Archive for April, 2008

More Boston – Day Two

We started Friday morning with brunch at Sound Bites, a local cafe near Katie’s apartment. The staff knew her by name, so I get the feeling Katie spends a fair amount of time there. (Given the caramelized French toast with goat cheese and pears, I’m not surprised.) The owner spied Ava and brought her this colorful fruit plate. In his thick (and incredibly charming accent), he exclaimed, “This is because I love you!” She was appropriately coy in response.

Ava and Olivia with Gramma (“Dramma”) at the restaurant:

After brunch, we headed into downtown Boston to check out the Common and the Public Garden.

When Ava was tired of riding in the umbrella stroller (five minutes after we put her in it), my mom said, “If only we had a bungee cord, we could tie it to the side of Olivia’s stroller rather than carrying it.” When I managed to produce one immediately, I saw a look of pride unlike any I’d seen from her before. I may not be able to balance my checkbook, but I always have a bungee cord on hand. I really am her flesh and blood.

Despite a line a mile long, Ava talked Katie into taking her for a ride on the swan boats.

It’s not a place you take kids (or so I’m told), but we did walk by the famous Cheers bar:

Here’s a rather bad photograph of the most photographed street in America, Acorn Street. I lamented the poor shot as Katie drove by, narrowly avoiding pedestrians and cars on the incredibly small side street. She informed me that if it was indeed the most photographed street in America, I’d be able to find a much better photograph online anyway. She was right.

On Friday afternoon, we retreated to Katie’s apartment. Olivia wasn’t quite herself, and after a short period of fussiness, I decided to take her into urgent care. She had an ear infection–I think we caught it pretty early. She was feeling much better by the time we flew home on Sunday. (By the way, we’ve now taken the children to doctors in four states, just in case you’re keeping track. We’re heading to Maryland this summer–what are the odds we can make it five?)

Doctor’s visit aside, it was a quiet end to a nice day.

Overheard – Boston Edition

Katie, issuing a warning about her cat, Sophie: “If she goes for you, cover your head.“

Bec: “What time is it?”

Gramma: ”In Lincoln or in Boston?”

Ava, to Katie, after waiting in line for Swan boats for 45 minutes and immediately before boarding: “I have to go potty.”

Bec: “What time is it?”

Gramma: “It’s 1:30 in Lincoln, 2:30 in Boston.”

Mom: “I lost my blue scrunchie somewhere.”

Bec: “Did you check 1986?”

Ava: “So, this is your school!”

Katie: “Yep.”

Ava: “Do you sometimes cry at school?”

Katie: “….sometimes.”

Bec: “What time is it?”

Gramma: “Boston time or Lincoln time?”

Ava, to Gramma, during a valiant effort to distract her from a tantrum: “Water will not make me happy!”

Bec; “What time is it? IN BOSTON?”

Ava, to me, in a very crowded area of Boston Garden: “You’re not my mom!”

Ava: “Are you sad? Why are you crying?”

Katie: “I am sad. I will miss you.”

Ava: “I know, but I always come back to see you.”

First bites

Olivia’s first “real” food beyond cereal: Avocados!

This was Ava’s first food, too. We were concerned that Ava wasn’t gaining weight rapidly enough, and I thought the good fat in avocados would be very beneficial to her. Olivia doesn’t have that prob– well, Olivia is just fine when it comes to….er…oh, let’s just say we don’t have the same concerns about her.

She loved them anyway.


Ava: Okay, Mommy, I’m the dry cleaner. Say goodbye now.

Bec: Okay–bye. I love you!

Ava: No! We don’t say “I love you” to the dry cleaners! We just say “bye.” Don’t say, “I love you” this time, okay? Daddy, we don’t say “I love you to the dry cleaners. We just say, “bye,” right? Mommy, just say, “bye.”

Bec: Sorry! Okay–bye.

Bry: Ava, does Mommy usually say “I love you” to the dry cleaner?

More Boston…er, Gloucester

On Thursday afternoon, Katie drove us up to Gloucester, Massachusetts, a charming seaside city about 45 minutes north of Boston. We hit the local shops first.

Thanks to the early wake-up call that morning, Ava took the longest, soundest nap of her life, remaining asleep as we moved her from the car to the stroller and back again.

Katie had said that there was a famous statue in Gloucester–the one featured in the logo for Gorton’s. I misunderstood and thought that the statue was erected to honor the frozen fish company. I wondered aloud why anyone would want to see the “fish sticks statue.” I quickly realized my mistake and felt a little silly.

The statue stands guard over a stark memorial honoring the local men and women who have died while working in the fishing industry. (Kind of gives you a new apprecation for those fish sticks, eh?)

The lighthouse just off the shore was featured in the movie “The Perfect Storm.”

We ended the night at Woodman’s, a seafood shack on the outskirts of town, home to what must be the best clams on the eastern seaboard.

More tomorrow!

Boston, continued

After Katie picked us up from the airport Thursday afternon, we grabbed lunch and headed to a park in East Boston. We had great weather the entire trip–temperature in the 60s and 70s, and the forecast rain held off until Sunday morning.

There was a great view of the Boston Harbor and the city’s skyline.

There were also a couple of reoccuring themes during the trip–one was outstanding food (here, the “Gobbler,” the special sandwich from Katie’s favorite shop Dough. It was a turkey concoction with dressing and cranberry sauce)…

And, a sweet, sleeping baby.

More to come!

Boston bound!

Very early Thursday morning, the Bornemeier women took the Kansas City International Airport by storm. Destination: Boston. More specifically: Katie’s house.

Mom and Gramma had arrived the night before, and by 5:30 that morning, we were on our way. Four generations en route to the East Coast, plus enough luggage for a fifth.

Four generations, and–of course–Elmo.

I was more than a little nervous about traveling with a toddler and infant, but with Mom and Gramma along, it was a breeze. The standard electronic equipment and Pixar movies helped quite a bit, too.

We really didn’t check Olivia, I promise.

Here’s what we did check, though: A pack’n’play, an infant seat, an infant seat base, a gigantic suitcase that weighed in at exactly 50 pounds, a stroller, and two additional suitcases that belonged to Mom and Gramma. We carried on Ava’s carseat, a packed diaper bag, two additional bags, three purses, Elmo, and a baby.

Fortunately, Katie met us at baggage claim to help us out to the car. (And, by “car,” I mean the giant van Katie had to rent to haul us and all of our trappings around the city for four days.)

We were on our way!

Olivia Fix

I’m planning a bit of a blog break, so I hope this will tide you over until next week. Here’s Olivia on her “last bite” of oatmeal. Bon appetit!

Redeeming qualities

Despite the tendency to pitch a fit every now and then, Ava remains incredibly sweet.

When I picked her up from preschool yesterday, she exclaimed, “There’s something in my pants!” She dropped her drawers, and there in her underwear was a dandelion, a stick and a relatively impressive number of rocks to add to her growing collection.

I said, “Ava, why are those things in your underpants?!”

Her very reasonable response?

“I didn’t have pockets.”

Two at the zoo

On Sunday morning, Bryan and I, along with his brother and sister-in-law, took the kids to the Kansas City Zoo. I’ve heard that it’s a “walking zoo,” but I think in the 30 minutes it took to get to the first real exhibit, we passed more snack shacks than animals. It’s probably a rarity for a zoo to have such an incredibly large footprint in a city like this, so I’m not complaining. (Yet.)

Here’s a shot of the stroller brigade and all the preparations needed to take two (well, four) kids to the zoo for a couple of hours.

All was well–the animals, the kids–great. We were going to have a wonderful time.

And then, “What’s that screaming?”

That is the sound of a toddler throwing a massive tantrum approximately two and half miles from the car. We’d already decided that it was about time to head out (we have a sixth sense for these kind of things), but we drug a screaming kid out of “Africa” and past 85 snack shacks filled with parents who just stared–and not with the “Oh, I’ve been there, this too shall past” sympathy stare that I would have given another parent in that position. Oh no. It was cold, hard judgment.

In my three years of parenting, I’d say this was the most embarrasing moment to date. And, I may have mentioned that out loud on the trek back to the parking lot, because last night Ava said to Bryan as he scolded her for not listening to him, “Daddy, stop, you’re embarrasing me.”

As you’ve probably noticed in the last few posts, or experienced firsthand quite recently, Ava’s hit a bit of a rough patch. Most everything is a battle, and she’s figured out all to well that she can play Bryan and I off one another to get exactly what she wants. We’ve tried a number of different approaches, but the bottom line is that we’re not seeing eye to eye on how to parent. In fact, our parenting philosophies are becoming more divergent. And really, whether it’s Spock or Sears or Rimm or Frost, no strategy is going to work if you don’t implement it consistently.

So, we’re at an impasse. In the meantime, if you hear screaming, try not to judge.