Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The day Grayson realized he had the best parents ever.

I kid, I kid. Well, sort of.  Sunday was a pretty epic day in the life of my little man- because we trekked him an hour and forty five minutes to meet a big blue engine.  We spent the whole week telling him he was going to go see Thomas, and he would smile and get excited, but he didn't really get it. Sunday we loaded into the car and hit the Ohio Turnpike headed for Akron to take a ride with Thomas the Train.
Once we got there, basically all he saw was a parking lot full of cars and a few tents. Nothing too impressive there.  Of course we had to walk through the gift shop tent first- those merchandisers are smart people. I have never in my life seen so much Thomas the Tank stuff and those kiddos were going insane for it.  Once we quickly walked through there, we realized we timed it just perfectly. The lady who was emceeing the event announced that she thought she heard Thomas coming, so we headed over to the fence.

He was thrilled, to say the least. We told him we would ride on him in a little while, and spent some time seeing what else they had to offer. We watched videos, heard a story teller, colored and played with trains with more pieces than he had ever seen in his little life. Then we stumbled upon the diggers and trucks that the kids could play on. He had a blast- and that was just all the free stuff!

Once it was time to board our train we headed across the street to the depot.  In all honesty, it took FOREVER to get the train unloaded and then loaded- so many a child was melting down by the time we actually got ON the train. It was probably a good 35 minutes of standing in line and getting on the train before we started to move.  That's a long time to do nothing for a 20 month old, but he held out like a champ.
Pointing and yelling THIIISS- because he knew where he wanted to go, we just couldn't go fast enough.

While waiting to board the train, he amused himself by picking up every rock on the deck and putting it back in the gravel. My child likes to clean up.

Finally on the train!

He got pretty restless waiting for the train to start moving, but Momma whipped out a bag of M&Ms and that kept him (and the little guy across from us) entertained.

Once we were moving, he was amazed pointing out everything he saw.
Now the ride itself is only about 25 minutes, and to be honest he could have cared less about the ride. Im not saying I think the ride wasn't long enough, because all of the kids seemed to get restless around that time so it was a good length of time to keep them cooped up.  He spent most of the ride asking where Thomas was, because he didn't get the concept that he was ON Thomas. To be fair, the 2.5 year old across from us and the 4 year old next to us didn't get it either. They all would have been pleased as punch to just watch Thomas chug on by, and we wouldn't have had to pay $20 bucks a ticket.
He was pretty impressed with the certificate they gave him.

After we got off, we stood in line to have our picture taken with Thomas.  Grayson could NOT take his eyes off of him.

Blowing kisses. 

Now they do take a professional picture with Thomas for you, then you can take one with your own camera. They also take them inside the train. A piece of advice?  If you get a decent shot- save yourself the $15 dollars for the photograph. Honestly, its not any better than the ones you take except it costs money. Lets not forget you still have to walk through the souvenir tent to leave- spend your money wisely.
The nice guy in front of us took this for us after I took one for them- I love finding likeminded cheapskates in line!
Overall- he had an AMAZING day. My Mom went with us, and she made sure he left with a few Thomas souvenirs so he could remember his day. That Nana spoils him rotten and he knows it.
Here is my advice for anyone thinking of going. First, its free to walk in the tent and see all of the stuff like the coloring and story telling. You only need a ticket to actually ride the train. If you have little ones that wouldn't get it, save yourself the cash and do all of the free stuff. Stand in line to get the pictures with Thomas and Sir Toppom Hat- but only shell out the $20 if you think your kid would get it. The lady at the ticket counter told us they always have a few extra tickets, so if once you're there you decide you want to take a ride you can always check it out.  Also, if you get motion sick this is not the ride for you. The train started out going forwards and I was okay. Then the stupid train backed up, and I thought I was going to die. Seriously, there is not enough Dramamine in the world to help in that situation.
Overall, it was one of the greatest days in Grayson's little life. When we got home and he was getting ready for bed I asked Grayson if he had the best day ever and he leaped into my lap, threw his arms around my neck and said "YES!" That alone made the whole almost tossing my cookies worth it. At least for that night he thought he had the coolest parents ever, and hopefully he remembers that feeling when he thinks we stink.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sandbox Fun!

Last year for Easter my Dad bought Grayson a sandbox.  But, after the disasterous beach trip where he discovered that he HATED sand- we didnt set it up.  This year, all we want to do is be outside so I decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to give it a try. 
First- I cant believe how incredibly SMALL the darn thing is. What ever happened to calling up a friend and playing in the sandbox together? Not in this turtle, thats for sure. A few Ikea toys and the thing is full. 
To start we only put in one bag of sand, eventhough I bought three.  I considered this my Mommy's intuition that we should wait, and I was right. My kid's idea of playing in the sandbox was to take the sand out of the sandbox and "water" my hydrangea plants with it. The one plant I can keep alive, and hes trying to kill it on me.  Luckily, hes cute and catches onto things quick so the 'sand stays in the sandbox' mantra was only repeated three or four times before he got it.
On an un-related note, Grayson got a haircut the other day and it was possibly the worst thing I have ever paid for.  Seriously, this is what his hair looks like. I could have done better and I once gave myself a bald patch when I wanted bangs. Notice the spokes by his ears and the bald patch on his forehead?  The kid sat still, she was just that bad apparently. #neverevergoingbackthereagain.

I think we'll be spending lots of time outside this summer, which is good because Daddy just demolished the back yard to put up a swing set.  More on that to come!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

All I wanted this year for Mothers Day was a good picture of myself with Grayson. These days it seems as if he doesn't sit still long enough for me to snap a picture, let alone actually look at the camera and God forbid-smile. We had a very low key Mother's Day this year- they made me breakfast in bed, my Mom came over to hang out and then Patrick made dinner and cleaned up the house.  We were all getting over wretched colds, so truth be told I didn't want to go anywhere that I couldn't wear my pj's anyhow.
My bean got me a beautiful dress and two Pandora charms and I loved them all- but my Mom gave me by far the coolest present ever.  She showed up on my doorstep with laundry baskets and asked for every piece of laundry in my house, including the sheets off of all of the beds, throw rugs and curtains.  Then she took them to the laundry mat and washed everything, folded it, and then Patrick put it away. I legit had no laundry. THAT NEVER EVER HAPPENS! Even though its short lived- it was still so amazing to feel ahead of the game.  Thanks again, Momma!!
I love watching Grayson interact with his Nana. She lets him get away with murder, and the kid knows it. He wants to look out the window, just ask Nana.

He will sit for hours with her and read, and I think its just darling- even if she's going to hate me for posting these pictures.
The cutest Nana picture of the day? Had to be the one we took after my Mom headed home for the night.
I call this the WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE LEFT ME face- and it really does show how much he loves her. Gotta say, Im a bit jealous- since usually I pull up to the house and he takes one look at me and runs for the hills.
He didn't stay upset for too long, and even calmed down enough to give me the only picture I wanted that day.
Without this little stubborn boy (which he totally gets from his Dad, btw) I wouldn't be a Mommy. He's the light of my life and I can't express how much I love and adore him.
Hope you all had an amazing Mommy's Day, lovelies!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trucks and Pancakes make for an awesome Saturday

Last weekend was amazing in Grayson-land.  It was the annual Touch A Truck event sponsored by the Junior League on Saturday, and Grayson had a ball.
We kicked off the event by hitting up our favorite breakfast spot in the Strip- DeLuccas.  Chocolate chip pancakes, scrambled eggs and french toast made for one giddy baby tummy- even if the bacon was not up to his standards.
Not only did we drop it, but then we ran it over with Thomas. Because it was too crispy. I have a 20 month old food snob on my hands, apparently.
After his tummy was sufficiently full, we headed over to a parking lot of about 30 different trucks and diggers that kiddos were allowed to climb all over.
Loved, loved, loved the fire trucks.

Checking out the scoop on the digger

This picture melts my heart.

Big grins after blowing the horn on the Mack Truck

Blowing kisses

Seriously, this kid's day was made. 
If you have an event like this around you, I highly recommend going- its a cheap way to easily become favorite parent ever.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Motherhood has taught me...so far, that is.

Ah Motherhood- you are a tricky devil.  I don't think anything makes you feel like you can do it all and makes you realize know absolutely nothing about anything at the exact same time.  In these short months that I have been a Mama I have had successes and failures, and each one taught me something different.
1. Even if you are terrified of giving birth, and 40+ weeks you will NOT be saying "I'm too scared to have this baby". Rather you will say "Get this kid out of my kidneys and off of my bladder" to anyone who will listen.  I'm pretty sure the hubs was never more surprised when I said flat out to the doctor to take Grayson by C-Section (considering I pass out at the thought of needles on a normal day) because I wanted nothing more than to snuggle my baby and have him stop kicking me in the bladder.
2. The moment that child is born, you learn what love really is. Yes you love your spouse, your pets, your family- but until you lay eyes on your own baby you've got no idea. Trust me on this one.
3.  Babies can sense when you're upset. When Grayson was a bitty bean and he would get sick, he never wanted me- he wanted his Daddy.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong, why my baby didn't want me- I really felt like a failure. I would be lying if it didn't make me cry that he reached for Daddy and not Mommy- and Patrick of course thought it was amazing that he was the favorite.  One day I realized that whenever Grayson didn't feel well, I got all worked up and he could tell that I was all wired.  Patrick is probably one of the most laid back men on the planet, so when Grayson would lay on him he just felt relaxed.  Once I figured that out, I chilled out, and all of a sudden he loved his Mama and wanted me. 
4. You are never prepared- motherhood will always get you.  You just have to run to the store for a quick second? Thats when your kid will poop out of his diaper. You have a change of clothes? They will need two or three.  Just be prepared to accept defeat, its easier that way.

5. If you're excited and just oh-so-sure your little bundle of joy is going to love something, there is a good chance they will hate it. I wanted to cloth diaper and I loved Sophie and the Mama-Roo- he wears disposables, threw Sophie and screamed the whole time in the Mama Roo. Consider it practice for the teenage years when they will fight you on everything.

6. Its impossible to find the information for easy questions like how much formula should you buy? All I wanted was someone to say you need X amount of diapers a week and you'll need X amount of formula, but it was nowhere.  That's because every baby is different, and its impossible to predict how they will eat/pee/poo from day to day.  Here's a good place to start, as a newborn you can expect to go through around 2 containers of formula a week and around 12 diapers a day.

7. In college we all pulled fun all nighters where you managed to go for a few days without sleep. Do not think that life with a baby will be the same. All nighters will be frequent, but you can no longer handle them with the same zest and vigor you once did.  Invest in a good coffee pot and some strong dark circle concealer.

8. Its okay.  Its okay if the toddler wants to eat nothing but a banana and some cheese its for lunch. Its okay if you cant remember when you last switched the laundry. Its okay if the baby and you don't get out of pj's until three minutes before Daddy walks in the door. Its okay to sniff your baby in public to see if he or she has pooped. Its okay if you hide in the bathroom to eat the Reece's Cup so you don't have to share with a tiny human. Really, its okay.  The people who judge either never had kids or they just suck, period.

9. You develop some super human strength as a Mom.  Those infant carriers are heavy, and yet you can juggle one of them loaded with a 20 pound baby and all of the groceries with ease.  You can also resist the urge to cry out when you stub your toe after putting baby down to sleep or step on a lego on the way out the door after checking on a sleeping toddler.  You learn to change the rankest of diapers and clean up the grossest of messes without gagging, even if your gag reflex is in full swing when it comes to anything not child related.

10. No one will love that baby as much as you, or know what they need like you can.  If you think something is right for your baby, then trust your gut. Doctors, Mothers, Mothers In Law, friends and even complete strangers may have advice, but if its not right for you and your baby then tell them to stick it.  They'll respect you for it, and if they don't you really won't care.

11. Find Mommy friends.  They will be your biggest support system, because someone who doesn't have kids just cant get why you do not attend dinner parties after bedtime or refuse to skip the all holy nap time. Mommies will get it.

and lastly

12. You are an awesome Mommy.  I know there are days you don't feel like it. There are days you yell at the baby or get stressed out and feel like the worst Mom in the world. You are not. You are amazing and wonderful and you just need someone to remind you of that.  If you ever find yourself in that situation, just email, tweet, or comment- Ill let you know how amazing you are :)

The best moment of my life hands down- even if I was tied down and sliced open.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

This year the hubs ran the marathon and the bean got the flu.

The crazy part- these two events happened to us in the same span of three hours. Sweet, right?
 I thought we were pretty well in the clear- three flu shots, sore arms and November to April behind us.  I may have even done a little celebratory dance. But that bug is a persistent S.O.B.
Sunday the Hubs and MIL ran the Pittsburgh Half, and just like last year Grayson, Mommy and Grandpap were there to cheer them on.

It was pretty chilly, and when this picture was taken it was a whopping 5:50 AM- so we must really love Daddy. By the time we made it over to the start corrals Grayson was passed out in his stroller, snug as a bug in a rug. 

We took our final run fast its cold out here pictures and headed off to see them at the first checkpoint of the course. As we are sitting waiting for them and 30K of our closest friends to run by, Grayson was peacefully sleeping in his stroller.  Like a good Mommy I had a change of clothes with two extra shirts and an extra hoodie and a full pack of baby wipes in the diaper bag, but I really didn't anticipate needing anything in the short 3 hours we would be downtown. I guess that would be naive moment number two.
After watching the race leaders fly by I looked down to see this sweet sight-
and that's when it all went to hell in a hand basket.  Not thirty seconds after taking this picture my sweet boy woke up and projectile vomited all over himself, the blanket and his stroller.
I immediately fly into Mommy mode- taking him out of the stroller, comforting him and I passed him off to Grandpap. I broke out the wipes and extra clothes and we set out cleaning off the baby and the stroller.  Once I got the stroller cleaned and Pap got the kiddo changed into dry clothes we kind of pushed the stroller over the pile on the sidewalk and I started walking looking for a trashcan to toss the huge pile of wipes in my hands.  No dice.  Thanks to the bombings in Boston- every trashcan was removed from the course, and I had to walk two blocks off the beaten path to find one.  Super.
I made it back to the kiddo, who was sitting on the bridge rail laughing hysterically at all of the people running by and chalked it up to getting motion sick on the T (Pittsburgh's sad excuse for a subway system).  We saw Daddy and high fived him, then set off to our next stop. 
We stopped to get some doughnuts (its tradition, after all) and while we were waiting Grandpap was holding Grayson showing him all the busyness of the Strip.  That's when sicky round two struck- all down Pap's shoulder. All I could think was how I was out of clean clothes as I set out scrubbing down a baby and my FIL with more baby wipes.
Now, our car is stuck- we literally can not leave until they finish the race due to closed roads. I'm out of clean clothes for the baby, and now my FIL has puke all over him as well. It was a crap shoot for sure. By the time the hubs would cross the finish line, Grayson would have had two more experiences retching all over the place. Literally the second they crossed the finish line we were there saying "Eat your banana and get a move on."
I was so grossed out at that point that I didn't even take a picture of the hubs with his medal after he finished. Wife fail. I am super proud of him, but I just didn't love him enough to take a picture with him in my current state of ickyness.
We spent the next 72 hours getting sick pretty much around the clock and sleeping on the bathroom floor with a sicky baby. In fact, we were so worried about the bean that we didn't even realize that Patrick had something seriously wrong with his foot after the race. A quick trip to MedExpress last night revealed a stress fracture was the culprit, and they sent him home with a fancy boot and orders to see a podiatrist.
This year's Marathon was nothing but problems- next year, I think I'm skipping the whole thing and staying in bed.