Cover The Childrens’ Ears

Today’s I Heart Faces challenge is “Chalk.” I have so many photographs of chalk drawings and chalky hands and chalky hands drawing chalk drawings, but very few with faces in them. I did find this one. It was taken during our visit to Australia when the boys made full use of the big slab of concrete in the driveway and decorated the space with their temporary artwork. This is one of the only photos with a face in it. If you look closely you’ll see that he is holding a piece of chalk in his right hand. That counts, right?

I doubt that pic will win me any awards, either for photography or for motherhood. Just look at the state of that shirt!

THIS, however, should win an award. I’m not sure what delights me more – the word that comes out of Thomas’ mouth, or the moment of shocked silence from my brother who is filming. It’s worth making it through to the end. You won’t be disappointed.

Growing Pains

For this week’s I Heart Faces photo challenge of “smirk” I chose a little photo I found hidden on my hard drive. I just love that this picture shows Thomas enjoying his favorite drink – hot chocolate, of course – while we spent a few moments together, just the two of us. We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately and this photo is the perfect reminder of how calm those moments can be without the distraction of toys and TV and little brothers.

We are now back in the full swing of preschool with rushed mornings of trying to get out the door in time to avoid the dreaded “tardy slip”. Thomas is in a new class with a new teacher this year. About a third of his class is returning for their second year of preschool while the rest are new. Despite the fact that I thought this might make the transition back to school a little easier, it seems to be the returning kids who are having the most difficult time adjusting. On one day early last week, I found myself standing at the back of the classroom with four other parents who were trying to peel their crying children from their legs and I realized that we were all here for our second year – the first year kids were quietly sitting on the mat listening to the teacher. I suppose the effect of having a bunch of new four year olds invading your space can’t be underestimated.

I was offered another glimpse into Thomas’ mind while we were talking over dinner late last week. He said to me “Mummy, do you worry?” and I said “Yes, sometimes. Do you worry?” “Yes, I worry that no one will want to sit with me at school and that I’ll be all on my own.” So then we went into a conversation about how the other kids are probably worrying about the exact same thing and waiting for him to come and sit next to them.

I love it that he’s growing up and becoming more and more able to express his thoughts and feelings, but I hate it that he has to start worrying about things already. Shouldn’t you at least be able to make it to first grade without these stresses? I supposed I assumed that we would have a few more years of that childlike innocence that everyone talks about.

I hope this is the only time he sits in a Police car

This week’s I heart faces challenge is “vroom vroom” and so I immediately thought about this photo I took a few weeks ago at our Neighborhood Association block party/meeting. The police dropped by to fill us in on the happenings in the neighborhood and let the boys take turns sitting in the police car. He stopped short of putting on the siren, but allowed them to push a few buttons and hold the steering wheel. It was very exciting moment for them (ok, and I may have been a little interested as well).

Here’s an unsolicited tip – don’t go to a neighborhood association meeting unless you want to know all about every single crime that could potentially affect you or your home – especially when you live in an urban area like we do. Now, for better or for worse, I know about every burglary, shooting and petty crime in the neighborhood and have been obsessively checjking the locks on all our doors and windows. Sometimes too much information is not necessarily a good thing.


There was a feeling of coming full circle when we found ourselves returning to the place where it all began today. Well, the doctor’s office right next to the hospital where it all began anyway. I can’t believe it was five years ago today that we first laid eyes on our teeny tiny little 6lb 8oz baby. And it seemed fitting that five years after he first gave us a scare with his dramatic entrance into the world, Thomas would scare us again by falling out of a tree. As a side note, on Saturday night at the emergency room Kei asked Thomas how it happened. With tears in his eyes, Thomas looked at Kei and said “It was because you weren’t watching me.” Now that’s a guilt trip. Here’s the boy in his new black plaster cast. He chose the color himself although of course I fully support anything that shows less dirt. As Thomas’ turns five, it’s a good time to reflect on a few things that have changed – and some that have stayed the same – over the past year:

  • Star Wars went from casual interest to full blown obsession. Star Wars lego is taking over the house and the Wii game is a regular opportunity for father/son bonding.

  • Brothers became friends – and then hated each other – and then became friends again (on a daily basis).
  • Thomas was in his first wedding and almost walked down the aisle on his own.
  • A lot of trees were climbed – some adventures more successful than others, of course.

  • We all learned how to sing “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in Japanese, although only Thomas knows every word.
  • The cobwebs finally came off the skuut. (Razor scooter still sits in the shed).

  • We have apparently outgrown cutesy clothing (at least that’s what I’m told).
  • We started to see a little attitude.

  • Although I’m pretty sure I know where is comes from.

  • Favorite foods are Rice, Natto, Nori, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit snacks and chicken tenders (the last one is influenced by cousin Cameron).
  • Favorite things to watch have changed through the year but stand outs are Sid The Science Kid, Dinosaur Train and anything related to Star Wars that is NOT the movie. I am sticking to my guns on that last point, although parodies by Weird Al and Dancing Chewbacca’s on YouTube are OK.
  • We spent a number of Saturdays playing Soccer AND Baseball (with lots of running)

  • George is still his very best friend which proves that there’s still a baby in there – and I am holding on for dear life.

Happy birthday to our littlest Jedi. May the force be with you.