Josh turns five

Dear Joshie,

You turned five this past weekend, despite how much I tried to convince you to stay at four. You didn’t think it was funny to remain small.

On your birthday, we surprised you with a trip to Legoland. I will always remember how excited you got when you found out where we were going. I love how quick you are to show your feelings and wear your heart on your sleeve.

You inspire me with your love and enthusiasm for life. You bounce out of bed every morning, with a positive attitude about whatever it is to come. You are cheery from the moment you open your eyes. Your enthusiasm is inspiring, and infectious. You always say hello to all our neighbors in the elevator, putting me to shame for being quiet. You have no problem striking up a conversation with any kid or adult at the park. You believe in yourself and your values, and you are never ashamed of sharing your thoughts. You let your tears freely flow when your feelings are hurt. You’re not scared of opening yourself up to share the hurt.

Seriously, Josh, I wish I can be more like you.

You’re at such a fun age right now, where you still think I’m pretty cool and you still want to hang out with me. Since you started school, I’ve been trying to be more conscientious about holding your hand or kissing you, especially when I drop you off at school. Whenever I ask you, “Can I hold your hand?” or “Can I kiss you?”, you always say with a smile, “Yes, you can hold my hand or kiss me anytime you want, Mommy!” And I will always treasure that video of you saying, “I love you, Mommy. I am going to marry you,” for the rest of my life. I know the good days won’t last forever, but I am so grateful for the time we have right now.

You love coming to my office with me on the weekends. You love going to run errands with me. You love going for a bike ride or go play at the park. You absolutely love going to parties or visiting with friends. You are a social animal.

During this past year, you have learned how to ride a bike. You love your swimming lessons. You love your kindergarten and the new friends you’ve made. You are learning to deal with conflicts at school, and slowly learning to give people their space. I look forward to watching you grow into the little man you’re becoming.

Being your mommy is one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me. Thank you for being my inspiration and my joy. I love you with all of my heart. Happy birthday, Josh. I wish you all the joy in the world.

Love,

MommyJosh

Ice skating

When we first moved to Canada, I have never seen an ice rink before, let along skate. I added PE 11 to my class schedule, because I assumed it was mandatory like it was in Taiwan. In December 1992, our PE teacher took us to play ice hockey at the rink next to our school. It was my first time in my life putting on ice skates. I loosely tied the lace of the skates, grabbed a hockey stick, and got on the ice. I was super wobbly, and used the hockey stick as a crutch to inch along the ice.

The PE teacher told me to go right in the centre for face off. I took forever to get to the centre of the ice, the teacher dropped the puck, I tried to reach the puck with my hockey stick, and that’s when I lost my balance and fell. Because I had tied the lace so loosely, there was no support from the boot. When I fell, I twisted my ankle inside the skates, and the bones in my ankle shattered, sending a hairline split half way up my shin bone. I ended up in surgery that night, with a metal plate and 8 screws added to my bone to help hold my ankle back together.

Last weekend Josh had his first ice skating lesson. He was so excited about his lesson that morning. When I told him ice skating isn’t very easy, he said, “I think I’ll be very good at it.” I smiled and said nothing.

Once he had his skates on, the teacher asked them to all walk around on the rubber ground. He was wobbly, but managed to walk around just fine. He was still smiling and waving at me.

Once they got on the ice, the poor little dude was slipping and falling everywhere. Initially he was having fun and still smiling. But after a while, I can see his smile starting to fade. He struggled with getting up and staying up. My lips started to quiver on their own and my tears started to fall. I felt so bad for him.

Even after all these years of my incident, watching Josh fall on the ice just reminds me of the pain I felt. With each fall he took, my heart nearly jumped out of my throat. Good thing the lesson was only 1/2 hour. I wasn’t sure if I could endure any more.

Josh was no longer smiling when he came off the ice, but he was stoic. He said in a matter-of-fact tone that it was really hard, and he didn’t like it so much. I held him tightly in my arms, and told him I was so proud of him for working so hard and not quitting. As a parent, nothing makes me more proud than seeing my kiddo work hard and having a good attitude about it. And thank goodness nothing broke.Josh skates-2

I survived the first day of school (sort of)

With Savanna’s first day of preschool today, I felt nervous. We’ve never had her out of our sight, so I had no idea how she will do. When Cliff told her we were leaving to take Josh to school, she didn’t even look at him. She focused on the new toys she was playing with. When we came to pick her up, it was almost like she had done this before and it was no big deal that we showed up.First day of schoolSchool-14 School-9

With Josh’s first day of kindergarten today, I felt sad. He couldn’t wait to get into his classroom. After Cliff and I walked out of his school, I sobbed all the way back to the car. It’s a new phase of Josh’s life, and I have just lost him a little bit more.

He came out of school complaining that one hour was too short and he wanted to stay longer.

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The countdown is on

We’re a week away from the first day of school, and I am in total denial. I just can’t believe my not-so-little baby will be going to kindergarten. Here comes the start of the school system. Shit just got real and I am freaking out.

When he started preschool, I had the same thoughts–how could this be happening so fast. But at least preschool back then was twice a week, for 2 1/2 hours. But now he’ll be spending the majority of his day with OTHER PEOPLE I DO NOT KNOW. This idea seems completely ridiculous to me. Why can’t babies stay small and on their mothers’ side forever. Does anyone else feel that way?

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Time goes by so fast

Josh size

When I saw that Josh had fallen asleep on the couch this afternoon like this, I immediately remembered one of my favorite photos of him from 2010 when he was just a week old. I ran to grab the camera, took the shot, and he woke up to the beeping noise of the camera. I’m glad I caught this.

Before I had kids, every time I hear a parent say, “Oh, this time goes by so fast”, I just roll my eyes and think they are crazy. How does time go by fast when you’re up on a Saturday morning at 5:45 am because your preschooler is up? How does time go by fast when they are cranky and throwing temper tantrums and you just want to pull your hair out? Well, I guess it’s my turn to say, this time goes by so fast. I don’t know how it happens, but it just does.

Little Peddleheads

This week, we had the kids registered for Peddleheads. I was bracing myself for the worst case scenario. Just 5 days ago, Savanna refused to try the balance bike, and Josh refused to consider taking his training wheels off. While I was work, I keep waiting for Cliff to text me that Peddleheads would send our kids home for being uncooperative.

On the contrary, Savanna showed up for her first class, got on the balance bike, and away she went. No fussing, no bad attitude, no fighting. During this week, she went from refusing to even try the balance bike, to booting around on it with ease.

As for Josh, who almost had a meltdown when we mentioned the removal of training wheels, is now riding a 16″ wheel new bike without training wheels. He still needs a little help with launching, but he can ride pretty comfortably and make turns all unassisted. It makes me so incredibly proud to see him riding two wheels.

Today I finally had a chance to go see them in their classes, and it was pouring rain. Both of them had a great attitude, didn’t whine or complain about the rain, and both had a great time. This was one of those mommy moments that I was doing fist pumps inside my head while standing at the sideline.

She LOVED the puddles

She LOVED the puddles

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She really LOVED the puddles

She really LOVED the puddles

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Did I mention she LOVED the puddles?

Did I mention she LOVED the puddles?

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Baby forever

Josh is now registered for kindergarten this fall. This week, the school hosted a “welcome to kindergarten” event for all the new kids. All the families went in and sat in the cafeteria, waiting for the 1 1/2 hour program to begin.

The vice principal explained that all the new kids will be going with the teachers to go see their new classrooms, while the parents are taken on a separate tour of the school. Josh had no problem running over to his designated group to meet his new friends and new teachers. As his group was lead away to their new classroom, my tears fell.

I have always been very resistant to the idea of my baby growing bigger by the day. Ever since he was born, everything just felt like a whirlwind. Why does it feel like everything is going by so fast, and I have just barely gotten to know him well enough in the last stage?

Today, I was watching Josh play while he followed a complicated instruction booklet to build a Lego structure. I said, “Hey, buddy, would you please stop growing?” He looked at me with a smile and said, “Mommy, I have to grow. But I’ll be your baby forever.”

Buddy, I’m going to hold you to that!

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My favorite place

If I have to name my favorite places in the world, Cannon Beach would be one of the top 3. Cliff and I used to go there at least once a year to relax, and my mind is filled with memories of Sammy running up and down the level beach and sniffing everything. The last time we went was our babymoon, while I was 35 weeks pregnant with Joshua.

It is quite a long drive from Vancouver, which prevented us from taking that trip again while Josh and Savanna were little. This year, we feel that it’s about time to take them on a road trip, and see how they do with all the travel training they’ve had so far. As it turns out, they did so much better than I expected, and I am ecstatic (and planning more trips)!

We rented a little cottage a block away from the beach. Every morning we would go to the beach after breakfast. We would make sand castles, dip our toes in the cold ocean, fly kites, and throw our beach balls around. We would then go back to the cottage for lunch, or walk to the town for pizza, then back to the beach again to tire ourselves out.

We had a little farewell ceremony for Sammy, because I think that Cannon Beach is probably his favorite place as well. Cliff and I had a good cry. We just miss our pup so much.

I can’t wait to go back.

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Bath for baby bear

Ever since Savanna was born, Josh laid claimed to my bear toy and it became his “Baby Bear”. He like to take care of Baby Bear the same way I take care of Savanna. Josh would put Baby Bear down for naps, teach her how to walk, nursed her with his belly, and take her to the playground to go down the slide. It’s really sweet how he is so protective of this bear.

Over time, Baby Bear got really dirty, but Josh didn’t want to put her in the washer. Eventually he agreed that we need to give Baby Bear a bath, and he was going to do the work. He looks like a proud daddy, washing his baby for the first time.

Start with a scrub with some soap.

Start with a scrub with some soap.

Daddy gets in to help make sure all the parts are scrubbed.

Daddy gets in to help make sure all the parts are scrubbed.

Rinsing off the soap.

Rinsing off the soap.

He put his thumbs over the bear's eyes so water won't get into her eyes.

He put his thumbs over the bear’s eyes so water won’t get into her eyes.

Baby Bear all washed and cleaned, wrapped up in a towel to dry.

Baby Bear all washed and cleaned, wrapped up in a towel to dry.

A clean bear.

A clean bear.