Search This Blog

Jul 7, 2011

Blossoming baby

Charlotte took a long time to walk, and until then, she was somewhat shy and very dependent on us. This led to a lot of clinging, frustration when being put down, and not a lot of initiative. Not the most fun period of her life I would say.
But since she started walking a month ago, she has blossomed into this happy and energetic baby. She loves visiting the older classrooms at her daycare, walks confidently into Daniel's classroom (for 3-year olds), climbs everywhere at the playground, loves the water play area at Great America or Mitchell Park. There is no stopping her! All of a sudden, the familiar baby classroom at daycare has become unattractive, and Charlotte really tries hard to spend time with the toddlers next door instead (she is 2 months away from moving up officially, but as one of the oldest babies in her class, she is allowed to visit when space permits)

And her interactions are becoming so delightful! Her smiles when she sees us, priceless. So innocent and completely radiant! And the laughs, hugs and expressions. So cute! I find myself stopping in my actions when I see one of these smiles. Daniel is already past this phase, so I know this won't last. And I feel bad for him for paying so much attention to these little, almost insignificant things his sister does. He must be wondering why she is getting so much attention and not him. But I can't help. This is so cute. Wouldn't you agree?

Read more

Jul 3, 2011

Great 24-hour weekend - needs a repeat

We took advantage of the 3-day weekend for 4th of July to do a quick 24-hour get away to Monterey and Santa Cruz. Our work weeks are currently packed, and we usually don't have much energy to spend an entire weekend on the go. But the 3-day weekend was an opportunity for us to go away a little, without sacrificing time at home. Our plans were to leave for Monterey on Friday night, stay there overnight, visit the aquarium on Saturday morning and drive back home via Santa Cruz in the afternoon. It turned out to be near-perfect!

We arrived in Monterey just in time to enjoy the sunset by the marina and have a great dinner. We already felt rested within a few hours. Charlotte had slept on the way to Monterey, so she was very fit and happy in the restaurant despite the late hour. Sadly, Daniel didn't do so well. While he had been very excited about seeing the boats (and negotiated to add the "boat" museum in our program for the next day), he spent dinner curled up on Guido's lap. It turns out that he had food poisoning that started right after dinner (good timing!) until about 5am during the night. Not fun. I already saw our plans fall apart since 3 out of 4 of us had spent most of the night getting up every 30 minute or so. Too bad, the first weekend away in a long time, and it was going to be a waste!

For some reason, though, Daniel woke up at his usual time looking pretty refreshed and energetic. Despite his empty stomach, he was still interested in the "boat museum" (that was thankfully closed - I heard it's not very kid-friendly) and the aquarium. So Guido and I took a deep breath, grabbed a large coffee and got going. The aquarium turned out to be a lot of fun. The splash zone was a hit for both Daniel and Charlotte, except that it didn't leave us much time to visit the rest of the exhibits. Oh well.

After 2.5 hours or so in the aquarium, the kids started to be tired, so we headed to the car where they fell asleep pretty quickly. The weather was beautiful, Daniel's stomach was back to normal and we adults felt quite fit too. So, we grabbed another coffee and drove to Santa Cruz while the kids got some rest. In Santa Cruz, we visited the Seymour museum (probably not worth it after the aquarium, but we wanted to check it out after hearing good things about it). We then headed to the boardwalk. Meaning, we fought traffic for a long time, like over an hour. Guido ended up dropping me with the kids first, while he did several rounds for parking. This was probably the most disappointing part of the day. On the positive side, though, this left us time to enjoy the beach and to get a taste of the sea. Then, we all headed to the Boardwalk and were pleasantly surprised by all the kids-friendly attractions. Daniel and Charlotte had a blast, they kept going and trying new things. Charlotte took a few baby carousels by herself and she loved them!

Not sure where everyone got their energy that day, but we all had a great time! I couldn't believe that day went so well. 4 people on far less sleep than optimal, a lot of exhausting activities, and everything went smooth. Wow! And we came back home happy, with 2 more weekend days to enjoy! This is a recipe we need to keep, this time with no sick kid, though.

Stay tuned for more summer trips. We actually have quite a few in our calendar already. It looks like both kids are becoming easy travelers now. The next few months should be good!

Read more