Saturday, July 28, 2007

Blame Harry

We got sucked into Harry Potter Land this week. Jen and I were able to borrow two copies, and read into the wee hours of the night (er, morning) until we finished. Between that and trying to get ready to leave town again, our vacation post fell by the wayside. But several of the pictures really are worth sharing, so I now present to you:

THE TOP 10 VACATION PHOTOS (from that trip, anyway)

1. Natalie had her first ice cream truck treat. Here she is pondering the beauty of the ice cream sandwich (and trying to determine just how much Mommy stole while "helping" her).


2-4. Quinn and her moms visited and the girls activated their wonder twin powers, multiplied themselves, turned into dinosaurs and exchanged hugs that only sometimes resulted in a tackle. Um, sorry about that, Quinn. Quinn also taught Natalie the joys of climbing, so that she spend the rest of the visit climbing onto and off of my mom's couch.


Mirrored Tunnel


5. We visited with Sanna and Emilin, and the girls engaged in bizarre, yet entertaining bed acrobatics while Emilin packed more boxes.

Bed Silliness

6. Natalie had her first carousel ride and loved it.

Dragon Rider

7. We explored many wonderful playgrounds, and Natalie spent MOST of her free time climbing "Uppa!" stairs and other vertical surfaces.

More Uppa!

8. Natalie found the cat door an entertaining and satisfying way to watch for Mommy when she went downstairs to do laundry.

Oh, THERE she is!

9. This trip presented Natalie with her first chance as a toddler to live with pets. There are three cats!, a dog! and a bird at Grandma's and another dog! at Grandpa's. This thrilled Natalie to no end, terrorized the cats, and -- at least during mealtimes -- delighted the dogs. (The bird and the toddler only saw each other rarely and with mutual suspicion.)

Meeting the Cat

10. We went to a wedding, where Natalie trailed happily after the big kids, watching in fascination and trying to imitate everything they did. She found the dance floor a delightful place to run around. She danced a little bit, but mostly, once the music started, she stared intently at the musicians trying to figure out how they were making those wonderful noises. She had never seen instruments on this scale before (she's mostly only encountered guitars), and was awed and amazed.


Friday, July 20, 2007

The Space Between

Since you last heard from us, we've...
...celebrated Cait's 30th birthday with a small gathering of friends, a large quantity of chocolate cupcakes, and a gift that seems to have made up for the pox on the party.
...taken over 400 pictures with above-mentioned gift.
...recovered from shingles (all hail antivirals!) and presumed chicken pox.
...traveled over a thousand miles in the new microvan crossover vehicle (all hail the Mazda5! It's a dream!).
...become reacquainted with four grandmas, one grandpa, two aunts and two uncles and COUNTLESS cousins, learning lots of new names and signs in the process.
...learned several new words: up! down! doll! out! stop! owl!
...visited with friends and waved goodbye to others as they moved to new adventures (sniff!).
...eaten lots of good bread, ice cream, and chocolate.
...not slept nearly enough. Ah well, it can't all be good, can it?

Pictures (not all 400) to follow.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Chicken Dance

Natalie has spots that look like this and this and this. We're not positive that it's the pox, but what else could it be? So we're keeping her away from people and taking all the necessary precautions.

This is one time when living in cohousing sucks. If we had our own yard, she could go out and play and not see or infect anyone. Here it's just not possible. And one of our (adult) neighbors hasn't had chicken pox, and a few others have compromised immune systems, so we really do need to be careful. We're letting her go out early in the morning when no one else is up and about yet. Of course, we have to keep her quiet, so as not to piss off the people who don't like kid noise early in the morning.

Other than that, though, we've got to keep a seemingly-healthy kid entertained in a not-so-big house when she'd really much rather be playing outside. Strategies so far include:
  • Dance party. Jen's stepmom gave us a CD of kid music set to a sort of baby techno beat. It's like being in a tiny and somewhat bizarre club.
  • Jam session. Natalie and I played various instruments along with above mentioned baby techno. She's getting pretty good on caterpillar.
  • Youtube. We found a video that I think will help Jen with my birthday cake. Natalie was unimpressed.
  • And, of course, books, books, and more books. Thank god she inherited the love of books.
Later today, we're having some friends over to celebrate my 30th birthday. I think about 2 people are still coming. But we will have fun. And eat LOTS of cake. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find my kakensmoosher.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Advice Column

  • Do not ever Google "painful spreading rash". Just don't.
  • On the other hand, if you HAVE such a rash, and your partner tells you to go to the doctor because you keep complaining about it, go.
  • And don't wait 5 days before you go.
  • If somebody tells you "You're not OLD ENOUGH to have shingles!"? Smack them.

Yes, two weeks into summer break and vastly reduced stress, I have come down with shingles (supposedly usually brought on by stress). Luckily so far it seems to be a contender for the title of world's mildest case, as it's mainly the gross rash and general fatigue. We're getting pretty accustomed to fatigue around here so I hadn't really even noticed it.

We are, however, a bit worried that Natalie has gotten chicken pox as a result of exposure to the rash. She was vaccinated but the varicella vax is not 100% effective and she's only had one dose so far. We are keeping watch over her collection of odd little blistery bumps and will keep you updated.

I am finding lots of chocolate to be a pretty good treatment for shingles, by the way.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Seeking Stroller Advice

We're heading off for Grandma's in a week or so and are starting to think about packing. Now that we have the Mazda5 we do have lots of room but we don't want to overdo it. As avid babywearers we don't usually bring a stroller but wearing a nearly 28 lb. kid* in the summer heat does have its limits. So we're thinking about either bringing a stroller or buying one that will live at Grandma's permanently. Bringing us to the question(s) at hand:

Are there any CHEAP strollers out there that are manageable for tall parents?
Do you know of any crazy stroller sales going on now that we should know about?

*a slightly early 15 month appointment measured her at 27 lbs. 12 oz. and 32 inches (a jump of 2 bands on the height charts!).