Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another week?

My mini vacation was too short! I'm not ready to go back to work tomorrow. Ack!

Thursday was great with R. We went to a nearby park/playground in the morning. There were TONS of kids from a local Head Start program there when we arrived. It was a little overwhelming, so R stuck pretty close to me except when he was sliding down a crazy fire pole! He did it over and over again. A told me later that R tried it for the first time the last time he took him to that park a few weeks ago. I would never have known because R was sliding down like a pro. Unfortunately, he wanted me to do it with him, and when I slid down, although I was much more graceful than I imagined I'd be, I slammed my knees into the pole and now I'm covered with some scary-looking bruises. But we had SO much fun. Later, after most of the kids cleared out, R made friends with some older girls and played with them until we left. At first, they were annoyed by him because he ran up to them to tell them, "Be careful! I don't want you to fall!" when they were swinging from the rings. But then they were playing chase with him later, which was nice.

A and I have decided to stop telling R to "Be careful!" because we realized that it doesn't do any good - it doesn't affect his behavior at all at the moment, and because he just keeps telling other kids to be careful, which doesn't always go over very well. ;-)

On Thursday afternoon, R and I walked to the library, took out a bunch of books and read stories there, then we picked up some cookies at the bakery around the corner, and walked home. It was lovely.

On my big day off on Friday, I ended up shopping all morning with A. I bought some things for the house, some toys for R, and then we went to L.L. Bean. A and I both need work clothes, but I ended up with all summer things (shorts, skirt, cropped jeans) because they were having a big summer sale. Then, we headed home and I cleaned the house the rest of the day. I think I sat down to relax for half an hour. But that's okay. It was what I wanted to do. Only I want to do it for another few days!

This weekend was really hot here. I think we hit 97 on Saturday. So we headed to the Museum of Science to be indoors and cool. We went to the Butterfly Garden and checked out the electricity show. I was nervous that R would be scared by the show because it's very loud and bright, but he LOVED it. He asked to leave a couple of times, but that was because the presenter was talking too much. All that educational stuff, you know. :-)

We spent the rest of the day in our family-sized inflatable pool. It's amazing how comfortable the heat seems when you're half-submerged in cool water.

Today, we visited with friends, took naps, and spent too much money at Target. (What is it about that store?!? I go in there with a very specific list and end up spending twice as much. Today I couldn't turn up the Playmobil nativity set. I wanted it last year, but couldn't find it anywhere, so I grabbed it today. I think it will be fun to set it up and play with it with R.)

We ended the day and weekend with S'mores made in the toaster oven. (It was way too hot to light the grill.) I love sharing things like this with R! He was so excited while they were toasting, he was running around the house doing a crazy, kicking dance. Then he talked about how delicious marshmallows are. Normally, we try to limit the sugar he eats - especially around bedtime - but we finished dinner early tonight, so I figured it was okay. R ended up running up and down our street, chatting with our neighbors ("Let's go say hi to [insert name here]!!!!"), and showing everyone his new binoculars (from Target, of course). He was so cute.

As promised, a few new pictures...

The aftermath of fingerpainting

R took this picture of his new Tonka trucks all by himself

One of R's first written Rs! (He has since figured out how to make them face the right direction.)

Enjoying S'mores!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A day for the boy, a day for me

I have Thursday and Friday off this week. And, boy, do I need it! The last two weeks have been incredibly exhausting and stressful. First, we launched a new website at work. That required several nights of virtually no sleep for me and A, as we had to fix page after page of sloppy code from the third-party firm hired by our marketing department. It felt a lot like college! One night, A and I worked until 2:30 a.m., headed to bed at 3 a.m., and then I was woken up 5 minutes later by R. I think I had at most 2 hours of sleep that night.

Then, my company had a community service day where we split up into four groups and headed out to Head Start centers and preschools in Boston to paint classrooms, prepare literacy bags, etc. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding (and sobering - it made me so sad to see the difference between what R has access to at his preschool and what poor children in the city have), but physically exhausting. We had a required-attendence party afterwards, so it ended up being a 12-hour work day for me - the day after my no-sleep stretch.

THEN... the next day, we started our company's conversion to Microsoft (Exchange & Active Directory) from Novell. I'm the IT director (among other things), so I had to stay late on Friday night, work half the day on Saturday, and work for a few hours on Sunday as well. And, Monday and the rest of this week have been challenging at work (to put it mildly) as we've been trying to fix problems for pretty much every one of our 100+ employees.

So, I'm really looking forward to a day with R tomorrow and then a day to myself on Friday! I don't have anything planned yet. On Friday, I'll probably end up cleaning the house and working in the yard for most of the day, but that's fine with me. My house is such a mess that it's stressing me out - cleaning it will make me happy. But I'll probably also take some time to go shopping at my favorite place for bargains - the Christmas Tree Shops. (They don't just have Christmas stuff - in fact, they only have Christmas stuff at Christmastime.)

I have some cute R pictures to post - hopefully, tomorrow. Before I go tonight, though, I just have to say that a wonderful miracle has happened to someone I love. It's an answer to 2 years of prayers, and I'm so happy and thankful and excited. More on that later, but for now, praise God! :-)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Not much to tell and yet I go on and on ...

I haven't had much to post about in the last week, plus I've been working late or dealing with R's sleep issues at night. (I did have one glorious night on Monday, though - on Tuesday morning, anyone who asked me how I was doing heard in reply, "Great! I got 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep in my OWN bed!")

Last weekend was SO much fun. On Saturday afternoon, we took my friend Alicia out for her 35th birthday. We went to Kimball Farm, where we played a round of mini-golf (note: 3-year-old energetic boys are not ready for 18 holes of mini-golf), took a fabulous ride on the bumper boats (I got SOAKED! I got pinned under the waterfall for at least 5 minutes, which felt great since it was in the 90s that day), and had the most enormous "small" ice creams I've ever seen. Then, we went to Alicia & Art's house for dinner and relaxing with them and Art's mom. It was a wonderful day.

On Sunday, we drove out to Worcester to take R to the Ecotarium. It's part science museum, part nature trails, part planetarium, part zoo, etc. When we arrived, they were just about to start a planetarium show aimed at the 3-6-year-old crowd, so we tried it out. It was perfect! R has been really interested in learning about the solar system, and the show was basically a visual tour of the planets. He loved it. At one point, when we were flying through the rings of Saturn, I almost started crying at the beauty of this universe that God has created. Later, I found out that A had the same reaction. The rest of the Ecotarium was pretty cool, too. R liked the hands-on exhibits, the polar bear, the train ride (of course!), and watching a turtle rip apart its lunch of some kind of rodent. Blech.

This week, we put R's crib/toddler bed away. I really wanted to do it because it was taking up so much space in R's room now that he has his twin-sized bed. But it made me sad, too. I don't really miss when R was a tiny baby - I always love him best at the age he's at. But when R was born, I really thought we would end up using the crib again for another baby. And that's just not likely anymore. And, even though I'm 95% okay with that, it still makes me sad.

Today was another one of my days off from work so I could be with R. I decided to just hang out with him at home because we hardly ever do that, and I think it's important for him to think of home as more than just a place to sleep and eat. We made cookies, played in the pool, read stories, played with play foam, and danced and played instruments to old reggae and ska tunes. I was proud of R because he did a lot of playing and making up stories by himself - without needing me to entertain him constantly. I actually got to do the dishes and throw in some laundry! Later, though, when I was trying to get him to take a little nap, R said to me, "Mommy, I need some friends to play with!" I'm pretty sure he was just saying that because he didn't want to lay down, but I still felt badly. I'm such a homebody and am fine hanging out by myself (and actually NEED to do it sometimes), but R definitely isn't. He loves being with his friends at school three days a week, and on weekends, we always get together with at least one of his playmates. So I figured a day just hanging out with his mom would be okay. But apparently, I'm boring. :-) So we headed to a nearby playground to scrounge up some friends. When we got there, though, R wasn't too thrilled about sharing the playground with anyone else. Oh well! [R asked me to take this picture of him - he insisted that I take it of him from the back.]

One great side effect of my spending these days with him every other week has been R's new appreciation for his daddy. I was hoping this would happen, but I wasn't entirely confident that it would. Before, if I was around, R would completely ignore A or even tell him to go away. R wanted me to do EVERYTHING for him, and he didn't want A to do anything. Tonight, R asked A if it was A's turn to do bedtime and stories. When A told him it was, R yelled, "Yaaaayyyyy!" and ran into A's arms for a huge hug. Hallelujah! I mean, I love that my son is in love with me, but it's nice to share the spotlight once in awhile.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wednesday night

R and I had a great night together. There was no whining, arguing, crying, or defiance. We just had dinner, talked, watered the plants, and then had a stress-free bedtime. Yay! R even asked if he could help me when I was putting dishes away. He voluntarily Swiffered the floors and ate all his dinner. While we were eating, I told R about the surprise birthday party we had at work today for my friend Alicia. He was fascinated by the fact that we had TWO cakes! He then asked me what kind of cake I had, so I told him (strawberry ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery). He was quiet for a little while, then asked me, "What kind did Aunt Alicia have?" When I told him (chocolate cake with chocolate chip ice cream layers), he said, "Wow, you sure had a lot of desserts!" Then he described to me the cupcakes they had at school today for a classmate's birthday. I love having real conversations with him!

Yesterday, we got the monthly Audubon magazine and there was an article about how global warming would change the Massachusetts climate. I had heard before about how it will probably mean that our house ends up on beachfront property, but this article really made me think about other aspects. It talked about how basically we'll end up with the climate of Virgina. And how we'll have many more species of snakes, spiders, ticks, etc. And that we'll lose the amazing fall foliage display. And, it examined the possibility that we'll have more illnesses and diseases because germs won't be killed off during the cold winters. It also highlighted some potential benefits - e.g., to some species of currently threatened shore birds. I wasn't shocked or scared by any of it; it mostly made me sad. Because I love New England and everything about its weather and nature.

But I also wonder: Will the change to a Virginia-like climate also make New Englanders friendlier and more welcoming? The few times I've visited Virginia, I was blown away by how nice people were. Could any of that have to do with climate?

Hmmm ... probably not.