Mommy Panda Blog

I may not be super crunchy, but I'm no softie either!

Wear ‘Em Wednesday: At the Sunset Zoo

The Munchkin had a class field trip to the Zoo in Manhattan yesterday, and The Bean and I tagged along. I would have gone anyway, but I really needed to this time because the field trip lasted longer than the normal school day. This meant that I had to pull The Munchkin out early so he could go to OT and speech. I tried to reschedule his appointments, but the only opening they had was during his first ABA session. *sigh*

The Bean and I got to the zoo a little bit after the bus did because I had to run home real quick and get the memory card for my camera. (D’oh!) When The Munchkin saw us, he was really surprised and excited, and wanted to hold my hand. (“Eye-ah hold jah hand?!”)

I wore The Bean on my back to make things easier, and boy did it. He wanted to get down and walk with the other kids, but eventually gave into the fact that he wasn’t getting down for anything. It was kind of a large group, and between the kids walking around, and all of their parents + siblings, it would have been super annoying trying to keep The Bean in line. (Both literally and figuratively!) I probably wouldn’t have really been able to hold The Munchkin’s hand, and forget about looking at animals or taking pictures!

Speaking of The Munchkin and taking pictures, The Munchkin took this photo of The Bean and myself. Not too bad, right?!

The Munchkin’s teacher (there, in green) told me that he was so excited to be riding the bus, and kept saying “Oh, wow! Cool! Oh, so cool!” at everything on the way. Cars, trucks, cows… He was very impressed by it all. I’m not really sure why though. We’ve been to Manhattan a few times, and even the zoo once, so I’m not sure what he saw on the ride there this time that was new…

It was cool seeing him actually pay attention to the animals. I think this might be the first time he really seemed to enjoy looking at them. Normally, he is only interested in big animals like elephants or lions. Or penguins, because penguins. I think seeing all of the other kids looking and engaged helped him focus better.

The school provided the kids with a lunch, and The Munchkin sat at a table with his class. The Bean and I sat at the table next to them with some of the other moms, and ate our lunch that I’d packed. The Bean was happy to be free, and I was happy chatting with adults while peaking over at The Munchkin; watching him giggle with a school friend. Just a fly on the wall at lunch time.

After lunch, the kids got to play on the playground while the teachers picked up and changed diapers, and whatever else they needed to do. The Bean freaked all of the teachers out, because he doesn’t realize he’s only one, and tries to keep up with The Munchkin. The funny thing is, that he totally can most of the time (All of the time, here.) but strangers don’t know that. It’s a common problem.

When it was time to leave the playground and go look at other animals, The Munchkin lost his mind. He wanted to keep playing, and didn’t care about the animals anymore, and I think he was overstimulated and tired. I was like, “Oh yay! My kid is the only one doing this, weeeeee! And we have to leave for OT soon, awesome!” I tried counting to ten, which usually helps him, but when I got to ten, he said “No, one!” and I asked him if he needed more time and needed me to count again. He said yes, but he was still crying when I got to ten the second time. He eventually calmed down when we got to some monkeys that were playing really actively. Thank God for those monkeys. After the monkeys, we had to leave, so we said goodbye to the class. One of the aids walked us out, and The Munchkin was fine with the whole thing. I think he was really just ready to go.

Overall, a good class field trip. I’m glad I got to go; it was the last one of the year! Here are a few shots of some animals. I took more, but these were my favs. One of the wallabies has a baby in it’s pouch!

Long Weekends + Nice Weather = No Blog Posts

The Munchkin had a five day weekend this weekend, and it was pretty much like a second spring break. EXCEPT that it was actually nice out, so we spent a lot of it outside. That’s why it’s been so quiet around here. All of my day time hours/minutes that I would spend putting a blog post together was spent outside. We went on walks, went to the park, and worked on the yard. We also celebrated the CRAP out of Easter, but I’ll get into that later. For now, here are a couple of pictures of the work I’ve been doing in the yard. Big shout out to the water table and joint naps for allowing me to get all of this stuff done.

This is what the hill behind my house looked like as of yesterday evening. I’ve been working on and off on this space whenever I got a chance to, but I’ve never had a big chunk of time available  to me like yesterday. I got a lot done, but I knew I had a long ways to go. I posted a slightly different view of this photo on facebook yesterday, and my college adviser said it looked like the pit in Parks and Recreation, haha. He wasn’t too far off. When I started working down there, I found that the builders just dumped all kinds of junk down here – carpet, concrete, trash. It was awful.

I had a little bit of time to work on it today, and here’s where I left it before dinner:

Much improved, right? I made the raised garden box mostly with pallet wood, although the long single piece at the top of the front and back sides are from my neighbors’ deck that they disassembled over the weekend. Those stairs are from there too, less you think I made them. The smaller stairs at the top of the hill were there when we moved in. They’re tiny and crappy, and I can’t wait to cover them up with more of the deck wood and the rest of the deck stairs.

I’m going to do my best to save that little tree there. I don’t know if you can really see it, since this photos is so monochromatic. The tree is starting to grow leaves, but not that many. I hope it thrives! I am also really sad that it looks like all of the grass on the hill is dead. I gotta say, when I originally envisioned this whole thing, I pictured green grass flowing down the hill. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of this crap. You can see a distinct line where my living lawn ends and the dead hill grass starts. Ugh. Anyone think I can water it and make it live again? No? Nuts.

Here is a different view of the crappy steps and the garden box. I made one side of the box taller than the other to accommodate for the hillside, but I don’t know how to cut a triangular piece, so there is hole in each of the sides. My parents said someone can cut it at the hardware store, but I think I just might stick another piece of wood on the inside before I fill it with dirt and call it a day. If I put rocks between the stairs and the box, I bet you won’t even see it!

Now, I guess I’d better start some seeds in an egg carton or something, and get me some dirt!

What We’re Currently up To: Week 29

This past week, we’ve been…

Clearing out books that we don’t read anymore. Before John left for NTC, I tried to make it through the wall of books that I mentioned briefly last week…and the week before that, I guess; but we still have three boxes left to go through. I texted him pictures of all of the books, but he said there were too many to go through over the phone. *sigh* I just want those books gone!

The boys have been digging through the block toy box and attempting to submerge themselves in the blocks. I don’t get it. A sensory thing? I step on one block, and I want to shoot myself. How is getting into an entire TOY BOX filled with them a good thing? Oh, but they love it. They cram themselves in there and throw blocks at nothing. Or, maybe they’re having a throwing contest and I’m just not aware. Anyone’s guess, really. Good times.

I wish I could say that I’ve been digging in the garden, but production on my raised beds has halted with John not being able to watch the boys, and with it being cold. It snowed on Monday, for crying out loud. I’m hoping to get more done once The Munchkin’s ABA therapy starts next week. Conveniently, it takes place during The Bean’s nap time.

Mixing things up now that I don’t have to make full out meals for dinner. With John gone, I get to make whatever I want for dinner, and it’s great. Waffles? Sure! Pizza? Delish! I’m trying not to become a fatty while he’s away though, so I am cooking some more-or-less real meals too. This week, I pureed a zucchini and a yellow squash, and added it to our spaghetti sauce. To me, it tasted the same as when I saute the chopped veggies and add them to the dish, but this way, The Munchkin actually ate it! He never eats pasta with veggie chunks in it! (Chopped tomatoes don’t count. He’ll eat those in sauce. Also, tomatoes are a fruit, so…) The Bean, of course, devoured it. That shouldn’t surprise anyone though. This week, however, I was able to add a second food to The Bean’s “No, Not Gonna Eat That” list: Tuna melts. The boy was NOT interested. In case you’re curious item #1 on the list is pickles.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, The Munchkin is a fan of tuna melts, as long as he can dip it in ketchup.

Reading our Yo Gabba Gabba comic board-books that John found in his car before he left. They have been in there since we moved here. No wonder I couldn’t find them in the house! Also on the bedtime story list: The Bernstein Bears book where they go to the moon, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”, and some of “The Lorax”. The Munchkin usually gets bored before we make it very far in that book though.

During the day, The Bean will usually bring me either “The Lorax” or the “Heroes of the City” book I got in exchange for hosting that review and giveaway. He actually makes it pretty far through the books, if he’s tired and comfy enough. This week, he has started bringing me these little board books that my sister sent us that have pictures of various things, and then what they are in English and Spanish. Well, I might have lived in Miami for a couple of years, but I don’t know a lick of Spanish, so I only read the English words. The Bean loves pointing at a picture and looking up at me until I tell him what the word for that thing is. He does the same thing with the alphabet book I made the boys when The Bean was first born. I love his growing thirst for knowledge.

I am reading nothing. Not. A. Thing. People’s Currently entries, maybe. If I find myself with time to read, I craft or scrapbook instead. Priorities, yo.

Watching Despicable Me every day, or at least it feels that way. My son watches Despicable Me the way your daughter watches Frozen, I swear. Just without the singing. He loves the minions. Actually, that’s how he asks for the movie – he asks if he can watch minions. Either “with cookie robots” for Despicable Me, or “monster minion!” for Despicable Me 2. The Bean is just a fan of whenever the TV is on, but a couple of times, I’ve said “No minions – it’s time for The Bean to pick something.” and I always have The Bean “pick” Super Why, which seems to be his favorite. I tried to watch the blood moon, but I don’t think I looked at the right time.

That was our week, how was yours?

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