Days 3 & 4 of Birthday Week Celebration

Days 3 & 4 of Davey’s first birthday week celebration are officially in the history book.

On Wednesday, we decided to take Davey to the big boy park near the zoo then to the Runway Café to watch the planes take off and land and to eat lunch.    And of course, we couldn’t NOT have a birthday treat, so we stopped at Rita’s Italian Ice for some custard.

I chose the big kid park because Davey seems to have zero fear, and thanks to his early walking and climbing, he’s into EVERYTHING!   We quickly by-passed the big big kid’s playground and went over to the pre-school arena.   I think Davey was a lot more mesmerized with rubber mulch that didn’t seem to move.

After passing that fascination, it was on to the slides, the ladders, the toys, the tunnels, the rides and the swings.    I think he spent more time trying to climb up the slide and walking up and down the stairs than he did actually partaking in the playground in the appropriate way.

After the playground, it was the runway café where Davey had chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries, while watching the planes take off and land and even a helicopter!   We stopped at Rita’s to get custard to go as the morning seemed to wipe him out and he was fast asleep in the car.

Today was our day of shopping to get any sort of last minute supplies for his first birthday party tomorrow.    He was able to pick out an additional toy from his Grammy, along with a book and some clothing.    After an action packed morning of riding in the stroller and taking in the sights and sounds, we met my husband at our oldest local bakery which also has a café…Strossners.

Davey had chicken noodle soup with cheese biscuits and his very own cupcake for desert.    It was a yellow cake, with chocolate frosting and a red dinosaur on top.   I suppose I’ve become a bit more relaxed as a mom.   I don’t worry about the pointless, like having to clean a shirt, especially when my son’s closet is overflowing with clothes.   I don’t worry about a mess that is caused at the restaurant.   It’s a part of life having a baby.   You can’t expect them to be neat and tidy.    So, I wanted to see how Davey would do with the cupcake in front of him.

I took the paper wrapping off and placed his birthday eve cupcake on a small plate in front of him.   He eyed it for a couple of moments, inspecting the delicious treat teasing him.   After a few seconds of tilting his head from one side to the other, he reached in with his left hand and grabbed a huge handful of the red frosting that made up the dinosaur, and much like any child crammed it into his mouth, but not without smearing it all over his face.

After that bite, he went in for a second and grabbed even more red frosting.   Within seconds, he looked like a mini-me version of the Joker from the Batman movies!    We laughed as he reached for the entire cupcake and opened his mouth wide to try to cram in a bite.   Unfortunately, his eyes were bigger than his mouth and he ended up dropping the cupcake in his lap, then smearing his red-frosting stained hands all over the table.   We laughed; he giggled, and pounded more on the table occasionally stopping to pick up a bite of the cupcake his daddy had broken off for him.

This evening we are now practicing for future Christmases.   Davey is already in bed and we’re up putting together toys and wrapping packages.    I can’t wait to see the look on his face in the morning, but I’m also a teary-eyed mama as I think about how quickly his first year has gone by.    Will the rest of his years fly this quickly?   If so, I’d better hold on tight and take my chance to spend every waking moment with him.

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Birthday Week Celebration, Day 2: Build a Bear

I think I said this yesterday…Celebrating a first birthday week every day is EXHAUSTING!

Tuesday marked Day 2 of Davey’s week long first birthday celebration.    On our agenda for the day…Build a Bear, Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and whatever else struck our fancy.    Grammy, Aunt Dee Dee and I were all showered, clothed and ready to hit the road by 10 am.   We arrived at the mall at the perfect time…not a lot of crowds, prime parking, and fast access to Starbucks!

This was a day of firsts for me as well.    While I’ve walked by a Build a Bear store a lot, I’ve never actually been in one before.   Tell you the truth; I’ve always thought the stores were a parent’s worst nightmare.   After all, you build a bear?   I was sure the prices were outrageous, not to mention all the additional little add ons, where the store really makes their money.   It’s a stuffed animal, for crying out loud!   Perhaps it’s not as overpriced as those pathetic, matted ones you can win at a fair, but still stuffed animals are a dime a dozen, right?    Well, that’s before I actually had a child and understood the concept.

Once we were in the store, we were informed as to how the process worked, what we could purchase, the fact that we could name the animal, give it a birth certificate, and even have a house for it as well.   Again, I thought to myself what a rip off, but I was bound and determine to still do this with my son.

So, I took Davey out of his stroller and let him walk along the line of stuffed animals until he picked out the one he wanted, a fudge colored puppy that had a strong resemblance to our dog, Dixie, aka Sissy.   Once Sissy was picked out, we then took her over to the stuffing station where Davey was able to stand on the pedal that pumped in the stuffing.    The next part was picking out a heart for Sissy.   I watched as Davey went through about 20 hearts (all of which pretty much look exactly the same), before finally settling on one.   We took his pacifier out of his mouth and watched as he kissed the heart (actually he tried to eat it), then watched as the heart was sewn into Sissy.    Next we picked out a sound for Sissy, a dog barking, before finally taking her over to the “sink” to be washed and purchasing a red “Happy Birthday”  t-shirt for her.    All of this took place within a 15 minute span, so I was a bit worried as to what else we were going to do on Day 2 of his birthday week celebration.   And as a side note…I’m totally sold on Build a Bear!   Can’t wait to do it again when he’s older.

After creating Sissy’s birth certificate and paying for her, we were off to the next adventure:  Auntie Anne’s pretzels.   Nothing too outstanding to report, but he did enjoy the cinnamon sugar pretzel bites with the glazed dipping sauce.    And before leaving the mall, we partook in one more little thing I hadn’t planned…a train ride through the mall.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the mall, so I was completely unaware that they had a small train that was driven around one section.   For a small nominal fee, Davey and I hopped into the yellow car, gave the conductor our tickets, and off we went.    What a treat, especially now that my son is waving at anyone and anything that comes along these days.   He waved his hand, sometimes both at the same time, at every person we passed in the mall.   He giggled at a few, but for the most part stood on the seat of the car and waved out the window.    What a little ham!

Day 2 concluded with a strong 2 hour nap that afternoon, for Davey not Mommy!   I don’t know about Davey, but I had fun.     I loved every second with him.   I loved watching his face light up as he made his first Build a Bear.   I loved watching how he gobbled down pretzel bites, begging for them as if he were a starving child.   I loved watching my little precocious bug wave and giggle at every one while on the train.   Most of all, I loved having the blessing of being his mommy and having the opportunity to do these things with him.

Next up on the birthday week celebration:  playground, Runway Café, and Rita’s Italian Ice.    And we’re only halfway through the week!

Birthday Week Day 1: Apple Orchard

A first birthday is a magical one.   It’s special for not just the child, but also for the parents and family that are integrated in that child’s life.

My child’s first birthday is this week and I decided to do an entire week of celebrating for Davey, after all having Davey in our lives deserves a celebration.

It’s a week of firsts.   A week of birthday treats.   A week of birthday events.   A week of birthday fun.   It’s something that I want to celebrate every year the week of Davey’s birthday.    Some of you may be asking “why the entire week?”   To that I say, “Why not celebrate the entire week?”

Since Davey is much too young to really decide what he wants to do each day, I’ve taken the liberty to plan and coordinate his schedule this week.   It helps that his Grammy and Aunt Dee Dee are in town to facilitate the logistics and to partake in all the fun events as well.  Each day is something new, something different and they’re all leading up to the grand finale…Friday his actual first birthday!

Monday, we decided to go to the apple orchard.   This wasn’t exactly a first for Davey.   We went last year when he was 4 weeks old, much too young to really realize what was going on.   Of course, he won’t remember what went on this year either, but he still had fun.

Thankfully, we went earlier this year, so there were still some apples on the trees to be picked.    After spending about a half hour picking apples and climbing trees, we made our way over to the snack bar to partake in the first of a lifelong of traditions…a birthday treat.    Davey experienced his first apple donut and apple frosty.   Both of which appeared to be a huge success, so we bought a dozen apple donuts to share amongst ourselves and Davey has managed to consume an additional two more since yesterday.

I don’t know that he’s going to really remember his first traditions.    I don’t know exactly how they’ll mold him either, and perhaps doing this is a selfish act on my part.    I don’t know.    What I do know is the experience is wonderful for me and him TOGETHER.    It allows me to bond with my son in new ways.   It allows me to show him how much he fascinates me daily, how much he’s changed my world, how much he motivates me to be more than I ever thought possible.   For me, having a week of birthday celebrations is special, it’s something I never had and it’s something that I’m already looking forward to next year.

Some mothers may think I’m going overboard, but being a stay-at-home mom means I have the time to create these little experiences with my son.    I am blessed to have the ability to celebrate my child’s birthday every day of his birthday week in a new and exciting way.

As I gave him his bath last night, I thought back to the day.    I thought back to his excitement at the apples.   I thought back to his fearless attitude with climbing the trees.   I laughed at how he’s a jumping bean and constantly moving, thus preventing my ability to photograph the memories.    But most of all I smiled at being blessed with this wonderful baby boy and being blessed to be his mother.

Each day this week we have something new planned and I promise to share each one just as soon as I can get caught up on my sleep.    What I’ve found about celebrating a first birthday is it’s EXHAUSTING especially if you do it all week long.

Another First

My husband walks down stairs and sees me standing in the kitchen, cup of tea in hand, staring at the fridge.

“What’s up, Mama?” he asks.

“Just admiring the first piece of craftwork from our son that we’re able to hang on the fridge,” I reply back while admiring the tree with the leaves and apples Davey did tonight at church. 

We started up a new family tradition tonight.   As many of you may already know, I clean my husband’s office twice a week for a little extra spending money.   Usually Davey and I head down on Tuesday afternoons, but we decided to change that up this week in order to go to church.  

I packed a picnic dinner for us which we ate after I cleaned and then we took off to church.   Our church has a little kid’s thing called AWANA Puggles.   Davey gets an hour with his friends from church, plus craft time, story time, and a few teachings about Jesus.   While Davey is there, my husband and I are with the adults having our own time learning about the Bible.  It’s a win-win situation for our family.

So, tonight, after Bible Study, as I’m picking Davey up, I get the “report card” (which is just a verbal one) of how Davey did.   Because Puggles is later in the evening and ends close to Davey’s bedtime, I worried about how he would be.   Would he be invited back?   The report was excellent and I understand that my son is quite the entertainer.   I’m not at all surprised.

I suppose what excited me the most; however, was to have my first piece of artwork to hang on my fridge.   As soon as I came home, the first thing I did was to fish it out of his diaper bag, get rid of a few items that were worthless on the fridge, and then display it proudly.   As a matter of fact, I’m taking the occasional break while writing this blog just to look at it.  

It’s the little things I’ve found that excite me.    This is one of the little things I looked forward to in becoming a mother.   I look forward to the day when my son brings home something he’s made, whether it is a necklace or bracelet, a drawing or vase, or a birdhouse or anything that his little hands have made and says to me, “Here, Mama, I made this for you.”  

Pretty soon you won’t be able to tell I have a stainless steel fridge and I can’t wait!

Davey’s first picture.

Word of the Day…TOLERANCE

Humans can tolerate a lot of things, Moms can tolerate even more.  

For moms, tolerance holds a different meaning than the standard definition provided by dictionary.com which states that as a verb, the word means to allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit. 

A body can tolerate a certain level of pain.   A mind can tolerate so many assaults  before it finally caves.   Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon how you view it, a mom’s tolerance for pain (her own) and mental assaults (again her own) far exceeds the average human’s.

Where do I get this rationale you ask?   Well let’s start. 

My son is a little over a week shy of being a year old.   Gasp!  He’s soon to be entering the toddler stage and terrible twos!   I guess we’ll find out just how strong my tolerance really is.   Over the past year, I have endured a broken toe that continually has toys dropped on it, little feet stepping on it, and the occasional encounter with a piece of baby furniture.   I have tolerated the pain.   I have tolerated head butts, scratches, and the need to bite as he teethes.   None of the above have been intentional and when they have, Davey was disciplined. 

Another case in point…loud noises.   Not a big fan, never have been, never will be.   My son now likes to get my metal measuring cups out of the drawer and bang them on the floor.   The noise at times feels like a metal hammer beating on my brain.   The sound piercing the inner reaches of my brain that encourages my tolerance.  He squeals loudly, beats toys together, and even forces loud barks out of the dog.   Again, these are all part of his growth stage, none of which he intentionally does to drive his mother batty (at least I hope not).   

I tolerate the interruptions in my writing, something that my husband dared not do (even now he doesn’t bother me as I’m writing).   With my son, it’s a different story.   Usually his interruptions are to bring me a book or a toy.   In most cases, I end up losing my train of thought in regards to what I was writing, but I tolerate it.  My undivided attention is more important to my son than anything I could possibly be writing.     

I tolerate the disastrous house that looks like a tornado blew through it.   I tolerate the diaper blow outs, the spit up, the messiness of his eating, and the over all demolition of anything important to me.   I set boundaries with my son and I discipline him, but in the end I’ve learned a whole new level of tolerance where Davey is concerned. 

Much like patience, I never thought this would be something I could acquire.    Tolerance has never been a part of my vernacular, that’s partly my fault because I’ve never allowed it in.   I don’t have a choice these days.   

So, in closing today’s word of the day is:  TOLERANCE.   Remember it Mommies.   You’ll practice it a lot throughout the years.  

OCD Mommy

I like to say I was once pretty OCD.   Everything needed to be perfect and every item had only one residence.   I remember thinking to myself that when I became a mother that would NEVER change.   I actually threw my head back and laughed devilishly at other moms who told me that would change.   No way was that part of my life going to change.  I mean it’s a part of my personality, it’s what makes me who I am, and it can’t change.   It’s not like moving furniture to be more accommodating.   It’s changing a unique part of me and I never thought that was possible.   Well, one thing I’ve learned….ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WHEN YOU BECOME A MOM. 

I’ve always been able to multi-task, whether it is work, school, or friends and family.   Piece of cake for someone like me who always needs to stay busy and have a project going.   My old version of multi-tasking is obsolete.   As a matter of fact, I don’t think it can be considered multi-tasking, it was more like organizing.   Now, staying busy means chasing after my son as he crawls under tables, behind couches, climbs stairs and chairs, walks into bathrooms and closets.   Multi-tasking means writing this blog while holding him and giving him a bottle.   Multi-tasking means washing dishes while between giving my son bites of food.   Multi-tasking means being a mom.  

So, that part of me hasn’t changed.   Of course, I don’t have as much time for myself and what I want to do, but it’s life.   What has changed is my obsessive need to keep things neat and tidy.  It’s not possible and anyone who tells you it is as a mother is literally a super mom.  

Books go on a shelf, but not while my son is awake.   Toys go in the toy box, but not while my son is awake.   Currently my kitchen is an obstacle course of a bouncing ball, one fire truck, an activity table, a play hammer, mega blocks and a wagon.   And what do I do about it?   Right now, I just step over and navigate.  I learn the obstacle course and how best to maneuver it until my son takes a nap.  

When you become a mom, the only thing you become OCD about is your child and his well-being and what makes him happy and what makes him tick.    OCD for moms is a completely different universe, one I’m more than happy to be a part of.

The Importance of the Grid Iron

It’s that time of year, what we call in our household…The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!   

Last year, Davey was nothing more than a growing bean in the womb when the season started.   I spent the Labor Day weekend suffering through the heat and humidity of the Deep South just to savor one small morsel of college football before my baby arrived.   After his arrival, the sheer enjoyment of the age old tradition (at least for us Southerners) took a back seat.    This year is a different story.

Thursday night, before the first official game of the season started I had a little chat with my son.   It was imperative for me to make sure that he understood that in this household college football is a sacred ritual, one not to be confused with any other sport.   College football is a gift from God.   It’s an amazing time of year, when victors are spoiled, losers are baited, patience is tested, and for the first time all year, the entire universe comes together.

As I explained the importance of college football to Davey, he looked up at me studiously.   He maintained intense eye contact, never wavering, and actually acknowledging through nods and shakes of his head, that he knew the impact college football had on my life and what it could mean to him.   I had this same talk with his daddy (a Northerner, who didn’t at first appreciate all the camaraderie of college football) when I first met him almost 10 years ago.  

So, the first game of the season started, and Davey yelled at the referees with me.   He stood in front of the television a few times shaking his head.   He clapped when I clapped and actually at one point raised his hand in the air as if to say “Yeah, go team!”   And the best part was that he managed to stay awake the entire first half of the game!  

I knew early on that Davey would be a football fan.   I knew he would honor the traditions that came along with it.   And to watch him all weekend as game after game after game was played out on TV, only melted my heart and made me one proud mama!