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Thursday, April 23, 2009

A hiking we will go

One night last week after dinner, Little Man dragged Daddy outside to play. Next thing Daddy knows he's being pulled along a trail going into our back woods. About forty-five minutes later, they finally make it back home. Since I was at my monthly MOPS meeting, Little Man and hubby made sure to tell me all about their adventures the following day.

This past weekend, Little Man made us take the adventure once again. We would alternate which trails to follow, ending up at either the marina or along one of the side roads next to our local park. Both times, we were out walking for at least an hour and it didn't even feel like it. Not to mention, Little Man was so exhausted by the time we got home, he played for 5 minutes, took a bath, and then fell fast asleep.

One of the nights, I made sure to bring my camera which happened to be the same night that hubby and Little Man both found good potential walking sticks. We even found a baby tortoise as well!

As long as it's not raining and cold, I have a feeling we'll be taking this hike on a regular basis.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Maybe this way or that way?

I said it before and I'll say it again. Raising a child is like a science project. You can have hypothesis after hypothesis of what's going to be your outcome, but until you actually try your experiment, you'll never know how it's going to end.

I'm sure some of the mothers out there are saying, "What to hell is she talking about!?" I'm a scientific person. This is how I work, so go with me.

Last month, before Gramma and Pop-pop came to visit, Little Man was waking up close to 8am. Which was a dream for me considering I was still in my first trimester and exhausted as ever. I still needed to take a nap when Little Man went down just to be able to make it through the day. When hubby and I returned from our trip to St. Maarten, Little Man seemed to change his mind and think that 6:30-7am was a better time. Whatever.

So, I kept trying to keep him busy, sometimes pushing his naptime out until 1:30-2pm instead of his normal 1-1:30pm timeframe. I made sure to wake him up no later than 3:30pm depending on what time he fell asleep for his nap. Sometimes, he would be so tired, no matter what I did, he'd fall back to sleep in my arms. To at least keep one thing consistent, we made sure to keep his bedtime still the same. At 9pm lights out.

Gramma, not necessarily questioned me, but questioned the idea of maybe he's overtired. I had wondered the same, but wasn't sure how to change his schedule. It wasn't until last week, after chatting with a very good friend who has helped me tremendously with raising my son, that I figured we try pushing his nap time back earlier.

Last weekend regardless of what time Little Man woke for the day and if he was acting tired or not, we put him down for his nap at 1pm. I let him sleep until 3:15-3:30pm, to make sure he was awake long enough for the rest of the day. To our delight, he woke up the next day at 7:30am!

The next day, we did the same thing and he woke up at 7:45am! Monday? He didn't start moving until 8am!

Hopefully, his new wake-up time will stick around for a long time to come.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To wait or not to wait

Hubby and I have been going back and forth lately about when to put Little Man into a "Big Boy Bed". Although he hasn't been trying to get out of his bed, except the one time that he teetered a little over the railing but scared himself so much he never did it again, we know the time will come sooner or later. Especially with a second one on the way, we wanted to make sure that Little Man was transitioned prior to the new arrival so we didn't have a newborn and a toddler to fight with at night.

I have to admit, I was extremely hesitant about it. You hear horror stories from other parents of their children waking them up at all hours of the night because they have free range once the lights go out. I don't want that, no matter if I have only one to worry about or two.

We did our research and read that some people, especially if the child likes their bed and have no issues with climbing out, stay in their crib until three years of age. I also read that with some children it can be a huge transition, one that seems exciting at first, but then really scary once the lights go out and Mommy and Daddy go to bed. I knew I wanted to take it slow, but I wasn't sure if it was because Little Man wasn't ready or Mommy wasn't ready.

Lately, Little Man has been asking us to read his books while he sits in his bed. Although it's a great way to end the night because he's already in bed once we say no more books, our arms kind of get tired of reaching over the railings to read him his books. We started looking into all of our options, like a Toddler bed vs. a full size bed with a railing or trying to use his current crib without the front railing. IKEA also has a great option of an extendable bed, going from a toddler bed to a full size bed in one. Since money is a little tight right now, and we want to hold out for the IKEA extendable bed option, we opted for the less expensive option right now. We removed the front of his crib to make it into a day bed, then add a $20 bed railing to prevent him from falling out. My only concern was that we couldn't lower the bottom of the bed any closer to the ground, but 14 inches really isn't that far to tumble compared to Mommy and Daddy's bed. And besides, there is only 6 inches or so on either side of the bed railing for him to fall out from.

To our surprise, he loved it! He was so excited to have a "new" big boy bed!

That night, Daddy tried reading to him while sitting in his bed, too. Little Man had a different idea though. He still wanted the bed railing up. So unfortunately, our arms still get a little tired from hanging over the railing, but at least it's not as high as his crib used to be.

And to our delight, the first night was a dream! We made sure to tell him that only Mommy and Daddy can take him out of the bed, since he really wanted to climb on the railing when it was down. He was asleep within 15 minutes and didn't even mess with the railing. And on top of that, he slept until 8am! Wahoo!

Then, double bonus, no problems during nap time either. And I was nervous why? I'll shut up before I jinx myself.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rain, rain, come and stay!

There was a toss up as to what post I should start with first this week. We did quite a few things over the weekend and I wanted to share them all right away. However, since it's raining today, our new purchase won the vote.

I wasn't expecting to have the truck today since we had a busy weekend and I usually like to hang around home on Mondays as a cool down day. When I heard the rain this morning, I knew it would be a perfect day for coloring, painting, and even making a train photo frame from his birthday party (yes, it was back in December). Alas, hubby forgot that he had a physical therapy appointment for his back this morning so we needed to take him into the train station or else he would have to pay for parking at work.

Little Man and I headed to our local mall which happens to be one of the best outlet malls that I've been to. Especially when you take into consideration the sales that both the Disney and Children's Place stores have on a regular basis. But Little Man's heart was set on visiting the LEGOS Store, aka "Block Store". I purposely parked in front of Children's Place entrance to make sure we stopped there on the way out. I just received an Extra 15% off coupon of your entire purchase and wanted to see if they had any winter coats left to pick one up for next year.

We made our way to the LEGOS Store, stopped at Auntie Anne's pretzels with a Buy One, Get One coupon, the Disney Store (which was having great sales by the way), and then to the Customer Service station to spin the wheel. We signed him up for the mall's kids club and every time we go to the mall, he gets to spin a large wheel for a prize (nothing spectacular this time).

Unfortunately, Children's Place didn't have any winter coats left, but they did have other items on sale for only $1.99! Other items were just marked 50% off the already marked down price. I'm telling you, this place could be your best and worse nightmare shopping for kids' clothes.

So long story short, we finally purchased our first pair of rain boots. I made sure to get a size 9 so he could hopefully fit into them next year as well (as long as his big feet don't grow too fast). Even though Mom lets him splash in some of the smaller puddles, he was so excited to actually go splashing in the BIG puddles.

We get home and he makes his way to the big puddle....

The boots? Shark boots! And yes. Those are fins on the back of the boots. The price? Less than $8 after being on sale and with my extra coupon. Love Children's Place!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

St. Martin/St. Maarten highlights

Last month, hubby and I went on a 4 day, 3 night stay to St. Martin. We had visited there last year stopping by Philipsburg with a cruise and thought it would be a nice getaway. Not to mention it was a huge bargain. For only $175 it included the stay as well as a $75 VISA gift card to use anywhere OR an all day boat ride for two to a local island of our choice. At first, we were thinking just grab the money and go, but once we arrived there and saw that the boat ride was normally $75 per person, we decided on the boat ride.

Or so we thought. Apparently, the resort's main office owned by Diamond Resorts International had been sued by several people claiming that in order to receive this voucher, they needed to attend a timeshare meeting. We were specifically told that we did NOT have to attend any meeting. Alas, 2 months ago, only 1 month after making the reservation, they stopped the promotion without informing anyone.

Needless to say when we returned home, we contacted the company who dispersed the packages, Smart Circle. They were astounded to hear that we were told this information and were not offered any compensation during our stay. The next day, hubby was getting a phone call from Smart Circle's corporate office asking him to explain the situation again since they still didn't believe it. To them, this was unacceptable. To our delight, five days later, we received our $75 VISA gift card in the mail. So sometimes it does pay to complain about customer service.

Anyways, while we were on the island, we did have a great time exploring the 36 square miles of both the Dutch and French sides. Although that sounds relatively small, because it is, it took us almost an hour to get from one end of the island to the other. The reason? No traffic lights. I thought driving in the US was scary but you should try it with no lights to control the traffic. It was interesting to say the least. The resort was actually centrally located, so it made it easy to try a variety of different restaurants for dinner. Although, I am very sad to say that I did not have any authentic crepes. We were planning on a nice, relaxing massage and a quiet breakfast at a quaint pastry restaurant nearby until hubby got food poisoning the last night. Great way to say good-bye to St. Martin.

All in all, I wouldn't go back. Four days was definitely enough for me. It was fun none the less. Enjoy the pics.

Zip-lining is always fun in the jungle. It's the climbing to the top part that can be exhausting.

Canon in Fort St. Louis overlooking the French town of Marigot.

Down the hill from "Pic Paradis", the highest point on the island at 1400 feet.

While searching for seashells on the seashore (say that ten times fast), hubby found this shell with what looked like seaweed inside... except it moved. I haven't looked in my old oceanography field guides yet to tell me what this is, but it was pretty funny to see hubby jump at a shell. I probably would have too.

Picture perfect beach at Friars Bay

Monday, April 13, 2009

March in Review

Considering I've dropped the ball on my "Month in Review" posts since the beginning of the year, I've decided now is as good a time as any to start them up again. Although it's hard to believe that we are already halfway through April, here are some highlights from March. I was going to included pics from our trip to St. Maarten in the review, but decided to save that for a later post.

The beginning of the month started off with a good snow storm. Although I'm sure other parts of the northeast were hit harder than Virginia, it was still a good amount for these parts of the woods. Little Man wasn't sure at first what to do with the cold, wet stuff, but once Dad got out there with him, he was all go. At some point, they, I mean Dad, started to get really cold (which obviously meant Little Man as well), but he was rearing for more. So they decided to go out on the deck, which was a little more secured from the wind, and shovel a path. They both had a ton of fun running around the deck. Me? I stayed inside where it was warm.

A few times throughout the month, I had little or no clue as to what to do with my son. I mean, there are only so many times, you can sit in front of the train table, paint a picture, or play with play-doh. So we picked up baking... COOKIES! Who doesn't like cookie, especially when you get to taste your creations afterwards. After we had mixed all the ingredients together and I was dishing out the dough, Little Man decided he still wanted to be near, but didn't want to help. So he pushed his highchair to my side of the kitchen, retrieved a good book, and made himself comfy. He was totally content looking at his book while I finished the cookies.

Little Man's OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) had taken on a new meaning last month, especially when he played with his cars. They all have to be lined up, facing the same way, and I'm sure in a particular order in his mind. Every once in awhile we'll play with him and turn some of the cars around when he's not looking. But just like his Mama, he can spot something wrong in a second. Sorry, baby.

Gramma and Pop-pop finally came to visit which meant, "Yeah! Someone new to play with!" And of course a little rest for Mommy since her heartburn was really flaring last month. Gramma was always finding new things to do. Well, some things weren't new, like playing a marching band, but with a new twist to make it extra fun. I absolutely love this picture even though it's blurry.

Like I mentioned before, Daddy and I went on a trip alone to the island of St, Maarten. It wasn't anything fancy, just a 4 day, 3 night stay at a nice resort. Daddy had purchased the trip package before Christmas which included stay and a $75 gift card to use anywhere for only $175! There were a few problems about the gift card offer once we got there... like that offer wasn't being accepted anymore. Don't worry, we've gotten the situation taken care of since returning back to the states. Trying to save a little money on flights (close to $800 for two from Washington), we flew out of Newark, which meant a little stay at Aunt Wenderina's. At first, Little Man being set in his ways and loving his home, wasn't sure about staying, but this little girl soon convinced her that it would be all worth it (of course playing the guitar with Uncle Carl and reading books in bed with Aunt Wenderina sure helped too). I heard after we left, little Penny was a little lost as to who to play with, but found her good ole buddy, Yasmine, would have to suffice once again to torture.

Stay tuned for April's Month in Review. We go to the National Zoo, spend Easter hunting eggs with Gramma and Pop-pop before they head back to California, and see Thomas the Train in Baltimore with Grandaddy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

After a long break with Gramma and Pop-pop visiting, I'll be back online this week. Until then, wishing you and your family a Happy Easter Sunday!