Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Off to school

Little r couldn't wait to go to school today. He was so excited. My plan was to stick around for a bit, then take off for a couple hours to see how he would do. I wasn't there five minutes and he said, "bye, bye, mommy!". His teacher smiled. She thought it was so cute (and it really was).

I met the mother of the other American boy. All the Americans around here are military, so there's always an instant connection and familiarity that makes you feel like you have know each other for awhile. She said she was so thankful little r started kindergarten there. For the past six months her son has cried and begged not to go to school. This morning was the first time her son couldn't wait to go because he wanted to play with little r. It warms my heart to know that this is benefiting someone else, too, and also to know that my little man will have a buddy to play with every day.

I will say that little r wasn't THAT excited to get rid if me. When he saw me trying to leave, he wasn't too happy about letting me go. He did give me a sweet kiss goodbye and I'm certain his cries ended quickly after I left.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 30, 2012

Today was bitter-sweet

I have been looking forward to this week since last fall when I registered little r for Kindergarten.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that the little man is quite bored with his mom and he is craving not only friends his age, but also some more routine in his life.  I can hardly blame him.  I'm pretty bored with myself as well, and my life is definitely craving a little regularity.

So, today was the day...well, the "official" first day of Kindergarten is 1 February, but the director called me and said I could bring him in a couple days before so that he can meet the other kids and slowly feel comfortable there before I walk away and leave him for several hours.  In my heart I knew he would not only be ok, but that he would thrive in the environment they provide at this amazing school.

I prepared little r for his first day all weekend.  We took the puppy for a walk so I could point out the school and start talking to him about it.  I know this probably wasn't necessary, but I wanted Kindergarten to seem special to little r and have it not be just like any other daycare. I wanted him to look forward to his time at school... By this morning, he was all too ready for this new adventure we'd now been talking about for days.

The walk from home to the Kindergarten was a tad bit farther than I had remembered it being.  It's probably just shy of a mile.  I noticed that they have a special area to "park" your stroller for those days when little r doesn't seem up for the trek (or my arms are too tired to carry him!).  I want to vow to myself never to try not to ever get too frantic where I can't at least do this walk to drop him off and pick him up each day.  If nothing else, the puppy will appreciate it!

If I had any anxiety about today, it dissipated within minutes of walking into the doors of the Kindergarten.  Little r was given free range to discover every nook and crannie of the building while I filled out some paperwork and went over things with his teacher.
 It turns out his teacher was incredibly modest about her ability to speak English; she speaks it very well making things even easier for me today.  There is also another American boy in little r's class, which will be good for him, although I don't think he'll have any problems and I am confident he will learn German quickly.

Today was all about introducing me and little r to the Kindergarten.  He got his own cubbie for his things; he has a drawer assigned to him to keep his "projects"; and there is a mailbox for me to get the monthly newsletter.  After all the formalities were taken care of, I was allowed to just watch little r play.  This is something I don't get to do very often in this type of setting, and it was great to see him interacting with the other children. I was a little nervous that he would have some trouble because he's in that terrible phase where he doesn't like to share and he can be very weird about his personal space. But he fit in right away, and I think it's safe to say he is already making friends with a couple of the kids.
When we gathered our things to head home, little r ran over to his teacher and gave her a kiss on the cheek. It was adorable!  Guess he is learning quickly how to become a teacher's pet.

I'm going to miss my little buddy.  We've been through so much together these past six months. I know though that this will be good for both of us.  Yeah, today is a very bitter sweet day...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sock fuzz

This post is not for the weak at heart... sock fuzz has taken over our bathtub and it is the scariest thing EVER. It will bite you, sting you, burn you, and...eat you?  My little man has entered what professionals would call the "irrational fear stage".  Out of nowhere, he is now terrified of things that a mere moments before he could care less about.  Loud noises, blowing leaves, shadows, and of course, the dreaded sock fuzz... 

Bath time is usually a favorite for little r. He's had moments in his short life where he hasn't been fond of taking a bath, but for the most part,  it has clearly been one of his most cherished times of the day.  That is, until now... sock fuzz appears harmless until you add water.  It's like a Gremlin in that way, it comes alive and becomes the most scary bug YOU HAVE EVER SEEN!  This is no joke either, or at least that's what little r believes.  This past weekend we had our first encounter with the swimming, toddler eating bugs. I did all I could think of to show him the sock fuzz was harmless, I even scooped all the fuzz I could find out of the bath, but that was no where near good enough to placate little r.  He was petrified, to put it mildly.  

I was too worried that if I allowed him to embellish this fear, that he would never take a bath again.  The kid is seriously hardheaded and he forgets NOTHING.  After he clawed his way out of the tub, and I started draining the water, I asked him if he would take a bath if mommy got in, too.  Apparently this is ok. It was so "ok" in fact that he went along as if the frightening sock fuzz never existed as I climbed my big 'ol butt into the tub with him.  

Thinking we had somehow made progress, I attempted bathtime again the following night.  He was kicking and screaming and hollering about how the "bugs hurt" and he insisted that I get in the bath with him again. He hands down refused to even put his toe in the water even after I got in.  He was performing circus acts with his body sliding around the tub just to avoid thinking he was making direct contact with the water.  Once I found my way into the bathtub, he refused to leave my lap.  Needless to say, we took a break from bathtime last night...

This irrational fear is an interesting phase.  I'm comforted only by knowing that it's thought to be caused by an overactive imagination and professionals claim it means your child is intelligent.  Isn't it amazing what smarts will do to you?  I have no idea how long this phase will last.  It breaks my heart to see him so scared.  The nightmares are gut wrenching, and the fear in his eyes is so pure.  I have been reading about all the "right" ways to respond to your toddler's irrational fear of things because the last thing I want to do is make it worse or discourage his imagination.  Let's just hope he comes out of this a strong and brave man, shall we?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snowshoeing in Deutschland

This past weekend I was a very happy girl. Why is that, you ask?  Well, I finally got to go snowshoeing.  This was easily one of my favorite pastimes living in Vermont, and it's an activity that I have missed dearly.  I was so looking forward to living in a place that would provide me opportunities to snowshoe again.  Our home is surrounded by rolling hills, forests, and farm trails. Covered in snow, it could easily become a snowshoer's paradise.  Unfortunately winter here has not brought the snow we were all promised.  Some are relieved, and I feel that many locals certainly are, but I have been really disappointed.

Earlier this month one of my friends noticed that a group snowshoeing adventure was being pulled together by MWR on post, and I was extremely happy she thought of me.  It didn't take any time for me to commit to going, and I was looking forward to going out with a group of people discovering this amazing sport for the first time.

I was starting to freak out that the trip would have to be cancelled because literally, there was no snow.  Just a lot of really nasty and cold rain.  The tides turned and snow finally fell just in time for our trip. In fact, I woke up this past Saturday morning to a beautiful snowfall.

We had a great mix of people including one of the little ones :) 
Having snowshoed many times before, I knew that as long as the hike was mildly strenuous (which we had been promised it would be), I would be warm - very, very warm - regardless of how cold it was outside.  What I didn't anticipate was that the snow would be falling all day, and be heavy and wet and that the winds would be blowing up to 25 mph.  Let's just say I took some mental notes and I will be slightly more prepared next time.

The group was fun and the guides were informative and chatty.  I had a great time in the snow with my friend, and made a few others along the way.  As I expected, snowshoeing is pretty much the same here in Germany as it would be anywhere else in the world.  Our guides took us to a beautiful hike in the mountains of Bavaria.  The snowstorm made driving a little more exciting than the guides probably wanted, including narrowly missing a tree when we parked, it was wild!  But the snow also insured that we would have plenty of white power to walk through in our snowshoes.

The scenery was incredible.  My pictures pale in comparison to what they might have looked like if Big R had come along with me (which is something I was wishing for the entire day), but they provide a good eye on how amazing and tranquil the experience was for all of us.

The snow was much deeper than it appears.  Without snowshoes, I sunk to my knees!

Much of the trail was decorated with these rock formations.  It reminded me of my mother's property in the desert.  A perfect mix of my two favorite places:  Vermont and the Mojave desert.

If you look closely at this photograph you can see how windy and wet it was that day.

Our guides built a small fire at the top.  Unfortunately, the wind didn't let us enjoy it for long.

Many of us took off our snowshoes and climbed some "stairs" to the top of a formation.  We had to hold on tight not to blow away. This is a tortured self-portrait from the top.

 The day had to come to an end as we all gathered around the vans and unloaded our gear.  We were quite literally soaked to the bone - all of us.  Many of us didn't even bother taking off clothing because everything was so wet.  I don't know about the others, but I wasted no time finding a hot shower when I got home.  I had such an enjoyable time in the elements and surrounded by nature that I somehow fought off the onset of a stomach flu.  It was kindly waiting for me when I got home.  Thank goodness that nasty virus let me enjoy the day because it was a wonderful one.   

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mommy's day off

Friday was a day off for me. I had no clue what I was going to do, I was just aware that I seriously needed to take a break. I had reserved a day of daycare for little r the week before and I finagled a way to steal the car from Big R so I'd have a more efficient method for getting around. We had to get up early to take Big R to the train station. That was the small price I had to pay for the vehicle. Big R was more than willing. He had yet another day in court, but went into Friday morning feeling pretty great after having secured another acquittal for his client. Dropping little r off at daycare was made easy by his increasing excitement. I told him he was going to school and he kept saying how he wanted to play with the kids. He gave me a kiss as I walked out the door and headed right for the arts and crafts table. My suspicions were then confirmed, the kid is clearly bored to tears with me. But, it made leaving him there for the day much easier. I'm sick of being on the post. Guess it's a good thing we don't live here. I could have easily done a million things on post, but I drove right out the gate and vowed not to head back until I picked up little r. Still no clue what I was going to do, I founds self on a path to the German mini-mall down the street. My original plan of taking the puppy for a long walk was disrupted by nasty weather. I could brave through it, but that's no fun for either of us. I decided with nothing but time on my hands, I was going to ignore my "to do" list for once and explore the German stores. It's no secret, or maybe it is, but I hate shopping. Always have. Spending money makes my chest tighten so I have always been somewhat frugal and buying things takes a long decision making process. This is probably the reason I prefer to shop alone (or with my sister because we are the same this way). Buying things for myself I'm even worse about. I can never justify it. Being that walking into a store makes me anxious on a regular day, you can imagine how it is when I have a toddler in tow. I tend to go in for what I need and get the hell out. So, today I was going to explore what they sell. I'm no longer interested in hiding in the shelter of post. The stores suck, quite frankly, and there's no reason for my dependence on it. The exploring began and before I knew it I was in a dressing room trying on some stylish European digs. It felt good to get a few things for myself. Now that I'm not working, my wardrobe is seriously lacking on chill and stylish clothes to wear out on the town. Can't have little r represented by a woman in mom jeans and sweatshirts anymore. Poor dude will start to get a complex. After spending time walking in and out of stores only to realize all that I need is right there, I walked out of the mini-mall and took a deep breath. I needed this. It's taking me awhile, but I'm determined to meld nicely with this new life and not let the mystery of it swallow me whole. I'm taking another day off this Friday as well. I think this time I'll stick to my list. Now I know where I can find everything that's on it :) - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Big boy bed

little r is getting to be that age when there are so many questions about when the appropriate time to do certain things will be.  More specifically, how quickly can I make him grow up?  I'm full of questions such as, when should he be potty trained?  When should he start school? When can he ride a bike?  Should he know his ABC's yet?

Since potty training got put on hold temporarily, the bigger query in my mind has been when should I transition him into a big boy bed.  There seem to be all sorts of reasons people decide it's time for their toddlers to make this transition.  Probably the most popular seems to be a new baby and wanting to use the crib for the new arrival.  This isn't the case here, and most likely won't be for a little while.  So, I've been pondering what makes it necessary to take your little one out of a crib and train them to use a big boy bed?

My favorite advice on this topic came from the "Baby Whisperer".  She's guided me through many of these first time mom questions, and I seem to identify best with her approaches to my questions.  We probably all have a method or adviser we feel most comfortable with.  The Baby Whisperer basically says there's absolutely no reason to rush. In fact, the child is more safe in a crib than in a bed for quite awhile because they tend to be such restless sleepers.    It's not until they start crawling out that safety seems to mandate that a change is probably necessary.

Well, that milestone finally arrived... little r has been climbing into his crib on his own for almost a year now, and he launched himself out of his crib when he was about 18 months old.  He didn't get hurt, but he scared himself and the fear seemed to be sufficient enough to keep him from wanting to try it again.  For a couple months now, we've let him take his naps in his circus tent.  Something so adorable about that, that I can't fight the smile coming to my face every time I see him curled up in it.  I also love how he wakes up, opens his curtains, turns off his sound machine, and wonders ever so slowly out of his room and with the sweetest voice ever cries, "HI, MOMMY!!!!"

This past week little r has figured out how to carefully climb out of his crib.  No more launching himself to the floor. He's got this task down.  I've had several early mornings when I've run to his room as he's screaming for me only to run square into HIM standing in the MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR!

A few weeks ago Big R and I had purchased a safety bed rail for little r's crib.  He has a crib that turns into a toddler bed, but the crib was discontinued and I can't find the hardware for the toddler rail anywhere.  It's not the most aesthetically pleasing additional to little r's room, but it'll keep him safe until we decide what we'd like to do about getting new furniture for his room.  Yesterday I decided it was time to switch little r from a crib to a big boy bed.
I wasn't sure how he was going to react to this change.  Turns out I had nothing to be worried about.  He was SO excited to sleep in a big boy bed.  Here he is all curled up and ready for bed.
I thought for sure he'd be walking the halls all night long.  I suppose he could have done this anyhow since his crib hardly kept him contained anymore.  He slept like a champ.  And again, I woke up to him standing in the middle of his floor crying out for me this morning.  (It stays pretty dark in his room and the sun doesn't come up until 8:00 a.m. here this time of year, but we found out that night lights keep him awake and he doesn't sleep well...) Guess you could say that night #1 in a big boy bed was a huge success :)

Naptime would be the next challenge. Again, I'm not sure what the challenge is considering he climbed out whenever he wanted to.  I suppose it's just the principal of the idea.  Little r tends to nap well, but he can also fight it pretty hard.  It has been a fairly regular thing for him to get up from his comfy tent, turn the light on, and play instead of taking a nap.  My usual approach has been to walk into his room and encourage him as creatively as I can to head to sleepy land.  Today I decided that I wanted to see what he would do.  There's not really anything wrong with him playing quietly in his room as long as he's giving himself some down time.  That is, as long as he doesn't wander out of his room fifteen minutes later.

He had a tough time deciding where to nap today - big boy bed or tent.  Life's full of tough decisions when you are two :)  He opted for the big boy bed and snuggled in.  I could hear him playing in his room not minutes after I shut the door, and I fought the urge to go into his room.  Sure enough, he quieted down and I didn't hear a peep for hours. I went to check on him after he'd been asleep for a couple of hours, and he was all snuggled up in his tent. Not only that, but based on the way the settings work, I knew that his sound machine had been turned off and then turned back on again.  I guess he decided taking a little snooze wasn't such a bad idea afterall.  Such a cutie pie :)

So, day 1 was a success.  Hopefully he'll continue to enjoy sleeping like a big boy.  Maybe this success will bleed over to potty training - hey, a girl can dream....

Lazy, sunny days...

The sun has been shining endlessly for the past week, and it has been such a nice breath of fresh air after all the gloomy rain we've had this season.  Initially it was energizing.  It's amazing how much some sunlight can do for your mood.  We also had Big R's parents here this week, and this weather was exactly what you would hope for on your vacation.  I was worried when they left they would take it with them, but happily the sun decided to stick around for another day.

It might be the traveling or the company or all the rich German food, but I can hardly move today.  After seeing Big R off to begin the first day of another trial he has this week, I cleaned and straightened, entertained my crazy little bear, and attempted to bundle up little r to take the puppy for a walk in the sun.  We played hard this morning, and although it's sunny, it is cold outside.  Nothing like that crisp winter air to tire you out.  As much as I hate having my television on when on such a beautiful day, it somehow seems ok right now. My mood is now somber and relaxed.  All the animals are snoozing in the sun's rays, and little r and I are basking in the warmth shining on us through the windows.

I have a million things to do today, but I'm not sure how many items will be checked off my list.  Instead, my body is telling me that I might just need a day of rest.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Füssen and the Sleeping Beauty Castle

Big R's parents are in town for a short visit, so we decided to take them to the mountains to see one of the most visited castles in Germany.  Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival castle that sits in southern Bavaria just above the small village of Hohenschwangau. King Ludwig II had it commissioned as a retreat and it's design is so elaborate and over the top that it inspired Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle and is seen in many other movies.  The short of it is, it's a must see here in Germany.

  We ascended to the castle from the village by horse carriage, which little r thought was pretty fantastic.

I have no doubt this is quite a place to see in the summer.   It turns out this is also an incredible time of year to see this touristy locale.  Not only does the snow and wintery bliss give the castle a special character, but there are very few visitors this time of year - no lines, no crowds, and no obnoxious tourists.  It was fabulous.  I was especially appreciative of this because of having little r to take care of.  He could really care less about the castle just yet.  Some things were neat to my little toddler's mind, but waiting in line and taking a tour of the castle is probably not on his high list of excitement.  He let me know this a few times, but overall I have to say he did exceptionally well (and with no nap and a 3+ hour car ride under his belt, I was amazed!).

After we descended back to the village, we headed into Füssen where I had booked a hotel for the night.  I chose a hotel deep in the heart of the Altstadt so that we could be close to the action.  Rory's father broke his foot back in October, so his mobility was quite limited.  I was surprised by how well he got around and we were able to see quite a bit more than I had anticipated.  It was great to stay right down on the pedestrian zone.  Füssen is often called the romantic soul of Bavaria, and it was so easy to understand how it got this name.

Our hotel was comfortable and had plenty of German and Bavarian charm.  We ventured out into Old Town and found a cute German restaurant called "Ludwig's" (seemed very appropriate), and it might be one of the best German meals I've had since we've been here in Germany.  Our waiter was patient despite our wild little monster trying his best to make a scene, and we had a lovely time at dinner. Somehow little r survived and no one left the restaurant screaming or pointing at us.  We just got creative with how we entertained the little one including letting him roam the restaurant, which is something we often see the Germans do with their children.  It was oddly effective. Hmmmm....

With our bellies full and our spirits light, we sauntered back to our hotel.  Big R took his folks to our hotel's restaurant for a little Bavarian desert while I got little r settled down and into his pj's.  Big R came back with a bottle of wine for us all to share, which we did as little r feel asleep on my lap as we chatted away about our amazing day.

In the morning we were greeted with snow, and felt somewhat like a fairy tale.  We did some more exploring of Füssen including making some fun purchases.  Big R and I are now the proud owner of a coo coo clock.  We said we'd never own one, and now that we are here, we've had our eye on them.  We found a great shop in the Old Town that had some incredible clocks and other German crafts.  I am really happy with the one we took home.  I'll be sure to take a photo of it once we get it hung on the wall.

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to ride the gondola up the mountain and pray the weather holds for an incredible view of the valley.  We drove to a sweet little ski resort and bought a ticket to ride to the top.  The sun stayed strong just long enough for Big R to capture the beauty of the Alps.  Here are a few of my favorites.  This new camera takes some amazing pictures.

As we stepped onto the gondola for the ride down the mountain, the clouds crept in and we could no longer see ten feet in front of us.  The drive home was long but uneventful.  I experienced my first drive through a German snow storm and had fun skidding around on the ice.  Otherwise things were relatively uneventful.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer adventure.  The weather was perfect, the company was pleasant, and even little r was mostly on his best behavior...mostly :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just keeping busy...

This past week was a busy one in our house. Big R was in court all week, and these Army folks don't mess around.  This isn't your typical civilian court where the doors open at 9:00 a.m. and things are wrapped up by 5:00 p.m. Nope, this is administrative justice, which means the judge is only available for a certain amount of time, so you get the case done while it's scheduled on the docket.  Of course, the court martials are rarely ever held locally, so Big R had to drive to a nearby post each day to tend to his lawyering business.  We didn't see much of him as he rolled out of bed before 6:30 a.m. and didn't get home until after midnight most nights.  He survived, somehow, but then this is what we lawyers live for. Hahaha.

Big R being out of pocket with the car all week meant things were pretty busy for us here at home as well.  Little r and I can't handle being cooped up too long or we both start going crazy.  He turns into a maniac, which quickly results in my sanity hanging on a ledge.  Knowing it would be a long week, I filled our schedule to keep busy.  The bus is an awesome means of transport...that is, as long as the weather cooperates!  After our adventure last week with the crazy storm, we decided to lay low on Friday and recover.  Keeping the little man busy seemed to work wonders on his mood though.  Guess none of us enjoys being bored.  The TV is much less interesting these days (thank goodness!), and we didn't have a single time out in four days.  Quite the accomplishment, if you ask me.

In addition to our busy excursions, we also had some fun times at home.  We both played on our laptops...

We did some artwork... little r was introduced to watercolors for the very first time.  At this point, he was a little more interested in how cool it was to transfer water to paper using a paint brush, so there wasn't much actual painting going on.  We're keeping up the practice though.  We've also been working on our colors lately, although right now little r seems to think everything is "yellow" - funny how he picks one of the most difficult color names to say.

And we, of course, did a fair amount of snuggling with our furry creatures.  Little R and Rani are quickly becoming best friends...err, well, at least little r thinks so :)

And yes, little r created this little snuggling entourage all on his own.  He think Rani finds the blankets just as comfy as he does.

This week we prepare for company as Big R's parents arrive to explore Germany with us.  I've been trying to prep little r for an exciting week.  At least he's finally sleeping in a bit later.  I have no doubt the in-laws will appreciate that!  We have some castles, some snow, some touring, and of course, some good-eaten and beer drinkin on the agenda.  And you also know I saved a bottle of Gluhwein to share with my mother-in-law.  The fancy new camera will accompany us the entire way so we can document all the fun.  The big question is, when are YOU coming for a visit? :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not worth it…

We listened to the wind howl all night, and when we all woke up this morning I began to wonder if little r's tumbling class was worth battling the storm. Big R has court all this week in Schweinfurt, so a trip to post meant the bus was our transport today. Even the old pup wasn't thrilled about going out in this horrid weather this morning. I find myself in these predicaments and feel like I often bow out and take the easy road. Better safe than sorry, right? Something forced me to channel that inner power mama today and I decided we could make this work. What was I thinking?! Clearly I wasn't thinking at all. My judgment was clouded by a two year old hollering and racing around the house just dying to get out. Let's just say taking him to class on this stormy day was against my better judgment.

To say the weather was blustery today would be a gross understatement. If it were 10 degrees cooler this would be a blizzard equivalent to a Nor'easter. Nasty is what it was. I bundled us up, despite little r's protests, and headed out the door. Things weren't too bad. We got wet, yeah, but we were both in a great mood - at least for now...

All was well until we got to post. Then it really started to pour and the wind was relentless. I had 30 minutes before class, so I drug little r to the shoppette for a few things the little man has decided he can't live without: snack bars (nutrigrain bars) and otparts (pop tarts) (don't lecture me, a mom does what she needs to to get a toddler to eat and stay happy).  Necessities in hand, and I remembered we were desperately low on diapers.  The shoppette was clear out of them. What?! And apparently all of the stores on post were as well. Seriously? Is there a diaper convention going on that we hadn't heard about?! Now would be a great time for little r to decide to start using the potty...

I digress. It was time to head to tumbling, and the rain refused to let up. As we were trudging down the street, a Major felt so sorry for me that he offered to go get his car and give us a ride somewhere. I suppose we were somewhat of a sight with little r screaming and me dragging the stroller backwards in an attempt to block the wind.  I don't even remember what was going through my head at this point.  I think I was wishing I could go forward to backward in time and change my decision to go out in this mess.

I wish I could say the class was worth it, but it was kind of a bust. All the kids were in a mood and mine was hardly an exception. He was a total grouch disinterested in doing anything remotely associated with gymnastics. The parachute was a hit, as always, but I think that was the only time I saw him smile during class today.

At the end of class we bolted outside for the bus and braved the storm. Last thing I wanted was to miss our connection and get stuck downtown in the rain. The bus arrived and we scurried on dripping wet. Little r seemed completely unphased at this point, or at least I successfully distracted him from the fact that he was sopping wet and super uncomfortable.  I pulled out a small pack of umm bears (gummy bears), and he settling happily into his seat. It's true I bribe the little man. Sometimes I think that's the only way I can make it through these adventures.

We had a 15 minute wait at the central bus station, and that's when all things went south. As the bus pulled in, we could hardly see out the windows it was raining so hard. Then it we saw lightning and then pounding thunder filled the sky. It was ominous to say the least... The gods were seriously laughing at me at this point - that or they were calling me stupid. My poor little bear cried the entire time we waited and we were both completely soaked when our bus arrived. He was a mess, I was a mess, and I think we both just wished we could ride the bus around for the next hour and take a nap.

Little r got comfy and said he wanted to go night-night on mommy.  Turns out that's exactly what he did. First and probably only time he has fallen asleep on the bus.

I'm not gonna lie, I seriously contemplated staying on the bus for awhile and waiting until it came back around to our stop. But alas, we had to get off and battle the storm home. I swear it was growing more vicious by the hour. Unreal! It poured, little r screamed and I ran. At some point he just gave up and got quiet. I'm sure he couldn't believe I was doing this to him. That half mile walk home felt like an eternity. But we made it. We were soaked, so much so that water pooled inside the cuffs of my pants. The house felt warm and dry and I quickly vouched to myself to take the easy road next time...

Now that little r is finally down for a nap (I think), I am going to cuddle down with a cup of hot tea and a good book.  Meanwhile I'm going to ignore the fact that it's now calm outside, not a drop of rain or wind, and the sun is trying to shine.  Ah well.  We'll just chalk this up as a bonding experience :)

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