Posts tagged parenthood
Enchanted Rock

This past weekend Tim & I were faced with a beyond gorgeous day, so we instantly packed up the little scallywag and the two dogs and left the house for an impromptu adventure. Destination: Enchanted Rock.

Because we left a little late (12:30 PM. To go hiking, we'd typically leave a lot earlier in the morning--especially to go to Enchanted Rock, because it often closes due to capacity issues), we created a plan B.

Our fall back plan: Fredricksburg. A small, charming German town just 30 minutes on the road to the rock. I'll save writing about this treasure for later.

We arrive at the rock and start our trek up the summit trail and spy one of these:


Still on the trek up the summit trail. Amazing big sky:


Tim, at the summit, teaching the girl about trail essentials:

1) Sunblock 2) High-quality H2O:


The girl's first summit picture (1,825 ft.):


The descent and our brand-spankin' new child carrier:


We just couldn't get enough and decided to hike the circumference of the rock via the Echo Canyon, Turkey Pass and Loop Trails:


The Enchanted Rock gets its name from the local Tonkawa, Apache & Comanche tribes of yesteryear who ascribed magical & spiritual powers to the rock. There are a number of legends associated with the rock, including my fave: Anyone spending the night on the rock becomes invisible.

The summit trail is an easy-peasy 0.6 miler. That's zero-point-six. Do it. There's a little cave up on top that is really cool and that probably has something to do with the legend that the Tonkawa & Comanche tribes committed sacrifices at the rock. 

If you decide to go to the rock, here is a short list of "DON'Ts" that I just have to mention because, yes, I witnessed them on the rock:

1) don't wear a mini skirt and/or heels

2) don't litter

3) don't wear your Baby Bjorn like you wear your jeans: all loose and hangy


The next day, Juniper was in the mudroom while I was fixing her breakfast and when I peeked around the corner, I noticed her trying to get herself into the child carrier. She's a nature girl, for sure!

(P.S. If you're in the market for a child carrier, I would highly recommend the Deuter Kid Comfort II and possibly the Kelty FC 3.0 , but not the Deuter Kid Comfort III. Your best bet is to take your kid into the store with you so that she can help you choose, because IT DOES MATTER to her. For instance, I had originally gone to the store intent on buying the Kelty. But as I tried to get the girl into the contraption there was nothing but screams & tears. When the dude showed us & recommended the Deuter... complete 180. Seriously. The girl was delighted to honor us with her cooperation. I bought the Deuter KCII--not the KCIII because when I had that thing on, there was nothing but screams & tears for ME!)

Delta, Delta, Delta... Can I Helpya, Helpya, Helpya?

When the J turned one, she was well beyond the 20 pound requirement for front-facing car seats—she’s a ‘healthy baby’ (read: she likes to eat), so her Halmoni bought her one of these. It’s—by far—the nicest car seat on the face of this planet, in the entire universe, to infinity and beyond!

A couple-a months ago, the J and I went on a brief little trip to Florida and to make my life a whole heck of a lot easier, I bought one of these and one of these on a last-minute whim.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a thoughtless, big spender. I don’t just throw my money at some gimmick that I saw on some infomercial one day (no, that wasn’t me who purchased the Your Baby Can Read program… that was some mindless little leprechaun—I keep him silent by periodically throwing my husband’s hard-earned greenbacks at him every now and then. How’s that for contradiction!).

I had my radar on the GoGo Babyz Kidz Travelmate for some time… a good several months, at least. And I even did some product research and read a lot of reviews—which is why I even hesitated before making the purchase (as I read that the accessory Car Seat Protector Bag might not accommodate the size & girth of our current car seat.

So I called them up. And a real, live dude answered the phone! And he was nice. And accommodating. He even took the time to fit a Britax car seat in the protector bag thing right there, in his office? warehouse? to alleviate any concern on my end. And so I purchased, and it was delivered the very next day. And I saw that it was good.

[FYI: I bought the ‘recycled’ Travelmate not just because it was the green thing to do, but also because it would make my parsimonious husband very happy.]

That last-minute whim purchase was one of the best purchases I’ve made in a very long time. I mean, besides this, of course. The Travelmate is amazing. You just clip the roller board onto your car seat, drop it into the protector bag and off you go! The best part is gate-checking the entire thing! So, at the airport, instead of looking like some disheveled, tired momma with bags all hanging off my arms, a car seat flung around my shoulder and a kid on my hip, I looked like a well-traveled, jet-set momma. And did I mention how cute the J looked in her new getup?


So when Tim, the J and I arrived in Baltimore, MD last week and realized that our new best friend  didn’t make it with us I was completely distraught! And not just because it meant that my husband's hard-earned greenbacks, in the form of a car seat & travelmate, were lost... but because that thing is a lifesaver!

Because we had gate-checked the bag, there was no link to its owner like there is if you were to check it in. And because, on occasion, I’ve been known to do stupid things, including not putting any identification on our Travelmate or car seat, we were screwed.

Tim, with the never-ending optimism, was sure it was simply left in San Antonio. I, with the paranoid personality disorder, was sure that one of the six people in the San Antonio airport that eye-balled our little piece of treasure earlier that morning had made off with our goods.

At the Delta Bag Claim Office, Tim told the agent that he was 100% certain that the bag simply did not get on the plane & was now probably sitting in the Delta Bag Claim Office in San Antonio. That all it would take was a quick phone call to the San Antonio Airport Delta Bag Claim office to describe the bag and that surely it would be right there, sitting in the office, if some one would JUST TAKE THE TIME TO CALL THE SAN ANTONIO OFFICE.

But that is not Delta procedure. Instead, they take your name and number, a description of the lost bag and hand you an automated 1-800 number to call. They also offer an un-reassuring promise that if, in the off chance that they do find your bag, they will deliver it to you.

In Delta’s defense, they did offer us a complimentary substitute car seat to use for the week.

And when we landed in San Antonio eight days later, sure enough, our bag was sitting in the Delta Bag Claim Office one day short of being shipped off to Atlanta with the other unclaimed bags.

So the point that I’m failing to make in this exhaustingly long post is that HELLO AIRLINES! WE ARE NOW PAYING TO CHECK OUR LUGGAGE. THE LEAST THAT YOU CAN DO IS UPGRADE YOUR LOST/BAG CLAIM PROCEDURE!

POP! Goes the Weasel

Tim, the J-pop and I were in D.C. last week to enjoy some time together when it happened.

Much to my dismay, it didn’t happen in a convenient location (i.e. in the privacy of our hotel room) but in public.

No, I didn’t pee my pants while laughing hysterically at one of Tim’s jokes. And I didn’t haphazardly make a nasty pongu (korean for fart) while sneezing—both of which I would have happily endured a million times over what actually did happen.

I cried.  (I never cry)

In public.  (Especially in public)

In the middle of a very nice restaurant.

In front of our very good friend who took time out of his very busy schedule to stop by and imbibe with us (he’s deploying to Afghanistan this week).

In front of our very attentive waitress, who, by the way, did not know what a White Russian was and ended up bringing me a Black Russian that I had to send back because I was in the mood for a white one—I like my Russians like I like my Greek yogurt: white & creamy. Bad analogy.

It had been a very long day. The three of us and Karla (a former student of mine who traveled along with us as J’s nanny) ventured out into the day at 8AM. We toured the Capitol, compliments of Ileana Ross-Lehtinen who has this amazing view from her office:


We had lunch with another good friend, who left one bad-ass job (USAF Special Ops pilot) to go do another bad-ass job on Capitol Hill. We walked westward down the mall, toured the National Museum of Natural History, detoured to walk around the White House, randomly met, on the street, one of Tim’s friends from medical school… but I digress...

We continued walking all the way down the mall from one monument/memorial to the next until we reached the Potomac. By that time it was 7PM, the sun was setting, the temperature dropping. My feet were sore and I was famished. Famished!

We finally made it back to the hotel when Tim had the idea of having dinner in Georgetown. (Did I mention that June is only 16 months old and her bed time is at 7 PM?) After some slight hesitation, I agreed--Tim has a way of convincing you with that toothy grin of his and JP is amazingly flexible and chillax.

Although my mommy intuitiveness knew that this was going to be messy, I remained optimistic.

Dinner was a bomb. Everything that could go wrong did. Due to circumstances that I won’t bother getting into, we didn’t order immediately (as all you mommies already know, you simply must, must, order immediately, if not sooner, when dining out with a ticking time bomb). And to make matters worse, June decided she wasn’t going to be chillax after all. She’d had enough of being flexible. It was her fourth night away from the comforts and routine of home and, damn-it! she wanted to be held by mommy. Right now! Not Karla. Not daddy. But mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

Through my eyes, Tim, Karla & Mike were all enjoying their nice, warm, delicious meals (the thought of them not being nice, warm or delicious was beyond me), engaging in delightfully witty, adult conversation while I wrestled a very tired little maguai, sipping on my White Russian and nibbling on my fries (the only thing on my plate that I could manage to eat with my hands full).

I kept trying to make eye contact with Tim, desperately putting on my “please save me” face. But no go. He didn’t get it. I tried something a little more assertive.

“Hey, Teej… guess who’s eating fries now (indicating the J-pop)”

“What! Why?…don’t feed her fries…”

“Well, then… you hold her!”

What. He didn’t get that hint either? That was crystal!

Then, some 10 minutes later as they were all finishing up their nice, warm, delicious meals (while I had only nibbled on a few of my, now cold, fries), I hear Tim say to the waitress,

“Can we get another one of these (indicating his empty pint) and another one of those (indicating Mike’s empty pint).”

That’s when it happened.

If you know me at all, you know that I’m the “keep all the emotions inside” type. The kind that likes to bottle things up in nice little, neatly P-Touch labeled beakers, topped with a synthetic cork--not natural cork because I’m trying to be green (those trees are endangered, or are in danger of becoming endangered) even though natural cork is more romantic than synthetic. But nowadays being green trumps being romantic—and they pop just the same.