Dear Holly: Just Add Straws, a Tongue Depressor, and a Liquid Medicine Dispenser to Play-Doh for an Easy Hour Long Activity

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

After watching you brother accidentally yet successfully make creepy tapeworms to fight each other, you decided you wanted to join in on the fun.

You asked me for toothpicks like I gave your brother. I let you have two, but I decided that orange straws to match your orange Play-Doh might be more interesting to you. A few minutes later, I threw in a liquid medicine dispenser as well as a tongue depressor.

For a 3 year-old girl, this perfectly challenged you for an hour. You had so much fun figuring out the many ways you could incorporate the Play-Doh accordingly.

I will have to remember this simply yet engaging activity for next weekend too!



Dear Holly: The Cousins’ Homemade Playhouse in the Living Room

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

This past Labor Day Weekend, I feel that the major theme for you, your brother, and cousins was to make houses in the living room and then hang out in them; like an ongoing slumber party.

Apparently, there was even a farmer’s market where produce and animals were sold.

Granted, within a few hours, the house of pillows and play tents would inevitably get destroyed, only to be rebuilt each time.

The four of you had your own community and culture in which the adults were largely unaware of.

I have a feeling you all will rebuild your house the next time we are in town.



Dear Jack: Reuniting with Your Friends from Preschool, 8 Years Later

8 years, 9 months.

You were 6 months old when you started going to preschool, at KinderCare. It was the summer of 2011 when you first met your friends Avery and Madison.

Though you were the oldest, it wasn’t by much, as the girls were both just a couple of months younger than you.

When we moved into our new house in January 2015, you stopped going to their preschool; not only because we moved you to a different preschool, but because Kindergarten would be starting later that year anyway.

Our families have continued to get together a couple of times each year since then.

This past weekend, our families all met together at Burger Up.

I took a picture of the 3 of you; all having recently started 3rd grade. It was 8 years ago that you all met. And you’re still hanging out after all these years!

Dear Jack,



Dear Holly: Your New Alarm Clock, to Ensure You Don’t Wake Up Too Early

3 years, 4 months.

You and I had a deal. It had been working for many months now:

Each night as I put you to bed, I would remind you, “Okay Holly, remember- don’t come downstairs until you see the sunlight start coming through the window.”

It helped ensure you didn’t start the day too early.

But for some reason, you stopped going along with our deal.

This past week, your new default wake-up time was 5 AM.

So I decided to set up a new system. I pulled out an old cell phone and let you decide what song you want to play for the alarm.

It’s less of an alarm to wake you up each morning and more of an alarm to let you know what time you are allowed to come downstairs and start the day.

I sure hope this works…

Dear Holly,



Dear Jack: Your 1st Week of 3rd Grade

8 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

You have now completed your first full week of 3rd grade. I told you going in to it, that this would be a very fun year.

I remember how I specifically liked 3rd grade the most out of every year in Elementary school. I truly think it will be the same way for you.

Last week when we went to the school to meet your teacher, you immediately were cool, calm, and collected.

She even said to Mommy and Me, “Yeah, didn’t you know? They automatically become cool the moment they walk through their 3rd grade classroom.”

Over the past three school years, you have really formed your identity, and therefore, your confidence.

Not to mention, Mommy and I can’t help but notice, you suddenly started looking like a pre-teen!



Today is My Wife’s Birthday, Meaning She and I are Both 38, While Our Our Daughter is 3 Years, 3 Months and Our Son is 8 Years, 8 Months!

Today is my wife’s 38th birthday! I have been 38 since April, as we were born just a few months apart.

I realized as my wife was putting the candles on her birthday cake that the reason we so easily had a “3” and an “8” candle was because those are the ages our both our children; from their most recent birthdays.

But even more amazing and coincidental than that…

Our daughter is currently 3 years, 3 months old.

And for the next 5 days, our son will be 8 years, 8 months.

Here’s one more visual, just to help grasp the concept:

Me: 38.

My wife: 38.

Our daughter: 3 years, 3 months.

Our son: 8 years, 8 months.

I just had to share that so everyone else could appreciate the phenomenon while it is still valid!

Dear Holly: Summertime Fun with Your Cousins

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

The way I feel is that the word cousins is synonymous with summer.

Looking back on these pictures from your recent slumber party with your cousins, it’s obvious you made the most of your time that weekend.

You were so proud to be able to sleep in the same bedroom as your cousin Darla, who is the same age as you.

As for you crying for your parents? I heard of no such thing.

That’s because you were having way too much fun being a 3 year old girl!

I don’t even want to know what time you actually fell asleep…