Monday, June 30, 2014

Brake Job

I had an oil change recently and was told that my brake pads and rotors were pretty worn and should be replaced.  Tears in my eyes (as there are any time large sums of money are requested), I texted Ernie with the info and the amount of the estimate.  He simply replied, "Nope."  Yes, I did need those things replaced, but Ernie was able to buy the parts and do it himself, so it didn't cost as much.  Free labor!  I love having a mechanically-inclined husband.  Matthew supervised the work.

A moth landed on one of my tires which, from the right angle and distance, made it look like I had a major issue with my tire.  I freaked out for a split second.

Last weekend, we got a few goodies from my cousin that her son had outgrown.  One of them was an awesome wagon.  Matthew and I had to take a couple of trips around the neighborhood.  He had a blast!  

Ernie took Chewie for a couple little trips too.  She loves riding in the truck.

On Sunday morning, I finally got to make biscuits and gravy for breakfast.  I had bought pork sausage earlier in the month with the intention of cooking this favorite of Ernie's for Father's Day, and then I got sick.  I guess it's not fair to say that I made biscuits and gravy; I made the gravy, and I threw frozen biscuits in the oven.  We can't all be Martha Stewart.  I made barbecue beef patties and mashed potatoes for dinner, but Matthew pretty much just ate a little bit of the potatoes and then scarfed a bunch of watermelon.  He's so appreciative of my cooking.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Recap

What a weekend!  I'm an admitted homebody; I love being home. We spent a lot of time elsewhere though, and it was great.

Saturday started out bright and early with Mom helping me work our first Mom 2 Mom sale to get some of Matthew's old stuff out of the house and make us a few bucks.  How does one child accumulate so much stuff?

The sale was a lot of fun, and all we ended up not selling was some clothing and a baby monitor.  We sold lots of clothing and bigger items like activity gyms, bathtubs, a swing, and a high chair.  It made us a little sad to see some of the stuff go, but there is really no sense in keeping it.  The atmosphere at the sale was wonderful though, and it made me really happy to see other people so excited about their purchases.  Feeling some sadness about seeing an adorable little jacket of his get sold is eased by seeing the excitement of the person buying the jacket for their little one.

I was exhausted after the sale.  My poor mom had to drive home to Ohio right after, but I was fortunate enough to be able to go home and crash on the couch.  Ernie kindly let me sleep but finally woke me up to get going to a graduation party.  My co-worker's daughter graduated high school and was having a big party at her house.  A lot of my co-workers were there, and we had a really good time.  Her house and yard are beautiful.  Matthew loved running around the huge yard.  He also enjoyed the food.  He basically had a little bit of meat sauce, a bread stick, Goldfish, and cookies for dinner.  So healthy.

Matthew fell asleep on the way home, and then he of course got his second wind once we got home.  After playing for a little while, he was ready for bed.  Ernie and I watched some Breaking Bad on Netflix before we went to bed ourselves.

On Sunday, I got grocery shopping out of the way, and then we hit the road to go to my cousin's house.  She lives about an hour and a half away and had kindly offered us a free tricycle, wagon, and basketball hoop that her son had long outgrown.  Matthew has none of these things, and we have particularly been wanting a wagon, so we were obviously pretty excited.  Another one of my cousins (they are sisters) was visiting from Green Bay with her husband and sons, so we got some bonus relative visiting.  They had also never met Matthew before, so it was nice for them to see him.

As we left, Ernie called his cousin who didn't live too far away to see if she'd be up for having us pop in for a visit.  She agreed but admonished us upon arrival for not giving her more notice about our visit.  She was not mad that we'd shown up with little notice but said if she'd known we were coming, she'd have cooked us dinner and got Matthew presents from Toys R Us.   She still managed to be quite the hostess.  After we had called her, she quickly called to order pizza and salad.  She also had some strawberries and mini eclairs and presented Matthew with a brand new Batman t-shirt.  I was highly impressed!  None of that was necessary, but it was flattering and appreciated that she fussed over us.

Matthew and I snoozed on the way home, although I'm pretty sure I slept longer than he did.  I used to never be a napper, but since having a kid, I sure do love naps now.  Ernie mowed the lawn when we got home and then rode into town with Chewie to get some gas in the truck and pick up some Chinese for dinner.

Now, it's Monday morning.  Where did the weekend go??

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Toy Story

I've been sick since last Thursday, which has obviously been a bummer.  I used to rarely get sick, but now that I have a toddler, it's hard to avoid the germs.  Yes, I'm blaming the kid.  I've been told that's what they are for.

Managing to go to work (aside from wimping out and taking one half day last week) has been about all I've been able to do.  Ernie has been doing most of the parenting duties, and I've been alternating between sleeping and watching shows on Netflix.  I'm currently working my way through Breaking Bad, my show of choice after finally finishing Dexter recently.  Not having cable really makes me behind on popular culture.   I started watching Dexter back in December and was so excited about how awesome it was but kept it to myself to avoid becoming the butt of jokes.  "When you're done watching Dexter, want to put on powdered wigs and listen to records on my phonograph?"

I'm starting to bounce back though.  I still have a slight cough, but it no longer makes people get wide-eyed and instruct to me to stay away from them.  That's a definite improvement.  I'm having more energy to get stuff done at home too.

My favorite daily chore happens after Matthew goes to bed.  I've pretty much turned our living room into a playroom, and I take great enjoyment in tidying up Matthew's toys at the end of the day.  I have a spot for everything.  Certain toys go in certain containers.  Any item missing, even a small puzzle piece, is hunted down with determination that can be borderline crazy to anyone present. But it makes me happy to bring him downstairs each morning to a nicely arranged play area with everything in its place and waiting for him.  I know it will be destroyed in 10 seconds, but those first 9 seconds of him wandering around and deciding where to begin makes me happy.

This task was kicked to the curb while I was sick.  I laid on the couch and looked at the tornado of toys scattered throughout the room (and spilling into adjacent rooms), but I just didn't have it in me to pick up.  It made me feel bad that when he woke up in the morning he didn't have a nicely arranged area to dive into.  Ernie regularly points out that Matthew probably doesn't even care.

I'm willing to bet that Ernie is right.  I care though.  It makes me happy to spend a little time each night getting ready for our next day of fun.

I'm disappointed this morning because there are two items that are missing.  One of them is a book, of all things.  How does a book go missing?  We're also missing a guy from the farm.  I've been scouring the house with no luck.  I feel incomplete.  Matthew, of course, is fine.  I'm clearly the only one troubled by this.  It's just so vexing!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bully at the Mall

Back before I even got pregnant, I would always feel a fluttery happiness when I'd see the kids in the play area at the mall.  I hoped I would be there with my kid someday, watching him or her laugh and play and have a good time.  I've been eager to take Matthew there for awhile.  I had to run to the mall to pick out some greeting cards, so I thought it would be the perfect time to bring Matthew with and hit the play area.

After Matthew patiently tolerated how long I took to dig through the cards at Hallmark (I could easily blow an hour there), we made our way to the play area.  I left the stroller by the entrance and took off our shoes.  The play area was really crowded, and Matthew seemed hesitant.  He was barely entering the play area and looked nervous.  After a little encouragement, he cautiously began exploring.  He didn't like it if we were too far apart, so I pretty much hovered over him and probably looked like a really obnoxious helicopter parent.

After about 10 minutes, Matthew seemed more relaxed and started to enjoy himself.  He especially liked the slide.  The first several times, he couldn't make it up the steps by himself.  The more he went down the slide though, the more hyper and excited he got.  Pretty soon, he was having a blast and climbing the steps with little to no assistance.   He was laughing, and I was able to back off a little.

Matthew had been taking turns with several other kids playing with the slide, but we soon found ourselves with the slide all to ourselves.  Matthew would climb the steps, go down the slide, and run back to the steps, laughing and clapping.

Soon, another kid ran over to the slide.  He looked like he was about 7 years old and beyond the maximum height that was allowed for kids in the play area.  He also had sneakers on, which was a no-no.  

I wouldn't have minded his presence, but he went to the top of the slide where Matthew was sitting.  The kid angrily yelled, "GO!" and shoved Matthew really hard down the slide.  Before I even had time to react, I was at least able to see that Matthew was okay.  He went down the slide normally and wasn't crying, but he did look really surprised.  

"Do not EVER touch him or yell at him AGAIN."  I didn't yell, but it was obvious I was livid.  The kid looked at me like I was a complete moron.  A woman walked over, who I assumed was the kid's mom.  I figured she would apologize and scold her kid.

There was no apology, but she did firmly tell her kid to be careful.  I appreciated that.  Then, in a very sarcastic tone, she said, "The babies are special," before walking away.  She didn't say a word to me. 

A little girl had climbed up the the slide and was about to go down.  The boy once again yelled, "GO!" and pushed her down the slide.  We'd been in the play area for over half an hour, so I decided it was time for us to just go.  Fuming, I picked up Matthew, and we left the play area to put on our shoes.

While I was strapping Matthew into his stroller, tears filled my eyes.  When I was in 1st grade, I was playing outside at recess on the big play structure known as the deck.  There were poles that you could slide down to get off the deck.  I reached out for a pole one day to go down but apparently wasn't fast enough.  A boy came up behind me, yelled, "GO!", and pushed me off the deck.  I fell down to the ground.  My recently skinned knees that were almost healed were ripped back open.   

Nobody saw it happen.  I got up, quietly crying, and walked into the school to go to the office to find someone to help clean up my knees.  My teacher was called to the office, and when it was just the two of us, she scolded me for playing too rough.  I truly believe that my 1st grade teacher did not like me.

Seeing that boy  be mean to Matthew made me think back to my childhood.  I endured years of bullying.  One of my biggest fears for Matthew is that he gets subjected to the kind of bullying I experienced.  One of the most important things for Matthew to learn is kindness.  I think the only thing that would break my heart more than kids bullying him would be if he were a bully.  I refuse to let that happen.

I hope childhood years are kinder to Matthew than they were to me.  At least I always had a good home and family.  I promise he will always have that.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Flag Day

On the first Saturday of every June, our little community goes nuts over Flag Day. It's our big celebration of the year. The big events are the parade in the morning and the fireworks at night. It's a small parade on a short route, but that doesn't stop people from flocking in for the fun. Matthew was only about 7 months old on his first Flag Day, so he was able to enjoy it a little more this year.

Sometimes, I get sad that I don't live in my hometown anymore because I wish Matthew could experience things that I grew up with on a regular basis.  This is his hometown though, and I think the annual Flag Day festivities will be part of his childhood that he will fondly remember as an adult.