Spring Break Staycation

Last week was my son’s spring break from preschool, and for the first time in a very long time, Wyatt and I found ourselves looking at a week that didn’t have any doctor’s appointments, therapy (usually three times a week), school, or even work for me, as my boss (and cousin lol) was on a family trip for their spring break. I had planned at first to work on some potty training for my little CP warrior since we had all week to do it, uninterrupted. But, this kid works so hard, you guys. So hard all the time. So, I changed my mind. I was taking advantage of this wonderful gift of time, and letting Wyatt just be a kid.

We spent a lot of time outside – the weather was amazing, spring making its way to the Mitten state, finally! We took lots of walks, had picnics in the yard, ate lots of ice cream, practiced pedaling on the tricycle, and just lots of “play momma, play”.

We also went on a “zoofari” together. We picked three animals to go find at the zoo and then went and found them! He picked the zebra and giraffe, I picked the otters, one of my favorites – although Wyatt picked my other favorite, the zebras! He loves the giraffes, and I found out last night that his cousin does too!

We planted a few seeds for our garden – moon and star watermelon, cinnamon basil, and lettuce. We were also really excited to find a new friend, a neighborhood groundhog that we have named Stan. He lives under these steps of a church, and is always just hanging out on his porch. We would go check on him everyday, of course hanging back to not disturb him or interfere with him.

I even managed to get some adult time in! I had book club with my buddies, and then Billy and I reconnected with a friend who we were so close with for years and years, and then kind of fell out of touch for a bit. We met for dinner and it was like time had never passed since our last visit together.

It was a very full and wonderful week, full of lots of good times, laughter, friends, and just all those moments that make up life, everyday.

 

Dino-Might!

I love dinosaurs. I always have. I used to dream about being a paleontologist when I was a kid, but then realized I was better at words than math. I have a love for the sciences even though I am not great at them, and I want to pass this along early to my son. I started collecting dinosaur crafts and projects and coloring books and all sorts of fun things to do with him in July, which I deemed would now be known as Dino-month.

So I was super excited when I saw that a nearby indoor playscape/preschool/wellness center was having a drop in class for preschoolers and toddlers all about dinosaurs!! There would be songs and stories and sensory bins and a craft – all for $12! I was so excited to take Wyatt. I knew he would love it. Then I realized…I would have to socialize too! My biggest nightmare as an introvert super shy momma, is interacting with other parents. But, like we push our kids to move past their fears, so must we as parents push past ours. And it is good for us to get out of our comfort zones too – I need to grow and move forward as well. So, this was it for me. Wyatt needs to do this sort of thing, it is so good for all kids to interact with their peers and all that, and especially for Wyatt. As a kid with some developmental disabilities due to his CP, he picks up a lot of language and movement by being around other kids. So, it was time for this momma to toughen up and go talk to some strangers! Lol.

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I had this super cute outfit laid out for him to wear – but then it got breakfast on it and had to be changed. Note to self: put cute outfit on preschooler after he eats..

We finally rolled up to the place, which was in the middle of an adorable neighborhood. I was feeling nervous, made worse when I walked right in to the end of the baby and mom yoga class that was before the Jurassic Wonders class. But the yogi (whom I actually knew, I met her when our husbands worked together years ago) is a sweet welcoming soul who made me feel less awkward and less like bolting back out the door. Wyatt and I took a seat and waited for the class to clear out then I put him down to explore. The place, Nature’s Playhouse, was super accessible and I totally loved its vibe. Natural materials, solid and sturdy wooden toys everywhere, tables scattered about, puzzles, a rocking board. I felt like I was in a kid’s secret fort. Wyatt dug it, and enjoyed that shoes weren’t supposed to be worn in that room, since he hates wearing shoes. He had a big grin on his face the whole time we were there.

As the rest of the parents and kids trooped in, we circled up with our kids for story time  and songs. Afterwards, there were two sensory areas, an area with dinosaur books to flip through, including a cool one with different textures to touch, and the craft, which was painting a dinosaur with sponges and paint. Wyatt and I started with the painting, getting the messiest out of the way first.

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I think he did a great job! After that we headed over to the sifting through the sand bin, where the kids used paintbrushes to brush away the sand to find the dinosaur stickers hidden under the sand. Wyatt seriously loved this the best. Most of the other kids liked the area where you dug through beans and did some pouring and jazz, but Wyatt liked the sand area. We happily played over there, I made awkward (on my end) conversation with another mother, then, it was time to go! The class passed by super quickly.

I am so glad that I went – Wyatt had a blast! I will have to watch for other classes that fit into our crazy life schedules, even if it is just to drop in and play. It is worth it for the big grin I saw on my son’s face the whole time we were there.

Walking back to the car, I noticed the sidewalk full of acorn hats, something I had missed on the way in. I stopped and picked one up. Acorns are special to our family, almost a talisman. My Wyatt is my acorn, my tiny boy – and like my grandma said, “From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks.”  Stumbling on these acorns was a reminder, I think, of how we all need to grow, to be strong and to be mighty..

I am looking forward to our next visit!

Getting Hygge With It

There is something intrinsically so appealing about the Danish/Nordic lifestyle, the feeling of coziness that they call hygge. As an American, I feel that I can disappear into my endless to-do list, which gets longer everyday. My son has cerebral palsy, and we are running to therapy four days a week. We have at least one specialist doctors appointment a month. And that is of course in addition to all of the rest of our everyday things we have to do, that everyone does. Pay bills, grocery shop, clean, work if we work, go to school, all these things. Where do we find time to indulge our own selves, to take care of our own souls? It’s a rabbit hole for sure. The answer is that we need to find time, make time, just let stuff go a little bit, and enjoy the moments before they are gone.

This is something I have been reminding myself for a week or two now, since reading a few books on the subject, and looking at Pinterest and YouTube.

It’s the food that is drawing me in right now. I used to love spending time in the kitchen, making soup and baking while dancing around drinking a glass of red wine. Now, I feel like food has a different focus. W. is not a great eater. We have to practically stand on our heads to get him to eat, and we always need to add more fat to his food, just to increase calories. His CP also causes him to lose weight easier, as someone with CP actually uses 30% more energy than someone who doesn’t. Last week though, I began to relax a little about food. I would get so stressed about it ~ and I honestly think my stress and anxiety about W. eating was affecting him. The past two weeks he has been eating like a champ. Perhaps it is the food, as I am spending more time making food – and not with medical instructions on my mind, but love. Care. The instinct to feed those that I love good food is very strong in me, and I think by burying that part of myself somewhat, it was reflected in the food I was making, and thereby perhaps extending itself to my boy. I could be crazy, but I do believe that it could happen. We have been enjoying pancakes, muffins, and I plan to make homemade pop tarts tomorrow. I have made lemony salmon, quinoa with avocado and a squeeze of lemon, meatballs for the boy, and he has eaten them all with relish. I’ve used fun plates, my china, and some dishes made by hand by my mother-in-law on her potters wheel, making the meal even more special. (W. does not eat off the fine china however, lol)

And if I end the night with a glass of wine and a Reese’s peanut butter egg, then so be it. By letting myself enjoy the process, I think that W. is enjoying the product. I even had some fun with an ordinary peanut butter and jelly the other day, cutting it into a whale shape when serving it with his all time favorite Goldfish crackers.



The weather lately has also been amazing, and we have been taking advantage of it as much as we can, and in a hygge sort of way. Soaking up nature, the sun, the wind. Walking through the woods, even just sitting and enjoying a few minutes on the porch.

The night though has always captivated my little 2 year old. He is fascinated by it. On some of these nicer nights, we have gone and stood outside, looking up at the dark sky, lit here only by a few stars but still, beautiful, twinkly. He laughs, a real laugh, which rings through the quiet as he throws his arms skyward. A perfect moment, for this mom.