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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Love Thursday - Jacaranda Trees

Los Angeles may have it's downfalls, with the smog and traffic. But it has so much more. It has near perfect weather most of the year, beautiful parks and gardens.
And Jacaranda Trees. In Bloom. Right Now.

The delicate, purple flowers line our sidewalks on our evening strolls. It seems to soften the city for me in my mind, making it feel less urban, highlighting the seemingly year-round spring season that makes LA special.
And since I've discovered them last May when I saw them first bloom, I've loved these trees. Soon they will no longer be purple and summer will take hold, but May is special here for us, in part because of these trees.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

1 year, 10 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day old

He's on the move. Watch out world!

Need I say any more?

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Monday, May 28, 2007

A Planting We Will Go

Kathy and I went to the Huntington Gardens' Members Only Plant Sale. It was an ordeal just to find parking (20 minutes of circling around, with me reassuring her that "I have a hunch that we'll find one soon" each lap around the lot). But once we got there, WOW, what a massive amount of rare and exotic plants. It was fun and I had really no plans to buy anything. But as it goes, I found a couple I couldn't resist getting.

A Hoya Carnosa 'Krimson Princess' that apparently was a hot item (as everyone and their brother came up to us, woefully exclaiming that we must have gotten the last one).
I love the varigated, thick leaves. And for what I expected to be a finiky plant, so far she has done well in the spot I've picked for her new home.
(*Not sure if plants are boys or girls, but I'll just give them a female gender for good measure - being that I'm currently the only girl in the house. Even the cat is a boy!)
And the most exquisite and unique blue and white Lace Cap Hydrangea.
Then we came home, bringing Ryan a cold soda as a peace offering before we trodded off to Target and OSH for planting supplies...

I'm pretty excited about my new plants and think they'll like their new home on our porch.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

6 years ago today...

We have a tradition that we watch our wedding video each anniversary. That day would be TODAY. It seems almost unreal that it has been 6 years since Ryan and I were married. And tonight (like last year) we celebrated by going out for a nice dinner with just the two of us (only happens about once a year now, it seems) at Ruth's Chris. What a treat! I couldn't bring myself to initiate going out for such an extravagant dinner, so Ryan made the reservations for us. (good man, good man!)

Our friend Kathy stayed home with Dylan while we went out. It was a very productive evening for them, as they reportedly went out for a bike-ride (see picture) and ate a nice big dinner (good job Kathy!)
The two of them had so much fun, that she insisted that we go back out after we got home from dinner. So we changed our clothes, put on some walking shoes, and went out for a long walk, just the two of us. When we got home, we paused before coming inside, peeking in through the window at our friend and little boy snuggled on the couch, reading books and putting stickers on each other's foreheads. We stood outside there like flies on a wall, watching them for a few minutes, commenting to one another about how cute they were and how we were so thankful for our dear friend to love our son so much.

And later on, Dylan being in good form, decided he wanted to play dress-up with mommy's jewelry, which was quite the show.
(note the sticker on the forehead, bracelets on the ears for earrings, and necklace on his head as a headpiece!)

He was quite proud of himself.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Kissing Rowan

Do you like how he vices little Rowan's neck as he goes in for his kiss?

And I'd like to point out that the affection is mutual, as the other day at our Make and Take, Rowan leaned over to Dylan and demanded for "kiss-es!"

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bicycling Toddler-Style

Ryan put together Dylan's Christmas present from my parents over the weekend (yeah, we put that off for a while, but in our defense, Dylan hadn't been ready for a bike just yet until now). After he awoke from his Sunday nap, we brought him downstairs to discover his very own "bike" - which was an immediate hit. We've enjoyed cueing him around the corners of our courtyard, redirecting him back to actual riding the bike versus focusing on the ants in the cracks of the sidewalk, and of course the taking of lots and lots of video/pictures. We've watched this little one over and over, laughing to ourselves each time we get to the part where he does a random little dance (around 40 seconds into the video) after he stops to tell Daddy about the ants, yet again.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

monkey see, monkey do

Sitting in his highchair, Dylan waves his finger in the air back and forth at daddy, saying "no no no" with a fickle smile.

We exchange a knowing look: The mimicking has begun. We must really start to be careful what we say and do around him (not like we didn't before, but it didn't seem AS pressing before now).

He copies my dance moves in the car, our expressions, and crosses his legs and leans up against the car just like daddy while waiting for mommy. He pushes his foot in my way while I paint my toenails, indicating that he wants his painted like mommy's.

And yesterday he started singing. The tune? The gymboree Clean-Up song, but his words are "bee-bup, bee-bup" - which just cracked us up when we realized that of all the songs we sing together, he picked up this one to sing first (goes to show what neat-freaks his parents truly are!)

What's next, I ask.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Mom's Day

For Mother's Day Ryan asked me what I would like to do. I thought about what would make the day special for me. Digging deep I realized what I really wanted was a simple day with my family. We ended up driving down to Mission Viejo to meet Ryan's grandparents and Aunt Nancy for a picnic at the park there. It was a beautiful afternoon and Dylan really enjoyed playing on the incredible playground there. Later, after a nice nap, we all took a long walk before dinner.
And it got even better as I opened up the freezer to find a lovely (and you'd understand the depth of this gift if you knew how much I adore ice cream) Baskin Robbins ice cream cake.
Yeah, that was a nice touch. Good job, Ryan.
We've been devouring that little cake since Sunday. It's nearly gone but I'm going to savor that last piece tomorrow after my workout.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Evening Strolls

Reaching for his snacks, just after mommy takes them away (because he gets his snacks when he goes into his stroller later on - keeping him busy for a while).
Declaring that he doesn't want to go any further without his snacks in hand.
And getting really upset about it. (Note: he got over it pretty quickly once we got moving along. Gotta love the distractability of a 22 month old!)

And here's a new video of what the beginning of our walks are like: Dylan asking about where the moon is (getting VERY excited about it in the process of looking around for it), stopping to view the ants at nearly every crack in the sidewalk along the way (he just didn't do it here for some reason - probably because he was overly focused on the moon that night), helping us push the stroller, and holding daddy's hand across the street (he's gotten used to doing this at every intersection, which is nice).

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Goodnight Moon

Dylan is really into the moon these days (or shall I say nights?)
He wants to know where the moon is and gets upset if we can't find it outside (gotta love that LA smog!)
And the other night, after trapsing around outside in my pajamas and Ryan's tennis shoes looking for the moon, I decided to use good 'ol Google Images to find Dylan his moon before bedtime so he could say goodnight to it personally. He bought it, thankfully.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Love Thursday: Milk Martini

If you remember way back when, when we were trying to wean Dylan from the bottle... yeah, well maybe we haven't totally kicked the habit here. As far as bottles go, we are still down to one-a-day. Like a vitamin.
Just before bedtime (and brushing his teeth, never you fear all you future dentists out there), Dylan snuggles in between us in our bed with his baby-martini of sorts: his bottle. For a while we had decided this was important to make sure that Dylan got enough calories (because he doesn't eat much most days and, as parents, we worry). Now it is such a special time for us as we unwind from the day and signal that it is nearing time for Dylan to go to bed. If something is amiss in the routine, Dylan is sure to point it out, patting at the pillow next to him and saying "ma-ma" or "daa-dee" for us to come join him on our respective sides of our bed as he glugs down his milk-martini.
And I know our pediatrician would frown on this practice, but frankly I don't care. It's not hurting anyone and he's not a fat kid by any means who should be curbing their whole-milk intake. And I know that in due time this little babyhood ritual will come to an end. So for now, I'm hanging onto my little baby boy a little longer because I'm quite certain that he won't be going off to college with his "bah-bah" (bottle).

Note: The other day Dylan ratted me out as I was gathering him up from daycare. He was overtired and fussy and a bit weepy, and through his tears out stumbled his request for his beloved "bah-bah" (obviously he was tired). One of the daycare caregivers was standing there and overheard. She asked in an obvious trying-to-not-sound-surprised tone, "Does he still get bottles at home?" Uhhh. Yeah. But let me explain. We are still working on this, it's only once a day now, and... and it's milk, not whiskey.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Guarding Our Hearts

A beloved co-worker left today to go back to Boston, leaving quite a number of us sad. It got me thinking about something that Kathy said about protecting ourselves from loss and hurt. It goes without saying that the choice between opening our hearts or guarding them from hurt is worth it, is a hard one to make. I remember when I was in high school, working at Baskin Robbins. A co-worker of mine told me that I needed to toughen up more. Famous last words.

I tend to open myself up more often than not and it at times I regret it, wishing I could have more of a rock for a heart, protecting my emotions from loss and hurt. But for the most part it means I get to know people who are wholesome and motivate me to grow and be a better person.

On a side note, I had my performance appraisal at work today. It went well. If I worked fulltime, I would have gotten a nice raise, but as a per diem worker, the raise criteria doesn't apply to me. As such, I'll just keep hoping that the per diem rate gets an increase later this year.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Full Bloom

Another day at the Huntington Gardens, this time with our friend Kathy. We enjoyed some sandwiches with our chips and strawberries. Then we took a long walk around the Desert, Palm, and Rose Gardens.

Dylan especially enjoyed smelling the roses, which were lovely and in full bloom.

Kathy decided that the red ones where her favorite, while I decided on any that smelled the most fragrant. Dylan just copied us, smelling as many as he could along the way!
And Daddy? Well, he had the camera.

At first I didn't much like The Desert Gardens when we started coming here (especially on really hot days), but they are really growing on me. This picture of the cactus almost seems to be in motion.

This part of the gardens can have the most exotic and bright colored blooms.

The Children's Garden was a popular spot for many today.

If you look closely, you can see the hills in the background here.

The waterbells.

Always a hit!

And where Dylan was egged on (by the very mischievous Ryan and Kathy) to dunk his head in the water...

Since it was such a warm, sunny day, we made a special effort to visit the mist and rainbow makers in the Children's area.
Here Dylan took a rest-break with Mommy and Kathy while the bigger kids ran around in the mist.
Also note that Dylan is SOAKED by this point after his first round in the waterbells.

And the vibrating water. Refreshing cool water on our hands after a long warm walk.

p.s. At the start of our walk, Dylan insisted on walking alongside us. He fell down and scraped up his right knee. And for the rest of the day, he was very concerned about his "owie," checking on his band aid (thanks to Kathy who had a little first-aid kit in her purse) and pointing out his "kneeeee" in case we had forgotten.

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