Saturday, January 31, 2009


So it was only for 35 minutes, but we finally made it to the beach! We went to Venice and Brandt ran around in the surf and on the sand and probably could have stayed all day.
Then we went to Culver City to hang out with Dasha. Victor made Brandt a bunch of balloon animals and he had a blast popping them all. It's hard to see in this small picture, but Brandt got his first bloody scraped knee. It's just a little scrape, but he's well on his way to boyhood with it. Brandt added to his vocabulary with "ball" today. It sounds more like a long drawn-out "bow" so it's pretty cute.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Santa Monica

We hit Santa Monica with Aunt Emilie this morning. We started at the promenade where Brandt chased a bunch of birds and rode an escalator for the first time. He liked it so much we had to do an extra trip up and down. He wanted even more, but I convinced him the birds outside were waiting for him.
Next, since I was sad we didn't get more beach time in San Diego, but not sad enough that I wanted to get sandy today, we walked along the pier. Brandt wanted to sit on a little three-horse carousel outside the arcade (actually, he wanted to sit on each of the three horses) and I got the feeling he wanted to ride for real so I stuck a couple quarters in. We tried this months ago with a car ride and it didn't go so well, but today he made it several rotations before asking to dismount.
We stared at the beach from above for a while so I started feeling neglectful and resolved to hit the beach tomorrow. At the end of the pier we saw a fisherman reel in a little octopus. Brandt was intrigued and called it (via signing) a bug and probably could have watched it flop around for a while, but I didn't want to watch him suffocate :(

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Brandt and I took a day trip down to San Diego today--yay! We spent a fun long time at the Children's Museum with Alex and kids. The best was the pillow room where we bounced around until we were all bounced out.
It was getting late by the time we made it to PB, but we were able to check on the old house (the yard looks great, but the "Hippies Use Back Door" sign is still on the fence...grr) and see the beach before it got too dark. Brandt was very excited about the ocean and charged right on in. I assumed he'd stop when he got to the cold wet sand so I hung back to take pictures...but he just kept on going. Of course then I didn't want to my feet wet to retrieve him so I tried to lure him back with promises of bananas and dogs and birds while he waded deeper and deeper (not that deep, mind you, just to below his knees). It's hard not to let a precarious situation go just a little bit longer so as to get a good photo :)
I'm a little off mexican food lately after having a couple less than satisfactory mexican meals in Seattle, but I rallied and we went to Taco Surf for fish tacos before hitting the road. Brandt loved the horchata and got very angry when it was gone, but not so angry that he scared the other patrons. He just sadly signed water and pointed at the empty cup several times.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We walked through Ferndell in Griffith Park this morning. Brandt wanted to walk on his own the whole way so it wasn't as much exercise as yesterday, but I carried him around for quite a while this morning looking for where my brother parked the car so that was my workout for the day. (Now I know he left me a note on the calendar per his usual system. Oh well.)
We walked by a little girl about Brandt's age (one day younger, it turns out) who was sitting in a stream of water, happily splashing away. I hustled us by quickly before Brandt got any ideas. Later Brandt was sitting on a step just outside Ferndell and the little girl and her mom walked up and the two toddlers gave each other the cutest looks. She was kind of hiding behind her juice box, peeking at Brandt while he tucked his chin down and looked at her with one eye while trying not to grin. I tried hard not to laugh because I didn't want to ruin the moment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Runyan Canyon

Brandt and I took a long-ass walk in Runyan Canyon with my dad today. Brandt stayed awake for the first half and saw a lot of dogs. Apparently there are ten times more dogs at "rush hour" (5pm), but we were pretty well sated. The skies were much clearer than normal and we could see for miles, including Catalina island.
We almost got out of the house without the necklaces today, but Brandt noticed them as I was opening the front door. I guess you can't be too dressed up no matter where you are in Hollywood.

Monday, January 26, 2009

John Travolta disease

We started our day with bananas and the lake again. It's so nice to go out in shorts! We wore long sleeves because it was a little cool, but the skies were nice and blue.
After a nap we went to Whole Foods to stock up on bananas and other essentials. Brandt really liked the fountain outside the store. I gave him all my pennies to throw in, much to his delight. Of course he plunged his hand in when I didn't get him a penny quickly enough, but there didn't seem to be any danger of him jumping in so I was able to back up and take a picture.
We stopped by the playground in Echo Park on our way home, but didn't stay long because it was getting pretty cold by then. Not Seattle cold, but SoCal cold. Good thing we didn't stay long because in chatting with a dad we learned that the park is very dirty and his toddler caught John Travolta disease there a while ago. I swear that's what he said. He named the disease first, but I didn't understand him so he repeated the name and said "like John Travolta." So we washed Brandt's hands really well when we got home just in case he might catch Scientology or disco fever or something worse.
Brandt discovered the mardi gras beads at Alex and Emilie's and insisted on wearing them all day. Nice to know that while he still objects to clothing in general, there are some things he'll wear. Maybe I can find a sweater with an attached necklace to get some long sleeves on him. Either that or lots and lots of mardi gras beads to cover all exposed skin.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Studio City Farmers Market

We started out the day with a walk down to the market for bananas and a lap around Echo Park lake to see the birds. Then we went to the Studio City farmers market. It's much smaller than the Hollywood one, but has tons of stuff for kids: pony rides, petting zoo, bounce house, train ride, face painting, kiddie music band. Of course Brandt wasn't brave enough to partake in any of it, but he had a great time scarfing down five huge strawberries and sucking on his honey stick. We looked at the petting zoo a bit from outside the fence, but Brandt was more intrigued by the water bowl than the goats and ducks.
I discovered this farmers market through Celebrity Baby Blog (only the greatest site in the world), but for the record, I was more interested in seeing the kiddie stuff than celebs. We did end up seeing one pseudo-celeb, though: Puck from the Real World. I didn't recognize him, I just thought he was a super whiney dad ("My leg hurts!") limping along with a cane and silly gloves, but Alex recently watched a Where are they now? show so he identified him.
After a nap we met Baby Miles at Swork, a coffee shop with kids play area. Baby Miles is 16 months old now so I guess he's just Miles now. Sworkland (that's what they call the kid area) was really cool and we shut the place down (meaning, Brandt and Miles were the last babies to leave, at six).
See the new shoes? They were a failed experiment. They were only $2.99 at Value Village, so a cheap failed experiment. I just need to memorize what brands work on skinny feet and not be taken in by cheap cute impulse buys.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Escape from Seattle

Brandt and I came down to LA this morning. We flew Virgin America--way cool with their old rock music and purple-lit airplane. I didn't watch any of the free TV, but the games were pretty cool, if buggy.
We went out to dinner at Taix for my dad's birthday and it was great, but slow. Brandt was very patient (for a toddler). We took a few walking around breaks and on one he met a two-and-a-half year old named Archer whom he had a great time chasing him up and down the hallway. He also found a small puppy figurine left behind by a little girl and that just made his day. I hope he doesn't get too attached to it because it's way too small not to keep from getting lost soon.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Beach Comber Kids Cuts

We went to Beach Comber Kids Cuts (voted "Best Salon for Kids" in 2007 in Seattle Magazine) today. No, it wasn't for Brandt's hair--he probably still has another year to grow before he needs a trim. I heard that on Fridays they cut and color adult hair and I was desperately in need. I really wanted to sit on the dolphin, but apparently those are just for the little ones so I sat in a normal chair.
It turns out they cut adult hair on all days, but Friday is the only day they have a babysitter on the premises for $10 an hour. Brandt's still not keen on hanging out with strangers (OK, or with anyone but me or Dan) so I saved the $20 and he hung out with me. There was still plenty of stuff to distract him and I had my most enjoyable haircut since he was born.
He started out sitting in a teeny chair next to me watching a Baby Einstein. We've only seen BE a couple times: the first time I was mesmerized while Brandt ignored it and the second time neither of us paid attention. I guess today's wild animal episode was just more intriguing to a little dude. He probably watched twenty minutes before he started making forays into the adjacent play room.
The doggie-ear jacket is starting to look awfully familiar, no? It's the only coat and the only hat/hood he tolerates. Thank goodness the arms are long enough because it's called size 6-12 months. Gotta love that inconsistent sizing of baby clothing. I have a couple hats that fasten under his chin so he can't rip them off if I stick them on him, but it's just not worth the screaming fit.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Big boots

Here's a better look at Brandt's new shoes. The vans and one pair of socks were not sufficient to keep his feet from icing up during one lap around the lake...and then taking over an hour under the blankets at home to thaw out.
It was impossible to find warm shoes in stock anywhere so these are size 8 (he's normally a 5 or a 6, depending on the brand). They were only $2.99 at Savers so I can't complain. Actually, we're so close to Canada that the Savers are called Value Village here. Weird. And I can fit several pairs of socks under them. I figure he won't do much walking in them so they won't mess up his feet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Green Lake

We unburied the magic stroller from the garage and took a family walk around the lake this evening.
There are always bunches of birds, dogs, and rocks, so Brandt had a great time. Hopefully he'll pick up some words for those three things soon, though, because he won't leave his hands under the warm blanket to continuously sign about the scenery!

Monday, January 5, 2009

First words (sort of)

Brandt has his first word! Unfortunately it's not mama or dada, but poo. He also tries to say Lyle, which sounds like A-la-la-la-la and when he sees O's (Cheerios) he says Ooh.

I swear he said bubble in the bath last night, but it's hard to get him to repeat that one. Oh, and per Dan's suggestion, please know that Brandt is not looking at real poo in the video. I'm showing him a cartoon of a dog going poo. It's his favorite book, natch.