Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fireworks, Thunder and Lightning Bugs

Both of my boys have a fear of fireworks, I attribute that to my idiotic neighborhood that believes from Memorial Day to Labor Day (and other special occasions like at 12:00 am on Jan. 1st and after big Monday night football wins, to celebrate Halloween and maybe after a hockey playoff game or 25!) is actually known as the best time of the year to shoot off fireworks, bottle rockets and any other type of pyrotechnic noise maker at 9pm or so on any random night of the week because well, that's the BEST time to wake up all the just fallen asleep toddlers within a 3 block radius forever scaring the bejesus out of them and in turn giving them a irrational fear of loud booming sounds for ever and ever amen. (holy run-on)

Last night, I put the boys to bed, it was a little later than usual for them.  I was cleaning up around the house and outside when for no explainable reason, I heard some shouting and BOOOM! It was loud enough to make the hair on my arms stand up, my leg hair grow and my heart skip a beat.  Less than 2 minutes later, same thing, shouting and BOOOM! Almost like that loud noise you sometimes hear at parades, I don't know if it's trucks backfiring or pyrotechnics but it's loud and it's ground shaking and to a unsuspecting child it's quite alarming.  I came inside both times to listen for the kids and no one spoke up or made a sound so I let them go.

Well, first question out of Max's mouth this morning was, "Mama!  What was that big loud noise last night?" We talked about it, I told him I wasn't sure (because I wasn't and I didn't want to tell him it was fireworks because that would further solidify his fear of them - forever dashing my dreams of watching them with my kids on the fourth of July)....  I asked if it scared him, he said no but that he covered his ears in preparation for the next one.  He's a smart one!  Then he said he fell asleep.  Then Andy chimed in with the questions, he was mostly just repeating what Max had asked but I'm certain he heard them too.  We all talked about it a bit longer then the topic was dropped and we moved on to Cheerios or something breakfast related.

Fast forward to our conversation this afternoon, I was telling them about how it's June and that means it's lightning bug season, I mentioned that we might stay up late one night to see them since I'm fairly certain that my kids have never seen lightning bugs.  They are always in bed before these bugs come out and on the rare occasion my boys would have been up during past lightning bug seasons they would have been very young and would not have really understood what they were seeing.  So then Max starts to tell me that he is afraid of lightning bugs because they are noisy (Andy is agreeing) and that maybe the loud noise we heard last night was lightning bugs.  (get it?  lighting is noisy so lightning BUGS must be too right?) So adorable.... So then Andy chimes in with how if the lightning bugs are out and it's loud and we're scared then we need "umbwewas" and we would need to hurry so we don't get wet and that it might be loud and that we really need to remember our "umbwewas" if we're going to stay up late to see these lightning bugs. And YES, he mentioned the "umbwewas" twice!  LOL

I of course assured them that lightning bugs were NOT noisy and that they were only called lightning bugs because they light up when it's dark.  I'm fairly certain they have NO clue how to comprehend that... but I sure am excited to share lightning bugs with them one evening this week!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just the three of us, some hot dogs and a little giving back.

This past weekend was the first of quite a few weeks and weekends through the end of July that Chris will be out of town and I'll be home with the boys.  With a packed schedule of traveling and workshops for him that will leave me with LOTS of time to plan play dates, zoo visits and park visits for just the three of us.  And I'll tell you what, I'm ok with that.

This weekend (a three day-er) was beautiful.  I had planned some fun activities outside of the house for us.  They included a visit to Grandma and Papa's for dinner one night and the Better-Than-A-Picnic Picnic with Hebrew National the next day.  Saturday, despite the wet forecast, I packed up the kids and some snacks and headed to Highland Park where we met up with the Hebrew National Crew and a few of my local blogger friends from for an afternoon of picnic food and a little community service too.

We got there is it was POURING.  I parked, pulled up the radar map on my phone and we waited it out a few minutes.  When the rain let up a little we went to our picnic.  I had told the kids we would have hot dogs and they were READY to eat!  We enjoyed our hot dogs and a few apples and multiple bananas!  Then it was time to get to work.  The service project was to remove some invasive plants from the park.  Much to my surprise, my kids WANTED to weed!  We found our plant and went to town! We filled two garbage bags with Garlic Mustard (invasive) and another with trash!  Upon our return to the picnic area our friend Amy and her family were arriving.  So we visited with them while they ate and then we headed to the playground on the other side of the park together!

The kids had fun, I had fun, we didn't let the weather hold us hostage at home and that felt great!  The kids seem to have turned a corner too.  More and more they are able to stick nearby and entertain themselves a bit while I have a conversation or two and that is quite liberating! They are also interested in more "big" kid activities like weeding!  They wanted to follow the trail and help with trash too and that was a lot of fun!  I'm looking forward to taking them to a few new parks solo this summer, a task that was quite daunting prior to this Spring because they weren't interested in sticking together at all. Consistently, one would always run one way and the other would run the opposite...and that is WAY to stressful for one parent to manage. 

I've got some fun and exciting things planned for the next few weeks of my solo parenting gig!  I'm sure I'll blog about some of them too!  We're headed to a Splash park within the next two weeks and I'm looking forward to it!