Another year around the sun.

Danny, I love you so much.

I remember the first birthday we celebrated together was your 24th! We went shopping together because you did not own a suit and I told you that you needed to start wearing one to church on Sundays.

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A frequent scene: Dad doing homework with kids on his lap.

We had only been dating 1 month and 1 day, but you went along with my preference.

Dan
I love watching you teach our children with such love and patience – especially when my patience is depleted – your children adore you.

Most of the birthday’s between then and now have been really stressful. Birthdays are just different when your (frequently pregnant) wife/children’s needs come before your wants.

Today, you woke up early with the kids because you agreed to let me shoot an early morning photography session.

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I love that you get to share the hobbies you love with your family!

Two hours of taking care of the children’s needs while mom was away, was followed by preparing yourself for your senior engineering group project (capstone). You could have met up with your group on Sunday, but your wife said that Sunday was not a good day to spend hours away from home and it was right in the middle of church. Again, you went along with my preference.

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You’re a great problem solver.

I’m so proud of all you have accomplished in the years since that first birthday we celebrated together.

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Thank you for being such a great dad.

Thank you for agreeing to make your own birthday dinner – because I’m tired from all that I do.

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I sure like you.

Happy 31st my love.

Fatherhood: I have a confession to make.

Today, after church, I was sitting on the couch reading (Danny was in the garage) while Wiley played Angry Birds on the iPad.

Wiley made his signature “I just put something smelly in my diaper” move –

“Wiley, do you need to sit on the toilet?” no response…slowly starts to crawl away under the coffee table.

I pick up the iPad and turn it off, “you can have it back when you bring a diaper and wipes to me.”

He runs off and starts playing in his room.

Five minutes later, he is still playing in his room and I am still reading on the couch.

Danny comes in from the garage and heads to Wiley’s room.

Wiley stands up, back against the wall, “what are you doing in here daddy?” “what are you doing in here?” The smell is pretty obvious and Danny says, “are you poopy??”

I, sitting on the couch, knowing full well that he was and let Danny discover it – was waiting for Danny to bring the child. Danny changed it and never said a word to me. 🙂

Daddy helps Wiley calm down after a temper tantrum.
Daddy helps Wiley calm down after a temper tantrum.

I would say that those kinds of things make a mother’s day and makes me so grateful for fathers.

I’m grateful for the fathers that raised me and Danny. I’m grateful for my grandfathers. I’m grateful for the male role models in my life, who are great fathers. I’m grateful to the divorced women in my life who still honor fatherhood and teach their children to love and honor their dads. I’m so blessed to have so many reasons to be grateful.

Thankful to my Father in heaven, who gave me all that I have. I may have gone overboard with the photos this post, but it’s my blog and I can  post what I want to. Blessings and Happiness to you all. p.s. while I napped…he made his own Father’s Day Dinner! But, I bought the steaks!!

What Pablo Picasso and I have in common

What the heck makes someone “special”?

YAY! Wiley, after jumping into Grandbo's lap!
YAY! Wiley, after jumping into Grandbo’s lap!

Several years ago, while living in Utah, I was ordering a sandwich at Subway, along with my older sister Kelsey. I recall using the name of the female employee (well, the name shown on her employee name tag) while giving my order and after I thanked her for my sandwich, I bid her ‘goodnight.’

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On the way to my sister’s car I said, “I like to use people’s names, because it makes them feel special.”

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I will never forget what my sister told me…

Wiley loves seeing Grandparents!
Wiley loves seeing Grandparents!

Kelsey said, “she is special Kate, you were just reminding her she was.”

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Dang, I should have known better! Of course she is special!

Something Pablo Picasso quoted his mother saying to him made me think about the sons I’m raising,

“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

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—It struck me that, although my mother didn’t say the same thing to me, it was how my mother raised me that lead me to feel special.

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Sure, when I was a little girl I wanted to be Miss America – she got a crown, a dozen roses and a strut down the runway with falling confetti.

Nona said baby looked like Dom Deluise...I can see it.
Nona said baby looked like Dom Deluise…I can see it.

What child didn’t want to go to the Olympics and represent their country for a chance to win a medal? Well, I wanted to do that too…but,

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I didn’t need those things in my life to feel special.

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I was raised by a mother and a father who loved me – they gave me their time, they listened to me, they counseled me (even when I didn’t want to receive it), and when I came home late, my father was always waiting.

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It’s my hope, that my children will grow to know they are special – with an Olympic medal around their neck or not.

He said he didn't want a nap...
He said he didn’t want a nap…

We are special because we are children of God!

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Which means more than we know.

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Why it may be okay to embarrass your teenaged children…

Shelter Gardens
Shelter Gardens – baby was two weeks old and I had just given Danny a hair cut that he deemed to short…well, the good news is, it grows back.

My two year old can be so sweet to his dad and I – he loves to give hugs and kisses – he loves high-fives and snuggling.

My cute sister and her husband came for a, very brief, visit.
My cute sister and her husband came for a, very brief, visit.

It is so sweet to see how much Wiley loves his new brother too.

Klara took over my camera for awhile.
Klara took over my camera for awhile.

Wiley will hug and kiss that little baby all day long.

Brother in law with two of my nephews - awe.
Brother in law with two of my nephews – both victims of Wiley’s aggression.

But in between all those hugs and kisses, a raging two year old tantrum-bully exists.

running off steam...
running off steam…

When we are with friends, family or around other small children – the bully comes out.

two weeks post birth
two weeks post birth – only 24 months from another toddler in my life – whoo hoo!

Where do toddlers keep the On and Off switch?

They don't stay two forever - which - is also kinda sad.
They don’t stay two forever – which – is also kinda sad, because the cute things they say and do are SO cute too.

Why he would hit a cute 7 month old baby girl on the head, with a toy plane, is beyond me…

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and that 1 year old girl was just standing next to her mommy, when my son ran by and pushed her down…three separate times.

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Yesterday he got kicked out of our church nursery, for the third time this year, for trying to scratch another child (previous offenses for biting).

funny faces
funny faces

Today the tantrums started – the moment – I went in his room to get him out of bed.

Yes, that's my child climbing on the fence that says, "no climbing"
Yes, that’s my child climbing on the fence that says, “no climbing”

“Morning Wiley”

His three year old cousin is good at following directions, "come on Wiley."
His three year old cousin is good at following directions, “come on Wiley.”

get OUT! Go away!”

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I left his room (obviously he wanted more time to himself…) but, the second I left he screamed and wailed for my return.

This sweet guy gets pushed around quite a bit...by his cousin Wiley and his four older siblings. Poor guy, He'll get the last laugh some day, I just know it!
Danny took this photo:  This sweet guy gets pushed around quite a bit…by his cousin Wiley and his four older siblings. Poor guy, He’ll get the last laugh some day, I just know it!

REPEAT three or four times.

Danny photo.
Danny photo.

the fourth time I just sat in his bedroom doorway and listened as he screamed for me to leave. When he stopped screaming, I told him I loved him.

Danny photo
Danny photo

I mean, he is tried me many a time the last few months, but this behavior was totally foreign to me.

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When I finally got him out of bed to change his diaper – the tantrum continued – the internal conflict of whether or not he wanted out of the peed diaper from over night.

After a morning of tears, from being bullied, these two were best buds at the part. So, it's good to see that things change.
After a morning of tears, with Wiley being the aggressor, these two were best buds at the park. So, it’s good to see that things change.

When the diaper crisis ended, Wiley whined over what he wanted to eat and which toys he wanted me to hand him.

Love the boys in my life.
Love the boys in my life.

Dad got home from school, to eat lunch, and it was his turn to witness the epic meltdown over what nature video Wiley wanted to watch and whether or not he wanted to eat popcorn with his nature video.

Being outdoors is, kind of, his favorite.
Being outdoors is, kind of, their favorite.

It was during the popcorn meltdown, that I decided, years from now this two year old boy would be a teenaged boy and will probably die with embarrassment over his mother’s behavior in front of his friends (and someday girlfriends…he he he).

This is one of Danny's favorite pictures he's taken of Wiley.
This is one of Danny’s favorite pictures he’s taken of Wiley.

I will relish every “embarrassing moment” that teenaged Wiley goes through, because darn it, I earned them.

remember Wiley, I OWE YOU. 🙂

Love, Mommy.