Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Father's Day That Was OUT of this World!!

I just realized that I never told you which "Adventure" S chose for Father's Day!!! So sorry for the delay :)

S was very excited by all of the gifts that Z and I gave him and really liked the idea of picking his own adventure (he use to love those books when he was a kid). Due to the dreary (and cold) weather in New England this month, he was limited on his choices but he decided that Z would love the planetarium the best, so that is what he chose.

We started our day at our favorite diner for our usual breakfast (it is S's goal to be known by name when we come in.....we are close). After a delicious breakfast we started the drive to the planetarium. Z knew where we were going this time and could not wait to get there!

The center opened at 10 and we were one of the first families in the door. We explored the exhibits for an hour and then went into our star show. The exhibits were definitely over Z's head but he LOVED them. There were video clips of shuttles taking off, moon landings, a large rotating earth and two flight simulators. S and Z loved taking turns landing (or crashing) both the space shuttle and the lunar module, it was fun to watch.

Our show was 45 minutes long and geared for 4 year olds. Considering all of this, Z did very well. He did get a little bored towards the middle but soon recovered as we went deeper and deeper into space. It was wonderful to see how excited he was by the whole experience and listen to how much he learned! We got him a little space shuttle as a souvenir to remember his day and he has been playing with it ever since. This "Adventure" really made a big impression on him, maybe we have a little Neil Armstrong living with us :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lions, Tigers and Bears.....

Today Z and I went on our "Adventure" to the zoo. I have never been a big fan of zoos, in fact I originally went for my degree in zoology to "save" animals from that kind of treatment (I ended up with a degree that I never used). I mean really, is it fair to have some of these animals living in small habitats or cages in New England??

I decided that today I would put my feelings aside for my son and give the zoo a shot. I hoped that I would find some redeeming qualities, learn something and hoped that Z would enjoy seeing animals that he wouldn't otherwise see up close and personal (I guess that is the point of having zoos, it is just that some are plain AWFUL).

Okay, I will climb off my soapbox now and tell you about our day :)

As you know, Z never knows where we are going or who we are going with. This adventure was suppose to be done with my sister and niece but G was sick and so they did not join us. When we pulled into the parking lot and I told Z we were at the zoo, his eyes got very wide. He started to bounce up and down and asked that I take him out of his seat (it was a bit of a drive for us). He started to talk a mile a minute and I could sense his excitement and nervous energy towards the adventure ahead. Z is a bit afraid of large animals and I don't think that he trusts the fences and cages that separate he and the big animals on the other side (who can blame him?).

Once in the zoo he became a bit overwhelmed. I explained that this was his day and he was in charge......we would go anywhere he wanted to go. He asked to go and see the monkeys first and so we did. Now I could go on and on about the quality of the monkey habitat but my son's squeal at seeing these creatures swing from branch to branch and climb the fence made me forget all of my ideals. He was so excited! I then decided to spend the day seeing things through the eyes of my two year old and what a sight we saw :) We saw zebras, got "chased" by an ostrich, came close to an alligator, got stalked by a tiger, jumped up and down when we saw the giraffes (there was the cutest baby giraffe), fell in love with the tortoises and searched for George in the chimp exhibit. This visit was done at Z's pace (a positive for going alone) and we saw everything he wanted to see. He was in charge of the map and kept asking me to point out the different things that we were seeing :) It truly was a wonderful day!

The highlight for me was the train ride. The train looked at North American animals and was the closest to a natural habitat that they had at the zoo. There were elk, swans, ducks, turtles, blue heron, frogs and snakes.....all things that belonged (well the elk were questionable and seemed to be in high numbers). It was a nice and scenic ride with my Z and we both enjoyed it very much.

It ended up being a wonderful adventure. Z spent the 15 minutes before he fell asleep in the car, reenacting our adventure with his map. He had a great time and could not stop talking about it once we got home. Some day I will teach him about the proper habitats for these animals and maybe about animal rights but for now we will just appreciate the animals and all of the wonderful things they bring to our planet.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Giving Up on Potty Training....Worked?!?!?--Part IV

After this post, much reflection and discussions with friends, I decided to give up on Potty Training. Many of my friends had talked to their pediatricians and were told to not stress about it. They said that when the child was ready, they would do it. The deadlines of preschool and the baby coming were really stressing me out so after talking with my friends K, H and M a week and a half ago......I decided to give up. What a relief that was!!!

I told S that we were not going to stress about it. We would ride the wave and see what happens, after all we might work so hard to have him trained to only have him regress when the baby is born (I did that). He would head to preschool in a pull up and each day we would hope for the best :) I felt good with this new decision.....so we stopped asking, stopped talking about it and went on with life. I was calmer and more relaxed about life.

Then on Monday afternoon, Z came to me and asked to use the potty. I begged him to let his pregnant mommy go first and then put him on. He PEED!!!! He was so excited, the only other time he had successfully peed on the potty, he really didn't understand what was going on. This time he looked like he got it. We went overboard with the celebration.....he put a sticker on his chart, got a lollipop and a new car and then about an hour later he came to me again and asked to use the potty. Could this be a fluke? Nope, he did it AGAIN!

Tuesday he used the potty 4 times for pee and then came to me last night and asked if he could go poop. I said yes, saw something already in his pull up, put that in the toilet and he managed to push out a little more.....we had half of a successful poop (sorry for those of you who are so grossed out right now). Today he has already peed on the potty two times :) He finally gets it! He understands that pee comes out of his penis and is starting to slowly understand the poop angle. We are all so excited and this new approach to training (the "you tell us when you have to go"system) seems to be working for Z.

I don't know where we will go from here but S and I are in agreement that we are going to keep this laid back. It might take months to have him fully day trained and that is okay with us :) This slow, no pressure system is just what the doctor ordered :) Yeah Z!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spring Photos

Fun at the Lake

An Afternoon with Friends

Time with Auntie A

Working on my Swing

A Fox!!

G and Mika

Always Digging

Splash Time

Swimming with Daddy

Z's new Soccer Net :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pick Your Own Father's Day Adventure

This weekend is all about S. Since the majority of the other weekends are all about Z, the house, our families or me....it only seems fair! For Father's Day this year, Z and I have a lot of special gifts and fun things planned. This year S gets to pick his own Father's Day Adventure. He has 6 fun and exciting choices! Here they are (although one, two and four are most likely out of the question due to the horrific weather forecast):

Adventure 1—Beach Fun This adventure involves a special picnic at our favorite beach. We will eat yummy snacks, fly a kite, play in the waves, build sand castles and then go out for ice cream.

Adventure 2—Make Way for Ducklings and Sky Scrapers
This adventure involves a trip to Boston. While in Boston we will visit the home of Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack. We will then go on a swan boat ride, go out for lunch and take a trip to the top of the Prudential to see the beautiful skyline.

Adventure 3—When You Wish Upon a Star This adventure begins with breakfast at our favorite diner. After we are happy and full we will venture up to the Planetarium. There we will check out the night sky and explore the other exhibits.

Adventure 4—Lions and Tigers and Bears…Oh MY! This adventure involves a trip to the zoo. Here we will visit all of the wonderful animals, take a train ride around the zoo and then end with a yummy lunch.

Adventure 5—Bollywood and Bowling This adventure starts with lunch at an Indian Restaurant. After your fill of fine Indian cuisine, it is time to rent some cool shoes at the bowling alley and bowl a few strings!

Adventure 6—Fire it Up!
This adventure starts with a pizza lunch. After our bellies are full, it is time to go to the Paint Your Own Pottery place for some creative fun ☺

We can't wait to see what he picks. Z is really hoping for Adventure Number 5 (because of the bowling, not the Indian food) :)

For gifts this year, Z and I got creative. A few weeks ago we went on an "Adventure" to the Paint Your Own Pottery Place where Z painted this bowl for S. He worked so hard on it and loved the whole process. I loved that I didn't have to clean up :) If S does not pick Adventure 6, we will definitely have to go there another time with him.

S's next gift is this piggy bank. S really wants a putt putt boat for the lake so that he and Z can go fishing together. I wanted to help his dream become a reality by helping him start a fund for the motor. Z and I collected all of the change from the house and came up with $120. We put that in the bank and we will continue to save up until we have enough to save for the motor (S has some money he won in Vegas that he could also put in his new bank). I also have a Craigslist ad ready to go if S wants to sell his kayak and contribute that money to the cause. Hopefully by next spring (sooner if we sell the kayak), we will have enough money for the motor!

We are looking forward to a nice and relaxing weekend at home this Father's Day. I hope that S gets the downtime that he so needs to re-energize himself for his challenging job and the fun summer ahead :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Very Special Adventure

This past week we went on a special adventure with Z's best mates N and C (and my BF L). As always, Z had no idea where we were going or who was coming. He was so excited to see Auntie L pull up with N and C and was psyched to be back at the fish ladder. When we had gone weeks earlier, it had been too early to see fish in the ladder. Unfortunately we waited a week too long and didn't see any again this time but we still had so much fun sharing this special place with our good friends.

Here are some pictures of all of the fun we had. Next year we hope to time it just right :)

No Fish :(

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Z's First Campfire

We have been waiting for a nice night at home where we could introduce Z to his first campfire. Last night we were blessed with such a night and it was a very memorable experience for all of us. I dressed Z in his jammies while S built the fire. Z was shaking with excitement and anticipation, he couldn't wait to roast marshmallows :)

We sat on the deck steps and talked all about fire safety while S completed the fire building. Z is very clumsy like his momma and so we put rules in place to prevent him from tripping into the fire or fire pit. After the rules were understood, I walked Z down to his chair by the fire. It was so nice to have the pit up and running again, there is something so relaxing about a campfire.

Z really got into the marshmallow roasting but not so much the eating. He would take small nibbles and then let S finish his marshmallow so he could roast a new one :) After roasting five marshmallows, we talked and cuddled by the fire. Z was so excited and he chatted a mile a minute. He ran to the deck to get his bubbles and put on quite a show for us. Once the state bird (the mosquito) started to get to us, we headed inside. When we were all in Z ran over to S and gave him a big hug and thanked him for the campfire. It was a very special memory for all of us and I hope that it is the first of many campfires this summer!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Got Help???

I am able to type this blog entry right now at 10 AM (with my feet up), not because my son is in front of the TV on this rare sunny day, but because he is playing outside with his new friend K :)
Thanks to my friend M, I decided to hire a Mother's Helper for the summer. Today is her first day and I am already in love with this new found time :) I have put away the groceries, done a load of the new babies laundry, made our bed and started organizing the nursery (and she has only been here for 30 minutes!). Meanwhile I can hear delightful squeals coming from the backyard....Z is so happy that someone is devoting their whole attention to him :)

K is the daughter of a woman in my book club. She is 13, took the babysitting course at the local hospital and put out a cute little flier to help her find babysitting work. She is so sweet, outgoing, great with kids and I am so excited that she is going to be with us one morning a week all summer! If she can fit it into her schedule, I am hoping she can stay with us one afternoon next school year too :) That would be so helpful with the new baby.

I vow to make this time all about the new baby. Whether it is spending time getting things ready in the nursery, quilting, working on the baby book, sewing the baby's Christmas stocking or relaxing with my feet (hey that helps the baby too).....this time is all about baby :) My time is running out so I need to get back to work, for those of you in the Northeast, enjoy the sunshine. It is the last we will see of it for awhile :(

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

That Damn Trampoline!

Well as it turns out, Z is going to have to lose his front tooth :( (For those of you who don't know what I am talking about...check out this post). Last week he smiled at me and his gum was black! We called the dentist and they saw us first thing on Thursday morning. Thankfully my sister L met us there because they had to do an X-Ray. She held him down as he cried and cried....it was sad :( I am surprised they got a picture.

The X-Ray showed that Z's tooth was heavily infected and on its way to infecting the other tooth. They said we caught it just in time but that the tooth would have to be removed. Z's dentist said that he would have to be put under for the procedure and set us up with a consultation with an oral surgeon. They also put him on antibiotics for 5 days.

We met with the oral surgeon yesterday and he said that he would rather not put him under. Since it is only one tooth and it is right up front, it will only take 30 seconds to remove. He wants to give him nitrous oxide (I can't be in the room for the procedure because of the gas), will have S hold him on his lap, give him two injections of Novocaine and then remove the tooth :( Apparently he will cry but will feel very little and shouldn't remember any of it. I am not so sure I believe that! The oral surgeon feels there are too many risks for putting him under for only the one tooth. I told him that Z squirms and screams every time we are at the dentist and wondered if the nitrous would be enough to calm this. He looked at me skeptically (Z was not at all upset during this visit) and tried the mask on him. Z was calm as a cucumber (so not the child who normally goes to the dentist) and practiced breathing in and out of the mask. Still not convinced, I asked the surgeon what he would do if Z were his son (he has a 3 year old), he said he would start with the nitrous oxide and then if things did not go well, we plan to put him under.

So that is the plan, however we couldn't get an appointment for a month and a half! Z's dentist wanted it out within the next 10 days....I might have to call the dentist on that one. They also didn't renew his prescription and his tooth infection is still not cleared up....ugh!

So now it is time to get Z (and S) ready for this experience. We have started talking about the Tooth Fairy but unfortunately most of the books are geared for children 5 and up. I am sure he will be adorable with a missing tooth but I am sorry that he has to lose it so young. The oral surgeon assures me that his speech will not be affected but that is also a concern for me. We will have to wait and see.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hello Baby :)

I had my ultrasound yesterday and was blown away by the whole experience. I figured since it was my second child that it would lose some of its magic...I couldn't have been more wrong! S and I walked into the office all smiles, we could not wait to get a glimpse of the baby growing inside of me. As soon as I was able to identify its little nose and mouth on the big screen, I got all choked up. Fighting back the tears, I smiled at S and was so overcome with love. There was our baby....it was really there, living and breathing inside of me. I rarely have time in my day to think about this new baby but here he or she was......smiling at us! At that point the pregnancy became real and I was not so sure that I wanted to wait 20 more weeks to meet my little baby. Looking at the baby on the screen was so amazing.....I wanted to hold he or she and love them right then and there.

This pregnancy has been so different from my first. When I was pregnant with Z, it was all about ME and the baby :) There was 4 of us pregnant at the school where I taught so the discussion was all baby, all the time. My students measured my belly each week, brought me lists of what we should name the baby and all of my shirts had dirty hand prints on the belly. I spent each day after school relaxing, reading books about the baby or watching A Baby Story. S and I would have long dinners out talking about baby names, plans for the nursery and the excitement we were feeling about being new parents. I spent hours registering with my BF, my sisters and my mom and then many more hours reading up on the latest baby gadgets (and then more hours changing my registry). The nursery was a two month project for my mom, S and I and every detail was done with such love and care. I spent hours on Z's sailboat quilt (I had a strong feeling he was a boy) because I wanted it to be perfect. I had 5 baby showers and was so blessed by all of the wonderful gifts that my family and friends gave to us. For 40 weeks, it was all about ME and the baby :)

This time around everything is so different (I can't imagine being pregnant for the 3rd or 4th time!). I was so much sicker this time around, have limited time to relax and put my feet up and this time around it is not all about ME and baby.....it is all about Z :) S and I do find some moments here and there (usually in the car) to talk about baby names but our time is usually spent talking about our days or Z and the amazing things he has done. The nursery this time around is our guest room, it has bunk beds and was suppose to be Z's room but we decided not to move him. I have borrowed a crib (Z is staying in his as long as he wants), plan on using the same PB Kids ocean bedding set (after all it is hardly used and is so cute) and have been trying to find time to turn the room from an office/guest room into a nursery. Who knows if this baby will get a quilt from its momma??!??! For the past 20 weeks, it has been all about life and Z :)

Well baby, I know that most second children are usually better adapted because they are "ignored" from the day they are conceived. Their baby books are not complete, there are not as many photos and they are use to being left alone in their swing or seat because they can't be held 24/7 like their older siblings were. I am not promising that all of these things will not happen to you....your brother has thousands of photos of him, beautiful baby books made by a dear friend M and is quite demanding for my time :) However from this day forward, I promise to find some quiet time each day for just you and I to bond (now that you are moving around, this will be easier to remember to do), I will go to the quilt store and pick out some fabric (not saying the quilt will get done but at least I will try), I will buy you a fabulous baby book and start filling it out, I will try to be creative in your nursery space and daddy and I will work hard on finding a few names for you. I can't promise that life will be easy for you but I can promise that you will be soooooo loved. Your daddy, Z and I can't wait to meet you and welcome you into our family. We love you so much already (our hearts are bursting) and we know that you will be the perfect addition to our happy home.

So my dear sweet baby....stay healthy, grow strong and we will see you in about 20 weeks! We think you are adorable, we are very impressed by your crazy flexibility (did you notice that his or her knees are right by its forehead???) and we are so excited to meet you :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Potty Training, Smotty Training-Part III

I give up! I think I will just wait until he either trains himself or I will teach him to change his own diapers. We can always move to Depends when the Pampers don't fit anymore!

This is the hardest thing that I have had to teach Z yet. Teaching him to walk, recognize his letters and numbers and eat with a fork were WAY easier than this. Most would say he is not ready yet but I have two huge deadlines looming! He starts preschool in September (and must be at least on his way to being trained) and the baby comes at the end of October. I have to get a move on.

We were doing okay for a week or so.......he loves his new potty, liked the reward system and he was trying really hard to go on the potty. We had TONS of dry runs (the book says that's normal) and we would read books, sing songs and chat. Nothing would happen, he would get a jellybean for trying so hard and then as soon as he we were all done....he would go in the safety of his pull-up.

One evening I caught him in his poop stance and (slightly against his will) brought him to the potty. He pooped in the potty!!!! He put a sticker on his poop chart, got a new car and a lollipop and we celebrated all over the house. I thought that despite the fact that I "forced" him to poop on the potty, the rewards would be enough to make him want to do it again....... apparently I was wrong! The next day he told me that pooping on the potty was dangerous :( I guess I messed up on that one big time!

Since that moment, we have been taking a break from the potty. He has asked to sit on it occasionally but I felt we needed a break. So in a few weeks, we will be spending a week at home (oh, kill me now) where Z will be wearing real underwear or walking around naked so that he can truly learn what this peeing thing is all about. I will fill him up with salty foods (I think that is what the book said) and water, bring him to the potty every half hour and hope that we can get on our way to truly potty training. Oh me oh my!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Improvement Weekend

Well this past weekend was part 4 in a series of Home Improvement Weekends. S asked me to set aside time every few weeks to help get our house in shape :) We are usually booked solid from Memorial Day through Labor Day and so nothing gets done around the house. This year I have scheduled in time for us to be at home (it is so nice) which allows us to focus on the work that needs to be done.

This weekend we focused on finishing the Master Bath. After almost 3 years of being under construction, I am proud to say that it with a few more nails and some scrubbing, it will be finished!!!! S had so many setbacks (and distractions) with this project but he worked so hard this weekend and it looks great :) We also worked on our front landscape with a landscape architect, finished up our deck garden, hung a flag pole and got the fire pit out. Our favorite project of the weekend was building Z's "Curious George Carrot Garden". He LOVES it ;)

My furry little sister, Mika was staying with us this weekend. She is a very large husky-malamute and it was a pleasure to have her here. She is getting old so she doesn't do much but it was nice to have a reason to get up early and enjoy a nice morning walk.

On Saturday night we had a lobster dinner to celebrate our hard work. It was so good and it made me feel like summer was here :)

Last night as S collapsed on the couch, he smiled. He was exhausted but I could tell that he felt a sense of accomplishment. It may not have been the most fun and exciting weekend but we made the most of our time together and got a lot done :)

Our next Home Improvement weekend is in two weeks (we are off to the lake this weekend) and there are so many projects to choose from......I think it will be spent painting the front porch and back deck.....but who knows :)