Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mama Bean had an Icelanditacular day!

It's a good thing I had Papa Bean pack the diaper bag the night before...

Sprout has "forgotten" she likes to skip the middle-of-the-night feeding, and has instead started skipping the middle-of-the-day feeding. Thus, we have fitful nights. For everyone, since her restlessness somehow translates to Bean, who sleeps on an entirely different floor, and makes him restless, too. Morning came early to the Bean household.

So we hit the road. We went to the annual Icelandic Festival at the lake community just north of the Prairie Valley City, about an hour away. We had planned to meet up with friends summering up there, but worried they might be too ill. However, upon arrival, lo and behold there they were, so we went about our merry Icelandic ways together.
Truth be told, we didn't participate in any of the Icelandic stuff. I know boo, hiss but, well, we just followed the toddler(s). (t)He(y) rule(s) the roost, you know :) We strolled the farmers' market stalls (I bought some cute earrings, and some flavoured honey sticks for a treat) then checked out the murals along the harbour/pier. It was nerve-wracking having an excited toddler so close to the edges of the docks, and of course, that's exactly where Bean had to be, so he could throw rocks into the water. oi. But fun to watch him have fun, of course.
Bean and M held hands along the painted walkway. This was much more preferable to being on the edges of the docks by the water :S
I was glad to leave the docks and meander down the beach and boardwalk. L is an extrovert's extrovert - she meets friends old and new every twenty steps or so, which suits the pace of toddlers walking just fine. We watched a woman pole-vaulting on the beach, she was trying to beat a provincial record, but didn't quite make it. The physics and physicality of pole-vaulting are quite something to behold, in real life.

This lake is basically a really really big puddle that collects from the various rivers of the province. In typical years, because of farming chemicals, it is prone to algae blooms, and other nastiness. The high floods in spring and the high temps this summer have conspired for a beautiful year of warm water with relatively little algae (I don't know why.) Bean found the waves to be Most Awesome :)
Bean loves to discover a new playground. This one was roasting from the hot sun. But you can't beat the view, even if your hands and knees are burning from crawling around!
Bean also loves to smash sand-castles, which would have been bad for the sand-castle competition taking place. One pour soul was being fried to a crisp, pretending to be eaten by a sand shark.
From the beach, we walked to the midway taking place at the park a few blocks away. Bean was too small for any of the rides, but we enjoyed some french fries. Long weekends are for unhealthy eating! That's my philosophy lol. We were disappointed at the lack of authentic Icelandic grub, we may have come on the wrong day of the festival for that. Next year!
Papa Bean looks like an Intrepid Viking of Parenting Win in this photo! Don't tell him I said that, he'll get embarrassed teehee.
Bean doesn't meet a splash park he doesn't like. He got quite adventurous in this one, running through some of the sprayers, instead of just running around things and stomping in the puddles. I'm glad the kiddos (and adults) had this refreshing hiatus, because it was really getting hot. Bean's little cheeks get so red in the heat, and he wilts, poor thing.

We wandered back to town, and should have gone home, in terms of preserving nap time. We went to get lunch in town instead, and here the afternoon got derailed by the crowds - I (stupidly) ordered shrimp and chips. It took forty-five minutes. Forty-five minutes. I know, I know #firstworldproblems. It's only that, if I'd known, I would've had ice cream for lunch, as originally tempted (L had the right idea here!) Anyway, it tasted good. But I'll never go back there again.
On our way out of town, we bought Papa Bean a birthday present - a large framed picture of a moose in a snowy birch forest. The kiosk was selling everything for more than half off, it was a good deal. We weren't hopeful Bean would nap in the car, so late from his normal naptime (we left town when he'd normally be waking up) but a few verses of The Wheels on the Bus calmed him down (miracles!) We drove into a neighbouring area to the west of the city, where Papa Bean has lately been cycling (on his spanking new road bike - a birthday present to himself.) We went to cruise the big houses out there, which he'd been cycling past, and then just kept driving to the provincial park at the end of the road. It was amazing to see how high the water remains on the river - the walking trails around the provincial park are all closed because they're underwater. We took a brief stroll down a dry part of the path, it was lovely dappled and breezy and free of bugs, which is another miracle of this summer.

I can't believe how much we packed into the day. Poor Bean suffered a bit, his sleep has been disturbed, it will take a quiet day or two to reset it. We never did this much during Bean's first summer - I felt inept, unable to leave the house and keep us both alive for more than a few hours at a time. Plus, he was a major schedule baby, he wanted his swaddle and his suck and his bed at very prescribed times. And I was not a mom who nursed in public well, then, probably because it always involved a nipple shield for him, and that was always so messy.

I'm much better at nursing in public now, though Sprout doesn't like it much. She prefers to be on her familiar pillow, at a comfortable temperature. The summer heat, laying on her diaper bag as pillow, with a nursing cover over her head, makes her fussy. She is not so much a schedule baby, mostly in the way she can sleep anywhere (but sleep she does in a schedule-y kind of way). And mostly we go out and do more now because Bean is bigger and needs to go out and burn off steam and be smiley and stuff. It's kind of gratifying, to see the trajectory and think, hey, we're actually getting better at this! I'll keep that in mind when I'm dredging through my next day of feeling like a Parenting Fail. Oh the highs and lows, friends. Today was up there :)

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