Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Responsible Parenting

Yesterday Renee and I went to my graduate group's annual Welcome Dinner to meet this year's incoming class and to re-connect with some of the other graduate students in our group.

While I was chatting with a new student, Renee was sitting on my lap wildly grabbing at her beer bottle.  It's always so cute watching her chubby little arms stretching out, and her long chubby little fingers wiggling away, desperately grasping at whatever object her mind is set on at the moment!  When the student (sorry, I don't remember her name, I'm horrible with names) was done with her beer I asked if Renee could have the bottle so she could slobber it up.

Another student saw Renee sucking on the beer bottle and "had to take a picture!" on his iPhone.  He sent it to me with the subject line: "Responsible Parenting"

The picture turned out really cute :D  I love how serious she is about it!

And with all the hype about BPAs and other chemicals in plastics, letting my daughter suck on a glass bottle is responsible parenting :D

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple Hill

On Sunday we went to High Hill Ranch in Placerville with our friends Jason & Jodi and their kids Keira and Jackson.  The ranch is part of an area called Apple Hill, an association of local apple growers, vineyards and christmas tree growers.  It was our first time there, but apparently it's a popular destination if you live in Northern California because everyone I mentioned it too was like, "Ohh, I LOVE Apple Hill!!  They have the best pie, fudge, cider, donuts, etc..." or "That place is great, we go there every year!"

Anyway, we had a great time.  We brought stuff to have a picnic lunch on the lawn by a man-made duck pond - Renee's first picnic :D
Family portrait.
We were sitting on a slope and I was worried that if Renee fell forward (which she does on occasion, she's quite top heavy) that she'd just topple on down the hill into the pond.  So, I sat below her the whole time just in case.  She only fell once though, right into the cheese plate (we were done with the cheese, thankfully), it was pretty funny :D

Keira & Renee looking so cute together!

There were only two ducks in the pond, and they were the fattest ducks we've ever seen, so they really had no interest in any food we had to offer.  That didn't stop Keira and Jackson from trying and they still had fun throwing bread in the pond!
Jason, Jackson and Keira "feeding" the ducks.

The weather turned out to be perfect.  The forecast had said 60% showers, but it just sprinkled a bit on our drive, and it was beautiful for the rest of the day.

Me, Renee, Keira and Jodi

Keira got her face painted and got to go on a pony ride.

And there was a cute little playground for the kids.

Keira & Jackson playing in the sand box.

Renee really wished she was big enough to run around with Keira and Jackson, but she had to settle for watching from my lap.  Pretty soon baby girl!!

And, of course, we got some apple pie for dessert.  It was okay, not great, mine is better (and Jeff agrees - I didn't bully him into that opinion, honest!)  They did have good apple donuts though :D

At the end of the day we drove into downtown Placerville and checked out some of the cute little shops on Main St. before having some super yummy pot-pies at Z-Pie.

It was a great Sunday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

World Traveler in the Making

Jeff and I love to travel and did so as much as we possibly could afford to before Renee was born.  We always thought that having a child would hinder our traveling.  But, it turns out (for now anyway) that Renee is a great traveler!  Last week we went on our first trip with her and she did great every step of the way.

First we flew from Sacramento to Seattle (with a stop-over in Portland) to visit Jeff's step-brother Earl and his wife Daphne.  The plane rides went great, Renee fell asleep before taking off and slept until we landed in both of them.  Of course it helped that they were only about 1 hour each :D

Here's me and Renee in her Ergo carrier (I love that thing) in front of the Space Needle in Seattle.  And that's Jeff's hand blocking out the sun so he could take the picture!

We went up to the top, but Renee had no interest in checking out the view.  She was hungry and just wanted to nurse.  So, now at least I can say I nursed my baby at the top of the Seattle Space Needle (I know, not really T-shirt worthy, but fun to say anyway!). 

The view from the top of the Space Needle.

And here she is with her Uncle Earl

and her Auntie Daphne.  She thought Daphne was just about the funniest person she's ever met and laughed more in these two days than she has in her whole 6 months of life :D  It was really cute!

Earl and Daphne were great tour guides!  We saw killer whales in the wild.


We went to an alpaca farm, 

and a lavender farm.

And we enjoyed tons of yummy food (Earl is not only an exceptional cook, but he also had a nose for yummy food joints to snack at while we were sightseeing)!

Jeff, Renee and I had one more day in Seattle to explore on our own, so we went to the Seattle Aquarium and the Pike Place Market.

The aquarium was great.  Renee wanted to grab all the fish and didn't understand why she couldn't get her hands through the glass when they swam by!  Jeff and I enjoyed watching her reaction to everything more than we enjoyed the aquarium itself. 

Then, another plane ride and we landed in Palm Springs to visit Jeff's grandpa, aka Renee's great-grandpa Denny, Uncle John, Sarah (the cat) and their house guest Valerie.

We had a nice relaxing couple of days there before heading back home.

So, really, the only hard part about traveling with an infant was dragging the car seat around everywhere we go and installing it in every new car we drive in.  And that really wasn't that bad, although Jeff was the one who had to carry the thing through all the airports!

The only question now is, where should we go next?