Monday, June 05, 2006

Do you know the way to San Jose?

What a weekend we had. On Friday afternoon we all piled onto an airplane and headed out to Palo Alto. Jack was a trooper – he actually slept almost the entire flight. Our trip was completely uneventful, which is the best thing you can ever say about traveling with children.

That evening we hired a babysitter and went out to dinner with our friend Joy. This seems like a normal thing to do – you know, hire a sitter? But we have never really left Jack with someone he didn’t know. Even when we hired sitters here I made them come over beforehand and hang out with him for an hour or so while he got to know them. Or I put him to bed before they get here. He doesn't really go with strangers. Ever.

As many of you know, our little Jack can be quite opinionated. His opinion about being left with Ludmilla was not positive. Even though he can't talk, he communicated his feelings nonetheless. His reaction involved screaming, waving his hand back and forth (this means no in Jackspeak) and large tears coursing down his fat cheeks. It wasn't pretty. Surprisingly we all survived.

On Saturday we had breakfast with our friends Kristin and Danny, their two kids Xander and Bella, and Kristin's sister Andrea. There are not pictures commemorating the occasion, mostly because it was a complete zoo. Three kids, five adults, one big round booth. And no one would sit in the high chair. It felt like having breakfast in the middle of a pile of monkeys.

After breakfast we took Jack over to Stanford to show him where we were married. Unfortunately the church was closed, but we got a lot of good shots of the little guy parading around.

Here he is riding on Joe's shoulders. Despite the look on his face, this is one of his favorite ways to travel:

They wandered over to check out the Rodin statues "The Burghers of Calais". Jack was impressed.

Jack does like to walk every now and again, and he enjoyed checking out the big open spaces in front of the church.

Doesn't he look small? When you live with a toddler, nothing about him seems small. He is such a powerful force in my life that I can't think of him as this tiny little guy. But pictures like that sure put his size into perspective.

Jack was tired from all his marching, so he and I took a little rest on the steps of the church:

I was sorry we didn't get to go inside. It is an impressive building and I think Jack would have liked it. Instead he had to settle for the bookstore, where we insisted upon trying hats on his oversized noggin.

You can see how he felt about that. He also read a few signs to us:

Sesame Street is really paying off.

We headed home for a nap, which unfortunately was too short. At home Jack has been napping for over 2 hours. 45 minutes after we put him down he popped right back up, raring to go. We hadn't planned for this development, so we ended up visiting a park near our old apartment. Jack likes parks, and the weather was beautiful.

Here he is contemplating a tube slide:

And going down a different slide with me:

And with Joe:

Here he rode a motorcycle, hopefully the closest he will ever come to the real thing:

Before we left he needed to take one last look up the tube slide. He was never convinced about it, but he did go down twice.

The whole reason for our visit was a party that afternoon. Unfortunately I didn't get a single picture. It's really too bad because there were several new kids and babies amongst our old friends. The day was perfect and Jack had a wonderful time chasing around two four year old boys who had enough energy to power an entire city. Needless to say we were all exhausted by the end of the evening.

The next morning we went to one of our favorite restaurants in town called Hobee's. Once again Jack didn't approve of the high chair set-up. He did enjoy sitting in a normal chair and playing with a straw:

We had just enough time to stop by the farmer's market in our old neighborhood and head out to the airport. It was quite an ordeal getting us all checked in and getting the car returned. Joe did that on his own while Jack and I waited in the play area and had a snack.

And then we were off. Once again, Jack cooperated quite nicely:

All in all it was a successful trip. We had a good time, we relaxed a little, and we got to see a bunch of old friends. Now we are back home and back to our normal routine. Today Jack spent some time coloring. I'm trying to teach him that crayons are only for paper, not for walls, doors, speakers, dogs, etc. Luckily Crayola makes washable markers that really are washable. But here he was behaving:

Now it is late, we are all still recovering from the trip, and Jack is getting ready to head down to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a visit tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be back soon with some pictures showing off his new swimming skills!

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