Monthly Archives: August 2015

Playground of the Week – Bonner Nature Park

Last Wednesday, Henry I visited John R. Bonner Nature Park (14444 143rd St, Largo 33774) for our Playground of the Week. We love this park! It is tucked away into a neighborhood in Largo, and backs up into the intracoastal waterway so it is beautiful and quiet. There are a few nature trails, one with a sidewalk-like surface and another with a soft surface, and there is a boardwalk leading out to a covered deck on the intracoastal. Henry likes to stop and watch the fiddler crabs on our way out to the deck where he can then watch birds, boats, and fish play. I like that deck is shaded and cool with a Gulf breeze.   
    
 
The park also hosts a good-sized playground in the shade. It has two sections, one for 2-5 year olds and another for 5-12 year olds. Henry likes both, of course, and also loves the swings. It’s not fenced in, but we’ve never had a problem with Henry running into the adjacent parking lot. There are bathroom and covered picnic facilities, which are always nice to have around especially with kids, but they also are frequently used by City employees. There is a big grassy field that we haven’t used yet since it is in the full sun, but looks like a good place for playing baseball or soccer. The Largo parks department just opened a kayak/SUP/canoe launch on the waterway, so we will have to check that out sometime, too. Every time we visit this park I think, “we need to come here more often.” It’s that lovely. 

   
   

The Vaseline Incident

the Vaseline incident – it sounds like a band name, doesn’t it?!

I’ve been putting off posting about this until it wasn’t so fresh in my mind since it felt traumatic at the time, even if everyone else thought it was hilarious. It was not funny at all then, and still isn’t (but hopefully will be soon). On our second day in DC, I put Henry down for his afternoon nap in Vanesa’s room. I thought I had cleared away everything that he could possibly get into, but i was wrong. In the back of Vanesa’s (closed) closet, behind some toilet paper in a closed cabinet lurked Vaseline. A full jar of Vaseline. 
Henry had learned earlier in the day how to put hair product in his hair to make it curly and he decided to try it on his own since he had clearly mastered it before. So while we thought he was sleeping (because he was quiet – always question the silence!), he was busy emptying the contents of the Vaseline onto his head and face. It took less than 15 minutes, because that’s when I asked Vanesa if she would go check to see if he was sleeping.

 

after washing with regular baby shampoo
  
 
She came down the stairs giggling in shock, and he was so happy and proud! We carried the slippery sucker up to the tub and tried (unsuccessfully) washing out the Vaseline with regular soap several times and warm water and then brushing it out. Fail. Panicked phone calls were made to my mom and Marcie. Vanesa told Marcie and Lisa they had to drop what they were doing and come, because the situation was getting more and more slippery. My mom told me to call poison control since he may have swallowed some and she didn’t know if it was toxic. 

 

washing with Dawn
 
I’ve never felt more like a bad parent than in this moment, talking to a lady from poison control and explaining I didn’t know how much Vaseline he had ingested. For future reference, the woman I spoke with was very calm and helpful, and assuaged my fears. For all you parents out there – Vaseline is NOT toxic. It acts as a laxative depending on how much one consumes. And it can be a choking hazard since it is extra thick. Since Henry was not coughing (too much laughing), the choking bit was ruled out, and it didn’t seem like he ate a lot of it (probably only 1-2 bites) so he was going to be fine. 

 

washing with corn starch
  
 
Lisa (our go-to librarian) researched how to clean Vaseline out of hair and there are a couple of ways: (1) Dawn dish soap like they use for oil spills and (2) corn starch with hot water. If you use cool water, the Vaseline clumps up and becomes even more difficult to get out. We used both methods on the Hen, multiple times a day, for several days. In case you are wondering, it takes about a week and at least 37 washings of hair to make the hair feel and look natural again. 

There was just so. much. Vaseline. It was like wrestling a slicked up pig, and the tub was so incredibly slippery each time the adults had to shower it was like ice skating (I am not a skater). Needless to say, we will not be keeping it our house anytime soon. One day I will be able to laugh with everyone else about it, but today is still not that day. 

 

playground fun afterwards
  
  
hair isn’t wet, it is vaselined
  
 

Field Trip Friday to Maddie’s House

Yesterday, we spent our Field Trip Friday hanging out with Henry’s new friend, Maddie, and her mom, Beth! Henry and I met Maddie and Beth at the Highland Rec Center after Itty, Bitty Splashtime, and the kids hit it off immediately playing in some ice and collecting treasures in the shrubbery. We have had a few play dates since then and it is too adorable watching them play.

They spent an hour and a half splashing around in Maddie’s awesome pool, which had a dinosaur basketball hoop, small slide, and a spraying palm tree. They liked shooting hose water at each other the best, and also drinking from the hose (a summertime must, as long as the water is safe). The adults stayed safely in the shade, drinking perfect ice coffee.



After lunch, the kids set about playing with as many toys as possible (i.e. causing as much destruction as possible) in Maddie’s room, making minion hair out of play dough, and dumping board games out. After we did clean up, they had a special treat – they jammed out in the front seat of Beth’s car to kid tunes and had a blast pushing all the buttons. Henry loves Maddie so much that he can’t wait to have her come play at his house next week (we have to plan when to see her next before we leave, or else Henry will not get in the car)!


27 Month Old Update

Henry is growing and changing much more subtly these days. He continues to work on speaking in sentences, which everyone says he does very clearly, even if he doesn’t always get the right verb tense. He is listening to us all the time, so we have to watch what we say or else he will repeat something he shouldn’t. It’s a work in progress since it seems he knows exactly what he shouldn’t say and says it with gusto!
Playing is his job, and he’s pretty awesome at it. He loves playing outside, especially at playgrounds so we make sure we visit a few during the week. This morning, he could be heard saying, “I can play cars all day!” He loves any kind of vehicle, stuffed animals, and books right now. He is definitely playing more independently – he kicks us out of his room so he can read alone or play with his animal friends. He is starting to play make believe, which is simply adorable in every way. Yesterday, he was playing “tornado” at the playground, which involved running around in circles with some other kids shouting tornado. He loves to play with other kids; not just parallel play, he is beginning to play with them, too. He specifically asks to play with his new friend, Maddie, his cousin, Grayson, and other friends who live far away (Divya, Cora, & Belle, I’m looking at you). He is becoming cooler all the time; I know all parents say that, but it’s totally true. 

  
Some Specifics Right Now

  • Schedule: He wakes up between 7 and 8 am every day, takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoons (usually starting around 1:30/2, and sometimes it takes an hour or more for him to fall asleep), and starts his bedtime routine around 8 pm (asleep by 9). It’s so nice he has been on a consistent sleeping schedule since he turned two, but I know it could change at any time. 
  • Foods: corn on the cob, any and all fruit, chicken nuggets, pbj sandwiches, hot dogs, yogurt raisins
  • TV: Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Curious George, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, The Cat and the Hat (he watches these throughout the week, never all in one day, don’t worry)
  • Books: “Knuffle Bunny, Too” by Mo Willems, anything by Sandra Boynton, “Everyone Poops” by Taro Gomi, and UF 101 (start ’em early)

Finally, we are starting potty training next week so wish us all luck!

  

Campus Ministry Reunion, DC-Style

While I attended the University of Florida, I participated in Lutheran Campus Ministry at University Lutheran Church, where I met some of my best friends ever (including Keith). Seriously good people, and it sucks not living all in one place anymore but we make it a habit to meet up whenever we can. Since several of the ladies were already visiting Vanesa in DC, she thought it would be a fabulous idea to get the Virginia/DC/Maryland ULCers together for a reunion, and it definitely was the right thing to do.    
 
It had been years since some of us had seen each other, so there was loads of catching up to do, and we had fun doing so over delicious food and drinks. Henry wasn’t the only kid (finally!) and he loved playing with his new pal, Ethan. They held hands all the way to the playground, and explored all over once they arrived. I know I’m being vague in my description of the party (it wasn’t a Marcie party, for those wondering), but I can’t be more serious in saying there is a special place in my heart for everyone who I’ve met in Campus Ministry, and the reunion made my heart dance with happiness. Go Gators!

   
 

DC Adventures (Mostly in Food)

Looking back at the pictures my friends and I actually took over our DC trip, most of them involved gathering around a table and enjoying delicious food and drinks drinks and even better conversation. We started off the weekend right with sangria (super sweet) and Jazz in the Garden. We sprawled in the shadow of weird sculptures with hundreds of others. Since we didn’t bring food, we walked to Hill Country Barbecue Market for melt-in-your-mouth brisket and so many sides. 

  
The next day we split a pizza and hummus appetizer at Pi Pizza, which totally hit the spot. For dinner, we met up with my fav aunt, Aunt Jane, at Ted’s Bulletin for drinks, tasty food including homemade pop tarts, and adult (spiked) milkshakes for dessert. Mine was key lime pie flavored with coconut rum, and it was definitely refreshing. 

   
 Sunday morning we headed over to Georgetown for brunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers. It was pricey, but the variety of breakfast and lunch foods was excellent and the cinnamon rolls and creme brûlée grapefruit were to die for. 

   
 On our last full day we ate lunch at the Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian (http://www.mitsitamcafe.com/content/menus.asp), where it was difficult to pick which foods to eat because they all looked amazing. I ended up getting a variety of foods and not being able to finish any of them, but they tasted as good as they looked. We had drinks that night at Ambar, our first visit to a Balkan restaurant. I’m pretty sure I liked the American Indian restaurant the best, with Ted’s Bulletin a close second. 

  
We even saw a few tourist sites – the Natural History Museum and the National Building Museum. We saw all the highlights of Natural History in one morning! That’s how my two year old rolls. Actually, he ran through each exhibit, pausing for a bit at the animal and dinosaur skeletons, long enough to pet a caterpillar and a hissing cockroach, and took time to admire the beauty of the Hope diamond (oh wait, that was the adults). We wanted to check out the beach at the National Building Museum, but the wait was more than two hours on a Monday morning, probably because it was 107 degrees outside (not really but it was hot)! Henry had a blast playing with toys in the gift shop (he got one small fire truck for the plane ride home) and climbing up and down the stairs. The building’s design was beautiful with its rows and columns of arches and spacious interior. We will have to see the exhibits next time we visit DC, especially if Henry still likes building and destroying things.