Wednesday, June 30, 2010

There is still baby left in her.

On Sunday we said goodbye to the sturgeons and to my phone. I used it last on the bench in front of the tank, and I am sure of it because P and SS remember (I can be flaky). It was swiped during the picture taking, quite an expensive outing for us. I am furious that someone would take something that does not belong to them. I am even more upset at the thought that some creep, some slimy good for nothing SOB has access to SS's pictures and videos. I am also upset at myself for being careless, we are not rolling in money and P has been very gracious about my stupidity. Then again, after fifteen years the guy has come to expect just that from me.But the thing that keeps me up at night is the pics and video. From now on I will be downloading pics and video to my desktop as frequent as I do with my other two cameras, I just got lazy with the phone.

Just my luck that the iPhone4 began selling yesterday. I was more than happy to replace the 3GS, but P insisted that financially we were better off with the upgrade. He then decided that it would be an early birthday present. The catch? Everybody and their mother wants one. We were at the store Tuesday around 7:00 p.m. and two guys were setting up to be the first ones in line. The next day everyone was talking about them. They climbed on the roof of the store, found a plug, and had a TV and XBox going all night. I wanted and needed a phone, but not that bad to wait overnight. But if I wanted a phone, I would have to rough it early in the morning.

So once again I risked life and limb to wake up SS at the crack of dawn, this time 6:00 a.m. and off to the AT&T store we went. We were #92 in line and P stayed with us until 7:30 when I told him it was useless for him to be there. Off to work he went and then I realized that I am indeed a moron, because who the heck wants to wait with a toddler, in the heat, and without help.

SS was once again AMAZING, did not complain once. People were commenting about how she was the youngest child there by far (and the guilt piles on), the other kids had Nintendo DS games and were still restless and cranky. Not SS, she was people watching, munching on goldfish crackers and milk and just being her happy self. As we got closer to the entrance, a guy removed one of the store's balloons and said that it went well with SS's dress and handed it to her. SS loves balloons and was in balloon heaven. Then another dude thought she should have a second blue balloon and handed her another one. SS had a balloon tied around each wrist.

When we made it into the store, the manager commented on how well behaved SS was. I have now given up trying to explain that it is all an act, and that our daughter is full of pi$ and vinegar. No one believes us, unless they see her in Exorcist-Taz on meth mode. The manager went in the back and returned with a big ball and began playing with SS. I thought she did it so I could complete my transaction without distraction, but it ended up being a bigger distraction because I must keep my eye on my child at all times. I know, it's not like she was going to be kidnapped while being supervised by the store manager, but I am neurotic that way. As we were leaving I thanked her for her help and asked SS to return the ball. The manager said that it was hers to keep, because she had been such a good girl while waiting. So we left with a serious withdrawal from our bank account and SS left with a giant ball.

The new phone is OK and P appreciates it more than I. He keeps noting how the new screen is "so pretty." It does have a flash and the shutter speed is faster, and I am sure it has a hundred other bells and whistles. But right now I think the new phone sucks royally. It has a well known problem when held the proper way, it interferes with the antenna and loses a few bars. It has also dropped every call I made yesterday. I am waiting a few days, because they are sold out and will try to get another unit.

P was very generous insisting that I upgrade, considering that I (GULP) forgot our wedding anniversary earlier this month. Granted, it was June 15, the day SS's unfortunate inner thigh welt kept her naked for two days. But still, I married the dude 9 years ago, the least I could do is remember the darn date. P showed up at lunch carrying flowers and a card. I only saw the flowers and was dumbfounded. What the heck is he doing with flowers? Someone gave him flowers? Yeah, I am that dense. When the date finally kicked in I felt like an absolute idiot. And I could not even use the "I gave you two wonderful kids" excuse, because I used that one the last time I forgot an important date. Sigh...

Now to the good part. SS was great and wonderful while waiting, but when we got home she went into full now-you-pay-for-waking-me-up mode. We indulged her, because it was a cruel thing to do to her. She cried over everything and took a long, late, three hour nap after a crying fit over something I don't remember. We were going to take her swimming, but I did not dare wake her up again. She refused to eat lunch unless I fed her, and the same for dinner. In the pics below, she is lounging on the kitchen counter, waiting for us to feed her, and not caring that she is supposed to be in her high chair. And we were worried that at 15 months she would not have enough baby left in her.

We can't get over how tanned she already is. I am out whenever she is out and I am closer to P's shade than SS's. My Puerto Rican pride is deeply wounded, but I am still proud of my olive skinned baby.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bye bye Baba fish.

We received an e-mail yesterday morning informing membership holders that two of the resident fish would be moving to Oregon Coast Aquarium on Monday. I barely scan those e-mails, sometimes delete them before reading and had been considering unsubscribing from their listserv. Good thing that I am the world's worst procrastinator. To most people the departure of two fish is not that big of a deal (sorry P, I hope in time you can forgive such harsh words), but these are sturgeons, aka the coolest fish in the world, aka Baba Fish. For two years, SS has visited them and she is so freaking cute when she points at them and proudly calls them Baba Fish. She waves at them and blows them kisses. It is so cute watching our little girl so enamored with the ugly (again, sorry P) fish. And now they are leaving. Oh well, here's a learning opportunity for SS, welcome to the wonderful world of loss. Except that SS is a pro at this so we decided to change our Sunday plans and try to explain that her favorite fish would be going on a fun trip to a new home, where they would have a bigger tank and lots of friends to play with. Now we wait until SS notices their absence and we'll see if she bought all that b.s.

The sturgeons arrived at the facility eight years ago and were a mere three inches long. According to the e-mail, they are now six footers but as you can see in the pictures below, that is an exaggeration. Still, P knows his fish and he agreed that they need a bigger tank, and Oregon Coast Aquarium, former home to Keiko (does anyone remember him?), does have a sturgeon tank. We visited OCA on JJ's 16th birthday, just to see Keiko. It was a fun trip, and it looks like we will be returning, because SS is sure going to miss her best fish buds. A few weeks ago I was thinking about that little road trip, it was my first year of grad school and P returned after a year hiatus from his undergrad work. I had a paper due the day after our return and I actually hammered that puppy in the middle of the night after such a long drive. I asked P then if we could fit a visit this summer, but he already had requested every single vacation hour on a very necessary and on a very unnecessary trip this summer. Maybe next summer.

P is not a breakfast fan, but he never turns down scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, especially when it is served in bed. One plate, three lazy bums, and everyone is ready for the day.

Could they look any sadder?

So much fun had with a few pennies.

For someone so small, SS does a great job of dragging people around.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Traumatizing SS.

Turns out that I really messed SS up by leaving her alone when the volcano fountain went off. She would not get nowhere near it even though P was holding her. Way to go K! It was close to 100 degrees, so P sat among the kids and got drenched, while I held a scared SS. We are hoping to bring her back and eventually wear her down. I do feel really bad about adding another issue to her growing list.

Remember when I said that this picture proved that SS could lounge with the best of them? It turns out that I got her number.

Lounging is her thing. Here she is having a snack before we head out into the 100 degree sun. This picture makes her look so long legged. Abuela, check out her muslitos. SS was eating a meatball kabob, she also likes roast beef and cheddar kabobs. SS has been eating a lot of cheddar cheese lately. She does not care for slices of cheese, just cheese chunks. SS is almost done with the two pounds of cheddar we purchased recently.

P messing around with one of his Baba day gifts.

I found this cool gadget at Co$tco. It plugs into the cigarette lighter, and it not only charges the phone (or iPod, iTouch), but also allows for our 5 gigs of music to play through the FM radio. It will come in handy later this summer, when we will use the GPS feature to get around. Today was the first time he used it and by the time we made it to the playground SS was demanding "more music."

This is as close as SS would get to the volcano fountain. I managed to absolutely frighten the pants off my daughter. P is very good at getting SS over her fears, but she was too scared to even look that way.

Although I am responsible for her trauma, SS insisted on climbing on my lap. Dude, how weird is this? I am grateful that she still can stand the sight of me. It was scorching hot, so we headed to the water park.

Today we had a high of 102 degrees. Ah, normal weather is back. It was also the first time that SS did not have to wear her wetsuit. She was such a happy camper, all smiles. After a few hours of frolicking we returned to the van for snack time.


SS always shares with Mama and Baba.

Love that face.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pepperoni piraña.

SS still prefers pepperoni as a pizza topping (sausage was her former favorite) and occasional snack (with cheese and crackers). P and I are not pepperoni pizza fans, but SS's needs always trumps ours. The compromise is getting a pizza to our liking, then piling the pepperoni to SS's standards.

SS making sure about the placing of her toppings. Our girl takes her toppings seriously.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hitting a new low.

On Wednesdays the park closes at 8:00 p.m., because they have family night. It is so weird that they close at 6:00 every other day, taking in consideration that temperatures here are in the hundreds well into the evening. Even though we still had overcast weather we allowed SS to remain that extra time yesterday. What the heck, the kid has a wet suit and her parents are well padded with extra fat. By 7:00 p.m. SS was clearly cold, wetsuit and all. She would sit and wrap herself in her towel for a few minutes, then back into the water. P and I decided to try the slides for the first time this summer. P went first, while SS and I waited for him to wipe out, that is SS's pay off. Since she still looked cold, I took a turn, hoping to keep her out of the water a while longer.

When I reached SS and P, a visibly shivering SS stuttered out her congratulations for a fine wipe out. I asked SS if she wanted to go home to take a nice warm shower, something we had been offering for almost an hour. To our shock SS said yes, and P and I sprung into action. We have our leaving the park routine well honed by now, but yesterday we went at it at mach speed, grateful for the opportunity to leave the park in an inconspicuous manner, rather than dragging an irate SS out. What parents will do for the chance to leave a public place with some shred of dignity.

P and I drive home (that long 1-2 minute drive) with our suits on. But we are admittedly anal about making SS comfortable. This will certainly bite us in the butt when our child becomes an
adult unable to delay gratification. We always dry her up and change her clothing, even though she goes straight into the shower at home. We know that it is silly, but its our way of somehow trying to impossibly balance out those fifteen months when she did not have two neurotic creatures to fuss over her.

P, mindful of SS's penchant for engaging in a woman's prerogative and changing her mind was desperate to get the hell out of dodge. As I had SS dried and naked he said, "leave her like that, we are just going to shower anyway." Ah, dude, that is what always happens. Yet my brain was excited about the idea of leaving in peace, so I did not disagree when P wrapped SS in her towel and we made our speedy exit. I did not even bother to point out that if she urinated on her carseat what a pain it was going to be to hand wash the cover. I lept like a lemming and kept my mouth shut (a rarity). That is our shameful new parenting low, we are not even bothering to dress our child. Were are so deeply ashamed of our behavior that we did the same again today. But it will be our last time, really, we promise.

This morning I woke up SS at the crack of dawn, 8:00 a.m., because I needed to go to DMV. I did not exactly wake her up, I just made noise around her room and the inevitable occurred. I really needed to go, it is the only reason I risked my life by awakening the morning beast that is SS. She was cranky, sleepy, whinny and clingy, but she did an awesome job during our thankfully short thirty minute wait.

Here is our amazing daughter once again effortlessly slipping into the role of a well behaved child. She did give me hell once we left the office and I am surprised P did not turn right back around and went to work at lunch. She was seriously in pay back mode.

Being cranky burns a lot of energy, SS wolfed four postickers for lunch and half a hot dog. P thought that despite the crankiness, SS should be rewarded for her good behavior at DMV. After dinner we headed over to BR for ice cream. SS was tired from all her water play, and it might not have been the best idea to load her with sugar. We are not very good at learning from our mistakes.

Life is good, it only takes a chocolate cone to make her this happy. After realizing that we plied her with sugar and caffeine, we quickly made up an excuse for our oversight. SS is becoming very rigid about wiping her mouth and hands. The smallest particle of food is a "mess" and the rough wiping begins. It is not about being neat like some people have observed, our daughter has no clue what picking up her toys means. By the end of a meal SS's skin is red, from so much wiping. We foolishly declined to wipe her mouth after every bite when she was eating her ice cream. We want SS to enjoy childhood, it goes by so fast. Part of being a child is getting messy. We are also concerned that there may be some sensory issues involved. Sand and grass are usually the most common triggers, and SS does well with both. However, her increasing obsession with mouth and hand wiping is really a concern.

Not happy about her chocolate mouth, but we think it looks (in P's word) dedorable.

She is so underwhelmed by the sight of chocolate.

P is an Angels fan and there is an annoying lack of child size Angels merchandise available. I hate walking into Wally Mart an seeing cute kiddie clothes for every other team but P's. If you want to get on P's good side, an Angels hat for SS would make him very happy.

The mess was a drop of chocolate. If she ate faster that would not happen.

SS being her calmed self at the store.

Maybe not.

Wow, it's really been ten days since the last post. P told me to get off my lazy behind and post because the grandmothers have not seen SS in 10 days. Apparently my brilliant and accomplished husband is incapable of snapping pictures of his daughter and loading them up to the blog. I now realize why he has kept me around for so long.

Last Monday after coming home from the water park I found this:

That is SS's inner thigh and it hurt a lot. P changed her at the park so I had no idea why she was so crabby during the one minute drive home. SS was not shy about letting us know that she was in pain. She woke up Tuesday and declared "Mama, I'm sick." And just her luck that she still had a mild cough going because that allowed he to milk it for two days. In SS's world being sick means staying in bed all day watching Nick Jr., and demanding smoothies, food and toys. That was also the day when I had scheduled an almost full day of running errands. Instead, P told me to chill with SS at home and he would get what we needed for a few days.

I got out the ointment, waterproof pad, and allowed SS to lounge buck naked, one of her favorite things to do. I tried putting a T-shirt on, only to be reprimanded, "Mama I can't, I'm sick." The funny thing is that for being in such discomfort, she ate so well those two days. Of course while laying around, fed by her Mama (yeah I am a soquete). Also, being sick entails getting out the Halloween binky that we tried like crazy to get her to like when we met. It appears that it is a comfort thing for her now. We are going to have to make sure to pack it for our two little trips later this summer. We also noticed that SS no longer sucks her fingers, not even when distressed. Then on Thursday SS was ready to run errands with Mama, but first we made a pit stop at the park for some water play.

Last weekend SS was on a talkative mood, a REALLY talkative mood. The girl can go for hours and now she is actually making coherent sentences, but darn, how much does a three year old have to say? On Sunday we took turns with her, because motor mouth SS could not shut up. It's quite funny, now that the headaches are gone. Then she goes through spells like now, when she is sitting next to me quietly playing, not making a sound. Feast or famine, high or low, no in between for SS.

Monday morning SS woke up when I had a whole ninety minutes sleep. My own darn fault because I should not stay up reading all night. But when I can't sleep, what else am I supposed to do. I brought her to bed with me and selfishly allowed her to watch Nick Jr., hoping to get at least an hour sleep. SS was still on a talkative mood and even though I closed my eyes, I could not help but listen and try my hardest not to bust out laughing. As we have noted before, SS gets in these change my diaper every five minutes moods. I had just changed her diaper when SS began her little monologue.

" I think I pooped."
"Mama, I poooooooooooped." Well, I could not smell anything and our daughter is toxic, so I knew it was a ruse. Then I heard SS messing with the diaper tabs. Yeah, she plays dirty.
"I pooped..... (tab sound) Maybe not." I thought this would be the end of this. Nah.....
"Mama changes diaper. Poopoo and peepee diapers. I change my diaper." Again, I hear that tab noise. What? She is going to try to change her own diaper? UGH. Not to worry, after a few seconds I heard her snap the tab on again and...
"Maybe not."

No idea where the maybe not came from but it did brighten my Monday morning, even though I was sleepy as hell and equally crabby. My kids are simply the funniest creatures I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.

Last Tuesday, playing the sick card for all she could.

I'm serious Mama, I'm really sick, I'll even add fake coughs for the pity effect.

Fine, don't believe me, but I'm staying here, naked and in pain. And if I do not get food in bed, I will accidentally slip off the waterproof pad and pee on your bed.

We will be returning to this cool volcano fountain with P this weekend. It goes off every 15 minutes, but SS freaked out when we were there. SS's first visit was in September 2008 (have to look for the pics and post them), when she was so new to everything, and she did not flinch when the volcano noise started, and was very calm when the water erupted. This time I was filming with my phone, dropped it in my purse and ran to get a very scared SS. Made us feel very guilty about taking her two years ago when what we mistook as a lack of fear was just SS in her deer caught between headlights shock and compensating by zoning out. We are hoping that P's presence will reassure SS.

Man, she is one cool looking chick.

Monday, June 14, 2010

We had an embarrassingly lazy Sunday. (Updated)

We had plans, we had water to frolic in, sun to soak, but we ended up doing nada. We practically spent our Sunday upstairs, not watching TV, and playing with SS. We are such paragons of parental virtue that SS remained in her T-shirt and we never even attempted to reach for a brush or a comb. We did change her diaper because we are not that bad, although we each suggested at least once to SS that she could could change her own diaper and it would be fun. She did not buy it.

P is still suffering through his never ending cold and did not seem thrilled about frolicking in the Lazy Lagoon. Now SS has started to cough and her voice is rather raspy, and my cold is going strong as well. I still have no idea how we did not end up smashing SS's recorder into a million pieces yesterday. She really serenaded us until our ears almost bled. For someone who has such a passion for musical instruments and music, our daughter is seriously lacking in the talent department.

I did manage to reach for my phone and snap a few very brief videos of our lazy selves playing with SS. The first video is to honor a request from the Abus, because no one pronounces chocolate in Spanish like our SS. P also introduced SS to Joan Jett's Cherry Bomb and we think she liked it. Her air guitar playing just cracks us up. I vowed to be productive today, and in our lazy world that means that said mission will be accomplished if we make it to the water park. I don't think P is going to join us, he was very miserable during lunch. My poor husband is the first man to ever get the common cold. At least since SS's arrival he no longer whines every 5 minutes stating "Baby, I am dying, I'm really dying." It used to get so bad that I threatened to make that statement come true if he did not tone down the complaining. Now I can feel sorry for him, because he is being such a good sport. OK, it's 2:30 p.m., time to get SS in her bathing suit.

Success! We actually made it out of the house, mainly due to SS's subtle hints. Below is one such subtle hint, our daughter is the queen of gentle persuasion. The dress she is wearing snaps like a onesie and it did not stop her from getting her bottoms on.

Wearing her new bathing suit from the Abus, with pretty butterflies, SS's new summer obsession.

Ms. I am Afraid of Everything blew me away by requesting to try the Mole Hole slide for the first time. As much as I love water parks I stopped doing this type of slides years ago. There is something about being enclosed that just takes the joy out of the ride. The only exception is when I ride tandem with P. He is the only person ever to get me to brave that tube of terror again, I just feel safe with him. Last year it did not occur to either one of us to get SS to try it, and against my better judgment I allowed her to spread her wings.

Here is our very happy daredevil who happened to like it. Good because it would have been so awkward for me to get in there to retrieve my screaming daughter. SS liked it so much that she went on it over 20 times. I know because I counted and I will be paying tomorrow for all those trips up that little hill.

I then made SS climb on her own because it is about darn time she starts doing things on her own. She was not happy, but the allure of the mole hole was too much for her to resist. That slide did wonders for SS's clingy behavior because after P joined us SS just turned loose. That is after I spent two hours running after her. But it was good to see SS trying out some independence. We are hoping that like last summer all that pool time, kicking her legs and walking in water, will help SS with her balance and strengthening those little legs.

Our little girl is growing up.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

First taste of mediterranean food and first baseball game.

The sun is back and us lazy bums celebrated by staying indoors until late afternoon. We drove over to Chico for dinner and a ball game. The food was great and I had the best hummus I have had in quite a while. We will definitely be returning on a Friday, because they have belly dancing. We think SS will get a kick out of that. During dinner we were discussing that we have lucked out with JJ's and SS's palates. Now they both have some eating habits that make our skin crawl, but we can take them anywhere to eat and not worry about their picky, fast food only, mac and cheese ways to ruin the experience. We are obviously referring to JJ's younger years here, because if we had to worry about this now it would be very sad.

With very full tummies we headed over to the game. Since we are on this kick about exposing SS to positive female role models, her first baseball game featured a female pitcher. I am not a baseball fan but it was so important for P to be there, so I sucked it up. Everything that SS enjoyed, the crowds, the noise, the annoying cowbells it is what made it so difficult for me. Amusement parks are easy for me because I at least get the adrenalin rush from the roller coasters to even out my anxiety. There is nothing to help my anxiety when the main draw is watching a game. SS and I spent quite a bit of time at the sandbox, where SS bamboozled a teenage attendant to leave her post and build sand castles for her. We are fearing when SS not only realizes her pull with people, but decides to use it for evil instead of good.

Since we had such a nice dinner, we had to forgo the usual ball park food fare. The garlic French fries smelled amazing, but will have to wait until next time. So it was beer for P, a margarita for me, and M&M's for SS. Our overly stimulated daughter crashed during the drive and woke up just as we arrived home. Thankfully after a diaper change, we placed her in her crib, still clad in her Yoshida over sized T-shirt.

SS did very well during dinner, even though lately she has been refusing to eat meat and poultry. She really enjoyed the beef/lamb combo. P is looking forward to making her lamb chops.

SS played several games of bubble wrap on our phones. She loves that game.

The reason we chose this opportunity to introduce SS to a baseball game. Eri Yoshida, 5 feet 1 inch of Japanese, female pitching goodness. And she is only 18 years old. As an added bonus, it was Eri's first strikeout as a pro, and SS was there.

Shortly after taking this picture a guy walked by us, smiled and waved at SS then said to us, "She is a big hit on that section over there." I turned to see all these people gawking at my child. It was rather unnerving and very uncomfortable.

We were very surprised when SS practically charged Rascal the mascot. The kid is afraid of everything, but obviously loves to squeeze over sized stuffed animals.

SS is now a an official Yoshida fan.It was the smallest size available.

Our very own tiny outlaw.

A boy of about 7 walked by us holding this balloon, and SS touched it. P and I immediately told her to keep her hands to herself, but the boy just gave her his balloon. A few weeks ago we were at the Mall playground and SS was playing with a 6 year old boy who had a tennis ball. As he was leaving he returned and handed SS his ball. What gives?

Our usually vivacious child decided to go shy on us when it was time to do the chicken dance. Yes, she is barefoot, we are awful parents. We had just returned from our first trip to the sandbox and P just took off with SS, guess he really wanted to dance.

This is what our three year old was doing at 10:00 p.m. Kid looks like Cousin It.