Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Our newest friends...we met this family at swim. Naomi and Jordan are twins, both turned 3 recently. Kaitlyn was in class with Naomi and Jordan with Dylan. The color of our children united us...Shay, their mother, is black and married to a white man. I love how color can unite!

PS. Thanks Nana for the backpacks. Despite their not being in school, they do get used!


Tonight the kids and I were doing this great tie-dye t-shirt project using a rainbow of sharpie markers, rubbing alcohol and rubber bands. In all the prep I told them that these markers would not come off their clothes or anything else they wrote on. Kaitlyn then stated so confidently, 'Mommy, they are like your pregnant marker, the black one!'


Dylan plays in fantasy land all the time now. Generally he's neck to neck with Kaitlyn teaming up with one of her princesses as he tackles crime head on as Spider Man. Tonight he was saying he was Peter Parker and so Kaitlyn ran up to me showing me her Batman Pez dispenser saying, 'He's not Batman anymore.' She wanted his real life character name. I told her he must be Bruce Wayne and she darted off to Peter Parker with intensity. Later I observed Dylan moving his character figurines all over the family room, mumbling to himself various scenarios. Then, ever discreetly, walked over to Kaitlyn's princess basket and took out her 'glass slippers'. He put them on and returned to his superhero guys as if nothing ever happened. Oh man, he will certainly be able to hang with the girls. He could win any Princess Jeopardy today, even at his young age of 2.5 years. He knows the princesses by dress, by hair, by skin.

Needless to say, our home is constant Superhero Princess Party talk all day, from morning to night.

Friday, July 13, 2012


It's hot. Summer has surely arrived. The kids are home full time and every so often I get from Kaitlyn, "I miss school. I miss my friends, can't we go tomorrow?" It's so wonderful to hear this for a number of reasons, but today, what makes my head throb is that it validates my driving 240 miles each week just for the two round trips for delivery and pick up that I do each day they attend. Yes, that's right, 240 miles X 4 weeks is 960 miles a month just for school. That amounts to approximately three tanks of gas which is close to $210 a month on this venture alone. Let's not forget I'm an active mom who enjoys visiting Nana in Long Beach, the folks in Moreno Valley and of course a couple of LA trips scattered throughout the months along with all the regular city driving and we are sinking into gallons of additional fuel. Respite. It's summer. I haven't filled my tank in over a week and I still have a quarter tank left-this makes my heart skip.

Steve is on a quest for the latest Tesla Motor's Model S all electric car and after the opportunity to test drive this baby a couple of weeks back, I salivate at the shift of coins! This car, while it's a huge up front expense, has a ridiculously minimal overhead cost that if all goes well, our solar powered units for the home (once installed) will off set that cost even more. Go Green. It's a new experience that we'll be having here at the Patterson home come March of  2013-well, Steve at least. In the meantime, I'm relishing in my low overhead, relatively speaking, as my city taxi miles is all I'm having to finance!

Two weeks ago I enrolled Kaitlyn in a Level I swim class and Dylan in a Mommy & Me class, both conducted in the same lane at the same time. This has grounded my summer days, giving us an activity that organizes our day, gets us out of the heat momentarily, and exhausts at least Dylan. When it's all said and done, the kids will have enjoyed a full month of classes as they are offered five days a week...they will be ready to 'swim' in the lake for our August camping trip but the real motivation is learning how to be safe in the water or they will not be allowed to swim in cousin Natalia's pool. This puts Kaitlyn out of any sassy spell and immediately into a mode of cooperation when getting ourselves ready for class. Kaitlyn seems to thoroughly enjoy the lessons, often reporting to me a fondness for her skills that develop each passing day. Most recently this included "holding hands with Roger (a classmate) underwater while going under water for a toy". She's such a girl....

From day one, Dylan verbally disapproved of going under the water and for whatever reason, today he wanted to do it twice and didn't cry but rather smiled heavily asking for more. The shift happened. I'm confident in his abilities, any sport with this guy and off he'll go, sailing. We walk past the football field to reach the pool and thus daily he reminds me of his future football playing adventures, saying hello to each giant jock as they strut along with all their gear. It's a college campus after all, so training is in full force and Dylan is absorbing it all!

Some incredibly delicious highlights of these two rapidly growing children:

Kaitlyn loves to count to 100! Often we swap numbers, I say 1 and she says 2, and on we go all the way up to 100. Fun mind game! She also easily absorbs herself in paper dolls-maybe I could label her as a chronic user? Seriously, this past week alone I think I've spent over four hours just cutting and gluing every 3-D Disney printable paper craft project available on-line. When she asked to help with the cutting-as everything needs cutting out-I said yes and to my surprise, this little girl wouldn't move for two hours straight, hardly talk...completely focused on her task; completely proud of herself once she had finished piles of cut outs for me to glue. Her cutting skills are exceptional I might add.

Dylan is in the throws of potty training. I give credit to Montessori for really doing the tedious work of getting him trained since now that we are home full time I see how easily it could be to just give up and slap on a diaper or pull up to reserve my energy for something else. Currently he's found a fascination with peeing outside and on two occasions, pooping. Oh boy! Not my favorite situation to walk into-but I do know it's so typical. He's fairly great with his aim at the potty, but I've observed that as he gets more swift with the routine, the sloppy side of potty training occurs. Anyone know how to get that pee smell out of bathroom grout? Moms of boys, you know what I'm talking about here!

As our days unfold, the sibling rivalry remains high, the bedtime routines are lengthy, imaginations are wild and Super Heros with Princesses are top notch topics. I'm finding myself laughing more with these two, lavishly loving on them, hugging and praising each throughout the day and especially when I tuck  them into bed. This has become my favorite part of the day-I lean onto each one separately asking them what they are thankful for. The first few times Dylan would shrug his shoulders and smile. I'd begin my list of specific encounters of our day that made me proud or made me appreciate his style and then he'd bust out with an appreciation. It's incredible what little minds can conjure up! Kaitlyn's thank you's are always conducted while scratching her back-it's her thing. She inherited this from Steve...the itch factor. She loves a good hard scratch, dictating which part of her back to scratch next. It's hilarious really. By the time we are finished with our thank you's, Dear Loving and Gracious God prayers and scratches, she is off to slumber and I'm often off to slumber alongside her. I'm exhausted. Pooped out. It's summer. after all!