Jumpy Jump

July 24, 2009 by

One of the most fun parts about being a toddler is that you get invited to other toddler’s birthday parties.  Today our friend Payton turned two so Scarlett and I headed over to her party and played with all her toys!  Also, it was Scarlett’s first time in a jumpy jump.  She liked it for about 10 seconds.
Scarlett&Payton

JumpyJump

JumpyJump2

SpeedRacer

First Boat Ride

July 24, 2009 by

Grandpas, prepare to be jealous:

scrunchface

dom at the tiller

Dominik and Scarlett took their first boat ride with Uncle Dwayne and they had the best time ever.

firstboatride

Lulu and Scarlett

mom, dom and kap

Dom did get a little grumpy because of some teething, but the minute he made it into Sue’s arms, everything became right in his world.

dom and sue

After the boat we had naps and snacks and play time.

scarlett and kap

ScarlettTomato

DomWaves

Out to Lunch, II

July 23, 2009 by

If the hours in my day were to be graphed in a pie chart, it might look something like this:

My Day

The good news is, look at all that sleep I’m getting.  We did some sleep training and the three nights of CIO (that’s Mom vernacular for cry-it-out) was well worth the 11 hour stretches the twins are now sleeping at night and the two hour naps they take twice a day. The sucky part is that I spend most of their nap time cleaning as well as some time after they go to bed.  Maybe I’m exaggerating when I claim that almost 1/3 of my pie is devoted to cleaning, but the pureed carrots (or oatmeal or apple sauce) have to be cleaned off the walls and floors after every meal and the bits of cheese and Cheerios have to be swept up, otherwise the twins find them several hours (or days) later and have them as a snack. And if there isn’t extra food on the floor, they have no problem eating other floor items.  Last week Dom ate a dust bunny.

I also find myself cleaning parts of our apartment that I never knew we had.  I mean, does anyone other than Martha Stewart or my friend June ever clean the supply tube and stop valve of their toilet? My stop valve is rust covered in corrosion covered in a two inch layer of dust. So naturally, it’s Dom’s favorite area of the house.  He loves to grab onto the supply tube and then put his fingers in his mouth. Mmmmmmm.

What does all of this have to do with going out to lunch? It means one less meal to clean up and more time to chase dust bunnies, which is well worth the overpriced Kid’s Entrees from the Olive Garden.

Da Spoon

Da Noodle

Da Bread

All I Can Eat

Da Crayon

Out to Lunch

July 21, 2009 by

One of the best parts of being a temporary stay at home mom is planning new activities for the toddlers.  Since M.J. works so close to home, we’ve been able to meet up with him for lunch a couple times.  Here are some photos from a recent picnic.

Dom eats lunch

keys

escapee

escapeee

run it!

messy face

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Radio Flyer

July 19, 2009 by

Thank the Universe for family.  Seriously.  M.J. and I haven’t had a hot meal in about six months (except for when we order take out, which is way too often considering the economy).  Lulu and Grand Ant Kap came to the rescue with homemade vegetarian chili and polenta as well as cupcakes for the twins’ birthday month delivered to our front door all the way from Santa Barbara. And they brought gifts!  This Radio Flyer has become one of the most popular toys in the house.

lulu+babies

ma+red

Dom and Lulu

The polenta was also a big hit with the kids.  In fact, they ate most of it.

dom+polenta

1 Year Checkup

July 15, 2009 by

We made it a full year and managed to keep our babies alive and healthy.  Aside from those pesky shots, we had a great time at Dr. Beesley’s office.

1 Year Dr

Dom Plays Doctor

Scarlett weighed in at 21 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 29 1/4 inches tall.

21

Dominik weighed in at 22 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 29 1/2 inches tall.  The nurses re-weighed and re-measured both babies because Dominik is often called El Gordo while Scarlett is referred to as La Flaca, and the mere one pound weight difference was surprising.

22

When the doctors and nurses all left the room, Scarlett took the opportunity to demonstrate her defiance:

Defiant

NOTatoy

First Birthday!

July 10, 2009 by

We’ve had such a busy week recovering from all our partying that we haven’t been able to put up any pics from the big first birthday!  Finally, here’s just a few:

Scarlett Surveys Sea

Scarlett’s not a big fan of sand.  Here, she surveys from the safety of our blanket.

Dominik Loves The Beach

Dominik loved everything about he beach, especially the sand.

Scarlett Doesn't Like Sand

Scarlett did enjoy eating a PBJ sandwich while sitting on Dad’s lap.

First Cake!

Later we had an impromptu birtday dinner at the ever kid friendly Cheescake Factory complete with first birthday cake.

Spoon for Scarlett

Scarlett has been experimenting with using a spoon and used it to good effect with the cake.

Hand Eaten

But Dominik was a little more hands on.

Twas The Night Before They Turned One …

July 10, 2009 by

Tomorrow is Dominik and Scarlett’s first birthday. I just spent an hour assembling the Playskool “Laugh & Learn Learning Home,” which will be lurking here in the living room along with their new beach gear Beth got them today. Hopefully it’ll be a nice surprise when they wake up tomorrow.  By the way we’re sorry that we haven’t yet thanked whoever got Dom and Scarlett the “Laugh & Learn” toy but the shipping receipt didn’t indicate who bought it. So whoever you are stand up, take a bow, and let us know– it’s a beauty.  I’m hoping tomorrow to get a lot of video and photos to document their first birthday which will show off it’s various interactive capabilities.

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From the swanky new beach gear you might have figured out that we’re going to take them to the beach for their first birthday. Which is a really exciting prospect and a new milestone too. The only time we’ve taken them to the beach before they couldn’t really crawl so they didn’t get to touch the sand or water. This will definitely be a lot more …    interactive.

Just a few thoughts about the developing mini-humans.

Dominik loves to look at plants and feel their leaves, he’s got a quiet smile with 4 teeth. At some point in the first week at home Beth called him “Bubbie” which morphed into “The Bubbincito” which eventually became “Bunbinimide (a new element on the periodic table?) which turned into”The Bubbin” we’re just as apt to refer to him as “The Bubbin” as we are Dominik. Also, let me say those various permutations are reserved for parental use only 🙂 Although, Dominik hasn’t yet walked he has given up the army stomach slither for a full speed scrabbling crawl which he accentuates by slapping his hand down and making a slight howl of “Oh.. Oh.. Oh.. Oh..” with each motion  and he pulls himself up with confidence. He loves to pull himself up in the crib then fall backwards onto the mattress repeatedly while giggling.

Scarlett is now showing a pretty distinct preference for walking over crawling. She’s loves to point at things she would like us to hand to her for examination and has already figured out that we’re more likely to give it to her if she cries. Whenever she finds a shoe of mine or Beth’s on the floor she will now always try to put it on. Her smile is usually accompanied with an infectious gravelly laugh. Oh yeah, and Scarlett’s nickname is “Sita” which branched off as the feminine version of Dominik’s “Bubbincito.”

Both kids are doing really well meeting new people, situations, and unexpected changes in their environment. My favorite thing to do as Dad is toss them about, hold them on my shoulders when we go for walks and make them laugh.

As I’ve finished writing this I see it’s already the 10th of July. Our kids are 1 year-olds.

Happy Birthday Dominik & Scarlett.

Another Fun Weekend

July 6, 2009 by

We mostly had to lay low this weekend because of Dom’s pink eye, but we did manage to take a quick trip to lunch.  Before we had kids we were never fans of chain restaurants, but we are currently in love with Cheesecake Factory.  Not only do they bring appetizer plates for kids (sliced bread and bananas), the staff there know not to set hot plates, sharp utensils, or full glasses in front of the kids.  Plus, they do all the cleaning up!

Dom&Dad

DomCrawls

Mom&Red

DomEats

Kidspace Rules!

July 5, 2009 by

Today we took Dominik & Scarlett to Kidspace in Pasadena (a shout out to our friends Doug and Janet for tipping us to this place on Facebook). Dom & Scarlett had an amazing time in their Early Childhood Learning Center (or as I like to call it THE PADDED CELL WITH TOYS). You walk in, remove your shoes and let your kids go, if they haven’t already torn your arm off trying to escape into this pleather wonderland. Apart from the shoe area the entire room is floored with rubber and contains a myriad tactile fun exhibits designed for kids 4 and under.

Dominik At Kidspace

Dominik crawled freely throughout the room grabbing toy after toy and either tossing it or tasting it.

Scarlett At Kidspace

Scarlett has really started to piece together her steps into series and can now go as far as 15-20 feet before she needs to “reset” with a crawl.

The toys were incredible and really well thought out: More Details Here.

Kidspace beats Peekadoodle Kids Club a similar indoor play club in San Francisco on a number of fronts. We visited Peekadoodle on our April road trip to San Francisco and I can easily say the biggest difference between these to places is the price. A one day pass at Kidspace costs $10 for each person over 1 year of age. A one day pass at Peekadoodle was $50 for a family. If we’d taken Dom and Scarlett, who turn 1 this Friday, to Kidspace next weekend entry would have cost us $40. So the price difference seems nominal, right? BUT a 6 month membership at Kidspace (which will admit 4 family members anytime) is $89 bucks which is a mere fraction of what Peekadoodle charges for offering a similar safe-play area experience.  To be fair to Peekadoodle they do offer classes (for an additional charge), it’s cafe is way better (and more pricey), and the complimentary internet connection for parents is a kind of a sweet loss-leader, and overall it’s indoor areas are slightly cleaner.  However, the annual membership fee for Peekadoodle starts at just over $2000. GULP! WHAT?! REALLY??! Yes. Really. And don’t get me started on their parking validation deal …

In addition to a similar range of indoor play areas for kids Kidspace also offers: an outdoor tricycle track with helmets, 3 different cool multistory climbing gyms, science exhibits, a play construction site, water spouts, a simulated river with various waterfalls, gardening area and much much more. Again, to be fair to Peekadoodle the weather in San Fran isn’t always amenable to outdoor play so for the moment their options are limited. However, I’m sure as their fees pile up they’ll be able to put a dome over their lawn and create the Peekadoodle Biosphere (with Fresh Oxygen for an additional Fee).

Okay, one last attempt to be fair, when Beth and I drove away from San Francisco  we were fans of the concept and execution Peekadoodle. If you’ve got the money Peekadoodle seemed like excellent place to take your kids. We had a great time there and so did Dominik and Scarlett. If we lived in San Francisco and we had the money we’d probably be members and take them there everyday. I know I would just to feel like it was worth the price.

However, we’re blessed (or cursed depending when you ask me) to be angelenos so if you live in L.A. or are visiting with kids in the range of 1 to maybe 10 I’d say Kidspace is well worth the price of admission even at $10 a head, especially on a hot day. Kidspace provides an excellent environment for kids and parents to play without draining your funds which should be saved for college. We’ll be getting a membership on our next visit.