The world needs more weekend and less week.

Someone start a petition 🙂  We made the most of what we had this time around.

Minutes after I left work Friday and, fortunately, moments after I stepped onto the subway, I received an e-mail message that nearly put an end to all of our weekend plans!  But, since I rock, I managed to do all the necessary documents from home on Friday night and thus saved the weekend!  Woo hoo!  Having had such a near miss, we decided to put some distance between ourselves and the city 🙂

On Saturday, we drove up to Maine to check in on our garden and visit with my grandfather.  We have POTATOES people!  I am so excited.

OK, OK, they’re tiny but they weren’t done growing.  I pulled up one plant to make sure the wet weather we had this past June didn’t rot them in the ground.  They look perfect.  And small.  But they still have lots of growing left.  Other than the potatoes we had 4 squash plants that survived and one, single, lonely stalk of corn.  The deer ate the bush beans.  Duhdee and I have already figured out the plan for next year.

After the quick check-in at the garden we stopped to visit Papa.  He’s had some health issues this summer but he’s looking darn good now.  Especially good for someone who is 88!  We had a really nice visit.  I needed some advice on the potatoes because I’ve never grown them and he offered me his potato digger when I’m ready to dig them up.  Score!  (To be honest I have no idea what a potato digger is but he said he keeps it in his truck because he “Uses it for everything.”  I am intrigued.)

After gabbing for a couple of hours, we stopped by the grocery store my cousin is working at this summer.  She was very popular, we had to stand in line to visit…then Monkey threw a fit because that’s what he does in the check-out line these days.  No idea why, it’s a PITA 🙂  While we were waiting Monkey kept saying her name and grinning at her.  He needs to spend more time with her, I think.  She needs to babysit more often.  Ahem.

When we finally left the store we realized we were going to have to eat dinner on the road so, instead of jumping on the highway and hoping to find something appealing, we drove to a little neighborhood store that has a deli and take-out counter.  We grabbed some food and ate on the sea wall.  After eating we let Monkey play in the surf.  It was starting to get a little rough due to Hurricane Bill but it wasn’t too bad.  He only goes in ankle deep anyway.  He did end up drenched after he lost his balance and fell into the path of a wave, lol.  We still carry a full change of clothes with us everywhere though (leftover reaction from a couple of the darkest potty training days) so he had something dry to ride home in.

After yet another stop, this time for ice cream, we drove home.  It was after 9 before we got Monkey to bed but it was a great day and he didn’t mind the late night.

Today we stuck closer to home.  I picked the carrots in the garden and a couple cherry tomatoes.  Duhdee bought a bushel of corn (that is 5 dozen ears of corn!) and we prepped all of that for freezing (he’s actually finishing up right now, lol, don’t tell him I snuck away to blog!)  He also bought 8 quarts of tomatoes which we’ll freeze as sauce.  Ok, that doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s taken 9 HOURS.  I am pooped.

Two quick Monkey stories to reward you for making it to the end…

Saturday, before we left for Maine, Monkey lay down on the living room floor and looked under the couch.  He asked Duhdee (Ewik!) repeatedly to look under the couch.  Finally, Duhdee asked him, “What is under the couch?”  And Monkey replied…if I had any pride I would not share this…”Dirt!”  I checked, he’s right.

Also on Saturday, before we left for Maine, Monkey finally made my words come back to haunt me.  Oh yes he did!  And it’s plain as day.  And today he ratted out which of his irresponsible parents he was repeating by adding “dogs” to make a sentence, it wasn’t me, haha!

So now he has said two complete sentences, “Iwangohome” and “F**Kdadogs .”  It’s a misquote because what Duhdee actually said was “F***king dogs” when he found that one had gotten into the trash for the eighty billionth time.  We are trying to convince him that he’s saying “Frog,” we need to tell the teacher something!

Fun in Madison!

While we were in Madison we had our afternoons free. We spent a lot of time here:

The best thing about the pool was that the shallow end was only 3 FT deep so Monkey could walk around that end on his own. He was really unsure about it at first but once he gained some confidence he loved it.  He really enjoyed watching Duhdee and I go under water.  He even tried out my nose holding technique and went under himself once. 

I really loved the downtown/Capitol Square part of Madison.  The capitol building is beautiful (it’s a replica of the Capitol Building in D.C.)  I took lots of pictures of it, lol.

 Another favorite spot was Monana Terrace:

We were especially fond of the rooftop garden.

Monkey really loved the fountain.

He really, really loved the fountain.

 We also enjoyed the Henry Vilas Zoo, Monkey was much more interested in the goats than in any of the other more exotic animals but that’s OK.  I enjoyed feeding them too, lol.  They were much friendlier than the grizzly bear who looked at us like he wanted to eat us…thank goodness for moats!

Even though we eventually tired of restaurant food we really enjoyed the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co. (they have a great kid’s menu), Lombardinos (our waiter was so amazing with Monkey he got a 50% tip, lol, and the pizza was divine) and Bluephies (great food and very nice, yet kid friendly, atmosphere).  Bluephies is right next to Wingra Park.  We spent our last evening there just watching the boats and the ducks on the lake.  I wish we’d gone there earlier and tried out one of the paddle boats!

I would totally recommend Madison for a visit, it seemed more than a little random but it was a great place to take Monkey.   Another think that impressed me was the Greater Madison Convention and Visitor Bureau website, it was a huge help in planning the trip.  I like a good website and it really is very well done.

Goodness, it’s been a busy slog here!

But we’re back, for reals this time.

First things first, Monkey’s hand is almost entirely healed.  There were  a few really gross days of lots of peeling skin but he’s much better now.  It never really seemed to bother him after that first day, I guess that high pain tolerance comes in handy for some things.

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook you know we spent last week in Madison, WI taking part in a research study at the Waisman Center.  I am not sure what to say about it really.  It was the first time we’ve ever taken part in one and it was really hard on Monkey.  Really, really hard.

He enjoyed the plane trip, he enjoyed the hotel pool, he enjoyed the sightseeing but he did not especially enjoy the various evaluations.  I did not especially enjoy my part in the evaluations (4.5 hour autism interview…videotaped! Argh!)  The researchers were very nice and they tried very hard to make it as fun as possible for him but it was all too much.  Being away from home, having to sit in a room with strangers for hours and take tests…blah.

To end the trip they wanted a blood sample.  I had a nightmare, the night before, about what would happen and woke up in a cold sweat.  For the first time in my life the actual experience was as bad as the nightmare.  They only got 1/2 of what they wanted before I burst through the doors like a … I would say mama bear but that understates my reaction and demeanor by a long shot.  People were scared and they were right to be.  Generally, when I lose my temper I feel apologetic and slightly embarassed by it once I calm down but I will not ever apologize and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it.  I only regret that I didn’t get there faster. 

**OK** putting that behind me now, I hope.  Tonight I’ll get the pictures off the camera and share the better parts of the trip!  I also need to put together a language update b/c this kid is really talking now!  He said his first complete sentance while we were in Madison!  “Iwangohome!”  All I could say was, “Me too, buddy.  Me too!”

Not the way we want to increase his vocabulary!

He already knew the word “hot,” now he knows “burn” too.  Ugh.

Monkey grabbed my travel mug of  hot tea this AM and scalded his hand.  His poor little fingers are red and he has two blisters.  They don’t think there will be any long-term effects, we just need to keep it clean and watch for infection if the blisters break.  Poor kid.  He’s taking both Tylenol and Motrin and is now acting like nothing happened.