Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Surprise, We're Going to Disneyland!

What better way to kick off summer vacation than with an impromptu visit to the Magical Kingdom ... The Happiest Place on Earth ... well, minus the long lines and the 87 degree heat. Although Dylan finished school last week, I still work until the end of the month. He was so excited to be on summer vacation that I decided to surprise him with a late afternoon visit to Disneyland. Dylan has been watching all the commercials about the new Star Tours ride and just about jumped out of his shoes when I told him we were going.

Surprisingly, the lines were only 15-30 minute waits. However, this is beacuse everyone was standing in line for Star Tours! The wait went from 115 minutes down to 90 ... no more fast passes ... ugh ... the things we do for our children.

As much as he wanted to go on this ride, the heat and the idea of standing in line did not make Dylan happy. He did everything he could to sit in the shade alongside the building while I stood in line.

As we got closer to entering the building his frown began to fade and the excitement was hard to contain.

After 80 long minutes of standing we finally make it inside. The happiness on Dylan's face made all the numbness in my feet disappear and I quickly remembered what it was like to be a child at Disneyland.

Our destination was Hoth, which was the first choice of Dylan's ... coming in close second place was Endor. The flight was smoother than before they renovated the ride, but the best part was Dylan's reaction when the ride was over.

"Seriously, that was it? Seriously? So not worth the wait"


Now that we had accomplished the mission of riding the new Star Tours it was off to all the other fun rides. Pirates of the Caribbean, Matterhorn, Tarzan's Treehouse, Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise, and a few spins on the Gadget Coaster (all by himself)

All in all, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening. Next visit we hit California Adventure and Mom gets to ride the new Little Mermaid ...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

LEGO Addiction?

Is it possible to be addicted to LEGO's? These small pieces of plastic seem to have taken over my son's bedroom. The shelves that were once filled with hundred of books are now home to hundreds of dollars worth of tiny Lego's. Every penny Dylan gets is now saved up to buy the latest Lego collection so he can build something else.

Granted I love that he is using his brain and building these wonderful creations, perfecting his hand-eye coordination, and buying something other than video games ... but SERIOUSLY, they have taken over  his room!

We still have all the books, they were just moved to other places. And the Lego's that didn't fit on the shelves in his room ... well, they have been  placed on a shelf in his closet!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dylan's 1st Grown-up Bed

Ah, the day has finally come that my little guy is not so little anymore. There is no more denying it. It's time for another bed. This time a bed that will last a little longer than 4 years.

The crib was great until he quickly learned how to climb out of it. Thankfully his crib converted to a toddler bed, but he still seemed to climb out of it ...

At age 3 1/2 Dylan got a really nice bed. The sides came up around him and it wasn't too high off the ground so I had no worries of him falling out of bed. This didn't last too long either ... he's way to cool to sleep in this bed now. Not to mention the fact that he keeps bumping into the panels at night and banging his head.

The goal was to get a bed that Dylan would love just as much as my bed and hopefully sleep in the new bed and not on the floor or on a chair!  By the look on his face, I think I have succeeded.

He still thinks he is pretty cool, but at least he is on the bed this time ...

At least I did one thing right. The bedding I bought for his crib had matching bedding for the twin bed and I purchased it all at the same time. The small quilt that now lays at the foot of his bed was once the quilt that covered his tiny body in his crib.
See, mom's know how to hang on to their little boys ... at least for a little while.

It's Summer!

Dylan is done with school and I have only four more days of work ... Summer Vacation is in clear site and we couldn't be happier. Sure, working for the school district I always have summer's off ... but this summer is different. This will be the first time in over two years that I will not have homework or papers to write over the summer. I can actually relax and enjoy the summer with Dylan! We have so many exciting things planned and I can't wait until July 1st so that the fun can begin.

Closets have been cleaned out (yes, even the ones that I was afraid to open) and the deep cleaning that has been put off for so long is complete. Come this time next week we will have nothing to do but relax and have fun in the Southern California sun!

I can hardly contain myself ...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Trip to the ER

I can't think of anything worse than when your child is sick and you have that gut feeling, that so-called mother's instinct, that something is not right. What started out as a little tummy ache quickly turned to a headache and feeling dizzy. Then came the throw-up. Lots of it! Very pale, disoriented, lethargic. Yes, it's time to go to the emergency room.
So what do I do? Call for reinforcement ... 1-800-GRANDMA

Once at the hospital, Dylan is put into a wheelchair because he is so weak. And quite frankly, too heavy for me to carry. After explaining all of his symptoms to the doctor, he rules out the flu, meningitis, and any problems with Dylan's appendix. Now it's time to draw blood and see what we are missing. Oh no, the thought of this procedure makes my heart break. Dylan has no idea what is coming. At first we were told to keep him awake, but nothing happens quickly in the ER and he fell asleep. After all, it was now 10 pm. The nurse wants to wake him and I advise her not to. Better to just get it over with. Oh my ... the screams ... "help me, help me" ... I couldn't take it anymore and had to leave the room. Thank goodness for Grandma's!

After waiting almost 2 hours for the results from the blood test, all that was determined was that Dylan was dehydrated, white blood count was high, and no bacterial infection was detected. It's viral and must run its course. Dylan was given medication to stop the vomiting and Tylenol for the pain.

Around 1am Dylan wakes up and starts talking. Asking if we can go home. Suddenly he seems normal. Telling jokes, acting silly and asking animal trivia questions. He even let me take a video of him.

Although he seemed better, we were not out of the woods yet. He pretty much sat on the couch the whole next day and didn't eat or drink anything until late afternoon. As hard as I tried, he wouldn't even drink water. Then he crashed out at 6 pm ... not to wake until 12:30 am. Since I wasn't going to sleep much anyway, I moved him into my bed for the night. He looks at me and says, "I'm better" and gives me a hug. Thanking me for taking care of him. My Dylan was back and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Child's Love

We love our children before they are even born. When a child asks, "How much do you love me?" the answers can be endless.

This much ...
To the moon and back ...

To the ends of the earth ...
To infinity and beyond ...
More than anything in the whole wide world ...

These are just a few of the answers I have given Dylan when he asks me how much I love him. Can a parent really put into words how much love they have for their child? I can honestly answer No, I can't. I would do just about anything for my son. I would step in front of a moving vehicle and die for my son if it meant he lived.

Now reverse the question and the answer can drastically change. You're mean. You're not being fair. How come you never let me do that. As children, we never fully understand why our parents do the things they do; however, as parents we have that ah-ha moment.

Recently, Dylan decided that he and I would start a new tradition. Each night we say something nice about each other and finish with a hug and I love you. So far I have been told ...

Your eyes are as green as emerald gems.
If I could have any mom in the world, I would chose you.
Your hair is as soft as silk.
I'm proud of you.
You're one "hot momma"

Regardless of what he says, he melts my heart. The love a child has for his or her mother is also something that is not easily put into words. I cherish each minute, each day, and each year I have with Dylan and my world would be empty without him.

Sometimes it is not simply saying "I love you" ... but putting that love into words of expression.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Our Furry Neighbor

We've all seen them scurrying across the street, but how many of us get the opportunity to watch these adorable animals eat just a few feet away from us? Much to our surprise this morning, just outside of the window was this little squirrel. Sitting in the big pine tree ... eating his breakfast with us.

His little hands holding each end of the pinecone just like we hold an ear of corn. Back and forth from one end to the other he nibbled away at the pinecone until there was nothing left. We watched him scurry up the tree, down to the end of a branch and get pinecone after pinecone. Only to bring them back to this same spot and eat away. Such an exciting moment for Dylan. He just loves animals!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another Milestone in Life

grad·u·a·tion (noun) - the award or acceptance of an academic degree or diploma.

com·mence·ment (noun) -  the ceremonies or the day for conferring degrees or diplomas.

I don't remember my Kindergarten graduation, but know that I had one. I vaguely remember my 6th grade promotion and feeling excited about starting Junior High, yet at the same time worried about changing classrooms and remembering where everything was. 

Junior High graduation. I was cool. Excited. No longer did I have to say I was in the "blank" grade. Now I was a Freshman. At the time it was great ... until I got there and quickly learned I was at the bottom of the bunch. Then a Sophomore. 

OK, getting better. Now there were people below me. I knew my way around the school and thought this isn't so bad. Junior year ... driving, braces off, had my share of heartache. However, I survived and was ready to hold the coveted title of "Senior"

High School graduation. I did it. Diploma in hand. I survived the heartache, the tests, the homework, the teachers I didn't like, the snobby girls, and all that we know as high school. A sense of accomplishment. 

I was free. Never to do another report (as they are called in high school), no more tests, and no more homework. The world was my oyster to do whatever I pleased. I was not college bound. Didn't care to be. I wanted to live life.

Well, after the harsh reality hit I took a few courses at the local Junior College. Not happy. Didn't know what I wanted to be. What I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was I loved kids and I wanted to be a Mom someday. 

Flash forward 15 years and I'm a Mom. A single mom. Not quite what I had planned. Happy.

Flash forward another 5 years. I am now 38 years old with a 5 year old son. Working full-time and raising him the best I can. Haven't touched a textbook or written a paper (as they are called in college) for almost 20 years. I was a high school graduate ... what more did I need?

I needed to finish college. 
Not for a job. 
Not because my parents told me to.
Not for more pay. 

But because I wanted to do it. I wanted to be able to tell my son that his Mom was a College Graduate. I wanted that sense of accomplishment and self-worth. To tell my son that no matter what, no matter how hard life is, now matter how many times you feel like giving up ... anything is possible.

Flash forward another 2 1/2 years. Now 23 years since I graduated high school and received that coveted "diploma". At age 41, I will be walking in a commencement ceremony tomorrow as my family and son witness me receiving not a diploma, but a college degree. 
Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Excited. Yes. 
Scared. Yes. 

Am I dreaming? No.
Will I ever stop learning? No.

Surreal. Yes. 
Proud. Yes. 
Accomplished. Absolutely.