Saturday, October 31


For as much as Matilda LOVES the Wizard of Oz story, she still gets a bit nervous when we act like the characters too much. With her Oz dolls she would never tolerate people doing character voices. In the picture above, Tim had just gotten his costume on and Matilda was a bit skittery around him yet. When she first saw me in my Wicked Witch make-up she was quite hesitant about the whole situation. At the very end of our night, after she seemed to be very warmed up to our costumes, Tim broke into the Scarecrow song, complete with the floppy dancing, and it made M fall over, literally. She immediately scrambled over to me to grab at my hand and tried to change the subject, ignoring Tim's (the Scarecrow's) antics. Terror aside, I think she had an awesome Halloween and I think we won't be able to get her out of those ruby slippers for weeks!

The Happiest Flying Monkey

Porter didn't have any say in his costume this year, but I still think he had a pretty good first Halloween.

I'll Get You My Pretty

Happy Halloween!
We went a little crazy with our Wizard of Oz love this year and staged tons of Halloween pictures today. This one's my favorite so far, but I am still working through all the pictures. I should have more up soon.

Friday, October 30

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers

Babies love tongue twisters! And wacky sunglasses.
(After I stopped taking video Porter continued to laugh just laying on Tim's lap for quite a while.)

Wednesday, October 28

Kisses & Toe Jam Picking

Who could ask for a better sister?

Tuesday, October 27


To pass the time while driving somewhere last week, I asked Matilda a bunch of questions about her favorite thing in various categories.

Song: Wings of an Eagle (preview it here) and the Monster Mash
Color: Blue (This has been her consistent response for as long as we have been asking.)
Place to visit: LA Zoo
Playground: Shane's
Movie (seen in a theatre): Ponyo
Bird: African Fish Eagle
Tin Man at the Zoo 05 4-3-09
Food: Anchovies
Thing to eat for breakfast: Cereal
Thing to drink: Sparkling Water (although she has since declared chocolate milk her favorite thing to drink, which is suspect only because she's never had it! Soon I think we need to cave on this policy she's she is now aware that it exists.)
Book: Pinocchio
TV show: Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin (very appropriate for the season)
Mythical Creature: Griffin

Sunday, October 25

Warm Up

We continued getting into the holiday spirit today with the Herrman's annual pumpkin carving fest. Matilda decided she wanted to be a pirate for the party after we were talking about how much Gigi is into pirates lately. We whipped out an old striped shirt, her stuffed parrot, a tin foil hook and voila!
Here Porter and Catie try to figure out how to get into the pumpkin without access to any of the cool carving tools.
A very genuine smile from M, not the cheese-ball camera one. She was very pleased that I let her use the pumpkin knives and happily stabbed random holes into a discarded cutout piece for quite a while. I kept trying to convince her to actually carve our pumpkin to no avail, so the little gourd made it back home intact.

Saturday, October 24

Adlai Arrives

Today Adam and Alwyn did their part to try and balance out the girl baby population around here lately. Their son, Adlai, was born just after midnight this morning and we got to meet the little guy tonight. They are all doing great and the new parents look so happy. Good job, guys, now we can rest assured Porter will have someone to race Hot Wheels with!

Friday, October 23

Future CSI

I don't know where she comes up with this stuff.

Thursday, October 22

Porter Boy is 6 Months Old! What?

We have a strong sense of tradition around here, which I generally blame on Tim, but today I was the one who instigated it. When Matilda turned six months old, I took her to the park & took some photos of her on a blanket my grandma got her. Today I felt compelled to do the same with Porter on his blanket. The extra nice part was that Tim got to come along for this time around, so the whole family had a nice park afternoon.

One of Matilda's 6 month photos:
Mom's Photo Shoot in the Park 06 9-27-06

They both have the same cannibalistic tendencies.
Zombie Matilda going for me:
Mom's Photo Shoot in the Park 07 9-27-06

Zombie Porter going for Tim:
Future pickpocket & exhibitionist? Porter does not approve.

Wednesday, October 21

Cell Phone Pictures

I haven't been taking pictures as regularly around here this past month. It is partly because we were so backlogged with photos from NY and partially because Tim is home with us so I feel less compelled to document each day to share with him. Instead I find I am taking more little random pictures with my phone.
Here is Matilda, 2.5 seconds into her day at preschool and already covered up to the elbows in paint.
I browsed this book on a pass through our neighborhood bookstore one night. It was fascinating, in the train-wreck-can't-look-away sense.
When Porter is slumped down in the carrier while we are walking a cell phone pic is how I check to see if he's asleep yet.
Here's documentation of the two cops who stormed the park with their guns drawn to arrest a pedestrian walking by the playground yesterday. Enough to get the blood pumping a little bit. I somehow managed to get Matilda down off the play structure to sit in the sand with me without her freaking out to ask me why I was so panicky and insistent.

Not Lousy

Not really a sign you want greeting you at preschool drop off. Just reading the sign makes my head itch. Despite the itching though, we are still lice free 2 weeks after the case (only one kid) was found. Let's hope I am not tempting the fates by posting this finally. According to another parent the school had cases of lice, ringworm, pinkeye and chicken pox last year (in addition to your usual spectrum of snot-fest illnesses), so I am sure before the year is out we will all be treated to something. Let's just hope it is something that doesn't require quite that much laundry.

Sunday, October 18

Cooler Weather Play

Now that we are finally having some cooler days the playground is enjoyable again. Matilda has developed a newfound interest in swinging and will spend 30+ minutes in the baby swing. Not surprisingly, her interest directly correlates with Porter's desire to take a turn on the swing. It seems we are easing into the sibling competition portion of the game here. Nothing dramatic yet, Matilda is just showing a little more concern than previously over what toy Porter wants/has at any given moment.
Porter, for his part, is less interested in toys lately due to his obsession with standing. He's getting pretty good and very proud of himself, as you can see:
Here we were playing on a big airplane structure. Matilda alternated between being the captain and the flight attendant. She flew us to New York, South American (?), Ohio, and then New York again. Here she is bringing me a beverage.
There were peanuts, too. She also got my luggage down from the overhead compartment. I don't know the last time I got such good service on a plane!

Saturday, October 17

Ruby Slippers

Matilda got a key ingredient for her Halloween costume tonight. We have been hoarding these shoes for a while now and I finally couldn't resist giving them to her any longer. She was beside herself with excitement. I suspect I will soon regret my haste in giving them to her since we had to do serious negotiations over bathing tonight since bath-time = shoe-removal-time. When she was finally in the bath, she saw Tim adding her new shoes to the mountain of shoes that grows by our front door and yelled, "NO, DADDY, don't put my new shoes in the pile! Put them in a NICE CLEAN SPOT!"

As I was typing this just now, Tim came out of her room to get a drink (5o minutes into trying to get her to sleep so far) and M popped out, too, carrying the shoes and saying "Look how nice they sparkle out here in the light!" This evening Matilda also was recommending to Tim that he get some white slippers to wear. She's got it in her head that he will be Glinda the Good Witch for Halloween so fancy white slippers do seem like the obvious choice. I foresee lots of battles over not wearing the slippers to grungy places in the next two weeks as we attempt to keep them pristine for the 31st.
Speaking of battles, this grungy dress is one I chose not to fight today. It is a very nice, light pink, linen dress that we got as a hand-me-down with a big stain on the front. Matilda discovered it yesterday and loves it. She's been wearing it for two days straight and it really shows with all the grime covering it. I suspect she'll want the dress again first thing tomorrow but maybe we can derail that idea by pitching for something to better complement the slippers.

Thursday, October 15

Dumber Than I Look?

Today I took Matilda & Porter to In n' Out for lunch. Tim had other things to do & while we were out running errands I decided to indulge us a bit. We ordered our burgers & found a table during the hectic lunch hour. The table next to us was occupied by a self-described great-grandmother & her dining companion (possibly daughter). They were terribly friendly with the kids & quite chatty. The great-grandmother mentioned to me several times how I "was brave to take them both out to eat alone" and asked if I did it often. She went on about how Matilda was a good eater, her rain boots were so cute, Porter was such a big boy, etc. As they were standing to leave she said again how I was so brave to take them out alone, and then she said, "Or maybe you're just not that bright?"

Her comment totally cracked me up. She said it in the way of some old ladies who just say anything they want regardless of decorum. I might not be so bright but I don't see how I am risking much by bringing two kids alone to a fast food restaurant? The worst scenario I can imagine: both kids totally lose their shit, I carry them both out of the restaurant and leave our $7.58 lunch on the table; a few strangers get a chuckle and we survive the episode after a nurse in the car & a second peanut-butter-sandwich-lunch at home. Not the worst thing that could happen to a mom?


My dentist is really not creepy, just dorky.

Wednesday, October 14

Random Bits

  • Porter is getting a new food introduced every three days currently. So far he has had avocado, sweet potatoes and carrot. Tomorrow: peaches here we come.
  • While cleaning my teeth yesterday, the dentist used the phrase "just do me" three times AND told me a bit too much detail about his vasectomy mishaps.
  • Matilda discovered that bhindi dots make perfect earrings. She was beyond pleased.
  • I have yet to look at all of the 3500 photos we took in NY, but Tim has thankfully. They are almost all up for flickr viewing.
  • We had a preschool meeting yesterday & the teachers confirmed that Matilda has inherited the worrying gene. She is apparently getting really stressed out by worrying about the pets at school, or when other classmates who are upset. Maybe Tim can teach her some of his coping skills.

Saturday, October 10


Matilda uses the oldest trick in the book to get some laughs out of Porter while we enjoyed a snack at Wegmans (aka the best grocery store in the world).

Friday, October 9

Teacher Daddy

At Matilda's school if one of the teachers is sick or out for the day, they are replaced by a parent. Yesterday while Tim was performing his other civic task, jury duty, I volunteered him to fill in today in the classroom. For all his nervousness ahead of time, it turned out to be great fun I think. Tim seemed to have a good time, and even better, I finally got an insiders report on what goes on all day at school. It didn't seem like it cramped Matilda's style too much to have Daddy at school either, at least for just this once. Tim came home with a full report on the days agenda (turns out Matilda can wait patiently in a line - sort of; also when all the kids were asked what they want to be when they grow up she said Sleeping Beauty.), a better knowledge of all M's classmates (M's new bud Sarah is a stuntwoman), and a bag full of avocados for Porter from the schoolyard tree.

Thursday, October 8

As if there was any doubt.

Porter is proving himself to be a champ at eating. The second time we sat him down to offer avocado he squealed when he saw the bowl. He is so smiley and happy the whole meal sitting in his high chair now that he gets to participate in eating with us too. Today & yesterday both he ate every last drop of "baby guac" I made for him and clearly wanted more. I can see our avocado budget going up significantly at the pace he is keeping. The true test will be tomorrow when he gets something new: sweet potato.


We finally got to work toward balancing out (very slightly) the babysitting debt we owe to Sarah & Gaurav by watching Stella last week. At first she was skeptical that we were up to the task.
But then she found out about the geography lesson: And the dress up opportunities: And finally, Porter showed her the amazing butterflies that hang and flutter on Matilda's ceiling: We're hoping she's convinced it is fun enough to come back again soon.

Wednesday, October 7


Matilda and Porter each at 4.5 months. Matilda's photo taken at the Huntington gardens, wearing a dress made by my great grandma. Porter's picture taken in our favorite apple orchard.

I think the resemblance is even stronger in this picture:
Huntington Gardens 15 8-19-06

Tuesday, October 6

Food, Finally!

We gave Porter his first solid food today. It is, scandalously, two weeks ahead of his 6 month mark, but for many reasons we decided he is really ready & forged ahead. As we did with Matilda, we offered up avocado as his first food and he seemed pleased. Porter wolfed it down with no problem, eating more than I expected even. Matilda was over the moon to feed him finally, and after only one very gaggy-bite did a really good job spoon-feeding him.
In every video we took of Porter eating Matilda was chattering away. For this particular one, if you listen carefully, you can hear her repeatedly asking, "Does anyone need to use the bathroom? Does anyone need to use the baño?"
In other milestone news, Porter also pulled himself up to standing for the first time today. He has been obsessed with holding our fingers & standing lately, but today was the first time he grabbed onto something (the laundry basket) & just hoisted his big self up. Very impressive. Impressive, that is, until he immediately crashed back down and was then very unhappy. Now Porter just needs to work on balance to go with the strength.

Sunday, October 4

Getting in to the Halloween Spirit

Tonight Tim explained vampires and zombies to Matilda. She took it all in stride and was busy talking about how she uses her fangs (her cuspids) to crunch things like crackers. Regardless, I think that excuses me from night wakings for at least 1 month, no?

Thursday, October 1

Faces From Our Trip

Victory (on two fronts)

1. Sleep! Porter slept in until 6:30. He would have even gone back to sleep I think but there was a diaper malfunction that necessitated he find some new clothes to wear. Matilda & Tim slept until 7:30. We are well on our way to being a late waking, west coast family again.

2. Running! I went running just now, for 30 whole minutes. I think my lungs might give out, but am so excited to be back to it. Thanks new birthday sneakers & cooperative family for allowing this (my first run of 09 possibly, I can't remember when pregnant-me stopped running) to happen.