Dear Holly: Your New Pre-K Big Girl Bed!

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

As a convenient side effect of Mommy needing to move the guest bed out of the office to accommodate your brother starting 4th grade from the guest room, you have now inherited the guest bed as your own!

That means you got moved up from your little bed to a very big, comfy one!

You are very proud to move up to your “big girl bed”, which happens to line up with you starting Pre-K.

The next step is to paint your bedroom pink; hopefully Labor Day Weekend.

I know you are going to love it!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You are Now in Pre-K!

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

I didn’t realize it until your teacher sent us a picture on Monday, but as of this week, you are now officially in Pre-K.

All these years leading up to this, you have been in preschool.

But now, this is Pre-K; the year designed to specifically prepare you for Kindergarten, which you will be starting a year from now.

It snuck up on me. I’m the last person to ever say, “They grow up so fast.”

I admit though, it feels like you shouldn’t already be old enough to be starting Kindergarten a year from now!

 

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

5 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Dear Jack,

This past week, our family came to Rainbow Child Care Center to see you graduate Pre-K. It was a proud day for Mommy and me. I caught her holding back the tears as your name was called.

Ms. Destiny told a little bit about each Pre-K graduate. She announced to everyone that you want to become a paleontologist when you grow up.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. You love dinosaurs! We’ve now watched both Jurassic World and Jurassic Park together. I had wondered if certain parts of those movies would scare you.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Instead, you joyfully blurted out the correct name of every dinosaur that popped up on the screen, even if you could barely see one in a shadowy corner. You were naming dinosaurs I didn’t even know existed!

You definitely weren’t scared. Instead, you were fascinated by what you saw in the movie.

In a perfect world, Mommy and I wouldn’t both have to work full time. However, one of the benefits of you sort of “growing up” in preschool is that you are now more psychologically, socially, and intellectually developed than I was by age 5 and a half.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

You probably know more than now than I did when I was 7 or 8.

I love your humble confidence in yourself. I love you willingness to try new adventures. I love how you are an individual.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Seeing you graduate Pre-K gave me a glimpse of the boy will be in years to come. I undeniably get satisfaction as a parent knowing I have so far raised an intelligent, creative, well-behaved boy.

In just a couple of months, you’ll be starting Kindergarten. I’m not going to say the cliche thing: “I can’t believe you’re already going to be in Kindergarten.”

I can believe it.

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

For these past 5 and a half years of your life, I have faithfully documented your life each week in my letters to you. I have watched you mature.

You’re ready for it. You’re ready for Kindergarten now.

 Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You Graduated Pre-K!

Dear Jack: Pandy’s Birthday is Today, Blue Cheetie’s Is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is on Christmas (But No One on Hannukah)

5 years.

Dear Jack: Pandy’s Birthday is Today, Blue Cheetie’s Is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is on Christmas

Dear Jack,

Last night as we were finishing up dinner, you stated that you wanted to work on a paper hat for your stuffed Panda bear, Pandy.

I explained that you might not have enough time to really get started on that, as it soon would be time to go upstairs and get ready for bed.

Immediately, out of nowhere, you began crying, “But Pandy’s birthday is tomorrow!”

I had to turn my head to keep you from letting you see me laugh; Mommy too.

Somehow I had not been informed that Pandy’s birthday was coming up. Therefore, I gladly let you work on Pandy’s birthday party decorations. From there, you explained to me that also, Blue Cheetie’s birthday is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is the day before, on Christmas day.

Dear Jack: Pandy’s Birthday is Today, Blue Cheetie’s Is on Kwanzaa, and Ellie’s is on Christmas

Shortly after, I learned that this week at your Pre-K, Rainbow Childcare Center, you have been learning all about the tradition religious and cultural holidays of this month.

You quickly explained to Mommy that Hannukah has 8 days of celebration and Kwanzaa has 7 days.

Obviously, you’ve been paying attention at school; so much so that you are incorporating it into your playtime at home.

Though apparently, none of your stuffed animals’ birthdays happen to be on Hannukah. I was really hoping to see you make a menorah out of paper. Maybe next year.

It’s such a coincidence that their birthdays all happen to be on special days like all these you learned about at school. But I suppose it’s similar to the way that your baby sister, Holly, is due right around my 35th birthday; on April 20th, 2016.

My favorite part of this story is that Pandy is turning 2 today, yet you’ve had her for over 4 years now. I guess in Panda years, a year takes twice as long.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

4 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack,

For this past week our family was given a 2015 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition to review as a family.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

With us having just got back to Tennessee from our annual family vacation in Sacramento, where we reviewed a 2015 Toyota Camry, we decided to lay low this week.

Yet still, Saturday we managed to travel to midtown Nashville to visit the all new Baby+Co.; a spa-like place to give birth, sans the epidural.

Baby+Co. 10 FAQs & Walk Around Video (Nashville Location)

Then on Sunday we decided to trek to Franklin to see the iconic Natchez Parkway Bridge. You nor Mommy had ever been there; whereas I had last summer when I reviewed the 2015 Lexus NX.

While I had the camera rolling as you used the parking lot curb as a balance beam, you stopped in your tracks as you discovered a butterfly that had breathed its final breath.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

You were inspired to give it a proper (yet impromptu) funeral, so we did.

As we were getting ready to leave, after taking some family pictures, you were concerned:

“Where is the food? I thought there were nachos?”

I explained that the name of the place we were at was “Natchez”, not nachos.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

We are a family who essentially never goes out to eat; not only because we are vegan/vegetarian and our options are extremely limited, but also because we are Dave Ramsey followers and it’s difficult to justify weekly restaurant money when it could be going to our “new car” fund.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

However, you apparently caught Mommy and me at the perfect moment, because on the drive home Mommy discretely asked me, “Is there somewhere on the way home we might want to stop for lunch?”

Granted, I was happy to oblige; it would save me from dish duty.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

We saw a Chili’s coming up on the right. Mommy told me that she recently went to a Chili’s with Grandma and your Aunt Jenny while we were on vacation, and she was surprised how accommodating they were to her vegetarian lifestyle.

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So we turned into the Chili’s parking lot. They were so accommodating to my vegan and your and Mommy’s vegetarian requirements, that they actually had a whole page for “dietary restrictions” on their kiosk on the table.

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

I’ll keep that in mind the next time we’re on a road trip…

Of course, I made a fun video about all this so you could see it all; along with my super catch jingle I made up, “Come along, in an Avalon…”

You and I also made a walk around video for the Avalon…

And of course I made a video for your 1st day of Pre-K, which also featured the car as well…

So it looks like even on a “lay low” week, we still managed to have a lot of fun!

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral

Dear Jack: 2015 Toyota Avalon Road Trip to Natchez Parkway Bridge/Butterfly Funeral