Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dear Dylan, you're 10!

Dear Dylan,
You hit double digits, ten years old! You'll be in the double digits until you're 100 years old. I wonder if I'll be here to wish you a happy 100th. If so, that means I'll be 125, so I'm guessing not, so this is the big year that I get to see you add a tens place to your age. How fun :)

So, Dylan D, my Dylan Dingo, you're amazing. Do you know what I like about you? A lot of things, so I'm going to start rattling some off to you. First, I like how thoughtful you are. If you see somebody in distress, you swoop in to save the day. You don't let yourself get too involved with junky things like video games to notice if somebody else needs help. Your ability to help could come from the many many times that I ask you to help. It's just so easy to ask you to do things for us like change Julia's diaper in the morning or fill the babies' water cups in the evening because you get yourself ready before even being asked and are available to help. You set your alarm clock as early as we will allow (although sometimes it's too early, like 6:30am!) You get up by yourself, get dressed by yourself, do your hair, get your silly bright tall socks on, shoes on, breakfast made and eaten, lunch made, snack packed in your back pack, spelling words memorized (usually), and a water. You're ready to seize the day. I hope that my morning routine never rubs off on you. I cut it close. I'm so thankful to you and your desire to please others and to not be a burden on anyone. You do sometimes moan about helping if the chore isn't fun, like throwing away a wet bundled diaper I toss over to you, but you do it anyway. You listen and act the first time. Pretty much every time. You often preemtively do your tasks, asking for help when needed. You probably wish we didn't need to sign your agenda for school, b/c that would be one less thing for you to remind us, your parents, to do. You already know what you need to do and do it, so waiting for us to have a free hand to sign the notebook for your teacher is just busy work and unnecessary for you.

You don't just obey us and your teachers at school, with the start of the new year, a Book of Mormon reading chart went up on your wall, and every evening, you read your scriptures before bed. You're amazing. You're a good example of self control, discipline, and trust. I can trust you! In fact, I left you home alone (with Isaac) the other evening. I left and went to Target and left you two here. Dad got home before I could get back, but we weren't worried at all. First I need to say this, we bought you a cell phone for your 10th birthday! So I called you and we texted back and forth while I was gone. I'll explain about the phone in another post, but basically, you're responsible and I appreciate it. You make my life easier.

Now I'll talk about more kid stuff. You like to play. You play "guys" with Isaac and/or Tyler. You play soccer outside with anybody who will play with you. You have asked so many times when a next season will start and it's soon. We're finally putting you on a rec team with practices and you'll like it. Isaac and Noah will be in the age group under you. Tyler will pay his first season too, for the little Friday night league with Ivy.

You ran your second mud run and last year, you ran so fast through it that you left your little friend behind, it was a race, after all, so you saw no problem in racing. But this year, since it was Isaac's first one, I asked you, Isaac, and Noah to stay together. You guys ran past us a couple of times since they let parents wander through the course, and you obeyed. Isaac went fairly casually through the obstacles, but didn't want to stop. You, on the other hand, waited with your friend who needed frequent stops. You, Erden, and Noah finished together. It probably pained you inside to have to stop and not push yourself to see what you could do, full throttle, but you were obedient and helpful to your friends. I really like that I can trust you. And you didn't show that you minded waiting with them. You encouraged them and were a good friend. You still had fun and had plenty of stories to tell of the amazing race. Isaac probably wanted to get through the race quickly since it was on a yucky rainy cold day. It wasn't freezing, but your boys' hands were freezing since they were exposed and wet.

Another thing you get stuck doing, is cleaning the play room. You're really good at it! You're also good at playing the piano and taught yourself how to play "Chasing The Sun." Dad was really impressed with that. You've done a violin trio at the Christmas concert and sang a solo at a nursing home this morning. You trust your leaders and say yes. Saying yes is a good quality.

You have a cool haircut, people tell you and you love it :) You're a leader.

You like your back scratched, probably b/c you have dry skin. You lick your lips and that bothers me so much, but you stopped biting your nails soon after you started to almost develop that habit, so I have faith that you'll quit this too. I just need to put chapsticks all over and get you to drink tons of water I guess!

I love you , my little Dylancito. Keep up the good work and you'll go far in life. Remember that I really really do appreciate you.
Love, Mom

National Children's Dental Health Month

February is National Children's Dental Health Month. I, a dental hygienist of 10+ years with Creating Smiles Dental, have done many dental health presentations. I have done them for my own older kids and since most of their classmates are the same from year to year, I took a year off this past fall for the Great American Teach In and talked about other things. Well guess what, my preschooler's class had not heard my presentation yet, so I asked if I could present to the class. The teachers were thrilled and asked if I could talk to the other VPK class at the school as well and of course I agreed.

Instead of going in scrubs like usual, I wore normal mom clothes complete with my 1 year old as an accessory. I brought in a big bag and talked as I pulled various things out. I first pulled out my stethoscope. I told them how I check every patient's blood pressure because at my dental office, Creating Smiles Dental, we check more than just teeth. We first make sure the patients are comfortable, and once we are friends, we check to see if they are healthy in general and answer questions before taking their x-rays and looking at their teeth. There was a birthday boy in the class that day, so I let him put on the blood pressure cuff and stethoscope as well as my mask with the face shield attached for a photo. Getting kids acquainted with medical and dental equipment in familiar settings such as their own classrooms is helpful. Letting them know what to expect is another helpful thing for these young children so their dental visits will be familiar, educational, and successful.

I had the kids keep raising the peace sign high in the sky when I asked them to answer questions, all of which are answered with the number two. At least how many times should you brush your teeth each day? "TWO!" How many times should you let me or somebody at your dental office clean your teeth each year? "Two!" How many minutes should you spend brushing your teeth each time you and your parents do it for you? "TWO!" We also talked about how to brush with my huge silly toothbrush, flossing, eating healthy foods, and answered some cute questions.

To encourage reading and to get calm again, we read a story about going to the dentist. It is a huge paperback book so all of the kids can see. Since the kids love story time and having what they call "Mystery Readers" come in, I read another book about the tooth fairy liking pretty clean healthy teeth. We closed with letting the kids each see and feel the difference between my two big teeth. One is made out of shiny smooth paper with sparkles and a happy face, indicating that happy teeth are squeaky clean. The other is made with white felt, has brown dirty spots, and is sad. Teeth are not happy when they are covered with fuzzy plaque. They can be happy when we clean them though!

I left vanilla lip balms, donated by my dental office, Creating Smiles Dental, so the teachers could put them in each of the kids' bags. The kids were excited about them. They were intently listening and raising their hands and asking good questions. I was happy to hear that most of these 4 and 5 year olds had already been to a dentist and liked going. For kids who have not had a chance to go to the dentist for their first time, the annual Give Kids A Smile day is coming up on February 27th in various locations in Pinellas County, in the name of National Children's Dental Health month. As a student then for many years after, I have volunteered for this event. Now that my kids have activities of their own on this day, I am not able to volunteer each year, but it is still a wonderful service, providing free dental exams, cleanings, sealants, fluoride varnish treatments, as well as referring back for treatment as needed.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Surprise Valentine's Date. {early}

I decided to take Steven out to dinner on a Wednesday because he will be camping this Valentine's weekend. It started as sort of his idea since Young Women was canceled for the week. But then he decided to have cub scouts. And he planned ahead and ordered marbles for the requirement and everything. So we would have to find a different time to celebrate Valentine's Day.
I took matters into my own hands. I called his co-scout leader and asked if he could handle it if I got him a sub. Yes. So I asked Don if he could watch the kids and take the boys to church. Yes. 
I picked up the boys from school, Tyler and Julia fell asleep, took all four to Don and Julia was angry she had to get out if her car seat. So I put her back in and took Don's truck. She was still mad. Oops! I had to go! 
So throughout the afternoon I had Steven text back answers to questions. But I only gave him the choice of heads or tails and didn't let him know the questions. He was confused. I was asking if I should dress in jeans or a dress, if we should go far or close, casual dining or fancy, etc. he chose dressy, casual, far/delicious. 
I was going to meet him at work then we would go to dinner but it is silly to take two cars to Tampa so I used Uber for the first time!! Steven has suggested it many times so I thought he would be proud. 
I stood near the elevators.
Then I saw him come out and walk out the door looking at his phone! Instead of calling him, I asked him to go back in for a TBT newspaper. And I went around the corner after putting his quiz in the top TBT. He found me and was still confused. So fun!
We decided to go to a closer place than the casual BBQ place, Kojacks, further into Tampa. Steven took me to Chart House. Delicious and fancy and on the way home. It was good timing. We went home and Steven got the kids from scouts while I got the other two from my mom's. Then I got sick the next night then Steven took the older two camping for Valentine's weekend. Good thing we had our little time together some time in this crazy festive month! I love my trophy husband ♥.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dear Isaac, You're 8 years old!

Dear Isaac,
     You're 8 years old now. It's after midnight so you're no longer my 7 year old. You're so cute, smart, silly, and thoughtful. I like that you still like to snuggle in next to me or Dad especially when watching a movie in our living room. You don't like to draw attention to it, but you don't mind sitting next to us and I'm glad.
     You are playing the piano and the violin now. They both clicked for you and Dylan this year. You just started the violin when school started in August and you were apprehensive when we signed you up for the lessons. You didn't want to perform in front of people. Yet you did a great job and were not nervous at all when your class had a Christmas concert at their church. You have been musical your whole life, but sort of behind the scenes. You like music and sing along with the radio. It surprises me since I don't often have the radio on in the car, so when Dad's driving all of us, you'll start singing along. The latest one was the one about responsibilities. I just looked it up. It's "Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots. I like the part where it goes "when mom would sing us to sleep when we were stressed out." It's funny. When we sing the Articles of Faith on the way to school, I can barely hear you at all, but when you sing with the radio, I see you bouncing and hear you just fine. (If you know I'm paying attention to you, you'll shrink away though unless we're all jamming out.)
     You like to climb. You'd love to do your homework and eat dinner in the tree or at the top of the swing set if we let you. Sometimes we do. When I'm loading or unbuckling kids from the car, you're often climbing the shopping cart return or trees in the parking lots. It's fun and I pretend to be surprised and nervous for your safety if other adults are around, but I know you're safe and harmless. You know not to hurt trees, or yourself.
     You're good at soccer, but sometimes let others do your dirty work. You're pretty content back in goal. But when you get that ball on the field, you're on fire! I'm missing watching you and Dylan play on teams so we'll be starting you two up soon. And you've gotten Tyler excited about it so he'll play his first season soon.
     You're growing. I don't want to say stop, b/c that's what you're supposed to do, but you've worn out many knees in many pairs of pants and are ready for another pair of shoes. You borrow Dylan's clothes now and you two get asked if you're twins.
     You have shorter hair for a longer period of time than before. I think it's b/c we've found a barber shop that you like and trust. You don't like when I cut your hair. I think you said that's why you wanted longer hair. I don't know. You aren't that worried about styling your hair, but that's probably b/c you know you're good looking no matter what your outside style is.
     You like electronics and like figuring things out on your own. You can sit quietly with Dad's phone forever. You wear out its battery then go in to our room with the charger and stay until we send a search party for you. For your birthday, you asked for an ipad. You had asked for one for Christmas and we told you that you were too young, that kids have no need for it, and that it's way too expensive. So you asked for an itunes gift card. We told you that's pointless without a device, but you didn't give in. Those are the only two items you wanted. You said that you know an ipad is too expensive, so you "know" that you're not getting that, but you still wanted the itunes gift card. Poor guy. You know how to get us to feel sorry for you, then you somehow get what you want. Like at the school roller skating party. You were going a great job on the roller skates, then near the end, asked if you could try roller blades. I said no, but you reasoned with me and I gave in. I'm not even sure I know how it happened, but you did go around on those roller blades and enjoyed them. Back to the ipad story. Dad and I thought about your initial Christmas wish. And we still were against it until we started seeing how it could benefit us. You would no longer ask to be on Dad's phone, you can do some of your school exercises on it like the year before when the school issued them, we could use it when we give lessons at church, the Disney camping trip has free wi-fi, etc. We did research and got an inexpensive, relatively speaking, ipad mini for you. We can't WAIT for you to open it!
     You'll be starting cub scouts. This is cool but not that new to you since you've been tagging along for the last 2 years. You're going to love it and the Pinewood Derby is coming up this month! Speaking of which, I blogged that 2 years ago, but not Dylan's baptism. What the heck?
     So, turning 8 is a big birthday in our family. We believe that that is the age of accountability and that you are responsible and have a sound enough mind to be able to make the decision on whether you want to officially join our church or not. You decided you do want to. We talked about the responsibilities and blessings and you really read your scriptures by yourself, say your prayers, want to help others, and are trying to be like Jesus. I'm so well pleased with you and know you'll be a leader your whole life. You're awesome and I love you.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Tyler: "Mom, for every emergency, do you call 911?"
Me: If you need the police, a fire truck, or an ambulance, that's when you call 911."
Tyler: "So what about if you need a tow truck?"
Me: Good question, I call Tripple A.
Tyler: "Chick-fil-a? What numbers do you need for that?"

love it.

Isaac will now type a joke.

Isaac:why did the chicken cross the road?