Friday, February 27

Tiring, Fun Day & Random Bits

So the current chaos in our apartment isn't doing anything towards getting pre-baby-projects done. However, I am trying to look at all the carpet upheaval/furniture moving as a chance to re-organize & clean out somethings. Not that we have started any of that, but once the carpet work is finished & we move stuff back into place I am assuming we will get to it. In the meantime Matilda & I have been keeping quite busy, having fun & staying out of the apartment all day. Here's a recap of today's adventures. (Not shown is the 2.75 hr drive to Anaheim, I wasn't quite able to capture that lovely experience in pictures.)

M mugging with her new sibling at the zoo.
Catching up with the old meerkat in his new (temporary?) enclosure.
Enjoying a Poquito Mas lunch out with Daddy.
After a nice dinner, Matilda got to explore Downtown Disney with her cousin Alison. M was slightly disgruntled by the lack of rides, but the Lego store pacified her fairly well. I think I am starting to feel the pregnancy exhaustion kick in again as I want to collapse most nights by 9:00. Otherwise, all is going well & I am feeling good, huge - but good. 7 weeks to go till the due date. We'll see if this kid can be as punctual as Matilda was.

Dear Concerned Reader

I Know, I Know Already!  Here you go, yesterday at the aquarium while we stayed out of the apartment:

Immediately before she got pooped on. 
M spent 30 minutes petting this enormous ray. She would run back and forth chasing him, which was pointless since the ray was also doing laps - she was essentially pacing him. 

Must now vacate the premises again for our landlord to resume flood-related repairs in our apartment. On today's busy agenda: visit new meerkats at the zoo, meet Daddy for lunch, nap in car, drive to Anaheim & meet Arizona family for Disney-ish dinner. 

Monday, February 23

The Salad Works?

Friday we took Sarah out for lunch to the famous labor-inducing-salad-place, Caioti Pizza Cafe. She was 1 day past her due date and ready to step things up. With Matilda I ate the salad on Saturday and M was born Monday night. For Sarah, she had the salad Friday at lunch & her new little gal was born this morning after a long weekend of contractions. It would seem the evidence points towards a positive relationship between salad & labor. However, Sarah & I both also had spicy, spicy curry within a day of the salad as a further labor-inducing effort, making the data slightly contaminated and correlation hard to prove. Maybe in 8 short weeks we can conduct another study. 

Friday, February 20

Thinking ahead to Cornell

Our local elementary school was having its open house this morning so Matilda & I went along with our neighbor to check it out. M loved seeing all the classrooms and kids. It was really fun to see her walking around in the halls with all the kid sized stairs, water fountains, and chairs. I liked the school a lot more than I expected and learned it is rated higher than I thought in the scale of LA public schools. Sadly, it is not the school we would be sent to with our current address, and it is way harder than I thought to petition in. Maybe we will have to move a few blocks over that way before fall 2011. 

Thursday, February 19


In the news this week there has been serious talk about implementing water rationing in Los Angeles soon due to the severity of our current drought. I think that our current potty training process can only be amplifying the water shortage problem with all the flushing and hand washing and flushing and hand washing again. I also did not realize the impact that Matilda could have on our toilet paper consumption rate. 2 adults + one toddler using toilet paper is not equal to 2 adults + any single other additional person using toilet paper. 

However, these are not complaints. Potty training is going awesomely well. Personally, I am perfectly willing to sacrifice all the water in the Colorado river basin to get this kid out of diapers. 

Wednesday, February 18

Forever Ruined?

Yesterday Matilda got three more Valentine cards in the mail. She is always thrilled to get mail, and immediately plopped herself down in the living room to set about opening them. As she got the first one open, M discovered a crisp dollar bill in there, from her great grandparents. She was stunned by the find and came running to me waiving the bill and yelling, "That's money! That's money!" It felt as if she was checking whether she needed to turn over her find to me, since she so rarely gets her hands on any cash. After I explained it was hers, she spent several minutes discussing how she wanted to take it to the grocery store & give it to Criseida, her favorite cashier. When pressed, she couldn't come up with anything she wanted to buy, she only knew she wanted to take it to the grocery store. 

After a bit she remembered the other 2 cards and tore into them as well. It was amazing to witness how just one instance of finding money changed her whole outlook on opening cards; she ripped each one open, did a quick check for cash, and then moved on to the next. I didn't realize the greed could start so young! Although to be completely fair, the third card from another set of great grandparents had some sticker sheets in the card and that was a very close rival to the money. She dropped the cash and spent several minutes stickering before she returned to carting around her now-wadded up dollar bill. 

Tuesday, February 17

Ticking Clock

Two months till our due date. Ahhhh!

Monday, February 16

A Most Productive & Satisfying Weekend

My nesting tendencies have manifested mostly in the intense urge to tear apart every corner of the apartment, sort, discard, weed out, and re-organize. I am selling or giving away everything Tim will allow on Craigslist, making multiple trips to the Goodwill, and this weekend alone generated 4 paper bags worth of shredding. We had several years worth of bills, bank statements (back to 1998) and repair receipts from cars we no longer own in our filing cabinet - a bit absurd it seems. 

Tim indulged me and we used our long weekend to tackle many of the household projects on our To-Do-Before-April list. Matilda indulged me by finally deciding to use the toilet. I don't want to jinx it by saying more, but we seem to have finally made some progress in the bathroom-department. We stayed home almost the entire weekend, close to the potty and plugging away at getting through the endless piles of stuff cluttering every corner. While it doesn't provide many entertaining photos to post here, it feels awesome to have accomplished so much. 
Matilda's first pedicure, reward for some amazing potty-training progress. She wanted blue nail polish, which I thought I had somewhere but couldn't find after much searching, so she settled for Aunt Gia's-wedding-red. 

Saturday, February 14

Love Bug

These are the fingerprint bugs that Matilda & I made as valentine cards. They came out better than I had hoped and Matilda had a blast going nuts with the ink pads after the very supervised fingerprinting portion of the project was done. 

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day! Our day was filled with some mid-hiking kisses, some slow dancing and a lot of love. 

Thursday, February 12

Spitty Fish

After a very long absence we went back to the Long Beach Aquarium yesterday for a great visit. Matilda's buddy Misha and her mom came along for double the fun and it was unusually quiet there so we had good views of all the animals.

Matilda watched closely as the rays & sharks in the touch tank got fed some squid. (She claimed she wanted to eat some too.)The girls practiced very nice "two-finger touch" technique on these sea stars. M was still fairly hesitant with the lorikeets and was quite happy to let me do all the nectar feeding (under close supervision of course). The highlight of the day seemed to be the rock spitting fish you can see in the video below. Sadly, I have already forgotten what type of fish it really is and we are referring to him as the rock spitter. The girls watched, totally captivated, for a really long time as he worked tirelessly to excavate his burrow.

Tuesday, February 10

Last Minute Lakers

Tim got some freebie tickets for the Lakers game today spur of the moment so we had a very fun evening cheering on the team. Matilda was especially excited by the Lakers Girls and would dance along for each number. We usually stick it out to the end of most big sports games, but tonight we decided to leave a little early to beat traffic and not keep Matilda out too many hours past bedtime. As we were attempting to leave Matilda was quite unhappy, explaining to us how the "basketball game is NOT OVER!" Somehow we managed to get out without a huge scene and once was home she fell asleep fast, cuddling with a cheapie stuffed Lakers panda they were handing out at the door.

LA Girl

As an Angeleno, I am not sure how Matilda could be anything but car-centric. Lately, in addition to her penchant to identify cars, we have been noticing some other funny car-related comments she makes. 

M has taken to saying, at random while driving around, "That man was not driving good!" I am sure this originates from hearing Tim & I grumble about our fellow drivers. We have mostly cleaned up our language while driving, but will still occasionally make a "come on now" or "move along" type comment. M is very aware of anything uttered in this vein and will immediately demand an explanation. Our stock answer is that someone was not driving well or not following the driving rules. I love that she is now offering her own assessment of the situation. 

Another indication of her city living manifests while she drives her Big Wheel around the apartment. M will declare as she climbs off of the trike, "That's a good parking spot!" She sure sounds like an LA girl through and through!

Friday, February 6

The Week in Review

Instead of doing productive baby-prep things we filled the week very effectively with Matilda-entertainment and fun. At some point I will have to stop procrastinating on all the pre-baby to-do-items, but maybe it can wait another week or month. 

On Tuesday M & I finally got ourselves to the free day at the Natural History Museum where she narrowly escaped a polar bear hug. Tim took her last year some time but I had been meaning to go back for months now. It was such a hit that I think we will try to hit it again next month on free day.  
Wednesday we met Sarah & Gaurav for one last downtown lunch before Sarah has her baby this month and is on maternity leave. We haven't been there in a long time and M is now tall enough to easily pitch herself head-first into the fountain. 
Thursday morning we went to a zoo class and got to meet the cutest hedgehog, Willow. She made me very nostalgic for my own grumpy hedgehog pet that I had in college, Millie.
Then in the afternoon Matilda had a blast with the aforementioned inking project. 
Tonight, for no good reason, we decided to celebrate with gelato after dinner resulting in a chocolate Joker smile.  

Thursday, February 5

Don't Call CPS

We did a big ink pad project this afternoon and Matilda was quite enthusiastic about the inking part. As it turns out blue ink washes out quite poorly and consequently she looks like she was beaten to a pulp. After a thorough scrubbing didn't do the trick, we tried a long splashy bath and even that didn't do much. So for now M has huge patches of faint blue all over her like so many day old bruises. Let hope they fade significantly before our preschool tour tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, February 4


Matilda has turned into quite the fan of both The Beatles and VW Beetles. Santa brought her this Yellow Submarine shirt, which is a big favorite lately, and helped cement her Beatles love I think. Tim created her a playlist of Beatles tunes that she requests almost daily. When we are out driving around she is uncannily good at spotting VW Beetles, being sure to differentiate between the old models and new. (Although Beetles were her first love, she will now identify PT Cruisers, Minis and Mustangs - a very random assortment of cars!)

We have yet to teach her the punch bug game, and figure that one will have to wait a few years until she can understand the distinction between a punch bug game and an across the board no-hitting-tolerance enforced in the toddler crowd. Not that M has been hitting anyone, but it is increasingly an issue as we've had a few run-ins with other kids hitting her. Last weekend on the playground an 18 month old toddler came up and gave her a swat. She spent the remainder of her time at the playground very wary of him - at one point she was even climbing up onto my head practically in order to escape his reach. It was very entertaining to witness, especially her terror at this tiny toddler walking towards her. 

Monday, February 2

Baker in Training

Over the holidays we did lots of baking, which Matilda really enjoys - especially the part where she gets to eat the ingredients/batter/results. While making cookies in NY, I finally let Matilda crack her own egg. She did really well and all of the egg ended up in the bowl, with only part of the shells! 
While we have curbed our baking somewhat around here (mostly to help the pregnant lady slow down her weight gain - since I seem to have no self-control once the cookies are actually in the house), we did need to test out the dinosaur cookie cutters M got from Grammy for Christmas. We invited our favorite little neighbor friend over to assist: 
Above you can see Matilda contemplating putting the frosting knife into her mouth, below you see her cramming sprinkles in. Matilda will generally decorate 1 or 2 cookies before it degenerates into her simply eating the decorations with a naked cookie sitting in front of her un-touched. She is very sneaky about it though, and stops often to wave a guilty "Hi Mama" and lean in for hugs while engaging in her shady ways. Kaz was much more disciplined. He decorated lots of cookies and  didn't eat anything until he was given permission. He did however ask incessantly about when we could eat them, and somehow missed/ignored Matilda's surreptitious eating. 
Sadly I forgot to get good pictures of all the decorated dinosaurs before they were consumed - next time. 

Sunday, February 1

Note to self: Next year don't attempt your weekly grocery shopping 2.5 hrs before Super Bowl kickoff.