Archive for the ‘Monthly Letters’ Category


March 16, 2009

This is just an idea for a photo that I had last Friday, and I really love how it turned out.  The play gun that Kasen is holding was my brother’s play gun when he was a little boy.  Kasen had never seen it until right before this photo shoot.  I put it in her hand and asked her to pretend to blow.  She did.  She let me take three shots (pics), and this was the first one I took.  Lucky me! ;)   After Kasen went to bed,  I asked for Brad’s assistance to help me since I wanted to photograph smoke . . . and I certainly couldn’t do that on my own.  He lit a few matches and blew them out, and I was able to capture the smoke the way I wanted.  I then took the two photos and merged them together and this is what I got. :)   Just a fun shot that reminds of the old western photos that they used to take at Six Flags over Texas.   I wonder if they still do that?  And if you’re concerned or wondering, the play guns are back in lock-up. ;)

Here’s my little cowgirl, or maybe she’s the sheriff????


See ya’ later!!

38 Months

November 13, 2008

~~Okay, keep in mind that this WAS written on October 10, 2008.  I just haven't had the time to add the pictures until now.  Then, I'll have to post her November 10, 2008 letter.  I'll give that a few days or more before I post, and then hopefully by December 10, 2008, I'll finally be caught up. That will be nice, finally caught up on something!! LOL~~  Oh yeah, I KNOW it's long – I had a LOT to say!! LOL

October 10, 2008

38 Months

Dear Kasen,

Yep, here we are again. . . . another month older, another month wiser, another month cuter, and another month WAY more stubborn! LOL The drama of three continues to astound me. I always laugh when people say how charming you are and ask if you are always that delightful. When I’m feeling nervy, I retort, “Oh she’s delightful alright, but the highs are REALLY high and the lows are REALLY low!” LOL

This last month, you have braved the The Great Pumpkin Patch at the Arboretum with friends, trudged through thousands of folks at the Texas State Fair and taken several outings on your big girl trike. You have climbed on your new dandy rope ladder, attended several days of Mothers’ Day Out, and helped your parents rearrange and begin to decorate the newly named guest bedroom as the playroom/guest bedroom/baby room.

Fall is definitely here, at least great fall weather for Texas!! And we have loved being outside more and more each day. Long walks are taken in the sole effort of gathering acorns. Swinging on the swing set ‘til the sun sets is a special affair. And the preparation of Halloween includes getting your “ishy” costume to NOT be itchy, and the eating of super-special-sugar-treats like candy corn, mellow cream pumpkins, cotton candy, and autumn colored jelly beans, hoping to save some of that special candy for the many trick-or-treaters that will converge upon our door this October the 31st.

I truly believe that Halloween is your favorite holiday. You asked about it every single night last year after the unparalleled event. If we left the house and it was the slightest bit dark outside, you would ask “It Halloween?” LOL I’m pretty sure that lasted up until about, say, two months ago. Soooo, I’m fully expecting after the hugely anticipated event this year, that we will hear that same question again (only using better grammar, I hope) for yet ANOTHER entire year. We were recently at the doctor so I could receive one of my cortisone injections for my shoulder. While there, you talked to everyone and anyone that would listen!! You were asked what you were going to be for Halloween, and you coquettishly responded, “A princess.” And when asked to elaborate on which princess, you appeared miffed in your reply “A KASEN PRINCESS!!” LOL Other questions ensued, but my favorite by far was when asked what you would say to people after you knocked on their door on Halloween. You stood tall and recited “Trick or Treat, Giggle and Fright, It’s fun to be scared, On Halloween night.” LOL

Kasen, you are such a Texas girl and the accent is coming through loud and clear! I have to admit that I do have an accent, but it’s certainly not as thick as many Texans, including my mother and brother. Then there’s your Dad, he does not have a Texas accent at all. However; his Canadian accent is still slightly apparent, and even more so after he’s been around his buds for a week. Soooo, it’s come as quite a surprise that your accent has been so heavy as of late. You say in the longest Texas drawl, “Are you maaaaaaa-uhhhhhD?” Or, “Are you saaaaaaaa-uhhhhhhd Mawwwwwmuhhh?” LOL Whoa baby, it’s crazy. We’re thinking you must be picking this up from some friends, because I know we don’t sound like that, at all. It is a hoot to hear you when you’re laying it on thick, but I certainly hope it starts to diminish a bit soon. Soft southern bell accent, yes . . . deeeeeep-Southern-I’ve-never-been-to-a-city-in-my-life-accent, no! LOL

You are still such a girly girl, but your love for bugs and the outdoors is definitely something of greatest importance in your life. You received a bug catcher not long ago, and you have spent hours trying to catch every bug imaginable . . dead or alive. LOL I did help you catch a moth and you would have thought that I hung the moon for you. You were so sweet to watch him, talk to him and even ask him how he was doing. LOL Then you were also kind enough to let him go and that made you feel great, like you had done something for the greater good of the country. It truly is refreshing to see the world through your eyes.

We have spent lots of time playing with friends and you have enjoyed every minute of the freedom and fun. I do too, but it’s so hard to try to keep up with you . . . especially when you would rather have the other Mommies look after you. We were at the park with friends today, and I wanted to swing you, but you wouldn’t let me. You kept asking one of the other Moms to do it, and you didn’t want to walk with me to the creek either. You, again, asked another Mom to walk with you, to hold your hand. I sometimes wonder what goes through that little mind of yours. Are you just exerting your independence, because you feel safe knowing that I’m still right there, or would you even care if I decided to take a break, go back to the car and take a nap while the other Mommies filled in for me?? Hmmmmm, haven’t really thought about that last one until now. LOL Actually, it helps me somewhat because it then gives me the opportunity to take pictures of the other children, especially when you really want nothing to do with the camera at all. Ohhhhh, and can I tell you how much THAT one hurts my heart. LOL


Yes, you are a daredevil, a tomboy and a frilly girl all wrapped up in one. Your father calls you a walking contradiction. LOL I noticed that you love to take risks while we were at the creek. On the way there, all the little boys were standing on the bridge, staring at the water below. However; you were the only one that climbed up on the ledge, peered over with those inquisitive eyes, and I actually think you would have tried to climb over the rails had I not stopped you. Then, once down at the water, you ventured farther and farther into the creek, the water rising around you, while you threw stones and slipped and slid all over the moss covered rocks until I thought you were definitely going to go head over heels into the water with a resounding splash. One of the Moms said that you were giving her a heart attack. LOL I could only empathize since that’s how I feel every day of your life. LOL Thank you Kasen for giving me more white hair than any mother of a three year old should have. Thank goodness for the invention of highlighting. LOL It cracks me up when people say that we have the same color hair. I laugh and say, “Yes, but hers is real. I pay for mine.” LOL

As I loaded you into the car after the park/creek adventure, I carefully put you into your car seat, making sure not to get any mud on myself. You must have had two inches of mud on the cuffs on your ruffled jeans, and your once beautifully white sneakers were now a dingy shade of gray. I stripped you before we even entered the house and your kind Mimi took it upon herself to wash everything and make it shine just like it did the in the morning before the great creek rollick. Really, I don’t know how you did it, but no other child there, out of the eight total, were even close to the mess that you were. I mean, all the little boys still looked fresh . . . . tousled, but for the most part, clean . . . but you . . . you were a wreck!! Even the pictures that we took after lunch show how disheveled you were becoming minute by minute. The children were wearing hats for me so I could take pictures. You were the only one in the picture with your hat over your eyes, then your hat was thrown off, then your hair was a crazy mess, you had someone else’s cup of raisins in your hand, and your face was covered with mud, food, and who knows what else. I think that’s the only time that we came home from lunch with friends, and you had more lunch in your bag when we arrived home than when we started. I’m not sure how many Moms and children you bummed food off of, but I ‘m thinking we owe somebody or two, a lunch.

You have really enjoyed having your Mimi here and it’s sad that she’ll be going home in about seven days. Every morning, you beg to go and wake her up and sometimes you don’t even ask, you just barge in her room, crawl up in bed with her and sleep some more or she lets you watch cartoons while you’re all snuggled together. Either way, I don’t think she minds too much. I know she’s going to miss those hugs and kisses when she heads back to Iowa. I will certainly miss her too. I have such a great relationship with my Mom and I hope with all my heart that ours will be the same. I rely on her so much and we just have the best time together. She’s the only one that I can talk to on the phone every single day for an hour or more. I sometimes think I have nothing to say, but then it’s hard for either of us to get off the phone because we keep thinking of something else we just NEED to talk about. Even though our relationship may be different than the one I have with my Mom, I still want us to be close, however that might be. We’ll just have to play it by ear, but please know that I will always be here for you and I will certainly always make time to listen.

Kasen, you are dreadfully honest. I keep telling your Dad that it’s sometimes embarrassing and he just tells me “Get used to it. It’s not changing anytime soon.” LOL When my Mom, your Mimi, got in the car at the airport, you were sooo excited to see her. You carefully looked her over, pointed to her face and asked “You have wrinkles?” I was mortified. Mom calmly said “That’s okay. I DO have wrinkles.” And Kasen was satisfied, although she has asked her several times again. Like I said, brutally and dreadfully honest. I just hope when the time comes, I can teach you just a “little bit” of tact!

You attended your first ever block party this past month and you had a smashing good time. You thought it was YOUR party. I’m aware that part of this is because I just planned your birthday party, which really should have been around your birthday, which, I’m sure YOU are aware, Ooops. Well, your birthday party is coming, I promise, it will be in about a week, but the block party was for everyone in our neighborhood. We were asked to bring items for s’mores and anything else we thought people might enjoy. We ended up bringing marshmallows and you were crazy excited about that. I even caught you during the night carrying around that bag, stuffing marshmallows one by one in your little mouth, assuredly causing a sugar-high for the records. LOL Since you didn’t have Mother’s Day Out the next day, I decided to let you stay up a little late and REALLY enjoy the party. Your Dad wasn’t feeling great, and had a hockey game later in the evening, so he was taking a nap and didn’t get to attend. Your Mimi was there though and was amazed at your stamina and how unbelievably fast you could get out of sight. Even the other children said that you would just.not.stay.still. LOL Well, before we headed out the door to the party, I surprised you with several glow stick necklaces and you looooooved them. Daddy helped us put them together and then we placed them around your neck. You couldn’t stop feeling them and looking at them and I was happy too, since that meant I could find you in a crowd. You may run, but you cannot hide. LOL We then headed to the front door, since the crowd was already gathering in the cul-de-sac in front of our house. As I placed my hand on the doorknob to open the door, I looked down at your precious glowing face. You then clasped your hands together, smiled your biggest smile and said “I’m so exciting. Everyone’s coming to my party!” LOL See, you really are a diva. *wink* And as much as we told you that it wasn’t YOUR party, you held onto that delusion until the very end. As everyone was packing up to go and as each family began their departure home, you grinned, held your hands to your heart and sincerely said, “Thank you for coming to my party.” Sweet pea, you are just too much.

As I mentioned before, we have been decorating the playroom/guest bedroom/baby room. We have been buying furniture that will be used for toys, yet will also grow into the baby room. I have news for you, if we adopt a girl, you’ll be sharing your room for quite some time. And if we adopt a boy, well, that playroom that you love so much will have to be shared since it will be HIS room. I’m not sure that either scenario is just perfect for you, but we think you’ll adjust . . . . in time. LOL While we were at the mall buying some more pieces for “that” room, we thought it would be fun for you to have a ride on the carousel. You proudly handed your coin to the attendant and I helped you up on the highest horse of your choosing, painted with beautifully bright colors of bubble gum pink and majestic purple. I then put the belt around you tightly, while still hanging on to your petite frame. Each time we circled, without fail, you would wave to your Daddy so powerfully that your body would rock back and forth, and I would have to plant my feet even steadier to ensure that both of us weren’t going down. And even though your father is very shy, I could see his face light up every time he heard your voice and saw your contented face, and I swelled inside as well, knowing how much happiness that you’ve brought into our lives. Something so simple as a carousel, yet more powerful than you could ever imagine.

The carousel has finally come to a halt and it’s time to get on with our day. I helped unfasten your belt and set you down beside me. Before I knew it, you were heading out the gate and I was running to keep up with you. And in the blink of an eye, you turned to push the gate behind you . . which wouldn’t have been so bad except that a little girl was right there!! I reached down and grabbed the gate so it wouldn’t hit the little girl in the head, and in my frustration, I told you harshly to “STOP!!” Well, I did stop the gate and the little girl did not get hit, but you turned back around and in that instant, the gate hit YOU, in the eye. I grabbed you so fast and tried to see what happened, but you had your hand over your eye while tears streamed down your face and you screamed in agony. *tears* I sat down, still clutching you in my arms, beside Daddy, and we both tried to see the extent of the injury. We finally got you to take your hand away and your eye was already turning bright red and purple. The carousel attendant came over to us and asked if we wanted to file an injury report. We really didn’t know what to do because we didn’t know how badly you were hurt. She asked us to go and get a cold paper towel in the restroom and evaluate it even further. I carried you in the restroom, walking over to the sinks and you were already trying to talk to a little girl washing her hands. Sooo like you, even when you’re hurting, there’s still time for a quick conversation among soon-to-be-friends. LOL I didn’t realize it, but the attendant had come in after us. She started asking how you were doing and then she asked you to cover your good eye. She held up one finger and asked “How many fingers am I holding up?” You replied, “One.” She thought that was great, so then she held up five fingers and asked you again, “How many fingers am I holding up now?” You didn’t hesitate, you said “A LOOOOOoooooot!!” LOL There were several women standing around us and they all started snickering, but I’m sure that my laughter dominated. Well, even thought I can’t make a long story short to save my life, the final result was that you were fine. Actually you were excited thinking that you were going to have a black/blue eye and you asked every single morning for two weeks, “Is it black yet? .. . Is it purple? . . Is it blue?” No honey, it’s fine, but I’m sure you’ll get one sometime in your life and you can ride the sympathy boat for all it’s worth on that one.


The Dallas Arboretum has special Mommy and Me Mondays during the month of October. They have a pumpkin patch there, a pumpkin house, Kindermusic, a petting zoo, a hay maze, crafts and face painting. You were more interested in kicking and rolling the pumpkins than having me take your picture with them. Big surprise!! But the thing that astounded me the most was that you wanted your face painted. I was thinking, “No way will you sit still that long!” But you did, and you even told the lady that you wanted a pink butterfly WITH glitter AND pink lips!” LOL You have always known what you wanted . . with great certainty and this was certainly no exception. Well, the lady painted your face while I snapped pics right and left and then I watched you look at yourself in the mirror. It was the cutest thing, you were seriously studying your face for a while and then slowly, but surely, came the grin and you couldn’t have been prouder. You keep asking to go back and we will definitely do that. It was just too much fun!!



We attended the Texas State Fair and we had the pleasure of having Mimi come along. It was nice and cool in the morning, but it got crazy hot before we left. To top that off, it was packed and now I know that we will never ever again attend the fair on a weekend. I’ve always been on a weekday and now I know why I’ve done that all these years. Honestly, it really was super busy. Thirty plus people in line for a corny dog?? Come ‘on – NO corny dog tastes that great. I settled on a chili dog instead. ;)

When we first arrived at the fair, we headed straight to the Little Hands on the Farm. You pretended to farm, plant seeds, water trees, gather eggs from the hen house, milk a cow and then you rode a little tractor at the end. You looked so stoic in all the pictures, leaving your father and I thinking that you were just going through the motions and not enjoying it all that much. We then went to feed and pet the animals and you seemed to like that quite a bit, even though the ostrich pecking at your shovel full of feed had you jumping and subsequently giggling with nervous laughter. We moved on to see exhibits, eat lunch, dance with the practicing band, have chilled cherry dessert, run and run up and down a hill, and play lots and lots of expensive fun games at the Midway. Oh yeah, and there was cotton candy thrown in for good measure. All of that combined made for an overly stimulated and extremely unhappy you as we told you it was time to leave. We left the park with you screaming bloody murder that you didn’t want to go home, and as we whisked you as fast as we could toward the exit, we saw heads continuing to turn to see if we were actually beating you right there in public. *rolling eyes here* However; I was thinking that it sounded like “What are my evil parents doing making me go home and take a nap and not let me eat more candy and play games until my parents pockets are empty?” scream. *sigh*





After getting you settled in the car, you calmed down and began to recount your day. We asked what your favorite part was and you said, “Being a farmer. That was my favorite part.” See, you never know. We would have bet money that you would have picked petting and feeding the animals, or the Midway games, specifically, throwing the bucket full of shiny, red, rings in every direction imaginable, except for where they should be going, on.the.bottles. LOL And trust me on this one, even when you think you know what your children are thinking, think again. It’s an ongoing game to see if we can figure your little mind out, and just when we think we’ve nailed it, you go and change the game plan. And even though it can be extremely and thoroughly confusing at times, I sure am having fun trying.

I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy

37 Months

September 10, 2008

Dear Kasen,

Well, you’ve had one whole month of being THREE!!  Lots of changes, lots of bargaining, lots of
love, lots of attitude, and lots of me feeling like you’re growing up way too
fast!  *tears*  Now, when I sing your lullaby, you correct me when I get to the
part about my “sweet baby.”  You say,
“I’m not a baby.  I’m a big girl.”  I always correct it for you and then my added
part always follows . . . . “You’ll always be my baby!”  And you will, even as I held you this
morning while I rocked you, I imagined how tiny you used to be, all snuggled up
in my arms and even though I miss those days terribly, I value each day that I
have with you now.  I enjoy our
conversations, our play time and watching your little mind work overtime.

I think the biggest change for you this last month has been
transitioning from a crib to a “big girl” bed. 
We kept you in your crib for as long as possible, especially since you
didn’t seem to mind and never tried to climb out.  We talked to several friends about when the right time would be
to move you, but the majority said to wait  So we did. LOL  We all went as a family to pick out your mattress, your bedding
and you couldn’t have been more excited. 
That was pretty evident as you bounced from mattress to mattress in the
bedding store, intermittently telling the sales lady to “Be careful” as she
lowered mattresses to the floor.

The day your mattress came in, we had all the bedding
washed, so we all made up your bed and had it ready to go.  We let you jump to your heart’s desire and
took lots of pictures to document the momentous event.  We were a little worried how you would
handle it that first night and yep, there were a few bumps and bruises . . literally.  We moved the nightstand too close to your
bed and when you were trying to get up to find me, you fell and hit your
head.  We felt awful and you cried, “I
couldn’t see you Mommy.  It’s too dark.”  Lesson learned.  We left a little night light on for you, moved the furniture
around a bit, placed pillows on the floor around you and began the night time
routine once again.  You did
GREAT!!!!!!!!  You slept all night long
and when you woke up in the morning, you walked directly into our room and with
sleepy eyes, you asked, “Is it morning?”

Everyone that crosses your path is told about your “big
girl” bed.  I watched you at the store
the other day, telling a little boy about your new bed.  You stood directly in front of him and said,
“I got a big girl bed.”  When he didn’t
respond as quickly as you would have liked, you reiterated, “Did you hear
me????  I got a BIG GIRL BED!” LOL  We’re so happy that you are enjoying the
benefits of growing up, but I do miss that little face peeking out at me over
the crib every morning.  However; those
sweet little feet that go fwap fwap fwap on the cold hard floor every morning,
making their way into our bedroom and crawling up in bed to snuggle with us . .
. makes it all worthwhile.

You know, my favorite conversations with you are in the car,
while we’re driving around town.  I just
love that you notice so many things and you feel free to talk so openly and
about everything.  I soak up those
moments and hope that it’s always our special time together.  Here’s an example of one of our most recent
conversations in the car, and one of my favorites:

Kasen: (looking out the window at all the greenery)  God made those trees.

Me:  He did?

Kasen:  Yeah, he
did.  He make them beautiful.

Me:  Yes, I
know.  He did a good job, didn’t He?

Kasen:  Yeah, he
did.  You see those cars right there?

Me:  Yes, I see them.

Kasen:  He made those
cars too.  He painted that one blue, and
that one red and that one black.

Me:  Well, He didn’t
actually make the cars, but He made the people that made and painted the cars.

Kasen:  Ohhhhh, sorry!

Sooo cute.  It seems
I laugh more in the car lately with our banter than anywhere else.  I love that!!

Along with talking in the car, it’s also where you belt out
several songs.  We get a kick out of you
singing, “Cinderelly, Cinderelly, oh, oh, Cinderelly!”  I think “Lullabye and Good Night” is a close
second.  We never know which words
you’ll come up with on the latter song, but it’s always a nice and unique

You are great at stalling. 
Your newest phrases are “Wait a minute. Wait a minute.  I forgot something.”  Or “Wait a second. Wait a second.  I forgot to show you something.”  Then we see your eyes searching, and can
almost hear your mind clicking, while you buy some time before you figure out
your game plan.  Then, you point to
something you want to eat, or suggest a certain game to play. . . which is
great IF it wasn’t RIGHT before you are supposed to be going to bed, or
anywhere else for that matter.  Another
favorite stalling tactic of yours is saying, “What you SAYED?”  Translation, “What did you say?”  It usually gives you a little more time,
since I explain to you once again what I JUST said.  So, I guess that one is working as well. LOL  Hey, I just realized that we’re totally
getting played from a three year old. LOL 
Man, you’re good!!

They always say that you will see yourself in your children,
and boy do we believe that now.  It
wasn’t that long ago that I would tell you something and you would answer
“What?”  You would keep doing that over
and over and over!!!  Frustrated, I
would say “You heard me!”  And then you
would bust out laughing.  Pretty good
indication that you knew what I was saying!! 
Recently you said something to me and I couldn’t understand you . . . so
I kept saying “What?” in response to you. 
Certainly fed up with me, you said “You HEAR ME!!” LOL  It’s good to know that you actually ARE

Speaking of listening, this has been a HUGE goal of
yours.  We ask that you listen to us AND
comply.  What a novel idea, eh?!  We know that you hear, “You don’t listen!”
several times throughout each day and we are working like mad to tell when you
DO listen.  Reward the good, reward the
good, that’s our mantra.  When I asked
why you were on a timeout recently, you hung your head, slowly shaking it back
and forth, then pursed your lips and said, “I just DON’T listen.”  As I watched you talk to a little girl at
the shoe store, I realized that you take way more in than we even realize.  This little girl asked if you wanted to be
her best friend.  You were more than happy
to take that role and then you started talking about your mothers.  Once again, I saw you hang your head as if
getting into trouble and say “My Mommy gets mad I don’t listen.”  First, I cracked up, and then the sadness
followed.  It truly broke my heart that
you know I get angry with you.  We’re
always trying to find that line between raising a child that will be
respectful, nice, caring, and compassionate, but be firm enough with you, that you
are not ungrateful, unkind or impolite. 
You see, we have to show you that we are angry with your behavior
because it’s not acceptable.  It is
definitely sinking in, but each day I notice more and more that our moods
affect you, and we never want you thinking that we are unhappy with you . .
just the behavior.  Seriously, it’s

It was the end of an era this past month, your Gymboree
classes have now ended.  I have really
missed taking you to your play class every Wednesday morning . . and I have
missed the Mommies as well. ;)   You
continue to ask about Miss Linda (your Gymboree teacher) and you still ask
repeatedly if we are going to Gymboree class. 
You were actually too old to be in the last class, but I kept you in
because some other mothers with older children continued through the summer as
well.  Now that you’re a big girl, we
had to move on.  This morning we
attended your first gymnastics class at The Little Gym.  You could not have been more excited, calling it "dyn-natiks."  I really played it up and told you how much
fun it would be, that I would be there, but I would be on the other side of the
glass, watching.  Every Gymboree class,
I was right by your side and I had to gulp a LOT today while watching you play
in a new environment without me.  I know
it sounds silly, but I didn’t want to miss being by your side, hearing your giggles
and cheering you on.  When you were
closer to the glass, I heard you say to the teacher “I do it by myself!”  I guess that statement is not reserved just
for me! LOL  Then I watched you hang on
the bar with your hands and feet, look upside down for your teacher and yell
“Look at me!!”  I was so relieved that
you were enjoying yourself.  It was
clear that you loved it because you did NOT want to leave.  We were the last to head out the door and
you have asked all afternoon if we can go back tomorrow.  Yes sweetie, we’re going back, but it will be
one whole week.  I signed you up for the
fall session, so we’ll be going back a LOT!

Mother’s Day Out is back in session and we are BOTH happy
about that.  Me, to have some time to
make appointments, work, pay bills . . . and you, because you get to play,
play, play, with all your friends.  As
we were driving home on Tuesday, I asked how your day went and then I asked you if
you were nice.  You answered, “Not to
Natalie.” LOL  Of course, I investigated
further, only to find out that you put a baby blanket on her head.  Now, this is where it gets interesting.  I have asked you a few times what she said
and it’s always a different story, but it always has the same emphatic angry
tone, mimicked by you.  One time she
said “That’s not nice.  Don’t do
that.”  Then it was “Don’t do that again
missy!”  And lastly, “No Kasen, NO, NO,
NO!”  However; when I ask you what you
said to her, that part remains exactly the same . . . you say “I’m sorry.”  I question, “Then what did Natalie
say?”  “Nothing, she doesn’t say
anything.”  Oops.  When I asked if you were nice to everyone
else, you smugly said “I was nice-nice to Connor!” LOL  I wonder if he has any idea that he has such
an admirer. LOL  Even through all that,
I commended you for telling the truth and asked you to be nice to
everyone.  Tomorrow you will be
attending Mother’s Day Out once again, so we’ll see. *wink-wink*

It’s been an exciting month for all of us.  Last month we should have had your birthday
party, but we keep delaying it for many reasons.  We are thinking that we’ll wait until your Mae Mae and Papa are
here, so they can join in the fun.  We
realize that next year, the gig is up and you’ll actually know that we’ve been
slacking on having your birthday party later and later.  And that’s good too.  It will keep us honest! LOL

I never feel like I have much to say and then, here I am,
four pages later. LOL  There are so many
special things about you that I never want to forget and even though this
monthly letter is hard for me, I’m enjoying reading about previous months
already.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as
well.  As we tucked you into bed
tonight, along with your stuffed dog, Sophie, your polar bear and your tiny kitty, I
felt love overflowing . . . . . and exhaustion beyond belief. LOL  That’s the way it works, lots of love
wrapped around moments of insanity . . . .and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy

Three Years Old

August 10, 2008

Wow, you are now three years old, or we could say 36 months,
or even better . . . . 1,095 days old. 
You have brought more happiness into our lives than we ever could have
imagined.  With that happiness also
comes the whirlwind of emotions and the twisting tornado of energy that can
leave copious amounts of destruction in your path.  We keep hearing that three is the new two.  Well, that leaves your Daddy and I in a
state of sheer panic and on bended knees praying for patience to help guide us
through!! LOL

Each night as you lay your head down to sleep, you ask
me to sing you a lullaby.  I’ve made up
my own version and you seem to like it the best.  If I shorten it just a little bit, you catch it every time, and
with furrowed brow and utter frustration, you say “You not do that berry well.”
LOL  So, of course I start over and sing
the long version.  There really is
nothing that gets past you.  You notice
e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  You also love the
“Band-Aid” song, which really is just the commercial jingle from when I was a
child.  And your next favorite is the
“Mango” song, which is just a silly little song that I made up when I was
trying to get you to go to sleep on one of our many vacations.  Last, but not least, you are still in love
with the “Hush Little Baby” song and I have to say, it’s one of my favorites as
well.  You now sing this along with me
and my heart melts hearing your sweet little voice.  It’s barely audible, peeking out of the little openings on either
side of your mouth around your thumb. 
The thumb that you continue to suck until it gets such an imposing
blister, making it look like you have been doing hard labor your entire life.

This last month, we traveled to Iowa and Indiana.  You were ecstatic to spend time with your
Mimi, Uncle Alan, Aunt Sarah, and cousins, Lucas, Molly, Tess, and Annabelle in
Iowa.  And if that wasn’t enough, you
spent several days surrounded by relatives in Indiana.  I think you made a few friends . . . .
especially at the hotel there.  Everyone
knew you by name by the end of our stay and I was told on more than one
occasion that you were THE most social little girl that they had ever met.  You really don’t know a stranger, which is
so sweet and you are always so loving to anyone that comes in contact with
you.  On the other hand, it terrifies
me, because you really would follow anyone. 
Therefore, I never let you get too far in front of me or out of my sight
EVER!!  That is equally difficult
because you DO like to run!!!  I spend
so many of my days yelling “Stop! Freeze! Red Light! NOOOO!”  Whew, you have no idea!! LOL

Okay, back to the social butterfly part, you not only are
friendly with everyone, you LOVE to put on a show.  When we say “You are the most precious little girl in the world,”
you tilt that head to the side, bat your eyes, sway your head back and forth,
and say “Awwww shucks.” LOL  Gets me
every single time.  We have been working
on you saying your full name, first, middle and last.  Soooo, when I asked you what your full name was for some of my
cousins, I thought you would attempt to say it like you have been lately, Kasen
MahShiner Shell.”  Close, but it’s not
quite Kasen Michelle Schneider just yet. 
Well, you didn’t attempt to say it at all, you just balled up your fist,
pounded your chest twice, then stuck out your two little fingers and said
“Peace Out!” LOL  We all just fell on
the floor laughing . . . and since you got such a great reaction, you have
continued to do this quite often just to hear the uproarious cackles.


Talking for you is like breathing, you can’t go without it
for more than a second.  Everyone you
meet, is greeted with a “Hi, what’s your name?”  You usually get an answer and if you don’t, you say it’s because
they can’t hear you or they are just not talking! LOL  When you do receive a gracious reply, they are your friends for
life.  You want to know what they are
doing, where they are going, what they have in their hands, what they are
eating, it just continues on and on. 
Sometimes it’s awfully embarrassing for us as your parents, because it’s
hard to know when to get you to stop the conversation with someone who is
obviously trying to escape your million questions, so they can move on to their
desired location.  We were in a
restaurant in Indiana and as luck would have it, we were sitting by the front
door.  A lady walked in and you yelled,
“Hi, what’s your name?”  She smiled from
ear to ear and told you her name was Cindy. 
She waved bye to you and then continued to move toward the front of the
restaurant to place her order.  You were
dismayed that you could no longer see her and began yelling “Cindy, where are
you?  Cindy, where are you?”  As I was trying to get you to use your
“inside voice” – which you don’t have by the way LOL, I looked up front and saw
Cindy turn around, with a huge smile on her face, incredibly amused that you were so
completely concerned with her whereabouts. 
Seriously, I have to laugh, because wherever we go, whatever we’re
doing, we do NOT go unnoticed.  Your
father and I have savored our anonymity when we are out and about, but you have
totally forced us out of our shells and opened us up to the world of having a
conversation with everyone that gets within earshot of your sweet self.

Each day you come to me and have a suggestion on what our
daily activities should be.  Whether you
want to color, play with play-dough, watch TV, go swimming, have something to
eat, play toys, it always ends with “Say that’s a GREAT idea.”  And I do, unless it’s really not such a
great idea and that’s when the redirecting comes in.  Sometimes it’s pretty easy and other times not so much.  You certainly aren’t as cooperative as some
and you’re making me work very hard researching, reading, and talking to others
to see what will work.  You usually have
your mind made up and it takes a bulldozer to get you to change gears.  I have a great book that I’m reading right
now and hopefully when I’m finished, I’ll know how to change those gears with a
little more ease and a lot less force. 
I promise, I’m definitely working on it, for your sake as well as
mine!!  You were having a meltdown on
our recent vacation and totally exasperated, I said “Stop flipping your
lid.”  You were so mad at me, you
pointed your little finger straight at me (a big no-no!), and yelled “I’m not flicking
my lid.” LOL  I have to hand it to you,
even when you are on a terror, you are still hilariously funny and you usually
lighten the mood with your antics.


Now, here’s my favorite part of having a girl – all the
dress up clothes and the playing princess. 
I have asked you several times what you want to be for Halloween and
each and every single time, you say “A princess.”  Soooo, guess what you’re going to be for Halloween?! LOL  Throughout each and every day, you ask to
play dress-up.  We put on hats, I help
you into one of your princess costumes, you always put on your princess
slippers yourself, and then I place the crown/tiara/garland on your head.  As soon as that head piece graces the
presence of your lovely petite head, you transform.  You hold your head down, with your chin almost touching your
chest, and say in the most sugary voice “Hiiiiiiiii!”  You really do play the part so convincingly and I have no doubt
that you could rule the world with your honesty, sensitivity, courage and


We have had the best day today.  You were greeted with birthday singing first thing this morning,
even though you told me that I couldn’t sing to you in the bedroom because
there was no cake in there. LOL   You
had three candles on your chocolate breakfast muffin and had great delight in
blowing out those candles.  We then went to the aquarium, and we laughed out
loud when we drove up and you said “This is SOOOO cool.”  You ran and ran and ran, and we took turns
trying to keep up with you.  You never stayed
in any one place longer than one second . . . except for the penguins.  They had you engrossed for about 20 seconds
– a record!!!!!!  We let you pick out a
cool Charlie Monkey book for your birthday as well as a heart key chain with a
floating penguin inside AND it lights up, what a bonus!!

After that huge adventure, we headed to Red Robin for your
birthday lunch.  Equipped with two
balloons, we sat down and let you pick your entrée.  You chose mac and cheese and mandarin oranges.  When I asked if you wanted chocolate milk
for a special treat, you emphatically told the waitress that you wanted
lemonade!!  Funny because we never even
mentioned that as a choice, and you have probably had lemonade maybe three times
in your life.  After we finished that, there
was a round of singing “Happy Birthday” to you and you received a sundae with
whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. 
You were definitely concerned about getting the cherry, and your smile
just lit up when you saw that it was indeed atop your sugary delight.  The singing was loud, but you totally
enjoyed all the attention.  After they
were through, you put your hands together beside your cheek and said “Thank you
berry much!”  Awwwww!!  Yeah, that was heard by not only us, but by
the tables surrounding us as well.  As we
prepared to leave, you so lovingly told our waitress, “Thank you for my
birthday.”  Ever amazed at your engaging
and cordial personality, we left with our hearts full . . . as well as our


As always, you LOVE clothes and it’s no surprise to anyone
reading this, that I’m totally elated with your passion for attire.  When a package comes in the mail and it’s
for you (or not!), you scream, “A package for me.  Let’s open it now!!”  One
day a package came in the mail and it was right before your nap time.  I asked you to wait, but you were having
none of that – no patience at all for MY great idea! LOL   We tore into the package and you discovered
a red and white dress that you instantly fell in love with.  You wanted to try it on and try it on now .
. . and you did.  As I slipped the dress
over your golden locks, I was so emotional realizing that I have such a
precious, darling little girl that is so beautiful, so girly, possessing just
enough tomboy to make you more fun than life itself.  And then you began to twirl. 
You lifted those tiny little hands over your head in the entry way of
our home twirling around and around, and I couldn’t stop the tears from
descending upon my cheeks.  The red and
white in your dress, just a streak of beauty, flowing in perfect circles as you
glided so effortlessly, whispering, “It twirls, isn’t it beautiful?!”  You will never know how much the twirling
encompasses so much of what I have always wanted in my life.  It’s the innocence of childhood, the magic
of being a mother to a little girl, the lighthearted days of being carefree and
untroubled, the whimsical twinkling of youth, and it means that every moment I
spend with you is a moment treasured. 
You have made my dream come true and even though you have no idea what
this means now, someday you will and I hope with all my heart, that you feel in
YOUR heart how much you are loved, how much you were wanted before you were
even born, how much we adore you and how much you have changed all our lives for
the better.


You are three years old today and I can’t wait to see what the
future holds for the rest of your life. 

I love you to the moon and back!!

Love, Mommy



35 Months

July 10, 2008

Here it is . . . again, your monthly letter.  Two in a row and for that I’m quite
pleased.  Not sure how I’ll keep this up
over the next few years, heck, what am I talking about, I’m not sure how I’ll
keep this up over the next two months. haha 
But I’ll try, I promise!!

You are now 35 months old – only ONE whole month away from
being THREE!!  You seem excited about
turning three even if you have no idea what that really means.  You just know that you get to hold one extra
finger up when someone asks how old you are. 
Wait a minute, you do that now! LOL 
When someone asks your age, you put your fingers in the air and say
“Three, Four, FIVE!!”  People always
look stunned when I correct you and tell them that you are *just* two. LOL


As usual, you have totally kept me hopping for the last
month.  Seriously, you are NEVER
still.  It’s crazy how much energy you
have and I have no idea just how to keep up with you.  I collapse every evening after you go to bed and wonder how I’ll
sustain enough energy to take me through the succeeding day. LOL

There are so many things that I want to remember over this
last month of your life.  The one that’s
totally forefront in my mind is when you come to your daddy or myself and
command us to repeat “Say ‘That’s okay.’” 
After our veins run cold, we smile nervously and cautiously spit out,
“That’s okay.  Nowwwww, what
happened?”  And usually it’s nothing
more than you spilled yogurt on the rug, or you dropped/threw food on the
floor, or you partially destroyed a decorative pillow in our bedroom (okay,
that was kind of a big one), but it’s not anything to get overly upset
about.  Yet, it’s cute how you
absolutely know it’s not something that should have happened and you cushion
the blow before we even have time to react. 
I really do admire your strategy. 
However; I’ll keep holding my breath until you do something so huge that
I won’t be able to mask my anger with a smile. ;)

Singing still remains one of your favorite past times.  Only now, you sing the correct melody with
all made up words.  You smile, giggle
and look at us with that knowing grin and think you are the most clever little
girl in the world.  And, if it has
bathroom humor in the song, all the more funny!!   I’m not sure what is about the words “pee-pee” and “poo-poo”
that send toddlers into hysterics, but it is definitely a side-splitting
affair.  I have to admit, I chuckle too.


We had a big trip this past month to Canada, so your father
could meet his buddies for the annual “guy trip.”  You did wonderfully on the flight and even more impressive was
the way you handled yourself going through security and customs.  I actually gasped when they said that you
and I couldn’t walk through the metal detector together.  Seriously, who asks a two year old to walk
ahead of their mother. . . AND WAIT? *sheesh* 
I didn’t think you would even do that, but you did, with confidence and
pride making your parents so proud., which made my eyes pop right out of my head.  You’ll know why I was so shocked when I tell
you that you take every opportunity to run as fast as you can from me in the
opposite direction.  We’ve had several
talks about this with you, but when you see just a smidgen of freedom right
before those big, curious, blue eyes, you just can’t help yourself, and the
sprinting begins. LOL

After sweating profusely and hauling enough items, as if
equipped for guerrilla warfare, onto the plane, we find our seats and commence
to “settle in.”  After we have you
locked into your car seat and safely belted that seat to the airline
seat, we start to relax and wait for the plane to get us to our destination . .
and fast!!  However; since you are 100%
potty trained (woo hoo), you take every opportunity to visit as many public
bathrooms as possible and the airplane loo was certainly no exception.  Wishing at these moments that I am not the
lead potty trainer, I finagle you out of your seat and begin the conquest of
finding a vacant bathroom so you can relieve yourself.  Trust me when I tell you that this is THE
most disgusting place to help a child “go potty.”  We finally find a vacant bathroom and there the routine
ensues.  I have to face the toilet with
you standing next to me, which is completely difficult to do in an airplane
bathroom that is made for the size of a Barbie doll.  I carefully line the toilet seat with toilet paper . . . . you
know, called “nesting” – you cover it so completely that you are 100% sure that
no germs will come in contact with your precious child’s bum.  Contorting myself into an extremely uncomfortable squatting position, I
hoist you atop the seat asking you . . . . no, pleading with you, to
puleeeezzzzze NOT touch A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G 
As I hold your little body in a tight hug while your tiny arms wrap
around me for support, I can no longer pretend that I don’t smell the stench of
urine and feel how every time I move a millimeter, that my shoes stick to the
floor creating an undeniable and nauseating sound .  GREAT!!  Someone has peed
on the floor. Ughh!!  Finally, I
am the one relieved when I hear you are finished, and I carefully lift you up
and continue to say “PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!!”  Even though I still cringe at the thought, I let you push the
button to flush the toilet and you are as thrilled as when Daddy swings you so
high that I think you’re going to plummet to the ground escaping with nothing
short of broken ribs with a broken arm to match.  We wash up as well as we can in the stainless steel micro sink
and trot back to the safety and *hopefully* somewhat cleaner, assigned
seats.  When we finally land, we release
you from your car seat and let you stretch your legs by standing on Daddy’s lap.  While waving and gracing the passengers with
your flashiest smile, you tell everyone “Buh-Bye” as they are walking down the
aisle to exit the plane.  We once again
feel like actors on a Saturday Night Live sketch, where the flight attendants
are mercilessly mocked and look at each other and concur, “Yep, she’s going to
be good at this.  What do you know?? – a career opportunity.”


After we arrived, we had a little bit of time with Daddy,
and after he headed off with the guys, we got to stay behind and hang out with
Mae Mae and Papa.  We did tons of cool
things and visited lots of exciting places and had visits with wonderful relatives.  Among our highlights were visiting the zoo,
a heritage park, and the science museum. 
We also went swimming, played at the park, and had delicious meals with
aunties, uncles and cousins.  And you
were VERY happy that lots of ice cream was included in our time there.  Me, not so much.  Just kidding.  Well, I
could have declined, but how could I??!! 
It just looked too delicious and it WAS . . . .
.every.single.delectable.delicious.bite. LOL

You absolutely adore your Mae Mae and Papa and the feeling
is totally mutual, so it was no real surprise that you wanted to spend every
single moment with them while we were there. 
You and I did get to have a few evenings by ourselves though, sharing
picnics in bed in between wild and crazy pillow fights, and I will always
cherish that special time that we spent together. 

Talking is still your major source of enjoyment and mine is
listening to you . . .most of the time. LOL 
When your Dad and I are trying to have a conversation, you keep trying
to interrupt, and then we hear this booming voice yell “I WANT TO TALK.”  Soooo, we stop mid sentence and ask you what
it is that you want to talk about and why it couldn’t wait for two
seconds.  Then, so pleased with
yourself, you say “Ham-a-burger.” LOL 
Conversation shifts to condiments, lettuce and tomatoes and just how
they will make our “ham-a-burger” taste better.  The crazy part is that you really don’t even like hamburgers, but
it always seems to be the first thing to come out of your mouth when you want
to enter into grown-up world and slide (ever so gracefully, NOT) into adult

While I’m writing these letters, I want to give you a little
insight on why I put the good AND the bad in these informative epistles of your
life.  Some day (when you have the time
or inclination LOL), you’ll stop and read these letters and I really want to
give you an accurate and real account of what motherhood is all about.  I think it does a disservice to you and
other mothers when the only talk of mothering is of sunshine and rainbows with
sprinkles on top.  Of course, it is THE
most wonderful profession in the world, but it is also the hardest.  I want you to know that if/when you become a
mother, that I will be here to share with you the incredible stories as well as
the unpleasant ones to help you along the path of the most challenging,
awesome, exhausting, and lovely fulfillment in the world – mothering a child.

And trust me, when you give me a call telling me that your
child is making you feel like you’re going to lose your mind, or you just want
to cry on my shoulder because you feel like you are not making an impact on
their tiny little brains or that they never listen, I promise I’ll be
there validating your feelings and giving you a reassuring hug to tell you that
I DO understand, that you are NOT alone and that I will be behind you every
single step of the way.

I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy

34 Months

June 10, 2008

34 Months ~ The Good, The Bad and the Extraordinary

Dear Kasen,

I’ve seen other people write monthly letters to their
children and I thought it was so cool. 
I continued to not write one since I didn’t start out doing them and you would
wonder why I JUST started at 34 months. . . you know, the perfectionist in
me.  It causes me to not follow through
with a lot of things, but I’m working on that – you’re definitely helping. *wink*  Well, I’m truly amazed that you
are 34 months old, that is 2 years and 10 months, which also means that you are
almost three years old and I’m shocked, I mean really shocked that you’ve been
in our lives for almost three years!!!  Nearly three crazy, yet wonderfully insane, happy years!!


You are a precious, loving little girl and at the same time,
you are pull-your-hair-out maddening. 
You have that sweet smile and are always ready to say “I’m sorry Mommy,”
but the acts that preceded that sweet smile are nothing short of outrageous.  Our poor cat Spike takes the brunt of a
portion of your antics and we are working on that incessantly.  You feel compelled to bother him at every
chance and are more than willing to take your punishment of a “time-out” in
stride.  This is another source of
contention for us as your parents.  You
have actually asked for a longer time-out way too many times lately, so we’re
guessing that this isn’t actually deterring you from making bad decisions any
longer . . . which is also pretty evident seeing how MANY time-outs you’ve been
on recently. *sigh*   Soooo, we’re putting on
our thinking caps and trying to determine where to go from here.  We’ll let you know when we decide! LOL


I adore your excitement over the smallest things.  You get so thrilled about any little change
and are extremely quick to complement everyone, whether it’s “You have a
beautiful dress,” to “I like your shoes,” or “I like your make-up,” and my
personal favorite “I like your burning, peeling lips.” LOL  Yep, you did say that.  I’ve had trouble with my lips burning and
peeling lately (some kind of allergic reaction) and it’s obvious that you’ve
picked up on my complaining about them, and still tried to make me feel
better.  You are definitely the queen of
trying to smooth things over and make everyone happy.  “Be Happy!” is one of your common phrases after you’ve gotten
into trouble, or if we’re not smiling as widely as you think we should.  Us being happy is clearly high on your
priorities.  I love that!!  Speaking of being the queen, you are also
the queen of saying “Just one more time!” 
I wish I had a nickel for every time you’ve said that this last
month.  I think I’d have enough to buy
an extra large pizza with ALL the toppings!! 
And if we tell you that we can’t do something, you hold your head up
high, and with the greatest conviction of a football coach speaking to his
losing team at half-time, you yell “JUST TRY!” 
And it’s hard not to laugh since we absolutely know where you heard
this.  We’re pleading the fifth. LOL


Your language, especially your story telling skills, has
been so incredible for such a long time now that I honestly can’t remember when
you didn’t talk . . . . about everything!! LOL 
Talking non-stop all day is totally normal for you and when I ask you to
be quiet, you continue to say that you can’t . . .like your head would explode
if you just closed your mouth for a second. 
LOL   With the talking has also
come a very vivid imagination.  I love
hearing stories that you’ve made up and I listen with great intent and continue
to say “Then what?” and “What happened next?” and you are more than willing to
oblige.  I’ve tried writing some of them
down, but honestly, you are soooo fast telling your tales and I’m so engrossed
not wanting to miss a single morsel of how your little mind works that I sit still and am motionless as I marvel at this incredibly smart being that I’m
proud to call mine.


As your articulation continues to improve, I’m definitely
noticing that there are still some mispronunciations that I would like to have
frozen in time.  The way you say
“browned” with an emphasis on the “d” instead of saying “brown.”  I giggle inside every time you say that and
I don’t dare tell you different . . . for now anyway.  Other things that I just can’t bring myself to correct are “hide
and sink” and then, it’s the way you sing the alphabet.  When you get to the part that is supposed to
go “L-M-N-O-P” you sing “N over P” – it is seriously the best and you can’t
wipe the smile off of my face every time I hear it.  I did videotape you singing the song because I never ever want to
forget this.  And when I’m old and you
are long moved out of the house, I can see me pulling out that tape and
yearning to travel back in time when you so proudly sang your special
rendition.  Even when we sing the song
together, I get very quiet after “K” and let you sing it your way.  Because I know if I started singing it
correctly for you to hear, you would change it in a heartbeat . . . .
especially since you are so fantastic at trying to copy everything now.  Sooo, I will continue to be silent at my
very favorite part and I promise I’ll correct you when the time is right so you
won’t be embarrassed that I let you continue to so sweetly and wonderfully
alter the alphabet song . . even if it is JUST a bit!!


You are such a big girl now and the potty training is going
way more smoothly than I had anticipated. 
I don’t know who is more excited, us as your parents, because buying
pull-ups will suddenly be a thing of the past (wooohoo!!!), or you, because you
get a penny every time you go successfully. 
Really, you’re supposed to get one penny, but every time you come out of
the bathroom, you hold your right hand out and count with your first three
fingers and yell at the top of your lungs, “I need ONE, TWO, THREEEEEE PENNIES!!!”   And most of the time we
are accommodating . . . because we really ARE so proud of you.  We have been out and about all around town
and you’ve done great – not one accident. 
Seriously, I’m really impressed.


Kasen, your charisma just comes shining through in
everything you do.  You genuinely are
the most darling little girl, even if you have me pulling my hair out on more
than one occasion . . .!! LOL 
I’m continually astounded at how lovely your personality is developing.  If I say “Oh no!” when I’m upset about
something, you are quick to correct me and say “Don’t say ‘Oh no!” – say
‘That’s okay.’”  Or when I’m driving,
which is when I usually say this (rolling eyes here), I’ll yell “COME ON!” and you will say “Mommy, don’t be mad at yourself” or “Don’t be mad at the car”
or “Don’t be frustrated,” which actually does make me take a step back and say
“That’s silly, isn’t it?!”  Then we both
have a good laugh and I realize that you are just a two year old helping me
understand that it truly is silly to get upset at such trivial things in
life.  You open my eyes each and every
day and help me discover new ways to accomplish things and new ways to bring
joy to my life.  You are wonderful,
stupendous, extraordinary, and I love you with all my heart.  I can hardly wait to see what next month

 I love you to the moon and back!!

 Love, Mommy