I have a thing about flash mobs: they make me happy cry. If you’re not familiar with flash mobs, they basically involve a group of people showing up in a predetermined spot to all do something at once. Just because.
I came across this one today. It was organized by a woman named Kim MacGregor to honor a friend of hers who had recently passed away. Be sure to pay attention to the faces of those not involved — that’s what really gets me.
Work is going to be insane and non-stop until Christmas. And then it will be Christmas, which we all know is a pretty crazy time of the year. I’m trying to not get stressed out — you know, just plow on through. Yeah, that’s not working so well. I imagine much more wine will be consumed in this house over the coming fall months.
JR’s favorite activity as of late is letting us know who is a boy and who is a girl. For the last two days, when I’ve gone into his room to get him up for the day, he’s popped up, smiled, and said “Mama girl.”
How do we feel about Sister Wives? Are you as creeped out/hooked as I am?
On Wednesday we made the 15-minute drive up to the Bass Pro Shop (it’s this wilderness/fishing store/spectacle with catfish tanks…oh forget it, just trust that toddlers will love it) and then took a stroll around Ashland. For those of you not from Richmond, it’s a smaller town just north of us with a train track running straight through downtown; JR was beside himself.
Here you see JR and Ross sitting on the “fishy bench” outside of the store (after sampling goodies at the Fudge Shop — yeah, that’s right, they have one). Ross told JR to make “a funny face.”
Fifteen years ago this evening, my grandmother passed away. She passed away because someone chose to drive drunk.
Very early tomorrow morning will mark 15 years since I was told she was longer with us. I very clearly remember my dad breaking the news to me. I was 13.
I can’t help but to think that if that person hadn’t made that choice, my grandmother would still be around to get to know JR — to love him, to spoil him, to be responsible for picking out his Easter outfit and to feed him saltines topped with peanut butter and jelly, like she did for me when I was little. I think because he’s so very much here now (he’s made his presence much more known as a toddler than he ever did as an infant) and she’s so very much not, I’m feeling her absence a bit more strongly this year.
Tuesday was spent at the Virginia Aviation Museum near the Richmond International Airport — talk about a dream come true for this little man. The only downside? You can’t actually get *in* the planes (well, at least not all of them). Two enthusiastic toddler thumbs up.
(Since Ross and I both had to do a little work here and there this weekend, Staycation 2010 didn’t officially start until Monday. We have difficulty not working.)
JR thankfully got the memo that we were on vacation and slept until about 8:45 Monday morning. We were off to an excellent start.
After getting everyone up, fed, and dressed, we headed out to the Metro Richmond Zoo in Moseley, Virginia, wayyyyyyyyy on the Southside — even farther out than where we grew up. In fact, we drove past our old high school on the way there and got a nice, healthy dose of nostalgia.
We got to the zoo at around 10:15, bought our tickets ($11.25 each for us, but JR was free — and we paid a little extra to get a cup of food to share with some of the animals), and headed in.
Well, folks, I thought JR’s big, old head was going to pop off of his body with excitement. MONKEYS! BIRDIES! TIGGERS! DINOSAURS (which were actually tortoises)!!! AND DID WE MENTION THE MONKEYS?!?! He talked nonstop while we were there, pointing at everything, asking to make sure we had seen all of these amazing things: MAMA SEE MONKEYS? DADA SEE MONKEYS? MONKEYS RIGHT THERE? It was adorable.
Now, I must add here that feeding a giraffe has been pretty close to the top of my life list for a long time. I have no idea why, it just needed to happen. And do you know what they have at the Metro Richmond Zoo? Giraffes. Giraffes that they let you feed.
Well, I can cross that one off the list.
Joy. Joy is the only way to describe that moment. And sharing it with my kid? I had Emotions. I don’t ever want to forget that day happened.
For Tuesday? Breakfast at Country Style Donuts and a trip to the Virginia Aviation Museum to look at AIRPLANES MAMA SEE AIRPLANES? More on that later.
(It will be a while before you understand why that video is funny. And please don’t repeat that word.)
Oh, my sweet, sweet boy, the things you do to my heart.
This morning you weren’t particularly interested in getting dressed — you were much more inclined to sit on the floor and look at books. You were flipping through How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which you call “Ham” because it somewhat resembles Green Eggs and Ham) when you came across a picture of the Grinch. The Grinch was frowning (as Grinches do) and his eyes were red. You furrowed your brow (as *you* do) and said, “Sad. Cry.” Then you held the book up to my face so I could give the Grinch a kiss.
It just about killed me.
Although you are by no mistake a rough-and-tumble boy, you have a very sweet and gentle side. You’ve become much more aware of people’s emotions, and that’s been fun to watch. You’ve also seemed to pick up somewhere that you can fake certain emotions to get what you want (although not from us because we aren’t falling or it).
For example, the other day you had finished your snack and wanted more. It was time to cut you off (dinner was quickly approaching), so we said no. You immediately stuck your lip out and let out the most fake cry I’ve ever heard for about three seconds…then abruptly stopped, cut your eyes at me, grinned, and said “More?”
You’re all about Winnie the Pooh these days and love, love, love to sing the “pooh song” as you call it. (Although you do sometimes call it the “bobby” song — I think this is because the first part of the song mentions Christopher Robin and you call your Aunt Robin “Bobby”, which makes sense.) The chorus is your favorite. You sing it like this:
(And while we’re on the subject, the way you say “bear” is the cutest sound in existence. It sounds like “bee-yar-uh” and it makes my brain explode.)
Your favorite thing to do lately is to watch “Pooh TV” or “Fishy TV” (The Little Mermaid) while cuddled up on the bed with me and Dada. Sure, people are probably not thrilled that we let you watch movies, but it’s just something we love to do as a family. We talk to you about what’s going on during the movie, what the characters are doing, how they’re feeling, and what not, so I don’t feel bad about it, not one little bit, so there.
Starting tomorrow, you, Dada, and I are on a week-long staycation. We’re so looking forward to taking you to fun places focused on things that you love, like trains and animals. It’s so rare that we get a truly uninterrupted chunk of time with you — let alone days and days of time — and I can’t wait to soak it up.
The talking is still nonstop, and you’re using sentences much more — you love to tell us what everyone around you is doing, where everyone is going, etc. It’s fun to watch you be so interested in the world around you.
You’re finally (FINALLY) talking more at day care. I think they were worried about you because you didn’t say much for very long time — they also probably thought I was a liar when I said you speak all the time at home. It seems that you’ve inherited my tendency to take a good long while to feel comfortable in situations. But now, you head on in without hesitation; you play hard, LOVE to dance (from what I hear — you’ve yet to really share this talent with us), and like to give your friends hugs.
And while I do miss when you’re away at day care and I’m at work, I must say our reunions are always lovely. There is no feeling like walking up to your class and seeing you busy at work, doing your toddler thing. Once you see me, you drop what you’re doing, come over and declare, “Up Mama pease.”
A few months ago, Ross, JR, and I made plans to head out to the Charlottesville area and spend about a week with some friends and their little boy. It was the perfect arrangement: far enough away to feel like an escape and (best of all) FREE! thanks to the kindness of some church friends.
But things fell through last minute because of the dogs. Ugh it’s so boring and first world problem-y that I won’t bore you with it.
That vacation was supposed to be next week. So, we’ve decided to still take the time off and opt for a staycation. Very Recession of us, isn’t it?
We’ll spend the week lazing about, taking JR to fun places, doing all the family stuff that we rarely get to do because we are so busy during the week/so effing exhausted by the time the weekend hits.
We’ve got some ideas for places to go, but I’d love to hear your suggestions as to where we should take this little man so he can have the time of his life.