Friday, July 27, 2012

What We Enjoy

Steering pirate ships in stormy waters.

Being together.

Playing with complex, magnetic gadget thingeys.

Doing puzzles.

Playing with, "SMOKE!!!"

Watching waterfalls.

Investigating interesting creatures.

Learning about earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes.

Observing touchable tornadoes.

Stuffing colorful scarves into wind tunnel tubes.

Designing architecture for marbles.

Coloring, and requesting that Momma draw "Daddy sharks" and "Baby sharks."

Trying to resist the urge to go for a swim.

Learning about fishing.

Making friends with the fish.

Pushing the umbrella and observing a deer.

Eating a yummy lunch at Chick-fil-A.

Playing with a red balloon.

Swinging and getting sunburned.

Going on a "beetle hunt." This was explained to me as a search that involves calling out, "Beetles, where are you?!"

After a glorious nap snuggling together, we went outside and played with Daddy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yes, You May Laugh

My SUV recently hit 105,000 miles, so we decided it was definitely time to take it in just to make sure everything is still a-okay. So, early this morning, we all drove up to North Little Rock and dropped my Envoy off.

In case you don't know, my husband drives an enormous Chevy Silverado (it doesn't even fit into our garage. . .I'm not kidding), with zero window tinting, old timey manual window cranks, and two doors (you know the kind that you can only open if the front ones are open?).

So, I will be driving the truck for. . .who knows how long (Dear Lord, please not long).

I needed to run a few errands today, and the first one was to Babies R Us. I really wanted to park in those preggers lady parking spots, but I was scared of backing the truck out of them. So, I parked toward the back, by the cart return. Of course, I wasn't thinking that in order to open the toddler's door I would have to keep my door open, thus effectively pinning us between the truck and the cart return. But nonetheless, we made it into Babies R Us.

I should also mention that I was wearing a t-shirt, denim shorts, Sperry's, and a baseball cap. I definitely fit the picture of the crazy momma driving the gigantic truck.

The whole way walking into the store, the toddler was shouting, "I like Thomas! I like Thomas! Hello! I like Thomas!" (It's his new thing: to declare what he likes to complete strangers.) Once inside the store, he pointed out what he always points out--the container of balls (the gumballs in the little machine). So then, for the duration of our shopping trip (which was as quick as I could make it), my son shouted, "I like balls! I like balls! I like balls!" I tried to smile, to not turn red, and to console myself with thoughts of, It could be much worse.

After picking up diapers, we were off to Walmart. By the time we got there, the toddler was sound asleep. So, I picked him up and carried him in. When I set him in the cart, he woke up--very, very unhappy. "MY SHOE! MY SHOE! IN THE CAR! MOMMMYYYYYY!" I looked down. Sure enough. My child was only wearing one shoe and was going ballistic. There was no way on God's green earth I was going back through the five zillion degree heat to get his other shoe.

Suddenly, the solution hit me: Thomas.

I raced back to the toy section with my toddler screaming his lungs out until I came to the Thomas section. It's bizarre to me that my son likes Thomas, because we own nothing that has Thomas on it and he never watches Thomas. But anyway, I was going to get him a little train. Nope, he didn't want the little train. He had already picked out the huge, $20 Thomas. At this point, I'm unashamed to admit, it was

With Thomas in hand, the toddler was perfectly happy and back to announcing to everyone that he liked Thomas. So I started flying through my grocery list. With just a few items to go, I needed to grab mandarin oranges. I turned (okay, maybe I screeched) onto the aisle with mandarin oranges. I reached for a container, and, it was just like slow motion, knocked three other containers on the floor and watched as they exploded mandarin oranges.


For just one second.

May I cry please?

So then we have Mommy down on the floor with the mandarin oranges, the toddler screaming, "I LIKE THOMAS!" mixed with "OH NO, MOMMY!" and fleeting thoughts of curling into the fetal position in the middle of Walmart and crying.

We somehow made it out of Walmart and back home. We opened up Thomas, who of course doesn't have functioning wheels (REALLY, THOMAS DESIGNERS!? REALLY!?). So now, my toddler is going around the house with his blue (enormous) train saying, "Is broken. Thomas is broken."

It's this heat. I swear. It's sucking the life out of me and making me a crazy lady.

But, thank you Lord for Thomas. And that nobody was in the aisle when the mandarin oranges exploded. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

And It's Only Lunchtime

This morning, bright and early (I barely had time to cram a waffle into my mouth as we ran out the door), the toddler and I headed off for his two year checkup. [Cue sentimental momma thinking, Wasn't it just yesterday that he was born? When on earth did he gain 20 pounds and starting throwing tantrums?]

I felt bad because the only way I could get him to dart out of the house was by saying, "Hey! Do you want to go see an alligator?"

Suddenly all thoughts of a comfy couch, V8 juice, Kix cereal (his favorite), and Dinosaur Train flew out the window.

"A alligator!!!! Let's go, Mommy!!!!"


We pulled into the parking lot of the doctor's office with my son still shouting about seeing a big alligator. I turned around, assumed that our pediatric clinic had not added an alligator to the waiting room fish tank, and said, "Okay, first we're just going to see some fish. And after we see the fish, then we can see the alligator."

His appointment went great--everything normal. His doctor asked, "How's his eating?"

"Good," I replied, "except he doesn't eat vegetables. He drinks V8 juice though." So, his doctor recommended that I start him on vitamins. Okay, no biggie.

After some screaming and shouting, "MY HURT!" and evil looks at the nurse, we headed out the door to go see the alligator! What can I say? I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. A momma is faithful one hundred percent.

So off we went to the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor Center. An employee greeted us as we walked in, "Hello! How are you? Have you ever been out here before?"


I couldn't help myself, I laughed. Um, yes, I've been coming here since I was about six, and my son and I come out here about every other week. I just said, "Oh yes, this is one of our favorite places."

Thank the good Lord above, the alligator was in his tank (sometimes he isn't, and momma feels like a liar who needs to hop in the car, drive to the other side of town, and go to the Witt Stephens Nature Center to deliver her promise of an alligator). The toddler ran around and looked at the snake, the bumble bees, and all the other exhibits that haven't changed in twenty years.

When we were walking out to the car, he said, "See the rocks?"

I knew he wanted to throw rocks in the pond--one of his favorite things to do.

"Baby, it's just too hot outside. I'm sorry."

Too hot outside? That's nothing that a Sonic slush can't fix. That settled it--our next destination was Sonic.


We pulled in, and I decided to do something I'd never done before: order a slush for the toddler. I knew it could be a total disaster--a sticky, red, ant-covered disaster. But nonetheless, I leaned over, pushed that little red button and ordered him a slush. He got to get out of his seat, sit next to momma, push and twist all the dials, and take all of about four sips of his slush. I'm pretty sure he thought he was in big boy heaven--for about ten minutes.

Then it was back in the carseat and to Walmart we go! He didn't want to go into the store, and so I told him we were going to get candy just for him. As soon as I said that, I had a flash back to when my own two-year-old brother treated the bottle of vitamins like candy and my dad ended up reaching his arm down his throat scraping Flintstones vitamins out. But, alas, the damage had already been done.


"Candy! I hold it?"

"Yes, you may hold it."

So, we went in and bought a container of Flintstone's gummy vitamins, and yes, the toddler did get to hold it the entire time.

When we got to the car, I asked him, "Do you want some candy right now?" I opened the bottle, handed him a gummy, and watched--just sure he was going to spit it out and there goes $6 and an attempt to cover our no-vegetable-eating mistake. But no, he thought it was yummy, and proceeded to scream the rest of the way home, "CANDY! PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE! PLEASE, MOMMA! CANDY! SOME CANDY! PLEASE? PLEASE? PLEASE? PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE?"

And now, we're home. And it's only lunchtime, and I'm left thinking, "When, oh when, will fall be here? We need to be able to go to the park, and throw rocks in the pond, and kill time outside!" I wish I could hibernate during summer. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Lion, The Lizard, And The Bathtub

Few things do I look forward to like a bubble bath at the end of the day. I tuck the toddler into bed, clean the house (okay, half the time I clean the house), grab whatever book I'm reading for book club, and pour my bubble bath.

Last night was no different. I went to get my vanilla bath bubbles, but they weren't next to my facial mask cream where they usually are. In fact. . .

What greeted me were a plastic lizard, Scar from The Lion King, and a clamp. Yep, my two-year-old had most definitely taken a bubble bath earlier in the day.

I laughed. I really got a kick out of that.

As I searched frantically around the bathroom for my bath bubbles as the warm water filled the tub, I couldn't help but feel happy and blessed. Sometimes, it takes the smallest thing like running across my son's toys in an unexpected place to make me think, "Thank God for my little boy." :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Evenings

The rain finally came, and with it cooler temperatures and cloud cover. We afraid-of-the-105-degree-heat creatures emerged from hiding--found most of our flowers still alive, our freckles still intact, and our love for popsicles and all messy outdoor activities still alive and well. I'm treasuring these evenings, when it's the three of us--playing golf with our plastic golf clubs, welcoming the droves of ants with our popsicle juice, blowing bubbles, running around with lawnmowers and water guns and anything else to make our neighbors think we're crazy. :)
Golfing with Daddy. Little man has got quite the swing.

It always starts off the same way: "Take a shoes off, Mommy."

Then the stripping down really takes place. And he attacks Daddy with the water.

And, of course, Daddy doesn't mind. :)

There is fun to be had with the sprinklers!

The bubble gun. The most prized possession of this two-year-old.

When did he get so big?

The lawnmowers (plural) come out, and are left out, inevitably.

Sweet summer evenings, I will always hold you close to my heart. Watching my little boy squeal with joy or burst out laughing when he surprises Daddy with the water hose. Nothing is more precious than that--the distinct feelings of love and comfort that infuse everything.