Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Weekend 2008

It is Labor Day weekend, and I feel pretty crummy, glad to have 3 days "off" though. I say "off" because the only thing off is my work phone, I have an audit to finish by midnight tonight, after Gordon goes to bed, so I'll be doing a little work, and other than a catch up here, I've been cleaning, and boy does this place need cleaning. I was at my parents last weekend, so it has been 2 weeks and the play doh crumbs are starting to look like confetti throughout the house.

Shannon had to leave this morning for an overnight case near Asheville, so it is just Gordon and I today and tomorrow. That is a bummer, I was looking forward to being all together as a family for at least one day of the weekend. That is the part about his job I hate, we never get time together it seems, at least enough time to actually go anywhere or do anything. I had wanted to take Gordon to a fair or something this weekend - there is a lot going on, but I am so sick - something "intestinal" (and I won't get any more graphic than that in case you were just about to dive into your Labor Day picnic or something.) It is going on 4 days straight now. I've never experienced anything like this before, I am thinking it must be something I ate, but if it hasn't subsided by Tuesday I think I'll definitely be calling a doctor. Fun. We are staying close to home.

Gordon and I had a quiet but fun morning - we ran out of playdoh - and we NEED playdoh. I have toyed with the idea of making my own, but then thought - it isn't THAT expensive, so we went to Target this morning and I bought a 24 pack - Gordon was thrilled! We came home and played "make something mommy". Gordon gives me some playdoh and tells me to make something (and I have to say I'm getting good at forming giraffes, turtles, and other critters with nothing but my bare hands and some playdoh!), but he is getting better about making his own too - both with the molds and tools and just "freestyle". In fact, just before lunch, I asked him what he was making and he told me he was making an apple and a washing machine...pretty talented huh?!

After Playdoh Fest 2008 we turned on mommy's favorite cartoon on Noggin - Oswald! The friends from Big City were having a picnic so mommy got some inspiration - I got my red and white check table cloth out of the linen closet and spread it out on the living room floor. You should have heard Gordon squeal and scream and clap his hands and yell "We're Having A Picnic! Just like Oswald!" We sat on the blanket. He made sure I was ON it, because that wouldn't have been a picnic if I'd have been 1/2 on the carpet. We sat with our legs "criss-cross apple sauce" (I guess saying "indian style" isn't P.C. at his school!) Then we dove into our "pie" (actually it was spinach, ham & cheese quiche with homemade crust that I made a few weeks ago and froze and had defrosted thinking Shannon would be here too - just so you all know - cooked quiche freezes wonderfully!) It was fun, we put our picnic away and then it was nap time. And time for Mommy to vegetate in front of the computer for a few minutes :) I have no idea what is on the agenda for this afternoon's entertainment - I am feeling like rearranging the living maybe Gordon can just help me or maybe we'll have a sandbox/pulling weeds party?!

Here are pictures from last weekend's visit with my parents. We got there Thursday afternoon and stayed through Saturday afternoon. We went to Santaland on Friday. That was an interesting place. Gordon enjoyed the little kid rides and train, but we all felt sorry for the poor animals in the zoo part as their cages were pretty small and they absolutely reeked so horribly, we only stayed for 1 1/2 hours. One of the highlights of the visit to the mountains though was Gordon's new walking stick. My Dad carved a walking stick just for Gordon, with his initials in it and Gordon loved using it to hike with his Grandpa on the mountain. He is becoming quite a naturalist and loves collecting all sorts of treasures and inspecting all the plants and animals along the way. He has quite an eye and quite a memory!
Some hummingbirds - this was amazing, the winds (not gusts, steady winds) were over 30 mph and it was too windy for us to sit on the porch - but the hummers had no problems flying in it - amazing creatures.
This train was built for Gordon's size, us 3 adults creaked and groaned as we crawled into and our of our seats:

He wasn't too sure about this helicopter ride at first, but he made it through it:
He took his job as tow truck driver very matter how goofy mom or his grandpa acted, we couldn't get that, "leave me alone, I'm driving" look off his face:

Race car driver Gordon - he figured out how to steer it before the much older boy in front of him did - you make it go out further if you turn the wheel - he liked this ride:

Since he was such a good tow truck driver, he had to try his hand at driving the fire truck too:
Who are these people?????
I said "look Gordon, they have a camel here lets go over and see the camel" - his serious response "does it have 2 humps?" He thought all camels had 2 humps...I was just amazed he knew that camels had humps at all at age 30 months!
Gordon was either making a statement about the sad condition of the zoo animals or he was just one tuckered out toddler
Thanks for looking - Happy Labor Day to everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

From Forgiveness to Zucchini

Sorry I've been M.I.A. Work got pretty rough the last couple of weeks - many long nights, but I'm back...with little to say and just a few random pictures. My big drama for the week was getting rear-ended Tuesday afternoon while I was sitting at a red light. It wasn't bad, my foot was firmly on the brakes so I didn't hit the car in front of me, and wouldn't even be worth commenting on, if the woman that hit me had been a normal person...but she was insanely enraged and made the whole experience one of the most ugly encounters in my life (which is saying a lot...there have been a few). It is one of those times in my life when that verse in the Bible, "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" Matthew 5:44 really makes me dig deep because it was very hard to feel anything close to love for this woman...but now that the hours (a lot of them) have passed, I've begun to wonder about her, and what has made her so vicious, what emptiness she must feel to be so filled with hate, and that does make me pity her, and pray for that love? I think it is, in some way. The memory of her woke me up at 2:30 this morning - and I needed that sleep thank you very much :( and I wish, now that I have forgiven her and found peace with it, that I would never think of it again, but I guess it doesn't work that way.

But maybe a change of scenery will help!

I am leaving this morning at 8, with my little helper in tow, to someplace near Hickory, NC. Several of my co-workers and I are doing a volunteer project to help a friend, and Gordon is going along, with his very own rake and shovel in tow - well, that will make a nice photo op - not sure how much real help he'll be - but I know he'll have a blast trying! Since Hickory is more than half way, I've decided to make a visit to my parents, so Gordon and I will get a nice long weekend in the mountains...and once again, poor Shannon will be stuck home working hard.

Oh - and one update...the ice cream truck was here last weekend...and sure 'nuff, Gordon knew exactly what that meant - this time mommy had remembered to have some cash on hand and we did get some more ice cream...I'm beginning to like this truck - wonder if you can call him for delivery on weeknights when you've had a rotten day and just need a Blue Bunny treat to cheer you up?!

So here's my random shots of the last week or so:

Not quite ready for school yet...

Now we're ready!
Gordon in a box...
This is not very exciting I'm sure...but it was the first time Gordon ever ate an apple by himself...without me cutting it up into teeny pieces...he LOVED being able to bite into it!

A REEEAALY random GIANT zucchini and some tomatoes from the garden, the zucchini was really good in a recipe I found for CHOCOLATE zucchini bread - it was like chocolate cake - but I would call it health food since so much zucchini was in it LOL! I also made one of the best meatloafs I've ever made (and I make good meatloaf if I do say so myself) with shredded zucchini in it - whodda thunk?!:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Look Out World, He's Discovered The Ice Cream Truck!

Every summer we hear the ice cream truck one or two afternoons a week - circling around the apartments up the hill from us, the music of children's songs, hymns, and even Christmas carols (which I sorta like as you know!) blaring from this big ole white van as it waits for all the kids to hit up their parents for some mullah to buy a frozen treat.

Since we have no other kids on the street, he usually skips us...all well and good. I don't need scrumptious goodies driving to me...I have a hard enough time resisting getting them myself when I have to drive to the store.

Well thanks to my enthusiastic neighbor S - Gordon now knows the secret of the musical truck.

I tried to prevent him from learning what it meant - he'd heard it, I realized it was in the cul de sac, and that my neighbor had friends visiting with little kids so they were probably buying something - but when Gordon asked me repeatedly "what's that noise" and then finally spotted the white truck outside - I just said "oh its nothing honey, just someone playing music in their truck." (Sorry G, I was really just trying to look out for you, honestly I was.)

Well it went on and on and finally I hear someone pounding on the front door - and here is S, in her melodic Jamaican voice telling me "What is wrong with you - this IS summer - buying ice cream treats from the ice cream truck IS summer - Gordon has to have one and I'm buying him something so where is he?!" I think that coming from anyone else might have been offensive, but she was so excited, and Gordon came running to the front door, sensing something fun was about to happen. She scooped him right up and stole my child right out the front door and took him to see the ice cream truck.

He was struck speechless. She asked him what he wanted and he could only point LOL. She bought him a Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwich. He was in Blue Bunny Heaven as you'll see below.

We brought it back inside to eat, and despite that the sandwich was the biggest one I've ever seen - he still managed to chow down on 2/3rds of it.

But he did remember that he still loves his mommy - despite my attempt at hiding this pleasure from him, so he offered me a few bites - but first he asked "I have to share?"

he he he - yes honey, I'm only taking a few bites because this teaches you how to share - it really isn't that this is best ice cream sandwich ever made and mommy wants to eat it all in 3 giant bites - it is all just a sacrifice for your character development sweetie.

We had a fun afternoon - and when Daddy got home and put his key in the front door Gordon ran to the door as fast as he could shouting "the ice cream truck is back, the ice cream truck is back!" Huh...Shannon loved that one. So now he knows the secret. And every day that truck goes by with his music beckoning young and old, my little man is going to be begging and pleading for me to take him to the truck to get some ice cream...thanks S...I owe you big time.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

3 Little Monkeys At The Zoo

We have a wonderful Natural Science Center which includes a small zoo as well as all the museum attractions and it is just one mile up the road (which is great for visiting, but I occasionally wonder how secure the tiger fencing is and when I'm mowing the lawn I keep my eyes peeled...just kidding...I hope.)

So I squeezed a couple of hours out of my schedule and met a friend and her two boys for a visit with some local exotic critters. Yes it is August, and yes it is HOT, but our Plan A was to go to the well air conditioned and sheltered Children's Museum, but that fell through because after meeting up there we discovered Mondays are Members Only mornings and my membership expired 7/31. I had decided this year I was getting the Natural Science Center family membership instead of the Children's we were left out in the sweltering parking lot faced with 3 very disappointed toddlers on the verge of a massive tantrum. Only with promises of going someplace even "funner" (and some snacks if they got back in the car without screaming) did we get them all back in their respective car seats without any major meltdowns.

So that's how we ended up at the zoo on a Monday morning. I think it was worth it...the boys sure had a friend and I were a bit worn out from keeping 3 curious little ones from straying too far off the paths and becoming part of the exhibits...Gordon seemed more interested in every rock and acorn he could find on the forested path than looking at caged birds and monkeys who were all dealing with the heat by hiding in shady places and not moving. But the tigers, maned wolves, and anteater did get their least a moment in toddler standard time. So we kept things moving and I got back home by 12:30 to get Gordon fed and down for a nap so I could get some work done. Here are some pictures...won't be winning any photography contests with these, but my hands were too full with sippies and grabbing little hands to take very many shots:

Don't worry...I still got my work done, but I had to pay the price for my errant ways by working until midnight last night...yawn...I need some super strength coffee today.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sooooooooo Big!

Last night I was sitting in the chair rocking when Gordon climbed up on to my lap and said "mommy's rocking her baby" and then he laid his head on my shoulder and wrapped his arms around my neck and stretched out like he was going to go to sleep on me. It was one of the sweetest moments. Then I laughed when I realized my "baby" was more than half my length and his toes were touching my shins! I recently bought him some new clothes for this fall/winter - in a size 4T!! I need to stand him against his height chart and see how tall he is today...his weight has stayed the same for months now, at 37.5 lbs.
Picture time...

looking cool in mom's shades

Getting the full garden tour with Grandma...he sure enjoyed the garden, especially picking beans and berries and "slapping" a huge pumpkin that is already bigger than a basketball.

The sunflowers were gorgeous, it was a perfect day

It inspired my choice of background for the blog as you can see

picking a peck of peppers...

You might think this picture shows a little boy deep in thought about the various aspects of gardening...but actually I'd just asked him for just ONE of the dozen blackberries he had cupped in both of his hands and in a panic he'd shoved every one of them into his mouth at once...

There's farming blood in those genes

Sharing a funny with Grandma...

I enjoyed sitting in the gazebo and waiting for a cool breeze...the ceiling is a work of art...

My little man...slowing down for a snack on the deck...I'm sure he's thinking why is mommy always taking pictures of me? The other day he came out from his room all sleepy eyed and happy and said "I'm cute!" --- maybe he does understand after all.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Blogger Char!

I'm here! Sorry I'm late...I've been meaning to blog but just kept putting it off. Then somehow I got hooked on reading a few, and then I thought: shouldn't the rest of the world be subjected to my thoughts and opinions and wit too? I always do like to get the last word...just ask my family and friends.

Dinner calls...I've got fresh green beans from the garden so decided to try this as a side - mainly because I had everything already and it used the crock pot so I'm using the oven for a 7 lb turkey breast that I'm going to roast and then later to turn my impossibly enormous zucchini into a delectable loaf of this...hope the power stays on, we're having a severe thunderstorm right now :) but I love those summer storms! And lately the fireflies have made the backyard look like a gazillion little miniature flash bulbs going off in a concert hall! Ahhh summer!