Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Art in the PM

Drawing with colored chalk. And removal was a synch. I sprayed it down with the hose and it came right off.
A modified hopscotch for Astrid. (It's been so long, I forgot how to draw it...but she had fun jumping on it anyway.)

Art in the AM

Coloring with crayons.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mother's Beach in Marina Del Rey

Mother's Beach
4101 Via Marina/Washington
Marina Del Rey, CA

Parking is located off of Admiral Way next to the Cheesecake Factory.

Hours: Open daily, sunrise - sunset
Admission: Free. Parking is $6.
Ages: Toddler to 8 years old

This beach was recommended in the book "Fun and educational places to go with kids in Southern California".

Description:
"This tiny patch of waveless water, where younger children can swim, is adjacent to a large marina. A half circle of sand has play equipment, such as a big play boat, several swings, a tire swing, and slides. There are numerous picnic tables set up under a covered area right on the beach, near volleyball nets. It has pleasant scenery."
When I pointed out the little minnows swimming in the water, Astrid ran out of the water like she'd seen a shark. After reassuring her that the fish were more scared of her than she was of them, and that they were harmless, she kept reminding me she was, "Scared."
Playing inside the boat where it was nice and shady.
We're both wearing our hats. Word of caution, kids pee in the sand at the front of the boat. Astrid tried to go over there and there was a girl there throwing sand at Astrid trying to get her to go away - and we saw her squatting in the sand peeing. Her mom was no where in sight.Astrid tried so hard to make small talk with this kid. She first started talking about the water, "Water wet huh?" No response. Then she pointed to the boats and said, "Boats." Still no response. It cracks me up to see her hands behind her hips like that while she's talking to this little boy.
Five minutes later after Astrid had given up on him, the boy said to him mom, "Boat."

A picnic lunch.

Feeding the pigeons.Standing in front of the boat.

Review
Overall I liked this beach. It's perfect for toddlers in that the water is shallow and is more like a lagoon, so you don't have to worry about waves or an undertow and there's a nice playground and picnic area. But it took me 2 hours to get there because of LA traffic. Ouch! The bathrooms were also a bit icky (but that's a public restroom for ya). I may go back, but I'd like to check out the other "Mother's Beach" in Long Beach to see how it compares (and if the traffic is better going out that way).

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Captain Kidd's

I've been coming to Captain Kidd's since I was a kid, and now I'm taking my kid.

Captain Kidd's
209 N Harbor Drive
Redondo Beach, CA 90277


It's located in the Redondo Beach harbor. You get the freshest seafood straight from the fish market, with no frills dining (long wood benches with butcher paper) and wine & beer with an ocean front view.

I was happy to see a Yelp sticker on the restaurant today saying, "People on Yelp love us!"

I posted about Captain Kidd's on Mother's Day 2006 here, and below are some new photos from today.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Peekaboo Playland Toddler Waterpark

On Fridays, Peekaboo Playland has an outdoor toddler waterpark; $10 for adults (kids are free). Astrid had so much fun and it was a great way to spend a hot summer day.Astrid exclaimed, "Cold water!"

When we got there in the morning the water was cold, but it got warmer as the day got hotter.

I like that there are canopies for some shade.She loved going down the slide into the pool.Fun!She had to have all the little floaties. The pool is deep enough for swimming, but still toddler size so that Astrid could get in and out on her own.She loves this Little Tykes playhouse with its play kitchen sink.The other little girl is the owner's daughter. Astrid tried to get a conversation started with her by saying, "Washing dishes." Alluding to the fact that it's what you do at the kitchen sink.Showing Mommy the shark.

There's also a yellow submarine toy in there that we have at home as a bath toy. Astrid was holding and tapping it on top of the water in the bathtub one day repeating over and over again, "smarine". It took me awhile but I realized she was referring to the "Yellow Submarine" and she wanted me to sing her the Beatles song that her Papa always sings to her in the bath. So that was my cue, "We all live in a yellow submarine...a yellow submarine...a yellow submarine."Playing here while she waits for her turn on the swing.Astrid was the only kid wearing a bathing suit. All the other kids just had their swim diapers on. One dad commented that Astrid had a wet suit on. Not quite - no latex - but it does have built in SPF protection. I'd much rather be on the safe side and cover her up, then let her be exposed to the sun's harmful rays.

Astrid tried speaking to a couple of the kids. Unfortunately the kids she tried speaking to didn't have the same language skills to reciprocate. There was a little boy sitting on the slide who Astrid was trying to strike up a conversation with. First she commented on the water, "Water cold?" She wasn't discouraged when she didn't get any response, but just kept trying. When she saw that he wasn't going down the slide she asked, "Help? Hand? Hand?" to see if he needed assistance and offered to hold his hand if he needed it. She also introduced herself, "Astrid" she said a few times, as she pointed to herself. Then she continued to tell him, "Grapes. Mouth." as she opened her mouth and pointed inside it to illustrate what she was eating. It was really great to see her trying to communicate with other kids and not being shy about it.We got there in the morning when there was a lot of shade, but by the time afternoon rolled around, it was time to put on a hat.Checking out the chairs on top of the water spray mat.These Friday outdoor water events are a treat! It's definitely worth the $10.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A baby pool for Astrid (it's super tiny)



Korean food for lunch

After gymnastics class today, Astrid and I went to a Korean restaurant down the street for lunch.Astrid tried everything, even the dishes that were spicy. The waitress gave her a plastic fork and spoon which was nice. A small jello square comes with the lunch as a dessert - which Astrid loved!

You can read my review about the lunch on my other blog here.

Me & My Shadow (do everything together)

Astrid is my little shadow, especially now that we get to spend all day together.

She follows me around everywhere I go and wants to see what I'm doing, and does the same. If I'm putting on lotion, she wants lotion too. If I'm flossing, she wants to floss too. If I'm putting on lip balm, I have to put some on her too. Even underarm deodorant. I put the cap on and pretend to put some on her. The same goes with blush. When there's barely anything left on the brush I brush some on her cheeks. In return I get the biggest smile.

On hot afternoons she occasionally sleeps downstairs with me on the couch. I feel closer to her than I ever have before. It's really sweet to watch her sleep, and feel her breathing. She's my little baby. I know she feels it too because she'll ask "Mama Astrid sleep?" and will give me hugs and kisses. A new thing that she does now that just melts my heart is - she'll hold her outstretched arms to me and beacons me with her hands and says, "Come here". It sounds more like "com'ere", and sometimes it's "Mama com'ere". It means she wants to be close to me. I rush to "come here" and she wraps her little arms around my neck. Awww...I just melt into mommy bliss.

People have also pointed out to me, "Look, you're dressed alike." As you can see from the photo above I'm wearing a lavender colored top and Astrid is wearing lavender colored shorts. Since I pick out and buy her clothes, it's not a stretch to say we have the same fashion sense.

I was describing to U. the routine of getting Astrid to go poo poo in her potty, which she does everyday now. (U. hasn't been able to get her to go #2 while taking care of her on the weekends, so I needed to fill him in how to get it done.) I said to wait half an hour or so after a meal, and depending on what she ate (which is usually what I eat), if you feel like "going" she'll feel like "going" too. Her pediatrician recommended that when I go potty, I have Astrid go potty too, pointing out "Mama's going potty. Do you need to go potty too?" So I did, and it works. When you're a parent, you can't be shy about this kind of stuff. It's only natural!

U. laughed and asked, "You guys go to the bathroom at the same time?"

Me: "Yep."

U. - "What's next? You're both going to have your periods at the same time too?"

Me: (laughing) "You know it's going to happen at one point."

I'm so glad I have a daughter. I'm looking forward to more of the mother/daughter bonding to come.

Swinging from the rings in gymnastics class