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    6!

    August 29th, 2014

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    G, my boy, today you are 6 years old.

    You are in kindergarten and dropping you off at school yesterday made me realize how much our lives are changed now.

    You continue to bring a smile to my face and warm my heart when you come over at night for an unsolicited hug, to give me a kiss and say ‘Good night!’. You make us laugh with your jokes. Daddy is worried that if school doesn’t challenge you enough, you’ll be the class clown. These days stinky socks, stinky underwear and potty humor is your thing. I don’t get the appeal, but it sure makes you laugh.

    You are so smart and perceptive. I have to watch what I say around you because you pick up on things, process them and draw connections I didn’t realize your mind was capable of.
    I love asking you about how you would solve world problems. I enjoyed your long explanation around how we can prevent volcano eruptions through a specially designed shield system (put in place by extra-large airplanes).

    This year you’ve lost your first tooth, with another one getting ready to go. You are a numbers kind of guy, and can add in double digits. You can’t read yet, but it doesn’t seem to bother you.

    Are continue to be awesome at sports. At any restaurant we go to, where there’s a TV on and turned into a team ball sport, you’re all over it. I can tell, in 20 years you’ll be relaxing at sports bars. On this end I wonder how we’re related ๐Ÿ™‚
    You are an awesome soccer player, just promoted to the Lions team in your league, and this past year you started baseball too.

    You march to your own beat and don’t let others push you into doing something you don’t want. I like that, as your mom, and I hope you hold onto this into your teens (and beyond). I also hate it, as your mom, because I am also included in the people that can’t convince you to do something you don’t want to either. It has to appear to come from you… and even cash bribes are hard to convince you these days to do anything ;p

    Now here’s you in your own words:

    Do you know your full name? G****** R*****

    How old are you today? 6

    What is your favorite color? Blue. And green, yellow, red, white, black, and silver. Gold. Bronze. Aaaand yellow. And red. Blue and white and gold and that’s it. And green. And pink. Dark pink. And purple. And that’s it. And I also like dark green.

    Who are best friends? Milo, Simon, Kaio, Deadalus and Paul

    What’s your favorite book? I don’t know

    What’s your favorite movie? Phinneas & Ferb. I have 3 favorite movies: Phinneas & Ferb, and there’s somebody I don’t know, and Rescue Bots.

    What about TV show? Can we say all those are TV shows and not movies? Uh-humn

    What’s your favorite animal? A monkey

    What’s your favorite food? Do you have a favorite food? Yeah, it’s pasta.

    What’s your favorite shirt? Why do you gotta tell me that? Stop asking me questions!

    ***

    This is a video glance back of the past 12 months:

    Love you bud!


    Photoshoot out-takes

    August 28th, 2014

    Wow! Photographing G is tiring. Really! Emotionally mostly, because there’s a lot of pleading going into it… mostly on my end.

    I had this great vision of G in front of this cool red wall structure I came across. We went, he saw it, and said “I’m not doing this today!” [BTW, this is why I cheat and do his birthday pics at least 2 weeks before his actual birthday :)] So we agreed that we would do it the following day (Sunday). Come Sunday, his best buddy M wanted to get together for a play-date, but G now had to hold his end of the bargain: photos before friends.

    You can tell how excited he was already, right?

    We agreed we’d do them at home. I setup a chair: mom mistake on my part — should’ve gotten something stiffer with less leaning back. And we proceeded to have 3 minutes of begging (me) and bribing (also me). In those 3 minutes he gave me so many expressions, that I ultimately decided to use them all and make a collage. I am having this baby printed in a 24×36 canvas. It will be awesome! I can’t wait to hang it in his room ๐Ÿ™‚

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    First day of Kindy

    August 27th, 2014

    I struggle to call it a first day… because it wasn’t really???

    Today school “started” with kindergarteners coming for an hour, with a parent. G’s group came at 10:30. The parent filled out a form (unclear why we had to do this in person since everything else was digital and given to us ahead of time), while the kids played and the teacher was …. somewhere else for the most part.

    I’d like to say it was orientation, but it wasn’t, since we did that on Monday night.

    I’d like to say that it was intro to the teacher, but it wasn’t since the teacher didn’t engage/direct the kids in any activity. Plus there were only 6 kids there. Most families left after 30 mins since nothing was really happening.

    So I guess tomorrow is really “the” day.

    G had no anxiety about today. This makes me happy and hope it stays the same tomorrow and beyond. One of the kids in his class came from the MM program. There are others, but in different classrooms, so I’m glad he knows someone in his class.

    But hey — in lieu of an actual first day of school story, want actual first day of school photos?

    Our morning was pretty chill. Kids had breakfast in their jammies. G had a worm race to his room, where he and S2 proceeded to build puzzles, play the guitar (or noise-making equivalent there-of), got dressed, and then watched a bit of ipad time. I made his lunch. “Feeling Good” played on the radio, and I thought that would be a good way to start the school year. Let’s hope it’s true ๐Ÿ™‚

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    I lied

    August 23rd, 2014

    I said yesterday that I’m not anxious about next week and G going into kindergarten. I lied.

    I’ve been having nightmares.

    About the boys dying. In one I was lead to a field of headstones/full-body death masks. One of the death masks was of S2. I woke up frightened.

    G turns 6 next week. He starts kindy too. Jennifer was diagnosed on her sixth birthday. Her eye turned a few days prior and their lives were never the same since.

    I’m not saying this is logical. It’s not.

    I’m not predicting it will happen. Oh please, oh please, I hope it doesn’t.

    But that’s where my mind has been going this week. If I had a full body MRI machine at my disposal (and can read the results), I’d be scanning the kids weekly. I’m so afraid! So afraid to have cancer come into our lives. Specifically their lives.

    I give them hugs at night so grateful that I can.

    I went to sleep last night asking for 60 more years with them. Then I realized in 60 years I’ll be in my mid-90s. So maybe that’s not realistic. So then I asked for 50 more years. 50 sounded reasonable. And then it sounded SO short. Yes, there are week-ends where Monday can’t come fast enough, but 50 years right now felt like just a blink of an eye.

    Crap! I hate the word “cancer” now. My dad’s mom died because of breast cancer. My mom’s dad died because of melanoma. My mom has had it. Thankfully she’s cancer free. My mom’s mom has it now. She will not be cured. But never have I hated and feared cancer as much as since Jennifer’s diagnosis. Maybe it’s because prior to that cancer was treatable. Survivable even. And kids were rare to get it, right? Not that there are some cancers where there is nothing to be done. Not that 46 kids get diagnosed each day. Not that by the time the boys graduate high school each will (on average) have 4 school-mates that will be diagnosed with cancer. I just so don’t want either G or S2 to be one of those kids. Please, oh, please, oh, please! Or any more of my close circle of friends. I can’t take any more.

    A is anxious about K-bean being teased at school. Other friends lament their babies growing up and not being home with them during the day. I’m not saying they don’t have my fears. I’m sure they do. But I want their fears to be at my surface. I want to trade.

    I guess there’s nothing to do now but fake it through next week.


    Words I don’t want to correct

    August 23rd, 2014

    S2 has a few words that are just too cute for me to set right.

    Forts are “forks”

    Maps are “naps”

    I don’t want to outgrow this! He’s already talking so much, and processing so much… I just need a little boy still left in him for a little while longer


    Foto Friday

    August 22nd, 2014

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    The loom

    August 21st, 2014

    S was out of town on a business trip for 15 days. Two weeks, 1 day… but you know… who was counting (only me, plus two kids staring at a calendar daily). We survived! Yey! Everyone is accounted for, and everyone kept their limbs, even though there was an ER visit for Zoe, and one evening the kids simply went to bed right after getting home because I couldn’t deal with arguing anymore.

    Week-ends with the kids can be rough: they can go from being incredibly sweet and helpful to each other, to teasing, fighting mean machines. And while they don’t seem to be bothered as much from the other’s behavior, it drives me bonkers.

    On the first week-end S was away, the kids and I had a Target trip on our agenda. While there, S2 scored himself a new Lego set, and I got G a Crazloom. Honestly? One of the better toys we’ve gotten him. He’d been sneaking rubber bands home from school, asking us to help him make a necklace. We’d be driving in the car, and he’d hang me 4 rubber bands to add to his necklace, so I figured “why not?”

    The main bracelet loom itself was kinda lame, but in the box came a little red “thing” that was awesome. It was easy for G to understand, and kept him occupied for hours. We even started taking it to longer drives, so he can knit in the car. Sane, peaceful car rides? Sign me up!

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    Oh… in case you’re curious, I needed the kids to be busy with their games, so I could spend my week-end rat-proofing our veggie cage. It appears a rodent has discovered the culinary delicassy that are my tomatoes. He (I’m only assuming it’s a He) and I were in a stand-off on who would get to the ripe tomato first. I lie: there was no stand-off — I always lost. So I re-inforced the veggie cage with more wire netting. It took me 6 hours to do over the course of Sat and Sunday, but it’s done. And the rat has been locked out of tomato deliciousness since. Finally, win for me.

    Side note: getting your finger caught in a rat trap effin’ hurts! I acquired two rat traps, recommended by a local pest control agent. The triggers are… well… trigger-happy, and as I was setting the bait, even though I was holding off on the other end of the device, totally got my thumb. I was bruised for a week, and extremely grateful these weren’t the kind of traps that just have the bar — or instead of a bruise, I likely would’ve lost a thumb. Have no fear, no rats were harmed in the making of this story — the traps were inside the veggie cage, and since the rat never got back in, it suffered no rat heaven send-off.


    First thoughts on starting kindergarten

    August 20th, 2014

    G starts kindergarten next week.

    I’m not nostalgic. I’m, honestly, kind of excited to get this started — this last year has (at least for me) been in preparation for this time. Aside from the fact that I’m going to have to re-learn how to do homework (I mean let’s get real, these next few years will be just as much of an exercise in US being able to work with G on his homework, as it will be for him), this is pretty exciting!

    But… I have some thoughts on the whole kinder starting bit.

    Off the bat, yes, I wish I knew who his teacher would be more than a day before the start of school, but no, I’m not going crazy not knowing. I actually get why teacher assignments are not disclosed. I’ll deal.

    The shopping list on the other hand, does irk me. We won’t be told what to buy until kinder orientation… which is at 6pm on Monday night, when school starts 8:30am on Wednesday morning. 36 hours to shop. Why the secrecy? All the other class lists were emailed out weeks ago: what’s the big whoop about kinder shopping?
    So, I cheated. That’s right! I asked a friend that goes to the same school and she sent me the list. It’s nothing special. It’s pretty specific (ex: dry erase markers, chisel tip, low odor, 2ct. black), but it’s not that unique. Why hide it? And if we can’t shop well ahead of time, why not ask us for the $50 financial equivalent so that the class can buy in bulk?

    I missed G’s after-school care orientation session for his site. The program is pretty big, so I went the next night and gathered the bigger jist of it. But man, making sure he gets on the after-school bus and on the right one at that is giving me anxiety. Somehow in the span of a day I will need to contact his teacher, let them know that G will need to be escorted to the bus by them and trust it will work out.

    The whole lunch thing is confusing too. There is a hot lunch program, but kindergarteners are eligible only if they eat it on site? But then we were told they can pick it up and go? I don’t know what’s right yet. Or when/where to register.

    Blah!

    Yes, I like things easy: go here, sign this form, click this check-box, press submit kinda thing. It will all be fine in the end, but next week will be interesting for sure ๐Ÿ™‚


    When to use a wipe

    August 16th, 2014

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    Mommy, when it’s time to wipe my mouth, I’ll do it myself because I have a big tongue!


    Grammy’s Visit

    August 16th, 2014

    One of the bonuses to G’s surgery being pushed back 3 days is that we had a whole week-end with Grammy and two healthy kids. And I got new portraits of Grammy and the boys ๐Ÿ™‚

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