03 April, 2014

Dear Spotty Chop you are 109 months old

You participated in a Read a thon at school. You got an award for being the top reader in your class! We think that is so awesome!  You have been getting little awards each week (pencils, erasers, thingys that go on pencils) but this feat had granted you a $10 giftcard for scholastic books. You are so excited.

Books read:

  • Timmy Failure – now look what you’ve done by Stephan Pastis -- you love this series
  • Princess Lablemaker to the Rescue – an origami yoda book – by Tom Angleberger -- this may be one of your favorite series ever
  • The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great – Gerald Morris -- you really like this and want more of the series
  • Alvin Ho – Allergic to camping, hiking, and other natural disasters – by Lenore Look -- you liked t his enough that I bought you the first in the series (BAD ME for getting the 2nd book in a series first)
  • White Crane – Samurai Kids – by Sandy Fussell --  I was very happy you liked this book. The premise is that a bunch of disabled kids (that no other sensei wanted) are all being taught by one sensei. The book came at a good time as your father had taped a lot of the para Olympics and many of the commercials during the event showcased disabled people that sort of freaked you out.  
  • Ordinary Boy by William Boniface -- you liked it, but it wasn’t a Fav
  • Astronaut Academy - Re-entry - by Dave Roman - this is another favorite series for you
  • Stuart Little - by E.B. White -- YOU LOVED THIS  I was surprised by how much, but I guess I shouldn’t have been as last year your teacher read Charlotte’s web and you loved it.
  • Almost Super – by Marion Jensen – you have also joined a group at the library where you commit to reading 10 new books (that the child’s librarian chooses). In January you will all get together and vote on things like best male character, best female, best cover, best ending etc. You weren’t crazy about the book when you first started reading it. But you have in fact decided that it just might be your favorite of the year
  •  I’m reading you Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets by J. K. Rowling -- This is the series that has you asking me to read during the day
  • Your dad is reading you  Lawn Mower Magic - A Stepping Stone Book - by Lynne Jonell  -- your dad hasn’t read to you in awhile so I made sure to grab something for him to read you for your birthday. I think he missed reading to you (even if you drive him MAD when you correct him. I had to reassure Boy Toy that you do that to me too.

You recently tried: asparagus – like it; sweet potatoes (in non fry form) – like fries better; peppers & onions (cooked with sausage) – onion you said didn’t taste like anything, red pepper mad the sausage taste sweeter.

You also helped us pick out a new (to us) vehicle. We are now the proud owners of a red 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s selling points (for you) the rear seats recline, you have your own arm rest and cup holder. You have air vents in back, but most importantly, you have your own plug to charge your games.

We hosted our first sleep over. JMan came and the two of you had a blast. You unfortunately had hockey the next morning so I did have to ask you guys to go to bed. But I promised that once hockey was done we would have JMan back and then the two of you could stay up as late as you wanted.

Love ya little dude (who is 4 ½ feet tall and 70 lbs)

19 March, 2014

Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have my parents?

They are spending a week in Nantucket. They invited us along, what they didn’t know was we were bringing a guest. 

Say hello to Shadow!


In Spotty’s class Shadow goes home with the students for a few days and the kids write in a journal what they did together. As Spotty is not a “stuffed animal” kid, it was really cute to see him carrying Shadow around.

Getting to the island was an adventure. My parents were taking their car and told us not to bother taking ours (which was good since we couldn’t have afforded to bring it). Did I mention that my parents have a 4 seat car? Or that Spotty gets very uptight if he isn’t wearing a seatbelt? Want to guess who sat on plastic the entire trip? They also missed the ferry and were not going to get into Nantucket until 10pm (they were supposed to get there at 5).  We were taking the fast ferry and were going to get to Nantucket at 8pm. Luckily we were able to set aside the fast ferry tickets (we couldn’t cancel as it was same day, but we can use them anytime in the next year.)  The ferry over was uneventful. My dad realized that he was going to have to go to the rental place drop all their stuff off and then come back to get us.

I should note that I get my sense of direction from my dad. When we got off the ferry. My dad had talked to a cab driver. It was pretty cold out at 10pm and he didn’t want Spotty to have to wait. THANK GOD. My parents followed the cab to the rental office and then to the house. Tim and I laughed and laughed when we realized that my father would have NEVER FOUND THE OFFICE, and if by some miracle he did find the office HE WOULD HAVE NEVER FOUND THE HOUSE. The cab driver couldn’t find it and he was a native. (well both the cab driver and my dad thought the number on the key was the house number. It was one of the Funniest evenings we had had in a long time. When we got into the cab Spotty was coughing really hard. I said “dude, you weren’t coughing AT ALL on the 2 hour ferry ride.” His response? “I was distracted by video games”.  After a few minutes of listening to him cough up a lung Boy Toy gave him his DS. I swear to god within 2 minutes he stopped coughing. The cabby couldn’t stop laughing. When we thanking him for saving us and laughing over how ridiculous the night would have gone if my dad had to find anything, Spotty chimes in with “ya, that’s her side of the family.”  The cab driver thought he was hysterical. When we finally got to our destination, my mom came over to the cabby and said “have there been any murders in Nantucket recently?”  He very reassuringly said “oh no”. She then told him that if he had not been there to find everything, there would have been.

Papa and Timmy had an ok time

We celebrated Spotty’s birthday

And had a blast in the whaling museum.

Spotty also has another school project coming up. In this one the kids have to create a book on geometry.  We had fun looking for shapes and angles.

Spotty was very sad to leave my parents, but we reminded him that we would get to spend a whole week with them down the Cape (in August)

14 March, 2014

Dear Spotty Chop – you have cojones the size of Jupiter

The other night you went to hockey try outs. You only learned to skate less than a year ago. You stood with around 35 other kids your age and tried to do the drills the coaches use to place the skaters. They had older players demo what was wanted. After the first “drill” was done, I started to get really upset as this was way over your skill level. I imagined how you must be feeling at the end of the line, having your stomach start to get queasy at the thought of doing this.   I almost had to leave after watching the first 5 or 6 kids do this flawlessly. And then it was your turn. You were flustered, but you didn’t quit. You managed to get through it and got to the back of the line. The next drill, you did a lot better, but it was super obvious that your skill level was nowhere close to what almost every other kids was. There were 2 or 3 other kids from your learn to play class who were also there, so you weren’t the least skilled kid on the ice, but you were one of them. When it came to doing the one on ones, we could tell how frustrated and disappointed you were. You were going against  kids that were so much better than you. But you didn’t quit. You never got the puck away from him, but you kept him away from the net. He didn’t score. When you got off the ice you were all smiles.

“I probably won’t even make a team, but who cares? I think I did pretty good.”  “My stomach really hurt for awhile and I seriously thought I was going to throw up, I was really nervous”.

We were falling over ourselves telling you how immensely proud we were of you. The fact that you even tried was so huge. I would never have done it. By the time I had to do try outs for  soccer or track, I had been playing/running for years. And I was good (not great, but I was closer to the front of the pack than the back). Your dad? He never had the opportunity.

We were so worried that you were going to be a wreck, and while you were nervous and scared you still did it.  You are already surpassing your parents. Couldn’t love you more if we tried.

Of course bed time is where/when all your stresses of the day come out.  You were so upset and decided that you were never going to try out again. Or play hockey. Your dad was able to talk you off the ledge. 

I am so proud of you I could cry, well actually I am crying as I write this because? It’s just the way your mom is.

Love ya kiddo

03 March, 2014

Dear Spotty Chop you are 108 months old

Sorry it’s been so long since my last letter. Work has been crazy, our lives have been chaotic and I am perhaps a tad bit lazy. But I’m back!
9 years old – you are a nine year old my friend. Although at times I am wondering if you are perhaps a 16 year old in disguise? I really shouldn’t be surprised as both your father and I are known to have “attitude issues”.  Doesn’t matter, we love you, a lot.
So what’s been going on with you? What are you into? You still love to watch Pokemon with me. Adventure Time, Kicking it, The Neighbors, Regular Show, Teen Titans, Haunted Hathaway’s are all shows you really love. I don’t understand what you like about Uncle Grandpa or Steven Universe.
We just finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. YOU LOVED THIS BOOK. You often would stop playing video games so you and I could run to your room pull up the covers and read more. I know you want to read the second one, but I am waiting for Cheese Please to give me the lowdown on the rest of the series. Yes I have read them, but my brain is old and I can’t remember when stuff happens – her brain is young and smart. I just don’t want to be reading you stuff that you aren’t quite ready for – or at least we can talk about if you feel like you are ready to loose a character you love. Of course right now I am reading you the Seekers  - The Quest Begins; good Fing GOD, so far one mom is dead, eaten by Orca’s. Another mom is going crazy and one mom has abandoned her cub. And that was in the first 6 chapters.  I seriously don’t know if we can continue on as we both seem to be getting very depressed…luckily I did buy you the 2nd in the Familiar series so that should be hopefully a bit more upbeat.  You have also really enjoyed the Astronaut Academy, so much so that you are getting the 2nd in the series for your birthday. Same with Alvin Ho – although I accidently bought you the 2nd in the series for Xmas, so you are getting the first for your birthday (had I realized before you were halfway done that I had done that – I would have bought the first one much sooner. HATE reading a series out of order.) I wasn’t on top of my game Christmas as I bought you the 4th in the Dragon Keepers series, you wouldn’t read it so you are getting the 3rd for your birthday too.  You are still reading the Dragonbreath series (I think you are up to 7 or 8 now) you also really like the Imaginary Veterinary series. Diary of a Wimpy kid is a go to read when you are feeling anxious, as in Captain Underpants. You were totally in love with the Secret Zoo series, but the 4th book in the series spooked you after the first few pages, so we put that aside for later. Boy Toy was reading Wings of Fire and during one of the confrontations you decided to stop reading that as well. We will try again later as up until then you LOVED THEM.

We got a few games you enjoy

CastlePanic – we played this 9-10 times and got beat EVERY Fing TIME. We played just you and I, we played as a family – in fact just Boy Toy and I played until 2am one night trying to beat the game. We finally had to call my cousin and her husband and asked them to come over (they are big game players) and we did finally beat this…but it was down to the wire. The neat thing about this game is not only is it coop, but you can play solo as well.

The other game is a sequel to Forbidden Island which is also a kick ass game (that Moo and co. gave you one Xmas,) but we think Forbidden Desert (that Moo and co gave you this Xmas) might be a bit better – my cousin and husband also came over to try and help us beat this – but we FAILED. You seem to be very stressed out over not winning and we are trying desperately to show you that you don’t have to win to have a good time. It’s a work in progress.

Maybe when we go to Moo & Freak Show’s house to play this (once I am assured that the plague that infected me is not hiding in you or Boy Toy) you will relax.  You still love to play  Zombie Dice and Munchkin, we got some expansion packs and additional sets that make us laugh. You still pull out Stratego and on occasion the Bakugan game (that’s like Stratego).

You still spend time with Nannie and Pap. Papa has taken you on multiple adventures. The most recent being Laser Tag, The Museum of Fine Arts and The Higgen’s Armory Museum. Papa still chases you around the house with a broom threatening to beat you, but now you occasionally take the broom and chase him through the house.

You are taking lean to play hockey lessons. You seem to be enjoying it, but you don’t want to play hockey because you are afraid you are going to get hurt. Little dude there is no checking until…high school? College? You aren’t going to get hurt. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if you play hockey or not, I just don’t want you to close the door on something on the possibility of a scenario that chances are will never happen…good god you are your father!

You are a Minecraft fiend. You love to play and are spending more time playing with other people than you do building worlds. I really appreciate that you still ask us before you do things on line “is it ok if I answer someone’s question, can I join an auction?” I know it won’t always be this way, but I think it’s sweet.

You stayed home today, you asked if you could. So right now you are playing Kirby in Dreamland. You loved Kirby’s epic yarn and you seem to really love this one too. One of the books I got you “the Homework Machine” you have already read…brat. You said you wanted ice cream cake for breakfast so the cake is on the counter, once it thaws a bit more you shall have CAKE. We will be going to Dave & Buster’s later for lunch. Yesterday we took you and JMan to see the Lego Movie. You both loved it. The movie matinee (for kids) was $9.00. For your father and I it was $9.50.  I wonder how much movie tickets will be by the time you read this letter?
Love you kiddo Happy Birthday! 

28 February, 2014

Cape Cod or what we got to do over summer vacation 2013 cauz my parents paid for it

I have a godson GO. He lives out in California with his sister and parents. He’s 9 and I have only seen him once (at the christening) due to us being poor (although when I say we are poor I fully recognize that we own our own home, it is in a safe neighborhood, we always have good food to eat and have a redonkulous amount of toys {a pool, X Box,3DS, more books than you can shake a rake to}) so maybe not poor,  just not rich enough to hop on a plane to Cali to visit my godson.

My parents have worked hard their whole lives and I am beyond lucky that they are both incredibly generous, not only with their time, but with their money as well. My dad has been looking for the “perfect house” to rent (not own, they aint rich). He wants it on the water, he wants my mother happy so he also looks for something with 3 full baths (so my brother & his wife and Boy Toy, Spotty and I can all stay at the same time) and multiple bedrooms. He had a perfect spot at Linger Longer – beautiful house, not on the water, but we had to take…100-200 steps on a board walk past the house on the water to get to the water. It was a beaut – but the only week he could get access to was the week Spotty Chop goes back to school, so we could only go down for a long weekend. Well, one year due to a hurricane and no electricity I think we stayed till Wednesday, we didn’t have electricity at the Cape either, but who cares when you are in a beautiful place next to the ocean?

My parents really wanted to give us the ability to have a week vacation (actually I think my dad just wants to be with Spotty.) We did that for 2 or 3 years. Then my dad found a place on a pond. It was right on the water, we in fact walked down the stairs into the water. It was next to the bike path. It had rooms galore, decks, and bathrooms. It would have been perfect except for one tiny thing…no AC. Well it had two window AC’s one it my parent’s bedroom and one in the bedroom we stayed in. My mother did not approve. During that trip we went on a whale watch tour. As we left Hyannis we passed some beautiful houses on the water and my dad said “gee I wonder who gets to stay in houses like that”. Queue foreshadowing music.

Guess where we were last year?

My Godson’s mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer last year (fast forward to today – she had her last surgery/chemo in January and has a clean bill of health) and my mom thought since we were going to have a whole house, my parents have been visiting them for years and since Spotty and I had a great emailing/book sharing relationship with GO (and GO’s dad is my mom’s baby brother)  , she would invite the kids to come and then her brother and wife would be able to spend some time alone together.

We had a bit of fun

We had such a great time getting to know the kids, and the kids got along so great it was like they had always known each other.   I really miss waking up with them and telling them all to go to bed. 

It was the best gift my parents could have given us. And I hope to hell we get to spend more time with them.

ps the Bruins hat you see on GO? I gave it to him, it was supposed to be sent the Xmas of 2012, but I had put it in a "safe" place.