Dan's car's A/C is on the fritz. We dropped the car off at the shop this morning and then drove him in to work. Since it was his half day, the boys and I decided to just keep on movin' until it was time to pick him up.
8:00 AM: drop Dan off at NAI
8:15ish AM: Einstein Brothers Bagels. Too cold inside for Griff's comfort so we changed it up and had bagels al fresco.
9:00ish AM: Barnes and Noble. Reese asks to visit every day. Thought I'd make his day today. Along with tall decaf one pump white chocolate mocha for me.
10:00 AM: arrive at Three Lakes Park for playdate with my friends Tricia and Melissa and their kids. We're the first to arrive and feed the ducks, geese, fish, and turtles a pile of stale bread while we wait. Friends arrive, we head to the walking paths where we discover a frog with an injured hind leg and about 20 different species of mushrooms.
Nature walks are always slow things. There are rocks to be thrown into creeks, butterflies to pursue, mysterious holes to inspect. We paused for quite a while at this bridge to drop gravel and look for spiders. Tricia is on the left with Benny and Berge (June is out of the frame) and Melissa is on the right with Kelli. Griff and Reese are the kids crouching in the center.
11:00ish AM: we finish our lake circuit and head to the playground for snacks and running around. Griff kidnaps my camera and later I find this interesting shot of my feet.
12:00 ish PM: can't leave Three Lakes Park until we visit the nature center. Lots of tanks of fish and reptiles to see, bird call buttons to push, huge fake bugs and dead real ones to ogle, and ramps to run on.
12:45 PM: head out to pick up Daddy. Arrive at 1:00 PM. We're tired and hungry but end up playing with Daddy's model brain and making balloon animals with Lucien for an hour anyway.
Griff was so taken with the little balloon pump that Lucien loaned it to him overnight, along with a supply of balloons and a book with instructions for making animals.
Here's Griff and Dan with attempts #1 (green) and #4 (black, successful!) at making a dog.
Epilogue: the car's A/C is still not fixed. The compressor is shot and the whole thing needs to be replaced, which will cost about 3 times the current value of the actual car. With fall coming, we're going to sweat it out for a little while and then revisit the problem next spring when it gets warm again. The car is a 1995 Dodge Neon - which is really a disposable car that has already lasted 12 years (9 of them with us). We were hoping for about 2 more years before buying a newer car for Dan. Argh.
Off to the left side there is a "Category Cloud" showing a list of all the categories I have assigned to posts on this blog. The bigger the word, the more posts associated with that category. I just added "video" to the list - if you click on that word, you will be taken to a list of all the posts that contain video clips or links to video clips. :)
Kiddo has been begging for "Bahza Wobuh" (Barnes and Noble) multiple times a day lately. Both kids think of B&N less as a store and more as a recreation area. Here's the routine:
♣ Enter big doors, use anti-theft devices as pretend drive-through order windows. Reese submits order to Griffin, Griffin collects money and gives ordered item to Reese.
♣ Reese takes off at top speed for the cafe; Griff and I follow. Both children ogle cookies in the big glass case. Reese requests "buhfly doohtie" (butterfly cookie) and if he's with Dan, he might get that. I don't like the iced lemon cookies like that, so when they're with me, I redirect to a sugar cookie, choc chip, or rice krispy treat. I order one and a tall, decaf, one-pump latte of some sort for myself.
♣ Griff waits by the case so he can SEE the cafe employee remove our treat, then he takes the plate to a table. He prefers to carry it "like a waiter", balanced on one hand, and he can do this well, but since it stresses out the employees, we've decided to use two-hand carries in B&N. He divides the treat into pieces so we can share it.
♣ I collect my coffee, get water and napkins for the kids, and we eat and clean up.
♣ Everybody heads for the escalator and we go upstairs to the children's book section, where Griff and I read books and Reese plays with trains. This is usually good for an hour. I'm bored long before they are. We take the escalator or elevator down, repeat the fast food order, and skedaddle.
Dan and Griff established this routine when Griffin was 2. Reese has never known anything different and you'd think that visits to B&N were an essential part of life. Well, poor Reese had been kept out of B&N for a whopping two days. Yesterday he started asking WHY we can't go to B&N. So today when it was the first thing he asked for upon greeting me in the morning, I said sure kiddo, we'll go to B&N today. He thought I meant RIGHT THEN and went to get his shoes. Uh...let's wait until I'm fed and showered and we're all dressed, ok?
We did indeed go, as promised. Griff wanted to stay home (rainy day) but sometimes Reese gets to call the shots.
Oh, we have a fun new way to motivate people to cross the street relatively quickly and keep holding my hands: we chant "skittery cat, skittery cat, STOMP! STOMP! rabbity rabbity rabbity rabbity, skittery cat, STOMP!" and usually that gets us to the other side. Thank you, Sandra Boynton.
Today's confection was a very soggy rice krispy treat. Tiny sticky bits of rice EVERYWHERE. Reese wouldn't even touch it, I had to feed it to him. Here's Griff covered in rice. Reese had gotten bored and gone looking for other seating options:
He was happy to head upstairs after that. Reese is amazingly bold and gets on and off the escalator with no fear or hesitation. Griff and I are a bit more cautious but then have to climb the stairs while they go up to catch up to Reese.
The rest of our morning was unremarkable - train table play, visit to the paint store to get some chips so I can finally decide what colors to use in the kitchen, hall, baby's room, office, our bedroom, and our bathroom. I already have paint for the kids' bathroom. Got a lot of painting to do. Todd comes Saturday to pick up Dan's and my old bed, at which point the grand shuffle of furniture and painting/redecorating of rooms can commence. Let the nesting begin!!!
But back to Reese - after getting home, the poor kid stepped on a toy and skinned the bottom of his foot and was beside himself. Fortunately, he's verbal enough now to tell me what's wrong without much delay. We went to the bathroom to wash the foot and get a band-aid. He was NOT pleased with this plan but once the cold water from the sink hit his foot, he calmed down and looked really impressed with mommy's wisdom. "Foot feel better!" he said, and insisted that he keep his foot under running water for a while longer.
While we were playing in the bathroom, I finally caught his "bolit bolit" (blink blink) trick on video. He often randomly walks up to me and blinks and says that. Here's the clip:
I don't know how I manage not to eat him up. He is SO adorable. After the sink, he wanted to play in the bathtub. Hey, why not? Rainy day stuck in the house, you want to swim in the tub, go for it! He already had a collection of fish toys in there that he had collected from around the house.
He's starting to stop napping, but yesterday and today I allowed him to take whatever toys to bed he wanted. Yesterday that included two plastic whales, a fishing pole, green mardis gras beads, a Matchbox train, and a sky blue playsilk. And he napped. So today I had the silk ready for him and he chose some more toys...and napped again. Score! I don't care if he wants to sleep with the entire contents of the toy chest in his bed, so long as he actually sleeps.
Painting Griff made this evening. He chose blue, red, orange, and green paint and then immediately blended them together to make new colors. He painted a brown rectangular shape that had a lot of green and orange and red in it, and I commented that it reminded me of leaves in the fall. Next thing I knew, this picture had been created - the rectangle turned into a tree (in the fall, of course) standing in the dirt with green grass around it and Griffin (head and arms) standing beside it. The dark blue/purple blotch to the left of the tree is a "decoration" of some sort.
Reese: "I want bunny grahams." Jess: "I'm not buying bunny grahams today." Reese: "Why?"
Reese: "I want to go to Barnes and Noble." Jess: "We're not going to Barnes and Noble right now." Reese: "Why?"
Griff never did this, something about which I was always very glad. It isn't easy to explain to a 2 year old why you don't plan to go to their favorite store today. I mean, come on, who wouldn't go to Barnes and Noble every day, if given the option? Be reasonable, mom!
Griff dressed himself this morning. This is getting to be a common occurrence, but so far we had never encountered a zany ensemble like this one. Stripes and plaid. In two different color families, no less. It challenged the retinas.
The boys and I had a big day out today - mostly errands and little fun things like lunch out, 50 cent rides at a shopping center, and hanging out in Barnes & Noble, but the big event was that we took our enormous stale bread stash and headed for a lake/pond near Innsbrook to search for ducks. Griff called "quack quack quack" (see photo above, on right) to attract them. Oddly enough, it worked. Unfortunately, though, the ducks had already eaten their fill, provided by another preschooler named Aidan who apparently likes to be called Thomas because he's pretending he's a tank engine. Griff was a little disappointed in the ducks but thrilled that carp appeared from the murky depths to nibble at his bread.
Also nibbling at the bread: Griffin and Reese. Apparently nothing is too stale for them. Griff did let passers-by know that he was not going to eat any bread with blue spots on it. Good plan.
Can you see how tall Reese is getting? Gaining social skills, too. In the picture above, on the right, he has just walked up to Griff and asked "piece of bread, please". He has also been voluntarily helping with cleaning tasks at home and apologizes and gives hugs when he bumps somebody, without prompting.
Milestones of the day:
♣ Griff carefully divided our shared rice krispy treat at B&N into three equal pieces, then told me "I broke it into thirds".
♣ When asked what he was doing with his finger up his nose, Reese replied "eata boogie". Gross, but hey, interesting to know that he's actually conscious of it.
♣ Griff had his first solo flight in a bathroom stall. He can do everything himself except for turning on the water and getting soap, although if the bathroom had had a stepstool, he could have managed that, too. Pretty cool step in independence.
Dan's working the weekend. He took yesterday off and spent most of it out with the kids to give me a little break before the weekend/week ahead. The boys were still a bit tired from a big day out for bagels *and* the zoo *and* Panera *and* the children's museum, and I was feeling unmotivated, so we stayed in today.
This pic looks peaceful and quiet but Reese is about to throw all three foamy cups that he has there. It was that lovely time of the early evening when Daddy gets home and Mommy loses her sense of humor - if we're lucky the former happens first. Griff found the cups (can cozies) at the craft store and has been hatching plans for decorating them ever since. Two down, two to go.
:: July 11 :: gardening with kids ::
:: July 12 :: botanical gardens ::
:: July 15 :: visit from the Morahns ::
:: July 20 :: driveway art ::
:: July 21 :: Reese's shenanigans ::
:: July 22 :: Echo Lake Park ::
:: July 25 :: Reese's shenanigans, take 2 ::
:: July 30 :: independent little men ::
:: August 1 :: impromptu balloon ::
:: August 14 :: garage clean-out a la carnival ::
:: August 14 :: more updatey stuff ::
:: August 15 :: the boys, growing up ::
:: August 16 :: belly shots and baby update ::
They're interspersed with older posts. I hadn't taken photos off my camera in a while. Sorry about that. Click on the archive links on the left if you want to hunt for a particular post.
Whitebrownie is large and in charge, making himself known. The kiddo had a growth spurt last week and suddenly I was up about three pounds, sticking out more, bumping into everything, and feeling mood swings and backaches to go with it. He's been throwing elbows in there, too. Welcome to the third trimester, mama.
The photo collage up there goes from June 6th to August 16th. I attempt to take a photo every Tuesday but often forget . I've still gotten more pics than in previous pregnancies, though. :)
Reese is suddenly seeming to "get it" a little more. He's becoming more interested in my belly and will tell me "baby growing inside", although I'm not sure what exactly that means to him. Griff hasn't felt the baby kick yet but did get to palpate me a little the other day and feel the bumpy baby brother within.
There must be something about the 26-week mark that makes people start thinking about names more seriously. We've gone from nearly no real thoughts about names to daily discussions between Dan and I, and suggestions pouring in via email. This happened at just about the same time with Griffin and with Reese.
My boys, on the way to Crump Park for another Sabot playdate.
I was impressed again at how easy the two of them feel right now. They need virtually no help on the playground. Reese even took off by himself to go find the water fountain. Stressful, but impressive.
Happy birthday to Dad Lucia. Wish we could have joined you this evening for dinner!
Really great midwife appointment today. Seeing how a client/caregiver relationship *can* be makes me even more appalled at what most women are forced to accept for prenatal care, and what I accepted in the past (and I actually had much-better-than-average care in the past). I have one hour with her during every appointment. She has given a lot of thought to various aspects of my previous births and how to take that information and apply it to my next birth. There is no way that this sort of true education and preparation could effectively be done in 5 or 10-minute office visits. The OB appointments I have had in the past were little more than weigh-ins, a way to screen for basics like blood pressure and protein in urine, but without any human factor or any acknowledgement that birth preparation is about much more than just making sure you aren't diabetic or preeclamptic.
In addition to our other more important discussions today, Nancy showed me a fun little trick for "bobbling" the fetus to see if what you're feeling is a head or a rump. She also explained something about the maternal-fetal ejection reflex to me that I didn't know before - that the baby's head triggers the same expulsive receptors that are used to move the bowels. What's more, women are wired to do this very efficiently (because we're wired to give birth), while men are not - and this relates to some age-old and oft-joked-about differences in bathroom sitting habits between women and men. Cool (albeit crass) science.
Yoga was also excellent today. The Tuesday night class is crowded - 21 women tonight, I think - which makes it warm and a little hard to find mat space or keep your arms to yourself, but goodness, the resonance of the group "aum" at the beginning is just so awesome when the group is big like that. Yoga has been a lifesaver for me lately. It's a perfect combination of relaxation and exercise and the twice-weekly break is good for my sanity. It has also taught me some very useful poses for dealing with the challenges of my ever-changing ballast in front, including the supported hero pose, which is my new go-to comfy position for sitting on the floor watching TV or hanging out with Dan.
The weather has cooled down significantly (thank goodness it won't hit 105 today) and I had both the energy and the motivation to tackle a jogger stroller that I want to clean up and sell, so I recruited the kids to come play in the driveway this morning while I brushed the stroller off and took photos for Craigslist. They took very little convincing and all three of us headed out, decked out in mardis gras beads, which are in heavy use in our house right now. Most households could stand more mardis gras bead usage.
Cleaning the stroller turned into sweeping the garage and that turned into cleaning and organizing toys (nesting much, Jess?). Griff eagerly took hose duty. Reese supervised from the tailgate of the van, beloved "gree bees" in hand. Griff later Christened the newly cleaned garage floor by filling his boots with water and squashing all over the pavement. Good times.
Sabot playdate today. We visited the "curly twirly slide park" (Humphrey Calder community center playground) and my friend Corinna tipped us off to a hot air balloon launch that would be happening at a nearby elementary school at noon. Hey, we've got snacks, we've got water, we're game! So after getting hot and sticky and sandy at the park we trooped over there. Corinna and I hung out on her picnic blanket and the kids played with toys and books from our car. Reese was nearly falling asleep on my lap and the launch was postponed until 12:30, but it was worth it. The kids loved talking about how hot air balloons work andwatching the tethered balloon inflate and go up and down with people in the basket.