Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Day for Mothers and Wombats

Saturday was an ambitious day, particularly after following up our Friday in which we pushed the Wombats further than we ever have before. They did quite well, we were pretty tired. Unlike the Wombats when we are tired we want to go to sleep. Unfortunately we can't. When babies are tired they are too stupid to know that they need to sleep.

There used to be a day when I could have slept whenever I wanted to. Of course I didn't really want to because I was so fully rested from the previous night's sleep.

That's a sad fact of parenthood.

The Wombats Getting Ready for the Shower

We got the guys ready for the shower so that they could be paraded about.

Martin with Auntie Lisa

Elliott with Amanda

Dr. Auntie Lauren with the Wombats

They posed for pictures with just about everyone we could find. Meanwhile we all set up the shower.

Lauren's Baby Shower

Jen's mother had an extremely intricate plan for what foods would be placed where and had done a meticulous job of pairing them all up with children's books. The end result was fantastic. The thirty people there seemed to enjoy the food and if all thirty people had brought an unannounced friend I think we still would have had enough food left for everyone.

Two Babies Down for the Count

After that I took the guys upstairs and coaxed them into falling asleep. Getting them to go down for their naps always involves a lot of maneuvering, trickery, and deception. When I can get them both to settle in for a nice nap I feel like screaming at them, "In your face, suckers! I beat you! You are nothing! You think you can outfox me? Think again, you silly babies! Boo ya!"

However, I refrain from doing that as it would probably wake them up. Instead I simply holed up in the corner and wrote the previous blog entry.

Grandad's Ribs (Sauce and Rub)

For dinner Jen's father cooked up a mess of ribs (with sauce, without sauce, with rub, without rub), chicken wings, and other assorted goodies.

Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi

As the trip was winding down I had to have a beer lightning round. I started off with the Modus Hoperandi from Ska Brewing, the first beer I've had from this brewery. It was a very nicely done IPA.

Big Sky Brewing Scape Goat Pale Ale

Secondly I had the Scape Goat by Big Sky Brewing Co. This was being called "Goat's Butt" around the house I think partly because one of their other beers is called Moose Drool. I, however, feel like moose drool is about four hundred times more disgusting than a goat's ass. I have refrained from Moose Drool all these years for that reason.

Boatswain H.L.V. Ale Heavy Lift Vessel

Jen's father picked up this Boatswain H.L.V (Heavy Lift Vessel) from Minhas Brewery which we enjoyed with the barbecue. It was a nice, hoppy, brown ale and went beautifully with all manner of barbecue items.

Brewery Vivant Zaison Imperial Saison

After dinner I settled in with this Zaison Imperial Saison from Brewery Vivant. This was not at all what I'd expected. It was interesting but extremely intense and reminded me of the first time I had Skullsplitter when I was in my early 20s and I thought it tasted like gravy. This had a similar flavor to it. It was interesting in that I've never had anything of this style before but I don't know that I'd go rushing to it again. I preferred their more straight forward farmhouse ale far more.

Mother's Day Strawberries from Martin and Elliott

On Mother's Day Jen awoke to chocolate covered strawberries and flowers from the Wombats. They are some thoughtful guys.

Too bad their penmanship is so atrocious.

Nate Cutting Quiche

I made a Mother's Day brunch with spinach, gruyere, roasted tomato, and carmelized leek quiches. Jen's father tried as much as he could to hate them but had to admit they were pretty good. I also made home fries, sweet potato casserole, flavored cream cheeses with bagels, and a smoked salmon platter.

Martin Diving For Pork

Elliott Diving For Pork

We also cooked up a mess of bacon and Canadian bacon. The babies, for some reason, were fascinated with the tray of cooked pork and were constantly trying to shift their weight to snag a piece. I didn't let that happen. I'm pretty sure Jen's father probably fed them to the Wombats at some point when we weren't looking. After all he tried to feed them nasty bargain hot dogs and a croissant that had fallen on the floor so a bung of salty, cured pork would have been one of the better things he put in their mouths during this trip.

Elliott Eating Bagel

Martin Eating Bagel

The bagels were just chewy enough to keep them entertained during brunch.

Martin Toss

Elliott Toss

After brunch we went outside and tossed the babies around under the tree which delighted them and tired me out to the point of exhaustion.

Ernst Family at Mother's Day

It was a Mother's Day to remember. Unless you are a Wombat in which case they won't remember any of this.

The Wombats with Nana

Back inside the guys got to hang out with their great Nana who was always eager to entertain them long enough to buy us some free time.

Elliott and Martin Getting Gifts

Elliott and Martin Getting Gifts

Elliott and Martin Getting Gifts

Nancy had come to see Lauren graduate and visit us on Mother's Day and she was kind enough to get some cute stuffed animals for the boys and give them some great books which they enjoyed reading. Reading has been steadily involving less gnawing on the corners of books and more flipping through the pages and looking at them.

Still not much actual reading though.

Jen with Oksar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils on Mother's Day

I didn't want the Wombats to outdo me so I picked up this Mama's Little Yella Pils from Oskar Blues Brewery for Jen to have. I knew she wouldn't like it (and I was right) but it was hard to pass up.

It's the thought that counts and I was thinking that I could probably drink her beer if she didn't like it. I'm often thinking that.

Boatswain Double I.P.A.

For dinner I shared another beer from Minhas Brewery, this Double I.P.A. which was very nice. I split it with Doug and we both enjoyed it.

New Belgium Lips of Faith Feijoa Tripel Collaboration with Brasserie du Ciel

For the final beer of the trip (sort of) I picked up this Feijoa Tripel, a collaboration between New Belgium Brewing Co. and Dieu du Ciel!. After looking up feijoa Doug and I learned that it's basically a guava. The beer was also brewed with hibiscus. We shared it with Jen. We all liked it but I can't say I would have ever thought it was a tripel if it hadn't said it on the label.

Daddy Sleeping with Teething Elliott

The guys had a rough night going into Monday. It took us hours to get them to sleep and they had a very rough morning. They were both teething pretty badly and we had to do a lot of wrestling with both of them to get them to take their afternoon naps. The morning naps weren't on the table at all. Elliott would only sleep if I slept with. Jen had to pack while I grappled with him. It's times like that that make me wish I knew how to pack our clothes to her specifications.

The Wombats' First Honeydew

Before we left for the airport the guys had their first honeydew, the one Martin had picked out at the grocery store. They loved it.

The Wombats' First Raspberries

The Wombats' First Blackberries

They also had their first raspberries and blackberries. They seemed to enjoy both of those as well, though honeydew was a new favorite. Perhaps I'll use a little Midori on their gums to get them to sleep moving forward.

The Wombats at the Table

Jen and her Mum also posed the guys at the little table Jen had used as a child.

Elliott Starts to Get Unruly

Elliott chose to spend most of his time trying to flip the table.

You Can't Take Elliott Anywhere

The remainder of the time he spent trying to stand on the chair and climb over the table.

The Wombats Make a Friend at O'Hare International Airport

At the airport, after having some nice people put us through a special "no wait" line at security, carefully feeding both of them, and getting dinner for ourselves the guys made a new friend. Elliott waved at him, then tried to gouge his eyes out, the customary greeting of children.

Flying by Lower Manhattan on Approach to LaGuardia

One positive about flying with babies is that you don't ever have time to get bored on an airplane. It felt like only about twenty minutes later when we began to descent and flew by lower Manhattan before landing at LaGuardia and driving home.

This first flight with babies, as well as their evening at the graduation, has left me with a new level of confidence. It was hard. Really hard. But we did it and the babies did well, much better than the time they ruined our friend's wedding.

Flying with two babies is not something I'd recommend to anyone sane but with the right amount of preparation, distraction techniques, and just dumb luck it can be done.

Hopefully the same thing will be true the next time we fly with them when they're thirteen.

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