A bunch of things that make me happy:

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:06 pm
avivasedai: (Default)
[personal profile] avivasedai
Benito:
- His vocabulary is huge; more than that, he uses phrases that he's trying out from various places and it's hilarious. For instance, "nice of you to notice" he's picked up from a Pooh and Eeyore story, where Eeyore loses his tail, and when Pooh brings all the friends around to try and help him find it, it's already found and reattached (though how a donkey with no opposable thumbs and no Christopher Robin managed to stick a pushpin into the tail, onto his butt, I don't know). Now Benito is trotting out that line at mostly appropriate points in conversation, and it's awesome.

- He loves changing the words to songs he knows, sometimes to other words, sometimes just using the wrong sounds. I alternate singing with him, so I'll sing "Lookin' for love and feeling -" and then point to him, so he can sing "Groovy!" I did this a few days ago, and he said "Soggy!" I cracked up, and so he's been doing that for days. He's also using different pronouns, so instead of "Ain't you got no rhymes for me," he'll say "us," which works when we're singing it together.

- He sings the shema by himself, very recognizably in both words and melody, as he is walking along the edge of his crib, making sure to go along the full 3 available edges from wall to wall, and hoisting himself over.

- Last night he asked for his blanket to be tucked in, like on Mom and Dad's bed. I found a knitted blanket that was big enough to tuck around the edges of his mattress, did so, and he put his blue blanket (that is only just as wide as the top of the mattress) on top, and then delighted in arranging his various crib companions around the bed (a Creeper, BB8, Hector the Spanish bull, 2 bunnies, and a few books). Also, he's using the little pillow that Carmen made for us, using brown cloth and the light teal shimmery ribbon from our wedding.

Food:
- I made a batch of chocolate mint chip cookies a little while ago. I had to tweak the recipe due to lack of the right kind of chocolate, so they weren't as deeply chocolatey as I had hoped, but they were quite good. The recipe made 39 cookies this time, so I took a dozen to work and my coworkers approved. Simon even said that they are his favorite cookie and I could bring them in any time. *grin* Benito likes them as well, and Rick will eat about 4 or maybe 6 for evening snack/dessert. It's the recipe I've posted here before, for reference.

I don't really have a lot of happy food recollections beyond that for the last bit of time. Hrm. That's a shame. Last night's fish dinner was fine, but it doesn't make me giddy, just fish with salt and Sunny Paris spice blend from Penzey's. Similarly, the roasted cauli was okay, not the best I've ever made, but good.

- French toast for dinner tonight! There is challah and it should be eaten with delight, where delight = maple syrup or possibly raspberry jam!

That's just barely 5 things; that last one doesn't exactly count as it's only a thought so far, not an actuality. Maybe it's time to bake something, as the cookies are gone... and if I use the rest of the gluten-free flour, I will absolutely not eat it, either... I like that idea... Supplies at home: 2 ripe bananas, and done. If I'm not eating it, Benito will be happy with simple and Rick will approve of me not going crazy with other non-chocolate additives (apricot, coconut, so forth).

Part 5: No, really, we made it home.

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:03 pm
avivasedai: (Default)
[personal profile] avivasedai
Thursday. This was not a day that was supposed to be spent travelling, but travel we did. Having gotten to the airport at 5:45 for our 7:20 *boarding* for the 7:50 AM flight, I discover at check-in that our flight has been bumped to 10:45. Oh my freakin' lord. It turns out after much checking of computer, that our best bet is to keep this flight, arrive in Chicago around 11:15 AM, and take the 5 PM flight to YVR, getting back in at 7 PM local time. They check our bags through so we're back to a reasonable amount to schlep all day (stroller, his rolling bag, my backpack). We eat breakfast, wander around a bit, get to our gate stupid early, and he watches Thomas episodes. Eventually we board, and I paid for us to sit in the seats with a bit more room. Our stewards were really great: the snack they gave was stroopwaffles, and when I said "oh my god I love these!" the woman came back mid-flight and gave me 3 more. (I'm hoarding them; I still have 1 left in my office.) When Benito started to fall asleep, another person brought me 2 blankets to use as pillows for him.

In Chicago, we had a LOT of time to kill. We walked around, saw shops, had lunch - oh, but not before I went looking for the Vosges Haute Chocolate place!! I love this chocolate, and I don't order it to get shipped to me because, after all, it is just chocolate, but if I'm here I'm sure as heck going to get some. I put together my purchases and hand them my debit card, which is a Visa card and has given me no trouble anywhere else in any other airport. Here, though, here, it will not read it. ARRRGGHHH!! I am so saddened! Woe is me, no chocolate to bring home! *sigh* I move along to get lunch, which is at least an hour overdue for me. (Benito had been eating leftovers of various sorts for the last hour.)

Lunch was a really tasty sandwich... I think; honestly it's not important except that it was good. We go back to our concourse, to what I think is our gate in another 3 hours - it has spacious empty floor space, great for Benito to roll his trains or for us to sit and use the Magnadoodle. He mostly watches the planes taxi-ing. I spot a solo dad with a younger toddler, perhaps 2. We exchange the kids' names, as parents seem to do. They wander, we stay put for another half-hour. I then go to check our actual gate and head that way. We're at the end of the terminal. I spot the same dad and kid at the windows, looking at planes, so we head that way, and as the kids play with trains the dad and I talk. After about 15 minutes, there's enough general information shared for him to realize that I'm family with the Ben with whom he grew up, and attended the same schools and first job, for 19 years!! He's heading from San Francisco to Pittsburgh to visit his family. I pass his name back to Ben so they can possibly meet up again and catch up on life. They've drifted apart in the last ... 13-15 years. Small world, eh? Quite ridiculous.

To end this long tale: we make it onto our flight cheerfully, get our good legroom seats again, Benito sleeps for about half the flight (I read a book!), we got home with no additional worries, we are happy to be home, and life resumed as normal on Friday.

Part 4: And back again... almost.

Jul. 18th, 2017 05:21 pm
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[personal profile] avivasedai
Remember way back when Benito and I went to Pittsburgh? Our return trip did not go exactly smoothly.

Wednesday morning through early afternoon was pretty darn good. The plan, after it was hashed out hilariously amongst 7 adults, was for Judy, Mom, Benito and I to go to Ben and Shayna's house, from where Judy could go to teach and Mom, Shayna, Benito and I could go to The Strip, a (completely above-board) shopping area. Thus it was, and we got there and met up with Ben for lunch at a delightful store with a food counter and seating upstairs. Wholey Market (not pronounced as it's spelled) is a beautiful place; Benito was captivated both by the large tanks of live fish and by the train going around a track way over his head. Our lunch was huge and delicious; keeping Benito upstairs while the adults finished was a bit of a challenge. After lunch, we wandered over to Penzey's, whose spice blends make me happy, and I'd be willing to buy more of their spices too if they were closer/I didn't have to pay shipping. Oh, the clerk told me they have a branch in Seattle, so maybe that will go on my list of things to visit in Seattle one of these days. (Hmm, only slightly more than 2 hrs away, north of Seattle...)

We looked around leisurely; I bought two spice blends, after considering a bunch of options, and we made our way back to the car. We went back to the house and I think we dropped Mom off, because Shayna and I drove around a bit more with Benito asleep in the back. We schmoozed, got to know each other a bit, had a good time. By 3 we were back at home, because that's when her babysitter was done. The little kids played, Mom and Aunt Judy drove back to Judy's, and around 3:15 I checked in to my flight online. Huh - it seems that my 7 PM flight has been bumped to 7:45, which means it's getting in to Denver 15 minutes before my connecting flight to YVR is supposed to leave. *gulp* Basically, we rush out the door (her youngest 2 and my guy in tow) to see if I can get to the airport in time for the 5 PM flight instead. Nope; I got there at 4:30 and the other flight was already boarding before I checked in. American Airlines then rebooked me onto United Airlines (*collective groan*), who had room on a flight leaving at 5:45 if they'd let me onto it.

Note: I had a toddler and his stroller, 2 rolling bags, my backpack, and his carseat. An AA attendant helped me run over to the UA counter to talk to the people there, who were basically rude and unhelpful. The main person who spoke with me said that if I made it to the gate, and if the flight wasn't delayed, and if they let me board, then I would be able to make my connection, but she couldn't guarantee any of those things, because air traffic control was keeping everyone late, and since it was air traffic control doing it, the airline would not pay for a hotel room for me if I became stranded in the connecting airport. Oh, also, if I did get on their flight right now, it was too late to check bags so I'd have to take everything with me. The stroller would get gate-checked, our two carry-ons are fine, my backpack is my "personal item," and the carseat he could sit on.

I booked it to the gate, with all that rolling stuff. There was, of course, a big line to talk to the gate agents, because everyone was being thrown off their schedules and had to make arrangements. I tried to appease Benito, who was itching to get out of the stroller and play, that we just had to be patient, we couldn't get in the front of the line because all these other people had to talk to the gate agents too. I actually went to the gate next to us, which was empty except for the gate attendant, and asked if it was likely I'd make this flight. She looked at my tickets, looked at her computer, and said "Hmm, it looks like you're not booked to sit next to your son. I can fix that for the next flight but you need to talk to these gate agents to fix this flight." Ugh. I got back in the first line. The guy I was behind said "go ahead and stand at the front, someone will let you in because you need help." I did, and someone did, so I stood in front of the male gate attendent. I let Benito out of his stroller and he starts playing on the row of empty seats next to us, with a few people bemusedly watching him crawl and meow.

First, before even making eye contact with me, he looks at the guy at the front of the line and says "Are you okay with this woman getting in front of you?" Yes, he is, he let me in. Then he says to me "Don't stand to the side, stand right in front of me." Okay, older gentleman, just trying to keep my 3 year old in sight. I give him our passports and tickets and ask if he can sit us together. He immediately says "There are no seats together." I start to cry, holding it in as much as possible. I say "I have to sit next to my son; he's 3." The guy makes a tight face and works at his computer, and gives us seats together in the last row. He then gets on the intercom and calls for another individual to come to the front. Okay; I'm not going to feel bad for that.

I sit, and after taking a few deep breaths, realize the better option is to call customer service and get them to rebook me for tomorrow. After a few calls and ~15 minutes on hold, we are rebooked for Thursday morning at 7:20 AM. I use Messenger to contact Ben and Shayna, asking them to contact my parents b/c I'm not using my phone in the US. After much effort, my parents come to pick us up. When we arrive at my aunt and uncle's, Benito enters the house and says "I'm back!" in a delighted tone. We have a late dinner, sack out for the night by 9:45, and are on the road back to the airport by 5:15 AM.

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