Thursday, July 31

Newest Little Friend

Last week we met Terrence & Cheryl's 8 week old Charlotte. Matilda gave her a thorough tour of the zoo of the zoo, which wore poor Charlotte out and resulted in lots of napping. I thought this shot of M peeking in was so sweet, she kept wanting to check on "sleeping baby Charlotte." Thankfully we managed not to wake her with all the checking, I had kind of forgotten about the power of that uninterruptible newborn sleeping.

Wednesday, July 30


Matilda got a heavy dose of comic indoctrination on Saturday as we joined Tim (and 40,000+ other folks) at the comic convention in San Diego. The conference is huge and far from just comics with booths and talks on all sorts of popular culture: movies, television, action figures, art and more. The entire event was quite a spectacle with no lack of entertainment for a toddler or a wife with little appreciation for comics. Lots of attendees dressing in costumes for their favorite super heroes or movie characters. She also had fun spotting all her other favorite super heroes: Hulk, Superman and Batman. Tim had slowly been giving her new action figures leading up to the convention in preparation.The highlight of Matilda's day seemed to be shaking hands with several different Wonder Women and one Spiderman. Sadly, I think all that hand-shaking led to the snotty cold she now has. Either the hand shaking or the sniffly toddler sharing blocks with her at the Lego booth. But, I suspect she might tell you a few days of mild fever and snot-nose were worth it for the thrill of shaking Wonder Woman's hand.  

Tuesday, July 29

5.4, not 5.8

Matilda just felt her first earthquake 5 minutes ago. It was while M & I were sitting at the table eating lunch and we felt it really strongly. Nothing fell down from anywhere but things were really rocking. M kept saying "This? This?" trying to get me to explain. I am sure the look on my face wasn't reassuring her any. We are all fine here now and she is walking around the apartment doing a little shake-shake dance. 

Edited to add: They downgraded the quake from a 5.8 to a 5.4. Which seems like a small difference but it sure was shaky compared to what I thought a 5.4 should feel like. As we sat down to dinner Matilda asked "earth shaking?" as if that were going to be a regular occurrence at our meals now. 

Monday, July 28

Go, Going, Gone

For our linguist audience out there (Frusl, that's you) I thought I should share a funny language anecdote from Matilda. Yesterday we had plans to go the the Aquarium, but even as we were driving there we hadn't yet told M our destination. We wanted her to nap en route and didn't want the excitement of it all to get her wound up. It turns out the not-knowing was even worse for her. The entire first 15 minutes of the drive she kept saying, "went.....went....going....Matilda going.....go.....went......Matilda went." Tim & I both figured out pretty quickly what she was trying to get at, but it was so funny to listen to her back there trying to get the right combination of words together to ask her question. Finally Tim gave in and told her our plans, which turned out to be a good decision. After only a few minutes of monologue on the animals she planned to visit she relaxed and fell asleep rather quickly.

Bonus language tidbits, for baby book type recording: Last week Matilda referred to herself as "I" three times. Up until then she had always said me, "Me do it. Me taste it. Me want it." I will be sad to see the "me" narrative gone when she has switched to the correct grammar.

Friday, July 25

Cute Overload

Matilda had a meet up with one of her little friends, M, at the Observatory today. This friend is so sweet and kept putting her arm around Matilda, asking if she was o.k. A little video from the parking lot before we met up with our friends. Matilda's Observatory love is not fading.

Wednesday, July 23

Treasure Island

Finally on her third year at our Holden Beach mini golf place, Matilda got to actually golf. She has an innovative technique and seems to consider the club more of an accessory.

A history of mini golf, for your entertainment:
Studying the technique in 2006:
Still cautiously observing in 2007:
Expert ball retriever in 2008:

Tuesday, July 22

Lean Mean Machine

Matilda is looking really long to me lately. These snapshots I grabbed of her this morning (one in our dingy apartment building hallway) seem to really show her long legs. It is possible she looks especially long here because she is modeling her new underpants! While I am trying not to get my hopes up about the underpants (and their relation to potty training) too much, Matilda is super excited to have picked them out this morning so we'll see. Not only in she lean, but she's been manifesting quite the temper this past week since returning from NC. I would not go so far as to say she's a mean machine, but things have been much more challenging than usual. We aren't sure if it is jet lag and being overwhelmed from the trip, a bit of a bug she picked up, or just the terrible twos finally manifesting themselves. We are hoping for one of the first two choices. Tim & I are trying to be more patient and responsive and encourage more communication all around. (And though I'm not sure it helps her development, I find that I hold my breath when it seems we are on the verge of a tantrum, hoping it doesn't escalate too far.)

Thursday, July 17

Unpacking Again

We are back home and recovering. Two things we learned this week at the annual family North Carolina beach trip:Tidbit #1: Matilda is now totally fearless in the water. She wants to swim by herself and cannot understand why you insist on touching her all the time. It looks like I am trying to drown her here but really I am just trying to hold on as she wiggles away. M had a blast in the water and really wants to swim alone and drank a lot of sea while trying. Tidbit #2: It is a damned good thing I don't live in the South. I have no willpower for these. With honey butter. Oh my gosh. 

Thursday, July 10

Video from the Archives

Lately Matilda is really into watching all the little videos we take of our daily lives: trips to the bird show, hikes in the dog park, tadpole hunting at G-pop's. The three of us recently watched this video from the Christmas I was pregnant:

As we were watching, I realized M was upset when she cried out, "Mama come back!" Tim & I both looked over to discover her in tears. She then looked back and forth between me-on-the-bed and the me-on-the-screen. It seems like she got a little mixed up about what was happening on screen and in reality. After a few funny moments of panic and some hugs Matilda calmed down and we ended our video show for that night.  

Tuesday, July 8

A Born Coach

Lately Matilda has been really into telling us to "Try." Whenever we express doubt as to whether we can do something, M will respond with "Try." While drawing with cousin Jessica Matilda asked her to draw a quail. Jessica said she wasn't sure she could draw one but Matilda responded with a simple "Try." Turns out Jessica drew a perfectly passable quail. While romping in the lawn this past weekend we were all hesitant to do a cartwheel. Matilda encouraged each of us in turn. Aunt Molly & I both gave in and did decent cartwheels, especially for two people really out of practice!

Matilda's little "Try" encouragement really makes me laugh, especially because it is usually unexpected. It is a good reminder to maintain a kid's optimistic outlook and not be afraid to tackle new things.

Monday, July 7

Lazy Parenting

A few months back Cookie magazine had this great article on ways to occupy your busy toddler while you are exhausted. They all involved the parent laying somewhere pretending to be a patient or lazy zoo animal while the child is a doctor or zoo keeper. I recently discovered another variation while at the community center playroom: For 20 solid minutes I sat on my butt while Matilda pretended to be Jack the boxer fetching rocks from my dad's pond. It was hysterical to watch as she went through an elaborate show of picking up the imaginary rock with her mouth, carrying it back, "spitting" it into my hand, and then waiting for my throw motion before tearing off to repeat the process.  At one point we even had another little boy join us in the imaginary fetch game. I just hope his parents weren't offended that I was treating him like a dog.

Saturday, July 5

Busy Day with Cousin Jessica

Matilda is having such a blast with my visiting family this weekend. She plays endlessly with cousin Jessica and Aunt Molly. Poor Uncle Wayne gets the cold shoulder until he is separated from us and then she talks non-stop about where he's gone until the whole group is back together. They are only here for a quick trip so we have been packing tons in: Getty Museum, Tar Pits , Pazzo Gelato, and the Griffith Observatory all today alone! 
At the Getty with Aunt Molly.
Jessica watches in awe of Matilda's gelato eating speed. We have had to upgrade our family-share size now that she is such a gelato fiend. She practically elbows us out of the way now to protect her territory and never talks until the gelato is all gone. 

Friday, July 4


Matilda has been crazy for fireworks since she first experienced them at a soccer game two weeks ago. Luckily July 4th rolled around and provided us the opportunity to see more. We went to a fantastic show tonight at the Culver City high school. Matilda had a moment of nervousness but then settled down to sit motionless with her eyes as big as saucers for the first 20 minutes. She then fell asleep and slept for the last 10 minutes or so, including through the huge, loud finale.
One tired patriot.

Wednesday, July 2

Not Napping

Today is the second day in a row that Matilda has resisted all napping efforts. As soon as she starts to feel tired she starts a "No Nap" chant. "No nap, go living room, no nap, no resting." I am not ready to give up nap time. I really want that 30-75 minutes. I need it. I really hope this is a passing phase. Right now she is sitting quietly on her bed reading as I am trying to at least implement a quiet time in place of napping. 

The upside is that yesterday she feel asleep at the reasonable hour of 9:15, rather than the late 10:30-11ish bedtime that has been killing Tim & I lately. We would try to get her to bed around 9 and it would turn into this long, drawn out storytelling back-rubbing fest that left the adult exhausted and cranky. So, time will tell what this little trend is. Maybe no nap is worth getting those two hours back in the evenings. That's all the thrilling news from around here: fascinating toddler sleep trends. 

Tuesday, July 1

Produce Love

As we were reading our Eating the Alphabet book just now Matilda rattled off these statements:

"Daddy loves peaches. Mommy loves potatoes. Me love radishes. Daddy loves radishes LOTS!"

They are all pretty much accurate. M is really into love statements and favorites lately and spends a good part of the day listing things that are loved (real or imaginary) by various people. Today she also declared that Grammy loves shrimp, G-pop loves meat, Gaurav loves Indian corn (this statement was only made funnier by the fact that she calls it India corn), and Grandma Marge loves water lots.