Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stevens Pass

It snowed a lot this week so we deemed the local mountains worth checking out. Stevens Pass sounded good online so we drove two hours to give it a looksee.
Dan went boarding while Brandt and I hung out in the lodge. Dan said the snow was good, but the lodges were a little disappointing--they both felt like cafeterias. I think we're spoiled by Mammoth. If it's still snowy next weekend maybe we'll check out one of the other ski areas. There seem to be a lot to choose from.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crouped up

Poor little Brandt started coughing yesterday and the internet tells me it's croup. It doesn't seem like a bad case because he's not having any trouble breathing or sleeping, but the barking cough is very sad to listen to. I guess he contracted it from Rachel the Pig.
I think this is your first glimpse of our lovely flowered stairs. Brandt's been working on walking up and down them and is getting quite good. He usually holds the railing on the bottom half and trails a hand along the railingless wall on the top half. When he's in a hurry he'll still often crawl up or down and he's just now starting to walk a little bit hands-free. Dan finds it extremely scary to watch, but the boy's gotta learn someday.
These Gerbers training pants are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Brandt can pull them off if he really wants to, but he usually leaves them on so no more baby flashing the neighbors! Before getting the underwear I could usually get him in a t-shirt, but nothing else. And he just loves to stand on the back of the couch looking out the window so it was a little embarrassing. The pants are a little on the big side since they only go down to 18 months size, but at 3 pairs for $6, it's better to have 'em too big than invest in super expensive custom-made tiny undies.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rachel the Pig

It was a balmy 50 degrees out today so Brandt and I walked twelve blocks to the Pike Place Market while the car was getting worked on. We didn't see any fish being thrown, but Brandt made friends with Rachel the pig, the mascot of the market.
I finally found a pair of jeans that fits Brandt well! We went to Value Village (30 items for $35!!) and I found this great pair of pants. But now I'm thinking they might be girl jeans because this is the first time I've seen skinny-legged boy jeans. But they don't look feminine, right? They don't have any pink stitching or butterflies on them. I might have to keep an eye on the girl section in the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scenic gondola ride

Brandt and I rode the gondola from main lodge while Dan tore it up on the slopes. The little dude doesn't understand perspective yet--when he saw the skiers far below he shouted "bee!" and signed "baby." Too funny.
I thought Brandt would adore the gondola and we'd have to ride over and over, but he was done after one ride. However, he did like the bus back down the mountain. A snowboarder boarded the bus at The Village and sat next to us and Brandt was mesmerized. I'm not sure if Brandt was smitten with the kid's two slices of pizza or his helmet or his iPod earphones. Whatever it was, he couldn't take his eyes of the guy. Fortunately, the boarder didn't mind being stared at and even apologized for tempting Brandt with his pizza (assuming it was the pizza. I think it was the earphones).
Then Brandt spent much of the evening attacking Dan's nose. He snuck in nibbles between kisses to keep Dan off-guard. All in all, a great day in the mountains.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mammoth Lakes

Yeah, there's snowboarding only an hour away from Seattle, but there's no good snow here so we flew to Reno and then drove three hours to Mammoth last night.
We started the day with brunch at The Stove (yum!) and by the time we were done Brandt was ready to nap so Dan hit the mountain solo. We've never been up here without the dogs so I took Brandt out for walks a few times today out of habit. He didn't like touching the snow with bare hands and he really like wearing big things on his hands (oven mitts, Uncle Alex's slippers, Dan's old gloves) so things worked out OK.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fingers crossed

Bummer about the blurriness of this picture, but it's the first I've captured Brandt's new finger-crossing trick. He's such a dextrous little guy and his long skinny fingers definitely work to his advantage.
I love going out to dinner on Valentine's Day because the people watching is excellent--once we sat next to a breakup, once we heard a new boyfriend go on and on about diamonds and how travelling to Russia to hand-pick one is the best way to get a good rock, and once Dan heard the guy at the table behind us relate story after story about a supposed relative, but then realized he was [unsuccessfully] trying to entertain his date with Everybody Loves Raymond anecdotes. Good stuff! But today we went to brunch instead. We went to Greenlake Bar and Grill and brunch was much better than happy hour hamburgers. Plus we discovered that Brandt likes sitting in a booster seat. High chairs don't contain him for long, but he sat contentedly in the booster the whole meal. Let's hope the good times last.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Doll stroller

Now that we use a stroller, every time Brandt's at a house with a doll stroller he goes straight for it. I've wanted to get him one, but most stores only carry pink or purple ones. Brandt and I don't mind him having a pink or purple toy, but for Dan's sake, I've been on the lookout for a blue, black or brown one.
I finally found one at Top Ten Toys. This store is so cool--check out their FAQ:
Do you sell Barbie?
Sorry, we don't sell Barbie, or Bratz, or Polly Pockets. Our niche is slightly different than big chain stores and often times we couldn't hope to compete with them on high-mass-market items anyway.
Do you sell toy Guns?
Nope. We have a non-violence policy in the toys we carry, so we don't carry any toy guns, bows and arrows or swords.
I put this pair of pictures up because Dan loves when Brandt cleans up after himself ("He's just like me!" Dan says). Brandt does way more messing up of stuff than putting away at this point, so he's not a mini-Danny just yet.
Dan has tried putting stuffed animals in the stroller a couple times, but Brandt immediately tips it forward to crush the passenger. He's cool shuttling around blocks and sand shovels, but that's it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Arboretum

We had brunch with Dan's coworker and then walked down to the arboretum. Brandt and I have visited here once before and I was again annoyed by their signs announcing "Due to our mild climate we can host a wide variety of plants." Mild??? Pah-leese.
But we had a great walk and Brandt threw rocks and twigs in a lake and ran through leaves and chased a couple dogs. I think we'll come back in a few months when the flowers are all in bloom and when the climate will feel mild.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

SoZo

Today we walked to the new SoZo (South of the Zoo) Indoor Playspace. It was cool and definitely worth the $2 for two hours (it's only open 9:30-11:30 Tues and Thurs), but I was a little disappointed by the ride-on toys. I read they had a lot of ride-on toys and had hoped for little bicycles, but it was all cars. Brandt likes those OK, but they're so low to the ground that they seem awkward and don't go very fast.
He really enjoyed the toddler roller coaster (here's a better picture of it). Fortunately he and a three-year old were the only kids using it because it was hard enough getting them to swap turns.
Ug, speaking of the walk over, I saw it was only a mile and a half away so I walked there and planned to do laps around the lake afterwards while Brandt napped. I should have checked a topographical map because 50th was quite a hill! Until I turned the corner and saw 50th I was thinking it would be a nice bike ride over in the future. Needless to say, the downhill walk home was fine, but it was extra cold today so we skipped the lake walk.