Saturday, September 27, 2008

First Hike: Bumpass Hell

Today we introduced Baby S to hiking, and to being in the Ergo on our backs. I asked P to choose a trail for us. Why? Because I am the type of person that would ignore that I am out of shape, and carrying 20 pounds of love on my back. I would then proceed to select a trail that is way over our current abilities, but looks like fun. P and I have been in that situation quite a few times in the past (Baby, remember the fire lookout tower?), but it did not involve children. P selected Bumpass Hell, you can't go wrong with a trail with the words a$$ and hell in it.

Baby S was on my back during the descent and she did very well. She would turn around every so often to look for her Baba, but did not complain once. We were concerned that the smell of sulfur (see the smoke?) would bother her, but Baby S did not seem to notice. Baby S did so well that we left her in the Ergo for most of the pictures. We only took her out briefly to let her stretch her little legs.

P, always the gentleman, volunteered to carry Baby S on the way up. I am glad I relented, because we had the opportunity to notice something about our daughter. She cannot be apart from her Mama. If she could not see me, she would totally melt down. It was quite the eye opener. This led to a serious discussion about my imminent return to the work force. All kids are different, I have read about children going to daycare two weeks after returning from China, and thriving. I have also read about children attached like Velcro to their mothers for over a year after their return. We hope that Baby S is somewhere in the middle. As things stand right now, it would be detrimental to her to attend daycare. We do not mind her crying, as it is a normal part of childhood. The problem is the quality of her crying, frantic, and how long it takes her to calm down. She is clearly having a difficult time with this transition and is not ready to trust just anyone right now. We have a lot of talking to do, and some tough decisions to make.

Once we got back to the van, Baby S snacked on a hot dog and milk. She was happy go lucky and even napped on her way home. That is, after voicing her utter contempt at being in her carseat, instead of her Mama's arm. When we tell Baby S about her first hike, we can safely tell her that on this day, we took her to hell and back. :)

Baba just picked my first trail, hope it's a good one.

Baby S looks really good in orange.

Best bumper sticker I have seen in a long time.

So far so good, Baby S has not even messed with my hair.

Cutest backpack ever.

Baby S did very well and even smiled for the camera.

I love the hand on the hip and the hat in his hand. This is one dude very secure in his sexuality.

Finally, out and about.

Baba's turn to break a sweat.

Baby S was not too happy about the hat. She needs a base tan as her virgin skin is still tender.

Baby S, fresh from her ascent from hell.

Oh yeah, food, good reward guys. After all, I just hiked three miles at my young age.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Dinner with big brother.

After too much fun at the lake and quick shopping trip we went home. We chatted for a while then went out for dinner. Baby S likes ribs and we decided to indulge her. We have no idea how long she will keep inhaling everything in sight, but are going to take advantage of her feast phase. Something tells us that she will slow down eventually and we have to get some weight on that little body.

Our girl did not disappoint us and ate 2 1/2 riblets, ten long French fries and had some of her brother's chicken fingers. Baby S also flirted with the waitress, the people on the tables on either side of us and anyone who passed by our table. We are so not looking forward to her teenage years. At least we have J to help us scare away prospective suitors.

Once home Baby S made it clear that the night was still young and she stayed up past midnight. Not something that we want to make a habit, but her J is here and we can't deprive her of as much time as possible. We are sad that J is going home tomorrow, we REALLY miss him and Baby S adores him.

OK, two orders of riblets and one order of chicken fingers coming up. I am so going to eat tonight.

Guys, I am ready to eat, What's the hold up?

I'm coming to get you, get ready to have your hair brushed by the mad hair brusher!

I have been told every day that I am NOT to touch Mama's laptop. What am I supposed to do when my hands keep disobeying my brain?

I am trying really hard to walk away, easy does it.

You can't get me, I'm with my brother.

They can't get me right?

OK, stay close, I might need you.

A first for me, a day with my kids.

We were all really bummed out that P could not get out of work to join us at the lake. P insisted that we go and enjoy ourselves. He told me that I should enjoy my first day with both my kids all to myself. You know what? I did, because it is a moment I waited so long to see materialize. When we arrived I complained that the temperature was only 89 degrees. J just looked at me and said, "Gee mom, ONLY 89, let's check the temperature where I live." A quick check on the iPhone and it was 59 degrees. Yikes! In September? As difficult as being away from J has been on us we just had to move. P and I are sun whores, we need the warmth and we need the sunlight, otherwise our energy is nil and our moods tend to get down.

Baby S managed to leave my lap for a few minutes of play here and there. She is getting the hang of her sand toys and although the lake is not the ideal place to use them she is making do. She played with her brother in the water and really enjoy herself. Baby S actually used him as her personal valet, handing him rocks and whatever other treasures she found. I had a fantastic time just watching them and enjoying the sun.

J stayed in the water most of the time and at some point Baby S and I were outside. I was watching Baby S play and J and I were conversing. I asked about his girlfriend S. J and I joke that she is like P, not realizing that she is White. S loves rap music and Black singers, it has always been her thing. Imagine my surprise when J tells me that S is going to attend a New Kids on the Block concert next month. Before I could react Baby S yells "WHAT!" Talk about a funny coincidence because that is exactly what was running through my mind.

We stopped for Slurpees on the way home and went shopping. At the store, a woman stopped to admire Baby S and followed us for a few minutes. J was looking at me like what the heck, I told him it happens all the time, just to roll with it. The woman approaches us and states, "She is amazing, so adorable, looks like she just came out of a magazine." Baby S just spent the day at the lake, is wearing a matching bathing suit coverup over her bathing suit (See pics 1 & 2) and that Speedo hat that while necessary it is not exactly flattering. Not only that, but for the past two days Baby S has had the worse hair days since we met. I smiled and said thanks, but kept wondering if we were in the same reality. Just as I'm about to tell J about Baby S's unusual bad hair days I see him take her hat off and tussle her hair. That little stinker! When he realized I caught him he just laughed and said, "I was wondering how long it was going to take you to figure it out." He had spent the past two days messing with his sister's hair in order to mess with my mind. What can I say, we taught him well. I am also glad to know that Baby S's hair will go back to normal tomorrow.

This evening we are going to Appleb**s as P wants Baby S to try their riblets. We'll see how she does.

J allowed her to play with his Nintendo and I'm sure she now thinks all electronics in our household are no longer off limits.

I like how close she is to her brother while playing.

She is not to happy because I made her wear a hat. Baby S simply loathes anything on her head.

I asked her where's J and Baby S pointed. She was probably wondering what is wrong with me if I could not see him right in front of us.

Sharing her new found treasure.

Monday, September 08, 2008

JJ is home, so we dgragged him to Chuck E. Velveeta.

JJ arrived home around noon and Baby S was SO excited to see him. Her big brother was surprised that she remembered him. Baby S actually reached out to him! Since his visit last month, Baby S has been asking to look at his pictures everyday. I bring her downstairs as soon as she wakes up and she then proceeds to point to a particular frame with family pictures. It has nine pictures in rows of three and JJ's are all in the middle. Baby S likes to point and look at him, sometimes gives him kisses. So cute.

I had been trying to get the kitchen done but that is impossible with Ms. Clingy. So I did what any lousy mother would do, greeted my first born, handed him a bottle and left him to his own devices. I was very surprised and pleased that Baby S did not cry or whimper once and I was able to get the kitchen cleaned.

When JJ was a child we mothers would use Chuckee Velveeta ( or plain Velveeta) when referring to Chuck E. Cheese. That way we would not get the kids all excited before we knew if everyone was on board to go. P and I were looking forward to introducing Baby S to the ball pit and other kiddie friendly things. The last time one of us had set foot in a CEC was obviously eons ago because much to our disappointment there was no ball pit. Also, very few toddler friendly attractions. Most people, after such a long time, would have entered and taken a look around. Leave it up to us to order before we looked and we ended up with more tokens than Baby S could use in a year. P and JJ had a blast using the tokens because almost everything in that place is about video games. Really, what a waste.

The noise and other people did not bother Baby S much, but she still had that deer caught between headlights look so we decided against having her seat on a highchair. She happily spend the evening taking turns sitting on our laps and being held by us.

Having JJ so far away has been really difficult for us and tonight we were reminded how much we miss him. We really had a good time and a lot of laughs. P was in full oversize kid mode and had us laughing. From teaching four "losers" how to play a game, to playing a game against a kid barely five years old and not letting him win. JJ and I were surprised because we really thought P was going to pull back at the end and allow the little guy to beat him. When we told him that P said, "Hey, I did that kid a favor tonight. I taught him that there will always be someone out there better than him." P did give all the tickets he won to the little boy, and the little boy insisted on sharing half with P. That was so cute on his part, so maybe he was not as deflated as we thought.

Baby S is an awesome people watcher and since we were seating near a birthday party, she got a lot to look at tonight. A few of the guests were dressed in punk rock clothing and had spiked hair and Baby S found them very interesting. We found out that she loves pineapple as she ate most of the chunks JJ brought from the salad bar. Baby S was also a trooper when it was time to meet Chuck in the flesh (or the costume). He tried to touch her and she let him know that was not going to happen, but she did fine when he posed for a picture. Baby S was also a trooper when P and JJ posed her in front of the TV screens pretending that she was flying and doing other various things. We were shocked that she did not fall asleep on the way home. Baby S was still energized and played chase with JJ before bed.

Tomorrow we are going to the lake sans P who has to work.

So close and yet so far.

P calls Baby S The Baby of a 1,000 Faces and here is why. I love that she is always making funny faces.

Are you sure this is sanitary? We never encountered a giant rat at any of the restaurants in China.

We printed this picture for Baby S's Who Loves Baby photo album. The album is plastic and childproof and she carries it around with her to get her Mama, Baba and JJ fix when she needs one.

P showing the four losers on his left how is done. ;)

My three reasons for living.

Had to get the balloon as Baby S LOVES them. If you want to get in her good graces just show up with a balloon.

Playing with JJ before bed.

OK, who the heck has a game called Flaming Finger in a kid's establishment? You know some yo-yo (or two) is going to find the thing amusing, play it a dozen times and get everyone's attention. Heh.

Because there's no way P would pass up the opportunity to use his flaming finger.

Yep, he won, he played until he won. Love the Flaming Finger dance.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A forever family for two months, and I mark the occasion by locking us out of the house.

Today we decided to head back to the lake to celebrate Family Day. After all Baby S has quite a few bathing suits she needs to model. I provided excitement right away by locking us out of the house. That is why P is on the roof of the house trying to find a way to break in. We both have keys but P always counts on ME to carry mine when we go anywhere together. Heck I'm human, it was bound to happen.

One of our neighbors is a locksmith so we decided to go to the lake then deal with breaking and entering into our home later. I don't think P was amused when I told him to look on the bright side, at least he knows our house is burglar proof. :)

Baby S HATES to have anything on hear head so hair bows, barrettes and hats are the enemy. I am only enforcing the hats because it is 102 degrees outside and she needs the protection. As you can see P and I also wear hats so it is not a matter of do as I say not as I do.

Look at me, I'm wearing the darn hat!

Sharing her turkey slices with her Baba; she ate five.

She spent quite a while playing with her sand toys but as you can see she is not ready to let go of us. It's funny to see how she manages to do her thing while on our laps.

Baby S is getting much better at drinking from a sippy cup. When we met she could not hold the cup (she chooses not to hold it now and that is OK with us) and would choke when the liquid came out. P made sure to keep her hydrated.

P finally coaxes Baby S off his lap.

Changed, refreshed and on her way home. Now P and I have to deal with the locksmith.

Out as expected but also as expected she took a power nap. The locksmith was surprised at how good our front door lock is because he could not pick that puppy. So $125 later he had drilled it out and replaced it with a new lock. OOPS!

JJ is coming tomorrow! We are going to take Baby S to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate Family Day, but want her big brother to be there. We are really excited that he's coming to visit and we are sure Baby S is going to have a great time with him. P has to work, but JJ, Baby S and I will be returning to the lake Tuesday.