Thursday, July 15, 2010

Construction ogling

Watching construction projects is one of our favorite mood-changing, schedule stopping activities. We were lucky enough to have a bobcat parked at our neighbors house all week and could even admire it from the comfort of our porch in the pouring rain.

A pajama hike





I never remember this, but Jude tends to be fussy for a few days after his shots. When he woke up from his morning nap at 8 this morning inconsolable, I knew we had to do something. Without thinking, I grabbed some water and snacks and snapped them into the stroller. After two stops at the house in 15 minutes (once for more cheese stick and once because Finnan had to fill up his sippy cup himself in the sink), I decided to head to the creek.

Deerwood is a run down, rarely used park in our neighborhood. It has a basketball court, two swings (one of which is broken), and a small slide/tic-tac-toe structure. I never think of going there. But, it does have a creek with some sandy banks and a wonderful hiking trail. Before we had kids, we used to let the dogs off leash on the hiking trail and they joyfully weave through the woods and in and out of the creek. I loved taking them there as I felt it was one of the few times they could actually be dogs. It has been a while sine we have been on that trail, which I have often lauded as a hidden gem of our community. Surprisingly, Finnan chose to hike the trail rather than play on the banks of the creek. All three of us loved it. Jude hiked by himself for a respectable amount and Finnan excitedly ran ahead finding things to look at. He was even startled by a turtle. While Finnan was cautious around the turtle, seeming to wait on a cue from me, Jude started squealing with excitement and running toward the turtle. Finnan had to parent him, "No, Jude! Don't touch the turtle!" They both enjoyed watching the turtle climb up to safety.

I hope we will find the time to go to Deerwood more often. Despite its shabby appearance, its overgrown qualities offer us a little more adventure than our backyard or other park exploring. And Jude has been in a better mood ever since.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ouch, ouch, ouch...and ouch!

Ouch #1: Jude had his 14 month appointment today. Jude weighed 21 lbs and 7oz (10-25th percentile) and was 30 inches long (25-50th percentile). This appointment went much better than the last one as he stayed amicable until the end when he got three shots. He handled the first one well and then screamed bloody murder for the last two. (As a side note: I discovered that the sink in the office is a great distraction for toddlers who are intent on destroying computer wiring. Just go ahead and put their feet in and let them splash in a trickle of water.)

Ouch #2: Trying to do everything as Finnan does Jude stood up in Finnan's (ahem, baby bird) nest (aka laundry basket) and toppled backward slamming the back of his head on the floor.

Ouch #3: As I was nursing Jude after he plopped out of the nest, Finnan marched his face right into the sofa (with musical instrument in mouth). As he came up his mouth was covered in blood (as was the sofa). Sorry, Jude, it's Finnan's turn to be consoled.

Ouch #4: As I was cleaning up the popsicle mess (that was the remedy for the bloody mouth), there was silence. . . which of course meant I had to investigate. I found both boys in my closet. Finnan was playing with my ear plugs; Jude eating my hand cream. In middle of my ear plug/hand cream clean-up, Jude started screaming. He had dropped a full can of paint on his toe. More blood and an immediate call for naptime.

This comedy of errors occurred after I was reflecting on our crazy (yet, somewhat routine) morning. Before 7:30 this morning, I had changed 4 stinky diapers, changed one stinky outfit, cleaned up dog pee (Roux is getting old), took out the recycling, served a snack, made waffles, dished out vitamins to myself, the two kids and the dog, played in the sandbox, read three books, and played the role of the "Snort" (the excavator from Are You My Mother?) in our baby bird game. This can all only be accomplished when waking up at 5:30 (maybe this wake-up time should be considered ouch #1).

Needless to say, being a parent is hectic and recently I have been feeling very overwhelmed. There are some days when whining only seems to be interrupted by tantrums, but I feel like today was somewhat of a turning point. Yes, there were a lot of sighs and clean up, but I finally did not feel overwhelmed by it. Finnan and I were able to end the day with a game of soccer, during which he finally decided he would kick the ball rather than throw himself on it. When he started kicking the ball he declared, "I a soccer player now. Mommy, you a soccer player, too." Yes, this is the toughest job you will ever love. . .

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A bit of beach

The clean-up crews were working and Saturday was a beautiful day at the beach. Caelyn, her fiance Frank (congrats again!), and Lyle's girlfriend, Alexis, joined the family vacation. Above is the beginning of the sand castle effort. With all of these hands, a moat was formed and a large hill in the middle. Thoughts of sea creatures and buildings were being floated, but it didn't take Finnan long to decide what the creation would be: a jumping platform and/or slide.

Here is Jude taking a snack break. He amazed every one with his eating ability and choices. For example, he pushed away grilled cheese in favor of sauerkraut and preferred eggs benedict to scrambled. Jude spent to week charming everyone with his slobbery kisses, tackle hugs and kitchen utensil banging music.

Jude loved chasing the birds!

We were only able to stop the sand castle destroyer by burying him. To further taunt him, a mini-castle was placed on top of him, which he could not destroy.

The beautiful Gulf. Finnan loved being in the waves. I kept waiting for crying every time a large wave crashed on him, but he kept wanting to go farther out. The ocean was really rough the entire time we were there, so we spent a lot of time at the pool. Finnan did a great job at the pool. He started holding on to the step and kicking. He can go under water for up to 15 seconds (while holding on with one hand on the step). He also would hold onto my finger jump into the pool, go under and kick to get to me (I kept walking back). Jude continued to be fearless at the pool, willingly going underwater from one person to another.

To the bay





Thursday was a low point on our vacation. Tropical storm Alex had severely limited our time at the pool and the beach since Monday. However, up until Thursday, I felt that we made the best of it. We would head down to the pool or beach during breaks in the weather and made a side trip to the Gulfarium (the oldest "aquarium" in the country... and, yes, you could tell). Thursday afternoon the rain slowed to a mist, so we headed down to the beach. There were tar balls. They were small and seemed pretty insignificant, so I thought we would be ok. It only took a few minutes of Finnan and Jude chasing the pidgeons (yeah, we thought that was weird, too), for them each to have oil smeared on them. Then, on the way back inside for baths, I saw that the pool had been closed. All I could think was, "This sucks."

On Friday, the weather cleared but we still bypassed the beach and pool and walked to the bay. It was wonderful. Jude had a blast walking and crawling the the bay, watching little fish swim by. Finnan turned Atticus' shoe into a boat and motored all around collecting shells to act as the captain and passengers. Paw-paw had brought his boat, so we were able to take boat rides and do a little bit of fishing. Finnan was a very serious driver of the boat. Surprisingly, Finnan had very little interest in fishing, until Paw-paw let him reel in two little fish. Both the boys were able to nap on the beach so we actually were able to spend the full day there. It was incredibly uplifting and relaxing.