31 July 2011

MI summer visi-cation

back to MI for 6 days of visiting. less frenzied than past visits, but we still had barely any time to hang out with anyone for any length of time. ah, well. it is what it is.

the run down, in brief-ish:

day #1 (july 26):
got up early, and, despite a rude flight check-in lady, we had an easy airport/flight experience. we then landed and had an easy time getting through the airport and to the car rental pick-up. my dad met us at avis with the car seat and we went down the road to louies diner for brunch with him and my brother artie. cheap, cheap coneys and mountains of fries. yum said my tummy. this is what coming back to MI is meant to taste like.

after brunch, we drove over to my grandmas (moomoo) who lives 10 minutes from the airport, in dearborn. my aunt patty and her husband were also over there and we had a lovely visit and snacks. X got to play on the playground across the street until she ran off enough cooped-up-airplane steam that she could be trusted to come inside. she opened her belated birthday present and got to meet corduroy, the bear my mom had been given in the hospital when she was born. mom had sent it up to moomoo to take to the doll hospital in berkley to be cleaned and re-stuffed. it looked great!

(cheesy smile with moomoo)

when nap time was upon us, we got in the car and made the drive up to clarkston where daves parents live. it was great that X slept while we drove. once we arrived and settled in, we helped celebrate daves moms birthday. daves dad made fried chicken. while we waited for dinner to cook, X explored all the joys that life on a lake brings: the water, the frogs, the fish, the birds, the shade, the beauty. we had had a busy day but ending up on the lake really helped us wind down at the end of the night.

(grandma was the guest reader for bedtime stories)

day #2 (july 27):
hung around daves parents house (and lake) and then went over to daves grandmas (Xs great-grandma jeanne) apartment. she was unable to meet X last time we were in town because she had had shingles. anyway, she was in great spirits this morning and X was acting like a perfect toddler. great grandma goofed around with her and remarked on her high energy level. indeed! they had a great time hamming it up together. it was lovely to see.


headed back to the lake for lunch and a nap. after nap time we loaded into the car and drove to warren to see my friend katie and her daughter izzy. bonus visitors were fellow swimmers from my days of yore (and i mean yore. as in like ages 11-13) sarah and her 2 great kids, and jeremy. blasts from the past. we played in the backyard and had dinner. it was great to have something to occupy the kids while the adults got to chat and eat.

(iz, X, jack, and sam)

my mom and al also came over to katies place. due to a number of last minute things that forced my beautifully pre-planned MI visit schedule to be derailed a bit, this was the first time we were seeing my mom. they had driven up from florida the night before. they made a beeline for X and played with her while i caught up with katie and co.

when bedtimes for the other kiddos crept up on us, we said our goodbyes and drove to birmingham. my friend phil had recently moved into a kick ass house 2 blocks from downtown birmingham. of course we had to check the place out, and it was where we were staying for the night. my mom and al also followed us over there to get some more time with X.

after touring the house, we set out on foot for the birmingham borders that was just beginning its "going out of business" sale. books werent that great of a deal, but they are a hell of a lot cheaper in the u.s. than canada. we found some fun books for X, made our purchases, and then set our sights on downtown b'ham. phil suggested a frozen yogurt/sorbet place called sweet earth. it was ridiculously muggy outside, so a frozen treat sounded great. i liked the concept of the place (a self-serve dessert bar. you weigh your creation at the end.) and my mango sorbet was quite refreshing. X liked it too.

(X with mom and pal while crossing woodward into downtown b'ham)

on the way home, it started to rain. we said goodbye to mom and al and we prepped the guest room for bed. thinking...X has got to be worn out by now...? haha. she found backup, backup reserves that helped her stay up and hang out with us. she was a ball of energy and wasnt grumpy or whiney at all so we let her stay up until she peetered out a bit more.

day #3 (july 28):
left phils house and stopped off at new york bagel, because, no trip to michigan would be complete without it. and we headed off to ann arbor. what a hot, steamy, mug factory it was!! we met mom, al, and moomoo at a parking structure and headed toward jerusalem garden (yes, creatures of habit). they were very busy, so, to kill some time we walked toward campus.

the heat and stickiness were unpleasant for all members of the group and due to the young and older people in our party we thought it best to duck in to an air conditioned place to wait out our time. we chose...borders. yet again! the deals and selection were better at this location so we bought a few more things. this however did not make up for the fact that, while we have been in ann arbor twice now with X, she has yet to set foot on our beloved UM campus. :(

when we went back to jerusalem garden, we were able to get a table all together. we dove into mountains of hummus, falafel, lentil soup, rice, and general yumminess. this time X could join in and she loved everything. smart girl. :) when nap time was upon us we drove to my friend lilys house for an air conditioned place with a bed for X to sleep well. lily was very pregnant (as in due-any-time-now) and got us settled for a nap and ran up to the hospital for a prenatal appointment.

when X woke up we took her outside for a walk along the lovely huron river. lily lives near our old apartment on the river. dave and i used to love to walk along the trails and look at the flowers and wildlife. X seemed to like it too. she played in a little river run-off area, picked up sticks, and ran around on the trails and boardwalk. we didnt last long though because it was SO muggy out.

(nature walk near bandemer park)

when we got back to the house, lily was back from her appointment. they had said she was 3 cm dilated! how exciting! she thought she felt contractions, and we were all giddy, yet calm-ish. we offered to leave but she said that wasnt necessary. yet. her hubby, ercan, came home and we had a nice visit and grabbed some zingermans sandwiches for dinner. after eating, we left them alone to prep for a potential night of labor (little mister didnt end up actually arriving until 2 weeks later!).

(X climbed into the toy bin at lily and ercans and played by herself for like 20 minutes)

we drove to northville to unpack our bags at the eaton house. they too are expecting a baby and had just gotten back from a tour of their hospital. we visited and watched X open her belated birthday gift from them. she loved it, all stuff i had forgotten was still on our amazon wishlist (but definitely still wanted). a lovely surprise from lovely friends. :)

day #4 (july 29):
met at my grandpas in northville for lunch with my dads side of the family. dad, artie, grandpa and my grand rapids uncle, aunt and cousin linnea were all converging in one spot (thanks for driving all the way to see us guys!). oh my did we have a rocky start to lunch plans! in typical dohring fashion everything was very dramatic and apocalyptic until...the universe smiled on us and made everything okay. lunch (from aubrees) was had outside, in the shade of my grandpas backyard and everyone enjoyed their food and came away happy.

X was lucky to get lots of love and attention from my aunt and cousin. she even got to open a big package of clothes and books from them. my cousin took lots of beautiful pictures of her and X was a total ham for the whole visit. when it got too hot outside, she even poured water on herself to cool down. it was a great visit!

(view the entire photo album of pics my cousin took)

naptime occurred back at the eatons house and i ran out to trader joes while that happened. when i entered the place...i almost cried. i love this store so much. good, healthy, creative foods at great prices. why oh why cant i live in a place with a store like this? humpf!

i wasnt depressed for too long because tonight was our friend party! all my college roomies who still live in michigan came over to the eatons for a kid party and mexican buffet. most people arrived early, which was great. and the babies were hilarious. so much better to see them in person than in photos. once the carlton clan (6 kiddos!) arrived X was in heaven. big kids! she got a mega dose of awesome fun running around outside screaming and chasing them. dave was even getting in on the big kid action and im pretty sure its one of the summer parties we will never forget.

(X with miss madelyn, sarahs daughter)

i got to hang out and catch up with my friends and their babes. it was definitely a very different kind of party than ive ever had with these guys, but it was homey, and family, and special and i liked it. we left when it seemed like X was ready for bed. we were driving back to daves parents house for the night, so we assumed she would sleep in the car...no dice. thankfully she was good though, and seemed to require it as wind down time from the busy, awesome day. she did eventually sleep like a rock that night, when we finally arrived.

day #5 (july 30):
morning on the lake was enhanced with a brunch party. guests included: daves friend paul, his wife, and 2.5 year old, daves ohio cousin, wife and 2 kids, my mom and al drove up from dearborn, and mary anns friends came by. more socializing and play time for X and lots of nice visiting for everyone. the weather was great for a shady, breezy, summer brunch.

nap time came and we used it to drive out to east lansing. my cousin (moms nephew) was getting married at MSU. we had skipped the ceremony, and were just doing the reception at the MSU union. it was a buffet style dinner and i managed to flag down the manager of the food and find a few things to eat that were non-dairy. after dinner, we went outside to give X time to run around and be crazy. we took some pictures with my mom and al before they drove off to mackinaw island for the night and we were still sitting outside when 8 o'clock rolled around. the bell tower chimed out the time and X was enthralled. she stopped what she was doing (playing in the dirt...in her party dress) and went "ding dong".

then we came back inside for some socializing and dancing. X was curious about dancing and was trying out her moves. people thought it was adorable. we took a break from dancing to take her back outside a little before 9p. we caught the 9 o'clock bells and ran around catching some fireflies.

back inside, people were now quite drunk. those on the dance floor had a blast trying to dance with X. she loved it too. her energy level for all that twirling, bouncing, rocking, running, squealing seemed endless. she had more dance partner offers than she knew what to do with. we finally scraped her off the dance floor at 10:30p (i think she could have gone longer) and started the drive back to clarkston. she did fall asleep in the car this time and she was so zonked she barely moved when i transferred her to the bed.

(a shot of the weddings dance floor during what looks like thriller?)

day #6 (july 31. happy birthday ntin):
stayed in clarkston for the morning and visited. then packed up and went to the airport. X refused to nap on the car ride over. we played in the airport while dave took care of the rental car and car seat drop off and then made it through security. when we settled in at our gate to await our flight, X finally napped (at like 4p) and woke up just before we boarded. thus she was awake and wired for the whole plane ride. it was a little challenging to keep her happy, but we made it. however, she broke down while we were waiting for customs and baggage; first time we looked like "those parents" in a public place. i was too tired to care much, but it was frustrating.

her pent up energy was so powerful that we had to let her run around the parking lot at the park-n-ride before we could think about strapping her into her car seat. while being crazy and running around she pooped and seemed to calm down significantly. the kid is weird. then we headed home. on the ride i told her we had missed the natal day fireworks. she looked at me (and with no prior prompting) said "boom boom". she cracks me up. it helped lighten the exhausted mood we were all in when we finally pulled in to the driveway.

23 July 2011

Aint too proud for a parade

today was the pride parade in halifax, and even though it was during Xs normal nap time, we went to check it out.

the gathering of people seemed way bigger than even the same crowd two years ago (the last time we went). we were toward the end of the parade route so we had a little bit of a wait. when the parade finally came down our way it was in full swing. very vibrant. lots of action and colors. definitely the most exciting parade halifax puts on. confetti, music, dancing, costumes, rainbows.

(watching the parade)

X was mesmerized. she pushed past her nap time by 45 minutes which turned out to be awesome because it meant we caught the coolest float ever: a mack truck with flat bed pulling an entire crew of men and women voguing to madonna. apparently they were a crew from a salon and they were all dressed in black with fishnets and hats and makeup, etc. their voguing was coordinated and choreographed. it was way cool. (cooler in person than this video lets on...)

we headed home after that and X zonked out on the way. it was a nice little diversion for the weekend to distract us from the fact that we didnt have internet. oh the saga of our internet issues:

we had bell aliant at our barrington apt. we called when we got back from iceland to have it moved to our new place. we requested that service not get disconnected at our barrington place until we had service at the new place (makes sense right?). well, sometime around july 12 they shut off internet at barrington...when we were still living there. it took a whole day to sort that out and get it turned back on at barrington. then, we eagerly awaited their arrival on july 20 (at the new place) for our evening appointment. they never showed. we called bell aliant and they said they never had an appointment for us on that day and that they couldnt get out to us until july 25. ugh, no thank you! we called back the next day to try again and found out they could come today. this was more promising. they came mid-morning and we were again excited. until...they found that bell aliant doesnt even have a cable running to the building! no one in our building has ever had bell internet/cable service. so now we had to go make an appointment with eastlink, and we arent getting internet until august 2!!!

16 July 2011

Made a move

we moved, slightly, across town to a place with some much needed space. hooray!

we overlapped our leases so we had one month to move from barrington to our new apt on fenwick. this was the only way a move was feasible. we only had one kilometer to move and just a few bulky furniture items, but with a kid in tow, i knew trying to move in one day or one weekend would be out-of-the-question stressful. so, over the course of a couple weeks i moved a few boxes of things over each night after dinner. we had planned to rent a truck and move the big stuff over the second weekend in july, but rain, utility transfer issues, and cleaning/painting issues didnt really allow for that.

so, we moved today (a week later than hoped). this turned out to be better and easier because we were able to have the new place cleaned and dave had a couple male friends available to help lift the heavy stuff, and the weather was a perfect dry yet cool day. the major move started at about 9:30a and was done by about 1p. we bought lunch for those who helped with the move and the rest of the day we lightly moved things into their semi-final resting places. by bedtime, it almost looked like we hadnt moved at all (except that we were tired!). it was a great experience and i would certainly do it this way again in the future.

a few things we did that really helped:
- each night, when i brought the small loads over after dinner (pre-moving day), we would bring X too. this way, she was familiar with the new place before it was really "her" place. she didnt have any transition issues/moving anxiety as a result.

- having a cleaning service clean our new place before any stuff was in was key. i didnt have to sweat and breath in fumes or worry about X breathing fumes. it was all cleaned and de-gunkified before we moved our stuff in. we also had a cleaning service clean our old apartment before check-out day. this too saved me some time, sweat, and fumes. i was happy i found good deals on cleaning services on groupon (and competing wanna-be groupon sites).

- the night before move-in, we came over with a load of Xs toys and some dishware. we also went to the grocery store (2 minute walk from our new place. awesome!) and bought some X-approved snack items and left them in the cupboards. this way, we arrived at the new place on moving day with familiar toys to play with, good food to eat, and dishes/cups to eat and drink them from.

- before moving day we also scoped out kijiji (aka "craigslist" wannabe) and scored some new (and cheap) furniture. a table and 4 chairs and some seating furniture (matching couch, loveseat, chair). because we had the rental truck, we were able to get the seating furniture in no problem, and right away we had good, comfortable furniture to fill in our rooms (our new place is at least twice the size of the old place so we would have had lots of barren space if we hadnt found some cheap yet decent furniture to sit on).

(hope you enjoy my lovely narration. this video was actually taken a few weeks after move in. the rooms are still fairly stark, but we are getting there. also, the place is a bit messier than normal, but such is life.)

15 July 2011

Musings on firstborns and parental hazing

a few things that have been on my mind lately. a pre-warning: the tone of this entry is not meant to be aggressive or "im better than you"...intrigued are you? ha. read on at your own peril of being bored...

first borns.
this topic has been on my mind, for, i kid you not, a decade. since college really, when i started to take stock in who my real friends were and ive been obsessed with it ever since. i am a first born (two younger brothers). dave is a first born (one younger sister). most of my male and female friends from high school were first borns. most of my college and grad school friends are first borns. most of the other people i tend to socialize with with any regularity are first borns. this is not a rule, as i certainly have a few great friends who are not first borns (amy, jody, angela, lily are the first ones that come to mind, though i know i have several more in my life), but they are the minority. also true, many of these first born friends of mine have chosen mates who are first borns. again, not all, but many. what is my point?

im wondering, now that i have X...what does it all mean? why are we first borns drawn to each other? is there something parents do to us? it seems highly likely that there is something specific about being the oldest, the leader, the responsible one. i hear parents say that they behave differently when kid #2, 3...8 comes along because they are more relaxed and know what is worth worrying about and what tricks to use for different situations. but i wonder if something interesting in their parenting style is lost from baby number one to baby number two and beyond. something that makes us first borns who we are. maybe because as they parent us, every age, every stage is new and foreign and approached with creativity and thought/reflection. and maybe once they see the results of those actions, they dont reexamine things for kid number two.

i dont know. i mean, i certainly do NOT get along with all people who are first borns. and i absolutely DO have dear friends who are not first borns. its just something ive found deeply intriguing for quite some time now and as we move and meet new people, i am still finding it interesting that the people i click most with along the way happen to be first borns. i think there is just something about their thought processes, their sense of place in the world, their outlook that i understand and find comforting. and as i say, the idea that parenting style might come in to play to make us the way we are, is very fascinating and thought-provoking. for me.

parental hazing.
on another note, the hazing of newborn-dom has also been on my mind. lately i feel like ive had this conversation with a number of different people (parents, or soon-to-be parents).

you find out your pregnant. hooray! you have an easy pregnancy or a challenging one. you deal with this accordingly. you wait, and wait, and wait. anxious to meet the baby. people give you opinions, advice, congratulations, and unexpected (unwanted?) belly pats. you envision your new life, new child, a million different ways. you are stressed about prepping for the babys arrival. do you have enough onesies? the days are going quickly and you are anxious to be "ready". finally one day, one weekend...it all comes together. the nursery is done, the dresser and closet are filled with clothes and the changing table is waiting for its first poop. now you are bored. you have weeks until the baby comes and you are having trouble sleeping and you just want this thing out! come out, come out, wherever you are. things have got to be better once you come out right? right? come out please....please....please!?

and then labor is upon you and the baby is here. thus it begins. the parental hazing dealt out by the newborn. its such a brutal and rude awakening. one that cannot be described or imagined beforehand. you went from weekends on the couch watching movies in your pajamas....to this! your life was calm, flexible, and largely up to you. now it is ruled by a little person who you want to give the best things in life to. the hazing is harsh but of course you deal with all of the serious challenges and time sucks because you are in love. you are nurturing a little soul that you built inside you for 9 months.

im coming to my point. this immense and total life change is the largest life change youve ever experienced, except perhaps the day you were born. nature, however, kindly blocked that out for you. the baby and toddler years demand huge, nay colossal, amounts of focus, energy, time, and creativity from you. you must find new ways to fill your bucket up with this stuff each and every morning. each stage brings new, foreign, challenging hurdles you must find solutions for out of thin air. solutions to match your life, your philosophy, your child. thankfully, i do see (from observing others) that, over the years, the demands become less physical (for the parents) and more mental and emotional. this i am certain will continue to be demanding, but my poor, tired body is so looking forward to a little break.

this leads me to another point, i can see how western society has found any and all ways possible to take "short cuts" when raising kids. while i personally dont agree with some of these "short cuts", i do totally understand the mantra: you have to stay sane. however, i do wish they didnt have to feel like sacrifices. the mom has to give up her image of perfect parenting and deal with the guilt, in whatever amount she doles out to herself. the child and his/her development is affected, in some way. hopefully, only a small way, but they are affected nonetheless when we take one of these "short cuts". and as i mention above, with the first born thing, i wonder if, to stay sane, moms need to take more "short cuts" as they have more children. working moms especially have so, so, so many demands on them. they are some of the most impressive creatures on the planet, and in order to survive, they must find ways to stay sane. every choice made has a ripple effect, the burden is great. dang, love is a powerful thing.

this brings me to my final point (are these really points? i think they are just ramblings). i really only miss, MISS, from my old life...the ability to veg, even just occasionally. i usually performed my best when i got one day per week to sit in my pjs and have nothing required of me. it helped me to restart, refocus, and refuel. i even liked to come home from work an hour before dave, just so i had decompression time. the silence, the freedom, it was like meditating. i was rejuvenated after these "me" times.

as i have had little-to-no "me" time since X arrived, i suppose this means that ive been functioning way below my "best" for some time now. and i think, in some cases, i would agree that that is true. its kinda sad, and this is why i look forward to getting a little more breathing room as she gets older. its in everyones best interest.

last thought i wanted to note down, for myself at least: there is no actual way to know when you are ready to have a kid. and there really is no way to prepare for what your life will be like (short of having no expectations). but i found, for myself at least, that i was feeling bored in my life. yes i loved my movies, pjs, and couch. yes, i loved all the traveling i got to do with dave during college/grad school and beyond. but that was all i had. it could have continued on to the grave like that. it would be a peaceful life, an adventurous life. but it felt like i was driving toward a cliff. nothing on the horizon. at least the idea of family means the road continues and lifes adventures go on, even without you. and i like that. plus, im sure i will be reunited with my pjs, movies, and couch soon enough. and boy, what a reunion that will be! :)

**and in the first instance where i stare directly out at you all from the blog...i was wondering, if youve read this far, if you have any opinions on either of these topics. just cuz im curious**

06 July 2011

Terrific tuesday, minus the teething

what a lovely, random mid-week surprise of a day.

we woke up and started our day like any other day. nothing particularly interesting was on the agenda. dave decided to work from home so i was trying to work on getting X and me out of the house. we had a mid-morning communication with my mom that resulted in us buying the facetime app from Apple ($0.99). al recently got an iphone and is using facetime with his daughter in st louis to see her kids, so my mom thought they could start "visiting" with X as well. X responded really well to it (its the same type of thing as skype) and for the most part interacted with them like they were in the room. they would ask to see her shoe or a toy and she would bring it over to the computer and try to give it to their faces. and my mom read her a story. that was great. she noticed the change in tone of voice and was totally intent on listening to a book that she didnt even have right in front of her. it was very sweet.

after the video chat, we packed up and went to the library. they dont have organized mom-baby reading groups during the summer, but they do open the room up for babys to come and play with the special toys. by the time we arrived there were already a handful of parent-baby pairs there. to our surprise two of them were from previous reading groups, and one was from that waldorf group we went to. it was fun to see familiar faces and it encouraged X to wander away from me and independently check everyone out while still feeling comfortable.

as library play time wound down we picked out some new books and headed outside. there was a short lunchtime concert going on! a naval band (from the canada day parade) was performing to encourage people to check out the royal tattoo festival. X and lots of other kids loved the music and were playing and dancing on the grass.

when the concert ended we went home for lunch. the bike seat dave had ordered for X had arrived! now we needed a helmet. dave was excited to take her out, so he made time to come out for lunch and helmet shopping with us. we walked over to cabin coffee for soup/sandwich combos and sweet tea. it was a quick but wonderful lunch and it felt so exciting to be eating out on a weekday with dave! :) then we walked over to MEC for a helmet. the smallest helmet they had said "3+" but it was well-designed, lightweight and almost fit her. we decided that with a sweatband worn under the helmet it would be snug enough to fit her head safely until her head grew a bit more. so we had a helmet! things were coming together so beautifully.

after a quick test bike ride around the block, it was definitely time for a nap. at this time i went up to work for a meeting about that temporary project im doing. the meeting went well, i think im on target to finish the project in the expected time. plus, the guy basically told me that if i wanted to get up to working full time, that he could pay for me to work part-time with him (plus part-time with my current boss; this would equal full-time). things to work toward!

i got back home just as X was waking up and we went back outside to play until dinner time. the kid LOVES the swings. she could stay in them for an hour. im certain of it. i think the other parents think im abusing her by keeping her in them for so long, but she gets whiny if you try to take her out of them when shes not ready.

back at home, dinner done...now it was time for the real first bike ride. dave had an ultimate game starting at 7:45p. it was in the city so he took X over on his bike and i drove over. she loved the ride and was actually bummed to be taken out of the seat. but, as soon as she got down, she met a little girl named chloe (22 months old). her parents had just moved to halifax and joined daves team. the game was 1.5 hours long and those two hung out the whole time. throwing balls, sharing snacks, and climbing on the benches. they are too young to actually play together, but they definitely fed off each others vibes. i didnt have to actually do too much real parenting during the game because they were occupying their time so well. we will have to try and convince these people to hang out with us outside of ultimate games. it could be so great.

(ready for her first bike ride. the sun is in her face so perhaps that is why she doesnt look so happy. she really loves the bike though, i swear!)

after the game X got another bike ride home and we started the wind down process for bed. night time snack, diaper, and nursing. except she didnt actually want to go to sleep. i dont know if it was teething, or she was too amped up from the day, but it wasnt happening smoothly. dave stepped in to read to her and wind her down (thank you, thank you, thank you!) and i sat down for a phone call with my old friend katie. her daughter, iz, is just 6 weeks older than X. they are so close in age that it is extremely therapeutic talking to her. we are currently dealing with the exact same issues, joys, confusions at the exact same time. we can compare notes/commiserate about life with toddlers. we try to hook up once a month to talk and i just love those calls. thanks katie! and thanks dave for dealing with X until she finally went to sleep (at like 11p!).

in short, more days like today please!!!

01 July 2011

Grand finale friday

canada day today. weird celebrating what feels like 4th of july to me a few days early.

we started the day with the canada day/tattoo festival parade. we were able to, again, easily walk over to the parade route just a few minutes before the action started. i love that. we were at the beginning of the parade route so all the music and performers were fresh and happy looking. the sun was out and it was pretty warm so i felt bad that by the end of the parade they would be dripping in sweat. thankfully the parade was short and sweet with lots of music and costumes and entertainment for X. we even saw the danish gymnastics group who rode the plane from iceland to halifax with us earlier in the week. bizarre! one pet peeve though: adults who stand in front of kids and block everyones view. we had a husband/wife team of amateur photographers who BOTH had to be standing in front of us and jump out in the street at every chance to get pictures. its a damn parade people. happens every year.

(at the parade)

after the parade, we made our way down to the farmers market. the nice weather and cruise ship(s) meant the place was quite lively. thankfully, we were able to make our regular stops with relative ease (the pierogie lady to restock Xs supply of mushroom/cabbage pierogies and the pakistani couple who make awesome lentil/veggie curries). i also made note that we must try the newly popped up trinidad/tobago place called "some like it hott".

(playing in the bishops landing fountain on the way to the market)

lunch and naps were up next and then we got right back outside. we played in the public gardens and then in the square called "grand parade". finally it was time for dinner. we grabbed some tasty things from the bbq place we like called "Q" and headed home. after eating and bathing all we had left to do was kill time until the fireworks.

(public gardens)

we had told X about them all day in the hopes that she would pick up on the excitement vibes and stay awake. last year i think she would have still enjoyed the fireworks, but, mysteriously, each night when fireworks were an option she seemed to doze off early. she made it this year though. a little before 10p we went down to the waterfront. we found a good vantage point and only had to wait a few minutes before the fun began. dave hoisted X onto his shoulders and she got to see the whole exciting show (it was all of 10 minutes long). she loved the light, colors, and noise. i would say "boom, boom" as the fireworks exploded in the sky and after a while she started to grunt "hmmm, hmmm" along with me. she really seemed to get a kick out of the show and i was so happy we got to see it together. she was even doing the "boom, boom" grunting on the way home. and then she went right to sleep when we got back. it was great.