Saturday, September 3, 2005

A Big Week

Since it's been a while since our last post, we have a lot to write. First of all, we have had two very important birthdays, on the 27th of August. That same weekend, we babysat for Chris and Yolanda while they cruised to Cozumel and never did return to port. And of course, Gabriel's been up to lots of stuff.

The birthday boy

For Matt's 32nd birthday, we took the kids to Oregon Park, where he and Corbin threw around the football and the rest of us played on the playground. When we go back home, we ordered pizza from Domino’s to support the Ann Arbor-based company (we also do all of our book shopping at Borders and stop at the Espresso Royale when in Athens), opened presents, and ate cake. Corbin, Tristan, and Selena chose one of Matt’s favorite magazines, Architectural Digest, and his loving wife and son gave him a mini mouse for the notebook computer that works on the left side. His big present wasn’t given until today, though, since he had to pick it out himself. More on that later. Cake was a delicious sweet cream ice cream with chocolate chips mixed in on chocolate devil’s food cake with a chocolate ganache icing. It read “Happy Birthday Matty/Daddy.” It had the tallest candles we’ve ever seen!

We wish that we had some embarrassing photos of Laura as a child, but they are unfortunately still packed somewhere in the basement. Oh well, she’ll just have to settle for a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY and lots of love from us.

We had a great time with C, T, and S all weekend. Patty enjoyed doing their homework with them, and Matt liked the forced change to his biological clock. He is now getting to work earlier and has a much easier commute in the morning. Chris and Yolanda were delayed due to the hurricane, but the cruise ship at least got them to land, even if it was a different state than the location of their car... They have since driven their rental car back to Mobile to pick up the minivan, which was luckily parked on the 3rd floor of a four-floor parking deck. The first 2 levels were under water, and the top one had no roof.

Chip eating calamari

While the kids were at school on Friday, we slipped away for Ru-San's fabulous sushi buffet. We have vowed to go there every other Friday for the rest of time because we definitely eat our money's worth, and we can try things we wouldn't ordinarily buy. We found that the cream cheese banana roll was surprisingly good but whatever that super slimy sashimi thing was, was not. Gabriel actually tried the calamari, but when we gave him a second piece, we found that he'd somehow eaten the breading and left the squid in his cheek, maybe to spit into his napkin when we weren't looking. It was a step in the right direction though; we haven't gotten him to eat a sushi roll (don't worry, not all sushi is raw) yet.

Today, we went to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit to pick up Matt's bonsai tree. He had to pick it out himself because A) he couldn't ever be left out of a trip to the monastery, and 2) he's going to put a lot of love and effort into this tree, so he had to choose one that "spoke to him." We came home with a beautiful little juniper, about 10 years old, and a little clay turtle, to remind us of the one we saw in our yard, as a decoration. Matthew-san is planning on shaping the juniper in the Kengaï or Han-Kengaï style.

Plum tuckered out

Chipdip is starting to choose walking over crawling. He did not sit down between 8:30 and 11:30 tonight. When he got tired, he crashed, as the photo above shows. He had been pulling clothes out of his hamper, when he laid down and started fussing. Before he had the chance to put the clothes back in (which he does, believe it or not), Daddy rubbed his back and he was out.

Little slugger

The Chipster has a new favorite toy. He carries his baseball with him all over the house, and we play catch with it constantly. On Thursday, he made his first catch on his own, and it was one-handed!!! That's our little first-baseman!

The only other big Gabriel news is that he's feeding himself, even if it is still baby-type food. We did have to divert some of the Red Cross volunteers from hurricane relief to clean up our kitchen, but on the positive side, Mommy was able to read Harry Potter while Chip ate dinner...