Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ike Travels, Gets Haircut

Last month my cousin Larisa came to visit. She had a work obligation in Grand Rapids, so it was a great excuse for us to see each other. Ike rushed her as soon as she arrived at our house and tried to fill her arms with all his toys, including his wheeled, ride-on giraffe. It was pretty funny to watch him try to hoist it up. The next day, he found choice rocks from the driveway to give her.

Larisa's visit

Larisa's visit

Mid-May, we packed up my mom and John and traveled to St. Louis for my brother and sister-in-law's graduation ceremonies. Jesse now has the title of Juris Doctor and Melody is a Master of Public Health.

Graduation mosaic

We spent a couple days hanging out with them, appreciating their accomplishments, as they enjoyed the end of many years of classes. Activities included Missouri Washers:

Missouri Washers
My brother, Alexander Supertramp!

It's the same idea as horseshoes, but you toss metal washers toward a wooden box, ideally into the small piece of plastic pipe set in its center. Dave and I have a game of washers at home made by this company, but Jesse handily made his own.

Ike developed this slightly maniacal, Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks chuckle while we were there. "Ike, you sound like a critter," said Dave. Plopping washers into their boxes elicited the chuckle, playing with plastic cups in the bathtub brought it on. He just couldn't contain his fascination and excitement about all the cool stuff in his ever-increasing awareness. I think everyone around caught a little buzz of his unjaded delight.

Missouri Washers

Chun-Li still can't get any respect.

World's largest hummingbird

She's perched by a hummingbird feeder on the lattice overhang about seven feet above our back deck. I don't know how she managed to get up there, but two dogs were on the deck below her, jumping and yapping. I was furious. One of the dogs, a neighbor's Jack Russell, is always over here harassing our cats. The other was some young thug with a spike collar. I'd love to give the neighbor what for, but I'm sure I'd wimp out as I was stomping over to his house. By the way, I haven't seen a single hummingbird in the vicinity of the feeder this season.

A few days before going St. Louis, I decided I needed to bring a Michigan gift, so Ike and I took a quick trip to Lake Michigan. We took a little drive though Saugatuck and the surrounding area, taking in the eye candy of quaint cottages, quirky motels, and views of Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River. I figured some Michigan wine would make a nice, celebratory gift, so I stopped at Fenn Valley Vineyards. They're glad to supply free tastings, and I was extremely tempted, but I offered up to the sommelier that I was pregnant. I felt rather guilty being in a winery "in my condition" and with a 1-year-old in tow, so I tried to recall which varieties Dave and I had enjoyed in the past and quickly chose six bottles.

Then we stopped at Crane Orchards. There's a restaurant/bakery on the premises that an antique shop owner recommended to me years ago, so I decided to finally try it. It was full of farm antiques and vintage ephemera. Ike sat in an old, old wooden high chair and was greatly pleased by banging the tray up and down and feasting on apple butter bread. I comforted myself about not being able to have any wine by finishing my lunch off with a piece of red raspberry pie. Then, in case I got sad again later, I took a dozen of their cider donuts to go.

Ike liked this pint-sized old tractor they had outside.

Wheel Horse

Wheel Horse

Last Sunday, Ike got his first haircut. He went to the Mastercuts at the mall in Portage, to the stylist Dave's been going to for the past eleven years. (It's somehow turned out that our whole family--me, my mom, my brother, and Dave's mom--gets their hair cut at this salon now.)

I was nervous. Unless he's sleeping, Ike is in perpetual motion. I thought he would object to sitting in the chair, and that surely things other than his hair would end up cut off. I was also worried that I would embarrass us all by crying as his precious little curl-wisps disappeared.

Ike's first haircut

It all turned out better than fine. Ike sat quietly in the chair, holding a purple hair clip. Dave stood nearby, poised for any leaps from the chair, and I hovered around (tearlessly), taking pictures and stashing locks. Uncle John was with us, too. It was all done in a few minutes.

After the haircut, Daddy treated him to a ride on a triceratops. He thought it was okay at first; not so much after a couple minutes.

Ike's first haircut

It took me at least a week to get used to the fact that my wee, fluff-headed baby was gone and replaced by this...adolescent toddler. Who has recently discovered that he can climb up on to the couch by himself and disport daredevilishly thereon. Who is 32 inches tall and 25 pounds as of his pediatrician visit yesterday.

Big boy hair