Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wait, wait...It's Been SIX Months?

We're moving home on Tuesday! I had big plans that involved not panicking about the move, but alas, I've abandoned them. I kept assuring myself that since we're having professional movers pack and drive everything that there was no reason to stress out over anything. Except finding an acceptable route that avoids D.C. (Jon Stewart rally) and still gets us home in three days or less. And booking the three hotels (that must accept dogs). And wrangling a screaming toddler into dress clothes to attend Sean's graduation in addition to two other work functions for Sean (despite the fact that he will have no bed/nap). And cleaning the apartment. Let's not even get started on that big important test on Tuesday.

Yeah, I was totally kidding myself when I figured it would all just happen with little or no effort on my part. The only thing saving my sanity is imagining fall leaves, and crisp cool air and apple cider donuts.

We're coming home!

Can I join you down there?

*I forgot to add this, but the purpose of this was to say that we won't have internet access until next week, but a lot of you will see Aiden then anyway!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mr. Smarty Pants

You guys, we're coming home in a week and a half! Okay, that's assuming everything goes to plan (although I've given up on making plans, so basically, we'll be home when we're home).

Whenever we get there we're taking Aiden to see all the friends and family but I'm not sure anyone will recognize him. He's a little boy now, despite how often I call him baby, and he's all bony and skinny where he used to be soft and pudgy. When we left in May he was wearing 24 month clothing with the occasional 2T thrown in. Now he's wearing 3T and I even had to buy a couple of 4T shirts (he's got the issue where all of his shirts are baggy and boxy in the middle but the sleeves don't reach his wrists). Plus, he's got more entertaining phrases than ever.

Some of his favorite things to say:
"I already did it mom!" - He says this whenever I ask him to do ANYTHING.

"Come on, gotta get going!" - Yeah...I guess he got this one from me.

"Little baby one!" - He's obsessed with babies. I don't know why. Any bug or animal he sees he'll point at and call a little baby one.

He's gotten really good about saying 'please' and 'thank you' all the time, and is very concerned about the well being of everyone and everything. If we see a car on the side of the road he starts asking "What happened? Oh no, what happened?". If we see a tractor trailer without a trailer it's "Where's the trailer? Oh no!". It's so cute. He also has to point out that airplanes overhead are going to the airport, that firetrucks live at the fire station and any time we see an image of a submarine? He says "Daddy works there".

Yep, he's pretty smart.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Game Where Mom Pulls A Muscle

Charming, no?

Aiden's new favorite thing is to wait until I'm not looking and quickly climb onto the top of the couch, or the bed or a kitchen chair. Then, as I am walking through the room, I'm hit with a flying mass of knees and elbows which I must quickly catch while retaining my balance. Yes, he leaps off whatever precipice is closest and I have to catch him. No matter how many time-outs are issued, the fun of the game seems to outweigh the consequences. I'm walking around with a sore back and shot knees from being hit repeatedly with a human cannonball.

I've told Sean that when this boy is grown I'm going to drive to his house, ring his doorbell, toss him a giant bag of cats and see how he likes that. I think it's probably a comparable sensation.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Taste of Charleston

This has been one of the busiest weekends we've had in a long time. It's pretty much the last weekend before Sean has to start studying for his final test (well, study more than he already does, which is A LOT).

Anyway, Friday evening we went out with his coworkers for one of their birthday's. We had dinner at this VERY authentic Mexican restaurant, and Aiden was very daring and tried all of the food. It was delicious and we came home with enough food to last into the week.

Saturday we went to the beach with Steinn. It had been in the lower 70's for the past couple of weeks but this weekend it jumped back into the mid 80's, so the weather was perfect for one last trip. When we got there the whole place was flooded with surfers and we realized it was a big surf competition. They even had a DJ playing music and announcing the winners, so we listened and watched while Aiden built a big train made out of sand.

So, because big Mexican fiestas and surf competitions aren't enough fun for us crazy Evanoff's, we ran out that night and bought tickets for the Taste of Charleston food festival, which happened today.

I have to thank Steinn for tipping us off about this one, we had no idea it was going on. I was on the fence about the whole food festival thing because my best friend Laura has been to many and they can really vary in quality, and frankly, the tickets were pretty expensive. It was held at Boone Hall Plantation, a place I'd been wanting to visit but was reluctant about paying the rather exorbitant entrance fee to get into (I must sound very cheap, it's really just Sean rubbing off on me), so I figured I'd at least get into the plantation and get some free food so it wouldn't be a total loss.

Well, we figured it would be a few hundred people and some free samples, but we new we'd missed something when THOUSANDS of people flooded into the place carrying chairs and tables and blankets and tents. Turns out the trick is to come early, claim a little patch of shade and send a designated runner to the various food stalls to get the goods. We were stuck rambling around seeking a shady piece of dirt where ever we could. None the less, it was a blast.

There were about thirty local restaurants that had stalls, each stall had two or three dishes special to the restaurant. The portions are deceptively small, you think you have a little taste of food but it's so rich and fresh and delicious that it's very filling. We ended up trying shrimp scampi, a cake of fried grits covered in cheese, a prime rib sandwich with sauerkraut, fried shrimp, barbequed ribs and homemade chips. And she-crab soup. Oh, and the piece de resistance: dirty pie. Dirty pie is a big wedge of key lime pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate and frozen. It was the closest thing to heaven I've ever tasted.

Not only was it a food free-for-all, there was a live band playing Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Eagles, the local firemen brought a couple of trucks for the kids to climb on and, the thing that I was totally excited for: South Carolina's largest sno-cone!!!

Yes, I purposefully sought out this exhibition and made Sean and Steinn stand in the sun as we watched a man fill a plastic koi pond liner full of shaved ice and syrup. It was glorious, and truly, the largest sno-cone I have ever seen. The best part was when they handed out plastic cups and we all got free sno-cones! Seriously, I loved it, and you're never too old for giant ice treats.

Koi pond liner full of shaved ice...

sno-cone bonanza (also, very cute little girl in pink cowboy boots)

Once we were full to bursting with the lowcountry's finest foods we decided to explore the plantation house and gardens. I have to confess that, although I've been wanting to visit Boone Hall for the rich history, I kind of just wanted to see the house that the movie The Notebook was filmed at. Steinn and Sean obliged my wishes and took a few pictures for me.

Here I am enthusiastically posing in front of the house used for Ali's summer home (free sno-cone in hand)

Here I am pointing at the very gate Noah crashes into after Ali leaves for the city (still working on the sno-cone)

We've been ready to head back to New York for awhile now, we can't wait to see our friends and family and enjoy the tail end of fall. However, now I'm starting to wonder how I will get on in a life where the beach isn't twenty minutes away, and there aren't palmettos and sun everywhere, and don't even get me started about the total lack of fresh crab. I guess it'll be worth it to be back with loved ones. Probably.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, and the food festival would be something worth flying back here for. Yes, this has been one of those weekends that we need a weekend to recover from, and it was totally worth it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Best Gift Ever

Would you prefer him boxed...

Or in a gift basket?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Scene from Yesterday Morning

Whenever I tell Sean about anything stressful or hectic that happens during the day he tells me that, during the time he stayed home with Aiden this past spring, nothing stressful ever happened. Then I like to remind him that it's because he literally stayed at home each day, whereas I would go crazy staying home and try to get out of the house with Aiden as frequently as possible. However, in order for this to be a success, three major things must happen: a) he must wear clothing, b) he must eat breakfast in an acceptable amount of time (i.e. in less than an hour) and c) he must act with some modicum of civility when in public.

Yesterday morning this trifecta was totally blown. It started with the epic battle of the pants. Fall is finally here and the morning temperature hovers between 50 and 60 degrees, and as Aiden is still getting over a cold, I informed him he must either wear pants or a sweatshirt and shoes (not sandals). This request was met with such outrage that he voluntarily climbed back into bed in nothing but Lightening McQueen underwear and hollered for nearly forty five minutes. All the while his oatmeal was slowly solidifying into a beige mass. Finally, after a negotiation session that was more convoluted than any Middle East peace talk, he was at the breakfast table in shorts, sweatshirt and socks. Of course, then there was the matter of the now congealed oatmeal. I broke and made him turkey bacon and yogurt, in an effort to speed things along. Then, once we were out the door we still had to take bear out potty. I also needed to stop by the mailbox to drop off a Netflix DVD.

So here we are, next to the little doggy poo area out back: I'm trying not to land face first in mud while bear, all 55 pounds of her, takes off after a squirrel. I'm shouting over my shoulder for Aiden to follow me, as I'm dragged down a hill to a large oak tree, and he is angrily shaking his head NO. Finally Bear stops to bark up the tree and I'm able to threaten Aiden until he comes over. However, I let out a scream of disgust as Aiden holds up the body of a mangled, long dead lizard and says "Baby lizard!". I yank it out of his hand while informing that this is, in fact, a nasty rotting dead lizard.

He then bursts into tears screaming "DEAD BABY! DEAD BABY! DEAD BABY!" at the top of his lungs. I pick him up to comfort him, and to get to him to stop screaming "DEAD BABY" so loud I'm afraid someone is going to dial the police. During this time Bear has wrapped her leash around my legs about six times before I finally drop it.

Momentarily, I breathe a sigh of relief as I see her finally stop to go poo. There I am: Aiden monkey hugging my front while he screams "DEAD BABY!" at top volume, my key chain (complete with enough keys to outdo any janitor) clutched in my right hand along with that Netflix DVD, Bear's leash trapped under my left foot, my leather purse dangling off my left shoulder and the little green dog poop bag in my left hand. I lean down as far as I can to try and grab Bear's mess when suddenly, like a drunken skier careening down an iced-over double black diamond trail, I feel my purse, my lovely leather designer purse go sliding down my left arm which is still outstretched in front of me until PLOP! It lands squarely in the still steaming pile of dog poop.

At this point I think I threw my head back and shouted to the heavens: "I GIVE UP".

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October Sunday

Once the rain (we got somewhere around 8 inches this week) finally stopped, our weather became decidedly fall-like. It's been in the mid-seventies with a cool breeze ever since Friday. We had a rather hectic morning and took off to the Palmetto park this afternoon. Or, as Aiden likes to say, we "headed to the 'metto".

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sick Day

Aiden woke up today with a runny nose, but he seemed to be in pretty good spirits. It was the first sunny day in forever so we headed to the park. We came home around noon and Aiden completely gave out. He wasn't hungry. He wasn't thirsty. He was lethargic and sleepy but couldn't fall asleep because he was coughing and sneezing so much. Whenever I asked him a question he would either try to answer and end with "um..uh...bahhhhhh" or he'd just stare at me with sad puppy dog eyes. So for the rest of the day he camped out on the couch with cups of juice and a bag of cheerios, the only food he'd eat, and watched Curious George.

He's in bed now and I can still hear little coughs and sneezes. I feel so bad for him since I think Sean and I gave him the cold. I didn't even realize I was sick at first: I was tired and rundown feeling and my glands were swollen. However, all of these things happen a lot when your full time job is taking care of a two year old. A sign of being a mother: you're so busy thinking about your child that you only realize you've got a cold is because you've passed it to them.

It's so scary when he's sick, even if it's just a cold. He's still too young to effectively blow his nose so everything kind of leaks and runs and it's obvious his throat is hurting him. Every time he sneezes he looks up at me with this panicked look, like he doesn't understand whats going on. So heartbreaking. At least it's the weekend and we've got plenty of time to spend with him. Poor guy!