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?!!”

Nate’s Notes: Favorite Nate Expressions

It’s Christmas Eve!  Nate isn’t feeling well today (still recovering from the head injury), so I, Momma, am hijacking his notes once again. I thought I’d share some of my favorite words and phrases that come out of this amazing little boy’s mouth.

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

2014 Nate’s words and phrases…

  • Just calm down.
  • Oh! I wasn’t expecting that!
  • Just don’t worry about it.
  • WA-BAMO!! (Wink wink Auntie Tina)
  • Oh, what a pwedicament!
  • That is twaintastic!
  • Hey! What’s the big idea?
  • That’s a bunch of malarkey.
  • Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a misfit!
  • It’s just so beautiful! Oh…I mean it’s handsome!
  • Do you want to see my angwy face?
  • I have fweakishly long toes. Can I see yours?
  • Lyla is fwustwating me!
  • Walk away Lyla! Walk away!
  • I’m SO happy! I’m SO happy!
  • Or something like that.
  • The race is on!!
  • Read me a book please? Another one? Another one?
  • Focus. Just focus.
  • I need to push my reset button. Oh no! It’s not working.
  • Silly buster kangaroo.
  • That’s silly! Were you confused? Yes, or no?
  • I love probiotics! Can I have my probiotics and my vitamins?
  • I feel it in my heart!
  • It’s a life thing.

(And two of our favorites…)

  • I love you for all the stars.
  • All of me loves all of you.

He has so much imagination, and never ceases to amaze us with his creativity, spirit, and sensitivity. His Daddy and I count him and his little sister, Lyla, as the two greatest gifts we have ever received. They are and will make us the parents we were meant to be.

As I once read, we may not have given them the gift of life, but life gave us the gift of them.

Merry Christmas everyone and we hope you enjoy the gifts in your life of creativity, imagination, family and love!

Nate’s Notes: A Train is NOT A Plane

For someone who likes lists so much…Momma sure got this one wrong. She showed me the picture list of all the things we were going to ride on this trip in Alaska. It went: CAR. BOAT. BUS. PLANE…

I may be little. And I may not have a formal education yet…but this is NOT a plane. This is a train. Don’t get me wrong! I LOVE that we are on a train!!! But I just want to be clear…a train is not a plane.

So all the sickies recovered from the fun wave ride on the boat, and we took a bus trip here, where we met cool friends and now are getting ready to get on a train!!!

Back to this bus ride. Kids my age aren’t meant to sit still for that long….we aren’t meant to be quiet for that long…we aren’t meant to transition from one thing to the next without having a hard time. How would you like to be bossed around all the time, told what to do, when to do it, how to do it?  We are meant to LIVE!!! Let us LIVE! LET! US! LIVE!!!!

Anyway, no real harm done. It’s not like the bus ride was 6 hours long or anything. Now THAT would be harsh. Here we are, on the train!! A train!!! Lyla keeps saying, “Chugga! Chugga!” which is pretty cute, even I’ll admit that.   This is WAY better than a bus. We get to walk around, go outside, see everything, and eat snacks…all while the train is moving!!!

The train guy yelled, “All Aboard!” and we climbed up to our seats. On my way, I made sure I told everyone, “A train is NOT a plane.” And Lyla squeaked, “chugga chugga!”.  Momma shook her head and made weird eyes at me. Here we gooooo!!!!   I can’t wait to tell you all about this adventure! It is totally the best field adventure EVER!!

Lyla on the outside car of the train!  It was windy!

Lyla on the outside car of the train! It was windy!

Alaska Train!!

Alaska Train!!

As we got in our seats, I heard Momma say to Daddy, “Hopefully this will be so fun that he won’t mind being on a bus for 7 hours tomorrow!!”

Whaaatt??!!!! Do you want to see my angry face???

Nate’s Notes: Now THAT Is Texture!!

My Alaska trip was probably the most fun I have had all year. And I know fun!! Who wouldn’t enjoy a big ship, new friends, crash-bang-booming huge ice cubes, endless hallways to run in, and more watermelon than you have ever seen??  Every day was a new adventure, a different place. My mind had soooo many pictures in it already, and we weren’t even done with the trip! Momma always changes out a little square thingy in her camera when there are too many pictures. Seems like I should be able to do that so I could make more room in my head for the rest of the trip.

You know we littles soak up all the stuff you big people are feeling right? So all my happy big people made the trip even better!   Papa and Gram-Spam smiled all the time, and told us new stories. Momma and Daddy laughed and showed us new things. Uncle Tim and Auntie Kate played with us and made us smile. Auntie Kisstine, MoMo, and Bookie played with us too and took us to painting and music! I just felt so…so…so…happy!!  

It's probably best for everyone if you read this!

It’s probably best for everyone if you read this!

Until one of the last days. It started out super happy, with more BIG ice cubes and breakfast. We laughed, we played, we ran, we told stories, we read books, we watched the big water. And then the water got bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And it all went bad. It started with Lyla…she started whining and drove me nuts. She looked funny too (funnier than she usually does- he he he). Then Momma started to look a different color. Then Gram-Spam. Then Daddy. There were weird colors, strange noises, sick faces, sad faces…and then…it started. Lyla was first again…all over the floor. Then all over the deck outside our room. Then all over the bed. Then Momma. And so it went. Papa played with me even though he looked a little strange too. But he was the only one that could move.

I felt really good though!!   I just kept running and jumping and yelling, “Weeeee! This is so fun!!! Make it go higher!!!!”. But everyone else around me gave me an angry face and told me to never say that again. Never ever ever. Never.  Before everything got cleaned up, I thought maybe Momma should take pictures because she is always saying she needs more texture pictures. And THAT was texture!!

But I felt so bad for her and Daddy that I didn’t say that.  

And this happened. All. Night. Long.

Nate’s Notes: Necessary Toddler Skill #31- Negotiating

It’s hard to be three. I think I’ve made my point with that a few times. But lucky for those of you who don’t learn as fast as I do, toddler skill #14 is repeating things over and over…and over. 

And over.

So yea, it’s hard to be three. It’s even harder to be three and have a banged up brain. See, I was running/racing inside on a rainy day (yes, it was a Momma-approved activity- so put your eyebrows down)…and my wheels went flat. I crashed. I crashed right into a door and the bottom thingy that sticks out. It cut open my head, made it hurt inside and outside, and made a mess. It hurt so bad, all I wanted to do was go to sleep. I tried, but Momma was mean and didn’t let me. Neither did any of the people that helped me at the *hopstitaw. I had to stay awake, look at lights, walk, wait for awhile, get cleaned up and have my head glued back together. Yep, they glued my head! So cool. Usually I get to use glue for projects, but now I have glue on my head!! So. Cool.

(SIDE NOTE: Can you believe that while I was bleeding and hurting, Momma was looking around at all the machines in the *hopstitaw and saying she wished she had her camera??? Excuse me while I roll my eyes and lay here hurting. This WAS after the doctor decided I could go home…but still…enough with those darn tootin’ cameras.)

Anyway…I haven’t been feeling very good since then. My head hurt inside for awhile, my tummy was angry, I was really tired, and just wanted to cry a lot. Even though Momma and Daddy and all my big people have been really nice to me, and have taken care of me, they still ask me to do things I don’t wanna do. I think that with a banged up brain, I should get a break for awhile. Seems okay to me. Lyla should learn to do more anyway!! She’s almost two and still doesn’t do that much. Sheesh.

It has been in this time of my brain getting better that I learned about negotiating…kind of like Momma’s whole “give and take” speech. Except that when you are hurt, you can kinda take more. Pssst…that’s a secret. So here are some times when I started practicing this new trick…err, I mean skill.

Don’t wanna eat what Momma gives me. “If I eat two bites, can I have that magic cookie that will make my tummy and head feel better? And then I don’t have to eat any more bites of this because it makes my head huwt?”  

Don’t wanna take a nap. “I’m feeling kinda sad Momma, and my head huwts inside. Can I sit on yow lap and get a big hug and wead lots of stowies and then play with my caws and then maybe it won’t be nap time anymore? Can we do that? I will even help you clean. Would that be good?”

Momma says we can read 2 books before dinner. So, this book isn’t a long story, so I was thinking that maybe we could wead fwee books.   (WHEN SHE STARES…) Oh what a pwedicament. You wanna wead four books then? Not fwee? Would that make you happy? Are you so happy? Say something Momma!”

At the flea market with Daddy. “Can I touch that Daddy? No? What about this? But I want to! Do you want my help? Yes? Okay. Excuse me. Hey hey hey…would I like this flamingo (now getting to touch it)? How much? How much is this flamingo mister?! It’s not fow sale? But I weally like it! How much do you want? Hey hey- But I hit my head!”

These are just the easy ones. I’m still practicing. It works a lot though! Watch out. When I get really good, I’m gonna figure out how to get my hands on Momma’s camera and computer for good.

*Momma’s Note: hopstitaw= hospital. Nate just says it differently; it isn’t a spelling error.

Nate’s Notes: Thankful

nate at piano with concussionNate is unfortunately still not feeling great after his concussion last week, and isn’t up to writing much. Since it is Thanksgiving Week, I decided to ask my little guy what he was thankful for, what makes him happy. These are his responses…and I quote:

“Thank you fow my food. Thank you fow my family. Thank you fow my special planes. Thank you fow my special fwiends. Amen.”

“I like playing with Windlifter, Blade, Dusty and all that stuff.”

“Matching things makes me smile, which is the same as happy. So can we do that?”

“Putting chapstick on makes me happy. Thank you fow chapstick. Sometimes my lips just hurt. It is a pwedicament.”

“Thank you fow my multivitamin and my pwobiotics. I LOVE pwobiotics. They are delicious. Do you?”

“I like stowies. They make me happy. Can you tell me a stowie? No…not that one.”

“Chwistmas makes me sooooo happy. Hey- is it Chwistmas?”

“Momma?  I’m not happy or saying thank you fow bumping my head.  Is that okay?”

And there you have it.  We are hoping he’ll be back at it next week!  Stay tuned.

Nate’s Notes: Some Days Are Just Bad Days…No Matter How Old You Are

NOTE: Our regularly scheduled Alaska blogging will continue next week. Today I needed to get some big feelings out.

 

Today I woke up grumpy. Yea, you heard me. I. Was. Grumpy. What- I’m a toddler who is loved and provided for so that automatically makes every day rainbows and unicorns??? Clearly you’ve never been three years old.

How many times have I told you that sometimes BIG feelings just happen? How many times have I told you about life under four feet tall?? Don’t you listen??? Do you big people think I WANT to feel this way???? Do you want to see my angry face?????

Momma always asks me to press the reset button. Well, today it wasn’t working. I tried.

Dressed and trying to make it a good day, I got on my stool for breakfast. Momma was humming. Lyla was babbling and smearing yogurt all over herself, perfectly happy and unaware of these BIG feelings. Well, at least I had good food to look forward to. Maybe that would help. And then I looked down. What was this? I don’t want eggs and sausage!! I glared at a grinning Momma, who quickly stopped smiling and stared back. “I don’t want this!!” I yelled. She didn’t talk, but instead raised one VERY serious eyebrow…big people code for “That is not acceptable. Stop now.”   But I couldn’t. Obviously she didn’t get the breakfast food change request I sent with my mind. Grrrr…I showed her my angry face.

And so the day continued this way. It was a struggle. It was a fight. It was actually painful. There was whining. About that…It’s time you big people accept whining as a part of language. When we communicate this way, you make (try to make) us stop and call it whining. When you people do it, you call it complaining and talking out your feelings.   It’s NOT different!!

And if I hear one word about taking pictures or see the cameras, I might flip my lid.  

Finally, Momma said, “Nate, sweetie, you seem really angry and frustrated today. What can we do about that?” Well…ding ding ding!!! Congratulations Momma- you get the prize! Just for being SOOOO aware, I may add a star to your reward chart, and we might play a game that doesn’t end in crying!!!  Or maybe I’ll stay in bed tonight and let you sleep!  Just kidding, we don’t actually care if you sleep.   Jeez Louise*. Before I could share my witty response with her, she scooped me up in her big arms, gave me a hug, and told me I was very loved.   For the first time that day…I felt a little smile.

*Still waiting to meet this Louise person.