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 as.long.as.possible.  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
surprise.

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
listening!!

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
tough.

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

Doug Schneider: Thank you Karen -- we are SO blessed to have this wondrous child in our lives. Have a great week end....Mae Mae

Doug Schneider: Great pictures, beautiful words! My favorite picture is the last one-made me think of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Glad to hear that we will be part of Kasen's birthday celebration. We are both getting very anxious to be "home" with y'all. (The spell checker doesn't recognize "y'all". What's up with that??) Love, Pa Pa