Sunday, September 30, 2012

News Flash!

Dear Ian,

Remember this post?  Well, if not, it was all about how Daddy and I are surprising you with a trip to Walt Disney World just before your third birthday.  We've been sitting on this little secret for a month or so now, and today we finally told you all about it!  You were so excited!  But instead of me just telling you about it, I took pictures so you would be able to look back and see your reaction.  I couldn't find my video camera, so stills will have to do.  But you know what they say about pictures being worth a few words...

For our little surprise ambush, Daddy and I put a brochure on Disney and a map of the Magic Kingdom in an envelope.  I wrote on the envelope "To Ian, Love Mommy and Daddy."  Then we sat you on the couch and told you that in honor of your birthday, we were going to have a special family treat.  You asked if it was a train, and when we showed you the envelope, we could tell you were officially confused. 
 Here is Daddy reading you the front of the envelope. 
 Carefully opening your envelope. 
 So very serious.
 Here you are "reading" the brochure.  You weren't quite understanding it, so Daddy and I asked you who was on the cover of the brochure....
 ... You flipped it over and said, "Mickey Mouse!"
 Then you held up the map.  We said that we would need a map because we were going to...
 Disney World!!  Finally!  You understood what the hell we were getting to!  Love that face.  You look totally thrilled, which made all the secrecy worth it. 
 Talking to Daddy about how excited you are to be going to Disney.
 You and Daddy looking at the attractions in the Magic Kingdom and planning your itinerary. 
 Who's excited about going to Disney World?!  This guy!
 Mommy made you a little countdown chart thingie to help you understand how many days are left until we leave.  Here you are hanging up the first number on your countdown.  As of that moment, we leave in 12 days!
So excited and happy!

I absolutely cannot wait to do this with you.  I have made a little car kit for you to have on the way down, and it too will be a surprise.  There's stickers in there, a mini Magna-doodle (which you already owned, but hey.)  Crayons, paper, a new Mickey Mouse road trip book and a few other Mickey odds and ends to help you get into the spirit of our trip. 

I'm so glad we chose to surprise you with the news of the trip.  Now it's just a matter of waiting the next 12 days before we get to go have a blast at the park.  I can't wait to spend the day there with you and Daddy.  (And your friend Issa and her Mommy and Daddy.  They are going, too.)

Love you bunches!

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Open House (and Works of Art #39)

Dear Ian,

The other day, Daddy and I got the opportunity to take a peek into your day at your school's open house.  Daddy got to do most of the peeking, as I had to be in my class for our open house, too, but I did get a minute to sneak in and take a few pictures.  Ms. Katie and Ms. Mallory made fun of me a little, but hey, it's me...  I'm sure they have come to expect a little craziness from your Mommy.

Anyway... Here are a few pictures from your Open House.
Here's a picture of your classroom from the cubby shelf and door.  It dawned on me that I didn't have a picture of your room!  It's so cute, and it's filled with your class' art.  You have your own cubby for your lunch and stuff, and there's a fish in your room!  

 This is a project hanging in your room.  Your class made houses out of shapes!  So cute. 
 My class did this very same project.  This is your Family Quilt, and each of your friends made a square for the quilt in art with Ms. Lynn. 
 Here's your Family Quilt Square.  I love how we are all purple.  But I did notice that we have bodies.   That's pretty good work there little man!
 This little guy is you.  Ms. Katie said that even though you know your eyes are blue, you wanted purple button eyes on your little man.  Typical Ian.
 This is the cover of a little packet of art that you did to show Daddy and I what you've been up to in your classroom.  Inside we have:
 ...an All About You paper.  According to this, your name is Ian, you're two years old, with no siblings.  Your favorite food is veal parmessean, your favorite book is Pete the Cat and you love to play with your tractors.  And guess what you're favorite color is?
 Here are your handprints... self explanatory.
 A collage of your favorite foods.  And these actually ARE some of your favorite foods. 
 Awww.  I LOVE this.  This is YOU!  Your self portrait is pretty dang accurate.  And so cute, just like you.
More purple.  Love it, little man.  

So that's it.  Daddy had a really good time getting to look around your room and meet the other parents.  I'm glad he got the opportunity, too.  I at least get to see you playing as I move with my class from place to place.  Poor Daddy doesn't get those little glimpses like I do, so I think this was really special for him.  It made us both proud though, to see the work you've been doing.  You always make us proud.

Love always,
Mommy and Daddy
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Photographic Evidence

Dear Ian,

A while back, when you were just a little squirt about six months old or so, I took this picture of you:

We had been playing outside during the afternoon, and at some point, I put you on the tops of my shins, lay down and snapped this picture.  It's one of my favorites, and we have it printed extra huge and hanging in the house.  

Fast forward about two years and a few months, and once again you and I were playing outside.  This time, however, your play was a little more rough-and-tumble.  You were leaping and jumping and crawling all over me I sat in the yard.  Then I got the idea to "Superman" you by putting you on my shins and lifting you in the air as I was again on my back.  That spawned the memory of this photo, and it prompted me to find my camera and try this shot again.  

Here you are, same pose and such, almost three years later. 

The difference in you is just amazing.  Look at how much you've grown and changed in just a short couple of years!  I was noticing the other day while watching you on the playground that your face is losing it's baby fat.  You are growing up from a toddler into a little boy.  And you're looking more and more like a bigger boy than that.  And here we have photographic proof of just how much you have changed.  Sniff.

You're growing up so much and so fast that it's making my head spin.  Actually the head spinning could be from the trying moments we are having every now and then, but I'm going to be nice and say it's from how fast you are growing.

Sad to say, I probably wont get many more photos in this particular pose.  You're getting particularly heavy, and you wiggle so much, that just to get this one I almost suffered a broken nose.  You really enjoyed falling off my knees face first.  Thankfully we all survived in one piece, and I got another special photo of you.

You're my baby, not matter what,
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Works of Art #38

Dear Bear, 

Time for more art!  And thanks to being back in school, we have quite a bit to share.  A few of this segment's pieces are from home, but for the most part, all of these projects are from school. 

 This is a project you made at school with Ms. Lynn.  According to the little attached slip, it is a torn paper collage based on the book Little Yellow and Little Blue by Leo Lionni. 
 According to you:  "I made it at art with Ms. Lynn.  I tore paper"

 This is a beautiful example of your cutting skills.  I think you did you did this in your classroom, but you didn't have much to say about it.  Note the purple paper.  Your all time favorite color at this very moment is purple. 
 This is a drawing of a smiley face with very long hair.  You did this one at home.  See the eyes in the upper left? 
 According to Ian: "I made it in school!  I glued on circles and triangles.  I made it with Ms. Mallory."
 Also according to Ian: "I made it in Art!  We dipped chalk into the water and colored it and it made a nice violent (translation: vibrant) color!"  HAHA!!  Violent colors!  
This piece of art is based on the book Inch By Inch, also by Leo Lionni.
Ian: "I made it in art.  I colored it with purple and brown.  It's a quilt."  
This art is inspired by Faith Ringgold's story quilts.  It's so awesome how Ms. Lynn teaches littles like you all about artists and various art styles.  It's one of the many reasons why I LOVE your little school.  
Finally, here's a drawing you did here at home.  It;s an octopus under a rainbow.  See him?!  I love this picture.  It's so neat to see your drawings start to take shape.  

Love you bunches!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Count Down

Dear Ian,

Today is September 19, 2012.

Today is the One-Month-Warning until your third birthday.

I have this nutty thing I do with your Grandma Davis.  I call her on the 17th of every month and give her the count down until my birthday, and I have done this for quite a while now.  Occasionally I forget, or I end up calling the day after, but every month I make a point to call and harass your grandmother and remind her of the upcoming anniversary of my birth.  It's an important day, after all.

So, I took it upon myself to start preparing for the day that you start counting down for me.  The apple don't fall far from the tree, you know.  And they say that children learn from their environment, so I figured I'd get the jump on things and inflict this monthly reminder of not only your age, but mine too, on myself.

Thinking about count downs reminded me of the count down I had going when I was carrying you.  Now some moms claim to have had a glowing, beatific pregnancy.  They didn't have heart burn; they had a little mild esophageal discomfort.  They didn't have night sweats; they exuded motherly grace.  My pregnancy with you was wonderful for the first eight months, especially those times we felt your sweet little kicks.  No morning sickness, very little food aversions...  And just the fact that you were HERE was so awe-inspiring and amazing.  But back to count downs.  As the months ticked down to weeks and weeks ticked down to days, things started to change a bit, and all I could think about was having you born, because I was just about finished with this whole pregnancy thing. 

Two years and 11 months ago, I was pregnant, bloated, exhausted already and covered in these itchy bumps that Dr. Hall called PUPPP Rash.  Basically I was becoming allergic to you.  My poor, swollen and achy self just wanted to HAVE YOU ALREADY!  Not only was I covered in this fabulous condition, I also had some wicked crazy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome kickin'.  Due to all the swelling in my body, thanks to you my precious little pumpkin, the nerves in my arms were getting cut off, so my hands would fall totally and painfully asleep.  There were some nights/mornings when I woke up with no pain, but that's because I couldn't feel my hands AT ALL!!  Sleeping became a form of medieval torture.  Mommies-to-be are told not to sleep on their backs or right sides, which are the most comfy ways for me to drift off to the Land of Nod.  So I tried sleeping on my left, but the thought of rolling over and cutting off your blood supply or something else equally horrific kept me from sleeping deeply.  Then came the itching.  Then my hands went numb.  Then was the sweating...  See what I mean?

Your poor Daddy.  I can only imagine what it was like for him.  I tried everything to make sleep more attainable and successful.  I purchased a body pillow.  This thing separated me from Daddy like the Great Wall of China, and was supposed to help my big ol' belly feel more comfortable while lying on my left side.  No dice.  Sleeping on my left side was just so foreign to me, so I improvised and compromised.  Here's what I ended up looking like as I "slept" during the last month of your residency.  To help with the heartburn and general uncomfortable-ness, I slept on no less than four pillows to prop me up.  I draped the body pillow across my lap as a support for each of my hands.  These hands, mind you, are encased in Carpal Tunnel splints to keep the blood flowing to my poor sausage-like swollen fingers.  Then I topped all that with a pair of socks to keep from scratching the bejeezus out of my "baby allergy."

So what was supposed to look like this:
Most likely looked like this: 
What an experience.  In the end, every bump, every sweat, every night I spent trussed up like some crazy person was so incredibly worth it.  Sweet, perfect little you entered the world on October 19, 2009, and somehow, all those things that drove me nuts in September of that year didn't seem so bad.

One of these days I will be able to toss all of these afflictions at you, because I am your Mommy, I bore and labored for you, and it's my prerogative.  Like those old people who will one day tell you how they defied physics and walked up-hill both ways in the snow, I will use it to remind you of the depth of my love for you.  I put up with all of that to have you.  I endured horrors upon horrors just so you could exist, so therefore you should clean your room, take out the trash, et cetera.  What I wont tell you during those moments, but I will tell you now, is how I viewed that damned rash as a badge of honor.  I used those sleepless nights to day (night?) dream of what color eyes and hair you would have.  And I reminded myself that even though I couldn't feel my hands, one day soon, they were going to hold you.

The cankles and the sausage fingers I could have done without.

I love you so very much, and I am so proud of you,

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tough Talks

Dear Ian,

There comes a point in parenting when us grown ups realize our babies aren't babies anymore.  For some, it's that first step.  For others, it's when their little one heads off to college.  I guess for me, today was that milestone moment, as you and I had to have a couple of grown up conversations.

This morning, we came downstairs to discover that your pet fish, Pluto, had passed away.  Poor Pluto had been battling something called Fin Rot, or as the fish professionals call it "Ick."  We were trying hard to make him feel better, but I think his case of the "Ick" was just too far along, and he ended up not making it.  So, this morning, you and I had to have the Death Talk. 

I reminded you that Pluto had been sick for a little while, and that sometimes when animals get sick, they just can't get well again and sometimes they got to Heaven.  I told you that I was very sorry, but Pluto had gone up to Heaven, where he now feels much better.  You seemed a little down, but I think you got the concept and understood what I meant and what was going on.  Just a few days ago, we added another fishy friend to our family, (you named him Nemo), and you said that even though Pluto was in Heaven, you were happy because you still had Nemo.  You seem to be handling it all ok, but let me tell you, Mommy is doing everything in her power to keep Nemo swimming along with us. 

I didn't want to go into too much detail, and maybe my explanation seems a little too simple, but you're not quite three, and I wanted to keep things honest yet not too involved for you.  It was a strange moment for me; here's a grown up conversation that could potentially be a little scary for you.  I really struggled with how and what to tell you.  But I think we managed pretty well, and hopefully my explanations answered your questions without freaking you out about the whole thing. 

Similarly, Daddy had an experience with a grown up conversation with you the other night.  The two of you were getting ready for bed, and while you were in the shower, you educated Daddy about your "boy parts."  Daddy nodded and agreed that yes, indeed, that was what they were.  You then proceeded to tell Daddy that girls only have "booties."  They didn't have boy parts like you, they just had a "booty."  Your poor Daddy.  In this situation, I have some experience.  After all, Mommy has been teaching little people like you for years.  My typical answer is that boys have boy parts and girls have girl parts and that's what makes us all different.  Cut and dry, end of conversation until another day.  According to Daddy, he sorta sputtered his way through something similar, but listening to him retell the story, I could just FEEL his discomfort with that topic.  He did a good job, though, and in true You style, you moved on to the next topic of interest without much more of a to-do. 

Little Man, how do we keep you innocent and carefree when the world you live in is becoming more... well, more?  Your scope is expanding, and new situations arise every day.  Don't get me wrong, Mommy and Daddy are professionals at limiting your exposure to things that we don't find appropriate for little people like you, but situations like this that are just everyday life - and death - are becoming more grown up.  And therefore, Daddy and I are having to grow up our parenting.  Here's hoping we're doing an ok job. 

We love you so much,
Mommy and Daddy

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Friday, September 7, 2012


Dear Ian,

I seem to recall mentioning that one of your favorite things to do with Daddy is to curl up on the couch and watch old episodes of Star Trek.  It's honestly one of my favorite things see, too.

Anyhoo.  The other day, our friend the UPS Man delivered us something in a big box, and we decided to recycle it into something fun.  Everyone knows that a small child's favorite toy, despite millions of advertising dollars spent heralding fancy toys, is an empty cardboard box.

And you wanted your box to be turned into a rocket ship.

So today, you and I made it happen.  I hacked off flaps and then reattached them as wings.  We mixed up some light blue paint (at your request) and went out on the front porch to paint.  Once it was dry, we added the details.  I have to admit, it's pretty dang cute, and I sorta wish I was little enough to play in it.  I'm going to let the rest of this post be photos of you and your new cardboard rocket ship, and maybe we can go the planetarium this weekend and watch the movie with the same title.

 Painting on the heat shield for a safe re-entry.  (Mommy is a mega-nerd today.)
 Your finished control panel.  See the Enterprise!  The buttons are actually large rhinestones.  Thank goodness I found a purpose for them.
 My thrilled little star-ship captain. 
 You actually said, "I'm flying to Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock!"  Daddy would be so proud.
 Playing in your rocket.  This is 15 minutes in.  God bless cheap toys.

  I interrupted your play.  You were really into it, so you look a little startled in this picture. 

I'm so thrilled that you are having such a good time.  You keep thanking me for making it with you over and over, and that just melts my heart.  It's time to put your ship in space dock now and take a bath, but I'm sure you'll be back in there tomorrow, exploring new worlds and new civilizations.  And boldly going where no three year old has gone before!

Live long and prosper,
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Dear Ian,

Little boy, I love the way your mind works.  Most of the time it makes me laugh, some of the time it makes me crazy, but all of the time, I love hearing what you think.

The other day we had a snake in our yard.  Thankfully it was just a little two foot long non-poisonous little bugger, but it was a snake no less.  After giving you the fear of God speech on why we never, ever touch snakes, run away, etc., I got a broom and chased him off.  We came inside and you told Daddy all about it.
Ian:  Daddy, there was a snake in the yard.
Daddy:  Really?  What happened to it.
Ian: Mommy chased it with a broom.
Daddy:  And did he run away?
Ian:  Well he didn't have any legs, so he didn't run.  But he go-ed.

I love how literal you are.

Recently you have discovered cloud watching, and you like to tell me all the different shapes you see in the sky.  Here's a conversation we had the other day...
Ian: *after sitting quietly in the car for a bit, and while I was coming to a stop at a traffic light:  MOMMY!!!  A JET SKI!!
Mommy: *after recovering from the heart attack you gave me with your outburst:  Where?!
Ian:  Right there!!
Mommy: I dont see one, Bear.  I see a truck and a car and a trailer, but no jet ski.
Ian:  *with disdain:  No, Mom.  In the sky right there.  See that cloud?

And then there's this gem.  Again, I love how your mind works.

You, Daddy and I were driving and stopped at a light. We were sitting right next to a wedding dress shop, and I was commenting on how pretty the dresses were.  You looked over and described them to me.  I've included a picture so it would make a little more sense...  Sorry it's kind of small and far away, but here goes.

Ian:  That dress in the middle looks like a heart, Mommy.  See it?
Mommy:  Yes, I do see it, Buddy, and it does look like a heart.
Ian.  That dress next to it looks like a kangaroo.  See his ears?

This cracked me up.  I guess it does sorta look like a kangaroo.  Sadly, this means I will probably never get to wear a dress with off-the-shoulder sleeves like this, because it will forever remind me that I look like I'm wearing a kangaroo.

I never know what is going to come out of your mouth next.  On one hand, this just thrills me.  I get a different, honest and innocent perspective on the world.  But then on the other hand, it just terrifies me that I never know what you're about to say.  Or to whom you are going to say it.  We gotta start working on your inner-monologue-filter.  Need to make sure some things stay in eventually.  But for now, keep 'em coming, Buddy.  Your thoughts just make my day. 

I love you,
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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Handy Man

Dear Ian,

What a fun day you had!  Saturdays are already pretty sacred and special around here since that's when you get a majority of your Daddy Time.  But today, we raised the fun bar another level. 

Home Depot does these Kid Class Workshops, where kids and their parents can come and create a craft.  You get an apron, do a craft, and when it's complete, you show the Home Depot associate, and they give you a pin to put on your apron.  These classes are the first Saturday of every month, and for the past few months, I'm sad to admit that I don't remember about Kids Class until after nap and after the class is finished (they run from 9am to noon, for all those other families out there). 

This Saturday, however, Mommy got her act together and remembered, so you, Daddy and I got ready to go and headed to our near-by Home Depot.  We found the group, and got all set up and settled in.  Today's craft was making a wooden football goal post for a paper football game.  It came in a little pre-packaged kit, complete with all the parts and instructions.  You got your apron and got to work. 

 Here you are with Daddy screwing the base on your goal posts.  You were so excited to work with tools!
 Hard at work with your screw driver. 
 You and Daddy carefully reading the instructions.  The steps were numbered, and you took great pleasure in pointing out the numbers.
 You and Daddy and your finished product!  You were so very proud of it! 
Here you are showing the Home Depot associate your finished wooden uprights.  After she checked over your work, you got a pin for your apron!  There were other kids there, and it was neat to see all of their pins on their aprons, too. 

We wrapped up the morning with a trip to the park after your Home Depot adventure, and all in all, I think you had a pretty awesome morning.  Since this Kids Class was such a big hit, I've already marked the next few first Saturdays of the month in our calendar. To be honest, I'm sorta looking forward to them, too.  It really was a lot of fun.  

Love you bunches,
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