Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our Rock Star!

Kyle is all about the guitar that Ray and Vi bought Jeff as a gag gift years ago. He brings me a baseball bat or the golf club to sing into the end of while he dances around playing the guitar. I am to make up songs based on whatever his favorite topic is. Today, the hot ones were excavators and skid steers (yes, you read that right), but there happened to be motorcycles on during this take.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lamenting the Loss of a REAL Shoe Store

In the age of self-service and buying online, I can say that I truly miss some things from when I was young. Bah, you are thinking or at least being nice to say, "but you are young." OK, I am not old, but I am closer to 40 than 30. There, I said it :op. Anyway, what I am missing the most today is a REAL shoe store. Surely I can't be the only person that remembers the days of shopping for the 1 or 2 pairs you were going to wear for at least that first 6 months of school.

The family packed into the wood grain paneled station wagon and headed to the local shoe store named after the owner. Ours was called "Michael's". He didn't just carry one brand or only sneakers or only shoes for women or men. Nope! He had it all. You want Buster Browns, Thom McCann, Nike... they were there. Today, you can still find this, but good luck finding it with service. Measure your foot... HAH! A thing of the past. Measure it yourself or better yet, put it on and see if it squeezes your toes. That is all well and good for me because I can not only tell the fit but also verbalize what it is doing to my foot. My 2 year old... not so much. In Atlanta, I had come across a fabulous childrens' shoe store, Coggins Shoes for Kids, that really was very much like this, but to my dismay, I have yet to locate it here in NY.

For children in particular, you basically have 1 option and that is Stride Rite. Of course, if you want to search the specialty boutiques, you can find other lines, but they are few and far between. They are also not typically trained in measuring and selling shoes because they sell everything - clothes, toys, etc. I want someone to measure my little monster's foot. I don't mean monster as in tear the place up, but in the sense that he is over 3 foot tall and has big feet and is only 2! I want to be sure I am getting something that will fit him longer than 1 month, not flopping off or squeezing him etc.

Yes, yes, I could simply go to Stride Rite. And believe me, I have tried, but to no avail. Our first attempt was in GA, which led to the seeking out of Coggins. The worker was a college student very disinterested in fitting my then new walker in a proper shoe. The one size and one style he brought out was about 3 sizes too big and he didn't really care to show me anything else. This leads into our last attempt here in NY. I went believing the place to be an all around childrens' shoe store only to arrive at the address with a giant Stride Rite sign. Uh oh. The girl was very nice, and they did indeed have other options - 2 others in sandals, other than Stride Rite. She measured his foot as an 8. I saw the scale myself... odd that he is already wearing a 9 in one pair and a 9.5 in another very comfortably, but ok. Apparently the kids' shoe market can't standardize any better than womens' denim. We tried the other brand first, which was a slim cut. She immediately deems him a wide (never bought wide before, again ok). So we try a wide in SR. The fit of the shoe is difficult to explain. Basically, I could have placed another foot on TOP of his and still had room. She goes down a size not in wide. That one fits, but just. She looks at me, says he is between sizes and moves on to another customer that just entered the store.

2 Strikes for Stride Rite and I am still at square 1. UGH! I am just about to resort to ordering several pair from an online vendor like Zappos that has free shipping and free returns. I would love to buy local though. I want a place that I will take him to for that Back to School pair of shoes each year (not Marshalls!). There have to be more people out there that want to buy local like me. Bring back the customer service and you will have us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Try a little harder?


Maybe I just need to try harder to tire him out! This morning, we went on a Mommies' Outing to Build A Bear then to Hoffman's Playland. Add to that 85 degree weather and we have one sleepy boy by the time you get home. Build A Bear had its highlights, but sadly the part that is supposed to be so cool for him, scared the bejesus out of him. For those new to the BAB concept, you are supposed to pick an "unstuffed" animal, then they stuff him for you including a heart. He chose the Portugese Water Dog, like President Obama's family has. Kyle particularly liked its tongue and nose. We also added the bark for the full effect. Unfortunately for Kyle, the stuffing machine sounded more like a giant vacuum. Did I mention that he hates vacuums? He screamed and cried during the whole "stuffing" experience. Then she hands him his puppy to check the stuff level (with me saying in the background - "don't do that or he won't give him back), but did she listen - NO. The problem with this is that they still need to finish sewing Puppy and now Kyle is again screaming to have his puppy back. UGH! After traumatizing him with the sounds and stealing of toys, he happily walked around the store to try out the puppy houses, which to his dismay I did not buy. Don't feel too bad for him because Mommy knew that his puppy would come with a cool box which could double as a doghouse once we got him home.

After BAB, we headed to Gymboree where I was desperate to buy him these way cute construction PJs. YEAH! They had them :o). I also picked up a pair of shorts and top, since the poor boy's stuff is in storage. How was I to know it would be this darn hot in April? We still had time before the Playland opened, so we had some lunch with Betty and Evan, then took off for our first amusement park adventure. Hoffman's is very much like a permanent carnival - Ferris Wheels, Carosuels, Tilt-a-Whirls, etc. Since we are thinking of going to Sesame Place this summer, this is a good training ground so to speak. Most of the rides are geared to the toddler, small child range. Some things Mom could ride along, but others not so much. We started easy with the stationary cars and motorcycles that go in a circle, but not up and down - sort of like a carosuel. He tried the bus, but desperately wanted to be on the motorcycle, which he wasn't quite big enough for... then settled finally in the T-bird for the ride. He also attempted a helicopter ride, which he was fine on until it started going up and down in the air. You could hear a tiny "help" each time it went around. I have to say, I was surprised that it did that much motion for a ride they had to do alone. His buddy Evan wasn't any more enamored with it than Kyle was, so apparently 2 year olds just shouldn't do it. Not that I am surprised, but his favorites were any form of transportation that didn't leave the ground - firetruck, 4x4 trucks, train, t-bird. My boy is definitely all boy. He begged to stay longer, but with the hot weather, which we weren't dressed for including lack of sunblock and the rapidly approaching naptime, I thought it best to head home. He was out in minutes. Sometimes, I am right.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Nap for Mom

If you call between 1 and 3pm, you will likely get a hushed voice because my child with any luck should be sleeping. The hushed voice has been mistaken for "resting" myself, but that is rarely if not never the case. You just can't imagine how much there is to take care of when you mover 18+ hours from a home you were in for more than 5 years. Doctors, dentists, insurance, oh my! Then let's add in the fact that we were crazy enough to be building our house in upstate NY in the dead of winter. There are decisions to be made - lighting, flooring, cabinetry, landscaping and even closet design - AAKCK! How does anyone design their closet when they don't actually live in the space, I would like to know? For that matter, it is like planning what will be placed into what kitchen cabinet before functioning in the room. I just don't see it, and I have a feeling we will have that darn single wire shelf until I can actually be in the house. I hate that single wire shelf. It is never enough, but then again, I don't want to pigeon hole myself into organizational structure that I won't like in the long run or won't use.

Anyway, these are the things that I take care of, ponder, stress over, whatever you want to call it, when my child sleeps. Naptime is my refuge to be an adult, and naps have always seemed to be reserved for children - brats, I mean, lucky ones :o). Kyle unfortunately doesn't always cooperate with naps now that he has turned 2. It isn't because I don't try and wear him out either. Since have moved just slightly over 6 weeks ago, the boy has been just about everywhere I could possibly take him. We have been to 4 different parks thank to unseasonably warm weather, at least 3 inside play gyms, the Childrens' Science Museum of Troy, the Childrens' Museum of Saratoga Springs, tubing, story hour, and playdates galore. And I have to tell you that my child has been an absolute angel despite the sometimes lack of nap and the general 2 year old stubborness, through the entire upheaval that he has experienced.

Today is a day that I have been blessed with a nap, but I did a few things before he went down - appointments all around. So I thought I would meditate. Yes, I said meditate. It is something new I am trying for simply 10 minutes a day. One hour later, I awoke to the phone. It was my sister who said, "he must still be sleeping." Yes, and after I looked at the clock, I said, "And apparently, so was I." I don't think I will make a practice out of it, but dang it felt good!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

OOPS! Blog Neglect...

Sorry all! We have been wicked busy here in Upstate NY. Kyle and I have joined a fabulous Mommies' Group and have no less than 2 outings a week, not to mention our own outings to the house or wherever else. This week, we visited the Childrens' Museum of Saratoga Springs. He had so much fun, that I literally was dragging him out after 2 hours of non-stop play. It is a really great museum, with tons of hands on fun for toddlers. We ended up getting a membership and already hosting our own Mommies' outing in a couple weeks for Wiggles & Giggles. Can't wait!

Today was an Egg Hunt again sponsored by Toga Tots. They really outdid themselves, treats, snacks, eggs to hunt for and all at a great park that again, Kyle had to be dragged away from. Unfortunately for me, he hadn't napped today, so our ride home was, shall we say, eventful. He very literally sobbed the entire way because he wanted to go "back and play". UGH... That was a LONG 16 miles. But he really did enjoy the day, so it wasn't a total loss. Next week is Build A Bear and Joyful Jumpers. Should be lots of fun!

In the meantime, I have gotten the "OMG, my house is supposed to be done in 6 weeks" bug. As a result, my kitchen table and appliances have been ordered, colors have been picked out and I am heading to buy curtain fabric tomorrow. GO ME! Thanks to a gracious mom in my group, I have a sewing machine to actually do something with the fabric too! I hadn't thought about having the movers drop mine at the apartment - OOPS! But seriously, we really do think the house could be done in 6 weeks. The lower cabinets are in place, window trim and baseboard has been going in for the last 2 days, hardwoods are installed (not yet finished)... and the list goes on. It is really going to happen.