Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post Christmas

Zzzzzzz.....that's what I need most right now, SLEEP!
I was up late many nights before Christmas, putting finishing touches on presents, still building the model train scenery and packing what I could. With my SUV fully loaded with a suitcase, presents, art supplies, two cats and one child, I headed out for the holiday. I was so happy that Christian slept in every morning during vacation until 7:30 for me!  This was perfect because my eyes were recouperating from irritation due to a nicked contact in one eye and "mild abrasion" in the other eye. My eyes had been bothering me for several days, I kept rinsing them and tried another pair of contacts, but the irritation continued. The green floral foam block, that I was carving to make train scenery mountains, gave off dust like residue.  Hence the culprit for the eye irritation but luckily wasn't anything too serious. The train scenery mountains completion has been delayed......

Christmas Eve was wonderful because my nephew Adam and his wife Heather were able to come home from California. They were in and out in two days, and of course we wanted them to stay longer, but it was so great to see them at all.  The went to Christmas Eve mass with the family, we all sat together....well at least two rows together, and enjoyed hearing my sister, niece, nephew and Mom sing in the choir.  Curtis sang "O Holy Night", which made me cry, like it always does, he was blessed with a vocal gift.

Dad and I had worked in his workshop on Friday night after Christian went to sleep. All day Saturday was spent baking, with Christian helping me press the cookie cutters into the sugar cookie dough, and asking every two minutes, when he could eat one.  Saturday afternoon nap time, Dad and I did the final push to get done what we could on the train scenery and then called a recess.  After Christmas Eve mass, I snuck out to the workshop to pack up the train scenery, stashed it in my sister's SUV, for them to drive it to her house.  Christian and I spent the Eve at her house, because my other sister from Florida and her family were staying with them and Christian could wake up with the kids and enjoy the Christmas energy with a group.

Getting Christian to go to sleep on Christmas Eve was not difficult at all.  Mass started at 7:30 p.m. with carols, then mass starting at 8:00 - 9:00 p.m.  Christian was half asleep during mass as it was, so he fell right to sleep when I put him down, after we put out Santa's cookies and milk, and tossed reindeer food (oats and glitter) into the yard.  Then the parents rushed around hauling out the hidden gifts, wrapping, assembling, stuffing, etc.  We did pretty good I thought, finished up at midnight and personally I fell into bed.

The rule in my sister's house is, whoever is up first, wakes everyone else up and you HAVE to get up.  Christmas morning came at 7:30, which was good. I was worried my six year old nephew would be awake at 5:00 a.m. or something crazy like that!  Christian seemed a little confused at times, not sure what to do next, but he followed his cousin's lead.  He kept saying he was a good boy and that's why he got what he asked Santa for; drum/drum sticks, train and fire truck.  He got other gifts too, but those are his favorite, along with a Tonka helicopter that I bought him.

We packed everything up and off to Grandma and Grandpa's we went, were we usually stay when we visit. Everyone showed up to unwrap a few more gifts then chowed down. Of course I inhaled about three dozen cookies, I swear, along with a huge amount of buffalo chicken dip. Now I have to detox :)
We made it back home late this afternoon and as I sit here on the sofa looking at all Christian's presents scattered around my little living room, I'm trying to figure out where the heck I'm going to put all this stuff.  I don't even know where I'm going to put the train tracks/scenery either!  Looks like it's time to do the toy shift; toys he doesn't play with much go into a bin to the basement.  When he's bored with the current ones, the basement toys come back out and seem like new again. At least that's the concept other parent's have told me works, so let's hope it does with him!

On a sad note, Baby Elmo was lost in the Christmas traveling :(  Christian doesn't know it yet and of course it's his favorite stuffed toy.  We looked everywhere at Grandma and Grandpa's when I realized he was missing but to no avail. Then I searched my house high and low and he's simply gone.  The only thing I can think of is he fell out of the bag when I was loading/unloading.  Christian goes back to school tomorrow while I will be running to Walmart hoping to find a Baby Elmo!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pre-Christmas Activities

We have been very busy getting ready for Christmas!  Christian is really into it and is so excited.  He gives a shout out everytime he sees Christmas lights and tries to count how many Santa's he sees on our drives. He gives a louder yell when the "jumbo Santas" are spotted, you know those insanely large blow up Santas, that are 16 ft tall.  We did the south city "Candycane Lane" drive through. It's a two block long street, where almost every house is fully decorated with lights and lights also strung across the street. It is so magical and Christian just looked with wide eyes and that smile of awe on his face.  I almost hit a parked car from looking at the lights and quickly back to catch his reactions....oops :)

We drove downtown St. Louis to walk among the lights and displays in City Garden.  Then we headed over to Macy's to see the window displays, only to find out they only did one corner window Christmas display.  Very disappointing.  But the one display they did do was a four tiered mountain side with electric trains going across bridges, through tunnels and by detailed buildings.  It was wonderful, we looked at every angle for a long time and Christian didn't want to leave. He's really getting into trains lately.

Christian's school had a field trip this past Friday morning and I chaperoned, and am so glad I did!  There's a retired man that has collected trains since he was 10 yrs old and puts up an exhibit in his basement.  He lets people come look at it, which is so generous.  His setup takes up two full walls of the basement, each about 18 ft long and extends out into the room about 8 ft.  BIG!  He has around 30 trains of various sizes and styles, numerous buildings, people, animals, accessories, etc.  It takes him 4 1/2 months to set it up, he tears it down every year and lays it out differently each time. We were there for about an hour and I know I didn't see everything because it had so much detail. The kids were enthralled as well as the adults because the adults realize how much time and money went into the setup.  It motivated me to make a small scenery setup for the small train set "Santa" is bringing Christian for Christmas.

So now I have six days until Christmas and a train set scenery to build.  Why do I get these creative bursts at the last minute:)  I am having fun working on it and just have to keep him out of the basement and then figure out how to pack it in the car to drive to my family without him seeing it. I've commissioned Grandpa to build the tunnel while I try to figure out how to make lightweight mountains that are portable.  Uummmm......

Christian keeps telling me "I'm a good boy."  I keep telling him that he has to be a good boy for Santa to bring him toys and the Snickerdoodle (the Elf) is also watching to report to Santa.  I'm getting such a kick out of this whole thing!  Whenver he's not behaving, I just have to point to Snickerdoodle, raise my eyebrow and he immediately says, "I'm sorry Mommy," then looks at the elf and says the same thing.  Whenver he helps me and I tell him thank you for the help, he runs over to Snickerdoodle and tells him, "I'm helped Mommy, I'm a good boy."  It is so precious to see the excitement on his face, the innocence of believing and dreaming. Even typing this, I see his face and feel his excitement and it draws a smile to my face.  I am truly reliving parts of my childhood through him and learning to slow down and cherish the simple things again.
Now off to experiment with fake mountains.....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Gotcha Day"

One year ago today, I sat in the American Embassy in Moscow with about 12-15 other families, our "Gotcha Day"!  We were sworn in, had our interview and handed the FINAL offical paperwork and your PASSPORT. You were finally all mine, the miracle I'd been waiting for, for so many years! This past year has been filled with so many "firsts", experiences, exposure to many different things/places, lots of parks, walks and laughter. You feel like you've been in our family all your life. I love you Christian will all my heart :*


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

I wish I had thought of this wonderfully imaginative concept! Have you heard of this? Have one?  You need to get it!

The Elf on the Shelf is a book, along with an elf doll, that comes as a set. The basic concept of the story is, "how does Santa know if you've been naughty of nice?"  Well he sends an elf to watch over you, keep track of the naughty and nice things you do or say and then reports back to Santa every night.  He flies to the North Pole at night and returns in the morning, only to sit in a different place to watch you.  And if you touch him, his magic goes away, he disappears and then can't tell Santa the nice things you've done, so you might not get your presents. Of course the book has more details and situations that explain the elf is everywhere watching you, but you get the general idea.

You are supposed to name your elf, so we named ours 'Snickerdoodle' after the cookie.  This cookie is one our family has made for generations at Christmas time, so I thought that it was a good name.  I read the story to Christian and we put the elf on a side table in the living room.  When Christian went to bed, I moved the elf to another location.  In the morning I excitedly told Christian, "Let's go see if Snickerdoodle came back from the North Pole!".  He ran into the living room, directly to the spot where he was sitting the night before, only to turn to me with huge eyes and a worried look and said, "oh, he didn't come back."  I reminded him the story said the elf would be sitting in a different place and that we had to look for him.  So the search began and a few minutes later Christian spied him, saying excitedly, "There he is! Snickerdoodle, you came back!"  I told him good morning and Christian did too and off we went to eat breakfast.

This scene repeated for two days and on the third day, Christian was testing his independence :)
Me: Christian, please put your toys away.
Him: No!
Me: Christian, I asked you to put your toys away.
Him: No!
Me: Now I am TELLING you to put them away right this minute.
Him: No! (and threw the toy across the room)
Me: Ohhhh, Snickerdoodle saw that and is going to tell Santa.
Him: (slight hesitation, with doubt in his eye, but quickly changed...)I'm sorry Mommy. Sorry Snickerdoodle, please don't tell Santa, I'll be a good boy.
OH YEAH!  I am using this elf thing as long as I can :)

The fourth night I forgot to move Snickerdoodle but Christian didn't catch on the next morning....whew!
I had to travel for work these past two days and my parents came to stay with Christian. When they walked into the door, Christian pointed to Snickerdoodle and in a rushed jumbled way, told them all about the elf (which required translation from me). The next morning, he ran around the house looking for the elf, spied him and ran to tell Grandma and Grandpa where he found Snickerdoodle. I called them that night to remind them to move the elf.  They told me that despite Christian not feeling well, he did look for the elf the next morning. It's such a fun game for me, Christian loves it and it gives me some "threatening power" to get his attention to behave.  I've also added to the ploy that Snickerdoodle will see if Christian goes poo poo on the potty, will tell Santa and then Santa will bring him an extra special Christmas present.  So far that's not working for me :(

If you have a little girl, they have a skirt you can buy to put on the elf too!  They've thought of everything!  It's a fun thing to start as a tradition.  Check out the Elf!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

TV Christmas Shows

"This will be a great night!  I loved Christmas TV shows as a kid, I just know Christian will love them too!"
This ran through my head Tuesday evening when I found out Rudolph was on TV. Now it's been years since I've watched the show and I was sure I remembered it....until you know who came onto the screen.  Yes I am talking about the Abominible Snowmonster. 

Christian was enjoying the show, would shout out, "Mommy! Santa Claus!" every time he came onto the screen and asked question after question about the elves, of which some answers I had to make up on the spot.  It was going great and he was even annoyed when the commercials interrupted his first glimpse of the magic of Christmas.

The second I heard the monster's growl, it hit me!  Oh crap, this isn't going to be good.  Then the hairy sharp toothed guy climbed over the pointy mountains and Christian, who was sitting on my lap, instantly slammed back against my chest and said in a shaky voice, "Whoa!"  Then came the nervous stuttering incoherent words as he anxiously struggled to ask me what the heck that thing was.  I quickly started chuckling, pointed at the TV and said, "Oh look at that funny monster, his hair is sticking out all over." Hey, it was the first thing that popped into my head to try to steer his thoughts into another direction.  He bought it, at least for awhile, and I felt him relax when they escaped by floating away on the ice berg.

Soon after this, Christian's attention shifted to my Christmas pillows on the sofa. He decided he had to put them on the floor, cover them up with a blanket and fall on them, over and over and over.  It's funny how the simplest things can entertain sometimes. He chattered away about all sorts of things up until bedtime.  After we said his prayers and I was smoothing his blankets over him, he told me in a very adult like tone that it was time for me to go to bed too. I told him I had to finish the laundry first and he responed, no kidding, in an admonishing tone, to go to bed so I wouldn't be grumpy tomorrow.  BAM!  I busted out laughing, partly because he's just too adorable and because he's right, when I don't get enough sleep, I'm grumpy!

Last night we played and read books, didn't really talk about Christmas at all.  Then around 2:20 a.m. I hear him let out a scream!  I run into his room to see him restlessly moving about and just when I went to lean down closer to see if his eyes were open, he flung out his arms with a "NO!" like he was pushing someone away.  He was completely asleep!  I talked quietly to him, trying to soothe, knowing that if someone is having a nightmare and is still asleep, you do not wake them up.  After about a minute or so, he calmed, stopped moving around and his little snoring started up again. I stood by his bed a while longer, making sure he was asleep and not dreaming again and sent a prayer to God to let Christian sleep without any more bad dreams.
I felt so bad for him and wondered what the dream was about, knowing he probably wasn't going to remember.  During breakfast this morning, after chattering about whatever random thought that pops into his busy mind, he gave me a serious look and said, "No monster in our house."  Ugh!  It was the snowmonster.
I told him monsters weren't real, none were in our house and if there were, I would chase them out.  He seemed to like this answer and then launched into all the ways I would catch the monster and exactly how I would get them out of the house.  His imagination is so entertaining, I just love it!

So I add another thing to my, "Dumb Things Mommy Did" list, showing a 3 yr old a TV show with a larger than life, sharp pointy toothed monster in it, just minutes before bedtime.  In my defense I thought I was in the clear because nothing happened that night, however he had a delayed nightmare, the following night.  So we'll see if he sleeps well tonight, please God :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2 Santas and Dozens of Trees

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
We had a wonderful time with the family and the days went by too fast.
We had quite a number of people for Thanksgiving Day dinner, and we stuffed ourselves.  Christian managed to uphold the Roth kids tradition and dumped over his drink....twice.  Growing up, my siblings and I didn't make it through a meal for years without someone spilling a drink......history repeats itself :)  He freaked a little when he thought it touched his food, but the food was safe and he continued to chow down.  I think he ate a whole bag of corn by himself, he LOVES corn! I found the first food he doesn't like, pumpkin pie.  He had a great time playing with all the kids, and even though his nose was running and he was cold, he didn't want to come in from outside.

My Mom and Dad babysat Christian Friday afternoon while I ran to pick up a few last Christmas gifts. The roads and stores were still crowded, but nothing like they tend to be in the mornings.  I put him down for his nap before I left and had hoped to be back before he woke up two hours later. Much to my surprise, he took a three hour nap and I made it back about 10 minute after he woke up and I got my shopping all done.
He wants a fire truck with moving parts and sound: siren, flashing lights, doors that open and a ladder the moves.  After three stores, I finally found one!  It is by Tonka, is plastic, battery operated and has all his required features. The ladder is plastic and you can move it up and down and pull one section out to extend it. I am worried the ladder won't last long because it's plastic, but we'll see.  My sister also had a fire engine that her kids outgrew and gave that to him to play with.  The sounds on that one are LOUD!  I found a button on the bottom that turns the whole thing off. I told Christian the batteries ran out because my parents and I couldn't listen to it any more, we had already been hearing it non-stop for an hour. I know I told him a lie, but I think I will be forgiven for the sake of my sanity.

Saturday we headed out early with my sister and her daughter to see Santa.  There is a new store the had it's Grand Opening and was having free photos with Santa. The store, J. Parons, is unbelievable, I fell in love with it. The backdrop for the Santa photos was like a fairytale but I noticed one big thing that was wrong.  Santa was not sitting in his red velvet, gold high back ornate framed chair. I asked where he was and a worker said he wasn't on duty until 10:30 a.m.  It was 9:00 a.m.  I told him that the newspaper said Santa would be there all day, he said sorry, I could wait, but my sister had an afternoon commitment with her in-laws.  So we checked  out the store and I found a few more Christmas ornaments I just had to have :)

So off we went to an annual event, the "Festival of Trees", a creation of a local hospital.  Basically business and/or people can decorate a tree, wreath or 2 ft. tall tree, they are displayed for about 10 days and people bid on them via a silent auction.  Gingerbread houses are also available by silent auction. They have local talent schedule throughout the days: singers, dancers, gymnasts. This year, and I am guessing, they had about fifteen 2 ft. trees, forty 6 ft trees, ten wreaths, and about thirty gingerbread houses. They were all so beautiful, had wonderful unique themes and made me wish I had the space and money to have two trees in my house!
Christian and my niece took a ride on the train the wound around through the decorated trees and then we got in line to get a photo with Santa.  The backdrop was not great, plain actually, but the Santa was amazing!  He was the best Santa I have EVER seen, no kidding!  When it was Christian's turn, he quickly walked up to Santa, held up his arms, Santa smiled, picked him and set him on his knee. Before Santa could say a word, Christian told him he wanted drum sticks and a drum. Santa threw his head back and laughed! Christian did a great job of looking at the camera and smiling, but of course the volunteer photographer didn't catch him at a good time, so the photo isn't great of Christian, but is great of Santa.

They had a kids area for little art projects, and we managed to talk Christian into doing a handprint potholder for me.  He doesn't like his hands really dirty or goopy, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go. We selected the white potholder with red trim and selected the green paint for the handprint. The young kid painted Christian's hand with a roller, we turned it over, pressed it on the potholder and he held so still.  It turned out great!  Then we washed his hands and he proudly rushed over to my sister to show her his handprint, he was so proud of himself.  Time was up and we had to go home.

After seeing that Santa photo backdrop at the store, I really really wanted his photo there and was a little bummed it didn't work out. But the Santa at the Festival of Trees was so good, it was hard to be unhappy with it.  After his nap that afternoon, I was telling my parents all about this new store.  It was so beautifully decorated for Christmas I was telling everyone about it.  Mom said she would like to see it and would go with us if we wanted to go back and we could get Christian's photo.  I was in!  Dad decided he wasn't going to be left out, so we all piled into the car and off we went again.  It was raining and cold all day, so that was annoying. We walked in and no one was in line.  I peeled Christian's coat off, stuffed it in the cart and caught a glimpse of him as he dashed by me to get to Santa.  This Santa was......bad.  What a let down!

Christian did the same thing, held up his arms, Santa picked him up and he told him he wanted drum sticks and a drum.  They took his photo, which will be emailed to me in about a week.  I was surprised because the store is nice, beautiful and the Christmas section was like a dream and then they had this generic Santa suit with the really bad white polyester beard. Now the Santa at the Festival of Trees would have been absolutely perfect in this setting!  So I hope this photo turns out, because Christian was pointing in the other one and one of his eyes is a white light from the camera flash. I don't know how to do photoshop, but I'm going to ask someone I work with if they can photoshop the good Santa into the good backdrop. I know that's cheating, but if that photo works out, I'll post it and you'll see why I did it, it will be fabulous!

It was funny, after Christian told Santa (both Santas) he wanted a drum, he thought he would get the drum right then. It took several hours to get him to understand he had to wait until Christmas to get the drum.....only if he's a good boy, because Santa is watching him. I had to use that line a couple times this weekend and it worked!  I hope it keeps working and I'll use it as long as I can :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I guess I am starting to show my age in the memory area.....or I just have too much going on at the same time.  I'm going with the latter.

Last week I was heading to a shopping center and took the wrong road.  Thankfully I realized what I had done in time to use cross streets to get to my destination.  It took me an extra 15 minutes but it could have been worse.

Then a few days ago it was raining and Christian was adamant about holding the umbrella. The only way this works so I get some coverage, is if I hold him and he holds the umbrella.  I hurry to the car, plop him in his seat and drop my bag and purse in. I can hear Christian hollering, not sure about what, but sometimes he gets annoyed with me for the smallest things, so I just ignored it and dashed around the car and dropped into the driver's seat.  After I took a deep breath, I focused in on what he was saying, turned around to see that I had not buckled him in! I was upset!  So back around the car I go, get him buckled in, kiss him over and over while I tell him what a good boy he is by telling Mommy he wasn't buckled in. Now I am extremely diligent and check it three times before I close his door.

We head to the store, the main purpose being to buy milk. You guessed it, I came home with other stuff but not the milk.

All day my subconscious was nagging at the edges of my memory, there was something I was supposed to do after work on Monday. I couldn't get it in focus in my mind and it was driving me crazy.  I picked up Christian, went home for supper, then to do laudry.  It was when I picked up a beach towel to put in the washer that it hit me.....swimming lessons!  Swimming lessons are on Monday nights and I totally forgot!  I said, "Oh!  I forgot your swimming lessons were tonight!"  With a disappointed voice, he said, "oh Mommy."  I felt terrible.  Of course, like most toddlers, he kept bringing it up over and over throughout the evening.  I even have it written in my calendar, but it does help if you look at the calendar.

So with my recent experiences, the odds are I will forget to take something to my family's for Thanksgiving.
My guardian angel's wings are frayed from flapping so hard lately :)

I am most thankful for my family and especially my miracle, Christian.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, safe travels.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Best Birthday

I had the best birthday ever on Tuesday!
Before Christian went to bed Monday night, I told him it was Mommy's birthday the next day.
He was SO excited and within two seconds had it all planned out.  In his jumbled speech, he told me that after I pick him from school, we were having a party with pizza, cake and balloons.  The squealed, clapped his hands and chanted, "party! party!" jumping up and down in his bed. I was sure I messed up telling him right before he went to bed, that he'd be thinking about it and not fall asleep.  Thankfully he did sleep :)

The next morning when I woke him up, the first thing he said was, "Mommy's birthday today, party!" and gave me a huge hug.  A precious moment for me. He chattered nonstop through breakfast and the ride to school.  When I was leaving school, he excitedly showed me to the door and said, "you go to work, come back soon, we go home for your birthday party."  He was excited like it was his own birthday again.  Come on, let's face it, at my age you don't like to count the years anymore :)

I was pleasantly surprised at work several times.  The day before my birthday I got a small box of Godiva chocolates, the only way to start off a birthday. A co-worker bought a tasty chocolate pecan coffee cake type of thing which was SO good!  I got several cards and a wonderful smelling candle. Too bad we can't burn candles at work but I lit it up as soon as I got home. Then we had a vendor luncheon and they brought a cake and huge helium balloon for me. That cake was the best thing I have had in years....seriously!  It was from Schnucks grocery store; chocolate cake with milk chocolate icing (a layer inside) then covered in dark chocolate ganache.  Yes I heard you sigh.  There was some left, so I went home with 2 out of 3 things Christian wanted for my birthday.

At school they helped him make a paper cake for me for my birthday.  The shape of a cupcake was cut out in construction paper and he added the paint.  He ran to me with it, he was so proud of his artwork and of course I gushed over it.  The rest of the kids made a construction paper card for me which was wonderful and the owner videoed them singing Happy Birthday to me and emailed it.  A couple of the kids said, "Happy Birthday Christian's Mom," to me too.  Then Christian about jumped out of his skin with excitement when he saw the huge balloon in the car.

He played and played with the balloon until I had to practially pry it out of his hands to eat dinner.  I found a candle in the cupboard, put it on top of a slice of the cake for us to share. He had been singing the Happy Birthday song to me, well as best as he can, which of course sounded perfect to me.  So I got the video camera, set it at the end of the table.  I lit the candle, he sang to me and we blew it out together, ending with him throwing his arms around me for a hug that I will remember forever.  We proceeded to devour the cake, with me fending off his roving spoon which constantly headed for the pile of icing.  I could just see him getting sick, eating just the icing!  I usually don't get excited about my birthday at all, but Christian's innocent ecstatic excitement for me grabbed my heart.  The best birthday I have ever had :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Photos, Sick and Swimming

We've been so busy lately!  Sorry for the delay in posting.
Saturday morning we went to an event and had our Christmas photos taken.  As expected, Christian was busy checking out the lights, chairs, backdrop, you name it.  We had three people behind the photographer making faces, telling him to say "cheese," "three", anything to make his mouth form like a smile.  He did smile some and I just hope the photographer caught at least one good photo that I will be able to use for our Christmas cards.

He did look very handsome in his dress clothes. I had such a hard time deciding what I wanted the photo to be: formal dress clothes, casual jeans and sweater, pj's with a stuffed animal, on and on my mind raced, trying to think of the perfect fit for us. I decided to go with the formal dress clothes so then the challenge began to see what we already had that would look right and what, if anything, did I have to buy.  I needed a sweater for Christian and shopped all Friday afternoon (yes I waited until the last minute).  I finally found a cute sweater at a store called "Once Upon a Child."  People had told me about it and I hadn't had the chance to go there yet and I was happy I did. The red long sleeved knit sweater had off white strips at the sleeve ends and around the crew neck.  It had an off white band with black snowflakes that went across the chest and around the back.  He had black cordurory pants and I had to buy a black turtleneck. He looked so grown up in his dress clothes and thought he was handsome, he kept looking in the mirror :)

I ended up having a migraine that stretched from Friday to Sunday, which was not fun at all. I managed to get us to the photos during a short migraine reprieve and then it subsided enough for me to take Christian to the park Sunday late afternoon. Whenever he slept, I slept. Thank goodness he didn't wake up in the middle of the night last night to ask me to cover him up with his blankets, which he usually does twice a night. I think getting a full uninterrupted night's sleep helped me alot!

Tonight was our second night of swim class where he's in the pool by himself. He had been talking about it all weekend and this morning, telling me he was a big boy because he swam by himself.  He runs up to the building, jumps around with so much excitement I could barely get his swimsuit on him and races out the door to the pool.  He wanted to get in immediately, but another class was finishing, so we had to wait. That was our undoing, the wait. By the time his class was ready to begin, he did NOT want to get into the pool. Once again, it took about 10-15 minutes of coaxing before he would get in, and even that was under a little bit of protest.  He finally enjoyed it but would suddenly look at me, start crying and wanting out of the pool.

Now the class guidelines say that sometimes it's best if the parent is not in sight, and then the child does much better. I just can't bring myself to have him out of my sight while he's in the pool because I am so nervous he will go under the water and the instructor won't see him because she's working with the other kids.  I've gotten reassurances from other parents, but nothing's been said to make me stay away from that pool.  I hope he does better next week, but if he doesn't, he's at least getting in the water for a little while which is a tremendous thing in itself due to his complete terror of water when I first brought him home. 

He's progressing in everything by leaps and bounds and I am so proud of him. He's talking better every day, learning his letters and numbers and I've noticed he's making up stories about his toys, using his imagination. It is all so intriguing to experience the world all over again through his eyes.  He has my heart :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sick, Swim Class, Con Artist

Christian wasn't feeling well over the weekend.....it was a loonnggg weekend!
On the up side, I did get alot of my cabinets cleaned out and organized when he was sleeping.
He felt good enough Monday evening to go to swim class.  This is the next class up from the Mommy and Me class we finished a few weeks ago.  However, he is in the water by himself, with the other kids and teacher. I told him about it and he was adamant that I be in the water with him.  I tried the old, "Oh you're such a big boy now, you can swim without Mommy," routine, but he wasn't buying it.  This went on all weekend.  We would be reading a book or watching Benji (which by the way I was ready to snap that DVD in half, we watched it so many times) or coloring and he would pop up and say, "Mommy in water with Christian."  I decided that talking about it to prepare him so he would know what to expect wasn't the correct approach, so I just didn't answer and redirected the conversation.

I picked him up from school last night and the first thing out of his mouth was, "going swimming, Mommy in water with Christian."  Deep sigh, this class was going to be a challenge. I kept telling him how fun it was going to be with the other kids and he slowly started believing me.....at least that's what I thought.  He started saying, "Christian swimming, Mommy not in water."  So I took that as a good sign, wouldn't you???

He ran up the sidewalk, repeating his mantra the whole time, so excited to go swimming.  He rushed to get his suit on and ran to the pool.  We had to sit on the side and wait for about eight minutes, which made me nervous because I thought he'd change his mind.  We watched some kids on the swim team, who were laughing and having fun, and I told him that he was going to have fun like that.  He was bouncing around, smiling and chattering a mile a minute about how much fun he was going to have. YAY.....not so much.

The teacher started the class, there were only two other kids who were about 5 yrs old.  Christian moved to go into the water by the steps like we did in the other class and the teacher told him not to, but to come around to where she was.  That was all it took. He was embarrassed which turned to stubborness and he wouldn't move, he was like a 100 pound concrete statue, with a vise like grip on the railing.  I could not budge him unless I wanted to pry his hands off the railing, which I'm sure someone would have called DCFS on me.  I tossed out my best lines at trying to convince him to get into the water, but he would have none of it. The teacher tried too, but I knew that wasn't going to work because he'd never seen her before.  So the class started, with us on the sidelines, and me getting wet from the kids splashing me. Note that I am in regular clothes,  not swimwear.  Slowly, inch by inch, I managed to nudge him closer to the pool edge.  I even sat on the wet edge so he would sit beside me.  His feet were now inches away from the water and 10 minutes have passed.  Then the teacher blew it!  She came up to him, moved like she was going to pick him up, and he shot to his feet, spun around, and clamped onto the railing again.  Deep sigh.

So I started the process over again, 5 minutes later the teacher brought out this red foam floating board thing that was shaped like a gingerbread man. Christian wanted to play with it so bad and I told him he had to get into the water first.  He rushed to the edge, hands outstretched to the toy, and before he could change his mind, I picked him up and just about tossed him to the teacher, who quickly laid him on the toy and pulled him around.  He screamed for about 5 seconds and then it turned to laughter. The tide had turned! He stayed in the water the rest of the class and did everything the teacher said.  I was so nervous when they went out to the middle of the pool because he's not too steady yet in the pool and I was scared he would slip off the noodle he was hanging on, go under, and the teacher would be busy helping the other students.  I actually had this dream, so I made sure what I wore wouldn't matter if it got soaked with chlorine pool water, in case I needed to make a splash down to save him :)  But all went well and he chattered all the way home about what a big boy he was that he went swimming, "all by myself."

Tonight he came and laid down on my lap asking for me to rub his back.  A few seconds later, in a softer voice, he asked for a blanket.  Another few seconds, voice softer yet, came a request for a pillow.  He head was turned to the side on the pillow so I saw the sly little dimpled grin when he practically whispered in a weak like tone, "orange juice." HA! HA! HA!  The little con artist!  We laughed so hard and then he kept saying, "orange juice," to make me laugh.  I've never heard him laugh this hard before, all I could do was stare at his beautiful face, a huge smile spread across my own face, while the warmth and love filled my heart for him. It's moment's like those that I wish would go on forever.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

1 yr Post Adoption Evaluation

We're set for another year!  We had our 1 year post adoption evaluation yesterday morning.  The social worker intern arrived at my house first, 15 minutes late, only to find the main social worker wasn't here yet.  So I tried to chat with her but she was such a shy nervous sort of person, so it was difficult.  This was the one time I wasn't annoyed with Christian constantly interrupting :)  The main social worker arrived about 5 minutes later and we sat down for the session.

She referred to my 6 month report, asked the same questions to compare and see what has changed.  She asked stuff like how's his development, eating, sleeping, interaction with friends/family, how's school going, etc. She also asks how I am doing with this life change, do I make time for myself, how's my support system working, etc.  In between all these questions was Christian tugging on my hand wanting my attention. He's not used to not having me all to himself at home. He would stand in front of me, pull on my cheeks so I would look at him, all the time saying, "Mommy, me. Mommy me."  I would stop and see what he wanted and then go back to the discussion.  The social worker, being a parent herself, understood and was very patient and understanding with the interruptions.

Then it hit me, as we like to call it in my family, the "green fog."  A sharp, nostril burning smell that started as a slow creep but quickly changed and attacked my senses.  Christian had pooed his diaper...BIG time!  I didn't think it had wafted to the visitors yet, so I felt like I had a few more minutes to finish answering questions in this particular category.  The category ended and the social worker told me it was fine with her to take a break and change him.  YEAH, I'm sure it was for her, I think I saw stinging tears in her eyes from the green fog!  Of all times to have one of his smelliest BM's.....nice.

At the end of the question session, she told me it appeared like we were both doing well and that she was happy for us.  ~deep sigh~ relieved.  I don't know why I get nervous with these meetings, it's not like they're going to take Christian away from me.  Of course if I was a psycho or abusing him, then that would be different.  But I did take a deep breath and sag against the door when they left.  Now we only have to do two more evaluations; next year for the 2 yr mark, and the following for the 3 yr mark.  I better coach him before the meeting next year because he'll be able to talk better and who knows what he'll say :)

It's hard to believe on Nov. 29th, one year ago, I was standing in a Russian court room, my whole body shaking and me praying the judge would say yes.  She did and my sweetie bug, dream come true, was rocking in my arms tonight before bedtime.  God is good!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Christian loved trick or treating!  We went to my parent's house (the town I grew up in) for the weekend to celebrate my Mom's birthday and trick or treat.  My 11 yr old niece let us tag along with her and she was so patient and nice to help Christian go from house to house.  We piled into my sister's SUV and headed out.

The first several houses were "one stoppers", meaning they hit one house, got back into the car so we could drive to another and so on.  We made it to a part of town where multiple houses had their porch lights on so they hit 3-4 houses before getting back into the car. The first time we hit the multiple houses, my sister slowly drove the car up to the farthest house to wait for the kids. Christian heard the car, looked back and panicked.  He thought we were leaving them and starting crying and calling for me.  I got out of the car, went to him, picked him up to assure him that I would never leave him.  Then I ended up having to go up to every house with him after that, which I didn't mind, because I could see the people's faces when they opened their door to a little green tree frog.

We had practiced saying, 'trick or treat,' and 'thank you', and he did great!  I was busting with pride, he was so cute.  Whenever we got back into the car, I would inspect the latest loot to see what "we" got.  Now being the good mother that I am, I can't let him eat all that candy by himself, he would be sick :)  He wanted to eat a piece every time he left a house, so I had to keep distracting him. Thank goodness we didn't go to any houses that were too scary because I'm pretty sure Christian would have freaked out.

We went back to my parent's house to pack up and head back home.  Christian's pumpkin bucket of candy barely touched the table when my Dad grabbed it up and started pawing through it.  I asked him what he was doing and he said, in an excited voice, "we have to get all the candy out of here that has nuts because he's allergic to nuts."  Now I know my Dad loves Christian, but his excitement wasn't from concern but like a little boy who had hit the motherload!  I told him that Christian might not be able to eat it but I could.  He sheepishly said, "oh ok," and retrieved his hand. I gave him some anyway, it was so funny!

The drive home was tough, I was so tired, it was dark and raining.  I put the candy bucket in the front with me because I thought Christian might help himself and either get sick or choke on something.  Now I had the best of intentions, which was to make it home in one piece. That meant I HAD to eat some candy to stay alert while driving.  When we got home, I looked down in the cup holder in the console and saw how many pieces I had eaten.....WOW!  But hey, the good news is, we made it home safe and sound.

I've attached a few photos of my little tree frog :) He didn't want to take it off, so if you see this green frog in front of a Christmas tree, don't be surprised :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Can you believe it's the end of October already?!?!?!?
Tuesday found us at the pediatrician for Christian's 3 yr old checkup and next round of immunization shots.
In his usual fashion, he was a calm cooperative boy when the medical student did his evaluation.  The poor doctor gets him after he's wound up, loudly chattering and grabbing my face to pull it toward him for my attention.  She is SO patient and we just talk louder, otherwise the usual two hour appointment would probably last four hours.

She did a developmental assessment to evaluate how much he has progressed since being with me and what needs work.  She was trying to get him to do some actions and say certain words and to my frustration he wouldn't cooperate, but instead wanted to run around the room and climb up and down from the exam table.  The doctor needed to see if he could jump and get his feet off the floor.  She demonstrated for him, but he wasn't buying into it.  Then the medical student and I started jumping, telling him it was a game, trying to coax him into action.  The look on his face was hysterical!  He was looking at all of us like we had lost our minds and I'm sure it did look like that :)  With no results, she moved on to ask me some questions and when we ignored him, he started hopping around the room like a rabbit and then wouldn't stop.  Wouldn't you know it.

She asked if he could turn the knob on the door. At first he couldn't get a grip because he was on his tiptoes and his hand is almost too small, but he managed to get it opened. Then THAT became a game, opening and closing the door. Then he opened the door, took one glance back, and disappeared down the hall. The medical student looked at me and said, "don't worry, he's just outside the door," like he was trying to reassure me.  I chuckled and said, "oh no, he's down the hall by now." That guy jumped up so fast, dashed out the door, and seconds later Christian came barreling back into the room.  I was exhausted by now.  For some reason, when he goes to the doctor's office, he acts like he's been pumped full of sugar or something.

So after several other "tests" the doctor had him do, and asking me alot of questions, she gave me the rundown on the status of his development to date.  His writing skills are still behind; doesn't hold the pencil with correct form and doesn't mimick the action when you draw a line, circle or X.  His language, as expected, still needs to improve but he should be farther along than he is right now.  Due to the lack of proper nutrition in the orphanage, his physical coordination is behind, but the doctor assured me with more time it will improve to normal levels.  Because of his delayed language pronunciation, his maturity level is still behind, but has improved.  So this area just needs more time too. Everything else was good!

He got his last round of immunization shots, so he's caught up and won't need the last group until he turns four.  Because our appointment was at 2:30, he didn't get a nap, so he finally crashed toward the end of the appointment.  The nurse gave him the two shots while he was still asleep, but of course they woke him up.  Later that night he was fine as well as the following day.  But this morning I noticed that the leg where he got the shots was really swollen, like 1/3 the size bigger than the other leg.  Uuummm, not so sure that's a normal thing.  I called the nurse this morning, told her about his leg and that he doesn't have a fever.  She said some swelling is normal and maybe the nurse hit the muscle just right to cause additional swelling.  As long as he doesn't have a fever, she said he's fine, but if anything changes tomorrow, I'm supposed to call back and they need to see him.  Tonight at bathtime his leg looked a little less swollen, so I hope that's true and not just wishful thinking on my part.

So we have been working on pronouncing words more clearly and deliberately.  I also need to put away his trucks and try to get him to do more coloring, drawing and writing to improve those small motor skills. So far the language he's been cooperative but the reduction of truck playing isn't going as easy :)  I signed him up for swimming lessons again to help strengthen his legs and am considering a six week/2 hr/once a week soccer camp, but haven't made a final decision.  The cost is a little high for me right now, so I might wait for the January session and then swimming will be over.  Now that the weather's going to be getting colder, he won't be able to play outside at school as much, and I want to keep him active.  Heck, I need to get more active.....maybe they'd let me run around with him at soccer :)

So in six months we will have another evaluation with the pediatrician and I pray it's moving in the right direction.

Monday, October 24, 2011

No Pee on Tree

Well I got a laugh tonight!  Christian is talking much better but it sometimes still takes some probing and guessing to figure out what he is saying. Tonight was one of those times.

He was saying what I thought was, "pink tree", which made absolutely no sense at all.  Then the name of one of the boys at school entered into the phrase, which I could clearly understand.  I kept saying things like, "pink tree? climb tree? pretty tree?" hoping I would eventually hit on the right one.  I kept having him repeat it, which made him huff in frustration. He paused, gazed off into space, and I could almost hear him thinking out loud, "how can I make her get what I am saying, what's wrong with her hearing."

After this pause, he said very clearly, "pee in toilet, no tree."  My eyes widened and I threw my head back and laughed because I figured out what he was trying to tell me.  The boy at school peed on the tree and the teacher told him they only pee in the toilet!  I said this to Christian, his face broke into a smile because I finally got it.  Then he said, " (boy's name) peed on a tree. Only pee in toilet."  Then he quickly and firmly said, "I peed on toilet, not on tree." GOOD BOY!  I can just picture it, they're all outside playing and this kid figures, what the heck, and does his business.  It cracks me up, you just never know what will happen in a preschool :)

We've been super busy this past week and weekend.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, I'm watching the World Series.  GO CARDINALS!!!!!!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Circus, Bonfire, Pictures

We had a fun jam packed weekend! We met my sister Beth to pick up her daugher Abby to come to our house and spend the night. Christian had fun with her and after he went to bed, Abby and I watched "The Goonies".  I haven't seen that movie in ALOT of years!  Thankfully Abby was tired at 10:00 like me, so we went to bed.

Saturday morning we headed out to swimming lessons and Abby did a great job taking photos and video of Christian and I in the water.  The water was a little cool, but I didn't think too bad, but Christian acted like he was freezing!!!  Afterwards, he ran to the locker room and a blast of air conditioning hit us when the door opened. He screamed, "COLD! COLD! COLD" and started crying and I admit it WAS cold!  I stripped him out of his wet clothes as fast as I could and Abby quickly wrapped the towel around him.  He kept wanting me to hold him and didn't understand when I was telling him being against me, who was wet, would make him colder. He was clutched to me and I had to peel him off of me to get him dried off.  I finally got his dry clothes on and he calmed down.  Then I rushed to get changed because by now I was freezing!  I need to think of a plan for next time :)

Off to home we go to get cleaned up and wait for Beth to come to our house.  After lunch we headed to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus.  We had pretty good seats and Christian's eyes were glued to every event!  He LOVED the elephants, horses and tigers!!!  He got a little bored with the gymnasts and believe it or not, the clowns, but did a great job of waiting for something else to happen that he liked.  I haven't been to the circus for many many years and I loved it too!

After the circus, Beth and Abby left and we took a nap.  Then for dinner we headed to a friend's house for a cookout/bonfire.  It was a beautiful night and I managed to keep Christian from falling into the bonfire :)  He feel asleep about five minutes into the car ride home.

Sunday we went to have his three year old photos taken. He did ok, as good as a three year can do. They had some props but some of them were too hokey for me and a few I went ahead and did because they really wanted to use them. I felt he wasn't really naturally smiling and we had to take a few breaks because he wanted to run around.  I was worried they weren't going to be very good but set my mind that no matter what, I had to buy some to mark his third year.  To my delight and dismay, there ended up being quite a few good photos!  I was happy I had some good ones to purchase, but dismayed because it was so hard deciding which ones :)  I came home with a good group of photos and am now off to search for any picture frames I have. I can't wait to put them up!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ducks, Ducks and MORE DUCKS!

Tuesday after school and work, we headed to the park to feed the ducks. I only had two pieces of bread left, so off we went hoping to find a couple of hungry ducks.  It was a beautiful day, so the park was full of kids on the playground, people walking and running, people fishing in the pond and a group hanging out in a pavillion laughing it up.

Christian "beat me" racing down the grassy hill and I had to pick up the pace to catch him before he barreled into the pond. We found a spot with four ducks and got situated to feed them.  Two were large white ducks and the other two were brown-ish ducks. Sorry but I'm not up on duck types, so all you get is a basic color description.  I tore off a small piece of bread, tossed it in the water and the ducks scrambled for it.  Christian squealed in amazement and quickly snatched up the bread to have his turn. He reared back and threw it as hard and far as he could.  The piece of bread sort of floated on the air and lightly landed a few feet from Christian on the water, to be abruptly inhaled by one of the large white ducks. 

Now this large white duck appeared to be the boss in the group and it was letting itself be heard, honking very loudly.  We took turns throwing the bread pieces, trying to toss them to each duck separately because the "boss" was being rude, strong arming to get all the bread.  Christian would throw the bread with all his might and was getting closer and closer to the edge of the pond.  I held onto the back of his shirt because I wasn't in the mood to go in the murky fishy water after him if he fell in.  As I was standing there watching him and listening to the honking boss duck, I glanced over my right shoulder to see three ducks motoring briskly from across the pond toward us.  I mean they were hauling tail with their heads down making wakes in the water, determined to reach their goal.....the bread.

So they arrive, much to Christian's delight, and were included in the bread tossing rotation.  Only a few minutes later I look over again and here come a whole fleet of ducks.  They were like little missles, aimed at us, propelling at a rapid pace to reach our side of the pond.  I told Christian to look up and he excitedly said, "Oh!. Oh! Oh! Look, more!!!" as he wildly pointed and jumped up and down.  Here I am thinking I should have brought more bread.  They arrived in all their honking glory and joined the full body contact to get the bread.  They were so funny to watch! We finally ran out of bread and they all just sat there looking at us as if they were saying, "are you kidding me, there's no more?"  The a dad who was carrying his little girl on his shoulders walked along side the pond, the girl told him loudly, "look, ducks!"  I swear, all the ducks turned in unison and motored toward them, thinking they had food.....they did not.  So next time I have to take more bread and a leash to keep Christian from falling in :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Christian can sing his ABC's!  He makes a few mistakes, like he runs the letters LMNOP all together, but most kids do that for awhile.  He is so proud of himself and I'm making a big deal out of it, so he wants to sing it over and over again. He gets better and more clear each time!

Sorry this entry is so short (or maybe you're glad it's so short!) but I have a migraine starting and need to get to bed.  Good night.

Friday, October 7, 2011


The other night we went for a walk, checking out all the Halloween decorations on people's houses and enjoying the incredible weather.  We stopped to swing for a little bit in the back yard and then decided to pull a few weeds before we went inside for the night.

We were pulling away and chatting away, when I pulled up a huge clump off weeds and a snake slithered out. I, of course, screamed and was up and out of that flower bed in a flash!  Christian was crouched beside me and moved as fast as I did saying, "Oh, Oh, Oh!"  He didn't even see the snake but reacted to my reaction.  I told him it was time to go inside, he asked why, and I told him I saw a snake and it freaked me out.  He was saying, "snake freaked Mommy out," over and over that night.  Poor kid is going to grow up a sissy because of me :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Our neighbors have two dogs, Cletus and Remy.  Cletus is a brown, tall and lanky hound dog that is around four years old.  He was an adorable puppy tripping over his long floppy ears, looking up at you with that brown eyed sad face.  He would let me pet him when he was a puppy, but as he grew, he wouldn't let me anymore.  He would just jump up on the fence, throw his head back and give me that mornful sounding howl. When I would walk to the fence and try to pet him, he ran to the center of the yard but kept howling at me. I was disappointed because he was such a loving little puppy.

Remy came into their family about two years ago.  Cletus took to this pudgy white lab and they played nonstop. Now whenever we're out in the yard, or walking to the trash cans, they both bark their heads off at us, which at first terrified Christian.  But we played alot in the yard over the summer, and even though the dogs didn't get used to us and kept barking, Christian became more at ease, though wouldn't get close to the fence.  I was continually telling him that the fence it too high for them to jump over, he didn't have to worry, they would never get into our yard, and that I would never let them get him.  As the days went on, Christian was more and more at ease and has even said he wants to pet them, but when he gets near, changes his mind.

Fast forward to this past Sunday night. We got home from my parent's house around 6:00 pm and it was starting to get dark. I went out on the back porch to get something, looked out the porch windows out of habit and did a double take.  Was that Cletus IN my fenced in yard????  Now I sometimes say what I am thinking out loud, and I said, "Cletus, are you IN my yard?" like he was going to answer me. At the exact same second, Christian was at my side saying,  "see him, see him" and Cletus had bounding up the back steps to press his nose against the door window.  It scared the living hell out of Christian, seriously.  He let out a scream, clutched my leg pinching my skin, and was trying to pull me inside the house.  I felt SO bad for him!

We went inside, closed the door and he bolted into the dining room.  I picked him to hold him and he was shaking like a leaf.  I told him everything was ok, Cletus couldn't get into the house.  Now I'm sure if Christian could take more clear, he would say, "yeah right Mom, and you said he could never get into the yard either!"  After a few minutes he calmed down and started saying, "Cletus get out, MY yard!" So I joined in, making it a game, to keep him calm.  I wasn't about to go out there and try to manuever this big dog back into his own yard when I wasn't sure he wouldn't knock me down or even try to bite me. I decided to just leave him there, hope he didn't poop in the yard, and wait for the neighbors to get home.

I started cooking supper but Christian wouldn't even come into the kitchen, because you have to go through the kitchen to get to the back porch and then in the back yard.  After much cajoling, he came into the kitchen and we ate supper, but he didn't take his eyes off the kitchen window.  I guessed that Cletus had managed to jump up on a trash can they had by the fence and hoist himself over because the trash can was tipped over with everything spilled out.  After about an hour, I heard the neighbors pull up, went outside to tell them what happened and they were so apologetic.  They went into their back yard and Christian and I went back into the house to the back porch to watch the activity. They asked me to unlock the side gate so they could just walk him to the front of the house and inside.  I got the keys and because Cletus was right at the gate waiting to get out, I told them they had to hold him because I didn't want to get knocked down.

I decided because Christian was so anxious, that keeping him in my arms to unlock the gate was definitely not going to work.  I put him down on the back porch, told him to stay there and closed the door.  If Cletus got spooked, I didn't want him to bolt up the stairs into the porch with Christian, so the closed door would keep him blocked out.  Christian went into hysterics, literally!  I have never heard him scream so loud in such fear, it chilled my heart.  I ran to the gate, unlocked it as fast as I could, which wasn't all that fast because now it was dark and seeing the padlock wasn't easy.  The neighbors felt so incredibly bad, especially when Christian starting screaming, they kept apologizing over and over.  I got back inside and we spent the rest of the evening in the living room, the farthest room in the house from the back porch.

So now every night when we get home, Christian wants to drive down the alley to look in the back yard to make sure Cletus isn't there.  Just my luck, we had made good progress over the weekend with my sister's dog, Christian was petting and playing with her. Now I'm thinking this event may regress him a little.  I'm going to keep taking him into the back yard so he isn't afraid, like that whole, 'if you fall off a horse you have to get right back on,' concept.  Oh, I didn't find any poop either....YAY!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkins and Popcorn

We went to my family's this past weekend for my nephew's 14th birthday. We started the weekend with another successful fun swimming lesson on Saturday morning. Then we headed out on the 2 hour drive where I dodged being in an accident three times! People were driving crazy, not sure what was up with that.

My Mom, sister, niece, Christian and I went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday afternoon.  They converted a small barn in to a store with some decorative Halloween items, pumpkins, gords, indian corn, etc.  They had a couple of nice display settings outside where people were taking pictures of their kids.  There was a pony, two fainting goats and some hens in pens. They made a small hay bale maze for the kids and had a sandbox type of thing filled with corn which kids were going nuts in.  Then you could take a tractor/wagon ride around the gord and pumpkin patch, which Christian loved!

After the ride we grabbed a wagon, some clippers and headed out to the patch to find our perfect pumpkins.  Christian wanted to be in charge of pulling the wagon around, which he did great, until we put several pumpkins and gords in it and then it was too heavy for him to pull. So his backup plan was to ride in the wagon and got annoyed when he was told there wasn't room for him.  My niece walked all over the patch trying to decide which pumpkin she wanted.  We were all following her and Christian kept tripping on the vines and falling down. He would no sooner get up, take a few steps, and down he went again. He didn't get mad, just kept getting up and falling down and we got to laughing so hard at him! After we found our treasures, off we went to pay and head home.

Christian has been obsessed with popcorn lately, not sure why. He's only had it twice but apparantly loved it.  When we went into the store area to pay, he spied a popcorn machine where they were giving away free popcorn.  Of course we got some, he snatched the bag and took off, guess he thought he was going to have to share :)  He was standing watching the pony and goats when a little boy about 2 1/2 yrs old or so, came right up to Christian, stuck his hand in the bag to snag some popcorn. Christian freaked out and yelled, "no, no, MY popcorn!"  The boy took a step back when Christian was shaking his finger at him. I told Christian to be nice and while he was looking up at me, the little boy made his move again for the popcorn.  Amazed me actually and his mom was just standing there watching it happen.  Now I understand all about sharing but there are manners in there somewhere too, right???  I told Christian to give him some, he did and after turned and ran for Grandma yelling something.  Now you see, Grandma was the one that gave him the popcorn in the first place so he was going back to talk her into more.  He's a little charmer.

Christian has asked me the last several days to "open" the pumpkin.  I told him we can't or they will get icky and we'll have to throw them away.  Then he picked up the little one and beat it on the ground. I asked him what he was doing and he said "opening the pumpkin."  Not sure how long they'll last with his determination!
I am going to carve them closer to Halloween and can't wait to see his reaction when he sticks his hand inside!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Random Stuff

So here's some random things that have happened or thoughts.

1. Christian can now count to 10.
2. Elmo has moved to the top of the list as the favorite.
3. Benji is old news, thank goodness, I was so sick of watching the movie over and over and over and over..
4. Christian wanted to stand on our cat Zeke's paw.  I told him no, he would hurt the cat very badly, but he kept chasing him around the house and when Zeke would stop, he would make a move to stand on his paw. Nothing I said would make him stop, so I put my foot on his with enough pressure to make him uncomfortable.  He didn't like it and I told him that Zeke wouldn't like it either.  Zeke is not being chased anymore
5. Christian lined up all the bath toys on the top edge of the tub.  Then he decided they all needed a drink and I ended up mopping up the flooded floor.
6. I let Christian lock the car with the remote about a week ago.  I showed him what button did what, one time, and he remembered it. Monday after school we stopped at the grocery store. I gave him the remote to unlock the car and he climbed in while I put the bags in the back. I went around to buckle him in and held out my hand for the keys/remote.  He adamantly told me "no, I do it, close the door."  Yeah, like that's going to happen.  I may do some dumb things, but I wasn't about to leave my keys with my 3 yr old, inside the car, and close the door. I had a flash of the police and/or fire department showing up to unlock the car because Christian wouldn't.  He wasn't too happy with me when after much talking,  I ended up having to pry the keys out of his hands.
7. Christian was going to get his 3 yr old photos taken last Sunday, but a fall resulting in a bite lip the day before produced a purple fat lip Sunday morning.  So the photos were cancelled and we'll try again another day. It's always something :)
8. Christian was mad at me a couple of weeks ago because he didn't want to do what I told him. I slid off the sofa, made a pouting mad face and said, "I'm going to Grandma's!"  I told him, "good luck with that, she lives a 2 hr car ride away, so you'll be walking for days."  So he opted instead to talk to her on the phone :)
9. So potty training is an interesting experience.  He has the pee part down, let's me know when he has to go, does and usually doesn't wet the pull up diaper.  The poop on the other hand is getting out of control.  The pull up diapers do not hold the weight of the poop very well, plus the secure tabs aren't as tight so his pants push the diaper down on his butt.  This means that when he poops, it goes everywhere, and I do mean everywhere; up and out the top onto his pants; out the sides onto his pants; etc.  The other day he had to change his pants three times and when I picked him up, he had messed on pant #4.  Two shirts were also changed due to the top side explosion getting on the shirt.  I am doing SO much laundry and instead of having two changes of clothes in his bag at school, I now have four.  It just sort of baffles me.
10. Christian now kneels at the pew when we enter church without me reminding him.  He also can almost say the meal time prayer by himself too. Very proud mommy :)


Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Cardinals Game

After another successful swim class, Christian went to his first MLB game, the St. Louis Cardinals.
He had a blast!
A project team at work got a reward and were invited to the game in the company suite box.  Christian and I walked the six blocks, in the beautiful weather, to the stadium. The second we entered the suite, his energy switch flipped on.  He was so overstimualted and was having the time of his life.  I got him to sit still long enough to get a hot dog, some chips and a cookie down him.  Then we was all over the place, entertaining everyone, or at last I hope he was entertaining them and not annoying them!

He stood at the rail to see the field for a few minutes at a time and in between he was running back and forth.  The husband of the Project Manager, and also my friend, played with him alot and Christian loved it! He was laughing so hard.  Then he got comfortable and thought it would be ok to slip under the railings between the suites and go visit the neighbors. I ran around as much as his did trying to catch him before he disappeared or got into trouble.  A couple of guys told me that he was welcome to run around in their box.....that spelled trouble.  He was running from one end of the suite, out the balcony door, down two steps to the outside railing to watch the game for a few minutes....rinse...repeat.  He was doing ok but slowly picked up his speed which made him not as stable and coordinated. I saw an accident coming soon.

I stopped him mid stride, pulled him aside and explained to him that he needed to slow down and stop running down the stairs. I explained to him that if he fell, he would hit is head on the concrete ledge and get hurt really bad. He said,  "ok" and walked off instead of running, so I thought we were ok. Wrong.  The last few steps he ran, caught his toe on the top step, fell face forward, belly down and smacked his face into the concrete ledge. It was like slow motion to me and a bloody mouth with missing teeth flashed through my mind.  A man that was sitting on the top step, instantly picked him up and I was right there to take him. I rushed inside, looked at his mouth and saw blood and went to the back of the suite to inspect the damage.  He was screaming (as I would have been) and I managed to see that he had biten his bottom lip pretty bad, but no broken teeth, thank God!  My friend and another female guest were right there, handing me napkins and ice to put on it, but Christian fought that. Eventually he calmed down enough for us to get some ice on it for a minute or so and then we wanted down to run and play again.  Amazing!  I was shaken up but tried to remain calm and put out of my mind how much worse that fall could have been.

I've been told I am too smothering and should let him just run and play, which I have been trying to do. But I don't want him to get hurt and then this happens.  It's a delicate balance to find, wanting them to learn and be independent but at the same time anticipating those moments to intervene BEFORE the hurt happens.  It wasn't his first "owie" and won't be his last but that doesn't make it any less scary for me.

So he played some more and then started to get too rowdy and then came the not minding, being sassy which meant the naptime tired fit was going to make an appearance any minute.  And it did.  So we packed up to leave but I was so happy we got to go to the game and he did so good up until the top of the 8th inning.  The Cardinals were playing the Cubs, and managed to pull out a win at the bottom of the 9th, which we missed.  Darn! But we had a great time anyway.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eckert's Orchard Field Trip

Christian's preschool had a field trip yesterday to Eckert's Orchard. This place is unbelieveable!  It started as a self-picking orchard and pumpkin patch that grew into an "event place."  They have carnival rides, pony rides, petting zoo, corn maze, climbing forts, a tube slide buried inside a hill, pig races, huge jumping pillow, plus much more!  The kids had a blast!

We started off playing on the wooden fort which consisted of ramps, steps and cross walks. It had rained a bit before, so the ramps were a little slippery so some of the littler kids were scooting down them on their bottoms.  I let Christian go onto the fort by himself, but of course kept a close eye on him.  At one point, when the ramp was crowded with kids going and down at the same time, he got overwhelmed, started to cry and called out for me. I couldn't get through the wall of kids so I had to talk him down.  He made it down, got a hug and then went right back to it.  A few minutes later a group of older kids took over the fort.  They were pushing and shoving past the smaller kids. Christian got very overwhelmed this time, started really crying, calling out for me.  In the crowd of kids I lost sight of him but could hear him so I knew he was in the middle somewhere.  One of the teachers could see him from the other side and was trying to console him because we couldn't actually get to him. I saw her so I knew where he was.  I managed to catch his eye and talk him into weaving his way through the kids to me so I could lift him up and over the railing.  He was so done with the fort after that!

We moved on to ride the airplane ride then set off toward the petting zoo.  He walked right up to the fence, stuck his hand through and petted a goat.  I was so surprised after his incident at Grant's Farm with the crazy goats.  Then we moved on down the line to pet the camel.  It wouldn't cooperate and come close, so Christian decided to climb the fence to get closer. I reached down to get my camera, looked up and saw him going up the fence and raced over to get him down before either the camel took a bite out of him or we got evicted from the place. We then headed to see the pig races but they were in between races, so we moved on to the "Mine Slide."

This slide was awesome!  I wish adults could have gone down it because I would have been all over that. It was a tube built inside a hill that dumped out at the bottom.  I waited in line with Christian and made sure he didn't freak out and actually went down. He did so then I had to race through the people around the hill and down to get to him at the bottom.  He was standing there, looking around, and calling out, "Mommy, mommy." I got him and then we hiked up the hill which took the breath out of me.  Yes I need to get on the exercise train again.

We hussled to our scheduled time for the wagon ride out to the orchard. We headed for the Jonathan apple section and after going past four rows, found some trees with apples still left on them.  The first few apples I had to lift Christian up to get them, which he thought was fun.  Then another row over we found alot on lower limbs that he picked all by himself. The first one he pulled off, he got part of the branch with leaves still on it. He turned toward me with a huge grin on his face.  Of course when I wanted him to stay there so I could get a photo, he wouldn't smile.  After we filled up our bag, we dug one out and started chomping away. They are SO delicious!!!!  Back on the wagon we went for the ride back to the main area.

By now it was noon and he was hungry.  He ate the apple like he hadn't eaten for days.  When we finished the first one, he wanted another one and wasn't too happy with me when I wouldn't give it to him.  We had to wait for the others to get back from the orchard and to eat lunch, so we wandered around a little more.  Christian wanted to go down the slide again, which was by the pig races that I wanted to see, so we headed off in that direction.  They were in between pig races, again, so I guess I wasn't meant to see them.  I have never seen a pig race and was just imagining how funny it would be.

The second slide run was just as successful, he went down and loved it.  When I made it to the bottom of the hill, he was squatted down watching the other kids pop out.  A little girl came out and then who I am assuming was her mother, came next. (Darn! I didn't think adults were supposed to go down the slide or I would have!)  She was having a difficult time getting up so the little girl took her arm and was trying to help pull her up.  Well Christian loves to help, so he promptly took the woman's other arm and started pulling to. The lady started giggling, managed to get up with the "assistance" just seconds before another kid came sailing out of the slide tube.  A few kids came out in close succession so Christian turned and started toward me. One bigger boy pushed Christian to the side pretty rough and the another bigger boy pushed him again the other way.  Christian was fine, but tired, so the crying began.  Now I was not happy about this situation, and the two boys had to get past big momma to get out of the fenced area.  So when they got to me, I leaned down, eye to eye with me, and told them that it's not nice to shove smaller kids and to apologize.  With eyes round as saucers, they threw a nervous quick apology over their shoulders to Christian, darted around me and up the hill. With Christian being upset, he wanted me to carry him....UP the huge hill.  I was so out of breath by the time I got to the top lugging this 30 pound kid, I had to stop for a minute to catch my breath and get my heart rate down.  Pathetic I know.

We ate lunch, played on the John Deere tractor tire playground and started packing up to head home.  Now remember, Christian is tired, it's 1:00 and it's nap time, so when he was told he couldn't go on the airplane ride again, the "TT" (aka tired tantrum) began. He cried all the way out of the place and across the huge grass parking lot to the car.  As expected, he fell immediately asleep when we started driving.  He had the time of his life, heck so did I, that place is great!  I'd love to go back closer to Halloween to pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.  I've never done that, I've always bought mine at a store.  We'll see if we can get back there before the end of the season (and you can bet I'll be going down that slide!)  :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Loving Fall

Fall is my favorite season, although if it could stay lighter longer, that would be a bonus!
Every morning Christian as we go to the car, Christian has been saying, "cooler, cooler."  Yep it's cooler and we're loving it!  I am eagerly waiting for the leaves to change so we can take Sunday afternoon drives to enjoy them.

I bought his Halloween costume online, ordered the 2T and received a 12-18 month size. Even though the website had both sizes to select, they now tell me that they've never had the toddler size.  I sent it back, find the same one on another costume website. This site only had the 2T-4T size to pick, so I did......and I received another 12-18 month size today.  I am not happy.  I just sent an email inquiring if they have the 2T-4T size so I can exchange it. Oh, I forgot to mention that the confirmation email and shipping email both stated the size was a 2T.  Of course I have fallen in love with this costume and won't really be satisfied with a different one.

The first costume I got I tried on Christian anyway to see how "too small" it really was.  It was too small, not terribly so, but was visually obvious, plus I wouldn't be able to get a layer of clothes on underneath to keep him warm.  If the company says it's only available in the smaller size, then I'm going to keep it and see if I can modify it to fit him. I know a few people that can sew so that's a plus.  Sort of annoyed that I have to alter a new costume when I am lean on free time these days.  Oh well, it's all worth it because he looks adorable in it:)  Yikes!  I guess I could tell you all that it's a tree frog costume!  I figure next year he'll be 4 yrs old and then starts the, "I want to be Superman, Spider Man, etc..." and my days of "cute costumes" will be over. So I've got this one year to dress him in a costume that will embarass him years later :)

We got the all clear from the doctor this afternoon at his post surgery appointment. YAY!
Then he rode his scooter this evening and wrapped it up with some swinging time with me at the controls.
I have the day off of work on Friday, which I definitely need after all that's been happening, so tomorrow is my virtual Friday.  Yay for me :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Balloons, Zoo, Wedding, Birthday Party

Whew!  We were busy this weekend!
My sister called on Wednesday and said her daughter and she were coming to town to see the Forest Park hot air balloon glow and then wanted to go to the Zoo on Saturday morning.  So we trekked to the balloon glow and luckily enough the rain held off.  Beth and Abby absolutely loved the balloons and Christian eventually liked them. As expected he wanted out of the stroller and in the balloon baskets!  He finally understood what I was saying that when the horn blows, all the balloons fire up at the same time, creating an amazing sight.  His favorite was the Wells Fargo balloon, which had a team of horses on it :)  Of course he also like the popcorn bag and the Energizer bunny balloons.

We treated ourselves to an ice cream, sat on a blanket and waited for the fireworks.  It started sprinkling rain when the fireworks started and I had to wake up Christian because he fell asleep in my lap. The fireworks were good and the hike back to the Hardee's parking lot, where I took the chance to park, didn't seem that far.  As we walked up to the Hardees, we see a tow truck with two cars on it, drive by.  I had a sick feeling that my car was going to be gone and here I was with a sleeping child in a stroller, my sister and niece.  Abby ran ahead, around the corner and gave a shout out that my car was still there!  Whew!  I don't think I'll park there again :)

Saturday morning we headed to the Zoo and it was a beautiful day.  Christian and I had been there the Sunday before but missed a few animals, which we saw this time.  We also decided to visit the stingray exhibit. I laid Christian on his belly so he could lean over and reach the water.  The stingray swam by and swam by and swam by, none of them close enough to the top for him to reach them.  I tried to get him to reach down farther but he felt like he was going to fall in so he wouldn't.  My sister spotted a group along a farther wall where it curved in making a more narrow pass for them to swim through.  This made the stingray push each other close to the surface, totally within reach. So we squeezed in between a couple of kids and within 15 seconds, we had both touched a stingray.  Christian looked up at me with a huge surprised smile on his face. Then when he was looking the other way, a stingray swam under his hands that he had dangling in the water, causing him to jump so big, and then laugh.  My sister snapped some photos of us and I can't wait to see them. I am so happy I was able to give him that experience!

Home we went for a nap and my sister and niece headed back to their house.  The babysitter arrived and I went to a friend's wedding.  He did a great job, didn't get upset when I left and the sitter said he was fine the entire night. I had a good time at the wedding but kept checking my phone, but everything went fine.   When he woke up Sunday morning, he smiled huge at me, reached for me and said, "Mommy's back!"  I always say, "Mommy will be back," whenever I leave him, whether it be at school or wherever.  I think he finally understands and believes that I will be back.  I am so happy about that!

Then we went to a 3 yr old's birthday party that is the son of one of my good friends. There were some other small kids there too and Christian had a good time.  He actually petted their little dog so I think he's getting more comfortable. At first he thought the presents were for him and I was worried we would make a scene. But I calmly whispered to him that his birthday is over and now it's this little boy's turn to have a birthday.  He said, "ok," and sat calmly in my lap and watched the present opening. I was so proud of him.

We had a very busy, but fun weekend! We go to swim lessons again on Saturday morning and I hope he likes it as much as he did the first time. Off to do laundry....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pizza, Dog and Toys

Last night we had dinner with an good friend of mine and her 11 yr old son.  We made plans to go to Dewey's Pizza and when I told Christian this when I picked him up at school, he squealed and was saying, "pizza, pizza, pizza," as he was running out the door to the car. Everyone at school laughed, including me.
I was in a rush that morning and completely forgot his diaper bag that is my survival kit for him. It was the obvious diaper bag contents, along with crackers, fruit chews, extra napkins, bib, change of clothes, to name a few things. Typically when I pick him from school he's absolutely filthy, but we keep a couple of changes of clothes there for "accidents".  I figured my forgetting the survival kit would qualify as an accident, so I planned to rob his bag for a change of clean clothes.

I get to school and he's in one of the changes of clothes, not a good sign.  He had a potty accident, twice, along with some juice spills, so there was only the pair of red sweat pants and a white undershirt.  Now I do not like these red sweats pants at all, thus why they were in the school bag plus I had alot of plain white Tshirts, so I tossed them in there too.  This was all I had, which was bearable, except for the fact that I hadn't recycled the bag yet and these clothes are now too small.  So here he comes with bright red sweat pants that are about two inches too short, and a tight (not super white) Tshirt that is stretched over his little protruding belly.  If he was 40 yrs older, he could have passed for a bum guy sitting in a beat up recliner in the front yard drinking a beer.  You have the visual now don't you!

Keeping him entertained while we wanted for the pizza was going to be a challenge without the survival kit items. But my friend Kim and her son Ben saved us, they brought him two little cars to play with, which worked for a while. He got a burst of energy and was in the high chair, out of the high chair, rolling the cars across the table, around the plate, busy, busy, busy.  After we ate the pizza, which was SOOOO good, Ben took Christian over to the window that looks into the kitchen. You can watch the people making the pizza and the one guy by the window threw flour at the window like it was going to hit them in the face. Christian thought this was funny!  We were leaving and Christian decided to run a sprint, full circle, around all the tables in the place, with me chasing him and hoping I wouldn't fall down.  He was laughing, people were laughing and I finally managed to snag him before he found his way into the kitchen area, which believe me, if any kid could, it would be him :)

We went over to Kim's house after and played in the yard.  They have a little black dog, which I was wondering how Christian would react to. He always says, "pet the doggie," but when he gets close, he freaks out and wants "up".  Kim calmed the dog down and after a few minutes, Christian was on the floor petting him!  I was so surprised and thrilled!!!  He likes dogs but I think because they move fast, that's what freaks him out because when they sit still, he is fine with them.  Of course when the dog barked or did the little growl before they bark, the made Christian anxious but he didn't freak out. YAY, we're making progress in the dog category. Ben was so good playing with Christian.  Sometimes kids that age aren't interest in playing with little kids, but Ben was right there, showing him things and talking to him.  Christian loved it and kept saying over and over on the way home, "where's more Ben?"  Now "more Ben" means that Christian knows two Bens now, a 3 yr old at school and this new Ben.  I told him that one Ben was little and one Ben was big.  On the way to meet them, he was saying, "I meet big Ben." It made me chuckle because I was thinking of the clock tower, Big Ben, in London when he would say it.  Then he switched to saying "more Bens" and that's what stuck.  So Ben, you now have a nickname from Christian, "more Ben."  :)

After having fat free brownies with ice cream and chocolate sauce (come on, if you know me this isn't a shock), we headed to the "toy store" in the basement.  Christian was in heaven, all these new boy toys, he was picking up everything and couldn't decide what to play with.  Before I knew it, Kim was loading us up with some toys they no longer play with, which was awesome!  She gave us books (which I have already read three times now) , a Hot Wheels Halloween house (which I like playing with as much as Christian), a big easel, two kiddie folding chairs, board games, a HUGE space ship thing (that now has every small animal and person toy in it going to the moon), and a bug vacuum.  Now I had never seen this bug vacuum but Christian loves it!  Luckily I had batteries for it and we fired it up when we got home.  He wanted to sleep with it but I could just see him rolling over on the lever, it going off and scaring the crap out of both of us.  He was insistent on taking it to school today for Show-N-Share day. The teacher told me it was a big hit and every kid wanted to play with it. It was like Christmas last night at Kim's house!  Thanks Kim and Ben!!!!

I have to go check on Christian right now. I put the space ship thing in his room because I have no room in my living room. I'm sure he's out of bed playing on it....we'll see :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Swim Lessons and the Zoo

Christian did GREAT in his swimming lessons on Saturday morning. He loved it and did what the teacher told him to.  Surprisingly, he had trouble blowing bubbles and I realized that we've never really done that.  He loved every other part of the class, except when we got out and it was COLD!  Each child got a water toy, threw it out across the water and then swam to it.  After I showed him, Christian was the only one that  used both his arms and kicking his legs to get to the toy. Yes I was so proud :) We sang songs and did motions to them, like stroke your arms out front and kicking your legs. One song has us puting them on their backs but Christian wasn't too fond of this position because he couldn't see anything. Then they put their feet against the wall and pushed off backwards, of course they were partly rested against the parents.  They had us put them up on the wall and jump to us, which is great. However, they need to explain to the kids that they do not jump unless the adult says ready and is looking at the child.  Christian jumped once when I wasn't ready and I was just lucky that he overshot the jump and his feet hit my chest or I would have had to scoop him up from under the water.  Then I would be worried he wouldn't want to swim anymore. I might mention this to the teacher but I don't want to seem bossy.  Of course I did fully and seriously explain to Christian that he does not jump unless I say, "ready."

Then there was a song about popcorn, where we jiggled them around, back and forth and then tossed them in the air, keeping contact at all times.  Christian LOVED this and the concept of popcorn. He has asked for popcorn all weekend and of course I don't have any and didn't have time to go the grocery store.  The things that stick in their little minds fascinates me.

Sunday we went to early mass so we could get to the Zoo when it opened at 9:00.  The first hour the Zoo is opened, it is free to get into the Children's Zoo area.  We walked through the River's Edge area, that's like walking through a tropical rainforest, very cool!  Christian wanted to play in the waterfalls and couldn't understand why he couldn't pet the elephant. I think going to Grant's Farm first and getting to pet the goats has confused him and he thought we would get to pet the animals at the zoo.  I tried to explain it but it didn't register to him but he got over it pretty quickly.

We sat on statues for photos, saw a Sea Lion show that he could sit half way through, saw bears, penguins, puffins, etc. We rode the train, which thrilled Christian. Whenever we would stop at each train station to let people on or off, he would say quietly to himself, "come on, go."  Ummm, wonder where he's picked that phrase up :)  He sat like a big boy, didn't need to hold my hand, until we went through some dark tunnels and then I felt his little hand on my leg. Yes Mommy is still here, crammed into this hard little umcomfortable seat.  I really need to lose some weight!

After a small snack I brought with us, we made our way to the Big Cats area, my favorite part. Christian kept saying, "pet the kitty."  Yes they do look like REALLY big kittys but we can't pet these either.  He was ok with that. I was a little disappointed because most of the big cats were hiding in the shady areas so we didn't get to see them very well.  Then off to the monkey building. Monkey's creep me out, they are too human like for me. Christian loved how they were jumping and swinging around, I was glad they were active for him to see.  We walked right past the snake house, I just cannot go in there.  I felt bad because I want him to see everything he can, so when Aunt B and Abigail come to visit to go to the Zoo with us, they can take him inside.

I wanted his photo on the big gorilla statue (everyone who's been to this Zoo, knows what I'm talking about) but I couldn't find it. There is construction in a couple of areas and detours, so I missed it somehow and was too tired to go back and try to find it.  We'll be back to the Zoo again in the next couple of months, and I'll get our photo with the infamous gorilla then :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Long Short Week

For this week being short due to Labor Day, it sure seemed long to me!
Monday we did alot of yard work, alternated with swinging. I would trim the bushes and toss the branches on the ground. Christian would pick them up and put them in the wheel barrow....well at least most of the time.  When the new fun of this little task wore off, he would go play, only to return and toss a few more branches into the wheel barrow. When the wheel barrow was full, he would "help" me push it to the dumpster and then bummed a ride back to the yard in the wheel barrow.  Of course I was "sooo tired" that I couldn't drive straight, and was weaving all over the alley.  He loved it!

When he was bored, I would stop and swing him for awhile. This became our game: yard work for a little bit, swing for a little bit.  Worked out great for both of us plus I got a little break here and there.  Then lunch, nap and off to the park.  Now I know I am biased, but I think he does an exceptional job on the rock climbing wall thing that is attached to the playground unit.  He scrambles up it like a monkey while I stand behind him with my hands up ready to catch him.  Of course he wanted to swing and I talked him into using the "big kids swing", not the baby bucket swing, and he did great.  After he gets comfortable with it, I'll teach him to pump his legs to keep himself going.

A girl about 10 yrs old was on the teeter totter with her Dad, horsing around making it go high and jerky, trying to make each other fall off. Well it worked, except not as they wanted. The girl flew over the handle, landed on her face on the middle metal support rail.  When she came up she was holding her mouth. Her Dad pulled her hand away to see and it was full of blood and some missing teeth. Now I was about 15 feet away but that was close enough for me to gag when I saw the blood. Yes I am a huge sissy.

Tuesday night was preschool "Dinosaur room" orientation. Christian is transitioning from the 2 yr old Dinosaur room to the 3 yr old Butterfly room. They reviewed the policies and Yay, I'm doing everything right!

Thursday was a bad allergy day for Christian, he was miserable and grumpy. He was ready for bed at 7:30, so with the extra time I surfed the internet for Halloween costumes.  OMG!  There are SOOOO many adorable costumes I thought I was going to have a hard time deciding....well the prices helped me decide real fast! Holy cow, some of them are expensive if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, they are adorable and look like they are made very well, but $50 for a Halloween costume they will only wear for a couple of hours????  Sorry, not in my budget.  Of course I found the most adorable tree frog costume that I fell in love with, but at $45, it will not be purchased.  I looked for others similar, but when I get one in my head, all the others paled in comparison.  I did find one that was sort of close in appearance, and much cheaper, so I ordered that one. I figure I can add a few things to it and printed off the costume I really wanted for ideas.  We'll see if I can do it :)

Tomorrow morning is our first swim lesson. He has been doing well with water, so I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  As we move into fall/winter, rainy colder weather, he will be staying indoors at school more and more. I thought the swim lessons would give him some activity and work on his large motor skills. It's a beginning class for kids that have never been in a swimming pool (he's been in one time) and a parent has to be in the water with them.  Now my very pale lumpy body is going to be in a swimsuit with people I don't know! I apoligize to those people in advance :)  I hope Christian likes it and has fun. I'll keep you posted.