Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flying solo... again

My caro sposo (“Emma” reference, anyone?) was out of town again last week.  Are you seeing a trend here?  As in, my Homeland Securer is too busy securing everyone else’s homes to hang out at ours? Geesh!  He was here just long enough to mow the lawn, do some laundry and re-pack his bag before jetting off again.  And unfortunately, this time I was really on my own. 

And the timing wasn’t exactly optimum. This is semester deadline time, those two weeks when all my applicants who procrastinated for the past 13 weeks decide they truly want to enroll in the program.  As someone who, as a general rule, does not procrastinate, this drives me crazy.  I just keep telling myself that some people work better under pressure.  Too bad their choices put pressure on the rest of us! 
Photobucket


Last week was also pollen season, when our world is awash in yellow powder.  I will say, Maryland is not nearly as bad as Virginia Beach.  But it’s still bad.  I seem to react differently each year.  This year ended up resulting in a sore throat, swollen glands, runny nose and all-around crumminess.  And all three of my kids appeared to be feeling the same way.  (The only one in the family who came out unscathed was the one who spent the whole week on the other side of the country.)  By Sunday I was feeling pretty miserable, and knowing my husband was leaving the next morning only exacerbated the feeling.  So once the boys went down for naps I retreated to the couch with my laptop, a cup of hot tea and “Pride and Prejudice” on in the background to attempt to work ahead for the week. 

Needless to say, I was elated when it started to rain, and continued to do so, for the next few days.  By the time my husband’s plane took off on Monday I was feeling much, much better and ready to take on a week of mothering the littles on my own. 
God was gracious to me, we had a great week!

Photobucket

By Wednesday afternoon the sun was shining and we were anxious to get out of the house.  So I packed dinner and we decided to play and picnic at Kinder Farm Park.  Now this is kind of a big deal folks.  I rarely venture out with all 3 kids on my own and I haven’t taken Jack to a park by myself since last summer, when I got tired ofapologizing to all the other moms for my exuberant child.  I didn’t realize how big this park was, and I wasn’t thinking about how I’d keep track of 3 little ones at the same time.  I also completely forgot that this was the place where Jude randomly jumped from a 5 foot ledge and smashed his face in the mulch during his last visit with Marmie, Poppa and Uncle Jared (and that was with 3 adults watching 2 kids!).  It didn’t dawn on me until after we arrived that the odds were seriously not in my favor.  But ya know what, it totally worked out okay. 
Photobucket

Since it was dinner time the park wasn’t very crowded.  And Jack, well he has certainly proven himself over the past few months.  We didn’t have one incident.  He was kind to others, helpful to Jude and still his friendly, outgoing little self: “Hi, I Jack! What’s your name?” (insert other kid’s blank stare).  And Jude did not attempt to jump from any heights, although he did make me nervous every time I caught him climbing the bars.  Whenever the boys went their separate ways I usually stuck close to Jude and tried to just keep an eye on Jack.  And Julia, well she keeps things easy at this age.  Don’t ask me what I’m going to do in another year or two…
Photobucket

After playing it was time for a picnic.  Let me tell you, I’ve never seen Jack so excited about dinner.  And Jude gets excited about anything Jack is excited about.  They were both chanting “pic-nic, pic-nic” by the time I got everything laid out.  After we got situated I felt guilty for not having a trendy, colorful vintage quilt to serve my kiddos picnic on, like all the cool bloggers do, but let’s be real, I would never combine food+dirt+boys onto anything pretty anyway.  The moment was enchanting nonetheless. 
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Even Miss Lia could tell this was something special.  She giggled at every breeze that tasseled the branches and reached for the planes and birds flying overhead.  I would say she was quite the romantic cloud gazer but the truth is she couldn't help it.  Girlfriend is a few days shy of 7 months and still not sitting up on her own yet.  I’m not complaining, I wish I could keep her my baby forever!
Photobucket

Photobucket

True to its name, Kinder Farm Park is a farm as well as a park.  After our gourmet feast of hard-boiled eggs, trail mix and bananas, we headed off down the trail to find the barn.
Photobucket

And “cows.”  Jude’s kinda stuck on “cows” lately.

Photobucket
 

But first, we got sidetracked by a “twain.”  Actually it was an antique tractor but looking at it I’d say Jude’s assessment is quite accurate.
Photobucket

We also came across a massive pig, and a sweet sheep.  That Jude called a “cow.”  And then he proceeded to moo at her until she got annoyed and walked away.
Photobucket

We found a very pregnant goat, who Jude also insulted.  And then finally, finally found the cows.  Jude said “cow” about 50 more times, “moo’d” a half dozen others, and giggled in between.  The kid likes his cows.
Photobucket

Mission accomplished, we headed on home.  No one complained.  No one screamed or cried.  No one pretended that their legs suddenly wouldn’t work.  No one went limp in their carseat when it was time to buckle belts.  So different from that horrible day back in August.  It days like this that make me wish I was better at keeping notes and could figure out what exactly makes my kids behave so well one day over the next.  Is it the time they woke up?  The hard boiled eggs?  A book we read?  Or is it just spending time together, having fun, and trying new things?

After a grand few days of *just* the four of us, we welcomed Daddy home with open arms.  Actually, we welcomed him home with a special handmade sign.  Jon called to say he’d be there in 20 minutes, so I had the kids up from their naps, dressed, shoes on and outside with 5 minutes to spare for a quick photo.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.
Photobucket

Photobucket

And then the boys found puddles.
Photobucket

Photobucket

By the time Jon did pull up, he was greeted by two very dirty and wet little boys, who were all too eager to give their Daddy big hugs. 

  Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket

We’re glad to have our Homeland Securer back home!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jude turns 2

The Handsome Coastie went out of town last week.  Which meant I was left on my own for approximately 44 hours before my parents stepped in to shoulder the burden.  Lemme tell ya, those 44 hours were tough!  I can't even remember why anymore.  Must've pushed it out of my mind.  I just know that by the time Marmie and Poppa pulled in the driveway, I was exceedingly relieved. 

I had big plans for the week.  All the things I was going to get done around the house, cleaning, switching out clothes.  Instead I worked and went to appointments. Since I finally had someone around as back-up, I was able to do fun things like visit the dentist and take Jude to his 2 year check-up without towing along the others.  Which was nice, because all Jude wanted to do was climb up onto the examination table, and jump down.  Over and over.  He maintains a steady 50th percentile for his growth and seems to be hitting all the other necessary milestones.  I don't really know what to look for.  All I know is the kid talks an awful lot, is in to everything, prefers to do the opposite of what I ask, and either eats really well or not at all.  Typicals 2s.

On Friday we took offspring to Baltimore and met up with Uncle Jared at Port Discovery children's museum.  I've been wanting to go here for a long time, but the $14/person tickets held me back, especially since there's no way I'd go without another adult, or two, or three.  Every Thursday they offer a discounted rate of $4 between 1-4:30, but hello? Naps?  No discount will ever be enough to convince me to visit Stimulation Central smack dab in the middle of naptime.

Photobucket
2 going on 16
Photobucket
You should've seen the gas prices here. $1.59!!
But even better than $4 admission is $2 admission. Which is what they do the third Friday of every month for Target Family Fun Night. Now that I can handle. Uncle Jared wants to come? I'll even pay his way! That makes one adult for Jack, one for Jude, one for the baby and one to take pictures. Perfect! (In case you're wondering, Uncle Jared took the pictures. He's not so helpful when the baby gets hungry.)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket I

I was a little concerned with the way things started out.  It just so happened that Jack took a nap on Friday.  His second nap in 12 days.  I wasn't expecting it, since his first nap in 11 days occured the day before, but you know Jack, always throwing me for a loop.  Turned out we had to wake up both boys in order to leave in time.  Which meant both boys were sobbing while we tried to do potty, shoes and shuffle out the door. Ah, we love transitions around here!  We packed them "snack dinners" and once they saw that waiting for them in the car they perked right up!  It didn't take long for the excitement to overwhelm the backseat.  And then we had to spend the rest of the trip trying to get them to calm down, and while trying to find our way downtown, and while paroling the parking garage, and while trying to find our way out of the parking garage...

Photobucket
This was a birthday boy favorite - catching butterflies.
Photobucket

We finally made it to the museum, where I was surprised to find hardly a line, and let the kids loose.

Photobucket
Look Mom, it's science!


Photobucket
Can you tell they're not allowed to spray the hose at home?
Photobucket

It's really a great place for the kiddos.  Apparently it's listed as one of the Top 12 Children's Museum on Forbes.

Photobucket
Making a giant bubble.
Photobucket
Washing windows.
Photobucket
A mega dryer after a fun time in the water room!
I was a little disappointed in the amount of activities that were incomplete or broken, but when you consider the number of small humans that traffic through that place each day, it shouldn't be a surprise.  It's really quite large too.  There was so much we didn't get to, I'm sure we'll be back ... the next time admission is $2 of course.

After the museum we took a walk around Inner Harbor and ate dinner.  We came across a Coast Guard Cutter, or "Daddy-ship" as the boys say.  We were pretty excited, I'm not sure if the boys understood that, yes Daddy is on a ship but no, not that one.  Anyway, Jack told us that Daddy lives on the ship and that big gun?  That's for shooting ducks.  Hmmm, I think we'll let him think that for a little while longer ...

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Photobucket
We celebrated Jude's birthday on Saturday. Jon got home early that morning, just in time for the festivities. 
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

It's amazing how "grown up" 2 years old is.  I mean, he knew these were his gifts.  And he knew how to open them.  (And poor Jack knew that he wasn't allowed to open them.)  He even started saying "Ah-hee ber-day" and continues to mention it even know.  It's so cute, he'll look at me, smile and nod while saying "I ha ah-hee ber-day?"  I don't know if he's reliving the moment or asking for me to do it again.  *sigh* So much changes in just one year.

Photobucket
This is a Melissa and Doug cupcake sand toy.  Perfect for my sandbox/cupcake loving boy!

Photobucket


Photobucket

I stopped at Target one day last week after picking Jack up from school and let him pick out his own gifts to give Jude.  He said, "Um, I think Jude wants a blue hippo."  Yeah, okay.

Photobucket
The blue hippo was, and continues to be, a big hit!
And then, "I think Jude would like a giant pencil."  Amazingly, Jude did like the giant pencil.  They both did, but only for everything but writing.  Unfortunately for giant pencil, it has been relegated to a remote location of the house.

Photobucket

Photobucket
Slam dunk by the birthday boy!
Jude is really into "panes" right now.  It certainly helps that they fly over the house a gazillion times a day.  So Marmie worked her magic and whipped up this awesome (and tasty) plane cake. 

Photobucket

Photobucket

It was banana with cream cheese icing. Which means it counts as both a serving of fruit and dairy.  Or two you'd like!

Photobucket

We had been singing the happy birthday song to Jude all morning, and he always cut us off with his typical Jude-growl "NOOOOO!!!"  So I was certain he'd do it for the real deal.  Of course, he surprised me.  He must've have known this one was important ... and being recorded for all eternity.



Soon it was time for Marmie and Poppa to head home, the birthday boy to take a nap, and his older brother to play with the new toys that were left behind.  And that makes me officially the mother of a 2 year old ... again.  Oh geez.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

To my son on his birthday

Photobucket

A little late, but we've had a full birthday weekend.

To my Jude-bug,

Today is your birthday, the day we celebrate your arrival.  Although I acknowledge the significance of ones’ birthday, I want you to know that long before this day, for months and months, I knew you and loved you.  But the moment you were born, that quick second that you drew your first breath – is so very special.  Just like you.
Photobucket

It is spring now.  I don’t know if we’ll live here long enough for you to remember, but this time of year is so beautiful.  The flowers have never looked more vibrant, the birds have never sang more sweetly and the sun’s rays never so welcoming as they have been this week.  Everything about the last few days has testified of new life.  And it all reminded me of this same week two years ago, when I anxiously awaited my own new life – yours.  And just like the world around us, you’ve brought joy, color and warmth to our family ever since the day you arrived.
We named you Jude – praise.  And for your middle name called you after your great-grandpa Edward.  You won’t meet him, at least not on this earth, but I think you have a small idea of what he was like.  Because little things you do remind me of my own Pappy.  The way you walk – that slow yet purposeful step.  Your quietness, that others often mistake for shyness, but which is just a very thoughtful confidence.  And of course your good looks – those gorgeous eyes and smile that smolders just below the surface, which have made many a cashier’s day.
Photobucket

But you are unique too.  And there’s not a doubt in mind that you were created by a unique and sovereign God.  He’s gifted you with a servant’s heart.  My son, you have the keenest way of anticipating a need before it happens.  You’re quick to hand me a spoon as soon as you see me start my morning cup of tea.  You are the first one to retrieve a towel when your sister makes a mess.  And you constantly make sure my phone is never out of arm’s reach.  And you are compassionate, too.  No one in this house cries, coughs or sneezes without your little voice asking, “’K? You ‘k?”  You regularly love-up on your sister and you always sympathize when your brother’s been punished, even if it was because he hurt you.  You have a tender heart that doesn’t like to see others hurting.  And it touches my own heart to see these gifts already working in your life after only 2 years.  I can only imagine what great plans God has in store for you over the years to come. 
I know that they are good.  And I know that you will complete them because it has been my prayer over your life since the moment our eyes first met, and even months before.  Happy birthday little buddy!  May you grow up to be a mighty man of God and fulfill all the plans He has for you.  I’m so grateful for you and the gift of your life.  I’m honored to be your mama.  I love you.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow by Email