The Last Year Has Been One-derful

When I get home in the morning, my little girl will be two years old. My wife probably didn’t intend on making me cry, but she sent me a picture of her sleeping in her crib with the message “Last picture as a 1 year old,” but she did.

I wish I had taken the day off tomorrow. I didn’t because I had to save my PTO time for a surgery I am having this month. I want to spend the entire day with her. I want to celebrate HER! Sadly, I have to work tomorrow night, so I will probably miss most of her day.

As I look back over the last year, it is amazing to see how much she has grown and just how far she has come. Some highlights:

  • First birthday at the Sea Life Aquarium
  • Amazing professional First Birthday/Cake Smash photoshoot
  • First haircut with Miss Sherry
  • Family Easter Egg hunt
  • Finding out she was going to be a big sister
  • First time eating corn on the cob
  • First time bowling (with big brothers)
  • Family visit to the Detroit and Saginaw Zoos
  • First trip to the library
  • Drawing her first picture
  • Daddy/Daughter picnic
  • First surgery – ear tubes
  • Outside adventures (trampoline fun, walks around the neighborhood, sidewalk chalk drawings, sandbox fun, visits to the park, playing on the splashpad, swimming in her kiddie pool, playing in leaf piles, sledding and making snow angels)
  • Arrival of Little Brother and official promotion to Big Sister
  • Family visit with Santa at Cabella’s
  • Daddy/Daughter trip to Bronners to buy the annual Christmas ornament
  • Visits from Aunt Margaret, Cousin Marissa, Papa and Grandma, Uncle Chris, and so many others.

What a One-derful year it has been!

The “terrible twos” don’t scare me. I just hope that time slows down a bit.

Yesterday, I kissed my one year old for the last time. When I get home in the morning, I will kiss my two year old for the first time. I can’t wait to see her….

Silly Kid Stuff

To my Facebook friends, most of this blog is a recap of things I have already posted there. However, some of this is stuff I want documented in my blog for future viewing.

Andrew

Ok, I’m not going to lie, this is something that makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. Sam had AJ in a striped onesie recently and I only saw him in it briefly. Then, on one of my days off, I put him in the same onesie. I couldn’t really place what it made me think of at first, and then it hit me! I had to do a “comparison” picture.

AJ and Curly from the short “Dizzy Pilots”

What is even funnier is that I was wearing a shirt that had stripes on it a few years ago in a picture and my dad is the one who told me it reminded him of Curly from that short. Personally, I think AJ’s shirt is much closer to Curly’s. Now, if you are talking hair … then I am closer to Curly!

I’m not sure what it is, but I seem to make AJ smile a lot. Sam even said that I make him smile more than she does. I’m not sure that is the case, but I won’t lie, when he smiles at me – it is one of the many things that make me so very happy.

His hair reminds us of Ella when she was a baby. Depending on the light, it can look brown, blonde, or red. I guess we have to wait a bit to see what color it winds up being!

Ella

So we had a little snow storm here in Michigan this week. I think the “official” total accumulation was about 10 inches where we live. That is about half of what they said it was going to be. Because of the storm, many patients called and cancelled their sleep studies. That meant that I got called off and got an extra night home with the family.

For dinner last night, Ella wanted pancakes. I thought I would be the “cool” dad and attempt to make some Mickey or Minnie Mouse pancakes for her. She’s been watching Minnie Mouse on TV a lot, so I though she would think they were cool! So I fired up the griddle and made these beauties for her:

I was pretty excited about how they came out. I put them on the plate, walk them over to her and say, “Look, baby! What do they look like?”

She looks at them and back at me and replies, “pancakes!”

As one of my Facebook friends observed – “She’s not wrong!”

After dinner, she grabbed a few books to read. She has this Pete the Cat book that had a sheet of stickers in it. She’s been all about stickers lately. We’ve been finding them stuck all over the house in random places – on the bathroom wall, on the living room floor, inside the kitchen cupboard doors, etc…

I was on the floor with her and AJ and she began to place her stickers on a huge canvas …

MY HEAD!

At one point she tried to put one on my eye! I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and as I was walking out, Sam was walking in. She began laughing because when I removed the stickers, I had forgotten one and had actually fallen asleep with it still on my noggin!

Today, before I took my nap before work, I wanted to get out with the snow blower and go over the driveway and sidewalks again. Before I did that, though, we bundled Ella up so she could go outside and play in the snow. I pulled her around on her sled for a bit before we attempted to go out into the snow on the lawn.

10 inches of snow made it pretty hard for her to walk around, so I kept shuffling in my boots to clear a path for her. That allowed her to play in the snow for a bit. She seemed to like falling in the snow better anyway. I showed her how to make some snow angels, but I think she just thought I was being silly. The wind cut our play short. Her nose and cheeks were really red when we went in the house. We were probably only outside for 10 minutes.

What a joy it is to spend some one on one time with her in the snow! She loves being outside!

Sadly, play time ended and when she went inside, I pulled out the snow blower and cleared snow before napping.

So many fun moments with the kids this week! God, do I love them!

No More Snow Days??!!

Flashback: A winter day in the late 1970’s. At 6:30am, the phone rings. It is our neighbor, who works for the school district. She informs my mom or dad that school has been cancelled for today. We know before it even hits the TV or radio! It’s a SNOW DAY!!

Back to today – 2020.

I read a New York Times article today that echoed what I had read in a few other articles from our local newspapers and TV stations. The “Snow Day” is probably a thing of the past, thanks to COVID-19 and the pandemic!

I wish I could say that this was not true, but it looks like that is exactly the case. Thanks to the schools being forced to close to “flatten the curve,” and the technology for remote learning, there is no reason for school to not proceed on days when the weather is bad. Snow days will be replaced with virtual learning.

I do understand that going virtual solves the problem of adding on days to the end of the school year, because of too many snow days. No kid wants to have to go to school later than they have to. However, I think that by making every snow day a virtual day robs kids of certain things that they may only get to do on snow days.

I look back fondly on the snow days of my childhood! There were so many things to do!

Sledding

It was always fun to gather up some kids and find a good hill to sled down. Every so often, someone’s mom would pack up the car and kids from the neighborhood and take us to a HUGE hill somewhere! These were good times!!!

Snowmen

When the snow was “good packing”, you could bet that almost every kid was out on their front lawn making a snowman! I remember looking for all the perfect things for his eyes, arms, and such. We had an old beat up hat we would put on ours. It was always dirty, too, because it would pick up all the grass and twigs that were on the lawn.

Forts

Again, if the snow was the right texture, you could go out and build one hell of a snow fort! I have blogged about this in the past. We had stuff to make blocks and build the forts with. We really had some amazing snow forts. I can guarantee that every snow fort I ever built was built on a snow day!!

Snowball Fights

If you’re building a fort, you know you are gearing up for war! There is bound to be one amazing snowball fight! You’d stock that fort up with as many snowballs as you could make in preparation for your enemies. Who didn’t love a good snowball fight?!

Skating

While I never learned to ice skate, I know many people who did. Before I moved to Warren, there was a pond that was next to our house. When it would freeze up in the winter, people skated on the ice. I would go out in my snow boots and slide all over the ice. What a blast!!!

Snow Angels

Whether you are a child or an adult, there is just something fun about flopping down in the snow and making a snow angel! I am SO looking forward to doing this with my daughter!!

It makes me sad to think that some kids will never know the fun and excitement of getting a snow day. It seems that technology has robbed children of yet another thing.

Perhaps before banning snow days completely, districts could allow for one or two days for snow days? Teachers could use the day to adjust lesson plans, or something like that…. I pray that snow days don’t vanish like a sledder at the bottom of a hill….

Maybe I will just have to make it a point to “call in sick” for my kids so they can enjoy a good snow day in the future…..