Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Monthly Newsletter #62

Dear Landon,

So. This month we didn’t spend a whole lot of time together. Not because I didn’t want to, but because it just happened to be that way. Mike came to visit for the first two weeks of November, and you and he hit it off very well. In fact, the second week he was here, you went to your grandparent’s house for the week and midweek when I talked to you via Skype, you said you missed Mike…and when you got back you told me that you missed me, but you missed Mike more. (Which I find completely understandable, you and he had a blast together.)

We tried to go to the zoo, but I didn’t know they were closing early due to an event and we ended up doing the pedal boats instead, remind me to be the one who steers next time. For some unknown reason you absolutely didn’t want to go on the train. So we left Hermann Park and headed for Chuck E Cheese. Where you absolutely had a blast…and it may be the first time you’ve gone that you didn’t go up in the climby tunnel things. And also, the girl divvying out the prizes? She totally gave you whatever you wanted even though you didn’t have enough tickets to get everything…and not just by a small margin either.

We had an early Thanksgiving with my side of the family. Great aunt Mary Lou (actually I think she’s your great-great-aunt) was in town visiting Great Grandma, so we took the opportunity to get everyone together. You and Zoey had a lot of fun on the swings and playing soccer. I think everyone had a pretty good time.

The next morning we dropped you off at your Daddy’s and he took you to your grandparents who kept you for the week. I don’t know what all you did this time, but you did bring me the cutest little jewelry box for my birthday that you made with your grandpa. And I know you had a play date with your cousins Jordan and Jensen.

The next weekend was Daddy’s weekend, and I ran a 5K race with obstacles. I sent a picture to your daddy of me after I finished and he said your response was “eeeeeeeew.” You do know you’re a boy right? You’re supposed to like mud and getting muddy…maybe by the time you can run one, you’ll come around.

You spent Thanksgiving with your Daddy since that’s our usual plan. And I picked out the tag from the Christmas tree at work, so you helped me go shopping for a little 3 year old boy. I hope he likes all the same stuff you do, because he now had a buttload of that stuff. It took a few reminders while we were in the store that we were shopping for him and not for you, but all in all you did really well.

Things to work on. Um…stop lying. I know of two incidents in the last week or so that you lied and got caught almost immediately. Here’s the thing. Even if you do something wrong it’s better to tell the truth and face your punishment than to lie about it, because then you’re going to get punished for lying as well. Oh and the asking for forgiveness is easier than asking permission theory – that’s not going to fly either. And one more thing…quit piddle farting around when I ask you to do something. If I ask you to do something I want it done then, and if I have to ask more than twice – you’re probably going to get yelled at and we both know how much you care for that, so tis better to just do it to begin with.

I love you (infinity plus infinity plus 2)



Thursday, November 03, 2011

Monthly Newsletter #61

Dear Landon,

This month has been, interesting.

We had our neighborhood night out this month. Our neighbors all meet at the end of the street and hang out. This year we ate hamburgers and hotdogs. Normally we see a police car and a fire truck, but it seems we only got the police car this year. The officer let each of the kids get in and use the loud speaker and turn on the lights and siren. You were fine with flipping a button to turn on the lights and siren, but steadfastly refused to talk into the loud speaker.

We started out the month with your annual checkup at the doctor. As it turns out I hadn’t taken you to the doctor all year, which is kind of nice, but I hadn’t realized it had been such a healthy year for you. Your growth record is about the same as it always has been, little short, little on the high side for weight – but nothing to be concerned about.

We went to the Greek Festival again this year. You had a blast. It rained when we first got there and everything was soaked, but about 20 minutes after the sun came out, it was all dried up and you were ready to play. I hope one day I’ll get you to try the other foods, but as it was you liked the souvlaki (steak on a stick). Which is good enough for me. You made a couple containers of slime, and a rainbow crystal thingy – which you kept shaking until the whole thing turned brown. And you spent a good hour on the jumping things, slides, etc.

The next weekend we had Carson from school’s birthday party at BounceU. I love BounceU. They have the best giant slide ever – you don’t like to go down it by yourself, so I get to go on it with you – which I love to do. You also tested out their hurricane machine – along with like 12 other kids – you experienced 75 mph winds.

We did our annual pumpkin patch trips. The one to Dewberry Farms, we ended up not getting a pumpkin, but you jumped on the jumping pillows, rode the zip lines, and panned for marbles, among other activities. It was awesome weather and we had a lot of fun that day. At your request, I had made arrangements for you to go spent the night with my parents on Saturday night, so after we left Dewberry Farms we headed down that way. Zoey was there for the night also, and you two played and played and played.

I came back to get you on Sunday and we did our annual trip to the church pumpkin patch in Lake Jackson. You refused to take a lot of the pictures we normally take there, but I did get a few to make the comparisons from the years.

This month you were also introduced to my boyfriend, Mike. This is the first time you’ve been introduced to anyone I’ve dated since your daddy left. I have been very careful about not introducing you to anyone unless I thought it was serious, I don’t want you attached to people who aren’t going to be around. And your reaction was kind of what I expected, although it was a little bit delayed. Which meant your daddy had to deal with the bulk of it. There was some confusion and some jealousy, and the ever present fear of change. I think your daddy handled it well, because you seem to have adjusted to having Mike around. Granted, it’s only been a few days, and you will leave to visit your grandparents at the beginning of next week and by the time I get you back, Mike will be gone again. We won’t see him again for several months – but hopefully next time we see him, we won’t have the drama that we had this time.

For Halloween we sat out in the front yard to hand out candy. You dressed as Yoda and had a blast. You jumped around with your light saber, and you and Mike emptied two cans of silly string on each other. Which you then collected and made “the world’s biggest ball of silly string” and declared it a world record.

All in all this has been a very busy month, and I suspect this next month will be equally busy. I hope you continue to have a desire to learn (when I picked you up from school one day you had a pile of worksheets and your teacher informed me that you announced you didn’t want to play, you wanted to do homework) and a love of reading (our current deal involves 8 bedtime books, to be negotiated down if you feel the need to stay in the shower so long as to drain the water heater.)



Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I'm sorry if my child may have insulted your daughter when you came to my house on Halloween

Last night, because the dogs go crazy when people knock on the door, we decided to sit out in the front yard in lawn chairs and hand out vegetables.  Surprisingly we didn’t get too bad a response on the offer of vegetables, and when given the choice between the vegetables and the candy, one kid did actually choose a cucumber.  I’m pretty sure his mom either threw it away or is contacting the police to have it x-rayed!


Mike stayed behind to hand out candy, while Landon and I took off to trick or treat.  One of the ladies on the street prepared special bags of candy just for the neighbor kids.  We get a lot of kids for trick or treating that are driven in from other areas. And I guess they just got regular candy, while the kids she knows got bags with really good candy and a few other trinkets.


So once we finished the street, Landon hung out in the front yard dancing around, playing with silly string, talking to trick or treaters, etc.  A couple of kids walked up, a boy about Landon’s size and an older girl – maybe 11 or 12 years old (I don’t know I don’t have one that size so I can’t really tell) – I don’t even know what she was dressed as really, but she was wearing a green dress with braided trim.  And then I heard him say “Are you a whore?” 


And everything went silent.  And I looked at Mike.  And Mike looked at me.  And I looked at the parents.  And I said “EXCUSE ME!  What did you say to her?”  And after some argument about who he was actually talking to (the little boy) he explained that he had asked “Are you a four?”  I’m not sure what the question was about, “are you a fantastic four?” maybe, but honestly I don’t really care.  By the time that got resolved I was just happy that I wasn’t having to explain to anyone where my child learned the word “whore.”



Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Monthly Newsletter #60

Dear Landon,

I like 5. 4 was okay – but if the past couple of days (why yes, this newsletter is a few days late, did you expect anything else?) is any indication of what 5 is like. I totally like 5. 5 seems to be reasonable and cooperative – and I also fully recognize I am probably shooting myself in the foot right now by putting it out there in the universe, but I just want to brag a bit.

Lots of fun stuff happened this month, you spent some time on a deer lease with Daddy, feeding the deer. You are excited about the idea of shooting a pig (not sure you’ll actually be able to achieve that with your bow, but I’m not going to be the one to crush your dream.)

We went to my company weekend. There had been some major wildfires in the area and it was awfully smoky one morning, but we had a blast at the waterpark. The giant checkers in the courtyard were a big hit and I had packed some board games in case it was too smoky to go outside, and you loved hanging out in the room playing those too.

During the evening event for the grown-ups, you got to go to a pirate themed party. They had a show and all kinds of arts and crafts for you to do. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, whoever was in charge of you allowed someone else to take your stuff home. On one hand I didn’t end up with a bunch of stuff I was going to end up throwing away, but I was told you worked really hard on your pirate hat, and I’m pretty upset I didn’t even get to see it.

I took a trip to Alaska for an extended weekend, so you got an extended weekend with your Daddy. You also visited your grandparents on that weekend and from what I hear had a great time!

You have landed on being Yoda for Halloween this year. So we went shopping for a costume. After we gathered the right stuff, found a light saber and everything you said “Umm, I’m thinking I might need a gun.” I explained that Yoda doesn’t have a gun, because he doesn’t need a gun, he has the force. I got the nod from the Halloween store guy agreeing with me and you accepted it as fact.

Your birthday party was a hit this year. We had a pirate theme. I filled a kiddie pool with sand and hid little toys in there for a treasure hunt, and you and all your friends swam. The weather couldn’t have been better for a swim party and you had a blast! You had a pirate ship cake – which was awesome. Aunt Kathleen always makes the coolest cakes for you!

For your actual birthday, I told you we could eat anywhere you wanted. I was hoping you’d choose the Mexican restaurant with the playground, so you could play and I could have a margarita…no such luck – you chose Chick-Fil-A. Which is fine, you still played and it was spirit night for a local elementary school so there were plenty of extra kids to play with. All in all you were very happy with your 5th birthday.

I honestly have nothing for you to work on this month. I love you, and I hope you continue in your sweet ways.



Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Monthly Newsletter #59

Dear Landon,

It’s about this time of year, each year that begin contemplating not writing these anymore. As you get older you’ll remember stuff on your own and you won’t need a conglomeration of letters that I haphazardly wrote each month around the 3rd as a record. But then I wonder if you’d be upset purely by change, as you are not generally a fan of change – unless it’s your idea, then it’s okay.

I give you exhibit a: I picked you up from your Daddy’s today after a 3 day weekend with him. You walked in the house, gasped and said “Really? Mommy, really?” As you pointed at…the upholstery on the breakfast room chairs. I had changed it over the weekend (after you got over the unauthorized change you said it looked nice, but you also don’t color coordinate your clothes when allowed to pick on your own, so I’m not really investing too much in your opinion. I had used the same material to upholster the dining room chairs (a project that only took me 8 years) and it looks fine on those chairs and in that room, I’m just not happy with the way it looks in the breakfast room. You then proceeded to grill me about “any other changes [you] should know about.” The weather stripping on the backdoor was confirmed as new, as if I would lie about changing weather stripping. You didn’t seem to care about the lightbulbs I changed, but clothes I bought for myself were all approved as “cute, but not like a baby, cute” and then you ranked them from cutest to cute, but not the cutest.

Noah and Jonah came over to play one evening, it was probably the most exhausted I have ever been in my life and it just solidifies the fact that I am not cut out to have more than one small child at a time for any length of time, but still it was a lot of fun.

I also took you to a Cory Morrow concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre. You loved it. You love going to Miller in general, but you also love music, so it was perfect.

New this month, you are standing to pee. Which is nice, and it helps tremendously in public. And your aim is pretty good, so it’s even better. Also you are sleeping in your own room by yourself finally, and I don’t even have to trick you into thinking I’m in there, you let me just leave after we finish reading. Tis awesome.

You are loving my new jeep, you always want to ride in it, the only problem being that I had no intention of driving it to and from work. Also it’s 1000° outside, so riding in the jeep can be equally fun and miserable all at once. It will be better in October.

If you could work on one thing for me this month it would be awesome. Please stop treating me like I’m 5. You’re 5, not me. When I ask you a question, I want an answer, I don’t want you to make the sound of the first letter like I’m taking a quiz and you’re helping me remember something. When I ask “Do you want a burger or nuggets?” The answer I want is either “burger” or “nuggets” not “buh, buh, buh.” Aside from that, I think we’re doing pretty swell.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is it love?

On the way to school this morning Landon whipped out his play cell phone and ordered me to turn down the radio because he was on the phone.


And then I heard this:


[Landon]: Yes, Abigail… Yes, Abigail… Yes, Abigail… Yes, Abigail… Yes, Abigail… Yes, Abigail… Yes, Abigail… Yes, Abigail


[Me]: Uh, Landon?  Do you ever tell Abigail “no”?


[Landon]: No, Mommy, I LOVE her!


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Lesbians are taunting me with their nuts.

Last weekend I floated the Comal river for the first time as an adult...a drinking adult. Well, as shy as I am, alcohol tends to unleash my social butterfly ... apparently.

I met all kinds of people. Including - people who had the best nuts I'd ever tasted (or so I think, because - remember? drunk.) Anyway, these people happen to be lesbians from Longview. East Texas middle aged lesbians - had these awesome onion cashews. I ate exactly 3 of them before I got separated from them and lost them forever. But not before finding out that they were from Wal-Mart and getting a good enough look at the bag to see the brand is "World Table" (That would be a Wal-Mart brand.)

So because I have OCD, mostly O, less C, probably alot of D too. I cannot stop thinking about those nuts. I went to two different Wal-Marts in my area and found the brand of nuts, but not that flavor. I looked online only to find out that you cannot order them online, except through e-bay and I refuse to pay $7.50 for a 1/2 lb of nuts when if I can find them in the store they will be roughly $3.

So - I am simply requesting that the next time you mosey down the aisle of Wal-Mart (no one likes to do it, no one likes to admit it, but we all do it eventually at some point) - see if they have them, consider buying me a bag, I will pay you back for them, I swear.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Monthly Newsletter #58

Dear Landon,

This month has gone by at the speed of light. No seriously, and it’s not just because the last newsletter was really really late either. Anyway, I apologize, but this may be the shortest newsletter yet.

This month you began a weird habit of lying. Not terrible lies, but for instance telling GUL and Kimmie that you are taking a balancing class (I’m not even sure what a balancing class would be.) And that your swimming lessons would just be one day (not true, when I finally get around to signing you up, they will be 2 weeks.) Now, these are kind of funny lies and pretty easily verified, but I in no way want you to think that it’s okay to lie. Ever.

We went to Zoey’s 4th Birthday party. It was all about dinosaurs, complete with volcano cake. Last year you loved her fairy treehouse cake so much you requested the exact same cake for your party – except no fairies, instead you wanted monkeys. I half expected you to have a similar request this year, but you were somehow less impressed by the volcano – instead you’ve decided you need a pirate ship. And something about sand and water…I don’t know, I’ll get you and aunt Kathleen together to work out the details – so long as you don’t expect actual shooting cannons, I think it can be done.

Right now, as I type this, you are at your Grandma and Grandpa Wood’s house. You are in the middle of a week with them. You are having a blast and I’m so glad that you get to spend time with them like that. I used to spend a week with my grandma during the summer sometimes, and we always had a lot of fun. You will have a lot of good memories from those times.

I don’t really have anything for you to work on this month, although I do anticipate a little bit of reprogramming after I get you back from a week with the grandparents – so just be easy on me with that, please.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monthly Newsletter #57

Dear Landon,

I know this one is a little late, but we were on vacation on the 3rd, and… well…let’s face it – vacation is not the time to write a newsletter, and neither are the 5 days post vacation when a person is trying to recover from the vacation. So here we are.

Anyway, this month has been crazy busy and a lot of fun too. We hosted what I hope will be our first annual crawfish boil. Next year, we’ll probably do it a little earlier in the season, and probably with a few less crawfish – but all in all I think it was a success anyway. A few of your friends from school showed up and a sampling of the people from each group that I invited. All in all, it wasn’t too bad for a first run at it. I learned a few lessons on this one that I can easily change about next year.

I made plans with one of your friend’s moms to have a play date at some point – although then we promptly left town, so we haven’t actually done it yet, but I will call her, I promise.

You’ve decided that you do want to take swimming lessons. I’ve been looking on-line and asking your friends’ parents about where they took their kids and why, and I think I’ve found a place to do it, I just need to make sure I can get the scheduling done so that you can make it to all of them. I’ve pretty much given up the idea that I could teach you. Parents are just not that great at teaching their kids those kinds of skills – seems odd, but sometimes it takes a stranger.

We went to one of your friend’s birthday party, and you and she and her best friend had a great time – and I made plans with her mom for a future play date too. I hope these tentative, half assed, pseudo-plans turn into something real, because I think that’s something we’re lacking, is friends outside of school. Granted these are friends from school, but you never see them outside of school except at birthday parties.

And the biggest part of the month was our vacation, ahem, I mean tour! Aunt Kathleen’s schedule worked really well…we only dropped a few things we had scheduled, but we had a great time. We will probably have to go back to Washington DC again in a few years, since it’s really more of a 5 day city, not a 2 ½ day city, and we missed a lot of stuff. You had a great time and of all the things we saw you keep saying that your favorite part was the liberty bell. (Which is odd because that was something we came up with after looking at the map and happening to see we passed right by Philadelphia in driving to and from New Jersey.) We even got to do a few more things in NYC than we did last time, even though we also repeated a few things. We got our picture taken on the beam at Top of the Rock – which we were absolutely unable to convince you to do last time, and we got to see Time Square at night with all the flashing lights and even saw a few cool street performers (Spiderman in the street at Time Square – being your second favorite part of the trip.)

Fireworks on the National Mall were spectacular. I think I am ruined for watching fireworks now. Seeing fireworks as tall as the Washington Monument go off right behind the Washington Monument is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity, possibly like being in time square on New Years’ Eve – which, incidentally, I’d also like to do one day. I’ll put it on my bucket list. I can’t wait to sort through all the pictures of all the stuff we did and make our vacation picture book.

For some reason you are noticing all the Eiffel Tower pictures and things I have around the house lately, you’d like to see it for real, but I told you we’d have to wait until you’re 9 or 10. It’s a pretty expensive trip, and I want to be sure you remember it. I’m hoping to steer you towards wanting to see something on the West coast next…although you seem particularly content if we just go see Mary Lou again…we’ve been in the fall and in the summer, so by your reasoning we should go back again to see her in the Spring and in the Winter, just so we can cover all the seasons.

I’m only asking that you continue to be the sweet smart little dude you’ve become.