Sunday, November 29, 2015

LONG letter to my son

Dear Son,

I realized with the last letter that I missed quite a few things from October that I wanted to share with you.  Here's another collage of school fun:

Your preschool had a Halloween party.  The night before the party, Mommy and Daddy made the "spiders".  We didn't know that you and your class would be wearing spider hats.  While Mommy and Daddy made the spiders, you said, "I make spider too!"  You went so far as to put three legs on your spider and then started to eat it.  It tickled Mommy and Daddy to hear how much the kids liked the treat.

Mommy's birthday is also in October.  You started to blow out the candles before they were lit.  Mommy got a surprise on her birthday - Oma and Opa came back with a sweet treasure - TJ - for two weeks!  During your cousin's visit, you started saying, "I go see Oma, Opa, Biscuit and TJ?"  It was so cute to hear you include your cousin's name.  It was good bonding time for you.

Daddy bought Mommy some picture frames for her birthday.  He knows Mommy loves to take pictures (you know this too, because when Mommy grabs her iPhone or camera, you automatically say, "Cheese!")...  Here is one of the picture frames:

Daddy said you picked out this gift for Mommy

You kept wanting "candy please" so Mommy ended up bringing it to work.  You have to put your hand under the container; it has a motion detector to send the candy out.  One attorney had to waive his hand three times to get the candy.  I said, "It gives you two times to think twice about wanting candy."

Daddy thought the next picture was morbid.  It's hand art work done at home - handprint in white on black paper and then using Q-tips to be the "bones" of the hands.  But Daddy has no room to talk about morbid, when you see the following picture....

For Halloween, you dressed up in the Minion outfit from your Uncle Rene.  You loved it!  You did great asking for Trick or Treating, eager to knock on doors and ring the doorbells.

Oma and Opa had a new adventure for you - pumpkin carving.  Eventually Daddy and Opa took over and did a cool design on the pumpkin.

Thank you, Opa, for taking the below picture!  You touched the seeds and went, "YUCK!"

Quality time with TJ

Oma and her two grandsons

Picture time with your teacher!  You had missed some time in November from school, because you had an upper respiratory infection and a secondary sinus infection, but thankfully Mommy's ENT doctor got you better quickly!  In this picture, your teacher said, "Gregory did a great job with this painting.  We used thick paint and a sponge for the texture effect for the fall leaves and the kids loved it."  Mommy does too!  (You were upset in this picture, because you heard a little girl in your classroom crying and you were upset for her.)

This next picture reminds Mommy of something that happened recently.  Daddy asked you to get his "rubber bands."  You went into Daddy's office.  You were there for a while.  Mommy called out, "Gregory, come see."  You called back, "Mommy, wait.  I get rubber bands."  (I need to add that Daddy meant for you to find his exercise rubber bands - the big bands that you use for arms and legs.)  You came back to the room with two actual rubber bands!  Daddy and Mommy were shocked.  Daddy said, "Where did he find them?  I don't have rubber bands in my office."  He later realized that you found the rubber bands wrapped around business cards and you took the rubber bands off of them!

In this picture you were exercising like Daddy with the big rubber bands, which Daddy went back to get.

Having fun with Francois.  This is when Mommy realized you are older enough to enjoy the small Legos.  Santa might bring you some.

Daddy built you a tent using sheets.  You loved it.  With the tent and your iPad, you were snug as a bug in a rug.

You are sleeping more and more in your bed.  But you will still come to mommy's bed in the middle of the night.  But lately you have started doing something new.  You have "doh doh toys" - which includes a doh doh cat, a doh doh elephant (you still cannot say that word) and a doh doh car.  Every night you ask for all three.  We tuck you in with your doh doh toys... but now, when you come to Mommy's bed in the middle of the night, you have all three toys tightly clutched to your chest as you wait for Mommy to pick you up.  Daddy said, "They are your security blankets at night."  It's sweet and you do like routine... yet, when it comes to doing new things, you are as eager as can be (such as plane rides to Maryland, etc).

Here's a night funny... you and daddy were in bed, watching the iPad.  You farted.. loudly.  Then you looked at Daddy and smiled.  Daddy said, "Gregory!  You farted!"  Then... you lifted your leg and farted again, laughing while doing so!  Oh my gosh, SO your Daddy's boy!

I like how you stopped to look at the reflection of the tree in the water.

Love this next picture of you and grandfather - making funny faces at each other.

You and Daddy built this lego stand.  You are pointing to the lego man at the top with a hard hat like you!

Granny came over and ya'll played legos a lot together.   You insisted that she wear the hat and you had to find tools for her to use and will show where you want the legos to go.

We bought a tree this year.  You helped us to look for one.

Love this picture of you seeing your reflection in the ornament!

You are the star in our life, sweet son.

In the quiet of the iPad, the reflection of slumber

You are an active, independent "big boy" (your words).  You don't ask to be picked up like you used to do, unless you are super tired or nervous about something.  So, when you snuggle with Mommy in order to get some sleep.... I'm not spoiling you.  You are spoiling Mommy.  I treasure these sweet moments.

Ready for Thanksgiving (shirt) and Christmas (Rudolph nose)

November school artwork

The "Why's" have started.  One day at school, you pointed to the drain on the ground at school and asked, "What's this?"  I said, "A drain."  You asked, "Why?"  Mommy explained that it's for the rain water.  You repeated, "But why?"  It came down to God making rain and man needing to stop the grounds from flooding.  

Another night, we were at the dinner table.  Daddy said, "I made Mac and Cheese for you."  You asked, "Why?"  Daddy said, "Because you wanted it."  Again, the why.  Daddy said, "Because you asked for it and we wanted you to be happy."  "But why?"  ....  "Because we love you and you are our world!"  The why stopped.  Mommy and Daddy did an air High 5 because we passed the why question for the time being.

There is a tree in our neighborhood that we stop at whenever we go for afternoon walks.  You know Mommy wants a picture and now you automatically stop there.  I love the way the tree branches out.  In the future, I hope we can see your growth, along with the tree, over the years...

Your school had a Thanksgiving Feast.  Your class was in charge of bringing enough cookies for all of the kids in the school.  Mommy and Daddy made the turkey cookies.  Daddy said, "If I don't have to bake it, that's great!"  Mommy loved that Daddy helped, but most importantly that he had fun helping and enjoyed doing this for you.  For the feast, you were a pilgrim.

There was plenty of food at the feast, turkey sandwiches, turkey slices, apple sauce, cranberry sauce (not a big hit for you), cornbread and.... CORN!  All children wanted second and thirds of corn portions.  I was happy to see that you aren't the only child who has a love of corn... and I thought... "Eww, corn diapers!"

Can you see the placemats?  We were given them to take home.  The hair and straw are your drawings of your hand.  I thought it was just too cute!

When Mommy asked if you could get a picture with your teachers (Kristie on the left and Maria on the right), two other girls in your classroom quickly ran into their arms as well (Olivia - middle and Kylie - right).  Very sweet!

Izzy's Birthday Party - Wow, I feel like you should have a separate letter for this alone, but Mommy is doing a "LONG" letter to get caught up.  Your cousin, Michelle (Izzy's mom), is an awesome party planner!  This year, Izzy wanted a "Science" theme.  When we arrived at Ligo's, Izzy ran up to you and greeted you with a big hug.  She's such a sweet girl!

This is an AWESOME cake - Michelle even put dry ice at the top to make it look like a Science Experiment!

You had such fun with your cousins.  They are so sweet and wanted to make you smile!

I took this next picture, because anything that Isaac did, you wanted to do.  You laughed, but you mimicked him and he loved that you followed him.

Michelle even had experiments for the kids and, with Daddy's help, you participated!

Dry Ice excitement!

Best picture - group selfie experiment!

Michelle is an excellent instructor.  It's not an easy thing to do with kids of various age ranges and during a party!  She was clear, fun, kept the instructions short and to the point and made sure everyone was doing the same thing at the same time.  For this, you made "elephant toothpaste."

I hope you always have a love of Science!

WOAH..  you couldn't keep your eyes off of this experiment as it grew and grew!

There were only two times that you cried...  The first was when Izzy blew out the candles.  Unfortunately, we have you used to "helping us blow out the candles" on our cakes, so when Izzy didn't ask you to help, you cried when she blew out her candles.

Afterwards there was the yummy cake to enjoy .... and gift opening (which you still have a really hard time with.)... first, you didn't like it when Mommy wrapped Izzy's gift at home.  But when Mommy told you that you could hand it to Izzy, you said, "Okay, Mommy, I try."  And you did, first thing when we arrived, you gave Izzy's gift to her.  But when you saw that Izzy opened your gift to her at the party, you cried, saying, "Play now with toy?"  You couldn't understand that it was for Izzy... fortunately... the location of the party was right outside the Ligo Educational Center and there was plenty there to keep your mind occupied!

You had fun with the mirrors!  Mommy asked you, "Which one is Gregory?"  You pointed to the closest image on your left.

When Mommy and Daddy said, "Give Gregory a kiss."  You did a circle around and then kissed the mirror image on the right.

Mommy took the mirror picture and had some fun with it.

Long slinky!

Making bubbles!

You fell asleep on the ride home, not surprisingly.  All during the party, if you weren't doing experiments, you were running and not always with your cousins.  If you saw Izzy's friends running, you just joined in, not even knowing who they were.   Mommy thought to herself... "Like when we took our dog, Penny, to the dog park... she didn't know any of the other dogs, but if they were running, she was going to join in.  It's a pack mentality."  I don't know if this is true for young children, because you are more at the "independent play" stage.. or if it's because you are being better socialized with preschool now.. but it was interesting to observe.  The only negative was that some of the girls looked at you as if to say, "What are YOU doing?"  But you laughed and said, "TAG YOU'RE IT!" and ran.

Recently, we went to a car show.  Daddy's good friend, Pat, is going through cancer treatment.  In the hopes of raising money to help pay for the treatment, he had a car show, not realizing over 70 vehicles would show up and tons of people.  Pat is a gentle, kind and good friend.  I'm glad we went for him.

Daddy liked the cars, but he loves the old trucks!

Your bathroom art.  You love colors, painting, drawing... and we still don't know if you are going to be a lefty or righty.

Oma teaching you potty training.  She said, "Santa called... he told me that if Gregory is still wearing diapers for Christmas that Gregory will have to get diapers for Christmas day.  But if Gregory is wearing big boy underwear, then Gregory will get gifts on Christmas day!"  It's a process... but we're trying and I hope that your preschool can help us help you with this too!

A few months ago, we did a "family handprint" and Mommy finally got around to getting it framed!  Daddy and Mommy used the same hand, the right hand.  But when you wanted your hand painted, you insisted on your left hand.  Willing to participate, but to the beat of your own drum!

For Thanksgiving Day, we went to Granny and Grandfather's house.  Daddy cooked the turkey and ham and there were lots of side dishes made too.  You ran the entire time, a favorite way of entertainment, but this time, it was with your cousin, Alivia.  She's walking/running now too, only at a less sure pace.  You still need to learn how to be more gentle around children younger than you, but you were well-behaved and had a good time!

Daddy has a "fart" app on his iPhone.  Alivia kept pressing it and you kept laughing!

Oma and Opa bought three tickets to go to the Dinosaur Exhibit.  They were sweet to share two tickets - one for you and one for me and we went with Oma.  When Opa heard about the exhibit, he knew you would love it.  He was right!

Mommy didn't know that most dinosaurs were vegetarians.  They did a great job with the exhibit, with plenty of dino's moving and some you could climb on, a play ground area for toddlers, drawing station and lots of information.  I sure hope they have this exhibit again when you get older and can appreciate more of the dinosaur facts!  When you saw the first big dinosaur, you wanted Mommy to hold you, but by the end of the exhibit, you screamed because you did not want to leave!  Thank you, Oma and Opa!

This weekend, we went to see your Daddy's cousin, Brian and his wife, Melody.  They have a camp on a lake.  The day started with breakfast at our favorite - Caffe Latte Da.

After eating breakfast, we sat on the outside chairs.  The restaurant bought new umbrellas for the tables.  Daddy showed you how the umbrellas went up and down.  You grabbed the crank and started turning it.  You love to learn!

When we told you that we were going on a boat ride, you ran to the bathroom and grabbed your boat tub toy and said, "Boat ride?  Boat ride?"

Running to the car so we can drive to the boat launch. 

At the boat launch you wanted to drive Daddy's car.  Umm, no.

Life jacket on - anyone under 17 has to wear one!  Mommy was a little worried.  This was your first boat ride and we weren't sure how you would handle it.  When Melody picked you up and swung you onto the boat, you did great and had an instant buddy in the process!

So, did you like the boat ride?  LOVED it!  Mommy and Daddy did too.  Being on the water is soothing.

Welcome to Camp Hard Head.... hard head, you fit right in!  hehe

Melody teaching you "thumbs up"

Melody made a short fishing pole just for you!

Your Uncle Brian took us on a boat ride around the area.  Mommy loved taking pictures of the pelicans, ducks (as we chased them on the waters), scenery and of course, YOU.  You loved driving the boat!  If you weren't behind the wheel, you would repeat, "I drive boat?  drive boat?"

Back at the camp we ate lunch, played tag and you fished.

They have many different types of boats at the camp.  In the evening, Brian and Melody took us on their "party boat" for a tour of the swamp area.

There are many, many pictures Mommy took.  More was posted on Facebook and when I upload to Picasa, even more will go there...  I can't pick a favorite scene picture... you can't take a bad picture at the camp and on the water.  It's just beautiful.  But the picture I love the most?  I have a favorite - it's the next one, taken by Melody.  During the swamp tour, you wanted to sit in my lap and you fell asleep.  I love the peaceful look on your face, your hands behind your head.  That makes Mommy happy. Thank you, Brian and Melody - we had a great time!

Today, Daddy took down the Thanksgiving decorations.  Christmas decorating has begun... and it looks a mess in the house.  I'm sure it will take another week/weekend before you can say the house is back to normal and decorated.  Every time we started a new decoration, you were quick to say, "Daddy, Mommy, I help!"  You desperately want to do the big boy things, even if it means you can't reach the top by yourself.

Taking a brief break.  Mommy and Daddy were sitting on the loveseat.  You looked at us and gave us a mischievous grin.  Even Daddy commented on your smile.  Then you climbed up on the sofa and crawled over Mommy and sat between us.  That's the life, right there.  That's Christmas, without needing lights or decorations or music.  Just the sweet time together.  And of course, Mommy had to say "selfie!"

Today was eventful!  We went to Carsen's birthday party.  He is a schoolmate of yours at St. Augustine's Preschool.  The two of you are the only boys in your classroom.  Whenever I saw Carsen, I thought he was a sweet boy.  One day when I brought you to school, I heard your teacher say, "Look, Gregory, Carsen is back today.  I know you missed your buddy."  I wondered if you had made a new friend.

Within a few minutes of arriving at BooKoo Bounce, the location for Carsen's birthday party, the two of you were running around, playing "Tag,  You're It!"  Yes, friends, definitely!  I loved seeing the two of you getting along and having so much fun.

I took a lot of pictures of ya'll running, but they are all blurry.  I even tried to ask the two of you to stand still together for a picture, but that wasn't going to happen.  

There is a big slide at the bounce house.  You were afraid to go up the slide and wanted Daddy there.  The first time, Daddy went with you.  Then, after that he pretended to go up the slide with you and you climbed up the slide all by yourself and came down by yourself too.  We were SO proud of you!  Daddy wanted you to conquer your fear of the climb and slide and you did an awesome job.

Daddy was tired and found the perfect place for a nap.

After the slide, there wasn't a bounce house that you couldn't tackle and you did it with gusto - moving quickly!

There wasn't a ladder you wouldn't climb on your own now!

They even had rock climbing and you did this without needing help!

You and Carsen playing Tag!

You helped Carsen into one of the bounce houses.

Carsen and his Mommy

You were sitting next to a 5 year old boy, who was really sweet and wanted to talk to you.

Saying "Happy Birthday and Goodbye" to your buddy.

November was crazy busy with plenty of things to do and see.  Right now, you are taking a nap.  You were ready for a nap before we left, but you were determined to have cake before going!

I can't believe you will be three in February, so soon!  Mommy has a picture frame at work.  Last year, in August, when Mommy started working, she brought a recent picture of you to work.  Every time Mommy updated the picture, she put the older picture behind the new picture.  It wasn't long ago that Mommy changed the picture and looked at the one from August last year.  You have grown so much, my boy.  You are picking up words, stringing sentences, speaking better, understanding more, soaking up the world and taking on the world.  You are strong, sweet, sensitive and loving and you still have temper tantrums from time to time, when you are tired or hungry and find it easier to scream than use your words.  

I don't think a day goes by without Mommy and Daddy saying, "We are so lucky."  Because of you, Gregory.  You are our joy.  Every day is Christmas with your smiles.

Love Always,

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