Saturday, March 28, 2009

What a difference a week makes!

From the cold and gusting winds last weekend at the zoo when we had to wrap up in layer after layer to larking about in the outdoor pool blowing bubbles and having fun. What a difference a week makes - we're now well and truly into summer in San Francisco although that wind is never too far away.

We took Leah for her first swimming lesson today at our local pool. Leah and I joined Natalie and Ruby in the water, Paul and Erika took on the role of photographers for Leah & Ruby's latest adventure.

I had anticipated needing to be brave in case Leah either decided she didn't want any of it or some chlorine-inhalation accident occurred but nothing could've prepared me for joining 8 other adults in the pool at 9.30 on a Saturday morning and having to loudly (and of course enthusiastically) sing 'Ring a Ring a Roses', 'Itsy Bitsy Spider', 'Oh the hokey cokey' and 'One little speckled frog' with gusto.

Here are the Leah & Ruby speckled frogs just before they jumped off the log:
Dear lord I was mortified. The only thing that saved me was the realisation that there were far more dads in the pool than mums, a fact I wasted no time at all in articulating to Paul who was hovering on the side lines. It is definitely his turn next week!

Leah remained slightly cautious (or confused) throughout but bless her she coped with everything I threw at her, she watched me blow bubbles in the water and tried to copy - mainly just sticking her tongue out and licking the water:
she kicked her legs and splashed with her hands and then the instructor cheerily announced the immortal line that stopped my heart: 'And now it's time to try their faces all the way in the water'. She saw the absolute disbelief in my face but after checking that she came equipped with CPR accreditation and not just a 35m badge sewn onto her trunks we gave it a whirl. Well actually I handed Leah over to her and let her give it a whirl (having been bitten by the 'you hold your baby while something terrifying happens' once too often). The instructor said 1.....2.......3 and blew firmly in Leah's face causing her to suck in her breath and purse her lips then immediately she pulled Leah face first through the water popping her out after a second to lots of applause and huge, albeit fake, smiles from me. Leah handled it like a champ and after a split second of uncertainty smiled back bravely. I plucked up the courage to give it a go myself and we did fine, although after the third attempt I could tell the novelty was wearing thin for Leah as she spluttered and rubbed her eyes. So we called it quits and went back to general swimming and jumping off the edge of the pool.

In amongst all this frivolity Natale and Ruby weren't faring quite so well, Ruby started by looking a little confused, then shocked then put on her bravest 'I will persevere with this' face for most of the class before totally capitulating at having to get her face wet.
It was definitely not her idea of a fun Saturday morning and she told her mums exactly what she thought of them by peeing all over Erika at the first opportunity. A substantial bottle and some warm clothing later and all was forgiven. Who knows whether we'll all be back for more of the same next weekend?

Monday, March 23, 2009

We went to the zoo, zoo, zoo - how about you?

Ever since father Xmas brought me My Big Animal Book my mum and dad have been forcing me to look at pictures of animals whilst making the most ridiculous noises at me. They've even tried to force their friends to make noises at me in the hope that I'll magically copy them (I'm still working on Mama and Dada - what more do they want????). By the way this is probably a good time to mention that JB is still winning the best animal noise award.

Anyway, after 3 months of this stupid game they decided to take a different approach and take me to San Francisco Zoo so that I could hear the noises first hand rather than their abismal impressions. So on the windiest, coldest day of the year so far they decided to take me out to a huge outdoor place right next to the sea (I'm starting to wonder if I can ask for another placement). I know Mum was a bit worried about going because she tends to feel very sorry for the animals but she put on a brave face and off we went.

We started out in Africa and I saw ostriches and giraffes. I listened very very carefully for the ostrich sound and the giraffe sound that they'd been making for me but I heard absolutely nothing:
Just in case the giraffe was just too far away I decided to get a little closer:
Not a sausage. So we moved on..

Next up were the pretty flamingoes. We got pretty close to them and I flapped my arms and shouted 'Uuggghh' but got nothing back. They just tucked in their heads away from the wind and totally ignored me. I told Mum that I didn't think much of the trip so far and that she needed to buck her ideas up PDQ. She reckoned she had the answer so we went over to where the big guys were. Now after 6 months of reading 'that's not my lion' I was certain that this would be where the action was and of course I know the lion noise so I was very excited to see this guy:
But even this guy was totally silent. I was beginning to get deeply suspicious, had they been making all this up the whole time? Surely my parents wouldn't lie to me? I decided to show them exactly what I thought of this whole experience by falling asleep, give them time to figure out what to do next:
When I woke up I was in a much more interesting part of the zoo. There were these really cool little guys who weren't in my book so I didn't expect any noises from them but they kept popping up all over the place:
Dad said they were called Prairie Dogs and they were so cool we decided to sit down in the sun away from the wind and have my lunch there so that I could check them out. After this they took me to the best place of all, the Children's Zoo. We had to go through a couple of gates and over a little pond that was filled with lots and lots of ducks - finally an animal noise and one I could (kind of) recognise!! When we got through the gates look what I found:
He was lovely, just sat there quietly and let me come up all the way and say hello. He didn't say too much but luckily all his mates who were running around outside butting people had a few things to say, here's one of them:
I had a great time chatting away to them all and doing my best arm flaps so that they could see how excited I was to see them. Unfortunately because of the all the wind there was a lot of dust flying around there and Mum was getting very worried that I'd get sore eyes so after chatting with the goats, pigs, horses and the weirdest scariest looking sheep they decided that it was probably time to go home. They've promised me that I can go back very soon though and this time I'm going to take my pal Ruby with me so that she can meet the guys.

Oh yes and on the way out Mum and Dad spotted a 'Leah photo opportunity':
As you can see, I wasn't too impressed! For more photos of the day please check out our photo gallery.

Here's to the next big adventure!
xxx

Friday, March 20, 2009

Move over Scorsese Leah and Ruby are here

This is what happens when you leave two 8 month olds in charge of a very small video recorder.

video

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wowee Coyote!

I wanted to tell you all about this cool place Mum and Dad took me to last weekend. It's called Coyote Point Park, it's only about 20 minutes away from my house but for some reason it took us over 40 minutes to get there. For some reason Mum and Dad kept driving up and down the same bit of road shouting at each other and the woman in the car computer kept telling them to turn around - I don't know what all that was about so after a while I joined in with the shouting which made them get their act together and we finally arrived and I was able to get out of the car.

Mum and Dad took me into this little museum looking place that was quite dark with lots of glass panels in the walls. Every time we looked through one of the glass panels there was a funny little fellow on the other side. At first most of them were either hiding or sleeping like this guy:
but because we went round and round and round about 15 times we managed to catch a few of the guys awake and shuffling around. This is me checking out a badger, he came right up to the window to say hello to me he was all shuffly and sniffy so I gave him one of my very special hellos which involves flapping my arms up and down while kicking my legs at the same time and shrieking 'CCcckkkkkkkxxxxxx' - it's much easier to do when I'm being carried in the Bjorn than in my stroller so I really let this guy have it!
I saw a Coyote, 2 eagles, a very cute little fox and a porcupine as well as a few snakes and toads and the very tips of a bobcat's ears. I didn't think it could get much better and then we went outside and I saw this little guy.
He's called a Shriek owl, he was very little and his friend said he had bad eyes which is why he had to stay in the museum place. He was smashing, he sat there quietly blinking and turning his head really far around. Because he was called a Shriek owl I figured he was just being shy so I did my best flapping/kicking squeal to see if I could encourage him but he kept completely quiet and just blinked and blinked. Mum whispered in my ear that I might like to try and copy him sometimes but she's joking of course!

Once we finished at the coyote place we passed a little park on the way out, I gave Mum one of my best stares and she made Dad pull over so that I could go and try out the swings. Mum says that there are way too many photos of me in swings and as it wasn't often that Dad was with us at a park that he and I should try out some of the many slides that were there. So here's me and my dad on a bumpy slide:
It was great fun, I went on a couple of slides with my dad and some with Mum. I also got to crawl around lots on the funny rubber floor that they always have at playgrounds here. It was a lovely day, I'm very much looking forward to our next family day - apparently we're going to try and do something like this every Sunday :).

Later dudes!

Friday, March 6, 2009

She finally did it!

After more than a month of scooting backwards on her bum and some time since her pal Ruby first took off Leah waited until I was at Safeway to show off to her dad what she can do: video
It was definitely worth the wait. A hastily planned trip to BabiesRUs for baby-proofing materials is now on the cards for this weekend.

Well done Leah!!!
Your very proud & soppy parents
xxx