8 Will Be Great

Dear Finn,

Today you turn eight. Oh how the time has flown. Weren’t you just this little bundle?

babyfinn

You’re eight going on fourteen. You’ve got smarts and attitude in spades. You swim like a fish, spending so much time in the pool you get prune hands. You’re great with animals. Otis, in particular, really loves you.

g and baby o

g and o in carWhether we’re doing yard work or watching movies, whatever we do together we have fun. Making you laugh is one of my greatest accomplishments.

yardworkI hope your next year is full of adventure and laughter and wonder and friends and love. Everything good in life for you, sweet boy.

I love you.

Your Tee Tee

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Happy Birthday to My Favorite Boy

Today you turn seven.

G 7th bday

Seven is full of sass and remote controlled toys and swim lessons. It’s cartoons and video games and being outside in Grandma’s pool until you turn into a raisin. It’s giggles and a kid’s version of truth or dare and waking up too early.

You have a great sense of humor and love to laugh. I see the hint of a teenage you when you pout or throw attitude our way and I think “oh boy, we’re in for it.” You will always be loved though even when you’re being a punk. Sometimes in the middle of a conversation you throw out, “AWKWARD” which often makes no sense but is always hilarious. You say it like, “awwwwwwk-ward.” I can still get you to do silly things with me like put baskets on our heads at Target and take a picture of it. I know it won’t always be like this so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

us hats

I hope you know I will always be there for you. You changed my life by being born. I wouldn’t be in Seattle or have met Mr. Darcy or have any of the countless wonders that make up my life without your existence. You’re a bright light, my little love, and I hope you always let it shine.

I love you so much,

Your Tee Tee

Finn Turns Six (Where did the time go?)

Dear Finn,

Today is your 6th birthday.

It hardly seems possible that you could be going into first grade. You’ve grown so much in the past year. You’re so tall and strong. You love dancing and get so serious when you sing Justin Bieber songs. I can’t wait to see you bust your sweet dance moves on the dance floor at my wedding or watch you walk down the aisle in your tux, holding our rings. You’re so good-natured, sweet, funny, and adventurous. You’re sensitive and take it to heart when people to laugh at you, even when it’s in good spirit. You have a big heart for such a little guy.

I remember that little boy I taught to say “wassup” with a hand gesture which feels like just yesterday. Time is so fleeting, sweet boy. You’ll understand this someday but for now I hope you can relish in all the joy life has to offer. Nothing reminds me to be grateful and happy like seeing you laughing. Watching you grow up is one of the greatest pleasures in my life.

I love you more than I can say.

xoxo,

Your TeeTee

Engagement Asides

After Mr. Darcy proposed and we’d had a couple cocktails at the restaurant where we had our first date, we headed home. Upon parking in the driveway as we were walking up to the front door, he stopped on the sidewalk and yelled, “I LOVE SIZZLE JONES* AND I ASKED HER TO MARRY ME AND SHE SAID YES!” I was like, “What are you doing?! Shhh! It’s late!” but secretly I loved it. We got up to our apartment, grinning like two fools, and called some family and friends that we thought would still be awake. Later when I checked my email there was a message from a tenant who wrote, “OMG did you just get engaged?! I think I just heard Mr. Darcy* yelling from the street. Congratulations!” I told Darcy and he was like, “How did she know!?” Um, hello, I think the entire neighborhood now knows. Later that week I was emailing with a tenant and she asked if she had heard Darcy yelling about asking me to marry him and did we get engaged?

Hahaha, yes.

*We used our real names in the actual occurrence of said events.

*****

Mr. Darcy took my sister and mother out for dinner the Thursday before he asked me to marry him to ask for their blessing. When they got the email from him asking them to join him for dinner they both got excited and teary because they knew why he was setting up the dinner date. I am not old-fashioned by any means but I am so touched that Mr. Darcy took the time to include them. And I can’t believe they kept a secret for 3 days!

*****

I was on the phone with my sister and my nephew a couple days after the engagement when I realized it might be too long before I could see her in person to ask her to be my Maid of Honor so I just busted out the question to which she said, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to be in someone’s wedding!” Which I think is a yes. When she got married I was her Maid of Honor (no bridesmaids) and so now the tables have turned. That’s about the time that Finn got on the line and asked, “TeeTee? Can I do a dance at your wedding?” I looked at Darcy and we both said, “SURE!” And then we asked him if he wanted to be in our wedding and carry our rings. He agreed though he does not feel excited about wearing a tie. He is, however, super pumped about his dance performance to Justin Beaver’s “Baby, baby, baby”. (And yes, I know it’s Justin Bieber but that is what my nephew calls him.)

*****

Mr. Darcy’s family has this tradition. I noticed it when I was last there for Thanksgiving. I spied some framed photos- one of his sister and another of his brother each standing in front of a jewelry store. I was like, “Why are they standing in front of jewelry stores?” I was told that those photos were taken when they were going to pick out their engagement/wedding rings. I looked at Darcy and was like, “You better find someone to go with you!” His Dad replied, “You better pick out your own ring. Don’t trust us to do it!”

Months later when Darcy was going to buy the ring, he brought along a friend to snap the photo (I have yet to see it). After he’d paid for the ring, the salesman at the antique shop handed it to him in an envelope. AN ENVELOPE! Mr. Darcy was taken aback but even when he asked for a box they claimed they were for display only. As he and his friend were driving away, Mr. Darcy took the ring out of the envelope to inspect it further and promptly dropped it between the seat and the console separating the driver’s and passenger’s seats. After freaking out, he managed to fish it out and his friend was like, “Dude, stop playing with it!”

*****

People really do ask you “When are you getting married” right after you tell them you got engaged. Even if you got engaged like 5 minutes before.

If I ever did this to you, I’m sorry.

*****

Surprisingly, the thing causing me the most anxiety is dress shopping.

Time with my favorite little guy

I took Monday off from work to pick my nephew up from Kindergarten. His parents were both busy with work and my mom, who usually picks him up, was away in Utah visiting relatives. I try to snatch up any opportunity to hang out with Finn because, well, to me he’s the coolest kid ever (Auntie bias, I am allowed).

I arrived about 20 minutes early. I was concerned about traffic and getting lost, unnecessarily apparently. I found his classroom and peered in. There he was at a table with some other boys playing with dinosaurs. He looked so grown up, it kind of broke my heart a little. When did he get so big?

When the class let out he pushed his way through the crowd of kids blocking the door with a big smile and ran up to hug me. We gathered his things and, holding hands, made our way out to the parking lot. He knows his way around, his routine, names of classmates- he’s this little tyke who is independent in a way I wasn’t prepared for. I can only imagine how I will feel when I have a child of my own. Watch out, heart.

We sat in the car for a bit while he ate some snacks and we chatted. He told me about how his class, called “The Bat Clan”, sings a version of the Batman theme song when they come inside from recess. How they went to the library and got books about Pete the Cat. Kindergarten seems pretty cool. But seriously, how is he school-aged already?

I roped him into coming with me to a couple of stores (I was looking for supplies for my Halloween costume). He said sure but that he gets a toy if he comes. What a racket! But of course, I agreed and off we went. At Target I came up empty on the costume front but he spent 20 minutes going up and down the toy aisles pondering which toy to pick. He’d point out which toy he liked and I’d be all, “Sorry dude, that’s too much money. But I’ll try to remember that for Christmas, ok?” They purposely put the expensive toys on the shelves at eye level with kids (damn them!). “What about some Thomas the Train stuff? Are you into that still or are you over it?” I asked him. “OVER IT!” he said as he walked right by it with nary a glance. Okay then. He’s 5 going on 12.

I’m counting down the minutes, trying to get him to make a final decision. “10, 9, 8, . . . ” “STOP COUNTING!” he told me. But we were already late and traffic was going to be bad. Finally, after much negotiation, he chose a samurai sword. Swords, superheros, animals- these are his new interests. Later, Thomas the Train.

I remember when he was little and I changed my work hours to watch him while my sister went back to work part-time. Those hours I had with him each week are still some of my favorite of my life. I look at him now, growing up so fast, and am so grateful I am here in the same city as him, that he knows me, that I get to see him grow from a baby to a toddler to a young boy. I hope he always knows how important he is to me and how much I love him.

Frustration, Sadness, Disbelief

File under: Frustration

Yesterday on my way to work I got pulled over by a cop.

I was not more than 4 blocks from my apartment when I noticed the lights flashing behind me. It startled me because I’ve been hyper-vigilant about cops since this whole car registration fiasco. Just the other day a cop was driving up behind me and I turned off the street- a direct route to my home- just so he wouldn’t have time to investigate my plates. I felt like a fugitive for a few minutes. It also ended up taking me 10 minutes longer to get home that day.

So yesterday morning I must have not been in my A game because all of a sudden there he was. When I pulled over I almost drove up on the curb. I knew I hadn’t run a red light or been speeding. I had been using my phone but with my hands free device to leave a message for the window cleaner guy. I fumbled to throw my phone in my purse even though what I was doing was not illegal I suddenly felt like I was in trouble for everything. I grabbed my license, registration and insurance and the stack of papers I have as proof that I have been working on getting my title for months.

Months! I still do not have my title from the CA DMV which is preventing me from updating my tags. Which is making we drive around like a criminal. Which is pissing me off.

Luckily this officer was very nice. He was, in fact, pulling me over for expired tags and so I plunged into my explanation and handed over my wad of papers that indicated I had been doing my due diligence in the matter. He went back to his car to read over them and then returned a few minutes later with some tips on where to go to get better help in town on this matter (a place I had yet to try which was really helpful!) and he let me off with a written warning. I thanked him profusely and drove off with my heartbeat slowly returning to normal. I’ve heard that if you get pulled over with expired tags it’s considered a moving violation and can cost hundreds of dollars. No thanks! I just want this ordeal over with but I can’t seem to get the DMV to cooperate despite multiple calls and faxes. Their bureaucracy is totally ridiculous and antiquated.

*****

File under: Sad

This is the last week I will be working with my best friend at the office. We started around the same time 5 years ago and she’s landed her dream job elsewhere. I am very happy for her as her friend and incredibly sad for me as her co-worker. It’s getting really lonely at my job. As I plan her good-bye parties (yes, plural) and write in her card I’m trying not to cry.

*****

File under: Disbelief

Today is my nephew’s first day of Kindergarten.

Where did the time go? I swear it was just yesterday that he was a little tyke toddling around on little legs, easy to pick up and carry. Now he’s a Kid with a capital K. He’s not even my kid and yet I am so proud of him and my heart breaks a little at how time flies.

My sister sent me this photo at 8am this morning. The backpack. The crooked smile. Oh man he is adorable! (And yes, I cried when I saw it.)

Out of the Mouth of Babes

At Finn’s 5th birthday party this weekend he and his 9 year old neighbor friend, Leondre, were playing in the kiddie pool with a boogie board. There is a hole in it at the top of the board where a rope would hang but had long since been lost. Finn said to Leondre, “That looks like a vagina!” Leondre looking puzzled asked, “What’s that?!” And Finn, my very advanced nephew said, “It’s where the pee comes out on a girl!” Leondre looked grossed out and proclaimed his feelings with “Ewwww!”

This leads me to my next story. My mom always has to go the bathroom. I realize this is TMI but work with me here for the sake of the story.

Finn and my mom often go to the beach or the park in the morning when he arrives at her house for the day. This one time he was frolicking and playing and the time whizzed by when my mom said, “We have to go, Finn. Grandma needs to use the bathroom.” A common occurrence that once again was putting a damper on his fun. He yelled, “GRANDMA! Your vagina is stupid! It’s ruining everything!”

In public. My nephew yelled about my Mom’s vagina being stupid.

The horror. The hilarity.

Pretty soon after that outburst he looked at her sheepishly and said, “I owe you a quarter now don’t I?” Because there is a strict rule that he can’t say the word “stupid”. Her response? “You owe me more than that, buddy” as she tried not to laugh.

Good thing that kid is so damn cute.

Finnisms

My family has taken to emailing tidbits that Finn says that are too priceless not to pass on. Here’s a recent one sent in by Double B:

Today I kicked a bottlecap as he was riding his bike and he said, “Hey you kicked a bottlecap, Pops! That’s good luck!” Oh yeah? Says I, I wonder what type of luck I’ll have… “Well hopefully a donut falls from the sky onto your head.”

Related: Finn rode his bike without training wheels for the first time last weekend. I got all teared up when I watched the video my sister sent of it. Wasn’t he just a little tyke I was teaching to say “wassup”?

 

When It Rains

It rained and rained and rained all weekend. Perfect weather for staying home to write holiday cards and bake. Except I woke up Saturday with swollen glands and soreness when I swallowed. Eek! I thought I had bested those germs last week?!

I’m home from work today because the sleep I got was sweaty, feverish, and intermittent. I was apparently snoring so badly (thanks mucus!) that Mr. Darcy had to sleep on the couch. I feel pretty wrecked this morning and am going to attempt to take it easy.

Except that a new tenant is reporting fleas in her apartment and there is a leak in the basement and there are multiple noise complaints about a particular couple in a particular unit and the front door isn’t latching every time it shuts and. . . and. . . and. . . Mr. Darcy was a dear and went into work late so he could get flea bombs and set them off. I’m dealing with the other stuff today as energy permits.

I’m half-way through my cards and baking but not sure I can muster the enthusiasm or energy to finish either today. The couch beckons.

Here’s some holiday cheer for you:

 

Finn AKA Rudolph

 

 

Weekending

My weekend looked like this:

I took my Mom to the airport (she went to CA to visit family) and her dog, Oliver, to the office with me for a few hours. I picked up Finn from school for an afternoon of hanging out. When arrived at 12:31 he said to me, “Tee Tee, what took you so long?” Kid, I am ONE MINUTE LATE. Sheesh. He also informed me that he had our day “all planned out” which included taking Oliver to the dog park so they could run around and I could watch. It was raining and we didn’t know where the dog park was but that idea was forgotten when we drove by a toy store. He got me to stop but he did not convince me to buy him a $17 plastic horse. I’ll give the kid credit, he’s got fierce negotiation skills but I am not that easy. We compromised on a $5 horse and some french fries. Then returned to my Mom’s house for PBS tv, games and pillow fights.

I was stuck in traffic driving home that night (Seattleites don’t know how to drive and it’s even worse when it rains which means IT SUCKS ALL THE TIME) so I called Mr. Darcy and had him order Indian food. Side note: whenever we order Indian food the delivery guy catches us in the middle of (cough) something (cough). I don’t know if it’s Indian food that makes us randy or a repeated fluke but it’s happened at least 3 times. Since I arrived home 5 minutes before the food did, this time he didn’t coitus interruptus us. And that’s all the details I will tell you about that. (HI MOM!)

Mr. Darcy went off on a nerd adventure with some of his guy friends to Portland Saturday which left me a free agent. I did what any free agent girl might do- met a friend for breakfast, got a pedicure, shopped at Target, took a two hour yoga workshop, and cleaned the apartment while watching chick flicks. I enjoyed it and our apartment is now super clean and organized. If you ever want inspiration for cleaning your home, watch Hoarders.

Sunday mornings are my time. Mr. Darcy sleeps in, I read, catch up on dvr’d shows, drink tea, maybe make myself muffins or pancakes or something yummy. I head to yoga at 10:30am and don’t return home until after 12:30 while Mr. Darcy sleeps and sleeps or drags himself to Noah’s Bagels (a personal weakness of his). I returned home from yoga yesterday to a very sweaty boyfriend who was vacuuming the building with our crappy vacuum (our good one needs repair). He not only vacuumed but he did the entire list of building chores while I was gone! AND he bought me a bouquet of dahlias at the farmer’s market. Um, I’m pretty sure I hit the boyfriend jackpot with this one.

How was your weekend?