Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Cherish Every Moment..."

Apples dipped in Babaganoush = delicious!
"Cherish every moment" is not something that any current parent would EVER say to another parent, because we all know that that statement/thought is complete rubbish. Life with a kid has it's moments that you treasure and you hold on to so that on the other days you can remember how much you do love your kid, and how sweet your child can be, and how much fun you can have together...but there are moments that you definitely don't want to cherish...and I take it that as you get older those hard days fade faster than the good days...I just wish that in reality those days/weeks/months went faster than the good days...but alas 24 hrs of hell is just as long as 24 hrs of heaven - even though it feels longer.

So here is a glass raised to those moments...the good,
the bad,
and the times that merge between the two...and hopefully they make us laugh more than cringe.
Maybe we should start with the good - since I'm needing some good memories today!
Setting: Bathtime. 3yo, pouring water in the tub.
Me: "Bubby, why aren't you drinking the water anymore?" (He loves drinking bath water...don't ask)
3yo: "Mommy I can't drink this! I'm cleaning the bathtub! This is Coca Cola! This is what you clean bathtubs and toilets with, you don't drink it!"
That's right folks, there are times that he does listen to me - and apparently when I said "Coca Cola isn't good to drink...." and listed all the things you could clean with it - he was listening!
Pretending to sleep and snore
Then that night I heard a door open and close - it was 1 hr after his bedtime (so this could easily be in the bad category, but I chose to put it here because it was hilarious, partly because he was delirious) - so I went to check it out. His door was cracked open, the light was on, and he was sitting on his changing table playing with the cord of a lamp that I had put on the changing table. What was he doing with the cord? "I was plugging the lamp into the door so one could come in." Well duh?!
A different outfit from a different day...this is the "around the house" look
He had also picked out his outfit for the following day and laid it out across his changing table because "I didn't want to have to pick my clothes out in the morning." You know because we have so many pressing matters to attend to in the morning - pressing matters like figuring out breakfast before we leave the house to go somewhere...sometimes (usually) he won't let me leave when planned because he's suddenly hungry and he must.eat.something...of course since I don't have a picky eater - there are mornings where he says things like:
"I need to eat some seaweed first because I'm hungry!"
"Mommy! Look at all this food! Can you take a picture of it?"
We do have fun cooking together in the kitchen, of course with not wanting to eat anything I haven't really done much cooking with him recently - but today we made a banana pudding - and he loved it! The making and the eating (he ate it right away instead of letting it set up with the chia seeds)...of course he can't really just "rave" about it - he must use his new favorite phrase - which he says he "asks"...
video
The bad or hard times are usually those times of constant tantrumming...and when I say constant I do mean constant. He likes to flow from one complaint to the other - it's almost seamlessly done...I say almost because usually the "seams" come from me interrupting said tantrum...or causing one out of thin air - I mean how dare I ask a question!
Me: "Hey Bubby, what do you want for lunch?"
3 yo:
Me:(calmly says) "Okay, if you're not going to tell me I'm just going to make something up." (Started pulling things out of the fridge.)
3 yo: (cue tantrum) "NO MOMMY!!! NO, DON'T MAKE SOMETHING UP!!!" (repeat for 5 min)
Me: (calmly says) "Then tell me what you want, I'm listening..."
3 yo: (ignores me but tantrum continues) "NO MOMMY!! NO! DON'T MAKE SOMETHING UP!!!"
This was the "silly" picture!
Another time he threw a tantrum because I gave him everything he asked for for breakfast...seriously - these tantrums might not seem "bad" but that's simply because they provide entertainment as I stand there and think "He's literally throwing a fit because I gave him oatmeal with honey and a pitcher of milk he could pour himself - just like he asked?!?" I mean, I don't think if I tried I could come up with a list of tantrums more ridiculous than the ones he throws...
Relaxing outside - but this is also what a tantrum looks like when I don't get his face in the pic
One of today's tantrums was over the vacuum being too loud - it's the same little handheld vacuum I use every day, but today it was SO loud and I wasn't paying attention to how important it was that I stop vacuuming right away that he took to hitting me and attempting to push me over before running to his room to slam the door and then coming back out and throwing a 15 min tantrum - which started after I turned the little vacuum off. See what I mean - can't make this stuff up.
Eating just made banana pudding...
But more often than not are the moments that merge between the two, because honestly there are some moments that are so sweet - but then remember, I'm dealing with a 3 yr old little boy. If you don't know what that means, it just means those sweet moments can turn on a dime and take you totally by surprise...in a not so good way. For instance the other day my loving little boy came up to me, gave me a big hug and said "Oh Mommy, I'm gonna be in love with you." And then he wiped his hand, dripping in pee, on me! You see - one minute the sweetest and the next minute a little devil!
Of course I also have those moments where we're doing okay and then he does 1 little thing and I can't handle it anymore - it just pushes me over the edge, because you know, I'm human. It could be hormones, it could be the fact I feel constantly nauseous, it could be that dealing with a stubborn, hard-headed threenager is just plain tough, or it could be all of the above, but we have had this "conversation" a couple of times...
Me: "Bubby, you're going to bed soon because I can't handle you anymore."
3 yo: "That's okay mommy! I can handle you!"
Or the dreaded words no pregnant (nauseous) mom wants to hear from her very proud and tired potty training threenager:
"Mommy!! I peed standing up! Just like daddy does!"
Where you then walk into the bathroom trying to remain calm as you see the disaster before you of pee on the toilet seat (his little toilet seat he attempted to pee through while standing on the little ladder attachment), pee on the walls and floor - because he obviously missed since this was his first time to do it solo. His face is so excited and proud and you really hate to burst his bubble about how he actually peed more out of the toilet than in - so you just let it go with a "Good job buddy!" and the next time he needed to go I gently reminded him to sit down on the toilet.
Or those times when the day is going down the drain but then your kid says something funny and you suddenly think "maybe this is the turning point" 
"Mommy I didn't throw a tantrum! Mommy! I didn't throw a tantrum so I get 'no tantrum juice'!"
That was of course said by the kid sitting in timeout, after he spent the morning throwing tantrum after tantrum after tantrum. Apparently to my threenager, 3 mins without a tantrum means he should be rewarded with 'no tantrum juice'...unfortunately for him we are not on the same page. 
There are also those moments when you have a "breakthrough" with your kid...you know where you can really have a heart-to-heart conversation and both of you are heard...this happened yesterday. All day I'd been ignored, or not necessarily ignored since he had to hear what I was saying in order to do the complete opposite...but miscommunication was occurring no matter what tactics I tried. Then finally I gave up trying to communicate and instead I just rambled stuff off (I find myself doing this often since becoming a parent)...things like
Me: "I wonder when you'll actually stop fighting me and just listen to what I say and we can actually talk instead of me talking and you arguing...maybe you can even let me in on things I can do so that we can have fun, because this fighting and arguing is just getting old and I want to have fun! I don't like arguing...and now I'm just talking to myself because I know you're not listening to me - but maybe, just maybe something will get through and you might actually hear something I say...wishful thinking, but at this point that's all I have. When are you going to listen to me?" (I stopped to take a breath and really I had no more to say...)
3 yo: "I will listen to you when I'm an adult and I can touch the ceiling. See mommy, I'm just a little kid." (standing in front of me he then moves up onto his tiptoes) "See Mommy, I'm growing but I'm not big enough now. I can't touch the ceiling."
And yes - that's right that was the "breakthrough"...for the rest of his childhood he probably won't listen to me and then someday when he's an adult (although the touching the ceiling thing might be pushing it a bit) he'll probably listen to something I've said. But hey - I have a kid who is honest, and apparently self-aware, and an eavesdropper! That's right folks, from here on out I'm going to be the "crazy lady who talks to herself" because apparently that is one way to get through to my kid! Who needs direct communication anyway - it's so overrated! I actually tried the "talking to myself" thing again today and he was responding to my statements much more so than when I ask him questions and talk to him normally - it's actually hilarious! Annoying, but hilarious.

Bonus video: Because I know that the bad/mixed outweighed the good - so here ya go, we do have fun! There is a video on YouTube that has a bunch of kids songs (54 min worth of songs and videos with the songs) - this kid is OBSESSED with it...one of the songs in the "Wheels on the Bus" and one of the verses says "the people on the bus go chatter chatter chatter..." but it's in a British accent - which means when this kid sings that verse it must be sung with a British accent! 
video

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chelsea Flower Show "Experience"

I told Rusty that I wanted to go to the Chelsea Flower Show with the group going from here - because I mean, come on, when am I going to have another chance to go to this world famous flower show?! So he signed me up - and then I noticed the times...the trip times...we were to leave at 6 am (so I had to leave the house at 5:20 am) and we weren't getting back until 1:15 am the following day. WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING?!?! Oh, wait, I know! I wasn't pregnant at the time that I said "I want to go on this trip if it works out."...okay, I was pregnant but I didn't know I was...had I known I don't think I would've necessarily been that crazy...okay, maybe I would have...I mean it's still a once in a lifetime opportunity!

The day came and I was super excited! I mean, I felt nauseous - a normal daily feeling - but I was excited to get away for the day! (Seriously people, I was going to get up at 4:30 am but I ended up waking up at 4 am and not really able to go back to sleep...you know, just in case my alarm didn't go off!) AND a plus was that I knew someone who was going - so I knew I'd have a lot more fun than just going on my own. We got on the bus and headed off for a 5 hr drive to London - everyone eager and looking forward to the day! Some of the people were just going to London to sight see/shop for 8 hrs, but the majority of us were going to the flower show!
The train on the left
We drove into Calais (France) to catch the Chunnel over to England (and yes there were tent cities set up all around, where some illegal immigrants are trying to find a way to get over into England). 
Blue bus driving onto the train and into the train car...
As soon as we were all loaded, we waited to feel the vibrations that the train was moving (because you can't see much - there are some small windows you can look out of, but it's not like a normal train window with the scenery)...but instead of the vibrations occurring an announcement was made that there were some mechanical issues (never a good sign)...so we waited.
White bus following the blue bus...
And we waited...and about 30 min later they said they weren't able to fix the problem so we were all going to have to unload and go on the next available train! (This is where it pays to know the person who brought along the Gin and Tonic cupcakes! I did!) Thankfully they put us on the very next one so we didn't have to wait long. But by that time we were going to be arriving at the flower show an hour later than we originally thought (7 hrs to explore).
Our turn to follow
Fortunately there were no more issues on the ride over, unfortunately we hit London traffic - which is bad - so we were delayed another 45 min or so - fun huh?! But really nothing that we could do about it. We finally got closer - Battersea Park - where we had a reserved parking spot, unfortunately the majority of the streets around the park they really don't want buses to drive on so they make them super narrow (some vans were having trouble getting through the barriers). After discovering 2 such streets (which weren't marked until right before encountering the narrow street) our bus drivers decided to do a bigger loop around the park to the entrance where we were suppose to park (another 30 min delay). But never fear we found the entrance and went in only to be turned away by the police officer who insisted that our ticket was not really for that entrance but was for the next entrance. So back into traffic we went to the next entrance where (do you want to guess what happened?) the police officers there informed us that no, the entrance where we were suppose to park was the previous entrance (where the police officers turned us away). So, yep, back into traffic to go back to the entrance we were suppose to park at...and guess what?! This time the police said we could park but that the parking price wasn't really the 30 pounds that had been paid (and that the ticket stated was the price) but it was now 15 pounds more! (yeah, who's pocketing that money policeman #1 or policeman #2.) They finally let us in saying they would figure it out and let us know what additional fee was needed - but that for now we could just park. We were now another 30 min delayed from all of that "nonsense" driving the police made us do, so now down to 5 hrs exploring. I will let you guess how some on the bus might've been feeling...but hey, we were all wanting off the bus, we were all upset that we had less time to explore, but none of it was anything anyone on the bus could've done...And now we were finally at our destination!! YAY!!
Grand Pavilion welcoming people
I'll be honest, I've never been to a flower show before in my life! That's right - flower show virgin right here, so why not start off with one of the best in the world?! I had no expectations except that there would be lots of flowers! There was a Grand Pavilion with different types of gardens from around the world and there were more garden variety's surrounding the Grand Pavilion. Then there were the stands selling things having to do with actual gardening (shoes, tools, flowers, green houses, etc...), as well as stands selling things that showed the beauty of gardens and flowers (aprons, cups, tea sets, calendars, stationary, etc...), and finally stands selling things to help you enjoy your garden (garden decorations, water fountains, hammocks, etc...).
Wood sculpture at the entrance
And then all the food and drink stands! The day we went we had the PERFECT weather: 70 degrees (21C) and sunny - so the food (especially the ice cream stands) and drink stands were busy.

The gardens were amazing! Didn't really make me want to go home and garden (sorry mom), but I did think "The monkey says he likes to get dirty - maybe he'll be my gardener!"...because just because I don't like gardening (okay, I HATE gardening, it doesn't mean I don't appreciate the flowers and work that people put into their gardens...I do!).
And some of these plants/flowers were ones I had never seen before...some I recognized (you would've been proud of me mom!), but others I just made up names for...for instance I give you "the pine cone flower"
These pink, white, and yellow ones were so cheerful (coming from someone who doesn't like pink) and then there were "the flamingo flowers" (tell me they don't look like flamingos!
There was a whole garden of orchids - but this was one I had never seen before - and yes, it's an orchid...a gold medal winner orchid at that! But then down from the orchids were some of the biggest begonia's we'd ever seen! They were the size of a child's head! And such bright beautiful colors!
Then a couple "forresty" gardens...
And then these...from a distance they looked like little fairies - because let's be honest, that is not a usual blue color that is seen in the garden...but they caught our eye because they looked like blue poppies! And guess what? They were blue poppies! (Seriously who knew that there were blue poppies?!)
And then there were these flowers - Auricula's...Seriously - these looked too perfect to be real flowers, but they were real! Look them up if you don't believe me and aren't able to tell from the pictures...
We found out that these flowers come in all colors except blue. The name might say "blue" but it's really a shade of purple, and that people are trying to come up with a true blue color. But seriously, even without any blue - they looked like they had been carved and painted. They were amazing!
There was another stand of these flowers as well, but I didn't get any great pictures there - it was a little more crowded around it...
But next door was a veggie garden! Don't mind the blurry picture down below - it was the best I could do of the yellow cucumbers (Crystal Lemon cucumber)...
I just liked the display more than anything.
More gardens...some overflowing with flowers and some more of a rock garden...
And then the Thai temple!
It was huge and shiny...
Then there were bonsai (not pictured) and cactus - look at all those beautiful colors! And then a huge section of fuschias - which we always got for my mom for Mother's Day (this year you just get a picture of some from me and it's super late...don't worry I got her something else for Mother's Day).
Then there was this section of beautiful flowers...
Before it was time to move on to have a spot of tea!
There were more - but those were just some of my favorites...I didn't take pictures of everything or you'd be here forever looking through the pictures! After walking through the Grand Pavilion it was time to venture outside and see some of the outside gardens...for instance there was the garden for Prince Harry's charity, Sentebale
And no, he wasn't there...I think some people were waiting around waiting for him though - it was extremely crowded around this garden.
Some of the gardens were a little different than what you'd expect, or what I'd expect - I'd never thought I'd see a section in water where they put cactus on display...I guess if you were jumping through the water you'd want to be extremely careful that you only jumped on the green grass patches, if not - OUCH!
Then there was this one - which the statue is made of slate pieces. It was really cool because, come on, who has ever thought you make a statue with slate in their garden?! It makes the whole thing look more like a shadow than a statue...
Then there were the bushes that, if the monkey had been with me, he would've devoured the fruit!
I took the pictures specifically for the monkey so he could see how strawberries grew...but I know he would've been more interested in the eating of the fruit...some of these strawberries were huge.
More beautiful colors - lupine
Another garden focusing on bees and butterflies - they were giving away seed packs, so yes, I got a seed pack so the monkey could start a garden...someday. (You're smiling mom aren't you?!)
Prince Harry's garden (not that he planted it) was one of the more known ones, but the other top one this year was the Beauty of Islam garden...it was peaceful and serene, but if you were looking for color this one did not have it.
There were some more gardens - but I just didn't get pictures of them...instead I enjoyed looking at the gardens and people watching...I definitely should've taken pictures of the people. Some were dressed to the nines and I honestly couldn't imagine walking around on some of the heels I saw...and others were more like me - we knew we were going to be walking and so went for the comfort. There were famous people there - all BBC people, so I have no clue who they were...but one of them desperately needed a new green house before anything else was done...yeah listening in on conversations was also a hoot!
In the end, it was a beautiful day and we actually did have enough time to see everything - so the time worked out perfectly. I'm sure if you were an actual gardener you probably could've been there longer, but for me, it was perfect (especially being pregnant where the food and drinks weren't going to sit well). So it was back to the bus for the ride home...that's right, the story is not over.

We all were on the bus at the time we were suppose to meet, so that we could leave and drive to the ferry - oh because, that's right, we were taking the ferry home (so instead of 1:15 am arrival we were due back at 2:15 am). When they made the reservations for the trip they weren't able to get a ticket for the Chunnel...but hey, that's okay, because the ferry left from Dover - so we'd get to see the Cliffs of Dover as we left! EXCEPT that we didn't factor in the fact that London traffic would be at a standstill for over an hour because of an accident that closed the on ramp to A4 (the highway). And you really couldn't do a "shortcut" through the city because of traffic and road construction (detours) everywhere - so we sat. Finally after an hour or more of sitting and going 1-5 ft every 15-20 min (because someone in front of us decided to get out and try and shortcut) they opened the on ramp and off we went! Unfortunately (I've said that a lot in this post haven't I?!), we were running late and so were going to miss our ferry - so our leader spent the entire drive on the phone trying to figure out if we could make the next ferry (10:05 pm) or if we'd be stuck there till the following ferry at 3:30 am (WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!) You see, when you go on the ferry you have to check in 1 hr prior to departure and we weren't going to be at the ferry terminal till 9:30 pm - which is not an hour before...but they ferry people were extremely helpful and said "I don't know if you'll get on the 10:05 pm or not. It all depends on who is there. You might make it or you might not." (I know, told you they were helpful!) So then our fearless leader tried to contact the Chunnel train people to see if they had any spots open on a later train (because no one wanted to wait till 3:30 am to head home, we all wanted to be home by then)...but alas, the Chunnel train line was closed (after business hours) and it pointed her to make a reservation online (which would be great except for the fact that in order to book a bus on the Chunnel you have to talk to a representative.)...It was an absolute mess...but again - there was nothing anyone could've done at all - it was just that type of day where things that could go wrong, were...

But not to worry, we made it to the ferry at 9:30 pm, we all went through passport control quickly, and the people let us on the 10:05 pm ferry!! (I think it might've been due to the fact that the ferry was running late - but who cares! We made it!) Hallelujah! The 10:05 pm ferry ended up leaving at 10:45 pm...but that was the last hurdle of the day, thank goodness! We arrived back at our cars around 3:15 am...which meant I got to bed just before 4 am...it was a long, fun 24 hr day. Loved the flower show, had a blast with the group of ladies I was able to hang out with, but I was definitely ready to crawl in bed and get a couple hours of sleep before the threenager woke me up in the morning!