Dear Dexter: You’re FIVE!

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Dear Dexter,

My Friday the 13th baby. Your daddy has always loved scary movies so it was fitting that we’d have a baby on Friday the 13th. You might not know that some people are scared or superstitious about Friday the 13th but I happen to love this day more than ever before! This is the first time we have celebrated your birthday on a Friday since the day your were born.

You are the opposite of scary, spooky, or creepy! You’re genuinely one of the nicest people I know and even if I wasn’t your mama, I’d love you anyway. You are such a sweet and happy kid who loves to please others. You go through life without a care in the world and I think a lot of grown ups could benefit from having your go-with-the-flow attitude sometimes. You are sensitive and sometimes your feelings get hurt easily. You love your brother, even when you probably should be a little mad at him. You can pick up on other people’s feelings really well and if someone’s upset, you know how to turn on the charm to put everyone in a good mood again.

You like what you like and become passionate about it. After about three years, I think your Batman obsession is dying down a little bit and has been replaced by Mario Brothers. You have learned how to play the Wii and you’re really pretty good at it! You love, love, love to play and you aren’t happy when we tell you it’s time to turn it off. Sorry kid, there’s more to life than video games (even if your dad would disagree with me). You also love animals, Wild Kratts, coloring, Perler beads, and playing at the park. You are happy to be along for the ride without even knowing where we’re going. You don’t often complain or make much of a fuss, but you do like talking like a baby sometimes – which you know drives mom and dad nuts!

Truth is, you are kind of a baby though-or at least, you’re MY baby! And you always will be. Even though we don’t mean to, I’m sure we treat you like you’re younger than you are or we might handle things differently with you than we did with your brother when he was your age. We try not to, but you are the baby of the family and sometimes it’s hard for moms and dads to let go of that.

I can’t believe you’re starting Kindergarten in 2 short months, Dex. It’s CRAZY! You got so big, so fast. You’re reading now and can count to…well, I don’t know what you can count to because you go on so long that we end up begging you to stop! You love your Montessori school and your teachers there. Not walking through that door anymore after May 26 is going to be different for all of us, after having that school such a big part of our family’s lives for the last 3 years. You’ve learned so much and come so far but it’s only a tiny step in the direction you’re headed in the future. Kindergarten is going to be so much fun. New school, new friends, new teachers, new experiences. I’m anxiously excited for you to face new challenges and grow even more as a student, a friend, and a person.

Dexter, I hope age 5 is your best year yet. You’re going to change so much. I’m not ready to let go of my baby but I know you’ll always love your mama. Can’t wait to celebrate your birthday all weekend long.



Catch the Moment: wk 45

The theme of this week is TILE! That’s right friends, after living in our house for over three years, we are finally getting our kitchen floor tiled. Our good friend James lays tile professionally and graciously agreed to do our kitchen, working nights and on the weekend to get it done. I can’t believe it’s finally coming together after all this time. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen so it’s exciting that pretty soon, I will actually enjoy it rather than thinking about how much I hate it every time I look around. The flooring is going to make such a HUGE difference – this is a major step and it’s looking awesome so far.

309/365: Thursday, November 5th. James was coming over to look at the tile we bought and come up with a game plan with Ryan. Coincidentally, I had a BOGO free coupon for the local bounce place that expired Thursday so the boys and I had a little date night out. Pretty fun for a random Thursday night!11-05-2015

310/365: Friday, November 6th. Ryan’s dad was coming over to help him with a few things that needed to be done in the kitchen before James started work on Saturday. I took Theo and Dexter to the park and then a book fair at Theo’s school. We ordered pizza when we got home and called it a day. 11-06-2015

311/365: Saturday, November 7th. If you can believe it, our 1983 kitchen came with CARPET – gross. So I guess when you lay carpet, the floor doesn’t have to be super level. Or maybe the floors just shifted over 30+ years since the house was built. Regardless, the floor was not level. So James used this nifty self-leveling liquid to straighten up the mess. This stuff is magical! The boys and I were in awe of it. 11-07-2015

312/365: Sunday, November 8th. To get the boys out of the house while James and Ryan were installing backerboard, we went to the Children’s Museum. We hadn’t been since the new TMNT exhibit opened. We loved it! I always think we’re going to stay at the museum for 2 hrs and it turns into an all day event. We didn’t get home til around 3 and the guys were finishing up. They did a lot in the 6 hours we were gone!11-08-2015

313/365: Monday, November 9th. James was able to start laying tile and I thought he made it pretty far for just over 2 hrs – he said they were off to a slow start. Psshhh….I’m thrilled! We chose 12×24 tiles in a herringbone pattern. I’m in love. 11-09-2015

314/365: Tuesday, November 10th. Just a little glimpse of what my living room looks like during the remodeling – yep, all the kitchen appliances are in that back corner to the left of the kitchen table. It’s…interesting. I miss my stove but mostly, I’m just thankful for a big living room. 11-10-2015

315/365: Wednesday, November 11th. The weather is definitely changing and it’s feeling a lot more like fall. It was windy and cool tonight and I was feeling relieved for having ordered the boys winter coats a few days ago. They should arrive tomorrow! The zip-up hoodies might not cut it by next week. Oh well it was a good run… we’ve had fantastic fall weather this year. The boys were ready for warm baths, warm jammies, and warm beds after having dinner out tonight. 11-11-2015

So, here’s a secret about me. I’m not really into the 30 days of thankfulness that has covered facebook for the month of November in years past. Not that I’m not thankful for things. I am . And I’m thankful that other people have things to be thankful for. But by day 20 or so, it’s “I’m thankful for my pillow.” “I’m thankful for my favorite coffee mug.” “I’m thankful for my trash bags.” Overkill. That’s all. With that disclaimer out of the way, I have to tell you that as I’m writing this post – that’s what I feel. Thankful. Thankful for my kids and all the fun we have. Thankful for our home and the ability to make improvements. Thankful for warm baths and warm beds when it’s cold outside. It’s easy to get in a negative mindset when things don’t go exactly as planned, but hey. That’s life and it could ALWAYS be worse.



catch the moment: wk 40

Wait, did I just type week 40? How are there only 12 weeks left in 2015? This, I have to admit, has been a rather dull photo week. It’s been a weird, kinda sad, super stressful and odd week with some really great moments sprinkled in for good measure. I’m looking forward to things being better going further into fall and October. This is definitely one of the boys’ favorite time of year with Halloween coming up. They love checking out spooky decorations and picking out their costumes -which we’ve yet to do. Yikes! Running out of time and this month is getting ready to fly by for us.

274/365: Thursday, October 1st. Theo is getting interested in video games! He’d been asking about going bowling so I suggested letting him try it on the Wii. He loves it and he’s rather good at it! As a bonus, his victory dance is pretty cute.10-01-2015

275/365: Friday, October 2nd. We went to the local high school’s homecoming parade to show our school spirit and when I pulled my DSLR to snap a couple pictures of the festivities, I found out that my battery was dead. Boo. We talked about going to the football game but it was windy and started to sprinkle so we decided to go to the movies and see Hotel Transylvania 2 instead. It was weird to see the boys running around with other kids and hearing kids who are complete strangers to me calling Theo’s name and chasing after him. It was a great family night! Dexter sure does love his blue raspberry icees & popcorn at the movies. I snapped this picture on my phone.


276/365: Saturday, October 3rd. A brief break in the middle of a day FULL of fighting. It was a weird, rough day. I knew I needed to go shopping for myself and for the boys. All week I had been looking forward to my day of shopping ALONE! But the whole 5 hours I was gone, I was rushing through the racks, checking the time, and feeling anxious and frustrated. I couldn’t find anything I really liked. I didn’t want to spend money. It was so cold and rainy outside and the mall was blazing hot inside so I was burning up, plus carrying crap. I didn’t have a stroller so every time I wanted to look at anything, I had to sit all my stuff down. It just felt like an ordeal. I was so looking forward to shopping alone and I felt nothing but loneliness. I needed a second opinion. I missed my kids (who were home fighting). I didn’t feel cute at all when I tried things on. I tried to buy stuff for the boys and every time I held something up, I questioned if they would like it and if it would fit. I am not looking forward to taking them clothes shopping but I guess that’s what we’re coming to. Once I got home I immediately felt relieved and at the same time, mad at myself for not being able to enjoy my time. I started cleaning and cooking and playing with the boys and instantly felt better. 10-03-2015

277/365: Sunday, October 4th. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day here in central Indiana. A perfect day for open windows, sidewalk chalk in the driveway, the smell of fabric softener wafting through the windows from the vent in the basement, candles burning, food cooking, grocery shopping, and all that other good Sunday stuff. For my instagram #souperbowlsundays challenge this week I made Hot Eats & Cool Reads’ Beefy Tomato Macaroni Soup. It might be my favorite soup so far. Looks like chili but no beans and totally different flavors. Very tomato-y and hearty. The leftovers tasted even better than the night I made it.10-04-2015

278/365: Monday, October 5th. UGH-the start of a very busy, hectic, and stressful work week. It started off by rushing the boys to their pediatrician’s office at 8am for their Flu Mist vaccinations and ended with me working late. Ironically, this was the domino setup Ryan designed with the boys that night. Theo and Dexter just haven’t been getting along very well lately. 10-05-20156

279/365: Tuesday, October 6th. I took a brief brain break from work to meet my sweet friend and her even sweeter baby (if that’s possible) at our favorite local spot for lunch. Baby’s first trip to Ben’s! Ryan’s parents stopped by Tuesday night with some fall and Halloween decorations for me to look through and to visit. We ended up all going out to eat, which was nice. Unfortunately, Dexter woke up Tuesday super congested with watery eyes and a runny nose from that stupid Flu Mist. I forgot that it’s a live virus and that Dexter probably had a similar reaction last year. I’m thinking about making him do the shot next year. He was miserable by bedtime.10-06-2015

280/365: Wednesday, October 7th. Even when he’s feeling like crap, you can still get a smile out of him. His little face is raw from wiping his nose so much. His eyes had stopped watering but still congested and nose still runny. He insisted on wearing scary pajamas and wanted to read this souvenir Haunted Mansion book from our first trip to Walt Disney World.  UGH. This topic probably deserves its own post but to sum it up, it was a really hard parenting night for me on Wednesday. We had actually had a GREAT day. Both boys had their parent-teacher conferences by coincidence on Wednesday and both teacher had great things to say about Theo and Dexter. We were so proud. The evening and story time progressed into bedtime smoothly. For whatever reason, Theo made a bad choice. After their lights went out, Theo apparently tried to get Dexter in trouble by telling him to scream. Dexter refused and Theo threatened him with “if you don’t scream, I’m gonna hit you.” Dexter still didn’t scream, so Theo punched him in the nose.  I wasn’t in there but I imagine it wasn’t a light tap, but that Theo hit him as hard as his little fist could hit. I’m pretty devastated about it because it clearly was not impulsive – it was premeditated. He had time to make the right choice and he didn’t. Dexter didn’t retaliate and apparently didn’t try to get out of the way of Theo’s right hook. I know Theo’s only 5 but it breaks my heart. Dexter certainly doesn’t deserve to be treated that way and I can’t stand the thought of Theo becoming a bully. To Dexter or to anyone else. I cried my eyes out and texted my friends. The general consensus is that it’s partly normal brother / kid stuff but that it can’t be tolerated. We’ve had serious conversations with Theo and right now the consequence is going to be that Theo sleeps in the guest bedroom for a week or so until he can earn back our trust and show more respect for his brother.  I felt really sad about it all day today and also had a very stressful work day. I will be glad to get off work at noon tomorrow.10-07-2015

And that’s the end of our weird week.