Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kyrgyz Products for A Good Cause

We interrupt our regular program with this late breaking update on how you can both get some shopping done and help a good cause this holiday season.

Follow this link to see the many wonderful Kyrgyz made items for sale on ebay and etsy. Proceeds go to Kyrgyzstan to help the orphans.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Family came from Southern California to celebrate Dylan's 2nd birthday. Dylan opened some presents early, like his new red vintage play kitchen and chef's accessories.

We held a smallish birthday celebration at Hap Magee Ranch Park. Family and friends, hot weather, grilling, summer fun and cake.

Candles freaked Dylan out even though we have tried to practice at home for the last couple of weeks.

Enjoying some red velvet cake with Uncle Hil.

Where are all the kids?

After some fun in the water.

Exhausted in Mommy's arms

How does that song go? "I'm too sexy for my diaper, too sexy for Danville, ..."

Then we continued to celebrate with family at home. What a perfect birthday celebration for a 2 year old.

The Shortest Camping Trip in History?

We knew we wanted to try camping with Dylan before the summer was over. However, being the great planners that we are, we decided just a tiny bit late. Fortunately, we we able to secure a small spot at our local campgrounds at Lake Chabot. The spot is about a 25 minute drive from our home. We figured that if it started to turn into a disaster, we could pack up and go home.

Dylan is ready to go camping. Let's go!

Is there any room for another bag?

We were joined by our good friends Brooke, Pete and their daughter Maisey for a Saturday to Sunday camping trip. We got a late start getting there because being we tried to pack our house into our vehicle for this overnight trip. Then we figured we needed more food and stopped at the store to pick up some more.

We finally got to the teeny spot by 4:30 pm, just in time for a short walk to see the vista of Lake Chabot (which is beautiful), and return to our spot to set up our borrowed tent and get ready to grill some burgers for dinner.

Even though this was a whirlwind camping trip, we had a blast just the same hanging out with great folks. Bill and Pete played guitar for everyone. Dylan and Maisey took turns driving the car and ate pistachios. Brooke and I chatted, as usual. We started a fire on the grill and had wonderful burgers, snacks and wine, and the night was almost perfect. Perfect, except for the headlights from cars that are coming down the road next to our spot, and perfect, except that we forgot Dylan's froggie at home and had to find a somewhat suitable substitute, perfect except for the 2 drunks having a very loud conversation by the nearest dumpster, perfect except for the large family camping trip that caused a huge rucus at 2 am, and perfect except for the sound of the trains and the helicopters coming through Oakland all night.

The next morning, we continued our lazy last summer hurrah with the perfect morning weather. We spent the morning munching on the abundance of food we brought, walking around the campgrounds, chasing Dylan who has decided that running up and down the road was the fun, and watching Dylan have fun with ice and juice.All in all, we learned that Lake Chabot was entirely too close to the city to be peacefully quiet at night, but it reaffirms that with good company, the venue isn't as important, Like I said, we had a blast nonetheless and I would consider Dylan's first camping trip a success.

A Whole Lot of Summer Going On / Sept. 4 - 7 Weekend

We've been busy house shopping and visiting with family this summer. We just came back from another fun-filled weekend in Los Angeles to continue house hunting, celebrate my brother's birthday and visit with the family.

Usually, aside from general cuteness, there is nothing much to write. This trip, Dylan surprised us. We put him down for his usual nap. He usually goes down for about an hour and a half and when he wakes up, he lies there for a bit and babbles. Imagine the surprise when he came out from the hallway after about an hour and said "Hi" with a big grin on his face. Yes, he has learned to escape from his pack n' play.

I could not figure out how he learned to pull himself up and over the edge of the pack n' play because it is pretty high. It goes up to his chest. Fortunately, he got a chance to show us later on. As to be expected, Dylan is not a fan of bedtime when we are in L.A. There is just too much to do, too many exciting things to explore and too many people to keep him entertained and vice versa. We usually set up his pack n' play as his bed. We place it wedged between the wall and the bed. It's not his favorite place to sleep so he will usually fight for a little. He will cry for about 2 minutes and usually go to sleep. We tried our luck again at bedtime that night. He cried for a little longer than usual but soon, it quieted down. I figured he had fallen asleep but I stood by the door for a minute to make sure he had fallen asleep. About a minute later, with my ear on the door, I was startled with click of the door knob. He managed to escape out of the pack n' play (again). This time it was pitch black in the room and I never heard him making his maneuvers in the dark. So what was I to do but take him back to the room and start over.

When we went back in, I asked him to show me how get out, and he happily did. He grabbed the edge of the pack n' play with one hand and reached out to the bed and grabbed the blanket on the big bed with the other. He then pulled his way up and over the edge of the pack n'play. He then got himself onto onto the bed and then edged his way off the bed and then walked to the door. Once he's at the door, he is clear. He learned to open that a long time ago. From there, he walked out into the hallway and into the living room where he knew everyone can be found having a good time without him.

So we had to execute plan B. I laid in bed with him for 45 minutes. He stroked my face gently and not so gently at times. He touched my eyes, nose, ears cheek, then his and then mine again. He babble some cute stuff I could not understand, snuggled up next to me and then finally fell asleep.

There ends the duties of our beloved pack n'play, and the start of our nighttime snuggle bug.

Yet another fun thing he learned is how to use a straw sippy cup. At first he kept tilting it up light his other sippy cups and we kept pulling it down to his chest to keep the liquid at straw's reach. After a day, he figured it out, but in the cutest way. I think maybe that he thought it was about his chin touching his chest that would do the trick. So everytime he could not get to the liquid, he would pull his chin down to his chest and sip.

What a great weekend of breakthroughs with the little guy.