Saturday, May 30, 2009

In/Out Saturday

Inside Fun:

The result of Outside Fun (that being climbing up and sliding down the cellar doors):

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fun Amid the Roses

I am well into my third Blackberry after losing one at an airport and having one die. The one I have now is relatively new but is turning bratty: I took a bunch of photos of Donny playing with his Tonka Truck in front of the house. It was great because it was in front of my 16 John Claire Rose Bushes. I wanted rose bushes instead of boxwood and spent a buttload of money on them. And I chose those particular bushes based on the fact they are named after John Clare, one of the most amazing and tragic poets ever to put pen to paper. I've never regretted my choice and this year, especially, the bushes are fantastic, heaped with old fashioned pink cabbage roses so heavy the stems can barely hold them.

And my stupid blackberry erased all but two of my kid + roses photos.

Maybe its not the blackberry, maybe its a sunspot. Today has been kind of like that in general. Anyhow, here are the two photos that survived:
The other great thing was that Donovan discovered the joy of sliding down the cellar door. Well, great for him: if you look closely at the photos below, you will see the doors are held shut with a nasty, big, splintery, dirty, sure to cause lockjaw if a sliver of it gets into you, piece of wood. Everytime he slid down (which was about 800 times in 20 or so minutes) I would silently pray ,"PLEASE don't let him grab that wood to stop his fall!" He avoided that trap but I'm seriously considering tacking bubblewrap to it. Aaaand, here are those photos (I'm especially proud of the final, Real Action shot):

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

It Sneaks Up On You

I had the Old Person's radio station on this morning while I was taking shower and heard The Days of Wine and Roses.

Years ago, Meeo and I were exploring the part of Homewood Cemetery that's near the Homewood Avenue gate and we found an otherwise unremarkable headstone with lyrics from that song engraved between the two names of the husband and wife:

Laugh and run away, like a child at play
Through a meadowland towards a closing door,
A door marked "Nevermore"
That was'nt there before

It gets even more poignant when you know that the husband was there alone, having died 10 years or so earlier and his wife was out there, somewhere, without him. Anyhow, it made me think of my Dad and Mom and I've been weepy ever since.

Plus, I'm homesick.

But it is Friday. And a long weekend with the New Donovan. There's much to be thankful for in that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bubbles and Ice Cream, Friendship, Picnics and Brooms

Today was the However Many Annual International Children's Festival in Oakland. They showed clips on the news last night from last year's and there were jugglers, ladies on stilts and (why is this so prevalent?) facepainting. Today was also the Bubbles and Ice Cream Party.
I had seen this flier when Donny and I went to the rather sad little farmer's market in Bloomfield on Thursday. I took the above photo to remind myself about it and, if you look closely you will notice a few things about the flier, namely that it just says "Bubbles and Ice Cream Party." Who is giving this party? The Bloomfield Civic Association? Kids for Christ? That strange bald guy who's running for city council?

I should also explain Friendship Park, especially for those of you familiar with the rather impressive Pittsburgh Park System. Friendship Park is basically a glorified traffic median. It's a nice, grassy green space that is circled by Friendship Avenue and it separates the West Penn Hospital Complex from some very nice old houses. It is about 2 city blocks long and maybe 2 houses wide. One end of it is near a church and there is a house with a great big Holy Mother statue in the little tiny front yard plus at least one angel attending her with a torch that doubles as a porch light. The park has some benches, some trees and a flagpole. And maybe a garbage can.

I opted for the Bubbles and Ice Cream Party. Donny has the rest of his life to be international.

We caught the 54C and walked to the park and at first I didn't see anything. Once we got closer, tho, I saw a card table set up with two industrial size tubs of ice cream, about a dozen kids from Donny's age up to about 12 or so, and some grown ups, one of whom was in a floor length orchid dress and another who was blowing some fairly impressive bubbles. The little kids were playing Ring Around The Rosie and running around in the grass. I tried to get Donny to join in but he was a little too clingy. He did watch them tho--I think part of him wanted to join in. Sorry about the social awkwardness gene, kid...

I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but then he saw the big, fluffy tissue paper flowers

There were a bunch of these flowers hanging from a string and Donny thought they were the best thing ever.
While he played with them a very sweet and pretty young lady was nice enough to bring him some bubbles. He was too shy with her to try blowing them but she blew some for him and that was appreciated.

We had probably been there about 20 minutes or so when Donovan finally decided he wanted to run around. That's when it started to rain. I thought we had best pack it up and, as we were leaving, I asked a few folks if they knew who put the party together. Turns out it was the gal in the orchid dress who, apparently, just decided that it was something she wanted to do. I was very tempted to tell her about LUPEC and the Archival Cabaret and my cemetery tours and how I LOVE when people get an idea for an event and just do it, no holds barred. In a rare moment of restraint, however, I gave her a fiver and told her to put it towards the cause. She seemed genuinely surprised and I felt genuinely middle aged--but what the hell: Mike's payday was yesterday and if I want to give some gal in a sparkly dress five bucks, I'm gonna. Damn it.

By the time we left the park the rain was coming down in earnest. I wanted to find a place for Donny to eat the lunch I packed for him but I didn't want us to get soaked. My solution has resulted in a new phrase, which you are free to use:STOOPNIC: A picnic on the stoop of a building, preferably one of a business or public nature.
The stoop in question seemed to be left over from some 19th century building the hospital used before the 1970's parts were grafted on. It had some nice rosettes and glazed white brick. Donny was hungry and ate his PBJ and a big serving of cantaloupe. And it was great, while we were sitting there, some lady ran over to us from across the street through the rain to say, "Yinz should take him dahn to the park and get him some ice cream! They're giving it away free!" I had to break it to her that we'd just come from there. She seemed pretty amused for a lady who was using a newspaper as an umbrella.

We still had some time to kill before the bus so we waited in the Mellon Lobby of the Hospital. I felt a bit odd doing that but we only needed to kill about 10 minutes and Donovan had a good time trying out all the chairs.
After that, we came home and did some cleaning up. Well, I did. Donny tried to help me sweep the kitchen floor but he's not quite got the idea. For him, it was more about whacking the dirt across the floor and less about sweeping it into pile. I'm just glad he finally paid some attention to the broom I got him. Next up: a lawn mower.

He's being very fussy for Mike right now, which is a shame because he was so sweet for me today. Going to sleep can make a kid grumpy, I suppose...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Much Better, Thank You.

For those of you keeping score at home: today was a much better day than yesterday. First, I wasn't vomiting. Second, the kid was in a good mood ALL DAY. Not saying there wasn't a little bit of crying now and then but the British Police Siren Whine, that I got a break from.

Today was also nice in that Donny and I got to hang out with Lisa and Isabel at the Polish Hill Playground again today. For some reason Donny spent about half of the time there on my lap. He wasn't upset or anything--guess he just wanted some Mamatime. Despite the slow start, it ended up being a day of firsts for the boy: First time going down the big kids slide by himself--and climbing up on his own to do so! First time eating string cheese (note to self: add to grocery list), and first time eating a sucker! The sucker was great because, every now and then, Donovan will clasp his hands behind his back when he walks. Doing that with a sucker stick sticking out of his mouth at a 45 degree angle and he looked like a mini Winston Churchill.

You will note two different references to Donovan eating things. It was a good day on that front and a nice change from yesterday. During this strange sporadic fast, the one thing that Donny has been eating entire servings of is yogurt. And I keep hearing my Dad in my head. My Dad always harbored a great distaste for--and distrust of--yogurt. For one thing, he didn't like how the word "yogurt" was spelled. ANYway, I was talking on the phone with him one day while I was feeding Donny, and when I told Dad what Donny was eating he yelled, "Don't feed him yogurt--you'll turn him into a girl!"

One thing I will miss is my Dad's impeccable comedic timing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

There are Kids Starving in Africa who would LOVE those Fish Sticks!

I stayed home from work sick today. You don't need any details, trust me.

Now its almost 8pm and I'm upstairs after my husband pretty much demanded me to take a baby break. THE KID WILL. NOT. EAT. And the frustrating pattern is he has a meltdown as soon as we get him home. And the shrieking goes on and on and on. He gets so upset that he can't eat, even tho its obvious that he's hungry.

I think the person feeding him should never be the person who did the actual grocery shopping because each thing he refuses to eat ends up having a dollar sign floating over it as you scrape it into the garbage can. Between the waste of money there's also the waste of time. I make his meals, after all, and damn it, a modicum of thought and work goes into each one. I talked to my Mom today and she suggested I look into some of the "junior" baby food stuff for toddlers. I did and I just could not bring myself to buy that shit for him. Am I being too picky? I've heard of Munchhausen by Proxy--is this Anorexia Nervosa by Proxy?

The good news is it sounds like the shrieking has stopped. Maybe the kid decided the avocado isn'nt poisin after all.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Motherhood Haiku #1

All those girls with spare
time on their hands wear very,
very nice outfits.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Almost Back to Normal

Today is Sunday and tomorrow is back to work for me and back to daycare for Pneumonia Boy. As I type this, I can hear him fussing to his Dad who is trying to get him to Go. To. SLEEP. Between the traveling to Ohio and the pneumonia, Donny's sleep schedule went all to hell. That's one reason I bundled him up and took him to the playground today:

I felt a little bad because there was a rowdy group of older kids tearing up the joint and he really wanted to play with them. They were'nt bad kids by any means but they were big and rowdy and the thought of Fauntleroy sullying his velvet bodkin [clutches pearls]: Heavens! Joking aside, I did feel bad. I think the kid is a little lonely for other kids so I'm glad the doctor said he could go back to daycare tomorrow.

He had a good time running around and getting all the swings to swing at once. I did'nt get a good photo of that but this will give you an idea:

Before we went to the playground and during Donny's nap, I cleaned out the fridge and found a bowl of sugar cookie dough dating back to before Easter. I had thought I'd be making Easter baskets for everyone and was going to make cookies in the appropriate shapes and colors. I tried to roll out the dough but it had dried out enough that it would'nt hold up for regular sized cookies so I made a handful of tiny ones. I packed some up for the park and Donny had a few of them along with some Ovaltine::

In all the excitement/drama of the past couple weeks, I don't think I got to mention Donovan's 2 year Well Baby Exam Report. His exam was scheduled for the day we were leaving for Elyria as my Dad's funeral was the next day. We decided to keep the appointment and Mike took him in while I got all the packing done. The verdict is we have a good healthy 2 year old on our hands but he has to go back in a month to see if he's gained any weight. Yep: 33 inches tall and he weighs 22 pounds. I feel like the Witch in Hansel and Gretel because my current goal in life is to fatten him up. Hence the Ovaltine as opposed to plain milk (I had a glass myself this morning--it was better than I remember.) It did me good to see him doublefisting his cookies at the playground today