Saturday, January 5, 2013

Favorite Things

Dear Ian,

Julie Andrews sings about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens in a great musical called "The Sound of Music," (classic.  must watch.)  and it got me thinking about all of your favorites.  So, I sat you down with me, and we compiled a list of things that rock your world.

All About Ian
January 5th, 2013 - Three Years Old.

Favorite Color:  Purple

Favorite Number: 1

Favorite Sport:  Tennis

Favorite Song: Juice Box Hero

Favorite Game:  Memory

Favorite Food:  Veal Parmessean

Favorite Drink:  Lemonade

Favorite Restaurant:  Golden Corral

Favorite Car:  Imola (our BMW)

Favorite Book:  Caillou Books

Favorite Toy:  My cars and tractors

Favorite TV Show:  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Favorite Band:  Iron Maiden

Favorite Instrument:  Tuba

Favorite Place to Go:  Golden Corral

Favorite Vacation Spot:  Cohocton, New York

Favorite Friend to Play With:  Ben

Favorite Thing to do at School:  Play

Favorite Thing to do with Daddy:  Play Blocks and Build Castles

Favorite Thing to do with Mommy:  Play

Favorite Thing To Wear:  Tractor Shirt

I have to admit, some of your answers took me a bit by surprise.  For example, your favorite thing to do with Daddy?  I fully expected the answer to have something to do with Ham Radio.  And your favorite sport?  I was so getting ready to type basketball when you blurted out tennis.  Then there were the answers that I could have given in my sleep.  Favorite color, favorite instrument and favorite restaurant were all spot on with what I expected.  That dang favorite restaurant.  Golden Corral.  It has a lot to do with your obsession with what they call the Chocolate Wonderfall.  It's this chocolate fountain that, quite honestly, turns Mommy's stomach.  You never get more than one strawberry dipped in it, and I think it's more the novelty of watching it thrills you, but it totally rocks your little world.  The attached picture makes me laugh.  It was created by Daddy's friend Mike (K4ICY) from Ham Radio stuff, which you also like to do with Daddy, for the TARS group.  They all meet at Golden Corral for meetings, so I am waiting for the day when you decide that you want to join so you can go with them to enjoy radio geekery and the Chocolate Wonderfall.  Your universe will implode from all the awesomeness. 

And here's a blast from my past:  This blog post reminded me of Slam Books.  Any readers out there remember those?  It was a notebook, and on every page there was a heading and each line was numbered.  Friends would pick a number on page one, and then on the following pages, they would answer the question or topic on their number.  They were passed from friend to friend, and usually filled out when we were supposed to be paying attention in class.  But since it was in a notebook, as long as the teacher didn't wander the aisles of desks, no adults were the wiser.  They were a ton of fun, until someone realized that someone else answered the same "who's your crush" question with the same name as them.  Lord.  Middle school drama.  How awesome.  It's crazy to think that not that long ago, that was the thing that caused strife in life.  Not mortgage payments or trying to get your kid into a good preschool.  Ahh, the simpler times in life.

Well, now I've totally digressed from the point of this blog post, which was to capture your loves and favorites at this point in your life.  I hope that one day you will look back and see what used to thrill your little self.  And maybe some of them, like Iron Maiden being your favorite band, will not have changed.

One thing's for sure:  I will always love you!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Final Answer

Dear Ian,

It's the New Year, and therefore it's time for the whole wide world to decide on resolutions that they are going to keep for 2013.  Some will be met, most will be forgotten, but the fact that we get to start the year with a clean slate gives is ripe with possibility.  And having a plan makes us face the year prepared and eager for the challenge.  It also gives us something to focus on after a night of staying up too late and possibly imbibing in too much champagne.  (I direct your attention to this post to remind you that we all went to bed at around 9pm)

I have thought long and hard about this year's resolution for myself.  In the past I have done the old and tired "I resolve to eat healthy, keep a spotless home and center myself with four hours of yoga a day" resolutions, and I usually fail miserably.  I end up eating a couple of the left-over mini cheesecakes from our New Year's shindigs within minutes of stating my plans for the year, and my four hours of yoga turn into two hours of Pinterest, one hour of napping and one hour of regretting not doing my yoga.  So...  what's a habitual resolution-failure to do?

This year, with my teeth set in determination, I have launched a resolution campaign based on a 1980's slogan:
The original intent for this slogan was for the War on Drugs (political opinions repressed here), but I decided it was perfect for me.  It fits into all aspects of my life, and if anyone needs to be reminded of the Power of No, it's me.  For example:

1.  With regards to me:  No is a powerful vitamin, according to my favorite child psychologist, John Rosemond.  Remember that point and name, son, because I am coming back to it.  Personally, I need to take more Vitamin N.  Because if I'm eating Vitamin N, I am not eating the aforementioned mini cheesecakes.  Mommy is going to say "NO" to empty treats and foods that don't help with my overall health.  See?  I didn't resolve to eat healthy, I resolved to say no to foods that aren't healthy.  I can say one word.  And since I am going to be using it all over, this should be more attainable. 

1a.  I am also going to start saying "NO" to things that call for me to volunteer for crazy crap.  I have what I have officially diagnosed as Helium Hand.  My friggin hands just rise up on the wind at any call for help or volunteerism.  Someone needs help waxing their car after I've just finished a full day of whatever?  There goes my hand.  Someone needs 700 cupcakes made in 10 hours?  Float, float, float... up it goes.  Now, I'm not saying I'm not going to be helpful to realistic causes, but sometimes I agree to help out with some ridiculous sh*t.  I will remain a good friend, but I am officially taking the titles of Doormat and Flunkie off my curriculum vitae. 

2.  With regards to you and Daddy:  It's probably going to make me sound like a mean mommy, but I honestly have no problem telling you no.  It goes back to that Vitamin N thing from John Rosemond.  (See?  Closed that loop.  Booya)  Another episode of Caillou or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Nope.  Go outside.  Can you have a cookie ten minutes before dinner?  No way, Jose'.  I am a Vitamin N dosing professional when it comes to you.  Daddy doesn't ask for too much, so I don't usually have to give him the N word.  So how I am going to put my resolution to work for you guys is sorta related to Points 1 and 1a.  I am going to say no to things that take me away from you and Daddy.  Laundry and dishes will wait while I play with the two of you.  All things pale in comparison when it comes to spending time with my little family.  I need to remember that, especially when I feel a relapse in my Helium Hand condition coming on.

2a.  HOWEVER!  There are times when Mommy just needs to be alone.  And as much as I love the two of you, I may need to tell you and Daddy no, just so I can sit down and chill for a bit.  I am a raging perfectionist.  I want to make your little hearts desires come to fruition.  I want to make Daddy a happy guy.  But Mommy is only one chick.  If I am currently in the middle of something, I need to stop trying to fulfill every whim you have or help Daddy do whatever at the same time.  The end result is a messy job on both accounts and a frazzled Mommy.  That doesn't help anyone.  So, I need to be better about saying no, gently of course, until I have completed a thought, at the very least.  This is going to be tough for me, but my resolve is strong.

So, there's my resolution for 2013.  One simple word will be all I need for a year of success.  By saying no to extemporaneous stuff, I will have more time for you and Daddy.  By occasionally and gently saying no to you and Daddy, I will have time for me.  And with that comes a good balance in my life.  Maybe then I will even have time for four hours of yoga.

I love you Bear,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lucky 2013

Dear Ian,

Happy New Year! 

Once again, we've finished off a year and are moving swiftly into another one.  And once again, I am thankful for the fact that I get another year of being your Mommy. 

2012 was an good year for us.  Daddy's work continues to grow and thrive.  You and I started our second year at Advent.  You turned three, I turned 34 and yesterday, Daddy turned 37.  (Technically his birthday occurred in 2013, but it's so close that we'll give it to him.)  We had family adventures and vacations do Disney, Cohocton and a cruise to Mexico and the Western Caribbean.  You gained two new cousins, Nole and Taylor, and we got to celebrate cousins Payton and Abigail's third and first birthdays as well.  You became the proud owner of your pet fish Bubbles, Lollypop and Pumpkin, and you've grown at least two inches.

We survived the Terrible Twos, and we're now headlong into the Trying Threes.  The word "why" dominates your vocabulary, and you are experimenting with pouting, tantrums and "It's not fair."  You and Daddy are cultivating a love of old Star Trek episodes, and you are slowly trading Caillou for a Disney cartoon called Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  You have discovered a love of basketball, football, well... all sports, and you've become obsessed with playing the War Chant on your Marching Chiefs cd over and over and over again.

It's been amazing to watch you change and grow this year, and I know that time is going to go warp speed as we start the 2013 race.  So to make sure that we went 2012 out in style, we had ourselves our own little family New Year's Eve party.

Taking down Christmas decorations always makes me a little sad.  All that festive fun and revelry, packed back up into boxes.  Sigh.  So this year, I stole a Pinterest idea and only took down the ornaments from our tree.  Then I replaced them with balloons, crazy 2013 glasses and party horns.  Voila.  We had a New Year's tree!  Daddy wasn't the biggest fan of it, but I liked it, and I think you liked it, too. 

Now that our decorations were up, it was time to move on to the food.  I made party meatballs, and keeping with Davis family weird food traditions, I picked up a shrimp cocktail platter.  I dunno... it's one of those things.  My family has done it forever, so now I do it.  Either way, I love shrimpies, so it worked for me.  Anyhoo.  I picked up a bottle of champagne for me and Daddy, and for you, I got a bottle of ginger ale.  You don't normally drink soda, but I figured that New Year's was a special occasion, and that it would be fun for you to drink something that sort of looked like the champagne that Daddy and I were going to share.  You even got to drink it out of a wine glass, see?
Incidentally, you are very into "clinking" at every meal.  Your little toasts are so cute.  You say something like, "I'm thinking of Daddy" or "I want to clink to my fish."  Love it. 

After our little party dinner, it was time to boogie.  Daddy put on Juke Box Hero, your favorite song, and we danced around the living room blowing our party horns.  It was a lot of fun.  Then you played DJ and chose songs like Old Mc Donald and such from your CD collection.  Never before had I ever heard those songs played at a New Year's Eve party, but it worked for you.

 Then we all got our horns, counted down from 10 and yelled, "Happy New Year!"  The horn blowing was a little obnoxious, but it was fun.  And it was 8:15pm.  Hey, you can't tell time yet, so I need to use it to my advantage.  One of these days you will actually want to stay up until midnight, so this Mommy is going to get all the rest she can out of your current limitation of not being able to tell time. 

It was the perfect start to our new year: just us, having fun.  And I loved it.  One of these days, I am going to sit down and think about resolutions for 2013, but right now, I am just taking our fresh start day by day and loving every minute.

Just like I love you,

Mommy Mental Moment

Dear Ian,

Sigh.  I am just having a moment over here. 

I was going through pictures on the laptop, and I realized I forgot to post about another special Pre-Christmas event: your class Christmas program. 

If you remember this post from last year, you had your theatrical debut in an Advent Christmas program, and you participated by standing and looking adorable.  This year, you still looked adorable, but you actually sang and danced! 

Mommy, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa Brooks and Grandma Davis all got to watch you again this year.  Poor Papa Davis had to sit this one out because of that previously mentioned knee-versus-Andy the Bull-thing. But Mommy got some good video, so he was able to watch you perform.  And being the dextrous former baton twirling champ that I am, I was able to juggle the video camera and still camera to get total coverage of your performance.

 Here's you and Addy sitting on the stage waiting for things to get started. 
 Like last year, you sat like a big kid on the stage.  You knew exactly the order of things, and you would do them even before Miss Jan said a word. 
 My sweet boy moving to a spot on the stage to do the "Jingle Dance."  I have a great video of this; it was a hoot!
 Your whole little class up on stage.
 Man, do I love you :)
 Playing instruments in the "Angel Band."
 Here's a shot with one of your teachers in it.  Miss Katie on stage.
 I took this picture at the Happy Birthday Jesus party in your classroom after the show.  We were in charge of bringing the cake, and I remembered that I had forgotten to pick it up from Publix about seven minutes before Publix closed for the night.  Some adult words were said, and I hollered to your Daddy, "I forgot Jesus!" and went running out the door to get your cake.  Which I did.  Good Grief.
Here's your little class having Baby Jesus' birthday snack.

As always, Daddy and I (along with your Grands) were so proud of you.  And as always, we were impressed by your teachers and Miss Jan for putting together such a sweet program.  The fact that you get to incorporate music and performance into your school experience, not to mention church and God's love, is part of why we love your little school. 

Well, now that I've traveled back in time to record, I feel a little better.  At least I remembered eventually, right?  Better late than never?  And what's important is that you and I have been having so much fun that I haven't had time to write.

You make me such a happy Mommy, little Bear.  I hope you realize just how much we love you.
Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Consistency - Part 2

Dear Ian,

Merry Christmas!  Well, in the blog-o-sphere, anyway. 

Here you come, down the stairs!
When we left off, Daddy and I had tucked you into bed, and we were all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.  After a good night's sleep, the day finally arrived.  As per Mommy's strange holiday traditions, you made your bed, and then Daddy and I called you downstairs.  Daddy took video and I took pictures of your reactions to seeing the treats and gifts that Santa had brought you. 

Your little face lighting up is my favorite Christmas memory.

You were so excited to see the gifts under the tree.  Your stocking was over-flowing, and that thrilled you.  To see that Santa had eaten your cookies that you left for him was also a big hit.  You were also pretty dang pleased to see the big gift in the corner with your name on it.  You got right down to the business of exploring the contents of your stocking, and I think you really enjoyed your treats.  You got new purple picks for your guitar, bubbles, bath colors, crazy straws and some chocolate coins.  There was also a miniature tractor and trailer, and I think you were most excited about this.  Stockings are one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning.  And your excitement over your stocking made my day. 

Santa did pretty well with your gifts this year, too.  You received fuzzy bear slippers that you really like.  They keep your feet toasty warm, and the eyes light up when you walk!  They crack me up.  You also received a cookbook that was all about how cooking works.  Santa knows that you love to cook with me and Daddy, so this book was perfect for you.  You also got a new Pete the Cat book, which you were super excited about.  Another gift was a set of gears, and you really seemed to like them, too.

But your very favorite gift was the basketball and hoop that Santa brought you.  He must know how much you love to practice with the hoop at school.  You opened the ball first, and you just shrieked over that!  But then you got to open your big gift.  When you got the paper off and you realized what it was, you hollered, "Oh yes!  Just what I needed!"  That made my and Daddy's day.  And yours too, apparently.

It really was a nice Christmas at our house, but now it was time to pack up and head off to Grandma and Papa's house to join Uncle Brian and Aunt Maggie and Nole, Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan and Payton and Taylor to have a little more Christmas madness.  But first we had to have one more picture with your new basketball  hoop and ball.
Happy Boy
Holy Cow.  That's a lot of stuff...
 Holy moly.  When we got to Grandma and Papa's house, you could hardly see the tree there were so many gifts.  Now, there were four kids and eight grown-ups worth of gifts under the tree, but still.  It was sorta crazy!  It took Uncle Brian forever to "play Santa" and get everything passed out.  Once he did, there was a frenzy of wrapping paper and chaos, but it was a blast.  You received some really great gifts from Grandma and Papa and your Aunts and Uncles.  Uncle Brian and Aunt Maggie gave you this crazy hopping ball thing that you love, and Uncle Gary and Aunt Megan gave you this cool light that looks like the moon.  It works perfectly in your bedroom, and it even cycles through the phases of the moon!  You love it, and it doubles as a wind-down sort of night light when you go to bed.

From Grandma and Papa, you received a new fleet of tractors and attachments and a cool sleeping bag.  You also got new barn boots so that way you could help Papa out with his chores since he's having trouble with his knee.  You opened all of your gifts, and you were thrilled with them, but then Grandma and Papa had one more trick up their sleeve...

Good Gravy.  You and Pay and the other grands were the honored recipients of this little piece of awesomeness.  Yup.  You guys got your very own gator.  You and Payton had an AWESOME time driving it around.  You gathered sticks all over the yard in the bed, and pretended to "feed the animals."  Then, you got a set of walkie-talkies (I think Payton got them for Christmas) and you pretended that you were driving an ambulance and were picking up injured people.  It was neat to watch you.  And you could have spent the whole day driving around.

You and your cousins are some lucky little people.  And honestly, our whole family is a group of lucky people.  And that's what this all comes down to:  Family.  You are a loved little man.  You're loved by Daddy and me, and you have four sets of Aunts and Uncles, four cousins, two sets of grandparents and one Great Poppey.  Spending time with all of them during this special time of year is one of the greatest gifts you will ever have, and I hope you realize just how important that is. 

 Here's you, Payton, Nole and Taylor in your matching Christmas shirts.  You and Pay were pretty tired and cranky when I tried to take this picture, but this was the best of the bunch.
The Davis side of your family, minus me, since I had to take the photo.  We take up a pretty big table, huh?

So, there's our Christmas 2012 in two blog posts.  Took me a while to type it all up, and I know Daddy was wondering what the heck I was writing over here.  I commandeered his laptop for half an hour!  But it was all worth it to document our memories of another holiday season with each other.

Our Christmas Bear - 2012
 We love you very much, and you're our favorite gift,
Mommy and Daddy

Christmas Consistency - Part One

Dear Ian,

Technically today is New Year's Day, and here I am working on Christmas posts.  But, I looked back at last year, and I was comforted by the fact that it took me until January to get our Christmas post from 2011 up until January 2012.  At least I am consistent.

You and Pay getting into the spirit
So anyhoo, here we go.  Our Christmas 2012 started off with a fantastic Christmas Eve.  It was a little different that usual; typically we go to Grandma and Grandpa Brooks' house for Christmas Eve stuff, but this year Grandma was a little under the weather, so you got to experience a Davis family Christmas Eve.  Hang on a sec.  Backing up, I need to mention that during the week before Christmas we baked cookies, as per the usual, drove around in our jammies looking at Christmas lights, and we had exclusive showings of classic Christmas movies like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Night Before Christmas.  One of these days I will let you in on my OCD secret:  I actually have a calendar just for our movies.  I don't want to miss one, so I have them carefully written out on a calendar.  One movie per day.  But back to Christmas Eve.  Mommy cooked like a crazy person getting our Christmas yummies like meatballs, sauce and breakfast casserole ready for the holiday.  After a fun day of Christmas music, cooking and goofing off, we headed out to Grandma and Papa's house for traditional meatball subs and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Yes.  It's tradition...  Uncle Brian, Aunt Maggie and Nole were there, as were Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan, Payton and Taylor.  And of course Grandma and Papa.  Sadly, Papa had a small accident involving Andy the Bull and his knee this year, so he was moving a little slower, but it didn't stop us from having a blast with him and the rest of the family.  I can't remember if you have ever had a meatball sub before, but man on man, did you love it this year!  You ate about half of the bread and all of the meatballs out of your sub.  And then you topped it all of with a tradition Christmas dessert for my side of the family:  pinwheels.  Mmmmmm.  Now I want one!

Nom nom nom
I'm glad to know that our crazy food traditions will live on with you.  After eating a TON of food, we headed back to our house.  We had work to do before Santa came.  First, I know I mentioned in the last post about Otter that he had left you instructions on how to make Reindeer Food.  We had made it earlier in the day, but it was time for us to spread it around in the front yard.  Dressed in your new Christmas jammies, you ran out in the yard and sprinkled your Reindeer Food out in the grass.  You were really into it at first, grabbing handfuls and tossing it around.  But then I guess you realized we had more to do, Santa was coming, or you just got bored, because your last distribution of Reindeer food was an unceremonious dump of it out of the bag.  It made me laugh.  Here are some pictures of the Reindeer Fooding:
Looking for Santa
Getting a good coverage of Reindeer Food in the yard

Meh, time to just dump it.
Cookies for Santa!
With the Reindeer Food spread out in the yard, it was time to get the rest of our Christmas Eve stuff done.  Next to do was the important job of setting out cookies for Santa.  You chose a couple of our special Christmas cookies and we poured him some milk in a Christmas cup.  (FYI:  Santa must have really liked our cookies, because they were all gone except for one bit, and the milk was totally gone.  Good choice, little buddy!)  

Then you, Daddy and I settled in on the couch to read the very special book, Twas The Night Before Christmas.  This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  It makes my heart so happy to have our whole little family snuggled together on such a fun and festive night, reading a book that my Daddy used to read to me on Christmas Eve.  Sigh.  I am such a lucky wife and Mommy.  At the conclusion of our book, then it was off to bed!  You were actually in a hurry to get to sleep!  Too bad Christmas Eve is only once a year.  
Reading with Daddy. 
 I'm going to stop this post here, just like we did on Christmas Eve, and pick back up on Part 2 where I write about all of the fun you had on Christmas morning.  Build the suspense and all.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.