Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Changing My Name

We had a play date yesterday - bookstore story time and lunch at the playground.  (I say "We" because the truth is, the play dates are as much for me as they are for Dylan.  I NEED adult conversation once and a while!)  The other mom and I were discussing how exhausting four year olds can be.  I said, "When they are little, it is physically exhausting... carrying them everywhere, shadowing them constantly, lifting strollers and car seats into the car.  When they are four, it is MENTALLY exhausting... the constant motion, the constant chatter, the way they are constantly touching things they shouldn't be touching, the negotiating, the "Mom? Mom? Mom?...", the extreme amount of patience required to get through a day without going berserk".

It's true... Lately, I'm just exhausted.  The constant chatter and endless list of requests/demands is what wears me out the most.  This morning, Dylan was downstairs.  I had just gone upstairs to get dressed, when I heard "Mom?!  I need you!"  It happens constantly.  Usually, his urgent need is for me to help him get a toy down from a shelf, or he can't get a tower to stand up, or he has his shirt on backwards.  Not usually things he NEEDS me for at that exact moment.  So, I ignored him.  Seconds later, I cringed as I heard it again.  "MOM?!"  (I'm changing my name to "Goobersnickel".  At least when I hear it 10,000 times a day it might make me laugh).

"DYLAN!  COME UP HEAR AND ASK ME WHAT YOU NEED TO ASK ME!", I shouted.  (I yell a lot lately.  A complete loss of patience will do that to you).  I continued putting on my makeup, and heard "Well... I really can't do that".  I figured he was holding a tower up, or something, and just didn't want to come upstairs, so I just kept getting ready.  But, then I had that feeling.  You know the feeling, moms?  That feeling of dread, that suddenly overtakes you, when you instinctually know something isn't quite right?

I went down the stairs to find this...

The blind cord was completely tangled around his hand, cutting off his circulation and making red marks all over his skin.  I asked the idiotic question we all ask at times like these... "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!",  and got the answer we all know we're going to get... "I dunno".   Sigh.  After finally setting him free, I said, "Dylan, I'm going to go upstairs now, and finish getting ready.  Can you be good and not need me for 10 minutes?"  He answered in his sweetest voice... "I'll try... Goobersnickel".

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Letterbox 3

We decided to look for our third letterbox yesterday.  No one peed their pants and we found it, so I would consider it a success.  I remembered to bring the clues, the stamp, and the stamp pad, but forgot our book and a pen.  We’ll get it together eventually.

Can any of you local people guess where we were, based on the photos?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

First Swim Of The Summer

Dylan and I had a whole day of bonding on Tuesday, since Jim was going to see a movie after work.  I had a bunch of laundry that needed done, the house is a mess, and I should have pulled some weeds in the afternoon while Dylan took a nap.  But, then I realized that it is summer, and I needed to make the most of it.

I did have to go to the bank, and get a couple things at Target, but I made that fun by saying we could eat lunch at Target, and get some Popcorn!  (Isn't it evil how they pump the smell of popcorn through the whole store so it is almost impossible to resist?)  The popcorn kept him busy enough that I was able to shop without any whining and complaining.

Then, we went to the Pool for the first time this summer!  I haven't taken Dylan by myself since last year, and it was exhausting last year, but this time it was actually relaxing!  He can amuse himself in the baby pool, and he is able to touch in the shallow part of the big pool now, so I don't have to hold him and get bruised up by his flailing limbs.  As he enjoyed a Popsicle, he announced that it was "P" day with a huge grin - (Popcorn, Pool, Popsicle).  I declared that the day was "Pretty Perfect"!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Summer So Far

Man, June is flying by!  The summer months go so quickly, don't they?  This is what we've been doing so far...

The place we go for ice cream has a ton of flavors.  We've been sampling a lot of them!  Well, not so much me... I'm on a diet.  I've lost about 10 lbs!

Dylan loves water, but the sprinkler isn't his favorite.  He says the water is too cold!  Believe it or not, we haven't gone swimming yet this summer.  The weather hasn't been real cooperative.

You can blow bubbles in any kind of weather!

I've stuck to my pledge to try a new recipe each week this summer.  They've mostly been chicken recipes, since I'm always looking for ways to liven up chicken.  

"The Puppy" - We've done a few crafts, but not nearly as many as I'd like.

Last week, he went to Vacation Bible School at my parent's church.  It was a "cooking" theme.  There was a show for the parents with all 300 kids singing and doing motions to about 10 songs!  Wow, was it crazy, but the kids (including Dylan) did a great job.  I almost started crying, watching him on stage singing.  He just looked so sweet up there.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberries & The Magic Shirt

Jim and I took Dylan to Triple B Farms for their Strawberry Festival this weekend.  Knowing I was going to take a ton of pictures, I put Dylan in the only red shirt in his closet (red heads don't wear a lot of red).  I knew he wore the same shirt last time we went, so I was assuming that was last year.  But, I swore to Jim that it was two years ago!  He said there was no way Dylan could fit in a t-shirt he wore when he was 2...

(Psst... he is 2 in this picture...)

(Psst...he is 4 in this one...)

What can I say?  It is a magic shirt!  A magic shirt that just started working its wonders, because I got so many shots I love this year!  Then again, maybe he has just finally learned to smile, so the annoying lady with the camera won't drive him crazy all day.  Or, maybe, I just understand four year old humor?  "Say, Stinky Butt!... Say, Stink Burger!... Say, Banana Butt!" (whatever it takes)

What a fun place!  Besides picking strawberries, there is a hayride, 2 huge bouncy things, a playground, a rope maze, 2 slides, a tractor to sit on, a huge mound of hay to climb on, and every kind of strawberry themed food you can think of.

This is what we got.  So far, the strawberry cider was a hit, but the syrup on his waffles this morning was not.  Haven't tried the strawberry butter yet.

(I learned my lesson from 2 years ago, and took a water bottle to wash the strawberries off before eating them).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Earplugs Would Be Cruel, Right?

Summer is here.  The smell of sun tan lotion fills the air.  That... and the sound of my 4 year old's non-stop chatter.  It is one big run on sentence around here, and my ears are feeling... weak.  My two current personal favorites are when he says, "Mommy (or Mom, which he is sometimes now calling me - wah!), I have to tell you something".  Then, I sit, waiting expectantly while he tries to remember, or get out whatever supremely important thing he had to tell me at that exact moment.  "Uh... ummm... well... I...uh..."  Then there are "the jokes".  The jokes go on and on, something like this...
"Knock Knock?"
"Who's there?"
"Duck who?"
"The duck said 'Quack'!"
"Ummm.... okay".
"That's funny, right?"
Now, I have 3 choices.  One, laugh hysterically and act like that is the funniest thing I ever heard.  The problem with this option is that it will only make him tell me more ridiculous jokes.   Two, give a soft chuckle.  The problem with this option is that it will make him want to try harder to get a bigger laugh, which will make him tell me more ridiculous jokes.  Three, say, "That's not really funny".  The problem with this option is that he will be even more determined to make me laugh, so he will tell me more ridiculous jokes.  Help me please.

I'm going to need to sign him up for swim lessons very soon.  You can't talk underwater, right?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Seven Springs - Letterbox 2

Geez, where does the time go?  A whole week has passed already?!  We have been enjoying these wonderful days without rain!  Yesterday, we went to Seven Springs to ride the Alpine Slide, and to look for our second letterbox.

We picked the perfect day to go to Seven Springs - not too hot (82 degrees), and a day that wasn't crowded, (we were told June is a slow month for the resort).  We have been there on days that the wait for the slide was an hour!  That just wouldn't work with a very impatient four year old.  Yesterday, though, there was no wait!  First, Jim and Dylan went, and I stayed at the bottom, snapping pictures.  Then, Dylan and I went together, and raced Jim.

While at Seven Springs, we also played some games in the arcade...

Dylan got a little calculator and maracas with his tickets.  Immediately after that, we were walking up the steps, and he dropped one maraca, which bounced and fell down between the stairs and the wall.  One maraca - gone!  One kid - crying and making a scene!

We had some pizza for dinner, before trying to find the Letterbox for a SECOND time.  The first time was on the way in to the resort.  Dylan had fallen asleep, and was still sleeping when we pulled in to where we thought maybe the clues were leading us.  The clues were extremely vague, and mentioned "hopping a fence", which we assumed would be a short fence.  As it turned out, the fence was NOT short, and the area around the fence was covered with weeds, sticks, rocks, and possibly poison ivy?  I told Jim "Forget it!  There is no way we're doing this!"  So, of course, he went through the weeds, sticks, rocks and possible poison ivy to climb the ridiculous fence and disappear off into the woods, out of sight.  That is about when Dylan woke up and proceeded to have a panic attack.  "Where are we?...  WHERE'S DADDY?! ... WHERE IN THE WOODS?!... I DON'T SEE HIM!... WHY IS HE IN THE WOODS?... WAH!"  So, there I was at the edge of the fence, yelling, "JIM!  WHERE ARE YOU?!  COME BACK!  DYLAN IS FREAKING OUT!"  Fun times.  We decided to try again later.

The second time didn't go much better.  (There's no pictures of the letterboxing, because my camera ran out of battery).  We drove a little past the ridiculous fence, and saw a sign that I thought could be the sign we were looking for.  Then, we walked on a path, until we were supposed to look for a "large tree with a scar on the back".  Umm... all the trees were large, and all the trees were surrounded by woods and more possible poison ivy.  So, Jim was traipsing through the woods, while I screamed, "DYLAN!  NO!  DON'T FOLLOW DADDY THROUGH THE WOODS!  YOU MIGHT GET POISON IVY!"  So far, Letterboxing seems to result in a lot of yelling.  We never did find that darn letterbox, but we got to see a cool view of the resort, and I think we all successfully avoided getting poison ivy.  I'll call it a win.