Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thankful for beginning phonics

Hi Avery,

I swear that sometimes you are sunny and lovely and loving, but that is just not as much fun to write about when at this age of four you are also often completely normal in being unbalanced and angry and crazy.  So I am sorry for these posts all in a string in this part of the blog, but my darling, each and every story I relate here is completely true.

So yes, it's true, sometimes you do have bouts of intense anger that bubbles up and is kind of like the book "When Sophie Gets Angry".  We do our best to parent you through these moments, staying as calm and neutral and anger free as possible.  

While I've already forgotten what this past weekend's tantrum was about, I do remember that you were  having trouble managing your emotions and this time the victim of your acrimony was your poor dad.  With teeth clenched you said, no actually you shrieked, "I'm going to say the C -word because I'm so angry!" at which point your dad and I looked at each other with worried looks and I thought that I might really have to get soap to wash out your mouth. 

And then you did it.  You uttered the C-word, "I feel like I want to (cuh, cuh, cuh) CILL you!"  In case you are not reading this till much later, what you meant was KILL.  The mingling emotions and thoughts that entered my body and mind after this utterance:
1.  Thank goodness for your innocence and that the word kill is one that you think is a really bad word (you think the same of the word 'stupid' right now)
2.  How could you possibly think such horrible thoughts about your daddy who loves you so much and treats you truly like a princess.  I am not nearly as accommodating and I don't believe you would ever treat me that way, and
3. I'm kind of a little bit proud to watch you sound out and spell words at such a young age - you rock at beginning phonics!


Why you wont see many pictures of Alex this summer

Hi Alex,

This past weekend you decided you wanted a buzz cut.  Because I am a full believer in letting you do just about anything that's not permanent (so color it blue for all I care, but no piercings and no tattoos!), I said okay even though I love, Love, LOVE you with slightly longer hair.

So this is the result of that haircut.  Without the sunglasses, I am reminded of what you looked like when you were a hairless baby Alex.  Your daddy thinks that you look more athletic and a bit more tough.  Some friends of mine have seen this photo and say that you look bada$$.  I am going to be honest with you, I really hate it!  You told me that you really don't like how it looks too much either and that you don't plan on cutting it this short again.

And since I am the keeper of our family history both through this blog and through the taking of photos, I am thinking that this one photo will be the only one to document that you decided to experiment with a new look the summer you were eight years old.

See ya in the fall, hopefully with a head full of hair.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Creative Expression

Hi kids,

I want you to know that when I get to be creative I am at my happiest.  You make ask then why I often poo-poo arts & crafts or science projects at home.  The simple answer is I love the chance to be creative when I am not utterly responsible for cleaning up your giant messes.  I  LOVE your messes, I do!  And I am looking forward with great joy to the day that you will be responsible for your own messes.

Anyway, as usual, a huge digression.  So tomorrow is Alex's last day of second grade.  He's had a great year and a great teacher and I want to thank her.  There will be a gift card, of course, but I wanted to do something more.  I decided to bake cookies, in 98 degree heat. :)

Here's the label I made to adorn the plate of cookies:

I hope she likes it.  And I hope that when you find something that you love to do that you get to do it all day, every day.  And now back to my regularly scheduled day filled with data (yuck!) and more data (boo!).


Monday, June 18, 2012


Hey kids,

Just wanted to let you know that I think it's entirely normal to forget in just the blink of an eye, the things that really matter in life and to start to get super-cranky on a Monday morning about all the everyday annoyances.  I am posting below this internet-famous story about some mythical professor that I see pop up from time to time over the years.  Reading it always helps me to smile, even on a Monday morning.

"A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty glass jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes”. The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor. “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls represent the important things – your family, your health, your children, your friends, your passions, the kind of stuff that if all else was lost and only these remained, your life would still be full. “The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, your car. “The sand is everything else, the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first, there will be no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.”
You know, the same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small things, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the elements that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Set aside time for your medical check-ups. Help out at a charitable institution. Take your spouse out to dinner. Don’t worry. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the hinge on that cupboard door. Take care of the golf balls first; the rest is just sand."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sorry to say that you are really more like me

"Dang it!  Sorry mom, I'm really just like dad.  You know that us men, we can't help our cursing."

My darling Alex, in the words of Grandma and Auntie Dawn, that sentence could not feel more like a true Jodi-ism.

I love that you make such outrageous and humorous statements.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Escaping Mediocrity

Dear Avery,
I have been thinking a bit about what makes a person different or special and do I really want that for you.  This past weekend my friend Vivian and I took you and her daughter Natalie to see a show in the city called Freckleface.

Freckleface is a musical geared for kids that teaches the important lesson to celebrate all of our differences.  Of course, when we asked you girls what you had learned from the play you said 'how to tap dance' and 'how to dribble a basketball'.  Perhaps the show was meant for someone older than four years. But I digress.

Anyway, the real story that I wanted to relate to you was that you did something that probably every other child has done in some form or another at some point or another.  And the formula goes like this:

"Hey friend, I think you should see if this tiny object can fit inside your nose.  Do you want to try and see?"

This type of situation almost always involves tweezers and if you are very lucky will involve an emergency room and surgical vacuum as it did in the case of you, your friend Abby and the tiny object, a squishy, uber tiny Polly Pocket shoe.

In this case, do I wish you had been different and not a normal, run-of-the-mill everyday kid?  Absolutely!  Am I super happy that Abby was such a good patient and that her parents were so good natured?  Even more so!  And do I think that you learned your lesson?  This is where you turn from mediocrity and sameness into the Avery that can completely amaze me.  While you may not have thought through the consequences, you level of empathy was truly enormous.  And for that I am thankful.  I am also very sure that you will never put anything inside your nose (other than perhaps a finger), will never cut anyone's hair (we had that discussion as well since this seemed like a good teaching opportunity for appropriate behavior) and will never ever go out of your way to harm any other human being or living creature.

Avery, I am so very proud that you are you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Trading innocence for cash

Hi Alex,

It's June only a few more weeks until you are done with second grade.  You turned eight this past March.  I want you to know these details while I recount this story to you.  

This past weekend you lost another tooth while you were sleeping and either swallowed it in your sleep or it's hiding somewhere tangled in the sheets or under you bed.  In either case, you asked if you should write a note so that the tooth fairy would know to come and visit.  You even asked me where you think you should put it so the tooth fairy would be able to find it easily.

The next morning, SURPRISE, the tooth fairy had left you five dollars and her calling card of a little flower sticker on the note you had written.

You were in your room and I casually mentioned, "Oh look what the tooth fairy left you."  You looked and said, "How cute, mom.  You put a little sticker on the note for me!"

I looked at you with bemused horror and shock.

"I mean, the tooth fairy put a little sticker..."

"I mean, the tooth fairy lives inside of you?"

"Just don't tell your sister, Alex.  Okay?"

"Deal.  But do I still get money for my other teeth?"