Kenny and I went to visit Casey in his office today, and kidnapped him to go early to tonight’s Oriole’s game. We arrived in time for batting practice, had some Boog’s barbeque in homerun court, then left at the top of the second inning. (Hey, leaving before Kenny gets cranky is key, and this was his first night game, so we were only expecting to last through the first pitch!) Here are a few highlights…
This weekend was a whirlwind for Casey and I, as we had some friends in from out of town for the weekend. Friday night was a dinner cruise on a small private yacht that we chartered with lots of laughs and wine. Saturday we had a dinner party at our house with three other couples, and Sunday the four of us traipsed out to see the Kenny Chesney “Flip Flop Summer Tour” from the THIRD ROW CENTER. (I have never done anything like that before, and it rocked. We could see every bead of sweat, even almost hear him apart from the sound system. It was amazing.) Excited as I was about Kenny Chesney, though, I was jumping up and down like a teenager and squealing for Sugarland, who opened the show. I am crazy about Jennifer Nettles, and that girl knows how to rock the stage. She makes you have so much fun watching her, you start to believe that you could be a rock-star, too.
But there were two huge anomalies about the weekend: 1) We went to bed past midnight three nights in a row. We are usually in bed by 10; and 2) Most of the festivities were sans our own little rock-star, who is usually the center of my daily universe. Kenny was present for the first hour of our dinner party, but both Friday night and Sunday night, he was in the loving and expert care of my parents. Half way through Kenny Chesney’s performance, I actually started going through withdrawl for my own little Kenny and it was all I could do not to call home to check on him. Of course, at that point it was ten at night, and my parents were probably glad I didn’t ring their bell, not to mention that from the middle of the concert, neither of us would have heard anything, anyway.
For two weekends in a row now, Casey and I have had non-stop fun, dates, concerts, dinners, and time with both each other and friends. Long-over-due and much needed, don’t get me wrong, but I couldn’t help pining a bit for my sweet little guy. Casey and I did realize, though, that we need to just plan nights out and stick to them, because our time together is so precious, and the reality is that Kenny does just fine without us every once in a while.
The other thing I realized over the course of this weekend, through all the entertaining conversations we shared and cool friends we hung out with, was that I need to be deliberate about pursuing other facets of my brain. The truth is, Kenny is almost two, not a little baby anymore, and I finally do have some time and some brain cells to start a hobby, or at least to read more, or practice a skill again. He keeps me busy, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a different busy from when he was a baby. And I don’t know when I’m having another one. After two losses this year, and the roller-coaster hormones and emotions, I need to stretch myself and spend those precious nap hours doing more that vacuuming and laundry. Even if only to dance a blue streak around my living room…
For those of you who are regular readers, you know that we have a zany-spastic-highly-intelligent-yet-slightly-snotty-but-still-lovable-and-all-around-good-boy weimaraner named Dudley.
On Thursday, he had some minor surgery to remove a small tumor from his elbow. We were given a “cone” to discourage chewing the site, and some pain meds.
Ok, that lasted five minutes.
Within two hours of being home, and after he spent time repeatedly smashing his head against the wall and nearly against Kenny’s head, we had the cone off, and he had dislodged the dressings. Back to the vet, where our awesome vet gave us some “anti-anxiety” pills.
That lasted a day.
Unfortunately, I had decided to let go of his leash for 10 minutes to take a shower, and he got his bandage off again. Back to the vet. The next one lasted about 30 hours, before he ripped it off and re-opened the wound ontop of our duvet. Dry-cleaners, then the vet. This morning, our vet all but gave him a plaster cast, and gently reminded me that I needed to keep him “still and quiet” and suggested (again, gently) that I just use the darn sedatives he gave us, and keep him in a sleep-like state for the next week and a half to let that poor leg heal.
Waaaaaaa. My poor canine companion, running partner, counter-surfer, wacky wonder is snoring at my feet, miserably dizzy and depressed. Ten more days…
Over the last two weeks, Kenny has exploded into the world of Imagination.
He goes on imaginary shopping trips, where he scans the grocery aisles for cheese and pickles and snack-bars; he bakes cakes and cookies in the bathroom while I’m taking a shower (including twirling himself around to simulate the standing mixer!), then showers me with things to taste while I’m drying off. Today while I was conferencing in to a call with Casey and an estate lawyer, trying to comprehend the necessities of advocates and irrevocable trusts, Kenny kept walking over to the coffee table, where he pretended to scoop ice cream, then walked over to me, loudly exclaiming, “Mommy wants a chocolate! Kenny has lalilla!” (Casey told me that those in the room could not only hear every word, but every gesture he made.) He spent half an hour today “fixing” the Adirondack chair on the deck with a crab mallet, then another few minutes hammering the front door, and checking it with a level, to make sure, “It’s working!”
Along with the explosion in imagining, he is becoming amazing with his detailed recall. This morning, as I put on my running shoes, Kenny said, “Take Dudley for a walk. Go fast! Go slow little bit… Mama warming up legs!” I literally stared in disbelief, as, though we do take Dudley for a walk every morning, and he does ask to “go fast” (run), I have probably only mentioned once or twice that I always walk a block first to warm up my legs a little. So I said, “That’s right, Kenny. Mama goes slow at first to warm up,” and he replied, “Mama needs exercise!” Fortunately, the irony was unintended.
When we play legos now, we don’t just build mindless towers… today he wanted to build a house just like “guys build a house!” (we pass a house under construction on our walk) and then he wanted us to “work hard – guys working hard.”
Yes, he really does talk that well. I know, I know, he’s not yet two, and most of you are raising an indulgent eyebrow and thinking, “yeah, right, he says all those sentences,” but it’s true! Sometimes it takes me a minute to figure out exactly what he’s saying – his pronunciation is child-like – but the verbs and subjects and occasional adjectives are all there! Keep in mind, though, he does goe through entire afternoons where he says only things like, “Doomba, Doomba!” and “Kenny no like heebie beebee” and I have no idea how to respond. But then he’ll go down for a nap, and I’ll here, clear as a bell over the monitor, “Baa want some water? *slurp, slurp* Good boy, Baa!” (He is very good at sharing, especially with Baa and Baby Teddy, his two favorite stuffed animals.)
Anyway, I don’t care if he is reciting Shakespeare or parroting the Veggie Tales; I am thrilled, though, that he is learning to use his imagination. Funny, too, yesterday we were stuck at the car dealership for an overdue oil change, and I was flipping through a parenting magazine while Kenny played with the oily set of blocks in the “kids corner” and there was an article that stated that “Learning to use the imagination is the last great memory milestone” for a baby. Meaning, once the kid turned two and started to exhibit imagination skills, you could pretty much chalk up that babyhood was over, and your little precious was now officially a “kid.”
I’m not ready to let my little baby boy be a kid!
Casey and I have returned from our trip out to the Clarke County Fair to see Rodney Atkins. We sat in the front row, about 3 feet from him, in that tiny county venue. No doubt a few years from now, he’ll be so big we’ll pay 100s of dollars to sit within a football field distance from him, but for now, it was the best county music experience 25 bucks and a fair entrance ticket can buy. The concert ROCKED. We even got a guitar pick that he flung into the audience. There were rednecks and local-yokels, soccer moms and farmers, and even the winner of the Miss Clarke County pageant on hand, and we were screaming and stomping with the rest of them. The only thing missing was Kenny, shaking his booty and singing along, but we’ll take him someday, when his eardrums are less fragile, and he stays up past 7 o’clock.
Checked out the fairway…
Played some “Guess the age” games with a seasoned carnival barker…
Checked out the livestock…
We had a great time, and definitely have to take Kenny to a county fair next summer. We love you Rodney!
Some good friends of Casey and mine rented out a party suite at a concert hall tonight, and we headed out for some grown-up fun to see Jars of Clay perform in the city. It was a great night – cocktails at our friends’, then off to the concert where we ran into many friends and acquaintances, and spent the time eating delicious food, drinking wine, laughing and catching up. Oh, and watching the band.
Kenny was in good hands with Casey’s parents, who are here for the weekend, and it’s a good thing, too, because tomorrow Casey and I are heading out to the sticks to go to a Rodney Atkins concert at the Clarke County fair in western Virginia. Yes, this is the same Rodney whose songs have captivated Kenny for a full year now. (I cant’ believe how much I’ve written about this guy… these were only half the posts Kenny’s obsession with him made it into…) The same songs that he can now nearly sing along with, in his albeit slightly garbled, yet impressively on-key way. We are planning on sneaking a picture of Kenny backstage, with a note explaining that our little guy is in love with all of his songs, and see if we can score an autograph. Then we are checking into a B&B where we desperately hope to sleep in. Ah, romance…
I will be out of the internet loop for a few days, but I hope to return with some pictures, and at least a couple of new Rodney songs to introduce Kenny to. Yee-haw.
We just returned from the vet, where we learned that Dudley has a tumor on his ankle that needs to be removed. His surgery is scheduled for this coming Thursday. The good news is that tumors in young dogs like Dudley (who is 3 1/2) tend to be benign. We have already gotten his blood work back, and there is no evidence of liver or kidney disfunction, so the prognosis is good. My poor sweet pup.
In other family surgical news, Casey’s heart surgery has been postponed again (it was scheduled for this Monday), due to a minor infection that he has, and must take an antibiotic for. He is re-scheduled for the end of September.
We are coping by planning a get-away for the two of us (while Kenny has some quality spoiling from the grandparents!) this weekend. Stay tuned…
Do you remember that poster that was really popular several years ago, titled, “Everything I Ever Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum? It’s sweet sentiment makes you want to be a little kid again, and makes us misty-eyed at the wonderful world it would be if people kept core values at hand through adulthood. I started thinking of that today while Kenny and I were at his Rolly Pollie class (his favorite hour of the week!)… and I thought, what a world it would be if all we all still acted like two-year-olds. I pictured an Armani-clad lawyer in a courtroom, when told that the case was being thrown out, suddenly dropping to the floor, face crumpled, and wailing as if his heart would break. Or the cashier at the grocery store handing out change, then suddenly realizing that she still wanted a turn with it and taking it back, running to the other side of the room. Or a roof repairman getting to the top of the house, then with wobbly knees, yelling, “Mama, get you down now!!”
Just a thought.
We decided at the spur of the moment on Wednesday to fly the coup and get out of town for a few days. Actually, we had been planning on going to the beach for a week following Casey’s surgery for his recovery, but when the surgery was rescheduled, then cancelled, we cancelled our trip. Then we realized that more than anything, we needed a family get-away, and get-away we did!
With some last minute help (friends of my parent’s “donated” their fabulous beach house, and my wonder-woman friend, Kimberly, agreed to house-sit and watch Dudley), we headed off to the Jersey shore for sun, sand and lots of ice cream. Not only did we not take our laptops, but we didn’t remember the camera! So I have no proof of the shenanigans that ensued, but safe to say that the five days were wonderful!
We celebrated Casey’s birthday on Sunday with lots of presents and a big cake, and built sand castles and forts on the beach, went for long runs and walks, and ate way more than our share of south-Jersey cuisine. I consumed so much garlic, I should be mosquito-free for at least a week. And I actually saw a seven-year-old boy wearing a “I love hot Moms” t-shirt, accompanied by a dad in a shirt that read, “I’m old school.”
It’s funny how beach vacations change when there is a small boy in tow. Case in point: in place of surrepitiously comparing six-packs, Casey and other dads on the beach eyed each other’s jogging strollers; instead of angling myself on the surf for best-tanning-coverage in the least-fat-visible contortions, I found myself unceremoniously squatting by sand castles, covered in sand, to help Kenny with his creations; and rather than margaritas in the sunset, we opted for ice cream cones at dusk.
Best of all, though, we were able to connect as a little family; we limited cell-phone calls and such, and concentrated on enjoying each other. After all we’ve been through, we just needed to hide away, and that little respite did wonders for my spirit.
Now that we are back at home, I am recommitting myself to posting. I have been lax over these past six or so weeks, and I must renew my vigor, if only for the mental calisthenics it gives me.
For reasons too long to recount, Casey’s surgery (scheduled for this morning) is being re-scheduled again. He is fine, and will have it done in the next few weeks, depending on the surgeon’s schedule… He passes along his thanks for the well-wishes, and we’ll keep you posted!
So let’s get back to the “mommy” part of MommyBlog!
As Kenny approaches his big TWO, he is becoming ever-more the rascal I have expected him to be. He is completely incapible of sitting on chairs, and instead prefers to stand and bouce, or climb onto the chair back and teeter like a circus performer about to do a leap to the trapeeze.
Two days ago I had to take away the rocking horse in his room, as he discovered that it is much more fun to ride by standing on the horses’ back and holding onto his head, than sitting in the saddle. Until a few weeks ago, he hardly ever rode it, except when his grandparents were here, but then he figured out how to climb up himself, and it’s been chaos ever since, and a major source of contention in the last few days. I told him that the horse needed a vacation, and he’s now hiding out in the guest room. Since we don’t have a basement or an attic, the only other option is the garage, but then he’d see it everytime we got in the car, and that would be torture. Kenny has asked for him a few times, but honestly I think even he is relieved to have this temptation removed from his sight-line.
So now I have a question for you, my readers… How do you enforce discipline on an almost-two-year old? Specifically in regards to jumping on every bouncy surface in the house. We go to a gymnastics class (where jumping is the name of the game) and I know that it’s hard to restrain from continuing the fun at home, but it’s getting dangerous. Any ideas from your Mommies out there??