This morning I took my show on the road. I went to Zack’s class and decorated gingerbread houses with them. Zack was so excited to see me come with all the goodies, and his friends were pretty revved up, too. They say quietly on the rug while I set things up and explained how to decorate the houses. Then they took their seats and got to work. The room fell silent except for the occasional “Zachary’s Mommy, do you like mine?”, immediately followed by several others saying “And mine?” “And mine?” “And mine, too?” It was a lot of fun, and the kids all seemed to have a great time.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
After I picked up Zack last night, we went to CVS. It was pretty clear that things were going to go downhill quickly: "I want to look at the toys." "I don't want to stand in line." "I don't want to eat dinner. I just want cookies." It is the latter that he fixated on while standing in line at the pharmacy, complete with "I don't like when you say No, Mommy. Say Yes. Say it. SAY IT!"
Somehow we made it out without a major blowup. But it was pretty clear it wasn't going to get any better, especially when we got to the car and, tears in his eyes, said he didn't want to get in the car and go home. We were in front of Starbucks, so I asked him if he wanted to get "coffee," to which he tearily said yes.
We went in, he cheerfully selected a milk and a box of food. /we sat down and he INHALED his food--an egg, cheese, grapes, apple,peanut butter. We had a lovely time.
As we were getting back in the car, I told him that we could go home and get a cookie because he'd been so good.
"But I don't want dinner."
"No, of course not, you ate already."
I wish I could have caught the look on his face--a moment to process what I'd said, followed by a huge grin, a sheepish chuckle, and a damn-how'd-she-do-that? expression. Absolutely priceless.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
This ended up being a good thing, as in the first 5 minutes of our hike we saw a snake. Well, Georgia spotted it first. It was just a harmless brown snake, taking advantage of the Indian Summer.
If he was disappointed in not finding any other wildlife, it didn't show. He quite happily played in the water for awhile, fishing digging, and exploring. He's quite a good hiker; this side of the trail is hillier and a bit rockier, but it was no problem for him. He was rather proud of himself for walking on rocks to cross a little rivulet. I love watching him exploring and taking in the world.
And what is it about a pile of leaves that draws kids in like a moth to a flame? With no prompts from us whatsoever, he dove in and must have been running, jumping, and swimming in this pile for a good hour.
So if you're looking for Christmas gift suggestions for him, just box up some leaves and send them our way.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
This first picture is from the Duomo, the third largest cathedral in the world. The irony here is that I wasn't allowed in the first day we tried to visit inside because my shoulders weren't covered---but there are fashion posters hanging on the outside.
A very belated Halloween post. Zack wanted to be a skeleton for Halloween, so Rob went to work while I was away on a business trip. I knew it was going to be a great costume, but I was really blown away when I came home to see this. What you can't see in these pictures is that it also glows in the dark.
Zack really loved his costume and proudly told everyone that his Daddy made it for him.
The pumpkins were done by Rob and by Uncle Geoff, who had mentioned early in October that he thought he'd like to try his hand at jack o'lanterns this year.
Zack LOVED Halloween this year. He was so into the ghosts and monsters and skeletons and pumpkins and witches. He loved trick or treating--he went out with Rob while I manned the homefront. They ended up getting together with neighbors while trick or treating and Zack got a huge kick out of "tricking" me when he rang the doorbell with his two friends.
Monday, November 21, 2011
We have totally lucked out with Georgia--she is so very tolerant of Zack and his shenanigans. She's only protested her treatment two or three times. And believe me, it was warranted protest and was done very gently. Regardless of having to put up with this boisterous boy of ours, she's clearly attached to him. She sits for Zack, takes treats ever so gently from him, and sleeps in his bed nearly every night.
What I was surprised at was how Zack is behaving a bit as if he has sibling rivalry with Georgia. Little whacks here, squeezes that are a bit too tight there. Followed by a very gentle hug, kiss, and an "I love you, Georgia" 10 minutes later. And a reminder that we have to take her for a walk/feed her/let her out. This sibling rivalry, combined with other rascally behavior he has been exhibiting lately (more on that in another post), is enough to drive us slightly batty.
At least he's cute.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Why yes, that WAS our backyard and garden. And yes, Dad, they did go through the flagstone walk you just put in (though they pulled up the stones first). And yes, that is as much of our backyard as it looks like--probably more.
And yes, it is raining today, so the workers won't be here and all this will drag on even longer.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Zack continues to be a cheerful and funny and a joy to be with--when he isn't being possessed by a demon who blatantly ignores his parents, does the exact opposite of what he's been asked, and openly searches for things to get into, break, and harm himself with. In an interesting juxtaposition, he is also becoming increasingly aware that other people have some sort of opinion of him, an opinion that may be different than how he sees himself. This realization has resulted him being much shier in unfamiliar situations and with unfamiliar people. He'll often warm up, but not always. Rob and I find ourselves aching for him in these situations. Despite being a very shy child myself, I have trouble figuring out how to help him negotiate these times when he's unsure. That said, I don't think he's nearly as shy as I ever was, thankfully.
The other interesting consequence of his realization that others have different opinions than him is that he's started....let's say "fabricating reality." I don't want to say he's lying because I'm not sure it's quite as sophisticated as that (though Rob might disagree). So for example, he tried pulling something off the counter the other night and it fell and broke. Now when we ask him about it, he says that it fell off the counter all by itself. Or he'll tell us that he didn't have a vitamin yet when he definitely has had one. Or he'll tell me that Rob said that he could have X, Y, or Z, when I've just heard Rob say the exact opposite. We're not quite sure how to deal with this because when he's questioned about it, it's as if he really believes his version of events.
So long story short, he's still keeping us on our toes.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Zack: What is Georgia eating?
Me: (already half asleep) Nothing, she's just cleaning herself.
Zack sits up to see for himself.
Z: Mommy! She's eating fox!
I bolt upright and sure enough, she's got Zack's stuffed fox between her paws and it's damp. I take it away from her, I say something about how we're going to have to keep an eye on his animals, we lie back down, and all is quiet for a minute.
Until Zack says, very seriously...
"You give Georgia a time out, Mommy? I don't like her eating fox."
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Italy was lovely---the food, the wine, the weather, the gelato, the people. It was great to get away, and it was wonderful for me to finally get to Italy, since Rob talks so highly of it.
We did a lot. We saw a lot of churches (there are a few of those in Italy), including the Duomo, the 4th largest in the world. We went up onto the roof of that church and had a great view of Milan. What is astounding about all of the churches and many of the buildings is all the work, the hand labor, that went into building them. From the stonework inside and out to the painting of the interiors. And it was done so many centuries ago, often before America was even "discovered." Just astounding.
We did some shopping. Milan is all about fashion---from the designer stores, to the women walking around that look like (and might well be) models. We mostly looked, which was fun in and of itself.
We also went to museums and walked around a lot. It was perfect weather for that. We ate lots of good food---proscuitto and other salumi, gelato and granita, bread and olive oil, homemade pastas. Most restaurants are set up to take advantage of the lovely weather, so most of our meals were eaten outside. This also allowed for great people-watching opportunities.
Three of the evenings we were hosted for dinner by the Italian clients that Rob and his colleagues were in Milan to meet. The hospitality! It involved many courses of food, many bottles of wine and prosecco, and many hours. One night we went to the oldest restaurant in Milan, where Rob's client was obviously very well known. I've never had service like we had that night. While the attention was flattering, we Americans were all glad that we only had three nights of this---Italian hospitality takes some getting used to!
But it's also what was so impressive---how friendly and open everyone was. For example, after I was chastised by the elder caretaker of a church for taking pictures, he softened it by telling us about the history of the church, some of its architectural features, and about the important paintings that were in the church. He was obviously very proud of it. And did I mention that he did all this without speaking a speck of English? He really wanted to connect with us and he managed to.
It's funny--Rob and I were very excited to get away and get some time to ourselves, but we really missed our liitle guy! Our babysitters...I mean, Grandma and Papa don't really have to worry about us ever being gone for more than a week. We just miss him too much to go away for longer than that. Luckily, it seemed like we missed him a lot more than he missed us. Papa sent us daily email reports on how things were going, and while Zack would talk about us, he didn't seem to be very bothered that we were gone. By all accounts, he was better for Grandma and Papa than he usually is for us! He had a wonderful time the week we were gone, and I hope the same can be said for Grandma and Papa.
Pictures were taken in Italy, and I will hopefully get a chance to consolidate them this weekend.
Since I see Zack every day (except when we're off galavanting in Italy), I take it for granted how much he's like both Rob and me. I forget that at first glance many people think that he looks more like me. I was reminded of this lately in a conversation with a friend whose son is in Zack's class. Just to keep his similarity to his father fresh in everyone's mind, I need to share with you these pictures that they took last night as Zack was (supposed to be) getting ready for bed.
Friday, October 07, 2011
"My little dog could sit back there.........My BIG dog could sit back there."
And he turned around and sat down with a very satisfied look on his face.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I know, I know, I've been a total slacker about posting. And it won't get better anytime soon since Rob and I are jetting off to Italy next week.
While you're waiting for me to get my act together, enjoy this picture of Zack and his buddy Sebastian, taken last night at our favorite pizza place. It was a lot of fun watching these two imps interact during dinner.
Until later, ciao!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
It's rained for two solid days. A lovely rain, really, but not conducive to the beach. We went to the aquarium yesterday, which was quite fun. Today we just kind of hung out.
Under the wildly-remarkable-news category, Zack tried and liked both steamers and lobster. Woo hoo!
Saturday, August 06, 2011
We took Zack to see his first movie in the theater today--Cars 2. He did a great job and really enjoyed himself.
The movie was not the highlight of the day, however. That came when it started pouring after the movie and he got to run around in the rain. Figures.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
...is serious business.
Zack and I went to our favorite pizza place tonight since Rob is (wait for it--it's a shocker.) out of town for the week. We sat at Zack's favorite table, from which we can see the train tracks, the fire station, and the guys throwing the pizza crusts. This is also called 3-year-old heaven.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Pretty darned well, thank you very kindly! Our efforts to enrich our horrible soil seem to be paying off. We've picked quite a few cherry tomatoes already---Zack is learning when they're ready and when they need another day. We've picked a number of squash already and are waiting for tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
I learned last year that I have to grow basil in pots to thwart the slugs. That strategy is definitely paying off this year as I've already been able to harvest an armful each of Thai and Genovese basil for the freezer, and after looking last night, I think I could do it again.
The flowers are doing so well, too. Last year I helped our neighbor cut back the (formerly) huge bushes along our fence, leading to far more sunlight for our flowerbeds. What a difference! It feels like things are finally coming together.
Zack loves to help water, pull weeds from the patio, watch the bees and butterflies, and just generally be outside with us. We try to be outside as much as possible, but the gnats have been horrible, the mosquitos are horrible, and the heat has been oppressive. There seems to be a break in the heat this weekend, so it looks like we'll be back out there again!