Interview with Dylan – Age 4

So, Dylan turned 4 in December of LAST YEAR, and I am posting this on August 15th. Yeah, I have certainly been slacking when it comes to updating our page. I have good intentions to post photos and updates, but let’s face it, Facebook is just so quick and easy and my family can get their Dylan “fix” there. Maybe I will try a little harder in the future… maybe. We will see. :)

How old are you?
Four!

What’s your favorite color?
Blue and red and yellow and green

What’s your favorite animal?
Snake

Who is your best friend?
Brynleigh

What do you want to be when you grow up?
a policeman

What is your favorite movie?
The Lorax

What is your favorite book?
Llama, Llama, Red Pajama

What makes you happy?
goodies, cookies

What makes you sad?
When someone hits me.

What is your favorite food?
waffles

What is your favorite song?
Hush Little Baby

What games do you like to play?
Video games – Team Umizumi

 

Interview with Dylan – Age Three

Dylan turned three on December  8th and I guess I should have done this interview then, but I didn’t, so I am doing it now. :) I was reminded of the interview when I saw it posted over on Sarah’s site. I thought it would be fun to compare the answers of the two three year olds. Here is what Dylan had to say.

How old are you?
I am three.

What’s your favorite color?
Green, blue, and white (I asked him again what is favorite color was and he said, “I already tell you – green, blue, and white.”)

What’s your favorite animal?
Um…tiger and Kung Fu Panda

Who is your best friend?
Isabel (a girl in his class)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Batman (He has a realistic goal at least.)

What is your favorite movie?
Kung Fu Panda #2

What is your favorite book?
Elmo

What makes you happy?
He responded, “This guy,” as he thrust his Grover stuffed animal at me.

What makes you sad?
When Siah bite me. (A boy in his class… who doesn’t bite him.)

What is your favorite food?
Sandwich

What is your favorite song?
“Moves Like Jagger”

What games do you like to play?

the castle game (translation – Candy Land)

:)

 

 

 

 

My Daddy Didn’t Raise a Princess

My dad’s memorial service was Friday, December 16th. We opted for a small informal service with family. During the service, guests were invited to share a memory about my dad or just their thoughts about him as a person. As people talked I heard words like kind, love, innovative, meticulous, role model.

I had intended to share something as well or at least try to, but the more I thought about what to share, the harder it became for me. It was difficult for me to unravel one thought or memory from a lifetime of them. This is a man who I literally knew and loved my whole life, and I was struggling to break a piece apart from the whole.

Sure, I could have said that he was a good man, a caring father, a dedicated husband, but these descriptions just didn’t seem like enough. And, I didn’t want to aggrandize him either. I wanted to tell what my dad has meant to me and what he has taught me, and I just couldn’t boil it down to something I felt I could share in a snippet; and I knew if I talked too long I would just turn in to a blubbering mess, so instead, I will share what I would have said if I could have.

As I have thought about my father, the memories that stand out the most to me are those rooted in the kind of person he has helped me to become. I am responsible, dedicated, logical, and I can take care of myself. Although I am sure my dad thought I was pretty and doted on me for being his little girl, he didn’t ever treat me like I was just a pretty little thing. I never felt objectified or less for being a girl. I always felt respected and encouraged to share my thoughts, opinions, and to make my own choices.

I was always encouraged to be smart and was taught the skills needed to take care of myself and to be confident in my abilities. My dad never pushed me to get married, or even really gave me much feedback on any of my boyfriends (unless I asked). I appreciate that he trusted my abilities to make my own good choices and/or to fix any bad choices I might have made.

He encouraged me to go to college, but did not pressure me to do so. And when I talked to him at one point about possibly quitting to get in to real estate, he encouraged me to think about the decision and go with the choice that I thought would be best for me. I decided to stay in school, and I am glad I did, but I am forever grateful my dad let me figure the choice out on my own instead of telling me what to do.

Before I went away to school my dad took me and Dana (my best friend) to San Marcos to visit and we spent a weekend looking at the campus and the town. Dad took us to a local hangout and we played pool. He taught us how to make the 9 ball in the pocket off the break, but I have to tell you that I have only accomplished this once. And I think I only ever beat my dad at a game of pool once.

Before I left for college my dad made sure I had a decent car and I knew how to change a flat tire, change the battery, and knew some basic terminology so I wouldn’t get “had” if I needed to take my car in to the shop. He printed a Mapsco page and highlighted the route to and from home, and I used it often. He knew I am terrible with directions and wanted to make sure I could make it home if I needed to. And when I showed up with my car packed at Thanksgiving break and the news that I wouldn’t be returning to school, I didn’t get yelled at. I explained why I didn’t want to return, I got a job, and I started school at the junior college. I kind of think my dad liked having me home even though he would have never admitted it.

When I finally graduated college, I moved in to the house on O’Connor and began helping my dad remodel it. Again, he taught me how to do things like sand a wood floor, lay tile, grout, etc. I will never forget the day that I called my dad to tell him the thermostat was broken and the air wouldn’t come on. He said, “Did you fix it?” He didn’t say he would be right over to take care of it. He talked me through what to buy, and I did. And I fixed it. By myself. And that accomplishment meant so much more to me than a tiara and a tutu ever would.

I am sure there were times that I wished my dad would have just done stuff for me, but I don’t remember these times. What I remember is that he took the time to teach me to do them myself, and this has meant much more in my life.

I was my dad’s daughter and his little girl, but he did not teach me to be a princess; he taught me to be an independent woman who knows her own worth.

I encourage those of you dads with little girls to help her get her hands dirty, teach her that her worth lies not in her looks but in her heart and her mind. Take the tiara and the tutu off sometimes and hand her a tool belt and teach her to use it. These skills and these times with you will impact her life more than you will ever know.

My dad wasn’t perfect, but he was a good man, a good father, and good role model. I am forever grateful that I wasn’t my daddy’s little princess.

Dad’s Video

I have been working on my dad’s tribute video. Hopefully this will be the final version.

You can check it out at the link below.

Dad’s Video

I think he would like it.

I love you Dad

My Daddy

I lost my daddy yesterday, and it just doesn’t seem real or possible to be living in a world without him.

Yesterday was supposed to be a happy day and the start of a new life for my dad. After waiting so long for a lung, Dad got the call yesterday morning at 2:00am. It was time for his transplant. Since last year Dad has been tethered to an oxygen tank and this isn’t how he wanted to live. My mom called me around 6:00am and I got up and started getting ready to go to the hospital. I talked with my dad on the phone for the last time and I told him I loved him. He told me he loved me too and then he said, “Tell Dylan I love him. Make sure he knows.”

I got to the hospital around 8:30am and my dad had already gone in to surgery, so my mom and I waited. We got a couple of updates via phone at the start that things were going okay and the lung looked okay. At about 1:00pm the director of the transplant center came to give us an update. There was a complication of the surgery. As the surgeon tried to connect the lung to the aortic vein, he discovered that my dad’s veins were tissue-thin from being on steroids for so long. The steroids were supposed to suppress infection and bolster his immune system and lung function so he would make it to transplant time. Unfortunately as a side-effect, the steroids weakened the walls of his veins. The doctor said they would now attempt to attach the lung closer to the heart were the tissue was thicker.

We waited for a couple of more hours and then around 2:30pm the surgeon came in to tell us that he had been unsuccessful. He had tried to attach the lungs closer to the heart but in the process, my dad’s aortic vein split and tore all of the way to his groin. They were unable to save him. They were keeping my dad “alive” so my mom and I could say good-bye to him before he died. I will never forget the look on my mom’s face as she heard these words. As she heard that she was losing the man she had loved her entire life.

They took us to see my dad and we held his hands and talked to him for a bit. He was being kept alive by machines and medications, and I know he probably did not hear what we said, but I hope he did. I want the last words he heard to be how much he was loved.

It was heartbreaking seeing my mom say good-bye to the man she has spent her life with. She married him when she was 17 and they have been together and loved each other as husband and wife for 41 years. They have grown up together, have had good and bad times, but loved each other through it all.

I had my dad for 37 years, and it wasn’t enough. I need him for longer. I need him to get to see his Dylan, his boy, grow up. I am grateful for the time we have had, but it just seem too short.

My dad was a good man, a decent man, and a loving father. He wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t a super hero. He made mistakes, but he worked hard. He did his best, and he loved his family with his whole heart – unabashedly.

Last night as a lay in bed, I thought about my dad and the memories I have of him. The quality that kept surfacing was that he loved me and kept me safe but always treated me with dignity and taught me to be independent.

· I don’t remember a lot of specific memories from when I was a little girl. I have a few snapshots in my head – camping in Arkansas, riding on the back of the dirt bike, Christmas mornings. But I do have the memory of feeling loved my whole life.

· I remember in middle school seeing my father cry for the first time. He was working in California to make a better life for us and he was gone for months at a time. I remember him crying when he had to go back and leave us. He cried because he didn’t want to leave his family. He hugged us so tight. He loved us so much.

· I remember him taking me to look for my first car. When the salesman came over and began talking to my dad about the cars, he told the salesman that it was to be my car and that he needed to speak with me. He never made me feel less for being a female.

· When I was a smart-mouthed teenager who thought she knew it all and could not seem to get along with my mom, he kept the peace and he took me shopping for a homecoming dress, a prom dress, and the appropriate undergarments and accessories.

· He taught me how to play pool, and never let me win.

· Before I went away to college he made sure I knew how to change my tire, my car battery, etc. He knew how bad I am with directions so he printed the necessary pages from the Mapsco and highlighted the route to and from school for me so I would always be able to find my w ay home. And even after all of this time and the invention of the GPS, he did this for me to make sure I knew how to get to the hospital.

· He saw me graduate high school and college, he gave me away at my wedding, and he saw his grandchild. I am blessed he was here for so long, but it wasn’t enough.

· He is my daddy and I love him so much for helping me become the woman I am today and for showing me how to love. I think him for teaching me that I can take care of myself but letting me know he was always there if I needed him.

I am so sad that my son will not get have his Pappaw in his life, but I am grateful he got to know him at all.

I love you dad and I will always be your little girl.

The Christmas Story

Dylan decided he wanted to read to me tonight instead of me reading to him. Here he is “reading” one of his Christmas stories to me. We have only read the story a few times, so I think he did a pretty good job remembering he main points.

dylan-reading-the-christmas-story

And, on a side note, Dylan turns THREE on Thursday. THREE!!

Learning it up in Pre-K

A couple of weeks ago the director of Dylan’s daycare approached me and said that they wanted to begin transitioning Dylan into the pre-K class. My first reaction was, “But he is TWO!” She said that they have been wanting to move him up because he already knows what they are teaching in the toddler class. Apparently they have wanted to challenge him more, and since he is potty trained now, she said he is ready to go to pre-K.

I was a little leary because he is two, and I am not sure he really needs to be “challenged” academically quite yet. He has plenty of time for that and I wanted to make sure he gets enough time to just have fun, but I told her they could give it a try and see how he did. At first he didn’t do real well because he missed his little toddler friends and his teacher. So, they began transitioning him in for a few hours a day, and then half the day, and now he is whole day.

He is really enjoying the pre-K class now, and I know he will love it even more once his “best friend” gets moved up with him. He is really proud of what he has been learning. So, I guess it was a good decision (although he looks really small compared to the four year olds.)

Some of the things he has been learning crack me up, so I thought I would share some of his songs and such with you all.

The Pledge of Allegiance makes me laugh because every time he says it, I envision his little preschool class standing up with their hands over their hearts saying it, and for some reason that is hilarious to me (not to mention the hilarity of some of his pronunciation.)

I asked Dylan if they practice writing letters, and he said no. They do, however, practice tracing “pre-writing shapes” like curvy lines, circles, etc. Dylan is quite proud of his “work”. Every morning he tells me he has to go to pre-K and do a good job on his work. Tonight he wanted to practice tracing so I pulled out a little book I got at Costco awhile back and he had fun showing me how he traces his lines and shapes. While he was “working”, I couldn’t help but notice that they must be teaching in pre-K on how to hold the pencil correctly because he did a great job.

Now lest you think Dylan is all about learning and work, this video shall prove you wrong.

Baseball

The boy is obsessed with sports.

Rawr! Rawr!

Kyle decided to surprise me and take Dylan and me to the Chinasaurs exhibit at Fair Park for my birthday on Saturday. Here is a little of what we saw. I have taken the liberty to add in a little narration as well (based on my recollections.)

“Rawr! Rawr!” said the T-Rex.

“Hold me Mommy! I being shy to the dinosaur,” said Dylan. (FYI – He clearly stated that he wasn’t scared but just being shy.)

“Look a baby dinosaur! That my baby dinosaur!” shouted Dylan.

“Look Daddy, that a Stegosaurus! Cheese!” Dylan exclaimed.

“Rawr! Rawr!” said the creepy animatronic Triceratops.

“It’s the last dinosaur! Bye dinosaurs! Bye! See you later!” Dylan shouted.

After the dinosaurs we stepped over to the science museum for some hands on activities. Since we were using our hands, and I was tired, I didn’t take as many pictures.

“Balls!” exclaimed Dylan. “Yes, it looks like some sort of Physics contraption,” Mommy said.

“Weeee!” Dylan screamed as he went down the slide attached to the firetruck (over and over again.)

The Chinasaurs and the Science Museum were followed up by lunch at Baker Brothers and some errands. We had some good family time which made for a great birthday!

Faux Play-Doh

I bought Dylan some Play-Doh a couple of weeks ago and he really seems to enjoy playing with it. So in the spirit of keeping Dylan happy and occupied this summer, I decided we would try making a homemade version of Play-Doh. We used the base recipe from this site as our guide. We didn’t scent it but we added some coloring. Although I think the scented Play-Doh would be fun, I didn’t want any encouragement for Dylan to desire eating the Play-Doh… maybe we can try scenting it when he is older.

Anyway, the faux Play-Doh turned out pretty well and we have been playing with it for the last couple of days.

Here is a riveting photo of the faux Play-Doh as it is cooling. I mixed the green and Dylan mixed the purplish dough. He was quite proud of himself.

And here are some photos of Dylan having fun with the faux Play-Doh and some cookie cutters.

It has been a good time and a fun little activity for all of us.