Sunday, May 31, 2015

First vacation with kids, Bathroom renovation, and some recent Conversations with Clara.

When we found out I was pregnant with our second child we decided it was time to go big or go home.  Our falling apart bathroom...literally falling apart....needed to be renovated before we became a family of four and GOSHDARNIT, we needed a vacation.  With the exception of a few visits to friends and family, our last vacation had been when I was pregnant with Clara, 3 years prior.

So if your one bathroom needs a gut renovation and you need to be out of the apartment for it, why not go to DISNEYWORLD!  We were pretending we were rich from a recent sale of Gerald's old apartment so we booked a 6 day trip to Florida with the rest of Gerald's immediate family.

Now I have never been to Disney, or Florida for that matter, and neither had my sister in law's fiance. But the rest of the clan had been to Disney on many, many vacations over the years.  I started hearing things like "We're having dinner in France on Thursday, and we're going to Mexico for lunch." (what?) "We're staying in Old Key West instead of Fort Wilderness." (??) "We couldn't book a breakfast with Cinderella." (thankfully Clara is young enough not to care, as I wiped away a stray tear.)

I don't know which of us was more excited.

Before I knew it everything was booked, reserved, and we were on a plane ride (Clara's first) to Orlando. Over our trip we visited every park at Disney and Universal Studios.  We averaged 6 miles of walking a day, and Clara decided vacation was just too exciting to take naps.  Clara was tall enough for most of the rides - clocking in at an amazing 39.5 inches for 2.5 years old.  She swam in a pool for the first time and fell in love with swimming.  Her take away advice from It's A Small World  after seeing the Hawaiian dancers doing the hula in bonfires.was: "Mama, Dada...don't dance in the fire."  

Spinning Teacups Ride
She requested a second time around on only two rides - the Spinning Teacups ride which she found hilarious, and bizarrely, the still chugging along animatronic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Ride.  She loved flying on the bicycles and waving and talking to all the little E.T. aliens she had just saved from extinction on the Green Planet.  She thought the Haunted Mansion was "spooky" and laughed at the dark. She rode the Hippogriff Roller Coaster in Hogsmeade (an adult ride), with her Aunt Margaret, and her only comment at the top of the hill was "Wow, this is high."  While she rode the roller coaster, Gerald and I tried Butterbeer...which was actually pretty gross but made for a nice photo op.

Butterbeer mustaches.

She also loved the Dumbo Ride which has ingeniously installed a Dumbo's Circus Playground for kids in lieu of making kids wait on line while you wait to actually go on the ride.  All the kids were vying to sit in this fire engine.  Clara finally got a turn with this little boy.  He was pretending to drive when his mother said "Johnny, it's our turn to go on the ride."  The little boy cried out "SON OF A BITCH!" clearly irritated about leaving the fire engine, jumped up, and ran away to join his mother. Totally surreal. Clara happily shifted over to the driver's seat.

Right before the outburst.
Fingerbomb high-five.

Clara kept it together until the final day when all the new experiences finally caught up to her.  We took her to Hollywood Studios where she was impressed but exhausted by the Little Mermaid Show, Muppets 3D,  and the Disney Jr. Live show.  Given any chance to rest she promptly threw herself down on the floor and refused to stand up. (I had sympathy because I felt the same way.)  This floor launching continued at the airport where we found our flight had been delayed an hour. and our bathroom renovation wasn't complete.  On the flight Clara moaned quietly in her car seat exhausted past all reason until she suddenly, without warning, fell asleep, head lolling and drooling.

First Epcot.

We arrived in NYC at 10:30 at night and found ourselves at my mother's vacant apartment, who was conveniently on vacation herself.  We lived out of our vacation suitcase for four days before I finally got to set eyes on my beautiful new bathroom. Back in our apartment and back into the swing of things, Clara continues to make us laugh with her new witticisms.

Last night, Gerald made milkshakes for dessert as a treat.  Clara had never had one and really, really loved it.  After drinking it up, she ran around the apartment shrieking and laughing for twenty minutes.  Shortly after she flopped down on the couch and said: "Mama, My brains are very heavy with all the sugar-milk. That means I need to take a nap."

Clara continues to pitch "Sister Grandma" as the name for her new sister.  My friend who is pregnant with a boy asked Clara for name suggestions the other day when she was over.  Clara thought seriously for a moment, then offered up: French Fry Girly" as an appropriate name.  

Next steps - big girl bed for Clara, Clara's 3rd birthday, and the arrival of our second daughter at the end of summer.  Can't wait to meet you, Sister Grandma.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Conversations with Clara. Episode 10.

Clara is closing in on her 3rd birthday and she has a lot to say.  Some recent interactions:

Riding the elevator to the basement.

CLARA: Who are you calling, Mama?

ME: (no phone in hand) No one.  Who are you calling?

CLARA: Yellow.

ME:  Who's Yellow?

CLARA: (coy) He's my boyfriend. (pause) He's coming to my birthday party.

I look forward to meeting the mysterious Yellow.

Early morning, I am sitting on the sofa trying to enjoy a cup of coffee.  Clara wants me to play with her and her entreaties quickly escalate as she slaps me on the face with a peremptory: "Play with me NOW, MAMA!."

This not being the best time of day to get slapped in the face...(when is it ever, really?) I order her to her room and tell her to play by herself because I don't like being hit.  My voice was raised, Clara left.

Three minutes later Clara returns quietly to the living room.

CLARA: Would you like to hear a song, Mama?

ME: That would be nice.

CLARA: (singing a song from Daniel Tiger) If you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath (takes a deep breath) and count to four. (pause, Clara contemplates me for a moment)  Now you should sing that song, Mama.

I thought Daniel Tiger's songs about social interaction were for the toddlers...clearly, Clara feels differently.