Monday, August 26, 2013

Pleasant Surprises

The weather this last weekend was amazing.  And having amazing weather in August makes us very happy.

Saturday night we headed out to find and try a new-to-us butcher shop.  First pleasant surprise was there wasn't any traffic, which is stunning.  It makes life here so much nicer when it doesn't take an hour or more to go fifteen miles.

The butcher shop was a disappointment, but that was ok.  We discovered a whole new little shopping area we didn't realize had been built in the last couple of years.  It's in the same neighborhood where I used to work as a phlebotomist sometimes.  It's basically across the street from the Korean grocery store we used to go to before we found a closer one.  And it's also just down the street from the place where I would go pick up the sperm to do Nerdstar's inseminations.  Heh.

The area is in the middle of up-scale shopping tiers.  One very pleasant part was this little water fountain where there were six little areas water would sprout up from.  This was next to a grassy area and next to a movie theater that had a big screen on the outside showing movie previews and some cool  short videos.  Nice area.

It took about five minutes for Noah to even walk around the water area.  We asked him if he wanted to take his shoes and socks off - "NO".  Asked again a few minutes later.  "NO."  But, he was walking around, watching the other kids, checking it all out.  About twenty minutes into it he came over to me and said "shoes/socks" and I took them off for him.  It was just a nice way to spend an hour.  Even nicer because it was unexpected.

There was also a chocolate shop that had some outstanding little chocolates.  It really reminded me of the stunning chocolates we had in Tokyo.  mmmmmm.

Then we also found a cupcake shop and Cold Stone Creamery.  Heh.

We topped all that off with an unscheduled trip to the Korean grocery store.

Sitting by the fountain I just felt blessed and content.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Noah's Fun Weekend

We spent Friday evening where we spend a LOT of evenings this summer - at the park.  Noah had decided that the best thing to do was grab handfuls of the wood mulch and throw it down slides.  Now, this is all well and good as long as there aren't other kids on that particular slide - a distinction Noah failed to grasp sometimes.  This is where his stubbornness is a problem.  There is just no deterring him other than taking him home. 

The upside of park time is seeing how sweet our boy can be.  A few times now, a kid has fallen or cried for some reason, and  Noah goes over to them and pats them on the arm or back and says "ok, ok".  Melts my heart!

Mostly he loves to slide and run and play chase.

Last week, after not having been down there in several months, Noah started saying "water" to me.  OH, yeah, there is a creek down behind the baseball field, with a trail and a bridge!  Noah has started a "redistribute all the rocks" campaign, moving them from the trail and throwing them into the water!  At least it got him away from throwing mulch down the slides.

Saturday was County Fair day.  Unfortunately, I thought it opened about two hours before it actually did.  Bleh.  But, we finally got out there and had a good time.   It took him a few minutes, but he warmed up to seeing all the cows and sheep and goats and pigs and chickens.  He even petted a couple!  Then he rode a few rides.  That's going to be a big advantage to his being tall - not having to wait so long to be tall enough ride some rides.  The down side is he isn't very brave to want to ride a bunch of them. 

Yesterday, we went to the big kids consignment sale.  Ten pairs of pants, fifteen shirts, five sets of pajamas, a fantastic red Mickey Mouse robe, and two toys for $126.  Love it. 

The toys are a little Mickey Mouse phone and a very pink Marie Mouse doll.  (I assume it's Minnie's sister?)  He saw them both and started carrying them around.  I knew he liked Minnie and was planning on getting him one to go with Mickey for Christmas, but this is fine. 

I've mentioned that Noah is a fan of Sofia the First.  Hmmm.  I figured out that what he likes about it is all the music, so I finally got around to seeing if there was a soundtrack or something on iTunes.  There is!  So, I downloaded it for him last night and we played it after his bath.  Oh my.  There might have been a little prancing going on.  And that show is really just a gateway to show tunes!!

We joke about having a metrosexual boy on our hands. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Weekend Getaway Complications

I started this over on FB, but as always, I have too much to say for there.

We'd like to do a weekend getaway around the end of September.  We don't really do summer vacations, because we don't like hot weather or lots of people!   We need somewhere within driving distance because flying is just too much trouble for a short trip.

Now, Ching and I like nice hotels with pools and hot tubs and big comfy beds.  Ok, Noah likes a lot of that, too.  We like to gamble and eat good meals.  Noah likes to run, run some more, chase some kids around a park, and watch his videos.  He's not really into zoos, or amusement parks, or things like that yet.

We've learned that if we take him somewhere, there had better be good places to do lots of walking/running.  It's harder to keep him entertained on the road than it is at home.  And there's also the chance there won't be a nap for us to get some down time.

Also, as we had reinforced the other night, we don't have to worry about Noah becoming addicted to playing games on a device anytime soon.  We used to could to out to eat and he'd eat his snacks, and then play some aps on the kindle.  Not anymore.  Once he's done eating he yells, "GET OUT" until we get him out of the high chair.  This usually happens just as we're in the middle of eating our entres, which means one of us gets to take him outside while the other gets the boxes, settles the check and all that fun stuff.

So, back to that getaway.  We found a cool place in West Virginia (about a four hour drive) that is a small hotel in the woods/at the base of the mountain.  There are trails and a big creek and not very many people.  There's also no good restaurants.  I like the idea of spending some time outdoors and think Noah would really like it.

Then there's also a Great Wolf Lodge/Busch Gardens/Colonial Williamsburg about two and a half hours from here.  We don't think he'd like Williamsburg.  He's also not a "water kid".  We went to a swimming party and it took him fifteen minutes just to get his feet into the pool.  He never did play in the water by himself, he was in Ching's arms the whole time.  The plus side is everything is indoors at Great Wolf, so weather is never an issue.  There would be lots of kids for him to chase around.  And there are some things other than water activities.  Again, though.  No good food or gambling for us big kids.

Third option is Atlantic City.  Noah really enjoyed the boardwalk last time we were there.  He wasn't too crazy about the beach.  We're not thrilled with the beach either, but it's not terrible.  The problem here is what do we do with Noah while we do a little gambling or go eat at an adult restaurant?  I found two babysitting services for Atlantic City, one in business since 1998.  But is that something we'd be comfortable with?  Maybe.  Ching does have some family in NJ, but we're not sure they could meet up with us.

It just seems like it should be easier to pick a place!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

He's growing up so fast!

  When I pick him up, Noah's legs dangle almost below my knees, and at the rate that he has been growing, when he's 5 or 6 years old, he'll probably be at least at my chest level.  Part of that has to do with his donor's height, which is 6'2", and part of that was probably due to how tall my father was, at 6'4".  Myself, at 5'6", is the shorter one compared to my sister, who is around 5'7" or maybe a bit taller.
  Besides Noah's height, he is also speaking more, in ways which we understand better, and that is an improvement.  However, he will definitely need speech therapy.  We will try to work that in with the upcoming event of him attending preschool.  Two things which I think work to his advantage are that he is a very social child, and he's naturally curious.  We also have noticed that he enunciates words better when he's "singing".  Therefore adding some more exposure to music in terms of maybe getting him some more varieties on his ipod, or even maybe music lessons (but we are not going to push him) will be ways to help him better his speech.
  Even with the latest difficulty of  eating out with him (chronicled in the last entry), he is still the best tempered child around.  I cannot remember the last time that he had thrown a fit (he does, just ever so rarely).
  He's also now calling both of us "Mommy!" and still gets crazy when I'm at home.  Keeping him occupied, well fed, and entertained now surpasses everything else.  I don't really miss that much of anything else, except for the occasional t.v. watching.
  Life is pretty good so far, aside from the doom and gloom of Obamacare, corrupt politicians, angry lesbians, and you can fill in the rest of blanks, having Noah around helps us stay as grounded as we could!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Noah Now

Well, our little boy is growing up.  He weighs in at 36 1/2 pounds and is 39 inches tall.  I was surprised that only puts him in the 80th % for height.  Not that we're complaining, he's plenty tall!

If I only had one word to describe him, it'd be goofy.  Wait, or maybe sweet.  It's a close call. 

Here's what he's up to these days.

Viewing preferences:  He loves Curious George, Mickey Mouse - old episodes and new Clubhouse ones, Sophia the First (my only guess is he likes the music), and he still watches Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends sometimes.  He hasn't watched his Japanese movies much lately, but some. 

Food preferences:  It's all about cheese and crackers.  The little pages of crackers that come with the cheese and little red stick, ritz crackers, string cheese.  Then it's all about apple sauce and yogurt.  He eats the Fage yogurts with the fruit you mix in.  He's dropped a lot of his fruits.  Nerdstar will make them into a shake some nights.  He loves white grape juice and his nightly before bed milk. 

Actually, his real favorite food is a McDonald's chicken nugget happy meal with lemon aid and then ice cream after.  He'll sing-song "french fries, chicken, ice cream" all the time! 

His favorite song right now is "Snow Day" from one of his "For The Kids" cds.  Some mornings I just put it on repeat so I can go make my coffee and get a couple of things done before he's ready to get out of his crib.

Our days are pretty routine.  He wakes up anywhere between 8 and 9 a.m.  When he wakes up, he yells "HI" until one of us comes upstairs.  This is because one of the first things we've always said to him in the morning is "hi handsome!"  Then he usually demands "Snow Day" and jumps up and down in his crib to it for five to fifteen minutes. 

After he's actually out of bed, it's time for either Curious George on the computer or Sophia downstairs on the tv.  He'll say "stairs...  T" for that.  He usually lets me shower while he's watching T, if not, I'll put him in his room to play while I shower. 

Then it's time to get him dressed and either run errands or go to the park, or both.  We'll play at the park about 45 minutes in the mornings, then he wants to go back and play another 45 minutes or so once Nerdstar gets home.

Thankfully, he still naps from around 1:30 to 4 or so.  I have no idea how long it actually takes him to get to sleep, but as long as he stays in his crib and doesn't cry it's ok with me. 

After his nap it's usually more George or Sophia or play time until Ma gets home. 

We're working on bath time being about 8:30, then more play time in his room, then bed time by 10.  It's hard to get in dinner and park time and everything else before bath time.  He loves his bath, lets Nerdstar brush his teeth and then he brushes them. 

He has slept with a glow worm from the time he started sleeping in his crib instead of his bassinet.  He still has it and still loves it.  He also has two Pooh Bears, a small pillow pet, a small pillow from when he had his adenoids out, his longtime blanket and a new blanket, and now his Mickey Mouse.  Plus, he usually wants one of this little school buses, trucks, or cars in the bed, too. 

Our only current complaint is that he's getting harder to go out to eat with.  For a long time, he was content to eat his snacks and then play his game on the kindle.  Now, the kindle no longer holds his interest and he just wants to eat and then literally run around the restaurant.  Ugh.  We really need to up our cooking skills.