Saturday, December 30

The Newest Herrman

The Herrmans' new baby girl finally arrived yesterday. We went to see the newest members of the parent club and to introduce Matilda to the playmate they made for her. Matilda was eager to get her hands on her new friend. See more pictures of Georgia Gail here and her stats here. Welcome Gigi!!

Wednesday, December 27

Nine Months Old

This month the explorer in Matilda really shone through. She is such a curious little bug and gets into everything these days in order to conduct her experiments on how the world works.
She peers over edges and around corners investigating sounds and looking for new things to chew.

She can dismantle the kitchen in two seconds flat.

Matilda got to be spoiled by her Grandma this month and enjoy a few days in San Diego.

Matilda also traveled to Arizona to join the ranks of family members in bi-costal cookie bakes.

Here you can see a grumpy face after a diaper change. She is going through a difficult phase with her pants changes and fights almost every time. We think she wants to keep going and doesn't appreciate the precious moments we waste by pinning her down. Our biggest test came after a particularly explosive event this weekend in Santa Barbara. Tim ended up basically holding her upside down by her ankles while I took care of business in order to avoid her rolling around and covering the Matrix (and herself) in filth.

Her hair is coming in so fast this month - I was even tempted by the cutesy little barrettes while Christmas shopping. I managed to resist since they will probably just get ripped out and cause Matilda's Dad to worry about choking.

Matilda had a great Christmas and enjoyed her presents almost as much as all the paper, ribbons and boxes. Here you can see her new monkey puppet from Uncle Dan - Mr. Monkey is a big hit with Miss M.

Matilda celebrated her nine-month birthday tonight with her biggest meal ever. Tim & I were so impressed with how much she ate. She was even yelling at us between bites to hurry up and refill the spoon! We have her nine month check up next week so we will have some stats for you then.

Tuesday, December 26

Hurricane Christmas

Christmas morning before the storm.

After a long day of present opening and paper eating. Here you can see Matilda tasting the new robot that her Dad got her for Christmas. Lucky girl got really spoiled. Thanks so much everyone for all the fun presents! A full day later now and we are just beginning to crawl out of the debris.

Monday, December 25

The Clapper

Matilda showed us another one of her mad skills last night while the Herrmans joined us for Christmas Eve raclette dinner: clapping. Here you can see Miss M watching her new stuffed ninja clap and imitating him. We hope she soon starts to imitate all his other ninja skills, then she'll be prepared to public school in LA!

Sunday, December 24

Ho Ho Ho

Matilda is very ready for Christmas. She wasn't too sure about sitting with Santa, but has been trying to open packages all week, indiscriminately. Merry Christmas from the RD Mama household to yours!

Friday, December 22

Pizza Delivery

Piles from the mail man today.
Looks like we'll be having pizza for Christmas dinner.

Thursday, December 21

Getting There

My Mom passed on to me her love of lists. Like her, I will write things on my list just so I can then check them off. She says she gets little endorphins from checking things off. My DONE list is steadily growing and the TO DO list is shrinking. The Christmas cards won't go out on time, but we figure the baby is a good excuse for a delay. Tonight I made Bourbon Hot Fudge Sauce and canned it for Tim's gift to his co-workers. By the end of the process there was chocolate on everything. As I put Matilda to bed I noticed she even had fudge sauce on the front of her pajamas.

  • 12 jars of hot fudge sauce canned
  • 14 Pointy Kitties sewn and mailed/delivered
  • copious amounts of cookies, brownies and fudge sauce consumed (note to husband's vendors: please stop sending Tim gift baskets filled with sweets - it does not make him utilize your business more, it only makes his wife fatter.)
  • shopping done for everyone who required mailing (except my immediate family, who thankfully recommended Christmas in January when we see them!)
  • tree obtained, house decorated
  • grocery shopping done for dessert of the month and for mom's traditional Christmas morning rolls I will attempt to make
  • Santa visited (photos coming)
  • Christmas cards retrieved from the printers

To Do
  • finish shopping for Tim (always the hardest person on my list)
  • make Onalee's Swedish cookies to package up, also for Tim's co-workers
  • wrap, wrap, wrap
  • keep Matilda out of the wrapped presents
  • make said rolls and pudding
  • figure out what to cook for Christmas dinner (any suggestions?)
  • write, address and mail 100+ cards
  • clean house (optional)
  • finish two more kitties, make one more from scratch
  • make some of these with leftover kitty felt - probably a January project along with stockings

Tuesday, December 19

Don't you realize you're wrecking Christmas? Tim said to Matilda as he realized we will be unable to display all the beautiful wrapped presents under the tree due to our curious little elf.

Sunday, December 17

Parental Discretion is Advised

For our annual Dirty Santa Party I always make some sweet treats to accompany the eggnog. This year we decided to make anatomically correct gingerbread people in an homage to my E.C.C.B. roots and the incident. Sarah and Tim assisted in the decorating. The dirty cookies were a hit and the party was the best in years with lots of good gifts and fierce competition!

Saturday, December 16

Mom's Breastaurant

Matilda had her best eating day ever so far with solids today. She ate 6 bites of rice cereal and dried cherries for breakfast. Then for lunch she had 5 bites of veggies and barley from my bowl of stew. It sounds like a measly amount but Tim & I were both cheering loudly for her by the end of each meal. On a related note, while in Tucson recently Matilda found her new favorite place to eat out:

Thursday, December 14

Not Festive Yet

Since we are a little behind the ball on getting holiday decorations up Matilda decides to take matters into her own hands and gnaw into the boxes.

Another Parenting Lesson

Don't call home to check on the baby. She will scream the entire time whether you know about it or not. For the safety of your fellow freeway travelers it is better to not know.

Note to S & G: Thanks so much for being the best babysitters. We apologize profusely for all the obscenities Matilda yelled at you last night.

Friday, December 8

Gifts From the Hearth

I attended my much-anticipated cooking class last weekend and it did not disappoint. For the first few minutes I thought, "I don't know about this." I was feeling like it wasn't worth the steep price and that I could just figure out all the recipes on my own. But once I dove it I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. First we all sat around the gorgeous professional kitchen (very disappointed I forgot my camera) while the instructor reviewed the recipes we would be preparing: Grand Marnier Biscotti Bites, Graham Crackers, Homemade Marshmallows, Scottish Shortbread, Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce, Cranberry Raspberry Preserves, Bourbon Hot Fudge Sauce, Braided Christmas Bread Wreath, Golden Pecan Brittle, Sugared Spiced Nuts, and Spicy Paprika Cashews.

My partner and I were assigned the only recipe that intimidated me: Braided Christmas Bread Wreath. I generally shy away from yeast bread as my last effort results in brick-like loaves. However, it turned out to be a great challenge. The bread came out wonderfully even though we rushed it - both resting periods for the dough were shortened from 1 hour to 10 minutes! I am sure if I had not tackled this recipe in class I wouldn't be brave enough to try it again at home. And it gives me new confidence to make my mom's traditional Christmas morning rolls. Just in time since we won't be seeing her this Christmas so there is no chance to con her into making them for us like always.

Thursday, December 7

Resort Living

I felt the 1 day turn around I planned between trips was plenty but I think that was based on pre-baby mentality. I am going to make up for content with photos of our San Diego trip, before we head off for W.C.C.B. and family visiting this weekend.

Matilda seemed to really get into the relaxed, resort lifestyle while staying with Grandma during her conference. She took lots of long naps in the super-comfy bed: Practiced her climbing skills (up and down, up and down) on the stairs in our room: Took baths in the huge bath tub: Was perplexed by the stuffed toy in the mini bar (?): Enjoyed lots of play time with Grandma between innovation sessions: We didn't make it to the famed zoo, but we did find this guy at Balboa Park: And we took lots of walks along the beach to the numerous nearby playgrounds for sunset swinging sessions:

San Diego

Just back in town from San Diego where Matilda discovered the joys of shredding toilet paper. More pictures to come.

Sunday, December 3

No Runners Here

Matilda and I went to cheer Sarah and Gaurav this morning in the City of Angels Half Marathon. Unfortunately I did not pay attention to the finer details of the race course and we were stationed on the road that runs along the river, rather than on the bike path where the runners were actually passing. We ended up just watching a homeless lady as she went through her morning rituals and cheering a few dog walkers. Matilda didn't mind the lack of runners and was quite entertained watching the fountain and spying on these guys doing some sort of Tai Chi with sticks.

Regardless of the blunder my thoughts are with you S & G - hope you make it past mile 8 and that no one (i.e. Gaurav) feels the need to toss any cookies on the curb.

Saturday, December 2

Thirty Days

So I managed to blog for thirty days straight and then the second there is no prize involved I forget to post on December 1st! Fussy says we should know by Monday who gets prizes. Yay!

Today I am excited for my long awaited cooking class. It will also mark the longest time I have been away from Matilda so far. RD Papa is concerned about exactly how much milk is in the fridge and keeps nervously suggesting that I should pump some more. I am suspicious about what he has planned for all the milk. He swears he just wants enough for Matilda, but I did notice he put the freezer bowl of the ice cream maker into the freezer last night.