Back in January we started hearing about all of our Vermont friends taking trips to warmer climates to escape the winter here in Vermont for a short time. Having made a master check list of vacations we want to go take (which will take us a couple of lifetimes to complete) several months ago, we decided to plan our own little mid-winter vacation. Our number one choice for destinations was not any place tropical though, it was…. Washington DC!
You might wonder why we picked DC to visit in the winter and at this point in life (especially if you knew that both Ashley and myself have been there multiple times). We organized our master lifetime vacation checklist by “places we want to go now” (a.k.a. before our toddler is old enough to be the focus of a vacation), “places we want to go when our toddler is a little boy and therefore should be very kid friendly” and finally. “places we want to go when our toddler is a teenager or adult”. We decided that DC is a place that we can see cool things (i.e. museums, monuments, etc.) with a toddler and still enjoy them. Luckily, we were right about that.
Last weekend being a long weekend, we decided to take advantage of it and I took a couple of extra days off in order to make a very long weekend/short week vacation. We got up very early on Valentine’s Day/Andy’s half birthday and drove to the Manchester, NH airport for our early morning flight.
After arriving in Baltimore and getting our rental car we headed straight to Mount Vernon to eat lunch and explore the home of our first president. I made the mistake of thinking that we were far enough south to order sweet tea at lunch and was sadly disappointed…
We closed out the day with a Valentine’s Day date for the three of us complete with frozen yogurt (you can’t get this stuff in Vermont in the winter).
The next day we spent some time in some museums and saw a lot of cool stuff. Here are the highlights according to Andy:
We also did some fun stuff at the American Museum of Natural History. There is a very interactive room set up where kids can run loose like fools, I mean, play under close parental supervision.
Later that day Andy took the sleeping tour of the Washington monuments…
We spent the better part of the final day in DC at Target and Ikea. What? We don’t have those things in Vermont so they are like attractions to us… We also made time for the Air and Space Museum Annex.
All in all we had a great time and owe a large thanks to our good friends, the Conaways, for letting us invade their weekend and their space. Andy was a trooper and might have even had some fun along the way. Can’t wait for future Titus family vacations (that is until Andy turns two and we have to start paying for his seat…), the next of which is incredibly soon. See we planned this trip and booked the flight just before an invitation (I’m not sure if invitation is the word, but we will go with it…) to visit Grandma and Papa-U in Florida. We will hop on another plane in just 4 days and head to Florida for a week. We shall get our tropical location after all!
Last weekend we got up with no major plans and decided that we should redo Andy’s room. Granted we had been thinking about this since we moved in a year ago. Basically, with the speed that we were forced to move in we just put his furniture into the room and said we would do something with it later. Turns out that later was the past weekend.
Ashley did some research on Montessori style bedrooms and our goal was to make the room functional both for our purposes as well as for Andy. We wanted him to have a place for his toys that he could reach, a place to sleep that was safe and accessible, and a place to play. For us, we needed a chair to rock him to sleep and his dresser area for clothes, etc.
The green shag carpet in his room was prime for 1974 and as it turns out also looks a lot like grass. We decided to go with it because the carpet is in great shape and we aren’t planning to lake that big of a change until much later… So we decided on a sky blue for the walls with the thinking that eventually we may do a mural on the wall of trees, clouds, etc. and the room will look like an outdoor spring/summer day.
With our plan in place but only a day and a half left in the weekend, we headed off to Littleton, NH to the Home Depot to look for paint, a shelf and supplies to make the room a safe place for Andy all around. We spent the rest of Saturday in Littleton but we managed to buy a lovely shade of blue paint that is low odor and eco/child safe, a white six compartment shelf (that was clearance floor model and already put together), a blue rug (a body of water, lake?), and some little safety stuff (brackets, hooks, etc.)
Sunday we got up with the tasks of cleaning, organizing, moving furniture, painting, more moving and decorating. It was a big job but we managed to get it all done by dinnertime! We even managed to take some before photos…
(Looking at this photo now all I see is clutter!)
(This isn’t the best lighting but you get the idea…)
We also created a nice little play area for Andy (my favorite part):
And of course the Montessori style bed a.k.a. mattress on the floor…
(We are leaving room to hang up artwork by Andy over his sleeping area.)
The 36 hour flip was definitely a success, even Andy thought so!
BTW, toddler photography is impossible due to constant movement…
So despite the plan that I am supposed to be posting to keep record of those little moments that we may forget about over time (which due to full time work, a toddler, and grad school I have not excelled at)… I have yet another ‘big’ moment to share today.
I am almost reluctant to post about this because I have received some negative comments and concerns about Andy being too young (he will be 18 months next week, Valentine’s Day) but a little over a month ago we decided to start potty training. We, like any parents, have talked about training and when the best time would be to do it and we do agree that it is important that the child be ready or you won’t get very far. The other side of this is the fact that we have cloth diapered and are very tired of all that entails. Luckily for us, it appears as though our child was in fact ready…
We started over a long weekend and Andy went pantsless with a nearby potty at all times. We had our rough moments but have gotten to the point now where we are comfortable calling him potty trained (still using dipes for night time and sometimes during naps). Other than sleeping times he uses the potty and has been telling us when he needs to go.
I am posting about this not to brag about our kid being potty trained early or anything like that. We are very fortunate that Ashley is home with Andy and can be consistent with the process. We are also in an area where (due to the weather ans season) we were forced to stay inside for long periods of time which made it much easier to stick to the potty training plan. I would definitely recommend the pantsless method to anyone who wants to train and encourage parents to jump on it when the little one shows signs of readiness (which doesn’t have to mean using complete sentences to tell you they have to go or the ability to button their pants).
So hip hip hooray for Andy!
He is such a good, cooperative, sweet, happy, fun little guy… And he looks so darn cute in his tiny underpants!
Alas I am blogging again. I have been charged with keeping track of the little moments and daily occurances that we are likely to forget about. Ashley wants a record of those things so that in a million years when our toddler is a little boy or worse, a teenager, we can be reminded of those little moments.
Today’s topic is a little more than a daily little moment. Today’s topic is: the first break… I would love to be able to say the first and only break but I am too intelligent and know my little one well enough to know that is not likely the case.
Yesterday, Andy and I were walking down the stairs, as we do quite frequently – his favorite task is feeding the cats which must eat on separate floors to reduce food bullying – and the unthinkable occured. Andy got ahead of himself and fell. Now I was holding his hand but he somehow managed to yank it away – probably to try and brace himself. Whatever bracing occured may have been a good thing because he did not hit his head or break any ribs or anything serious. He actually fell into an odd instinctual rolling type situation. The fall itself wasn’t even bad (from the second or third stair). I have seen him fall much harder when running around the house while playing and I have seen much harder impacts with the ground, the table, and pretty much anything else that a kid could smack his head on. He landed on his back and before he even realized what happened I was there and picking him up. We then went through the whole crying-because-I-fell-and-was-scared panic. It was obvious that he his wrist hurt initially but then he began using it again, even crawling around and playing with his trucks. We decided that he was okay and that it didn’t warrent a trip to the Emergency Department, at least not urgently. We decided to watch it and see how he was after his nap. This would of course occur about three minutes before we were supposed to leave for the day for his swim lesson and shopping in New Hampshire. After we got things calmed down we decided to go to NH and Andy napped in the car. Unfortunately when he woke up he was in more pain and not using that arm. Almost to our shopping destination, we decided that we needed to take him to see a doc and get an xray.
Turns out we were right to take him. He has a buckle fracture of the radius. He got a splint and everything. It is the most pathetic thing to see. We are affectionately calling his right arm “the claw” now because we are stellar parents. The claw is temporary and may be replaced when we see the ortho this week. Think they make waterproof, soft outer shell, casts for toddlers? If not, they should. The cutest little injured boy.
Appropriately playing with his doctor set…
Really playing it up for the Facebook shot. Seriously, most of the day he spent hurricaning around the house and getting whatever he wanted from his feeling bad for him moms…
Ready for dinner in his 2T raccoon jacket. Had to pull it out to fit over the claw.lol
The month of December has been quite awesome. We had our first good snow of the season and Andy got to experience it bundled like that kid in “A Christmas Story” that couldn’t put his arms down. We immediately got Andy’s famous shifty eye look…
Then we scuttled around and learned that plunging our hands into the snow bank resulted in frozen fingers and snow up the sleeves.
All in all, it was a success. Much better than last year’s face plant and screaming.
When hanging out inside, Andy likes to help mom cook.
Andy also likes to be silly and sit in incredibly small boxes.
Overall, December has been great so far and there is plenty more to come. Next week Grandma and Papa U come for a visit! Yay for holidays spent with family.
Also, today Andy is 16 months old. We cannot believe how time flies…