Sunday, August 31, 2008

Goin' Dutch

As our last hurrah before school began, we decided to take the boys to their very first amusement park. Peanut had been on the rides at the beach, and after Pumpkin's first partially-successful attempt at the beach rides, we figured it was worth a shot. Many of my friends recommended we try Dutch Wonderland since it specifically caters to young children, so away we went!

We're here!

In front of the castle entrance...

Peanut's first ride at the park. Think he liked it?!?

Pumpkin got excited when he saw the monster trucks (his first ride there) and threw a fit when it was time to get off (so the nice people at the park let them all go a second time).

Peanut's first pony ride...

...and Pumpkin's first pony ride! He was a very proud li'l cowboy. (And yes...I was crying. Again.)

Peanut's first kiddie roller coaster! (I think Daddy had as much fun as Peanut did, considering how many times they went back on!)

Our first Thomas the Tank Engine live show!

And after sitting down for some yummy Dippin' Dots for everyone, we headed back home after a great day of fun.

And Pumpkin showed his utter appreciation about ten whole seconds later.

What an amusing day filled with firsts!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Summer Tradition

Every summer, we make sure to visit Pop Pop and Grandma (my dad and his wife) and go to our favorite beach with them. They live a lot closer than we do, and it is a fun way to incorporate a visit with them while hittin' the sand. They came up with a great idea this year to go to a much less-populated part of the beach and then walk the boardwalk and ride the rides as usual. Here are some highlights:

Peanut is happy as a clam!

Pop Pop carries Pumpkin back from chasing the seagulls (his new favorite beach activity).

Pumpkin's first ride EVER (at age 2) on the same boat as Peanut's first ride EVER (when he was 2, too!) P.S. I am fairly sure this was my first ride ever as well. Why yes, of course I was crying.

Well, now Pumpkin is crying...he definitely liked the boats better. I took him off the Merry Go Round after this picture (and before the ride actually began). He was content for the rest of our visit in my arms or in his stroller. But isn't this a cute picture of Peanut and Daddy?!?

Our grandparent beach trip was a lot of fun, and we plan to do it all again next summer!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tag...You're It!

Okay, okay...I know I have been neglecting my poor blog lately. And I am sorry. It's not that I don't have blog-worthy material; I have plenty. It's not that I don't have cute pictures to share; I have plenty. But it is that I have lost about nine hours of my time each day, and of that, I don't have plenty. But if you see those nine hours running away in a late summer breeze somewhere, could you steal them back for me? I really miss them.

Anyway, until I get to all of my fun end-of-summer and back-to school posts, I have to attend to some blog business. For the first time in the seven months I have hosted this blog, I have been tagged! And from what I gather, that means you are subjected to my answers to various questions which have been passed from blog to blog. So thanks to my new blog friend, Tiff! Here are my responses:

4 Things

4 things that I was doing 10 years ago:

1) I was a newlywed, married only a year, wishing summer didn't have to end (some things never change).
2) I was beginning a new teaching job closer to home after commuting 62 miles (one way!) for an entire school year.
3) I was totally obsessed with all things Titanic, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
4) I was wishing I had more time to do things on my days off besides lesson planning (and I would later learn what the word "busy" really meant after having children).

4 things on my To-Do list for today:

1) Blog something!
2) Remind Peanut for the 47th time since yesterday that he should sit -- not lie down -- during circle time (as his kindergarten teacher has probably also already told him 47 times in the past two days).
3) Make Peanut's lunch without his surprise Cars fruit snacks since he "never got to eat his sandwich because the fruit snacks took too long."
4) Get to bed at a decent hour and thank God for these wonderful boys that I get to worry about all day long.

4 random things I love about my husband:

1) He uses the best grammar of any normal guy I have ever met.
2) He has sent me flowers every year on the first day of school for the past sixteen years.
3) He doesn't wake up grumpy, and he knows how to deal with me when I (often) do.
4) He is an extremely sentimental, thoughtful giftgiver who tells me on a daily basis how much he loves me even when I don't deserve it.

4 jobs that I have had:

1) Salesperson at various retail stores: It's a Breeze, The Dry Goods, Boscov's, Leggett's, Dress Barn, Sunglass Hut
2) Telephone operator and announcer at Service Merchandise: "Good evening shoppers, and thank you for choosing Service Merchandise. The time is now 8:55 and the store will be closing in five minutes..."
3) Receptionist at a hair salon (I wasn't very good; sometimes I would forget how much time to plan for all of those early-90s spiral perms)
4) Private flute teacher

4 movies I've watched more than once:

1) When Harry Met Sally
2) Pretty Woman
3) The Breakfast Club
4) About Last Night

4 places I have lived:

1) A dorm room next to a stairwell where I could hear everyone's conversations
2) An apartment where the heating bills were more expensive than my rent
3) A townhouse with three girls I had never met before moving in
4) A home in the suburbs where we used to play kick-the-can with all of the neighborhood until my dad whistled for us to come back inside after dark

4 places I have been:

1) Poland
2) Czech Republic
3) Germany
4) Bermuda

4 places I want to visit:

1) France
2) Italy
3) Great Britain
4) Australia

4 TV shows I watch:

1) Big Brother
2) Grey's Anatomy
3) American Idol
4) The Bachelor[ette]

4 things you may not know about me:

1) I love it when things match. If Garanimals were made for grown-ups, I'd be in heaven.
2) Before we had children, our guest room was devoted to Hello Kitty, and several of my rare items were purchased on eBay from Hong Kong.
3) I don't have any first cousins, and neither do my children.
4) I was in two fairly bad car accidents as a teenager (I was not driving!) and have chronic back and neck problems as a result; I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia about ten years ago.

4 people I tag:


Whew! Hope that post was somewhat interesting. I'll be back soon with pictures; I promise!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Singin' the Back-to-School Blues

I should be used to this feeling because it has come over me every year for the past five years. But it doesn't make it any easier. The tears just keep coming. You see, I am technically two different types of mommy. In the summer, I get to experience stay-at-home mommyhood. But then, just as soon as I am really getting used to my new schedule and having my little men all to myself, -- wham! -- it's time to go back to work again.

Don't get me wrong; I love my job most days. I am aware that I am quite fortunate to be able to even have a job that offers two months off (no, we do not have three months off as urban legend would suggest!). But I miss those little boys. Desperately.

Somehow, the day before I return to work, all of the whines, temper tantrums, and messiness in the world mean nothing, and I only want to spend a few more precious days with my children...just us, playing together and relaxing on our lazy summer days, doing what we want, when we want. I realize I am not actually leaving my children; after all, I will pick them up every afternoon as per our usual school schedule. But it won't be the same. I will be preoccupied with all of the work I still have to do well beyond my "workday," Peanut will be starting kindergarten (!) and he will have his own brand new preoccupations, and Pumpkin will be read to and put down for naps by his babysitter and not his mommy.

Once I get back into the swing of things, I'll be okay. But I am never good at change, and these little boys of mine just change so darn fast. So excuse me while I relish the memories of these happy summer days that are gone way too soon with tissues in hand. I have to morph into Working Mommy tomorrow, and tissues will be a required part of the uniform for the first few days.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Budding Artiste Matisse?

When I was little, I loved to draw, color, create. I took oil painting, cartooning, and kids' crafts lessons. However, loving something doesn't necessarily equate excelling at something. Actually, I do remember winning my fair share of coloring contests, but I was always pretty good at staying in the lines. Drawing the actual lines myself, however, proved to be more difficult. As I got older, I realized the terrific artistic talents of other classmates and stuck to writing and music as my main areas of interest. And that is why I was in complete amazement when I witnessed my two-year-old's most recent doodles:

I had to document them because they were gone as quickly as they were drawn with one pull of the lever. Considering my own artistic abilities, I was pretty proud of my little 28 month-old. All I know is, I'm giving credit to the recessive genes!

P.S. I am not discrediting the artistic talents of my husband, of course. He drew some pretty impressive Bob the Builder characters with chalk on our walkway just this afternoon.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Completely Unsolicited

The other day as I was folding laundry, Pumpkin came running up to me and landed in my arms.

Pumpkin: Mommy? I duv you.

Me: Awww...I love you, too, Honey! Thank you! [big smooch]

Pumpkin: You're wecum, Honey.

Luckily you didn't witness this, or you would have seen a mommy blubbering at her toddler's first independent offering of love without provocation yet snorting at the term of endearment he repeated to me. I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight, but the memory will remain beautiful in my mind!

Have your children ever called you something funny (Honey)?