaved in general.  You and your brother sometimes bicker but are typically best friends.  You have a few favorite friends at school (including your little boyfriend) and of course still love your cousin.  And babies.  ALL babies.  Sometimes I'm not sure how you're going to do when in a new situation around a bunch of kids who are strangers, but you had a camp at NASA and did great.  I hope you keep that up since later this year you'll be starting kindergarten with all new kids.

    Speaking of school, you're still a smartypants.  You're learning to read and are doing some math.  Your writing, coloring, and drawing have gotten much better.  You love crafty things (yea!) and reading stories before bed.  We've started reading chapter books, and they keep your attention.  I have to admit that I like that more than reading the same books a million times.  You remain super chatty and ask a ton of questions all the time.  You also enjoy movies, going to the park, playing with the neighbors.  I think you're ready for a new dog but still talk about Maggie.  You do have that fantastic memory.

    You have been taking karate for quite some time now.  It has held your attention better than ballet.  You have the yellow (gold?  I have no idea) belt with one stripe.  You also are better at tumbling and with balance.  You like riding your bike at your grandparents'--still with training wheels but you have much better endurance. 

    We don't go to your 5-year-old doctor's visit until Friday so I'll update your stats then.  You're a pretty big girl, though.  So tall.  (Edited to add:  Yep, 70th percentile for height and ~60th for weight.)  And you still have your long blonde hair.  I mention cutting it shorter but you have no interest.  Your self-cut whispies have finally grown out.

    You and your brother still sleep in the same room even though you now have your own.  What's funny is that where y'all sleep changes.  You will pick your room (in twin beds), his room (in his tent or in his bed), or will sleep on these pallets that you got for Christmas.  Sometimes we put you to bed in one place and a few minutes later y'all change things up.  Whatever.  You sleep well so that's all that matters.  You have mostly given up napping at home although you sometimes do at school or the grandparents'.  We had a good run so no complaints there.  You do take awhile to get dressed, though (both in the morning and at night).  You are slow, slow, slow.  But you kind of are in general.  This should not surprise me as your labor lasted FOREVER.

    You still eat well.  You could probably survive on fruit alone but also love yogurt and sweets.  You have a pretty balanced diet but I think meat is lower on your list.

    This year, I'm starting to ask you some questions about yourself.  Here we go...
    • What is your favorite food? Chocolate 
    • Favorite movie? Where the Red Fern Grows 
    • Favorite color? Pinkpurplesilvergoldbluered
    • Favorite thing to do? Color
    • Who is your best friend? Caleb and Olivia
    • Where is your favorite place to go? The Children's Museum in Galveston 
    • What do you want to be when you grow up? Rock star artist 
    Love you, girl.  I hope we're always as close as we are now.

    Thursday, December 31, 2015

    2015 reads

    Pretty lame year on the reading front but things have been a bit hectic.  Perhaps 2016!  Here's the list for posterity's sake:
    1. A Lesson Before Dying
    2. The Baker's Daughter
    3. Notorious Nineteen
    4. Takedown Twenty
    5. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
    6. The One and Only Ivan
    And the usual tons of children's books.  #6 is one, too, but it's a chapter book.  I thought we could read it aloud but it's still a little old for the kids.  I liked all of them. #5 was probably the one I wanted most to not end.  It felt like I needed to know what happened after the final page.  Good sign...