Sunday, May 4, 2014

Parks and Gardens and Hikes

David's seventy-seven year old (now cancer-free) grandma came to visit us this weekend.

I am almost twenty-seven weeks pregnant.

Zuzu is trying out the "terrible twos" two months early.

The weather is making up for the longest winter since Laura Ingalls Wilder was a girl by getting up in the 80s today.

So, naturally, we decided to spend the afternoon hiking.

But let me back up. We were lucky enough to get wonderful weather this weekend and spent a bunch of time "outsigh!" which thrilled Zuzu to no end.

Saturday morning started out with a not-so-thrilling prospect for me: the glucose test to make sure I don't have gestational diabetes. I think it is a sign that my anxiety levels are much more manageable this time around that this time I was far more concerned about the needles than actually worried that I might have gestational diabetes (I've never had it, but with my second pregnancy I was convinced that Everything Would Go Wrong, so I expected I would have it.).

Anyway, it worked out nicely that David's gma was in town so she could hang out with Zuzu while David held my hand at the lab where they drew my blood. I was up and showered by 7:45am so I could chug that nasty orange drink and then we headed out to the appointment. There was some confusion because the lab seemed to think they needed to provide me with the drink, like I was going to show up for my 8:45 appointment and then sit around for an hour before the blood draw. But once I explained for the second time that I'd already chugged the stuff and they'd better just draw my blood already, things moved right along.

We hit Bread Co. for black coffee and a non-sweet bagel afterward and then did a kid-free trip to Trader Joe's when it wasn't busy at all. It was so nice it felt almost like a date. #ourlivesaresad #weneedtogetoutmore

We got home just in time to put my baked beans in the oven and let them cook before heading over to a park near Zuzu's daycare for a daycare BBQ. It was really fun to see Zuzu interact with her little friends and to meet parents and actually learn the names of people I'd known only as "Henry's dad" and "Charlotte's mom." Zuzu hung out with her girlfriends Margarita, Bea, and Paloma, and was also really excited to see Henry and Will. She is a fearless climber and went down the big kid slide multiple times. My heart raced watching her bravely climb up all those steps!

Zuzu and her friend Margarita scope out the juice box selection (Zuzu drank water because I am a Mean Mom and she doesn't know enough to care yet.)
She ate a good lunch. I'm so grossed out by hot dogs that as far as I'm concerned, Zuzu could go through her entire life without having one. So she ate bites of hamburger, lots of fruit, macaroni & cheese, baked beans, and thoroughly enjoyed her first store-bought cupcake.


The bubble machine was also a huge hit with the little ladies.

Hanging with her girlfriends.
We left shortly after lunch and headed home for naptime, which Zuzu protested furiously. She is not a fan of napping when grandparents are in town.

Once she was asleep, David's gma and I headed out to do a little shopping. A consignment furniture shop was having a big yard sale but I didn't score any great bargains there (probably should have gotten there when they opened!). I am still thinking about this little cart I saw that would make a great side table, though.

Then I introduced his gma to the glory of Home Goods. She had never been in one before, so we browsed and browsed. I've been wanting a large mirror to go over my fireplace and she bought one for me as a belated Christmas present.

I was so excited to get home and put it up above the mantle. I pulled in the carport, opened the back of my car, and the mirror slid out and hit the ground. Shattered. I knew it was a stupid thing to cry over--accidents happen, the important thing was that no one was hurt, blah blah blah. I was still really pissed. And I felt terrible that the money his grandma had just spent was now getting literally thrown into the dumpster in the alley. I tried to get over it, but I was pretty cranky all evening after that.

This morning David had found a piece of mirror the right size for $25 at a hardware store, so I think we're going to try to salvage the frame and see if we can make it work.

We got up today and went to the Botanical Gardens via World's Fair Donuts.

Ready to go after dressing herself in socks she dug out of our dirty clothes hamper. Photobomb by Cooper, the glowing mystic dog.
(Just in case I do have GD and have to change my diet, I figured I'd better fit in the donuts while I can.) Zuzu calls donuts "dot-dots" which is basically the cutest thing ever.

Let's go, Peppa! (Zuzu doesn't say "Grandma" so "Grandma Peggy" has become "Peppa.")
The gardens were lovely (and I hear they are rated #8 in the entire country!) and Zuzu had a blast in the Children's Garden. She climbed all over everything and slid down the big slide and kept us busy chasing after her.

Happy Birthday, St. Louis! #250years
In the afternoon, David wanted to drive out to see an air show at a local airport. He had the idea of going out to this trail we'd hiked before that leads out to bluffs overlooking the Missouri river. We could sit on the bluffs and see the airplanes and have a little picnic lunch.

It had been a few years since we'd gone out there, but we thought the bluffs were about a quarter mile or so from by the parking lot.

They were actually about a mile and a half.

We had imagined that Zuzu would be perfectly content to ride back-pack style in the Ergo on David's back.

She only wanted to walk or have Mama to carry her.

I'd told David to grab a larger blanket than the tiny picnic mat that came with the picnic backpack we were taking.

He brought the heaviest quilt we own. Made by his dad's mom, it is literally a patchwork of polyester leisure suits and must weigh ten pounds.

So, David spent the afternoon hiking with his pregnant wife (who was very anxious about the lack of restroom facilities in the area), his seventy-seven year old grandmother (who wore the picnic backpack on the way there because David and I were busy trading off Zuzu), and an uncooperative toddler (who was cranky since she fell asleep in the car and was woken from her nap when we stopped to hike).

Once we got to the bluffs, we realized that we didn't actually have a great view because of the leafy trees. I felt bad because I knew David had been really excited about it and now he was going to be disappointed. As it turned out, he wouldn't have been able to see that much of the air show anyway because Zuzu wanted to climb the big rocks like we were at a playground, so she required constant vigilance. When her antics weren't giving me a heart attack (David was in charge of chasing her since I don't trust my own balance these days), I was so thirsty from our hike that I wanted to guzzle my drink but I also kept thinking that my bladder had to hold out for the mile and a half walk back to the car. Stressful! And I was worrying about ticks and the poison oak that David's grandma kept pointing out.

It was not exactly a relaxing afternoon.

What, you don't find it relaxing to chase a toddler on rocky bluffs overlooking a river?
There was a very cool moment when the Blue Angel planes zoomed overhead, right above the treetops. They were so close it looked like they were going to scrape the trees above us. It was really amazing, but also super loud and kind of scary. I swear they snuck up on us! So then Zuzu was kind of afraid of airplanes instead of excited about them.

Watching airplanes with Daddy.
On the way back to the car, Zuzu said she would ride on my back in the Ergo, which we thought would be easiest, but it turns out that I couldn't handle a load of 25 pounds on my back with the additional 25 pounds I am currently carrying on my front. You'd think I would feel balanced, but instead I was panting in exhaustion after going a very short way. So we were back to trading Zuzu back and forth and then holding her hands and letting her walk, and then repeating. Except David wore the picnic backpack and I carried the weighted blanket because I felt like a 77-year-old grandma who'd just recovered from cancer could probably use a break.

This picture seriously sums up the day. David's grandma is looking for planes zooming overhead. Zuzu is trying to escape me and run off the trail. I've had my limit of walking and my bladder is ready to burst. #goodtimes
I was exhausted by the time we got back to the car, but amazingly my feet weren't swollen. I wish I'd worn a pedometer because I'm sure between the gardens and the hiking trail we walked at least five miles today. We should all sleep well tonight!


  1. 77 years and not only can she babysit, but she hikes too?! What a rockstar!

  2. This looks like such a fun adventure!

  3. Congratulations Brooke! So happy for you. Hoping all goes well. You look awesome :)

  4. You can pee in the woods. Seriously, I did it in the city park this evening while Sprout sat on look out. I actually used the bathroom on the other side of the park, which means I couldn't even make it 3/4 of a mile.

    You look like you feel great, by the way!!