Nate’s Notes: Field Adventure Request- My Choice

We all agree that I have been said field adventures are fun. Remember, field adventures are little (or bigger) trips we take to so many places for Momma and Daddy (traitor) to take pictures for the pooter stuff. I get to see a lot of things, and most of it is fun, even cool. Lyla and I even have a fun game. Right when we get there, get out from being trapped in the car, we run in different directions…and get to see Momma and Daddy chase us, gasping. We’ve got it down. **Snicker**

Anyway, I heard Momma say it was time for another adventure so she can get images. Sometimes she picks the place, sometimes Daddy does, and sometimes Lyla and I get to pick. Don’t be fooled…WE don’t get to pick that often, despite what Momma says. Parenting fail if you ask me.

Is this a sleeping volcano?  I saw it in Alaska!!

Is this a sleeping volcano? I saw it in Alaska!!

Back to me. So I’ve been studying volcanoes. Calm down. Three year olds can totally study things. We know more than you think.  Anyway, I learned about volcanoes rumbling and spitting and blowing up!! I learned that fire stuff comes out of volcanoes! I learned this white stuff that comes from volcano rocks can go in dirt with our plants! Papa taught me that. He knows a lot of stuff. AND he showed me volcanoes on his pooter. I got to see a volcano interrupt!!! Did you know volcanoes interrupt??!!! Momma says I interrupt a lot. Hmm…well…

So my choice for a field adventure is….can you guess???

Yep! A toy store!!!

Just kidding. Well, that would be okay also.

Silly you. I meant a volcano!!


*Note- Nate’s interrupting volcano is an ERRUPTING volcano.

Nate’s Notes: Life Lesson #6 ½ – Something About Books, Covers and Judgy Judgerson

I am gonna take a quick break from textures and pictures to share a lesson I had to teach Momma. I mean, really, who is in charge here??!!   I’m always hearing big people say strange sentences that sound like one thing, but mean something else, like “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But I love the pictures on my book fronts! They are cool and exciting, and then I want to read the book! **Head shake**

PE_20150108232904 (2)A lot of days ago, Momma went through my shelves and pulled some books. I watched her, slightly horrified, afraid to ask. Maybe she just wanted to read! Maybe we were gonna read together! When they went into a box, my lips started shaking. This was making me sick. I quietly asked her, “They don’t have good fwonts Momma?” She stared at me, then the box, then me, and smiled. Smiled?!!   This was NO TIME for smiling. After some whining noises, “no’s,” head shakes, “there there’s”, and snot wiped on sleeves, she explained that we weren’t getting rid of them. Because of what I asked about the fronts of books, she also tried to explain “judging a book by its cover.” And failed. She lost me somewhere. What I DID get out of the speech was that just because something looks one way, doesn’t mean it is that way. It can be different. I think. **Head shake** Momma told me it was like how a pineapple is spiky and rough, but when you cut it open, it is super yummy and sweet.  

I tucked this away in my head.

One day after a Dr. Seuss day at preschool, I told Momma that we made green eggs and ham…and ATE THEM!!!   She crinkled her nose, made a funny sound, big eyes, and said, “YUCK! Green eggs and ham??!!!! What did those green eggs taste like???”   I rolled my eyes at her. Here comes that lesson… “Momma, they taste good! Just because they awe gween, doesn’t mean they wewe ick!   Gween eggs awe just eggs. They awe gween, but they taste like wegulaw scwambled eggs!”  

See. Eggs. Books. Colors. Covers. Judgy Judgerson. No no.

Nate’s Notes- Look At That Canopy!

One of the days from before today, Momma, Daddy, Lyla and I went on a field adventure. I really do love field adventures, even if it is for picture taking. We get to have fun too, and see new things. We went to this place with lots of trees. So many trees. And they were the tallest tall trees! There were so many that it was kind of dark around us, even though the sun was awake.

Before we left in the car, Momma showed me pictures of where we were going. When I saw all the trees, so many, so tall, I said, “Wow- look at that canopy Momma!”   It isn’t often that Momma doesn’t have something to say…but this time was one where she opened her mouth, closed it, opened it again, closed it, and then finally said, “Um, yes Nate, that IS a canopy of trees. Wow. Do you know what a canopy is?”

For toys’ sake!!! Uuuhhhh. Duh. Did I not JUST SHOW HER what it was? I swear, sometimes I wonder about these people.   They ask silly questions all the time. All. The. Time. Like here…I clearly told her what a canopy is. Yet she asks. Or, they constantly ask us where our eyes, ears, nose, shoulders, elbows, and knees are. If it is body part, they seem confused about where it is.


Armstrong Redwoods_0083 Armstrong Redwoods_0099 Armstrong Redwoods_0173So, I repeated while pointing to the picture, “Yes. THAT is a canopy.” And then because she still didn’t seem to get it, I broke it down. “It’s like an umbwella made of twees Momma.” I even talked slower when saying this to let it sink it. When she smiled a goofy smile, I knew I would just have to show her when we went.  Head shaking, I climbed into my seat in the car.

I thought about this canopy and the tall tall trees the whole way in the car. And when we got there, it was even better than the pictures in my head. There were even trees we could stand inside!! I know. Mind = Kapow!!! There were bridges, and baby rivers and birds. And…and…and…so much!!!   I can’t remember the place name, but the trees are called a color of wood because of their skin. It’s like…hmmm…umm…red…brown…no…red…tree…wood…tree…no…REDWOOD!!!!

Gotta go, Momma is asking Lyla where her eyes are. Better help on this one. Sheesh.

Nate’s Notes: Good Observation

ME: Some dinosaws awe big. Some awe small. Some dinosaws awe fast. Some awe slow.

DADDY: Some dinosaurs can fly. Some can’t.

ME: Good obsewvation Daddy.

DADDY: *Silent with mouth kinda open*.

ME: What?


My story has a toddler point somewhere in there. I like to explore outside. Duh. I like to learn new things. Who doesn’t???   We don’t have many houses around us where I live, so I get to run all over hills, on rocks, up trees, through leaves, over tree stumps, even to a creek! Even when I’m not at my home, it is fun to walk around and look for things. When I’m riding in the car, I like to find things out my window. My big people have always showed me things on a walk or a drive. We have to look for birds, airplanes, trees, pick up garbage, talk about flowers we see, cloud shapes, cars that go by, colors of houses, buildings on the road, and more more more. When Momma and Daddy are taking pictures, we always look around at things and see lots that other people just walk by. Sometimes we even tell stories about all the stuff we see.


I …don’t…think…everybody does this. (Said with finger on head and thinking face.)


I say this because of Preschool. I’m in Preschool now, and I still am not sure how I feel about it. I can tell you more later.


Okay. Here is what I’m talking about.

KID #1: Let’s be animals on the grass.

ME: Um…what gwass?

KID #1: Over there! (points to bark chips)

ME: Um…that is bawk, not gwass.

KID #1: What?


KID #2: What are you looking at?

ME: (bending over on sidewalk) The cool cwacks in the concwete. Look at that one!!! It looks like a cwicket!

KID #2: (runs away and doesn’t talk to me again)


KID #3: (playing in sand box- maybe eating some of it). Wanna play with these trucks?

ME: That’s not a twuck, it’s a bulldozaw.

KID #3: Ok. Wanna play? The sand feels good!

ME: No it doesn’t. It feels gwitty and cold and messy.

KID #3: (eats some more sand). Ok. Wanna play? It tastes good.

See!! It seems like other people just aren’t paying attention. I told Momma later that other kids don’t talk with me or know what I’m saying. She asked more questions. I told her what I thought…that they just don’t pay attention or look for things maybe. Like maybe they need someone to help them explore. “Good observation Nate,” she said.


P.S. I did NOT eat the sand.

Nate’s Notes: It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! Nope…It’s Lyla Flying Through the Air!

Now that Lyla is 2 years old, she has to help with chores. I find this slightly annoying. She doesn’t really “help” that much.   She just comes along…slowly…and gets in the way. In fact, when I’m trying to feed the chickens, she growls at them like some animal and scares them away.   When I’m trying to sweep, she spreads my pile all over. When I’m collecting eggs, she tries to grab them from me. When I feed the cat, she tries to eat the cat food. When I water the plants, she tries to run through the hose water, gets all wet, and then I get yelled at!! And don’t get me started on cameras and pictures.

Okay- I’ll start. I have a camera. Clearly I can handle it and take pretty artistic pictures. I had to earn it. But she is still learning, and clearly CAN NOT take pictures. She licks the camera. LICKS IT!!! She still thinks a tape measure is a phone for toys’ sake!!! (Head shake. Fist to forehead.)  Okay, okay. I’m done.

So, a couple weeks ago, I figured I could just leave her in the chicken pen for a while…or a day…or two. Whaat??!!! I was going to leave her food. I just needed a break!!!   After I let the chickens out and fed them, I grabbed Lyla from behind and started to drag her (nicely) back into the pen. Seemed a good plan.

But, true to form, she fought me.   She pulled away and started to walk…then run. The thing with Lyla is that she doesn’t have the best balance yet. And we have many hills. So running + hills + Lyla = disaster.   Yep. It happened so fast that it felt slow. I grabbed. She twisted and turned. She walked…which turned into a run…which turned into a really fast, out of control run…which turned into a flying Lyla. She was on the ground, and then she was in the air. A plane!! A Lyla plane!! Unfortunately, Daddy now saw what was happening. He watched her fly too. Then he watched her stop flying. Against the side of a wheelbarrow. Who left THAT there??!!!

It was NOT pretty. I was so scared and sorry that I burst into tears when I heard the bonk of her head. Lyla cried too, but I cried harder and longer. Was she okay? Was she trying to fly? How high did she get? The rest was a blur. There was running, yelling, ice packs, and then Daddy and Lyla were gone to the big doctor place.

Turns out she bonked her brain just like I did. The bump on her head was so big it looked like she was growing another head!!! Gross. Alien gross. I could tell that Momma was upset, but she just squeezed the scared and sad right out of me with hugs.   And if I know Momma, she was also thinking about what cool pictures this would be. I almost said something to her, but then thought it probably wasn’t the best time. Yea. Probably not the best idea.

When Lyla got home, she gave me a hug and kiss so I knew she wasn’t mad at me. Maybe I should let her help with chores. Only because I feel bad. Plus she flew like a plane! Now THAT was cool. She just has to work on her landings.

I DID get a picture of her bump and the pretty colors.  Great texture.

WP_20150204_002 (2)

Oh wait! I forgot to tell you…she has, like, super hero healing powers…kind of creepy. AND, she is tough!!! I wouldn’t want to mess with her. I should remember that. And I better keep an eye on her.

Nate’s Notes- Wai…Wai…Wai…Wait!!

I really like cars. No no. I love cars. LOVE them. I love them little. I love them big. I love them racing. I love them working. I love them fast. I love them slow. I love EVERY thing about them. I have so many. So so many. Sometimes I take them to bed and find them under my pillow. Sometimes I forget to put them ALL away and Momma or Daddy step on one, or two, or many…or sit on them on the couch. I get cars for pooping. I get cars for filling up my chart. I get cars for doing my chores all week.

Cars. Cars. Cars.

I can’t imagine a life without cars. And I can imagine A LOT!!!

So, imagine my surprise when we went on a field adventure a little bit ago, and Momma showed me someplace called a Pony stop…no… an Expires stop…no…a Pony Express Stop!! Get this…cars didn’t USED to be here. Like…there were no cars. Wai…wai…wai…wait!!! NO CARS???? Mind = blown. People used to ride around on horses to take notes and mail and stuff to other people! Whaaat?! Why??!!!

IMG_0166 IMG_0170







IMG_0166 IMG_0170

I guess it is true because there was a building and stuff and a bunch of words on a sign that say so.

I have to think about this for awhile. No cars…pfff. Horses!?

Nate’s Notes: My First Plane Ride

Momma says it is important to finish what we start…so I should finish telling about our Alaska Adventure. Maybe I don’t want to? I mean, after all, I am 3, and one of the biggest rules of 3-dom is not wanting to do what people tell you to do. Or maybe it is bigger than that? Maybe if I finish telling you about Alaska, it will be over and I will feel sad? I’m not sure…it is all kind of mixed up inside me.

Here goes…

It was time to say goodbye to Alaska. All week I had watched planes land on water, so I figured we were getting in those small ones. My tummy felt a little jumpy. We got to the huge building and past all the serious people who looked at us, in our bags, checked Lyla’s milk, made Daddy take off his belt and waved a magic wand all over Momma. Strange. Then I saw them…through the big windows…planes. Not just a couple. So many. So many big planes. I was so excited that I yelled, jumped and drooled a little. What?! Like YOU’VE NEVER drooled??

We were going to fly in the clouds in one of those big planes!!! Ooo! Ooo! Oooo!!!! Momma and Daddy didn’t talk much while we waited, and I heard Momma tell some lady that this was the first flight for both me and Lyla. The lady laughed, got big eyes, looked at me jumping up and down and Lyla squealing while hitting herself with her bottle, and said, “Good Luck! Looks like you’ll need it!!”   I did NOT like her tone.

Vancouver and vancouver airport (20)

I was sooooo excited I didn’t think I could wait any longer. Just then, a lady told us we got to go to the plane. We walked/ran down a big hallway, over a bridge you could see through, and onto the plane. Holy bananas and bird poop this was so cool!!!

Once we sat, Momma got out some snacks, her bag of tricks (So cute how she thinks that will work with two toddlers. She has sooooo much to learn…), and took a deep breath. I got to sit by the window, right over the big airplane wing!

Momma sat by me, holding Lyla, and Daddy sat on the outside. It was like a seat fort! On a plane!! I was ready! I couldn’t wait to see out the window as we flew higher and higher and higher into the clouds!!! Neeeeeerm. Zoom. Woosh!!

The plane started. I smiled big. It was happening! I was going to fly!!! I closed my eyes. Felt us moving. And… fell asleep.

I basically missed the whole plane ride. Because I slept.

Yea. True story.

Nate’s Notes: Who Is This Kid Anyway?

I have been writing these notes for as long as I can remember- even before I turned 1. That was pretty tricky at first!! I had to hide these from Momma.  Some people know me, but maybe some of you just started reading and wonder who I am. Well, I’m Nate-  I’m a brother, a son, a nephew, a grandson, a cousin. Sure I’m a loud, moody, toddler boy who loves cars and is afraid of the dark, but that isn’t all that I am. What makes me tick? Where did I come from? What do I like or not like? Well, I’ll tell you…


I get it!

I get it!

Making lists...

Making lists…

Names- I’m Nate- “real” name is Nathaniel C.S. Kitchens (C and S are my secret- just because, but mostly because I can’t remember them right now!). My family calls me other names too though. Momma calls me sweetie (*Eye roll*…so embarrassing). Daddy calls me Buddy or Mr. Man (He’s my best friend.) I bet you guys don’t have a super hero for a best friend!! Lyla (a.k.a annoying little sister who isn’t leaving) calls me Net-Net-Net-Net etc. She repeats things a lot.

Age- I’m THIS many (number of fingers changes each time I show people). No seriously- I got this.   I’m 3. Not 3 years old. Just 3. Not just any 3.

Origins- My story didn’t start that happy or easily. I don’t know all of it, but Momma and Daddy tell me more and more as I get taller. I do know that I was in another Mommy’s belly- She gave me the name Nathaniel. I do know that Momma and Daddy dreamed about me, said prayers about me, and keep saying prayers for that other Mommy.   I was sick for awhile before I met Momma and Daddy. I am safe now. I am safe and I am loved.

What makes me tick?- I love moving; even when I sit, it is hard to be still. Hey, quit with the judgy eyes- I’m 3. I’m a boy. 3 year old boys move all the time. I love stories. Read to me, tell them to me, just give me a story. Now. I love to imagine and pretend. Sometimes I pretend Lyla is gone and it is just me and Momma playing all day. Sugar. Sugar makes me tick. I don’t get enough, so I usually have sugar withdrawal symptoms that make me to move faster and then go limp when you touch me. You should give me more. Sugar and red dye. Give me more. Okay okay. Calm down.  Everybody calm …down.   I DO love my vitamins and probiotics!!  If you are reading this and you too are a misunderstood toddler who gets tired of big people talking, just start talking about probiotics…it freaks them out to hear a 2 and 3 year old talk about that stuff.  Works every time.  I like puzzles and projects, building things and bike rides. I like air. Without enough outside time, I feel/act like an animal. Momma calls me an animal sometimes. Shame on her- she knows what she needs to do. Laughing. Laughing is perfect. Making my big people laugh and laughing with them is the best feeling. Hopefully I make you laugh sometimes. Apparently there are times I shouldn’t laugh, like when Daddy is using a deep, angry voice and telling me to stop something. But he looks so cute like that-he’s just a big softy. Field adventures- I really do like exploring and seeing new things with Momma and Daddy, even Lyla. And we usually get new stories during the adventures.  Attention makes me tick. If I’m not getting enough, repeating, “Hey…hey…hey” in louder and longer ways usually works. My lovey- this amazing blanket (not original thanks to Daddy) doubles as a cape when needed. Enough said.

I don’t like-Many rules. Okay, ANY rules. Unless they are my rules. Cameras. I don’t like those darn tootin’ cameras out all the time. Or maybe it is the embarrassing shenanigans that Momma does with them (kneeling in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, laying on a park bench, laying UNDER a park bench, straddling a hole in ground, making animal sounds at zoo to get straight shot of said animals, etc.)? Either way, I blame the cameras. Sharing- sharing my things or my big people.   It isn’t realistic so stop making me share everything. And you don’t share all your stuff with me!! Life isn’t fair- get over it. But can I have some of your ice cream please? Transitions. Way hard. I don’t like stopping my fun just because you tell me to. As for food, I don’t like broccoli, white cheese, potatoes and most canned vegetables. You could cut the food budget WAY down if you just stop with that nonsense. I also don’t like food or things hot, spicy or cold. I like food just right. And you have to figure out what that “just right” is- I know you can.

BIG life events so far… Ummm…I’m here- I made it even with some hard parts at the beginning!  Meeting Momma and Daddy.  Meeting Lyla (*eye roll). Meeting all my big people- grandmas, papa, nana,  cousins, aunties, and uncles.  Getting the last name “Kitchens”.   Learning that eggs don’t bounce.  Road trips to Oregon, Minnesota and Canada.  Getting Uncle Tim Legos- that needs NO explanation!  Getting my own camera. (Whaaat?!) Breaking my collar bone- snapped it in half while reading “8 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”!  Alaska- BIG Adventure with big animals and car, boat, train, bus (bleh), and plane rides!  Bumping and cutting my head open- bonked my brain good and it still bothers me. Starting preschool next week!

This is pretty much me on paper. I want to write as long as I can, as long as Momma and Daddy let me, so hopefully you will keep reading my notes. Not every kid gets to share things like I do, so I know that is special. I start Preschool next week, so I will have new stories and new people to teach about textures, pictures and laughing.

Thank you for reading. Bye for now!

**(Seriously though- who ISN’T afraid of the dark??? I know a lot of you big people are still. Why do you think we crawl into your bed in the middle of the night? To protect you!)**

Nate’s Notes: Speaking of Bears…

Once I figured out I don’t ACTUALLY have bear feet, I calmed down. I’m telling you big people, this language stuff is tricky.  Speaking of tricky, we had to ride another bus back from that huge-big-wild park place. Another bus. Lyla and I just looked at each other as we got strapped in…once again.  The promise of a zoo visit the next day made it seem less painful.  

Oh, who am I kidding, it was still bad. But, one way to show how much I care about my big people is to share. So I shared the pain of 7-8 hours of being trapped. I whined a little. Threw some good fits. Timed a few diaper changes. Kicked the seat in front of me. Refused to sleep. Ever. Convinced Lyla to do the same…only AFTER I was done. After all that pain, we FINALLY made it to our next place to sleep and I was super excited to see the zoo the next day!  

The next day came. The sun was out, and all my family was so happy! I had breakfast with Papa and Gram Spam, then it was off to the zoo. We saw birds, cats, sheep, wolves, and really clean swimming bears! There were trees and water creeks everywhere so it still felt like a wild place.   Momma says sometimes pictures say it all…so I’ll quit writing and let you see. (I didn’t actually get to take ANY of these pictures…pff.  Maybe next week I’ll show you some of my photos again.  Edit.)

The Alaska Zoo

The Alaska Zoo

Pretty zoo

Pretty zoo

A really clean, swimming bear!

A really clean, swimming bear!

Bald eagles aren't REALLY bald.

Bald eagles aren’t REALLY bald.

Not a goat.  A sheep.

Not a goat. A sheep.

Wolf who needs a hug!

Wolf who needs a hug!

Nate’s Notes: “Bear” Feet

I am feeling better this week, so I thought I’d tell you all about another Alaska story from this summer. Thanks to Momma for covering for me last week.

Huge mountain- not many people get to see it like this because it likes to hide behind clouds!!  Lucky us!!

Huge mountain- not many people get to see it like this because it likes to hide behind clouds!! Lucky us!!

We took the chugga chugga train to a big big park. I was expecting slides, swings, climbing thingies…but it wasn’t THAT kind of park. People really need to be clear. I saw BIG, HUGE mountains, trees and animals, but nothing to play on. It’s some kind of natural or national park or something. Anyway, this park place with no swings or slides is where the tallest mountain around us lives.

After a fast breakfast, we rushed onto …wait for it…a stinkin’ bus!!! A bus!!! AAAaaack. For the whole day, once again, I had to be strapped into a seat. A toddler. Strapped. All day. So NOT built for that. At least my big people took turns sitting next to me, reading to me, and, of course showing me things out the windows. Well…at least the big people who didn’t have cameras stuck to their faces. Ehem. No names mentioned, but the names rhyme with “Bomma”, “Waddy”, and “Funckle Pim”…just to name a few.

Denali National Park_0010 Denali National Park_0020 Denali National Park_0025 Denali National Park_0029 Denali National Park_0032 Denali National Park_0041 Denali National Park_0050Anyway, I have to say that it was super cool to see all the outside stuff. I mean, we saw sheep way way way up on top of a mountain. I don’t even know how they stayed there without falling down!! One little girl called them goats. Lyla called them “moos”. Pfff…some kids *eye roll and mumble*.

Then we saw big deer that looked like reindeer or something like that. They came right up to the bus!! There was snow too. One time, right before we stopped to stretch, we saw a red fox in the snow. Sneaky foxes. And then…the coolest EVER…we saw bear! Not just one bear. Nope. We saw a Momma bear, her babies, a HUGE bear in the water and another bear walking on the side of the mountain. Picture a big smile here people. BIG SMILE. The Momma bear was close enough I could see her bear feet.   Wow. And the baby bears were so cuuuute! Even their bear feat were really big!

The day actually went pretty fast, even for being stuck on a bus. It was fun to see all those animals that we don’t get to see at home.

Later, when we were getting ready for bed, Momma took off my socks and said I had bare feet! I looked from her to Daddy really fast- a little confused, “Whaat? I have bear feet?!!! That’s silly!! Bear feet?!!”