Me: What’s tomorrow?
Isaiah: We get Azalea and bring her to we house!
Me: Yup, but first we have to go to your therapy center. Then…
Isaiah: *crying* But we get Anna first! Bring her to we house!
Me: You didn’t let me finish. After we go to the therapy center, we’ll go get Azalea and Luke and Sandra and take them to McDonald’s…
Isaiah: *crying* No! Bring to we house!!!!!
Me: I wasn’t done! AFTER McDonald’s, we’re going to put everyone in the car and bring them home with us.
Isaiah: To we house?
Isaiah: And swim?
Me: Isn’t that why we set up the pool?
Isaiah: Oh. And Azalea swim!
The last two days, we’ve been visiting family. I took Isaiah and my cousins to the park to keep everyone busy yesterday. Everyone had tons of fun playing and I had some backup supervision for the littler ones from Sandra.
I took Isaiah and Azalea to play on the playground while Sandra ran around the half mile track a couple times with Luke. Isaiah loved the digging toy and kept calling it the “Bob the Builder digger”. He and Azalea are both too short to sit on the seat and touch the ground, so they needed help. For a while, they worked together, each holding one of the handles to scoop sand. Azalea lost interest pretty quickly, but Isaiah was determined to work with the toys. He tried a bunch of different approaches to use the digger and quite enjoyed himself.
Azalea loves the slides. There are two slides at this park, so she tried each. The first is straight and open. She climbed to the top of it, then was afraid to come down. She wouldn’t go alone or on Luke’s lap. I climbed up the ladder to talk to her about it. She decided that it would be okay to ride down on my lap and we headed down. She didn’t go on that slide again. She went down the twisted slide repeatedly. It’s completely closed over the top, so Isaiah wouldn’t even consider trying it, though he liked the open one.
When Sandra was too tired to run with Luke anymore, she sat down to rest and I took all three of the younger kids to walk on a shorter track. Isaiah and Azalea wanted to be animals, instead of just walking, so I ended up with a walking zoo. All three of them had a blast pretending to be all kinds of animals, moving like the animals and making their sounds.
We met back on the playground where Azalea and Isaiah dug in the sand with sticks and played on the swingset and Luke built a fort out of sticks in the sand. Luke’s water got swiped by a barely-walking toddler, so he felt a need to protect it and built a special “room” for his cup. We made sure to get a picture of the three kids inside the fort before we headed home.
I took Isaiah to another park today to help keep him busy. He loves this park because it has a little lake that usually has geese or ducks on it. There are fish in the water, though they usually aren’t visible in the murky water. Isaiah started throwing some small pebbles into the water to see the splash. After a couple minutes, some fish noticed him and started swimming up to see what was happening. He threw some grass, leaves and acorn tops to see if they’d eat anything and discovered that they like acorn tops. We had a huge group of fish, waiting for Isaiah to throw things into the water for them. All the fishers kept glaring because Isaiah was so loud and they thought he was scaring the fish away, but he’d actually collected all of them around him. He thought it was the best thing ever.
We spent a little time on the playground, too, but it wasn’t a good day for that. First, Isaiah wanted to play with some kids, but didn’t know how to join in. I told him what to do, then he came back to me, crying, a few seconds later, saying they didn’t ask the question I’d scripted him with. I distracted him by bringing him to another part of the playground, since the other kids were leaving. The other play area was much busier. The kids there were pretty mean to Isaiah, calling him names and pushing him aside. We finally decided to just head for home, since he was getting more and more upset at being teased.
**Note: Many pictures from yesterday were taken by Sandra, not me.
We had a bit of an adventure last night. It was a bit more excitement than I had planned for us… I was planning for a quiet evening of cuddling and homework. Oh, well.
Isaiah decided he needed something from the foot of his bed, where he keeps his favorite stuffed animals, and headed over to get them. He misjudged something and managed to roll off the bed. He landed hard in his ear and shoulder and caught his face on the bed frame. It was bleeding badly enough that none of us could tell how bad it was, so we decided it would be best to bring him to the ER and see if it needed stitches. Poor Isaiah was more concerned about going to the hospital than he was about his head. That, and the fact there was blood on his hand from rubbing his face.
By the time we got to the hospital, the bleeding had slowed, but the wound still looked pretty nasty. We were checked in and the nurse came in to check it out. She cleaned him up and said he probably would need a stitch or two. A 4-H friend was in one of the rooms next door and heard Isaiah asking about a sucker. She came over and brought him a push-pop, much to his delight.
After a bit more waiting, the doctor came in to look at him. He told me that we had the option of a stitch or glue. He said he was pretty sure glue would be plenty to hold it and way less traumatic for Isaiah, so that’s what he did.
Through all of our adventure, Isaiah was so calm. He was clearly afraid and hurting, but did all he could to listen and follow directions. By the time we got to the hospital, he had stopped screaming. He didn’t really cry at all, once we were there. He whimpered when things hurt and cried a little when he thought it was time to go, but we still had to wait for paperwork. Since then, the only mention of his wound has been him commenting on his Cars bandaid a couple times.
I rotated toys today. I put the play sets that Isaiah had in the living room back in his playroom downstairs and brought up his tool bench. He plays downstairs a lot, but it’s still super exciting to get to have things in the living room where everyone can sit and play with him.
I sent Isaiah off to sit on his bed while I brought the bench up. He was perfectly happy to do so, since I’d promised a surprise when I was done. After the tool bench and all the tools were out, I went to get him. He covered his eyes and I led him out to see it.
Once he saw what was in the living room, he was ready to play. He showed my dad how his new tools work (my grandmother got him a couple new toolsets) and set to work building a skyscraper. He showed me exactly how big it was going to be, explaining that it wouldn’t be “tall, tall, just a little one, on the floor”.
I’m in my room trying to do homework. My mom is making milkshakes, but I’d said earlier that I’d just have a bowl of ice cream. She sent Isaiah to see if I was ready for some. Here’s the conversation that ensued:
Isaiah: *opens my door* Mama, you want ice cream?
Me: Yes, please.
Isaiah: *darts to the kitchen* She say “yes.” “Yes, please!”
My mom: Ok. Does she want just chocolate or peanut butter, too?
Isaiah: *hanging on my door* Mama, you want peanut butter??
Me: No, thank you.
Isaiah: Oh. You want raisins on it?
Me: *laughs* No, sweetie. Just chocolate.
Isaiah: Otay. *races back to the kitchen* Her say just chocolate. Not raisins?
My mom: Sometimes she puts peanut butter on it, but not raisins.
Isaiah: Oh. *brings ice cream to my room* Here, Mama! We put chocolate on it for you!
Isaiah: Max in his box. He bad in the litter box.
My mom: Who put him in his box?
Me: Not me.
My mom: I didn’t put him there.
Me: Isaiah, did you put Max in his box?
Isaiah: No. He in his box. He eat the litter box.
Me: *checking on Max* Well, he’s in his box, but it’s not latched. Isaiah, did you tell him to go to his box and he went by himself?
Isaiah: Yes. He bad dog. He go his box.
My mom: He was bad, but that was very good when he went like you told him!
It was a nice sunny day, so we took my grandmother to the park near her house for a while to play. We got to see some geese and Isaiah got a chance to run and play on a different playground. I thought I’d share a few of the pictures, even though it was a fairly uneventful trip.
I was on spring break last week, so we decided to do a mini vacation. We stayed pretty close to home, but there’s plenty to see here, so it was tons of fun. Isaiah had been to some of the places we visited, but he doesn’t remember his first visit. We had three days of fun adventures.
Sgt. Floyd Riverboat Museum
I’ve been to this museum several times because it’s free and really interesting. Of course, I love history and Sgt. Floyd is a big part of the local history. The museum is in a riverboat, right off of the Missouri river. It was an instant hit with Isaiah because it was a boat. There’s tons of cool Lewis and Clark stuff inside and quite a few models of different types of boats and various activities that used to take place on the river. The top level of the riverboat is still set up as it was when it was in use, with the captain’s quarters and other rooms. At the very top, the navigation equipment is all set up for kids to play with. They can even ring the bell. Of course, that was a huge hit with Isaiah!
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
This museum is set up for kids. When you arrive, each kid is given a passport to fill in along the way. First, they get to pick what position they’d like to have on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Isaiah wanted to be a soldier, so he stamped his passport as a sergeant. There are lots of things in the same room where kids can try parts of each person’s job, like standing guard or identifying animal tracks. The next part forms a circle around the first room. It takes you through Sgt. Floyd’s time in the area, starting with him getting sick. There’s a huge scene of his burial with life-sized talking Lewis and Clark models. That part freaked Isaiah out pretty badly. The rest of the room has a scene showing those on the expedition examining “strange” animals and plants to learn about them. It has some stuffed animals there, too. My favorite part is the life-sized Seaman looking at a prairie dog. He barks and cocks his head as the prairie dog moves in its cage.
Dorothy Peacut Nature Center
This is one of Isaiah’s favorite places to go. They have lots of kid friendly activities inside and great trails to walk outside. It was too cold to go outside while we were there this time, but that didn’t keep Isaiah from having a blast inside. He played with the animal furs, went into the underground prairie tunnel and looked out through the badger-cam, admired various animals in the room and played with all the activities.
When we got home, my dad told us that a coworker had told him about some bald eagles in the area. We loaded up in the car and headed out to see them. There are about 300 bald eagles about forty minutes from our house! A little over half of them are juvenile, so quite a few didn’t have the distinctive white heads. We couldn’t get nearly as close as we would have liked, but we took pictures of what we could see. Isaiah thought those were pretty amazing, too. None of us had realized until now that bald eagles migrate through here every year. Now that we know, we’ll be waiting for them next year!
DeSoto Bend Wildlife Refuge
Since there were so many eagles here, I decided to check the most recent numbers at DeSoto Bend. Their numbers from almost a week before reflected the number of eagles we’d seen the night before, as well as huge numbers of other birds, so we decided to stop there on our way to visit my grandmother. We went into the visitor center, where there were almost no birds to be seen. We did, however, spot two pelicans on the water. Unfortunately, they were too far away to get a picture. After hanging out there for a while, we started following roads around the refuge, looking for signs of birds. At one spot, we parked in a lot and I got out to take some pictures. I could see a juvenile bald eagle in a tree and was hoping he’d move closer. I gave up after a few minutes because he wasn’t showing any intention of moving. As I turned to get into the van, an adult bald eagle flew over, less than ten feet above my head! He’d caught a fish on the lake and was headed up to a tree branch when I saw him. We followed him to where he landed and I got some nice pictures of him enjoying his dinner.
After the adventure with our bald eagle friend, we headed back inside the visitor center to let Isaiah look at the exhibits. There are some kids’ areas that have things to touch that Isaiah really loved. He got to touch furs, feathers and deer antlers. The antlers were his favorite. He put one on his head and said he was a reindeer!
Henry Doorly Zoo
When you live this close to the best zoo in the nation, you don’t want to pass up any opportunities to check it out. Besides, the lion cubs are getting bigger and are so fun to see! Isaiah voted to go in the jungle this time, so that was where we started. We went through the top part of the jungle (the canopy), where Isaiah was thrilled to be on eye level with some fruit bats. The monkeys and gibbons bothered him because they’re so loud, so we had to move passed them pretty quickly. He loved the birds, tamarins and otters, though.
After the jungle, Isaiah wanted to visit the sharks, so we headed for the aquarium. We hit it just right because the penguins were not only in the water, but actively playing with visitors. They would come flying up against the glass and stare at whoever was closest them before rushing away, only to come right back. Then we went to see the shark tunnel. Isaiah was sad that the rays weren’t sliding down the sides of the tunnel, but got over it quickly when he spotted a sea turtle. It was resting in a corner, but when Isaiah walked up, it lifted its head to watch him. Isaiah says the turtle is his new friend.
Of course, no trip to the zoo is complete without stopping to see the lion cubs. We got there as they were settling in for a nap, but they were still as adorable as ever. They’re doing some work on the outdoor lion enclosure, so the mama lion was having trouble going to sleep. Every time something happened outside, she’d jump up to make sure her babies were safe. One of the cubs decided within minutes that it had to have been long enough that he could get up now. Of course, the answer from the adult lions was “absolutely not!” We went around and visited all the other cats before going back to the jungle for a few minutes on the way out.
Wow, that was a busy few days! And so much fun! I took hundreds of pictures, so I can’t possibly share them all here. Feel free to check out the rest on Flickr.
And now, back to the regularly programmed school week…
We celebrated my birthday today. It’s a little late, but I had more time to relax and enjoy it this week because I’m on spring break. Isaiah was extremely excited about the cake and singing happy birthday.
Our aquarium has been creating a really vivid rainbow on the floor the last couple days. Isaiah is loving it. He’s found that if he lies on the floor, he can get the rainbow on his face. He was amazed when he saw the pictures I took because he didn’t realize what it looked like when he got under it.