Monday, January 30, 2012

an evening session

love these nights of nonstop smiles and giggles.  funny faces and silly sayings.  4 years old is pretty fun.  

 new fav.

he told me tonight
bella bulldog is my best fwiend.

 bella.  beanie.  the bean.  teeny.  teeny tiny.  bulldog.

{p.s. jackie's featured shirt is compliments of his uncle matt, circa 1980.}

Thursday, January 26, 2012

flight home

i was set up!  (by me.)  i wanted out!  (couldn't.)  had to put on a brave face!  (did.)

flying.  with child(ren).  it just changes the entire vacation/traveling experience.

i remember the days of traveling pre-parent.  gossip mags in tow, snacks galore, music, eye mask, extra cushy-cozy socks.  good to go.  zone out.  sleep a few hours.  eat salty pretzels and feel a little bloated.  but that wasn't even the problem.  it was that screaming baby a few rows back.  c'mon, people, do something! i would scream back in my head.  oh, how i judged!

i'm now that lone lady trudging down the aisle with 3 too many carry-ons and an armful of soon-to-be screaming white pudge.

i should have bought a ticket for her.  that likely would have solved 90% of dylan's our issues.  she's very close to that two year cut off, but i couldn't stomach spending more than our tickets to maui on a quick jaunt to minnesota.  i digress.

here's the deal, people.

we don't want our kids to scream, either.  we would like them to be all smiles, cute and camera-ready-like.  we would like our kids to eat a little snack, take a few pulls off their sippy and crash out for the remainder of the flight.  really.  but, it's likely not gonna happen.  and it sucks for you, as much, if not worse, than it does for us.  i promise.

i messed up.  guess i didn't pay much attention to the returning flight during my crazed initial booking.  returning to anchorage was not going to be as nice as our flight down.  nope, we were flying to chicago (50 minute flight), and then chicago to anchorage, a 7-hour nonstop bastard of a flight.  gah.

without getting into all the details, let me just say that the couple sitting next to us was not very understanding.  glares before take-off, one word responses to my extra-friendly and extra-smiley questions.  i was trying to make nice.  we would be neighbors for the better part of a work day.  but, it was no use.

after seeing both bodies jump from their seats in reaction to dylan's cries during take-off, i knew this was going to be trouble.  at one point, the lady informed me that both her children were wonderful travelers.  i laughed nervously and tried really, super hard not to take that offensively.  (didn't work.)  she asked where my husband was.  (?)  they switched seats during 2 of 4 trips to the lav for a diaper change.  (thank goodness for an aisle seat.)

each diaper change, i would gaze at my daughter, smiling and saying hi, giving me hugs and pointing (and saying) to my eyes.  she wasn't trying to be a pest.  she wasn't trying to be annoying.  she was bored.  she was tired.  she wanted to run and let her hair get all einstein-like (it happens).

i thought back to the couple, all nose to the air snooty, gabbing about eat at simon and seafort's later in the evening.  it's a very nice restaurant in downtown anchorage.  i quickly remembered a gift card in my wallet from, like, 3 Christmases ago.  ben and i have time to eat fancy dinners?  when?  who are you talking about?!

this couple may have wanted me to feel badly about ruining their flight to ak, but i didn't want to feel worse than i already did.  i wanted to kill 'em with kindness, like my mom always said.  i wanted them to use my gift card, gorge on their king crab on my dime and maybe feel an eensy-weensy bad about the looks they gave me, the ignoring of initial conversation, the silly, useless comments while butter dripped down their wrists.

can i tell you that it was rather embarrassing to see two grown adults back pedal so quickly?  the barrage of questions over dylan; where did i live; what did my husband do; any more children?

oh, it was a little much.


instead of getting off the plane, feeling built up anger... i merely felt happy.  and not just happy to be off that damn jet, yes, but happy that i turned the situation into something entirely different.  i didn't even feel the need to vent to ben, which normally, he'd have gotten an earful.

how could you get irritated by this face?

and this, before we left minneapolis.  
stretching legs with papa.

2 whole days, final day

on our last full day together (i know, it went by fast), we decided shopping would be the best game plan.  we hit up ikea, the wedding shoppe, and a must when i'm visiting, bruegger's bagels.  by early afternoon, dylan was done.

we dropped her off with mark for a snooze and went back for the goods: mall of america.  i'm not the shopper i used to be, but when there's that much within a quick walking distance, i'm in.

after our full day of shopping, we wanted to wind down the night with pizza dinner (italian pie shoppe pizza, no less) at the flanagan's.  the cousins played while the grown ups laughed.    

 goodness, can you imagine this in 11 years?!

 i wish you could hear the giggles.

have you heard of this book?  it's absolutely hysterical.  horrible, awful things are written, but you know what, the truth can hurt!  here's my favorite page from the story (and trust me, there's many favorites throughout this read):

the eagles who soar through the sky are at rest
and the creatures who crawl, run, and creep.
i know you're not thirsty.  that's bullsh_t.  stop lying.
lie the f___ down, my darling, and sleep.  

expect foul on each page.  and, i challenge you to not laugh out loud as you read this book.  fyi: my brother wiped tears on more than one occasion.  

2 whole days, day 1

as planned, the wirtz girls came for breakfast.  bright and early at nine.  which was, like, six for me.  and i think my mom and i gabbed until after midnight.  ah, but sleep wasn't the point; it wasn't even factored into this visit.  as it went, each night we didn't say good night until after 2.

we didn't have much time to visit and as it worked out, they didn't either, so a quick play date, gab session and breakfast feast was perfect.  momma d whipped up some scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, english muffin toast (which i CRAVE since i can't buy it here!) and yummy homemade muffins that dylan wouldn't let me eat without her help.  oh, and lots of orange juice.  yum-mo.  maybe i'll fix breakfast for dinner tonight...

hi, friends!

 i just had a flash of us in 10th grade...

after breakfast, we made our way to the zoo, where we met up with my brother matt.  while he wasn't as keen on running around the zoo with us, averee was all about it.  (ellie was back at home, snoozin.)

the aquarium was dylan's favorite area.  i managed to snap a few pictures, but most of the time, i was running back and forth from the dolphin tank to the tank holding the sharks and other fishies.  camera slung on my back, i was darting and dodging 'scuse me, oh, sorry, 'scuse me, 'scuse her!  

at one point, there was this tiny little crevice of dolphin tank, exposed between strange man's legs.  as i'm watching my daughter run toward this big ass tank with plenty of open room - nope! - she goes right for that opening, alarming strange man and strange woman.  thankfully, they HE had a sense of humor about it.

mark and dyl, checkin out the dolphins
 cousin averee with dyl at the penguin exhibit
 many pictures have been snapped on this turtle
super-sweet girl
 pink lovely
hello, little asian otter!

ok, so just bare with me here.  yes, averee is cute.  we know that.  it's obvious.  but, that's not what i initially noticed.  anything disturb you about this picture?  i'll tell you what should: letting you daughter leave the house like this little girl here.  first, white pants on a little girl is never wise.  they can/will get dirty so fast, and ultimately, they're gonna look dingy.  but, second and this is a BIG second, don't let her wear orange undies with them!!!  or if orange undies are your only option, put a baby doll-style top on, so you don't see what secrets she's rockin.  or, wear jeans.  or, oh, i could go on...

 super brave...
 ok, maybe not...
 they had so much fun together!  
i swear!
 oh, ok!  
she just wanted to rock herself.

after the zoo, dyl and i met up with papa frank and sue.  while waiting for them, dylan was able to catch a quick snooze, which naturally, i captured.  oh, she fought this nap.  hard!  the amount of times she had to put her thumb in her mouth (and let's not forget the simultaneous ear-rubbing) were in the 20s.  this was merely a fraction of the entire series.

head starts to fall,
 quick, jolt back up,
 hand falls, thumb falls,
 head falls,
 ohhh, right back up.
 soothing, soothing
 hand falls, thumb starts sliiiiiipping,
look! almost out of her mouf!
 we have zzzz's.

after dylan's 20-minute siesta, we scarfed some chipotle, and then headed out the the mall - dylan was in need of her own build-a-bear experience.  jack and i did the b-a-b stuffing right before Christmas, and since then, dylan has been attempting daily kidnappings on jack's mr. weinie, (aren't you glad there's a mr. in between those two words?!) a dachshund, naturally.  the girl's been obsessing over it.  times were at a real low when jack looked up to me one afternoon, with those sweet brown, tear drop eyes, mama, where'd MY mista weinie go? as dylan had become the new owner by way of screams and yanking.  so, she needed her own weinie.  

when we entered b-a-b, it took me a while to take in all that this store had to offer.  back home, our store is the size of a, well, a normal mall store.  but, this b-a-b at mall of america?!  it's like 3 stores, with 1,000 choices (ok, maybe 30) of animals to stuff.  ours had 15 choices - maybe.  and even with all her options, when dylan saw what would become her weinie, she gasped and reached out for it with a smile smudged ear to ear.  she brought it to her chest and gave it a big ol' hug.  then, realizing it was all floppy, she snuggled it even tighter.  

when we got closer to the stuffing "machine," there was a booth to pick out a song.  weeee!  while dyl's not a huge justin bieber fan (there were, like, 5+ bieber songs), she does love her some sugarland and wouldn't you know it - her fav sugarland song stuck like glue was an option.  yes, pwease!  

and because no b-a-b experience is complete without an outfit (really?), we picked out a denim dress with red gingham ruffles.  it's adorable.  just. like. dylan.  [another blog and pictures on this weinie topic in a later post.]