Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Camp! Kinderarts

Last summer I took Lydia to her first Berkeley Summer Camp which was Kindermusik. It was a class for infants to 17 month olds. This year the camp was Kinderarts which included music and art! The first 30 minutes were Kindermusik. Music is very interactive with instruments and dancing. The curriculum gives you the CD and read a long book at the beginning of the week so you can play it for your little one. Lydia now from the backseat will sing, clap and identity sounds she learned in class. Then there is a short snack and potty break and 30 minutes of art.

Every day was a different art project. First day finger painting.

Second day they drew chalk outlines of themselves.

Third day sponge painting with cool sponge stamps. Lydia really enjoyed this, she made 3 pieces!

Fourth day, Lydia woke up with little red dots all over her. Last week she had an ear infection and was given antibotics. She was close to finishing the dosage so it may have been an allergic reaction. The other option that was given was that everything could have been viral related and the red dots come out at the end of a virus which I had never heard of until I had a baby. Either way we didn't make it to camp on this day, but the teacher called us to check on us and they saved our first Fleming Fine Arts Camp Shirt that they decorated. We will decorate it together at home.

Fifth day Lydia made a mask!

The only day I managed to take pictures of music was today Friday. Here the they were riding in their own buses around town. These two loved each other. They were high fiving. Lydia really likes playing with scarves but this was in between her dancing to the tunes.

The week of music and art was so fun. Lydia looked forward every day to going to school and it was the perfect amount of time. The activities change quickly enough for her. The teachers and other children were fantastic. I can't say enough great things about our experience now as a toddler and even last year as a 9 month old. There is still time to enroll and I have to say I am tempted to sign up again. The teachers said they change things up every week in case someone wants to take it more than once. Check out Berkeley Summer Programs.

After our last class class we went to Citrus Park Mall which I will claim to be the most child friendly mall ever. We did a little shopping we went to the family restrooms where Lydia got to wash her hands at a sink her size and thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Chik-fil-a for lunch. I know everyone loves these guys but they are so nice. They offered twice to help me to my table and then swung by to see if we needed anything. What fast food food court place does that? Plus Lydia's toy was a great book. We love those! I will say sometimes waiting for her to eat 4 nuggets (they are tore into pieces for cooling purposes) can take a long time. But she is experimenting putting her mandarin oranges in ketchup, of course.

Citrus Park not only has the best kid stores in my opinion with Gapkids and Gymboree located in the same place, but a carousel,play area, arcade, mini dollar rides, and even a play area in a very clean family bathroom suite if you have multiple kids it's perfect. After shopping, lunching and playing we headed home for afternoon naps. It was the end to a great week.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Week Two and Toddler Troubles

There are so many things that moms talk about when it comes to their children. And there are so many other things that random strangers are willing to share with you for no reason at the Target or the Publix. There still always seems to be a few surprises. Things that no one tells you and you just find out on your own. Perhaps some things are obvious but I am an only child and thus have had no clue about some of the happenings.
However, I am willing to wager that somethings aren't discussed because there is a subtle feeling of guilt that perhaps you are the worse parent in the world because your toddler has once again thrown food all over the floor for no apparent reason and you scream NO so loud you a little embarassed to admit it. The days that no matter how many items you present your child with for entertainment the only place they want to be in in the nook under your butt in between your legs and you feel a little nutty because all you want to do is turn around in the kitchen without knocking your kid to the floor. Or the days you have given in to every food option your toddler has requested and they still haven't eaten anything  at all and you give up knowing they must be hungry. The days you are trying to reason with the possessiveness of your toddler when everything in the universe is "Mine! Mine! Mine!" when in fact, the IPhone, Pandora bracelet and check card are not actually theirs. The result: a total and complete hysterical meltdown. You: shrug your shoulders and take the chance to pee alone.

Having a toddler is challenging. They are little people with little words wanting to do things like big people in a big world. My child is not any more neurotic or demanding as someone elses, they all have good days and bad days which is total expected, so why aren't mommies revealing these days? I am lucky to have girlfriends that do and I am thankful for them to normalize moments in parenting such as these.

This week was a wash. Literally due to the Tropical Storm, but also because Lydia got her first ear infection ever (I had a ton as a kid, so my heart goes out to her deeply.) So we spent a lot of time laying around as she broke fever after fever and eventually started antibotics. We have watched what felt like hundreds of hours of Dora, Mickey and whatever animated delight was on the tube. The guilt of my child's brain melting away piece by piece as the minutes on the television shined before us, but whatelse do people do when their babies are lethargic and want to cuddle in bed. Sit in silence putting on puppet shows for 10 hours a day? We read books. Drew some pictures but I admit it, I let my toddler watch TV. I am pretty sure she will okay. However, the home boundness did facilitate her first poo in the big girl potty! We are on our way to jump on the potty training train. This coming week we have Kinderarts Camp which luckily is an indoor activity that Lydia will surely love.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Day Trip #2: Florida Southern College

This week's adventure was to my alma mater, Florida Southern College, to see the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright's work in the world. Wright was an eccentric to put it mildly and the first president of FSC, Spivey, during the depression appealed to his ego and asked him to build a temple to education. The result was 12 buildings several created by students themselves that traded their labor for an education during the depression and once World War II started the men left and building continued to be erected by the fully female labor which is amazing when you consider the lack of technology and the innovation that Wright required.
Walking along the Water Dome which was covered when I was a
 student and finally resurrected in 2007.

In front one of the columns that was Wright's vision of an orange tree.
These line the campus covered walkways.

Inside the chapel, Annie Pfeiffer

We arrived in Lakeland at 11 ready for our personal tour which was provided by the retired head of registration who likely gave me my first scheduled at the college. He was knowledgeable and entertaining and it really was a treat to have him share stories of folks that remember the various personalities to took to create the campus and have it grow as successfully as it has. Eliot being a Cheesehead like Wright, really enjoyed seeing his work personally. The campus has recently been named a national landmark and they have rekindled a relationship with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation which will likely result in a bit more press regarding the collection.
The Ordway theater in the round which had
very cool sound tricks

Eliot on the second floor of the Roux library
Next to the Hindu Temple which was the sight
of a little TRPi fun our Senior year
One the great treats for me was getting to see an old professor, Dr. Smith, and the religion department administrative assistant a week before she retired. I worked a work study shift with her for years and it was so nice to see her. If it wasn't for that gig I might have missed a few more classes so I credit Bev for keeping me in check often. Such amazing people I have been blessed to encounter in life and these are certainly two of them. It was really nice day and we were enjoyed the campus, more so than I did as a student that's for sure.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Toddler Fun: First week of Summer

This past week we have had a great time. Lydia had a couple of play dates Monday with Holland to play with her spectacular summer splash pad pool from her grandma and Friday at the Library Toddler Tunes time with Addi. We have also been going to Advanced Toddler Swim twice a week and Lydia has been doing pretty well. In the middle of the week, we had a day trip and of course a day for errand running. So we had one completely lovely homebound day. 

Holland and Lydia

Toddler Tunes with Addi, though Addi isn't in the picture

I always try to consider things like transition from one activity to another but admittedly I didn't this time. I am also 32 weeks pregnant which makes things a little bit more difficult to pull off. However, we had a great time. We woke up in the morning and after having breakfast headed outside to play. We don't have much shade in our yard so I tried to keep all the water activity in the shade the house was still providing. Lydia would jump in the mini pool shoes and all which made a mud pool. I dumped it once which was a feat of it's own but once I refilled it and it happend again so, I just got over it. The outdoor play lasted about an hour or so, but it got pretty hot so we came inside all muddy and headed straight for the bath.

It was lunch time. I had seen this little trick on pinterest for picky eaters. I have to say Lydia loved it. I filled up all the cubbies with various things and she ate almost all of it except the raisins which she eats a lot of normally so it was the right thing for her to leave. I put hot dog pieces, carrot chips, teddy grahams, raisins, watermelon, pretzels, plus a couple of sauces, ketchup (of course) and salad dressing. It was a success.

Before naptime, we headed to the front stoop which had great shade and made chalk art. I think she thought it was more fun putting the chalk on herself than the stoop but that was okay. Back inside we made some sticker art before taking a lovely 3 1/2 hour nap which was nice for us both.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Diabetes Got Me!

Much to my many attempts to avoid Gestational Diabetes my genetics have caught up with me. Finally. Sigh. It was a little surprising that after passing all the diabetic testing early on in my pregnancy that I was required to once again to the testing because now it was the traditional time to have the tests conducted. So this time, failing the pesky one hour test again, I was sentenced another 3 hour test session. My third three hour test in 2 pregnancies, so I didn't force Eliot to come with me, I went alone and read my book (Fifty Shades of Grey Book 2 at the time, which is a whole other blog entry.)
Admittedly, it was rather nice to be in a quiet room in a comfy recliner for 3 hours with no interruptions just reading, alone. It is rare to get time alone these days, so a novelty it was. But the test results were not great or novel at all. Out of the 4 blood draws, 3 of them were high. What really saddens me is that I am automatically transferred from my midwives to the ob/gyn. I saw the Business of Being Born, so obgyns are also known as c-section scheduling pimps. It makes me nervous. I fully understanding the following: sometimes c-sections are necessary and that the ultimate goal is a healthy baby and mom. However, I still don't want one.

As my midwife and I discussed things, saying our goodbyes, she assured me that a cesarean was not an absolute conclusion. I have still only gained 17 total pounds in this pregnancy. The belly is measuring right on target and at the moment, my sugar isn't so far gone so I won't need medication or insulin, it can be managed with diet alone. I just need to get in balance.

I met with the Diabetes nurse in the office, which was lovely. She was very helpful and gave me good information. She has referred me to a program called Alere which will come to my home to provide care and will serve as a person dietitian. Meaning if I go to Applebees at 1am I can call them and they will tell me what to eat which is pretty cool and insurance will cover it completely. Until they call to make the consultation appointment, my nurse gave me a testing machine to check my sugar level on specific days and times as well as a diet plan.

This all happened Friday, today is Sunday. I only had to check my sugar yesterday in the morning and then a couple of hours after breakfast, both numbers were perfectly in line. In a couple of weeks, I have an appointment with one of the the obgyns in the practice. I am happy that one of my besties recommended her because their kids go to school together and that her sister had this same doctor deliver both of her little ones vaginally. I am prepared to make the plea for a vaginal birth and assure her that I can do this. My hope is that she is as willing to appease my fears as my midwife was. Who by the way is so awesome, she told me to have her paged no matter what when I go into labor.

There is an element of guilt, as if I have been secretly sitting in a corner eating ice cream for the last 30 weeks. The feeling that you have already failed this child somehow. I have to tell myself that even though I have done everything to the best of my ability until now, sometimes genetics gets the best of you and that thank God this is something that can be managed. It is a hard not to take it out on yourself. I just have to remember that eight weeks of eating very well is only going to be good for both G2 and me! It is really that simple.

First Summer DayTrip: Downtown St. Pete

Outside laying in the field of the Dali with a view of the Fountain of Youth

This past Thursday, we were going to go to Florida Southern (my almamater) to do the official Frank Lloyd Wright Tour. It turns out that as an alumna, there are special privileges that go along with making a reservation and I had full intentions of using them. However, the deluge that hit our west central portion of Florida caused an unexpected 8 days of gray skies and damp grounds which caused us to reschedule not wanting to ruin the experience with raincoats and umbrellas. So we decided that we would refocus our plans to our very own 'Burg which was also on our list.

From the inside of the Dali

After hitting a couple of very cool furniture shops which we had never been to  and had a delicious lunch at the Lucky Dill. Afterwards, we headed to the Dali Museum which opened their new building doors on 1-11-11 at 11am. I promised Eliot that year whose birthday is only 10 days after the event that I would take him as a part of his present. It only took a year and five months later to get there. It was spectacular.

Eliot with the Dali Mustache

Inside they have a kids activity room with giant puzzles and for older kids a Dali painting scavenger hunt. Even if you aren't a fan of this eclectic Spaniard his artwork doesn't ever fail to be impressionable. I had Lydia identify items in his paintings that she knows the words to such as fish, horse, eyes, etc. She did really well. I think she too was trying to understand the wondrous mind of Dali and by the end, like many concluded it was probably a bad idea for his parents to have named him Salvador after his dead brother. She expressed that to me clearly.

Lydia with the Dali wishing tree
The best part for us was actually the outside of the museum, so if you have a little one and don't have a discount (it's a little pricey to get in) I would go and play outside. In addition to a giant Dali mustache for fun picture shots, there is a Dali wish tree which people write wishes on ribbons and tie them, a bush labyrinth, a beautiful grassy field,  the fountain of youth, a nice cafe and of course the main attraction, the architecture of the building created just for this artist. We had a ball outside, just playing.
Me and G2