Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally fall, Thomas the Tank Engine, Pioneer Farms, and a WBV

It's swelteringly hot in the summer in this part of Texas, and September seemed particularly miserable. But around the first day of October, the weather changed completely, and it's been gloriously beautiful since -- not humid, highs in the low 80s, lows in the 50s. It's chilly in the mornings, and there are cool breezes in the afternoons. In other words, it's finally fall! Granted, people in other places would call this summer weather, but here we practically break out our coats when it dips below 80.

This means Carter has been able to play outside a lot in the last week. There are still mosquitoes and fire ants to contend with, but their days are numbered. It's amazing to be able to be outside and be comfortable, for the first time in months!

I had to go to campus for a few hours last Friday, and I took Carter with me. He was excited to go to "Mommy's school", and we packed his backpack full of toys so he could play while I worked with some students. I did get a few comments as we walked around that he was "a very small college student", heh.

That afternoon we headed up to Burnet to see Thomas the Tank Engine! I found out about it kind of at the last minute, so we went up without tickets, but it turned out to be not a problem at all. I had been telling Carter we were going to see "the real Thomas", but I don't think he really understood it until we saw the train pull up. His eyes were huge, and he was grinning! Then he was kind of in awe for the rest of the time.


The train ride was expensive and short, but hey -- you have to do it! He had fun.


Of course, we had to visit the gift shop, and I spent more money that I intended! We got a set of little Thomas-themed fire trucks, the special Day Out With Thomas engine, another Thomas book to add to our collection, a t-shirt, a balloon, a cup... But it was cool to see so much Thomas stuff in one place!

Carter is really into Thomas right now, but just through the books and the toys. He hasn't watched the show much at all. I don't really like the show, to be honest. The trains are really whiny and annoying, always complaining and having bad attitudes toward things. As much as he repeats what he hears on TV, I don't want him watching anything that will give him obnoxious things to say! The books are generally much more positive, so we're sticking with that for now. :-)

On Saturday we went to Pioneer Farms, a historical farm here in Austin. (It's where the Biscuit Brothers film their shows, if you're familiar with them from PBS.) It was pretty cool, actually. There are different areas showing how people lived in central Texas in the late 1800s.


And wouldn't you know it, Carter's favorite part was all the old machinery! I think this is a cotton gin:


And this is an old laundry wringer:


There was a ton of old rusty farm equipment, which he would have spent all day climbing on if we'd let him!





He also enjoyed running around outside.


This Indian camp was also a big hit.


He LOVED the teepees!


He told us he was going to sleep in the teepee, LOL.


It was a great way to spend the morning.



The week has been busy for me, so Carter and I haven't been able to spend as much time together as we usually do. That definitely takes a toll on both of us, and I can feel that we aren't as attuned to each other as we usually are. But things will get back to normal next week, and I'm glad!

I had set aside time to take him to the dentist yesterday and the doctor today. When he was first learning to walk, he chipped all four of his top front teeth, and all of them have been decaying ever since. (Preemies born as early as Carter have notoriously bad enamel, since the baby teeth form under the gums in the third trimester -- which he spent in the NICU.) The dentist has been watching them for a year and a half, and at this appointment he said it was time to take action or Carter would probably lose those teeth within a year. Baby teeth are important for ensuring the permanent teeth come in correctly, so we need to take care of the problem now to avoid possible expensive orthodontic work in the future. He'll be getting caps on all four of those teeth and the dentist is going to seal the rest of his teeth to protect them even more. They have to sedate little ones to do this kind of work, so this will all take place at Dell Children's on November 5. I'll be glad to have this done, so we won't have to worry about those teeth any more. And Carter will have a perfect smile in time for our Christmas card pictures, so that will be good.

I had arranged my schedule so I'd have today off to spend with Carter, and I also scheduled his 2.5-year Well Baby Visit for today. He now weighs 33 pounds and is just under 37 inches tall. That's about 75th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for height. When I compare him to other kids his age, he actually seems to be tall, so it's strange to me that he's still at the median height.

At both the dentist and the doctor today, he was pretty uncooperative and resistant to letting other people poke and prod him. He refused to let his teeth be cleaned at the dentist yesterday, and cried his way through having his teeth examined by the dentist. He clung to me and buried his face in my chest the entire time. The doctor's office was the same today, though the doctor was better at putting him at ease and making him laugh than any of the dental staff were. Still, it's interesting to see that he's suddenly nervous about things like this. I was wondering when that was going to kick in, and it looks like it has.

He's been having some headaches in the last week, and they seem to be centered in his sinuses. Advil definitely helps them, but it's still hard to see him in pain. I have bad sinus headaches, and I hate the thought that he's possibly going to have them too. He had a bit of a fever overnight last night, and the doctor said that his glands in his neck were a little swollen, so it may have just been a virus. He didn't see any evidence that there was any other kind of infection going on. He's already a lot better today, so maybe that was just it. Of course, I had to google "headaches in toddlers", which gives you all this stuff about brain tumors -- I was completely freaked out on my drive home, until I saw Carter again and realized that was a very remote possibility! But still, it's tough when your child isn't feeling well and you're not sure how to fix it. :-(

Here are a couple more pictures to wrap up the post. The first is from one night about a week ago when Carter and I were making and flying paper airplanes.

And this one shows him trying Nutella this morning on toast, for the first time. He loved it!

That's it for now. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

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