A hiking we did go

We went on a little hiking adventure yesterday. There is a perfect toddler loop near our home called the Frog Pond Wetlands. I enjoy it because, while it is only a one mile loop, the scenery changes quite a bit. There are narrow parts where the vegetation comes right to the edge of the trail and the smell of growth and compost are strong, then it opens up and brown grasses stretch out to either side. we climb up a series of small hills and the tree branches reach out above our heads from either side and the light plays beautifully through the leaves. Then down and down into more thick growth and over multiple small bridges to the pond, which is covered in light green algae. There small birds hop around on top of the algae looking for bugs and a cluster of ducklings quacks around near some reeds. 

Graydon is in heaven. He spends the first 5 minutes pointing into the wild and telling me, "snakes!" even though we don't see a single one. Then he runs and runs ahead shouting, "DORA!" and I am sure he truly believes she and her pal Boots are someplace in this wildscape. I have to remind him to stay on the path and we discuss how this is for his safety and for the plants safety too. I am able to slow his sprint occasionally by pointing out the different flowers blooming along our trail. Eleanor is riding in the Ergo and is snuggled deep into my chest napping, that's the life

When the bridges start we have to stop at each one and look over the edge to see the water, even though most of them are dry underneath.

When we do get to one with water we spend a fair bit of time staring over the edge, until the bugs start nibbling on us and I drag him forward.

When we get to the pond there is a deck that cantelievers over the water, Graydon doesn't understand that the algae is not solid and he is quite upset that we cannot go walk on it. We look at the ducklings and he notes that the algae covered pond smells like, "Poo! Mama, Poo!".  He takes stock of multiple spider webs, complete with the precious hand motion that accompanies anytime he says spider (it is an above the head hand twist, reminiscent of the web climbing motions from "itsy bitsy spider").

He has a tantrum when it is time to move on from the pond. I have to chase him down severa times as he makes a break for freedom and there is much dragging of feet and shedding of tears. Finally I convince him that if we keep walking we can count the remaining bridges and he finds that agreeable. 

The whole trip takes less that 45 minutes but it allows him to run wild in nature and gives me a break from the rules of the house.

Eleanor sleeps the whole time, ah, to be 4 months old.



Despite the fact that my last post was over a year ago I still have a habit of viewing my life events from an aspect of blogging them. What colorful words could I use to describe how Graydon runs back and forth from one end of the house the the other chasing the dog, squealing and tripping over his own feet? Would that last picture of Eleanor with her entire fist in her mouth be a good one for the blogosphere? In the end the truth is that blogging is a much better way for me to document my rapidly growing off spring than the random notecards and pages of different journals that hold their other milestones. 

I will attempt to dive back in, though I am sure my words will be less eloquent than the ones of years past...you know, back when I had time to crack open a thesaurus after dinner... 

When we last met I was raising one wild little baby and waiting for my best friend to come home from deployment, ah how quickly life changes! As I write this I am sitting at my kitchen table in Monterey, California, upstairs TWO children sleep and my husband is off on a long bike ride in the middle of a workday. One year ago we moved to Monterey for Chris to attend Naval Postgraduate School for 2 years. On the drive from Yuma to Monterey I discovered the happy news that I was pregnant and in February our family was completed with the birth of Eleanor.  

Graydon turned two with full force and is a joy and a challenge to parent. His favorite word is No, he wishes everything was blue and believes in earnest that "two" is the right answer to any question regarding numbers. e laughs and dances and runs everyplace but also has a very serious and contemplative side, he focuses and is cautious around new people and places. He calls me Mama and melts my heart but he wakes up in the morning demanding, "Daddy!". Gray and Loki are best pals and Graydon likes to emulate all things dog; sniffing, putting his face in the water bowl, walking on all fours, lifting his leg and saying"pee"...  We have daily adventures and some of our favorites include the beach, the aquariums, the farmer's market and nature hikes behind the house where he likes to look for beetles. 

Eleanor is my little spit fire, we were thrilled to learn she was a girl and she gifted me with the VBAC that I coveted and worked hard to achieve. She loves to be talked to and held but she can fall asleep on her own in the crib. She nurses like a champ and only wakes up 2-3 times a night. She rolls from her back to her belly and scoots her ways forward to get to her toys. She has brown hair and blue eyes (what? How?) and though she entered the world at an impressive 9 lbs 6.2 oz she has already shown herself to be more petite than her brother; she only has one extra chin.

Chris is working towards a Master's in Operational Research and he works hard to et his studies done at school so we can be a family at home. He loves Monterey for its running weather, hiking trails, gorgeous coastline and yummy eats.

I am slowly adapting to life as a Mama to two. I try to leave the house everyday and I am working hard to find new adventures to take my littles on. I love Monterey for is water, farmer's markets, new places to eat and because many dear friends live here. 

See you soon! 


The tenth fall

My entire life my Mama has been telling me to slow down. When I would stub a toe for the umpteenth time or run into the wall that was always there (yes people, I run into walls) she would shake her head ever so slightly, ask if I was alright and tell me to slow down. This is not just a childhood memory folks, this is current day too. I have not become any more graceful with age and I have not, as of yet, learned to slow down. 
It would appear that G has inherited this trait from me. The little guy started walking at the end of March and now he RUNS. Runs everywhere. His upper half runs faster than his feet can move and so he falls. A lot.
Nine times out of ten he gets right back up and keeps on running. But those tenth falls are tough, they are the falls that are audibly painful. Those are the falls that come with thunks, or smacks or loud crashes. Those are the falls that come with tears and screams, or worse The Silent Cry (you know the one- open mouth screaming with no noise or breath). So I scoop him up and check him out and cover him with cuddles and kisses and love and he recovers and hits the ground running once more.
Lil' G never stops moving and exploring and investigating and giving me gray hairs. The other evening we were playing Chris and my bedroom. I was standing one foot away on the phone with Chris when G, in a matter of 5 seconds, managed to open the drawer of a table and pull it over. I was able to catch it, preventing the whole thing from flattening him, but his arm got pretty well smashed. It was a Silent Cry moment and even more it was a "what do I do now" moment. His arm was bruised immediately but by the time I got a trip to urgent care approved by our insurance he was laughing and playing and his arm wasn't even swollen. We packed up and trecked over to the urgent care any way. This happened at 6:15 and the urgent care was advertised as open until 7, so imagine my surprise when we walked in at 6:30 to be told they were no longer seeing patients. 
At this point my munchkin was giggling and waving a sippy cup around with his "bad" arm. so I turned around and took him home and snuggled him extra long and put him to bed. He is fine, his arm is fine, I will be fine eventually (Mama guilt). However, there is sometime wrong with saying you are open until 7 if you are not. 
I guess if he ever has an eleventh fall I will know better.