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    Double digits, baby!!!!

    August 29th, 2018

    This morning, I got to wake up a boy who was 10. I invited him to go to “special breakfast” for his birthday, if he (and his brother) could get out of bed fast. They did! As he was getting up, he himself called out his double-digit day. It’s a big deal to him.
    The week leading up to his birthday is always interesting. As I prep for each birthday post, I go back to my archives of photos and videos and audio recordings. This time, I scrolled back perhaps a little too far and found one of my earliest recordings of him telling me about why skunks stink. He was about two. His voice was so little. I can’t believe that same human who recorded THAT was the boy sitting in front of me. Gah — this life thing, it creeps slowly as it’s speeding past you.
    This was the first year I found that G’s wishes about his future and his identity of self hasn’t changed all that much. Is this when things start to settle in? It makes me both eager for next year, while dreading next year.

    What is your favorite color? Blue & yellow
    What is your favorite book? Son of Neptune
    Who are your best friends? Milo & Brayden
    What is your favorite movie? Fantastic Beasts and where to find them
    What is your favorite song? Timber
    What is your favorite TV show? Pokemon
    What is your favorite animal? Snake
    What is your favorite toy? Cards: any type of cards that I like to play with.
    Which cards to like you play with? Magic, Yogio, Baseball and Pokemon
    What is your favorite food? ice cream
    What flavor? chocolate
    What is your favorite thing to wear? Clothes! Baseball clothes
    What do you want to be when you grow up? Baseball player.
      What position? i don’t know… and i don’t really care
    As long as you’re a baseball player, you don’t really care what you play? Uh-huh!
    Is there a team you want to play for? No
    Is there a tea you DON’T want to play for? Dodgers
    Tell me one awesome thing that’s happened to you this year? Our team took 2nd place in a baseball tournament
    Give me a piece of advice. be a good kid.
    How does one become a good kid? You do your work
    What kind of car do you want to drive when you grow up? I don’t want to drive a car. I want to fly a car

    [vimeo 287312009 w=640&h=385]









    Out of 6, and now 7. Happy birthday, Storm!

    November 1st, 2017


    The age of 6 has left the building. Our littlest man is 7.

    Today you are 47″ tall and weigh 46.2 lbs.

    Storm-y, you are one super creative guy. Your Lego building still continues, but you have now expanded into some amazing paper creations (from origami to far-flying airplanes) and super cool comic book writings. Your imagination impresses me so much. It seems to have no limit.

    I love that half of your projects you do for others in mind. You write your comic books for your friends. You make origami to give to others. Your desire to give people a little bit of joy [through your projects] makes me proud.

    I admit, because of your creativity, I often overlook how book-smart you are too. You are blazing through the first grade curriculum. I’m sure that if your teacher allowed testing you today on the remainder of the 1st grade keywords and math-hats you’d have them all. You often surprise me when we’re out and about by reading the labels and signage around you, telling me about things

    I didn’t think you’d pick up on. I’m struggling to stay one step ahead of you.

    On the topic of surprises, you are one athletic kid. You don’t let us onto this, but you are good at sports as much as you hate to admit it. Your PE teacher calls out how competitive you are; you are a good runner, and from what I saw last night — a pretty competent basketball player. Now… can you stop grooming the out-field during your baseball games???

    I’m really excited to see what this next year will bring you. Come on, 7!!!

    Onto your favorites…

    What is your favorite color? Blue
    What is your favorite book? Captain Underpants
    Who is your best friend? Owen, Lucas, Rob and Will
    What is your favorite movie? Ninjago
    What is your favorite song? I don’t have one
    What is your favorite show? Phineas and Ferb
    What is your favorite animal? Black Panther
    What is your favorite toy? LEGO!!!!
    What is your favorite food? Ribs. Really? Yah. Should I make them more often, then? I like Brandon’s ribs. The new kind. [note, here I was surprised and dissed all in one go! But Brandon get’s a shout out for getting my kid to like meat!]
    What is your favorite shirt? Star wars
    What do you want to be when you grow up? An engineer! What kind of engineer? A robot engineer.
    What is your favorite thing to do? Go to the Kid’s Club at the gym. How come? Because I make ninja stars or I watch the X-bpx and the Wii. Until you play? Uhmn.. humn.

    Here’s a quick view of your last 365 days (and you asked for this song yourself … even though your first choice was Gangam Style… and said “No way!”):




    August 29th, 2014


    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 🙂
    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!

    G you are 3!

    August 29th, 2011

    Dear G,

    Today you are 3.

    This whole week I’ve found myself looking at you and thinking that just (about) 3 years ago your whole head fit in the palm of my hand. Now you sit at the foot of my bed, watching your favorite movie (more on this later) and you look so big! It’s amazing how little adults can change over the span of 3 years, yet 3 years for you have developed you into a little boy. That’s right, I said “little boy”! I struggle to call you a toddler because the way you carry yourself, talk and act is no longer the way of a toddler. We can carry on a conversation, and I can understand at least 75% of it 🙂 I find your insights surprising in their simplicity, humor, and honesty. I hope you keep that!

    As of right now you are:
    – Active. You don’t sit still for a minute. You’re running, twirling, (still tripping), and jumping ALL.THE.TIME. Your energy is exhausting just to watch, but also so endearing. You’re a very physical human being, and that is reflected in your favorite toys and even movies. I worry about the adrenaline-seeking man you might become, but I take solace seeing that even now you like to live life to it’s fullest.

    By the way, hearing you say ‘Life is gooood!’ makes my heart swell.

    – Mischievous. The way you look at me from the side of your squint-y eyes, turn your head, and grin just gives you away. I can see the little gears in your mind working. You have a nose for trouble and testing boundaries. I see you being the joker amongst your group of friends. Your jokes are well natured, but please don’t let my number be on speed dial at your school’s office!

    – Funny. You have a great sense of humor. Please hold onto this. Right now you’re transitioning into potty humor, and you think the word “poop” is hilarious. Please get over this soon!

    – A daddy’s boy. I know that bringing your brother home this past year changed the dynamics in our relationship a lot. I gave you a long hug before we sent you to daycare when my water broke, because I knew your life would never be the same after that moment. I didn’t think that our relationship would also not be the same. While I’m so grateful that you’ve understood that (right now) your brother needs me more, I miss our relationship and hope next year we’ll become closer again. I don’t push you when you ask that daddy helps you instead of me (except for moments when it can’t be avoided… like when daddy’s out of town… or driving). I know we’ll find our own groove again.

    – Loving and gentle. You have a great deal of compassion and empathy. I love it when I see you unprompted, attend to your brother when he’s upset. My heart is filled with love, for you, when I see you hand over one of your loveys (your most valuable possessions) to S2 when he’s crying. I hope you take these traits with you into manhood, because I will be the proudest mom.

    – An amazing big brother. I wanted to give this special attention from the above. I expected you to rebel against your little brother. You didn’t. I expected you to regress and tantrum more as he joined us, and became more mobile. You didn’t. I expected you to be jealous of our attention to S2’s development. You didn’t. Instead you cheered for him beside us. While I fully am ready for this to change as he continues to grow, I have admired you so much for helping us out. You bring me wipes, and bottles. You show your little brother how to play (sometimes albeit too rough for what he can handle). You make him laugh. He looks at you with adoration and appreciation and you fully deserve it.

    – A hothead. Child, is your temper short!!! I suppose it’s part of your astrological sign, but I just don’t know how to tackle this one. I’ve learned patience since you’ve come into my life, but I don’t know how to teach it back to you.

    – A shrimp. Yeah, you’re still a little guy for your age. I want you to never have to worry about being bullied for your size, so I keep hoping that Growth Hormone Faerie will stop by more often.

    – A picky eater. Sigh! I wish you were more adventurous and willing to eat. You drive me nuts, still, to watch you go on for days on a fist-full of Puffs and a bowl of oatmeal. Negotiating over how much to eat has become an art-form in this house, and I gotta admit, I’m not winning as often as I’d like.

    Today you:
    – Weigh 30.6lb,
    are  35.5″ tall, and
    – have dark blond with (amazing) highlights that some people spend hundreds of dollars to get.

    Here’s what you have to say about yourself in your own words:

    • What’s your name? Griiiifffiiiin
    • Do you know your full name? [blank stare]
    • How old are you? This many. I’m free!
    • What’s your favorite color? Puh-ple
    • Who are your best friends? Rhana and christopher
    • What is your favourite book? How do dinosaurs go to school
    • What is your favorite movie? Penguins. (aka Surfs Up!) I wanna watch it tonight
    • What is your favourite TV show? Uhmn, Dinasor Train (you gonna riiiiide the Dinasor Train) (he actually sang the last part)
    • What is your favourite animal? A Zebra!
    • What’s your favorite food? Oapmeal!
    • What is your favorite shirt? Monkey one. Monkey one? Yeah. Red one that says Silly Monkey? Yeah!
    • What’s your greatest word of wisdom at age 3? (I’m cheating on this one, because he didn’t say it in direct response to this question) We don’t eat poop.
    • What makes you mad? When someone takes away my Moonka
    • What’s your favorite toy? A dinosaur. Which dinosaur? A T-Rex. The big T-Rex? Yeah

    Happy birthday, kiddo!!!!

    (a stroll down memory lane of the past year)

    Party, party!

    September 4th, 2009

    G’s birthday party was a lot of fun! I’m thankful that so many of our friends and family joined us to wish him a Happy 1st.

    Someone must have snuck behind my back and told G about being “fashionably late”. The day of his birthday, G took one of the longest naps he’s ever done. His went down at 8:30 and woke up at 11. His party? Yeah, that started at 10:30. I agonized over when to start it. His morning naps typically started no later than 8 and at best went 2 hours long, so I figured he might be a “little” late to his own party. Not an hour late ;p Still, I am grateful that everyone was so patient!

    In honor of G’s first Big Boy food being Greek, we had lunch catered by a very tasty Mediterranean restaurant. I made tasty sugar-free muffins for the wee-ones whose parents didn’t want a sugar-high, and they turned out very well. (I used this First Birthday Cake recipe, btw). The sugar fiends of us, meanwhile enjoyed monstrous cupcakes from Costco (have you seen these things? Each is the size of a child’s smash cake!)

    G was a very big boy and didn’t cry while we all sang him Happy Birthday. I on the other hand, did! Can’t explain it. Maybe it’s because my little dude is growing up? Who knows, but I’ll just say I was glad I wore sun-glasses that day.

    I didn’t get to take many photos. Actually I didn’t get to take ANY photos. It’s ironic, because leading up to the day I had nightmares about my camera not working, being stolen, so on and so forth. And yet that day, I took no pictures. Thankfully S did. I’m also shamelessly stealing some from other friends and family that also did.


    See more birthday party fun:

    Psst! Guess who’s 1

    August 29th, 2009

    Our cutie patootie today is 1!

    First taste of frosting

    Loving the mess

    Too much frosting apparently is NOT a good thing

    2 months old already?

    October 29th, 2008

    G is now two months old. Some notable developments have been:
    – his first (non-gassy) smile
    – more coordinated arm gestures… even swatting and getting at a toy
    – his first laugh (well, it was more like a short laughing grunt)
    – outgrowing his NB sized clothes and finally fitting into his cloth diapers
    – finally enjoying bath-time
    – getting down to a single wakeup in the middle of the night, with a few 8-9 hr stretches here and there

    Things we are happy are over:
    – the constant all-day crying through the 6th week growth spurt

    Things we can’t wait to be over:
    – the 4:30pm ‘till bed-time crying

    I’m still amazed at how quickly these last two months have gone by. I had this flash of fear this morning that I’ll wake tomorrow, in my 50’s attending my son’s college graduation. I say fear, because I feel like the rate of living feels like it has accelerated so much over the last 5 years. I don’t want to miss out on enjoying G growing up. As much as I am thrilled about him outgrowing his tough moments, I love the good parts so much more than I dislike the hard parts.

    So how are we honoring the 2 month milestone? By giving G his first immunizations! I am genuinely nervous about this appointment. It could very well be harder for me than for him. Both S and I are going. We’ll let you know how it works out. Wish us luck!

    G’s 1 (month old) today!

    September 29th, 2008

    G is 1 month old today! In some respects these last few weeks have gone by really fast, and in others I feel like our family has already spent an eternity together. In honor of this occasion, I wanted to reflect on the past few weeks. What follows is a series of non sequitur thoughts and observations.

    • Babies smell good
    • Whomever said that baby poo smells sweet really needs to examine their smell receptors
    • A baby’s coo melts your heart
    • Babies are cute
    • Nature has purposefully made babies cute so that you still like them when they cry
    • Taking a shower is a luxury
    • Brushing your teeth is also a luxury
    • Your kids smile makes you forget all about being tired… even when they don’t mean to smile… or even know they’re smiling
    • Breast-milk will not be going into my cereal anytime soon
    • I have a new-found respect for single parents doing it alone
    • Parents of multiples have my admiration… and sympathies
    • Simple math on a few hours of sleep is hard
    • Even un-circumcised boys produce a fountain-ous spray
    • Being peed on is not as gross as one imagines
    • Yes, you can put a monetary value on a night’s sleep (currently $179 in our house… before taxes, shipping and handling)
    • You can never have enough photos of your kid
    • Taking off your pants (to go to the bathroom) w/ one hand (‘cuz the other is holding the baby) is hard. I have not yet mastered this skill
    • A fart and belch from your partner is gross. A fart and belch from your infant on the other hand is pretty adorable
    • Anyone calling my house after 9pm is looking for a whoppin’
    • It’s almost impossible to walk through a baby store and not Aw at the little clothes
    • Baby stuff is made of some of the softest and cuddliest fabrics ever… and they can’t even appreciate it
    • It’s remarkable how quickly the details of labor disappear
    • Lactation supplements makes sweat (and uhmn “other” stuff) smell like licorice
    • Family pets seem to be more afraid of babies than anything else: apparently size matters not
    • The amount of love you immediately feel for your child is immeasurable

    There’s so much more, but I’ll stop here.

    Happy 1 month birthday G!!!