Friday, May 30, 2014

High Five for Fiday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren and Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) We had "Grant & Mama Day" last Friday and spent a really great day together at fun museum followed by wonderfully large snow cones!

2) Sunday we had a little cookout at the house with the in-laws. Grant was a big help in the kitchen with the macaroni & cheese (he loved all the compliments he got). And for dessert we had a cake made from ice cream sandwiches. YUM!

3) Completely forgetting how warm and muggy it was outside, I went for a bike ride Monday during Grant's nap (a time I usually use for sitting on my butt watching TV). I imagine that to the old man who rode by me on his bike, clearly out for a joy ride and not struggling at all, I probably looked about to die. But it felt good to get out for some exercise...and then I went home and watched TV :)

4) Grant and I played some baseball in the yard. He loves to try to hit without his tee...and is surprisingly good at it when he's focused. He also likes to run a lap around the house like he's running the bases if he gets a hit. Oh to have that energy!

5) In a moment of what can only be a total lapse of good judgement, I joined a running challenge. The medicine that keeps me and my liver together in happy harmony also seriously kicks my ass. Dizziness, fatigue, increased joint's really great stuff. And I managed to combat all that with getting into an exercise routine last year. I sort of got out of that routine and for some reason thought a running challenge would be a good idea. The challenge is to run at least a mile every day until July 4th. HAHAHAHA! So far I've not been able to accomplish much more than that in a day given the excruciating pain radiating from my lower legs each time I run. Oh least it's something!
Also I skipped yesterday...
6) After my jump start back into exercising this week...I ate this for dessert one day after lunch:
It's an Oreo bar...and it was worth every single calorie.
Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grant & Mama Day

I hadn't had a day off with Grant in a while. I mean, we have weekends of course. But I decided it was time for a random day off, just the two of us. So I took last Friday off and called it Grant & Mama Day. I talked it up with Grant quite a bit and eventually, I think he thought it was a real holiday. Thursday he asked "Is it Grant & Mama Day now?" and he was super excited when he woke up Friday morning to find it was finally the day.

We took ourselves to the Museum of Life & Science in Durham. Grant loves this place and since it takes about an hour to get there, it's not a place we frequent. They have all sorts of different play spaces (inside and out) plus animals, bugs, and a train. 

When we go we always start with the outside stuff's just more fun.

Bells & chimes...
Drums. Good stuff.

And we found the water spout play area that
wasn't open when we went last year (too early in the season).
We were wandering and trying to take our time since we had an hour before our train ride. I didn't want to stray too far from the train station. So Grant played in the sandbox before we moved on to the farm animals.

We really need a sandbox at home.

This guy (or gal) was my favorite but they had goats, donkeys,
a cow, some pot bellied pigs, and an owl.
We also checked out the bug building that has an exhibit of some rather big spiders that aren't behind glass. It's always a little off-putting. But there is worse stuff in there and that is behind glass so I'm not going to complain too much. They also have a room there with a crap load of butterflies. You just walk through...and they land on you...and I don't like it. But Grant wanted to do it. So I obliged.

So he just stood there after seeing others do it, waiting for a butterfly to land on him...while they were dive-bombing me and I was ducking like a maniac. At the end there is a huge mirror with a sign asking you to check for "hitchhikers". Thankfully we had none so I didn't have to cause a scene. After the bug building we did a quick run of the dinosaur trail before our train ride. 

He did this funny voice and said to me
"Oooooh...what's behind me?!"
So at noon it was time to ride the train. And my guy loves some trains. It's just a little one but it goes around their track twice and it wasn't too crowded. Grant was excited to pick our seat and screamed really loud (like the conductor told us to) when we went through the tunnel.
Waiting for the train to go!
We grabbed a brief lunch at their "cafe". Thankfully, it wasn't super crowded and I ate fast because I let Grant have lemonade with lunch...which upset his stomach launching a meltdown and him telling me - not quietly - that he had to throw up. We sat outside in a quiet spot for a bit so I could calm him down. He was more upset because he thought we'd have to go home. I knew the culprit was the lemonade so once he was calm and telling me he felt better (I could tell he was actually feeling better), I decided to stay. And he was fine after that, thank goodness.

We made our way down by the "wetlands" which is also where the bears and wolves are. Both were rather scarce and I can only assume that's because of the hoards of overly loud school children screaming "HEY BEAR! COME 'ERE BEAR! WHERES THE BEAR?! HEY BEAR!" I can't believe that didn't get his attention. But we did manage to catch a glimpse of both and lots of turtles in the swampy area. They also had this nifty stream thing set up with lots of rocks so you could move them around to create different water patters.
Grant was pretty taken with it. Rocks and water and you're allowed to play with both. He stayed there playing for a bit but then we were inundated with those overly loud school children who sort of took over (because when your parents aren't around you don't have to use manners), so we left that area. We checked out the lemurs but Grant was ready to keep on playing so we moved on to their "wind" exhibits. There is a raised pond with sail boats - which we couldn't figure out - and this bit crane thing that you put giant seeds on so you can see how the wind catches the seeds. And the MIST. Oh boy, the mist. We could have gone straight there and skipped everything else I think (except the dinosaurs). I didn't know mist came out of the ground there, last time we were there it was too chilly for them to have things like that going. Grant had a blast!

Checking out the mist
He told me "I want to run and play in it!"
It was a warm and humid day so that mist felt GREAT. There was another section of it when you walked farther back with all these little hills. I thought Grant might get a little nervous there because the mist got so heavy we lost sight of each other a few times. But he was good and had so much fun! Note to self: there were a lot of kids in swim clothes, a good idea next time because Grant got happily soaked.

Back behind the misty area there was even more to play on and in!

Happy :)
I generally keep an extra outfit with me and Grant said yes when I asked him if he wanted to change. So we did that and then slowly made our way back toward the exit to maybe beat the traffic home. By that time the school groups had filtered out and Grant was asking to check out the dinosaurs again. We basically had the place to ourselves, it was great!

Digging for fossils - and we found some!

He told me he had to tell the "Rudy dinosaur" something (if you
haven't seen the 3rd
installment of the Ice Age movies then
you won't know who Rudy is). Then he saw him and went "ROOOAAARRR!"
Grant asked for a snack in the car - understandably hungry since lunch was cut kind of short- and right after that he passed out.

When he woke up from that much needed nap (I could have used one too) I was pulling into the parking lot of our new favorite place: Pelican's SnoBalls. These things are GREAT! And it was the perfect way to end Grant & Mama Day :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Constant Picture-Taker

I am that annoying mom with the camera. The one who takes pictures of everything. The one who might get in the way a little bit. If we go somewhere and I don't feel like toting the camera, I kind of have to talk myself through it. But even without my "big camera", I always have my phone and you can bet I'm going to try to get a family picture of us (or at least of me & Grant if Husband is feeling uncooperative). 

I totally get picked on for it. For being the one always with the camera. People sarcastically telling Grant to pose or making comments to let me know it's more than a little annoying. I get it, I do.

But it's not going to stop. So...sorry annoyed people.

I think it's partly a mom thing because I wasn't like this pre-Grant. The need to document even the smallest thing. But I know it's also because of losing my parents. Things like that will mess you up in little ways that you don't even realize. Our parents did a lot with us - camping, day trips to parks or playgrounds, family vacations, picnics, camping in the backyard, etc. - but there aren't a lot of pictures. I know back then they had film and you kind of had to be choosy with those pictures. And my parents just weren't big picture takers. And my mom especially wasn't big on being IN the pictures. That wasn't a big deal then...but it is now. I have so few pictures from growing up and even less with my parents. 

Mom & me probably my favorite picture that I've got of mom
Mom and my sis - of course my sister has food all over her face
Family picture :)
Grant is so young right now that he doesn't understand, really, when I talk about my parents. And sometimes he asks questions that I don't really know how to answer. He has a teddy bear that he loves named Jazz Bear. Jazz Bear used to be mine, a present from my mom.  And I have to try very hard not to cry when I'm tucking him in at night and Grant hugs the bear and says "Jazz Bear is special. Your Mama gave him to you and now he's mine to have."  

And that is a very round-about way of explaining my neurotic constant picture-taking. I need to have pictures of all this and I need Grant to have them when he gets older. I was never a big fan of being in pictures but I make a point of it now and I don't mind it. Even the ones where I'm not looking my best :) Right now, Grant is a pretty good sport about it. I know he'll go through his anti-social-teenager-hating-life phase and not really give a crap about any of this. But I hope when he gets older, he'll appreciate not only all the memories of the fun we had but also all the pictures to go along with them.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mid-Week Baseball Fun

Husband randomly got free tickets to go see a Carolina Mudcats game from work that were good for either last night or tonight. Tonight's weather forecast wasn't good so we opted for last night. We don't normally do things like this on a week night (the game started at 7:00 which is usually when we're winding down and getting ready for bath time), we're kind of sticklers for our evening routine. But every once in a while it's fun to break things up a bit.

Our first attempt for a family baseball outing didn't go well but when we took Grant for his "birthday weekend", that one was much better. This one started out great because when we told Grant what we were doing he got excited. And when we got to the stadium, he was still excited and it pretty much continued like that. We got there just before the start of the game so we got some food, found our seats and chowed down on "dinner".

My little Yankees fan :)
Baseball game AND a hot dog? Life is good.
We had great seats and had a perfect view when Muddy the Mudcat made his entrance on his 4-wheeler (Grant, being a big fan of 4-wheelers, was pretty jazzed).

Our seats were in a perfect spot because we were right near the gate that Muddy uses when he goes on and off the field. Ever since meeting Stormy last summer at the Canes Summerfest, Grant has a soft spot for mascots so he loved seeing Muddy. Husband noticed Muddy was hanging out with his handler behind our section so we told Grant we were going to go get a snow cone, planning to try to get a picture with Muddy along the way. When I pointed out Muddy to Grant, Muddy waved at him and when Grant waved back Muddy motioned him over. Grant brought his little baseball glove so Muddy autographed it and then posed for a picture. He tousled Grant's hair as he walked away and Grant grinned real big telling me "He petted me!" It made him so happy!

Of course, after that we had to find the snow cones. One track mind when it comes to food. Totally my kid.

We didn't say for the whole game, it would have been too late. We stayed about half the game and it was a pretty good, we even got to see firework shot off when someone hit a home run. Before we left, we did hit the gift shop to get Grant a souvenir ball and ended up with a hat too. On our way to the game Grant had been telling us his favorite team was the Yankees but by the time we got home his favorite team was the Mudcats "because Muddy is my friend". 
Husband hates my love of taking family pictures where ever we go.

We had such a good time and it was a great break in our weekly routine. I can't wait to go to more games this summer!
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