Friday, September 17, 2010


The beginning of the school year means the start of a new session of the Chelmsford Community Playroom!  Yes, we've missed our little play group over the summer.  On Monday morning when I told Dashiell we were going to play group, he screamed "Yay!!" at the top of his lungs and ran upstairs to take a bath before we left (which was part of the conditions of going to play group--we were going after his bath).  To say he was excited would be a gross understatement--he was beside-himself ecstatic!  He loves play group--lots of kids and toys to play with--what could be better?  And I love it because it's a time to socialize with other moms while our kids play in a safe, enclosed environment.  I also love that it gives Dashiell a chance to work on his social skills, since he usually spends most of his time with just Rick or me.

I've noticed lately (before CCP started up again) that Dashiell seems to have turned that social development corner where he really wants to play with other kids, as opposed to just playing next to them.  He's always liked playing around other kids, but now he wants to be a part of the action!  When we're at the park and he sees other children playing games, he wants to get right in there and play the game too, even though he usually has no clue how the game is played.  Most of the kids will welcome Dash in and if there's a group of them usually one will befriend him and direct him on what to do.  It's really fun to watch, and I love these older kids for being so welcoming (big pat on the back to all those kids' parents--you've raised awesome kids!).  I keep waiting for one of them to get frustrated with this two-year-old getting in the way of his or her fun, but so far he's been pretty well received!  I think the kids just like the fact that he'll laugh at their antics and go along with pretty much anything.  All he really wants to do is run and laugh, it doesn't matter who is running and laughing with him.

This picture was taken at the mall play area last week one semi-rainy afternoon.  He had been running around with a couple of kids, but stopped when he decided he needed to climb on this dog head thing.  I was trying to find an appropriate picture of Dashiell playing with other kids, but decided I probably should not post picture of strangers' kids on my blog...

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Big Boy Bed

(Yes I'm catching up on all my blogging, finally.  But I think this is the last one for today!)

Our little guy has successfully transitioned to a big boy bed!   It's really just his crib converted into a daybed/toddler bed, but still, it's a big deal!  The timing couldn't have been worse, but the week before we went to Minnesota we caught Dash trying to climb out of his crib, so we had to promise him that as soon as we got back from our trip he could sleep in a big boy bed.  We explained that it would still be his crib but with one side removed, and he was so excited about it he would explain it back to us a few times every day ("Rails go away.  This side of crib will be open!").  So we bit the bullet, and the day we got home from MN we converted the bed--it took all of 5 minutes to do.  Have I mentioned how much I love this crib?

Anyway, in case you don't remember, the night after we got back from MN was the night Dashiell got sick.  The above picture was taken earlier in the evening, about 2 hours before the puking began.  So here's our poor kid, in a bed that's somewhat unfamiliar, sicker than anything. It did make sheet changes slightly easier, but I felt bad for him.  Change is tough, and it's much worse when you feel crummy.  But he was a trouper!  And he loves sleeping in his big boy bed, even though he sometimes falls out of it (note the pillows on the floor next to him).
I've been dreading this transition for months--considering how much Dashiell likes to have books in his crib, I thought for sure he'd be getting out of the crib constantly to bring more books in bed with him.  But he's been great!  I told him he had to stay in bed, and he's stayed in bed!  For the most part.  There was one incident the second night of sleeping in the bed:  I had left a tupperware "bucket" next to Dashiell's bed and gave him the instructions that if he felt sick he should attempt to throw up in the bucket (I know, wishful thinking...).  At about 4:45 am the next day, I'm blissfully sleeping in my bed when I hear our bedroom door open.  I'm still mostly asleep and it registers as Rick getting up to go to the bathroom.  A second later Dashiell is standing in front of my face, holding his tupperware up, and yelling "I have a bucket!"  I wake up with a start, look at him, and tell him he has to go back to bed.  Poor kid heads back to his bed, and seconds later I hear sad little sobs coming from his room.  So of course I have to get up, acknowledge the bucket, and make sure he's okay.  He was fine, he just wanted to show me that he still had it.  And no, he didn't go back to sleep.  It was a long day on Monday, that's for sure.  But every time I need a little chuckle now, I say, "I have a bucket!"  It was pretty funny.  Maybe you had to be there.

Final Minnesota post - odds and ends

Just a few more random photos from our trip!  

Dash seemed to like this little bench in my mom's garden.  I think he's communing with the cherub. 

He spent almost all of his time on the deck.  This is one of the few times he sat still while out there--mostly he liked opening the door to get inside or out, and going down the stairs to the patio and lawn below.

Unfortunately all this "outside" time led to many mosquito bites.  There's a reason Minnesota claims mosquitoes are their state bird--the mosquitoes in MN are fierce and plentiful!  The group of bites on the right leg all showed up after about 5 minutes of being outside.  There are a number of bites on the left leg too that he got playing near the trampoline at aunt Terri's house a couple days before.  Plus the bites on his face...poor kiddo!  The mosquitoes like him too much!

Finally, a cute posed picture of Dashiell and Grandma!  Unfortunately the picture was taken with my phone, which means it's fuzzy and poorly lit.  Ah well, they both look great it in anyway!

More Minnesota Madness - Paul Bunyan Animal Land

Hidden in the woods of Northern Minnesota about 2 miles from Bemidji is this strange little zoo--Paul Bunyan Animal Land.  This zoo has existed for as long as I remember, though last week was the first time I have ever visited it.  My high school boyfriend (who lived next door to PBAL) and I tried to take his little sisters once, but it wasn't open that day.  Which was probably for the best, since I hear it used to be in much worse condition than it is now.  It's still got a bit of the "old school" zoo feel--for example, the monkey habitat was pretty sad, with a lone monkey hanging out in a smallish, concrete-bottomed cage--but parts of it were fairly cool.  Mostly I was amazed at the number of wild animals housed there:  Camels, lions, cougars, a Siberian tiger, as well as more "homegrown" animals such as bears, porcupines, raccoons, etc.

There was even a baby kangaroo hopping around the gift shop!

 And an indoor exhibit of various reptiles and small animals.  Dashiell thought Fluffy the boa constrictor was especially cool.

They had a huge deer habitat, and we were allowed to go into it and feed the deer, up close and personal.  It was pretty neat!

 I think Dashiell was most interested in the deer poop, which he is examining closely in the above photo.  When you have that many deer roaming in an enclosed area, there's bound to be a lot of poop.  Yes, we did have to do an emergency load of laundry when we got back to mom and dad's.

Apologies to my friend Erika in the background for getting a nice "backside" shot of her, but I couldn't resist posting a picture of Dashiell looking so cool...

As an extra bonus, there was a swing set at Animal Land!  Dash and his friend Jasper had a good time on the swing.

I think Dashiell's favorite animals were the coatimundi.  As you can see, the babies were small enough to climb out of their enclosure, and climb out they did!  They came right up to Dashiell and Jasper and played at their feet.  It was really cute.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I don't want to say cheese!

Our trip to Minnesota was punctuated by the above phrase more than once!  It seemed to be Dashiell's favorite thing to say.  Therefore, we don't have as many pictures with family members than I'd like.  We do however have a few--some posed, some not posed--that I'd love to share!

First, here he is with his auntie Lisa.  This was an "I don't want to say cheese" moment, as you can tell from his very un-relaxed pose.  But Lisa looks so happy in this one that I thought I'd include it!  Also, you'll note that he's wearing his new Paul and Babe t-shirt, which he loves.  Well, we tried to get a good picture with Dashiell and his cousins at Paul and Babe, and could only get these:

That's Dash with cousin Craig...

...and here he is with cousin Abby.  That's the best we could do.  Here's what our guy was more interested in doing:

Playing around Babe the Blue Ox.  He may have made his way into a couple pictures of strangers wanting to make their own memories of Bemidji, but whatever.  It's a good thing D's cute.

We found that the best way to get a good picture of Dashiell with anyone else was to have them read to him.  Worked like a charm!  Here he is with Grandpa:

And here he is with auntie Terri:

The boy loves his books!

More pictures will follow--right now Dash and I need to get outside to enjoy this lovely weather!  He's feeling much better today, though maybe not 100%.  Doesn't feel the need to go too far from home, which is a shame since I have nothing to feed him tonight and would really like to go to the grocery store.  But we can head to the back yard and play for a bit, which is much more fun than grocery shopping.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Poor kiddo!

I was planning on posting an update about our trip to Minnesota last week, but our poor guy got sick last night!  This is what today looked like-lots of lying around, watching videos, hoping little D doesn't throw up anymore.  He seems to be on the mend, but it was a long night last night.  Thankfully this didn't happen a day earlier-how miserable would it have been to have to travel with a sick kid!  

I'll post about our trip soon.  We had a fun time visiting my family!