Partying with the Fam

8.26.2011

Before we had our special "Choo Choo Train Party" for Little Lewie, it'd be unfair for me to say that we didn't have a fun time leading up to his party...

On his special day, we first had a play date with his little friend Patrick.  We met at Silverman's Farm in Easton where we had a chance to feed goats, reindeer, sheep, pigs, and ostriches...among other friendly animals...

It was a bright, sunny day!

The ticket stand and entrance...

Patrick's mom helping Little Lewie feed the animals.

Feeding the reindeer--Lewie's favorite part of the petting zoo.

Getting feed from the machines--Lewie's second most favorite part of the petting zoo.

Watch out for Farmer Lewie!  He'd drive this thing if he had keys...

One of Lewie's buddies...

"Here deer.  Have some more..."

"Lewie so happy."

After a fun day on the farm, we had his family birthday party a day later...There he was doted on by his older cousin Sarah who just loves him, and he had a chance to play with his "flying balloons."  Daddy helped pump all of the balloons up, and the kids had a chance to release them screeching into the sky all at once.  (I captured a video to show the fun they were having...)
Ninny, Aunty Missy, and Papa

Aunty Kiki (Lewie's Godmother)

Cousin Brooklyn...5 months old.

Cousin Gabe and his large balloon ears...

Lewie's reaction to the large balloon ears...

All the kids having fun with Daddy.

Lewie and cousin Sarah on the swing...

Playing "B-ball" with Aunty Kiki.

"Cake"

And more cake.  Yum!

video

All in all, Lewie had a great birthday celebration that he continues to talk about.  Occassionally, I still catch him singing Happy Birthday to himself too.  Age may only be a number, but at three--it's a number for me that represents the beginning of pre-school, friends, independence, and a new mother-son relationship that still offers love, guidance, support, and discipline, but now, too, some room for Lewie to grow into his own.

Lewie's Choo Choo Party

8.14.2011

This weekend has been a birthday party blur. We started out by celebrating Little Lewie's "real" birthday on Thursday by taking him for ice cream at Rich's Farm in Oxford. (They make homemade ice cream--Yum!)

On Saturday, Lewie had a family birthday party that started at five in the evening. Being a gorgeous day, the kids played outside on our trampoline while the adults congregated by the food and socialized. (There will be a blog post to come.)

On Sunday, we had the train party for Lewie and his friends scheduled at 2:30 in the afternoon. The focus was on hiring a "trackless" train to come give Lewie and all of his little friends rides around the house. While it poured on his special day, we were lucky to learn that the train conductor was still ready to come with his train and that all of the train cars had covers... So even though it was a sloppy day, everyone--kids and adults--still managed to have a fun day. Here are some highlights from his party:

"All aboard to Lewie's Choo Choo Train Party"

The Invitation

The Train (4 ft. wide by 30 ft. long)!

"Let's get this party started!"

Lewie's happy friends--well, at least most of them.

The Conductor

"Seatbelt check!"

"Here they come!"

Driving around the yard...

Little Lewie, Daddy, and Cousin Sarah

Now it's time for the adults to ride!

The Cake

Time to sing--Lewie's the first one to start singing Happy Birthday to himself.

A little help from Daddy to blow out the candles

All done--wish complete!

Time to open presents...

Lewie needs help from friends because he opens his presents a little too slowly.


Now it's Lewie's time in the driver's seat.

Ringing the bell.

"Ring, ring!"

Happy Birthday Letter to my Three Year-Old

8.11.2011

Dear Little Lewie,

Today you turn three years-old, and it's hard for me to believe where the years have gone.  I still remember delivering you in the hospital, and seeing your big beautiful eyes look into mine for the very first time.  "Hi Little Lewie," I said with tears in my eyes, "I'm your mama.  It's so nice to meet you!"

I was a neurotic first-time mom...so worried about giving you love and attention around the clock and instilling good eating habits for later on in life.  We sang songs, danced around the house, read books, played peek-a-boo.  Those were the days that you relied on me for everything...

Now you're three years-old and have become quite the independent little boy.  You look in the refrigerator to grab your own food when you're hungry (even if mom doesn't approve of your first choice), you insist on climbing the stairs all by yourself, and enjoy playing make believe on your own with your cars, trains, and toy phones. 

It seems that each year you become cuter and cuter.  I love the things you say and do, and everyday you provide me with hours of entertainment.  Just for you my Little Lewie, I'd like to write again about the top ten things I love about you and your age--two going on three.



1.  I love when you tell me that you love me.
This was the first year that those three little words came out of your mouth.  (Actually, four words.)  "I love you, Mommy," you respond to me after I tell you how much I love you.  Or, sometimes you say, "I love you too!"  You always say it with the most perfect smile on your face, and I can always count on getting a hug afterwards.  (I love those hugs!)

2.  I love how sweet and thoughtful you are.
There's no question that the two's are a difficult stage both for toddlers and parents.  There were times that you'd throw yourself on the floor kicking and screaming when you didn't get your way.  Other times you'd hit, run away from me, or screech at the top of your lungs.  I'd pray that these temper tantrums wouldn't last long (especially when they were in public), and I'd pray that I was doing everything right to make these teachable moments instead of losing my own temper.  "Don't hit," I'd tell you again and again and put you in time-out until you apologized.  I know that these days aren't over yet.  There will be more days ahead.  However, just a week ago, you taught me that all my "parenting" is working.  I told you that you had to take a bath.  Since you didn't feel like it, you began to go down the stairs instead of in the bathroom.  "Lewie, don't you want to be clean?" I asked.
          "No, I'm fine!" you yelled, wrapping your arms around yourself in a scolding manner.
          "Lewie, we can't have you dirty.  You have to be clean," I said again patiently.
          "No, I'm fine!" you told me again before stepping off the stairs into the living room.
I took a breath.  I knew I was going to have to put you into time-out for not listening to me.  I finished letting the bathtub water run when all of a sudden, you started walking up the stairs on your own.  Before greeting me again at the top of the staircase, you said, "I'm sorry, Mommy.  I take bath!" 

I was astonished!  My little boy thought about his actions and realized he was wrong for giving me a hard time.  My heart melted.

3.  I love your passion for things.
Little Lewie, when you love something...you really love it.  You have two passions in life at this very moment.  You love pretending to answer the phone and have conversations with all of your aunts, friends, and family members.  You also enjoy playing "elevator" by using the sliding doors to our bookcase or the gliding closet doors in our master bedroom.  "Ding, ding" you say as the pretend elevator doors open and close.  You then make a humming sound to imitate the elevator going up or down to each floor. 

You specifically ask to go to the mall so you can ride on the elevator again and again.  (You often refer to the elevator as P2 because when Mommy picked you up from the college daycare, we would have to ride the elevator to Parking Lot Level 2--the button, of course, to push was P2.)

4.  I love your sound effects.
Both Daddy and Mommy love to make sound effects when we describe things, and now you love to do the same thing.  Some of your favorite sound effects and words are "choo choo" for choo choo train, "coo coo" for a coo coo clock, and "tick tock" for a clock.  However, you also have a lot of made-up sound effects--all sorts of hums, groans, and dings when you play with someone or all by yourself.

5.  I love your little singing voice.
You love singing "row, row, row, your boat," "the alphabet song." "happy birthday," "old McDonald" and "eight little monkeys jumping on a bed."  In fact, on some mornings, you lay in your crib and just start singing. Sometimes you'll let me join in, and sometimes you stop me, and say, "No, I do Mommy.  I do."

6.  I love your "knock knock" jokes.
As your vocabulary started to improve, I couldn't believe that you decided you would already begin your stand-up comedian career by telling knock knock jokes. Your favorite is...


          You: "Knock, knock" (Sounds like gonk, gonk)
          Me:  "Who's there?"
          You: "Boo"
          Me:  "Boo Who?"
          You: "Don't cry it's only a joke."

You're proud of your first little joke and love to tell it to new people that you meet. In fact, you can be quite the clown when you want to be...always making faces, sound effects, or silly noises to make people laugh... You love to make fart noises and belching sounds; you probably learned them from Daddy one day and decided they were way too funny to pass up. You also love to pretend like you're sleeping only to surprise me by jumping up.

7.  I love your fascination with counting.
You love to count, especially backwards.  You say, "Five, four, three, two, one...blastoff!"  You can count to thirty with no problem, and we often practice saying our numbers as we pass by mailboxes on our walks.  It's become a game for you, and as we pass by each mailbox, you'll try to give me the number or numbers that you see listed on the side.

8.  I love that you refer to yourself in the third person.
For a short time, you referred to yourself as "Lew Lew."  I think this came from your first daycare at the college.  However, after a few months, you insisted that you were not "Lew Lew".  "I'm Lewie!" You'd say proudly.  After that, everything became about Lewie...  Here are some of my favorite quotes:
          "Don't cry Mommy.  Little Lewie's here."
          "My blanket.  Lewie's blanket."
          "Hey kids," (to your friends at playgroup), "Lewie's here!"

9.  I love that you give me an itinerary of things to do when you first wake-up. 
You have become quite the night owl--sometimes not going to bed until 10:30 p.m. at night.  As a result, you do like to sleep in the mornings (waking up anywhere between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.).  However, when you wake up, you're full of energy, and you're already rattling off a list of things you want to do.  (It's almost like you've been making this list while you were sleeping.)
     
"Go Mall, go P2, go pool, go swings.  Go see Ryan.  Go see Maya.  Go see Ma.  Go see Ninny.  Ice cream Mommy.  Ice cream."

I'd like to say that this list of demands is only given to me in the morning, but instead, they start in the morning and continue all day long.  What can I say, except I love your persistence and enthusiasm for life.  Okay, the persistence gets draining at times, especially when I have to explain to you forty times that we can't go on the swings today because it's raining, but I do love your passion!

10.  I love that you have a photographic memory for driving and directions.
I'm amazed at your interest in "playing car", and especially amazed that when we drive anywhere you have a keen sense of where we are...  If we head in one direction, you proudly announce that we need to go "that way" to Ninny's house, "that way" to the swings, or "that way" to Maya's house.  If we drive in another direction, you already tell me you want to go "that way" to the mall or "that way" to the other park we visit.  If I had to guess, I'd say you know how to "drive" to at least 15 different locations.  If I had a lapse in memory, I'd be able to rely on you to tell me "what way" I need to drive home.

Bonus:  I love that you hold my hand.
For a long time I made you travel in a stroller to avoid any meltdowns and temper tantrums.  You'd ride in a stroller at the mall, in the store, in church, or even on our way to your daycare at the college.  Your independent spirit this year, however, has tested the stroller, and now you know that if you request "my hand" you can go without the stroller.  You politely tell me, "Hand Mommy.  Hold Hand."  How can I resist?  When we go places, you are good about holding my hand, and again, my heart melts to have your little hand in mine.  Sure sometimes you want to "drag" me to places because of your excitement, but nonetheless, you hold my hand.  It's amazing how something so simple can be so meaningful!



Happy Birthday to my Fun Little Boy!

First Trip to the Zoo

8.07.2011

We have a small zoo in Connecticut called the Beardsley Zoo that's perfect for toddlers.  All the exibits can easily be seen within a few hours, and they have a huge carousel ride under a dome that completes the experience.  My mom and I wanted to bring Little Lewie to the zoo last year, but for some reason, it never happened.  He'd been to farms and petting zoos but nothing with lions, tigers, and bears...Oh my!  (Actually, this zoo had a tiger and a black bear but no lions...)


Little Lewie with my mom going through the wolf exhibit.

Any exhibit that was large, where you had to struggle to find the animals amidst the rocks and trees, Little Lewie showed no interest; he also could care less about anything in aquariaum tanks like fish, frogs, or snakes.  (I hope he stays like this--his father, as a teenager, used to own a large pet snake that he wrapped around his neck.) 

Little Lewie's favorite exhitibs were the owl, the Bald Eagle, and the tiger.  (The snack bar and sprinkler were other favorite exhibits.)  My favorite were the monkeys, and my mom's trusted favorite were the otters.

Lewie's favorite--the owl.  He stood by his cage for almost 20 minutes going "Who, who, who."

The Bald Eagle's Nest!
Finishing lunch and ice-cream with 'Ma'. 

Enjoying the sprinklers with his two new friends.

All in all, we had a wonderful day that ended with a fun carousel ride.  The best part of going to the zoo for me was learning how "good" my son could be...We had no meltdowns, crying fits, hitting episodes, or temper tantrums.  In fact, I brought his stroller thinking he'd probably have to be in it for most of the day, especially if he started getting brave and wanting to run off on his own.  Instead, my mom and I took him out and were amazed at the fact that he held our hand and stayed with us the whole time.  He waved hello to people and was really just the perfect little gentleman when it came to looking at the animals and letting others have their turn.  There's no doubt...my little boy is growing up!

Me and my little boy.  He wanted to ride on the tiger!
(My mom's first time taking a picture with a digital camera-hee hee!)