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Last weekend we took our third birthday trip to San Antonio this year, this time in celebration of my nephew Xavier’s very first birthday. Monkey cupcakes, two bouncers, a piñata, a water table, individually labeled lunch sacks for kids, yummy food, family, friends, and fellowship. My brother and sister-in-law can throw a party, you hear me?
The sweltering heat helped in that it assured a solid afternoon nap for Mateo and Harper (and Mommy and Matou!). That evening, we ordered takeout burgers and congregated at Grandma Yoyi’s house and watched all five nieces and nephews play together. Mateo was up until 8:00 p.m. hanging out with his night owl cousins, but despite the activity, Harper was all “EXCUSE ME! IT’S 6:30 AND I HAVE GOT TO GO TO BED!”
We took the kids to their first dental appointment shortly after they turned fourteen months. Because there’s nothing as fun as holding your child’s arms down while a stranger pokes foreign objects into their mouths. While you take pictures with the other hand. Hello? BLOG!
Teeth are such a hangup for me that I DREAM ABOUT THEM. Of my two recurring nightmares is that my teeth begin crumbling inside my mouth as I’m either trying to communicate or receive important information, and I lose the ability to enunciate. The other one is that I’m in a plane crash and I have to keep passengers calm and triage them by the severity of their injuries. I’m never injured. And at least once, I have dreamed I was in a plane crash and my teeth are falling out while I’m trying to care for the injured. I KNOW, RIGHT?
We placed a bookshelf in front of the fireplace in the living room, and typically it might look something like this:
In an effort to minimize stuff, we keep the other 40+ books we have put away and rotate them out, keeping less than 15 available at any one time. Throughout the day, the books (and the bookshelf, for that matter) garner lots of attention as shown here:
A few weeks ago, we would come home from work to find a very lean looking bookshelf like the one below. Which we found a little odd because WHERE WERE THE BOOKS? Not feeling like searching the house high and low for books, and forgetting to ask the nanny if they were being collected elsewhere, we’d put out a few more books.
But if you peek over the top of the bookshelf, there’s a dark abyss. And I’ve previously mentioned Mateo is fascinated with putting things “away”.
And a light went off in our collective mama heads. Anticipating the logical conclusion, I grabbed the camera while Jennifer pulled back the bookshelf to reveal this:
Last week was Spring Break for half of the earth, and we actually landed on the itinerary of some friends who were coming through town from Dallas. Which is more of an effort than many of our pre-kids friends have made and they live less than twelve miles away. Ouch. Do you need a rag to wipe up the hurt feelings I just threw up all over your monitor? Come visit and I’ll give you one.
I’ve known Sam (right) since we were both hyper-competitive, cocky, self-absorbed young professionals in New Orleans. And then we grew up. Ish. Alicia (left) is a loyal reader and bee charmer who had the patience and wherewithall to settle Sam’s ass down. Lucky Sam.
We played in the back yard and visited for about an hour, catching up on the recession’s impact on the job market, what it’s like for them raising two adolescent boys, how kids these days are coddled and never given the opportunity to be independent and self-sufficient thinkers, learning styles, and the elasticity of property values. Which is to say that we sounded EXACTLY LIKE OUR PARENTS.
Quite a departure from a decade ago when we were making plans to see a band at Howling Wolf or Tipitina’s or The Mint, sushi at Ninja, or fine-tuning the recipe for summer beer at the weekend summer annuals. Good times, both old and new.
Over the last couple years, I have sold countless items on Craigslist. That 65 inch projection screen HD television we had in the ‘burbs that wouldn’t fit in the house when we went urban? SOLD to the Mexican family that came streaming out of a pickup truck. And they didn’t even have cable. The first receiver I ever purchased? SOLD to the surgeon who wanted a little music in his garage workshop. The beloved jumparoo that gave us five or ten precious minutes to pee and change a load of laundry? SOLD to the grandma who wanted something fun for when her grandchild comes for a visit.
Oh, we’ve bought used – for SURE. Just a few days a go, Jennifer brought a bag of kids clothes purchased at Goodwill. We’ve purchased clothes from the mom’s of multiples garage sale. And we’ve purchased used toys from family’s in our multiples group and from our neighborhood group, like this laugh and learn Learning Home we bought for $20 (and retails for four times that).
But I have never before PURCHASED something off of Craigslist. Until last week. We purchased a playhouse and climb & slide from a family that lives in the burbs near Jennifer’s workplace. This photo shows one at a church (the photo the seller sent us). Theirs was never used outdoors and so it was in particularly great shape.
It takes up quite a bit of our postage-stamp sized urban backyard, but it’s a nice home alternative to them staying indoors all day or having to head to the park. Just another “station” for these growing and increasingly mobile and brave miracles. Here are a few pictures of the RJBs enjoying it in our backyard after Matou set it up yesterday morning.
My biker dude dad and his wife sent the kids Harley Davidson Build-A-Bears. I’ve only ever seen Build-A-Bear studios from afar, and found myself inching towards the opposite walls, because that many bears and that many kids makes me kinda nervous? The bears they sent were docked out in leather jackets and orange Harley bandana’s. I’m not sure if they were purchased that way, like a Meal Deal at McDonalds, or if, gasp, my dad and his wife went in and built them this way. And if that’s the case, I have a completely different view of my dad and his wife, including What Were You Smoking?
Which is probably the same thing I could have asked Jennifer AND THE NANNY when I came home to them playing gangsta dressup with with the kids. Introducing GangstaTato and GangstaCita, photos courtesy of Matou. Don’t mess with dem, yo.
COMING NEXT WEEK: I’m going to do a three-, maybe four-part series on airline travel and over-night stay suggestions based on, wait for it, our SINGLE EXPERIENCE. But that’s the beauty of the internet: anyone can be an expert. Why three-, maybe four- parts? Because all that written on one post is painfully long, and because I have a short attention span, and because traveling with infants takes a lot of parts, at least when it’s more than one, and because I wanted to be detailed enough to be a decent resource, at least in part, for someone who wanted an overview that they could tweak from. Stay tuned.