Saturday, January 17, 2015


Dear Ian,

Well, there has to be a first time for everything, Little Bear, and since this blog/book has turned into 
basically a record of all of your developments, comings and goings and whatnot, here's a doozy of an entry.

Yesterday, January 16th at 5:30 in the evening, you broke yourself.  Your left radius (that's an arm bone) anyway. 

We had decided earlier that day to meet up at Winthrop Park with our friends Katherine and Julia and then have dinner at Red Elephant, and you were super excited about going.  Things were going great, too!  We had been at the park about an hour, and decided at 5:25 that we would leave in five minutes to go to dinner to beat the rush.  And in that last five minutes, you broke yourself.  You were hanging from the "slider bar" monkey bars, trying to move the sliders, when you dropped and landed funky on your wrist.  The sound you made when you hit the ground and realized you were hurt had me running.  Normally you drop from that thing with barely a grunt.  This time you screamed.  Then you hopped up and yelled, "I don't think I broke a bone, but how am I going to bowl?!"  Had you not been in pain, that probably would have been funny; you were so concerned about bowling.  Anyhoo.  You arm didn't look any different, and you said it didn't hurt when I moved it around, so we decided to try to go to dinner and get an ice pack and see how you felt in a couple of minutes.  You were still a little weepy, but in fairness to Mommy, you hadn't had a nap/rest that day, which causes you to be a smidge on the dramatic side, and you fell in front of a friend, so you were a little embarrassed.  I wasn't sure if the crying was from pain or another factor, and you said you wanted to eat, so we tried.  Right after ordering, though, you decided that you needed to go see a doctor.  Yes, you read that right. You said you needed to go.  You're not one to volunteer for that sort of thing, so I knew...  We got our food to go, because I knew we were probably in for a wait and you were going to be starving, and off we went. 

Tallahassee has a new swanky Emergency Room right near our house, so we didn't have to go far;  it is right between home and Red Elephant, so that's where we ended up.  We got in a room pretty quickly, and you read on the info board in the room that your nurse's name was Karen!  That sorta perked you up.  She even brought you a little stuffed tiger to snuggle, and that made you happy, too.  But then it was time to head to radiology.  The radiology tech was AWESOME.  She talked you through the whole thing, even the parts where, since she had to move your arm, it hurt you.  At one point, she even called in another tech so she could hold your hand while she got the picture, so her fingers were in it, too.  Mommy was stuck behind a glass wall listening to you cry.  At one point, when she turned your arm, you screamed again, and it was all I could do not to jump through the glass wall.  In any case, the she was great, and they got the five x-rays they needed pretty quickly.  The images were digital, so they popped up on the screen right next to me.  I could see it; you fractured your left radius.  I didn't even need it to be pointed out.  There it was.  Sigh.  The picture to the right isn't your arm; I found this one on the internet, but yours looks pretty much identical.  This x-ray is the right arm of a five year old child with a fractured radius.  So just flip this to make it left handed, and there ya go.  See the crack?  Your x-ray looks JUST like this one.  The internet is amazing, by the way. 

So, the PA and nurse came back in after that, and they wrapped you all up in a temporary cast.  They called it a splint, but when I think of a splint, I think of something a little less substantive.  This thing on your arm is impressive for being temporary.  They put a stocking on your arm, then wrapped you in something like cotton batting and then put this thing on that actually hardened around your arm before they wrapped it in ace bandages.  It's solid.  And HUGE!  Getting you in jammies and shirts is proving to be a bit of a challenge.  Anyhoo.  During all of this chaos, you got to talk to your Daddy, who was in Amsterdam at the time, and he suggested we go get ice cream after all this was said and done. 

And boy did you get ice cream.  We went to Lofty Pursuits, and they have this awesome thing called a nano-cone flight.  Their nano-cones are small, so it ended up being about the equivalent of two normal sized scoops, but you were thrilled with it.  You got mango sorbet (your favorite), raspberry sorbet, lime sherbert and one school of dark chocolate as a concession to me.  I told you that calcium helps bones, so you judiciously chose chocolate ice cream since it was made out of milk and therefore had calcium.  I swear to goodness, the way your brain works cracks me up. 
You with one of your mango scoops.  You got a flight of five nano cones, so you chose two of them to be mango sorbet. 
The last three scoops of the flight

By the time we finally got you to bed that night, it was after 10pm, and after a good dose of Tylenol, you conked right out.  After, of course, you made me sign your cast.  

So that was the major drama from Friday.  Today was hard, but in a different way: you have just been so down.  It's almost like you're depressed over this whole thing, which - and this may make me sound limited - but I didn't think littles like you could be depressed.  All you wanted to do was hang in your jammies and watch TV.  We did end up going to your friend Jack's birthday party (your idea), but really, you just seemed bummed.  And I can understand why.  You can't do the things you love.  You ordinarily spend about 45 minutes after you wake up in the morning playing Legos in your room.  Your cast severely limits your pincher grip, so working those little pieces is pretty much out.  Same thing goes with your K'nex, which you also love.  And bowling, and bike riding and rough and tumbling around.  It's so weird to see you this still and sad.  You didn't even want to listen to your favorite songs on the radio.  You ask frequently how long you have to be in the cast, and I think you've told me about 20 times today that you hate it.  I'm getting pretty good at reaching itches you have under it, too.  And I wish I could just take all this away from you, because I hate to see you unhappy and hurting.

You and your bread loaf arm
You occasionally show a glimmer of your typical self, though.  At the party, you and Sarah and a couple of your other friends played a bit, and it was good to see you smile.  And you laughed at something funny on one of your television shows you watched today.  But my favorite was a joke you cracked at bath time.  I broke my arm when I was about your age, and I remembered my mom bagging my arm in a bread bag to keep it dry.  I used up the last of the bread this morning making you French Toast for this exact purpose, and tonight when I bagged you up and put you in the tub, you looked up at me and asked, "Is this the first time you've ever given a bath to a loaf of bread?"  It was so unexpected and funny that I laughed really hard.  Even you giggled a little.  Your arm really did look like bread.  

So we're on night number two, and I have a feeling we have about 30 more of these before we're all said and done.  I am hoping to get you in to see the Orthopedist for your real cast and a time frame on Monday, but Monday is a holiday, so I'm not sure how that's going to go.  We have all of our fingers and toes crossed.  Well, the fingers that aren't stuck in a cast, anyway.

I feel so badly about all of this.  It's sort of surreal; my baby got hurt, and there isn't much I can do to make it right or better.  That part is killing me.  And on top of it, you're blaming yourself.  You keep saying over and over that you wished you had listened to me and just stayed on the ground.  I have been reminding you that I broke my arm, Daddy broke his arm (on monkey bars, no less) and even Grandma Brooks broke her arm tripping and falling.  Accidents happen, but I just wish this accident hadn't happened to my boy. 

We will get through it.  It may not be fun, and it may get ugly, but I know you'll come through ok.  We all will.  Even me and the hair that you've made even more white with all of this drama.  You've been so brave and grown up.  We'll get through it.  With lots of hugs, love and milk for strong bones.

I love you,

Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Chapter

Dear Ian,

Little-bitty you picking a book.  Eight months old
If I had to pick one thing that I absolutely LOVE to do with you, it would most definitely be reading to you.  Yes, of course, I love building with Legos with you (I swear I should have earned an engineering degree by now with all the time we've spent doing this), and I love taking you bowling and to the park, but laying with you every night and reading to you is my very favorite thing.  I actually get sad when someone else offers to read to you or if I'm away at bedtime, and I make up the time we missed the next day by reading before nap or reading two books before you go to sleep for the night. 

I love reading in general; it's not uncommon for me to be walking around with my nose buried in my Kindle or a good ol' fashioned paperback, and I hope to inspire that sort of love for books in you.  So far it seems like it's working.  You love to go to the bookstore as much as I do, and you will sit for hours up in your room reading.  This makes my whole day.  Especially now that you're doing more actual word reading, which, by the way, totally amazes me.

We spend quite a bit of time at the library during our summers, and I am proud to say that you had your own library card before you were three years old.  Books also ended up being your first foray into the life of crime, too.  Two summers ago, you got on a kick about the Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.  You can tell us just about anything about those two little robot rovers on Mars, and so when I found this book, The Mighty Mars Rovers, at the library, you were completely thrilled.  After two weeks of borrowing, it was time to take it back, but I could not find that book ANYWHERE.  I tore our house apart.  Finally, I called the library, and we checked it out again so I could have extra time to look.  Magically, the book surfaced again, so we read it for another two weeks, but then, when it was again time to return it, the book vanished.  This happened THREE times!  Finally on the third time it resurfaced, I locked it in the car, determined to take it back to the library the next day.  That afternoon, I loaded you in the car, and we drove off to take the book home.  I looked in the review mirror, and you were completely in tears.  Turns out, little you had been hiding the book because you didn't want to return it.  I felt horrible.  We had a long talk about returning things that don't belong to us, and I reassured you that we could check it out whenever you wanted.  Your current teacher, Ms. Nancy, who I was working with at the time, ended up buying it for you for Christmas.  You still look at it and ask me to read it to you to this day. 

Anyhoo.  Back to the main point of this letter.  You now own pretty much the entire Berenstein Bears library, and you and I have read almost every book in your room at least five times, so I decided it was time to branch out.  You and I have delved into the world of chapter books.  Now, to be honest, this is not your first experience with books with little to no pictures and long story arcs.  Nope.  You probably don't remember this at all, and if you did, that would be insane, but I read you the ENTIRE Harry Potter Series starting when
Your favorite book at this age (one year old) was Blankie
you were about 3 months old.  During bath time, I would prop you up in your little whale tub and read you a chapter or two as you splashed and played.  No, you didn't have a danged clue what I was talking about, and you had absolutely no interest in the plot, but you loved to listen.  I would then put you to bed and read more myself, but I always remembered to "catch you up" on the parts you had missed after bed time.  Yes, yes, your mommy is a giant nerd.  So what.  Moving on.

The chapter book adventure we've started now is the Junie B Jones series.  I was introduced to these books when I was teaching a Kindergarten-First Grade multi-aged class at The School of Arts and Sciences.  I started reading a couple of chapters to them a day before the kids were called to buses or after-school care at the end of the day, and we ended up getting to book 24 in the series.  The children really seemed to enjoy them, and to be honest, I thought they were hilarious.  I DO tend to edit Junie B. a little, as she loves to employ the words "stupid" or "dumb bunny" in her vocabulary, and I think I don't want you to influence your classroom with those terms as of yet.  Your teacher probably appreciates that, too.  But you are really into them!  We read two or three chapters a night, depending on what time you finished bath and jammies and whatnot, and you always beg for more.  I love hearing you laugh at Junie B.'s antics, and the fact that you're envisioning them in your head and using your imagination makes my day.

It won't be long now until we're reading Harry Potter again, but this time you'll actually be enjoying the plot.  And then there's The Wind in the Willows, and The Hobbit and so many countless others.  I don't know how long you will let me read to you, so I am going to milk it for as long as I possibly can.  There's nothing quite like it; having you snuggled up next to me as we share a good book is one of my very favorite things in life.  I love every second of it.

My boy: lost in a book

I love you!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Tidings of Christmas and Joy

Dear Ian,

 Another Christmas has come and gone, and once again, your Momma is writing all about it in the month of January.  But hey, this Christmas break has been a whirlwind of activity, so cut a Mommy some slack. 

As usual, our Christmas season was kicked off with your class Christmas program.  This year, since you're in the big Pre-Kindergarten class, you actually got to put on a play of the first Christmas.  My little bear was the first Wise King, and your line was, "I see a beautiful star!  Let's follow it!"  You and your class did such a good job, and then at the end, you all got to play the hand bells - another Pre-K special thing.  It took a couple of runs through, but eventually, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" rang out loud and clear. 

Ms. Jan, Ms. Nancy and  Ms. Katie did a great job of getting your class all prepared, and the show made all of us parents so proud. 
 You, Me and Daddy after your show.
 Grandma and Grandpa Brooks and Grandma Davis also came to see your show! 
 Here you are with Santa.  It took us a little while to actually get to see Santa, as we were so very busy getting everything else all ready.  But we got there in the end. 

You were very decisive this year, as it pertained to your Christmas wishes.  And as usual, once you made up your mind about what you wanted, you never deviated.  You asked Santa for a drum set, a Lego Airplane, a bowling ball and bowling shoes, and a monster truck.  After a conference call with the Grandmas, Mommy and Santa, we all decided to break down your wishes.  Santa brought you the drum set and Legos, Momma was able to procure the bowling ball and shoes (which was AWESOME!) and Grandma and Papa Davis gifted you the monster truck.  It's remote control and plays music.  Lord help.  Grandma and Grandpa Brooks built you an elaborate electric train set up.  You are such a lucky Bear. 
 Here you are on Christmas Morning.  I've taken a picture like this every year since you were two months old.  Awww.  Sappy Mommy Moment.
 You were so excited about your drum set!  It is a nice beginner set, and at the moment, isn't as loud as I expected it to be. 
 You and your bowling ball.  You are so proud of it!
 You cant see them in this photo, but you had to put your shoes on and pose with your bowling ball.  I LOVE the fact that you are so excited about bowling. 
After the Christmas morning craziness at our house, it was time to load up and head to Grandma and Papa's house.  Nole, Uncle Brian, Aunt Maggie, Aunt Megan, Uncle Gary, Payton and Taylor were all there, too, and then more craziness ensued.  It is always so awesome to see you with your cousins.  Everyone is growing up so fast, and it's neat to watch you all play together.
Holy Cow.  You and the other grands are so spoiled.
Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robot!  Thanks, Uncle Brian and Aunt Maggie!
Did I mention that you and the grands are spoiled?!  Here's The Blessing 2.  Tallahassee had torrential rain just before Christmas, so there was this massive puddle behind Grandma and Papa's house.  It was actually deep enough for you guys to paddle around in it!!
 Christmas dinner in the barn this year!  Our family is growing by leaps and bounds, so we're running out of room in the house.  Grandma and Grandpa Brooks came out, too, and that was really nice.  This was a neat touch.  And I know it made Papa happy.
 Me and my Christmas Bear.  I love this little face so much.
 It's a four alarm family Christmas.  Where's the Tylenol?
That's a lot of family.  

And so, that was Christmas.  It was a great day filled with family, inappropriate jokes, horse-shoe tournaments, and lots and lots of food.  And love.  You are surrounded by people who love you, and that makes my heart so full.  Merry Christmas, Little Bear!


Works of Art #45 - Holiday 2014 Edition

Dear Ian,

As usual, I'm behind, but here's your artwork from the Holiday 2014 Season.  Ms. Nancy, Ms. Katie and Ms. Lynn have all worked hard to come up with some great art ideas, and here they are!
 My little turkey, dressed up as a turkey for Thanksgiving! 
 I love this funny little owl.  He's a torn paper collage, and every time Ms. Nancy does this project, they all come out a little different.  They have such personality! 
 Here's a totem pole you made during the Native American unit you did.  I have to admit, there was more Thanksgiving art, but I have NO IDEA where it went.  I'm sorry, Bear. 
 Christmas Art!!  Here's a printed fern leaf that you did in Art with Ms. Lynn.  You used rollers to print them on paper and then used Q-tips to add the ornaments.  I think they are so pretty.
 A stocking you made in class.
 Hand-print manger scene.  This is pretty.
 Here's your abstract Nativity you did in class. 
And finally, Renaissance angels you made in Art with Ms. Lynn.  With just a LITTLE bit of glue. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

Dear Ian,

This will be a short post, as I think this picture sums it up nicely. 

I am trying, Little Bear.  I am trying to make the right choices to make your life a good and special place.  I am trying very hard to teach you the right things, show you how to be a good person and give you the tools to grow up to be a successful man one day.

But damn.  This parenting stuff is not for wimps. 

Just please know that I am trying.  Every decision I make is based on you and how it will affect you.  And when you are sitting in therapy as a result of my parenting, please keep that in mind.  Oy.

I love you so very much,