Posts Tagged ‘ Louisville ’

I Think I Can, I Think I Can…Ride The Zoo Train

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

As we anticipated our 2nd trip to the Louisville Zoo, I had been trying to hype up the train ride they have, since we didn’t get a chance to ride it last time.

Your response:

“No, I don’t want to ride that train.”

I didn’t believe you. I figured maybe you just didn’t know for sure what I was talking about.

After all, how could a little boy who is obsessed with Chugginton and Thomas & Friends not want to actually ride a little train around the zoo?

But Z-Day came and you held true to your word: You still didn’t want to ride it, adding, “I scared!”

However, you weren’t given a choice. There we were in line for the train ride with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, and your girl cousin who is 7 months younger than you.

You were getting on that train. Whether or not you would allow yourself to enjoy it, that was the part I didn’t know.

For the first minute or so of the ride, you buried your head in Mommy’s shoulder.

Then you heard all the fun happening around and you just couldn’t pretend not to be there anymore. It was nearly immediately that you began screaming with excitement.

We blasted through a series of tunnels, which from what I can remember, sort of looked like the rainbow graffiti-looking artwork on the Coldplay album, Mylo Xyloto.

With the zoo being decorated in a Fall/Halloween theme, there were plenty of other interesting things to distract you from the fact that just minutes before you were somewhat terrified.

I remember we saw some giant spiders and goofy monsters.

You loved the train ride.

It was a challenge for you, though. It placed you out of your comfort zone.

I’m not fully convinced you won’t be afraid to ride the next zoo train you encounter, but at least now I know that you enjoyed the ride in the end.

Thanks for being a brave little toaster. I mean, the little engine that could.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013. 

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We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip…Minivan Style!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

 Dear Jack,

So let me catch you up… back in July I was invited to the Sienna AdVANtures Tour in Las Vegas where everyday dads like me were asked to test out the 2013 Toyota Sienna and all its new features.

Hey, I’ve never been to Vegas… I would have loved to have gone; except the dates interfered with our family vacation in Sacramento.

However, I think it all worked out all right, because… we get to test drive the Sienna for a whole week, 3 days of which will include our family’s road trip from Nashville to Lousville with my side of the family.

Yes, there will be 8 of us, but there will be enough seats for me to be able to shuttle us around Louisville, KY. The zoo is our special stop!

Needless to say, you’ve been loving getting to cruise to school in a minivan.

The concept of “the ceiling window” (moonroof) is something totally foreign to you; as well as the huge window next to you so you can look rare sights… like the pink flatbed truck we saw and the three hot air balloons, which were landing dangerously close to the Interstate.

We even got to see 3 deer crossing the road on the way home the first day.

That’s what you’ve enjoyed the most so far about the van; getting a great view of what’s going on as we drive.

And there are a couple of other things I’ve enjoyed watching you be fascinated by, too…

Like being able to see what’s behind us with the integrated backup camera that automatically replaces the GPS whenever the vehicle is in reverse. You were confused by how I got things to appear on there, so I got Mommy to wave at you for a few seconds, while I obviously kept my foot on the brake, for the quick demonstration.

That cleared things up a little; but then you asked to watch her on there the next morning after she had left for work.

And you think’s really cool being able to open the sliding doors by pressing a button.

As for me, I have found the blind spot monitor to be especially snazzy. This little orange light pops up on the outer side of the rearview mirrors whenever another vehicle is passing me or trying to get by.

 

Now that we’ve tested it out for a few days, we get to leave in the morning for our family road trip, minivan style.

What an interesting time for this to happen, considering that for the past two weeks we’ve watched your new favorite movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a minimum of 23 times now.

You are totally enthralled by the thought of such a magical car.

I think, in your mind, the van we get to have for our Louisville road trip is our real life version of a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car.

In other words, you’re a fan of the minivan! I’ll write more about our family road trip as the adventure begins.

To be continued…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013.

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A Farewell To (Mommy and Daddy’s) Arms

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

As I look through the pictures from our Louisville Zoo trip on my Facebook page, I realize how challenging it is to find a picture of you with Mommy and/or me where one of us isn’t holding you.

(See the album “Louisville Zoo Road Trip Summer 2013.”)

Son, you’re more than half my height now. You don’t need me to hold you.

However, I recognize that’s the #1 way you show physical affection with people.

So it’s never been easy (or felt natural or right) for Mommy or me to refuse to hold you when you ask us to; which is pretty much anytime we’re in public, as well as when we are putting you to bed.

But now, I think the time has come.

You’re pushing 3 years old now. More importantly, Mommy is the one who holds you most.

She’s definitely strong, but you’re not a light kid, and I know that holding you all the time can’t be good for her back.

It’s a struggle as your parents to deny you the type of physical affection you crave, when we feel like we hardly ever get to see you anyway.

In our version of 2013, Mommy and I both have to work full-time; even though we’re debt-free now.

I’m taking it upon myself to transition you into you holding our hands and walking, and making up for the lack of closer physical contact in other ways.

Yesterday morning, I tried our new way of doing things.

“Jack, this morning when we go into school, you’re going to walk and hold Daddy’s hand.”

Yeah, it didn’t go well.

It was even worse when I came to pick you up at the end of the day.

You were so happy to see me, but then had a breakdown all the way out the building into the car.

And I imagine it will be that way for the rest of this week, at least.

I wonder in what new ways you will begin showing affection to Mommy and me as we transition out of holding you.

As you get used to walking in public and holding my hand everyday going to and from school, my hope is that it becomes more normal for you to let Mommy do the same.

After all, we were at the Louisville Zoo for nearly 6 hours and Mommy was the one carrying you around most of the time.

So here’s to a new transition in our lives. Oh yeah… we still need to work on that whole “potty training” thing too…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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Fun Summer Activity: Playing With Wet Toilet Paper

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Our family believes in being classy. Therefore, toilet paper is a toy.

Hey, it was your idea, not mine.

Last Sunday, the weather was a bit overcast and you wanted to play outside in the water, but didn’t really want to get wet.

So I just let you figure out for yourself what that even meant once you got outside.

It so happened that your nose started running once you got out there so I grabbed you some toilet paper real quick, leaving the extra sheets in my pocket.

As you dunked your plastic tiger souvenir from the Louisville Zoo into your Little Tikes water table, you saw the extra toilet paper hanging out of my front pocket:

“Daddy, I have that? Toilet paper… please?”

With me being in “whatever works” mode having survived the road trip from [Louisville] the day before, I didn’t hesitate to grant your wish.

I stepped away for a minute to pour a glass of water and returned to your explaining to me what was going on in your world:

“Look Daddy, the tiger has a mane!”

That confirmed that our Louisville Zoo trip was actually educational… sort of.

You then proceeded to use one of Mommy’s measuring cups to wash the tiger’s mane off.

I also learned from you that wet toilet paper serves as great “cement” for your toy trucks.

Admittedly, I was hoping yesterday’s thunderstorm would magically wash away the debris.

Turns out, wet toilet paper that has been dried by the sun does not necessarily turn mushy again by heavy rain… and then just “disappear” after that.

I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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The Need For Discipline… Or Just Sleep?

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

It’s done. I just uploaded the pictures from our weekend Louisville trip onto my Facebook page.

(See the album “Louisville Zoo Road Trip Summer 2013.”)

I love looking through those pictures, seeing how happy our family was.

And the way you smiled in most of them, it’s as if to say, “Yeah, I know I’m a sneaky rascal!”

The thing is, the happiness captured in those pictures came with a steep price- the total of 6 hours drive time to make those good memories possible.

It was rough…

We chose to drive there after work Friday night, hoping you’d sleep in the car.

You didn’t.

Not to mention, we were in the middle of heavy rain the whole time.

I did laugh, however, when you woke up in confusion as we were carrying you upstairs to our hotel room at midnight,  and you simply reacted by asking, “Wwwwwwhhhhhhyyyyyyyyy?…”.

By that point, I was so ready for rest, I didn’t mind taking the fold-out couch and letting you sleep in the real bed with Mommy.

But whereas I was actually asleep when I hit the “couch,” you stayed up until 2 AM with fidgety legs keeping both yourself and Mommy awake in the next room.

Fortunately, the splendor of the Louisville Zoo kept you entertained and in good spirits the entire 6 hours we were there.

That changed the moment we got back in the car for the 3 hour ride home.

You were extremely needy, you kicked the backs of our seats, you kept dropping your toys then screaming for them, you whined, you cried… and no seating arrangements between the three of us seemed to help.

Nothing we did or said would break your will.

(I’ve noticed that when people talk about their own temper, they attribute it to whatever ethnicity they are most aware of… I feel like it often tends to be an Irish reference. I’m not Irish, so I guess this is where I’m supposed to blame it on my Italian or Mexican heritage…)

I couldn’t take it anymore, I remember reaching behind my seat and grabbing the pink elephant squirt toy that the hotel gave you and throwing it in the floor, shouting something to the effect of “I told you to be quiet! I’m tired of you not listening to me! And I’m tired of you telling me ‘no’ when I’m talking to you!”

Mommy immediately advised to me to take the next exit so she could switch to the driver’s seat.

For the rest of the trip back to Nashville, Mommy and I tried something new:

We stopped answering you, looking at you, or responding to you in any way. Plus, we rolled down the windows to help drown out your screaming.

It took a challenging 45 minutes, but you finally shut down and fell into the deep sleep you needed so badly.

You’re a good kid. Sure, you’re iron willed, but so am I.

I will always make sure you get the discipline you need, when you need it.

But as Mommy reminded me, in her subtle and gentle way, this wasn’t a case of you needing discipline as much as it was you needing sleep.

Once we got home, we were both cool again.

The next time you act like a maniac, the first thing I’m going to do is ask myself whether or not your nap time or bed time was compromised. That way I won’t turn into the Incredible Hulk, even if you do.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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