Author Archives: strawberry

Just keep swimming

This weekend was unseasonably hot for our area. On Saturday, we took Curly to a place where there was “jumping water”…one of those open areas where kids can run around and splash in water that is propelled upwards from grates in the ground. When we arrived, there was one little girl hopping around soaking wet. Curly had no interest getting in, plopped himself into a nearby chair, and watched her playing. After 10 minutes, Nutella and I took our shoes off and joined the little girl…blocking the grates with our feet and laughing as the water shot out everywhere. And after watching us for 2 minutes, Curly was on the ground taking off his shoes and then running towards us. He wanted to hold our hands and was extremely cautious about the water….but finally, after we went back to sit at our table, he stayed and completely gave in to the fun of it- using his hands and feet to block or catch the water, running in circles with the little girl and then the many other kids that joined in, and basically getting soaked from head to toe. Glad we brought an extra pair of clothes.

The next day, Nutella’s parents visited us and we went to our local pool. I asked Curly if he wanted to learn how to swim and he said yes. The second I tried it, holding his body up and asking him to kick his legs, he freaked out and demanded I put him back in the kid area where he could stand. I had him “swim” back over there while I held him and we let him do his own thing for a while. After a bit, we tried again…showing him how to hold the side of the pool and kick his legs…holding him up again and getting him to kick and use his arms as we glided him across the water…having him piggyback us and go around the pool. He tried it with Nutella, myself, and grandpa and by the end, he appeared to have gone a complete 180 degrees from his first try.

There’s nothing spectacularly interesting about either scenario. They are just illustrations of how we as parents deal with a slow-to-warm-up child, learning how to deal with his personality in a way that both respects him but pushes him, knowing what benefits lie at the other end. But this is also a picture of an LGBT family.  If you didn’t know we were before reading this, you’d have had no idea…and so I dedicate this post to today’s LGBT Family blogging day. Our families are just the same, and just as different, as everyone else’s.

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Protected: Amidst the party

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Protected: A vacation state of mind

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Kids and bribes

Curly told us recently that he wants his next birthday party to be at a farm. His next birthday, when he turns 4. FOUR. We’re happy to do a farm birthday party for him and we have a regional park close by where kids can get up close and personal with some animals, so that should work out (as long as the weather cooperates, which for the first day of May, you never know…)

Still, it is amazing how much of a kid he is these days. A kid who picks out his own clothes and gets them on all by himself, although sometimes he says “I did it!” and we have to not laugh at the fact that his pants are on backwards. A kid who turns lights on and off, hangs his coat on a door knob or holds it until we’re ready to hang it up for him, cleans up his toys and makes sure everything is in its right place, cuts up his own food, can handle most trips to the bathroom (at home) by himself, reads along with books and sings along with songs, talks incessantly from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to sleep, says “I want to give you a kiss” or “I love you” or, unfortunately, “I don’t like you” or “Don’t come in here,” who asks how our days at work went, tells us what he did at school, makes plans for the future, asks what time it is or what the weather is like, wants to take a dance class, sets up indoor picnics with his stuffed animals, etc, etc. A kid, and a really awesome one at that.

Now for the other part…Nutella and I are going on a week-long cruise in 8 days. Without him. Kind of a second honeymoon to go with our recent legal marriage. We’ve been planning the trip for 8 months. Nutella’s parents will be watching Curly at their house half the time, and a wonderful family friend and her boyfriend will be staying at our house and bringing him to school for the other half. About 2 weeks ago, we told him we were going on a “work trip.” This was very necessary not only to prepare him for our absence, but because if we dared to tell him we were going on a vacation without him, and a cruise at that (since he’s already been on 2), we would never live it down. So work trip it is, and he is perfectly fine with that news. Well, for the most part. A couple of times within these past 2 weeks it would hit him and he would start crying about the fact that we’re leaving. Which led us to promising to bring back presents for him, and that helps a lot lol. There is an episode of Danie.l Tiger that talks about parents leaving for date nights or work trips or whatever, and the main message is “Grown-ups come back.” So we’ve been stressing that to him and the fact that it’s only one week and he gets to have fun with grandma and grandpa, too. And, let’s face it, part of it is to assuage our own guilt. But we are SO looking forward to this trip, and new adventures, and freedom and all the time we can just spend together in paradise. So yes, grown-ups come back…feeling super refreshed and with armfuls of presents 🙂

Processing

Warning: Lots of talk about the subject of death, some of it specifically relating to Caemon, ahead.

Ever since we explained Caemon’s death to Curly, he has been quietly ruminating on it and conversations concerning death have popped up in very unexpected ways.

Last weekend, we were watching the movie Pocahontas, and at the end when John Smith is shot and has to sail back to England, Curly began crying. I said, “I know this is sad and hard to watch, but he’s going to be ok. But I’m sad for him, too.” Curly replied through the tears, “I’m not sad about that. I’m sad because Caemon died.” My heart broke again upon hearing him say that and we held each other and cried together.

One morning when I was bringing him to school, he commented on how one of his friend’s parents drove a minivan. I told him that parents with more than one kid usually drive bigger cars. He went on saying “maybe you’ll have another boy”  to which I replied, “Nope…just you. You’re the only kid we want.” Then he said, “Maybe you’ll have another boy when I pass out.” It made me laugh for a second until I realized he didn’t mean pass out, he meant pass away. I asked him if that’s what he meant and he said yes. I told him he was going to live a long time and he did not need to worry about that. That he’s the only kid we’ll ever need.

He’s been trying to understand how sick someone must be, especially a child, in order to die. We’ve been stressing how rare that is and do our best to reassure him. He hasn’t so much asked what happens after you die, although we’ve told him that the body stops working and different people believe different things about heaven, etc…although it got so confusing so quickly that he moved on to another subject.

It is interesting how pre-schoolers process things. In this case, interesting and also very sad.

Sadness.

We are devastated at the loss of dear Caemon and our hearts go out to his family, especially his moms. We can only hope they somehow find the strength to keep trudging through this dark and awful time. It is a heartbreaking, unfathomable tragedy and serves to make us all aware of how precious every second of life is. We will never forget you, Caemon.

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Magical Place

We are back from our trip to FL. On the way down, we split the 13 hour drive into a 5 hour drive and an overnight stay with Nutella’s sister the first day, and an 8 hour drive the next day. That was perfectly fine. For the 8 hour drive, Curly watched 3 movies total, had lunch when we stopped, and slept for an hour (he doesn’t really sleep in the car which can be very difficult…). But now I feel like, 8 hour drive? Pshaw, no problem! But the 13-hour straight-shot drive back home was um, not so good. Curly was ok, it was just really, really long. We did the bulk of it after it got dark out (arrived home at 3am!) so Curly did sleep for a large portion, after watching 2 movies and eating dinner. But it was too much driving to consider doing again without an overnight stop. Good to know.

The trip itself was lovely. We had a nice visit with my parents. We took many modes of transportation (bus, boat, monorail), all of which Curly loved. We spent time at the Dis.ney marketplace, boardwalk and hotels which were all done up for the holidays. We ate a nice dinner out with my folks. And they got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with Curly the day they watched him while Nutella and I were able to enjoy Ep.cot together. So it was nice vacation and a good break from the cold weather. Curly was thrilled to be able to see Cinder.ella’s castle and pictures of his favorite characters everywhere. He has no idea at this point that there are theme parks. We’re saving that for when he turns 5.

Upon our return, we spent New Years eve with good friends/fellow bloggers and were able to put Curly to sleep at their house with no fuss. After ringing in the new year an hour early, heh, we transferred Curly to the car to go back home, and even though he was awake during that time, he was simply just quiet and slightly bewildered and then slept in the next morning. It’s times like that when I especially see what an easy kid he is.

Next up is our legal wedding on Saturday, for which we picked up our license this morning. It was quick and painless, and there were many supporters there cheering for us. Curly is excited and wedding-obsessed. We let him try on the new outfit we bought for him to wear, but when we told him he had to take it off so we could wash it first, he totally lost it…big tears streaming down his face. He kept saying “I want to wear my wedding costume!” It was almost comical. We had to promise him that we’d buy him nicer, preppier clothes to wear on a more daily basis, lol. Our little fashionista.

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