Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend in Wheeling.

Bennett said it and I couldn’t agree more: This is a great time to live in Wheeling.

-- we are becoming friends with some of the most amazing, talented and positive people.
-- we are enjoying some of the most diverse amounts of arts/culture to hit this area.
-- we are a part of some redevelopment efforts.
-- we are learning to grow our own businesses outside of the 8-5 lifestyle.

It’s kind of an exciting time. 

Wheeling isn’t a big city.  It isn’t trying to be.  There might be more things to do in larger areas, but there are more things I appreciate in this smaller space.  We have a connection with the majority of the  businesses (and owners of said businesses) that we frequent.  Which I think is awesome.  And we can walk freely around any part of our town, admire the landscaping and architecture, and feel safe at all times.  Big pluses for me.

This weekend had seriously the best weather we could ask for.  So we took advantage and took to the streets of Wheeling.  We got baked goods from The Honey Hole, had some locally brewed beers and an appetizer at Market Vines, took photos for Bennett’s Meet Me in the Alley project, visited friends that were busy with restoration on The Professional Building, picked up coffee and tea from Wheeling Coffee & Spice, ate some downtown DiCarlo’s pizza while playing at the waterfront, then rounded up our out-of-the-house time by taking Louis up to Oglebay’s playground for some ultimate playtime.

Louis loved every second of it.  I thought for sure he’d crash before the day’s end but he was apparently high on Wheeling and sunshine like we were.  One of Wheeling’s most iconic landmarks is the Suspension Bridge (which terrifies me to drive on for no real reason other than craziness but I love looking at it) and somehow in the 6+ years I’ve lived here, I’ve never taken a photo in front of it.  It can be checked off my non-existent bucket list now!

Saturday ended with a little more outside playtime, mostly in the sandbox while Daddy fired up the grill.  It’s like we had to cram everything we love about summer into one day because there is a threat of snow (!!!) on Tuesday evening.

Louis cracks me up with his little ticks.  Sometimes when he plays with certain toys, he needs to line all of them up in a row and tell me what they are.  Bennett has taught him all of the dinosaur names and Lou went down the line, letting me know if they eat plants/meat and if they swim in the water or not.  :: swoon ::  This kiddo.

Sunday was even hotter.  It was pushing 80degrees the majority of the day…so naturally, we wanted to play with squirt guns.  One of us can’t play in the water without being stripped down to his skivvies.  Lucky for you, it’s Louis and he’s adorable in his Angry Bird undies.  If it were Bennett or myself…the photos wouldn’t be safe for anyone to view. ;)

No man, nor dog, is safe when Louis has a water toy.  This is a fact.

George uses his years of experience around Louis and hides so far that we’d never be able to reach him with any watergun or hose.  Wuss.  Poor Annabelle…she is still requiring a leash, which means she was tied up and couldn’t run to safety fast enough.  And then Bennett and myself, who were really the main targets.  Louis had us soaked. 

Louis has always been a water bug.  I’m happy that hasn’t gone away.  He loves to watch how water works while he pour it out of or onto various things.

And then, of course, my yearly photo in front of these blossoming bushes.  They’re so pretty and cheerful, I can’t help myself!  I’m just bummed that we have another round of frost headed our direction this week.  I’m itching to plant some flowers in pots and get our garden growing.  Patience Katy, patience.

So there was our weekend in a nutshell.  Or not so much a nutshell…but in a million and one photos.  Can you tell that I’m slightly pumped about the warmer weather and outdoor photos?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Signs of spring.

Be prepared, this is the beginning of this year’s “Katy takes a million pictures of Louis playing by the creek” posts.  Or have we taken some this year already?  I’m not sure.

I’m going to try and not complain about the weather but I feel like we are so far behind in spring transitions compared to last year.  Luckily, when we head outdoors, there are more and more signs of plants budding and flowers blooming.  And really, I’m pretty sure that my Michigan friends and family still have traces of snow in places, so I really shouldn’t whine.  I just really want more spring in my life!

I had a stressful day of work yesterday but it all seemed to melt away as soon as I hit our driveway.  I met Louis, Bennett and the pups outside and drank a delicious West Virginia made beer out of a mason jar.  So the day totally redeemed itself. 

Louis has been ALL ABOUT pictures lately.  It’s too funny.  While we were out, he started doing this little dance thing…shaking his butt and shoulders and making silly faces.  And later when we were at one of Bennett’s ‘Meet Me in the Alley’ photo-shoots, Lou kept requesting that I take pictures of him.  “Momma, take a picture of my awesome muscles!”  Oh child of mine…

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Can we talk about it?

Parenting can be hard. 
And holding your own temper back while your child is being unruly can be even harder.

People might think Bennett and I are crazy but we are on a no-yelling system when it comes to Louis.  I’d like to add that we sometimes [often] fail at this system but we keep trying.

I don’t think it’s fair that we teach our children to not yell at us by yelling at them.  It’s basically saying it’s not okay for you to be bad but I can do whatever the hell I want because I’m an adult.  When he cries or yells or acts like a little butthead, we make him take a deep breath and count to four (before he roars, thank you Daniel Tiger), then calmly explain what happened.  Believe it or not, a lot of times it really does work.  Sometimes taking a step back from whatever you’re freaking out about helps.

It’s tough.  I’m  not saying that we are perfect at it.  Or that we are even remotely perfect parents.  Unless perfect parenting includes getting things wrong all of the time and having life lessons thrown at you on a daily basis.  Then yeah, we are totally perfect.

I just don’t see the need to have everyone running around mad at each other when it just takes a minute to calm down enough to talk to each other.  Kindness does work…

The only problem is that we have an incredibly stubborn and smart little kiddo.

When I got home from work last night, Louis greeted me with a hug and then asked what I brought for him.  “Where is the surprise?  Did you bring me something new?  A toy?”

Uggggggggggh.
”No, I didn’t.  I’m sorry but you don’t always get something when I come home/we go to the store/you think you need something new.”

Louis got upset.  Pouted, cried a little and huffed around the house.  And then he asked permission to take a deep breath and count to four.  I thought we might have gotten over the hump when he came up to me and said, “Momma, can we talk about it in the winning woom?”

So we did.  He sat on my lap and talked calmly about how he wishes I would have brought him something home because he wanted a new toy.  And I calmly explained to him why he didn’t need anything new right now.  He was left unsatisfied but at least he felt like his little voice was heard?

I don’t know how else to do this.  To get over the entitled toddler aspect of things.  And the mini-freakouts that happen.  This is the path we’ve chosen and we are going to stick it out.  Smother him in kindness and hope that he comes out on the other end of it a wonderful human being that thinks before he speaks and doesn’t yell and fight with the people around him.  :: fingers crossed ::

**These particular pictures are from another “can we talk about it” moment.  If he is disagreeing with one parent and the other is out of the house, Louis will request that we call the absent parent so he can tell them what’s happening.  I get a few calls during work like this while Louis and Bennett are butting heads a little.  It’s sweet and it usually ends with him being a little more calm, even if I am siding with his Daddy the entire time. :)