Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mr. Mom

My neck is worse today :( Dan stayed home from work again and he and Brandt had a boys' day while we missed two more costume parties.
I saw the chiropractor this morning so hopefully things will feel better soon. Now I wish I'd gone in yesterday because maybe I wouldn't be worse today, but I stupidly decided I was in too much pain to get in the car. Live and learn.
Dan and Brandt's day was great, though! They started out with a big messy breakfast followed by a splashy bath. Then they spent a nice long time at the park while I napped.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sporty shark

This morning we had a party down here in Henderson. Thirteen little ones attended, but I can't remember all the costumes. There was an adorable Tinker Bell and a squeezable baby monkey that stand out in my memory.
Brandt didn't want to keep his costume on for very long today. One of today's fairy princesses lent him her wand so he ran around being a plain-clothed warlock for a while.
This afternoon we were supposed to attend a second party up north, but I hurt my back at the first party. It was so bad, in fact, that I had to call Dan and ask him to come home from work and take care of Brandt while I moped around and whined.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shark attack

Today we're up in Summerlin for another costume party. Brandt accessorized his costume with some cupcake frosting around the mouth. I think it makes him look pretty fierce.
The only other creature in attendance was a turtle, but one little girl and two little boys also came out to play. I was hoping to get some strawberries at the farmers market, so Brandt could decorate himself with some "blood," but there were no strawberries to be had.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shark Week

Brandt's got a costume party every day this week (and two on some days)! I don't know if I would have organized so many parties if he didn't have such an awesome costume. It's Sam's shark costume from last year. I think I'm going to have to invest in Baby Style costumes every year now--it's soooo cute!
Today's costume party was at Exploration Park in the southwest (I'm trying to hit all areas of town so everyone can make it to one). Other attendees included a bumble bee fairy, two pumpkins, a smurf, a skeleton, a witch, and one little (uncostumed) boy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Say cheese

Is it possible to take a group picture of a group of 16-22-month olds?
Everyone but Brandt sat nicely; he was too busy throwing a little tantrum. He only kept his costume on for half an hour, too, but that was longer than I had hoped for. Fortunately he'll have plenty of other opportunities to wear it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bronze for baby

Brandt and I rode the 5 mile family ride of Viva Bike Vegas this morning. We came in third! Well, Brandt came in third and I came in fourth. Yeah, it wasn't a race, but we made sure to stay in the lead group and came in behind a little girl and her mom. Brandt was by far the cutest participant.
Today was our second time with no midday nap! This time it wasn't my fault as I tried to get him to nap for hours and hours at home. Or maybe it was my fault for not getting him sufficiently tired out during the morning. I should have made him do some of the pedalling, I guess. At least he always adds up to the requisite 13.25 hours so he'll sleep a nice long time tonight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Red Rock sans sock

We hiked at Red Rock this morning, but by the time I arrived we only had one sock with us (I found its mate on the doorstep when we got home). The books don't tell you what to do in this circumstance. Was I supposed to choose a foot to get the sock or do both feet have to suffer? I decided both feet would rough it and all went well.
In the afternoon we went to the pumpkin patch at Sunset Station casino and it was the greatest...much better than the Halloween Funtown Festival at Boca Park. All the rides were small enough for Brandt! We didn't waste our tickets on the petting zoo or pony ride, but he lasted a couple rotations on a big swing before getting upset and having to exit early (Dan won't let me post the crying pictures). After waiting for the big kids to leave the bounce house he had a lot of fun in there, too. Naturally, Brandt's favorite part was picking up straw and putting it on the pumpkins...he had to make do with that since there were no rocks around.
Yesterday was a first of a different sort: no nap whatsoever. It was my fault--we had plans to go to Springs Preserve at 5pm so I figured we'd go a few hours early and I'd walk around the gardens and trails while Brandt napped. It didn't work out that way, though. It was too hot to walk around and Brandt wasn't into napping so we hung out in the playground and cafe until the farmers market and Haunted Harvest stuff finally started up. The evening was very fun and Brandt was awake and chipper the whole time. Hopefully this no nap thing is not a new pattern, though!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Aaaaaah-boo

Brandt's current favorite word is aaaaaah-boo. He started saying it while we were in the Netherlands and I was pretty sure it was part of peekaboo, but as soon as we got home from the trip Dan sneezed (gotta love those seasonal allergies) and right after Dan's achoo Brandt shouted aaaaaah-boo. What a silly little guy!
Brandt slid rightside up for the first time today--talk about a developmental milestone. Yesterday he slid down the tallest slide (but on his belly) so that was pretty big, too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby Bonanza

Brandt and I worked a babywearing booth at the Baby Bonanza 10-2 today. It was fun and everyone who was anyone was there: we saw our new swim instructor, our baby sign language instructor and pretty much everyone else we know in town. I was excited to see the sign language gal because I meant to look up the sign for "rock" yesterday and forgot so we figured she wouldn't mind being our dictionary. She showed us the sign, but then tried to quiz me ("Now you tell me how to sign 'pink' because he's holding a pink duck")! Pah-leeze. The picture is Brandt signing "horse" about the mounties behind him. Bird is still his favorite sign, though.
I was tempted to abandon the booth for an hour so we could meet The Man, but we stayed put. Dr. Bill Sears, the father of Attachment Parenting, was the big draw and gave a lecture about nutrition as that's the topic of his next book. I had hoped he'd at least walk through our area so I could say I saw him, but he must have had a secret rockstar entrance at the rear of the building.
I couldn't choose which picture to use (Dan wanted the clean picture, I wanted the dirty picture) so here's a look at Brandt by the end of the day. We hit a birthday party at Sunset Park after the Baby Bonanza. Most of the grime is from earlier in the day, though. It was lucky that our booth wasn't near the fountain of tempting water and rocks, but we were next to a breast cancer booth (with a neat product called BeMitt) and they had a teeny kiddie pool of pink rubber duckies that Brandt hopped in a few times.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Children of the corn

We went to Gilcrease Orchard today, even though we were forewarned it was pretty picked over. There were a couple pumpkins left and some huge zucchinis. The apple cider was delish, but we didn't purchase anything else. We'll hit it again in the spring with better results, hopefully...and better weather--even at 10am it was hot up there.
In the evening we walked down to The District to wander around the Festival of the Arts and listen to Bella Rumore. Brandt liked the music and any pictures with birds in them, but was most intrigued by the rocks in the landscaping (of course). A blimp circled around above us and I was curious to see if Brandt would think it was a balloon or an airplane (two of his favorite things). He decided upon airplane.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One point five

I wish I had realized the date and taken a better picture to commemorate 18-month-old Brandt. We had a big picnic at Town Square to check out the new Whole Foods (it's huge!) and he started out fully clothed and dry, but he got a little damp playing in the dog water so I set his shirt and shorts out to dry. The weather has turned so his clothes did dry and in fact, it was a bit too warm in the sun. I think it didn't get to 90, but it was pretty close.
We didn't go into the playground to watch storytime, but one of the other moms recognized the storytime clown from work. She works on O and apparently he sets himself on fire every night and sets the world record for burning the longest every single night...and has never missed a show in like 10 years. Too cool! He doesn't set himself on fire for storytime, by the way.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pukeapalooza

So Mr. Mom's lasagne dinner did not sit well with the mouse. It started with a little puke this morning and it's progressed to full-blown angry butt and a bit more puking. On the one hand I feel awful that Brandt is unwell, but on the other hand, I'm relieved that it happened on Dan's watch for a change! I mean, look at my handiwork: the scraped knee from the other day and the purple toe I slammed in the bathroom door a few weeks ago. And what you can't see is the big scrape on his back from the car seat. Doh!
We had planned to go to the Liberace museum today because it's free to locals once a month, but I didn't want to drag Brandt out in his condition. We'll try again next month. This evening Dan took him down to the park and he had fun, but he's not quite at 100%.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mr. Mom

Dan and Brandt had a lot of alone time today. First they bundled up and went to the park in the afternoon because I desperately needed a nap, but ended up running errands instead. I met them at home briefly and then had to run off to work for a few hours, leaving them on their own again.
Mr. Mom has put me to shame because while I was gone they did laundry, ate a big dinner, had a long bath, and cleaned the house. I don't know how he did it, because I can't seem to get anything done these days! I think the most amazing part was Dan letting Brandt feed himself lasagne. He took pictures and it was MESSY. I guess Dan has matured more than I realized. He didn't seem at all traumatized.
Speaking of the weather, we totally got gypped: it went from the 90s to the 50s! Where are our two weeks of perfect 70s? I can't believe it is already winter. Blech.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Get Out and Play Day

The City of Henderson has been nationally recognized as a 2008 Playful City USA. Playful City USA is a national program honoring cities and towns that put children's well-being first by recognizing and harnessing the power of play. To celebrate this honor, the City of Henderson has designated October 9 as "Get Out and Play Day" and we are encouraging everyone to go outside and play! Unfortunately the weather is turning crappy this afternoon so we didn't drive to Mission Hills park for the official activities, opting to get out and walk a block to play at Paseo Vista park instead. The City's Web site didn't mention free food as part of the festivities, so I wasn't all that tempted to check it out anyway.
I thought it would be interesting to let Brandt walk to the park. Interesting it was: there was a lot of running up and down rock embankments and pausing to play with rocks. I guess I'm all about the destination and Brandt is all about the journey. I tried to meet him in the middle and only scooped him up to carry the rest of the way to the park after ten minutes of [almost] being patient. First up at the park was running all around the dry water feature area signing "water." He really likes to travel at top speed--it's kind of a run, but more like "lean forward and fight to stay upright while the momentum carries me awaaaaay." Needless to say, he fell quite a bit and is now sporting his first knee scrape. He's officially a little boy now! Next time, long pants.
This morning we led a babywearing group at Family to Family and I brought the CPR dummy baby into the room for Brandt to play with. He gave her mouth-to-foot and mouth-to-hand before he got the hang of mouth-to-mouth. He also lifted her into the air by her foot, presumabely to dislodge a foreign object from her throat.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mo' molar

The mouse's grand plan to stay on Vegas time last week worked out well. He's slept fine since we've been back home. Such a smart little guy!
A little grumpy today because the other top molar is starting to poke through. We left the house for a long walk and he was fine, but as soon as we got back home, he was bothered by his gums again. Amazing what fresh air can do.
Speaking of fresh air, the weather is finally almost bearable. It was a bit warm walking around today, but not as hot as it was before we left for Holland. And yesterday we even ate lunch outside! I think we'll soon have our two weeks of perfect weather before it gets too cold.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Crash landing

22 hours of travel later, we're home!
The first leg wasn't too painful. Brandt walked up and down the aisles a lot, helping out by picking up trash. He stole a couple empty wrappers off tray tables, but for the most part he focused on floor debris. He napped a couple hours on the first leg and then fell asleep pretty deeply as soon as we took off for our four-hour Chicago-Vegas flight. I'm sure he would have stayed asleep the whole way, making it the perfect flight, but Captain Neil had other plans. Something went wrong with the front wheel's hydraulics only 30 minutes into the flight and we had to turn around. Personally, I don't see why we couldn't have completed our flight and figured out the landing in Las Vegas, but who am I to argue with Captain Neil? A bunch of emergency vehicles met us on the runway and I'm sure Brandt would have liked all the flashing lights, but he slept through the excitement. Unfortunately, he woke up once we got to the gate and got grumpier and grumpier while waiting hours for new pilots to show up. He finally fell back alseep over an hour into the new flight. Now I know why the airplane mechanics at work back in the day called Airbusses A180s instead of A320s ("They leave the gate and do a 180 to come back and get something fixed.")

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oma wordt 100

Today started at 1am when Brandt woke up to play for two hours. I don't know how people manage who have babies that don't normally sleep through the night! If I wasn't jetlagged myself and happy enough to be awake at that hour, I'm sure I would have traded him for a puppy (one can do that, right?). He's been eating a lot during his midnight romps. Last night (this morning) was a large banana and a raisin muffin. I don't know if it's the climate or the good influence of the girls, but he's been eating a ton all week. I can't wait to get home and weigh him. Luckily, he still fits in all the clothes we brought with us. If I had more time I'd welcome an excuse to outfit him at Hema, but as it is, we're fairly well-booked for the day.
Our day *really* started this morning at 10am watching Juul at zwemschool. Fortunately, parents (and cousins) are only allowed to watch the first five minutes and the last ten minutes. It was just short enough that Brandt only asked about hopping into the pool a little bit. We hung out in the adjoining coffee bar for the 45 minutes in the middle. Juul is a natural, by the way. The kids are all still perfecting their technique, but she's very quick.
Then finally the event we came for: Oma's 100th birthday in Groningen was this afternoon! Olaf and Sara drove us the two hours there. Juul and Fay were orginally going to go in their own car, but chose to come with Om Olaf at the last moment. The party was very posh: high tea at de Coendersborg with much too much chocolate. We didn't get to visit with everyone as much as we would have liked, but we did get to see *everyone* so that was great. And Oma seems as tough as ever so we'll do it again for 110.
Tomorrow morning we head back home. I hear one can buy freezer-packed herring at the airport so I might have to bring one home to Dan. Now that one can buy Old Amsterdam cheese at Trader Joe's, I'm assuming he doesn't expect his usual gift.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Artis Zoo

We went to market by bike this morning. I rode the mamafiets with Brandt on the front and Fay on the back, Juul rode her stylish blue cruiser, and Marijne took Rien's bike (I don't know if it's called a papafiets...probably not). Bakfiets are all the rage here now, but I'll take my Bobike any day. Our purpose for hitting the market was fresh stroopwaffels (well, that was my purpose...the girls needed vitamins and new shoes). You may not believe this, but I was not too greedy to share my stroopwaffel with Brandt...but he ungratefully dropped his piece on the ground after making a face at it so I have suspicions he's an alien replacement. Alien or not, he gobbled up a loempia later in the morning so he wasn't undernourished.
For the afternoon we met up with Rien and Flip and went to Artis. I was very excited for Brandt to experience the zoo, but he fell asleep on the car ride over and continued snoozing for over an hour! But he eventually woke up and got to see everything. He fed a giraffe and learned the sign for butterfly. It was too cold for some of the animals to come out to their cages (like the meercats--bummer!), and it was too cold for me, too, but I think I did a good job of not revealing how wimpy I am. We spent lots of time at the indoor exhibits which helped keep us thawed.
Last night Brandt was up playing from 2 to 4:30am! I'm hoping he's adjusted now. Fortunately I'm not really adjusted to the time change myself so I don't have any trouble playing with him while the world sleeps.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Muis op fiets

Brandt insisted on playing from three to four in the morning, but otherwise we had a good night, sleeping until 9:30 local time. We borrowed Marijne's mamafiets (I'm not sure what makes it a mamafiets--it has hand brakes and gears so it's a much better ride than an omafiets) and cycled to the train station to meet Deirdre, coming in from Delft.
We did some eating and shopping and despite drizzling for our ride to town, the weather was beautiful (beautiful=sunny, but still very cold). We first stopped for a drink in Grand Cafe Brinkmann and Brandt played with a little dutch brother and sister until we were told to keep our kids off the floor. Brandt's become quite the little lover and repeatedly hugged the little girl. He hugs properly, around the shoulders now...last week he was hugging his friends around the neck, so maybe more like choking. I (and the recipients) like this method better. Brandt took a nap soon after (chasing and hugging is tiring work) so he missed out on his first uitsmeiter, but once he woke up we found a herring booth. He wouldn't eat the haring, but he did like stabbing the pieces with a toothpick, dipping in uitjes, and feeding to me. We'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hallo, Haarlem

Brandt and I left Vegas yesterday morning at 11 and arrived to Schiphol (or as the pilot said, "Ski pole") this morning at 9. I was dreading the flight, but it wasn't that bad! Our first leg was 3.5 hours to Chicago and Brandt looked out the window and snacked a bit and then we both slept for 2 hours. The second leg was 7.5 hours and I chased him up and down the aisles for a couple hours and then he slept 4 hours. The flight attendants were a bit annoyed by him, but he didn't get in anyone's way. We were in the last row on the aisle which worked well since we were right by the galley where he could run around without creating much of a ruckus.
My cousin, Marijn, met us at the airport and delivered us to her new house in Haarlem where we promptly took a 4-hour nap. We woke up just in time to visit with little Juul and Fay, who were very sweet and shared all their toys with Brandt, before dinner. Brandt was really into the fish so I'm hoping I can give him his first pickled herring this trip!
After dinner we rushed off to Bloemendaal for a bi-annual kids clothing rummage sale for charity. Unfortunately the sizes started at 98 and I think Brandt is a 92, but Marijn found a lot of good stuff for the girls and I got Brandt 2 books for 1 Euro each and a shirt he'll grow into for 75 cents. He fell asleep as soon as we got home so I think he's already adjusted to the time! I think I shouldn't have had a coffee at 4pm because I'm not sure how I'll do overnight...