Monday, March 31

Hungry, Hungry Hippo


About to Experience Sugar Withdrawl

It has been a week full of sweets for all of us with the numerous birthday celebrations. To send Matilda out with a sugar bang before we got back on the healthy food wagon we shipped her off to Adam & Alwyn's last night. They agreed to watch M while Tim & I had a nice meal out and window shopped around Pasadena for a bit. It turned out to be a fantastic time for everyone. We enjoyed our "adult" time and Matilda had a blast with all the fun activities planned by her friends "Ah & Ah". Alwyn, the undisputed queen of desserts, baked cookies with Matilda AND made blueberry ice cream to feed us, upon our return. Alwyn remarked on how strange Matilda's ravenous appetite for flour is. M even declined sugar when offered access to the sugar bin in order to keep shovelling in the flour. Indeed a strange child. Adam got some good pictures of all the excitement you can see here. Tim & I have no pictures to show for our evening but did end up with happy, full bellies.

Sunday, March 30

More Party Pictures

Herrmania gets in on the birthday party picture action now. Gigi was maybe more excited than Matilda about the birthday trike!

(At this rate I won't need to do any of my own blogging; I can just keep linking to everyone else's photos.)


As usual, Adam is way ahead of the game on getting pictures up. He has some great ones from Matilda's party yesterday. I can assure you the entire family thanks you, sir!

Saturday, March 29


The combined number of photos taken on Thursday (Matilda's actual birthday) and today (her birthday party). That there is a lot of Flickr-ing.

Friday, March 28

Quality Control

Matilda was of great assistance in cupcake prep for her party tomorrow.

Starting with the flour, she tasted each individual ingredient to see if it was up to standards.
She unwrapped (and tasted) the baking chocolate.She then tested the finished batter (off her arm, spatula, counter, anywhere she could reach). Care for a taste?

Thursday, March 27


Happy Birthday, baby girl!
What a fantastic time we have with you.

Wednesday, March 26

Vocabulary Explosion

We can no longer keep track of Matilda's new words. Every day there are several new words she begins using. Also, she parrots back something from almost every sentence you speak so regardless of whether she uses the word again later, she is just so chatty lately. A selection of new words:

Today: chirp (used to describe the birds singing during lunch with Sarah & Gaurav)

Tuesday: driveway (repeated each time I take her hand as we cross one), milkshake (learned this one while out to dinner with Daddy - Mama was home slaving over birthday confections)

Monday: big girl (repeated ad nauseam at mention of her birthday), young (used to describe Gigi as an explanation of why she can't have popcorn)

Sunday: Easter Bunny (sounds like "Eat Bun"), jelly bean (no explanation needed here)

Saturday: f*ck (Matilda's first four letter word, this one is not yet incorporated into her vocabulary. It was chanted back to me after I cursed at dropping my farmer's market strawberries all over the greasy curb while climbing into the car. Bad Mama.)

Monday, March 24


Yesterday was the first time the Easter Bunny visited Matilda and it made for the best Easter Tim & I have had in years. It was such a riot to watch her take it all in, trying to figure out what exactly this bunny business was all about.

We hid a dozen eggs (mostly filled with stickers, two with jelly beans, a few with gummy fruit snacks & two with little plastic animals) and rapidly discovered that 12 is too many for a-not-quite-two-year old. As luck would have it the first one M found had jelly beans, a quick introduction to the real core of Easter for most of us: sucrose. As she popped the egg open, beans flew everywhere and the chorus of "THIS?" began. We explained they were a treat and after tentatively trying one she wasted no time cramming the rest in her mouth. There was no mad dash for the eggs, as I am sure we will see in future years. Each egg she opened would easily occupy her for 15 minutes, or until we egged her on to continue the hunt. The toys were carefully inspected, the beans eaten, and the stickers had to all be methodically taken off their sheets and applied to someones shirt. Tim & I both had quite festive pajama tops by the end of the morning.

When Matilda first noticed her basket, tucked behind the couch corner, she didn't seem to register its significance. It wasn't until she noticed a few jelly beans strewn in the grass that she showed greater interest. The basket was filled with an obscene amount of candy, complete with chocolate bunny, a peanut butter egg, chocolate carrots and chocolate bees & ladybugs (I have to confess, almost all the candy was rapidly stashed away for later consumption by Mom & Dad).

The poor nibbled bunny shown above was the funniest part of the morning for me. Once Matilda took her first bite she was smitten. She would hold him in her sticky hands and gaze in amazement. After a fair amount of nibbling on the ears and feet we convinced her to lay him back in the basket in order to continue the egg hunt. For the remainder of the egg hunting each time the bunny would catch her eye she would literally drop everything to snatch him up again. After not too long of this routine the bunny was quite melty and Matilda too chocolate covered to continue so he was banished to the fridge where he has been forgotten. (Although I think their love affair cold easily be rekindled with just one glance.)

First bite of chocolate bunny.

Mr Bunny's night before prep.

Rockin' and Rolling

Saturday we spent some time at the Herrmans and Matilda was thoroughly entertained with all of Gigi's awesome toys. The adults were also quite entertained with Kyle's toys playing Rock Band for hours, although someone took it a little too seriously. RD Papa strained his voice with his enthusiasm and spent all weekend nursing a sore throat with tea and honey.

Sunday, March 23

Preferred Easter Bunny

True to form, Matilda didn't want anything to do with this Easter Bunny:
The real deal at the zoo, however, I could barely pry her away from. We went back through the line four times in a row to pet bunnies.

Saturday, March 22

Easter Prep

Matilda's had her first egg coloring experience yesterday in preparation for tomorrow's baskets. She anticipated it greatly and all afternoon asked "Dye egg? Dye egg?" Once the actual dying began she lost interest fairly rapidly. Luckily Sarah & Gaurav joined us for the fun so it wasn't just me dyeing eggs by myself while yelling after the wandering toddler. Gaurav was also a first timer so I just claimed it was for his enrichment. Here Matilda acts as Sarah's assistant, checking for the proper dipping technique.
I let her muck around with pulling the eggs out with surprisingly little mess resulting. Looking at Mama's four colored masterpiece.

Friday, March 21

The Claw

After dinner, we found great entertainment in the foil our naan bread came wrapped in. Matilda was cackling as she used her robot arm. She tested the strength of her new arm by holding various items (napkin, wrapper, box) but found the best use really was pinching Daddy.

Thursday, March 20

Grimsey Tradition

Brian and Matilda spent some time honing their skills for the next family Mexican train tournament. Let's just hope they didn't lose any dominoes in their enthusiastic play here, or our next game will be rigged.

Wednesday, March 19

My Little Bag Lady

For weeks now I have been trying to do a post about Matilda and her new pants but never remember to take a picture. While they appear to be regular old blue jeans like Gigi is wearing, they have quite the funny story behind them.Whenever the building manager has repairs to do in our apartment he doesn't get around to them until late in the day. Time to make dinner? He will be at your door, ready to do the work he has been promising for weeks. Company coming for dinner in 2 hours? He thinks it is the perfect time to paint that corner he's been meaning to get to.

Recently this happened with a major repair we'd been waiting 5 weeks for, so Matilda and I obliged by scooting out to a coffee shop for a treat of steamed milk & honey. We spent 30 minutes or so entertaining/annoying our fellow patrons with Matilda's antics and then headed out for a ramble down the block. Before leaving I made M wave bye bye to the local platinum blond homeless lady who was sitting near us and was particularly entertained by our dialog.

We walked slowly, inspecting each fallen leaf and rock, choosing a select few for our pockets. We had made it almost 1 block away when I realized our blond homeless woman was running after us without her normal caravan of bags. She was upon us and handed Matilda something before I registered what was going on. "New pants for you sweetie," she said to M. The lady quickly reassured me they were clean and hustled off.

The Osh Kosh blue jeans were indeed clean, but the truly astounding part is that they were the right size, and in really good shape. We've added them into the rotation and get a good chuckle each time we put them on. Let's hope someday Matilda isn't too horrified to hear I dressed her in clothes from a homeless lady. I mean on the "scale of homeless ladies" she IS at the "normal" end. Had it been the other lady in our hood I can only hope I would have scooped M up before she took the proffered pee-soaked item.

Monday, March 17

Guest Blogger - Uncle Brian

I have had an incredible time here in L.A. with my sister's family so far. The trip is quickly coming to an end and it will be very hard to leave the cutest little girl here in California. Gia and I are looking forward to having Matilda in our wedding now more than ever. I anticipate our meeting with the wedding photographer being very short, " Take pictures of our niece, Matilda." Every day Matilda shows us a new talent as we bounce around L.A. doing all sorts of fun things. Only one day left and I hope to spend the entire time with Matilda on my shoulders. She finally said Gia's name today and I feel much pressure to get her to say mine in the next 36 hours. We should have purchased open ended tickets, leaving once she said, " Brian you're the best ever." haha It will be very sad to leave, but our time here has been incredible. Thank you so much Kristen and Tim.

Sunday, March 16

More Fun with Uncle B & Aunt G

By Day 3 of their visit, Matilda seems to finally be warming up to Uncle Brian. We have had an action packed weekend with lots of sightseeing and eating, showing off all our favorite spots. We had a nice, windy stop at the observatory. Matilda helps Gia pick out a nice California white.
Brian teaches Matilda how to use the air mattress as a slide - instant hit.
Sitting sweetly with her favorite balding uncle before bedtime tonight.

Friday, March 14

Brian Gets Blogged

My brother, who was somehow unaware I had a blog until last month, has since become obsessed with being on the blog during his visit this week. He and his fiance, Gia, arrived Thursday and we have been packing in the fun. Matilda generally gives her uncles a really poor reception and this visit has been no exception. She cried when he first walked in the door and ran to the far side of the room.

Matilda has since learned to tolerate his presence enough to allow them this one photo together, riding the tar pit sloth. We will see how many more mornings this visit she will refuse to cross the living room upon finding his sleeping carcass there; it is as if she needs a new warming up period each day.

Sunday, March 9


It's official, motherhood causes memory loss. According to this report, I am creeping up on 1400 hours lost.

Saturday, March 8

Stylin' at the Zoo

It looks like she's posing here, mid-stride.
Matilda also made friends with another trend-setter at the zoo. This little gal corrected me when I referred to her headpiece as a hat, "It's a CROWN!"

Thursday, March 6

Accident Prone

It seems that the bigger and faster Matilda gets, the bigger her crashes get. Today she had three different falls where I wondered if she was really hurt. The most spectacular was during dinner prep: I had just set salads on the table and M was so starving that she needed to climb up into a chair and pilfer all the good bits out of my salad. She somehow tumbled out of the chair and landed face-down on the floor with the salad bowl on her back, lettuce clinging in her curls and a 3 foot radius of salad fixings around her. Matilda did one of those really big cries, so hard it was silent. Scary, but I knew she was fine when she quickly started scurrying about to scarf up all the little sugared nut bits out of my reach as I tried to pick up my salad. I only regret not taking a photo.

Tuesday, March 4

Blurry Baller

Having way too much fun at the park today.

Monday, March 3

Finally a Security Object

Here's a challenge, can you find Matilda's new security object in this photo? Did you guess Peaco, the pink Uglydoll in the top corner? Nope! The yellow baby blanket made by my Great Aunt Jane? Wrong again. The box of raisins that tumbled from her clenched fist as she drifted off to sleep? Third time's a charm; you got it! Matilda has an unnatural connection to boxes of raisins lately. Not one specific box thankfully, any little box will do.

We have tried in the past to get her to develop a security object. The pediatrician and books suggested it would make weaning easier. First, we advocated for floppy bunny for a while, and then two different baby blankets. But to no avail. Independently she settled on raisins. We think it must be related to her deep fear that we will let her starve.

We started trying to cut out Matilda's night nursing last week. When she wakes up at night, instead of nursing her back to sleep we have been rocking, singing, walking, patting her back, and singing some more. We had attempted this once before, two months ago, but were derailed by illness and then trips. The first night she was pissed off. Actually every night she is pissed off, and I mean yelling-that-could-get-us-evicted pissed off. In a desperate attempt to get her to stop yelling the second night we offered her a snack. It seemed logical that if she had been used to nursing she would be a bit hungry at her night time wake up.

Tim handed her a box of raisins and she calmed right down and relaxed back onto her pillow. After a few minutes of her not eating the raisins we tried to take them away, thinking she didn't need another distraction in the bed (or bait for the ant epidemic we are currently battling). She totally fell apart at mention of removing the raisins so we let her keep them. She slept all that night with the raisins in her hand - and then three more nights this week. Last night when my rocking her seemed to be failing, Tim offered her the box, she then asked to be laid in bed, and promptly rolled over and closed her eyes. The photo above is how I found her this morning. We haven't found her covered in ants yet so we are going to let her raisin bond slide for now. So strange and so funny.

Sunday, March 2

Career Options

While we had a picnic in the park today, there were some matadors practicing (sans bulls) their moves. Matilda was fascinated and immediately wanted to whip the blanket out from under us so she could practice ("Prac, prac! Me!") too. Then again tonight after her bath she spent ten minutes waving her towel around in bullfighter fashion. Not your typical childhood career aspiration for sure!