Expanding Father’s Day

This past Sunday, we – along with the rest of America – celebrated Father’s Day.  Since Dean doesn’t do breakfast until around lunchtime, we couldn’t make him breakfast in bed.  And I don’t drink coffee so I don’t really know how to make it, so the next best thing was hitting up Starbucks to get something special for my baby daddy.

The kids and I snuck out of the house at 7:30 – Dean was surprisingly still asleep – and headed 2 miles down the road for the liquid goods.

As we pulled out of the neighborhood, Brooks asked, “Mom, I’m hungry, can Landon and I get something for breakfast at Starbucks?”

“This day is about celebrating dad and doing special things for him – unlike most of our weekends, today isn’t about you and Landon.  It’s only a few minutes down the road, we can make you some breakfast when we get back.” I replied.

Of course, my witty 6 year old had his own thoughts on that: “Well, Landon and I are going to be dads one day, so today SHOULD be about me, Landon and Dad!”

BMD beach


Patent Pending: Brooks’ Taco Clip

I know I’ve mentioned more than once how Brooks is such an out-of-the-box thinker.  While it can be challenging to parent, Dean and I are convinced he’ll be a millionaire one day with his unique ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.

One of his latest is the “Taco Clip”:

Yes, we were eating tacos one night and Brooks said, “I need something to help hold this together.”  He went over to our chip clip drawer and grabbed his solution.

Dean and I looked at each other and I said, “I can see it now, the late night infomercial.  <<insert voice-over>> “Do you have the fillings sliding out of your taco?  We’ll with The Brooksie Clip, your problem is solved… and if you act now, we’ll throw in a second XL Brooksie Clip when you pay separate shipping and handling!”

The Brooksie Clip – Patent Pending 🙂  Seriously, I’d love to sit in his brain for a day, just to see what it’s like 🙂

And yes, we eat tacos a lot. He’s already used his “Brooksie Taco Clip” two or three times!


Brooks Says: Earning Points

Each school day, Brooks’ teacher tracks behavior points for her class.  There is an app/webpage you can log into to see how your kid is doing throughout the day:



It’s great because I can ask Brooks specifics about his day and have a general idea of how he’s doing.

Lately, he’s been doing great at earning those green, positive points for listening, following directions, being a Bucket Filler (caught doing something good), etc.  Brooks is our “more spirited” and social child, so there have been weeks where there were a bunch of “calling out” or “not listening” -1 points.

95% of the time, the points are allocated in 1-point increments, but sometimes she’ll give a 5-point bonus.  I asked Brooks what these were for and he said it can be super good behavior or solving a challenging math problem.

One day, he came home with a +5 bonus point.  I asked what great thing he did to earn those bonus points.

“At snack time, someone threw their strawberry stems on the floor near the trash, but not in the trash.  Mrs. S asked for whoever ate strawberries to pick it up, but none of the kids went and picked it up, so I did.”

“Wow, Brooks, that was awesome you did something so nice.”

Then as I was tucking him in to bed an hour later I asked, “What points are you going to work on for tomorrow? Good listening? Walking quietly in the hallway?”

“No, I think I’m just going to wait until someone throws their garbage outside of the trashcan and I’ll go pick it up for an easy 5 points!”  😉 🙂

This boy.  I love him.


Brooks and I riding in the car together.

B: Mom, how do you know if you are going to go to jail or get a ticket when a policeman pulls you over?
M: Well, it depends on what you do. If you are speeding or don’t use your turn signal, you’ll probably just get a ticket.  But if you don’t stop when they pull you over or if you are drinking and driving, they will take you to jail.
B:  (I see him in the rear view mirror and his eyes get big with concern.) Well, Mom, they are going to take dad to jail, because he’s always drinking and driving.
M: Well, it only matters if you’re drinking alcohol – water and soda are ok.


Having a conversation at the dinner table asking my kids what sport they want to play in the fall.

B: I’m going to play tackle football.
M: No, I’m not going to let you play tackle football. First, I don’t even think tackle football is an option for kindergartners.  You’re too little.  Second, there are many other sports you can choose including flag football, but I’m not comfortable with how aggressive football is.  There is too much of a chance of brain or other serious injuries in that sport.
B: Well, when I turn 18, I’m an adult and then I can choose if I want to play tackle football.
M: You sure can.
B: And I’ll probably start playing tackle football and then go to the NFL.
M: I’m not sure how many NFL players start playing when they are 18, but give it all you got!

Valentines love for my boys


Dear Boys (aka my mini Valentines),

Valentine’s is a day to celebrate love.  Or as Brooks put it, “a day where people don’t hate each other”.

I love you guys… a lot.  However, I’m noticing that we’re fast approaching the age where you don’t reciprocate Mom’s love and affection as much as you used to.

I see the way you pull your hand away slightly when I try to hold it in the grocery store.  Cuddles are “just ok” now where they used to be in the top 5 of your favorite things!  You’ve clearly demanded that I not go anywhere NEAR your bus stop (for fear I’d embarrass you to death).  And any lunch dates at school have been nixed.

Little by little, time is slipping away and you’re moving from boyhood into young manhood.  I’m not ready!  I still want the cuddles and handholding. I want to be your #1 Girl (for at least 5-10 more years)! I want you to love being seen with me, even when your friends are around 🙂

It’s funny to look at life and see how it’s changing while you’re in the midst of change.  Of course, so much good is coming from your independence.  But this little piece of it, it breaks my heart.  It’s just the tiniest hint of what it will be like the day you walk out the door for college, or you head down the aisle and we have our mother/son dance.

It’s a reminder that this life will continue to fly by and I have appreciate every minute/milestone/memory I can.

So happy “day where people don’t hate each other”!  I’m going to soak in every single one of these I get with you.

Love, Mom

Watch List

I think my son might get put on the U.S. Watch List for International Travel when TSA sees his passport picture:

Brooks pass

(The photographer told Brooks he couldn’t smile, so this is what we got.)

I asked Dean if we needed to go get the kids passport pics taken before our appointment at the passport office, he said he’d already taken care of it earlier in the week.

I asked how they turned out and he said “fine.” So, I took a look for myself.

Ummm… my word of choice wouldn’t have been “fine” if I was asked the same question. I’d be along the lines of “crazy, hardened, convict, mug shot”.

I hope the U.S. government let’s this criminal-looking child back in the country after our vacation.


Celebrating Brooks Tubing and Ice Skating

To celebrate Brooks turning 6 we did two special things.  The weekend before his birthday, we did a cousins day at the ice skating rink.  We had Gigi and Uncle Joel take turns steering the kids around the rink. It was surprisingly packed… I had no idea ice skating was such a popular Sunday activity.

The cousins had a great time and they really improved from start to finish.  And yes, Brooks looked a lot like baby Bambi on the ice. The first picture is a perfect representation of his wild legs flying all over. It was adorable!

After skating, we headed home to have a pizza and cake party all together.


Then on Brooks’ actual birthday (a Tuesday), Dean and I surprised Brooks and Landon and picked them up from school at lunchtime to take them on a special birthday adventure.  You see, for his birthday Brooks told me multiple times he wanted a snow party.  Living in Charlotte, we see snow maybe 1 or 2 times a year and typically it’s a light dusting, so I knew chances were not good we’d have a snow party.

We packed up the car with our sledding gear and drove 2.5 hours to the mountains to go snow tubing at HawksNest in NC.  There were 9 total people on the runs and we were 4 of them. It was awesome – we had the entire place to ourselves.


It was so much fun.  Especially when we made chains with our tubes and rode together.

I’ll definitely say that after one hour of our two-hour window, Brooks was exhausted from walking in the snow (even with the people conveyors to help get you back up some of  the runs).  It was hard work for 6 year old legs!  So they slept really hard that night.

And wouldn’t you know, God heard Brooks’ birthday wish and sent some snow on Wednesday morning (the day after his birthday). With a whole 3 inches, they were out of school the rest of the week 😉

Happy Happy Birthday to my sweet, funny, confident, silly, awesome 6 year old boy.  I love you Mr. Brooksie