Sunday, October 28, 2012

Monthly newsletter #72

Dear Landon,

I love you more than you will ever know.  Well you might know one day when you have a kid, but maybe you won’t because maybe a father’s love is different from a mother’s love, and I’ll never know that.  But just know that I love you to pieces and that will never change.

That being said, this is the last newsletter.  You’re six now, and I feel like you will probably remember most everything that happens to you from here on out, or at least the important things.  These newsletters are what you have instead of a baby book.  I apologize profusely that when you have a kid and you ask when you got your first tooth or first slept through the night or whatever else may be the question at hand, I will not have a concise book to pull out and show you all your statistical data…but if you cull through the pages of the 6 years of books where I wrote you a letter each month, you will eventually find the important information that you are looking for to find out that yes indeed, your baby is normal.

You are riding your bike this month without training wheels.  You did it on the first try.  For your birthday, your daddy bought you another, bigger bike.  It’s taking some getting used to, but you’re riding it without training wheels as well.  I didn’t know it would make me so proud to see you do that, but it does.  It makes me so unbelievably proud of you.

You’re having a bit of trouble adjusting to school.  Your behavior sucks.  I know why it sucks, you’re bored.  But even as an adult, there are times you get bored, but you still have to sit quietly and listen, even if you already know what they’re talking about or don’t see the point of the whole thing.  I’m sorry, it’s part of life.  As an adult they call them meetings.  On the plus side, the ladies in extended day are extremely impressed with you.  They had a challenge where that gave all the kids spaghetti and marshmallows and told them to build a tower or pyramid.  You built a pyramid, you did it first, so you won and everyone else copied your design.  And your Kindergarten teacher specifically asked if we had filled out the paperwork to allow them to test you for the gifted and talented program.

We had the annual company weekend.  It was rainy and drizzly, but you still got to play in the pools a bit.  We also played board games and you had a blast with the childcare people while I went to the grown up party.  When I went to get you at the end of the night you were passed out on the floor in front of the movie.  I picked you up and carried you all the way back to the room.  I dropped you on the bed and you didn’t move until I started poking you at 9 am the next morning because I was STARVING and really wanted to go have breakfast.

This month, Mike returned to Alaska from Afghanistan.  You’re getting to talk to him a lot more, since the time difference from here to Alaska is much closer than the time difference to Afghanistan.  And it’s nice to see the two of you bonding.  We sent Matthew a birthday present earlier this month and Michael and Matthew also sent you a birthday present (2 beyblades) which you ABSOLUTELY LOVE and have played with every day since receiving them.  Matthew has also called to talk to you a couple of times.  I hope when we meet them in person this December that we can foster a good relationship between the three of you for the years to come, if for no other reason than as of December they will be your brothers.

You had your first ever super commercialized birthday party this year.  I finally relented and you had a party at Chuck E Cheese.  It was actually easier and cheaper for me than having your party at the house, although a bit less satisfying.  I didn’t get to talk to everyone, and I spent a good half the party looking for our party host who disappeared for 20 minutes at a time – specifically at the times when we had a new kid arrive and I needed her to give me their tokens.  Anyway, you had an absolute blast and got to go in the ticket blaster where they blew tickets all around and you grabbed as many as you could.  That’s was what you really wanted, out of everything offered, it was the ticket blaster.  I made a deal with you at the end of the party that because there were only two ticket counting machines working we would go back Monday night and you could spend your left over 42 tokens and we’d cash in your tickets then.

This is the part I would normally write the things I want you to work on for the next month.  But this is the last letter, so I have a bit more time to cover.  I want you to always try your hardest in everything you do.  I want you to see the good in people.  I want you to treat others the way you would want to be treated.  I want you to listen.  I want you to continue to love learning.  I want you to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others if you can.  I want you to know that you are surrounded by people who love you and care about you and we all want to see you succeed.  I am doing my very best to raise you to be a productive citizen, and caring and loving adult, who is capable of solving problems and making good decisions and sometimes that means letting you learn lessons the hard way and endure the consequences of your actions.  I am and always will be here for you, you will always be able to count on me, but that doesn’t mean I will always bail you out – sometimes you’re going to have to bail yourself out while I stand by and cheer you on.   

I love you, and I always will.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Monthly Newsletter #71

Dear Landon,

This month has been busy. So much has happened. Stuff that started this month will be continuing for years and years to come. It was big. Lots of official changes.

We went to our first triple A baseball game. It was quite possibly the longest 9-inning baseball game I have ever been to. They did cutesy stuff between each inning and during team switches…it was unreal the amount of time they wasted. Not to mention the power blip that caused a 30 minute delay at the beginning of it. Anyway, despite the length of the evening, it was fun and relatively cheap as sporting events go, since we won the tickets and they actually offered kid sized drinks at a reasonable price.

Mike proposed to me this month. He surprised me and did it on the radio on 93Q (92.9FM). He called them and they called me. They told me I had to answer a trivia question and then put him on to ask the question. Of course I said yes. We recorded it on a Tuesday and it aired on a Wednesday. When I found out the time it was going to be on, we set up the iPad and hung around the house that morning to listen. You are very excited about Mike and Mike is so very excited about you. More so, you are excited about getting brothers! 2 of them!

Mohawks were actually specifically mentioned as forbidden in the handbook, (that I had to specifically ask where to find), so I took you to your very first actual barbershop. You look way older with so little hair. You were not happy with the results, but I told you that your hair would grow and we would cut it or not cut it with time and that was up to you. The only thing was that whatever haircut you got has to follow the dress code at school – which mean, no Mohawks during the school year.

This was your last month with Kids R Kids. While I loved the care they provided you while they had you in classrooms, and I credit them with teaching you so much during those years, once you got to the gym area with the older kids, it kind of went downhill. So as sad as I am to leave them in the rearview mirror, I do think it’s the best thing for you.

You started kindergarten this month. The school district promptly started the year by providing little to no information on things they wants me to sign off on as agreed to (just sign off here that you agree to the handbook, but no handbook or even a link to the handbook was provided, go ahead and put money on your child’s lunch account, here’s everything but the last digit of the number you need to do that), and several items of information were just blatantly wrong (the cafeteria lady will be available at these times, but she wasn’t, if your child brings cash they will not put the change on their account, but they did). All of that has been ironed out though and it seems like your teacher, Ms. K, really loves teaching. You are doing well in extended day. We had a rough start on the first day of school, but as time goes by you are getting more into the routine of things and are really beginning to like it.

You are a bit perturbed by the homework assignments, not because you don’t want to do them, but because you don’t think they’re enough. They wanted you to practice counting to 20…you said you’d prefer to practice counting to 100. I told you that was fine and to go ahead, it’s always okay to do more, just not less. You sighed and said “nooooo, I’ll just do what my school tells me to do.” They want us to read at least one book a night and they provided a sheet of paper for us to keep track of the titles, we’re on night 2 and have written down 9 titles. The sheet only has 20 lines, and it’s supposed to last us a month! I guess we’ll be adding some notebook paper to it. One book you didn’t want to include, you said it was too short and it didn’t count. So yes, when I got the information about the gifted and talented program, I quickly filled out the necessary paperwork for them to be allowed to test you.

Your problem solving skills are coming out as well. After running out of a body wash that comes with a pump, I replaced it with a new body wash that doesn’t have a pump. I forgot to remove the old bottle, and the next time I got in the shower you had taken the pump of the old and stuck it in the hole of the new so you could pump it out.

I’ve been building some large yard games based on board games lately. I finished battleship, and you are very interested in learning to play. So for the last couple of nights we’ve been playing the regular board game of battleship instead of watching TV. It’s pretty nice, and I’m trying to teach you some strategies…like once you get a hit, maybe finding the rest of that boat should be your priority instead of trying to keep finding other boats. We’re also establishing rules, such as the fact that there is no move where you “launch an airplane and it hits one hit on each of your opponent’s boats.”

I hope the rest of this month continues to improve, you really do seem to be enjoying Kindergarten and extended day.



Thursday, August 09, 2012

Monthly Newsletter #70

Dear Landon,

This month has been full of adventures for you.  You started off the month with Grandma and Grandpa Logan.  You spent the week with them while Mike and I went on a cruise.  Then we got you back and took you back to New Braunfels.  We stopped at a train diner, which was…well, it’s where a horror movie could have started – purely based on the patrons. 

We took you for your first trip to Gruene Hall. 

And we went to the San Antonio Zoo.

Your daddy took you to get a Mohawk you’d been asking for, and to be honest, I am not fond of it.  We have a countdown in the kitchen to when it goes.  I will not have you meeting your teacher with a Mohawk.  Whether she thinks you’re a punk or I am, it’s not the first impression I want to make on a woman who will have you most of your waking hours during the week.

We had Zoey’s birthday party.

You then spent a week with Grandma and Grandpa Wood.  Actually I’m pretty sure this month I was without you more than I was with you.  That’ll change here when school starts though.

You’ve been having some trepidation about Kindergarten.  I don’t know what they’re telling you at your Day Care, but I think they’re trying to sell you on their private Kindergarten.  I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s not happening!  For one thing $800/month for Kindergarten, when I can send you to public school where it’s free (er, I already pay the taxes that pay for it), just doesn’t make logical sense.  Second, eventually you’re going to go to that school, you might as well start now and get to know the kids who will be in your class for the rest of your time there.  And third, it was a pain in the butt to get you registered, I’m not letting all that energy go to waste.  So, suck it up, change is hard, but you can do it and you will be fine.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Monthly Newsletter #69

Dear Landon,

This month consisted of a lot of water for you.  You spent two weeks in swimming lessons each evening.  Mr. Cody taught you all kinds of things I had been trying to get you to do for years, and one day with him, all of the sudden putting your face in the water is NOT the end of the world…He had you doing strokes and floating…I am so proud of you!

Mike came home for R&R this month and we went to New Braunfels to visit his family.  You had a BLAST.  There were so many kids so close to your age, and you were terribly upset when we told you it was time to go back home.

You also went to Six Flags in San Antonio for the first time.  You LOVED it.  You especially loved the water park part of it.  We’re about to tell you we’re going back.  I expect the biggest hug of my life.

We took you on the Comal River in a tube.  You were not happy about any of the fast parts, and kept asking if that was the last drop after each one.  But in the end you would tell people you had fun.

You got to spend a week with Grandma and Grandpa Logan, while Mike and I went on a cruise.  From what I hear you had a blast.

This month I need you to work on not twirling your hair.  I’m not sure why it bothers me so much, but I definitely am not a fan of it and especially while we’re eating – you’re just making your hair gross.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Monthly Newsletter #68

Dear Landon,

This month went by pretty quickly. Maybe it’s because you spent so much time with your daddy. Which is a good thing. And I promise to always encourage you to spend the time you can with your daddy. So this month, you went to Destin, Florida with your daddy and his family for a week. You left on Mother’s day weekend and came back the following Saturday night. I got a lot of flak from various people about “letting” you go on Mother’s Day weekend. And I want you to know that I’d do it again.

We went out to dinner the night before you left to celebrate Mother’s day. You gave me the awesome flowers you made at school out of coffee filters…in fact, I still have them in the living room. Also, in return your daddy set you loose in the souvenir store and told you that you could get me whatever you wanted, since I let him have you on Mother’s Day. You picked out 4 magnets and 2 T-shirts for me – all very cool.

I’m not going to lie, there was some deprograming to be done in the following weeks, but I wasn’t the only one fighting it – your daddy was too. I believe you are back to normal now, so at least there’s that.

When you and your daddy got back into town you asked if I could come get you that night because you missed me. And I did. The next day I had promised Miss Catherine that I would watch Baby Jack for the day so that she could get her house ready to put on the market. We went and picked him up and took him to Hermann Park. We rode the train, fed the ducks…er…pigeons – I have no clue where all the ducks were, and we went to the zoo. We had a blast that day. And I re-confirmed that I do not want any more children and you reconfirmed that maybe little brothers that you can borrow and give back are better than little brothers who would irritate you 24/7.

The following weekend was crazy busy. It was a 3 day weekend, and I don’t really know what I was thinking when I agreed to everything, but it all worked out. On Friday night you graduated from pre-K. Very cute ceremony, the classes each recited a poem, and then after they gave you the “diplomas” (or as you call them “plomas”) you all went back up and sang a song.

Saturday morning, I took you to the third mud run I’ve done. It was the first one you’d been to (that was supposed to be muddy). You were not impressed by the mud, you are the cleanest little kid I’ve ever met, you have no desire whatsoever to get muddy. I guess it will be a while before I can talk you into doing on of these runs with me. And that’s okay.

Right after I got sprayed off by the fire truck we went home, I showered and we immediately got back in the car to go to one of your friend’s birthday parties. After which we met Catherine and Jack for dinner.

On Sunday we went down to see Grandma and Grandpa Logan…actually I went down there to make a quilt for my friend’s baby shower, you got to play with Zoey while I did it. And on Monday we went to Jack’s birthday party. So despite my only having you one weekend out of the month, I think I was able to cram enough stuff in there, that I made up for it.

This month we begin swimming lessons. So I really need you to pay attention and do what your teacher tells you to do. I know you can do it.



Monday, May 07, 2012

Monthly Newsletter #67

Dear Landon,

This month sped by so fast, I swear I looked up and it was already over.

This year we did considerably fewer Easter egg hunts. Just the one at Aunt Kelly’s and the one at home on Easter morning. I managed to whittle down the plastic egg population in the house from somewhere around 60 to somewhere around 30. And to me – that’s an Easter success! You still aren’t quite up to smashing people on the head with the confetti eggs, you’re afraid you will hurt them…probably won’t be an issue next year.

This season of T-ball got rained out quite a bit, and our coach had some family emergencies that caused us to miss out of a couple practices. It didn’t feel quite as draining as it did last year…you decided midway through the season that you didn’t want to do machine pitch next year. And we finally got it out of you that you were afraid the machine would hit you with the ball. It took some time and a lot of convincing, to get you to understand that you were more likely to be hit by a kid pitching than the machine pitching. At which point you said you would do baseball again next year.

We went to one of your friend’s birthday parties. You had so much fun, there was a train, a petting zoo, pony rides, an inflatable obstacle course, and a face painter. Please don’t think for a second that I would ever be able to afford that kind of fancy party for you (neither of your parents are professional athletes). You were so upset when we left, but we were the last ones there, I let you stay as long as I possibly could!

We’re still working on the smacking, I’m hoping we’re nearing the end of it. But you’ve also started a new trend of smuggling. You’ve been smuggling toys into school in your backpack, you tried to smuggle a bouncy ball into a T-ball game. And you get caught every time. You’re just not very good at it – so knock it off.



Saturday, April 07, 2012

Monthly Newsletter #66

Dear Landon,

This month I took you to the rodeo for the second time. This time we took Rhett with us and we went around and looked at all the animals and the tractors. We saw Zac Brown Band and now every time you hear one of their songs, you announce that you know it is Zac Brown because you remember hearing it at the rodeo. This time the rodeo portion was a lot less shocking to you and you didn’t have to be calmed thinking that the animal were being hurt, but really? The animals totally won the rodeo that night. There were a lot of 0 scores on the board. We had a great time anyway.

You also started your second season of T-ball this month. Opening day was awesome, you had quite the crowd there to watch you. And by all accounts, you won! Aaaaaand…it’s been raining every game day since, so there have been no other games and only one other practice, which you missed for being out of town. But hopefully this week you’ll get to play another game…I mean, sure we needed the rain, but it’s getting a little bit ridiculous.

The garden that we planted last month is taking off really well this year. We already have several tomatoes and Serrano peppers growing…and one lonely cucumber. You really love watering it and looking at it. And hopefully now that the soil in there is looser with the sand I put in maybe the carrots will grow better his year and we can actually eat one.

You’ve now lost your two front teeth. I hope these two come in faster than the bottom ones did, but I fear your doctor was correct in that you got your baby teeth early and your permanent ones are on time, so there’s just going to be a lag.

You decided a couple weeks ago that you would now require an allowance. So I decided a couple weeks ago, I’m not buying you stuff all willy nilly anymore…you have an allowance, you can pay for it. In exchange, you have agreed to transporting laundry to and from the bedroom and the laundry room, putting away silverware, and having your room clean on Saturday. The first day we had a brief discussion over what things cost, and why you’re going to have to save a little while to get some things, and also in the real world you have to work for a week or two before your pay check comes, so even though you did a bunch of stuff that day, you weren’t going to see any money until the following Saturday. I’m not evil though, I’m not taking taxes out of it – that’s a real world lesson you’ll learn at your first job. It surprised you to learn that a new DS game is $20-30, and a new Wii system - $200 (I’m not sure why you think I need one in my room and one in the loft, but that was your idea)…I guess it didn’t really occur to me that you didn’t know what things cost, but I think this will help. And now, when you see a commercial and tell me you “NEED” something, I can say, “well, I guess you need to save your money!”

The only thing I want you to work on this month is smacking…I know you can stop, because when you get reminded about it you stop immediately. And keeping your hands out of your mouth – I think that will temporarily stop anyway, now that you don’t have any loose teeth.