Sunday, May 1, 2016

Letter to my son

Dear Son,

Mommy explained to you that TJ had to go back home to his Mommy and Daddy and that TJ's parents live far away.  You were upset about this and even more so when we said that Oma and Opa would be gone for a flight to bring him home, but we also explained how Oma and Opa would return.  It was interesting to see the understanding in your eyes.  In the past, you didn't comprehend the "return home" part, but you felt comfort this time with the information.    I think you know that when we say we are coming to get you later (after work or otherwise) and we follow through with our words or promises, that it gives you comfort and trust and strength in faith and confidence to be okay.

Last few pictures of playing with TJ, miss him already!

TJ holding on to you, so sweet.  Oma said, "TJ was all smiles when he saw Gregory."

 You are into knock-knock jokes.  You love to hear the silly ones and try to tell them too, waiting for the person to respond to the cues.

You also love the game, "I spy with my little eye."  And you understand the concept of "You are getting hotter; you are getting colder" when it comes to finding something in a room.

The other day, you played with blocks and enjoyed how tall you were able to build your "house"

After a long day of play!

While Mommy was in her cake decorating class, you and Daddy went to Boo Koo Bounce.  You love the bouncy houses and even won a "Superman Baby" at the grab/claw machine.

We call this the "Pirate playground" (in Little Farms)  You love it.  Daddy tells you the story, "Everything on the ground is water! You have to stay out of the water!  Steer the ship, walk the plank and watch out for Mermaid Mommy (me)."  You love it.  This time there were two other little girls there, Lucy and Stella.  They were both younger than you.  You made sure to wait until they got off of the slide, before you took your turn.  You even encouraged them when they were nervous about going up the steps.

You are my fearless, climbing bundle of energy.  It scares the heck out of me and makes me equally as proud.

 After the playground, Mommy got an idea for the next alphabet letter.  I made the pieces and took a picture.  When I picked you up from school, I told you a story, "Gregory, remember the pirate ship playground?  The pirate found a treasure map, but someone messed up all the parts to the map!  He needs your help to put the map back together and find his hidden treasure.  Can you help?"

 You were very excited to start the project!  I showed you the picture of what the map was supposed to look like and you guided Mommy on where everything went.  I asked, "Do you see the four X's in the picture?"  You were able to locate all four!

Later that week at school, you also did this letter X, which is really cute too!

We did the "Whale" project for W at home, but for school, you did the W is for Worm.  I like it.  I also thought it was interesting that every child in your class has the worm's head coming OUT of the sand and your worm is going into the sand!  Your teachers say that you are creatively different :)

School is still hit and miss, some good days, some not so good.  But... last couple of days, Ms. Maria said you were playing with friends and behaving well.  She even said that you asked to go to the potty.  Another teacher was watching the class in the afternoon and said, "He said he needed to go to the potty and he used it.  I don't know why he is in diapers still."  But... a few days later, the same teacher was watching the class and you had a poo accident.  I asked you, "Why didn't you tell the teacher you needed to go to the potty?"  You responded, "Because I had a diaper on."

Picking you up from school.  You saw me and ran over to show what you were working on.

Next project - letter Y

Mommy found some yellow yarn and yellow petals/cupcake holder.  I punched three holes in the shape of a letter Y and you threaded the yarn through each of the holes.  Oma and Mommy have worked with you on this skill.  You did it easily!

Mommy reminded you of the flower you picked for her not long ago.  Then, we glued the inside of the yellow cupcake holder with black and brown cotton balls.

Simple project, yet fun.

This is what you did at school - love how they used your hand and had the yarn and yo-yo!

Just recently at breakfast, you dropped something and said, "Oh Shiii".... Mommy's saucer round eyes met Daddy's expression of "Do NOT react" shaking his head from side to side.  Mommy asked, "What did you say, Gregory?"  You replied again, "Oh Shiittt.."  Mommy said, "Gregory, that isn't a nice word.  We don't say that word.  Where did you hear that?"  You said, "I at school... I drop a book and I say, "OH Shit!"  Bite my tongue, but Mommy didn't giggle.  So, did you say that at school?!  Did another student say that or a teacher?  You pick up on everything and will repeat what someone else did or said.

Going for a walk in the neighborhood

We have a bell on the refrigerator, because you know how to open the door.  I heard the bell going off.  You took the chocolate milk out and said "I want chocolate milk now please."  At least you are saying "please" with the demand.  When you still had chocolate milk in your cup, you returned it back to the refrigerator, saying, "I don't want it go bad."  Then you also put cheese puffs in the refrigerator too.  I can't tell you not to put food in the refrigerator when I would rather that you understand it's better to keep food safe than out on the counter or for me to find it on the sofa later.

Visiting with Granny, Grandfather and Uncle Jerry

You saw the camera.  Grandfather offered to show you how to use it and you were thrilled.

You know where they keep their stash of jelly beans!

Fun time with Uncle Jerry

Granny said that there was a book on dogs and birds. You picked up a book and said, "Cat book."  It wasn't a book about cats, so we were a little confused.  Then we realized the cover had a cat on it. 

Going for a walk to the levee

When we first arrived to Granny and Grandfather's house, you went to Granny's bedroom and hid in her closet.  You wanted to play hide and seek.  A little while later, I saw you going into Granny's room.  I waited for a few minutes to go "find you."  You weren't in her closet or by her bed, so I looked in the bathroom.  There you were, with your pants and underwear down.  You were looking at the toilet.  I thought, "Oh no, Gregory had an accident!"  You saw me and said, "I poo!"  I looked at your underwear, nothing there, so I quickly put you on the toilet.  Perfect timing!  You are doing so well with knowing when you need to go and either just going to the bathroom or saying, "I have to go."  But honestly, I was surprised you did this at Granny and Grandfather's house, because it's not often that you have to go over there.  I know, so many letters are about potty training, but wait until you have a child and you realize it's a process and it's really a huge thing for a child to learn!  You are at the age where you could rebel and fight this, but you aren't.  Blessings to count.

Below is a picture of a text you sent to me from Daddy's iPad.  Neither of us saw you doing this.... which means two things... you know how to send texts with pictures.... and you know what Mommy's name looks like, because you sent it to my iPhone.

You love to play and will smile quickly to do so.  But when you play, sometimes you are SO serious.  Clearly, you are enjoying the activities, but with a strong determination and intensity that makes me want to hug you.

The other night, you negotiated more time to stay in the bath tub.  You and Daddy agreed to three more minutes.  You called out, "Alexa, set timer for three more minutes!"  Daddy and Mommy laughed.  Daddy loves to use that system for setting the timer and you picked up on what to say!   You also know how to turn on and off the Xbox with voice command.

You will repeat appropriate words we say to you as well.  When you would mumble or make a grunt noise when Mommy was asking you a question, Mommy would say, "Gregory, use your words.  Do you want to go to the park, yes or no?"  Then you would answer.  

Now... when you ask Mommy a question, you say, "Mommy, I have chocolate milk, yes or no?"  And when Mommy says, "Yes."  You  say, "Okay, I get it."  SO ADORABLE.  Oh my gosh, the simple things in life, your precious words, your expressions just melt my heart!  Like Daddy says, "What in the world did we do to deserve this boy?"

This past week, Mommy and Daddy were able to attend Chapel Day at your school.  I thought it would just be a singing program, showing the parents what the students have worked on throughout the school year.  Instead, it was a service of what your Chapel Day is like once a week.  I'm thrilled that you have this!  Father AJ shares a story in the Bible with the children.  There's singing.  There's prayer.  At one point, Father AJ asked the group of children, "Do you think Jesus loves children?"  I heard your voice loud and clear, "YES!"  Filled my heart with joy.

Did you participate in the singing?  Not really.... but you did see us in the audience and you didn't cry.  you didn't run screaming to us (like one girl did to her mommy).  You jumped a few times, put your head to the floor... moved around, but that's what about 70 percent of the kids were doing, moving, moving, moving - some were dancing, some ran back and forth, some cried.  So, it's a step in the right direction and a good experience for you in so many ways.  Here are some pictures.

Daddy was so inspired from Chapel Day, that when we got home, Daddy took pictures of you praying by candlelight.  It took Daddy promising to play hide and seek and stopping about 3 times and going back to the camera, but eventually Daddy got the picture.  Mommy edited it for lighting and added the words (from the Chapel service).

Normally Mommy is the shutterbug... but now, I think you have me beat!  During the picture taking from above, Daddy also promised you to "fix" (i.e. put batteries in) your camera (Christmas gift from Oma and Opa).  Once you had the camera, you didn't put it down!  Mommy said, "Gregory, do you understand why Mommy likes to take pictures now?"  You exclaimed, "YES!"

You even take the camera in the car and will take pictures of cars as we pass them by.

Going to Mike Miley Playground

You climb the rock wall without any help.  Mommy even tried to help you at the top and you called out, "NO MOMMY.  I don't need help!  I'm a big boy!"  One proud Momma!

You are a big boy.... but even as a big boy, you will take a moment to "pick a flower for you, Mommy."

Mommy and Daddy try to get you to eat new things, by talking about "Green Eggs and Ham".... but.... I don't think that will work any more.  We had a napoleon type ice-cream with green colored ice-cream.  You tried, three times... but apparently, not all ice creams are good.  Daddy said, "He made a Popeye face."

Mommy had her Wilton Course 3 Showcase Cake this weekend.  Everything was made from Fondant.  When Mommy worked on the pieces, you asked for "icing".... Mommy would give you a small ball of it to play with.  Sometimes you would lick the icing, but most of the times, you just played with it.  It kept you entertained without grabbing at the peacock feathers Mommy was trying to make.  Most of the showcase cakes have been flowers... this time, Mommy wanted to try something different... it was a learning experience!

When I brought the cake home, you wanted to take a picture of it :)

You and Daddy make me laugh.  It wasn't a cake for a special occasion, so ya'll being funny in the above shot was picture worthy.  Boys being boys!

Oma told Mommy, "Gregory has a great sense of humor!"  This is true.  Then I thought some more about what she said.... it comes from laughter in the home and with family and friends.  I guess it's a thing we take for granted, when some children might not have such a sense of humor and delight in laughing... AND... a delight in wanting other people to laugh.  When you do something really funny and Mommy busts out laughing, you say, "That make Mommy happy."  You are noticing what is making people happy.  I think that's kindness and special and sweet.

Today we went to church.  You behaved well, but still would crawl up and down the pews.  And for some reason, you like to lay down on the church floor.  Mommy had Cheerios ready and that helped too.  I spoke with Mrs. Catherine and she shared an adorable story about her daughter, "We don't go to the 10am service, because our daughter, when she hears music, will dance.  Really dance."  So, they go to the 8am service.  Her empathy was much appreciated and Gregory totally loves Mrs. Catherine.

After service and breakfast at the church hall, Mrs. Catherine presented gifts to the teachers and those who helped at the Youth Jr and Sunday School.  They also gave out certificates for those who participated.

As an extra cool treat, Mrs. Catherine invited the kids for ice cream and to make Mother's Day cards.

The church community is an awesome blessing.  I hope we, as a family, can become more involved and to show, by example for you, God's love.

Love Always,

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