A Birthday

Alex is officially five.

Alex Turns Five

We kept him home from school on his birthday, something I hope will become a yearly tradition.

Donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch, chinese food for dinner, and an ice cream cake for desert. That child knows what he likes, and he got it all that day.

Alex Turns Five

We went to Chuck-E-Cheese, an experience that I expected to take hours and involve a ton of activity, but instead was rather subdued and we were in and out of there in an hour. Twenty bucks worth of coins, and Alex got a few squishy bugs and dinosaurs.

Alex Turns Five

I still can’t believe he’s five. Five. My baby is growing up, and it’s happening so fast.

A Hundred Hearts Would Be Too Few, To Carry All My Love For You

My wonderful not-so-little Alexander:

Today you are five. Five. It sounds so very old, probably because it means you are officially a whole hand in years.

You have been counting down to five for months now. No birthday has ever held the same excitement before, and I can understand why five seems like such a big deal. It sounds mature. It sounds very kid-like. Very school-aged. It’s not baby, toddler, or preschooler. It’s five.

Alex turns 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Yesterday, you had your first day in your new classroom at the same school. You entered their version if Kindergarten, a smaller class with fewer students and only one teacher. You had a great first day, and I hope that continues throughout the year!


Throughout this year, you will grow. You will grow in height, likely losing the last of your chubby cheeks and gaining even longer legs that will be nearly impossible to fit into appropriately waisted pants. Throughout this year, you will grow in so many other ways, too. I know this is true because it is true every year. From four to five you shocked me with your ever increasing vocabulary, your understanding of simple math, and your amazing memory. If we read a story one time, you could tell me the entire plot months later! Even your teachers commented on that fact.

At four, you couldn’t say your “r” sounds. You also couldn’t say your “l” sounds, so “I wuv you” remained the cutest thing you said for a number of months. Then, you slowly outgrew the wuv and entered into love.

Outside in FEBRUARY

And love you do. You are an amazingly sweet boy, hugging and kissing at every opportunity, cuddling whenever possible, and generally being a lovable little guy. You are sensitive, quick to be upset when scolded, and quick to beam when praised. You have won the hearts of so many people already, and I can’t wait to see how this wonderful aspect of your personality grows.

As a baby, you weren’t the most cuddly. You liked to be held, but only if it meant you could play or look around. In some ways, you never outgrew this. Cuddling is much more commonplace now, but it always involves lots of conversation, a movie, or quietly playing in some other way. You still crave a constant source of entertainment, and for that I can’t blame you.

Luckily, the world remains pretty fascinating to you. While we have entered the “I’m boooored” phase of childhood, for the most part you find ways to entertain yourself with the world around you. This, of course, involves lots of questions. “Why?” is a favorite, naturally, but my personal favorite of your questions is always the more complicated, “how does that work?”

You look underneath things to figure out where sound is coming from; you fiddle with your toys again and again to determine exactly where it is that a click is made, to figure out what part of one piece goes into what part of another. You follow wires, notice breaks, determine the cause of an effect. Your fascination with how things work is, well, fascinating.

And I know that this love for The How will continue to grow, and we will do our best to nurture this in you. I also know that this year you will learn so much more; you will learn more than I even think possible to cram into one little brain in one short year. You will learn to read and write. You will learn more words, more math, more and more and more.

August 18

You will learn new ways to share your stories, and new ways to share your love.

I hope I can continue to learn new ways to show you how much I love you as quickly as you learn new ways to show me. Because I love you. More than anything. And I hope you have the absolute best fifth birthday, and a most awesome year as a five-year-old.

So much love,

When you turned one!

When you turned two!

When you turned three!

When you turned four!

Just a Monday Morning

“Mommy, I’m booooored.”

That phrase? May be the number one most annoying phrase that children utter. Especially because the phrase is always accompanied by an excessive level of whine.

It didn’t matter that breakfast was literally two minutes away from being ready. It didn’t matter that until I walked into the kitchen, Alex was happily playing by himself. The instant he saw me, he was booooooored.

A typical Monday morning...

I told him to grab his current love affair: Power Rangers. Apparently they are boring. I suggested he spend some time with his beloved Toy Story action figures. Buzz? Totally boring. I suggested he grab his iPad. I mean, c’mon… the always entertaining iPad had to win the morning. “I’m bored of my iPad.”

As his breakfast was finishing, I removed the heels I had worn to an early-morning meeting. Finally his eyes lit up. He knew just what to do.

A typical Monday morning...

And so the boredom was gone, and breakfast was ready, and the day could resume.

A typical Monday morning...

Giving Up

I’ve given up on Project 365. At least, in the traditional must-take-a-picture-every-day sense. I still hope to take many more pictures on a regular basis, bring my camera with me more often than not, and continue to learn and grow.

Day 93: August 6

I hope that at the end of the year, I have 365 photos that I love. Some may be, gasp, from the same day. And that’s okay.

It was becoming a task. It wasn’t something I enjoyed. I didn’t want to take more pictures of Alex’s toys. I didn’t want yet another shot of me in a mirror. I don’t need those pictures in order to learn how to take pictures. I don’t need those pictures to document my life. To document Alex’s life.

I thoroughly enjoy taking pictures, and being forced to do it every day was ruining that for me. So, I quit.

Science Center August 4

I feel comfortable using my camera now. I shoot in manual mode ninety percent of the time, up from zero before I took Michelle’s class. When the scene changes too quickly, I don’t shoot in manual and that’s okay, too.

This is all documentation. That is what photography is for me. It’s taking pictures to capture moments in life. Big moments, little moments, just moments. And being forced to make moments? Does not a good picture make.

So long, 365. It was nice meeting you for a few months.