Saturday, July 31, 2010

Farmers Market Outings...

"I go see Farmers!" he yells with excitement, as we start to load into the car.  

I snatch him up from the driveway,  turning to place him into the car seat. 

"I do it Mommy! I do it!" he shouts, wriggling out of my hands. 

"Okay, Okay... you can do it," I say, putting him beside his seat. 

He ensures I'm giving no help by placing his hands out toward me, as if to say back off.  He turns, pulling himself up into the seat, places both feet on, then turns and plops. 

"I got it Mama. I got it," he brags. 

"You sure did sweetheart. Wow, you're a big boy," I brag back. 

We pull out of the drive, heading toward West Chester, moving along at a clip, because I'm unsure what time it ends. It's a hot summer Saturday morning but not as bad as last Saturday. Last Saturday, we were sweating before we'd even gotten out of the parking lot and it wasn't even 10:30am. Today, we're running behind and to miss it would crush me just a little. The kid too - he loves to see the farmers. 

Parking is not easy 'round these parts. Anywhere. Philadelphia - Ha. West Chester - Ugh. Conshohocken - Pft. We roll into the borough, scanning the little lot nearby the market. Full - but a few folks looked to be heading to their cars. We do the roll and stalk, ya know, roll sslloowwlly, stalking those walking to their cars. The moment we see where they're headed, we stop, put on the signal and wait. Ahh the wait. You're holding up the lot and wishing Mary Jo Slow Po would just put her bags in the back already and Leave! How long can it possibly take pull OUT of your spot?? 

"What ya doin' Mama?" He asks from the back. 

"We're trying to park," I explained. 

"We park?" He shouts. He loves shouting lately. Anything! Words, Phrases, Sentences. 

Finally, Mary Jo has managed to back out, and we whip in, before someone else snags the spot. 

"We park Mommy!" he announces, grinning from ear to ear. I nod and begin to unstrap him out of the restraints, repeating it back to him, "you're right Abram, we just parked... you are so so smart sweetheart," and i give him kisses as he tries to dash away into a parking lot. I grab the hands, reminding him we must hold hands. I'm such a drag, I know! 

For once, I was behind the camera, so husband made it into some pics. Take note of the kids shopping bag, strapped across him, ready for purchases of melons, beets, watermelons, tomatoes, green peppers, the like.

But before he could begin pointing out the veggies and fruits he wanted to buy, he spots a huge sign in the shape of an ice cream cone. "ICE!!" he shouts! He's always called it Ice. forget the cream, just gimme some ice.  On said ice cream shaped sign, it read 'ICE CREAM SOCIAL: FREE CONES.' Well, how could I say no to that! I mean after all, it was Free. I love me some free stuff! The boys indulged and I observed, a job in itself.

Here's the kid, receiving his cone graciously from ice cream cone lady. I think I even heard him tell her 'thank you'. My instructions to husband regarding the cone were "get him a flavor without colors. Just go with vanilla." and the kid came away with a rainbow ice cream cone. What the?!?! Turns out, it was the Only flavor of the day. Well. So be it.

We scanned all the tents, comparing prices, produce, and options. We usually end up buying most of our stuff from this stand here though, where they boys are headed to pick up our seedless watermelon. Its not certified organic, so its cheaper than the organic guy two tents down, but they claim it is all naturally grown (no pesticides) and I believe it. Why? He's Amish. See above. The Amish don't lie. So, we roll with it and buy most things from him. When the kid is shouting, "I go see Farmers!" this is what he's talking 'bout. Loving the Amish farmers. I think it might be the beard. And the hat.

*note - for those of you who can't hardly see the amish dude and wonder why i wasn't closer, i stood just outside his tent to snap the pic. amish round these parts aren't fond of having their picture made. And I like this guy. And see him weekly. So, I was respectful and took the picture from afar, instead of in his face. Isn't that nicer? I thought so.

We came home with our bags loaded up with goodies. Abram even managed to carry two tomatoes all on his very own, in his very own bag, though I believe the bruising on those two was a result his dragging the bag on occasion. But, I ignore the bruising as I cut them later that night for 'snack' and remind him they are HIS tomatoes.

"MY tomatoes Mama?" he asks, digging his hand into the bowl. The one bowl he wants all of his snacks served in.

"Yes Baby, you're tomatoes."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

From Bee Stings to Bears and an occasional Moose

Arriving home from daycare, he runs to me, and I ask "how was your day?!?" every single day.

Just last week, I asked the usual, "did u have a good day?" and he shook his head quickly, "Nooo." Oh No. He's already having bad days?? I thought that would be grade school!

Me: (looking at husband, puzzled, husbands nods) Why didn't you have a good day sweetheart??

Kid: I SCARED!!!! (he does the signs for scared, very dramatically! where he gets his dramatics, I DO not know!)

Me: What happened??? (very puzzled, hugging him)

Kid: A Big Bear!!! I go running!

Me: (extra puzzled now) You got really scared because I big bear showed up a daycare and you ran from it??

Kid: Yes Mommy. Me Scared of Bear! No Bear! No.

I showered him with hugs and kisses as husband explained, the teachers told the "going on a bear hunt" story to the 2 year old class today and abram. eh, he didn't take it so well. In other words, he completely. Freaked. Out. Shaking. Crying. Hysterics. Etc.

He's developed this fear. I blame it on the day he got the bee sting. It happened at daycare. A bee flew straight down onto his face, and stung the living crap out of him. Would not let go, hung from his face, and finally the teachers got it off. He went hysterical and obsessed over the bee sting for weeks. Not Kidding.

After the bee incident, he began walking around the yard with his eyes on constant prowl for critters. Is that a spider? a bug? he ran from ants. Screamed about bees. Stopping periodically while outside to scope out his surroundings for any bees bugs or other creatures large or small.

We're working with him. Trying to show him that bugs aren't scary! And now. It's Bears. And Dinosaurs.

"dinosaurs mama," he says, grinning.

"oh where?" I ask mysteriously, playing along.

"over there, hall," he whispers, pointing to the hall.

Me, playing along, glanced into the hall, whispering back, "Oh yea, Big DInosaurs!"

"Hold me Mama!! NO Dinosaurs!!" he cries, tears welling up.

He wants to pretend we have dinosaurs but the moment we play along, it doesn't go so well... haha... so now we've taken to the serious approach, assuring him, there are indeed NO dinosaurs in the house. Or at the hotel we're staying at. Or in the trees. Or at the mall.

Now we can add bears to the mix thanks to the daycare horror story of "going on a bear hunt". good times:-)

Just last night, he woke at 3am, screaming!

I ran in.... soothing him, asking "whats wrong baby, what is it?"

Tears pooring down his little face, his hands shaking, and his arms reaching for his mama, he tells me, "Moose mama! MOOSE!"

Oh. My. Word. We talked about looking for moose on our trip to NH. In a FUN way of course. And we saw a few random moose statues in VT. End of story! Now he's having bad dreams about Moose?!? Or he's afraid theres one in his room? I couldn't figure it out.

The next morning, I went in to get him up... he's his usually happy morning self, grinning at the sight of me.

We whisper good mornings. give kisses. tight hugs. soft chat of morning milk and yes, moose.

"No moose mama?" he asks, wanting reassurance.

"No Moose Abram. None."

"No Moose outside???" he raises his eyebrows.

"Nope. Not one. They're in New England. Far far away. And Canada. Yes, New England and Canada," I said.

He smiled, liking my answer. "Canada," he stated, nodding. I nodded.

"We go watch Big Bird Mama?" Yes, onto Big Bird...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Break time...

My interest in the International Business position of Mexico is pretty minimal, as in, nonexistent really. That didn't matter. I still had to write the paper. 16 whole long pages, double spaced thank you Lord, analyzing all sorts of international business-y stuff regarding Mexico. Of course I procrastinated. I had 8 whole weeks to plan. and write notes. and research. and even compose an outline. But no. Why do that when I could cram it all into 8 days?!? way more fun. and more stressful. This was about 4 tests, 4 essays later. Oh, and lots of reading.

July 9th, I handed that paper in and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Literally. I hit send. and seriously felt this wave of freedom wash over me! Since Jan, I have been taking classes, beginning with Legal Issues in Business, throwing in a Marketing Management course, and rounding it all out with this lovely course - International Business. I opted to take a break for the rest of the summer...

The break scares me. Rightfully so. Because it feels so so good. Things at work have calmed down to almost a boring pace. I have no class until August 23. And wow. I forgot how good it feels to not have things pressing down on me. Things to read, to write, to take care of or to prepare for - ahhh, i'm loving it! The thought of resuming on August 23 becomes less and less appealing. But, lets not go there. No No. Lets talk about what we've been doing on my good ole break instead.

I've been cooking a lot! Or as husband would say, I've been chopping and stirring a lot. With summer here, I hate to turn on the oven, or even the stove. So in an attempt to not heat up our (ahem no central AC) house, I've been whipping up some no cook recipes. I even ordered a no-cook cookbook! husband excitement is practically uncontainable, i tell ya!

I've been reading. Not business crap. Real Reading. Books. Blogs. Magazines I had neglected for months. I've had the free time to catch up on my OWN blog. journaling. I have been renting and watching movies like nobodies business! Seriously. Can we say 3-4 movies each week, no joke. I've been staying up late, giddy with excitement, like i'm a college kid on a real summer break! Course Im not - so i'm dragging myself out of bed each morning, dead tired, trekking my way to Northeast Philly for work. I'm letting the kid stay up late too, as if he's on some sort of break too.

And the extra, nothing hanging over my head, time with the kid has been so wonderful. I've been spending lots of time outside with him. Playing. Running. Throwing baseball. Shooting basketball. Playing in the sandbox. Hiding in his castle. Splashing in the pool. Dashing through the water ring. Doing some indoor fun stuff like watching Diego and Sesame street. playing car wash and farm with the little people. Cooking together. Trucks. Lots of truck time!

Grocery shopping together. Fake grocery shopping and the real deal too. Let me tell you, my boys loves grocery shopping as much as his mama:) No joking here. I adore grocery shopping. I don't go by a list. I just go. and often. I say to the kid, " you want to go to the store??" my eyes flashing with excitement. "YES!" he screams, grabbing the bags! "STORE!". We hop in the car like we're going to buy candy, parking and dash in giggling with excitement. but we aren't buying candy! no no. we're buying real food.

fresh fruit. veggies. the kid points out pineapples. watermelon. canteloupe. strawberries. bananas. naming them off and begging to put them in the cart. we linger way too long in the organic food aisles, chatting about what to try, whats too expensive, and what looks especially tasty. a boy after my own heart i tell ya. Once in a blue moon, i'll dash to the store without him for a quick something. He cries. Yep. He hates to miss a grocery outing i tell ya!

We've had some company - friends overnight from TN. friends over for an occasional evening get together. Or an afternoon lunch. We've decided to park the car and not travel for awhile. Relax. Stay home. Invite folks over. See if we get bored. Stuff like that. Actually socialize with some people in our own home and our own town. Thus far, we're diggin' it...

The boys in philly...

abram and steph (my bf from TN!) ...

To top it all off, we've been attempting the whole potty training thang here on the Sonneborn homefront. Its going with with our little homeboy but it ain't all easy peasy. If he's running without a stitch of clothing on from the waist down, he's a potty king! not an accident to date when he's a naked boy. He goes to his potty to pee, poop, you name it! But you put some shorts on him and its all over. as in really all over. pee all over. He still goes to the potty for pooping. but the pee thang, ahh, only goes well if he's naked. Hmmm. how to make this transition? Not quite like I can take him out in his naked state! Not quite acceptable in these parts. Creative mama in me thought, perhaps i'll get him excited about some undies:-) and we were off to Kohls.

THIS is what we came home with...

He narrowed it down to 3 packs. His choice of course. FInally putting Thomas the train back on the shelf, He then had a really tough time deciding between the Diego undies and the MIckey Mouse ones. Why I don't know. He's never even laid eyes on Mickey in his life. After some serious inner dilemma, he went with his ole fave, diego. Clearly, the undies didn't do it. Sure, hes loved them but see above. Self explanatory I do believe. I got some hilarious shots of him with these I must say. But, being a public blog, I opted for these two cuties above. I may have to break down and read something about how to actually potty train a kid. Dang! I was hoping to lick this thing without having to read the instructions first:( Boooo! I hate reading instructions. But i do have the time now so there's really no excuse. Darn.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 4th Trip...

The kid seemed to be healthy and happy and fully recovered by friday morning, so we hit the road in our attempt to celebrate July 4th in the New England states. We had a rough plan of staying a night in NH, a night in VT, and another night in upstate NY. Initially the trip was moving along wonderfully, so much so, that we agreed to stop for lunch in NYC at one of my favorite joints of all time - Candle Cafe! YUM;-) a vegan cafe that even husband likes. I was in heaven. so were the boys! we love that food:)

Unfortunately, after our pit stop, every person in upstate NY and CT had decided to get on the road too. fun stuff. a trip that would usually take 5 1/2 hours, took about 10. crazy i tell ya. crazy. who handled this madness the best? the kid. he watched videos. napped. ate organic raisins. ate more snacks. sang songs. meanwhile, husband was flipping out, banging on the steering wheel wishing he'd never planned the darn trip.

We finally arrived at our first destination - Keene, NH. Since the road up was so long, we opted to stay two nights in Keene to get the most of this adorable town!!

The pictures don't even do it justice! It was such a cute place, very low key, and the best thing of all - our hotel was one block from main street. we walked to most everything! the shops, restaurants, the farmers market, you name it. I adored the town as did husband. It was such a clean unique little place. The kid ran around all over and yes, he was barefoot. He's gotten into a bad ole habit of throwing off his sandals, constantly.... this afternoon, i just let it be. the streets were so darn clean! who cared!

We ventured out one day to a local lake area with a beach. The kid loved the sand and water!

He loved watching the boats too. the real boats that is. but also the inflatable rafts all the other kids had, he was loving those too. He kept calling them boats. Wheres my boat Mama?? I was confused at first but finally realized what he meant. I thought I was being smart to bring along his bucket and shovel, thinking, what else does a kid need?!? apparently - a kid really needs his very own boat! He wouldn't let it go either! We felt like bad parents by the end of the day haha. but he managed to still have fun, even without a boat. He built sand castles and played on the playground too. And believe me, as soon as we left that lake, we drove straight to walmart and bought that boy his very own boat!! HE LOVED IT. and was obsessed with it the rest of the trip! He constantly needed to know where his boat was. He even woke during the night a few times talking about his boat, asking for it LOL. So funny! I hate i don't have a picture of that darn boat to post!

We ate some wonderful food too... the town had anything you could think of - even food i liked haha... heres a group shot taken by some super nice people that sat next to us:) Everywhere had outdoor seating which we love!

Here's dad and abram waiting on the fireworks show! the fireworks show we never saw.

Yep. thats right. we waited over an hour for fireworks that never could be seen. the parking lot was packed with folks waiting. packed! the people parked next to us said they were there last year and it was a great show. They were over from VT for the weekend and were wonderfully nice. They're kids played with our kid, they shared their bug spray (thank you!), and even let abram play with some of their toys. The fireworks started, and we heard them well. but - apparently the location moved for this year and no one (in the parking lot!) knew it! BUMMER:( No worries though. We caught a fireworks show the next night in upstate NY.

After our lovely two days in NH, we spent a day in VT, even hitting up a local flea market! That night, we ended up in Woodstock NY for our last night. It was a fun trip and we would love to go back to Keene! but NOT on the fourth of july, ever again! traffic was just too much. But we still had a ball!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The never ending illness...

I blame daycare. I blame the kids in his class. I blame his teachers. I blame the day i forgot to wipe down the highchair at the mall. i blame myself sometimes too. The poor kid is always battling an illness. It's never ending. Not just one ongoing illness. A whole slew of them.

Ranging from ear infections, colds, viruses, pink eye, a viral infection, the undiagnosed illnesses, the rash, oh and the lovely hand-foot-and-mouth one, another pink eye, and the last one, the real kicker, the croup.

The croup. Ugh. Over this one weekend in particular, he was a bit sniffly but when isn't a daycare kid sniffly!? I remember at some point husband remarking that the kid sounded wheezy but - I had shrugged it off.

Monday morning rolled around. I strolled off (thats a lie. more like, raced off because i was Late!) to work early to teach a class. Husband later called saying the kid had a fever and sounded very wheezy. A trip to our good ole pediatrician was in order. He was diagnosed with the croup. Parent instruction? keep an eye on it and bring him back if it worsens. He already sounded awful - how we were to know if it worsened was beyond me.

Fast forward into Tuesday afternoon, I had just wrapped an invigorating teaching session with my ever excited, optimistic personnel (HA!). Husband calls. The kid was in the ER because his breathing became so labored he couldn't get enough air and/or oxygen.

"Okay. I'm on my way," I calmly told him.

I casually told my co-instructor I had to go, giving brief details of my sick kid. Not saying much. I'm sure he is sick of hearing it. My sick kid. blah blah blah. He doesn't have children. He is a man. and i doubt he gives two craps honestly. and to top it all off, my kid is always sick so - again, i'm sure he's thinking 'oh yea yea whatever, are you coming in tomorrow or what?' good times.

Turns out, he was transported to a peds unit for overnight breathing treatments, steriods, the whole nine. I went from a mom who flinches at giving him doses of motrin, to asking when he gets the next steriod treatment. I stayed overnight with the little guy, forcing husband home to rest (like he did ha. no chance - he was worried to death. not that i wasn't but i just handle illness related stress much better than him. he knows this. as i do obviously).

I begged of the doctor, "why does this keep happening to him? Is something wrong with his immune system? I mean, seriously? what is going on with all this sickness!?"

Doctor: "Is he in daycare?"

Me: "well yes."

Doctor: "yea, thats how it goes. I know its rough but by the time he starts kindergarden, he'll have the best immune system in his whole class," she throws out casually as she writes notes in his chart.

Me (thinking to self): Oh well, how wonderful. I feel fabulous now. I have something to look forward to FOR THREE YEARS! sigh.
(now verbalizing) "Um, is there anything I can do, to ward off any of these germs, illnesses, or to give him some level of...?"

Doctor: "Probably not. I mean, sure there are good ideas like a good diet, his vitamins, but mainly lots of hand washing. lots! Truthfully though, when a kids in daycare its a never ending germ fest. Turning into a germ freak won't help anything. Just be conscious. That's all you can do."

A never ending germ fest. so very medical doctor-ish sounding isn't it? I loved the terminology. And I really liked her. and she is absolutely right.

I spent the next two days sulking over his illness. suffering from guilt that we send him to that never ever germ fest. and wondering when it would end. I visualized dropping him off at daycare with rubber gloves on and a mask perhaps.

I am not a worrier. I am not. I don't want to become one either. I find that, being a mom, thats a little more challenging than prior. ya know, back when I just had good ole me to worry about. well, and the dogs.

We had planned a fourth of july trip to New Hampshire and upstate New York. We monitored him closely, trying to decide, should we should still attempt the trip? The doctor had sent him home with no meds, saying he sounded wonderful by discharge. She felt he would recover rapidly and assured us that making the trip that friday would probably be just fine. I missed the rest of work that week to stay home with the kid and keep my eye on him 24/7. well, i did sleep at night so whats that, 17/7?

Nevertheless, I put the worries behind me. We hit the road to NH. And I did not send him back to daycare till the next week (no gloves or mask, i promise).

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