Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beep beep

Cousins Carter and Quinn really know their construction vehicles and sent Brandt the coolest truck - the Hasbro Tonka Wheel Drivers Scoot 'n Scoop 3-in-1 Ride-On with Revvin' Beepin' Wheel.
The ignition makes the cutest song that is totally stuck in my head. If I go crazy in the near future, it will probably be from overplaying that song, but for now I really really like it.
At 9 months, babies are just supposed to push the truck around, but Brandt really likes sitting on it and being pushed around the room. Yeah, he rolled off it once, but he just laughed and made us help him back on.
We watched the Redskins game while playing with the truck and WE WON! I think Brandt will wear this Future Quarterback romper every game in case it helped influence today's outcome. I am also continuing my campaign with Danny that "my little angel is too precious to play football when he's bigger" and I think I might be making ground.
Oh, the ride back from LA this morning: 3:30. Good stuff.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kids in the hall

After brunch with Dasha at Good (and it was good ;)), we went to Ikea to look for bookshelves.
Brandt met Dave Foley's daughter after digging himself out of the hand puppet bin. Actually, I didn't even notice Dave Foley; I only noticed the little girl saying, "Look! A baby!" and helped Brandt wave his paw at her. Alex, however, is trained to spot celebs and made the ID. Actually, it appears little Alina is a star, too, but please know that if you google "Dave Foley daughter" she is waaaay cuter than that unfortunate photo on Celebrity Moms blog that comes up.
After the Ikea excitement, we had dinner with my dad at Barragan's. Even though I walk right by it every time I'm in town, I'd never noticed Barragan's before. But I noticed it on Thursday and just couldn't get it out of my mind so I insisted we check it out. Alex tried to convince me it's tex mex and just like Chevy's, but any place with lengua on the menu (OK, they do call it tongue and not lengua) is way more authentico than Chevy's. Plus, I heard more Spanish walking from Alex's to Masa for a coffee and scone this morning than I heard all week in Mexico so I was really in the mood for Mexican.
Alex was holding Brandt as we were getting ready to leave Barragan's and underestimated the length of Brandt's kicking legs. Even I didn't see this coming - Brandt stretched out and stomped in the bowl of chips and they flew into Alex's lap. Heh.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Santa Monica

My little brother is going to Sundance (woo hoo!) so we went to REI and I got him a belated Chanukah jacket and thermal shirt to keep him warm and stylish. I'm hoping the pretty green jacket buys me a future producer credit.
I haven't been to the Third Street Promenade in eons. Brandt loved it, as there is a lot for a baby to look at: silver men and Christmas lights and singing indigents, oh my!
Brandt's top right tooth is already poking through! I can't believe these teeth are all appearing so quickly. Still no fever or grumpiness...phew. I lost his amber teething necklace in Mexico so you may have noticed his new beads are more yellow than orange. I figured that now that his hair is lightening up he'd look prettier in lighter beads.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Alexander's Brite Spot

In search of sun, Brandt and I got up at 5:30 this morning and drove to LA to visit Uncle Alex and Grandpa. I'm still obsessed with how long the drive takes each time so here are the stats: four hours, with two stops (one for gas, one for a snack). Not bad.
Brandt just loves Alex's ottomans (ottomen?). He likes the way the rattan feels under his paws (hand paws and feet paws) and is content to drape himself over one and rake it with his fingers for long periods of time.
We dragged Brandt away from the ottoman long enough to have dinner at Alex's friends' house and introduce Brandt to baby Miles. Miles is three months old and super cute and smiley. He and Brandt seemed to like looking at each other. I think that's as good as it gets when introducing two babies.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Brandt loved his first Christmas. Specifically, he loved all the wrapping paper, ribbons, and boxes. In time he'll love the presents, too.
It was way cold today, but we all bundled up and walked the dogs down to the park. Unfortunately, all the dogs' clothing is in Mammoth so they didn't bundle up. Plus, right before it got cold Lyle shed his undercoat over the course of three days. He's never done that before so we didn't know what was going on at first. I bet he regrets his timing now!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa Eve

Handful of beard foiled by the mittens
We went to the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village this evening and Brandt got to meet Santa Claus! The forest was very elaborate and impressive, with "hundreds of trees frosted with millions of lights." Santa's helpers said Brandt looked like a little Frosty. It's also nice to hear one's dressed her kid appropriately. We also took a ride on the Forest Express mini passenger train and walked the Magical Forest path where we propped Brandt upon numerous deer, snowmen, and Santas for silly pictures.
And by the way, how authentic does this Santa look? I think his belly was padded, but the hair and beard was the real deal. And that outfit was way fancy, too. I particularly liked the bells on his pant cuffs. Or is this normally how Santas for humans look? My previous Santa experiences have all been at pet stores. Our Santa a few years ago was supposed to be the mayor of Encinitas, but he'd bailed right before we got to Pet People so a young female clerk had taken his place. She did a fine job, but she couldn't hold a candle to today's Santa.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Baby's first cold

Vroom vroom
The mouse is sick :(
Twice before now he had a bit of a runny nose, but this is the real deal - he's had a proper cough since Tuesday. He's been such a trouper and is napping extra and hydrating extra and he's just about better now. I've been trying to click a picture of him looking sick all week, but he keeps smiling and giggling at the camera.
So instead of a sick picture, here is a picture of the best ten bucks I ever spent. Since Brandt enjoys being walked around so much, I found a walker on craigslist and he loves loves loves it. I keep meaning to sneak into the slick-floored community center with it since most of our house is carpeted. But for the meantime, he's quite enjoying himself confined to the kitchen, chasing the dogs around (the dogs aren't enjoying it much, though).
Much to my surprise, two days ago Dan showed me that the walker works on the carpet, too! Brandt can't go in reverse as easily on the carpet and he can turn corners just fine and follows us all over the house. It's so fun!
And holy cow, those two top teeth have poked through! They're the teeth next to the main front teeth so I think he might be doing things out of sequence.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Adios Riviera Maya

Bye bye, beach
Brandt and I woke up super early to meet Martin, Stacy, Xavier, and Quinn for breakfast and wave goodbye as their bus headed back to Cancun at 8:10. Dan wasn't able to sleep in much since we had to hit the road at 10:40. Of course, he and Martin had to hit the disco again last night so he was appreciative of any extra sleep. I'm thankful that he's learned from X and Q that once Brandt is a toddler, there will be no more sleeping in.
I thought Brandt was finally acting like a typical baby on the first flight...he cried! However, apparently he cried a lot less than I realized because when we were getting off the plane several people told me he was the best baby they'd ever flown with. They weren't lying either, because I overheard one of them while we were in the customs line say, "Oh, there goes that good baby again!" Yay.
I've posted more pictures from our trip here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

El mar carribean

Xavier the tickler
Hung out at the pool this morning where the kids all took pictures with a cute little monkey. Xavier and Quinn were big enough that the monkey sat on their heads. It was pretty exciting, but not exciting enough for Brandt to smile so we didn't purchase the pic. Same goes for toucan day. We somehow missed parrot and iguana days.

It's our last full day here and Brandt and I finally went swimming in the Carribean Sea! He chased his froggy bath toy all over the place and did lots of kicking and hand splashing.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chicken pizza

Temple of Kukulcan
Today we went to Chichen Itza, and it was awesome! Hot, though. One of the gals in our group passed out and was taken away by ambulance. They fixed her up, though, and she rejoined us later. I can't imagine what it must be like in the summer.
Eduardo was the best tour guide and we learned a lot from him. But he was the best because he knew the names of all the other guides we passed and made jokes about sacrificing them. Plus, he thought Brandt was the best baby.
After Chichen Itza and an "authentic Mexican lunch with live entertainment" (dancers spinning in circles with beer bottles on their heads) we went to the Ik Kil cenote (sink hole) which was equally cool. Dan and Brandt hung out on the sidelines while I jumped in and swam around. I don't know how high the jump into the water was, but it felt about 20 feet up and was the biggest jump I've ever taken. I jumped three times and by the third time it was only mildly scary--the first two times were EEKalicious. Dan tried to take pictures while holding the mouse, but they were all pretty blurry. So much for image stabilization.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mas piscina

Splish splash
Dan did some swimming in the ocean, but Brandt and I stuck with the pool today. Other highlights of the day include a whole-family trip on the lazy river and an exploration of a second, more secluded beach. Although there's limited internet here, Dan's Blackberry is working fine (unfortunately) so he got some work done. I tried not to complain too much.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mas playa

Sand snack
We spent the morning exploring the Mayan ruins at the beach. Martin and Dan aren't convinced they're real Mayan ruins, but I don't know why the resort would lie to us. Brandt slept through the adventure and then slept on me in a lounge chair for a long while. We played in the sand when he woke up and he tried to take a nice big bite of it. I thought we were taking this week off solids, but with the sand snack today and the nibbled off corner of my customs and immigration form yesterday, Brandt seems to have other plans.

Monday, December 10, 2007

El rio lento

Kick kick kick
Brandt and I took a cruise on the lazy river (a canal that winds around the resort) today while Dan chased along and took pictures. Brandt kicked the water the entire trip. I think he's definitely ready for swim lessons once we get home.
After lazy rivering, we spent a couple hours hanging out at the beach and a couple hours hanging out at the pool. Brandt and I lounged around on the pool deck while Dan hit the swim-up bar and befriended some Canadians. Turns out most of the vacationers here are French Canadians (but the ones Dan met are the normal kind). The waitress who brought me my piña colada sin alcohol called Brandt "que lindo." It's good to know the mouse is handsome by mexican stadards, too :)
Dan and Martin hit the disco tonight and stayed out until 1:30...harrumph. Apparently the disco consisted of just five dudes and some lame tunes so I didn't miss much. We're lucky to be here a week before the high season starts or else they would have been there until closing time, I'm sure. The Canadians told Dan the front desk is reporting the resort is 60% occupied, but rumor has it it's only 40%.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hola Mexico

En la piscina
Brandt, the happy traveller, was a perfect passenger yesterday for an all-day flight to Cancun, including a four hour sit in Atlanta and a 90 minute drive to the Grand Sirenis Mayan Beach on the Riviera Maya.
This morning I dragged the boys out of bed early and after breakfast buffeting we found Martin and Stacy hanging out at the pool with kiddos Xavier and Quinn (note: after *our* breakfasting--they'd been up and about for hours and hours). They're here escaping the Minnesota snow so I feel a little guilty only escaping the Vegas sweater weather.
Brandt had a lot of fun in the pool and after a long swim, took a long siesta in a lounge chair with me. You might not believe it without seeing it, but Brandt now has enough hair that it gets messed up from hats and sleeping. He woke up from his nap with what we're now referring to as fiesta hair. Yeah, I know siesta hair is a more fitting term, but fiesta hair sounds so much more exciting.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pretty pink cage

Putting baby in a corner
Brandt is totally on the move these days, but what I called "crusing" is actually "slithering," tells me. So he's slithering all over the place. His slithering style has changed a bit--he hops with both arms and then pushes with his right leg and drags his left leg along like a dead log. One of his cousins (I can't remember if Renae said it was Carter or Quinn or both) started out like this, too, so Brandt's in brilliant company.
I used to set Brandt and a toy on a contoured changing pad on the floor while I took a shower, but now that he throws his toy across the bathroom and then scurries after it, I figured it was time to pull the cage out of its box. We got it (a travel-sized Pack 'n Play) from Dan's office baby shower way back when and were surprised to see it's not green like the big picture on the side of the box, but pink like the small picture I didn't notice on the top of the box. Heh.
And in tooth news: no new teeth yet, but I can see teeth on either side of the middle top teeth clearly through his gums. I think all teeth poke through the bottom and not out the side so hopefully they'll stay put.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Park day

Playing alfresco
We haven't attended any park playdates yet because I figured it'd be silly with a kid too young to appreciate the park. But today we walked to the closest park to meet a friend and her kiddos (Zack is Brandt's age and the other three are old enough to be park aficionados). I wasn't sure what to bring with so I took a blanket and a bunch of Brandt's toys. So it was exactly like playing at home, only colder.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

On the move

Nothing like a good book
Brandt really has this cruising/scooting thing down! He can cross the room in under a minute. He's not doing the alternate arm/leg commando crawl yet, but his legs are involved in the form of a little jump after each double arm pull. I'm not worried about him sneaking up on a chihuahua yet because he's not very stealth. His giggles or hums are only interrupted by excited screeches when he catches one of us watching him.
Today he cruised over to the bookshelf and grabbed Pooh Shapes, one of the free books (yay for free books!) we got at the book fair a while back. Since Brandt prefers to explore things with his feet, then hands, then mouth, he initially "read" (played with the spinning blocks) with his feet. Then he moved on to spinning the blocks with his hands. And finally he munched on the cover...until I noticed the book was made in China (ug, of course), and took it away.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Shalom in the home

Happy meal
I took Brandt to an event called "Shalom in the home" at the Family to Family center because I thought it would be a Chanukah celebration, but it was a discussion on how to find peace during the holiday season. It was still fun, and we got to decorate dreidels at the end. Brandt put a painted footprint on his and it's on the fridge now. Wow, I'm like a real mom.
Most of the play groups we've attended thus far have been all or mostly babies, but this one was mostly toddlers. I can see why families with toddlers might need help finding peace! No one was misbehaving, but it was still loud and chaotic.
Food-wise, we're really making progress. For my part, I remembered the strip the baby and thought to protect the chair cushion with a towel. Tomorrow I'll add a bib to the mix so I don't have to clean the straps yet again. For Brandt's part, he brought every handful to his mouth (well, and other parts of his face as you can see from the picture). He still made blech face, but talk about progress!
Happy Chanukah!

Monday, December 3, 2007

More food

Get in mah belly!
More fun with sweet potatoes today. I don't know what I was thinking leaving him fully clothed, though! Yesterday I was smart about stripping him down to just a cloth prefold, but today I spaced and his t-shirt, little g pants, and teething necklace paid for it. He put sweet potatoes in his mouth several times, but made the blech face each time. Dan's happy about that because he doesn't like sweet potatoes, but I think Brandt may still come around and I'm sure he would have had this reaction even to shrimp burrito.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Brandt had his first experience with solid food today. Notice I don't say he ate solid food for the first time today because nothing made it into his mouth. Dan was disappointed his boy didn't ingest anything, but I hadn't expected real eating just yet. Brandt is practicing baby-led weaning (BLW) which means he controls his intake by self-feeding real food rather than having textureless purees shoved in his mouth. Today he got grabbable pieces of sweet potato and he did plenty of grabbing, but no tasting. To appease Dan, I put one little piece in Brandt's mouth, but he said "Ga!" and made a yucky face. We'll try again tomorrow. The dogs did their part well, and quickly cleaned up the dropped bits.
Brandt sat at the table using a travel booster seat Renae just handed down to him, but this afternoon we bought him the Tripp Trapp I've been coveting so future meals will be more stylish. The Tripp Trapp also pushes up to the table (rather than use its own tray) so Brandt will still be able to reach his foot up into the process as in the picture.
My family came up for the weekend so we could do a belated second Thanksgiving together. As always, Dan did all the cooking and it was excellent. Brandt was a little grumpy here and there so I think either his two teeth are bugging him or he's doing that clingy thing I read about happening at this age. Oh, and remember how he was so good at sitting up? Yeah, he's not doing that anymore. I think he's having so much fun and expending so much energy pre-cruising that when I sit him up he either leans back against me to rest or rolls forward to chase down a toy or chihuahua.