Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

Your cough was following you around like a lost puppy dog.  You couldn't shake it.  Finally, we made an appointment with the doctor.  A week after being on antibiotics, you are doing a lot better.  No more waking up coughing.  Oma and Opa were kind to bring you to the appointment and then go to two different drug stores to get your two medicines.


Dr. Volke (Mommy's ENT) said that the frequency of you having sinus/upper respiratory issues concerns him.  It could be contact with other sick children, the change in weather, etc, etc, but if you get sick again soon after this time, Dr. Volke will recommend you to see an allergy specialist, to make sure it's not allergy issues that could later develop into lung/pneumonia problems if left untreated.  Mommy and Uncle Rob both had problems of this nature and Dr. Volke said it can be hereditary.  Let's pray for the best and good health!

You love it when Daddy let's you "drive."  But when we really have to go somewhere, you give us a difficult time getting into your car seat.  Lol.  Look Mommy, no hands!


Your first parade this season was Caesar, known for it's lovely floats and known also for not throwing much.  But you did get some large, long beads AND a glow stick, which you called your sword.



After the parade we went to the Waffle House.  You like the blue berry waffles and chocolate milk.  The waitress was tickled when she took the plates away and you politely said, "Thank you."  So sweet!



Mommy was cleaning the kitchen and walked away to pick up more dishes from the table.  As I was walking back to the kitchen, I saw you moving your toy stove (on wheels thankfully) into the kitchen.  I asked, "Gregory, what are you doing?"  You replied, "Putting my kitchen in your kitchen.  I help Mommy."










It's really sweet that your school brought Mardi Gras to your classroom experience.  It's a safe environment for the kids and families going to the school.  The teachers asked for any children with wagons to decorate their wagons/floats and bring them to the school for both Thursday and Friday.  Your class road in the wagons on Friday.  When I mentioned to your teacher that you had a lot of beads, donated by Oma and Opa and Aunt Melody and Uncle Brian, your teacher asked if the extra beads could be given to the other children.... because many wouldn't have beads to throw.  (Edited to add:  Mrs. Kristie, your teacher, told me the day of the parades, "Thank you SO much, there were a lot of children who didn't have any beads and with all that you brought, everyone had something to throw.  Giving is such a beautiful feeling.)

Mommy and Daddy put the beads in zip lock bags, per the school's instructions.  It makes sense - children don't want to get frustrated with trying to untangle the beads in order to throw them.  Bags are easier to catch for little kids.  Daddy kept saying, while we put the beads in bags, "I hope Gregory appreciates all we are doing for him!"  You helped too, but plenty of times you were saying, "Ohhh, Ahhh" and wanting to play with the beads.



Next up - decorate the float!  Mommy bought the swag and street sign from Amazon and we bought the garland and front and back decorations from Party City.   Daddy thought of some cool ways to drill holes in the wagon to keep certain decorations up rather than only using tape.  It was good, because your wagon was used on both Thursday and Friday and we didn't have to worry about anything falling off.


You totally loved the decorations.  You kept saying, "I like my new wagon!"


Putting the beads in bags and decorating the float brought back happy childhood memories for Mommy, made Mommy feel like a kid again.... remembering when Mommy and her brother would look at the beads and create puppy dog beads... how Opa could really grab the attention of the Mardi Gras paraders and say, "Hey, you, yeah, YOU, I bet you couldn't hit me with those beads" and he would get bombarded.


Son, you are making Mommy strong.  You are 31 pounds.  You love to be held.  You are giving Mommy muscles!  Good thing too, because those two bags in the wagon don't look like they are big bags, but they ARE; they are heavier than you!  Mommy was able to get them out of the vehicle and into the wagon with no help, no problem.  I'm glad you were still taking a nap at school when I brought the wagon in, so you didn't get upset with seeing it at school rather than home.

You like the bell and walking through this short path at school.


Love how your teachers taught "K is for King" during Mardi Gras time at school!


With all that is going on right now, Mardi Gras, school parades, Valentine's Day (which was early for your school, because Valentine's Day is the Sunday during the Mardi Gras break), billing time for Mommy...  well, your birthday is FAST approaching.  You're going to be THREE!  Oh my gosh, the time is flying by, sweet boy.  Below is the picture Mommy took of you for your birthday invitation.




Oma asked, "How did you get the three on the picture?"  Mommy laughed, "Those are Gregory's cars."  Oma said, "Wait!  Those are real cars?!"  Mommy said, "Yes.  I put a table cloth on the floor, lined the cars into a number three, put Gregory near the three, quickly got on a step ladder and prayed the two pictures I took before Gregory demolished the cars looked good.  Thankfully one of the pictures came out well."

Oma shared a sweet moment.  It was an afternoon where you stayed with Oma and Opa when you weren't feeling well and Mommy and Daddy had to work.  You took Oma's hand and brought her into the sunroom.  You picked up a picture of Mommy off of the credenza and hugged the picture, then you said, "I miss Mommy."  Melts my heart. 


At school, for "Valentine's Day" you received cards, candy and a red plastic puffy heart.  You told Mommy, "Happy Valentines' Day Mommy" and you gave me the heart.  

Oma, Opa and Mommy went to your school parade.  Oma and Opa were there for your Mardi Gras party.  Oma said, "They had King Cake, but Gregory would only lick the icing off of it."  Mommy met up just in time for your school parade and to pull the wagon.  


Love the t-shirt that you made at school!



You convinced a classmate to share the purple ball.



Lining up to get ready to go to the wagon floats



Mommy has to admit that I was a little worried about you sharing your wagon; the teachers asked for two students per wagon so everyone would have a chance to ride.  You can get possessive at times.  Would you accept another child in your wagon?  The morning of your school parade, when we arrived at your school, you saw your wagon lined up with the other wagons.. parents and children were walking up.. You faced them head on, hands straight out and yelled, "STOP!  MY WAGON!"  They laughed and I convinced you to go to your classroom.  But for the parade, you had no problems sharing.  There were so many beads, you couldn't see your legs!


At first, both you and Logan were a little like, "Huh, these are our beads."  Then we saw some older kids (possibly siblings to students at the school) who were really into it and yelling excitedly, "Throw me something Mister!"  Both you and Logan got into spirit of throwing and by the second go around  in the courtyard, all the beads had been thrown!


Giving beads to Oma




Krewe of St. Augustine sign




The last item in the wagon was the red ball.  Kids screamed for you to throw it.  Not a chance.  You took that one home.


After your parade ride, another class had their turn at being in the wagon floats.  You started waiving your hands and going after footballs, sometimes beads, but those didn't interest you as much.


You liked getting the toys and whistles.  


It was a great experience.  It was fun, with Mardi Gras music playing in the background, parents and kids alike having fun.  I'm grateful to work for a law firm that doesn't mind me going to your school activities and returning back to work afterwards.  I would have really missed out on a cute "first time" experience for you!  Thank you Oma and Opa for being there too and taking pictures and for taking care of Gregory after the parade.

One afternoon, when you wished Mommy "Happy Valentine's Day" (early - you did this super early, because of your school, so now I think you're a little confused on when Valentine's Day is)... Mommy said, "I love you."  You said, "I love you Mommy."  Mommy asked you, "Who else loves you?"  You replied, "Daddy."  Mommy said, "Yes and who else loves you?"  You went through the names of your grandparents, "Oma, Opa, Granny, Grandfather" and you even mentioned Biscuit, Oma and Opa's dog.. and you ended the list with.. "Tay Tay."  

The last name puzzled Mommy... where you just going into your "silly" mode?  But usually if you are in your silly mode, you say, "pooh" to answer a question.  Mommy asked you to repeat the last name and clear as could be, you said, "Tay Tay."  Mommy tried to think if there was a cartoon character or toy that had this name... then it hit me.. "You mean Tatum at school?"  You said, "Yes, Tay Tay!"  

That is so cute - a little girl has a crush on you at school or you think so.  Too sweet.  I know you are buddies with Olivia and Carson and that you get along with Logan too, but I wasn't sure about the other students.  This was the first mentioned of Tatum.  One thing Mommy wanted for you with going to school was for you to make friends.  It's early still in life, I know, but friends from childhood tend to be the strongest and most lasting of all.

I wish we had more pictures of you with Mardi Gras parades, but this year was a bust.  You are almost over your cold, but now Mommy has the cold.  It's not surprising.  It started with Opa and Daddy getting sick.  Then you and Oma went to the doctor on the same day... and now Mommy.  This cold was determined to make the rounds, but that means it was a no-go for Mardi Gras with the cold weather and gusty winds.  No need to antagonize an illness.

That said, we still had fun.  We visited with Oma and Opa and you practiced throwing and catching.  You told Oma, "Keep your eyes on the ball."  Something Daddy always says to you.




I love these next set of pictures.  You are using one of Oma's magnifying glasses.  You looked at a starfish that our cousin, Andy, gave to Oma years ago.  When we asked you what you saw through the magnifying glasses, you said, "Rocks!"  I can imagine the bumps on the starfish look like rocks through a magnifying glass.




Mommy looked around the room and saw something that would look cool through the glass and she mentioned it to Oma.  Oma picked up the object and brought it to the sofa.   You were eager to look through the magnifying glass to see the pretty colors.  Mommy loves your excitement over this, because you were looking at the pretty paperweights.  Nana, your great-grandmother, Oma's Mommy, used to collect paperweights... Oma took over that tradition too.





You liked the paperweight so much that you grabbed it from Oma's hands.  She told you, "Careful, Gregory, that's glass.  It can break."  We told you to put it back on the table.  You were so gentle about it and did as asked.  I was impressed, not just by your actions, but you seemed to understand how important it was to Oma.

When lunch was ready, you grabbed your two favorite dinosaurs and brought them to the table to eat.  You were so cute.  You count on your fingers, "One, Two!"  Using your thumb and your pointer finger.  



You will eat food at the table, but you like having toys or the iPad there too.  One morning, you had the iPad on UTube Kids.  Mommy changed it to another cartoon and you made a pouty face, "No changing cartoon."  Mommy made a pouty face too.  You tilted your head to the side and said, "Say sorry Mommy."  So, Mommy said, "I'm sorry."

You looked at me and said, "Okay Mommy.  Be nice."  I gave you a big hug and kiss, so proud of how you handled someone changing something you were watching.  You didn't yell or scream or pitch fit or try to hit.  You used your words and even accepted an apology.  Well done, sweet son.

Update on potty training - the last three days you are peeing the potty, but.. not number 2 - you will go in your big boy pants.  One time, Mommy thought you needed to do number 2 and said, "Let's go to the potty, hurry, hurry."  You exclaimed, "It's coming out!  It's coming out!"  Sure enough... we were too late.  But this morning, you did number two twice in the potty!  Yeah!  

Funny note, when you sit down on the potty, you want your pants and big boy pants completely off of you.  But you don't know how to put them back on just yet.  You can pull them up if you don't manage to take them all the way off.... and you can put on your own socks too.  

These might seem like small steps, but everything is mega wonderful when a parent sees a child learn something new.  It's exciting and reminds us to appreciate the small beauties and blessings of this world.

Happy Mardi Gras, wishes for many more parades in your future with great temperatures and healthy days!  Your home town is filled with rich culture.  I hope you learn to love it here and let your roots grow deep as generations of your families have done so in the past.

Love Always,
Mommy


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

You are braver than Mommy.  Mommy doesn't like climbing the steep, short stairs at Oma's and Opa's home, but you will.... as long as some one goes with you.  You kept Oma busy doing that and then Daddy.


You go through things that interest you.  Sometimes it's Legos and other times it's play dough.  But you go through moods of such things.




You never get tired of walking!

Walking in the neighborhood...


Your favorite tree..


Mommy's favorite tree....


Walking in the garden at school.  The flowers in the background make it look like a crown on your head! 


Walking at the park...







Your teachers say everything is going well at school.  I hope that means you are paying attention to what the teachers are saying and that you are making new friends with the three new classmates that started recently.  Here's your artwork so far:






You were being silly one morning at school - sitting under your jacket by your lunch box.


Showing Mommy what you did at school today - making Mardi Gras t-shirts for your school parade next week!


Morning before school, wearing "K is for Kite" shirt.  On this morning, Daddy made something new for breakfast - French Toast.  You didn't want to even try it, typical reaction to something new....  Daddy said, "I'm Daddy Dog, feed me!"  Daddy put his hands in the air and begged like a puppy dog.  You happily fed Daddy.  Then Daddy said, "Gregory's turn to beg like a puppy dog."  You did it and ate the French Toast!  Mommy got in on the fun too.  We turned trying something new into a game and it worked great!  You even said you liked French Toast after breakfast play time was over.


Mickey Mouse with orange ears, you said.


When I brought you to school a bunch of kids were running in the courtyard saying, "You can't get me."  You took off running with the group, having a blast!  At one point, Mommy stopped you and said, "It's okay to run right now, but if you are in class and your teacher says you need to stop running, you have to stop running and listen to your teacher."  You saw the kids running towards us and asked me, "Mommy, I can run now, please?"  I had to say Yes.


St. Augustine's offers a "parents date night" once a month of a Friday from 6pm to 8pm.  It was our first time doing this.  When we brought you there, a screen was playing with music and words.  You just kept watching.  When we left, Daddy said, "I miss my boy.  If he is crying when we pick him up, we aren't bringing him again!"  Mommy and Daddy had supper and then did a few minutes of shopping.


When we went to pick you up, you were running, laughing and playing with the kids... of all ages.


Everyone said how well you behaved, that you smiled and opened up with them and that you were a good boy!


They had songs to sing, art projects, food (you ate a hot dog, cheese and grapes.  Mrs. Catherine convinced you to try a cucumber piece.  You ate one piece but spit the second one out.)


Mrs. Catherine also said that you had to go pee and you used the big boy potty!


Bubbles and piano time, you did not want to leave!  It was so thoughtful of our church community to offer this for parents.  I love that it's children of all ages in a loving environment.  Thank you!


Edited to add the next three pictures - these were taken by Catherine and her daughter during the "parents date night" - Gregory had a blast!  I also wanted to add that Catherine's mom was there, "MeMaw."  MeMaw asked me, "Is Gregory left handed?"  She noticed him using his left hand more than his right.  I replied, "I'm not sure yet."  She is left-handed.





This next picture makes Mommy laugh.  You visited with Oma and Opa.  Oma played hide and seek with you. You hid in the bathroom and while you were there, you decided on your own to start cleaning!  You love to help.


This morning, it was such a pretty day, that we decided to go to City Park.  This is the first time you have played on that playground and you loved it.  With lots of room to run, new things to climb on and plenty for Mommy and Daddy to take pictures, we were all thrilled!






You climbed all over everything, but you loved this one particular option - next picture.  You stand up on it and then it has springs on it, so you bounce up and down when you bounce up and down.  You couldn't get enough of it.  I thought for sure you would fall off, but you never lost your balance.


You are fearless!


Did this all by yourself.



Okay, so sometimes Mommy is silly too



You weren't so sure about the rope part of it.



When you saw the green climbing sculpture, you ran to it and started going without a second thought.


Mommy loves the oak trees.  So do you.


My sweet guys



Daddy tilted the bottle and the sand went down.  You loved it.




I love that you love the outdoors.






Can't go to City Park without getting some beignets.  You liked them!









All in all a great morning!  Off to Oma and Opa's for lunch.  I hope the weather is nice for a parade tonight.  We need to catch some beads in order to participate in your school parade!

You are my sweet sunshine.  You love to ask, "What's that, Momma?"  You run to Daddy when we pick you up from school.  You told Daddy, after you hurt your arm and Daddy tried to kiss your bo-bo, "No, Momma fix my bo-bo."  You make us laugh.

You are our heart.

Love Always,
Mommy