Okay, it’s hot. Grossly hot. As in, it’s supposed to be 98 degrees for the next three days. WHY?! It’s late September!! Can we dispense with the heat already?! Hot flashes and hot weather don’t mix. Blah!
Anyway, the hot weather put the kibosh on our weekend plans to finally paint the deck. Because painting the deck when it’s 98 degrees out is just not wise.
However, we did do some other fun stuff this week. Yesterday, we took Theo to a free fishing event. He’s been dying to go fishing, but I wasn’t about to go spend the money on a rod and a bunch of fishing gear, knowing that he’s likely to do it exactly once. (You need quiet and patience to fish, two things that Theo is not exactly known for excelling at!)
So when I got wind of a free fishing event for kids, I figured it was just the ticket. We showed up at a local park that has a big pond, borrowed a fishing pole, got our plastic bag of bait (raw chicken skin—ewwwww!), and got started.
Let it be said that I had Theo bait the hook. Because it’s important to allow kids the opportunity to do things on their own. Okay, that’s sorta true…but more pressing was the fact that I didn’t want to handle the raw chicken skin to bait the hook!
I also know exactly nothing about fishing. I’ve done it once, with my dad when I was about five years old, and I really don’t remember anything. Thankfully, there was a nice family next to us with a dad who knew a lot about fishing. (Their kids had already caught six catfish that morning!) So he helped us out. And then when he left, we met a nice fifteen-year-old named Sam (good name!) who has been fishing since he was four and gave us some more pointers, along with restringing (is that the word??) Theo’s rod when his line got snagged and broke.
We also saw one of Theo’s classmates there, and the two boys chatted about fishing for a while. I’ve not met this boy before, but his mom sought me out to talk to me because apparently she volunteers in the classroom and thinks Theo is totally hilarious! Well, I’ll agree…he is pretty funny! Anyway, she was fun to talk to, and the boys seemed to get along well.
I crossed my fingers that we wouldn’t catch anything because I don’t know how to remove the hook to throw the fish back…and indeed we didn’t catch anything, so I was spared learning that task. And after about an hour of not catching anything in the hot sun, Theo was ready to leave, so we headed out and spent the rest of the day at home, avoiding the heat. I needed to do some work anyway, because I had to take a day off this past week when Sam was home sick from school. So I toiled on a book about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sam napped, and Chris and Theo watched Star Wars for the umpteenth time.
Sam’s illness was nothing major—just a virus that left as quickly as it came on. I dropped him at school Wednesday and he was fine—in fact, he had insisted on walking the whole way on his own (about half a mile on those tiny little legs of his!). And the school said he was happy and playing all morning, and then they went to change his diaper, and he suddenly flushed and started not acting well. They took his temperature, and it was 101.4.
Cheerful on the walk to school in the morning (left), and then glassy-eyed and feeling crappy just a few hours later (right):
So I came right away and picked him up and got him down for a nap. His fever hovered around 100 for the rest of the day, but by the next morning it was totally gone.
He spent Thursday at home with me just to be sure the fever didn’t come back, but he was fine—running around with lots of energy, eating and drinking, all that good stuff.
Silly boy taking a selfie with me while we took a walk on Thursday:
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Thursday!
In fact, he was rather a poop—literally! I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say they involved a lot of poop and pee, an entire bottle of bubble bath, a light fixture pulled off the wall, and a text to Chris that said, “Maybe you should bring wine when you come home.” 🙂
It was appropriate that Chris was wearing this shirt on Thursday, given the “sick” child’s shenanigans!
Luckily, the wee one was all better, so he was able to go back to school Friday, and attend the Parents’ Night Out that his school offered Friday night. Siblings could also attend Parents’ Night Out (for an additional fee, naturally), so Chris and I decided to splurge and pay for this night of babysitting and have a date! We went to a little local restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try for five years, which happens to be right in front of Sam’s school, so we just walked over. This restaurant is a locally owned mom-and-pop type of place, and it has a lovely patio out front where people often go for drinks. We were able to sit on the patio on a gorgeous night and enjoy a real, grown-up dinner out!
Real date night!! This sangria was the pits, but the ambience was lovely:
I’m not sure we’ll go back, as it was very pricey and I’m not sure the food warranted it. But the ambience was lovely, and the food was good—just not necessarily as good as the price would suggest! There’s another little local restaurant in town we may try next time.
Anyway, I had a salad and porcini mushroom ravioli, and Chris had soup (clam chowder) and brick-oven chicken. We each had a dessert, too (crème brulee for Chris, and a sweet potato tart with brown sugar ice cream for me). And a drink: Chris had something really strong that left him tipsy after three sips—no joke! That man is a lightweight! And I had the worst excuse for sangria ever! There was no fruit in it, and it tasted like drinking one of those nectars that you can buy in the grocery store, with a splash of white wine in it. Ah well, lesson learned—no more sangria there! I’ll go back to my old standby margarita if we go back there.
Salad to start:
My porcini mushroom ravioli was really tasty:
The brown sugar ice cream was divine! Chris’s creme brûlée looks so delicate in the background compared to my mass of ice cream!
After dinner, we still had 45 minutes left on our babysitting, and we didn’t want to waste it since we were paying a flat fee for it! So we took a walk around downtown and did several laps before finally going back to pick up the boys. All in all, it was a lovely, much-needed night out. And I’m pleased to announce that we barely even talked about the boys at dinner—we had normal, grown-up conversation! Glorious…
I also got to go out on Tuesday, when I took my mom out to a movie for her birthday. We saw To Joey, With Love, and it was really good. Click here to read my review of it if you haven’t already.
Sam and I also attended his peer-development class on Monday, which went better than last time. He still didn’t want me to leave—he sat on the couch with me, and when the aides tried to invite him to go in the classroom, he would yell “NO!” and then look at me, pat my arm, and then look back at them and say more politely, “Mama.” As in, “NO! I’m going to just sit here with my mama, thank you very much.”
I went in with him and tried to put him down, and he wailed…but they told me I could just walk out. Knowing he does this at school too (but only for me—not for Chris! Never for Chris…sigh….), I decided to do that. And what do you know—within 30 seconds of me walking out, he had stopped crying and was all smiles, and he remained happy throughout the rest of the class. I hung around and did some work (since I work there but am rarely in the office, it’s a good chance for me to get caught up on office tasks!), and there wasn’t an upset peep out of him for the rest of the class. Little stinker is just attached to mama, which warms my heart but also makes me sad when he cries when I leave!
This coming week, Theo has to come with me because Chris has a Cub Scout event he has to attend solo, so I intend to put Theo to work helping me with office work. He loves doing stuff like that and feeling important, so I’ll have him help me put together Spanish-language new-parent information.
I was at the office one other day this week, too, for a meeting about Sam’s summer program. It was a follow-up meeting that most parents had in August, but we were out of town. And then when we got back, the program director was on vacation. So we finally caught up this week.
She gave me a binder of information about what they had learned about Sam’s communication over the summer and how his teachers can use that to facilitate communication in the classroom, as well as what we can do at home to support continued communication grown. Most exciting was her comment about Sam and his AAC device (an iPad tricked out with a PECS-type communication program; we call it his “talker,” and he uses it daily to request things). She said, “He has so many words in his mind, it’s very clear. And he learns new things so quickly! I really think the AAC device is just a temporary tool for the next couple of years, while he works on his articulation. He definitely has the ability to speak; it’s just a matter of continuing to work on it.”
If Sam never spoke, that would be okay—we would help him learn to communicate in other ways, and we would encourage people around us to do the same. But honestly, his life will be so much easier if he can speak verbally, because that’s the dominant mode of communication in our world. So it makes me happy to know that in the future, Sam should be able to communicate in a way that most people will be able to understand.
On Sunday it was again scorching, so we went to the park early, before it got too hot, and we spent the rest of the day in the A/C. Not the most exciting day, but at least we stayed cool!
Basketball is their preferred game lately:
Look at Sam’s face in the background!!
Have you seen these swings? They let an older child and younger child swing together. Pretty cool!
Happy week, all! Hope you’re staying cooler than we are! Here’s a dump of additional pictures from the week for you.
Blue Apron/Sun Basket meals from this week included penne with peppers, tomatoes, and soft-boiled egg:
Corn fritters with baby kale salad (one of my all-time favorites from these boxes!):
Gnocchi with brown butter, sage, and fresh corn (another favorite!):
Indian-spiced cauliflower and green beans over jasmine rice (this was a favorite of ours, too!):
The stump grinders finally came and ground five stumps for us!
The three trees we recently took out used to live here:
Getting ever more positive that our mystery citrus tree is a navel orange!