We just got home from our quick weekend trip to LA. The purpose of the trip was to go see two plays in the area, so we took Michelle with us to watch Carter while we went to the plays. We got to LA around 9:30 Saturday morning, and Doug and I spent the morning with Carter before heading out to our matinee. We had lunch in a little cafe with an enclosed courtyard, and Carter spent most of lunch wandering around.
He smelled flowers:
He transferred dirt from one container to another:
And he played with pumpkins. Who does this look like? ;-)
After lunch Doug and I headed out to the first play, and Michelle took Carter to the Aquarium of the Pacific, a few blocks from where we were staying in Long Beach. This was one of those hard Mommy moments for me, I have to say. On the one hand, I was so excited to have an afternoon to go see a musical with Doug, a musical I've always wanted to see. But on the other hand, I would have loved to go to the aquarium with Carter. It's strange to feel so torn that way, and I feel it quite a lot.
Michelle took lots of pictures at the aquarium, which I really appreciated. Carter had a lot of fun, and loved looking at the fish. He got to pet sting rays and see sea lions. Here are some pics:
We asked her to get him a special toy in the gift shop, and she got some little plastic sea creatures. He has been playing with them ever since, and loves them! He learned the names of most of them at the aquarium, and can name starfish, sea lion, whale, dolphin, shark, lobster, and sting ray.
When we returned that night we were treated to an excited rendition of the day. Carter was trying really hard to tell us about his exciting day at the aquarium, and it was so cute! He picked up the sting ray and then put it down again and touched it over and over, saying, "Touch! Sting ray, touch!" Michelle said he loved touching the sting rays, and would shriek with delight every time he touched one.
I'm still a little sad I missed it, even though Doug and I had a great afternoon together. I'm thrilled Carter had fun too, but it's still sort of sad, in a way. When we left the theater after the second play, I saw a couple with a son who looked to be 14 walking in front of us. The mom put her arm around him to give him a quick hug, and he shrugged her away. It hit me that as fast as the last two years have gone, the rest of it will go even faster. It won't be long before this little boy who cuddles in my lap, who cries when I leave, who grins and says "Mommy!" when I come in the room, who wants me to carry him down the stairs, who snuggles with me in the mornings -- will shrug me away. It makes me that much more determined to enjoy every minute!
This morning Doug left for Korea early, and Carter and I went for a walk in Long Beach before heading to the airport. We found a Starbucks and I got my first peppermint mocha of the holiday season. I got Carter a babyccino - steamed milk with a little vanilla syrup. It was the first time he's ever had a drink from Starbucks, aw. He loved it too, and kept calling it "coffee".
The flight home was uneventful, and Carter slept the whole way. That was flight number 59, amazing as it sounds.