Tuesday, April 29

More Indictations that our Household is Too Food-centric.

Matilda's latest catch phrases are:
  • "Thank you, waiter." - which she says when anyone approaches our table in a restaurant. She was saying it to Daddy at home too, but he's trying to convince her that he isn't her waiter.

  • "Pay cashier." - which she chants almost the entire time we are in the grocery store. As if I might forget and dash out to the car with my cart full of shoplifted groceries.

Also, at least once daily Matilda drags some bags out, throws them over her shoulder, and announces "Shop." When questioned about what she's shopping for she always says food. Never toys, never clothes, just food. A girl after my own heart.

Monday, April 28

Strawberry Bonanza

Before the dreaded fever of death hit last week, Matilda and I had a really fun day picking strawberries at Underwood Farm. Matilda's basket looked like this the entire time because she ate every one she picked. I thought that the farm was a little less pesticide-loving than I later found out; now I am just trying not to think about the amount of crud we ingested. If you buy nothing else organic, buy organic strawberries folks; strawberries hold more pesticides than any other crop. While the strawberries were very much appreciated, the real highlight of the day for Matilda was the army of ladybugs in the field. Here is one good video of ladybug love, but Tim has other videos from the day up.

After the strawberry fest we did our normal farm tour with chicken feeding, hay stack climbing, car napping for the trip home, and then rounded out the day with some strawberry shortcake fixin' in the evening.

Saturday, April 26

Fever Report

So Matilda is 8 hours from her last dose of Tylenol and her temperature is under 100, which feels like huge progress. Although we do keep thinking her fever has broken, and then we wake up in the middle of the night to crazy-high-should-go-to-the-ER-but-didn't temperature ranges. Last night during our 2 a.m. soaking session Matilda was again in great spirits. After her temp came down a bit and we climbed out of the bath she requested to "eat breck." She's been eating crummy the past few days and I figured some cereal and milk would at the very least be cold and get liquids into her. She sat down and proceeded to eat FOUR bowls of cereal. I can never remember, is the addage "starve a cold, feed a fever," or the other way around?
On bowl number 3.

Friday, April 25

Fever Days

Matilda has had a high fever for two days now. It was high enough Wednesday night (103+) to freak me out and send us scurrying to the fill-in pediatrician yesterday morning. Dr. A gave me the fever-is-good lecture and sent me packing, which infuriated me (of course I know fever is good, her body is fighting, la la la) and did nothing to calm my concerns. We are just supposed to manage the fever and hang in there, there is no apparent infection. Which would be fine if it weren't so damned freaky. I cannot stop worrying out about her temperature and she amazingly tolerates me compulsively taking her temperature over and over all day. I have taken it so much I am already on the second page of my medicine/fever log.

Matilda is handling it all pretty well and is only really miserable when her temp gets up in the 103s area (which is pretty much whenever we get within an hour of her ibuprofen or acetaminophen wearing off). I was so freaked by finding her temp at 103.9 Wednesday night that I decided we needed to cool her off and woke her up (from a really restless sleep) for a bath. She could not have been more excited and started in quickly with her "Splash Mama!" routine and normal bath behavior.

M is getting more resistant to the delicious grape or bubble gum flavored chewables and we have resorted to slathering them in peanut butter. I am sure this is a huge choking hazard but I know countless dogs in my childhood survived, so it can't be all bad for my kid, right? Besides I don't have any alternative really, she spews the liquid medicine back so I am just thankful for chewables at this point. I think the answer would be artichoke flavored Tylenol.

Thursday, April 24


Matilda has put together some pretty awesome outfits lately, some independently and some with my assistance. She isn't terribly opinionated in her dressing choices usually, but is really starting to enjoying dressing herself. This often results in far more clothes than necessary in southern California as she piles on layer after layer in her excitement. While I really do think many are fantastic, I think others might get her on Grammy's favorite show, What Not to Wear!

Skater Chic (These madras print shorts are quickly becoming my favorite.):Flower Child:Watermelon Pirate:There are no words for this:

Doing her best Vanna impression (I will be very sad when this dress no longer fits. We call it her factory worker dress):

Hiatus Over

Sorry for the long break my fair readers. I am sure you thought that Matilda stopped doing cute things all together, so there was no need to document. Actually, I just took a little internet break and stayed busy enjoying all her cuteness and my sweet little family. We've had lots of fun adventures I will try to catch you up on, but as usual Tim is keeping the pictures updated to fill in the blanks.
Last week my mom, Grandma Marge, came for a perfectly timed visit. M had such a fun time with my mom and has woken up several mornings since she left asking for her "Gramarge." I made the mistake of mentioning our upcoming visit to Grandma Marge's house and Matilda is asking daily for "Gramarge house?"
Some highlights of our weekend: Poquito Mas, play dough mushing, a trip to the bird show for Grandma, a cold and very windy (think sandstorm windy) visit to the beach,
some random silly giggling, and lots of Reggie the alligator biting Grandma Marge's nose.

Monday, April 14

Milestones of Sorts

As Tim stated in his guest post, Matilda is stunning us with her developmental leaps and bounds lately. It is all too much to really keep track of but here's a list of a few things I don't want to forget:
  • On Friday she learned to do the wave at the Dodgers game. Here you can see her, arms up, waiting for the wave to come back around to us. On our drive home I asked her what her favorite part of the game was and she said, "cheer," which just melts my heart with sweetness. What a fun loving girl we have. In the days leading up to the game all she talked about was that Gigi would be there and that we would clap. Tim put up video of the wave here.

  • Matilda started singing along to songs this weekend. Tim noticed it first Saturday with Frère Jacques but we have since heard her singing along with several other of the regular songs. On the note of music, this totally toddler inappropriate song is her current favorite. We listened to it more than 5 times straight in the car yesterday.

  • Matilda thinks she is cute. We have all been convinced for quite a while now, but it cracks me up to hear it from her. After putting on a hat or changing shirts she will look down at herself and exclaim "cute!" She always says it with this hat, and when Matilda & Molly had a hat fashion show Saturday night M noted Molly's cuteness too:
  • M has been getting better at sitting quietly and looking at books alone recently. This past week she has really started to step up her out loud reading, saying a few words from memory on each page. The first book we noticed her doing this with was Moo, Baa, La La La. The book reads: "A cow says moo. A sheep says baa. Three singing pigs say la la la. No, no you say, that isn't right. The pigs say oink all day and night. Rhinoceroses snort and snuff." And so on with some other animals. Matilda's version sounds like this (which I should just get on video, but in case I don't): "Cow Moo. Sheep Baa. La La La. No No! Right, OINK! Snort Snuff."

  • If prompted, Matilda will say "I love you." You can imagine the affect.

Saturday, April 12

Not the Mama

WARNING! This posting has been taken over by the RDPapa! (Who isn’t actually an RD like the Mama so this post will not cover any nutrition.) Due to K attending a dietitian conference, Matilda and I were lucky enough to get a 2nd daddy-daughter Saturday in-a-row. Of course they are always fun, but this one had some worthwhile moments that needed the planet’s attention immediately, and there’s no point to me posting it on Silent-K since nobody goes there looking for Matilda postings (just videos about people and their child-monkeys).

M and I had a class at the zoo today. It was about noses and she got to pet a bunny. I didn’t get pix of that moment but it is only a footnote. The amazing part of the day came when Matilda was holding a plastic orange that was given to explain how orangutans use their sense of smell to find fruit. Matilda walked over to the orangutan glass sniffing the authentic-looking orange when suddenly the crazy-cute baby orangutan hustled over directly to M. He stood there, only inches away, requesting some of her good looking citrus. Matilda was obviously excited and my heart just melted.
We actually did get to enjoy the moment before there was flurry of camera flashes - and other kids squeezing in - and the little guy sauntered back to his mommy.

So face-to-face ape contact really would have been enough fun for me to consider the day a success, but while admiring her zoo name tag Matilda did what felt like would never happen: SHE SAID HER NAME! After doing 5 minutes of cartwheels I did manage to grab this video before we pulled out of the parking lot:

I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal to us. I think I started to believe we cursed her with a name she wouldn’t be able to say until she was 5. Or maybe it’s just cause it’s so dang cute to hear.

The little gal said a ton of other things for the first time today that make her parents crack-up or give a big sappy “Awww…” but I can save those for RDMama.

I’d like to go on record saying how much I am loving this stage of Matilda’s life. Since the label is “terrible 2’s” I think I was expecting more work for the same amount of fun. But truly, I am in the most in awe of our daughter that I’ve been in probably since she was just a few months old. The changes are basically immeasurable and the “fun-o-meter” just climbs upward. Showing her the world is euphorically rewarding now. Matilda understands enough to appreciate a lot of things but still can be wowed by the simplistic concepts. It’s like playing tour guide to the best tourist ever.

Cheers! – T

PS – Note the above video was posted on Flickr’s newly released video option. See ya' YouTube!

Friday, April 11

Get Gaurav

Lately when I go running with Matilda in the stroller she has started chanting about getting whoever is running ahead of us. "Get Sarah, get Gaurav, get her (insert random stranger here)." It is good motivation to keep us running faster as G & S try to run ahead and I try to push and catch them, all playing along with Matilda's chant.

This morning the first thing Tim & I heard through the monitor from Matilda as she woke up was "get Gaurav." We laid in bed laughing while she woke up and moved on to her regular morning calls of "mama, nurse, mama, MAMA" which escalate from wake up yell to full scream in about 15 seconds flat. Gaurav is suggesting Matilda sees him as a running role model while Sarah thinks she was dreaming of kicking his butt, passing him by in Bob. I can only imagine what she was dreaming/plotting.

Thursday, April 10

Toddler Tim

Now I see where M gets all her cute.

Monday, April 7

Temper Tantrum

Matilda's joke for me on April Fools Day was to throw her biggest fit yet. She got me good. I think I responded poorly at the beginning of the fit, plus she was overtired so it spiraled into a 45 minute battle of the wills. Let's just say I think we named her accurately since her name has derivations in "might, strength" and "battle." I thought I should post this as a public service announcement to show the side that isn't roses and sunshine. This video is taken a good 30 minutes into the tantrum, I was feeling helpless with my ineffective calming techniques and figured I might as well capture the moment. She had long since forgotten what started the fit (a question of television viewing: I said "no," she said "yes, now.") and was now screaming "more birds" as she wanted me to narrate her through one of her nature books. However, regardless of how many or what birds I showed her, she continued to scream "more birds" so I didn't really see the book as resolving our problem. In the end, I strapped her kicking, thrashing self into the stroller and marched her out the door. After more then 4 blocks she stopped scaring the passers-by. By the time we got back home, a 10 block loop later, she was fragile (as was I) but reasonable.

Breaking News

I just got Matilda down to sleep for a nap in her bed without the assistance of my boob or a carrier. This never before has happened. She ALWAYS falls asleep nursing or while moving in the Ergo/stroller/car. And it only took 24 months and 11 days.

Saturday, April 5

Pinchy Crab Lover

Due to a family history of shellfish allergies, we have been fairly cautious and not given Matilda any shellfish up until yesterday. Crabs have been central in our household fun for a long time due to the "pinchy crab" game, where one parent is the crab and chases Matilda's naked buns yelling "pinchy, pinchy, pinchy." Matilda cackles with glee and runs to the other parent for "protection," which generally involves heaving her butt up into the air to maximize pinching by the crab.

Matilda fascination with crabs has been growing exponentially lately. A recent trip to the seafood counter sent her over the edge when Matilda was allowed to hold a (cooked) crab. Since then she has every few days requested a trip to the store to see/hold/eat the crab. We finally broke down and bought crabs yesterday. After much petting of the little guys, and with the baby Benadryl at the ready, Matilda tried her first crab. It did not disappoint. For the first half of the meal Tim and I could barely keep up with her cries for more as we cracked the shell open and forked every last bit over to her. She did finally slow down so we got our fair share, but I am afraid crab is going up on the list of frequently-requested-foods with artichokes and fish. What a gourmand! The video is longish if you are not Matilda's parents and find her every move and utterance charming, so you are completely excused if you don't make it through the full 3 minutes.

Thursday, April 3

Rocket Ship

Uncle Brian is lobbying hard for a daily video post. That is very unlikely to happen, but we will try to appease with more videos at least. Here is a snippet of Matilda's crazy fun day at Disney's California Adventure park today with Molly and Marie. Her typical response to the unanswered question in the video is "MOON!"

Wednesday, April 2

Animal Parade Cupcakes

Since Matilda is such a crazy animal lover, the theme for her birthday party was a no brainer this year. The tricky part was coming up with how to decorate her cupcakes. I knew that lots of cursing and banging would be involved if I tried to frost them with animal faces, so I was hoping for some kind of topper. After looking at tons of plastic animal options, or even some ugly candied critter options in online bake shops, luckily I found my inspiration on Flickr.

While all the cupcakes tasted equally delicious, I think the giraffe was my favorite, with the lion a strong second. In the end I had to bribe Sarah & Gaurav to come take the extras away so I would stop my 2-cupcake-a-day binge.

Basic Chocolate Cake (or in this case Cupcakes)

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 ounces unsweetened (aka bittersweet) chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. Beat butter with mixer on high for 30 seconds. Add sugar, beat till well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in chocolate and vanilla. Add dry mixture and 1 1/4 cups water alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low after each addition until just combined.

3. Pour batter into greased and floured pans. Bake in 350 degree oven until wooden toothpick comes out clean. 30-35 minutes for cake, 15-20 for cupcakes. Cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat together 6oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually add 2 -2.5 cups more powdered sugar until you reach a spreadable consistency. Try to refrain from eating too many spoonfuls straight from the bowl.