Friday, July 27, 2012

More Pretending (sorry no video today)

Nolan has been doing a ton of pretending lately.  We pretended to play baseball when we came upon a baseball diamond but no bat and ball.  HE suggested we pretend.  So I pitched him the ball and he swung and ran the bases.  As we were climbing back into the car he started to panic, fearing we forgot the bat.  Neverfear, I have it right here in my hand!  
 So we made a boat with legos. You can see below he's sitting in the boat.  We used that tiny fireman hose as the paddle for a while but ultimately decided the golf club would make a better paddle.  
 We even made a boat for the little lego guy we have (see above picture).  Though Nolan's boat was much better.  We spent about 30 minutes paddling, making adjustments to the design and moving it from one room to another.  At times Nolan even 'swam under water' under the boat.  
This kid is kinda awesome.  Often the spiky dino still makes an appearance in the house but Mickey Mouse has also visited us.  The cutest is when Nolan picks up the imaginary Mickey Mouse, puts him on the floor, then gets on his elbows and knees and says to the space- 'Do you want to play with me?'  So darn cute!  Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days where a chuckle or the break in someone's voice can startlingly bring back a memory of a loved one?  Today it seems like everything Nolan said reminded me of my Grampa.  It's funny how that is, right?  Just the way his voice cracked when he said certain things or how he was laughing while biting on his tongue reminded me of him.
 And what's funnier, when I started thinking about Nolan and my Grampa I started thinking about how Nolan regards all the old folks in our neighborhood.  Nolan was asking me today 'What's my friend Mikey doing?' when the 80 year old across the street was using the weed wacker.  OR 'What's my friend Joe doing?' when Joe, the guy who's probably near 70 was watering his tomatoes.   
A few days ago he was keeping track of the comings and goings of 'his friend' Carmello (easily into his 60s) who's driveway Nolan can see from his watch post.  
And then today when I was really thinking a lot about how magical it is that Nolan can help me remember my Grampa, Nolan started saying, very sweetly, "I miss you".  He said it over and over again.  Instead of trying to explain that you don't really 'miss' someone who you are with all day long I just responded with 'I miss you too.'  I'm not saying that Nolan is my Grandfather reincarnated, no way, but what I am saying is I feel really fortunate that today I was able to spend a good amount of time remembering someone I miss.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

When did this happen?

One of the things I really got to enjoy on vacation was looking around.  Sometimes I get so busy that I don't lift my head to see what's going on around me.  So while Dave and Nolan were frolicking in the waves I people watched, one of my favorite things to do.  It occurred to me that in my everyday life I'm not one to stop and look around.
 A few days ago I was at our town pool (kiddie pool is only 12 inches deep) and I turned around to put something in the bag.  When I turned back around I couldn't find Nolan.  Turns out he was that big white-haired kid who looked too big to be playing in the kiddie pool.  When did that happen?
 It seems like just yesterday this was my baby- this bald chubby drooly baby.  Not any more.  
 Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.  (well said, Ferris)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Kind I Want To Be

This is the kind of Mom I want to be.  The one that makes cute little learning/'sensory' stations throughout their house and doesn't mind the mess.
The one who encourages them to play with things just to explore and learn.   
 I am not that kind of mom.
BUT today, I was!  And I'm so darn proud of it I'm going to gloat on this blog.  Yesterday I was not a good mom and, believe it or not, Nolan was not a very good boy.  But today is promising...  
 On this blog I try hard not to complain about motherhood, his toddler behavior or highlight his two-year-old-ness.  I want people from afar (and closeby) to look at this blog to see what he's into and what he's like, not hear me griping about parenting or 'issues' my child his having (he has some, don't you worry!).  It occurred to me that it is wrongfully painting him as an angel and me as a Pinterest-Mom type.   He is not.  And I am not.  (well, I love pinterest but am too lazy to do a lot of the great suggestions other people do with their toddlers).  
But lookie here.  I did this!  And it was EASY!  This required the purchase of some new sponges.  The rest is a beach towel, water and plastic containers.  He occupied himself for a whole 15 minutes(!!) and the cleanup was a cinch- just a change of clothes, clean the tupperware and hang towel outside.  It was quite fun to watch him pour from container to another.  Then he'd spill/pour the water on the towel and I'd use the sponges to soak up the spilled water and squeeze into the plastic containers again.  

Here's hoping to a good afternoon today!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Farmers Market

Last week we went to the Farmers Market.  Nolan was very excited about the 'Farmers Market' (said with a Boston accent) and helped pick the corn and zucchinis and then asked me where the farmer was.  He seemed surprised that the woman working at the table was the farmer (all farmers in his books are boys).  She even rides the tractor, she told him.  Needless to say he was in awe.
Our town's Farmers Market changed locations and while there still isn't a whole lot of fresh food to buy there is certainly a lot of other/new things to enjoy- like the cupcakes, Italian Ice, pastries, henna tattoos and face painting.  As a little girl I LOVED getting my face painted.  So we wandered over where Nolan stood and waited patiently for the first time EVER.  He watched, picked out a spiderman full face painting which I nixed and we settled on something on his arm, so he could look at it. When it came to be his turn he told the guy he wanted something blue.  And he wanted the guy to use the big powder puff brush (which is used for glitter).  That's my boy.  So we decided on two gliittery fish.  Nolan was VERY excited about the fish (and the Farmers Market) so I didn't remove them in hopes they'd still be on his arm when Daddy saw Nolan the next morning.  They were on his forehead instead.    

Monday, July 16, 2012

Front Row Viewing

Our town is working on the sewer systems.  Over the course of several weeks we've come upon many excavators on our morning walk.  Sometimes we stop and watch for a while.  I knew they were going to be working on our street but we didn't know when.  Apparently it began today.
So we set up some viewing stations and enjoyed the morning and pre-lunch show.  What fun it is to watch them work.  Lots of scooping and dumping!
What a way to start the day!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Water Golf

This is a new sport.  Water Golf.  It's been warm these past few days so we set up the pool.
I'm quite certain Nolan just likes filling up and then letting the water out of the pool but in any case he's having a good time.  And he's working on his golfing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vacation #2

After a fantastic trip to New Jersey and three days at home Nolan and I packed up again to head to New Hampshire with a stop to visit some Canadian relatives on the way up.  After playing in the pool with the Canucks Nolan slept the whole way to Nana and GaGa's house.
Our visit in NH was really lovely, days filled with boating and swimming.  Nolan really loved the pond especially riding in GaGa's boat!   
The highlight of our trip was 'A Day Out With Thomas'.  GaGa, Nolan and I visited with Thomas and then rode on Thomas the train!
 So we had a great day, we rode on this little yellow train, we painted a rock, we listened to a (slightly scary) children's singer, we got a Thomas tattoo.  Nolan seemed to really like it.   
What a whirlwind few weeks we've had.  Last night I woke up completely confused where I was.  Then I realized I was in my own room!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Side Trip to Sesame Place

While in NJ we took side trip to PA to go to Sesame Place.  I was SO excited about this trip, so many people talked about how awesome this place was.  I must confess I was a tad underwhelmed.  When we first arrived we went to see an Elmo's World show.  Nolan really enjoyed it, even danced in his seat.  After he got to go on the set and check things out.
 Next up we hit the 'rides'.  Nolan first went on this.  It's called Cookie Monster's Mountain or something like that.  You can climb up to the top and slide down it.  Nolan really enjoyed this.  He also rode on Grover's Tea Cups and Big Bird's Balloon Ride.
 Even though it was really hot we opted to skip the water park portion of Sesame Place which I'm sure makes this place really awesome.  The lines were really long for all water rides and we thought we were tempting our fate with changing up Nolan's routine anyway.
 At one point Nolan really wanted to climb in this giant net thing.  So he and I got in and climbed to the top.  When we got to the top he completely freaked and I had to figure out how to carry him back down.  It was really high, perhaps he just noticed how high it was all of a sudden.  This is on the second level with tables and chairs and some 'rides' under us.
 But I would say Nolan's proudest moment was riding on the carousel.  He was super nervous about it and kept saying 'no' when we asked if he wanted to go on it.  We met up with his friend Molly who really wanted to ride it so he decided to also.  When we got in line he had his heart set on riding on a purple horse (no idea where that came from).  I was worried that we wouldn't find an available purple horse and this attempt would be a failure but lo and  behold we ended up being very first in line for the next ride and had our pick of purple horses.
Once on the horse he didn't want me anywhere near him.  I buckled him in and he told me to get off the carousel.  I stood far enough away from him and he seemed so proud to be doing it by himself.  Here are Nolan and Molly, the two red-faced babes with the tired parents sitting on the bench behind them.   If you ask him about Sesame Place the carousel ride is the first thing he mentions.
After the ride we watched the parade which was really cool.  All the characters sang and danced in it which was awesome.  Nolan has become slightly obsessed with Cookie Monster and was thrilled to see him in the parade.  That was close enough for Nolan.  He didn't want to give any hugs or high fives to any characters which was a bummer.  But I think he had a good time.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vacation again

Our vacation mornings started out like this.  Hanging out in our pjs, sitting on the couch, drinking coffee and watching cartoons.  Cartoons are rare in our house it was a treat for Nolan to have tv.  He clearly was thrilled with his new schedule.
When we weren't at the beach we would walk around, mostly on the boardwalk.  This place is a little bit of a throwback to simple vacations.  The boardwalk has all the typical boardwalk foods- pretzels, ice cream, pizza, french fries, funnel cakes (that's fried dough to some of us) and it has some arcades and rides.  Here Nolan is taking a spin on some rides.  
 What was really nice was that he is finally over 36 inches.  When we went to the Big E he longed to ride on this ride and now he could ride on it all he wanted.  And he did.  
 One morning when it was a tad cool we took a walk and stopped at an arcade.  Here Nolan is riding this 'ride'.  What's funny is we see these types of 'rides' at many stores in our area and never put money in them but let him climb all over it.  While we might have made a rookie parenting mistake by putting the money in these it was worth it.  He really enjoyed climbing and riding these. He was also quite interested in all of the shooting games.  I didn't love that.
 And as we were heading back to our house wondering how we would spend the next hour we came upon a really low-key mini golf place.  As a frequent Pirate's Cove mini-golfer I was stunned at the price of this place ($3pp) and got some good chuckles at some of the 'hazards' including the frog that spun around while a very human sounding voice said 'Ribbit Ribbit, Ribbit Ribbit'.  Since Nolan enjoys watching golf on TV and playing it both inside the house and in the yard I thought it'd be fun to give it a go.  The place was practically empty so we gave it a shot.  
 Nolan did great!  He did some good swinging of the club and hitting of the ball.  He would often take a swing and see where it went and then pick up the ball placing it inches from the hole.  When he made it in he'd say surprisingly 'I MADE IT' and sometimes cheer himself.  
A good time was had by all!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vacation Update

To say Nolan loved the beach is an understatement.  We've never been to the Jersey Shore (well, except when I was in middle school) and FOR SURE we'll be going back.  The beach was awesome.  And Mr. NoNo here loved it.  
He loved his new sand toys and we used each one at least once.  We raked, dug, sifted and built (well, Nolan mostly did the stepping on the castles we built).  We made molds, carried water to and from the ocean and shared with other children nearby.  This was the first time I ever saw Nolan walk up to another kid and look at me as though to ask if he can play with them.  So he made a few vacation friends which was so fun! 
He loved swimming.  It was the waves, really.  He and Dave spent HOURS in the waves.  The first day we got there they spent at least 1 hour getting pummeled by the waves, see below.  He was laughing and shrieking the whole time, asking to do it by himself and to go out deeper.   
 We spent our mornings mostly at the beach and then headed to the house for lunch and naps (for all of us).  In the afternoon we'd head to the boardwalk where we rode some rides and did some arcade games.  Nolan had a really great time.  Dave and I had a really great time too!
 But our favorite part was the beach.  It was so close, easy to walk to, it was clean, the water felt clean, not too salty or grimy.  The sand was nice.  There was a nice breeze which made the really hot days feel a lot more pleasant.  The temperature of the water was really perfect.  Really, it was an awesome trip.
 Nolan seemed to REALLY love the post-beach showers he took.