Tuesday, June 29, 2010

O'Reilly's

Last Thursday night, around 9 o'clock we found ourselves at an O'Reilly's Auto Parts around Creola, Alabama. We were about four hours into our drive to New Orleans when our car would not start. Luckily, we were at a Pilot gas station and were surrounded by numerous tattoo clad truckers with lots of tools and nothing to do until morning. One trucker, who was traveling with his 10 year old daughter, was able to get our car started again and direct us to the nearest auto parts store for a battery and alternator check.

While we waited for the check and then for the new battery to be installed, Jude decided that he would start walking. For a month he has been taking steps, but it has not been his preferred mode of transportation. Well, at 9 o'clock at that O'Reilly's Jude walked and walked. He did not want to leave one aisle of that store unexplored or one auto part untouched. Since then he has been using his new skills at the beach, where we are spending the rest of the week. His balance is continuing to improve everyday and he loves to sing/talk when he walks.

I left last week with my baby and I am going to be coming home with a toddler. Hooray, Jude!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pools, parks and picnics

It can not get any better. We have been having a fabulous summer with daily trips to the pool, bike (balance bike) rides and "football" games at local parks, and picnics on the porch. I was terrified of going to the pool by myself with the boys, but both boys have impressed me and the beach entry component at city of Decatur's McKoy Park has made my job easy. Jude toddles around in the water and Finnan has become a self-declared scuba-diver, putting his head under water and examining the bottom. At the end of the day I am wonderfully exhausted and excited to do it all over again!

Frankenstein!


Jude has started taking steps! I didn't realize how strange babies first steps were until Finnan decided to imitate Jude. After Jude grew tired of walking back and forth between Atticus and I, Finnan widened his stance, held out his arms, and started taking short steps to us. He completed his act with a lunge into us and started cracking up, or at least we did!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Toy school


On Friday, Jude and I joined Finnan at Gabriela's for an end of the year celebration. We sweated in the 95 degree heat for circle time, which included interactive songs and snack, before everyone crowded in the air conditioning for a pot-luck lunch and a puppet show. Finnan will continue to go to Gabriela's one or two mornings a week throughout the summer and three mornings a week next year, but a few of the children that Finnan has spent the year learning from and playing with will be heading to kindergarten in the Fall.

Over the course of the year, it has gotten harder and harder for me to coax Finnan into leaving Gabriela's. There is always play cooking to be done, boats which need riding, swings, sand, chickens, etc. When we arrive to pick Finnan up, Jude always is served a second lunch and he then joins in the fun as well. I want to briefly reminisce about a few of the scenes over the past year that just might only happen at Gabriela's.

- Finding Finnan with only a shirt and his gym shoes on playing in the sand box. Apparently, he had diaper rash and was complaining, so Gabriela let him go diaper-less. It did not phase him or any of the children. And he continued to be diaper-less in the sand filling up dump trucks for the next half hour.
- Arriving to drop Finnan off and seeing the chickens wandering in the play yard. They had learned to fly out of the coop and have had free reign ever since.
- Finnan swinging and swinging and swinging. His obsession has only increased with Gabriela's purchase of a new swing-set which has a double glider.
- Seeing 10 children almost all boys sitting quietly downing their vegetable soup.
- Finnan and a few other of the children using hammers (real hammers with the claws cut off) to pound nails into a tree stump and sawing the stumps with a dull saw. (Finnan had told me about hammering at Gabriela's prior to seeing it and I assumed he was talking about imaginary tools!)
- Finnan working with Grandpa (Gabriela's father-in-law) spreading wood chips throughout the yard.
- Numerous children running around barefoot around the wood chipped yard

Gabriela's may sound a little too off-beat for some, but I couldn't ask for a more loving and perfect caretaker for Finnan. However, despite our love for Gabriela, Finnan has decided that he is going to "toy school" next year. He has been talking about it for several weeks. I was talking to a neighbor about school options and Finnan stopped playing, walked over put took my face in his hands and looked me right into the eye: "I go to toy school...toy school." Toy school does sound like a wonderful place. When explaining toy school to my in-laws today, Finnan claimed that they would have "NEW toys" including excavators and shovels. It looks like I might have another entrepreneur on my hands.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Scary monster




Today, I was schooled in the art of communicating like a scary monster. According to Finnan, I never mastered this language, which to me sounded like gibberish with some head shaking, hand waving, and the occasional jump mixed in. I was continually told, "No, scary monster sound like this..." Incidentally, I did much better at imitating a nice monster, who sounds like a lion, and a baby monster, who makes no sound but crawls around.

While first picture above might look like a scary monster, it is actually a fireman. Locating fires and putting them out is serious business around here. Scuba diving, building houses and acting like a robot are other recent favorite imaginative topics. I have been having a lot of fun listening and learning what is going on in my little guy's head.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Jude, the Incredible

Jude may not be able to walk, but his list of talents is quickly growing.

1. He can climb the ladder to the tree house by himself.

2. He can climb out of his high chair (with buckle and tray on) and be sitting in the middle of the table in the amount of time I can fill up my coffee. (I was tipped off to his feat by Finnan yelling, "Jude, no sitting on the table!")

3. He can eat and entire apple. On our way home from Handley's swim birthday party, I gave Jude an apple. (He has been eating them by himself for months, and this was actually the only way I could even get him to eat solids at 6 months.) He was so quiet for our 30 minute drive, Atticus and I remarked how we need to go swimming more often. Apparently, his silence had nothing to do with his first pool time of the season. He was busy ingesting every piece of his apple. When I went back to get him from his car seat there were a few bits of mushed apple around his chin, but I couldn't find the apple. I searched the car, then had Atticus search. All we could recover was the stem and one seed.

The list can go on. Most of his super-baby skills involve climbing and eating. He can climb up stairs/ladder and go down the slide by himself. He will eat almost anything and in unexpected quantities. To the outside observer, Jude seems so mellow. Needless to say he keeps me on my toes.