26 August 2012

Dog Days and Thunderbirds.

The end of August is upon us. School's will soon be in session, our beach days will start to wane, and we'll be digging out the fall clothes before we know it.  It's been an awesome summer.  How does LL Bean celebrate the final days of August? By hosting the Dog Days of Summer--a day long event dedicated to Maine's favorite four legged friend.  So, when faced with what to do yesterday, I remembered this was happening, and took Garrett and Gabby for a stroll around Freeport while visiting the vendors dedicated to all things dog.

Gabs was in her glory.  Forget the 30+ pound kid attached to my back, everybody wanted to pet the Gabby and she lapped it up.  We saw all kinds of dogs--big ones, little ones, fat ones, skinny ones, fluffy ones, all kinds.  All someone has to do is give Gabby a rub and she immediately does her famous 'lean in', making friends immediately.  It's times like these I'm reminded how much I love this girl. 

Garrett had a ball looking at all the dogs, watching them do tricks, and even making a few new furry friends of his own.  He loved pointing out all the different kinds we were seeing.
I tried desperately to get a group photo.  Neither G's wanted to cooperate.

After all that dogness,someone was wiped out.  Wouldn't take a nap however once home, so off we went again, this time to Brunswick for some errands and happened to go at the time when the magnificent Thunderbirds were doing their tricks.  This weekend was the Great State of Maine Air Show, held at the former Brunswick Naval Airbase.  We happened to be across the street from the base as the Thunderbirds went racing by at breakneck speed, sounding like explosions in the sky.  Garrett watched in awe and loved it.  

Sunday brought a day off for the whole family.  Another picture perfect day, so it was a no-brainer that we'd be heading off to the beach. First though, breakfast was in order.  Recently, we've become disappointed with our local spots. Crappy service + cold food x many times = us writing them off of our go-to places.

A couple weeks ago, I saw a write-up in the local rag about a renamed lobster joint in Brunswick that also happened to serve breakfast.  I admit, this place has intrigued me for years when it went by another name, but we never had the occasion to stop.  When I read that they indeed served our favorite breakfast items, I wanted to try it out. G had a pancake in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head, which made him giggle.  It was great. Can't wait to go back.  

Then off to Popham we went.  The tides jived with our timing, and we arrived to an endless span of sandy goodness.  Plenty of space to walk, run, and jump.  First though, a little playtime.

After a few hours of soaking up the sun, we headed back into town to try and catch some of the airshow without having to pay the exorbitant fee.  We got some lunch and headed to the Brunswick bike path, finding a gorgeous shady spot and relaxing by the water while watching the sky for tricks.  Garrett had more fun wrestling with Daddy.

In other big news, we hit a milestone this weekend.  G peed in his potty for the first time. I couldn't have been prouder.  This has been something that has been so daunting for me.  In the 2 plus years of G's existence, I feel like I've (we've) mastered the things that have come our way and it's been an easy ride.  But the idea of potty training has completely left me baffled. I know, it shouldn't but it does. I was lamenting this to a friend recently and he put it in perspective for me.  He said "I've never met a grownup who didn't eventually figure out how to use the bathroom."  So true.  That simple statement relieved some of the pressure and anxiety I've been feeling about this whole thing and just decided to go with the flow. Ha, no pun intended.  

I guess part of me has not really known when to allow G to sit and use the potty.  Should he just be walking around without a diap all the time, sitting when he feels like it? Where, in our already pretty structured routine, do I make room for this, and make it feel like there's no pressure or expectation coming from us?  Last night it came after bath.  He actually asked to use it.  So on he goes, his legs dangling gingerly from the froggy potty, while he intently watched Sesame Street. Within minutes, he stood up and said "I'm done!" And he was, having successfully peed and stayed within the boundaries of the froggy cup. 

Same exact thing happened tonight.  He had his bath, immediately asked for the seat, sat down and I heard it happen right away.  He gave me such a grin of accomplishment, my heart melted.  Our sweet baboo is growing up fast and the lesson that *I* take from this? G is on his own schedule.  It'll happen when it happens, and I need to relax and just enjoy the ride.  He knows exactly what he's doing, what he needs and how to communicate it to us.  Thanks for that lesson, G, I will do my best to remember it as we forge ahead in your childhood! 

Next up...how to teach him to stop saying the "F" word when he sees a picture of a fox...

19 August 2012

Vacation: wrapping it up with Rumpus and East End.

It's the time of the week that I despise the most.  Early evening on a Sunday, when the impending doom of Monday morning looms, inevitable of its arrival.  Made worse when one hasn't been to work in over a week, but instead spending some blissful days with my giggly munchkin, making me wish more than once that I was a SAHM.  But alas, our week together has come to an end, and it's back to work and school for us tomorrow.   

Yesterday started out pretty dreary.  To cheer us up, we cranked up the toddler tunes and had our own little dance party.  Then we got silly.

Tired of being in the house for the past couple days, it was time to get our Rumpus on. The Brunswick Arts Festival was also happening, so weaving our way through town was a challenge.  The whole ride over all I heard from the backseat was "ball pit! ball pit!" We got to the Rumpus Room and off G went, immediately to the slide (not the ball pit!), where he once was timid, now flies down at warp speed, landing in a pile of pillows. 

After awhile it was time for lunch.  Where else, but Big Top Deli.  Our fave.  It's so fun taking G out to lunch when he's in a good mood.  As usual, it was crowded.  We ended up sharing a table with a couple and their also two year old son.  The two boys instantly started checking each other out and then launched into their own toddler language.  I love the camaraderie parents have with each other when there are children in similar age.  We started comparing notes of the "mine" and "why" stages, and joked that a morning spent at the Rumpus Room (they had been there too) means an excellent afternoon nap is sure to follow.  That's exactly what happened for us, as evident by G passing out almost within seconds of being put back into the car after lunch.

Today brought a cerulean sky, not a cloud in sight.  Dad had to work, what to do? It's our last official day of vacation.  I considered the options and their pros and cons. Beach, while perfect for this day, would require too much gear for just me to deal.  Ogunquit was a serious contender until I realized the crowds would be overwhelming and really, did I want to spent the majority of the day in the car just getting to and fro? No. In the end, I decided on Mackworth Island...invited a Portland friend along, and off we went.  Until we got there and couldn't park.  Dislike.

No problem. There's always a plan b.  Ours was East End beach on the Eastern Promenade, always a breathtaking view.  We made it, staked out our spot, and enjoyed pointing out the tugboat races to G who, naturally, wanted in the water first thing.  After chucking some rocks and seaweed, we were content to stay back at the blanket, have snacks and chat.  

My patient friend indulged a need for me to try the 'famous' Otto's Pizza and off we went to lunch.  By now, a very silly no-real-nap Garrett was pretty punchy and trying desperately to entertain a very moody looking family who was sitting outside our window.  To no avail.  That said, the pizza did live up to it's reputation. De-lish.

The end of the day wound down, and soon we were home, contemplating a light dinner, bath time and bed.  As I put him down to sleep for the night, we giggled as we talked about our week; places we went, friends we saw.  Tomorrow starts the daily grind, and this past week will just be a memory, captured in these entries.  Summer is winding down, darkness is coming earlier, the approach of Fall on the horizon.  We'll be picking apples, pumpkins, and enjoying hayrides and cool nights.  Here's hoping we have a little bit of summer still left to look forward to.  

17 August 2012

Vacation: day five, play date and wipe wonder.

The last day of our vacation. Not officially, since that would be Sunday, but we'd be together on the weekend anyway, so I'm sorta counting this as the last one.  We woke up in much better spirits than yesterday. Ok, I woke up in much better spirits.  We both still have colds but that didn't deter us.

On today's docket? A breakfast playdate with one of my friend's and her 18 month old daughter. Boo showed no signs of a cold as he rip-roared through the house, dragging his trucks to and fro, showing off in front of the shy cutie.  Eventually, they got into typical toddler banter, and a good time was had by all.  Prior to all that however, G impressed me with his ability to walk upright in my Dansko's which he calls "boots". HAHA

After our friends left, G succumbed to a nearly three hour nap (yay for me!) and we awaited a visit from the grandparents, who would be passing by on their way home from Rockland and brought us the most amazing container of blueberries.  I don't think they could look any more scrumptious.  And they taste even more amazing then they look.  There are tons...I need ideas on how to use them other than the pancakes we'll obviously be enjoying tomorrow morning.  What's your favorite blueberry recipe?

After G & G left, Garrett put on Dad's hat.  This jaunty look was too cute not to capture:

So then we sat down to dinner--a grilled cheese, green beans, a banana and applesauce.  Applesauce in our house is eaten by both a spoon and fingers. Especially since most of the food served with the sauce is being dipped in it.  Like tonight, green beans are obviously most delicious with a sheen of the appley tang. I must have used about 15 wipes throughout this meal. Which got me wondering, how many wipes do I go through a day? A week? Throughout the whole 2 + years of this kid's life?  Staggering.  And whoever the genius is that invented them, we owe him/her big time.  This kid could keep them in business alone. And I never leave home without them.

16 August 2012

Vacation: day four, rain and sniffles

Day four and we woke up to thunder, a steady drizzle, and sore throat for me, runny nose for G.  Excellent.  Although if we had to feel this way, at least it happened on a rainy day and not a perfectly beautiful one.

Of course when you're the sick mom of a toddler, the toddler has no concept that you don't feel like doing anything but lying on the couch in a semi-coma, with a cold compress to your head and in comfy pjs all day.  Although I do think he knew something was up because randomly throughout the day I'd get a "y'ok, Mom?"  

We did leave the house once for, where else, Target. Of course while in Target, because he has a habit of wanting to run full speed down the aisles, I had to bribe him (shameful but true) to be a good boy with promise of a Frosty's donut. That worked.  Even though we weren't feeling well, a donut always does the trick.

In debating what to have for dinner, the cold rain made me want to stop at our local butcher, Bisson's. They make the most amazing pot pies.  On the way home, we picked up some native corn and a beef pot pie. Perfect.

The rest of the day was spent snoozing, cuddling, and watching a lot of Sesame Street.  I had good intentions of making chocolate chip cookies but we just couldn't make it off the couch.  

Dad came home early, pot pie in the oven, and corn ready to go. (Here's an awesome tip my mom told me about corn...microwave two ears, still in the husk, at a time 4 minutes each, so 8 total.  When done, remove carefully with potholder from micro, and chop off at least an inch off the end that does NOT have the silk attached.  Shake the silk end and the cob falls straight through the husk without any silk, and completely cooked.  It worked for me tonight and it was absolutely fantastic.) Boo approved.

Now the rain has stopped, the sore throat is gone, but the sniffles remain.  Here's hoping tomorrow brings brighter skies and an immunity boost.

15 August 2012

Vacation: day 3, Children's Concert Hysterics

We're halfway through our vacation and I hadn't really planned anything for today because the brilliant meteorologists were calling for rain.  Didn't happen. Well it did, but only for about five minutes. I was hoping it wouldn't put a damper on our evening plans, which were to meet up with our buds, M and N, and their mommies, on the Brunswick mall for a children's concert.  

It turned out to be a beautiful evening and the hilarity that was the three of these boys together was something to see.  Seriously. Every time I think I've seen the best or the cutest, they outdo themselves and bring on more enchanting behavior.  They could have been the entertainment.

Our little introvert seemed to burst out of his shell tonight, running all over the place, up the stage, across the yard, and at one point, joining the musician to shake instruments and when given the mic, blew a sufficient puff of air that echoed through the crowd.  What do I take out of these moments?  My friend said it best tonight...how lucky we are to live in this little community that offers these wonderful concerts, bringing people together, bringing friends together.  And I love that G has these buds, who he clearly adores (pushing and shoving are at least always done with a smile on his face...) and that they are continuing to grow up together, building a forever bond.  Priceless.  The pictures say it all.