Summer adventures.

I seem to have a blister on my right index finger from cutting fruits and veggies today.  I use my knife on a regular basis and frequently chop things and while I don’t have the same skill as a professional chief I can dice and chop with out specialized kitchen equipment.  So, as you can see, how I got the blister is a bit confusing to me.

Summer always moves by the same way.  You know how summer works, you’re pretty good at it and when you live in the Mid-West you’re aware how fast it goes yet the end of August arrives and you always wonder where the heck fall came from.  Nights are already cool and leaves will start changing color soon.  I love the fall, much more than I’ve ever liked summer but you always feel a pang when you realize the snow will be here again soon.

Kyle’s been off enjoying an active and fun summer.  This year my mom and dad took him up to Castle Rock Lake to visit my dad’s parents.  It’s a trip that’s familiar to me, since I was a small girl we’d go every year to the same camp ground, the same lake.  I learned to ski in the lake, behind The Little One, I swam in the green water, saw the damn and wondered if I could ever explore Gilligan’s Island.  I played in the sandy soil, my feet coated and my skin caramel colored, just like Kyle did this year.

The summer pilgrimage no longer happens but not much changes up there.  Kyle had his first boat ride and enjoyed the first sweet taste of Vacation.  Vacation where the rules don’t apply, he could stay up later, snack on cakes and cookies and get as dirty as his baby boy’s heart desired.  That was the magic of camping for me as a child and it was for him as well.

It was a vacation for me as well, I’d been feeling run down and as the days lead into Kyle leaving me for the first time for longer than an over night stay, I realized that since he’s been born I’ve not had more then 24 hours of time to be something other than a mother.   Being his mom is something that is way more fulfilling than I could ever explain or even put into words in my own mind but after 2.5 years of living for someone else first I needed to be selfish for a while.  For a few short days I woke up without having to make someone breakfast before I even had coffee, I enjoyed a long hot shower.  I didn’t have a tiny body crawling into my bed.  I arrived home from work and sat at the computer and gorged my self on Doctor Who.  By Sunday I wanted my boy back but I could still find enjoyment in just being able to sit on the couch without watching Cars for the 2nd time.

When I got to my parents house to pick him up Tuesday he yelled “My mama!” so loud I thought he was outside.  He never one cried, though he’d asked for me a few times, but over all he acted as if he didn’t realize I wasn’t there the whole long weekend he was away.  But the moment he saw me he expressed how much he’d missed me.  As he ran to me and launched his tiny self into my arms I realized that while he’s independent and stubborn I still anchor him.  I’m going to enjoy that until he starts school and realizes his friends are much smarter than the old lady.

Since I’ve quit smoking for good, good 4 months ago I’ve decided that I also need to role model the healthy life style I want Kyle to have in other ways.  Most nights after dinner he hops into his stroller, a car in the snack tray, and he and I walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace.  Sometimes I hit the gym and use the treadmill to run but I’m starting to enjoy our time together each night and so is he.  After changing up my eating habits and making sure Kyle and I are getting outside more I managed to lose 20lbs.  I’m still not skinny by any measure but I’m getting there.  Pants no longer fit, which is sort of fun.  I was even able to pick up some pretty panties from Target for the first time in ages.  My doctor tells me I’m the first person she knows of who’s quit smoking and lost weight.  I’m that damn good.

In the last few weeks Jason and I have begun to discuss another child.  Kyle will be potty training soon, the cars will be paid off in less than a year and by next year we’ll clear almost all the debt from the board.  I’ve been having fewer and fewer twitches though.  I think we may be at a point where we’ll decide we won’t actively seek having another child.  If it happens so be it, but we probably won’t try.  I’m over 30, we still have a long way to go, goal wise, and adding another child to our expenses seems to be reckless to us now.  It’s not an easy decision to make and who knows, we may change our mind, but we really love or small family.  Weird only child syndrome or not.

Tomorrow we’re heading to the zoo with Grammie and Uncle Paul, who’s announced his decision that he is going to ride a dinosaur.  Monday Kyle starts going to Mrs. Angela’s house Monday through Thursday.  We loved Ms. Betty but in the end, while Kyle has made up 6 months of language skills in 3 months, we decided he needed someone who had a little more back ground in a structured environment to deal with his temper.  Which, sadly, is emerging to be just like mine.  When he becomes frustrated he bites himself, throws things or slaps himself.  He’s not biting others as much as he used too but it’s obvious that he needs someone who has a back ground and schooling in how to deal with children like that for his sake and the sake of the other children he’s with.

I’d still recommend Ms. Betty in a heart beat and if we did have other kids she’d be first on my list.  She’s fun and she really loves the little ones she’s caring for.  She does help them learn skills and reads to them.  The TV is almost never on.  But Mrs. Angela is more like a small pre-school.  Lots of play but she has a teaching degree and taught second grade before being a substitute  for Hales Corners Lutheran Elementary.   She will do actives that are focused on letters, numbers and simple math.  Every parent thinks their child is clever but Kyle really does seem to thrive on building new skills and reaching new goals.  Mrs. Angela can help with that.  That she’s also a member of our  church and MOPS is a bonus.

Nichole and Cheyanne were fantastic all summer, each of them has different skills they brought to the table with him but they love him and they both told me taking care of him all summer was fun and asked me if they could do it again next summer.  His joy when he saw them was plain and sweet even if he’d push me away for their attention from time to time.  They also got him into watching Phineas and Ferb.  Jason hums the theme for Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s theme.

Over the summer Kyle’s gone from being a baby to turning into a child.  He’s getting close to potty training, he can speak in sentences and has the habit of calling me “my mama”.  He’s developed his own sense of humor and has begun his first movie obsession, Cars.  He even acts out scenes with the movie.  He enjoys singing with songs he knows now, and has been known to even get the words right from time to time.  I’ve enjoyed watching him grow and change this summer even as there’s a pang, just like I feel as I watch summer turn to fall, knowing the best is yet to come.

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