Sunday, October 31, 2010


Now Oliver thinks that he can just walk up to anyone's door and bang on it for candy.

He was just about the cutest trick-or-treater ever, because he would bang on their doors and they'd open it up, look around and then look down and see the small boy smiling at them for candy. Then he'd gladly accept whatever they gave him before waving byebye to them.

Best mime ever, even if he wouldn't let us paint his face.

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Dear BFF,

I know you're supposed to pop out a baby sometime soon. I think this is cool. I'm excited for you. Right before Oliver was due, I was terrified. I didn't know anyone my age with a baby that wasn't a complete ghetto baby momma. I also didn't particularly like kids, and I really wasn't thrilled about being pregnant. I was convinced I was doomed.

But this is what I want you to know: You're not doomed. You'll be a great mom, even if (like me) you didn't plan this. I wish a peer had said that to me while I was pregnant, and maybe it wouldn't have made the whole ordeal so scary. So, consider this your peer saying it to you:

You will be a good mom. You're going to rock the shit out of motherhood.

First off, I would like to get this out of the way: Childbirth sucks. It does suck. It really sucks. It's a lot of work and it hurts and it might be the worst pain of your life. BUT you get over it. You do it anyway. Somehow the primal hormonal cavewoman in you comes out and you just pop a baby out of you - blood, gore, and all. And while you're doing it, you just do it. That's it. Nike should sponsor childbirthing, because really all that you need to know is to just. do. it.

All of that breathing stuff? Don't worry if you don't know it. It doesn't matter. The nurses will make you do what you've gotta do, and that isn't too much. Packing your hospital bag? Don't worry if you haven't. Hospitals aren't as bad as everyone makes them seem, and they will have everything you need. And if they don't? Somebody will be ready and willing to run and get whatever that may be for you. Even if you feel like you're alone, there are always people who will help you. (And remember, I will always be on the top of that list!)

Second, DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE UNLESS YOU WANT TO. Everyone will be up in your business. Everyone will claim to know the best technique for this or that. Everyone will seem like they're judging you. Most people are genuinely trying to help, but the ones who aren't? Screw them. Ignore them, because you'll come across those people forever and they want only to make you feel insecure. Don't let them.

Even though you might not feel like it now, you will know your daughter best, and you will do the best you can for her. That will always be good enough.

And when (when, not if!) things don't go the way you planned, RELAX. Nothing can be improved through worry or anger. Your life with a baby will be complicated and difficult and heartbreaking, it's true, but your life will also be unbelievably wonderful. Above all, it will always be your life and that will always mean that your happiness is in your own hands. There will always be reason to smile, if you will it so.

And lastly, no matter how hard you try, you just can't do it all. Ask for help. There is never any shame in that. There are more people than you realize out there who want to help you.  It isn't selfish. It doesn't mean you've failed at anything. It is not a sign of weakness. If anything, having the humility to ask for help makes you the stronger person. It will make you feel less alone, and it will make the people around you feel good. Everyone wins.

Above all, remember that I'm here for you, your bff 4eva. When your boobs are leaking and you're about ready to strangle somebody, you can call me day or night. I can't wait to meet your little girl.

Love you always!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Almost forgot to tell y'all about our birthday dinner. We went out to a popular restaurant in uptown to eat guinea pig. They ended up not being able to get our pig through customs from Colombia, so we had to eat normal food.

The good part, though, was that they comped half of our meal for our inconvenience. And I had a drink in a coconut.

Look! It says Happy Birthday to me on my menu! And my coconut!

We ordered fried ice cream for dessert. We didn't expect it to look like this.

Jared and I tried our hardest to get a good photo fo the two of us, but it wasn't happening. We're not very photogenic. Here is just a (very very) small sampling of our failed attempts.

I like this one because it's probably the creepiest picture ever of Jared.

We look this beautiful naturally.

These have made me realize two things. 1.) Jared REALLY needs a haircut and 2.) We should probably have our pictures professionally done. And possibly 3.) It might help if we didn't have any drinks beforehand.

Cool kids.

Jared and I have never really been "cool kids." So, it really shouldn't come as a shock when I tell y'all that we're even less cool now that we're Mommy and Daddy.

Literally the only words I said to Jared this morning before he left for school were:
"Was it a poop?"
"No, just a big ol' pee pee."

And with that I rolled over and went back to sleep. Usually some sort of pop culture reference comes up and that's when we really feel... old, I guess.  The popular song Like A G6 comes on the radio and we always ask, "What's a G6?" We've made a few speculations. I guessed a souped up sports car. Jared wondered if it wasn't some sort of swanky government rank. (It's a cool airplane, apparently.)

Yesterday we saw on satellite radio that one of the songs we like is by MGMT. We both confessed that we didn't know how to pronounce the band's name. (M. G. M. T.? Management? Megmet?) Cool people our age name drop bands like crazy, and my only response to them is to cock my head to the side like a confused puppy. We are so not cool.

And the saddest thing? I used to laugh at my own parents for that kind of stuff. My dad would tell me to go shopping in Hollinger's (Hollister) and pick up juh-eye-rows (gyros) for dinner, and that cracked me up.

People have told me that there would be a moment of revelation in every parent's life in which she realizes she is becoming her own parents. My revelation came to me today, when Jared sent me this secret Facebook message:

"It's em-gee-em-tee. :) "

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It was really cold and rainy out, but we were stylin' it up anyway.

I'm pissed that I didn't focus the camera for this one, but the content is rock solid.

(Of course, those of you who receive emails will have to go to the blog to see this video.)

Friday, October 22, 2010


Apparently Jared is tired, too.

He stayed up all night last night trying to finish a project for his midterms. After eating a piece of pizza, he passed out on the couch. He's now drooling, half on the couch, half off.

I tried to wake him up to tell him to go to bed, but his eyes didn't open. I was slightly worried he was in a coma or something so I shook him harder - he still didn't wake up. Then I did what any respectable, loving fiance would do... I kicked him a few times.

He said, "Ow." I guess that means he's not dying or anything.

Next I'm going to attempt to literally drag him off the couch, down the hall, to our bed. I don't want him complaining of a crick in his neck tomorrow on my birthday, after all.


I'm still tired. I tried to take a nap today with Oliver but it wasn't happening. Last night I ate something outside of my recent healthy diet range and it made my tummy hurt. Also, I accidentally ate two of these (really delicious) prunes, multiple pieces of 12 grain toast and a pear. That didn't help matters.

Jared was finally able to come home this evening. Of course, I couldn't talk to him because he went straight to bed. Oliver bit me on the arm when I took away an empty bottle from him. For the last hour I've been trying to set up our wireless router with no success. (Now that I type this, I remember that last year we had to call Linksys and they helped us go around something sneaky Comcast did to try and make us pay for professional install. Sneaky, sneaky Comcast... You are no good to us!)

I was feeling too lazy to make real dinner so I ordered Jared a pizza. I answered the door in a really old shirt with, guess what! Milk stains over my boobs. I don't know how that shirt ended up in my drawer but I think it's time for it to go in the trash.

Tomorrow is my birthday but I'm not really excited about it. I'm never really a festive person, but now that I feel like an oldster I'll probably only get excited if there is either A.) a cookie/ice cream cake or B.) a laser light show.

For some crazy reason I looked into job options today and realized that there is a definite paucity of marketable skills in my bag o' tricks. I don't know why I even looked at jobs because it's not like it would make sense for me to get a job right now anyway. Any job I'd get wouldn't cover the costs of childcare. I could have my parents watch him, but they're far away and I don't want to leave Oliver, anyway.

I'm almost resigned to the fact that I'll transfer to some tech school because getting a four year degree in horticulture sounds pretty pointless. There is nothing I could do with that. I can't even think of a job taht I'd enjoy that requires a schooling degree, so I'll probably just pick something I think I could do well with minimum lifestyle interference and get whatever degree necessary for that. I'm pretty sure I can take a job I'm more or less ambivalent about and still be happy with my life. I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at making the best of things. After all, there would probably be people with which I could commiserate, and there are always the weekends.

Let's play a game. I'll list things that bring me pleasure, and you'll tell me what career path I should choose. Winner gets brownies from my kitchen and the weight on his shoulders of knowing that he's either made or broken my life forever. (Ha! Kidding. I mean, unless you do somehow ruin my life then shame on you.)

Things that make me happy:

1. Typing perfectly without making any mistakes.
2. Bargain shopping.
3. Driving with music on.
4. Watching nature and/or Discovery channels.
5. Crossword puzzles.
6. Watching ridiculous speeders get pulled over by the cops.
7. Organizing other people's cupboards.
8. Various arts and crafts.
9. Acquiring and using new housewares.
10.  Talking to really old people in grocery stores.

Talents I have:
1. I make a good pot pie.
2. I can read and remember things. Usually.
3. I am really good at assembling things and following instructions.
4. My general direction senses are pretty good, and when they aren't I'm excellent with a map. (I even excelled at orienteering. No lies.)
5. I can make a nice fire with a flint.
6. Bring me a stain, I'll get it out. Probably.
7. My graph and chart reading skills are unparalleled.
8. I'm a master problem solving creative thinker.
9. I am a pretty good driver.
10. Flexibility.
11. Taking care of other people.

Things I'm bad at:
1. Killing spiders.
2. Math. And chemistry.
3. Self defense.
4. Waking up early.
5. Fashion.
6. Penmanship.
7. Overreacting. I typically err on the side of underreacting.
8. Acting.
9. Trivial pursuit.
10. Remembering numbers, names, and faces.

So there you go! When you come back, could you please have my life planned out for me?


Thursday, October 21, 2010


This is our birthday week. Jared and I have celebrated together in some way since we were thirteen. Last year we were so busy with Oliver and school and life in general that we didn't do much. We still probably won't do much this year, but I'm looking forward to going out. I'm looking forward to spending some time together.

I've been so uncharacteristically tired this week. It could be that I've never recovered from a trip to my sister's farm and my friend's house 2 hours away. Somebody decided to smash a pumpkin on the van's windshield, so my stay was longer than I'd expected. I had fun, but all of the driving and insurance claiming and police reporting and couch sleeping and baby missing was tiring.

It would be pretty if it didn't cost $400 to fix.
I started thinking about being away from Oliver and it made me feel really sad. Two/three days seems like forever to be apart from him. When I picked him up from my parents' house he had changed. He now exclaims, "My, My, My!" when something surprising happens. He walks more often. He says "cat" and "meow" to the neighborhood felines. In the time space of 2 days, he changed.

And although I know he's well cared for and he ENJOYS being away from me, I feel like I shouldn't ever let him go. I feel like I miss things when I let him leave. I feel so sad for Jared because Jared hasn't seen Oliver since these momentous first steps a week ago:

Jared feels horrible that he's missing all of this, but what can he do? He wakes up, catches the bus to school, and starts class before Oliver even stirs in the morning. Classes are over and he gets home after 6:30, and Oliver is already in bed. He might come home for a quick lunch or dinner, but the time he gets to spend with Oliver on weekdays is minimal. I know it's hard on him. It's hard on us too. Even though we know he's working hard for us, it is still lonely at home without him. We miss him.

Just before Oliver was born, I went through a couple of weeks where I was really, really scared. I felt like parenting was going to be an impossible task. I was convinced my life was over.  I remember that Jared said, "Why are you scared? It'll be you and me and the baby, and we'll kick ass and go on adventures."

The way he said it, so seriously, so matter-of-fact, made me smile.

Today is day 394 of kicking ass and going on adventures.

We love you, Daddy. Happy Birthday.
Our adventures wouldn't be the same without you.


I have the internet back now. It is so glorious. I am going to watch TV on the internet. I can post all of my blogs that I'd written but couldn't publish. I AM GOING TO GOOGLE THINGS.

It is currently freezing in our aparment because all the doors and windows are open, but I cannot be dragged away from this internetting to put on socks. Or at least close the windows.

I'll do that later. Right now I'm too busy looking at hipster puppies.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dentist Can See You Now.

Today I noticed a tiny white speck on the grotesque looking burl in the back of his mouth. His molar is arriving! Think of the foods he can eat once that baby pops through. He could mash up raw apple! He could eat chips without cutting his mouth to shreds! And of course, he'll start requesting baby sized steaks!

The pediatrician told us to take him to the dentist now, but what would the dentist do? Oliver has a hard time opening his mouth to get his teeth brushed. I can't imagine what it'd be like if the dentist wanted to take xrays or something. I am pretty sure the only way a dentist could even get a peek at those chompers would be to dangle a cube of cheese in front of him.

So, I asked the dentist and the dentist said, "Uh.. Yeah. We don't usually see kids 'til they're starting school. And we don't really do too much for them. Don't give your kid juice or soda." So I decided we can wait.

Know what else I decided today? Many things, including but not limited to:

1. I will give in and start buying the tiny portioned ice creams, because they are like forced serving size control. EVEN IF THEY ARE MORE EXPENSIVE.
2.  Delta's credit card is stupid and too complicated. All I wanted was some free checked bags.
3.  Reading the developmental guidelines for babies/toddlers is even stupider than Delta's credit card policy.

Number three is the biggie. I know that every mommy blogger ever in existence has written a story trying to warn people that baby books are dumb, so I'll just throw in my two cents.

Baby books are dumb.

That was the condensed version. If you're a veteran mom, you can just stop there. Because you already  know I'm going to say that the books will drive you to insanity.

Don't get what I'm saying? Let me explain.

 Say, for instance, you have an adorable baby. You've never taken care of a baby before. You think, "Hey! Somebody must have written down an instruction manual for this, right?" Right. You find one. You crack it open. The book tells you to never leave your baby unattended and to cover up your electrical sockets. So far, so good.

Then you flip to the milestones pages and it's all fire and brimstone. If your baby is 7 weeks old but the book says she was supposed to start grabbing things in a fist at 6 weeks? Or, say that your baby is 7.25 months old and she was supposed to be able to use the pincer grip at 7 months?

Well, I'm sorry to say it, but your baby is doomed. She is probably autistic. Or she has cancer. Or else she has that one rare genetic disorder that causes all of her hand muscles to atrophy into Jell-O.  That birth mark on her back is probably actually all that remains of the identical twin she absorbed in utero. You should call your pediatrician and start an intervention for her immediately.

Of course, there IS a disclaimer  (in a teeny tiny font!) saying that all babies grow and develop differently. But do you know where that disclaimer is? At the very end - after the book already told you how your child will never be able to lead a normal life and will probably grow up to be an LSD addicted stripper.

So, if your kid happens to be a little bit slower, you start to worry.  A lot. Then you call the pediatrician. They all try not to laugh at you as they explain that your child is not dying. You'll call in 10 more times before you realize that your baby just started doing x on an appropriate timeline. You decide baby books are stupid. You throw them in the trash.

And if your baby is on a bit of a fast track? You get a complex.

What if your kid is only 1.5 months old, but he already has the neck control of a giraffe? What if your 5 month old can support his weight and say dada to you?

At first it's no big deal. But then you start to brag at play dates. And then you mentally begin signing your baby up for a gifted preschool program. Before you know it, your kid is predetermined to greatness. He will be enrolled in violin and piano lessons at age two. He will speak a minimum of 4 different languages, at least one of them being Mandarin or Arabic. He will probably be the youngest person ever to receive a Nobel. And it's all because you had him listening to NPR while he was gestating. And also you fed him exclusively organic food, too.... Right?

That's all good and dandy, until one day you realize.. Wait a second. This is his 9 month birthday and he isn't walking yet! You're crestfallen. You're convinced that you just haven't been coaching enough. You work and work and work to get that baby to walk, but despite your best efforts nary a step taken!

You give up and resign your baby back into a life of normalcy. You realize that while you were so anxious for X to occur, you didn't notice that your baby was mastering the different traits of Y & Z. After you stop pressuring her, your baby does whatever minuscule thing you were so worried about and you curse your baby book for giving you such high expectations. You decide baby books are stupid. You throw them in the trash.

Either camp your baby falls into, you throw them in the trash. Stupid baby books.

This photo was left behind yesterday, but I thought it needed recognition. Note how baby and goat have the same expression.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dinner this evening.

Dear Universe,

Somehow I've ended up with 3 potato mashers and 3 heart shaped pans, but you know what I don't have? A  pie tin. I wish I could make pot pies that didn't look like this:

But anyway, I'll accept my lack of pie tins because I found TWO pairs of jeans today. And they were on sale. That was pretty nice.

Next time I go to the mall, Universe, I'd like it if you could help me find a couple new bras. Then  I'd be set.



Today we went to a kitschy little farm to enjoy some fall festivities. Oliver ate his first mini donuts. He got to see his favorite animals from his story books in real life. We had a good time.

There were also ducks and cows and sheep, but they were less photogenic.

He picked out this pumpkin and would not let it go. It had to be that one. So we let him have it.

I couldn't find my camera before we left, so I had to use my old camera. I offer my apologies because the quality suffered, but I did find this hidden gem on the memory card. Who knows how old he is here?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Wafer for Your Thoughts.

Sorry about another quick blog post, but I figure short and sweet is better than, well... short and nonexistent?

Oliver had his one year check up yesterday, and he's not having a good time with his shots. He was up all night last night, whimpering nonstop. He was burning hot and the most he would do is lift up a limp hand to point to the Nilla Wafers box we had sitting on the counter.

If all else fails, Nilla Wafers will cure you.

Of course, I had to let him have one. He didn't so much eat it as he just held it in his hand and looked at it. Just the act of having wafer in hand made him feel better.

Earlier today he seemed to be doing well, but now that he's home and he's back in bed he's been clingy and whimpery again. I know he's so tired, but he just won't sleep. His fever is higher tonight than it was during the day. How does that make sense?

I'm hoping that once he finally falls asleep he'll stay out for the night and wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed.

I know this is the least bit evil of me, but it is kind of wonderful to hold him when he wakes up at night. For once in his life he just likes me to hold him. He's  not licking my face or sticking his fingers up my nose - just quietly resting his head on me. Now as I type this, his head is resting on my thigh and he's half sleeping, half twitching and whimpering. In each hand is a whole, untasted Nilla Wafer cookie.

I'm sorry that he feels sick, but it melts my heart to know that he wants me to comfort him.

(Even if that means giving him Nilla Wafers to hold.)

My fingers are crossed that he'll wake up tomorrow feeling like this.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Call me crazy, but I think this is going to the locus of our Thanksgiving.

I reveal to you...


I feel like no more needs to be said.

(Except that maybe there will be Peanut Butter Incredibles too.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A story in which I embarress myself a lot.

I went for a walk with a friend today when I was reminded of this gem of a story. Enjoy.


When I was in second grade, my best friends were two twin boys. For my purposes, they shall be called  Randall and Clyde. I hung out with them almost every single day. They lived in the neighborhood and I would jump on my 10 speed and  just show up on their doorstep at all times of the day. Surprise! It's me! Send out your children to play! I would then unleash myself upon them and their family until I heard the cast iron bell ring, telling me to come home for dinner.

I think their mom hated me, because in all reality I was a terrible friend. I bossed them around a lot. I ate all of their delicious snacks. I broke a few of their toys. I am sure that I have, on more than one occasion, punched them both as hard as I could. In the face, even. I made them cry. Frequently. Our friendship spawned more from the fact that we were close in age and proximity than from any actual mutual good feelings or personality similarities.

I was always jealous of them for many reasons, but the chief amongst them were:

1. They had kick ass National Geographic posters in their room. (Think Bengal tigers, and sharks!)
2. Their parents bought them all kinds of science-y Discovery telescopes, geodes, etc. They also had their own mini Maglites.
3. One summer, their grandparents or somebody constructed a huge teepee for them in their backyard.

Oh, and also they had a wood pile. For some reason that was really cool, too.

(Years later I realized that I shouldn't have ever been jealous of them.  I'd trade shark posters, OCD hand washing before dinner, and half hour a day TV limits for my laid back parents who turned me loose outside and plied me with all the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet that I could handle any day.)

But anyway. I digress. The point is, they were like my only friends and I hung out with them a lot. One day I went to visit them but I was informed that they were busy. I was pretty sure they were WITH OTHER FRIENDS. I was pissed.

I went back to my bike and started pedaling home, but about half a block away I got an idea. Revenge! Never again will they play with anyone but me! I'll teach them to play with other kids! They'll realize I'm all the friends they need!

So I turned around, stashed my bike in the wild jungle in the middle of our development, and went to unleash mayhem on their world. I remembered hiding out in their (stupid really cool and awesome) teepee and trying to think of what I could do to get back at them.  I contemplated stealing their (stupid really cool and awesome) firewood but I was unsure of how I would get it back home. I also was unsure of how much they'd really care about that anyway. And I was pretty sure I could go to jail for that.

My second thought was to break into their house and sabotage all playtime activities they were having with their other friends.  They would go to play with a puzzle only to find half the pieces missing! They would go to watch their favorite movie, but I would have squirted jelly into the VCR! It would be mishap after hilarious mishap, like in the movie Matilda or something. (At least I'm pretty sure that was what Matilda was about, because I was never allowed to see it. But that was the plot I imagined. If I'm wrong, well... I don't want to know about it.)

I sat in their (stupid really cool and awesome) teepee for a really long time, but I couldn't actually come up with anything that I thought I could successfully execute.

Then my train of thought derailed. It probably went something like this:

Think self, think! What do Clyde and Randall really hate... Hmm... I know! Cat poop in the sandbox! Nothing is worse than cat poop in the sandbox! Except maybe... human poop? Of course! Human poop would be the worst thing ever!

So I decided that pooping in their sandbox would be the perfect revenge. (A logical conclusion for anyone to reach, no?)

There I was next to their shed, knitted pants around my ankles, straining to poop in their sandbox. I was in the middle of making a sizable deposit when out of nowhere Coco, the scariest evilest dog in the neighborhood, came running by me. In a state of panic, I prematurely pulled up my pants to run away.

Although Coco's owner called the dog back and I was spared a vicious mauling, it was already too late for my dignity. There was a small squishy turd left behind in the leg of my stretch knit pants. I freaked out at my own fecal mishap and threw my pants off, leaving them hidden under some rocks behind my friends' shed. I ran to my bike, and pedaled home in my underwear, smelling literally like shit.

 I managed to sneak up to my room to put on new pants before anyone ever found out, although my mom did wrinkle her nose at my stink. I went to play with Randall and Clyde the next day  only to learn that they weren't, in fact, playing with other friends. They were just hanging out with their grandparents. I pooped on myself for no reason.

Needless to say, I never pooped in anyone's sandbox ever again. It was a valuable lesson learned.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Free Parking

Our guests have gone home and (after a long nap) we have resumed our normal lives.

Yesterday we went to the park. Usually our trips go like this:

We show up, and he says "woof woof" to the dogs in the neighboring dog park. I unbuckle him from the stroller and set him down in the pea gravel. He stands for a moment, surveys the lay of the land, and then crawls off like a bat out of hell towards some sticks or a pine cone or other mundane object. Depending on how sharp and pointy the stick is (or how sticky the pine cone) I either let him sit for a moment and analyze the object, or I try to corral him into another area of the playground. He might stand at the base of the slide or crawl under some of the play equipment, but that's about it. We share some rice puffs and a cup of water, then walk home.

But yesterday? There was no stopping this (not so) lean, mean baby machine. He climbed the steps. He crawled into the tunnels on his own. He tried to walk unassisted on (of all places) the shaky chain bridge.You might think that sounds brave and death defying already, but GET THIS, you guys.

He went down the slide all by himself. All previous attempts at helping him down the slide ended in screaming. Even while sitting on my lap, the slide still produced whimpers at best. Yesterday I saw him crawling towards the slide and I thought:

Slide? No way he's going to go down that. He hates the slide. He's terrified. He'll turn around and crawl back down the steps.

Instead, he squatted at the top of the slide. Threw some rocks down it. Analyzed the angle of the slide and the trajectory of the rocks. Looked over the edge. Gauged the distance to the ground. Suddenly the gears in his head came into perfect alignment and a decision was made. He was going for it.

He sat down at the top and inched over the edge slowly, slowly...

Then gravity took hold of him and he was off like Moody's Goose down The Biggest Slide in the playground.

He landed on his butt at the bottom.  I was sure he was terrified. I was worried he would cry and never try the slide again. There was a moment of stunned stillness, but then...

He stood up. He clapped. He crawled up the steps to do it again. And again. And again.

It was like he woke up yesterday from his nap and just decided, "Well.. This is it. Today is my day. I will do everything and I will have no fear." And then he did.

We came home and he learned how to climb onto the couch. He learned how to climb up onto our bed. He took several daringly unassisted steps. He worked his new puzzle until he got each piece in its place. He had a can-do mindset, and he could-do and did-do.

Although he fails more often than he succeeds, he is ever enthusiastic. Even a modicum of success is greeted with clapping and dancing. Failure only causes him to set his jaw and try again.

Sometimes it is hard to raise such a fearless boy, but I'd rather wash stains out of his jeans and bandage his scraped knees than teach him to be afraid or doubtful. It was scary to watch him slide by himself, but sometimes he knows better than I what he's capable of achieving. I don't ever want him to hold back because he's scared of failure. I don't ever want him to doubt his brilliance.

Right now he is unstoppable and he knows it. He is capable and he believes it. He has a great pride and love for himself and his accomplishments.

I hope life never takes that away from him.