Monday, August 31, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pictures and a Note From Mama Bear

We are BACK!

Below you will find some initial pictures from our trip and a backlog of blog posts. We were totally unplugged for our week at the beach (so nice) and so we wrote blog posts in the evenings with the intention of finding some hotspot and updating everyone. Well beach fun and sun took precedence so you are getting them all now. Lots of reading and tons of stories. We are home and not so happy to be here, we already miss our wonderful beach vacation. Little Man fell asleep softly crying "want to go to beach house now please". Breaks my heart a little that life can't always be a vacation but I love that he had such a good time that all he wants to do is go back. Can't blame the boy one bit!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Some Accepted Truths About the Beach

1. There is no way to get all of the sand out of Peanut’s fat rolls and we gave up trying about mid-week and figure that we will give him one great bath as soon as we get home.

2. The family shower at the outside shower at the beach house is the best call upon returning from the beach. We juggle kids from one of us to the other until somehow we all end up without sand on us and then go on up for whatever meal awaits us (unfortunately we didn’t figure out this magic configuration until Thursday afternoon).

3. Little Man eats twice his normal food intake after playing in the ocean – and we have just accepted that while on a beach vacation there probably won’t be any vegetables on the menu, in fact the menu has been limited to pizza, hot dogs, mac and cheese, ice cream, cookies and blue Gatorade.

4. While we will bring a ton of food with the good intention of making our own meals instead of going out to eat – we will probably only make one meal and then decide that no one should have to cook while on vacation SO we will either go out or order in every night and save the left overs for lunch the next day ensuring that we gain at least 10 pounds.

5. If we don’t reach that 10 pounds from going out to eat, we will make the difference up in eating fudge and other fun chocolate and purchasing it on Tuesday and thinking we will bring some home for gifts for our friends is really just a joke…so we will have to stop by on our way out of town and see if it survives the drive home!

6. The coupon for FREE HERMIT CRAB with the purchase of crab condo is just a way to lure parents into getting the first pet for their kid and then having to explain how Mrs. Hewitt (the hermit crab) aka Abby Crabby went to hermit crab heaven when he was totally forgotten about and not given any food or water for days. Oh the cruelty of the free crab with condo coupon.

7. When Little Man says “I want to go to beach house now” it really means, “My hands are messy from the sand and I want to go back to the beach house and rinse off and then whine to go back to the beach again” so the better solution is to take him into the ocean and show him how to rinse off in the water. This ritual will be performed at least 4 times an hour while at the beach.

8. Peanut has proven to us that he is the most transportable sleeper ever. He has slept on the beach (on a towel and in his tent), on a boat ride, in the car, in our arms, in his pack n play, at the aquarium. We have learned that he can power nap and then be ready to go as long as he gets fed on time he is a happy happy baby.

9. It is possible to lay out in the sun, book in hand with no worries with 2 young kids (if you time naps right and your wonderful husband agrees to stay inside to listen for kids). It might only happen once during the vacation, but it can happen and it WILL BE as good as you remember.

10 No matter what we do, we will bring the beach back with us to the house and we will be finding sand in places for weeks. Not that I am complaining at all, I will accept sand for weeks in my house and the fat rolls of the baby for a perfect week like we just had!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Television and Little Man – the love/hate/teach relationship

This morning we allowed Little Man to turn on the television during breakfast as a special vacation treat and he asked us to put George on. This created a dilemma that was difficult to explain to him. At home, he never watches live TV. We DVR Curious George and Sesame Street and let him watch it whenever we decide he gets TV time. So down the beach where we don’t even have a remote that works for the tv, so changing channels is a challenge (since I am lazy) we definitely don’t have the DVR option. But he doesn’t even know what DVR is, the way we can play George or Elmo for him whenever he wants is his normal and at the beach he got a little taste of life without the extra technology that he is afforded. But then he got lucky. As he was playing with his trains all of a sudden he tuned into the TV and started jumping up and down because it announced that George was on next. So he got his George fix after all.

Curious George came in handy on this beach trip. We were in the car on the way to play miniature golf and we were trying to explain to Little Man how to play the game. We kept trying to break it down into really easy terms and all of a sudden he says “Hit ball with club into hole and I win, I know George play putt putt”. So there we have it. We thought that we could teach him how to play but Curious George beat us to it. As we started playing, he did know the basics of the game but the taking turns part and only hitting your own ball obviously wasn’t covered in the episode of George as it became a free for all of hitting all balls over and over into the hole. We played the first 10 holes before heat and exhaustion had us running for the air conditioned car. Our number one rule of this trip was not to push the kids towards meltdown just to finish an activity or stay somewhere for a certain amount of time – it was time to cut bait and we did without hesitation!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Peanut Turns 5 Months Old at the beach

Just a word about Peanut (since he tends to get trumped by his big brother’s stories) on his 5 month birthday. Peanut has been an angel this trip. He has adjusted well to having less of a schedule and naps on the go in the car as needed and then takes a long nap when Little Man naps. We captured his first toothy grin today while at the aquarium. He loved watching the fish and was in total glory staring at the fish in the tanks while Little Man ran in circles and played. He doesn’t seem to mind the sand but has made it clear through grimaces that he doesn’t enjoy the cold ocean water. He took his first shower with me today and was as slippery as a greased pig – a 21 pound greased pig to be exact. He has preferences for toys and is starting to get bored and want new entertainment. He reaches for his binky and leans towards me if I walk by him when he is in someone else’s arms. Peanut is still working on the sitting up and has his good moments and bad ones too. All in all, he is still the angel he was when he was born 5 months ago and we are totally in love with him.

Peanut's First Toothy Grin

Fixing our Bad Language Habit

I swear (except that I try not to) that this post isn’t about swear words. It is about the bad language habit that resulted in Little Man being scared of the ocean. As the waves crashed and the water came in we used the unfortunate phrase “the water’s going to get you”. Well that scared Little Man into thinking that the water was going to get him and do something bad to him, and rightly so. I mean, how else do we use that phrase. The tickle monster is going to get you – and then we attack him. So today when he was whining that he wanted to go back to the beach house I walked down to the water and sat right about where the water was washing up. I took a shovel and a bucket and just started playing. Sure enough, Little Man wanted to join me. So he sat on my lap and when the water started to come near us I checked my bad language at the door and said “come here water, come here” and when it rolled over us I proclaimed “Yay, the water came here and now it is going back to the ocean, bye-bye water”. Well don’t you know, it made all the difference. Within a half hour he went from screaming if the water came near him to being chest deep in the water holding my hand and jumping the waves that came near us yelling “come here water, come here” or alternately “bye-bye water come again soon”. He told me that he had so much fun playing with the ocean today and he wanted to go and play with it again tomorrow. I love looking at the world through my toddler’s eyes and realizing that he really thinks the ocean was playing a game with him.

Oh and have I ever mentioned that I have a deep dark fear of the ocean. I mean, I love the beach, the sand, the sun, the fresh air. But I don’t like to go in the water past my ankles, I am terrified of the things that live in the ocean that I can’t see. But today, I didn’t have the option of giving into my fear because I was concentrating of ridding my 2 year old of his fear. Even as I looked down and saw a giant ( there might be some exaggeration in the size description) crab walking in the water just a few inches (slight exaggeration in the distance too) from my feet. I didn’t scream, or jump up and down or run back to the safety of the dry sand. I just looked away and took a deep breath and said “come here water, come here” with Little Man holding my hand. I figured if he could face his fear, so could I!

I Know a Papa Bear that Swallowed a Fly… I don’t know why…

Ok, so Papa Bear didn’t really swallow a fly, but he almost swallowed a bee that had decided to take a swim in his coffee. Luckily, the feeling of bee on his tongue was foreign enough to make him spit it out. Unfortunately he was driving at the time making it a little more challenging to ensure that the bee he had spit onto the floor was indeed dead. I had a run-in with the fly. There was a lone fly that was driving us crazy around the beach house. So armed with fly swatters (Little Man thought this was really fun) we went on a fly hunt. Saying..We’re going on a fly hunt and what did we find… Ok, we are total dorks, but back to the story. The fly was elusive and just as we were about to give up the fly landed on my back. Papa Bear shouts “Don’t move, the fly is on your back”. I freeze and then THWACK the fly swatter kills the fly ON MY BACK. But at least we got him and now we will hunt down his little friends. As we were eating dinner, Papa Bear and I deep in conversation, realize that the chatter coming from Little Man is “don’t bother me, don’t bother me don’t bother me me me” – his version of shoo fly don’t bother me – so we got the fly swatter back out and took care of business.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricanes Love Us

Papa Bear and I have been married for almost 10 years now and in that time we have taken our share of vacations…in hurricanes, 4 hurricane vacations to be exact. And don’t go thinking that just means bad planning on our part because two of those hurricanes were in places rarely ravaged by hurricanes and don’t even list a hurricane season due to the rarity. But the silver lining is that none of these hurricanes have ever even come close to ruining our vacation. While the news channels back home were reporting to our friends and family that our vacation areas were being evacuated and ravaged we were swimming in the pool with slightly overcast skies. In fact, if you count vacations taken while in the womb – this is Little Man’s third hurricane vacation and Peanut’s second one. Little Man was so excited that we were at the beach that even as the hurricane rains pounded the beach he was screaming to go see the ocean. So as soon as the rain stopped we ran down to the beach (it is only about 75 feet from our front door) and played. We taught Little Man how to play the chase game with water. We should have thought twice about the language we used because “watch out the water is going to get you” kind of terrified him and he ran almost all the way home before we caught up with him and told him we were kidding, it was a fun game. That didn’t stop him from running all the way to the top of the beach each time scared out of his mind and then turn around and tell us that he wanted to do it again. We almost sacrificed his crocs to the ocean gods and he got very upset when his hands got sandy so Papa Bear showed him how to wash them off in the ocean. All in all, fun was had despite the rain and very high tide and rough surf because all Little Man could talk about as we tried to get him to go to sleep was going to the beach in the morning and all we could say was WHEN THE SUN COMES UP, NOT WHEN YOU WAKE UP because there is a huge difference in Little Man’s world.

NOTE: A hurricane was nipping at our heel on the way out but held off until we were out of town. Seriously, if you want to hurricane proof your vacation - just invite us along.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Trip Down South

The trip down went better than you could expect with a 2 year old and a 5 month old in the car. We didn’t know how it would be with our newly potty trained Little Man and the start was a little shaky. We were all packed up and ready to go a 7 am and Peanut decided to grace us with a poop explosion. SO back in the house we went to get cleaned up. Then we were all ready to go at 7:15 and Little Man (who had been waiting in his car seat that whole time) had to go pee. SO back in the house we went to go pee. Then we were all set to go at 7:25 and we drove about a mile when Little Man decided he still had to pee a little and SO we pulled over to the side of the road (hadn’t even gone a mile at this point to pee in the potty AGAIN. But after that, it was cake. We only stopped once on the way to our midway point at Uncle Lee and Aunt Carol’s house. As always, a visit to the cousin was enjoyed by all. Peanut got a ton of attention from E and A and Little Man followed E around as if he were superhero. We got in the car to finish the last half of the trip and both boys passed out within 5 minutes of getting in the car. We hit a slight snag of traffic in the last 13 miles (taking an hour to go 5 miles) but what made it slightly more harrowing is that we had a newly potty trained toddler who had to go pee very badly and we were stuck in stopped (and I mean stopped) traffic while crossing a bridge in the rain. There was no where to pull off and no way to help our Little Man get some much needed relief. He was a trooper and held until we got across the bridge. He even announced “we across bridge STOP THE CAR”. So we are here. The kids are in bed, the house is a wreck, nothing is unpacked and I am taking a big deep breath of fresh ocean air and relief.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Checklist...To the Beach!

- Bags packed...check
- Cooler packed...check
- Car loaded past the point of possible occupancy...check
- Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease...check....

WAIT, WHAT?? Yes, that is right. As we get ready to depart for our vacation down at the beach, Little Man has come down with Hand, Food and Mouth Disease. What is this you ask? Well it starts as a rash (blister like) on the palms of his hands and on his feet. And then if that isn't fun enough, then sores start to appear on his tongue and all through his mouth. Apparently all of this, while painful and annoying, is totally harmless and goes away after about a week. Good, he will be better by the time we come back from vacation :)

Peanut has cut his second tooth and seems to be teething again and might get his third tooth while we are away. At least if his fussiness is any indication. Yesterday all he wanted to do was be held but me or Papa Bear which is so unlike our independent Peanut that I know something has to be up.

We leave tomorrow, hope to miss or at least just graze by Hurricane Bill (but we are experts at vacationing in hurricanes - this will be our 4th hurricane that hits while we are on vacation) But who cares, we will be at the beach as a family, cutting teeth with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. No matter what we will have a blast and have plenty of stories and pictures to post!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Big Teeth You Have...

The Better to Eat you With....

Two fun milestones in Peanut's life need to be announced.

1. We gave Peanut his first solid food (rice cereal) last night. He wasn't too keen on it though. He kind of looked at the spoon with a "You want me to do what with that?" kind of look. When we coaxed his mouth open and put the food in his mouth he grimaced, did a little gag and spit it out. But hey, we tried. We will try again in a week or so until we get a better reception.

The grimace...

The gag....

2. Peanut cut his first tooth. Yay! I stuck my finger in his mouth to give him something to chew on at the playground and when he chomped down, well he really chomped down! The second tooth should follow here in a few days and I am hoping that gives him some relief so that he can start sleeping better again! (4 months and 3 weeks old)

Oh how my little peanut/pork chop/tank is growing up and lookin' oh so cute!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ice Cream, Ducks, Parks and Train Rides (And Lots of Pictures)

We have been a busy family this weekend. After being trapped in the house during the potty training extravaganza for an entire week, we (mostly being me) felt the need to GET OUT and HAVE SOME FUN. So we have packed our day(s) and have been only home for Little Man's nap and making Peanut nap on the go (oh the woes of being the second child).

Little Man Ate Some Ice Cream..

Dropped Some Ice Cream....

Cleaned up all of the mess....(Sort of)

Peanut just made us smile...

We fed some geese...

Ate the food we brought to feed the geese with ....

Played at the playground...

Made some new friends...

Walked up and down steps...(looking mighty cute)

And Peanut, well he kept just making us smile!

It has been a wonderful family fun extravaganza and we still have tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Photo Friday (on Wednesday)

Just doing his business...
Check out all of my fatness

Ummmm....he does worry us just a little

Recipe for Disaster

Recipe for Disaster
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
Pull frozen pizza out of the oven
Open preheated oven and investigate burning rubber smell

Monday, August 10, 2009


Today was day 5 of our potty training/learning/mess experience AND Little Man was accident free. We are so proud of him and he is equally proud of himself. He loves to declare that he doesn't wear diapers, only Choo Choo underwear. I have a lot of confidence that this success will continue and then we can start to test it out of the house. We are all going a little stir-crazy. But success has been in part to keeping Little Man wearing just his underwear so that he can pull them down by himself and get to the potty all on his own, the independent guy that he is.

Peanut has just been taking it all in stride and dealing with not getting much attention as the rest of us do run run run to the potty, followed by our pee-pee dance and the rest of the routine. Although he has decided that while he has little to no interest in rolling all of his 20 pounds over, he is interested in sitting up. We thought that maybe he wasn't actually sitting, but rather being propped up by his fat rolls. So we investigated, looked from all angles and determined that he is indeed tripoding, the first stage to sitting. (we are thinking that the fat rolls are at least aiding in his tripod attempts, but we are still going to count it!)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Today's Potty Training Lesson

When potty training....

DO NOT hand your potty training toddler a bowl of grapes while he is sitting on the potty and blithely walk away. Three things will happen. First, your potty training toddler will immediately drop one of the grapes into the potty. Second, he will then try to retrieve said grape. And thirdly, he will then try to eat the retrieved potty grape. Grapes are good to give to potty training toddlers to help them more easily go poo BUT do not try and give them the grapes (to save time) while they are ON the potty.

Just saying, not that Papa Bear or I would EVER make this mistake - but we are just saying.. don't do it.

Potty grapes are to be avoided at all costs. (this probably goes for any easily dropped and retrievable food and the above advice should not be limited to just grapes)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Things I forgot to mention...

So I want to make sure that I capture some updates and fun events that have occured in the last week. We have been busy welcoming back Uncle Mark and Tita Michelle from two years in Nicaragua or as Little Man would say "Markanagua" and having Mee-Mom in town visiting, bringing presents and playing playing playing and then the potty training. So I know I have missed some things.

1. Peanut transferred a toy from hand to hand on Wednesday, August 5th. I know, big deal, right? Well in this house we celebrate each and every milestone and development. The first time no one saw the actual transfer, but Mee-Mom noted that the toy had definitly changed hands. So we waited and watched Peanut play with his toy and he didn't make us wait long. Papa Bear was at work, but was called with the news right away. Mee-Mom and I did a little Toy Transfer Celebration dance (bet you didn't even know one existed) for Peanut. I was also excited to note that his first toy transfer was done with the same toy monkey (known as George) that Little Man did his first toy transfer with!

2. Little Man got to go to the Choo Choo park with Uncle Mark. He had been promised the Choo Choo park (unbeknownst to Uncle Mark) with Uncle Mark by Papa Bear a few days before Uncle Mark arrived. The first time that Little Man saw Uncle Mark (after 1.5 years), he immediatly asked him to take him. So off we went. Little Man was in heaven, he got to ride the Choo Choo sitting on Uncle Mark's lap and Uncle Mark was in heave getting to hold Little Man during the train ride. They also rode the carousel together and then Uncle Mark treated for ice cream.

3. Little Man might just have a crush on Tita Michelle. The rest of us felt a little obsolete as he held her hand, jumped into her lap, told her she had pretty eyes and kept asking her to go in the other room to play with him so that he could have him all to herself. It was in a word, beautiful to this mama to watch her son be so affectionate and loving to his aunt, especially as she might just be just as in love with him!!

Uncle Mark and Peanut

Tita Michelle and Peanut

Little Man getting all of the lovin'

The Adventures of Potty Training - Part I

Yes, we have taken on the onerous task of potty training Little Man. For the more educated parents out there, let's call it potty learning. For the more militaristic parents out there, let's call it potty boot camp. For those honest parents out there, let's call it an expensive carpet cleaning bill and a lot of gross.

We started yesterday and have seen definite progression. We began by saying goodbye to diapers and hello to only big boy underwear, more specifically Choo Choo and Spiderman Underwear. (He picked them out by himself) But we had immediate and repetitive accidents in the underwear so at 10am I called it "naked booty" time and we had no more accidents all day as long as we were in naked booty state. The cutest part of naked booty was when Little Man put on his crocs and was otherwise totally naked. (Maybe that is just cute to me as his mom) It was a long messy, stressful day.

Today was much better. We had one accident this morning and did a little naked booty time and have been accident free the rest of the day. We even ventured out on a walk with our portable potty (a must have potty learning devise) and it was used mid-walk much to our neighbors chagrin as they got the full moon from Little Man on the main street of our neighborhood. We have given out 2 poop presents and a ton of blue M&M's. Tomorrow we might even go in the car....I am not sure we feel quite that adventurous but you never know.

Go Little Man! We should be trained/learned/mess free by the end of the weekend!!