Big T and I used to wonder why people needed big family cars. Okay, so now we get it. Our car was so packed, it’s amazing we were able to make it safely down the street. Next time, we’ll probably leave the wagon.
What made the trip hard was the L.A. traffic. We left at noon, but our five hour trip turned into a seven hour turtle race. Meaning, Little T could have crawled next to the car and gotten there faster than us.
Little T slept for most of the way. Big T and I entertained ourselves by playing categories. You pick a category and take turns coming up with a word for each letter of the alphabet. Every time you can’t think of something, you get a point. The person with the least amount of points by the time you get to Z, wins. What do they win? Respect. Hardy har har.
Here were the categories we used:
1. Harry Potter (surprise, this was my favorite category)
4. Movie titles
We’ll have to remember this little game for the next time we tag an extra two+ hours onto our drive.
The frightening image of a bee with an ice cream cone really makes this story hit home.
1. Making sacrifices to the ocean gods.
2. Losing track of time.
3. Having lots of extra playmates.
4. Seashell shops.
5. Date nights with fancy schmancy vegan meals.
6. Impromtu puppet shows…
7. Spying with spyglasses
8. Group wagon rides.
9. Baby Snuggles
10. Staying up past bedtime for bonfires.
11. And a perfect view of everyone enjoying a perfect view.
Okay, okay, so I have 11. :p
We went to My Vegan Restaurant in Pasadena the other day (the food was delicious, you should try it)! Little T made us laugh, because every time the waitress would bring out a new plate of food, his eyes would get SO wide. (i.e.—> 0_0) He was in awe of this amazing place where new and delicious food is brought to the table every few minutes by a fun woman who likes to make cute faces and play with him.
He was soooo happy…until we had to leave. Then his face turned from this —> 0_0, to this —–> >:(
We went to the zoo the other day. Little T is at the age where he hates being in the stroller, meaning, he enjoyed anything that allowed him to crawl around and explore.
But I don’t want to talk about our visit. Insead, I want to talk about an issue that weighs heavily on my heart and doesn’t get the attention it needs. Zoo visits are always bittersweet for me. As we wove our way through the primates, I smiled at the sweetness of Little T as he watched the orangutans, gorillas, and bonobos swing and interact with each other. But I can’t stay in that sweet moment for long without wondering, how many of them will not be here for Little T to see as he gets older? Nearly half of all primates are on their way to extinction, and that number is dismally growing.
Primate behaviors are unique and complex. Mother orangutans have such a strong bond with their infants, that they will give their lives for them. Baby orangutans are often captured and sold as pets, and their mothers are killed because they will do anything to protect their babies. The mother’s body parts are often sold next to their infant at the market for meat.
Gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, tamarins, spider monkeys…the extinction list goes on and on. Their habitats are disappearing. They’re being sold for their meat, and they’re being traded illegally as exotic animals-then later killed because they aren’t capable of being domesticated animals.
While in Costa Rica in 2008, I awoke each morning to the voices of the howler monkeys outside our window. Mesmerized with the indescribable sound, I thought about how everyone should have a chance to hear them. Little T’s chances of observing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat are fading. Another time, I sat at the Wild Animal Kingdom and observed a gorilla family for my primatology class. I watched in amusement as the silverback gorilla interacted with his family. He’d playfully put a branch on the head of his mildly irritated mate, then put the branch on his own head and made a silly face. Their family bond was strong, and they looked content and happy together. I could have sat there for hours. Will Little T grow up in a world where they simply don’t exist?
Please take a moment to learn more about these animals and how you can help save them from becoming extinct. They are too precious to lose.
My mom went home after spending 2 weeks together, and today is my first day on my own again with Little T. I’m sure you all can understand when I say it’s a heck of a lot easier having an extra person around to help take care of a baby. Especially when that person adores Little T as much as I do.
My droopy and baggy eyes are proof that it’s been a difficult morning. Being on my own has reminded me that it’s way harder getting out the door, getting bottles ready, changing diapers (on a squirmy baby that HATES having his diaper changed), and providing entertainment. I’m rushing to get it all done and fix T’s breakfast, so I can sneak in a moment to eat myself. This morning was challenging because T had a hard night and I was exhausted from a lack of sleep. The day started with us taking a walk, and then turning around because I was too tired to walk. Then I spilled Little T’s breakfast on the floor and had to do it all over again. When Little T took his nap after breakfast, instead of eating and cleaning the house, I fell asleep. Little T woke me up because he was crying and I felt like a bad mom for not being there right when he woke up. It took a while to calm T down and get him taken care. After finally getting a chance to make breakfast (I’d already been awake for 4 hours), Little T spilled it on the ground. I was upset and Little T could tell, so he threw his arms and head to the floor and started sobbing. I had to chuckle a bit at the dramatics of it all, but felt bad for my sensitive little baby. I had so many projects planned but that all went out the door, as it often does with the unpredictable life of a parent.
It was just one of those days, where I’m reminded that parenting can be hard and staying at home is tough work. I feel guilty that I ever thought it would be easy. I know we’ll get back into the routine of things. In the meantime, I’ll be over here having an extra cup of coffee.
I’ve been trying to think of meals that Little T can eat on his own with his chubby little fingers. I remembered one of my favorite recipes from my time at the Dr. McDougall 10 Day Health Clinic. It changed my life when I went there because of health problems in 2003. One of the great things about the clinic were the buffets of food they’d have out for each meal. You could pick whatever you wanted to eat and find things you liked so you could make it at home. They also had the names and recipes for all the food. It doesn’t get any easier than that, folks!
When I was thinking of finger food for Little T, I thought of their banana french toast. It’s so easy to make and I knew he’d love it. You can find this recipe in the McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook. You may also be able to find it on their website if you search the newsletter section.
We made this for Little T last night to try it out. We had to make extra because the adults kept sneaking bites. :p He gave a happy little foot kick after each bite and ate two pieces of the french toast. I think it’s a winner.