Keeping you posted on our big adventure into parenthood

Posts tagged “zoo

Down With the Sickness

Somehow this post never actually got posted, and I apparently didn’t check the live site to notice until now. It’s a couple weeks old at this point but I’m never one to waste a written word, so consider this a down payment on the next post, which is soon to come.

6 boxes of Kleenex with lotion. 1 container of hand sanitizer. 2 bags of Halls Defense cough drops. 12 nights sleeping in separate beds. 3 prescriptions of Tamiflu. Enough NyQuil to kill a horse. Sounds like a recipe for success, huh? This is what you get when 3/4 of your household gets the flu. Kelly is the last (wo)man standing, although everyone seems to be recovering at this point. Mason went down first, thanks to his school mates. Then I spent 3 days straight sharing a bed with him just so he could sleep and I got infected. Then one of us (I’m blaming Mason) passed it on to Ben. This prompted a trip to 2 hospitals and and urgent care facility just for Ben. The end result has been a lot of coughing, sneezing, runny noses and gross medicines. I’m pretty sure the dogs even got sick, but they can suck it up because we’re not paying for anymore medicine.

I’m not really sure how Kelly is still standing. Seriously. Ben is not sleeping in long spurts at night since he wakes himself up when his pacifier falls out or he has a twitch, and I’ve been camped out upstairs because my cough sounds like a seal choking on bagel. It’s been bad. It’s bad enough to have a sick kid but there’s also the issue of trying to sleep when you know you’ll be woken up at any minute. Not fun. Sleep deprivation is a proven form of torture. Unfortunately, Kelly’s torturer is so insanely cute it’s hard to even think about getting upset with him. It would be like if Saddam Hussein looked like a Labrador puppy. How could you get mad at all that fuzziness?

Since we’ve all been sick and/or exhausted we haven’t had much interaction with the outside world. Mason and I have had a few “dates” and both the cars have been tuned up so they’re running better than ever. We did manage to make it out to Freddie’s for dinner the other night, which was really nice. Mason has apparently decided to atone for his misbehaving and has really been a model citizen toddler since he’s been feeling better. It’s great to have such a well behaved and happy little dude running around and I’ve been showing him off whenever we go out. You know when you’re young and you get a new toy or some new clothes and the first thing you want to do is show it off to your friends so that they’ll notice? Who am I kidding… we all do this now. Anyway, that’s how I feel with Mason, except that he’s not new and the people I’m showing him off to are complete strangers. A few days ago the two of us went to eat at Central Market. I sat him down in the high chair and we shared a table with a couple, their parents and their 10 month old son. Mason downed 3/4 of a pizza all while dancing to the band playing outside and waving at our table mates. The grandmother, who was sitting closest to Mason, remarked at how surprised she was that he was so happy while in his high chair. Then she went into a typically embarrassing mom story about how her son (who was sitting right next to me) used to throw fits every time he had to sit in his high chair… and how long he took to potty train. The son’s 35 year old face turned beet red, proving that you’re never to old to be embarrassed by your mommy.

On Monday Mason had the day off school for President’s Day so I took a half day off and we took a trip to the Austin Zoo. I managed to pack a lunch for both of us, remember all the toddler necessities including toys, water, diapers, extra clothes and snacks. Then I left the house and got half way to the zoo before I remembered that the nice camera was sitting on the table at home. Sweet. So the pics I took are all using my iPhone, which doesn’t do Mason’s expressions justice. Oh well- there will be certainly be more trips to the zoo to come. Mason provided another good day and really enjoyed feeding the animals. The Austin zoo is a rescue zoo, so all the animals are former pets or rescues and they’re a non-profit, so I probably could’ve used this as a volunteer day. I learned quite a few things at the zoo. 1) Tigers are enormous. They look large on TV. They look like tanks in person. They were much larger than the lions and the paws were easily the size of my entire head. If one were to smack you, you would die. No question. 2) I’m going to come up with a story for explaining what animals are doing when they’re mating. At one point a male goat mounted a female and started putting in some overtime. A 5 year old kid asked his mom what the goat was doing and I saw the panic that immediately struck her face. She wasn’t prepared. I figure I’ve got a couple years before that question starts coming with more regularity but I’m going to get my story straight now. 3) If your kid usually naps around noon on weekdays and you have a 30 minute drive home, don’t expect him to want to take a nap if you leave right at noon. I got home with Mason and tried to put him down for his nap after he fell asleep on the car ride home. Not happening. I would have been better off just driving around for 2 hours so that he could rest.

Ben update: Not much new except that he’s smiling a lot more. He’s generally a very happy little baby, much like his brother was. He loves to have his tummy tickled and usually this prompts him to kick his legs like a drummer rocking the bass drum and working the high-hat. Maybe he’ll quickly develop four-way independence like Tony Royster. Kelly has returned to work, so Berny is watching him now and loving the time she gets to spend snuggling him. I know Kelly is missing him a lot during the day, but knowing that he’s in such good hands has made things a little easier this time around, and it makes the time we do spend with him even better.

Ben enjoys Mason’s new seat as much as Mason does. It’s funny how Mason looks so big sitting in this chair and Ben seems to get swallowed up by it. Let me just say that I’m a big fan of kiddie furniture. We have a table, chairs, a recliner and will soon have a couch all for the boys. I think it fits in with the Montessori approach and also makes them feel (and look) like little people and not just babies. Also, if they fall off their own furniture it’s a lot less likely to result in a trip to the hospital. With two boys this is a very valid concern.

When Mason gets sick he either doesn’t sleep at all or he sleeps really, really hard. This one of the days where the latter was true and the result was pretty hilarious. Hands up if you like to party half naked!

Kelly helped Amy throw a baby shower for Meghan and Baby Bancroft. It was a surprise for Meghan and her husband Chris was the setup man. Good work, Chris.

Surprise! You can’t see Chris in this shot but that look Meghan is giving is aimed right at his grill. Suffice to say he did his duty well and the date they were supposedly going on turned into a well executed party.

Amy. Meghan and Kelly at the shower. Looking good ladies!

Spending lots of time indoors means doing plenty of reading. Mason loves to point at the different pictures in his books and yell out the words he knows. His new favorites are bus, train and turtle.

Look at those sad eyes. Seeing your child get sick is worse than getting sick yourself.

Three points of pressure, Ben. Hold onto the rock. No fumbling in this house!

I’m not sure when exactly I took this picture but it’s pretty funny. I do know that Mason was running around his room completely naked save for this pair of sunglasses. So much for half-naked partying. Might as well go all the way!

The wolves at the zoo were just furry dogs to Mason. He was especially interested in this one, who only had 3 legs. It’s sad to think of what caused this animal to lose a limb but I’m glad that the Austin zoo takes in animals like this and gives them a new lease on life. Suffice to say we’ll be ongoing supporters going forward.

Yup, that’s a tiger. A very, very large tiger. And yes, we are only inches from it’s massive paws. this is the kind of thing you don’t get a larger zoo and it was a good first experience for Mason.

Skinny lions. I don’t know if you can read the sign but it warns visitors not to get too close to the fence as the lionesses are known to spray people. Nothing like some lion urine to get your day going!

Mason overcame his fears and fed the deer, sheep and llama. He still wanted nothing to do with the goats though. I think he realized that any animal that is dumb enough to butt heads with no helmet is probably also crazy enough to try to ram him. He’s a smart kid I tell ya. This picture just makes me realize how big he really is getting. He looks like such a little boy now and even though his speech is limited he’s so much more advanced now than I thought he’d be at this age. I guess I wasn’t giving him enough credit but he really is an amazing little dude.