Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cambridge

We decided we were going to go to Cambridge for the morning - it's not far from where we are living and I hadn't been there in years, besides it was a beautiful day and we wanted to make sure we got out! Sometimes if nothing is planned it takes us forever to get the monkey out the door (see previous post - sometimes it's not just me!) but if we tell him we're going somewhere he'll get up and go! However this morning when he woke up he said "I'm not in the mood to go to Cambridge." and it being a full moon tonight (which makes him evil usually) we knew that we were taking a huge risk to ignore what he said and go anyway!
But as soon as we got to the center and we saw a park - he wanted to go into the park and what did he find?! That's right - the playground! He was so excited he was yelling "MOMMY!! LOOK! DO you SEE it?! Do you see the playground?!" and I kept saying "No, I don't see anything besides trees/flowers/birds..." and then he'd run and drag me along (because we were holding hands) and he'd ask the questions again as we got closer...People walking through the park were thoroughly entertained with his level of excitement over the playground!
We continued walking and went to the market happening in the center - it was a disappointing market after coming from Belgium where there are tons of fruit and veggies stands along with other foods...this market (no picture) had 2 fruit/veggie stands, a handful of vendors selling other food items (nuts, cheese, etc.), some handmade crafts, souvenirs, and then food to eat right there...It wasn't what I remembered the market to be 14 yrs ago when I was there (man that was a long time ago!).
I really wanted to go punting on the river, however Owen had informed us on the drive to Cambridge that he did not want to go on a boat ride! I thought that if he saw the boat he might want to because it wasn't like any of the boats he's been on...and thankfully I was right! He saw a boat and said "I want to go on that boat!!"
So we did! And he did really good at sitting relatively still, not standing up (except when we went under the "willow type trees" where when he stood he could grabs leaves and vines)...
There are tons of colleges/universities in Cambridge besides Cambridge...and we learned about them all as we passed by them...however please don't ask me to tell you about them! I do remember that there was a prank at this university where one night a student climbed up the outside of the building and places a traffic cone on the top right (I think) spire and then climbed back down. When the dean (I think that's who it was at least) saw it he was quite upset and had scaffolding built so that they could take the traffic cone down. However it couldn't be done the same day, which meant that - that's right, the student climbed to the top that night and moved the traffic cone to the left spire  - which meant that the next morning the scaffolding had to be taken down and moved to the other side where the traffic cone had been moved! That just goes to show that college/university students are the same everywhere.
 
St. John's College - the front and back...absolutely beautiful! (It was where the movie "The Theory of Everything" was filmed...but it's not where Stephen Hawking actually went to school - he studied at Trinity Hall.) Around this part of our trip is also where we bumped into another boat with a 1st time punter...we actually t-boned the boat and the 1st time punter ended up in the river! What was odd was that no one in her boat was trying to help her get out of the water - it was our boat that was helping. Thankfully she wasn't injured...and hopefully she learned how to punt down the river rather than across (and in the way of traffic) because it was just starting to get crowded on the river.
After our boat ride someone was starving and getting to be a little cranky - and it wasn't the pregnant one because I'm never quite that hungry and I'm rarely cranky. So it was off to lunch and then back onto the double decker bus so it could take us to our car (we parked outside the center).
Now you might think "Oh you could've stayed longer and done more exploring and sightseeing" and sure we could have but it's also a place that we can go back to whenever we want because it's close...and it's not worth keeping an exhausted kid out and ruining the afternoon...so we went home so he could take a nap.
Unfortunately for all of us - he fell asleep the last 7 min of the car ride, which meant that when we got him inside he refused to take a nap because he already had! But he did run around, talk, sing, and stomp for about an hour before yelling that he was "Ready to get up!!"...the rest of the afternoon/evening was "fun times" with an extremely tired threenager, Thankfully when bedtime rolled around (30 min earlier than normal) he didn't throw a tantrum and he passed out - he was one tired kid!

Owenisms

There are some things that I just don't understand about my kid. For instance he doesn't like playing with the big Lego blocks very much (I know they're not really called "Legos" but you know what I mean), however he LOVES watching people on YouTube play with, build, and talk about their Legos...and he wants me to sit and watch with him! I'd much rather build and play with them than to see it on YouTube...
I also don't understand this whole "language" he's created...I know kids create languages all the time, but seriously - it's now affecting what he wants to name the baby. We started with naming the baby a very simple name: Baby...then he moved on to: Curious George...but then one day he told me this:
Monkey: "Mommy, you're having a baby and a monkey!"
Me: "What will we name them?"
Monkey: "The Baby - Lawn-ker-don-ker, and the monkey - Curious George!"
Curious George I am totally behind, but this "Lawn-ker-don-ker", I just can't get behind...I mean if we were to name the kid that then I might end up with another kid who tells me things like:
"Mommy, I'm going to break your nose!" or "Mommy! I'm going to call you soccer ball because then I can kick you!" (followed by hysterical laughter) or "Mommy! I'm going to squeeze your head until it pops off!" (proceeds to demonstrate)
However his made up "English" words that he comes up with are pretty entertaining!
Or we might have conversations like this - where I'm glad he's expressing his feelings so well, but seriously - there is a problem when he gets that upset over not being able to hurt me.
Monkey: "Mommy, I'm VERY mad at you right now!"
Me: "Oh, I'm so sorry I stopped you from continuing your physical assault on me." (said sarcastically)
Monkey: "I'm VERY mad!"
However he is VERY excited about the baby...he hasn't said anything negative about the baby (yet, I mean once the baby is "reality" and in his face he might not be as excited, we'll have to see - but right now he's super excited!)
And he's looking forward to showing the baby how to do some things...although he's sure he won't be able to teach the baby everything...
He also thinks that he's pregnant too! No matter how many times I tell him that boys can't get pregnant because they don't have the right parts - he just doesn't believe me.
But he's not always so hardheaded that he doesn't listen...nope, there are times he hears what I say loud and clear! For instance when his glow stick stopped glowing he said "I need a new glow stick! The poison in mine died." because yes, I admit it - when one of his glow sticks started leaking I did tell him that the glowing part of the glow stick was poisonous.
Or the other day when during breakfast this was what I was informed of:
Monkey: "Mommy! Look I'm almost your size! That means I can start wearing makeup!"
Me: ...
Seriously?! I might be a bit biased, but I don't think my 3.5 yr old needs makeup...I don't think any 3.5 yr old needs makeup for that matter, but apparently it doesn't matter what your age is - just your height!
And it's not just makeup that he's excited about the possibility of as he gets taller! He's excited about everything he's going to get to do as he gets bigger (which is now)
Monkey: (putting his plate in the sink, instead of next to it) "Oh mommy!" said excitedly and in a high pitched voice) "Did you see that?! I'm growing up and getting big! I put my plate in the sink VERY CAREFULLY and it didn't break! Did you hear it?!" (Puffs out his chest and stands on his tippy toes with his arms raised high to the ceiling) "See?! I'm a big boy! I'm growing up! The sink is not to high for me!" (giggles uncontrollable at his newfound ability.)
Oh this kid - he definitely keeps us on our toes both in a good and difficult way.
"Mommy, I didn't slip, I just wobbled because I wasn't paying attention."
"Sorry I had to do some stuff for work first. I'm done now." (In regards to why he was up talking, singing and playing 30 minutes after I put him down for his nap.)

Bonus Pictures:
A couple nights ago there was a double rainbow in the sky! Turns out there were actually 3 rainbows but because of how our house it I wasn't able to see the 3rd rainbow...but still I'll take a double rainbow any day of the week!

HUGE Park

As you might be aware, we now live super close to a park, which we love going to and when we're short on time and don't have much time to play we can usually get there to play for at least 20 min - which is so nice! However, we're only about a mile from another park, a HUGE park - with tons of trails, another playground, water, wildlife, and huge areas to run. It's one that we could walk to, but we haven't, we've just driven there because of time...I mean if we left early enough we could go "consploring" on the best way to get there, but we just haven't done that yet (see previous post).
But last week we got out early enough that we could actually go to this new park and go "consploring" and boy did we have fun! It had rained the day before so I went prepared - the monkey in his wellies (see I'm sounding British aren't I?!)...that way he could go wherever he wanted! And of course the first place he went was off the trail to explore what was set up.

We headed in the direction of the playground, I mean you go to a park with a kid you have to at least find the playground! When we found it he had to test out the slide first!
Did I say how beautiful of a morning it was?!
And then he just kept sliding...but each time he'd shout "MOMMY!" at least 50 times before "Watch ME!" - which what he thought I was doing I have no idea because I was staring straight at him saying "I'm watching you!"
After sliding for awhile he did the "ropes course" - which was basically walking a tightrope - it was only 10" or so off the ground so when he lost his footing he could easily step off - but still, it was his first time to do it and he was pretty proud "MOMMY!! MOMMY!! MOMMY WATCH ME!!" (The video was too long so I couldn't upload it...but trust me it was entertaining.)
After that he saw the "ZIP LINE MOMMY!!" and since it was one for "big kids like me" he decided he had to ride on it!
Of course after riding it once he was done! So he went and played on the climbing part of the playground, another slide, the swings, the "ropes course", the huge slide again, and then decided he wanted to ride the zip line some more! You know, once he knew he had "mastered" everything else - he figured he might as well master the zip line too!
After "mastering" the zip line - or at least beginning to form a love affair with riding the zip line - he decided he was actually done for the moment and he was ready to go "conspoloring" around the big field area! The first stop was to see what this tree was - and it was in memory of all the babies who were lost through a miscarriage, still birth, or who died shortly after being born. You don't see many things like that around, especially just in a random spot in a park.
After talking about what the tree was for and why it was decorated (not a great topic for a 3.5 yr old whose mom is pregnant) it was off to do some more "consploring"!
We found a little stream that we were able to cross over...and there were some more paths - that we have to go back and explore when we have more time!
The nice thing about getting out - even for just a couple hrs - was that he now knows what this huge park it like! So next time I say "Let's get ready so we can go to the big park" - he'll know what I'm talking about and hopefully get ready to leave the house sooner so we can explore and play for an even longer amount of time! Might not happen, but I like to be optimistic!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stuck at the House

There are days that this child of mine - the 3.5 yr old - won't let me out of the house...I know hard to believe since he loves being outside and doing things. And it's not really that he doesn't want to go, it's just he doesn't want to go right now. He wants to play first, because playing from 6/6:30 am - 8:30/9 am just isn't enough time, apparently. Whereas to me it feels like PLENTY of time...sometimes even an ETERNITY of time.
Toy batteries sometimes die...
Our daily morning conversations go something like this
Me:  "Hey Bubby, let's go to the park." (change park to playground, gym, playgroup, a walk, the store, etc...)
Monkey: "But mommy, I need to play first!"
Me: "We've been playing for (over) 2 hrs. If we keep playing we might not be able to go before lunch time."
Monkey: "That's okay mommy! We can always go tomorrow!"
I keep trying...because usually this also involves him needing to get dressed in order to go somewhere - which if I don't get him dressed as soon as he wakes up getting dressed is a headache...So around 10am I give him his "final chance"
Me: "Bubby, if you don't get dressed we won't be able to go anywhere today before nap time."
And his response goes like this, either: "It's okay, Mommy, we can do it tomorrow." OR "I want to go somewhere before nap!" And if he responds he wants to go somewhere it then takes us at least 30 min to get out the door - because apparently my child likes to make every part of getting dressed a very dramatic event.
If however, he responds that he doesn't want to go, then brace yourself, because when lunch time rolls around there will be a HUGE tantrum thrown because he WANTED to go somewhere before lunch!! This parenting thing is never cut and dry...it's always seriously messy. You have a lot of ideas before you have a kid of what it might be like - but it's pretty much the exact opposite, and that's not saying it's bad - it's just completely different. They should make parents take "parenting vows" when they have a kid...they're the exact same as the marriage vows:
"For better, or worse, for richer, or poorer, (although I did "for richer or richer" when I got married), in sickness, and in health, to love, and to cherish until death us do part." 
Because really, when you have a kid this is what you're saying you'll do and there are days where it seems near impossible to fulfill them all (except for that "For worse" part), but it does encompass parenting pretty well...and it would be pretty.darn.accurate because only the parent takes the vow - the kid is TOTALLY oblivious to any "vow" taken. ("Whatever that means mom/dad!")
Thankfully though all that "I need to play first" time is fun...doesn't make the inevitable tantrum any better, but at least there were some good/fun times during the morning! And by good/fun times it's not like your kid is a professional comedian (although there are times he is pretty funny)
But sometimes this is the level of fun - and you know what, in the moment it is hilarious, and it might just be that way because of living in the moment and enjoying the excitement and thrill your child is experiencing.
Of course then there are times when being stuck at home isn't such a bad thing - I mean it does allow you to get things done...
Yes, like the "fun" (dreaded) laundry...unless you have a kid who LOVES doing laundry - in which case, when he hears the ding of the washing machine - he RUNS to move the stuff in the washer to the dryer and will even say "Don't come mommy!" There are times I have to go though, because some things don't go in the dryer and he doesn't know what those things are yet...he'll learn I'm sure. Unfortunately he hasn't gotten the whole "folding laundry" part down...he just likes to do the part that incorporates using the machines (filling the washing machine and starting it, moving the clothes to the dryer and starting that, unloading the dryer).

And when we're "stuck at home" we goof around a lot.
And yes, "goofing around" usually involves wearing funny glasses and sticking our tongues out while he says "Take a picture of this mommy!"

Moving In and Settling Down while Pregnant

Moving Day Came!!! It felt like it was forever away when we found out we couldn't get our things as quickly as we had originally been told...but then all of a sudden it was HERE! The truck arrived nice and early and they were ready to begin unpacking around 8:30 am, and by lunch time they were pretty much done! Then the fun part of unpacking all the boxes started - well cleaning and then unpacking...which for a place that had been "clean" I guess I just have higher standards than most. We had cobwebs galore and a few extra spiders who were trying to begin setting up their house, the floors were pretty dirty, stove and oven with crumbs and grease, counter tops and cabinets with dust and crumbs, showers and sinks with a ton of calcium buildup and some mold, windows that hadn't been cleaned, carpets that needed to be vacuumed (although they said some of them had been professionally cleaned), walls with food particles, radiators that had become spider and dust bunny colonies, etc... There are still things that I haven't gotten completely cleaned yet - like the walls...but really I just haven't felt like cleaning walls again...but I guess the good thing is - they expect the place to be just as clean when we move out! So hey, I really don't have to go to much trouble this time to clean the place when it's time to move on! That's my silver lining.
This kid loves to clean!
Rusty took the monkey to the park to play while the movers unloaded the truck and I did some cleaning while they were unloading, but most of it happened after they left and as I was putting stuff up. Of course the monkey wanted to help out with everything - so I gave him some jobs that he could help with...you know that were actually helpful or at least weren't slowing me down. The first room I did was his - so that he'd have all his toys (again) to play with!
We promised the monkey he could have some flowers - so he and I planted flowers and basil!
Then it was on to the kitchen - so the boxes were out of there and we could actually cook and not feel like we were in the middle of hell. Then it was on to the living room, because let's face it - you need a place to just sit and relax when there are boxes everywhere and the monkey's bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathrooms are not that place!
The little speck in the middle of the grass way in the back - is the monkey.
And then it was time to tackle our bedroom and the guest room - they kinda had to be done together as things were getting moved back and forth between them. After all of those it was the dining room, conservatory and the babies room to finish it up! It took be about 4 days to get all the boxes unpacked and everything pretty settled - there were things that were still yet to be put up, hung up, or sorted - but for the most part we were settled...I mean I'm still getting boxes from Amazon with things that we ordered to help organize/store things so it's not like we're a completely finished project yet, in fact I still have a few things in the garage I'm trying to figure out where to store so they don't get ruined by mildew. Also Rusty took 3 days of work off to entertain the monkey while I unpacked - which was super helpful. Because if it had been me and the monkey during the days - I'd still be unpacking boxes! (And no, while there are somethings that Rusty and I can do together, unpacking is NOT one of them.) Of course unpacking everything in 4 days was a little crazy seeing as how I was 35 wks pregnant - so I wasn't exactly taking it easy...but I just wanted the boxes done and gone - it's how I am in general it wasn't a "nesting" thing - it's a "Melanie" thing. If there is a project to do I am 150% invested until it's done...if no project then I can be super lazy! Because there were a few times Rusty said "Take a break" and I'd respond with "Not yet, I'm almost done..." and then 2 hrs later I'd be done (because things take a little longer when pregnant). (We won't talk about the swollen feet or the cankles I had - I could've probably won a cankle contest...thankfully once rested my ankles reappeared!)
A beautiful day to play at the park
The lack of pictures of the house now that it's unpacked is something I just noticed! So at some point I will have to take pictures of our gloriously unpacked and lived in house...right now I've just been trying to get more of the baby stuff done...I mean in 13 days this kid is suppose to make its appearance so I should have clean clothes for it to wear, a place for it to sleep, diapers and stuff to change it with and a place to bathe it (because the monkey said he is not sharing his toilet or tub with the baby), oh I probably should get some lotion of some sort in case the monkey throws a conniption about having to share his with the baby...and honestly I probably should pack my hospital bag since I'll be needing absolutely everything (hospitals here don't provide you with anything)...but I can't really pack it completely until I get my "hospital gown" in the mail (yeah, see they provide you with nothing - so I ordered my own hospital gown because a shirt just isn't going to cover enough for if I want to walk around and I don't do robes...)
Climbing the "big kid" toy at the park
Anything better than getting dizzy? Apparently not to this kid!
And all of this you might think of as being unprepared or because of the move...but I can tell you - this is pretty much how prepared I was with the monkey...Okay, I might've had stuff put together before 2 wks but it was still a "last minute effort". That's just what happens when you're in denial about having a kid! I mean during the day I don't even think about it really (I mean I know I'm pregnant but I don't think about how many days left or how close it's getting - it's mostly at night when I try to get comfy and I can't that I'm like "YAY! It's almost time!!" because the beached whale feeling is horrible.
Oh we did get something new for the monkey when we moved - he'd been wanting one for awhile, and we told him when we moved we'd get him one - that's right - a trampoline!
He was a little upset at first because he  really wanted a purple trampoline like his friend Cora had...and when it came and it was blue and not purple he was sad. But once he understood that they didn't have any purple (or pink, because that was his next choice of color), that the only color this particular trampoline had right then was blue - he was okay with it and he hasn't been upset about the color very often since. (Every once in awhile he still says with a sigh "I wish I had a purple trampoline like Cora has...")
Once unpacked and settled we pretty much spent every morning at the park! It was beautiful weather for the most part and the park is about a 7 min walk from our front door, which you can't ask for anything better! A big huge open space to run, trees to hide behind (see above pics) and a playground to play on and meet new friends at!
Of course there were some days where we were the only people at the playground - which he didn't really mind either because it meant he could play wherever he wanted to whenever he wanted to and didn't have to worry about taking turns.
 A boy on his "Spiderman" swing

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Final Fun in Kettering

While GG was here she and the monkey found a "new playground" on one of their expeditions! He was so excited about showing me this new playground and park and so the next day that he let me out of the house we went!
It was geared more towards his age and a little older and was newer...where as the one we had been going to was geared more for littler kids and older kids.
He really liked this "new park" and I think it was simply because he could do everything completely on his own...which you know, when you're 3.5 it's a very important thing!
He was excited about the big "bumpy" slide - depending on the pants he occasionally flew off the slide!
He liked the "shaking walkways" although he did discover that he could walk on the solid wood beneath - so that's what he chose to do more often than not. He also loved finding ladybugs!! But right when he'd go to touch them, they'd fly off...
 And then there were the "baby swings" - it's his name for them because they're the swings that the babies can swing in...but he also loves them because he doesn't have to hold on - so they become more like a roller coaster swing! Of course just because he loved this "new park" it didn't mean he didn't want to go back to the old "hedgehog park" - he called it the "hedgehog park" because one of the rides we think was a hedgehog...if it wasn't a hedgehog, I have no clue what it was!
And guess what?! At the "hedgehog park" there were also ladybugs! But when mommy caught them I was able to transfer them over to him - which he loved. But there was also a big slide that he loved sliding down.
And every time he does something he will ask if you know how to do it - because his greatest joy in life right now is to show you how something is done!
There was also a climbing structure that he loved...to get onto the first level he needed help (unless he climbed up the slide which he did as well)...but yeah...just so you know he's almost too tall for this structure!
But somehow I always know when it's time to leave...you know when he starts to hurt himself on random things that he normally wouldn't hurt himself on if he were paying attention...yeah, my little drama queen.
Those were the last visits to those parks because the following day we were moving to our new home!

Bonus Videos: Prior to getting out to the park, we had a little "technical difficulty" with getting socks on. My really funny video of it is to big to upload - but here's a little video from after the 1st dramatic try of getting his socks on - "Oh, Mommy! I can't get my sock on - my heel is too big!"