It's amazing how few kid-appropriate songs I know. Once I've exhausted the best of the Eagles and Aladdin, I'm close to out of ideas. That's what led me to start with Ice Ice Baby tonight when the little dude was fussing... which is what led to this facial expression:
He's not even five months old yet and he's already like "Mom, you are SO strange!"
My mom always gets us books for Easter. It's great- she does a fantastic job of finding things that are perfect. This year, she got the little dude A Child's Garden of Verses in a board book. I remember all of these poems from when I was little, so I love reading them to my kid. My favorite was always The Land of Counterpane. It'll be fun to see which is his favorite when he gets older. Anyway, here is the little guy enjoying his new book (and thanks, mom!).
Ahhh... Nothing like a nice warm spring day to warm you to the bones. The wife, the boy, the pups, and I went exploring a little today. We wanted to find a new place to walk because there's really no where to do it in our neighborhood. I don't think a single street has any connections to the other streets except for the busy main road.
Anyway, we are trying to find the rail trail that follows the river close to our house so we could take the dogs for a nice walk and enjoy the beautiful day. Emily gets on the internet and finds that the trail head to one section is in a city park closer than the state park we usually drive to. So off we went; the coondog in the back, underbite in the middle floor munching on some little nibble of food undoubtedly dropped under the passenger seat, the boy in his car seat (we just moved his infant neck restraint up a slot, he's getting so big!!), the wife in the passenger seat trying to navigate, and I'm driving.
The park is on the outskirts of town a little ways but we eventually get there and some guys are shooting basketball on an asphalt courts situated beside three very well maintained little league fields.
I have to say there's something special about spring and little league baseball fields. To me, there aren't many things more heart warming or nostalgic than to see a dad hitting grounders to his boy. One day my boy will be old enough to play that great American game. I don't want him to grow up too fast, but I am looking forward to teaching him about baseball; how to be a slick fielder, how to think before each pitch, where to be when the ball gets hit to any part of the park. I think one of his uncles, though, will have to teach him how to hit. His old man never was very pretty doing it.
We pull into a parking spot and let the pups out, get the boy situated in his carrier, and head off for the trail. Hmmm, the trail. "Do you know where it is?" "No, the internet said this park." There are no signs at all but we finally find a paved path that looks promising (it has a dog cleanup station at the start) and start down it. We pass a little playground (for kids 5 - 12 yrs; my poor boy is too little, dang age discrimination) and a pavilion. There is a group of 9 or 10 year old boys running around throwing pebbles, chasing each other, and yelling out dares.
I can't help but think to myself that our boy will be a rambunctious little boy someday, running around, picking on his younger sibling, running around, making friends, running around, and running around.
We continue down the path which leads down to a statue we can see. It looks like a tribute to the coal miners of this great state, who toiled under the ground to eek out a living. "15 tons and wattaya get? Another day older and deeper in debt." The bronze miner stands there with his hat and light in a pair of dusty dungarees with a pickax in one hand and a life of hard work on his brow. My father, his father, and his father's father all spent time in a mine. My daddy quit when I was born so that I could grow up and have an example of how to be a great man.
This promising path now turns into a cul-de-sac and we are without direction. We wonder aimlessly around the park until we see a cork board, covered with glass and enclosed in a little green hut. There is a map under the glass but it is worthless. This park is probably 15 acres or so and this map is at a scale of about 1 inch = 1 mile. We stare at the map hoping that it will talk to us or something and then turn to head back to the car. A lady with a couple dogs walks by so we decide to ask her where the rail trail is. She said its further down the road we came in on.
A short hike later and we are back in the car, off again to find the trail. We've been there for 15 minutes.
As we pull out of the parking lot we see a 3x3 sign that says "rail trail" and has a small arrow point in into the side of the hill. We assume it it means go straight so we continue down the road and pass a quaint little country church with it's little parking lot full for Sunday evening services. Past the church the road gets a little narrower and the houses turn into trailers; the lawns turn into pastures. There aren't any more signs now, just metal posts with nothing on top. I assume there used to be signs.
Further we go and finally come up to a bend in the road. On the left hand side is what appears to be a couple vacant lots with old cars and dilapidated buildings on it and a couple kids playing around. Next to that is a run down trailer with several posted/private property signs nailed to the front porch as if there were things in there that one might think to steal. Across the street from that is the trail. Across from the seemingly abandoned trailer park is where we are supposed to get our dogs and ~5 month old son out and start our afternoon walk. Emily says, "Is that it?" with a very concerned inflection in her voice. "Are we supposed to park here beside this pile of old tires? I don't think so. Let's get out of here!"
By this time the boy is crying and I think the dogs are a little car sick, so we turn around and head back to civilization. Oh well. We tried, and we didn't get shot in the process so it's not a total failure, right?
He has found his feet. Socks seem to confuse him a little, but he's a persistant little booger and won't give up on his quest to touch his toes. This is him ignoring March madness in favor of his feet. His dad seems to be ignoring the discovery of feet in favor of March madness, but that's not entirely true.
He got to meet one more set of great-grandparents this weekend. A good time was had by all- lots of food, snuggles, and good company.
He also tried to ride the big dog for the first time. In case you can't tell, he's got two handfuls of skin and fur. Luckily, she doesn't seem to mind at all.
All in all, he's a happy little guy who's a lot of fun to have around.
Now we're off to enjoy the first full day of spring!