Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The adventures of a toddler, one park at a time...and some random mommy musings

{On me: Shirt: Destination Maternity (old) - sim, sim / Scarf: J.Crew Factory (old) - savespend, splurge}

{On Yishai: Shirt: BabyGAP outlet (old) - sim / Shorts: BabyGAP outlet (old) - sim / Shoes}

A couple Sundays ago, D took a break from studying and we all went to check out Gumbo Limbo Nature Center (yes, that's really the name!). We didn't get to spend as much time there as we wanted (pushing off naptime wasn't the best idea) so we will definitely be going back soon.

Yishai loved watching the fish, sharks and stingrays swimming in their tanks, made friends with a crab and a giant lobster, but the turtles...oh those turtles...they were something else. As part of their Sea Turtle Conservation efforts they have a rehabilitation program that not only rescues injured turtles, but provides on-site care and treatment including surgeries to remove cancerous tumors. The ultimate goal is to release them after they recover, but those with more extensive injuries remain there in order to receive necessary care. We were sad to miss the turtle feeding this time around but we know we have something exciting to look forward to next time.

Warning - random mommy musings ahead:

I definitely have enjoyed every stage of Yishai's babyhood, and as they happened they were all 'the best age', but this toddler stage has got to be my favorite of the favorites! It seems like every day is a 'first' for something -a new word, skill, mannerism, and this fierce sense of independence (where did it come from??) - and I find myself asking him, often outloud, "Who are you and what did you do with my newborn baby?!" Time really does fly by so fast and I feel such mixed emotions for the baby stages left behind and the new stages yet to come. But right now is pretty awesome as I feel like I'm rediscovering the world around me through toddler eyes and those eyes see everything. This kid sees dogs before they even come around a corner...no really, that's happened. 

As we sit in his nursery together before bedtime, we talk about his day while he drinks his milk. He likes to rub and kiss my growing belly and recently he's started to 'share' his milk with the baby by sticking his sippy cup in my belly button and making drinking noises...it makes my heart want to burst!

He is obsessed with Keppie, constantly giving her kisses and shrieking with laughter when she licks him back, not wanting to go up or down the stairs without her, bringing us her water bowl any time it's empty saying, "more more more", and sometimes refusing to eat his dinner until she has food in her bowl as well. The amount of empathy he has for her astounds me - if she cries because a toy is under the couch he drops what he's doing to try to get it for her and then comes running; yelling for us to help her if he can't get it. If the baby gate is closed and she's stuck upstairs - same thing!  She's the first one he greets, running to find her if she didn't meet him at the door and as of a few days ago he absolutely must give her a kiss goodbye before we leave (no matter how late we're running). I often find myself a bit envious that he gets to grow up with a 'big sis like Keppie (I was 9 when we got our first dog) - and I know it's one of the best decisions that D and I made. The lessons he's learning from such an early age like kindness, empathy, sharing, unconditional love of/for an animal - are so incredibly invaluable, some of which can only come from the experience, not from teaching. This hormonal mommy probably cries daily watching the sweet interactions between my fur baby and (as I jokingly refer to Yishai) my 'first-born-second-child'.

So yeah, definitely a random group of thoughts tonight - but I guess that's what happens at midnight these days :)

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