Oh my little one, you are about to start 2nd grade.  Second grade at a new school.  I know how excited you are, you’ve been anxiously waiting for this day to come.  I want this to be the best year yet for you.  I know we always talk about working hard, completing your assignments, and learning your spelling words.

But that isn’t all.  While education will get you far in life, it isn’t what I care most about.  I want you to be kind.  To everyone.  To the kid that is being left out, include him.  To the kid being picked on, stand up for them.  Don’t ever pick on someone you think is different.  Take the time to get to know who they really are.

I know we have talked about things that make a good friend.  I want you to always be a good friend to your classmates.  It doesn’t matter if they think, act or look differently then you.  EVERYONE is important and deserves love.

Becoming a foster family has taught you so much about compassion.  You understand that not everyone comes from loving and supportive homes.  But you know that they still deserve love and support.

If you hear someone say hateful words, let them know it’s not ok. Let an adult know.  Be the good.

I love that you deeply care about others.  Don’t ever change that.  Offer help and friendship, especially to those who need it most.

I can not wait to see what this year brings you.  I wish you lots of fun, learning, and friendship.  And don’t forget to be kind to everyone.

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HJ and I went on a long bike ride the other day.  While on the ride, HJ innocently asked me, “Were bikes invented when you were a kid?”.

I laughed, and said, “Of course!  They were even around when Nana was a kid!”

He thought about this a minute and then said, “Oh yeah, because cars weren’t invented when you were my age!  You had to use a bike to get around.”

I informed him that cars were in fact around when I was a kid…but cell phones weren’t.  Safe to say, his mind was blown!

A few weeks ago, the boys and I had just finished up dinner.  I suggested a bike-ride to an ice cream shop not too far from our house.  HJ jumped on his bike right away, and I led the way with little one in his bike trailer.  It was hot out, so ice cream was definitely needed.

HJ requested to lead the way home, meaning little one had no eyes on him as we headed home.  I thought nothing of it since we take bike-rides almost daily.  We also made a quick stop at a park to play.

Once we got home, the boys were playing while I put away laundry.  I heard my phone go off telling me I had a text, but ignored it (my friends will tell you I do this often). Then I heard a facebook message come across the phone.

I finally glanced at the screen and noticed my old neighbor had text me.  It said: some random lady just brought your drivers license and debit card to me.  said she found it on the street.

What the hell.

I then look at the message request I had on facebook from some stranger: Hey, my nephew was playing at a park and came across your insurance cards, a credit card and a $5 bill.

I open up my wallet and discover EVERYTHING is gone.  Little one apparently threw everything out of my wallet along the entire bike-ride home.

I quickly had HJ jump on his bike, and put little one in the trailer (with nothing in it with him) and we backtracked everywhere we had gone.  I was able to find a few more things, and figured out the only thing missing was my target credit card.  We stopped at the house where the little boy had found my stuff.  He was worried someone had robbed me, so was glad to hear it was just thrown out of my wallet.  And yes, he got to keep the $5 as a reward.

The next morning, we ran to our old neighbors to grab my license and debit card.  My old neighbor said the lady tried to bring it to the address on my id, but it looked like no one lived there.  She asked my neighbor if he could get in touch with me.

I was amazed at these strangers for going above and beyond to return my items.  Somehow I had only lost 1 thing!  Or so I thought…2 days later, my mom got a call that a friend of a friend was out jogging and he came across my target card.

Lesson learned: no items go in the back of the bike with little one.

School ended the same week we moved.  Meaning, I officially have a 2nd grader! The end of the school year was bitter sweet.  It was the last day at HJ’s elementary school, as we moved districts.  HJ has loved Southdale, but I am excited that he will be in a smaller school.  HJ has been extremely sad to leave his current buddies, but likes that in a few short years (gasp!) they will all be in junior high together.

Our end of the year picture was the first picture taken at the new house!  It’s amazing to see just how much he has changed since August.  And doesn’t he seem so much more excited for the last day?

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Ever since HJ turned 3, I have interviewed him with the same questions and put it in his 21 Questions Birthday Book.  Here is his interview from last year.  This year, it was SO hard to give just one answer per question.

What is your favorite color? Red

What is your favorite toy? Drone airplane (it was an airhogs plane that broke within 48 hours of his bday)

What is your favorite book? Minecraft books

What is your favorite fruit?  Watermelon and Blueberries

What is your favorite TV show or movie? Spy Kids and Spy Fox

What is your favorite game? Minecraft and Super Mario Bros.

What is your favorite outfit?  Minecraft shirt

What is your favorite snack? Extra Cheddar Goldfish.  And Bacon. And Little Bites.

What is your favorite animal? Dog, Cheetah, Jaguar and Cats

What is your favorite song? Welcome to my House

Who is your best friend? Carsten and EvanTube

What are you scared of? The creepy dude in Caleb’s garage (It was from a haunted house)

What do you love about yourself? Ninja Warrior and I can jump high

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Chase and pikachu

What is your favorite holiday? My birthday, Christmas, Halloween and NYE

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Football, drones, cars, basketball and soccer

What is your favorite drink? Sunkist

Where is your favorite place to go? Disney World

If you could go anywhere, where would it be? Disney World

What do you want for your birthday? Remote control stuff, legos and pikachu

What do you want to be when you grow up? Vet

Do any of you have birthday interviews?  I love this fun tradition!

Last year, school pictures were a fiasco.  HJ and I spent the whole day before and morning of arguing over what he had to wear.  I finally convinced him to wear a t-shirt UNDER his button down and told him as soon as pictures were over, he could take the button down off.  Then I dropped him off at daycare.  Where he proceeded to take the shirt off and shove it in his bag so no one would know.  And his picture was taken in his t-shirt.

All that arguing for nothing.

This year, I showed HJ what I wanted him to wear.  He said “no”.  And said he wanted to wear his Cedar Falls Tiger shirt.

I already had his annual photos scheduled, and he had just had football pictures done.  And I figured, “I don’t really care”.

Much to his amazement, I said “fine”.

Picture day…I drop HJ off at daycare.  We walk in the door and one kid goes, “Oh, you don’t have pictures today?”.  HJ said, “I do”.  The other kid said, “Your shirt is just in your bag then?”.

Nope.

He proudly said, “I get to wear this!” while I shrugged my shoulders.

The other little boy said, “My mom would NEVER let me wear that!”

Apparently, quite a few kids said that to him through out the day.  I figure, someday he will question why I allowed to let him dress like that for pictures, and I can tell him all about the fit he threw the year before, and that it wasn’t worth the argument.  So here it is, 1st grade pictures!!  Not only can I no longer pick out his clothes, I also can’t get him to get a hair cut.

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With all of the craziness that the first weeks of school brings, HJ and I have been finally getting into a routine.

And…I officially have a 1st grader.

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I can’t believe it.

He is loving 1st grade, even though it isn’t quite as fun as kindergarten.  He has started flag football, he likes everything about it except for the stretching (who has time for that?!?).  He still wants to be a vet and an animal trainer, going on 3 years now!  We fought about getting a haircut, and finally last weekend he agreed to getting his bangs cut so he could see.  I only had to bribe him with 6 Pokemon cards, a stop at his favorite ice cream shop and letting him stay the night in my bed.  Totally worth it.

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He loves to watch EvanTube, play minecraft and run around outside with the neighbor kids.  Yesterday, I told him I signed him up for Lego club tomorrow morning and you would have thought I told him we were going to Disney World.

He already decided what he wants for his birthday in November…2 guinea pigs.  And I already told him he should think of something less stinky, and less work.  He is pretty adamant about what Santa should bring this year.  Good luck on finding a jet pack, Santa.

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Every day I am amazed at how caring, silly and sweet he is.  But I also love his feisty streak.  I can’t believe I have a 1st grader, time goes by so fast when you’re having fun!

“AHHH!” I had bit my tongue while on a bike ride with HJ.  And it hurt like a *@&#*.

“What was that crazy noise you made, mom?”

I explained to him that I bit my tongue, and it hurt so bad I almost said a swear word.

He replied with, “What’s a swear word?”

I love that he made it almost 7 years without knowing what that means.  I told him it is a naughty word that you shouldn’t say.

“Oh, like the “f” word!”

“Um, HJ, what is the f word?” My fingers were crossed that he wouldn’t actually know the word, but I had to know if he did.

“You know…” He hesitated to say it, but I gave him a nod of approval.

“Frick”, he whispered.

Sigh of relief.  Yes, the “f” word is frick.

“I also know the “a” word because of *insert neighbor boy name*.  It’s ass.”

 

It’s hard to believe my baby boy is 6 and a half.  He says things now like “dude” and “sup”.  He no longer wants to be called handsome or cute, but you can tell him he looks cool.

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We started his half birthday celebration with a Mother’s Day brunch.  Then, the rest of the day was all his.

We started by going to the humane society so HJ could read a story to a dog.  The sweet little pup he read to just wanted to play, but HJ did a good job of reading her a story.

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That night, we had family over for pizza (HJ’s choice).  And of course had half a cake with 6 and a half candles.

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A new child in our neighborhood was recently at our house.  Out of the blue, he asked me, “does HJ get a whoopin’ when he’s in trouble?”

HJ responded with, “What’s a whooping?”

I told him it is when someone hurts you for doing something wrong.

HJ said, “Oh, you do that all the time when I am in trouble.”

Oh my goodness, what in the world.

“HJ, what happens when you get in trouble?”

He told the neighbor boy and me, “I have to go to my room until I am ready to apologize, then I talk to mom and we hug.”

“Right, so how is that a whooping?”

His response was, “because it hurts my feelings.”

Hopefully I cleared up the difference between being physically hurt and having hurt feelings.