Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bye, Bye Baby Tooth

Yesterday, I noticed one of Gus' teeth not aligning the way it always has, when asked, he wiggled it for me with his tongue very non-challantly, before running off to do the next little-boy thing he had to do. I, meanwhile, freaked out, stormed through a couple of websites and fired off a dozen texts, then decided to just make him a tooth box and talk to him about losing his teeth - a subject I thought I wouldn't have to broach for another year or two. Admittedly, Gus managed to quietly grow a full set of teeth, at a time when other children his age where still in the throws of teething, but 4 1/2 seems so early to say goodbye to those sweet, little teeth.

Armed with the tooth box, I felt better. Gus never felt anxious or worried at all. With the calm of a child, who can put himself to bed, while the sitter is clearing the dinner table (true story), Gus humored me and let me peer at his mouth countless times and tell my story about the "tooth-tinker bell fairy" (that's the only visual of a fairy we know) and how there is a prize (what's the going rate for a tooth these days, anyways?) if he managed to hold on to that tooth and put it in the box.
Well, as the somewhat fuzzy picture above shows, the tooth came out without a hitch and absolutely no extreme emotions - unfortunately it came out in the pool, as we cooled off this afternoon. While everyone was trying to look for it (thank you, lifeguard and all the nice folks, who ventured into the water to "feel for a tooth), I had a gut-mommy feeling that I wouldn't get my hands on that new tooth...oh well.
What I have in its stead is a gappy-toothy grinny boy. He doesn't care one bit and is not fazed by it at all.

Here he is after dinner, singing to himself and watching the weather - tired of smiling for Momma "just one more time."

I can't believe he lost his first tooth and my tooth box is EMPTY!!!

- Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Brevard, NC

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Swimming at the Shoals

Fridays in the summer have been our favorite days for as long as Gus has been alive. Since his first summer we've been coming here Friday mornings for an impromptu playdate and picnic with other mothers and tots from the area. What began as a little group of friends looking for something to do, is now a full-fledge standing outing, that is being planned and discussed on Facebook.

To us, this place is magical. No wonder they filmed the Hunger Games here. This place is so wild and beautiful, it takes my breath away every time we journey there. Gus loves the many natural pools and puddles, some deep enough to swim in, some shallow enough for the little ones to splash in.

One of my favorite pics of Gus from yesterday. I can see all the wisdom of a soon-to-be-5-year-old in it, but there is so much of my sweet baby still to be had. We swirled sand in the water and later walked up the spillway to Lake Julia and Gus fearlessly got in and swam, while I kept a lookout for the snapping turtle, rumored to live there.

This is always one of my favorite images, we all hike in 3 miles with our ragged all-terrain strollers (whenever there is a shiny new one, we know we have a new mom among us) then park them carelessly as we all shed coverups and get in for a cool, refreshing soak.

- Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Dupont Forest, Cedar Mountain, North Carolina

Big Bike

Introducing Gus' newest recreation possession a 20-inch (20 inches!!!) Specialized Bike from Sycamore Cycles in Brevard. It's still a bit too big, but at the rate Gus is growing, we didn't want to invest too much money in a bike he would tower over next summer. The push bike got handed down to Rion and now we are on to learn how to ride with pedals, a handbrake and a disk-brake.
No gear shifting though. We figured that was too much of a transition for our little cyclist.
We'll be spending some time in abandoned parking lots before we take this show on the road.
- Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Brevard, North Carolina

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Guardian Angel

This is the young man, I owe a week off from parenting to. Cody Farmer took wonderful care of Gus and kept him safe - mostly from himself - all the while being entertained and humored by Gus' many quirks and preferences - and general attitude toward crafts, during his week at Camp Lakey Gap in Black Mountain, NC.

Among the detailed notes he gave us are these two sentences, which sum it all up:
"Gus chose to play hide-n-seek with his counselor during Arts & Crafts time this morning...."
"During Arts & Crafts , Gus chose to spend some time at the playground and at the creek...."

I love that Cody gave Gus exactly what he needed: a great time with only a few necessary rules and lots of constructive choices. I will never forget the happy shrieks I heard over the phone, as Gus and Cody ruled the deep end of the pool. This little boy has so many to-do's in his daily life that I am truly grateful for this carefree time away from it all.

Thank you, Cody, you made this week magic for all three of us.

- Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Camp Lakey Gap, Black Mountain

Three is a Magic Number

Such a wonderful day - celebrating Father's Day, one day ahead of schedule, because one of the most amazing Dad's out there has to work on the actual Father's Day.

First we had coffee and pastries at Bracken Mountain Bakery...Gus is especially fond of the Mocha Swirl.

Then we rode bikes with fellow bike-enthusiast, Ian, who is just learning to ride his push bike and was impressed by Gus' fearless skill.

Then we stopped at the music store to finally touch (and subsequently blow into) the shiny trumpet we have been admiring in the window for weeks now. Gus is really taking to this beautiful instrument...although all the sounds he created can best be described as wet huffs.

And finally we spent an idyllic two hours floating on the French Broad. Yes we live in this paradise on earth. I'm always amazed how quickly you can get completely away in this beautiful town of ours.
What a day. It's good to be three again. We make perfect sense this way.
Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 15, 2012

What I did on my vacation

Since parenting is my full-time occupation, I don't feel wrong calling this week my vacation - despite the fact that I paid bills, went to work, did laundry and never saw anything close to a beach or mountain retreat.

But oh, did I enjoy this time off from parenting, especially knowing that Gus was in good, capable and very loving hands at camp. So here is what I did:

First off, especially for the first couple of days, I missed Gus. Missed his person in the house, his body pressing up against mine, his hugs and kisses, his invitations to play and subsequent dismissal from aforesaid play, because he doesn't approve of my play. I missed his shrieks in the front yard, his quiet singing in the living room, his giggles in the backyard.
Simply put, the house was way too empty, way too quiet and way too neat and clean.

So I went and rooted around the local thrift stores, because I rarely ever get to do that when Gus is around. Among the assorted treasures, I found an almost new yoghurt maker and the skeleton of a skirt sewing project that someone abandoned (judging from the sewing, it was a beginner losing heart). I liked the fabric and decided to pull out the sewing machine (which I also rarely do when Gus is around) and add some embellishments, a zipper and a waistband to the skirt. Voila! Here is my new skirt, product of a happy afternoon spent inside.

Since the sewing machine was already out, I decided to take a drive to the fabric outlet two towns over (another thing I don't dare to do with Gus) and I spent my life-savings (not quite) in the remainder section of the store, buying assorted yards of left-over fabric. Voila, I turned out five cozy baby blankets for all those winter babies our friends are gestating right now.

Wednesday evening I took this fabulously handsome man (my husband, Jacob) out to an all-out date. We strolled around town, admiring all the weird and wacky that Asheville is famous for, then we had a delicious and lingering dinner date with Indian food at Mela's in Asheville, then we strolled some more among the lively evening scene in the "big city".

At the suggestion of our waitress, we stood in line for 20 minutes to get cake and chocolates at the Chocolate Lounge - and she was right, we didn't regret it. When you know how to do sweets you get to be popular - even at 10:30 at night. I so enjoyed spending a night out and having time to talk and laugh and eat and drink with my favorite man.

And lastly, but not in the least, I treated myself well this week. I took a pilates class, I ran in the forest, I swam lapse in the early morning and I finally sat down to do my very favorite thing - drink coffee, eat bagel and read the NY Times from cover to cover. Ah bliss, I love you people of Camp Lakey Gap.

Now I can't wait to go get my baby back!

Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 1, 2012

Packages with string...

If anyone feels called to send Gus a package or card to camp, they allow it! (most camps nowadays stay away from packages). Here is the address:
Gus Dinkins
Christmount's Camp Lakey Gap
222 Fern Way
Black Mountain, NC 28711
He will be there from June 10-16 (camp booklet says to send things early)
Not sure what to tell you to send. Maybe pictures? Water toys? Anything that a lot of children can enjoy together? That he can share with everyone. Baked goods? A flashlight?
Your guess is as good as mine.

- Geraldine, posted using BlogPress from my iPad