Sunday, June 27, 2010

Munch Goes to Texas

A couple of months ago, Munch and I took a trip to Texas to visit the great-grandmother she's named for. Grandma was turning 99 and we hadn't been back for a visit since Munch was an itty-bitty-THAT actually may have been our very first plane trip with Munch and I remember being so cautious that she didn't continually push against the seat in front of her with her legs resting just so. The amount of luggage we hauled was incredible- carseat, pack & play, all those diapers, and numerous changes of clothes!
Contrast that with our latest trip- Munch and I were supposed to travel with my parents, so AudioDad was staying home. But unfortunately, one of my oh-so-sharing students also shared his bronchitis/pneumonia with me and several other kids, which I then passed to my dad (sorry, Pops!), along with my bonus gift of pleurisy, which landed him in the hospital, unable to travel with us. Long story short (and many commas later), I got just-enough better, just in time to travel as scheduled with Munch...but without my parents.
But, I'd NEVER travelled alone. And I wasn't so sure about heading out for the first time with a four-year old in tow. Just thinking about the luggage, waiting in the airport, managing my air-sickness, renting the car, navigating the roads, staying in the hotel WITHOUT AudioDad overwhelms me even now. If this was to work, I figured Munch had better carry her own weight...literally. Off we went to Target to pick up a large rolling backpack- her little preschooler- sized one would NOT do. Luckily it was covered with Disney princesses and Munch was ecstatic to use it-
So our plan was set- we'd check our big suitcase, Munch would haul the travel snacks and activities, and I'd have a small carry-on with other necessities (gum, baby wipes, change of clothes, water bottle, pretty much what I haul around every day!)
Our arrival into Love Field went really smoothly- it was easy to get around and didn't feel too crowded. Despite being rush hour, driving into North Dallas on the toll roads was a cinch compared to what I sit in everyday. At the hotel, Munch chose to have her own bed...and took up every bit of it!Our next few days were spent sleeping in- we never got used to the time change, swimming at the hotel, and visiting Grandma at her assisted living facility. Munch made fast friends with many of the residents and loved visiting them at the various tables in the dining room. One evening, we picked up dinner at our favorite BBQ place and brought it over-
Our trip went by too quickly as always. But I was so glad for Munch to have her own memories of her great-grandma, since we talk about her so often. Munch also got to meet her Grandpa's brother and his dog, Sadie. It took her a while to get the concept that Grandpa has a mother and a brother!As we were leaving, Grandma gave Munch one of the stuffed toys she keeps on her sofa. Munch just adores her Brownie and took such good care of her on the plane ride home!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fathers Day

I've said before how much I enjoy holidays and special occasions now that Munch is old enough to participate and understand the event. Fathers Day this year was no exception. I knew exactly what Munch would be making for Daddy this year- a painted self-portrait because he's threatened numerous times to steal the one she made her grandparents last Christmas-So as soon as he left for work, Munch and I got busy. We started with sketching out the picture on the canvas-
Once we got to painting, Munch began with the background, then the main body. Unlike the last time we made a self-portrait six months ago, Munch had a very specific idea of how she wanted this painting to turn out and the colors and designs she wanted to use.The finished portrait is very her- the only problem was keeping it a secret for the next week!
The morning of Fathers Day, Munch also wanted to make her dad breakfast in bed. I'm not that huge a fan of finding crumbs in my bed though (and it doesn't work that well when you have dogs!) Instead, we made his very favorite chocolate chip scones. I've been letting Munch have more responsibility in the kitchen lately and she did really well! First, she sifted the dry ingredients-Next, she mixed in the chocolate chips...and yes, she immediately asked to taste everything!After the cream was mixed in, we worked on kneading the dough and I cut it into squares. Munch brushed melted butter over the scones and sprinkled on the coarse sugar-The scones turned out beautifully- and both dad and daughter were full of smiles-
Later, we headed out to meet my family at Brix for lunch. I LOVE their Sunday buffet brunch and we were incredibly lucky to get a small patio all to ourselves!Munch made herself a lovely plate of shrimp, fruit, and assorted charcuterie and cheeses. It was a gorgeous day in the Napa Valley and we took our time enjoying the restaurant's gardens after lunch-before heading over to Oxbow to pick up some cupcakes to send home with my dad. Munch perused the assortment and ultimately chose a gluten-free chocolate cupcake, in a show of support for her favorite cousin and BFF who was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. It was yummier than I expected!