Thursday, July 30

Biking & Birds

Matilda went for her first "street" bike ride today. She's getting really good at pedaling and laps around the courtyard aren't quite enough now. Usually with any obstacle she stops pedaling and the trike becomes a push toy - but today, M even rode UP a ramp, albeit with much encouragement and my foot behind her to prevent backsliding when she'd give up every few feet. She was also wailing that she couldn't pedal up the hill while simultaneously screaming for me to stop touching the bike, but at the top Matilda was quite pleased with herself and all was forgiven/forgotten. (She gets frustrated really easy in some tasks, or possibly just has a short fuse.)

Along the way we stopped to say hi to the pigeons that are raised in a cage outside a neighboring apartment building. The owner was out for the first time so we got to talk with him and he showed Matilda these new baby pigeons. I thought they were a bit alarming looking, but Matilda was enthralled and it took a lot of encouragement to get her to leave.

It seems to have been the week of baby birds around here, since we got to visit baby doves at Sarah & Gaurav's condo complex also. We visited the first day the little doves were flying so we were lucky to see them before they disappeared. Matilda & I spent a fair amount of time stalking them around the hallways & giving them reason to practice their new skills.

Coffee Smiles

We snuck out to breakfast yesterday morning before Tim went to work since his hours are a bit more relaxed lately. Matilda got her fill of bacon we all stuffed ourselves on pancakes. Porter was super content to sit slouched in the corner of our booth for a good portion of the meal.
So smiley!

Wednesday, July 29


Porter is laughing! We thought we had heard a chuckle or two recently but weren't sure. Today while M was away at school & Tim at work, I got Porter in full blown stitches over some chin tickles and then silly panting breaths. It is awesome to hear. He was a bit camera shy though, so no video yet. For now you have to settle for Stella laughing, which is just as heartwarming!

Tuesday, July 28

Birthday of Terror

Matilda went to the birthday party of one of her best buds this weekend and it turned out to be a bit worrisome. Not only were there balloon decorations (popping them is a new recent fear), but the overly excitable magician-unicyclist man was making everyone balloon animals that the kids were carrying around and terrorizing Matilda. Each time someone would run by clutching a newly made dog/frog/giraffe balloon sculpture, M would leap up my leg and claim she wanted to go home. The formal "show" was equally nerve-wracking for M, who saw no humor in the magician's balloon jokes and falling-off-unicycle schtick. The fun part was that she got to dress up to comply with the theme and choose to wear her ladybug dress with wings and braid-antennae. She also had her bug-eye goggles on at one point but they didn't last long.
The marzipan bees off of the cake were also a highlight for M.

Sunday, July 26


Our second annual trip to Comic-Con today was pretty awesome. After seeing so many great costumes last year, Matilda wanted to wear her Wonder Woman costume from Halloween. Luckily, she could still squeeze into it; M had great fun, got lots of attention & met many Wonder Women.
Porter joined the fun wearing his super hero inspired onesie: Mr. Amazing!
He was actually, doing fantastic for all of the long car ride down and the day at the convention center. On the trip back he complained until I climbed in back with him and then he was perfectly content to just chatter with me, cooing and gurgling while Matilda slept hard next to us.

Thursday, July 23


We are indoctrinating the kids to also be missing
the summer hikes & swims & sweat & bug bites of Ithaca.

Wednesday, July 22

3 Months Old

The boy is not only getting big fast, but he is getting old fast too! Yet, already we can barely remember a time without him. As he awakes to the world and is more alert these past few weeks it is amazing to see his personality shining through. Such a happy, sweet guy bringing us all so much joy, but especially his big sister it seems.

2.5 Hours

Each day as I drop Matilda at preschool I am faced with the huge task of figuring out how best to spend my 2.5 hours of time until pick up. I often have big ambitious plans but so far I am not really accomplishing them, which is fine. It is so nice just to have a moment to go for a (hot, sweaty) walk while Porter naps strapped to my chest. Or to do a little dinner prep. Or to surf the internet for a moment while not feeling like I am neglecting two kids, only one. Or to spend some quality time with Porter playing on the floor, enjoying his toys without too much "assistance" from his big sister.
Yesterday I spent most of my time watching Porter try and will this panda bear into his mouth.

Tuesday, July 21

Easter Egg Hunt

Matilda has one lone Easter Egg that never got put away after the holiday. It lives in her play kitchen and every once in a while she gets the idea to have us hide it. For almost an hour this morning she had me hide it repeatedly and each time I would vary the items inside: stickers, cashews, dry cereal, pennies, peanuts, etc. This particular time she had a hard time finding the egg. I kept telling her to ask Porter where it was but it took a long time for her to get my hint.

Saturday, July 18

Lost Phone Pictures

Since I got my new cell phone I have been taking more pictures with it, but am terrible about keeping up with them. Tonight Tim went out for a work function and amazingly both the kids went down to sleep easy so I am getting caught up on random stuff. Here are some favorites.

Matilda insisted that Porter wear shoes to the park on this day.
Another fashion choice by M, shopping at the farmers market.
She's a super girl, no explanation needed.
My two kids.
I particularly like the flapping arm here.

Friday, July 17

Baseball, Fireworks & Hot Dogs!

We got tickets to the Dodgers game tonight and afterwards they did a fireworks show set to Beatles music. At the beginning of the night I was really nervous it was going to be a disaster because M is so tired from school this week and Porter has been turning into a pumpkin at 8:30 every night, demanding to be put immediately to bed. Once again, the kids wowed Tim & I with how well they did. It is nice to be reminded we can still do these fun things while juggling the needs of all four of us.

The Dodgers lost horribly, but Matilda didn't care since baseball = hot dog in her brain.
Porter looked cute in his Dodger blue and got lots of attention from our seat neighbors.
We decided to pass up the chance to walk on the outfield, and instead watched the fireworks from our seats. Just like on the 4th, M was again talking to the fireworks and kissing them while Porter was totally entranced with his eyes bugging out.


Matilda came home from school today with one less shoe than she started with. We searched the school and couldn't find it but I am sure it will turn up after things get cleaned up - it looked a bit more ransacked in there at pick up time than normal. She did come home with an extra tiara, though. One of the teachers was doing face painting & this is what M ended up with. She's never had her face painted so I am guessing she had no idea what to ask for when prompted. Matilda is so into the many awesome dress-up dresses and high heeled shoes at school that I am sure the teachers think she's a princess gal. Regardless, she was pleased with it. We talked about other things she could have her face painted as and she decided on a hippo for next time. Or possibly an angler fish.

Thursday, July 16

Grab Your Box of Tissues

Tonight over dinner some visiting friends asked Matilda about her new big sister status:

Friend: What can you tell us about having a baby?
Matilda: I love my baby brother so much.
Friend: Awwww. What's nice about having a baby brother?
Matilda: He does the nicest big smiles. His smiles are so big.

Bean Eater

Over the long weekend we went back out to the farm where Matilda's birthday party was held to take advantage of all the u-pick produce in season. Everything was delicious but the biggest treat of the day was the two huge containers of blackberries that we came home with. Matilda was eating green beans almost faster than Tim could pick them. Eventually I convinced her to stop eating them from the container and to pick her own so Tim could get ahead.
I love this shot of her in the blackberry patch. She looks so long to me lately, verified by all her suddenly short pants & the 4T birthday clothes that now fit fine when they looked huge just 3 months ago.

Wednesday, July 15

Preschool Report: Day 2

So apparently preschool is exhausting. All that learning & running wore M right out and she slept until 9:30 this morning! Her second day went just as well this afternoon. Remember what I said about the daily handprints yesterday? Well, this is Matilda 4 minutes into her day at school today.
She had stopped only long enough to put these shoes on before running precariously across the room to the ink pads.
Here she is happy & bright eyed on the walk home. Before school started I was concerned that she might be too tired at the end of each day for the 4 block walk home (at least in any sort of a timely manner). So far she's so amped up at the end of each day she practically runs the entire way home.
She was so grubby by the end of school that we skipped straight to bath time. Afterwards Porter woke up in time to watch M have a little "rest" in the bed. It was the closest Matilda has ever come to just laying down & falling asleep for a nap.

Tuesday, July 14

Get Lost, Folks

Well, she didn't quite say it like that, but Matilda did essentially kick us out from her preschool today at drop off time. Tim & I both got to walk her to her first day of school which was really special. We knew that M was really excited for this day & thought there would be no separation issues. We still hung around for a bit after arriving just to watch her be in awe of the play things & the classroom, and for us to get to meet some of the other parents. After about 15 minutes of ignoring us & cruising the school to explore, Matilda turned to us and said, "Have a nice day at home!" We took the hint and cleared out of there. The strangest part to me is not knowing what she did there for 3 hours. She clearly had a blast, but can't be bothered to tell us much about it. It is a huge change to adjust to since she's always been full time with Tim or I, so it is rare that she's off on her own with independent experiences. So far I got her to tell me that Oscar made a funny face, a dinosaur peed and that she dressed up like Sleeping Beauty with high heels. (As soon as I saw the dress up bin of heeled shoes I knew they would be a sure hit!)

Here she is all ready to go and walking with Daddy to school. It was so great to finally be able to answer her this morning that, "Yes, today is a school day."
Checking out the sea life selection in her first few minutes at school (before we were sent away).
When we returned to pick her up the, kids had moved into the play yard & she was a sandy mess having a blast with the hose and a "peeing dinosaur." (The plastic T. rex had a small hole in his thigh, thus peeing.) This horse and a tire swing were also huge hits. I was fairly sure we were not going to be able to get her to leave.
After picking up art work in her cubby M gets ready to head home. There was a huge blue ink pad for the kids to use in one area so I imagine we will get a daily handprint like this. Inky hands are her favorite. I am just thankful now she has someplace to enjoy her inky self without the jeopardizing our furniture.

Monday, July 13

Me, Too!

Porter says, "I'm ready for school too please."

Sunday, July 12

Still Sleeping?

Matilda either ran away in the night or is still sleeping. She's pretty much stopped napping & we haven't really moved her 9 p.m bedtime. Slowly over the past two weeks she's been sleeping in later and later each day. It'll be curious to see what happens with the sleeping once she starts coming home from preschool even more exhausted each day!

Saturday, July 11

No Sunburns!

We took Porter for his first trip to the beach today and forgot to even dip his toes into the frigid water. Frigid by my account, although Tim & Matilda had no complaints. Matilda had a blast building sand castles, getting turned into a mermaid, and riding the boogie board (until one particularly salty tip-over that is). It is a tall order going to the beach with a baby too young for sunscreen (not recommended until 6 months), but with a bevy of clothes, hats, umbrellas and blankets we managed to keep the boy sun free.

Here we are, all a bit too matchy-match, headed out before getting sunny and sandy.
Porter sports his bathing costume and stays in the shade. The mermaid of Zuma.
Porter loves the beach! Actually, Porter is just really happy to be pants-less here. I think Porter would probably love the beach a lot more if it weren't such a long drive.

Practice for Comic-Con

Porter keeps his eyes on big sister as they play villain and super hero. Super hero with a blood pressure problem I think.


I had Matilda make faces for me at our picnic lunch yesterday. The results were not what you would expect.

When I asked for not a cheesy smile:
And a bonus self-shot of the weekday gang:

Friday, July 10

Rediscovering the Pool

We have been appreciating the "pool" in our building a lot again as it heats up around here. Our pool is actually a really large hot tub that the managers keeps turned off. If you actually wanted it hot you would need to plan ahead about 10 hours. Until last month we had never learned where the switch is to heat it up and always just used it cold in the hot weather. Some new neighbors moved in with a 10 and 18 year old who enjoy the hot part of hot tub and so we are waging a small battle with them turning the switch on and then us flipping it off. Sometimes we'll come home, sweaty from the park and ready to jump in when we discover our refreshing pool is in hot tub mode. (I think as the weather has really turned hot this week, however, they are coming around to our way of thinking.)

Matilda loves, loves, loves the pool and is fearless in it. Her new game is to try to get away from her adult swimming buddy because she wants to "swim by herself!" This behavior makes me terribly nervous and so I have been really reluctant to take her in the pool when it is just me alone with the two kids. On Monday, we had Porter asleep so I thought I would try plopping him into the jogging stroller while we swam, but he was having none of it.
Today we conned Sarah & Gaurav into coming over to watch Porter while M & I had an awesome splash session. (Thanks, guys!) I think as Porter gets older and more content in the stroller he'll be more game to watch us and M & I can get more pool time in. Or maybe we'll just get those new neighbors to start joining us at the pool more and take turns holding the baby while I supervise my little pool diving preschooler.


My little girl starts preschool next week. It is only 3 hours, 3 days per week, but still this fact is freaking me out. So, all week I have been spoiling her in little ways. Picnics, art projects, and extra indulgences, including this lunch face. She loved it and was so excited by the idea. After I snapped this photo we added more green beans for spikey hair and she ate it all up: watermelon/cherry eyes, refried bean mouth, quesadilla tongue, green bean nose.

Gender Bending

When Porter arrived I didn't realized how him being a boy would force all sorts of gender issues that we haven't yet introduced to Matilda. She hasn't figured out that boys don't usually wear ruby slippers or dress up as Sleeping Beauty for Halloween (her current choice for his costume). She doesn't understand why Tim is less than eager to paint his fingernails, or even his toenails in this season of sandal weather. Basically, we have neglected to yet explain any of the traditional gender stereotypes to Matilda, instead letting her observe and make her own assumptions.

Yesterday she decided that Porter should wear her baby barrettes and I didn't intervene. What a pretty boy, right?At least we live in LA so if he ends up a barrette wearing, ruby slipper sporting, blue fingernailed boy he won't be too out of place.

Tuesday, July 7

This Gal Needs a Pet

After Matilda sweet talked to the squid for a while, Tim cleaned them and we grilled them with arugula. It is our favorite, quick post farmers market meal of late.

Prison Break

Looking at the drying rack today I realized Porter has a disproportionate number of stripey outfits. I love them all, but my favorite is one that looks like a 1920's bathing costume which we have yet to photograph. This one is a close runner up, especially with the shocked expression on his face.