Do you know how many names you have? I call you Bean and Pookie. Daddy calls you Buddy and Monkey. Uncle Mark calls you G-Man. You’ve taken to calling Daddy “Daddy-O” now, which is adorable. You do the same with me and Granny occasionally. Sometimes I ask you if you’re a turkey (like when you’re doing something mischievous), and you usually reply, “No, Mommy, I a bean.”
It’s been a wonderful month. We took a week of vacation at the end of July and enjoyed spending it close to home. We did some wonderful things as a family:
- We did a day trip with Granny and Grandma to Upper Canada Village. You enjoyed seeing the horses, cows and pigs, playing on a teeter totter, and checking out the vegetable garden and the bakery.
- We set up lawn chairs and a cooler by a construction site at Herongate Mall. It was like Mighty Machines in real life! We stayed there for about 40 minutes watching the different machines. You loved the mini-scoop.
- We spent a morning downtown. We stopped by my work, and then watched the Changing the Guard. When the band was playing and marching, they had your undivided attention. Otherwise, not so much. We walked around Parliament Hill, and then up Sparks Street to eat lunch at D’Arcy McGee’s. You behaved beautifully at lunch.
|Meeting cows with Grandma at UCV|
|On the teeter-totter|
|Changing the Guard|
|Watching Mighty Machines - LIVE!|
The final weekend of our vacation was super special because we had some special visitors. Scott, Laurie and their daughter Elf (age 4) came to stay at Granny’s. We spent as much time with them as we could, and you loved it. You were very good about sharing your toys, and your time, with Elf. You were pretty sad when they left. It was a wonderful visit and we hope they come back very soon.
|Water play with Elf|
|Curious George at bedtime|
Even when we weren’t on vacation, we had some great weekend adventures together.
You love visiting Grandpa Reg. In fact, this past weekend, when we didn’t go see him, you asked about him. We’ll go next weekend for sure. We walk him to Joan’s, where we say hi to her, and say hi to your buddy Gus (a Perley resident who is always in the hallway and who lights up when he sees you). Then we walk back to our car together, usually stopping halfway for a snack. If Gord (AVM resident who sits out back on Saturday mornings) is around, you stop and make his day, too.
The weather has been so lovely this summer, and we’ve found the secret to keeping your hands in good shape (Vaseline when you’re playing in the water), so we’ve visited the Brewer Park splash pad more than a few times. Sometimes it’s part of a Farmers’ Market experience, other times we just go to play.
|Splash pad at Brewer Park|
We still visit museums as often as we can. This past month you’ve been to the Museum of Nature, the Science and Technology Museum and the Agriculture Museum.
Your language development has been amazing to watch. You are speaking in increasingly complex sentences, have an incredible memory, and are really observant. You’re also hilarious. At one point, I was in the kitchen and you and Daddy were in the living room. I heard the sound of about 40 Hot Wheels cars hit the floor at the same time. There was a pause, then you said, matter-of-factly, “Daddy, I crashed all the things.”
I was sick this month (more on this later) and when I came home from the doctor, I told you that the doctor told me to eat freezies. We sat down together and had freezies. Then Granny offered to take you out for a walk so that I could sleep a bit more because I was sick. You said, “Mommy not sick now. Mommy had freezie.” I only wish the cure worked that quickly, my sweet bean.
You love doing art. It can be as simple as drawing a road and then putting car stickers on it. We spent a good hour working on a bunch of those together. I am amazed by the art that comes home from Robin’s - beautiful and colourful paper crafts that you have glued so carefully and coloured with such abandon. I’m so very pleased that we have found a day care provider who knows how much you need some arts and crafts time in your day.
We had the opportunity to bring Uncle Mark and Aunt Janine to the airport last weekend, so we parked the car and went in to have lunch in a restaurant with a great view of the runways. You enjoyed it very much and were delighted with the whole experience. You liked watching the planes, but you were most interested in the various road vehicles on the tarmac.
This month, we drove the farthest we’ve ever driven for a playdate. I took you to Montreal for the morning to visit some of my old friends. I met them at summer camp when I was about 13 years old. It has been great to reconnect with them through social media, but we wanted to get together in person so our kids could all play together. Unfortunately, two of the ladies didn’t end up coming due to illness, but you still got to meet Hannah, Ora and Robin and their families. We brought some toys to share, and I was really impressed with how everyone did. You did great considering that mine was the only familiar face. You were also a total trooper on the road. On the way there, I handed you book after book. You spent about 10 minutes or so with each one, and then said, politely, “I done this now, Mommy. ‘Nother one, pease?”
|Old friends and new friends in Montreal|
Near the end of every day, I ask you the same question: “What was your best thing today? What was something that made you happy?” The answers are wonderful. Sometimes you just say, “Good day,” thoughtfully. Other times you name a person you enjoyed seeing. On the day I brought you all the way to Montreal for a playdate, I asked you the question and you replied that the highlight of your day had been the snack we had on Granny’s kitchen floor when we got home! (I had to laugh. You do love your Granny. And your snack.)
You are so lovely and huggy lately, it’s awesome. Last night you laid your head down on my knee and said, “I love my Mommy.” (You hadn’t even done anything bad. It was fantastic.) You have your difficult moments. Some evenings are more challenging than others. It’s improved a bit now that we’ve come down hard and fast on dinner being at the dining room table and not in the living room. We are making it a priority to keep the dining room table free and clear of junk so that we can eat there every night.
There are also times when you just don’t listen, and it’s really frustrating. You get into these moods where you test us constantly - often at the end of the day when we’re trying to do the dinner-bath-bedtime routine. It has made for some exhausting evenings. I have a plan for how to improve things, but it involves some research. Hopefully I’ll have put something into place before my next letter, and we’ll all be getting along a bit better in the evenings.
We have lots of plans for you, my darling. If they all come to fruition, you’ll be getting a big boy bed in October, as well as a playroom in the basement. We’ll be traveling to Boston as a family in March, and to Maine next summer. I’m also trying to find a way to get you and me to Mason City, Iowa for a very important wedding celebration next July.
You have managed to get through two months without an ear infection, Bean, and we couldn’t be happier. In fact, we got some amazing news today at our long awaited ENT doctor appointment - you’ll be getting tubes in your ears sometime in October. I almost cried with relief. The surgery will relieve the negative pressure in both your ears and allow the fluid that has been in your ears for so long to finally drain.
Earlier this month, you did spike a fever and we were concerned it was an ear infection, but although your ears were pink, the doctor didn’t find any “monkeys in your ears” (which is what she tells you she’s looking for when she looks in your ears). You came home from the appointment and told Granny, solemnly, “Doctor tell me I no have monkeys in my ears.” We were able to get through it without antibiotics, thankfully. We weren’t sure what it was, exactly, that you had, but you sure weren’t interested in eating for a few days. When I was diagnosed the following week with hand, foot, and mouth disease, though, we had a feeling that we knew where I had gotten it from. Luckily, we both had a mild case and I’m almost 100% again.
Overall, darling, we know how lucky we are. You are generally sweet, loving, good tempered, and funny. I know that any challenging moments are just you being two and a half, and we’ll get through them. I explained to you tonight that Mommy and Daddy both love you so very much, even when we’re angry with you, and that will never, ever change. And it won’t. That’s something you can count on for the rest of your life - we love you. I am so happy that you’re my bean. You bring joy to our lives every single day. When I sing to you “You are my sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey,” I mean every word.