Friday, July 30, 2010

Schedule? What Schedule?

For a while, as in over a year now, Aiden has maintain the same schedule: get up around seven, nap around one and bed around seven thirty. Everyday, day in and day out, he would do this. I liked knowing what to expect because I knew when he'd be well rested and when he'd start to get tired and cranky.

Since we've been here, as I've mentioned before, all bets are off. At the very beginning there were a couple weeks of crazy, no napping, all tantrum days. Then things evened out (mostly) and despite waking up earlier and earlier, he'd still nap in the afternoon (if only for a half hour) and be in bed by eight.

The past week and a half have blown all of that away. He's been waking up at two, three, five, six o'clock EVERY MORNING! He hasn't done that since he was eight months old. We bring him straight back to his room each time but he keeps on coming back. We've listened to see if there's noise outside or upstairs, if his room's too hot, if he needs to go to the bathroom, but nothing seems to help.

The worst part is that he is then such a tired wreck all morning that he's fallen asleep by eleven o'clock and awake by one p.m.. The days here are so hot (as in 115, 120 degree heat index) that we can't go to the park. So we're inside. For hours.

Basically, I feel like I'm dodging curve balls. Hopefully Sean and I can catch up on some sleep this weekend and he straightens his self out, since I can't figure it out.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Who's Scared? Not me.

While Aiden and I were at the park we came across this rather scary looking guy:

I don't know if it's a centipede or a millipede or a caterpillar or an alien. It was pretty creepy and I was ready to leave it alone but Aiden insisted on watching it for the full twenty minutes that it took to crawl across the playground.

He waddle-walked the whole time, alternately trying to poke it and squealing in fear, while calling out "MOM-AY! MOM-AY!" the way he has taken to recently. It's funny, but he used to be terrified of bugs, and now he's more interested in them. Last summer he loved to swim, but this year he's becoming more nervous around the water. It's mind blowing to watch him as he learns to overcome certain fears while suddenly developing anxiety about things he never feared before. The newest scary thing? The dark. Suddenly bedtime has gone from poems and stories and a kiss goodnight to anxious hand-holding and repeated reassurances that "everything's okay! I'll be right out here! I won't even close the door all the way!".

In a lot of ways, parenthood has been like that for me. Yesterday I was terrified of him bumping his head on the bars of the crib, or choking on a cheerio, or lead paint in his toys. Those fears are long gone today, but now it's "is he socialized enough? are we too strict with him? would he hate us if we had another baby?". If feel so lucky to have Sean next to me, assuring me that "everything's okay, I'll be right here with you!".

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Four Day Staycation

Two of my best friends, Laura and Tierney, came to visit on Saturday and left yesterday afternoon. The evening before they arrived we had Sean's three coworkers (plus a husband and baby) over for dinner. Basically, we did a lot of running around grocery shopping and cleaning last week, then a lot of running around and having fun, and now I am totally wiped out.

Having the girls here was an amazing break for both me and Sean. The girls occupied Aiden which gave me a break, and Sean was able to escape and do some serious studying. However, the best part for me was being able to go out for a couple of evenings. When you have a small child, you stop remembering what the outside world looks like past nine o'clock. We all went to the beach, the pool, downtown and to the parks with Aiden. Then in the evening I was able to hand Aiden off to Sean and go out for drinks (we even a ghost tour of downtown!) with the girls. However, now that they've left, I am so tired from all of the fun and especially from wrangling Aiden without my two extra sets of hands.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Aiden's Friend

This is Buzz Lightyear, to whom Aiden graciously lent his sneakers. Aiden has been treating Buzz, one of his favorite toys, like a friend lately and it's so cute. He will lift Buzz's helmet and give him some milk or a cracker and set him on the couch to watch a show. Today he fit him into sneakers and for some reason or another tucked his socks into the helmet. Maybe to cushion Buzz's head against turbulence when he enters hyper speed? I do not know.

"You're my beeeeest friend! Really! a Space Ranger never lies!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Adventures: Fort Moultrie and Beyond

This weekend we switched up our usual beach routine and headed out to Sullivan's Island to check out an old coastal fort called Fort Moultrie. Obviously, we have great timing since this was a mostly outdoor exhibit and the temperature rested at 103 degrees. While it made for sweaty exploring, we did have overwhelming empathy for all the past soldiers who would've been stationed here in wool uniforms. Yuck.

The fort was originally built to fend off attacks from the British during the Revolution, and was used again during the Civil War, WWI and WWII. There are sections of the fort restored to the way it would have looked at each of these periods. Aiden loved getting to go up and down all of the stairs, looking at the cannons and guns and being able see out onto the beach. Of course, this caused him to ask if we were going to the beach over and over and over again.

Inside the fort

After losing all the water in our bodies due to the extreme heat, we went over to Red's Icehouse for lunch. This place is famous around here, and I'd been dying to see why. It sits right on one of the creeks, and it's basically a whole ton of deck space with a sort of oversized garage making up the kitchen and bar sections. We sat inside since the deck was full, but before we sat down to eat we saw three pelicans and two dolphins! It was so cool. For lunch we all ordered a lot of fried fish and seafood, and it was so good it didn't even occur to me just how many calories we'd consumed until about an hour later. And even then, I really didn't care because it was that delicious. I plan on taking my friends here when they visit this weekend.

To continue our adventurous weekend, Aiden and I went to the Palmetto park today, where we go often, except instead of hanging at the playground we walked over the rickity boardwalk out onto a little island, and then over to the fishing docks. We'd never been this far out, and I didn't even realize it was part of the park. Again, I plan on taking my friends here.

It must be crab mating season or something, because every step we took had hundreds of little crabs scattering in all directions. I thought they were spiders at first, which scared me half to death, but seeing that they were just crabs was really neat. Aiden and I walked out on all of the docks and sat under the overhanging trees enjoying the wind. It was so lovely until we headed back towards the car. We saw what looked like a pine cone in front of us and nearly stepped on it when it started buzzing like a chainsaw and wobbling all over. Turns out it was two cicadas in the middle of mating. The sound was so loud and they were so huge that both Aiden and I leaped into the air screaming bloody murder and clutching each other for safety. I'm glad no one was around because I'm sure they would've thought we'd been half eaten by an alligator. Really though, think of how loud cicadas are when they're hidden in the trees, and imagine the sound when it's right underfoot. Yuck.

Well, I hope I haven't scared Tierney and Laura away from visiting that park.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Little Surprises

I was wandering past this chair:

I just happened to lean down to pick something off the floor, my eyes briefly on level with the swivel mechanism of the bar stool, when I happened to spot this:

Yeah...that's a spoon. Wedged between the two sections of the chair. Caked with dust. I'm guessing Aiden casually stuck it there after finishing up some yogurt or ice cream. Too bad he's only two and can't remember to get it back out and put it in the sink.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

He's Got a Way With Words

"lot's more, please"

When Aiden went in for his two year appointment, I was dreading the doctor asking about his speech. We have a pretty old school pediatrician (he WAS Sean's pediatrician, so I should've been prepared). He is always looking out for the worst case, which I appreciate, but it usually scares me. When Aiden starting pulling himself up at six months, a ridiculously early age, he told us Aiden would most likely need leg braces. Aiden didn't. At his 18 month appointment he told us Aiden should know 100 words by age two, or he may need therapy. Aiden didn't know, or at least didn't say, 100 words. I was worried.

However, my mom likes to tell the story about how I refused to talk as a child, grunting and pointing to what I wanted while my older brother ran to fetch it. Then one day I said "Mommy, hold my hand!" and that was that. Aiden has pretty much followed in my footsteps. He was never big on saying real words, preferring his own garbled gibberish, so his vocabulary was pretty limited. But now he's busting out full sentances and phrases, rather than tripping along one word at a time like the doctor said he would.

Some of his favorites are "That's very loud" which he says when planes fly overhead. An amusing one is "I'm sorry. Didn't mean it!" which he likes to say when he bumps into things. He'll readily apologize to me, the dog, the wall. Every morning after breakfast he proposes an activity for the day: "beach, yes? Go swimming!". He still has some mispronunciations, like "lunch" which he refers to as "munch". He'll actually refer to any meal as "munch". He's also saying "lot's more please", usually in reference to cookies, and "much better" which he will randomly throw out. We turned the t.v. off.."much better". He's going to take a bath: "much better!".

It's so funny to see what phrases he picks up. I had no idea we said "much better" so often. There's something so heartbreakingly earnest about how he picks and chooses what words to say. Now that he's started speaking, I'm feeling "much better".

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independance Day Weekend

At first I was worried that this past weekend, a three day Fourth of July holiday that's supposed to be all fun and fireworks, would be anything but. Sean and his coworkers ended the week like zombies, after taking three grueling tests in seven days. Everyone was complaining of exhaustion and stress induced illnesses, and I was wondering if our weekend was going to be filled with canceled plans.

However, we ended up having so much fun. The weather for the past few days has been noticeably cooler and breezier which helped make our plans more enjoyable. On Friday Sean came home extra early so we were able to take a long family walk (or a cross country run if you're Aiden, who RAN the entire MILE long trail).

Saturday, Steinn came with us to Isle of Palms beach, except we didn't make it since traffic was backed up long before we even reached the bridge onto the island. We took a detour and spent the day at the local waterpark where Steinn and I were able to lay out while Sean and Aiden went down the water slides. That evening Sean and I went out...on a date! We had been discussing weather or not to have one of his friends come watch Aiden for an evening, but he decided he'd feel more comfortable with someone neutral. So I found Kassie, a woman who lives down the road from us. Her husband is, of course, a nuclear engineer in the Navy, and they're expecting their first baby this September. We were so grateful to find someone so nice to stay with Aiden while we went to a movie. Kassie and I found so much in common that we're hoping to go out to dinner all together sometime.

Sunday we were planning a picnic with Steinn, Kelly and another of Sean's coworkers who lives in our apartment complex. We went shopping to stock up on food, and spent the evening cooking hot dogs and hamburgers ( I even made my mom's pasta salad. It was delicious but made me miss her). We finished the evening with s'mores and fireworks. Both Steinn and Kelly, who came from Florida and Michigan respectively, were shocked that they're illegal in New York.

This was our first experiences setting them off ourselves, and I have to say, it was so much fun. We put Steinn in charge of lighting them, and Sean covered Aiden's ears. I was worried the noise and light might scare Aiden but he surprised me and watched them wide eyed, a half melted s'more dripping out of his hand and down his arm.

At the end of the night we all smelled like smoke, and hamburgers and hot sugar from the marshmallows. The whole night was filled with the sound and flicker of fireworks being set off all over the area. It was an absolutely wonderful Fourth of July.

To wrap up the whole long weekend, we finally made it to the beach today. We ran through the surf, chased Kelly's dog Indy around the beach, and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on our towels. Tomorrow Sean will take his lunch to work in a lunch box sprinkled with sand, and I hope it reminds him of the past three days.