Baby Shower for Squirt

Babies.

Even when they’re not mine, I’m still excited to celebrate them.

So I do.

So I did.

My sister-in-law and her husband are expecting their little squirt within the next six weeks. It’s an exciting time for the family and Squirt will be Max’s second boy cousin. I anticipate a lot of testosterone-fueled family holidays in the near future. And trips to urgent care.

My SIL decided she would like to recreate a sailboat/nautical theme for her bundle. Fine by me. Growing up  with what most psychiatrists would call a “grossly obsessive affinity” for everything related to The LIttle Mermaid, I was more than happy to oblige.

Obviously, I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest (you can see my board here) and relied upon the dexterity of my husband and mother-in-law to complete many of the crafts.  I would have recruited Max, but everyone knows toddlers are terrible at glueing eyes onto toothpicks.

From chicken salad crab croissants, to sailboat jello, to narwhal watermelon carvings, overall, everyone was impressed.

Baby Shower Goodies

Although everything went as planned, looks can be deceiving. Have you ever had your toddler foil your plans by puking in the car on the way to the party? Me too! About as exciting as it sounds. Luckily, Max was perfectly healthy (a touch of seasonal allergies and car sickness) and we were able to clean up the mess with a quick trip to Target for additional wipes and clothing.

God bless the bullseye.

Next on the agenda: Wind! Yes, beautiful mother nature and her ability to predict when I’ve purchased tablecloths to use outdoors. Luckily, my BIL’s mother came up with an ingenious plan to tape both ends of the tablecloth together underneath the table.

All in all, it was a success. Family was happy. People were fed. Babies were celebrated.

Chicken Salad Crab Croissants

All eyes are on me.

Yes, that is a watermelon carved to be a narwhal.

Yes, that is a watermelon carved to be a narwhal.

No, they are not perfect. Can anyone say, "Holy Wind!"?

No, they are not perfect. Can anyone say, “Holy Wind!”?

 

Exacto knife, poster board, favor bags - check! With the wind, it acted as a real sail.

Exacto knife, poster board, favor bags – check!

Homemade food, nautical theme, and a touch of lemonade on a warm spring day.

Homemade food, nautical theme, and a touch of lemonade on a warm spring day.

Luckily, my husband is a graphic designer. Custom designs = free for me!

Luckily, my husband is a graphic designer. Custom designs = free for me!

Chocolate + pregnancy cravings + local bake shop = baby shower success!

Chocolate + pregnancy cravings + local bake shop = baby shower success!

Max was infatuated with his new friend. They pick bark off trees, ran in the grass, and giggled for hours.

Max was infatuated with his new friend. They picked bark off trees, ran in the grass, and giggled for hours.

After a long day? Me too.

After a long day? Me too.

The best part? My sister-in-law and her husband felt special. Anything we can do to help them usher in this new era as parents is a gift. Despite wind, puke, and exhaustion, it was a great experience.

Fabulous.

Fabulous.

The Hunt Family Visits San Diego.

After growing up in Tucson, any opportunity to be near water is one I will happily take. So, when my in-laws decided to celebrate 50 fabulous years of marriage with a trip to San Diego and invited us to be a part of the getaway, there was no way we could say no. Also, road trip? Yes please. I love taking the scenic route…although I had never done so with an 18-month old in tow.

Luckily, the interstate stars were aligned and we survived the 6.5 hour trip with nary a toddler breakdown. It might have something to do with the fact that we packed 50 days worth of activities and snacks.

Part of the reason I love road trips is that you never know what you’ll stumble across. Take for instance metal dinosaurs at your average Gila Bend gas station stop.

Triceratops...more like Tricera-gas-stops!  No? Too far a stretch?

Triceratops…more like Tricera-gas-stops!
No? Too far a stretch?

Max is unsure about baby Rex.

Max is unsure about baby Rex.

Graeme, his mini-me, and Mr. Rex

Graeme, his mini-me, and Mr. Rex

Typically when I take a trip, I do it on the cheap. But thanks to the generosity of my in-laws, they booked us all at the Loews Coronado Bay hotel. Also thanks to them, I have a new standard for vacationing! Jacuzzis, on-site restaurants, strolls to the beach, magnificent views. I’m pretty hoity-toity now.

The one thing we all looked forward to the most was the San Diego Zoo. We each had a favorite animal we wanted to visit, and after six hours, half the park covered, and loans taken out to purchase zoo food, we all walked away pretty content.

Karen likes to study the visitors.

Karen likes to study the visitors.

Who can roar the loudest?

Who can roar the loudest?

After the zoo, we visited neighboring Balboa park sites, rode an old-timey carousal, and acted as if we didn’t have a care in the world. Next up – dinner! On the way back to the hotel, we decided to stop at 1887 on the Bay for sustenance.  Although Max can sit still for nearly half a day during a car ride, once we sit down to dinner, all bets are off. From what I remember of dinner, and the 2.5 seconds in which I scarfed it down, it was pretty freaking delicious. Maybe I’ll start being annoying and snapping photos of everything I eat so that I can have some sort of lasting memory.

Another vacation highlight was visiting the USS Midway Museum. It’s a pretty incredible place featuring a ton of history. From bunks, to planes, to sheer magnitude, this vessel is a must see. And I’m not even a military or history buff.

Max demonstrating the sound a car makes.

Max demonstrating the sound a car makes.

Stud muffins.

Stud muffins.

Finally, my favorite part of any coastal visit – the beach! Loews is only a 5 minute walk with direct access to Silver Strand Beach. This beach pleased my newfound hoity-toity senses. The weather hovered around 65 degrees our entire trip, so although we didn’t swim, we definitely enjoyed some restorative beach time.

Max seriously digging the ocean.

Max seriously digging the ocean.

Father/Son silhouette anyone?

Father/Son silhouette anyone?

Max's favorite part was feeling the waves head back to the ocean.

Max’s favorite part was feeling the waves head back to the ocean.

Basically, I can’t wait to return.

Tinsel Teeth

Part two of my mouth saga continues. This week I journeyed into my orthodontist’s office for the bottom set of braces. It’s best to get my bottom teeth exactly where they need to be, in order to help my top set along.

I’ve been trying to embrace this whole ordeal as some sort of delayed adolescence, so I’ve refused to to get worked up about anything or research the process endlessly like I’m prone to do.

What to expect:
– Polish and mouth grit (much like the dentist)
– UV lights (much like the nail salon, but on your teefuses)
– Bondo (yuck!)
– Brackets (glued to your teeth…wha?)
– Bands (in all colors imaginable)
– The feeling of something stuck in your teeth (for instance…braces)
– Itchy Teeth (from tooth movement and metal items adhered to your mouth)

To be honest, it’s not all that bad. I’m not keen on the idea of being Metal Mouth for the next 1.5 years, but I do look forward to being the brightest smile in the room (whether it’s from the reflection of metal remains to be seen).

I can’t complain though, this is after all, a first world problem: The bruised ego of a working professional adult who can afford dental care. Besides, if you haven’t heard, this look is all the rage in Asia.

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