Monday, December 29

Mourning Christmas

Matilda talked at length over lunch today how she feels about Christmas being over. I only managed to get the camera rolling for the last bit of it before she lost all her words.

Sunday, December 28

Santa Barbara Fun

To celebrate our long weekend with few obligations we took a day trip yesterday for a long overdue visit back to the Santa Barbara Zoo. It is a relatively small zoo, which is nice because M can walk to see all of it without tiring. She also got to test out her new digital camera from Grammy - it is a huge hit & very entertaining. We also got to see lots of great lemur action, which - with Matilda's current Madagascar movie fascination - was very appreciated. We took time for goofiness on the playground in some over-sized eggs. Tim did all sorts of contortions to get back out. While exploring the newly renovated playground at the zoo we were a bit perplexed by the big astro-turf hill. Then we witnessed how awesome it was for sliding if you sit on your zoo map! Behold the fun:

After the zoo we hit our favorite playground in Santa Barbara, the Shipwreck playground right near the beach and burnt some extra energy before dinner at our standard Italian restaurant, Pascucci's.

Saturday, December 27

Christmas Redux

I keep meaning to get to putting up pictures from Christmas but there are too many to tackle. Instead I will just keep enjoying our family time together and give you this first video of Christmas day that Tim posted:

He got lots of pictures up fast too which you can check out here.

Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas

Matilda was not too sure about this Santa that we visited at the zoo two weekends ago (although still an improvement over last year). I have a feeling that this morning she would be a bit more kind to the old fella after the haul he brought her!

Reporting Live from Santa's Workshop

I think the elves are almost done and about to retire for the evening. We have officially survived our first late night assembling/wrapping frenzy. Tim tackled the Big Wheel while I took on the easel and headed the major wrapping operations. Matilda got a taste of the present-fever this evening with some great dress-up presents from Sarah & Gaurav. Here you can see her wearing a new ladybug costume while inspecting the cowsuit. 

Tuesday, December 23


Somehow I convinced myself that rather than making two more batches of the finicky biscotti I was attempting, I would make three other kinds of cookies and turn the biscotti bags (gifts for Tim's co-workers) into cookie samplers. Simple in theory. In actuality a very flour-y endeavor. 

Opening Christmas Cards

I figured you all deserve to see the ritual too!

Monday, December 22

Gingerbread House

Behold the amazing gingerbread house: I cannot claim much responsibility since Marie baked the gingerbread pieces, walked me through the assembly, contributed all the coolest decorations (i.e. not low brow candy like Nerds) and just generally provided inspiration for the whole process. The construction, with amazing paste-like frosting, was easier than I imagined and the house has yet to collapse. It does still smell delicious, however, and M & I are both counting down the days until we eat it - arbitrarily decided as Christmas Eve. Note Santa lurking around the back of the house with his gingerbread minions; M wanted him on the roof but he kept diving off. Matilda placed the door knob, and two M & Ms on the roof, otherwise she participated by sampling lots of candy. In the process she got her first taste of Good n' Plentys,  Nerds, licorice laces, gum drops and candy canes. 
Matilda says "I want that M & M right there." Also, you can go see pictures of the house Molly & Marie made. 

Saturday, December 20

Year of the Rat

So at our Dirty Santa party last night, Colin brought the gift that tops all other memorable gifts from the previous 9 years. And by memorable I don't mean the nice or really cool present (which is the goal of our Dirty Santa game) you walked away with after the many raucous rounds of present stealing. What we all remember and talk about for years are the terrible gifts: $15 worth of Top Ramen, a bag full of nickels, an enormous re-gifted griddle.

Last night, instead of a bottle of booze, or a nice cookie gift basket, or a good book, Colin wrapped up a live RAT. Granted the present came complete with a cage, water bottle, food and a little igloo for the nervous rodent to hide in, but still - it was a rat. My first thoughts were a panic about whether or not this was a disease-infested wild rat, but thankfully Colin is not that crazy and he splurged on a cute little pet store rat, not even a "feeder rat" he pointed out. Here is Gaurav realizing the gift he choose is shaped suspiciously like a cat carrier. If there were audio you would hear Colin emphatically saying, "Don't shake it, don't shake it!"
The audience reacts in complete hysterics. Many tears of laughter were shed. In the end, this cute little guy went back home with Colin & Gaurav left with the fancy chocolates that Colin won.Another fabulous game of Dirty Santa. Thanks Colin for the entertainment!

Friday, December 19

The 12 Days Go Too Fast

We are keeping super busy around here, and not just with the shopping/wrapping/shipping/card-writing chores. Yesterday we had loads of fun with Gigi visiting for the day while her parents got some stuff done. Matilda was thrilled to have another car seat & buddy in the back with her. I haven't moved the extra car seat back to Tim's car yet so all day today Matilda got a thrill with choosing which side to sit on.  Today we spent HOURS decorating gingerbread houses with Molly & Marie. I don't know the last time I made a gingerbread house and it was beyond fun. The girls did some candy placement but mostly supervised and tasted while Marie & I got carried away with design and execution of our masterpieces. I forgot my camera so there are no pictures to document the process but I'll get some of my finished product tomorrow and post them soon. 

Tomorrow is our rescheduled (postponed from last week due to illness) Christmas party which should be fun. You would think that I would be extra prepared with a clean house & snacks all ready what with the additional week of prep time but sadly that is not true. I think I'll procrastinate a bit more and leave the party prep for tomorrow so I can focus on getting a few more Christmas cards out tonight. 

Wednesday, December 17

Concerned Citizen

Tonight at Tim's company holiday party I went off to the bar to get him a glass of wine since I beat him through the buffet line. The bartender eyed my big pregnant belly as I ordered, asked what kind of red wine I preferred, and started pouring it BEFORE he asked nervously whether it was for me. I assured him that it was not and he was visibly relieved, stating, "I was scared for a minute there."

Tuesday, December 16

Happy Merry Christmas

Matilda is moderately disappointed each day as all the packages keep arriving and we stash them  away to be opened at Christmas. However, she recovers from her disappointment rapidly with all the Christmas cards. M will sit down each day with the pile we receive and methodically open them, claiming that each one says, "Happy Merry Christmas." After I read her the whole card and who it is from she will invariably claim, "That is so sweet." 

Monday, December 15

Newest Playmate

Matilda's buddy Gigi got a little sister this weekend! Sending out a big welcome to baby Catherine & congrats to the whole Herrman clan.  


Right now Matilda is yelling: "Stop looking, Mama. Stop looking at the computer. Stop looking at it, Mama!" 

Saturday, December 13

Dear Santa

Since last year's visit with Santa went so poorly, we have been talking it up a bit this year to prep Matilda for a lap sit/photo session. Each time we explain that she can tell Santa what she would like for Christmas, and we have gotten a fun variety of responses:
  • Christmas lights - She mostly said this before we had our decorations up, not that she wouldn't love more I am sure. She can't seem to get enough of all the holiday decorations. Everywhere we go she is on the lookout and will exclaim, "Those are decorations!"
  • A new bed - Since her bed is much newer and way more comfortable than ours we were quite perplexed by this request. However, after a bit more prodding she explained that it was a "new bed for our new baby." M seems quite concerned that the new baby will be usurping her bed and has mentioned this particular gift on multiple occasions. 
  • Books - A very reasonable request, I am sure Santa can handle this one. 
  • Yogurt covered raisins - Matilda has an unnatural love for these things and we don't get them often. The part that kills me with this request is that we were already planning to put them in her stocking. It is like when you go buy the perfect gift for someone and then discover they've put on their Amazon wish list, robbing all your credit for the thoughtful gift. 

Thursday, December 11

Blue Lips

We were joking last night that Tim could bring home a dirty old shoe in a plastic bag and M would be over the moon. She exclaims, "Daddy brought you something!" and runs at him to investigate. Even if it is just a big pack of toilet paper she'll happily drive it around the living room and be pleased with the find. One of Tim's co-workers sent him home with a bunch of hand-me down coloring books which Matilda was quite thrilled with. Matilda is getting more accurate with her scribbling lately. Her endurance still needs some work though, I think this fish is still naked aside from his cold lips. 

The Klutzy Phase

I think I can say that I have officially entered into the awkward, breaking-stuff phase of my pregnancy. So far today I have:
  • Dropped half a canister of flour on the floor.
  • Burned my big belly on a fresh-from-the-oven cookie pan as I reached above it to put away clean dishes.
  • Given myself a goose egg on the head by bumping it on the car door while exiting. I am especially perplexed by this one since it is the same car I drive daily, and the door frame has not change size since yesterday. 
During my pregnancy with Matilda I broke countless things, glasses especially, due to this weird pregnancy clumsiness phenomenon. We'll see how the dishes survive this round. 

Tuesday, December 9


I just realized that all afternoon when I thought Matilda was asking me what I was doing she was actually saying, "What do you think you're doing Mama?" I can't imagine where she heard that phrase. 

Fun Before Safety?

As we hauled out the Christmas lights to decorate our tree this weekend, Matilda was inspired to play doctor using the little lights. She would wave them at my ears like her pediatrician does with the otoscope and then move on to peer into my eyes, nose, and mouth. It was a fun bit of creative play that we didn't think to discourage. Now, however, I am paranoid as I constantly find her sidling up to the Christmas tree and shoving the colorful light bulbs dangerously close to her eardrum or eyeball. 

Sunday, December 7

Tree Trimmed

Got this item checked off the today list today with lots of help from a very excited little elf: 

Saturday, December 6

Excuse Me

Before I forget this memory, I wanted to share that last night at dinner Matilda discovered a new phrase: "Mama, stop talking." I guess I should be surprised she didn't learn how to interrupt conversations earlier. She used her new powerful phrase several times at dinner, and we each kept trying to redirect her to say, "Excuse me" or something similar. Amazingly, tonight at dinner she did it and came out with several excuse me, Mama and excuse me Daddys to take her turn in the conversation.   We'll see how long it lasts!

PS - Your regularly scheduled blogging will return once I resolve my severe case of Christmas-list-induced-paralysis. 

Thursday, December 4

Doll Play

Recently Matilda has been showing more and more interest in playing with her babydoll. M has been nursing baby, burping her, feeding her snacks, changing her diaper and dressing her up. I need to send Santa a note about bringing some baby doll clothes that fit because currently Matilda is using a way-too-big-sleeper that arrived from Grammy for our new baby. Yesterday Matilda dragged the idea of a sling from somewhere in her memory banks. She has carried baby around tied to her chest with a sweater or towel in a makeshift sling for two days now. I am thinking that tomorrow when Grandma Marge is here we need to whip up a real sling for her with some of the stashed fabric I have hoarded.

This phase has coincided nicely with all the talk of "our new baby." This may be false hope, but it is helping me feel like Matilda will cope alright with the new addition. From the pregnancy front there is little to report; we had our 20 week ultrasound Monday and all is going well. Matilda was very excited to see the ultrasound images of the baby kicking, chanted "Mama's healthy" throughout the procedure, and was happy to parrot the doctors report afterwards that "Our baby is perfect!" I am feeling good and very thankful that we have twenty weeks to go. Hopefully they will go a bit slower than the last 20.

Tuesday, December 2

Mini Skirt

I knew this dress was getting small (size 18 months), but didn't realize quite how ridiculous it looked until I was browsing through photos from the day today. Regardless, Matilda was really working the look - strutting her stuff down Hollywood Boulevard with too much thigh showing.