Sunday, July 25, 2010

Speeding right along

When I mentally began composing this post many weeks ago, I figured I would entitle it "The summer so far." Unfortunately I didn't find time to actually write anything until "Summer is practically over, so let's get on with it already."

My head spins with how fast the past few months have flown. Mia turned nine months old today, and it seems like the more her little personality explodes and the more fun things we can do with her, the faster time drains away. This must be the beginning of what every experienced parent still reminds us about: Enjoy it now, because these parts will be over before you know it.

Summer begin with Mia's baptism. We held it in the chapel of the high school where I work, and it was lovely. Mia drew some laughs during the ceremony when she stuck the priest's hand in her mouth, and she was a very good sport despite wearing a giant cream-puff gown in the sticky June heat.

After the baptism we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Il Fornaio, where Mia bonded with her new godmother by munching on her jewelry. (See a theme here?)

We had our bottles, Mia had hers.

Also in June we took two weeks of swim lessons, with our good pals Amy G. and Sofia. Mia and Sofia were the only babies at the pool, so they were a real hit with everyone. We even had one mom tell us she forgot to watch her own kids because ours were so cute! I think you will agree.

Mia took to the pool like a champ, enduring regular dunks, water in the face and lots of kicks and splashes. Most of our time was spent passing her back and forth between me and her teacher, fully submerged in the water, which gave me regular heart attacks. But I adjusted.

The best part, each dip in the water ended up in a real tight hug for mom.

We went to work with dad! Sal's job takes him to lots of community events, and in the summer it's easy for us to tag along. We enjoyed a fine night out at the Valley of Heart's Delight fundraiser for History San Jose.

We were joined at our table by KRTY morning show host Gary Scott Thomas, his wife Heather, and their son, Luke. Mia gets a real charge out of seeing other babies. She even tried to hold Luke's hand. Hussy!

In July my dream of going out of town for a little break finally came true, and we made our first trip to Santa Barbara with our baby. Traveling with a baby is ... well, it's not the vacation we used to have, that's for sure. Navigating naps and feedings while being out and about all day, trying to find places to accommodate your giant stroller, sharing a hotel room with a baby ... all that adds an undercurrent of stress that we didn't anticipate. But we had a fine time, anyhow.

We took Mia for her first zoo visit!

We fed some lettuce to a giraffe!

Though Mia seemed a lot more excited about the goats and sheep than the actual exotic animals. Maybe they reminded her of Chickens!

One of our new favorite Santa Barbara restaurants is The Natural Cafe, where Mia enjoyed her lunch of pita bread and hummus with a side of steamed vegetables. Sitting her outdoors by the railing was a stroke of brilliance on our part, since she used her adorable, messy grin to make friends with almost every single person who walked by. Free entertainment for baby gives mom and dad the rare leisurely meal.

We spent the World Cup final at Union Ale Brewing Company. It was actually our second visit to the place, since it was close to our hotel, relatively baby-friendly, and filled with good beer and barbecue. Here's Mia and her dad. Notice the expert head-turn-gulp, a move every parent should know to maximize enjoyment of a drink while there's a baby in your lap.

Though I brought a bag full of toys, my tube of Clinique sunblock was the only thing that kept Mia content. Kids!

Our last outing was to Isla Vista, where we got our favorite burritos and had a picnic in the park. See that weird little tongue curl thing Mia's doing? I don't know what that's about. She does it all the time. It's cute.

Paparazzi shot.

And now here we are, staring August square in the face. In a couple of weeks school starts back up, and I go back to the full-time grind. But I'm not going to worry about that now, since today we're going to a barbecue and an outdoor concert. There's a little bit of summering left to be done!