My College Kid (at age four)


Okay, I like dressing my kid in college T-shirts.  I figure if I start early, he'll come to expect and look forward to attending college one day.  Still, let me not rush his childhood.  In fact, I don't want him growing older any time soon.  Age four is such an adorable age, and oh my gosh...I find that I want to just squeeze my little boy all the time because he's so cute.  (Is this normal?)

My belated first day of school picture.

I can already see the "college boy" in him!

Today I want to make a list of all the fun moments I've been having with him lately.  Age four is just the best!

1) Hide-and-Go-Seek--My little boy loves playing hide-and-seek, especially right after his bath.  Once I get him in his pj's, he tells me to close my eyes and count to ten while he hides under the covers.  Then when it's my turn, I'm instructed to hide under the covers.

2.  My Good Little Boy--I told Lewie he's a good boy.  He thought about it for a minute, and then said, "Daddy's a good boy too.  We're both good boys because we're both Lewies."  I laughed, "Well, of course, if you're both named Lewie, then you must both be good boys."

3.  Lewie's Office--Lewie insists that he goes to work and that he has an office too.  When I bring him to my office, he likes to sit in my seat and pretend to answer important phone calls.  I should just let him do the work, right?

4.  Lewie's Keys--Whenever Lewie leaves to go to school, go on a play date, or accompany me on errands, he always brings his pretend keys and pretend cell phone.  On other days, he also brings his pretend credit card, his camera, and even my purse.  In his little world, he drives, he buys things, and he's got a very busy social life.  Of course, since he's absentminded like me, he's always losing his keys too.  I find that I'm now in charge of keeping track of his keys and cell phone in addition to mine.

5.  I Make You a Big Deal--Lewie's always making deals with us. (Is this a good thing?)  When I drop him off at school, he tells me if he wants Gramy, Daddy, or me to pick him up.  The other day, Lewie made me a "big deal:"  "Mommy, when you pick me up, you need to bring me a chocolate treat."

6.  Lewie's Sister--Lewie insists he has a sister.  He's always talking to her on the phone or texting her, which leads me to believe she's an "older sister."  I suppose she's like an imaginary friend.  Of course, in this case, she's an imaginary relative that he "loves very much."

7.  Manners--Lewie is very polite.  He remembers his please and thank you's.  The other day as we were leaving preschool, he yelled out to his teacher, "Take care Miss Taylor."

8.  Empathy--Last weekend Lewie's ear was hurting him, and I started to get emotional after seeing my little boy so sick.  He looked at me and said, "Don't worry Mommy.  I'll feel better tomorrow."

9.  Favorites--Lewie's concerned about playing favorites, (I guess it's part of him having empathy) and so he never wants anyone to feel left out.  When he tells us that he loves us, he always pipes in, "I love Mommy and Daddy and Gramy too."

I suppose I could spend the whole day writing about his cuteness.  All I can say is that I love this age...he's quite the chatterbox, travel buddy, and comedian.  Using his very own words, Lewie: "I love you.  You're my best friend."

Savoring the Fall


The fall is such a beautiful time of year, but it's also so short.  From the minute September arrives, I feel like the clock is ticking to get in as many country fairs, hayrides, and farm visits for apple picking and pumpkin picking as soon as possible.  The race, of course, is to beat those cold November days when the leaves have officially fallen off the trees and the wind feels like it has the ability to go right through you.

This is how I'm feeling on this lovely 14th day of October... Yesterday, it felt like the wind and the winter chill had already beat me to the finish line.  Still, we bundled ourselves up and made the most of the day.  Last weekend, I went on a canoeing trip with an old friend from work, and I learned about a beautiful farm and vineyard called Rosedale in Simsbury, CT.  After our canoe trip, the guide led us to a 350 year-old tree.  "This tree is the largest in Connecticut and also the largest in New England," he told the group,  "It's a miracle it survived. After all, when the early Colonial settlers inhabited our state, they turned all our forests into farmland.  We have more forests and trees today, than we had back then."

Well, after having an amazing time last weekend, I knew I was going to take my mom and my little guy on the same trip again this weekend, minus the canoeing (although I do look forward to the day when I can take my little buy on a canoe or kayak trip).  We packed our bags and headed back north to Simsbury... When we arrived at the farm, we bought some hot apple cider and chocolate chip cookies, took a hayride, and then purchased a few, yummy baked goods to enjoy for the week.  Next, we went to see the famous 350 year-old tree, and then we stopped at a lunch place in Collinsville called the LaSalle Market and Deli.   I love this market because they have toys and board games you can play with while you're having something to eat.  (The only downside is that Lewie gets so caught up playing with the toys that it's hard to convince him to eat!)

We ended the day with a quick trip to Target (hey, we always need to fit in errands when we can) and hurried home to put little guy to bed.  After a long, brisk day, we were certainly tired but happy we could fit in another fall adventure.  The time is going by way too quickly; I only hope that we'll have a chance to enjoy a few more fall weekends before the November chill creeps around the corner...

Getting ready for our canoe trip last weekend.

My friend Sue and I stopping at Rosedale Farm for a bite to eat after the canoe trip.

The adorable farm market.

The calm, tranquil Farmington River.

More of the river...we did get hung up a few times, but at least we never tipped over!

My mom and Little Lewie enjoying the farm.

Lewie and me by the old-fashioned tractor.

Hayride anyone?  (I love how they used comforters to protect our butts from the hay...)

The pumpkin patch...

More of the beautiful farm...

The winery and shop with lots of baked goodies.

The miracle tree.

Checking out the tree.

Proof I was there...

My mom hugging the tree...(to see how wide it actually is...)

Playing with fun toys at LaSalle's Market.  Much more fun than eating a hot dog!

A Wishlist for my 37th Birthday


This is going to be a short post, I promise.  Ever since I've become a mom, my birthday just doesn't have the same meaning anymore.  Instead of wanting things for me, I want things for my little boy.  So instead of creating a "wishlist" for myself, here is a "wishlist" I've written to my little boy:

1.  I wish you happiness.  Oh my little man, there will be times of sadness, but you will soon learn that our own happiness comes from having a positive attitude and an appreciation of all things both big and small.  May you learn to "look at the glass half full" and recognize that even during our hardest times, there is always a glimmer of hope and a lesson to be learned.

2. I wish you confidence.  In a world where people are bullies and can say and do some very mean, hurtful things, I wish you the confidence to be strong and to love yourself no matter what.  Even more, I wish you the courage to stand up for others that are being knocked down as we must all have compassion for our fellow brothers and sisters.

3.  I wish you love.  In this lifetime, I wish that you know not only how to be loved but how to love back.  I hope that one day, you will learn the true meaning of unconditional love--the kind of love that's felt the strongest between parent and child.

4.  I wish you laughter.  In this world, I have learned that you can never take yourself or your life too seriously.  There will be mistakes.  There will be catastrophes.  There will be days when you feel like hiding under your bed. But take comfort in knowing, that we've all been there.  Laugh.  Laugh at yourself.  Laugh at funny moments.  Laugh at hard moments.  Laugh when you feel like crying.  It's always easier to live with a light heart.

5.  I wish you passion.  I wish you a zest for life.  By finding joy in both the great moments and the mundane, you will learn that every moment counts.  May you live each day to its fullest, and never look back on past regrets.

6.  I wish you dreams.  While we must never sacrifice our present moments worrying about the future; we can, however, dream.  Without dreams, there are no goals, and without goals, there is no desire to truly live, learn, and grow.

7.  I wish you spirituality.  Although you are being raised Catholic, I want you to know that practicing spirituality is more than just believing in a religion.  It's about recognizing that we've been put on this earth for a purpose.  It's about loving and appreciating our lives, our blessings, and our family, friends, and neighbors.  It's about being thankful for all of God's great gifts, and trusting Him to help us during our most difficult moments.  May you some day learn and find comfort, like I have, in the meaning of "Let go, and let God."

Little Lewie, I suppose I could have written a wishlist for good health, success, and fortune, but the reality is that health, success, and fortune are temporary.   There are no guarantees in life that we will have any of these, and there are certainly no guarantees that they'll stay with us.  No, instead, my wish for you is to have the "tools" to live life on life's terms.  Everyone has good and bad days.  Everyone has struggles.  Everyone has lessons to be learned.  As your mother, I want to do my best to protect you from hardships, but even I must learn that I don't have all the power to make things easy for you...Instead, I can only teach you the tools that I have learned in my 37 years.  When I blow out my candles today, know that my wish is to pass these tools on to you.  I can't say I've mastered them, but I can say that they've helped me find beauty in this uncertain and sometimes crazy journey called life.  I love you with all my heart.  ~Mommy