Nate’s Notes

Almost 3 years ago I wrote this blog story about Jon and Tina…and stupid cameras…and being left behind by Momma…and peeing…and, well, you get the point.  It is POSSIBLE I was a little immature about blaming THEM.  Now that I’m wiser and don’t write about peeing in my pants anymore, it seems like I was being a little judgy-judgerson here.  You decide.

I HAVE forgiven them, and now call them Uncle Jon and Auntie Tina.  All good.  We’ve had multiple play dates since this tragedy.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to share this story is because Momma told me that Uncle Jon and Auntie Tina have a baby girl now! A new baby! She was borned a couple days ago, probably from heaven.   I saw her (well, not HER) growing in Auntie Tina’s belly, so it’s a good thing she made it out. Seemed kind of squished in there.

So, Baby Mack- I can’t wait to meet you and warn you about cameras…and pictures…and how THEY don’t stop. Ever. Stick with me, and we’ll be good.

Oh, and Baby Mack…you will be so loved by THEM.     PE_20160413145032

From 4/17/13- Nate’s Notes: Left Behind

No Child Left Behind…unless you’re ME.

Last week Uncle Tim and new friends, Jon and Tina, came to visit us.  I already knew I liked Uncle Tim because he is going to help with my tree fort, AND he has Legos.  OOOOO…Legos.   Tina and Jon…I liked them instantly for their laughs and kind faces.  They played with my cars and trucks and bouncy balls.  They sat at my level (the floor) and smiled a lot.  They made my heart feel warm.  Pretty much they were super cool.  At least I THOUGHT they were cool.  And then…

They pulled out cameras.

Just like Momma.

My head started to hurt.  My eyes watered.  NOOOOO!!!  Not you guys too??!!   Had Momma gotten to them too, just like she had with Daddy??? Or were they all to blame for Momma and her cameras? Uggh.  Please don’t make me lose my breakfast.  Not only did they come with cameras, they TALKED about cameras, and pictures, AND textures, AND numbers of pictures…and MORE pictures.

Strike one.  Go ahead…feel sorry for me.  It gets worse.

I pretended not to care TOO TOO much about the cameras, BUT I had to stop myself from spilling my drink on them. I could totally blame “toddler motor skills” for the spill.  My self control seems to be increasing though, darn it!!   I had begun to accept this cameras-everywhere-world as they discussed our field adventure for the next day.  We were going to explore Maryland!! Or Mary Island…Or…some island?? Whatever it’s called,  I had heard Momma and Daddy talk about how super cool this place was.  I was going to see BIG BIG buildings, rust, shiny broken glass, gauge-thingies, old brick buildings, maybe even some ship-boats, fired wood, colors and peeling paint.  I was even going to see a BIG BIG crane-claw for the first time! AAAAA, super duper exciting!!!!

The next day came, and I woke up early, ready for the adventure ahead.  Momma announced it was time to go.  I’m ready!!  Okay, let me grab my camera too, the pathetic toy that it is.  Let’s go!

Then Grandma Sue was at the door.  Wow, she is coming too???!!!  This will be great.  Great great great.  Maybe Papa and Gram will be there too!!!   And Daddy!  Oh man, I almost peed I was so excited.  Self control… self control…self control.

And then Momma left.

And I stayed.   She left.  She left me home.  She left me behind!  She left ME so she could be with THEM!

Strike two.

Like I said, I THOUGHT they were cool.  As if all this wasn’t bad enough, they all came BACK to MY home, after I had been left behind, and talked about the adventure! IN FRONT OF ME!! Yep, they ate pizza and drooled over the pictures they took with those cameras. Stupid cameras.

One. More. Strike.  They have one more strike.  They are on thin ice if you ask me.

Nate’s Notes: An Open Letter to THOSE People

*EDITOR’S NOTE:  For those of you who don’t know, this little blogger says that volcanoes interrupt, but he means that they erupt.* 

 Dear Annoying People,

 You know who you are.  Don’t look around the room at others.  Toys are best in a row.  Line them up.  Sort them.  Group them.  And then DON’T mix them up.

Seems pretty easy right?  Well then why do you mix things up??  Why do you UNGROUP them, and move them out of the line???  Yea- YOU.   You come into MY bubble and move MY cars, or put Legos in different spots, or read books in a different order than the pile I made.   You move MY crayons and pens into different heaps. You move MY plates and cups and spoons.  Do you WANT to see my volcano interrupt? 

 PE_20160320154951 PE_20160320155117








And when we are out taking pictures, Momma bops from thing to thing.  Why can’t she take a picture of the bench, next to the trash can, next to the grass, next to the tree, next to the cracked sidewalk??  Nope.  She does it OUT OF ORDER.  Makes me all itchy and…upset. 

Also, colors should not be mixed.  Yea, yea.  I know about new colors we can make.  I was there for that preschool lesson, and Momma goes on and on…and on about colors we can make.  But why do we HAVE to???  My crayons don’t mix and I have all the colors I need.  It makes me nervous.  Please keep it to yourself, in YOUR bubble, if you are going to mix colors. 

PE_20160329094248Speaking of volcanoes interrupting, let me finish my words.  I know I get stuck a lot, and sometimes I need to repeat words so I feel less nervous.   I have a lot to share, stories to tell you, things to say.  But every time you don’t let me finish my words, I have to start over again.  I get mixed up. And my volcano rumbles. 

So, back to this mixing thing- mixing toys together, colors together…what’s next, food????  Oh wait, YOU people do that too!!!  ACK!!!!   I can remember the first time I saw someone not only let food touch, but then mix it together.  On purpose.  NOT on accident.  NOT. ON. ACCIDENT.  I watched it happen…as corn touched coleslaw, as ketchup mixed with mustard, as bread was smeared through soup.  I almost lost it.  Came darn tootin’ close.  I don’t just mean my volcano interrupting.  I mean I almost lost my food.  The food I ate already.  PE_20160320154702   


Shudder again.

You annoy me.  

 Love, Nate

(Still shuddering.)

Nate’s Notes: Girls Are Superheroes Too…I Guess

I’m still not totally okay with this…but I am thinking that even GIRLS can be superheroes. Maybe.  I guess in a way Momma is, but not like Daddy.  We all know that Daddy “works” during the day being a superhero.  I see him leave, know he is gone, and then he comes back all dirty and tired.  Obviously it is top secret, but someday I’ll help him.   I bet he saves animals and people, and he fixes stuff and moves big stuff.  Momma doesn’t go away, and I see her work with the camera and at the computer.  So IF SHE is a superhero, I’m not sure when.  I even see her a lot during sleeping times, so she still is home then. 

Sure, she DOES a lot and keeps us safe.  I watch her zoom around the house, always moving, always working on something for the house, or the camera, or the animals, or us.  She DOES seem to know when I’m doing something I am not ‘sposed to do.  And she DOES just show up out of nowhere sometimes.  AND she DOES hear things from crazy far away.  Sometimes it even seems like she knows what I’m going to do before I even do!   She IS the best finder I know.  Hmmm…maybe she is more of just…like a normal hero, NOT a SUPERhero. 

I’m almost a superhero.  Daddy tells me, and doctors tell me that when I am at the hospital.  Once I snapped a bone in half!  MY OWN BONE!!  Raaaaaar!!!  And I didn’t even cry. Errr..not that much anyway.  Momma maybe cried even more than me!!  That’s a strike against her hero status.  And one time, I hit my head and cut it open, and got a *cussing (or something like that). They had to glue my head back together!!  

Running superherosSo that leaves Lyla.  She IS a girl.  And she IS still a baby, if you ask me.   I don’t see her do anything that cool.  Most of the time she crawls around like a cat, and she licks and bites things.  A little strange if you ask me.   BUT, I heard doctors and other big people call her a superhero a bunch of times when she moved into the hospital place far away.  She had tubes and wires and needles going in and coming out of her.  She was super sick. 

I didn’t think she was coming home.  Actually, I didn’t think Momma or Daddy were coming home either.   It felt…empty and lonely…and scary.  But every day I talked to them, and even saw them sometimes, I felt loved, and stronger because of that.   I guess, since she made it back home, she is stronger than she looks.  I’ll have to talk to Daddy about this all…

There was this other time…

*cussing = concussion (No one cussed at Nate. Calm down.)

NATE’S NOTES: In Nate’s Words

Symbols_0057SPOILER ALERT- This is NOT Nate. Nate has been struggling lately with a number of things, and hasn’t felt up to writing. But I wanted to share some of these, because, even when he isn’t writing, this little blogger still amazes and entertains us with his words.   He is such a gift in our lives, teaching us so much about emotions, challenges, courage, facing our fears and paying attention to everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. This little big boy doesn’t miss much.  

Hopefully he’ll be back to writing soon. In the meantime…Hope you enjoy Nate this way as well.  Have a creative weekend! 

Hopefully he’ll be back to writing soon. In the meantime…Hope you enjoy Nate this way as well.

This is by far the creepiest thing to date as a parent:

MOMMA: (Upon being woken by Nate at 1 am, inches from my face.) “AAAAA! Nate!! What are you doing???”
NATE: (In a guttural Hulk-like voice) “I AM NOCTURNAL!!!”
MOMMA: **I’m still shuddering.**


NATE: “Momma, Daddy- the hawder you push on a spwing, the hawder it pushes back. That’s why we need to jump hawd on a mattress… because the spwings in it can launch us high up in the air. Okay???…Okay. Got it? Good.”


NATE: “So…cwayons have wax, pens have ink, and pencils have…pencil stuff. They all have diffewent feces!!”
MOMMA: “Ummm…do you mean FEATURES?”
NATE: “That IS what I said.”
MOMMA: **Blink. Blink.**
NATE: “Awe you having twouble heawing Momma?”
MOMMA: **Uses serious, somewhat angry eyes**
NATE: “Now awe you having twouble talking Momma?”


DADDY: “Some dinosaurs can fly. Some can walk. Some eat meat, some eat plants, some eat both!”
NATE: “Good obsewvation Dad.”


NATE: “Momma, you awe doing it wong.”
MOMMA: “Is there a wrong way Nate? How about I put these cars and dinosaurs how I like, and you put yours how you like?”
NATE: **BIG. BIG. HUGE Sigh.**
NATE: “No.”
NATE: “I love YOU Momma, but I don’t love what you awe DOING!”
MOMMA: (muttering) “Sheesh kid…what a buzzkill.”


LYLA: “Momma, I hungwy.”
LYLA: “Momma.”
LYLA: “Momma. I…I…I…need fwuit snacks.”
MOMMA: “Oh really?! You NEED fruit snacks Lyla?”
LYLA: “Uh-huh.”
NATE: “Lyla, you WANT fwuit snacks. You don’t NEED them. There is a diffewence you know.”


And to end…a little more serious, but no less profound!

NATE: “Where were you bowned Momma?”
MOMMA: “Borned? Where was I born?”
NATE: “Yes, did you not hear me?”
MOMMA: “Okay. Watch it. I was born in Michigan.”
NATE: “Watch what? You were bowned in Michigan? Not heaven?”
MOMMA:  “Awe, sweetie! No, not in heaven.”
NATE:  “Well, you look like you were borned in heaven. I guess thewe awe diffewent places to get bown. Well…I was bown in heaven. It’s beautiful thewe. You’ll see.”

Nate’s Notes: Cameras Wear Glasses?

Remember the story about the little machines in my eyes that don’t work right? The ones that see colors? Well, my eyes don’t see around me very well either. Not without help anyway. I did not know a thing about this. Momma wears glasses, and other big people I know do too, but I thought it was like wearing socks or something. Just keeping your eyes warm!

Daddy and Momma decided to take me to a doctor of eyes. Or…maybe that is a doctor FOR eyes. Hmmm. So I went. He asked me a lot of questions, shined bright lights in my eyes, told me to look at pictures, and put scary drops in my eyes. This was not easy. This was not fun. I wanted to run. But Momma was there telling me I was safe. After it was all done, I had glasses!!

cameras wear glassesI asked why. Momma said it was like her camera lenses. Sometimes she puts a special lens on her camera so she can see things far away. And sometimes she uses a special lens to see things really really close.   So my glasses are like those lenses I guess…different lenses than my eyes. The glasses help me see far away and close.  

Wait…so cameras wear glasses?

Everything was different when I put them on!!   I guess things were fuzzy before, but not now.   When I put them on for the first time, I saw each leaf on the trees! I saw ants on the ground. I could find letters that I’m learning on signs outside. I could even see the moon in the sky!!!

I noticed more and more.   I watched more. I looked more. It was like the time my car seat got turned around to face forward!! A whole new world…through a different lens!

Nate’s Notes: Different Houses, Different Families

Sometimes we have to drive around, all of us, so Momma can take pictures. Sometimes I like it…like when it ends in juice, ice cream and M&M’s.   But, when it seems we won’t get that happy ending, Lyla and I scream. A lot. I’ve taught her well.

Before you roll your eyes or shake your heads (YOU REALLY SHOULD SEE YOURSELVES SOMETIMES), you should know screaming is important. It is needed. We are JUST trying to strengthen our lungs, and also tell you something super important. Try listening. Whining is too often ignored. Saying, “Excuse me, please don’t make us,” does NOTHING, despite being polite.

And so, we drive around, Daddy trying to stay calm, turning up the radio, Momma taking pictures like a stalker from the car, me and Lyla screaming. Every so often, Momma or Daddy turn around with comfort attempts OR threats. No success. Makes us louder. And besides, haven’t they ever heard the poem, “You Look Prettier When You Smile”??!!??

Residential Exteriors_0037Anyway, one day Momma was taking pictures of all the different houses, and when not screaming, Lyla kept asking, “Who wiv der?” or “Who house?” Because I had lost my screaming helper, I started thinking. Thinking. And then asking, “Does every family have a different house?” “Who does that family have?” “Do ALL families have a Momma + Daddy + boy + girl?”

Daddy said some families do, but every family is different. Then Momma said every family has a different story, a different way they came together in their houses.  

After I thought some more, I had to know.   “Will we always be a family in our house? Will you always be mine and Lyla’s family and we will always be yours?” Both Momma and Daddy answered at the same time, “ ALWAYS. NO MATTER WHAT. NO MATTER WHERE. ALWAYS.”

NATE’S NOTES: Painted Skies and Stupid Phones (Even though I’m not ‘sposed to say that word.)

If you ask me, most of you big people have a phone in front of your faces all day long. And you miss a lot of life. You miss a lot of my life. And you wonder why we have to get so loud or do the things we do to get your attention. I even see medium people doing this, probably even more than big people. (Just so you know, medium is in between small and big.)   I think it is stupid. Even though I am not ‘sposed to say that word.

So here is a story…

Right before the sun goes to bed, it makes everything glow and paints the sky.   It is beautiful. It is lovely. Yep. I am a boy. I am 4 years old. But I can still say that it is beautiful and lovely… and I do. It is the kind of pretty that makes you forget about anything that made you sad or mad. It is the kind of pretty that makes you stop what you are doing and watch. And look. And smile. And…of course it is the kind of pretty that makes Momma ALMOST push us out of the way so she can take a picture. “ALMOST”. Blink. Blink. (Still can’t wink.)

All kinds of pretty.

All kinds of pretty.

One night we were at a park and another big person was talking to Momma. I noticed the sky changing- glowing, so I knew SHE had too. I watched her. I watched the sky. I watched her flick on the camera and push buttons while the person talked to her. Then, in the middle of the other big person’s story, Momma mumbled something and walked away to start taking pictures of the painted sky. REALLY??!!!   Awkward much??!!!  

All I could do was walk over to Momma and hope no one had noticed. Why does she do this to me???

On the drive home, the sky kept changing, a different kind of pretty each time. Most nights the sky is amazing but tonight it seemed extra special. People were on the side of the road, out of their cars, watching this painted sky. Beautiful. You had to smile. Everyone was smiling. Taking pictures. At least SOME people were, NOT everyone. There were medium sized people with their big people who were looking DOWN, not UP.   Didn’t they know where the pretty was?? The sky was painted for them, and they were missing it!!!   Even the big people were looking down and not up.

What was DOWN that was so cool…cool enough to miss what was UP????   Then I looked…and saw. Phones. Phones. PHONES. Oh. Those. Sigh. Head shake. Sigh.

NATE’S NOTES: We Don’t All See the Same Thing…or Colors

Momma always gets excited about colors. I think she sees the world in colors. Always talking about the amazing flower colors, the moss colors, the sky colors, the sunset colors, the leaf colors. She loves colors. She works with colors in her pictures. She works with colors when we paint. Colors and light. Colors and light.

But I don’t see the same colors she sees, or that you see.   This isn’t about a day in color-learning class that I missed…thank you very much. This isn’t about me not paying attention to colors. I try, I really do.

But so many days of my life, when Momma points out the painted sky to us, or the colors on our hikes, she asks us, “Do you see that amazing purple? Do you see that bright green?”   I smile. I say yes sometimes…mostly because she looks so happy. I WANT to see it. But I don’t. I guess I can’t.

I see colors. I just don’t see the same colors, or ALL the colors.   I don’t know why. But a doctor told us I have problems with this.   He called it something…I can’t remember.   I was confused that day when he was testing me. He was asking me about colors and shapes. It all was so hard. MOST of the reason was because I couldn’t see the shapes he was asking.   Turns out I need glasses! More on that later.

Later Momma and Daddy tried to explain it to me. They said my eyes and my brain don’t talk to each other very well sometimes about colors.   They said there are little machines in my eye (super awesome!!!) that see reds, blues and greens. But some of my machines work differently than other people’s machines. I guess that’s okay. I’m learning different is okay, even cool.

So I can’t tell the difference between some colors, and I get some colors mixed up. Lucky for me, I can memorize really super good. So I am just learning what colors are SUPPOSED to be. But I get greens, browns, and reds mixed up mostly. If there is a pile of green leaves, and one brown one in the middle, I can’t see the brown one.

Now it makes sense that when Momma flips her lid with all that happy for tree leaves turning colors, I can’t see…don’t see…the same things. Sometimes, the leaves and trees just look grey to me.  Now Momma and Daddy are more patient with me since we know about my eye machines getting confused.

Momma said the artichoke is a pretty purple.  I DON'T see purple.

Momma said the artichoke is a pretty purple. I DON’T see purple.

Now it makes sense that when big peoples ask me what I see, I don’t say a color first. I see its shape, or even guess what it feels like before the color.   I guess that is why I like the textures Momma shows us so often.

 Next time you look at something, remember, we don’t all see the same thing…or see in the same colors. Maybe be patient.

Nate’s Notes: My Favorite Things: Part 2

I’m 4 now. Last time I did a “Favorite Things” post I wasn’t quite 2! When it was Christmas time a couple few days ago, Momma made us watch this singing movie where the woman sang everything with a bunch of kids. Even when she was telling about her favorite things…she sang it. Sheesh.

A lot has changed since I was 2.   But some things haven’t.

Here are some of those things… (You may have to sing this to the tune of some song from that movie or something- that is what Momma said.)


Nate’s Favorite Things- 2 Years Later- *with a few extra verses (SING ALONG!!! You know you want to.)

Legos and Star Wars, and even the Ninjas. DC, Avengers and don’t forget Minions. Captain America, Hulk and the Flash. These are a few of my favorite things.

Popcorn and snacks just as long as no gluten. Oatmeal and berries, corn, beans, and bananas. Cucumber, vinegar, yes it’s the truth.  These are just more of my favorite things.

(Chorus) Field adventures! Learning new things! Watching people there! Distracting the ones that think Momma is crazy…well, that doesn’t make the list!

Play dough and stories, books, books and then more books. Crayons and markers as long as there’s no mess. Stickers and coloring all the day long. Yes, these are definite favorite things.

Digging in dirt or just jumping in water. On second thought I’ll just watch, clean and dry then. Don’t get me wrong I am sure you have fun. But these are just not my favorite things!!

(Chorus) Doc-ument-ries! Pro-bio-tics! Constellations…yes! As long it isn’t too cold I am for it…I know. I know. Lighten up!!

Looking for lizards, rocks, lichen or acorns.   Pancakes and syrup as long as they don’t touch. Taking my own pictures, yes Momma lets me!   These are just more of my favorite things!

Road trips, I have to admit, they’re amazing. Music and singing, warm blankets and cuddling. Playing with Ninjas, oh yea, I said that. Well- that is prob’ly my most fav’rite thing!

(Chorus) Lyla laughing! Momma smiling! Daddy giving hugs! Now those are the best of my favorite things. The ones that show me…. I’m loved!


What are YOUR favorite things?

Nate’s Notes: Use Your Imagination

Momma says that imagination is somewhere between your heart and your brain. Umm…I’m not sure she REALLY knows what she is talking about, because wouldn’t that just be our throat…or something??? Anyway, I guess some people have big imaginations, and some people have small ones, or no imagination. Momma and Daddy say that my imagination is their favorite part of me, and they hope I never lose it. Wait, wait, WAIT!!! So now I have to worry about it going away?? (Nervously touching my throat area.)  

So, about this imagination…it helps you draw big pictures, hear music everywhere, tell great stories, play fun superhero games and find cool things around us.

Cloudy_Skies_Only_0741Like the other day, there were huge, puffy, squishy clouds in the sky. Momma got really excited and told us to look at the puppy holding balloons in the sky. Her smile was so big and she bounced a little as she pointed up at the clouds. Anyone knows that what Momma THOUGHT she saw- a puppy holding balloons in the sky- was just plain silly.   I mean…seriously. Puppies can’t hold balloons. They don’t have thumbs. Sheesh.

But, because I love her, and that goofy grin pulled on my heart a little, I looked anyway. “Hurry, hurry- look at those clouds up there! Right there!!” She pointed just above the trees.

And there it was. A puppy holding balloons. I rubbed my eyes. Yep. Still there. In the clouds. No way!! Now I had the same goofy grin and looked at Momma. “You see it don’t you Nate,” she said smiling. “See, you used your imagination!”

Lyla kept looking around, even started looking under the bushes and calling, “Here puppy!!” I gave her a hug. I guess she doesn’t have a big imagination. Not yet. But I will help her.

I can share mine with her.