25 April 2010

A Ticket to Ride

Last weekend, we decided on a whim to go to Busch Gardens. (We can do that, thanks to the wonderful Season Passes).

We already knew that Eamon was fine with large furry characters, so this time, we had another question: how would Eamon do on a ride?

We waited for awhile in line, and it turns out: Eamon does NOT enjoy waiting in line. He had no interest in standing in one place, but luckily the line wasn't that long so we only had to wait about 10 minutes.

Once we got onto the ride, Eamon was fine. No qualms whatsoever. Not a bit scared.

However, the kinds of ride that Eamon can ride, it turns out, they're...well, boring. After the first 20 seconds, Eamon was over sitting still. I'm smiling here but only because I knew that Aaron was pointing a camera at us, and I actually have quite the iron grip on the small child in my lap who was trying to dive out of the boat because it was sooooooo boooooring, mom. Excuse me, adrenalin junkie.

We then went to a little play area, where Eamon immediately ran to a big, fake tree stump. It was deserted because, well, it was boring. There was nothing to do on it.

Unless you were Eamon, and then it was the coolest thing ever. He stood in that tree stump for I don't know how long. He jumped. He jigged. He smiled and screeched and screamed when we tried to convince him to try, you know, some of the other things that you could actually PLAY ON.

We finally got him out of the tree stump when the Sesame Street live show came on. Eamon heard the music and was more than happy to be carried over to the show area.

All the other kids danced and clapped when they saw the large characters dancing on the top of the castle.

Eamon, however, was determined that he could find a way to get to the characters. He ran back and forth around that silly castle, because he KNEW that he could meet Elmo if he just kept trying. It don't know whether it says something about his perseverance or the fact that he just doesn't quite "get" dramatic performances yet.

I finally just picked him up and made him watch from the side, otherwise he was going to miss the entire performance in his determination. Zoe blew him a kiss (ooooo).

It was another good day.

18 April 2010

Mr. Clean

Eamon looks a lot like both Aaron and me, but even so, sometimes we’re tempted to wonder whether he wasn’t switched at birth. See, Aaron and I are not the neatest people in the world. We both tend to put stuff down with the full intention of putting it away sooner or later…and it’s always later—usually not until someone is about to come and visit. Seriously, I love it when people come over because it forces us to clean.

Eamon is…different. Eamon has a sense of order. His motto seriously might be “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Caps belong on sippy cups. Doors should be shut. Latches should be latched and keys hung up in their proper spots. If you don’t put something where it belongs, he will anxiously point to whatever is amiss and scream “Ahh!” over and over until you finally fix it.

That being said, sometimes his idea of where things go doesn’t always match where we think things belong. For instance, we are always missing our Tupperware tops. He believes they belong in cupboards, but not necessarily the cupboard where Aaron and I generally keep them. His sippy cups often go missing because he decides to put them in filing cabinets or cupboards for safe keeping. When you ask him, “Where’s your cup?” he can easily find it and show it to you. He knows where it is. It’s where it belongs, people.

You can even get him to clean up after himself, too. Like any small child, he adores pulling things out of drawers or cabinets and throwing them around on the floor. I apparently loved to do this when I was Eamon’s age. I would pull all the pots out of the cupboard and then just walk away, my general motis operendi being that everything should be out where you can easily see it (this still applies to all my jewelry today, which more or less lives on my dresser). The difference is, when Eamon is done, he will usually clean up after himself. Sometimes you have to prompt him, but he happily does it.

For instance: one day Eamon was having lunch in his high chair. He had his sippy cup full of milk, which he began sprinkling everywhere, including the floor. I didn't notice that the milk was on the floor until I took Eamon out of his high chair, and he went over, grabbed the kitchen towel, and started mopping up the floor. What kind of kid does that? (In all fairness, he then proceeded to use the towel to taunt the dog like he was a bullfighter, so he does act like a normal 15 month old, too).

What does this mean for the future? Who knows? Will Eamon be the best thing to ever happen to us because he’ll keep the house straight for us? Or will he be like my mother—who used to insist that the door to my room stay shut so that she didn’t have to see the mess—only he’ll be shutting his bedroom door just to keep the clean in?

11 April 2010

Busch Gardens A-Go-Go

(Note: Entry contains many words in CAPITAL LETTERS, denoting a lot of EXCITEMENT, which might not be suitable to persons with certain conditions, such as being annoyed by a lot of CAPITAL LETTERS).

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

Why, yes, actually. Take 64 West to Exit 243A.

Anyway, on this sunny day we went to where the air was indeed sweet (from all the funnel cakes), also known as Busch Gardens: Europe (these days, aka: Elmo's World). We didn't go to Busch at all last year, since Eamon was way too young to enjoy or understand, but we decided that this year, he would finally get it. It didn't hurt that we knew they had opened the Sesame Street FOREST OF FUN last year, so Eamon would get to see all his personal celebrities: Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Cookie Monster, etc..

This was Eamon's first "official" visit to Busch Gardens. My parents and I went on Friday, but since I forgot the camera and Aaron was working, we decided to just call it a "test run." I had one burning question that needed to be answered: would Eamon be afraid of large fuzzy characters?

Can you guess?

I'll give you some space to think about it.










Keep scrolling...









Did you guess that Eamon was ENTIRELY UNINTIMIDATED by six foot furry monsters? That he would run right up to them, screaming in utter adolation and excitement, stomping his feet in a strange jig that obviously meant, "THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME?!"

Because that is totally what happened.

Eamon Munro Bennett Wolfe was in HEAVEN (a weird Heaven where the angels tower over you and have a large amount of fuzz). The first thing we did was watch a short show, that he saw from his daddy's shoulders. He clapped and consistently drummed on Aaron's head in excitement.

Afterwards, the characters got off the stage and wandered around the Sesame Street FOREST OF FUN, and Eamon just about peed his pants. Well, actually, he might have (his diapers, coincidentally, have Elmo on them, which shows you just how dedicated he is).

So here he is with the various characters...

Groovin' with Abby Cadabby...

Huggin' it out with Cookie Monster...

Chattin' with Zoe...

Discussing global warming and the state of European economics since the introduction of the Euro with Grover...

Then, because we are the BEST PARENTS EVER, we took Eamon to LUNCH WITH ELMO AND FRIENDS. Okay, it was kind of expensive, so Aaron and I made sure that we ate all we could eat at the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet (can you say "three dinner rolls?" Boo-yah, Busch Gardens!). Eamon always eats a ton, and ate 1 1/2 chicken fingers, 4 pieces of melon, and a dinner roll--which I'm sure was more than most of the three year olds who couldn't stay in their seats more than 1 minute without running over to either Elmo, Big Bird, Burt, Ernie, or Cookie Monster.

A picture in which Eamon and Bert discover that (gasp) THEY BOTH HAVE NOSES!

Eamon really loved the lunch, though he admittedly was a little unsure of how to proceed. He was so thrilled by this point that he got excited not just by the characters, but also by the other kids, the other parents, and even ran up clapping and screaming to one of the sullen teenage workers, who for a second forgot his teenage angst and burst out laughing.

Eamon attempts to get some love from Ernie...

Eamon wanted to meet every character, but mostly whenever he was already interacting another character--"wait, what's that over there? and over there? and over THERE?!" He tried to dance with the other little kids, but kept getting tripped on by said little kids and sometimes even by characters, since an excited Eamon sort of lacks the ability to 1) control his body; and 2) notice that a 7 foot bird's behind is bearing down on him.

Eamon waited FOREVER to get to see Elmo, and then as soon as we got up there, immediately started pointing to Ernie. Patience, young grasshopper...

Regardless, I don't think I'm exaggerating here when I say that Eamon had the time of his life. He was exhausted afterwards, and fell straight to sleep for his nap--in which I'm sure he's dreaming of cavorting with large blue monsters...

It was a good day...

08 April 2010

Up, Up, and Away

Eamon and Mommy on the beach

Aaron decided that he wanted to go to Boston during my Spring Break. He hadn’t really gotten to see Boston the last time he was up in Massachusetts, and gosh darn it, he wanted to go. I put up absolutely no fight, as that’s the area where my best friend, Julie, lives. I profoundly agreed that Boston had a lot of history that deserved to be seen…and then I called Julie and worked it out so that her husband, Nick, would do all the sightseeing with Aaron while Julie, Eamon, and I could hit the malls.

We knew that we were going to fly. Air Tran flies out of the Newport News airport, which is only 10 minutes away from us, and has really cheap flights to Logan Airport in Boston. We could easily afford tickets for Aaron, me, and Eamon. We decided to buy Eamon his own seat since he’s a big, squirmy kid and we didn’t like the idea of trying to wrestle him still for the hour and a half plane ride. We took our car seat since we heard that we could strap it into the airplane seat…and therefore strap Eamon into the car seat.

How was flying with a toddler? Interesting. Actually, he’s a very good little guy, so it wasn’t too bad. It was also easier because Julie’s sister (also a Kate) lent us a Pack n’ Play, stroller, and toys so that didn’t have to lug all that through the airport. On the plane ride up, the flight attendants told us we couldn’t use the car seat (grr) so we had to check it and Eamon ended up sitting on my lap most of the time because it only took him about a minute to figure out how to unbuckle his lap belt.

We were really waiting for Eamon’s ears to act up on the descent. Aaron had ear problems growing up, and I always ended up with ear infections when flying. We let Eamon have his pacifier (which we usually only do at night), and he only pulled on his ear about twice. He was absolutely fine otherwise. I don’t know how he avoided getting the ear issue genes, but thank goodness he did.

Eamon pulled over the dog bed, crawled in it, and watched his Sign Language videos while Julie's poor dog, Oz, looked on in confusion.

While in Massachusetts, Eamon was mostly able to stick to his routine. We had a pretty great time. On Saturday, when we arrived, Julie dropped Nick and Aaron off in Boston to do all manner of historical things (Aaron told me what they all were, but it’s possible I wasn’t really listening). Julie, Eamon, and myself hit the mall. I love the malls in Massachusetts. They have the same stores as down here, but they’re about three times bigger and have a much better selection.

Eamon watched Julie's three year old niece and nephew drawing with sidewalk chalk, but obviously didn't *quite* understand the concept.

On Sunday, we went to Easter dinner at Julie’s parents’ house. We really weren’t planning on spending Easter in Massachusetts; we just didn’t realize that Easter was during the first weekend of April this year, which is also my Spring Break (our school division has Spring Break the first week of April every year, rather than tying it to Easter). Julie devised an Easter Egg hunt for Eamon and her niece and nephew, Daniel and Riley (who are both three). Eamon didn’t entirely understand the Easter Egg hunt, but Daniel kindly picked up all Eamon’s eggs for him and put them in Eamon’s basket (Daniel was very worried that Eamon wasn’t going to get any Easter eggs, which is just plain sweet).

With Mommy's help, Eamon picked up an Easter egg and put it in his basket before wandering off to do something else (eat a stick, I think).

On Monday, we attempted to go to Sturbridge Village. We drove the hour out there, only to find it closed. So we turned around and instead went to the mall (yay!), and then spent the rest of the day relaxing and letting Eamon terrorize Oz, Julie and Nick’s rather skitterish but lovable dog. That evening, Aaron’s cousins Kristin and David came over, which was great, since we think they’re lots of fun but don’t get to see them often as they live in Massachusetts. On a side note, I watched Eamon take his Easter basket, dump all the eggs on the ground, and then proceed to put them all back in the basket, so he did get the concept—just a day late.

Eamon and Julie examine shells on the beach. Julie attempts to explain what each shell is while Eamon attempts to eat it.

On Tuesday, we went to Salem. Unfortunately, it was overcast and rainy (the weather was beautiful the rest of the time). Also, we couldn’t really do any tours with Eamon. Aaron went on one tour while Julie and took Eamon to small beach and then perused an antique shop. We then went to a very rickety little wax museum. Because it was rainy and things were pretty overpriced, we decided to just head back to the car and drive to the airport. On the way back, we stopped at one of those vintage photo places and Julie, Eamon, and I dressed up as Salem witches because…well, we wanted to. Again, Eamon was spectacular and put up with us.

We were hoping that on the car ride to Boston, Eamon would nap…but he didn’t. He got ridiculously overtired, but even so he was just manically running around. He was pretty happy and would follow directions as long as you kept him moving and didn’t let him get bored (like, not even for a second). On the plane, the flight attendants not only let us use the car seat, but even showed us a sticker on our car seat and that said it was acceptable for airplane use. We strapped Eamon in and within a minute after take-off, he was fast asleep.

It was a good trip. Eamon is a good little traveler, and I know that as he gets older and even more able to understand and cooperate (and carry his own things!) we’ll be going lots of places with him.

Goodbye, Julie! See you next time!

Grand Re-Opening

So here’s the deal with the long absence of the blog…

There was a war going on at home. I said that I was too busy to do the blog all the time, being that I work full-time, am taking two doctorate classes, and have a child; and so, as Aaron does all that but minus the doctorate classes, it was his turn to write the blog. For reasons I can’t really understand, he wouldn’t do it (and here I feel the need to point out that he was the one who set up the blog in the first place). So I decided to be stubborn, too, and that I wouldn’t keep writing until he contributed at least one entry…

Well, anyway, I guess he wins. I finally had enough time to think about it now, over Spring Break, and asked myself why I really do the blog. It’s not necessarily because I have this overbearing need to write and express myself, because even though I enjoy writing, I do that plenty through teaching and attending classes. I write a lot. And it’s not even really for everyone else, because that simply wouldn’t be enough of a motivator right now (to write these things usually means forgoing an hour of sleep at some point). BUT, this is sort of a log of Eamon, and I want him, one day, to be able to go back and read these, his own personal little history.

So. I’m declaring Aaron the official winner because I simply can’t tell my little guy years from now that the blog just sort of faded into nothingness because mommy and daddy were both too stubborn.

Therefore, the blog will return. Who really needs sleep anyway?

This is a picture of Eamon in Salem, Massachusetts. He was dressed as a witch (why not?) and was supposed to be putting a frog into a cauldron but instead tried to eat the frog (and kept signing "eat" the whole time). This picture has nothing to do with the blog itself, but I quite like it and am therefore putting it in.