Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Water Baby

After the success of our Sea World adventure, John and I decided we needed to get the babe to another splash pad ASAP. We found one semi-nearby in Chino Hills (our resident Glendora splash pad was turned off for the day), so we made our way there. Then, we let her go to town. 

This splash pad was a bit more intense than Sea World's, 
so she was a little apprehensive at first...but Daddy helped with that!

John sacrificed his dry clothing to help her into the water...what a guy! 

Studying the other kids...learning proper splash pad technique...

If it isn't are new to this kid. She doesn't know what to do when she has them on. She just stands there awkwardly frozen...completely unsure of what her next move should be. 

"Hey, that's a cute baby! What's his name? Why can't he walk by himself?" 
Kids are so wonderfully uninhibited. Also, she thought Lulu was a boy...haha...not sure why the bathing suit and flowered sandals weren't a give away??

Enough standing around. Time to make a run for it!

Once she figured out how to move with her shoes on...she LOVED it. Running through this imaginary water-logged mine field became her favorite activity for the rest of our time there. She and John ran through (while I sat comfortably with my feet up and watched)...


...and over...

...and over again! Fun!

I leave you with this final photo and thought: I love baby cankles.

The end.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sea World

How do I love thee, San Diego? Let me count the ways. I love thy ocean breeze and thy clean air.  I love your impecable weather and friendly villagers. I love that thou so tenderly holdest (yes... "holdest") the sweet memories of my upbringing. While Tony Bennett croons beautifully of leaving his heart in San Francisco...I screech un-melodically of losing mine in an avocado grove. Wherever I am in this world, San Diego...thou will-est alway be-ist home-eth to me-ith. :)

So, in case you haven't already guessed, I like San Diego. It is where I grew up and where my family still lives. It is where I was while John and I were dating. It will always be one of my favorite places on earth. So this weekend, I was extremely excited to share one of San Diego's hottest attractions with Lulu for the first time. That's right, folks. We went to Sea World! 

Anyone who knows me, knows I had my heart dead-set on becoming a marine biologist when I was a child. My entire room was be-decked with miniature Orca figurines. For each holiday and birthday, I requested a new Orca book (like textbook-style marine-biology books about Orcas...). I had an Orca-themed bedspread all throughout junior high and high school (that, in a bleeding-heart moment of weakness, I sold at a garage sale for $5 in college...remember that, Tina?? It still keeps me up at night...). When my parents were gone one day, I painted my entire room an "under the sea" theme. Closet doors and all. What can I say? Some kids liked Star Wars. Some kids liked  Strawberry Shortcake. Me? I preferred to memorize the scientific names of whales and dolphins in my spare time (did you know that Orcas are more closely related to the dolphin family than other whales?). My husband took me to Vancouver in 2010 to see Orcas in their natural habitat. I was the only one on the whale watching tour who cried when we finally caught up with a pod. 

Why I didn't end up following this dream is a topic for another blog post that - let's just be honest - I'll probably never get around to writing. But don't worry...I plan on being a neurotic mother who lives out her dreams through her child. Lulu begins training in the scientific names of marine mammals tomorrow. Just kidding...maybe...

Also, a topic for another blog post is how I actually have an ethical issue with Orcas in captivity. So, I won't go see the Shamu show. I know you're also thinking right now that going to Sea World when I have an ethical issue with it, is actually unethical...but all I can say comment for now. And...don't be like me. And, Orcas were meant to swim thousands of miles each year in the ocean. And, that's all. 

So, now that you have a lot of extra background information that you didn't need, the next unflattering photo should be self-explanatory. 

Shamu mugs, frames, figurines, shot glasses, paperweights, etc. John put his foot down when I demanded a sparkly Shamu snowglobe...

SO excited!  

She was generally entertained by the animals (though still a little young to understand why they were so interesting). But, her favorite part of the entire day was the splash pad (which I suppose could have been replicated with a hose in the backyard...ha!)!

Ok so Sea World is also in cahoots with Sesame Street in some way. Lucie LOVES watching Elmo on TV so we thought it'd be a great idea to introduce her to the monster-sized Elmo and Telly characters. Though she didn't cry (like some kids in line), she definitely wasn't amused. She seemed almost angry...ticked off that Elmo wouldn't talk to her the way he does on TV and that he had been super-sized without her permission. But seriously...even I was intimidated. Elmo is supposed to be small. He was huge and his silence...unsettling.

AMAZED by an Orca. A girl after her mother's heart.  

Our one family photo from the day...haha... 
The drive home...success!!!

Thanks for the SW passes, Mom & Dad! Thank you, Lord, for such a fun day! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"All is fair in love and motherhood."

So. I haven't been here in a while. I've no good excuse other than...well, you know how when you get really into exercising after New Years...and you're such an efficient exerciser that there comes a day when you say, "it won't matter if I skip a day." And then the next day comes and you say, "eh, why not? There's alway tomorrow." Then Abraham Lincoln's booming voice rings in your ears, "Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today." Then you remind yourself that, while Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Emancipation and preserved the Union, he never mothered a wild baby whose sole mission in life is to seek out shoes and other unsanitary objects and chew on them. And then you chastise yourself for comparing your daily rituals to Honest Abes' towering achievements. And by the time you stop arguing with yourself, five months have flown by and you haven't written one blog post. 

Ya. Well, that's kind of what happened. So...rather than rehash all the exciting things that have happened over the past five months (a cute, severely teething, almost-walking, 9 month old unfortunately doesn't allow me the time to do so...), I shall start afresh with the current happenings in the Mooney household. Thank you for understanding!

So. Here's 9-month old Lulu now. 

She's basically an adult. And she looks exactly like her dad (especially when she's wearing his specs!). And she took her first steps this week. Four confident strides towards the couch - without falling awkwardly as she usually does - chest puffed out as if she were ready to scream, "FREEDOM!" Thank goodness she hasn't taken more than a couple of steps in a row since. Because I seriously need time to emotionally process the fact that my "baby" is very quickly becoming a "toddler" (queue my weeping heart and aching uterus). 

We also are very quickly realizing that our house is a death trap. Danger everywhere! So severe baby-proofing has happened this week. All those kitschy little trinkets I used to collect from thrift stores? Glass mason jars = unspeakable terrors. Photo frames = weapons lying in wait for a victim. Who told me these things were a good idea?! And then there's our furniture. The coffee table corners were maliciously seeking eyes to poke we got rid of it. The flat screen TV was waiting for a reason to pounce on my unsuspecting offspring. So we mounted it to the wall. 

I suppose these are all good things to think about as a parent...and I also suppose I can only do so much to protect my child who seemingly seeks out precarious predicaments to put herself in. But, I'm amazed (and undeservedly blessed) daily by the fact that that God thought it was a good idea to entrust us with the life of our precious little booger! "Wow...I'm a train-wreck. Thank goodness, God, that You know what You're doing!" has now become my daily (ok, hourly) song of praise!

Anyway, I'm glad to be back and I promise you will hear from me again before Lucie turns 18.