Sunday, June 24, 2007

Not many pictures tonight after a busy week and weekend. Last week I took one of my MBA courses--yes a whole course (3 credit hours!) in one week. It was 12 weeks jammed into one and we made it work by going from 8:30 to 4 every day. Efficient, but exhausting. It was an interesting topic though, conflict management, and the professors were excellent so in the end it was all worth it.

Gram came Monday and Tuesday to hang out with Edward so he wouldn't have to go to daycare all day all week. Grandma and Grandpa Kenyon came Wednesday afternoon through Friday. All seemed to have a great time, especially Edward! He learned a few new tricks--like how to place the animals on his train toy so that the toy announces what animal it is "I'm a monkey!" "I'm a panda!" He thinks this is hilarious. Gram also claims that he knows how to do the hand game that goes with the Itsy-Bitsy Spider song, but there has been limited demonstration of this. Occasionally we see "down came the rain" and "washed the spider out." Further bulletins as events warrant.

But most amusingly, he learned to make a sign for "cold." He has been obsessed with things being "Haaa," translation: HOT. No surprise as we've had some hot days in the last few weeks so he's felt hot slides and the hot car. But he hasn't really mastered the concept because he is hesitant about many things that are not actually hot. So I've been trying to say, "No, it's not hot. It's warm" or "It's cold." Cold he also gets because he can feel the cold air through the AC vents in the house. So he started making the famous Geraghty "cold face," which I thought my mom must have shown him, but she says she didn't. The first picture here is an attempt to capture the face, but it doesn't really do it justice. He tenses up his whole face with his mouth in a big wide clenched-teeth grin and then clenches his hands and shakes them in front of him as if shivering. It's hilarious. In the picture it looks like a smile, but when he's really going to town it's quite strained.

On Thursday afternoon, John left for his annual Regional Business Publications conference, this year in Denver (big improvement over the last two locations, Detroit and Little Rock.) That left me as a single parent for the weekend. Saturday on the way to the library for story time we stopped by the second hand store to see if we could find a push bike for Ed. He's been using his wagon with the bin upturned and we thought maybe he should have the real thing. We found this one, which he's still a bit uncertain about, but he does like going backwards. (Appropriate, given that his cousin Sean thinks that's his name. You know--Edward, Backward, kinda hard to tell the difference!)

We were expecting John to be home by the time Ed got up from his nap this afternoon, but he and his co-workers ended up getting bumped from their noon flight to one at 8:30 p.m. Ugh! He was not too happy, and I discovered that I'd need a second wind to get through the extra time. I'd paced myself to be relieved by 3 p.m. today and instead had to keep going until Edward went to bed at 7.

Hence, my current exhaustion. So I'll sign off and go commune with the remote control. Nothing like a little mindless entertainment...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day! Edward is celebrating with a nap at the moment. John may be joining in the fun soon. It's too hot for much else around here. We're hoping the forecast is correct in calling for a break in the heat tomorrow or Tuesday.

This funny photo is from yesterday. I'm not sure what elicited this cheesey grin from Edward--he's never hammed it up for the camera before. We don't even say "Smile!" when we take pictures. Just one of the many things that leave us wondering.

Yesterday we took out Edward's wading pool for the first time. John had a bit of a challenge blowing it up, but he got the job done and we set the pool in the sun so the water would warm during naptime. The spot we picked was one I've been watching and knew that by late afternoon it would be shaded. After his nap and snack, we got him all suited up and took him out, only to realize that the semi-overcast afternoon had turned into a dark, stormy sky. He was in the water for about 10 minutes before we heard thunder. He got out on his own and started walking around leaving wet footprints, but then it started raining so we had to scoop him up in the towel and head inside. A lot of effort for a short activity. We'll try again today and see what happens.

Ed's vocabulary is expanding, but context is extremely important in figuring out what he's saying. If he's outside and says "Buh, buh!" and points, it usually means he sees a bird. Inside it more often means "ball." He can also say "Nah-na" in the morning for Banana, but his patience wears thin as his belly rumbles awaiting breakfast. He'll also mimic quite a bit. John taught him to stand in front of the fan and say "Ahhh!" in a sigh of relief. They may next move on to the prolonged "AHHH" to listen as the fan distorts the voice.

He also uses "More"--the sign and the word-- for things other than food, though it's still an important communication tool when eating. And speaking of eating, check out his latest skill--the fork. He kind of started doing this before we went on vacation, but we didn't want to hassle with taking along Ed-sized utensils so abandoned it for that week. But he picked up where he left off once we got home. He can't always spear what he wants--hasn't quite figured out the necessary angles--but he loves to pick up his own fork and bite off whatever awaits. Wish I could say this reduces the mealtime mess, but it is not to be. He's also learned to turn his head away in an attempt to "hide" when he sees us coming to wipe him up.

If you're feeling overheated wherever you are this afternoon, think cool thoughts and watch this splashy video:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Taking a vacation is apparently not an acceptable excuse for a blog hiatus. For her birthday today, my sister requested only one thing: update the blog!

We had a great time and the trip went more smoothly than we had a right to expect. With one glaring exception, Ed was a champion road tripper. My brother's wedding (east of Pittsburgh--about a 12 hour drive!) was a great occasion to have the whole family together--a rarity these days as we now officially number 19. Most of the siblings and cousins were able to stay in a house adjacent to the inn where the wedding reception was held, so that was definitely an experience in togetherness! The kids really had a good time playing together and the adults did too...after the kiddie bedtimes!

After the wedding we took a few extra days coming home, stopping one night/day in Cleveland and three nights in Three Rivers, MI, where we stayed in a rustic cabin on a small lake. At both the wedding inn and the lake cabin we could not get cell phone reception so we really felt like we were able to unplug and unwind. We were definitely ready to come home after a week though and glad we planned it so we arrived home Thursday leaving a few more days off before heading back to work on Monday.

Edward used the occasion of his second wedding reception in as many months to show off some of his latest dance moves:

He also cemented his status as band groupie by walking right up to the band as they began setting up and watching every move. They appreciated his attention so much they gave him the tambourine to try out. He liked it, but got a bit too creative in his method.

(Side note: we have taken Ed to two of the free, outdoor concerts downtown this summer and both times he walked right up to the stage to get up close and personal with the band!)

Edward also spent the wedding weekend basking in the attention of his adoring cousin Colleen. She's such a big Ed fan that she even sent him a letter as part of a first grade lesson this spring. She and her sisters and cousin were lovely as the flower girls and ring bearers at the wedding. After the ceremony, Ed and Sean helped the girls pick up the flower petals in the aisle and then had a tremendous amount of fun throwing them over the back of the pew and making Colleen pick them up again to start the game all over.

Colleen is so cute and charming she even got John out on the dance floor, but to avoid the dissolution of my marriage I'll refrain from posting photographic evidence.

After leaving the wedding festivities late Sunday afternoon, we drove only as far as Cleveland (about three hours) and stopped for the night. John has always wanted to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it's unlikely we'll be in the area again anytime soon, so we built it into the itinerary. While he did that on Monday, Ed and I went to the Cleveland Zoo, where he was a boy after his grandma's own heart--a fan of the giraffes. Much to my chagrin, we was also fascinated by the flamingos, as they came right up to the fence separating their area from the humans. Luckily, flamingos are flightless or we'd have been in a world of hurt, and you might have read a dateline Cleveland AP item headlined "Terrified Mother Flees Flamingos, Leaves Toddler To Fend For Self." He also liked the elephants and anything else large enough to see from a distance. He couldn't focus too much on the smaller animals, even monkeys crawling around on a big rock.

After driving through a driving rainstorm that included several "Hail Mary" moments of near-blind following the hazard lights of the car ahead, we arrived in Michigan for three days of "nothing." No schedule, no plans, just see where the day takes us. Ed continued his animal adventures there with the resident ducks and cats. There was also a petting zoo in the town where he discovered how funny it is to stick your finger in a goat's nose. Not so funny for the goat, but for the boy, hilarious. He also got a big kick out of the bird room. I abstained, leaving John to explore that with him. As you can see, it was a bit chilly there--sweatshirt weather. No complaints though--we had packed our jeans and sweatshirts and had no need to be hot!

All in all, it was a great trip, but we're happy to be home. I would not recommend 25+ hours in the car with a toddler over the course of a week, but if you can break it up in to small chunks and get him to sleep while you drive (which Ed did about 80 percent of the time) it can be done. Next year though, I think we'll look for somewhere a little closer to home!