Saturday, August 23, 2008

Alex's First...

...Yuppie-Environmentalist Vacation

Dan and I finally got a chance to get away from LA on a mini-vacation. We left our focus-intensive 2-year old at home but brought the less-difficult-during-the-day-but-doesn't-like-sleeping-away-from-own-room baby. Thus the premise for the "Vacation" part of the "Yuppie-Environmentalist" adventure.

Why "Yuppie"? We went to a winery in Mendocino county, a bit north of San Francisco. Now, we didn't actually set out to go to a winery in Mendocino county. But thanks to Ralphine, we ended up with a weekend get-away package for four. And thanks to our inability to accomplish anything in a reasonable timeframe (blame placed on children here), and to Liz, we ended up with a booking that we could take advantage of this year instead of when I was pregnant last year. The yuppie wine vacation included events such as wine tasting and boating. Here are some pictures and videos:

Dan, Angela, Alex, Liz, Mike near the Tasting Room

Alex Boating while attached to Dan

Dan Tubing
(Don't worry, Alex isn't attached to him here, he stayed on the boat)

Water Skiing
The most successful of Mike's attempts,
he was the only one daring enough to try.

And finally to explain the "environmentalist" part of the event. The winery was a carbon-neutral organic place. Great for tasty grapes, not so good for recycled biodegradable bottle labels that come off when you refrigerate the wine.

So will Alex have another "Yuppie-Environmentalist Vacation" in his life? Probably not soon. If we get another chance to go away on this sort of adventure, I think we will leave both kids home. Will had a good time with his friend Asha. They played pretty well, then kind of got tired of each other after about a day.

Collecting Things

We have too many things. However, it seems that we have started a new collection of things. We have "state-themed" stuff. This originally came about during the business trip that Alex and I took to Minnesota at the end of July. Robin and Daniel were going to meet us near THE MALL for dinner, but first they were stopping at THE MALL to get a travel gift for Will. They tried to find the state bird of Minnesota, allegedly the loon, but could not.

However, when I got to the airport, I found a stuffed loon. So Alex ended up with a bird to take home with him. As for Will, he likes magnets, so we got him a magnet with the state of Minnesota in the background and a loon in the foreground.

Kids with Loon Video

So if you must provide the kids with some sort of gift, think about the state you live in. Perhaps some day Will and Alex will be the proud owners of state-themed stuff such as:

State Stone of Michigan - Petoskey Stone
State Soil of Oregon - Jory
State Muffin of Minnesota - Blueberry
State Marine Mammal of California - California Gray Whale
State Amphibian of Arizona - Arizona Tree Frog
State Insect of Alaska - Four Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly
State Carnivorous Plant of North Carolina - Venus Flytrap

Of course, it is probably better to stay away from the State Soils as Alex would probably eat them. He further demonstrated his desire to eat dirt today when he found some sand that had been dumped from Will's shoes on the kitchen floor.

Oh, and please, no decorative spoons. The decorations come off when the kids try to use them. And they aren't really for eating anyway, but try to explain that to an 18.5 month old (the kids' average age).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Squash Mud

As a parent, you learn about many "Things-You-Didn't-Know-Existed"

Today we learned what Squash Mud looks like.

Every once in a while when we don't feel like cooking dinner, we grab deli sandwiches for Dan and myself. We get random fruits and vegetables for Will from a salad bar. Then we go to the beach and have dinner while watching the sun "go to the other side of the earth" (That's what we tell Will when he asks his nightly question, "Where did the sun go?")

As Alex is now eating solids, we brought some baby food squash along. The only problem: Alex decided, as soon as we put him down on the beach blanket, to lunge forward and bring a fist full of sand up to his mouth. Dan didn't stop him since normal babies typically grimace after putting sand in their mouths and stop doing it. Alex just reached for another handful, and another. So we tried to wash him off, but really only succeeded in washing the sand in his mouth down his throat. At that point, it really wasn't worth trying to get him clean, so we continued to wash the remaining sand down with squash. This caused much "Squash Mud" on his face and probably in his tummy.