Thursday, May 29, 2008

Babies love balloons

This morning is our final babysitting shift. I'm going to miss this! Brandt and Geddy spent much of the morning playing with balloons when they weren't tormenting the cats. Of course Brandt was always more interested in the balloon Geddy was holding than in his own.
I don't know what I was thinking when I bought Brandt this outfit. I really like the look of the onesies with shorts-type-legs, but he gets too tall for them so quickly. And they're made to accommodate chubby babies so Brandt kept getting a knee stuck in the huge leg hole (as he's demonstrating in the picture). It'll probably fit better when he's an inch taller and then he'll outgrow it within days. Hopefully I've learned my lesson.
Dan's been in Seattle all week and finally comes home tomorrow night. I wanted to tag along, but Dan said he's too busy working to hang out with us. I tried to explain that I didn't care about hanging out with him, I just wanted to hang out not in Las Vegas. Turns out he's in suburban Bellevue so I guess I'm not too disappointed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Baby's first court appearance

Brandt and I went to court today. Thanks to a clerical error by AAA, when a cop ran my plates on Brandt's birthday I came up with no insurance and therefore unregistered. It really really sucked.
At least the Henderson courthouse is nice. Good thing, too: since I was too upset to deal with AAA, Dan took care of everything...except for a letter from the DMV. So we get to go back to court in a couple months. Sigh. I think Brandt wants to be a lawyer now--look at him objecting for the camera.
This morning Brandt watched Geddy stack two oversized legos together. He tried it himself before giving up and just chewing on them. We have the same blocks at home so it will be fun to see him figure them out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cherries Jubilee

Brandt and I are working hard and hardly working this week. Geddy's normal sitter is out of town so we are doing three half days. Geddy's got fun toys and is the mellowest kid (the last playdate he came to at our house, he just stood still in the middle of the room for half an hour before he felt ready to start playing). Brandt was particularly taken by the two cats and chased them all over the house. Fortunately they're used to it and crawling Brandt is much slower than running Geddy so the cats didn't mind.
After "work" we hit the Summerlin Farmers Market and discovered cherries. The strawberry guy was still there, but we didn't give him the time of day. The cherries didn't make quite the beautiful mess the strawberries did, but Brandt loved them nonetheless. I think he even ate a pit when I didn't pay attention and gave him a whole cherry. Hopefully it works its way out easily.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chipmunk cheeks

First of all, happy birthday to Uncle Alex!
We started off the day at the Bellagio gardens. The lighting is so nice in there and the flowers make a great backdrop so I thought I could get a nice picture for Fathers Day. Unfortunately Brandt was not feeling smiley, but I got some good shots of the other babies who met us out. The flowers were pretty manly this time, too: several model trains (and of course a huge train made of flowers), two huge bears, a mini Mount Rushmore, and mini Bellagio complete with fountains.
In the afternoon we took a big family walk. Our first stop was the little playground at the top of the hill to see if Brandt would go down the slide alone. The regular slide is split in two down the middle and on his first attempt, Brandt ended up with one leg on either side of the divider. He didn't want anything to do with it after that. He did like the other slide, but it's a bit too high off the ground for him to be self-sufficient, but with just a little help off the edge he crawled up and over and slid down several times. Now I've got a great way to tire him out with minimal work on my part until it gets too hot!
Then we walked over to the District and ate dried veggies while watching the carousel...or rather, didn't eat them. Brandt packed his mouth full and then spit it all out on Dan. Dan was surprisingly brave about the whole thing. He might be able to handle toddler messes yet!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

White Rock Loop Trail

Since the weather is still cold, I figured we could sneak in one more hike at Red Rock. I've gotten bored with the Children's Loop so we did the White Rock Loop Trail this time.
Thank goodness Dan came along because it was LONG. It took four hours to do about seven miles. I feel bad complaining because that's only half as long as Renae just ran! The weather was perfect for it, though. It looked like it would rain, but we only got a few drops here and there. Brandt had a great time checking out the plants and dogs and other people on the trail. I don't want to do this loop again anytime soon, but maybe once it cools down again for real...although Brandt will be heavier to tote around then.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cold snap

Vegas was 100 degrees when we left, but now it's in the mid-sixties! Unfortunately I had scheduled a playdate at Exploration Park--and not for the playground; for the water tower area.
We couldn't figure out how to turn the water on (not that we wanted to play in the water--I just wanted to see what it was all about). Fortunately, another group of kids and moms was running around and a little girl jumped on the green button to the left of Brandt's head. That turned on the water jets and they all got wet. It was pretty funny (well, not for them).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pogonophobia conquered

Here's photographic proof that Brandt is no longer scared of Uncle Alex's beard.
In fact, Brandt felt perfectly at home for the first time. He's usually a lot quieter than normal when we're visiting, but he decided su casa es mi casa and babbled and giggled up a storm. Of course he's still mainly saying "ba ba ba ba ba," but it's music to my ears.
We timed the drive home to coincide with his nap and it worked OK, but we did have to stop twice and only survived the last 30 minutes by my tossing O's over my shoulder for him to snack on. I'm not sure if babies are supposed to eat while driving...probably not. Even with the extra stop the trip home took 4:10 so not bad!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

First solo slide

Brandt and I got out of the house relatively early to meet my dad at a little park by his house. The park was empty when we arrived so Brandt had the play structure all to himself and took his first solo slide! He crawled up the stairs, crawled directly to the short slide, flopped on his belly, and let fly. He also had a lot of fun splashing in the little fountain and got soaking wet.
We broke for coffee and by the time we walked back by the park, it was full of babies and nannies. I think Brandt wouldn't have been so ambitious with the slide had it been crowded in the morning so yay for our timing.
What would a trip to LA be without a visit to Ikea? I am most proud of my as-is finds: a lamp shade for $5 (I almost bought a similar one for $20) and a play rug for $5. And in an interesting twist of fate we saw the same exact rug on Jon and Kate Plus 8 tonight. The woman checking out in front of us spent over $1000. Lucky lady! Of course I couldn't tell what she bought since it was divided among a bunch of little boxes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beach baby

Yesterday would have been a perfect day for the beach. Unfortunately, today was the day I dragged A & E and my dad to Santa Monica. It was 70 degrees, but we sat near the water and Brandt and I got our feet wet. Brandt got a little cold crawling around naked on the wet sand so I bundled him up and walked along the pier.
We celebrated Alex's graduation at Restaurant15. Brandt only politely tried the Kobe burger, but he loved the lavender fries. Alex's crazy work 6pm to 2am work schedule works well for eating early, which seems to be easiest with babies.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nate Corddrey saw my boob

Brandt and I are in LA to celebrate Alex finishing film school. Yay Uncle Alex!
Rather than do our usual pre-morning drive, we hit a playdate and left town at 11:30. It worked pretty well. Brandt napped for a couple hours so stopped in Barstow for pee/snack/gas and there was no traffic and we made it in exactly four hours. It was super hot inside when we arrived so I dragged A & E down to Echo Park where Brandt discovered the joys of chasing birds. Don't worry, I didn't let him get near any geese. Those f-ers are scary!
Later on, Brandt and I accompanied Aunt Emilie to the Silver Lake Reservoir where we walked one lap while she and her friend ran two. While there we saw Rob Corddrey's little brother. I wish I had said, "Your brother is awesome!" because then maybe he would have said, "Your brother is awesome, too!" Alex would have loved that. Oh, and he didn't see my boob, but Brandt was nursing in the Ergo when he ran by twice.
Brandt was helping me on the computer this evening and while banging on the keyboard somehow managed to make the display rotate 90 degrees to the left. WTF? I had to call Dan to help troubleshoot and he claims he's never heard of anything like this and it must be something to do with the aspect ratio. Sigh. It's hard to type and use the mouse like this. Not good for my neck, either.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All about me

This morning we managed our last trip of the season to Red Rock. I thought starting out at 8:30 would make it OK, but it was HOT HOT HOT. There was amazingly still a trickle of water in the waterfall so Brandt was able to play in what remained of the lake. He was in heaven with one foot exploring the water and one foot exploring the mud. He really enjoys feeling textures with his feet. While he was peeing in the bushes off the side of the trail, a ladybug landed on his nards. I thought it was cute, but the poor little guy did not like it one bit! I think he grabbed the rock in the picture to fend off future lady bugs.
OK, now for my whining. On Wednesday and Thursday nights Dan mouse managed for an hour an a half so I could go swimming. Five minutes into my first swim, a gal got into the lane next to me. She was swimming about the same speed as me, but doing open turns so I thought maybe she was a triathlete. But her stroke was decent whereas most triathletes (in my experience) suck ass in the pool. So I decided she either has vertigo and can't do flip turns or is newly pregnant and thinks the baby shouldn't go upside down. A bit later she's egg beatering (treading water) so I think, "Yay! She's a water polo player!" and she did look like a goalie, come to think of it. I contemplated joining her and chatting about polo, but talked myself out of it. I examined my motives for wanting to talk to her and realized it was probably just to get out of swimming. And what if she told me about a great local open league that I don't have the time or means to play in anyway? That would just bum me out. So I kept swimming, and good thing, too, because next I knew, she was doing some crazy upside down stuff. Ah, so she's a synchronized swimmer. I later saw her in the locker room and we chatted a bit. And get this, she asks me if I'm training for a triathlon! I have never been so insulted in my life. And after I was the one who thought she was the trialthlete. It turns out she's in "O"...only in Vegas! Actually, she called it "The O Show." I like that, it makes it sound like "The Oprah Show." Or maybe it's just really called that. She said she had a baby three months ago and was supposed to be back at work this week, but changed her mind. Bon for her (she's french canadian, of course).
Early this morning Aunt Renae ran her half marathon in 1:54:48. Amazing! I was so inspired that I dusted off the stroller and ran Brandt to the library to return some books. It was awful! We waited until 8pm and it was still over close to 90 degrees. I've been wondering lately if I should try to stroller-train the little guy. It's such a pain so I only use it once a month at the chiropractor (although I think I'll just let him crawl around on the floor from now on) and every six weeks during hair cuts. He doesn't like it much for sitting still, but he had a great time on the run. Not a better time that getting worn, mind you.
And one last thing: I hit the six month mark as a woman of leisure without even realizing it! I thought I'd have more to show for it by now. I haven't even learned to play the ukulele yet!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finally, a new tooth!

We had a bit of a lazy day today. Brandt slept over thirteen hours last night and I took advantage of the oppportunity to get some extra sleep, too. So we slept through Luke's weekly 11 o'clock playdate and our one o'clock playdate got canceled. We finally got off our butts and made it to the back yard to play with the WaterWheel Play Table Aunt Renae sent Brandt for his birthday. Tons of fun!
Brandt finally sprouted tooth number seven! It's been months since he had a tooth so I'm very excited. It's on the bottom and to the left of his middle two bottom teeth. We know a lot of babies working on their first molars right now and those don't sound like fun. Hopefully his amber teething beads will make those easy for him like all the previous teethses have been. So now I realize that the fever Brandt had two weeks ago was probably Roseola without the rash! I thought it was teething at the time, but no tooth ever appeared and considering we were hanging out with Xan when he broke out in his Roseola rash and it's going around the valley like crazy, Brandt probably had it, too.
Tonight we watched Madagascar at the Outdoor Picture Show at the District. We were smart this time and showed up an hour early to get a good seat. The walk down was pretty hot, but it's so nice to not use the car all day, yet still get out and do something. Brandt and I shared the *best* smoothie from Whole Foods. Amazon Berry. Yum! Brandt didn't want to believe it was gone and kept at the straw for a while.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Baby's new bed?

It's been a big week, but I haven't taken a lot of pictures so I'll squish it all together.
On Monday we hit the splash pad again, this time with leg warmers on. It was a good look and it protected his knees. I was cleaning the house all morning with Brandt naked on my back in the Ergo. He fell asleep back there and it was time to go to the park so I just walked down with him naked. I'm not sure if that's OK or not. There were little boys running around the splash pad in their underwear so I think that makes a momentarily naked baby (he woke up shortly after we arrived) just fine. In the evening, Martin came to visit from Minnesota (on his way to a conference in St. George) so we hung out down at the District. After dinner at Lucille's I made the boys all watch American Gladiators with me...because otherwise they would have stayed up all night like usual. I'm quite proud of myself.
On Tuesday we made it to Gymcats for the first time in months. Brandt was the only baby to show up for the class, but it was still fun. An Olympian was home from college practicing on some jumpy thing over and over and over again. Next we had a Mothers Day breakfast at Family to Family where we made photo luggage tags. Then after a little rest we went to Paseo Vista Park yet again, but skipped the splash pad this time. And finally (yes, there's more!) we attended a two-hour home birth meetup in the evening. It was half pregnant moms and half moms with babies. Brandt had a great time fighting over toys and snacks with the other little boys while we all discussed how crappy the hospitals are in this town and why homebirth rocks.
The best part of Wednesday was Brandt discovered how to put the bunny finger puppet from the scary bunny on his finger. That kept him busy a lot of the day. Other exciting activites were Brandt's first toddler class at Family to Family (Learn and Play Cubbies for the 12-23 month-old crowd) where it was discovered he's not a fan of finger painting. And a visit to the park at Town Square. It was pretty warm so that is probably our last visit there for a while. We didn't stay for the 1pm story time because it was just too hot.
This morning we went to Springs Preserve at 10am and walked the trails. Fortunately there are a lot of shady spots along the way and we walked slowly to accommodate a couple young walkers. But it was still hot so we'll either pay to go inside next time or just wait until September. Today's photo is a record of Brandt's new game: playing in Bettie's doggie bed. He crawls in and curls up, he tips it over on top of himself like a turtle shell, and he flips it over and jumps on it. It's great fun! And of course Bettie is showing more interest in the bed now that Brandt wants at it, too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mama day

Brandt (and Dan) kicked off the day by making me breakfast (bagels and lox) and escorting me to the District so I could enjoy the free chair massage for moms and free ride on the new carousel. We didn't bother with the free horse-drawn carriage ride, but Brandt was mesmerized by the horses.
In the afternoon we went over to Town Square since Dan had never been. The boys had fun playing in the rocks by the fake grass and I realized a new development in Brandt: he no longer tries to eat all the little pebbles he can get his hands on, it's only 1 in 20 or so now.
Brandt is feeling very generous this year and will be getting me a Berkey water filter. Such a sweetie!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Springs Preserve

We finally made it out to Springs Preserve ("a 180-acre non-gaming cultural and historical attraction designed to commemorate Las Vegas' dynamic history and to provide a vision for a sustainable future"). The event we went for was supposed to be a kids concert geared towards toddlers, but it was just a magic act and not toddler-oriented at all. Plus they didn't perform very long before taking a 30 minute break. We didn't stick around for the second act, needless to say. But Nevada Power had some sort of carbon emissions fair going on so we all got free canvas bags, CFL light bulbs, and baby manzanita trees. I would have done a bit of walking around, but it was already getting pretty hot. We'll have to go back earlier in the day so we can explore the trails and gardens. I hear the pay areas of the preserve are really cool, too, so we'll check that out when it's definitely too hot to be outside.
Brandt and River (who is our strawberry buddy, by the way) are hanging out on synthetic grass at the preserve. I think they have a synthetic grass exhibit somewhere so you can feel all the various kinds. I'm still deciding about baby tank tops. They mean I have to put on more sunscreen and with the wrong shorts, he looks kinda grungy. But I might change my tune when it's over 100 degrees.
Tonight we headed down to the Green at the District for our first outdoor picture show movie. Tonight was Enchanted. I wasn't sure Brandt would want to hang out the whole time, but he did just fine. A couple babies and kids around us left as the night wore on, but Brandt was fine snacking and staying in one spot. A couple months ago he would have fallen asleep during the show, but lately it seems that if there's too much going on he just stays awake until we leave. So that's a bit of a bummer, but it had to happen sooner or later. And he conked out on the walk home and stayed asleep so it worked out nicely. I can't wait for Nancy Drew to play in a week!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Gudbye Guggenheim

Brandt is a lucky boy. He's over one and hasn't been in a museum yet. I bet I'd been in dozens of museums by one. But that all changed today--the Guggenheim Hermitage museum in the Venetian is closing on Sunday so we took advantage of the free admission final month deal going on.
Boyd is in town a few days for work stuff and came along. We tried to watch him play a little video poker after the museum, but got kicked off the gaming floor. Boyd was sure babies should be exempt from any age limit, but we didn't mind. Brandt splashed his hands in the fountain in the lobby while Boyd lost money. We also hit the Bellagio to check out the butterfly conservatory while Boyd invested some cash over there.
But our most exciting stop was walking by a three-card Monte game--all three of us were mesmerized, have never seen it in person before. Boyd thought two of the gamblers in the crowd were in on it--apparently that's how they operate. It was a bit windy today and a couple cards blew over, so from now on when I see wind in the forecast I'm going to feel sorry for the three-card Monte dealers.
At six Brandt and I rode the bike down to the District to watch a little of a band. They alternated kid songs (such as the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song) with normal songs. Brandt sat in my lap eating sweet potato fries for a while, but then hopped out and crawled ten feet and froze. A little girl ran over and petted him on the head for a while and he never moved! It was a nice change from the little kids we've encountered at parks lately who are scared of babies. He seemed a little bewildered about the head petting, but made no move to escape.
And just to make this action-packed day even fuller, we got dressed up and accompanied Karen and Jakey to temple tonight. It was the last show of the season of the Shabbatones so the place was packed and there was lots of loud music so the babies loved it. They both started getting a little restless at the end of the service, but it went really well.
Oh, and today marks six months since I became a woman of leisure! I guess I'm happy about that, but I thought I would have learned to play the ukulele by now. And gotten all the extra junk out of the garage. And gotten into gardening. Oh well.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Splash pad

The water feature at our park opened up last weekend. I was surprised they turned it on so early--it's certainly hot enough, but so many summer things don't start until after Memorial Day, which means the wimpy people (like me) are already too hot to go outside and enjoy them.
Brandt didn't particularly like the splash pad, but he gave it a shot. He darted in and out a few times before I realized the rough ground scraped up his knee. We'll wear knee pads next time.
Earlier today Brandt and I taught a babywearing class at Family to Family. It was a lot of fun and a bunch of people came. We're planning to do one every month. This is the new south branch of Vegaroos, by the way. I am getting tired of driving to Summerlin for so many things so I just started my own meeting down here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Summerlin Strawberry Massacre

Today was the Summerlin Strawberry Festival. Since Brandt had so much fun eating strawberries at the farmers market and the juice didn't stain, I intentionally dressed him in light colors so he could really go to town.
The festival was awesome--it was twice as big as the farmers market with music and Strawberry Shortcake (I didn't know she was still alive and kicking) and a bounce house. Dan even left work on time and met us out there.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today is the day Lyle comes out of his nest and if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks before the temperature reaches 100 degrees. To celebrate, we went to Bob Baskin park to do a Cinco de Mayo craft project and sing Cinco de Mayo songs.
I haven't been to this park before, but it was recommended to me as a nice park, centrally located. I don't know if today was an off day, but I felt a bit out of place since I didn't have a beer in a paper bag. We saw one other kid at the park, but she was scared of babies so she freaked out when Brandt got too close to her on the play structure. It was pretty funny.
You can probably tell from the footprints on his paper bag poncho, that Brandt's feet are HUGE. He's almost outgrown his elephant shoes. Bobuxes are sized small, medium, large, so I don't know what size he is numerically. He's not ready for real walking soles yet, so I guess we'll go one size up in Bobux for now.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Big birthday bash

Today we partied with ten other new one-year-olds to celebrate our birthdays. It seemed much easier than having eleven separate parties and instead of presents, we had everyone bring donations to a local baby charity, TLC.
I think there were about fifty people in attendance and all the babies had a great time. There were a few gusts of wind here and there, but for the most part it was a perfect day. Dan even found a couple dads to play Petanque with.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Naked babies

We had a big day today. Our morning was spent hiking at Red Rock. There's still a little bit of water in the waterfall, but not enough to keep us coming back to the Lost Creek/Children's Discovery Trail. So next time out we'll explore a different and longer trail. Then we spent the afternoon at birthday party for Baby Lexi. Brandt loved the inflatable pool filled with balls and climbed in and out over and over and threw balls in the air while squeaking.
Lexi had the prettiest birthday dress on for her party, but stripped down to her diaper to eat her birthday cake. I think the original plan was for her to wear a special birthday onesie, but apparently I'm not the only one who finds naked babies easiest to feed and then clean. Isn't it strange how people refer to babies as "naked babies" when they're still wearing diapers? When Brandt is naked, he's really naked.
Tonight (while naked) Brandt figured out how to open and close his toy chest. He had a great time emptying it out and filling it back up. He threw his Sigg and my cell phone in there for good measure. So now when I can't find my keys out the dog door, I'll know where to check.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rockstar Rachel

"I love being a rock star to four-year-olds!" - Rachel Coleman
Tonight we went to see Rachel from Signing Time perform at the Rainbow Library. There were hundreds of people there and the line for her post show meet and greet was ten times longer than the Easter Bunny line. It was awesome!
Brandt had a great time, but he had more fun snacking on Veggie Booty and flirting with the staffer standing in front of us than watching Rachel. I try to play Signing Time for him every once in a while, but dude doesn't like watching TV (I know! Is this really my kid??). But we'll keep at it. Now that Brandt's started signing a bit, he might get more interested in the show. He signs "milk" and "toilet" (but as a waving thumb's up rather than the proper waving "T") and I think dog might be an easy one to teach him next.
Tonight was quite a contrast to yesterday's Eric Herman: Cool Tunes for Kids performance at the Sunrise Library. We were able to relate to the song about the monster that turned out to be a snoring dad, but I don't think we'll add him to our music collection. Brandt got They Might Be Giants's Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s for his birthday so those are enough for now. And now that we know Rachel has CDs of her Signing Time songs, maybe we'll get one of those.