Sunday, July 31, 2011

The New Restaurant In Town

At 4 1/2 years of age, Dylan's play is very creative.  Very, very seldom is something played with in the way it was intended to be played with.  This can be a good thing, but I have to admit, it can also drive a poor mom crazy!  You see, you just never know what crazy game you might be playing, and the rules seem to change by the minute.  It's hard to keep up.  Sometimes I just really want to sit down and play a board game or a game of cards, but that idea never seems to excite him.  I think I've also mentioned before that creative play tends to spread out and take over your home.  Sigh.

But, his newest obsession is one I'm pretty excited about - Dylan's "A Lot of Food Restaurant".  (He named it himself).  It is great practice for his spelling and math.  The ambiance isn't the best, but they do serve a lot of food.

The tables and chairs are a bit small for a 5'11" customer, but oh well.  Also, the floor isn't always the cleanest.  I'll have to complain to management.

Jim and I were long overdue for a date night, so we decided to try this new restaurant in town.  Jim had two pieces of pizza, a banana, and milk.  I had green grapes, black meatball pasta, and ice cream.  Our bill came to $32!  Man, eating out is so expensive these days.  Plus, they were out of "strong lemonade", and I really wanted some of that!

I think the owner is pretty darn cute, and I love his smile.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lucky For You, You Can't Experience the NOISE, NOISE, NOISE!

Dylan had "Go to the Science Center" on his To Do List for Summer.  He's been talking about it for quite some time.  Every time we were about to leave to go somewhere, he would ask, "Are we going to the Science Center today?!"  I have to admit, I might have been putting it off.  I didn't really want to go.  Ever since I became old, (when exactly did that happen?!), going to that place just exhausts me.  I leave with the overwhelming desire to take a very long nap.  

It was so crowded that I thought Jim was going to pop a blood vessel in his head just looking for a space to park.  Dylan was screaming, "YOU CAN PARK THERE...OR THERE... OR THERE!!!" from the backseat, pointing to trees, or grass, or imaginary parking spaces that only he saw.  Jim was yammering about "If there aren't any spots than WTH did the guy let us pay to get in here?!"  I was trying to maintain my breathing while being whipped around through the parking lot by an angry driver.  All that was before we even got in the five level building!  Once in, I was accosted by the NOISE, NOISE, NOISE of the masses of humanity, who were all SO excited to learn about science.  (I think I've mentioned I'm not exactly thrilled by the subject).  Oh well.  I survived, and although I really wanted one, I didn't get that nap.  At least we can cross one more thing off the To Do List... until next year.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mini Golf with 2 Four Year Olds

When my friend suggested we take our 4 year old boys miniature golfing, I had this picture of swinging clubs, fat lips, and ice.  Oh, and of my friend and I retrieving balls from behind fences and at the bottom of water features.  What can I say?  I'm an optimist.

We had originally planned to meet at 12:30, but I had to change the time, due to Dylan's swim lesson.  Thank goodness we went at 10:30 because even at that time, the boys had to sit down to rest every few holes, in the ridiculous scorching heat!

My favorite part of the morning was watching the two different styles.  Dylan's buddy's style was to hold the club in one hand, and swing it neatly sideways.  Dylan's style was to hold it with both hands and whack it like he was driving golf balls, instead of just miniature golfing.  FORE!  We didn't have to retrieve any stray balls, and there was no ice involved, but we did have to caution them several times to STAY BACK!

We had lunch and ice cream after golfing, and I have to say that listening to two four year old boys having a conversation is pretty hysterical.  You have to pretend you're not listening and try hard not to laugh, or you'll ruin everything, mind you.  Another favorite part of the morning was when Dylan tried to look in his friend's potato chip bag, to see how much he had left.  His friend snatched the bag away from him, saying "Dylan!  You don't do that!  You don't look in someone's potato chip bag!"  Must be a part of the preschool BRO CODE that I'm unaware of?!  You just don't do it, man.

Every time we leave each other, Dylan's friend cries, and this time was no exception.  I loved when Dylan patted his shoulder, saying, "I know you love me, and you don't want to leave me, but it's okay.  We'll see each other again soon, okay?"  And, we will.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Swim Lessons

Dylan started private swim lessons this week.  I enrolled him in a "Mommy & me" type swim class last summer, but that was pretty pointless and ridiculous.  The brochure said "Babies to age 3", and Dylan was 3.  I think there were 6 kids in the class, and three were under age 1!  Dylan was the biggest and oldest by far.  While the babies were splashing water happily on their faces, Dylan refused to blow bubbles, or go under, or get water on his face in any manner.  Basically all we got out of the class is bruised legs (mine - from holding a very tall, squirmy 3 year old in the water!)

This year, I wanted private lessons.  I saw how the kids spent the majority of time in the group lessons hanging onto the wall, waiting their turn.  Dylan isn't great at waiting, and I knew he needed special motivation.  We needed to conquer this fear of getting his face wet!

The lessons came together at the very last minute, due to a complete lack of planning on my part.  When I saw the instructor (Valerie) she looked so young that I had a moment of panic.  I thought, "She's not going to have a clue what she is doing.  She's going to be immature, and inexperienced".  When did I get old and judgmental?  She is fantastic!  She is energetic, and positive, and makes the whole thing fun for Dylan.  She starts on time, and ends on time, and fills the 45 minutes with a lot of different, fun ways to get Dylan to do what he needs to do.

Here's what happened at the first lesson, on Monday...

(Playing "the Limbo" - genius!)

(Going for a ride on the noodle, to practice kicking).

HIS FACE IS IN THE WATER!  HIS FACE IS IN THE WATER!  I had to refrain from screaming that at the pool, and making a spectacle of myself. (They were retrieving a dive stick).

(He was pretty pleased with himself!)

So often, as women, we look at pictures of ourselves and focus on all our flaws.  When I first saw this shot, I saw my teeth that need whitened, and the wrinkles around my eyes.  But since starting Rodan + Fields, what I don't see are pimples, so that is exciting!  What I chose to see is two very happy people, thrilled to be spending the day together, and proud of the days achievements.

Lesson number two, on Wednesday, was no less exciting.  We met friends for some mini golf, lunch, and ice cream before the lesson, (I'll post about that next).  It was 94 degrees, and sitting in the sun for the 45 minute lesson was pure torture, but look...

(Blowing bubbles)

(Going all the way under!  This picture doesn't really show it that well, but trust me, it happened!)

(Floating - something that used to completely horrify him).

The pool was INSANE!  There were people crammed in like sardines, and yet she still managed to keep him focused.  I was impressed.  Especially when this annoying lady came over and was copying what Valerie was doing, with her grandson, saying "Oh look, he's learning to float.  Here, let's try".  At one point, she asked Valerie, "So, you give lessons here?", and I heard her answer pointedly, "Yes, PRIVATE lessons", before guiding Dylan away from the lady.  I loved that.

Unfortunately, we might have spent too long in the sun yesterday, and Dylan's face and arms got sunburned, so I canceled the lesson for today.  Hopefully things will pick up right where they left off next week.  Oh!  I forgot to mention the best part!  The private lessons at this pool are CHEAPER than the group lessons at the pool I took him to last year!  SCORE!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Last Week

Dear Dylan,

Last week was a busy week.  I felt the need to be in constant motion.  Monday, we went to SeaBase, and I was shocked when I watched you quickly shimmy up a rope that you couldn't get up the last time we were there.  You are learning new things so fast these days that it is like a blur.  Like yesterday, when we made a robot craft, and I couldn't believe how good you could cut the rectangles.  "When did you learn to cut so well?!", I blurted out.  "I practiced in school", you answered.  

Tuesday, after I got home from work, we hit the pool.  Wednesday, we went to "blue slide park", and I watched you slide down several times with no help from me.  You stood in line without complaining, and when you crashed the one time, you just said "Ow!", and came over to get a quick kiss from me before heading off to play some more.  Wednesday night, we met "Daddy" at the zoo for member's night.  

Thursday, we met a friend and her son at the park for a play date.  When an older boy was telling you and your friend that you couldn't play in a certain area because you were too young, I enjoyed watching you stand up for yourself.  I didn't need to step in.

Saturday, we met "Mi-Mi and Bubba" at Carson's Carnival.  We went last summer, so again I noticed how much you have changed.  

Sunday, we took you to your first movie at a theatre - Winnie the Pooh.  I had this image in my head of how it would go... which of course is not at all how it went.  First of all, you barely looked at me the whole time.  You would only talk to "Daddy", and completely excluded me (something tells me I better get used to this).  Then, when it was over you said you "didn't like it", because some of it was scary!  If Winnie the Pooh scared you, I'm not sure where to go from there?!

Sunday night we went to visit with family.  For the majority of the time we were there, I was able to just sit and talk, while you played with the other kids.  I didn't know exactly where you were, or exactly what you were doing, and that was okay.  It felt good... but a little weird also.  A part of me still wants you to need me, while the other part is craving less need.  I'm trying to savor the time with you this summer, but it is going by so fast, just like all the other months.  But, hey, it's not over yet!

Love you,
Mom  - guess I have to sign "Mom" now, since you quit calling me "Mommy"! :( 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weekend Trip to Julia's

We went to Maryland this past weekend, to visit my friend Julia.  I hadn't seen Julia in... 7 years?!  She's has 3 kids since then, that I never met.  We've kept in touch through blogs and emails, but I was so excited to see her in person.  I'm pretty sure I was way more excited about the trip than she was.  She goes on adventures constantly.  Her family has an Air Stream camper, and her kids, (at 8, 6, and 4), have probably been more places in their short lives than I have in all my years.  Do I find that fact a bit depressing?  Yes, yes I do.  I discovered that if I lived near her, I would most likely be broke, because upon returning home, I felt the urgent need to DO STUFF.  Fun stuff.  Fun stuff usually costs money, unfortunately.  Monday we went to SeaBase (an indoor play area).  Yesterday, we went swimming when I got back from work.

One problem - I didn't make any plans for this week ahead of time.  I should have planned some play dates because after you spend the weekend in a house with 5 people (8 including us), just Dylan and I hanging out seems very quiet and lonely.

Here's what I want to remember about the trip...

*Abbie signing "I love you" to me after just a few hours.  If only we all shared love so easily and openly.

*Maggie drawing this picture of us when we first got there, and her smile when I said I loved it and wanted to take a picture of it.

*How excited Gertie was about the journals I bought the girls for their upcoming trip.

*Katie kissing the sheep at the farm.

*Dylan's face when he saw that the room he was going to be sleeping in had a playhouse, with a slide!

*How cute the kids looked, all sitting on a bench, eating their ice cream.

*Dylan saying "I wish we lived here", after a day at the farm and pool, eating pizza, ice cream and cookies!

*Dylan going under the fountain at the pool, and "swimming" with his vest on.

*Katie swimming under water for the first time.

*Dylan sleeping for 3 hours (of the 4) on the way home, because all that fun wore him out!

Thanks again, Julia, for having us and for all the work that went into it.