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2nd Grade

May 8, 2016

Dear Roman,

I can hardly believe it, but yet another school year is nearing the end and it’s time for me to write a recap on all that has been happening.

This year you got the teacher you really wanted, Ms. Nease. She is warm, kind, structured, experienced and pretty much a dream come true. She’s what I think of when I dream of an elementary teacher and you are very fortunate to have gotten the chance to experience that. In her class you’ve learned to write. There’s been a lot of that this year. Your handwriting is not your strong suit, but you never fail at anything so it isn’t stopping you from doing good work. You also kept your love for math and enjoyed learning long addition and subtraction, geometry, multiplication, measurement and time. There’s been weekly spelling tests, monthly book reports and fun projects. All of which you take on with ease. School is effortless for you. You have continued your love for reading and are now on to larger chapter books like the Percy Jackson series. Your face is almost always buried in a book, unless of course you are playing soccer. Your other love.

Soccer has continued for you on the competitive level and you just tried out for the Crossfire Premier League. This was a really big deal because it was your first time with the coaches, players, first time playing year round soccer. Tryouts were for two days and you had your heart set on a certain coach. Crazy enough you pulled it off and made his team! We are officially a soccer family! You have practices 3 times a week for the next year, tournaments in the summer and games on the weekends the rest of the year. It’s a huge commitment, but there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.

You’ve done a lot of growing up this year. We saw you playing less and less with toys- even Legos! I think this was your last Christmas receiving toys. Sniff sniff. You’re more interested in books, all things sports related, clothing, shoes and Messi- your soccer idol. When I say clothing what I really mean is team jerseys and NIKE gear.

You are still all about your social calendar and love it most while hanging with friends. Although this year you aren’t at all into sleepovers and have had a lot less play dates as homework and soccer become more time consuming.

But the biggest change this year was that we moved out of our house and into an apartment and we decided to build a new house! We moved out in July and you and your sister shared a room for the first time ever. At first it was a lot of fun and I was so excited that the two of you were fine with being together. I’d listen to you guys chat at night before falling asleep. I realized that living in a smaller space like an apartment had a lot of advantages. Closer quarters made for a closer family bond. But fall came and we missed being able to have friends over after school. Winter came and we missed Christmas in a home. Spring is here and you desperately miss the action of baseball at the park across from our house. You miss your yard and you miss riding your bike after school. We are all very ready to move out of the apartment! What an adventure though. You are watching the house get built from the ground up. You get to see your new room take shape and help make design decisions. It’s a lot of fun!

I have to just say that as your mom I am truly amazed at all that you do. I am so proud at what a reader you are. What an amazing soccer player you are becoming. What a big heart you have. I love hanging out with you and talking about whatever you want to talk about… mostly sports. I’ve taught myself football and soccer so I’ll seem cool in your eyes. My favorite thing last fall was to watch the Seahawks games with you. You’re smart and funny and quick and I love you!


First Grade

June 19, 2015

Dear Roman,

This week you wrapped up another great year of school. Your first grade year flew by faster than I could ever imagine. It really does feel like we were just enjoying last summer anticipating you going into the 1st grade and now here we are reflecting on your year. It was a good one! You continued to be a very eager child ready and willing to learn. Very motivated and a very hard worker.

You became a voracious reader with strong comprehension. In fact you ended your 1st grade year reading at a 4th grade level and you were presented with the “accelerated reader” award at the end of year assembly. This year I’d catch you with your face in a book any chance you’d get including during car rides or late into the night when I thought you were sleeping. You still love for me to read to you, but you are not a fan of reading out loud to anyone.

In addition to reading, you also continued to love soccer. Fall and spring you were able to play with your buddies on the rec team and had a lot of fun! This spring you actually played on two different soccer teams which meant soccer after school 5 days a week. The schedule was intense (for me and your sister) but you didn’t skip a beat. We saw you really start to excel and decided it was time for you to advance to a more serious soccer league. This included tryouts. You did amazing under the pressure. It was a very hot day and you spent the entire hour giving 100% effort in front of 4 different coaches and against kids you’d never played with before. It was one of those moments I’ll always remember because I was so proud of you.

You joined the choir at school which meant going to school early every Friday morning to practice. The concert was so fun to watch and I was so impressed by how many kids were in choir and how well you all sang together.

You participated in the school marathon again and this year you had the goal of completing not 1 but 2 marathon cards. This meant you needed to run at least 2.5 miles every day at 2nd recess for the 5 weeks that the marathon was going on. And you know what? You did it! You were also the first 1st grader to complete a 2nd card! During the end of year assembly you were awarded a medal for your accomplishment. After it was over you told me next year you are going to complete 3 cards. I have no doubt that you will.

Chess and math were other favorites at school.

You played the piano this year and struggled a bit with finding motivation or passion, but stuck it out. You are taking a break from lessons over the summer and we will see if you are interested in taking lessons again in the fall.

This year you were still very social, kept the friends you made in kindergarten and gained a few new ones from first grade. You had several sleepovers this year and just about any chance you had you were at a friends house or a friend was over at ours. Your social schedule got a bit exhausting and your family (especially Charlotte) felt like we never saw you, but we understand. It just made the time we did spend with you that much better.



Likes and Dislikes

August 5, 2014

Dear Roman,

You are almost 7 years old! In a few weeks you will be. It’s crazy! This year has been amazing, I love you so much at age 6. Here’s to hoping 7 is just as great.


Soccer- still your favorite sport to talk about, play, watch. Over the last year you’ve really developed into a kid who has a lot of potential. I’m not just saying that because I’m your mom. Sure I see your talent, but others do too. It’s pretty amazing to watch you actually and as long as you love to play we will support you. This summer was the World Cup and man were you into it! Since we don’t have a tv at our house I made sure you had someplace to go watch USA play. You would scream and shot at the screen and totally understood what was going on. We took you to your second ever Sounders game the other night and once again you were super into the match. Standing the entire time and shouting at the players just like the grownups surrounding you.

Legos- You are very much into Lego building and can do sets ages 8+ completely on your own. In fact if you get a new set you’ll disappear into your room until it’s complete- an hour or longer later. In addition to putting together sets you like creating on your own. Still mostly vehicles and battle ships.

Playdates- Your favorite pastime is playing with your friends.

Favorite spot to eat is Red Robin and you always order the mac n cheese.

Favorite show to watch is Lego Ninjago

You love to be outside/at a park/running free.

You have also developed a love for money. You get an allowance and have a savings. You love counting your money, sorting it. You have two wallets and like to carry them when we go out. Now that you have enough money saved up you’ve been buying yourself stuff like Legos and candy.

Favorite color is blue- or green and blue like the Sounders and Seahawks as you like to say.

You are still so helpful. You like to be needed and if there is a situation or problem you are first to volunteer to help fix it!

As your teacher pointed out, you have a strong desire to succeed.

You like a challenge.

You like to win, but you’re not a terrible loser. You’re competitive.

light sabers, nerf guns, water guns

playing tag



swim lessons

your sister- she’s been hanging around you a little too much lately. As in you want space and she wants to be wherever you are. You also dislike her going into your room.

bullies or mean people


running errands

being in one place for too long

being too hot

washing hair/bathing/getting clean

when Dad makes character voices in books

Talking to strangers or making small talk with grownups






Catching Up

August 5, 2014

Dear Roman,

It’s been far too long since I wrote about you, but life just seems to be getting in the way. The good thing is that it means we’ve been so busy making memories and you’ve been busy being the six year old that you are. Where to begin…

Remember our trip to Disneyland? That was all the way back in April, but definitely worth mentioning. We surprised you and your sister with a spring break trip to Disney. Told you in the car on the way to the airport and you were so happy you cried! Then you said, “I’ve only been this happy twice in my whole life! Once when I got the Millennium Falcon Lego set for my birthday and now this moment right now!” The trip didn’t disappoint. We spent our mornings at the amusement park, afternoons at the resort pool and evenings back at the park. It was non stop fun for you guys! We even met friends and spent some time riding rides with your buddy Kellen.

Then you graduated from kindergarten. The school year just flew by for me, but during that blur you learned to read, add and subtract, ran a marathon, met a bunch of new friends, learned to be away from home for the entire day and ended up having a whole life outside of your family. You loved school and your teacher Ms. Jensen. We couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to elementary school.

We kicked off summer vacation with our annual trip to Scottsdale. This year was special because Mimi and Pop joined us for a little sun and pool time. You enjoyed swimming and order food poolside. There was an evening movie in the pool and you watched it from a floaty. We took daily trips to the resort’s ice cream parlor.It was the perfect way to start our summer.

We’ve been enjoying summer and all that it brings. It’s a very different experience this year since it’s your first summer out of school. I’m soaking up every single day I get to be with you. I adore watching you morning noon and night. I can’t get enough and dread the start of the school session when you are off again. For now we have been spending our mornings at home, sleeping in and eating breakfast outside. You play with your sister and I listen to the two of you. We’ve had swim lessons and park dates. Lots of free play with friends. You did a science camp with your friends that you loved. Dad and I took you to your first Sounders game. We went glamping with friends and you couldn’t have been happier getting to spend your days with your buddy in the dirt, swinging light sabers and racing remote control monster trucks. We have a tutor come twice a week in the mornings to keep you on track for the coming school year. This was something you initially weren’t thrilled about, but now it’s your favorite mornings of the week! You love your time with Adam. He plays games with you and you read to him. I love listening to you working with him- it’s like I get to watch you in school. Next week you start Sounders soccer camp, then we are off to Vancouver BC and then school will be starting again. How time flies!

One thing I’m certain of is that you are growing up way too fast. These are the years I am going to look back on. I love you kid!

Half Way There

March 26, 2014

Dear Roman,

It’s so crazy how fast your first year of elementary school has gone. Crazy and not in a good way for me. Time is moving too fast now that you are a kindergartener. Days and weeks and months are all a blur. You’re learning, changing, growing at super sonic speed.

You’re reading! Really something clicked and here you are sounding words out and reading simple books. Your teacher moved you up to a challenging reading group in class because she thinks you are ready to be pushed a bit. I couldn’t agree more. When you have a goal there’s nothing stopping you. It’s one of the qualities I admire most about you Roman. You are unstoppable!

Still playing soccer and loving it. We went back and forth on whether or not you should play baseball. Of course you wanted to because you want to play any and every sport. But to be honest the time commitment of baseball was a lot and so we decided as a family to stick to watching games across the street at the park. For now you’re content with that decision and continue to get super excited about soccer every week.

Playdates are still a big thing. Several times a week you are either at a friend’s house or they are over here. It’s something that’s on my mind a lot. I can remember when you were little and would beg me to constantly play with you. I used to force you to play on your own. Days seemed like they would drag on forever at times. Now I’m the one begging for a couple minutes of your time. You are gone at school all day and so social when school is out that the only moments I have with you are first thing in the morning and evenings before bed. I cherish each morning that you wake up and crawl into bed with me. That time together is the best. Also at night when I finally get some one on one and you talk to me about your day. Listening to you reminds me of what a truly amazing kid you are.

You are pretty much the best big brother ever. I constantly tell Charlotte how lucky she is to have you around. There’s rarely fighting between the two of you. If there is it’s silly sibling stuff and honestly it’s most often started by Charlotte. Every morning you guys play together before school. That time is so important to you both. As soon as breakfast is over you both race downstairs to play together until I tell you it’s time to walk to school. I adore listening to the two of you get into an imaginary world before the real day begins and you go your separate ways.

On our walks to school every morning we talk about plans for the summer, vacations we want to take, restaurants we want to re visit. Just you, me and Charlotte hanging out together talking about the stuff that is important to our family. Then as soon as we hit school you are off to line up with your friends. Charlotte always yells goodbye and I give you a kiss and hug. You aren’t embarrassed by us yet.

You are still into Pokemon. Less into video games. Still into Legos and building and creating. Getting into skateboarding again. Not into skiing. Your new favorite color is blue. You are willing to eat a variety of foods now. You like to draw and write. You like staying up in your room at night with a flashlight and reading. I’ll stand by the door and will hear you reading out loud. You also like to make shadow puppets while alone in your room.

At almost half past six years old you are at my favorite age. Really. I don’t know that I could love you any more than I do now. You are the best boy a mom could ask for. Dad feels the same.

Video Kid

January 17, 2014

Dear Roman,

You are a trend kid. You obsess over something, get super into it and then move on to the next. When you were a baby it was water faucets, then light switches, then balls, outer space, baseball, Legos, Super Heroes, Star Wars, Nerf Guns, Rainbow Loom bracelets and now… Pokemon and Video games. The Pokemon I can handle but the video game obsession is driving me crazy. I love you and all, but man oh man. All you talk about, all you think about, all you ask for is XBox and video games- Minecraft and Skylander to be specific. It all started when you started having playdates with friends from school. They ALL have XBox and you were soon hooked. Seeing that you get asked to have a playdate every day including on weekends you were starting to play a lot of games over at friends houses. Not just there either. When we’d walk by the store that sells XBox you’d stop in and play a round or two of whatever game was available. Problem for you is that you have a super strict Mama- ME. My rule has always been no XBox until you are reading as in reading book after book all on your own. You think this rule is so not okay. I’m not budging. So you and I have had to find some common ground here. Because honestly I don’t want you going to other peoples houses to always play games and I don’t want you playing games all of the time. After all you are only 6! When I start to freak out inside my head I remember that you have a pattern of getting super into something at first and then tiring of it. So on the outside I acted calm. I asked you about the games. Tried to care about the characters and world of Skylander. I talked to you about what games we’d get when we got an XBOX. This made you happy. And after awhile you started having friends come to our house again. The house without video games. And you and your buddies were back to playing in the yard or building Legos, making music on your electric guitar, trading Pokemon cards. And I sighed a huge sigh of relief.

Now don’t get me wrong you still want an XBOX more than anything. I fully know that when we do get one we will have to have strict restrictions on it, but you are used to that already. We have strict restrictions on a lot of stuff already. And since you know what you have to do to before you qualify for an XBOX you’ve been reading every night. Seriously. This may be a win win between you and I.

Love Mom.

Christmas Recap

January 17, 2014

Dear Roman,

Christmas was especially sweet this year because it meant we got to be with you for three full weeks! Winter break off of school is the best! We made sure we took advantage of every second of your free time and went ice skating, saw the gingerbread houses downtown, the trains at Seattle Center, Teddy Bear room at The Fairmont, built a gingerbread house, made ornaments, saw The Nutcracker and of course took in Snowflake Lane- twice. It even snowed a tiny bit on December 20th and you were able to sled across the street at the park with your neighborhood buddies. The season went all too fast!

This year you found a love for Elfie- our Elf on the Shelf. Each morning the highlight was looking for him around the house and reading the little notes he left you. Almost every night you’d write back to him- usually with questions or something like, “I love you Elfie. Love Roman.” You even made him a Rainbow Loom bracelet and he made one for you. This year you were a believer in the magic of the season.

Santa brought you a few Lego sets and some cool games. Your favorite present was from Dad- his old IPod and hand held video camera. You are growing up and your interests are maturing.

After Christmas we headed to Suncadia for New Years. We met two other families who are also your best buddies and man was it fun. Being with your friends is so important to you these days so getting to be on vacation with them was mind blowing. You guys went swimming, played on water slides, went ice skating, roasted marshmallows by a camp fire, watched movies in bed, ate breakfast together at the hotel restaurant and then went snow tubing. Lucky kids!


Happy Birthday Roman

September 11, 2013

Dear Roman,

You turned 6 on your second day of school and so Charlotte and I brought Top Pot doughnuts (sprinkles the colors of the Sounders requested by you) to your classroom for a party. A very different celebration than years past when we would spend the day together doing something fun. Instead this year we celebrated at school, then with a simple evening of unwrapping presents and delivery pizza. I think the highlight was receiving the Lego Millennium Falcon. You even teared up when you opened it!

Your party was held the Saturday following and was… shocking… a Lego party. Your first drop off party too! We had a Lego expert come and show you and your (all boys) buddies how to build Star Wars vehicles and battle them. It was a fantastic day and you loved every minute. We topped the day off with a family gathering at a restaurant.

So happy birthday to my Lego loving, Star Wars obsessed kid. You are a thinker and a skeptic. A constant negotiator. You try so hard to figure out good and evil and at times become overwhelmed with it all. But you are optimistic and social and cherish your friends. They mean the world to you and you’d go out of your way to make sure the people you care about are happy. You’re a team player. Crazy good soccer player. You’re fast. Man are you a fast runner. You may be small, but you keep up with everyone. Oh and you’re a better swimmer than I’ll ever be. Every day with you is some sort of adventure. Thanks for letting me come along for the ride!



First Day Of School

September 11, 2013

Dear Roman,

September 4th was your very first day of elementary school. It was a huge deal. We’d talked about school on and off all summer long. Occasionally you’d let me know in your sort of way that you were nervous. Other moments you were just so excited for the new adventure. In the days leading up to school starting we made the most out of the end of summer. We did “field trips” every single day to someplace fun like Wild Waves, the beach, etc. I’m so glad we did because those days were the best. You, me, Charlotte hanging out together. Everyone getting along and soaking up all the together time. The day before school started I took you on a “date” just the two of us. I told you we could do whatever you wanted. So you asked to go to lunch, to the Lego store and to the candy shop. Then we went home and played together. I knew those were my last moments with you the kid we knew before elementary school. The next day would change everything. And it did.

The morning of school you were a ball of enthusiasm and excitement. You told your sister, “Sorry Charlotte, but I’m not going to be able to play with you today. I’m going to kindergarten.” You put on your backpack and carried your lunch as we walked down the street toward school. As we neared I held your hand and you were happy to hold mine. My whole objective was just to send you off without crying so for you and only you I held it together. We got to Lakeview and you lined up outside in the appropriate line all while Dad took tons of photos. Then your teacher came out and greeted you and your peers, instructed you to come inside and we all followed. I had packed a picture book wrapped in your artwork for you to give to your teacher so the first thing you did was hand her the gift. She was thrilled and you were so relieved. We said goodbye and Dad, myself and Charlotte left the room.

It was the strangest feeling walking away. Sort and outer body experience honestly. I didn’t cry. I didn’t feel all that sad really. I was pretty excited for you and what you were about to experience. Your sister was pretty upset and cried on the way home. She asked why you had to leave and that made my heart ache just a bit. I knew you were going to be fine though and so would she.

As the time approached for Charlotte and I to come and get you we were very excited! I brought fresh baked cookies in case you need a good distraction. We waited anxiously outside the same door we had entered that morning. Then before we knew it the door opened and out you came being escorted by your teacher. You were so happy! Full of details about what had happened that day. You met a new friend and you played a fun game at recess with your buddies. You liked lunch and bought a chocolate milk. You loved your teacher and were covered in stickers she had given you for doing a good job. Then you ran toward the playground to meet your friends and played for another 30 minutes. I was in shock. A very happy shock. The first day couldn’t have gone better.


August 19, 2013

Dear Roman,

Summer is almost over. It really seems like yesterday that you were graduating from pre-k and we had the summer ahead of us. Now I sit here writing knowing that next week is the last week before you start kindergarten! How did this happen?

It’s pretty much been the best summer ever. Seriously. We’ve done fun stuff like a trip to Scottsdale. You’ve been in cool summer camps at the zoo and LEGO camp and really fun space and dinosaur camp. You’ve taken swim lessons and soccer lessons with your best friend Kellen. We’ve met other friends from school at parks and beaches. We’ve gone every Wednesday to the farmers market to eat woodfired pizza while you run around in the grass with your buddies that meet you there. But that’s not even the best part. The best thing about this summer has been YOU. How grown up you’ve become. How mellow and easy you are to be around. How loving and affectionate you are. You have been the best big brother in the entire world. Helping Charlotte with projects, playing with her non stop. On rare occasion even telling her you love her. I wouldn’t change a single thing about you this summer. In fact I wish so badly I could stop time and freeze the little moments we’ve shared. Instead I’ll try my hardest to remember that the summer of 2013 was fantastic. Memorable. A summer of bonding and warmth and connection between you and me and Charlotte. We’ve been quite the threesome.

I love you.