Saturday, May 31

Boobs

Matilda was boob obsessed one day this week and presented me with my first parent-mortified-by-child moment. The first boob related moment came as we were both undressing for a shower. She snatched up my new bra and held it around her chest declaring "Me wear boobs." This still cracks me up each time I think of it, as I imagine her logic that putting the bra on is what gives you boobs, not the reverse that you use a bra to put your boobs in.

The more entertaining/embarrassing story occurred during our plane trip. As I set Matilda down in her middle seat on the airplane (after some seat swapping since the airline had me seated several aisles away from my 2 year old) she pointed to our traveling neighbor in the window seat and exclaimed loudly "Boob!" This woman did have astoundingly large breasts so I can't blame Matilda for noticing. I refrained from the appropriate-comments-to-strangers lecture and just brushed it off calmly saying that yes, everyone has boobs. At first I was very afraid that the woman's cold reception was a poor omen of how the 6 hour flight would go, but I quickly gathered that her English was quite poor so I think she didn't catch Matilda's message. She warmed up to us and all was fine with no more discussion of anyone's boobs.

Thursday, May 29

Another Red Eye Under the Belt

As our flight last night approached I was increasingly nervous. It was the first time Matilda would have to sit still in her own seat, keep her seat belt on, and sleep all crinked up in the crappy airlines seats - not cozy and rocking in my arms. But, as always, M stunned me with how well she did and fell asleep on the flight leaning against her pillow while I did her normal story, song, kiss bedtime routine. Astounding.

Despite only 5 hours sleep she played super hard all day today. Grandma Marge and Grandpa Chris have so many awesome things to investigate that there was minimal time left for napping. M spent hours in the huge yard - there was lots of ball playing, sidewalk chalking, a plastic bug tea party (with aphids on the menu), and even trike riding on some borrowed wheels. Inside time was filled by my childhood heirlooms as M used my easel and then enjoyed her first rocking session on the wooden rocking llama my grandfather made me. Many more days of such fun to follow, but for now I must sleep (as I didn't at all on the red eye due to across the aisle shenanigans). My brain won't even work to figure out how to download pictures on Mom's computer so those will have to wait too.

Wednesday, May 28

1 Hour

Headed to the airport momentarily but wanted to record this event since by the time we return I will be sure to have forgotten it: Yesterday Matilda entertained herself, with no assistance from me, for ONE HOUR. It was amazing. She mushed play dough, she played guitar, she danced, she pulled the couch cushions down and bounced all over like crazy, and occasionally she would sneak into the kitchen where I was cooking to steal some chopped vegetables or tofu pieces. I thought the day would never come when she could stay self-entertained for so long. Although I did discover during that hour that if I went near the computer she was all over my case, but if I went back to the kitchen she was back to self-play. So I guess the moral is that for M less mindless internet surfing is better.

See Ya' Hollywood

M & I are headed East to visit the family for the next (almost) two weeks. Posting will probably be light as we pack in the fun. For those of you staying behind, please keep poor Tim entertained as best you can - he will be awfully sad without his girls to pamper him. Leaving on a jet plane (actually just fooling around in a plane at the Zimmer museum for our last art class today).

One last walk down Hollywood Blvd. before we hit the road. We went for some family bonding and to use up a gift certificate at the Disney Soda Fountain. My hot fudge sundae was perfect and Matilda was practically spinning after all the chocolate ice cream hit her bloodstream tonight. Hopefully it will wear off before the red eye tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 25

204

Today we took 204 photos at Disneyland with Adam & Alwyn. Poor Tim, he'll never catch up on Flickr.

Lucklily Matilda still had time to squeeze in a nap in our trusty Ergo.

Friday, May 23

Mushroom Love

Matilda just ate an entire 8oz package of mushrooms for lunch (sauteed with a little olive oil and chopped onion). Well, I actually had two bites, but by then she had eaten all of her serving and was asking after the mushrooms on my plate. Who am I to deny the girl her mushrooms?

Living the Life

As we headed out for our walk tonight after dinner Matilda asked for more camping. She has talked all week about our trip and with good reason. I haven't gotten around to a proper recap post about it, but here are a few of my favorite pictures of Matilda thoroughly enjoying herself:

M looking like a total rag-a-muffin while we take a snack break on our "big" hike of the weekend. This particular outfit did not recover completely from the camping trip so the shirt and pants have now been designated painting clothes.

M totally crashed out after a hot hike to the 49 Palms Oasis. Sunday morning we went out for a short hike before breakfast and Matilda didn't want to get out of her pajamas. We agreed it was unnecessary to change, so she got to hike and muck in the dirt in her favorite apple pjs, plus we got imaginary apple snacks all along the trail. Floating pine cones down stream with your pants off; it doesn't get any better than this. In case I never get to posting the other photos, here is a shot overlooking our gorgeous campsite at Jumbo Rocks. S, G & I decided to go boulder hopping, climbed up above Tim & Matilda to wave down, and got to witness the spectacular views.

Wednesday, May 21

Lizard Chaser

Turns out Matilda is a lizard chaser just like her Daddy and Uncle Dan. Joshua Tree gave her plenty of opportunities to practice her skills. The amount of wildlife we encountered there was astounding and a real treat for our entire animal loving family. Thankfully the only rattlesnake we saw was the rapidly decomposing one near our camp bathroom. Of all the animals we saw the road runner seems to be most memorable for Matilda. Daily now she tears around the apartment building hallways yelling "Road Runner, Road Runner!" sticking her neck out and pretending to go really fast.

Tuesday, May 20

Mad

Today was Matilda's first instance of telling me an emotion she was feeling. We were in the grocery store and I bought a roll of quarters as we checked out. Matilda asked to hold them and I agreed, stipulating that she couldn't peel the roll open until we got home. By the time I finished loading groceries into the car she had already gotten one reminder and I took the quarters away as she began peeling the paper back. She protested and I reminded her of the terms of our quarter agreement. Matilda continued to yell for a moment and then started proclaiming "Mad, Mad!" This instant just reinforces my amazement at how incredibly expressive she is suddenly.

Monday, May 19

Bird Show

For the record, I don't think I have emphasized here how much of a fanatic Matilda is about the bird show at the zoo. For her, a trip to the zoo is not complete without the bird show. For those uninitiated, it is a 20 minute program featuring 10 or so birds who do tricks, showcase their natural behaviors, or simply fly circles around the stadium. Matilda knows each bird by name, will point out where they will fly from, and can tell you what each bird will do. The fact that the script almost never deviates greatly assists her in this memorization task. We go almost weekly so for me when a bird misbehaves or the trainer says any single unexpected word it makes it more thrilling than it should be.

While Grammy was visiting, I got chosen to be a volunteer during the bird show, which just about blew Matilda's mind. My involvement was in the bit with Cheeks, a cockateil, who flew out into the audience, landed on my hand, took a folded dollar from me to the trainer, and then a few punchlines later returns it to my hand. Even though I've seen the stunt so many times, it all happened faster than I expected and Grammy only got one shot of Cheeks:



I was worried what Matilda's reaction would be during my participation. I was expecting her to either be upset I was stepping away from her, or for her to jump up and try to hold Cheeks also. Instead she was just frozen in shock by it all, and then talked incessantly about it the rest of the day. I am curious if she will react differently for the Cheeks part next time we go.


While there are a few other birds involved in the show, here is a round up of the major players, in order of Matilda's favorite:

Abe - the Abysssinian Ground Hornbill who gets grapes from a volunteer

Cheeks - the cockateil who takes your money

Blackjack (This great action shot is from mugupo on Flickr, much better than any we have.) - a raven who can find an aluminum can hidden anywhere on the stage

Flash - a Red-tailed Hawk who swoops down from a cliff and snatches a leather lure mid-air (usually)

Alfie, Sarge & the other macaws

Alvin

Scooter

Sunday, May 18

The World is Your Sandbox

Just posting to let you all know that we survived our camping trip in the desert, with water to spare. Sarah & Gaurav planned a perfect itinerary and much fun was had by all. I am not sure what Matilda's favorite part was, (you get a different answer each time you ask: ladybug, chase, chuckwalla, hike, sleep tent, etc.) but I do know she spent most of her time digging. The campground and the trails at Joshua Tree were all covered with a fine gravel/dirt mixture which made for sandbox-type-fun with five times the filth-factor. More tales and pictures to come soon, after I get some of the camping debris piles sorted through and another nap.

Friday, May 16

Camping Prep

Matilda thought we should spread the camping gear out as much as possible in order to ensure we have everything together. Boots, check. Hiking backpack, check. Cook kit, check. Cooler, check. The apartment is a disaster zone but we are getting organized. Of course, the weather forecast is getting hotter by the minute so if you don't hear from us after a few days send a search party out into the desert.

Wednesday, May 14

May I Take Your Order?

Continuing our food obsession around here, Matilda has taken taken to playing waiter. Rather than use a tray or plate from her play kitchen, she prefers to use the bottom piece of her toy storage bins. This of course requires that she dump out the toys in order to retrieve the "tray." As a result her room looks like this 75% of the time lately:
In an attempt to curb the chaos Tim went yesterday on his lunch hour in search of a cheap plastic tray that can be her special waiter tray. She was thrilled with her present when he came home and so far it has worked; no bins have been emptied today. This morning she reported that today's specials are fish and crab, she recommends the chocolate ice cream for dessert, and offered water or sparkling water to drink.

Tuesday, May 13

Rockin'


Matilda has really been into "playing" her guitar lately. On Mother's Day she even started singing this little song whose lyrics are "mama, mama, mama" repeated over and over in a sweet sing-songy voice.

video

Monday, May 12

Itty Bitty Pumpkins

I don't know how this game evolved, but Matilda and Grammy played Itty Bitty Pumpkins daily while Grammy was visiting.

video

Friday, May 9

Rainbow Tunnel

video
Matilda is having way too much fun with Grammy here. Today we went to the Huntington gardens and M got to explore the fantastic children's garden there. She also convinced another ladybug to sit on her hand (and then crawl on her dress! Excitement of all excitements.), collected rose petals off the ground to throw in preparation for the September wedding, sniffed many gorgeous roses, saw maybe the fattest koi ever, and made the marigold buds "kiss" (I have no idea what inspired this).

Kissing marigolds.Pondering the herbs.Can you spy the ladybug?

Wednesday, May 7

Toddler Art Class

Matilda started a four week art class with her friend Molly this week at the Zimmer Children's Museum. The class started out pretty tame with some stickers and glitter but rapidly degenerated into an ink pad-marker-paint stick-free-for-all. Here Matilda ponders careful placement of her confetti pile on the sticky foam sheets each kid was given. Once the sticky sheet was thoroughly covered with glitter, confetti, stickers, feathers and more glitter the ink pads were brought out. Rather than use the many stamps provided, M thought hand prints would be a more personal touch to decorate her bag.
Hands ready!
Molly wasted no time in getting in on the hand print action, too.
At the end of class Matilda was grabbing handfuls of glitter, cramming them in her pockets, and emphatically saying "Later! Later!" (As in "for later on.") I think she will be quite pleased to return for more art next week. Many thanks to Grammy who attended also and got some good pictures while my hands were covered in a thin layer of blue ink and glitter!

Tuesday, May 6

Happy Birthday, Dada

Matilda perfected this phrase over the past few days, and as you can hear in the video it was often followed by "Got Dada!", as she would rush in for a hug/'get'.

video

The birthday festivities started Friday when Grammy arrived and assisted Matilda in decorating all of Daddy's presents. Most of the wrapping paper was Matilda-made. We continued celebrating Sunday when a big group gathered here for obscene amounts of Phillips BBQ and homemade whiskey ice cream. Then we finished up the partying Monday on Tim's actual birthday with margaritas and Mexican food, as is required for a Cinco de Mayo birthday. Happy Birthday, my sweet.

Thursday, May 1

Sock Hands (not the puppet kind)

Matilda is obsessed with wearing socks on her hands the past few days. The house is always strewn with socks as she discards one pair somewhere (when she actually needs to use her fingers) and then wanders off to find a new pair in the sock basket. We visited my old staff at work today and the hypochondriac of the office immediately exclaimed, "What's wrong? Is she o.k. Why are her hands bandaged?" Any time I try to put shoes and socks on her I need two pairs as she'll insist on her hands being covered up too. The funniest part is witnessing how stubbornly she will attempt to accomplish a task requiring some finger dexterity without taking the "mitts" off.