Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bicycling

In Highland Park, there is a neat bicycling park. It's got a half mile-ish outside loop, well paved, with some little hills and such. Inside of that is a smaller track with a larger open area, particularly designed for the little folks. Every once in a while, we really do like throwing the two bigger boys' bikes in the car and driving on down there to let them ride.



It's an interesting thing, because they're both right around the same level of skill on the bike. The Boy gets a little edge on his brother because he's a little taller, so he gets the bigger bike, and that makes a big difference. It's also a neat and safe way for them to explore the independence: they can travel more than a hundred yards down the open area in the middle away from me, but still be in sight and safely tucked away from traffic.



While loading the cars, Little Bear hopped on the tiny little tricycle that we bought for The Boy's second birthday. It was a little spacey for a minute, because I had quite the flashback. I remember going to toys r us to buy that - the closest TRU was down route 22, on the other side of the parkway in Newark, which was not a direction we tended to go. He and I went down there, and we tried all of the different bike and trike options that were there. He was really going ho about this cute little pink number, which I wasn't too keen on; I'm all for challenging gender roles, but I don't think that a pink trike meant for little girls was precisely what we wanted. We "settled" on a little re tricycle, a Radio Flyer.

He loved that trike. He wouldn't get on it and use the pedals; he would scoot his feet along, Flintstones-style, to get it to go places. He never learned to use the pedals; by the time he was capable of doing so, he had significantly outgrown the trike.

On Friday night we went to a Tot Shabbat at a different temple than normal; not for any other reason than we have some friends there, and it was supposed to be a picnic at the Blue Slide Park. Because of inclement weather, it was held inside the temple building. Cool thing? They have about fifteen to twenty tricycles of various sizes. The kids all skipped dinner and had this brilliant, chaotic, high speed mess of a tricycle party. One of the other parents put it brilliantly: it looked like a third world traffic situation, where - somehow - everyone kept moving and nobody got hurt.



Three years ago, we bought him a tiny red tricycle. Now? A whole different story. It's amazing how life changes, and those tiny little tricycles bring those changes into focus.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, July 28, 2012

While I've Been Away

It's been a fairly active six weeks (six weeks!) since I've last updated my blog here. And, by fairly active, I mean, "I'm way too old to be pulling 18 hour days six days a week" busy. Don't get me wrong - I am definitely not complaining, because 99.99% of everything that's happened to me in the past six weeks has been wonderful and great. It's just been busy. So, the biggest news is that we closed on our house at the beginning on June! It's a very, very similar home as our home in Scotch Plains; the biggest difference is that it's built into the side of a hill, so everything is more vertical than horizontal. It's got roughly the same size everything as what we had in Scotch Plains, and it's needed an equivalent amount of work to get going. New floors, new windows, updates in the kitchen... fresh coat of paint over everything and everything... we're not done yet, but it's getting quite close. We might even be able to start moving in, once I'm back from Ireland. To a large extent, it feels like the closing of a circle. Four years ago, one of us was employed, we had a beautiful and smart baby boy, we had our home, chorus, quartets, etc. Then, the cancer diagnosis hit, and - four years later - one of us is employed, we have three beautiful and smart and healthy baby boys, a new home, new chorus, new quartet, church job (technically in a temple, but what's the difference?), and a bunch of other things. Would you believe that The Boy is turning five in a month? I have a hard time believing it. Then again, there were times when I wasn't sure that he'd turn two, much less three. So, for the past month and a half, I've been trying to go to work, have dinner with the family at the end of the day, then go to the new house to get some hours of painting done. At this point, the only stuff left is painting the trim and the walls going down to the basement, and a little bit of touchup stuff, and the closets. Not sure what we're going to do with them, other than use up whatever paint is left over once the new windows are in. Those might turn out to be multicolored, but I'm kind of okay with that. Work is going well. I've been kind-of promoted into a new position from where I started, and I'm pretty darn happy about that! It's a lot of work - I've been putting in between 45-50 hours most weeks, and that's taking no lunch at all. I went to a baseball game last weekend with friends from work, and that was a nice feeling. The boys are fine. We finished the first round of Birthday Season, with Little Bear's birthday (7/5), Mom's birthday (7/13) and The Baby's birthday (7/16). That's a lot of cake. My birthday is during the Ireland trip with my chorus, so that'll be interesting. The two bigger boys have been in camp at Rodef all month, and Grandma has generously taken charge of the baby so that The Wife has been able to put in a couple of hours' work on the new house in the morning. The Boy has decided that he wants to learn to count in multiple languages, so he's been learning to count to ten in English, Hebrew, French, and whatever other languages he hears about. Little Bear has been through a rough spot recently, and he's been kind of nasty and hit-ty and bite-y lately. The Baby has been trying to say words recently, and he says "cheese" and "dada" and a few other things like that. I'm hoping to not let six weeks go by before my next post. We'll see.