Dec 212011
 

I was driving in this AM and passed a truck with a cab over the bed. Nothing special, you see those all the time but this time for some reason it reminded me of a wonderful memory from my childhood.

When my brother and I were little (7 maybe) we camped out in the bed of my grandpa’s truck with my dad. We didn’t go anywhere special, we were just in the driveway of my grandparents house but it felt like such an adventure. I distinctly remember being awaken up by the sound of rain starting to drop on the bed cover. Slowly the sound intensified until we were in a torrential downpour and the sound in the truck bed was almost deafening. I remember laughing and discussing with my dad if we should make a break for it and run to the house but he convinced me to stay put and just enjoy the experience.

It was that memory that lead me to another which made me smile even more. My brother and his buddy found a cool tent and planned to camp out in the back yard one night (we must have been about 8 or 9). Desperately wanting to be included but forbidden from the tent (NO GIRLS ALLOWED I was told) I set up my Carebears bed tent in the backyard and grabbed my sleeping bag. I guess I almost chickened out because before I know it my dad is out there too, with a sleeping bag on top of the patio chair cushions and no tent. He slept next to me for the whole night. Lucky for him it was a beautiful early summer evening (although he did wake up a little wet from the dew).

To this day those memories (and may others) remind me how he (and my mom) would do just about anything for my brother and I. It’s those memories that I carry forward and look ahead to when DH (and I) will do that with our children – camp outs in the back yard, fort building in the snow, skateboarding down a big hill (yea, my dad held my hand and crashed with me), hikes in the woods…you name it. Even if it seems completely absurd, the thought of it bringing joy and happiness to them (figurative them….assuming we’ll have more than one child…not that i’m trying to tell anyone anything) is worth it!

Dec 182011
 

We declared today “Noah day” and started bright and early for his first real train ride (well, Metro train but train none the less). Our destination was the Natural History Museum in downtown. They had a great fossil exhibit with life sized T-rex skeletons and other dinosaurs that we thought he’d love and we were right!

He was mellow and kind of timid on the metro in. It could have been that he was a bit sleepy and it could have been the new experience but for the most part he just hung out in DH’s lap looking out the window. Once we got to the city it was a cold walk across the mall to the museum. Noah was all bundled up so I think he could have gone for miles, the rest of us not so much. I was happy to get inside (and subsequently strip off all the layers).

It was early in the morning so things were still really quiet. We made a bee line for the butterfly exhibit because DH missed that last time and didn’t want to this time. What a cool exhibit! It did cost $6 to get in for DH and I but it was so worth it. They led you thru an airlock and on into the enclosure. It was hot and humid and just crawling with butterflies! They were flying everywhere! Noah called them “planes” at first until we could get him to understand “butterfly”. It was great watching him oo and ah and track the flying critters.

After that we moved on to some boring stuff like rocks and gems and the Hope Diamond! Haha…boring for Noah anyways. The saving grace was that they had a bunch of things at each station to touch so we let him down and let him manhandle the rocks. A quick diaper change and some lunch and we moved on to the main event…the dinosaurs! He ooed and ahed and roared to his hearts content. I let him down to walk and he ran back and forth between the various pieces of the exhibit pointing and saying “tell me” which is his way of asking that things are. We found him incredibly brave when the big teeth were a good distance away, as soon as you held him closer his tune changed and all he wanted to do was hug your neck. It was so adorable.

From there we headed to the mammals and the ocean rooms. He was all about the monkeys once he realized what they were. He pointed out the horses too as he saw them. Soon it was nap time and DH and I knew he’d never nap in there. So, we headed to the museum of Art in hopes of boring him to sleep. It worked!

However, once he was asleep we both realized that a trip down into the metro would wake him immediately so we walked till our feet hurt and then found a spot to sit and wait out the rest of the nap. It was then that we heard this loud ruckus coming from down the hall. The banging was followed by singing. Intrigued, DH and I (along with Noah) strolled down to hall to find a high school choir set up and singing an African drum song (with drum and clapping included). Seems we timed things exactly right and enjoyed a free concert from the Central Bucks Highschool – West’s choir in the Rotunda of the National Art Museum. Mixed in with their normal set (which included songs in Latin and Hebrew – acapella!) they wandered into the audience and encouraged us to sing along as they sung familiar Christmas carols. They were exceptional (had me in tears a few times) and it was the perfect way to cap off a great day. Noah napped clear until the very end.

After all that we headed back to the metro for our trip home. This time Noah was refreshed from his cat nap and was bouncing on the seats and just having a great time in general. He was chanting “choo choo” pretty much the whole way home (thankfully it was a pretty empty train and no one seemed bothered by his gleeful screeches).

We had one more adventure in painting this evening but I’ll save that for another blog spot and series of pictures, this one is long enough:) On to the pictures!

Dec 172011
 

We always get such great cards from friends and family for Christmas and in the past they’ve just sat on the table or were posted on the fridge. This year I thought I’d try something different and get a little crafty. I saw a pin on Pinterest where someone used a large quilting hoop and clothes pins so that inspired this guy….

I had tons of ribbon left over from Noah’s 1 year party last year so I rounded that up. Then I found a dowel rod in the wood scraps in the garage. Last I dug for the clothes pins which were also left overs from Noah’s party last year. There was no rhyme or reason on how I assembled it but a little hot glue and some fun and that’s what you get.

It’s actually working out quite well but I think I may regret how small I made it…we’re getting darn full and we’re not even to Christmas yet!

Dec 122011
 

For some reason Noah woke up very very early (5:30am) and just didn’t want to go back to sleep. Mamma didn’t want to wake up for the day yet so I figured I’d find the best of both worlds. I parked myself with a blanket and a pillow on the floor of his nursery and shut the door. I figured he could just play around me.

I woke up and hour or so later to this:

Notice the toys clustered around the pillow, where my head was. I ended up with a few in my face but nothing enough to wake me up I guess. Aside from the hour that this took to clean up, he had a great time and momma got her much needed beauty sleep!

Dec 072011
 

So, our cloth diapering has taken another turn and presented a new challenge. Nothing like keeping you on your toes! Noah’s been consuming milk and water like it’s going out of style (to the tune of 8oz of milk and 12 oz of water before bed – not to mention the 6,8,12 oz of h2o or milk in a sitting during the day!). He’s been peeing thru his diapers left and right. We’ve adjusted our daytime changes to happen more frequently or closer to the times he consumes those vast quantities of liquid but at night we have a whole different challenge – I’m not waking a sleeping baby!

I’ve tried cutting him back to just the milk bottle but he just stands in his crib and cries. I even let him cry it out for like 10 min before my heart broke and I gave in. I filled his cuppy and he was out in 5 min! So…it seems we’re left with a camel of a child whose diapers cannot contain the river of pee he generates. I gave up for a while and used disposables at night out of shear desperation (mamma needs her beauty rest!) but then was mad at myself because we’ve made it 21 months without having to resort to disposables for more than just an occasional thing. So I was on the hunt for ideas. We tried all hemp, we tried more pads, less pads, tested the diapers for repelling, bought new diapers…nothing was working.

It wasn’t until I was organizing his diaper stash that I remembered he had a few wool shorties that I bought back in the day. At the time they were a little large and I just didn’t quite have the hang of them so we tossed them back to the back of the rack. If you’re read on here before, wool is amazing at absorbing moisture. Plus it’s antimicrobial and some how doesn’t retain the toddler pee smell even if it gets a little damp. So, it was worth a shot and I’m sooo happy I tried it. He had a dry night in what seemed like forever. Trying to prove it wasn’t a fluke we tried it again the next night…dry again! Woohoo…

Slowly I stopped worrying about how much he drank in the evenings and came to love that the woolie has stood up to the test! So, for those interested, here’s the system:
1 BG 3.0 whose PUL is questionable
1 microfiber insert
2 joeybunz hemp inserts
1 woolie over all of it

Plus we put him in fleece PJ’s because it’s cold in his room which acts as yet another barrier since fleece has great moisture properties too. In the AM the woolie is a wee bit damp and the inner diaper is soaked. I just turn the woolie inside out and lay it flat to dry. We’ve used it for a week and it still doesn’t smell – color me impressed! I ordered two more off etsy last night so we have some to rotate thru as they need washed and I can’t wait for them to arrive!

The bonus? Noah loves is “undies” to the point where he cries if I don’t put them on fast enough! Win win!

Dec 042011
 

and somewhere that took so long to get to that we only had an hour before we had to turn around and come home to relieve the babysitter.

At least we got to dress up for a little bit!

The dress look familiar? It’s the second dress from the whole dress debacle back in Sept. Glad it got some use!

Dec 042011
 

So we’ve been wanting to get a new stove and microwave that matches our beautiful fridge but just couldn’t stomach the $1100 plus price tag to get the ones we wanted. Since we lucked out last year (or two at this point…I can’t remember) and got a new dishwasher at a great discount on Black Friday, we figured we’d try again this year.

On Black Friday eve, while browsing the store ads at my inlaws, I saw a local store (to my inlaws) was offering the exact set we wanted for $800! Problem is that this is a local store, 250 miles away from our home and there’s no way they’d deliver that far. Instant sad face…

I mentioned it to DH and how sad I was that we didn’t live close enough and he, being the genius he is, nonchalantly mentioned that Lowes price matched. I couldn’t imagine they’d price match this great deal but it was worth a shot right?

They sure did! I’m amazed. We walked in, showed the guy the ad, and asked if they’d match that. He said “sure”. We actually asked him to look at it again and make sure it was okay. He repeated his assertion – score!!!

They arrived today and we just couldn’t wait to install them. They look soo purty…

Nov 302011
 

Noah’s been on a bit of a sleep strike lately. I blame it on his two year molars – 3 months early:) Or the stuffy nose that seems to just show up once we hit November…either way he’s been waking at 4 or so and just wanting to snuggle. Problem is, he’s so big that it’s hard to snuggle in the rocker like we’ve always done in the past and he’s still in the crib so climbing in with him is out of the question. So…in an act of desperation and need for sleep (for the both of us), I brought him back to bed with me. DH warned me that this could become a habit but honestly, the sleep is not the most restful so I don’t think we’ll find ourselves in that spot. I’m aware of him in our bed and have an arm out to keep DH from rolling back on him plus the little bum in the face or feet in the stomach as he finds a comfy position is bothersome.

That said, I can’t tell you how much I love waking up nose to nose with him and watching him break out into a huge smile and giggle as he pats me on the cheek saying “mamma nose” or “mamma eyes”. Or when if I wake up before him and he’s laying there all stretched out, arms up over his head and his legs straight out below him.

Anyways…I’m not going anywhere with this other than waxing over my snuggly little man:)

Nov 272011
 

and just like that we’re another month closer to being a 2 year old (and weeks late on his update). The terrible twos have started to rear their ugly head as Noah tries to assert his independence with “no” or “noah” when he wants to do it himself. Most of the time it’s cute…others? Not so much. Timeout is slowly gaining popularity in our house.

It’s been a busy month with hikes, trips to park, driving to see friends. You name it and we’ve probably done it or thought about doing it this month. In all the craziness and driving we’ve found that stickers can keep a babe occupied for hours as will my phone with either movies of him on it or toddler lock…

Stats for this month:
– 26ish lbs (he won’t stand still)
– 32ish inches (again, this standing still thing is an issue)
– lots of words and babbling. He’s starting to string two or three together…like bye bye doggie, what’s that? etc… He’s constantly babbling and more and more I’m hearing real words in his babbling.

This kid is non stop! From the time he wakes up until he naps he’s just one big ball of motion. It’s exhausting but so amazing. I just love his sweet little smile or the way he says “mama” when he wants something (followed usually by “peese” or “now!”)…

There’s no movement on the potty front, he still likes to sit on it but nothing has happened yet (well, there was one fluke that we made a big deal of but he was so confused…it hasnt happened since:)). It’s still early and I’m letting him lead for now we go with it as he shows interest.

Anywho…I’d promise more posts but life has been crazy lately. Perhaps I’ll find some time to queue a few up:)

Nov 112011
 

We’ve been busy around here but I did manage to get some cute video of Noah dancing and playing with his car.

Enjoy, I’ll try to write a real update soon:)

Nov 082011
 

I’ve been trying to find different ways to engage Noah in play outside of his toys and puzzles. He loves coloring, running his trucks, pushing his bike around outside etc…but we needed something quiet for early mornings while I’m working in the kitchen getting breakfast etc…enter the bucket o beans.

Scooping with a spoon and filling his cup!

Daddy helping...

I tried rice a ways back with Noah but it was so hard to clean up after he decided to dump it on the floor that I abandoned that pretty quickly. This time around I decided to use a bag of great white northern beans that have been in my cabinet for years and I’d yet to incorporate them into any meal. They work much better as a play toy for Noah:)

It took a few dumps to get him to keep it in the bucket but after a while, even if they fell out of the bucket, he was cleaning up as he went. Just today he grabbed his favorite plastic spook and looked up and said “bucket? bucket?”. I set it on the floor and off he went, scooping and dumping for the next 20 min:)

I think i need to get another bucket or two and try things like pasta or buttons.

Nov 062011
 

Hubs and I were on a mad cleaning spree today. The type of cleaning spree that only hits when you finally get fed up with the dust bunnies trying to cop a spot on the couch. In that fit of cleaning I tried to dust the lamp shades. Only, it made things worse. I’ve done this dance before and was just about to give up when stroke of genius hit. Sticky lint roller!

Credit: Google Images

Yup! Stroke of genius alright! It cleaned up those shades in no time. They even seem to glow brighter now that they’re not dust laden.

You’re welcome!

Oct 312011
 

It was a fun weekend in our house. We took a quick trip up to PA to visit the grands and took Noah trick or treating for the first time in the neighborhood that I grew up in. He didn’t quite get it but he did “roar” for a few of the houses when we asked him to (so the lion costume was that much cuter:) ).

Tonight we carved the pumpkin and handed out candy (to all of the 3 kids that showed up!) all before Noah went to bed.

A lion for our little lion:)

Oct 292011
 

Noah really loves making vehicle and animal sounds and one of his particular favorites are trains. “Choo choo” is the first thing out of his mouth at the site of a train (and sometimes car or truck too..we’re still working on that..). Anywho, we took a trip to the mall the other day and they have a train that drives thru the corridors and I knew as soon as we saw it drive by that I’d be riding it later that afternoon.

He really had a great time. Smiling ear to ear when he saw daddy waiting along the path for him! I had to pry his little hands off the door when the ride was over, he didn’t want to get out!

I so love this age! He gets so much joy in the simplest thing and that’s amazing to me. His laugh or quick “i wuff ew” can turn any day around and I just melt when he diggs his little head into my legs as he hugs tight. Gahh…I love that little boy!

Oct 272011
 

It’s bound to happen with as much abuse as our diapers take – they’ve started wicking! The PUL has broken down and now even a moderately wet diaper soaks right thru the cover. Rather disappointing but not surprising, our diapers have been put thru the ringer. So, since they were wicking and pretty much useless to me I figured here was no harm in trying to re-waterproof them. I’d read somewhere that the spray on Nikwax would work well so I sent DH to REI to pick up some.

Avail from your local sports store (REI for us)

I just followed the directions on the container (it said to dampen the cloth before application, spray it on, let it set, wipe off the excess). I actually had to spray it down a few times because it kept soaking in.

After they'd been sprayed, the dark spots are where the waterproofer was soaking in

To prevent the waterproofing from coming in contact with the fleece I used our overabundance of plastic grocery bags and stuffed them in the diaper.

To keep the waterproofing from hitting the fleece...

Once they were coated, I hung them to dry on the rack overnight. In the AM I noticed they still had a bit of a chemical smell so I tossed them in for another round of wash. They came out smelling normal so I figured it was safe to use them.

Verdict?

So far so good….I used one of them the other night and there was no wicking. Now the test will be to see how long this lasts. I figure any use we get out of them beyond this is bonus so it was worth a shot.

Oct 242011
 

Woah…just stop right this second, we’re into the last quarter of his second year of life! In just 4 short months my little man is going to be 2 – oh my. When the heck did that happen? We’ve been having so much fun the last few days that I wasn’t until my Babycenter monthly email arrived that I remembered his birth anni!

This month we’re free of dr’s appts so I’m guessing he’s 26 or 27lbs. He’s gotten a bit taller and if I can nail him down for more than 2 seconds I’ll see how tall he is. He’s at least counter height if that’s any indicator and those little arms are about 1/2 a counter deep. I know this because he can reach way more than he used to. He’s even figure out that his little drum make a great step in a pinch.

He’s very verbal but still not really stringing stuff together. He knows what he wants and can communicate it, just not in any type of sentence form. We get alot of “dis” (what’s this?) and “down” (sit down! or get me down!). He’s getting really good at Thank you, Mommy and Daddy. Tree and boordie (birdie) are favorites as well. He knows that he has to wear a “hat” if he’s going for a bike ride and certainly knows “no” when he doesn’t want something.

This Halloween he’s going to be a lion because his favorite thing to do is find the lion in his 100 words book and *roaaarrrh* (hand motions included). He roars/growls for bears, gators, dinosaurs, and other menacing creatures. Speaking of the 100 words book, he knows what most of the objects are if you ask him to point them out. We’re now working on getting him to say what they are or find them for us.

He loves to dance and sing to his silly songs CD’s and asks for his Calliou DVD by name (infact, he chants Calliou if you don’t respond quickly enough). I’m trying to placate with silly songs vs. allowing him to watch TV but there are just some times you need to get stuff done and Calliou keeps him engaged for 20 min at least! He sings along to the ABCs and will do the motions for Head, shoulders, knees and toes.

He amazes me at every turn. The things he know and understands just blows me away. I still can’t believe he’s mine and that I get to keep him (although on some days sending him to live at his grandparents is an appealing choice). His kisses are sweet and my heart just melts when he yells “mommy” and then wraps his little arms around my legs or neck for a hug. He makes us laugh all the time (and some days makes me cry but I guess you need the hard days to enjoy all the others). We’re truly blessed to have an amazing little man like him.

Oct 162011
 

My gram asked for a family picture a ways back and I realized that we don’t have anything recent that actually looks good (Noah’s screaming, DH is making an odd face, I’m scowling etc…) So my goal last weekend was to get a family picture. Well, the whole trip to the ER and staples which prevented me from washing my hair for a few days put a kbosh on that. So, when DH suggested we take a drive to see the fall colors up in Shenandoah, I saw that as my opportunity to get a nice pic of us as a family.

The light was fading fast and the dog was not cooperating so we stuck her in the car. 20 shots later and we ended up with this one:

And with the help of a nice Asian man who offered to push the shutter, we managed to get this on with the dog….not the best but at least we’re all accounted for:)

Oct 112011
 

Everyone says things come in threes…

1. Dog takes me out on Saturday and I end up with a concussion and 6 staples in my head.
2. Next day my mom tells me that gram fell last week and had a concussion and a massive bruise that stretches from the back of her head around her ear and down her shoulder.
3. Father in law calls tonight to tell us he has staples in his head now too. He lost his balance while working outside today and smacked his head off an electrical box.

Wear your helmets people, it’s dangerous out there!

and a little biking

(btw…we’re all fine, sore and ready for halloween, but fine)

Oct 082011
 

I’d planned on a series of posts about our adventures to the OBX (Outer Banks, NC for those not down with the lingo) but seeing as it’s taken me two weeks to even get thru the pictures we’re going to cover it in one big one with lots of pictures!

NOTICE: SKIP TO THE BOTTOM IF YOU JUST WANT THE PICTURES….I won’t be offended (well, at least not a lot offended)

Overall our week in the OBX was thoroughly enjoyable. In the days leading up to it the weather outlook was bleak. They were still recovering from the hurricane and then tropical storm and the weatherman was not hopeful we’d have any sun. We arrived to lots of rain and stormy seas and had to unpack in very wet conditions. Fortunately for us the rain stopped around dinner and we were able to get our first glimpse of our beach. It was rough and stormy and there wasn’t much to it but it was our beach!

Where I’m more prone to grab a book and read on the beach, DH (and his parents) are doers. They like to get out to do and see things. It works well with a toddler that gets bored quickly so everyday there was an adventure or two. We hauled our bikes the whole way down there so on three of the mornings we decided to take them out for a spin. First day we started at our house and rode south into Duck and around. We rode thru neighborhoods and down to the beach and back. As we were making our way back to the house we decided to huff it up one more set of little hills and *snap* DH’s chain breaks. This was the first of three bike related calamities!

Day two of biking we rode north. About 5 miles in I noticed my ride was getting a little tough, kind of like I’m plowing thru sand. I looked back and my rear tire was low. We stopped for a second to check it out (in a bad spot where the mosquitoes were munching hard on us!) and you could hear it hissing. DH always carries a pump and a spare so we just had to roll to a more convenient spot to fix it, no problemo. Haha..right! The pump didn’t want to work so we were sunk. MIL and I worked our way back to a nearby diner (me carrying my bike because it wouldn’t roll anymore) and DH and FIL headed back to the house with Noah to fetch the car. DH spends the rest of the afternoon trying to get my wheel fixed so we can go out again later in the week (which yields ride #3 and flat #2 – this time on DH’s bike, not mine!)

On the days we didn’t ride we went out and explored Duck and the surrounding areas on foot. There was still quite a bit of debris and standing water so places we’d normally be able to go were close or so mosquito infested that it wasn’t worth it. There were tons of shops and stuff to keep us busy. DH even played the part of my hero when I dropped the camera lens cover off the side of the boardwalk into the water and he climbed down to retrieve it!

Later in the week the weather they’d been talking about all week finally arrived we spent the day at the aquarium on the main land. It was a nice change and Noah really enjoyed himself. He actually sat down with DH and watched the divers shows in the big shark tank! I couldn’t believe (nor could I believe that I ran the whole way back out to the car to grab the dSLR because it’s better in low light only to find when I got back to the building that I forgot to swap the battery and it was dead – oops).

Anywho, I’ve talked enough. On to the good stuff…

Oct 052011
 

I’ve been trying and trying to get a post up for you guys. Lotsa pictures and videos from our week at the beach and my week at home alone with Noah. DH is finally back and maybe we can find some semblance of control and time.

For now, here are a few pictures.

Oct 012011
 

So I’m a few weeks late on this. If it means anything I created the post on the 23rd…it just took till now to fill it out:)

He’s growing by leaps and bounds, with each passing day I see more comprehension and more communication from him. He’s 26lbs and 34 inches tall and he looks like a tall skinny little boy it’s so crazy! I’ve noticed that while he’s really verbal, he doesn’t really say much. Just lots of babbling with occasional comprehensible word thrown in. He can usually get his point across. I’m not worried mostly because his spatial and reason comprehension is very good. You just watch as the little wheels turn in his head as he figures out how to undo the buckles or latches on the toys he has or works thru the puzzle to put the pieces in the right spots.

Coloring is a favorite past time as is pushing things over to whatever he can’t reach and then climbing up. He knows his animal sounds and most of his body parts and can point out most of the objects in his 100 words book when you ask what things are. I can even get him to participate in the “head, shoulders, knees, and toes” song which is soo much fun.

He’s a hugger and a kisser (but only when he feels like it) and he’s spontaneously affectionate (melts my heart when he runs over and hugs my leg and says i wuv oooo!). His mood is almost always happy except on the days where he gets up on the wrong side of the bed, then it’s just miserable all day. I never look forward to nap and bed time more than those days.

This past month we spent a week a the beach (as you’ll see in upcoming posts if I ever get to write them) and after a quick introduction to sand he was all about walking around and digging. I think he favorite part was the bike rides. He loves that little trailer.

Anywho…I can’t believe we’re in the last few months before he turns 2! Where does the time fly!

Sep 242011
 

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. I’ve thought about it a bunch of times but things have been hectic as heck around here. We’ve been gone 3 out of the 4 weekends this month (well, I have, DH had Noah duty while I was off watching my bestie get married!)

Lots to update on including Noah’s newest tricks (and some videos to prove it) but for now I need to unpack. We’re among the living again and if I can find the time, I’ll tell you about all the adventures that were had on our vaca:)

Sep 082011
 

because before long we’re gonna need an Ark! We’ve had a double wallop with Irene and now Ted and our normal gentle creek in the flood basin is now a raging river about 100 feet wide!!!

This has been the radar for the last 3 days or so. It never really seems to change….the red blob moves around a bit but it’s always covered in green.

That kind of rain causes this kind of flooding:

And of course we had to go take a closer look. No worries, we were high enough up to stay safe (at least Noah and I, daddy and the dog went in for a closer look)

We’re very fortunate that we’re high above the flood plane and have very little worry about actual flooding (outside of the small pond in our backyard). I heart hurts for those that are actually affected by this both locally and up and down the eastern coast. They’re in my thoughts as the waters finally crest and eventually subside.

Sep 062011
 

Driving around the area where we live, you’d never guess there’s a 30+ acre zoo with Kangaroos, Llama, Monkeys, and the like within just a few miles of us. I think it’s an awesome hidden gem in our town that I know we’ll take advantage of more as Noah gets older. Just a 10 min drive and $24 (plus a cup of food to feed the animals) we had a few hours worth of entertainment for everyone (plus we got to work on our animal sounds!)

The first thing we ran into were the prairie dogs (which were new this trip). Noah was instantly intrigued and our time in the stroller came to an abrupt halt. He wanted out to explore on his own. We spent the next hour hopping from birds to horses, owls to snakes, pigs to goats and monkeys. We even saw some Kangaroos!

Kangaroo!!!

Checkin out the piggies

Aww...they're cute when they're this tiny...

Trying to get to the piggies

Checking out the goat...before it ate his hand...

Then it was time for the safari ride! They have to giant tractors that pull trailers thru the 30 acre preserve and the best part is the animals approach the wagon for a closer look (hoping you have food for them). They have a bunch of prong horn type guys, llamas, ostriches, buffalo and watusi.

Invasion...

Watusi?

Buffalo!!

Let’s revisit that Watusi thing…

Watusi....


WTF!

These guys have the most enormous horns that just look freaky as they jut out from either side of their face. They hail from Africa and the largest set of horns on record were 36.3 inches around and something like 12 feet tip to tip. That was over 100lbs of horn on either side of their head! They were really curious of our wagon but forgot about the size and presence of their horns so you have to watch yourself.

Towards the end of the ride Noah started to nod off (and leak thru his diaper – beautiful) which was our signal to make our way back to the car. A quick covert diaper change in the corner, a few more monkeys, an alligator, and a lemur and we were on our way home. Seeing that we were approaching nap time, I was proud of how well he kept himself together as we worked our way back out to the car.

That was the perfect way to spend the morning as a family:) I loved watching Noah’s face light up as he recognized the animals from his books (and met new ones). I can see us using this Zoo alot as he grows older.

Sep 052011
 

Lots going on here so I’m going to be lazy with this post and give you videos:) It better represents Noah lately anyways:)

He’s to the spontaneous affection stage much to the dogs dismay. DH came down stairs to find him chasing the dog and kissing her. He managed to catch this bit on video.

I found him doing the same to his sock monkey this am (and he’ll kiss us too, it’s just harder to film).

This one he’s demonstrating his new trick – animal sounds!!! We work on them in the AM on our ride to school. Ignore the bottle, most of the time he takes a sippy. Sometimes however he gets in a mood and the bottle is the only thing he’ll drink from. This is a battle I’m choosing not to fight yet.

(as I was uploading and watching the video, Noah heard it and started making the sounds along with the video…so funny:) )

Sep 012011
 

I was reading back thru my older posts and ran across this one. It makes miss those moments but the more I think about it, those quiet moments have been replaces by spontaneous hugs, kisses before bed, interactive story time, favorite snugglies and books and new rituals. I’m sad to see his babyhood leave but I love his new found independence and the little boy that is growing before my eyes.

Aug 312011
 

I’m going to deviate from my normal Noah ramblings to tell you a story. Why? because it’s too good not to share IMHO!

Starts like this….my BFF getting married 9/10/11 (next week for those that don’t care to calculate). At the end of May I ordered my dress from an brick and mortar bridal store that also had an online business. A cursory check didn’t turn up anything alarming and the price was good. I guess that should have been my first tip. They said it should arrive Mid Aug.

Anyways, fast forward to last week where we’re 2 weeks out from the wedding and I’ve still not heard from the store about my dress. I knew it would be a wee bit tight but not this tight. The end of august passes and phones calls, email, tweets, and Fbook messages have gone unanswered. I start to panic.

I actively debated on telling my bride about this tiny issue in light of the fact that Hurricane Irene was marching up the coast and well, she was in the original path. Thankfully the hurricane turned some and missed them for the most part, so I broke the news to her – but not before I’d found a suitable alternative.

Cute right? It was just my size, the right color and material and was to my door in less than 24 hours. Now that’s service! So…we at least have the worst case scenario covered but I still couldn’t rest. I had two more avenues to try.

I emailed the place that I ordered my wedding gown from years back (MB Brides – ah may zing!) and gave her my sob story. I was pleasantly surprised when she responded the next day. A quick note back inquiring about size, color, who I ordered from originally and she said she’d see what she could do. That was Thursday last week.

Come Monday this week, still no word from the original salon despite my attempts to contact them, I was getting desperate. So, I went to the dress makers site and found an email address I could use. A quick note to them explaining the situation and begging for help resulted in email back Tuesday AM asking for more info about my order. I replied with that and set out to wait on things so more.

About 3:15 Tuesday afternoon I get an email from MB Brides saying they’d talked to the dress maker and for a $60 fee and the dress price they could rush production and have it to me by mid next week. The exact dress I needed, the one my bride wanted. To say they are my heroes is an understatement. They literally saved my day!

This one - but in Red!

Of course I said yes, but only after joking with the lady on the phone that as soon as I said yes, the other salon would find my dress and send me an email about shipping it out.

and guess what?

That’s exactly what happened! I swear I’m not making this up. No sooner had I hung up with MB and called my bride to tell her everything was good to go than I notice an email in my inbox from the original salon saying the dress had shipped from the maker and would be to me by the end of the week. Um…really?

Luckily, I was able to call MB back and cancel the order before they started production on the dress. Those ladies went above and beyond the call of duty to help me out and part of me felt terrible for having to cancel that order but the other half was soooo relieved to not have to spend another $200 for what would have been my third dress.

Now I only have two dresses….

Part of me wonders if my email to the dress maker had anything to do with the ship date. It’s way too much of a coincidence that my email to them and the email from the salon happened within hours of one another. Either way, I’m just happy things are moving in the right direction and that I only have two dresses instead of three.

Aug 302011
 

So Noah’s been in a mood lately. He’s not been sleeping or eating well thanks to his new I teeth and that’s causing all kinds of cranky in our house. At one point during dinner, while he was so calmly and successfully using a spoon eating his yogurt, all hell broke loose. He up ended his plate, knocked all the food to the floor and then launched his yogurt bowl over the counter.

It wasn’t until a few min later (after wiping every surface within 4 feet of him) I looked up to see this:

Upon closer inspection:

Yup, at some point when i wasn’t looking, he took a full spoon of yogurt and flung it at the window. Lovely…

ETA: In my rush to take a picture and write a blog about this, I forgot to wipe the window down. I was setting up breakfast this AM and saw it still there and running down the whole window. Doh…had to break out the scrub brush.

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