Baby Bug woke me up at 5:30 in the morning yesterday. She thinks getting up before the sun gets up is perfectly acceptable. I’m getting closer and closer to co-sleeping as I heft her out of her crib and attempt to snuggle her next to me in bed so I can eek out just a few more minutes of much needed sleep. Some mornings she snoozes in the crook of my arm. Those mornings are heavenly. Other mornings she crawls all over me and then heads for the cords and plugs and other forbidden things like the cat box that is just down the hall.
If she doesn’t wake me up completely, then my cat Pounce does with his old standard routine of meowing until I get up and feed him. Together Baby Bug and the cat are quite a team. Meanwhile, I’m a wreck because I’ve been drinking coffee at night so I can stay up and get some freelance work done.
Since I was feeling sorry for my tired self and looking for a fun outing with the baby who refuses to sleep in the morning, I headed off to the coffee shop at the end of my street. At least they’re always up and smiling at five am. I ordered a half decaf latte (my standard these days) and a chocolate croissant as a special treat. I love chocolate croissants. They remind me of Paris.
With coffee and treat in hand and Baby Bug strapped to the front of me in the baby carrier, I headed off to the beach to watch the sun come up. I was thinking I’d take some pictures of the waves at dawn like I used to do when I walked every morning early early in the morning. But as the sun slowly crept into the sky it became very apparent that it was foggy. Nothing but gray on gray and then some more gray. So I unhooked Baby Bug and plopped us both down in the sand so we could enjoy our crack of dawn breakfast (I share bits of my croissant with Baby Bug, the bits without chocolate of course) .
What I didn’t foresee was that Baby Bug would find the sand almost as tasty as flakey bits of croissant. Last time we were at the beach she didn’t find sand particularly interesting to put in her mouth, so why is it such a delight this time? And instead of being a good mom and scooping her up away from the dirty sand and scraggly bits of sea weed and seagull crap, I proceeded to take out my camera and take pictures of her. She shoveled it in fistful after fistful. Mmmmmm yummy gritty salty sand. A perfectly healthy treat for babies!
I figured she’s going to eat sand sooner or later, I might as well let her get her fill of it. We do live at the beach and we probably have just as much sand embedded into our carpet (from me tracking it in every day after my walk on the beach). She inadvertently eats sand and cat hair and a zillion other gross things because we are soooooo tired of rinsing her pacifier after it falls on the floor every other second. I’m just over it! Here, kid: Have a taste of some kitty litter. It’s just like sand except even more icky.
You know what my brother calls cat poop in the litter box? Tootsie roll surprises. (Kiddingly of course…) You see, this is what happens when you have kids and cats and you just give up. Don’t send the worried emails yet though. I haven’t let Baby Bug anywhere near the cat boxes yet. Currently we are just avoiding the hallway (where the dirty cat things are) altogether. She knows something very interesting is there though. Whenever I let her crawl freely, she beelines it straight for the forbidden zone. I just haven’t figured out how to baby-proof that area yet.
I’m thinking that a perfect use of the old seventies crib would be to turn it upside down and over top the cat boxes. That way the cats (who would have to lose some weight) could fit through the bars and do their business well out of the reach of Baby Bug. I could put the cat’s water bowl and food on top of the upside down crib and then we’d have a solution to the whole kid-proofing hallway problem. Unfortunately, when I told Toby about my idea he looked at me like I was a couple fries short of a happy meal. He told me it would look ugly and completely ruin the aesthetics of our house. Hmph. As if that’s a priority. I’ll raise you one exersaucer, a disgusting rug, an office full of piles of paper on the floor and one brightly colored obnoxious activity mat…. case closed, sorta. What I really want is this.
I didn’t actually go out to the sticks just because I was discombobulated and needed some extra hands to help me hold the baby all the live long day. I actually went out because my Grandma turned 80 and there were all kinds of fun festivities planned. But of course going home to your mom’s when you’re feeling discombobulated is always good too.
My Aunts, Mom and Uncle (my Grandma had 5 girls and one boy) threw my Grandma the greatest birthday surprise of all time. You can read a better version of it here and here. But I’ll give you the cliff notes version.
It started out with my Aunt Kedge just taking my Grandma out for a quiet birthday dinner at a little Italian restaurant in town. Then as they were minding their own business at a little table for two, my Aunt Cracker Crumbs and her husband showed up. No big deal. They just happened to be in the area and felt like Italian. Then my mom and another Aunt (who doesn’t have a blog yet) also showed up and the non-blogging Aunt had birthday presents! So they had to move to a bigger table, a table with flowers! My Grandma thought that was her surprise and was feeling quite tickled but of course it doesn’t stop there. THEN my Uncle Snutch (who flew in from Northern California) posed as a waiter and offered to fill her water glass. My Grandma was so surprised to see him she started crying. Then for the cherry on top my Aunt Knittery from Canada called on her cell phone and as Grandma was saying thank you for the birthday phone call, my Aunt Knittery walked up to Grandma and gave her a hug from behind. It was a surprise of all surprises. Can you imagine having all six of your kids showing up to surprise you on your 80th birthday? It was so cool, I almost wanted to sneak over and watch the event through the window.
The rest of us riff raff family members weren’t invited to the special surprise dinner (I don’t think we could all fit in the restaurant) but we were invited to a big Sunday dinner a few days later at my non-blogging Aunt’s house. There are so many birthdays around this time in my family, I can’t remember who exactly we were celebrating for. But it doesn’t matter. It’s just fun to be back at a big long table full of laughing relatives.
Baby Bug really liked it too. She’s suffering from a touch of stranger anxiety right now but she took to my fun loving Aunts (and Uncle) in no time. Before I knew it they were teaching her Sunday School songs with hand motions. Now I just have to teach Toby the songs because she wants to practice the hand motions all the time.
It was really fun to see my Uncle Snutch and Aunt Knittery again. I haven’t seen either of them in about twenty-some years. My Uncle is hilarious. He has the best sense of humor of all time. I wish I could regurgitate some of his rambling dialogue but I’m not clever enough to remember all the words. You’ll just have to believe me. He’s funny. My Aunt Knittery is a crack up too. I really missed her. We got to hang out quite a bit and we found that we both love Starbucks. Of course a latte or two was in order.
So along with all the catching up and some quality niece time at my mom’s (along with her forty-seven kittens–did I mention that?), I’d say it was a whole lot of fun. Definitely just what the doctor ordered for girls who are in a funk.
And with that I’ll leave you with a photo of Baby Bug and her new bunny from Aunt Knittery.