Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Fun with James & Anna

Often, we create posts of exceptional things that happen with the kids. Today, I'd like to just post some photos of our normal (well, normal for us) routines: taking a bike ride to the farmer's market, playing outside, and playing inside a tent set up in the garage (don't ask why). Of course, the kids look pretty darn cute in all these situations.

There are also some photos of an unexpected adventure...yesterday Jamie's friend Freddy (and his mom) stopped by to invite us to "see the neighbor's train" out in the country. Having nothing else planned for the day, I immediately agreed, imagining that it was a cool model train layout or maybe an extensive collection of toy trains. It turned out to be both and so much more! Our neighbor, Bob, and his hobbiest/enthusiast friends, have taken a little piece of land out in the country and built a 1:8 scale model train that you can ride! There is a half-mile loop, winding through beautiful prairie and woodlands, and well over a mile of track total. James and I even got to drive the train, a first for both of us! Anna seemed mesmerized by the scenery rolling by (we went around 4 times) as well. James and I both thought how much Poppa would love this!

While on one of our excursions, I had what is quite possibly my proudest moment as a parent. Turning from the scenery, apropos of nothing, James declared, "Daddy, I wish I were a hobo."

I replied, "Me too, kid. Me too."

Summer Fun with James and Anna

Monday, June 11, 2012

Oh Boy!

Eric was away doing research this weekend - which left me with both kids.  This meant they accompanied me pretty much everywhere I went, including the bathroom.  (I will be really happy when this phase of parenting has passed.)  Here are a few conversations we had...

James:  What's that mommy?
Me:  It's a tampon.
James:  Why did you put the tampon on your penis?
Me (smirking and hoping the derail this line of conversation).  Well James, I have a vagina, not a penis.
James:  Why did you put the tampon on your vagina?
Me:  Because sometimes mommy's need to use tampons.
James:  Why didn't you just use toilet paper?

And later...

James:  Mommy can I have another tampon?
Me:  No James.
James:  Why not?
Me:  Because mommy needs them and that would be wasting them.  Why do you want one?
James:  Because tampons are cool.

Oh boy!  So many conversation I could never have fathomed having before becoming a parent.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Camping with the boy

Since our last camping adventure with friends our few weeks ago, James has been asking to go again pretty much daily. This is, of course, one of those things you dream about as a parent: your kid is begging you to do something that you love to do anyway. Maybe it's like when I go home and say, "Hey dad -- wanna have a beer and watch the hockey game?" Maybe someday James will make that request, too.

During the week, I had been debating if we should go. I was talking with my dad on the phone and mentioned that I was thinking of heading out and he said something about how "I'll never regret the time spent with James." Of course I knew that, but to hear it from my own father and think of all the hours and days he set aside to spend time with me (and probably, to some extend, my brother as well) solidified my decision. James had a rough week at his preschool, including several tantrums and some hard days. I thought that some one-on-one time, away from our normal routines and distractions, would be good for both of us. So we went camping, just for a night, at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenway, a conservation area in the next county south where I'm doing some of my snake research. Of course, it was fantastic.

Here are some photos of James displaying his usual unbound curiosity: handling a giant spider, scooping duckweed from the oxbows (he was really into duckweed, which worked out well since some of the waterways are absolutely choked with the stuff), and of course canoeing. Before we set off, James was in quite the "relaxing" mood, as you can see from the photos of him reclining as we waited for our canoe. I haven't seen the boy so calm and attentive for so long as he was as we paddled (or, rather, I paddled) down the quite waterways. It was a beautiful early summer morning -- warm but not hot, nice little breeze, no mosquitoes just yet -- and we had the place to ourselves. Well almost -- the turtles, snakes, and frogs kept us company which, for boys like us, is certainly good company.

My dad was certainly right. I can't imagine regretting time like this. Next time, Anna comes too.

Camping with the boy

Saturday, June 2, 2012

When Mommy Grows Up

James has gotten very good at using the bathroom and no longer wears any kind of diaper. He does still, however, like company. On a recent visit he told me, "Mommy when you grow up you'll have a penis too." I told him I didn't think so but I guess we can all hope.