Sunday, January 07, 2007

1/7/07 Reconnaissance

This Sunday's grand outing was to check out Chuck E Cheese for Gabriel's birthday party. I felt a twang as we drove past a lovely park to go inside a dark, crowded, noisy place. What are we -- and apparently the rest of Cupertino -- doing here? First answer: looking for parking.

Once we got in, the first two rides we tried, the boys were afraid of (chickens!). The first three games we tried were broken, and two stole our tokens before we realized it. We found one that worked and that wasn't swarmed by kids, but it was just a dumb fishing video game, not nearly as interesting or challenging as what they've both mastered on

I hunted down a rare employee in a striped shirt to complain to about the broken games, and he was able to fix one that involved driving a little truck on a road. That kept Gabriel busy for a while.

I'll grit my teeth and stick it out for his birthday party, but this sort of place is not my thing, and I'll be looking for alternatives next year! (Oh yeah, who's the party for again?!)

I tried my wonderful new train cake pan again, this time carefully following the instructions on how to prepare the pan (though I don't have "Wondra" flour), and using a cake recipe that came with the pan. My train cake still looks nothing like the picture on the box, but it's a big improvement over my first attempt!

Katrina is now clasping her hands, looking down at them (crosseyed), and then very carefully putting them in her mouth as she watches. Right on time for a 3-month-old. How do babies know when to start doing stuff like that? Who gives them the schedule? It's amazing.

She and her brothers are interacting more and more now. They make faces at her, and she responds with little yips and howls and huge smiles. They can't get enough of her. There actually are times now that I ask Gabriel to go over and entertain her, a task he eagerly tackles! Julian, I never ask, as he needs a lot more supervision, but much of the time I think he's being too rough, she just smiles at him. It's so interesting how babies attract little kids. Toddlers in the Y's childwatch also seem completely delighted when they look at Katrina and she beams at them.

I've been hoping for weeks to get a photo of all five of us, and today I found a short window when everyone was awake and in a decent mood. But that was only the first obstacle. Once I have everyone outside and the camera set up, then I have to get Gabriel to join us, mostly by pretending I don't want to strangle him for refusing to cooperate, and then cheerily taking pictures without him. Finally, he joined us.

Then I had the problem that the sun was moving and rapidly depleting my shady spot, and sure enough, someone always managed to get bright sun on their face. But moving the sun seems almost an easier problem than getting Dave to look natural in photos. And I'm not so photogenic either. Finally, the camera was too close and not everyone was in focus.

But at least I have it documented that all five of us were in the same place at the same time at least once so far this year!


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