Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Christopher's First Birthday!

This weekend was Kuri's first birthday.  He made it to 1.  He can't walk, but he can crawl, sit, yelp, scream, toss, poop, scamper, and gurgle.  He can also say "No," which he loves using with us.

We're holding his party, with cousins and friends, next weekend, so his actual birthday was a relatively quiet affair.  Nonetheless, Kuri was ready for some birthday fun...

...and so was Mimi.
Sumie picked up a couple cupcakes for the kids.  Not enough for a true birthday party, but more than enough for a one year old to make a mess.  We covered Kuri's highchair with the Happy Birthday placemats Grandma made.  They were perfect.
The whole birthday process, as you might expect, was pretty new to Kuri.  He wasn't quite sure what to do with the round thing in front of him.
He soon figured it out though...
...with a little help from Mama.
Mimi, of course, needed her own cupcake.  She was only slightly less messy.
By the time Kuri finished, we were pretty impressed.  He was far more restrained than his big sister had been on her first birthday (she needed a bath immediately afterward).
As Papa got the family ready for our afternoon, Mama took the two out for a celebratory wagon ride. I wonder if they'll always get along this well.  
With Halloween rapidly approaching, we found some time to carve pumpkins.  As readers of this blog will know, Mimi loves Star Wars.  I did not, however, think she would use pumpkin caps to pretend she was Princess Leia.  
This year, I'm proud to say, I think the pumpkins actually turned out fairly well.  The one on the left is Mimi's, complete with glasses.  We think of her pumpkin as an homage to a back-country Elton John.  
The one on the right is Kuri's: small, simple, and cute.  
It was a busy weekend, but a memorable one.  It's hard to believe that it's been a year with Christopher in our lives.  Seems much shorter and much longer, all at the same time.  We're very proud of our smiley little boy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mama on Call, Papa on Duty

Any spouse of a doctor will know the dread that comes with the phrase: "It's my call weekend."  And so it was this last weekend for us.  As Sumie went into days 6 and 7 of her 12 day work week, I entered two days of kid-ruled chaos.  All call weekends have their challenges, but this one was something special.

Now those of you who are familiar with Mimi and Kuri may think that a weekend alone with the two would be like this...
...but it's far more like this.

Kuri (in toddler body English): Smell my butt!
Mimi: I'm not going to smell your butt!  Papa, Kuri wants me to smell his butt!
Our Saturday began with gymnastics.  Mimi was either absurdly excited to go, or had somehow picked up some crack on the way home from preschool and decided to smoke it up before we left the house.  All went well, despite a bandaid falling off and consistent cries of "My foot hurts!" as she scampered around the floor giggling madly.

Upon getting home, we put Kuri down for his morning nap.  Mimi had a project for me.  We took apart her toy car and then put it back together.  This we got from Great Grandma on a recent visit.  It's a Playskool toy from the 60s or 70s that you can completely take apart and then build again using plastic nuts and bolts.  I have no idea why they don't make toys like this anymore.  It doesn't make any noise, it doesn't take any batteries, and it actually teaches a child how to think mechanically. I wish we had more like this on the shelves today.
After working on the car, it was time to dive into the activity Mimi had been requesting all week: building her Gingerbread house from Trader Joe's.  Sumie had picked up a kit a few days back, and all Mimi could think about was putting it together.  As Kuri slept, we applied icing and built the structure.
Mim got the hang of it pretty quickly.  Before long she was laying down icing as mortar and applying jelly beans, candy bats, and bones everywhere.
As soon as Kuri woke, Mimi invoked the other activity she'd been promised this weekend: "Pumpkin Patch!"  We drove down to a nearby pumpkin patch that had the requisite bouncy houses (this was Mimi's request).  Mimi enjoyed bouncing...
...and hurtling down the slide.
I have to say that I'm pretty proud of her.  In many of the bouncy houses there were gangs of 3-6 year old boys doing what they do best - going crazy.  Mimi simply fought her way through and made it to the slides like a champ.

Kuri was a bit more stoic.  Too young to take part in the bouncy fun, he hung out with Papa and reflected on life's bigger questions, like "Will I really be able to eat this entire biscuit?"
Sunday morning we braved a trip to Costco.  After Kuri's first nap, it was time to head out.  That meant changing him and, unfortunately, Kuri has learned to roll, scoot, and scamper faster than my hands can fly.  Of course, he does this most expertly when naked from the waist down.  I've found hats are a good distraction.  At least for a few seconds.
Soon we were ready to go.  Kuri pointed the way.  He often points the way these days. Unfortunately, the way is usually just the ceiling.
 Just as we were stepping out the door, Mimi insisted that she couldn't go to Costco without a cape.  This turned into an entire outfit by the end.  Here she is with her cape, sunglasses, and homemade wallet (in which there was, sadly, no money).
The shopping went well all the way through check-out.  Then, things started turning ugly.  As we walked by the concession stand, Mimi insisted that she needed a smoothie.  Looking at the line 20 people deep and moving with the speed of a lethargic glacier, I decided we didn't.  Mimi, as you might imagine, felt differently.  By the time we got to the car, this is what I was pushing.  Utter disregard for the hard working Papa.
That was just the start of the troubles, though.  We got in the car and I turned it over.  No problem there.  I put it in reverse, and the engine died.  I started her up again.  Same thing.  I tried drive.  Same thing.  My little BMW wagon has served us faithfully for over 5 years, but that Sunday, she just wasn't having it.  Eventually, by holding down the brake and gunning the engine to get the car into drive or reverse without stalling, and then running all stop signs, we limped home.  I flew into the driveway, cursing that my car had an automatic transmission (not my choice, but that's another post). Still, despite nearly being stranded, I was proud of my little car.  She was hurting, but saw us home.

Once back, Kuri decided it was time to call Mama.  He picked up the nearest remote control...
...and then held it against his ear.  I was kind of amazed at this, but also thankful.  If he's pretending to make a call, at least that probably means Sumie and I are using our phones to talk with other people more than browse the interwebs when we're around the kids.
When Sumie got home, it had been a rough weekend, but we'd all survived.  We enjoyed dinner together and attempted to get an early night's sleep.  Monday found me taking the little BMW into the shop (thankfully, it's not a terminal case) and getting a rental to tide us over.

This afternoon, I finished the principle writing on a massive project I'd been developing for work.  To celebrate, and to get groceries for dinner, I ditched the rental and took Kuri for his first ride in the Porsche.
He was pretty startled when the engine fired up, but overall, I think he liked it.
Driving Kuri around in the 911, I realized just how many firsts he's had in his first year that I didn't experience until 5, 10, 20, or even 30 years later.  He's travelled throughout the US.  He's been to Japan.  He's learning two languages.  He's even ridden in a BMW and a Porsche.  I have a few days left before his first birthday for the two of us to share our first drive in a Ferrari.  So, if anyone can help us out, please let me know.

The weekend was rough, but for all the challenges, I still had a great time.  I came away happy.  I think that's one of the great (but still painful) aspects of call weekends.  They remind you just how painful parenting can be, but also remind you that you'd never have it any other way.