Wishing you all health and happiness in 2010.
Sunday, December 27
Saturday, December 26
Friday, December 25
Here's how the tree looked as we went to bed. Matilda came into our room this morning and announced, "Hey guys! There's a bunch of PRESENTS out here."
She had this candy cane in her mouth within 1 minute of being in the living room. All month when you asked her what she is looking forward to about Christmas, she would tell you candy canes as her first, fastest answer.
Porter got these baby snack puff things in his stocking as a "treat." He has since decided he is done with pureed food and wants to feed himself finger foods only.
Matilda only shares her bacon if she really likes you. This griffin made the cut, easily.
Last week we stumbled upon some crazy deals on Amazon and got a bunch of dress-up outfits for $4-7. This awesome poodle skirt outfit comes with a letterman's jacket with a sequin 'M' on it, coincidentally. For some unknown reason, M will not try the jacket on; she wants nothing to do with it. It is funny how unpredictable her reaction is to things, although she does often come around.
She is also quite wary of the astronaut outfit. She was none too amused when Tim tried on the helmet.
Porter, however, was quite enchanted with it.
The pigeon went over well. I never got to sewing those buttons on, so she is excited to help pick them out.
We added to Matilda's Wizard of Oz doll family with Glinda the Good Witch, the Lollipop Guild Munchkin and a flying monkey. Glinda was an immediate hit, causing her to snatch the doll up and spin, dancing around the room. Later they had a snuggle on the couch to recharge and currently M has all three dolls with her, asleep in bed.
Another dress-up bargain. She was very pleased with this one, her "fairy princess" dress.
Also of note, Porter started crawling last night! He did it a bunch today too, real-deal-on-the-knees crawling. Maybe he won't go straight to walking. Just another great day with my great family.
Thursday, December 24
Wednesday, December 23
When Matilda was dictating her Santa list to me, she stated she wanted a shirt with a pigeon on the front and buttons on the back. I have no idea where this inspiration came from, but with a little more late night sewing tomorrow, I think it will happen! And the really great part of this gift is that it is essentially free because I found the shirt at a children's clothing resale shop where we have some store credit left, I am using all fabric remnants to create the bird, and the buttons will come from an old stash from my mom. Although, I make take some liberties and put the buttons on the shoulders rather than the back. I just can't shake the feeling it will be too uncomfortable to wear with buttons poking her in the back.
Tuesday, December 22
At Porter's last check up, the pediatrician asked about baby proofing. She commented that he had "that look" in his eye, like he might be trouble. It is becoming increasingly apparent that she was right. Today, as I was preparing dinner, I let Porter entertain himself by walking around the opened dishwasher. He loves to cruise around the edge of it and thump on it. Porter was quite occupied and I went about making soup. After a few minutes, Tim walked by and realized Porter had reached way back into the racks and scored himself a dirty spatula. The boy was going to town on the mayonnaise-y dressing I had made for coleslaw at lunch; he screamed bloody murder as we took it away and wiped him down.
Not two hours later, he was sitting on the bathroom floor playing with some bath toys when I walked away for a moment to do something. When I walked back I found him like this:
He was so pleased with his situation, doing a little proud happy dance and cooing when we discovered him. He had pulled himself up on the toilet and was busy rubbing his hand around in the bowl.
Also, we got some packages today:
You can tell we have a free shipping subscription on Amazon this month.
Monday, December 21
I feel like Matilda could be any age in this picture. She has been sick the past two days and was really feeling poorly yesterday. She spent most of the day laying in bed watching the new laptop (aka kid video player). Check out the new brilliantly colored walls! So bright, so fun. But now I think I want a new comforter for her as my ancient blue (bought as I headed off to college!) one clashes with the new blue of the wall.
Today her energy level was better and she seems on the mend. It was amazing to see how much we got done though when Matilda was laying around, too sick to demand our participation in her play.
Porter sports his sister's old strawberry hat and cooks in the play kitchen. Clearly, we are all for gender equality around here. Although Tim does get a tad upset when I dress the boy in light purple. Hopefully these rocking orange overalls can help balance the girlie hand me downs he gets.
I haven't had bangs since I was about 10. After 9 months with no haircut I was really ready for one. The hairstylist talked me into some swoopy side bangs since I am notoriously bad at hair maintenance and couldn't be counted on to get a trim. But I might be ready for some real deal bangs soon I think.
In other news, I still have presents to mail and our holiday cards aren't back from the printers. Christmas is running late this year.
Friday, December 18
Tonight in an attempt to get every last bit of dessert (ice cream with chocolate peanut sauce) out of her bowl, Matilda poured some of her water into the empty bowl. She then stirred it around and sucked the mixture down, declaring, "I really like chocolate water!"
Monday, December 14
Friday morning we decided to flee our soggy apartment and move into another unit in our building. It is a really strange feeling to move so unexpectedly. I didn't really get time to say a proper goodbye to that place where I brought my babies home to (among countless other important memories). The new apartment is exactly the same layout as our old one, except a mirror image. To save time and energy (that needs to be devoted to Christmas prep instead), we have put everything in the same corresponding place as well. As a result, it feels like our whole world is a little off kilter. We still have lots of stuff in the old place and will likely be making 1,000 tiny trips over there in the next week or so to finish the process. Most of M's toys are still there, my entire wardrobe is there, every meal I cook Tim goes over there at least 3 times to fetch something. The landlord is too preoccupied with fixing the leaky roof to be rushing us out. Now that the kids are settled into the bed I think I'll head down the hall to find my Christmas bottle of Baileys, and a few other random things to haul back. We are settling in o.k. and trying to make the best of the situation. I think that time and some holiday cheer will help us feel more at home here.
Friday, December 11
Thursday, December 10
We are all living in the living room/dining room/kitchen area of our apartment as both bedrooms are currently under repair from the rain leaks. It should only last another night or two until we have at least one bedroom back, and maybe a few nights until everything is repaired. Tonight Tim & I were talking about how strange it would be to move into a house where we could all be spread out. Even before the repair we could keep close tabs on each other, if not outright see each other at all times in our small place. That has only been amplified during this setback as we all bounce off the same four small walls. It has been not too bad though, especially since Tim is home to buffer me from talking with our building manager. As I am writing this, the rain is starting and we'll see if the repairs hold up. If we all float away on our mattress-boat in the night I won't feel so warm and fuzzy about our time sleeping together in one big pile.
Today we decorated "gingerbread" houses over at the house of M's good buddy, Sarah, from school. Since our gingerbread wiz is off in China, we made do with graham cracker houses for this holiday season. As with last year, Matilda was really only interested in eating the candy. She placed maybe 4 pieces of candy on the house. The sprinkles got a bit more attention though, and she did manage to FILL the chimney with 1.5 bottles of sprinkles. She & Sarah also managed to cover the entire downstairs of their condo with the small round rainbow sprinkles; at one point I discovered Porter even had sprinkles on his face! I don't think he ingested any but who can say for sure. Here's Matilda's final product (aside from the mountain of blue sprinkles, I placed most things on there with her directions): While he missed out on the candy feast, Porter did get a treat of his own. Sarah's mom gave him an icy cold pacifier when she heard he got a new tooth this week. Before I could explain that we've never given him a pacifier she popped it right in his mouth. He was quite pleased with the whole experience. She also made him a frozen celery stick which he enjoyed even more and is a genius teething tool. It will be on my grocery list for tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 9
Last night Matilda was throwing a big fuss at bedtime, insisting she wear these gloves. I figured, why not?So, do you suppose the scary gloves are responsible for Matilda getting up (for the day) at 4 am? Or the fact that she's sleeping on the couch while her room gets fixed? The only way to find out is more experimentation tonight!
Tuesday, December 8
Today I noticed that Porter's bottom left tooth is in. What a surprise. Since Matilda's came in so late I wasn't really even looking for any yet. Last week at his pediatric check up she noted that he didn't have any, but I remember later in that day noticing a flash of white on his lower gums. Who knows how many days that tooth has been there. I guess now we need to stop letting him chew on the armchair.
Monday, December 7
This morning I went into Matilda's rom to discover a small waterfall of cold rainwater soaking her wall, floor, mattress and curtains. She was sleeping through the disaster. Tonight M is sleeping on the couch while her room dries out; tomorrow the rain is supposed to stop and the landlord will work his magic. We will get a reduction on our rent this month for the (many) days it take them to resolve the situation. I also can't very well sneak into the kitchen for a bowl of ice cream with chocolate peanut butter sauce with M on the couch. So, it appears the latest calamity around here is saving me money AND calories.
Saturday, December 5
Tonight we used the neighborhood holiday festival and 59 degree weather as an excuse to bundle up and get into the holiday spirit. Matilda was having NO part of seeing the Santa so the festivities essentially boiled down to free hot chocolate, a puppet show and a ride on the "trolley."
Matilda and Stella watching a puppet show. Porter watched a bit but then remembered that he was hungry.
Porter found his preferred form of transport. Who needs carseats when you can ride in an open top bus!
Matilda's beloved bird show is only on weekends now so they went this morning for a quick jaunt around the zoo seeing only her current favorites: ground squirrels, fennec foxes, petting station and birds.
M's hair is so long right now and she keeps claiming she wants to get it cut at the kid salon. She's not falling for my pitch of how great it is at Mama's Kid Salon. We will see how long the impasse lasts.
Friday, December 4
Thursday, December 3
Porter went for his first big outing today in the backpack. He seemed to love it and was so happy and giggly the entire zoo visit.Pucker up.
Matilda enjoyed the last of the gummy fruit snacks I bought as road trip food with disturbing results.
M is really into tights lately and I love these new purple ones. They are $1.80 from Target and I think I want to get some crazy bright tights in every color for her stocking. Although, if I can convince Santa to splurge, these look even more rocking. Also, I think Matilda looks like a clone of Grammy here.
Matilda was pretty happy with the outing, as well.Matilda continues to tickle Porter's funny bone with her tipi rules.
Wednesday, December 2
Today we took Porter to the language lab at USC for him to participate in two studies on language acquisition. In both of them his reactions were videotaped as he sat on my lap in a darkened, soundproof room. In one they looked at his response to flashing lights and a made up language; in the other they measured if he had a different attention span for statements vs. questions by seeing how long until he turned away from the video screen. It was a fairly entertaining field trip for us all and earned us some free parking so we could go enjoy the Science Center adjacent to campus afterwards.Here you can see Porter losing interest in the video and turning around to look at me. I was wearing headphones blasting classical music so I wouldn't influence Porter with my reaction to the sounds and video.
At the end of it all, Matilda asked, "Does Porter know how to talk now?" Priceless. The researchers both really got a kick out of her perception that they could so easily teach him to talk.
Tuesday, December 1
I didn't think Porter looked like my mom's side of the family until we got him next to Leah, the second-newest great grandbaby in the family.
Here I feel like I can see what Porter will look like as a little boy.
I love these guys.
Our goofy girl posing for a turkey day portrait.Aunt Lori had the great idea to have the kids make butter as their contribution to the feast. Matilda didn't last too long shaking the cream, but it was awesome to witness how easy the whole process is. Matilda's favorite part of the feast, by far, was the eggs. I think I need another piece of one of these right now. Maybe it is time to finally give Tim that pie-of-the-month deal I owe him.
Monday, November 30
With the impending holidays, we have resigned ourselves to the fact that Tim most likely won't find a new job until after New Year. Which leaves us with the question of what to do with December. Of course we could easily pass the days and weeks with our usual routine, since we seem to be living in some sort of time suck lately and accomplish very little other than feeding and clothing the many people now banging around in this little apartment. However, it seems with so much free time, and our recently tested new road-trippers, we should do something. But I can't figure out what the perfect something is. Yosemite sounds exciting, but the required tire chains for the car sounds intimidating. A visit to the Bay area is easy, but is that a cop out? Matilda has been talking about the Grand Canyon a lot lately, but we just went that way so it seems silly to go straight back. Any recommendation? Maybe someone has the perfect house sitting situation for us in some exotic locations.
Porter can reach clear across most any booth and makes dining out quite a challenge these days as he is so grabby. Usually some toys, or a bit of his own food serves for slight distraction, however, at this particular breakfast I had forgotten any form of entertainment. Instead he thrashed the half & half stacks Matilda was making, coated himself and me in syrup, ate ice (surreptitiously so his sister wasn't too jealous), and babbled at the bad ass motorcyclists sitting by us ordering Bloody Marys and Budweiser for breakfast.