Catching a Train

28 05 2010

The boys and I went train hunting last night.  A sport that requires no weaponry.  It was a Thursday, and Tim leads a college Bible study elsewhere, so being alone with the young ‘uns I am constantly looking for ways to GET OUT.  Drew loves trains, and asks to see one everytime we cross the tracks.  Of course, the trains around here only run in the evening or over night so spotting one during Drew’s waking hours is rare.  But yesterday, I found a website for the Florida Train Chasers (who knew they existed?!).  The website has tips on when and where to see trains.  It also lists radio frequencies for listening to conductor chit chat for extreme enthusiasts.  We’re not that extreme.  I decided to just find a good parking spot and wait to see if we got lucky.

Before parking, I swung through the Chik fil A drive thru.  I had a coupon.  I am madly in love with CFA coupons.  It’s the only fast food Drew will eat, so it makes an easy, inexpensive meal that I do no have to make or clean up after. It’s a beautiful thing.  The coupon was for buy one get one chicken sandwiches and I added fries and a strawberry shake to the order in honor of our train chasing adventure.

Once parked, I invited Drew to join me in the front seat, and I wrested Baby A from his carrier to sit with us as well.  Drew went straight for the fries, requesting bbq sauce for dunking, and I unwrapped the scalding chicken sandwiches holding them in front of the AC vents to cool them enough to eat.  I had pictured this whole scene as a wonderful and peaceful bonding experience – the three of us enjoying an easy meal while watching the lengths of a freight train disappear into the setting sun.  But sadly, my imagination forgot to consult reality.  My imagined version of this event did not include a bouncing two year old and buttons and gears and bbq sauce and a strawberry shake with whipped cream and my arms too full with a four month old and scalding chicken sandwiches to halt the freight train of a mess that was about to rock my poor car.  Next time we train watch, Dennis the Menace WILL BE firmly restrained in his seat.

Well, we ate, then I cleaned up the bbq sauce, then the whipped cream, then the bbq sauce that was spilled while I was cleaning up the whipped cream, but still no train.  It was almost time for Baby A to eat so I reluctantly strapped the kiddos back in and headed out of the parking lot.  Just as I pulled out, a horn blared, and I looked up to see a big yellow CSX engine hauling a never-ending line of cars.  I yelled for Drew to look and heard the gasp of awe come from his seat.  The road I was on ran parallel to the tracks, so we ‘raced’ the train for a few blocks till we hit the section of tracks we had to cross to get home.  Then we sat with dozens of other cars waiting and watching the massive line steam by.  Drew pointed and named every train car he knew amidst exclamations of “Mommy, look at the wheels!” and “Mommy, it’s a train!”.

“Yeah, Buddy.  It is.”  Sadly, Baby A just screamed.  Evidently he was not satiated by the bbq sauce that I’m pretty sure he sucked off my finger during the whole feeding fiasco, and he was not impressed by the train that he could only hear but not see.  Several minutes and dozens of cars later, the final boxcar crossed the street and echoed into the distance.  It had been a long one, but it wasn’t enough for Drew.  “Follow it, Mommy?  Follow the train, please, Mommy??”

“Sorry, Buddy, we can’t do that tonight.”  I think he just might have a future as a South Florida Train Chaser.


28 03 2009

I logged onto this blog a few days ago, and realized that I hadn’t written anything in six months.  Six long months.  The last time I posted, it was the day before Drew’s one year birthday.  Today is the day before his 18 month birthday.  It’s not that I haven’t had multiple things I wanted to write about.  It’s just that most of my time has been spent cleaning up after those events that I would have preferred to have been blogging about. 😉 Some of those events include the first time Drew learned to flush a toilet or when he figured out how to unscrew lids to fun things like lotion and value size bottles of hydrogen peroxide.  I could have written about his macaroni-n-cheese artwork that graced my kitchen floor or the time he decided to help me eliminate dirty laundry by hiding one piece at a time in the most bizarre locations around the house.  (I’m certain articles are still missing, but I’m sure we’ll eventually nose them out – I hope.)  Yes, at sometime during these last six months my baby exploded into a toddler without warning and without even asking for my permission.  Now, he regularly practices for the day he will turn into a terrible two.  I guess he wants to make sure to perfect the full fledged temper tantrums that ensue whenever I refuse his requests.  =P He’s quite the over-acheiver.  I’m sure these experiences aren’t new; they are just new to me.  In fact, as I was finishing Drew’s baby book, I decided that baby books in general should be completely rewritten.  Sure, it’s sweet to remember the first step, first word, and the first tooth, but wouldn’t the book be more interesting if it included memories and pictures of parent and child during firsts  like these:

First Public Vomiting Experience

First 30 Minute Temper Tantrum

First Time Baby Grabbed a Sharp Object from the Counter (and mom’s frantic reaction)

First Time Watching the Wiggles (umm…are you serious?!)

First Mad Dash through the House Chasing Baby with a Diaper Blowout

First Object Flushed Down the Toilet

Baby’s First attempt Eating a PB &J

First Emergency Room Trip (haven’t had this yet, but I KNOW it is coming)

First Time Baby Runs Head First into a Wall

First Time Baby Tries to Boss Mommy Around

First Time Baby eats a Rock

Any all the other firsts that I’m sure are coming…

*Note: I had more I was going to add to this post, but I had to run to stop Drew from eating my chapstick – where he got it, I have no idea.  Instead of delaying another six months before posting, I decided to simply put this up as is.  I figured you’d get the general idea…gotta run 😉

Black Beans and Carrots, Again

22 08 2008

I usually never post twice in one day – lately, I’m actually lucky to post twice in one month, but I had to get down the experience of this day. It started off very well, which should have been an immediate indication that something harrowing was right around the corner. I, however, skipped about in blissful naivete…until it all unraveled.

During the school year, I am/will be babysitting for a friend who has a six month old little girl. It helps them out and us out, and it gives Drew a chance to try out the sibling experience. Right now, he’s not doing so well…but I’ll save that for another post. 😕

Anyway, back to my harrowing tale 😯 –

Both babies took a gorgeous two and a half hour nap this AM, so I figured they would be well rested and happy to take a quick jaunt to the store. Although going out with two is much more difficult than just one, I’ve determined to occasionally attempt it in order to maintain my sanity, give them a change of scene, and to practice before any potential offspring arrive. So, we headed to Toys R Us to pick up a few things for the Birthday Boy (Drew turns one tomorrow!).

Shopping went fairly well, even though I couldn’t decide between some things. I solved that dilemma quickly by just purchasing all conflicting items. It was the obvious thing to do…of course. When we hit the checkout line…bad things began. One cashier open, three people in line all being held up by one couple arguing over a sale. Is there a manager in the house?? The poor cashier called for one three times before someone finally responded. During this time, Drew tried to push little Ana out of the shopping cart – what a good big brother he’ll be someday, don’t you think?

I grabbed him quickly while the woman in front of me checked out. Then it was my turn. Ana was in her infant carrier in the back of the cart. The toys were piled below, and my diaper bag with wallet was below Ana – and Drew was in my arms. Thus began a juggling act worthy of Barnum and Bailey’s, complete with a briefly misplaced wallet and price check on a set of plastic construction trucks. Finally rung up and loaded, I headed for the door only to discover that Tropical Storm Faye-that-won’t-go-Away had chosen to drop another lovely rain band on our area. Just perfect – Ana ended up getting only a little wet, Drew slightly damp, the gifts would need some drying off, and I…well, I needed a change of clothes.

In the car, I checked the receipt and realized that two items had rung up wrong even though I had pointed it out to the cashier as she was ringing them up. She had said, “Oh yeah, you’re right.” But she never changed a thing. Oh the agony of that internal debate – face Faye again while hauling merchandise and two infants or eat the overcharge. Looking at the already high total, and imagining my husband’s expression when he saw it, I knew I had to go back. Ugghhh – I tromped in and a mere twenty minutes later, I deposited our soggy selves back in the car.

At home, I pulled into the (unconnected) garage while trying to formulate my exit strategy. Both kids were ready to go straight down for their PM nap, so I decided to take Drew, who was still awake, in to bed first and then come back quickly for Ana. Our garage smelled like gas fumes from the supplies we had ready in case Faye wiped out our electricity, so I didn’t want to leave Ana there for long. We went swiftly in and up to bed, but just as I was laying Drew down, I heard an awful noise…and then I felt it on my arm…and then I smelled it. He had just vomited what looked like his whole lunch (thus, the now grotesque title of this post). Never in his entire human existence has he ever done that. No, he’s been saving it all up for today. So, brief recap – Ana in the car, fumes in the garage, Faye outside, and vomit boy in my arms. Nothing to panic about – AHHHHH!!

I ripped Drew’s clothes off, wiped him down, dropped the poor boy in his bed, and ran to rescue Ana. She was completely fine, sleeping blissfully, but woke up when carried through the rain to the house. With her down for a nap, I tackled the carpet in the bathroom which had taken a hit when I pulled off Drew’s clothes, and then noted that once again, I desperately needed a change of clothes. I scrubbed myself down, changed my clothes, threw all offensive materials in the washing machine, and and sat down to write this post. Because, how could a day like this possibly go undocumented… 🙄

A New Milestone

22 08 2008

As my son approaches the one year mark, he has reached yet another manly milestone….his first crush. Two days ago, he found a small framed picture of his Aunt Kelly. He carried it around with him for hours. Every once in a while he would show it to me and just grin. Then yesterday, he seemed to have forgotten his first love, but this morning, his infatuation has returned. He found the photo again, and is now, not only carrying it around with him, but he’s giving it kisses as well. Don Juan would have taken it with him for his morning nap, but was easily distracted by his blankie…what can I say, young love is fickle. 😉

Our First Conversation

2 08 2008

Drew and I often play the “Where is it?” game where one of us will hide something, and then I put both hands up and say, “Where is __________?”  Then with a big grin, he ‘finds’ whatever was missing.  Yesterday, he was sitting in his high chair eating lunch while I worked on the computer in the kitchen.  It was one of those wonderful days when Dr. Daddy was home all day – Drew loves those days and so do I.  Dr. Daddy had just gone upstairs to shower.  As I looked over at Drew, he put both hands in the air and said, “Deah, Daee?” with obvious inquisitive inflection in his voice.  And he waited patiently in that posture while I picked my jaw up off the floor.  After the shock subsided, I said, “Daddy went upstairs.”  Satisfied with my answer, the little man went back to eating his lunch as if our little exchange was the most natural thing in the world.  He never ceases to amaze me.

One step in front of the other…

30 07 2008

I’ve been in denial.  For about two or three weeks now…I’ve been in denial.  Drew is walking – but I am just not ready for it.  I can’t believe it. Where has my baby gone??  Most of the time when we’re at home, he just cruises around from one piece of furniture to another, but two weeks ago while at play group, he stood up and walk over to me across my friend’s living room.  All the other moms jumped up and said, “Oh my gosh, he’s walking!”  I just grabbed him and hugged him as he lunged into my arms.  The child wears a size 5 shoe, has ten teeth, and now he’s walking.  Where has my baby gone…

Baby Traveling Chronicles #2: Breaking the Sound Barrier

5 07 2008

My sister has a large and, ummm, gregarious family.  😉 I love going there for the company and entertainment (as well as for my sister’s amazing food 🙂 ) But, poor Baby Drew, is used to being at home with just Mom and Dad in a relatively calm and quiet household.   Boy did he get the shock of his life when that fun airplane trip landed him in a totally new and crazy place in NY.  My sister joked that he was going to be thrown into bootcamp. For the first few days, it took me at least an hour to get him to sleep for naps and bedtime, and then he would still sometimes awaken a while later from the strange smells and sounds that were all around him.  He always had this horrific expression on his face when he woke up like he was thinking, “Oh no, I’m still here!”  To make matters worse (his sleeping that is), we had lots of family coming in and out to visit, and he was being greeted by new faces everyday.  The poor little guy had a few meltdowns – he didn’t know what to do.

Eventually, he began to get used to it all though.  And by the end of the week, he was going to bed fairly easily and sleeping through door slams, chattering kids, and big family gatherings.  And now that we’re back in FL, I’ve decided that I am going to put all of my future kids (Lord willing) through my sister’s family bootcamp. 🙂  Drew has been consistently sleeping 12 hours every night (he has never done that), and yesterday, he napped through Dr. Daddy drilling and hammering the new baby gate at the top of the stairs, and went to bed without a peep despite several neighbors setting off their own personal firework displays.  I am amazed – and wonderfully well rested.  😉 Thanks to Big Sis’s Baby Bootcamp.