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Monday, November 25th, 2013
As promised for part of your monster truck road trip for your 3rd birthday, we drove the Toyota Tundra to the Build-A-Bear at the Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga, TN.
I can’t take credit for the idea to go to Build-A-Bear Workshop, just the truck ride idea.
Mommy cleverly thought of going to Build-A-Bear as a way to celebrate with not only my parents, your cousin Calla, Aunt Dana and Uncle Andrew, but also your great-grandma, who you’ve only met a few times.
Like any man shopping, you immediately identified the animal you want to stuff, a red panda, and got to work.
Sure, you were impressed by the fact you got to pump the stuffing into your red panda by pressing a foot pedal. And by getting to place the heart in your red panda yourself.
But mainly, you just wanted to build your red panda, whatever steps that entailed, to ensure the red panda was officially yours.
Meanwhile, your cousin Calla enjoyed the journey, evidently impressed by the many potential accessories that were available to her pink penguin.
(She ended up getting her a tutu.)
You didn’t care about clothes, scents, or sounds. You just wanted your red panda.
When it came time to name your new friend, you decided to keep things simple:
You named him “Panda.”
Sometimes when your parents plan a seemingly good idea, it doesn’t quite work out as well as it did in our minds.
However, this actually went the way it was supposed to. It was appropriate and a lot of fun.
Not to mention, it wasn’t really expensive and it was an extremely unique experience for a 3 year-old boy and his girl cousin who is 7 months younger.
From Build-A-Bear, we loaded up in the truck and made our way towards the canyon, as you snacked on some delicious sour dough bread from the Earth Fare near the mall.
And of course, “Panda” was there the whole ride across the state lines of Georgia and Alabama.
To be continued…
Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.
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Monday, November 18th, 2013
Your 3rd birthday, this past Saturday, marked the first birthday of yours where you’ve been old enough to truly decide for yourself what you wanted to buy with a gift card.
And you instantly knew what you wanted to buy: a remote control truck.
The proud smile on your face in this picture says it all.
As Mommy and I took our time looking for Christmas gifts for your cousin Calla, you so patiently (!) followed us around; never saying a word or begging to leave.
Instead, you toted around that remote control monster truck; the box was as nearly as big as you are.
You were so happy to be getting a “big boy toy.”
Honestly, I was a bit surprised you wanted such a complicated toy.
Or maybe you actually are old enough to want a remote control toy?
Once we got home, we wasted no time whatsoever tearing the box apart.
While you definitely wanted me to teach you right away how to use the remote control to make it go, about ten minutes later you were on the ground, pushing the thing across the carpet.
Sure, it was fun for you getting to drive your new remote control monster truck across your parking lot of Hot Wheels, but I suppose you missed the hands on experience of pushing a toy and making the motor sounds yourself.
The most fun part of it for me was hiding the remote control behind my back while you played with your truck on the carpet, then making it suddenly drive away from you, then having it come back charging at you.
I cracked up at your response the first time I did that:
“Daddy, it moves by itself!”
Your innocent answer made me so happy. Plus, I loved helping you suspend your belief that this toy truck really does have a mind of its own.
The remote control, as far as you’re concerned, is optional.
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Sunday, November 17th, 2013
3 years old.
For your last two birthdays, Mommy and I didn’t keep things simple.
We combined both friends and family to have an official birthday party, each time.
Even though our “family life” is so much more stabilized and easier than it was for the past two years, without giving it much thought, perhaps by default, Mommy and I decided to have a purposesly low key (!) birthday party for you.
So we did things a bit off beat…
First, on Saturday, the morning of your birthday, we had your first and best friend over, with her parents.
As this picture collage that Sophie’s parents made illustrates, you two had plenty of unscripted fun.
My favorite part to witness was when Sophie suggested, “Come on, Jack. Let’s go upstairs!”
So we all trekked up to your boy cave.
I’ve mentioned before, we have the top half of a rockasan in your bedroom that serves as a “boat.” You and Sophie had a great time giving each other rides in it.
And somehow, even though I was only feet away, I missed the moment when Sophie ended up with the toy basket on top of her head.
Of course, after lunch, both of you were in need of a nap, so the celebration came to an end, but not before we all had some of Mommy’s yummy vegan cupcakes!
After Sophie left, we aimed for a nap, which I think ended up turning into us watching part of Monsters, Inc. that Sophie got for you. (You now own your first Disney movie!)
Then later in the afternoon, we had two more of your friends up with their parents, and essentially repeated what happened earlier that day.
It wasn’t until just now, as I put these pictures together, that I realized only girls came to your birthday party.
(Your friend Troy was out of town and couldn’t make it, by the way.)
So it made it that much funnier that in the goody bags we gave to them, each friend received a Hot Wheels pick-up truck.
Yes, and that’s pretty much your 3rd birthday party. Of course, we’re going to spend next weekend with my family to celebrate your birthday with them… and I have a special surprise being shipped in from Atlanta… or I should say, driven in…
You’ll see what I mean in a couple days!
(Plus, I just have a feeling that to be so mellow about your 3rd birthday party, we will end up making up for it with your 4th birthday party.)
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
Tonight was the first time I’ve ever talked to you over the phone.
Mommy picked you up from school instead of me today, so I called you both to check in.
When Mommy handed the phone to you in the back seat, I had an actual conversation with you:
“Hey Jack, what are you and Mommy doing right now?” I asked.
“We’re at Whole Foods. I’m gonna eat pizza for dinner,” you replied.
Prompted by Mommy, you ended the call by telling me that you missed me and loved me. I can tell your words were sincere, though.
I mean this in the best way possible, but that was pretty weird for me. I was actually carrying on a legitimate conversation with you… like I would an actual human being!
Without your visual right there in front of me, I was forced to absorb only the sound of your voice.
I mean, I’m used to talking to you during the whole ride to school and back every day, but it’s a whole other thing without any prompts or crutches.
Wow. You and I can actually talk… over the phone.
I heard your voice. I’ve never paid attention to your voice before. Normally, I’m so focused on the circumstances surrounding the conversation that I hear the words you say, but not your actual voice.
Even though it may seem like I’m making a bigger deal of this than I need to, this for me is a bookmark as your Daddy.
Just days away away from your 3rd birthday now, this is a significant moment as I recognize you as a boy; as a fellow human being. Not a baby.
I can talk to you. And not about just superficial stuff like the “monster trucks” (Toyota Tundras) you see as we’re driving down the highway.
But instead, you can tell me what’s going on in your life… over the phone.
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Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
This week on Facebook I was introduced to a cool type of picture that parents can create of their kids.
I don’t know that it’s called, though.
So until I do, I’ll just call it a “collage profile.”
Featured here is the picture that introduced me to it. Granted, this is a professional picture, by my friend Joe Hendricks, who took Mommy and Daddy’s wedding pictures as well as our pregnancy pictures.
To me, this is the perfect example of how it should be done. A+!
The concept is simple: a picture of a kid, superimposed with various, random texts showing their name, age, and interests.
What a cool idea! I have no idea who thought of it first but I hear that it’s trending on Pinterest.
Just for the fun of it, I threw one together for you. Eleven days away from your 3rd birthday, I now have a better visual of the stuff you’re into during this exact stage of your life.
A few months from now, I assume some of these listed interested will be replaced with others.
But as for right now, I can preserve this sort of visual bookmark on your life.
While I’m sure this kind of picture can be created on several different websites out there, the one I used is Picfont, where I do all the captions for your pictures. I like it because it’s free and doesn’t require a login and password.
So whatever this trendy kind of picture is called, it’s something I should probably do every so often.
The fact that you currently like the color pink… I have a feeling that’s going to change in the next couple of years and then we’ll really have something to laugh about.
Well, assuming you’re reading this years from now… Yes, son… you used to love the color pink.
But mainly as it relates to monster trucks!
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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, facebook, monster trucks, parenting, parents, photo editing, photos, pink, Pinterest, trendy | Categories:
Nostalgia, The Dadabase