Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Things I never thought I'd hear myself say

We don't eat lunch naked. Please put on your underwear at least!

No, cucumbers don't go in your ear!

Take your sister's underwear off your head --- No! not in your mouth!

Please don't sniff your brother's tushie anymore.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Love - All

As long as I can remember my dad has played tennis. He tried many times in my childhood to get my sister and I interested. It never really stuck. Maybe it was too slow, required too much skill to be exciting; or maybe I had too many other activities vying for my time.

For an embarrassingly long time since I became an adult, I've intended to sign up for a tennis class. FINALLY - I've done it! Its just with the local community activity center, but we've got a great coach (my dad got to play my coach and said so ;-)) and I'm having lots of fun. I can see how the game becomes addictive.
Grandy is also keen to get the next generation out of the court and has already bought Peanut her first racquet when she was about a year old. There must be something to it. Grandy bounced the ball around on the racquet when we visited him and the next time Peanut saw him many months later, the first thing she did was turn around, run out of the room to her room and return holding her tennis racquet.

During their visit here last month, Grandy took us all out for a little training session. It was Papa's first time on a tennis court and it was hard to break out of the squash playing mold as you can tell by the "I'm going to send this one into orbit" look of determination on his face.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Sandbox

Now that Tex has more/less (sometimes less) eating sand, we spend many mornings and afternoons at the many parks around our home. Here in California, most parks are filled with white sand -- its like being at the beach! The Texas parks usually had a mulchy-type of bark filling which I thought could easily give you splinters and really didn't provide a soft landing. The few Boston-area parks we visited also had bark.

I love the sand. The entire park is one giant sandbox and many children leave their shoes behind as they race around and climb on the equipment. We haven't found any nasty surprises hidden in the sand outside of discarded bandaids and the occasional piece of unidentifiable plastic.

Peanut and Tex both have a good time digging, shoveling and rolling around in the sand. Most of the area parks are known to us by the animals that live there - Camel Park, Whale Park, Shark Park.

I do find it strange that many people bring their dogs to the parks and then let their young children take the leash and run the animals in the sand. Or force them up the equipment and down the slides. It worries me since you never know how dogs may react to the rowdy children and perhaps their younger owners can't control them. Maybe its just me - I'm not a big dog person.

At most parks there is always at least one little child who I think of as the California Wildchild. Its always a girl, barefoot, very tanned with long tussled hair and often in a cotton sundress - no matter what the weather. A parent is not easy to identify as the child races around freely, taking an uncommon approach to climbing, swinging or what else she's doing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Peanut!

Our sweet little lady turned three yesterday!! Amazing how she has grown -- we are so lucky to have her in our lives.

We marked the special day with a batch of papa/Peanut cupcakes (which she no longer calls 'tuptakes') with decadent papa-made frosting consisting of butter, sugar and a sprinkling of cocoa powder. Yum!

For her birthday, we got Peanut her own little 2.5 gallon aquarium, now home to three guppies: Yellow Fish, Blue Fish and Red. They flit about among the seaweed and neon-pink flowers, hiding in the princess castle and gazing down at their hopefully-not-too-blindingly pink rocks at the bottom :-) I'm officially in charge of the health and well being of our newest family members.

Peanut remains a princess fan though fish, sea otters and whales come in a very close second. She carries on all sorts of conversations and imaginary games with her sea-life "friends" through out the day. If she's not dancing about, she loves to be outdoors digging in the sandbox, looking for snails or worms, or best of all -- at the beach! However, she still is a very sensitive little girl who doesn't like loud noises or potentially scary sights. And, if anyone has any ideas on how to get someone this age to sit still and eat an entire meal -- PLEASE -- let me know.

To make us laugh at the grocery store, she likes to take the cucumbers and stick them up to her ear -- "look mama! I have a cute-bunder in my ear, hahahaha!"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Shamu! Shamu! Shamu!

Grandy and Nana spent a wonderful week with us around Easter. We took the chance to visit Sea World - our first theme-park outting!

To be honest, I was dreading it a bit. Tex is one a year so I thought there wouldn't be much to hold his attention and once he is done with something, the little guys wants to MOVE! I thought we'd be floating in a sea of people, standing in endless lines and looking for the exit in no time at all. Our Peanut is very sensitive to noisy, large and electronic things like rides, characters, talking trash cans and quickly hides under her blanket when they frighten her. I imagined us having to carry her through the park shielding her eyes half the time.

But, none of it was true.

We all had a fabulous time. Tex and Peanut could not have been more enthralled the 45 mins we spent at the Shamu show (OK, at first the loud music got Peanut anxious, but once the whales appeared all was good), the 30 mins at the dolphin show and the hours we strolled around looking at the exhibits. Both little ones got a stuffed Shamu and now P

It wasn't crowded. It wasn't loud or obnoxious anywhere. There were no characters to run and hide from. Just a beautifully landscaped, breezy, very large park that happened to be full of opportunities to get close to wonderous and amusing marine life.

The only glitch in the system was the entry-point where eveyone was finger-printed which slowed the line. When I asked why we had to be finger printed, the Sea World employee tried to explain it wasn't finger printing, but a "biometric scan capturing five uniquely identifying characteristics of your finger". Really. You could opt to show your photo ID.

We can't wait to go again!