Monday, June 22, 2009

Ian: 7 months

Here he is, our main man Ian.  Lovin' life and surviving the overload of affection from the big sister.  He can only sit still for about 1.5 flashes of the camera, then he's onto man-handling the giraffe.  Note, the giraffe had to be stripped down for the picture.  Brooklyn thinks the giraffe is hers and it is currently sitting on her bed wearing a silky, shiny red dress.  (An old baby dress of Brooklyn's from Jennette's wedding!)
Watch him pretending to still pose and look at the camera while really he's already distracted.  He's testing the waters.  Seeing how far he can go before I try to reposition him and redirect the attention.  Sneaky, sneaky!
The sister then joins in the photo shoot.  Father's day was just around the corner, so what the hay.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?  She was also a huge distraction during the individual photo shoot, so now she can feel rightfully included.
Watch now as the sister demonstrates her own sneaky maneuvers.  She goes from innocent to...
squeezing tighter... The intent to harm is shown by look on her face below!  Ian's expression also turns from semi-hesitant to definitely hesitant.
Now it's, "Help, Mom!" (This is spoken in clear baby language and expression of course.)
Heh - heh!  I'm still bigger and stronger, you're not comin' after me, sucker!
What, who me? I'm innocent, and cute.  Here's my cheesy camera smile.  Ian is still not trusting.
I really am cute and happy, Mom, see!  I can be this close and still not hurt him...yet...
Eating is getting cleaner, except for some of the time when it's... NOT.
Ian loves to fly through the air on the swing when he's not army crawling around the entire house.  He quick maneuvers himself in and out of whole rooms!  We've gotta start putting our shoes away because they seem to be his favorite tasty treat!

He reaches for everything!  His hands are very coordinated.  He has great range of motion in his wrists and ankles too.  He's constantly rotating them.
Feeling like a big dude.  Eating a real peach instead of that pureed baby stuff.
G.Q. right here!
Saying hello with Grandma Bickmore!
First big time ride at Disney.  This is a rarely caught on camera "toothy" smile.
With the McKendrick cousins, taking pictures and being once again subjected to the Jeckle and Hyde personality of Brooklyn.  Wouldn't you be worried if you were he?


This is from a while ago, but I can't believe I haven't shared it yet.  Brooklyn often entertains Ian in his crib when he wakes up from naptime before I get there.  One particular morning, Ian apparently wanted to "dress up."

Cinco de Mayo

I realize that I'm going WAY back, over a month, in time with this post, but it was still such a fun outing I can't not blog about it!  So on Cinco de Mayo I had huge plans of making some really delicious Mexican grub.  You know, all the workings of a serious fiesta, including worlds biggest taco bar, rice, beans, and of course, tortilla chips with home made salsa and guacamole.  As the day wore on, my mental plans simplified more and more.  By the early afternoon, my friend invited us have a burger and hotdogs at the park along the beach.  Perfect!  I now had an excuse to not go overboard on the meal for that night.  
What could be more simple and fun than burgers, wieners, and friends enjoying on a nice spring evening at the park by La Jolla cove?  As you can see, it was a blast.  The only Mexican thing that made it to our mouths that night was some yummy guacamole thrown together by my hubby as I quickly nursed the baby before dashing out the door for our picnic!  Thanks Stephen!
Brooklyn enjoyed barking at and chasing the birds.
Not a fabulous picture of me, but since I am always on the other side of the camera, here's proof that I still exist.
Stephen and Ian bonding.
Brooklyn begging to have a turn.  Nice wedgie, girl!
The sunset lasted forever and gave the coolest light for photos.  I had to snap a million photos to capture the evening.  It wasn't very crowded, but everyone that was at the park and beach were just savoring the atmosphere with their friends and loved ones.  I guess I really was acting like a tourist because when I snapped a picture of this guy's dog (below) he turned and smiled at me with a kind, "Welcome to La Jolla."  How embarrassing!  I didn't admit that I've lived here almost a year now...
There was this swimmer who kept leaping into the ocean from this cliff.  It was pretty cool to catch the action on camera.  As you can tell, lots of people were gathered on this strip of rocks that stuck out into the ocean.  It was so cool to watch the water spray up high as the waves crashed against it and the sun set along the horizon.
Below, engagement photo shoot?
This belongs on a creation video!

Strawberry Fields Forever

May was a fun-filled month for us!  One of our weekday outings was a trip to the strawberry fields in Carlsbad.  It was such an "earthy" experience picking our own fresh strawberries. Sorry 'bout the belly shot of Brookie!  You would never guess which one of these two girls loves happy meals and which one doesn't even know the term!  (See previous post, Happy Meal.)
Lori helping Brooklyn, or the other way around, depending on who you ask.
Don't you love how the girls dressed themselves for the occasion?  By the looks on their faces, this is serious business!
Ian sampling the leaves.  He was such a good helper!  He reached right out and grabbed away at whatever was in front of him each time I leaned forward.   
 After I got home, I looked at the bowl and thought 'what the hay am I going to do with all these fresh strawberries before they spoil?' So, I decided to jam it up!  I've never made jam, so I immediately called my dad for some pointers.  He gave me some suggestions, then in the end, I decided to just make the jam that weekend when we'd be up at my parent's place anyway.  I decided however that the the strawberries may hold up a little better had they not been left in the hot car for a couple hours while we shopped at the outlet mall the next exit up the freeway in Carlsbad.  Note to self:  shop before you pick next time.  The only problem is, it would be even warmer picking the berries later in the day so maybe I should just try to control myself next time and ditch the outlet mall idea!

Disney Adventures, Part II

It was really fun for Brooklyn to watch the High School Musical dancers, even though she hasn't seen the movie of course, during this cool performance at California Adventure.
She made her way to the front of the crowd and her eyes were glued to the dancers the whole time.  I really wonder what was going on in her little head.  It's like she was just shocked and awed.  'There's a whole lot more dance moves out there than just spinning around in my dress-ups,' she probably thought!
We took a tour of a tortilla factory and had a yummy fresh tortilla.  I couldn't get her to stop eating and smile for the camera, though.
King Triton's Merry-Go-Round.  The lighting is never great on merry-go-rounds I've decided.
A very kind "cast member" accompanied Brooklyn on the bumper cars (just to the right of the middle in the picture above) and let her drive the whole time.  I couldn't take Ian, otherwise, I would have loved to be the passenger myself!
Above is an outside shot of the Gold Zepper.  We went on it twice in a row.  It was too much fun.  Oh yeah, and I didn't have my camera the first time to document Ian's first "solo" ride.

Happy Meal

I took a picture of what I thought was Brooklyn's first happy meal.  When my friend and her daughter suggested McDonald's for lunch one day, I had to think about it because I never go there.   The last time I remember taking Brooklyn to a McDonald's was when we were waiting at a coin-op laundry mat in Covina and I had a craving for a fruit 'n yogurt parfait.  Pretty much the only two things I ever buy there are the soft serve ice cream cones and the fruit 'n' yogurt parfaits.  Maybe it's because I showed the gut-wrenching movie Supersize Me when teaching a summer school health class years ago.    In the end, I thought it would be a necessary cultural experience for Brooklyn to eat there.  The more I thought about it, maybe I was a bit of an odd parent for not introducing my child to this American pop culture icon.  So when I finally decided on it, my friend was surprised.   The whole time we walked over there, Brooklyn kept referring to Old MacDonald.  She seemed to have no other connections to that name other than the song.  Also when Brooklyn's friend talked about getting a happy meal, Brooklyn was clueless.  This is why I didn't even give her the choice of having fries.  I was hoping the happy meals still came in those cute little boxes, but no such luck. I remember one of my first happy meals came with a big awesome E.T. poster.  Brooklyn enjoyed licking every last trace of carmel out of the little cup that came with the apple dippers.  I ordered a salad.  (See bottom of picture.)  I was disappointed that the chicken was seasoned with a ton of salt.  Other than that, I was glad to see that there are a few "fresher" choices on the menu these days.  A cheeseburger, apple dippers with carmel, CHOCOLATE milk (gasp, I know!) and a funky monkey toy later, we had officially experienced Brooklyn's first happy meal. The funny thing is, I found out later that it wasn't her first happy meal.  Stephen said they got one somewhere on the Louisiana road trip with Mark, Drew, and Alyssa.  So maybe it's just the first happy meal that I've ever bought for her.  I'm sorta glad it wasn't all that impressive to her.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

This post is a tribute to the Man who makes it all happen. None other than Theodore Jenkins Badger Jr.

First let me share one of my favorite memories growing up. It was on one of our annual trips to Gulf Shores and Dad took just me and Mark with him. While Dad was in meetings all day, Mark and I ran all over the beach, swimming in the pool (jumping back and forth between the hot tub and the pool), spending one of the days at the water park, going deep sea fishing, and asking dad to leave a couple of bucks each morning so that we could play in the arcade in the lobby. I also had my first experience ordering a "Shirley Temple." It was a blast and one of my all time favorite vacations! I loved spending time with just my bro and my Dad. The picture below is not from that time period, but it's classic Dad with his Texas Long Horn shirt. I'm pretty certain that it was taken in the gulf where we went as kids. I also had to include a picture of Brooklyn and Ian. Ian can't ask yet, but his big sister constantly wants to call and talk to "GrandDad." Even though my Dad doesn't always understand "Brooklynese," he is patient as he listens and asks her about her day.

And as most people know, I love my Dad and want to be like him. I hope that I can set just as solid of an example to my kids as he set for us. My Dad has always been a rock - firm in his testimony and always supportive.

Another example of my Dad's generousity is pictured below. It's the great time that we all had as a family because my Dad gave me Guitar Hero as a Christmas present. Because of this generous gift, we were able to "rock out" and had a great time!

Thanks Dad for all that you've done and continue to do. This short post doesn't do you the justice you deserve, but I wanted you to know how much we love you and appreciate you. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Even though I was not a huge fan of the season pass purchase we made at the time of Brooklyn's birthday this year, I decided to at least not be a total drag and try to get some use out of those puppies before the summer came with weeks on end of "blackout days." (Was that a run-on sentence?) We ended up going twice in two weeks, and I actually enjoyed it!  My Disneyland memories growing up seem to be tainted by so much of the time that was wasted in LONG lines.  Fortunately, things are much different now.   
First of all, it's no longer just Disneyland in Anaheim.  It's the Disney Resort.  So basically there's another theme park, California Adventure, and tons of Disney hotels that are all clumped together as part of the experience.  What I like is that California Adventure is smaller, newer, less crowded, and more little-kid-friendly than the bigger park.  Actually I didn't even go to Disneyland both times that I went up because there was plenty fun stuff to do at the Adventure park.  Brooklyn loves the Bugs Life area and King Triton's merry-go-round.  She liked the big Mickey Ferris Wheel, but was disappointed that I chose a non-swinging gondola.  Maybe next time we'll have to step it up a notch and go for the other ones.
Ian enjoyed it too. My favorite part was riding the "Golden Zepper."  They didn't show any height restrictions on the map, so when I asked about it, they said Ian could ride it, but that there was "absolutely no lap sitting."  Well folks, that didn't stop us.  The top picture is Ian enjoying his very own seat NEXT to me on those fun silver-colored rockets.  (The name is a little misleading, huh?)
After all the excitement, both kids were pretty exhausted.  To keep Ian happy on the walk back out of the park, I gave him his favorite water bottle of mine.  He likes sucking on the lid for some reason.  He couldn't part with the thing, even with his eyes closed!  
I can't wait to go back again on those few open days in August!  Hopefully we can catch the new and improved Main Street Electrical Parade!