Tuesday, June 29, 2010

J Speak..

I don't have the pictures downloaded yet, but Mr. M emailed me this one... So I wanted to share along with capturing some of the J speak we hear a lot these days...  I forget how short of time I have with hearing these word phrases and how important it is to record them...

When we were walking around the grounds the most frequent things Mr. M & I heard were:
  • My Turn
  • I carry Mommy
  • I carry Daddy
  • No, Mommy's turn
  • No, Daddy's turn
  • I up or I need up
  • I need pizza
  • I hungry
  • I full
  • I want that
  • No that or No this
  • My phone (referring to Mr. M's iPod)
I should add, he is doing really well with manner & usage of those pesky magic words (please, thank you, and your welcome), and will add them to any of these key phrases pretty easily on his own, or when prompted if he forgets.

Also, when mommy got a little camera happy hoping to catch every moment of fun from this trip, to share with J when he is older, which was just impossible, J's make believe of taking pictures.  My hairdryer, a beach shovel (which doubled as a spoon for 'making' food), Mr. M's iPod, etc...  Morphed into a working camera before our eyes.  J would call out "Say Cheese!" then when we did, we'd here a very loud grunt followed by "Got it!"

He also was insatiable with his make believe world of cooking.  He would climb up the stairs towards the upper deck to cook on a sand filter disk, and stir with his 'spoon', then crawl back down the stairs & serve whoever would play his game.  Celine, the First Mate / cook, really stumped him with saying "No thank you, I don't like nuggets."  But he quickly recovered when Ricky stepped in & asked for some 'fried chicken'.  Since he has never had it, he didn't know what he was whipping up, but he must have been doing a great job as Celine & Ricky must have eaten several hundred orders during our quick trip...

Background on the picture...

The Bahamian's had live island music playing in the Marina Marketplace every night.  J, not one to shy away from things, joined right in with them on Friday night as we passed.  He had so much fun pounding on the drums, trying out the different sizes, shaking the rattle's (seen below), trying on the witch hat, or using it as a telescope to see mommy & daddy.

The newness of it on Friday caused us to have to wait out till the song broke to move him along, however, by Saturday he was more easily moved along with promises of seeing the aquarium again.  He was fascinated by being able to walk along outside and follow the big and small, schools and loners of fish and sharks as they swam around...

Sadly, it ended up being a bad diversion seeing the aquarium was closed for a private dinner party.  :( 

Luckily, J had forgotten that I had used it for redirection, and easily allowed me to redirect again...

I think I'm in trouble when his short-term memory develops beyond a minute or two...


We just got back from Atlantis, so I'm tired, J's tired, Mr. M tired...

I overslept today, so no time for downloading pictures.  I will try to get to it tonight. 


J traveled very well... All things considered...We sat on one 3 hour flight for over 5 hours.  Yes, thank you American Airlines

He is really starting to take off on swimming.  Right now he is only comfortable with his jacket on, but the technique is coming so with another year or two of strength, he'll be on his own in no time.

Pizza was the trick to get J back to eating on this trip, as he really was not eating well out of his element. 

J really was NOT a fan of Bahamian hot dogs.  I think it is because of the casing, as when I took it off, AND bribed him with a treat for each bite taken, he ate it better.  (Truly, he did not dig food there until we found the pizza)  Although, the crew's stock of mac-n-cheese did score big points on Saturday.

The boat we stayed on was beautiful.  It was a 75 ft. motorized yacht with a crew of 3.  And the marina charges by the foot.  Our slip was a middle of the road slip (as the closer you are to the main grounds the more expensive it is). A lot of the area down there is "No Wake", but really no one patrols it.  Our Captain took us out on the 29 ft. 'Dingy' and showed us the only access to Keven Costner's home (water access only), where cruise ships park, local shopping.

We would really like to return, but have decided we are going to see if another couple would like join us.  Granted this is depends on whether we are in a hotel room or the boat, as if it is the boat - we will need Mr. M's boss to agree to it.  As the grounds at Atlantis are very kid friendly, even more so when J is 3 & potty trained, it puts a lot on the parents if you are good about parenting your child.  Resulting in our realizing an extra set or two of hands would be delightful.

With that... It is time to get back to reality.  At least J will have his summer break with Grandma & Grandpa P this week...

Friday, June 25, 2010

With Aunt & Uncle...

While I ignored the men of the hour on Father's Day, I did get a cute pic of J with his Aunt & Uncle...

Aunt Liz

Uncle Jon

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reflecting on Father's Day

Mr. M is a wonderful dad... He, without complaint, gets J up, fed, and delivered to daycare every Monday - Thursday morning.  He plays sports with J, has been known to try to interest him in a video game, gives up his iPod to sticky fingers, puts together toys, reads books, swims, encourages J to try foods outside his normal spectrum.

And mostly, he supports me when I need that boost... When he was out of town last fall, and I was working a lot, J was not sleeping, and I was feeling overwhelmed... He sat in his hotel room & let me vent... Reassured me I did not suck as a mom, and helped me get where I needed to be to tackle the next day of single-parenting.  Thankfully, this has ended & we all have deemed his additional time home to be a huge bonus.

As a result, I feel horrible, I did not get any good pics of J with his Dad or Grandpa M on Father's Day.

So instead,  you just get see the wee one showing how much he loves my camera these days...

How long does this phase last?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Swimming in the Pool

I wanted to share these pictures I cautiously took from the side of the pool as J swam around in front of me with his life-jacket on...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Water, Sand, and Transportation...

Since we are headed towards sand, blue water, and lots of sun shortly, I wanted to use last weekend's sun to experiment with how much time J could spend in the sun with sunscreen on playing in the water.

And it appears, Mr. M's & my skin complexion combo is a win-win for little man.

He spent all day Friday out in the sun.  Peak sun hours.  We swam, we played with the sand & water table, okay, so maybe I sat beside the table reading taking pictures.  J tried feeding the dogs sand by telling them it was dog food.

Payton, however, after a quick sniff, was not fooled by such imagination.

That said, I just realized, that was the first time I've really seen J's imagination take off and start creating stories.  My sister-in-law has often told me how she loves listening in on my niece when my niece doesn't realize it to hear the stories she crafts.  Up to this point, J will be going on & on, but it was mostly incoherent to my ear.

This was very clear and well thought out... And it continued when we walked down to the park, as J wanted to play fast food service person with me... First he served me, then I served him.  Over.and.Over.  His top choices were pizza and nuggets.  I, of course, requested ice cream.

Here are some pics of him enjoying his table...

I have to add, I LOVE the umbrella attached.  It actually came with his picnic bench Grandma & Grandpa M got him, but as we've put that in the basement for J to use as a coloring table, we haven't used the umbrella.  Since the water table had a spot for an umbrella, I decided to see if I could cross brands & it worked wonderfully!  J even did a pretty good job at staying  under it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

and back to 4 wheels

As much as J loves to ride his trike, he still realizes it is easier to just drive... This is another thing that just amazes me how he has changed from last summer to this one. 

Last summer, he very much wanted us to drive him around in his car.  If we'd try to encourage him to take over, he'd turn and grab the red pole - making it very clear what he wanted.

This summer, he has not only figured out how to power his truck, but how to steer it as well.  Although, it doesn't seem to perform all that well off-sidewalk, so whenever he drives off he goes:

"Uh oh!  My CAR!  MY CAR!"  as he is jumping out of it, pushing whatever end is most off, back onto the sidewalk.

One thing we are working on is - J thinks Daddy's car, when in the driveway, is there for target practice.  My poor shins are pretty bruised in an attempt to keep J from hitting Daddy's car...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

3 Wheeling...

A boy and his first bike trike. Mr. M's Aunt Joan got J his first trike for his first birthday. And we kept it in the house to push J on until this summer. Mr. M & I were pretty bummed as it didn't seem like J was getting the concept of peddling, probably from too many trips around the house before his feet reached the peddles.

However, after a trip to see Grandma & Grandpa P, where mommy packed the trike for something for J to do, we found the trick to make it work...

The oil seemed to have dried out over the past year and half as we waited for J to grow into the trike. As a result, he was having a really hard time peddling. Grandpa P picked up on that right away, and pulled out the trusty WD-40 to oil up the joints.

It was amazing how quickly J took off on it. Back at home, we keep pulling it out, but the most successful time J had on it, was when he really wanted to ride his bike, but it seems he just does not have the leg muscle strength yet.  However, after working on getting those peddles to go - he jumped back on his trike & took off.... We got down 5 or 6 houses before he realized what he'd done. We turned, and he rode it back all the way home.

I had already given Mr. M the camera to take for pics at Cubs vs. Sox Crosstown Classic featuring the Stanley Cup winners - The Chicago Blackhawks, so I couldn't get it on film, but here are some from Friday's adventure...

At times, he can be easily distracted, and he totally had me laughing, as I was trying to get video of him riding his trike, and he was only interested in pushing it for the camera...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A little art...

It amazes me everyday how grown up J is getting.  It seems like it was just yesterday that he was all small & snugly.  Now, he is telling me where he wants to be... (sit on couch, nap in bed, downstairs, outside, etc) 

Last week when I picked him up from daycare, he was out front drawing on the sidewalk...  It was so bittersweet to see him, as I realize this means he's old enough to play with the big kids.

But it did give me an idea for what we could do at home, when I want a redirection from the pool.  As much as J loves it, it really tuckers him out...
I think it is obvious, this was a joint task, but that just made it all the more fun... :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yep... It's confirmed (not that there was any doubt)...

He's mine.  Granted it is only supposed to be 50% of me in little man, Saturday evening, I'd venture to say - he was 100% mini-me.

Friday we spent the day basking in the glory of having nothing to do, and Mother Nature cooperating.  J even braved getting water in his ears to imitate me back floating in the pool.  I was so proud of him, as he got a little braver with each "Lay back Mommy" he practiced.  Finally, near the end, he was even letting go of my finger to truly doing it on his own (with his life jacket, of course).  However, all this fun on Friday left us to having to run all our errands on Saturday.  I have cute pics, from Friday, but Mr. M has hidden my camera...

After a morning of running errands, dodging rain storms, a certain child's unhappiness for all things related to a sitting quietly was being displayed.

However, I'd gotten myself out of cooking dinner by telling Mr. M I was thinking of going to Mass.  It was unintentional, but nevertheless, gave me the motivation I needed to attend.

J took a really long nap, leaving his I-hate-all-things-except-hitting attitude behind, and we had a great time drawing on the driveway, annoying the dogs by ringing our door bell. 

So I decide, I must brave it...

Yeah... God's hysterical. 

First, we leave for church right as the skies turn black from the hazy gray they'd been most of the day.  As we leave our subdivision they start sprinkling.  By the time we are half-way there, it is in downpour mode.  The kind that makes you wonder if you need an ark.

We park & I decide to get J out of his car seat, while I'm still in the car myself.  As I walk around to open his door, he dashes through the middle to my seat.  Back through the flooded water surrounding our car I trudge.  Upon opening the door, J throws his Aqua Doodle into the puddle, thereby ruining it for use during Mass.  However, I still had a purse full of snacks & a determination this would go well.

And honestly, it did.  Even the next, total mini-me, move was not of J misbehaving, however red-faced it turned me...

At the end of Mass, our Priests call the children forward for blessing.  Due to J's emerging independence and confidence, coupled with his very stellar behavior during the service, I decided to let him go up on his own for the blessing.  I walked behind him, and stood off to the side of the group.

Much like his mother, J pushed his way to the front.  Father Mick smiled at him as Decan Ed read the announcements.  In J's world, however, Decan Ed was taking to long, so he started looking around for me.  Next thing the whole church heard was this:

J:  MOMMY.  MOMMY.  MOMMY.  Where's my mommy?

and like Moses parted the Red Sea, J parted the group of kids standing between him & me.

J:  MY MOMMY!!!!!  as he made a bee line for me

Poor Decan Ed was having such a hard time finishing up with all this distraction, as most of the church was laughing out loud by this point.

Then Father took over, and J realized he was missing the blessing...

J:  Mommy, down!

And just like that, pushed his way back to the front, to be directly in front of Father Mick for the blessing.  Luckily, Father Mick took it in stride.

However, me?  Having been told time & again how until I received my first graded reported card - the number one comment was

"Ali does not always have to be first.  She needs to learn to let others go before her"

I laughed hysterically, and upon leaving - promptly called the Grandparents to share...

Me to Grandpa P - I know I so totally deserve this from my own childhood.

Grandpa P - never one to sugar coat things -  Yes you do...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nursery Rhymes - J style

Lately, J has really been getting into nursery rhymes. I love to sit there and listen to him, when he is doing it all on his own.  Especially, his word changes...

*  Catch a tiger by your toe, if he hollers let him go, ene meani mini mo.

*  this little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, and this little piggy goes wee, wee, wee all the way home.

*  there was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o, B (clap) I (clap) N (clap) G (clap) O (clap)

Or when he reads books, how he makes up story lines that fit inline with the story I've read to him a gazillion times.  Goodnight Gorilla, Snuggle Puppy or Moo, Baa, La, La, La which at the end has a part to ask the child "what do you say?"  Last night J popped off with "The End!"  He was so proud of his response, he preened like a peacock. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mr. M's Aunt Joan shared these pictures with me from his cousin's high school graduation party.  Thanks Aunt Joan!

with Grandma

with cousin Julie
with Mommy
and looking to see how he can break out of jail...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Opening Day 2010

Pool Opening that is...

J & I had his friend Dottie & my friend (her mom) Laura over to help us *open the pool* for the year.  The kids had a blast...
Both were very anxious to get into the water, and neither really wanted to get out for lunch when it was time.  Although, it was J who had the meltdown.  Although, the promise of food coupled with dry clothes helped to quickly resolve it.

What amazed me about our time in the pool was how J just took to the water this year & tired swimming right off the bat.  Last year, we had a infant jacket - not really a life jacket, but kind of.  So we introduced the idea of kicking & paddling.  I wasn't sure how much of it stuck until Friday.  Granted, he had on a life jacket, but he was doing a great job treading water & using his arms to paddle from point (a) to where he wanted to go at point (b). 
Shortly after lunch, we realized it was going to rain, so the girls left & I put J down for a nap.  He slept 3 hours.  Swimming really tuckered him out...  It was WONDERFUL... I got laundry done & some relaxing time of my own before getting back into the swing of play time for all.

After Friday, I am very excited for summer & all it has to bring.  Now if Mother Nature would just cooperate to give us sunshine every Friday, Saturday & Sunday - then summer will be pretty perfect.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Following Uncle Jeff...

While we were with my brother & sister-in-law over the weekend, we visited her parents.  They have a house on a lake, and were having the family over for a yearly celebration, so we stopped by for a couple of hours before getting on the road to have dinner with my parents.

It was so much fun to watch J stick to Jeff.  J was fascinated by the fish nibbling his legs.  The water play time, and being able to jump off the raft towards Uncle Jeff over and over and over again.  I was worried, he'd have a problem waiting his turn, as we hear "My turn" often in our own home, when J wants to do something, but he didn't.  He patiently waited for his cousin to get her turn, and she returned the favor.

Since I often see my brother in J, it was especially neat for me to see them together bonding...

Although, I did crack up laughing when J decided he'd help Uncle Jeff & Mr. D put up the food tent... J's version of help, was to un-stake the poles right after the guys got them staked... Mr. D chuckled as well, being a grandfather to many... Uncle Jeff... Well, he was more impressed with my redirection skills, than J's help.  :)

Happy Birthday to Me...

Yep... Today is my, and my dear friend, whose nickname also happens to be Ali & is also from Michigan, who also graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro a year after me (she's a year younger) birthday!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Developing Sea Legs

J had his first boat ride over Memorial Day weekend.  Grandma & Grandpa P have a pontoon.  He LOVED it!  He especially loved when Grandpa let him drive.

And the whole state lake heard J's unhappiness when he didn't.  But minor things like not taking out another boat, or driving around in a small circle, or running over those skiers, tubers, or jet skiers caused Grandpa to regain control several times.

J was fascinated by nature this weekend.  He was also fascinated by the fact when he threw things overboard on the boat, that they were truly gone.  He kept asking where his water bottle cap went, after pitching it overboard.  You know he truly is trying to learn the concept, because his voice is so innocent.  He really thought he we would be able to get it, and was truly perplexed it was gone.

Another thing that perplexed J was an old toy phone from when my mom(?) or maybe my Aunt was a child.  I recall spending many hours playing with preparing for my life attached to a phone this phone at my grandparents.  Today the cord has been cut, or maybe simply fell off, but it still looks like the old rotary phone. 

J, on the other hand, was totally perplexed where the buttons to push were...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Proud Grandparents...

Yesterday, J had the opportunity to spend the morning with Daddy & the afternoon with Grandma & Grandpa M.  Spending the afternoon riding the horse carousel at the mall & just generally walking around & burning some energy.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share, as I was working while all this fun was occurring.

Thank you again for watching J while daycare was closed!


Considering Grandma & Grandpa P winter in sunny Florida, and live somewhere
in between my brother & me in the summer, it is rare we are able to family pictures with them...

So that was one of the bonuses of the past weekend.  It was fun getting to see my parents be the proud grandparents!  This year was especially neat as Camryn (age: 4) has grown more independent over the past year and actually basked in the attention.  J (age: 2) has never been one to shy away from attention.  Even Mallory (age: 1) seems to be starting to spread her wings as she moves into toddler hood. 

Although, I do have to admit, J isn't much of a fan of sharing my attention.  Or actually, the spotlight would be more accurate.  We are having to start having the conversations about how he does not tell us to "stop". 

That said, I recall my own childhood, and know he comes by it naturally.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Let's see those swimmers...



J & Cam's had so much fun playing in the water together.  Cam's was sooo good about sharing her Dad with her cousin, so he could play too (since Mommy did not bring her swimsuit).