Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lakeshore Learning

I think Brandt might sprout his first molar soon. He's been a little grumpy the last two mornings and while I can't feel anything inside his mouth, it looks like his left bottom gum has stuff going on below the surface. Thankfully he's still sleeping fine at this point. Actually, maybe not. I accidentally woke Bettie up at 6am, and she in turn woke Brandt up and he wouldn't go back to sleep (he usually sleeps until 7:30/8:00, if not later). I don't think he's ever been awake so early. We took advantage of the early hour and walked the dogs. Then he caught up on sleep by taking a monster nap from 9 to noon.
Well rested, we went to Lakeshore Learning in the afternoon. Brandt found a lot of fun stuff to play with. He was most excited by the bouncey balls, but he spent a little time with the globes (the thematic cartographer in Dan will like that!) and drums. That store will really be dangerous when he's old enough to play with more stuff--I'll want to buy everything!
And here's a first look at the sweet new Sweet Shoes. He seemed to walk just as well with the shoes on. Go soft soles! He's still only taking five or so steps at a time, though. And always with the mummy arms. I'll try to get another video soon since the mummy arm phase is the cutest phase.
I weighed Brandt yesterday (we were at the other Barbara Greenspun Center to talk to the new mommy mixer about various AP stuff) and he's 19 pounds 3 ounces. The last couple days he's felt so big to me so I figured he was up another pound. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Skee-ball

We hit Chuck E. Cheese today for playdate and lunch today. Brandt was not pleased when I set him down next to the big dancing rat, but he had fun on the little rides (even without tokens in them) and he had a blast stabbing his shiv (plastic knife) through the straw hole in the plastic lid he's holding. That kept him busy for quite a while. And yeah, that's a little bruise on his left cheek. It's from a crawling accident, but we may see more of those as he's taking more and more little steps every day. And wsalking accidents leave bigger bruises than crawling accidents.
The tokens I didn't spend on the Brandt rides I poured into Skee-ball. Brandt tried to help throw the balls and I cannot wait for the day we can play side by side! I hope he grows up to be as competitive as me! Mwah ha ha ha.
In the afternoon we went over to Valerie and Isabella's to meet the dogs--three chihuahuas, one pomeranian--and play in the pool. I thought Brandt would like an opportunity to meet nice tiny chihuahuas, but he was scared of them! It was pretty funny. Puppy Echo tried to give him kisses and jump into the dog bed with him, but her love was not reciprocated.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Best. Party. Ever.

We went to Makena's first birthday luau and it was AWESOME. Don't tell anyone, but it was the best party ever! Her grandparents have the most amazing pool. Brandt had a great time crawling around in the big shallow area and giggled every time I squirted him with one of the many squirt toys. He even rode down the water slide with me twice. It was a little sketchy--I had to lift him up above my head at the bottom and tread water like crazy to keep him dry, but it worked. I wanted to take the other babies down the slide, but no one took me up on my offer.
The party started at 9am so we were able to spend a lot of time in the pool and outside in the shade, but the babies all still tired quickly. We stayed a bit after the birthday girl left her own party to nap, but we still didn't get around do doing the craft project. Craft project--how cool is that? Hopefully Makena will have another pool party soon because that was just too fun!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mister mister

Brandt and I "worked" four hours today. We ran a babywearing booth at a chiropractic office's open house. It was fun (very good food and balloon animals!) and we got a few new moms to join our Vegaroos group. And I got a free back scan to see how jacked up my back and neck are in vivid color--eek.
Since we were way way way up on the north side of town, I checked out my friend's new baby store in the neat Village of Centennial Springs. I got Brandt some super cute brown (and super cheap) Sweet Shoes since I'm still too scared to put those pretty white shoes on him.
Since it thunderstormed last night it's cooler than normal and we all braved a walk down to The District. It was hot enough that the misters were running and Brandt got a mouthful.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lied Discovery Children's Museum

We took our first trip to the children's museum today. So not worth the $13 for the two of us. The toddler room had a padded area for babies 0-18 months (and bouncers kicking out anyone too old), but it wasn't very impressive. Everything else seemed fun for kids much older. So we'll go back in a few years. At least Brandt had a lot of fun climbing the huge flights of stairs between the two levels. Maybe not $13 worth of fun, but I'm glad we finally checked the place out.
A little bit more tottering today. He walked a couple teeny steps between the bathtub and the bathroom door this morning, but otherwise he just tottered with the dishwasher door again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

First steps!

July 23rd 5:45pm: Brandt took his first steps! He was helping me unload the the dishwasher and as soon as I pushed close the door he tottered after it. Woo hoo! I didn't want to wear him out so we bided our time until Dan got home and then tried again and Flipped it:

During his midday nap I found Brandt had stuck his hand down his pants. I had to take a picture because it looked so man-like. From what I hear, I'm lucky he hasn't got his hand down there all the time. Oh, and see that dirty left leg? That will soon be a thing of the past now that walking is around the corner! And all that dirt is from the meeting room at a coffee shop. It's amazing how dirty the little guy gets! C'mon walking!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The other Red Rock

Gini is in town for a conference at Red Rock Casino all week. She invited us to come visit her by the pool and it was awesome!
Almost half the pool is comprised of three-inch-deep shelves (probably for sunbathing on) so it's very baby friendly. Brandt had a terrific time and several pre-teen girls were quite taken with him--they said he was much cooler than their little brothers. But some older boys were playing with a beach ball and that's all Brandt had eyes for. He'd throw his little green ball away and then point at one of the girls and then at his ball so she'd fetch it for him...and then he'd point at the beach ball hoping she'd go fetch that. Too cute.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rain delay

We braved the 20% chance of rain and went on a hike on Mount Charleston today (Fletcher Canyon Trail). Sure enough, before we were even halfway along the trail, it started drizzling. Granted, we were walking at the pace of a two-year-old so the clouds had ample time to get us.
We found a nice dryish spot under some trees and ate snacks until the rain letup. But soon after quickly heading back down, we got pelted. Normally I'd hate this, but I guess living in the desert has changed me because I found it refreshing. The token dad sprinted down the trail with his six-month-old. That would have been me a year ago, I'm sure.
This picture is the last you'll see of Brandt's brown elephant shoes. I still don't know what size he is numerically (maybe a five?), but he's ready for XL Bobux. I found him a new pair last week, but they're white so I didn't want to get them dirty on their first trip out. I felt bad cramming him in this pair one last time, but not bad enough to make him go barefoot or mar the pretty new ones.
I would have waited and ordered a more dirt-friendly color, but I just found out that the rec center has a romper room! For some reason they require the kiddos wear shoes and I thought it'd look bad to drop him off in ill-fitting grungy kicks. Unfortunately, I can't go swimming since each parent gets a non-waterproof pager and they call as soon as the baby starts crying. So I'll just run on the track to test out the system (i.e. see if Brandt freaks out). I have a feeling it won't go well, but we'll give it a go next week. I'm hoping it goes well and they'll trust me to swim and check the pager every few minutes.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gymboree

We got to play at Gymboree for the first time today while celebrating Evalyn's first birthday. It's pretty cool in there and Brandt loved it.
Everyone was impressed (or maybe scared) by how quick and nonstop Brandt was. I cannot tell you how glad I was Dan was along to hear this. I'm hoping he'll be more impressed with my mouse-wrangling skills now and feel sorry for me and never grumble about doing most of the work when he gets home from work :)
It is hard to keep up with Brandt lately! I feel like I never get anything done anymore. He's still fighting his naps a bit. Thursday was the first time I drove five extra blocks on the way home to lull him to sleep. I hope that doesn't become a habit, but it was worth it the once!
He only had one nap today (I'm still not sure if he's down to just one daily nap or not), but Gymboree tired him out so much that he crashed for the night at 7:30. If it wasn't a bit creepy there we'd think about a class. I just don't know about the clowns and all the cheerful cheerful singing...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hot hot hot

Last time I was at Town Square I noticed a new water feature in the playground. I took Brandt to check it out today and he was a bit scared, but stuck it out for a while. We mostly played in the shady areas of the playground and I'm very proud of myself of lasting over an hour outdoors. That's outdoors, over an hour, in Vegas, in July. Wow!
Driving home from Town Square I saw people out running and walking and thought I could handle even more punishment so after a nap, we rode the bike to Xan's house for a playdate. Ug, it was hard. It's hard to breathe when it's so hot. I felt like we were at high altitude. And then an hour after getting home we headed out on foot for the movie at The District. I don't know what I was thinking! Actually, I was thinking the walk there would be a pain, but the walk home at ten wouldn't be bad. But they were both bad. I've had enough outdoors time to last me the rest of the summer, I think. Bee Movie was cute, by the way.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

MonteLago Village rocks!

A while back we came to a stupid market at one of the casinos at Lake Las Vegas and were not impressed with the place. But tonight Brandt and I came to a different casino for an outdoor movie and talk about a world of difference! MonteLago Village is so cute! It's just like our The District, but bigger and Italianer. I'm going to see if I can convince Dan to come with us next week to see The Princess Bride and do some exploring beforehand.
Tonight we saw Ice Age 2: The Melt Down. It was cute. I didn't see the first one, but we were able to follow along OK. And Brandt actually watched three minutes of the movie. I was so impressed. It was during the big sloth song and dance number. He fell asleep with 15 minutes left of the movie and stayed asleep for the transfer to the car and once we got home, too. Phew. Oh, but here is something super annoying: there were little three kids with mohawks at the movie. Not fauxhawks/safety hawks, but full-on mohawks. What is up with that?
This morning we tried to swim at the outdoor activity pool at the rec center, but apparently the fun pool is closed this week while there are no lessons so we got kicked out after just 30 seconds. But that was long enough to discover how cool the little ramp into the pool is. We'll come back next week for sure. We played around in the indoor pool for a bit, but it just wasn't the same.
After the pool we went to a class at the Family to Family Connection where Brandt removed enough balls from the toy bin so he could climb inside. The other babies were confused, but he hung out and happily threw toys at them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fifteen months

Where does the time go? Brandt is now 15 months old (as of yesterday). Still no walking, but he did lunge at me from the coffee table yesterday so there's something new. And apparently this is the "month of milestones" so expect exciting updates soonish.
In the meantime, he's making good use of his crawling and climbing. He likes to crawl into his toy chest and hang out with his stuff. See that bear to his right? We got that at Circus Circus on Monday. It's actually pretty fun there. We watched three amazing circus acts and I even played Chicken in a Pot (use a mallet to try to propel a rubber chicken into a pot to win stuffed animals), but didn't win. I used to come to Vegas periodically when Lyle was a baby and win him toys to tear up playing Chicken in a Pot. I've either lost my touch or it's harder now. The bear was a gift from the lady working a different game. The arcade has a section for little guys so I sat Brandt in a couple of the vehicles (a car, a space shuttle, and a hippo) over there. It's nice because he likes to sit in them and point at stuff so I don't have to use any quarters to make 'em move yet.
Yesterday we hit the Sunset Galleria mall to check out the Fun at Sun Kids Club. We didn't make it out of the play area to see the clown guy, but the older kids seemed to have a blast. The play area was small, but Brandt really enjoyed it so I think we'll go back when it's not kids club day so he can have it more to himself. Even with all the biggger kids running around he still crawled among them like they weren't there. I was impressed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Growth spurt

This afternoon we hung out with a couple little dudes we haven't seen in several weeks. Brandt used to be a little bit shorter than them, but suddenly he's an inch taller. I'll have to dig out the Ikea tape measure and see if he'll hold still and let me measure him. Wednesday we were at Family to Family Connection leading our monthly babywearing group and since they have a scale there and it's been a while, I checked Brandt's weight. I've been assuming he's around 17 pounds, but he's over 18 (he was too wiggly for me to tell exactly how much over 18). That explains why he doesn't look string beanier after the growth spurt.
Ten days ago Brandt crawled halfway through the dog door and got stuck. I was really missing my broken camera that day! He did it again today and the nice camera was close enough so I took a quick pic before rescuing him. And in other pet emulating news, we haven't put the flashlight away since the camping trip so I've been shining it around the room for Brandt to chase. I wish we had a laser pointer!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Local mountains

We're not mountained out yet and headed up to Mt. Charleston for the morning. Normally I'd dread the hour drive, but Brandt is still fighting his naps a bit so it was a good way to get him to sleep a couple hours.
It was much dustier than Mammoth (and we were at a pretty dusty campsite) so Brandt got nice and dirty. I really can't wait for him to start walking! In the meantime, however, you will see him in this same pair of "dirty" pants in all outdoor pictures. It will be so nice when his knee and hands don't get so dirty everytime he goes exploring. Of course then I'll have a new set of worries, but I'm still looking forward to it.
Brandt can stand for up to ten seconds before he sits down or grabs onto something so that's a start. I think real walking is still a ways off, but at least he's making some balance gains. His cycling is still more developed than his walking. He can mount and dismount his Radio Flyer Scoot About, but hasn't completely gotten the hang of steering it yet. He's been watching a little of the Tour de France so maybe that will inspire him to ride more.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Camping

So sleeping on the ground wedged between a baby and a chihuahua wasn't the most comfortable way to spend the night, but we survived! Brandt slept well, at least. There weren't any bears, but only because I remembered in the middle of the night that I had snacks in my bag and made Dan get up and put it in the bear box. Close call.
We realized exactly how sweet our site was when two vultures set up folding chairs waiting for us to leave at 6am. We didn't see them until 8am, but it was still pretty annoying. They were more of a nuisance to our neighbors, though, since they were closer to their tent and kept engaging them in unwanted conversation.
Yesterday afternoon Dan claimed he was going to take a refreshing morning swim and I didn't believe it would happen, but he hopped right in! It was way too cold for me to join him. I guess there's still a little Minnesota in his blood.
It was nice to swing by the condo and take showers before hitting the road home. Next time we might do *real* camping with no condo to run home to if the going gets rough, but this was a good first experience.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Luau at the Lake

I convinced Dan we should head back to June Lake today (that's the lake in yesterday's picture) for the Luau at the Lake. The luau was actually one lake over at Gull Lake and we amazingly found an open campsite there. Plus, it's lakeside! Of the 80 campsites in June Lake, there are only 5 lakeside ones so the camp host suggested we go buy a lottery ticket, too.
The luau was great. There was music and food and dancing and a playground for the little ones to play on. Brandt slid on a big slide (feet first, tummy side down) a few times. We spent a little time at the luau in the afternoon and then went back just before sunset. It was pretty much the same at night, only the mountain people were all drunk and stumbley.
The camping part was fun, too. It's been almost ten years since Dan first promised we'd go camping so it's about time. It got COLD at night, though. So cold we had to put the dogs in the tent in our sleeping bags while we were still up making dinner. Dan made a great fire and we had hot dogs and then s'mores. Perfect camping food!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Mammoth

We arrived to Mammoth last night/this morning at 1am. Dan and I were exhausted, but it worked well for Brandt as he slept most of the way. Unfortunately we didn't get him inside and to bed quickly enough to keep him half-asleep so he fully woke up and excitedly pointed at everything for an hour ("Dee! Dee! Dee!") before turning back in.
The weather is awesome here! It's in the low seventies and sunny. I woke up with a stiff neck so I skipped the parade this morning, but Dan and Brandt saw a bit of it on their way to the market. We headed out for a nice long walk at noon and were amazed by how many people are in town. We usually avoid the holidays, but it's neat to see the town so bustling...especially if we don't have to share the ski slopes with them.
Our plan is to find a campsite and camp the next two nights. I have a feeling we are not going to have any luck finding an available camp site, but that's OK by me. I'm a little apprehensive about bears. Dan thinks I'm too paranoid about bears and I think he's not bear aware enough. I'm sure Bettie could hold her own against a bear, the the rest of us aren't as tough.
We drove around a few of the closeby campgrounds this afternoon, but they're all full (phew!).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Natural History Museum

Went to the Natural History Museum today. It's much bigger than it looks from the outside and fortunately we've never been to a Natural History Museum in a big city, otherwise we would have been disappointed. The tank of sting rays was neat, but sad--one was either hungry or lonely and kept trying to jump out. And the room for toddler scientists was very cool. I took a video of Brandt the budding paleontologist disregarding the "keep sand in box" sign in the name of scientific discovery.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rock and Roll Kid

We didn't leave the house at all yesterday. We were supposed to go to the water feature at the park right by the house yesterday morning, but we stepped outside and knew it was way too hot. Sigh.
Today we paid $5 to play at Rock and Roll Kids. The regular classes are way expensive, but five bucks to come with our group for an hour on the classroom side and then as long as we want on the other side isn't bad. The dude couldn't find his usual playlist so he played all Elvis for the first half hour which was fine by us. I think Brandt's favorite part was the bubbles. I carry a little bottle of bubbles with me everywhere, but never remember to whip it out. I'll have to make more of an effort.
Oh, I think I forgetting to mention Brandt sprouted tooth number eight a couple weeks ago. So all he's got left to go are canines and molars. I hear those are the tough ones so that will prove one way or the other if the amber teething beads are helping.