Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fun and Games

Dear Ian,

We've hit another milestone around here...  You are finally old enough (and have the cognitive ability and attention span) for board games!  I'm not talking Chess or the like, but we have recently introduced the game Candy Land into your life. 

When I was young, I absolutely LOVED this game.  I loved the colors, the fun pictures of treats and spending time playing with my family.  You seem to have the same infatuation, and I love the look on your face when you pull your favorite card or make it to the castle first. 

I have to admit, though, that we've now played this game about 20 times since it's introduction, and I may be tiring of it a bit.  Call it a blood-sugar overload or something.  You still have tons of energy and affection for the game, and ask us to play with you over and over.  Of course I give in and play, and it just makes your day.  It sorta makes it hard on me to get anything done, since I'm playing board games with you, but I remind myself over and over again that this is good for you.

Through this game, you're learning turn taking skills, sportsmanship, and patience.  You're also practicing your color recognition and map reading skills, as you have to follow a set path.  And on top of all that, it's actually just a lot of fun to have nothing better to do that sit down and play a game with you. 

I have noticed something, though.  Back in the day, my version of Candy Land looked so plain compared to your 2012 version.  Yours is a bit more frenetic looking, and I wonder if that sensory overload is what tires me out.  There's just SO MUCH to look at on the board!  For example:
Here's the 1980's, or Mommy's version, of Candy Land.  It features lots of open, white space between illustrations, nothing too cluttered and a clean look.  This is how I remember Candy Land.  And I absolutely loved it. 

Conversely, here is your 2012 version of Candy Land:
 Holy Crayola explosion, Bat Man.  I know the photo isn't the best, but even with poor quality, I think you can see the difference.  There's not one empty space on the board.  The whole thing is just inundated with color and images.  It makes me hyper-active just looking at it. 

Now, I didn't mean to turn this post into a lesson on juxtaposition between board games from the 80's and now.  I meant to just show how you've grown up even more enough to play somewhat complex games with Daddy and me.  But the glaring difference between the two does make me sorta wonder about today's youth.  I am making it my goal to find my old copy and let you experience a visually "slower" version of your newest favorite game.  I think your enjoyment has more to do with the fact that we all play together than the actual appearance of the game.

And we are loving playing with you, too, Little Bear.  No matter if it's the 100th time we've pulled the cupcake card and had to go all the way back to the beginning, we're spending time with you, and that is so incredibly special to your Daddy and me.  However, to keep us from going into a diabetic coma, we plan to introduce the game Memory this weekend. 

You're our Sweetie!
Mommy and Daddy

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Dear Ian,

One of my favorite things in the whole world is to have conversations with you, because I am never sure what is going to come out of your mouth next.  The following conversations are examples of just that. 

* Driving to school the other day, I noticed there was a mosquito in our car.
Mommy: Ian, there's a mosquito in the car! (I pronounced it "misquito."  Explaining that is important.)
Ian: *after being quiet for a bit* "Is it a Miss or a Mister?"
Mommy: What do you mean?
Ian: "It is a Miss-quito or a Mister-squito?"

* The other day we drove to the barber shop, and we took Aunt Megan, Payton and Taylor with us.  There were a lotta kiddos in the back of my little red car.
Ian: "Mommy, remember the other day when we were driving with Payton, and Taylor and me and you and Aunt Megan?"
Mommy: "Yes, Bear, I do.  That was fun, wasn't it."
Ian: "Yes, but we were missing a baby."
Mommy: "We were?"
Ian: "Yes, we didn't have Baby Nole."
Mommy: "You're right, we didn't"
Ian: "But if he was here, he would have to sit on the roof.  There was no more room!"

* When we drive down Capital Circle, you are always quick to point out Chic-fil-A to me.
Ian: "Look Mommy!  There's Chic-fil-A!"
Mommy:  "I see!  Hi Chic-fil-A!"
Ian: *in a derisive tone: "Mommy, it can not say 'hi' to you."

Like I said, I never know what you're going to say next. 

Love you, Little Bear,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back To School!

Dear Ian,

Hooray!  Today was your first day back to school at Advent!  Well, technically, it was orientation day, so you only stayed long enough to tour your room, make a (good) first impression on your teachers and fill out lots of paperwork.  Since I had to be in my room helping the kids in my class do the same thing, Daddy got to go with you.  I know this just thrilled you to no end, since the Daddy worship around here is pegged. 

We all drove to the school this morning, after taking our obligatory "First Day" photo under that little twig we call a tree in our front yard.  I showed Daddy where your room was and got the opportunity to take a couple of pictures. 
First Day of the 2012-2013 school year!

I noticed, sadly, that none of your friends from last year's class are with you this year.  But remember those two weeks of summer camp we did?  Pretty much your whole little summer group is with you in your new room.  I think you will make some great new friends, and I look forward to the stories about them.
Your new class list
I'm really excited about your new teachers, too.  I think that once you get into the swing of things, you are going to have a blast in Miss Katie and Miss Mallory's room.  You've already told me a couple of stories about the new toys and things to work with that you noticed.  In particular, there are two pretend saws and a work bench!  Your year has officially been made!  
Miss Katie and Miss Mallory decorated the room with Monkeys.  How completely fitting!
It still blows me away that this year I can officially call you a Preschooler instead of a Toddler.  Wow, have the past almost-three years have gone by in a flash. 

I cant wait to get this year really started and watching you grow into your new environment.  Here's to a great three-year-old-preschooler year!

Love always,
 Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's A School Night

Dear Ian,

Tomorrow morning you start your second year at Advent.  I am a lucky Mommy in the regard that I will get to peek on you as you walk from class to special area.  I am a lucky Mommy that this year your class will play on the same playground as my class, and I can sorta spy on your interactions with others.  I am a lucky Mommy that right after lunch I get to take you home to nap and play for the rest of the afternoon. 

Only three more years or so, though, until this School Night becomes THAT school night: The Night Before Kindergarten.  Holy cow.  Things need to slow down just a tad.  But honestly, I am going to put my Mommy Blinders on and focus only on tomorrow. 

Tomorrow you'll join your new friends in Miss Katie and Miss Mallory's class.  Tomorrow you'll get a tour of a new room.  Tomorrow, you'll be in the big-kid-three-year-old-room. 

And Daddy and I get to share in the experience of watching you grow up.  We're so very lucky.

Love you, Little Bear.

ps: and you just better bet that tomorrow morning we're going to pose you under the tree in the front yard to take your First Day of School photo.  Family traditions and all...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Have A Secret

Dear Ian,

I am about to bust my buttons with news, but Daddy and I aren't going to tell you quite yet. 

You are at an age where you are remembering more and more.  For example, you remember the tiniest details from our vacation in Cohocton, and that was three months ago.  So, we figured that at this age, you might actually be able to remember and hold onto memories from a trip to... DISNEY WORLD!! 

That's right little man!  We're going to Disney!  I am so completely excited.  We're going to go the weekend before your birthday, so that way we can celebrate your special day, and it will be the last time we can technically go with you being free.  You're turning three and all.  We took you last year, when you were 18 months old or so, and that was so special.  You got to see it for the first time with your Grands Davis, and we spent the trip with Payton, too.  That was really neat.  And from that trip to now, I have been desperate to get you back there for another dose of Disney Magic.

Anyhoo.  I think Daddy and I are going to tell you about our trip right at the beginning of October, and we'll probably do a little countdown thingie.  Since we're going near the middle of the month, telling you about the trip at the beginning seems a little more do-able.  I have a feeling that if we tell you now, we are in for 40 days and 40 nights of "Is it time for Disney?" questioning.

This is a little elaborate, but something like this would be awesome to help you count down the days to Disney
 Just this morning, you saw a picture that I had torn out of a magazine that features the Disney Map App for a phone.  You held it up and wistfully said, "I wish I could go to Disney World with you and Daddy, Mommy."  So sweet!  And I cant wait until we can actually tell you about this trip!  Thus, this blog post.  I think I am more excited than you! 
I cant wait for you to see these guys, and I am really looking forward to hearing your stories afterward!

Looking forward to October, and hoping this next month or so goes by quick!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Note to Us

Dear Ian,

This is SO us right now.  I understand that you are almost three.  I understand that you must exert your will on the world.  I understand that I am in your way as you attempt to do this.  However, you must understand that you are not quite three.  And you must understand that your world is still dictated by grown-ups.  And you must understand that I am in your way because it's my job to keep you safe, healthy and mentally stable. 


You may not believe it, but I sure do love you...

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Works of Art #37

Here's the rest of your artwork that you created at Advent Summer camp.  This week's theme was the letter O, so Ms. Lynn went all out on an Ocean Theme.  Super cute art!

 "This is a sea horse.  I painted it in Art.  I stamped in Art.  We used stampers, and I used orange and  purple."
 "That's my oyster.  I painted him pink and grey.  Miss Cindy was there"
 "Inside is a pearl."
"He's a fish.  I colored him with Ms. Lynn."

You weren't in the most loquacious mood for this Works of Art dictation series, but you got the point across.  And your art makes me smile!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Words to Live By

Dear Ian,

Normally this blog is all about you, the crazy things you do, and your journey to become an even bigger boy than you already are.  Every now and then, though, Mommy goes off the deep end and posts something that is neither milestone-ish or funny.  This is one of those posts...

Being a grown up has been hard lately.  From trying to manage the house, getting back into the groove of teaching at school and keeping you and Daddy fed, clothed and mentally stable to a myriad of other things, I am worn out!  But it's my job, and it's part and parcel of my being a good mommy, wife, employee and friend.

Back when I was in school and then later on when I was working, I had this poem taped inside a notebook or to a wall in my classroom or office.  It, along with a little prayer, kept me going when I felt like I needed a boost.  I know the last line really applies more to you, but it motivated and spoke to me.  Anyhoo, I hope that one day when you are older, you can read it and apply it to your life; it really is one of my favorite poems.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling
All those words I wish for you, and more.  And I hope to help you get there, Baby Bear.  
Love you so much,
 Just Click To Send A Vote For Us @ Top Mommy Blogs

Monday, August 6, 2012


Dear Ian,

It's time for another dose of Crazy Things Said By Ian, also known around here as Ian-isms.  And here we go:

You and Daddy having a conversation the other day about things you do and do not remember

Daddy: Do you remember seeing elephants at the circus?
Ian: No
Daddy:  Do you remember seeing motorcycles at the circus?
Ian: No
Daddy:  Do you remember eating cotton candy at the circus?
Ian:  Yeeeaaaahhhh!  It made me taste weird!

Conversation you and Daddy were having about birthdays and birthday presents (we were on the way home from celebrating Payton's third birthday.)

Daddy:  Ian, what do you want for your birthday?
Ian:  A BMW.

Haha!  No chance, small son.  Not even when you're 16.  You're getting a German Corolla: a Jetta.

This next little gem was spawned out of a frustrating situation.  You and I were eating breakfast at the table together, and you kept playing with your orange juice cup.  After a few "Ian, please stop, you'll spill your juice"-es, you did indeed spill your OJ.

Mommy:  See, I told you that would happen.  *in frustration, I start to count out-loud to keep from losing my mind... 5-4-3-2-1

I couldn't help but laugh as I cleaned up the mess I had predicted. 

Love you bunches,

Just Click To Send A Vote For Us @ Top Mommy Blogs

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Works of Art #36

Here's our latest installment of Works of Art.  A couple of these we did our last week at home together for the summer, and the projects at the end are from your first week at summer camp at school.  You were in the mood to help out, so all of the descriptions of your art projects are in your own words.  That adds kind of a fun element to this post, as I get to capture how your mind works and how you describe your own art! 

 "I am playing pipe cleaners so I can show Daddy.  I put them in holes in the strainer."
 "I painted it at home.  I used water color paint.  I put it in the water, and you dip it in the paint and you paint on the paper.  It is a picture of a rainbow."
 "This is a rainbow, too.  It is water colors, too."
 "It has lots of purple paint.  And it is more water colors."
 "That's my octopus!  I made it with Miss Tammie at school in her classroom.  I colored him.  I put some red and some purple on there."
 "This is a garden.  I made it with Miss Lynn.  We used finger paint.  I used fingers to make my flowers.  There's a dragonfly and a lady bug and a butterfly."
 "It's Ten Apples Up On Top.  I made it in Mommy's class.  I put four apples on my.  I colored it, too!
"I painted it with Miss Lynn, also.  It's a giraffe.  We didn't paint it, we put little stamps on there.  Brown and yellow, Mommy.  The other class did paint, too."

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mama Bear

Dear Ian,

I think in my last letter I mentioned that you are going to your school, Advent, for a summer camp program.  What I'm not sure if I mentioned or not was that I am teaching there, too!  And I have the unique opportunity to get to observe you as you play with your group, and I even get to teach your group when you come to the Math and Centers class.  This has been a neat experience.  During the school year, you are on one playground while I am on another, and you and I are typically involved in the goings on with our respective classes, so we don't get to interact often.  Being on your playground this summer, and leading your group in Math, has really given me a neat peek into how you act around other kids and with other grown ups.

Today I had a different kind of experience, though.  In your group are two or three little boys that have a little stronger personality than your a-little-more-laid-back style.  Now keep in mind, before coming to school you pretty much only played with girls; Mommy kept other kids in the house for a while, and they were both girls, and your usual playdates are with Issa  or your cousin Payton.  I was excited that school gave you the opportunity to play with boys.  But back to my point: boys in your group...  I came outside with my little toddler group, and your group was already outside.  You ran up and gave me a hug, but then went back to your play time.  I watched as you approached these other boys, who were busily involved in playing with trucks and bulldozers.  For a second you just watched, but then you asked what they were doing.  One looked up and responded with "Go away!"  Your group leader, Miss Kerrie, reminded them to take turns and share, and undaunted, you continued to watch.  Then you asked if you could play.  The naked want in your eyes to join in just about tore my heart out.

I watched all of this happen from nearby, and it was so hard not to intervene on your behalf.  I wanted to smooth things over for you so you could play, too.  I wanted to say to those boys, "Look at this great little kid!  He has so much to offer to your game!"  But these boys are as young as you, and of course they wouldn't have understood that.  I want everyone to know just how special you are.  But I held myself back.  Jumping in to fight your battles doesn't teach you to persevere and win friends on your own.  It would actually do you a great disservice.  It breaks my heart, though, to see you struggle, even with something small like this.

What in the world am I going to do as you get older and face bigger and more challenging situations?  I am your Mama Bear, and the world better not mess with my little Baby Bear.  But even though I want to bare my teeth and show my claws, I know that you wont gain any fighting skills if I do it all for you.

Today's event turned out ok in the end after all.  You eventually got your own truck and sat down near them to play.  You started creating roads for your truck, and those boys saw what a cool, fun game you had created and asked if they could play with you.  This made my heart smile and breathe a sigh of relief at the same time.  I hope you maintain this resiliency and independence.  By charging ahead and making your own path, others came to you.  This is a skill that will take you far as you grow up.  And it made me proud to see you in this light.

This Mama Bear is proud of her little cub.  For now the claws are sheathed.

Love you Baby Bear,
 Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Dear Ian,

Recently, I have been privy to how the other half live where it comes to family and child-rearing.  I am such a lucky Mommy in that I have found a great school where I work part of the day and then get to spend my afternoons with you, playing, cleaning and cultivating our little family relationship.  But lately, I have been working a full day.  Eight to Six.  Ten hours away from you, our house, our life.  It has really given me a new-found respect for mommies working outside the home.

I mean, I respect all mommies, whether they stay at home or work away from their home, because just the act of being a mommy is hard work.  But those mommies that combine taking care of their babies, their husbands, their houses and a workload that demands them to put everything else on the back burner are something to behold.

Let's take a peek at this insanity, shall we?  We get up at 6:45am, rush through breakfast, showers and getting dressed in matching clothes and out the door to school.  I have learned to pack your lunch the night before, so I at least have that together!  Then you're away from me while you're in class and I'm teaching, and as of late, Grandma Brooks has been picking you up to go home.  I then head off to Cairo to work with their band program until five in the evening.  I then fly back to Tallahassee, snag you from Grandma's and then we head home to start dinner.  By then it's six-something, time for dinner, baths, books and bedtime, and once I get you down, it hits me:  I've spent exactly two hours with you all day.  And that makes me so sad.  I am spoiled with the fact that I usually get to spend tons of time playing and working with you.

Then there's our house.  You get down for bed somewhere in the neighborhood of eight pm, and after that, I typically try to get a few chores done.  Lately I've been so worn out from running around all day that all I want to do is flop on the couch and call it a day.  Our house at this moment looks like a small bomb went off in it.  Laundry is folded, but still sitting around, the dishwasher is in dire need of being emptying, and our dryer just might go on strike if I start it up to just "get the wrinkles out" one more time.

How do those Super Moms do it?!  I am just barely holding it together over here!  I feel like a total crazy person as I try to balance everything at once.  This is just nutty! 

Hats off to all those Mommies working double duty with full-time work and families.  They are most definitely my heroes right now.  This is my last week of running around like this, and I am so incredibly thankful that I can get my afternoons with you again.  I actually can't wait.  

But for now, I need to get off the couch and do something around here.  Where to start?  Laundry?  Dishes?  Dusting?  Getting things prepped for tomorrow? Or perhaps I should just give in and see what the Tivo has to offer...

I love you, Little Man,
 Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!