Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday, Little Pop!

I had been so torn with the correct way to start this letter to you, but I should have known that you'd give us one of your gems last night as you were talking to your daddy (for the best effect, pretend you are reading this with all of the words strung together without a breath being taken)...

Daddy! I had spinach at lunch today and I liked it! I ate five bites, no ten bites! And I ate macaroni and cheese that I thought I didn't like last week, but I did like it. And I had mandarin oranges! And then, I thought I crapped my pants today, but I checked and there was nothing there.

Dear Boy Pop/Booble Dooble/Skeebledebeeps:

Today you turn 4. The past year has held so many milestones for you and for your Daddy and I. Looking back, I have wondered how we have all made it with minimal crazy… The answer in my case is wine. And monthly visits to my hairdresser.

I’ve been thinking about how best to write this letter to you. What should I include? How on earth can I possibly document all of the milestones that have occurred since 9/25/2006? There is really not enough room or time to go through it all, but I will do my best.

In October, your Nana, GrandDad, and I visited the Pumpkin Patch. This was your second visit, but my first. We had so much fun picking out the pumpkin that would eventually become your Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween! Later, you went to stay with your grandparents, and you had your 3 year old portrait made. Nana also pulled out the clown costume she made 30 some odd years ago for your uncle and dressed you up and took pictures. This is probably special to no one else, but it is meaningful to me because I think it is just incredible that a) the costume has held up, b) your nana used to sew clothes, and c) there are now pictures of you, me, and my brother, all at 3 years old, all wearing the exact same costume. You chose to be Spiderman on the actual day of Halloween, and finally trick-or-treating was meaningful to you. You raced around from house to house, running full-tilt. You were so excited!

In November, you got to ride on Thomas the Train. You even had your picture in the newspaper afterwards! Of course, it was your Nana and GrandDad’s local paper and it was a picture that Nana submitted to them, but still! You’ve now been in the paper at least a half-dozen times since birth. Later on in the month, we played host to both sets of family for Thanksgiving. I’m sorry if I was a little stressed out because of it. I like things to be perfect. I should know by now that that will never happen. I’m just glad we got through all!

December came along and you really got into the spirit. You took charge of much of the tree decorating. This was another first, since I really did not trust you to not break things before now. You took to Christmas decorating with gusto as you helped with the tree and also “helped” your Daddy go through the multitude of frustrations, curses, and blown fuses as he hung lights on our house. Another first for us. And one we won’t soon forget! You gave Santa Claus an earful when we went to go see him, spelling out your lengthy Christmas list so fast, it reminded me of the movie A Christmas Story. We were extremely busy in December with all kinds of activities. You spent time early in the month with your grandparents, then you and Mommy hosted a cookie decorating party while Daddy was out of town. What a mess! We spent another Christmas at your Mema’s house (that was my 31st time overall, and 27th consecutive trip to her house for Christmas). On Christmas Day, we went back home and had our own celebration, just you, me, Daddy, and the Dallas Cowboys in HD.

January was pretty slow overall. Not much really happened as we were still recovering and resting from a brutally busy December. Most notably, though, we experienced an ice storm that literally shut down our city for about three days. I loved being able to stay home and hang out with you during that time. We cooked and played and ran around on frozen ground. At the end of the month, you were the best trooper you could be and you helped pick out a new car for Mommy and were also “Student of the Day” at your preschool!

February started off with a green-icing-colored bang as we celebrated the Super Bowl with cupcakes that used frosting from the makers of the Sharpie company. Seriously, the icing didn’t wash off for DAYS. You helped me celebrate my birthday and also got the haircut from Hell at the end of the month. Don’t get me started… No offense, but your head was a little mushroom-like.
In March, you showed your daddy a splinter on your finger and gave us fodder for years to come. Your pre-school held its annual “Spring Fling” and I’m not sure which was your favorite… The petting zoo, the pony ride, the train ride, or the balloon animals.

The big event for April was Easter. We were supposed to go to your Nana and GrandDad’s house, but you came down with a horrible, but thankfully brief, stomach bug, so the Easter Bunny came to visit you at our house instead. Our big adventure that Saturday before Easter was the trip to the “ghetto” mall. I have to say, we were a little bit frightened, so we left very quickly after your picture was taken. We heard later on the news that the mall was closed early and evacuated because of an incident with a gun. I just have to say never again to that place on a weekend. Later in the month, you helped us pick out flowers for our spring planting. You are such a great helper!

In May, you were invited to go out on our friend Dave’s boat. It was a little too chilly to swim, but we made the best of it. Luckily for all of us, he has a bathroom on board. You definitely used it for all it was worth and we had to fumigate later. ;-) At the end of the month, you went on an extended vacation with your grandparents while Daddy and I went to Mexico. We were apart from each other for ten days, but it felt like ten years. I don’t think I’ve ever missed you as much as I did this time around. You had so much fun, though! You went swimming, saw Shrek 3 at the movies, went to Chuck E Cheese, and had an all-out great time!

Then came summer… We had such high hopes for this year and I planned early on to get you in swimming lessons. Sadly, it rained for much of June and July, so we didn’t have the time to do that. We did go to the pool every time there was sun and you made a ton of progress without the aid of formal training. By the end of July, you were floating on your back and had even taken your floaties off to swim to your Daddy. There was only one scary swimming moment and that was back in June. We were getting dried off and ready to go back home from our friend’s house, when you decided to just jump into their pool without any floaties. You struggled to get to the top, but couldn’t. I jumped in fully-dressed after you and you decided not to ever do that again!

July was a red-letter month in the Pop household for three reasons besides your swimming progress… You had a week of soccer camp, Daddy had a birthday, and you went to Disney World. You spent the last week of the month in Orlando with your grandparents (they saw you a bunch this summer!) and came back with way too many toys. That’s okay, though. You had the best time and got autographs of all the characters.

After all that excitement, August had to be a let-down. We spent the month relaxing and enjoying each other. You started sleeping through the night in “big boy” underwear… We had some issues, though, so you’re back in a pull-up, but I know you’ll be staying dry through the night consistently very soon. You went to see your Mema in the middle of the month, but that was the only traveling you did.

That brings us to September… Birthday month! Your party is going to be at the same place where we had it last year, even after trying to entice you with Chuck E Cheese. We’re having a Scooby Doo theme as you have skipped about twenty grade levels cartoon-wise and gone from Dora straight to Scooby! This month you started watching all of Mommy and Daddy’s favorite cartoons… The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, etc... I’m so thrilled that there is a network that carries these classics again! You went to your first ever Longhorn game and your fourth UT tailgate over Labor Day weekend, too. I am so proud at how well you did. Your father and I were worried that it might be too long of a day and maybe too much for you, but you proved us wrong yet again.

I’ve written this letter to you over the course of several days. It takes a while to remember all of the things that have happened over the past year. I know I’m leaving out way too much and I promise I will do a better job at recording all of the wonderful moments you have in the future.

Each year seems to jump out and grab me and I look at your birthday with a mixture of pride, joy, sadness, and awe. You are hands-down the smartest, kindest, most polite, cutest, funniest, most adorable and sweet little boy in the entire world. You ask nicely, you repeat words that I wish you wouldn’t, you are impossible to stay upset with, and you surprise me every single day. When you were an infant, you did not like to be held all that much and as you’ve grown, you have been a little stand off-ish and haven’t liked to cuddle. Over this last year, though, you will let me shower you with hugs and kisses and you will even walk up to me and randomly hug me or kiss me. I know that this won’t last forever, but I am savoring every kiss, every hug, and every “I love you.”

No lottery prize could compare to the jackpot Daddy and I hit when we had you.

Happy Birthday!

Mommy and Daddy


agpatterson said...

sniff. yep, im cryin' again!

Jenni said...

What a cutie pie!!!

emily said...

happy late birthday the smaller of the pops!