Sunday, January 31


For as much as I like to sew, I always wimp out and find some way to avoid making button holes. For a dress I am working on currently I have convinced myself to face the music and try finally. Thankfully I had a lot of support (moral, and otherwise) as I did some practice button holes this afternoon. Photos of the finished product coming soon (just as soon as I get to the store and buy more thread since I stupidly wasted all of my matching thread on button hole practice).

Friday, January 29

Age Progression Generator

Matilda had another school buddy over for some fun this morning. This is Z's rendition of her & Matilda. Matilda is on the left (I think) in both pictures, the top picture is current day and the bottom is them as grown up. They are wearing red lipstick and blue eye shadow in both pictures.
I love how awesome these pics are. Z is almost a year older than Matilda so it is fun to see her drawing skills. One of the things we really like about M's preschool is that the kids are all mixed age so they learn from each other. Today I got to see that in action as Z taught Matilda to draw hearts and pirate ships.

Thursday, January 28

Something in the Water?

You would think a busy day digging and climbing at the beach would wear everyone out. Not so. Tim just now, at 11:15, got Matilda to sleep. I have failed so far in all attempts to get my charge to sleep. He is currently sitting at Tim's feet trying to sweet talk a bite of dessert from Tim. Maybe I'll try a snack and then bedtime routine again? Crazy kids.

Beach Day

Since any day now we
will all have to grow up and get jobs (at least the adults in the household) Tim & I decided we need to make an effort to do the things we can't as working stiffs. Today we packed a picnic and headed to Malibu for the day.

Porter was so pleased with the beach that he could not be bothered to sit still for lunch. Instead he would just pause his crawling mission (usually after a seagull) long enough to accept another bite from me.

We climbed around the cliffs to get at more tidepools. We didn't find too much tidepool action, but did discover the Matilda is part mountain goat.

Once he discovered how delicious the wet sand was Porter did everything he could (like chanting "dow, dow, dow" and contorting himself almost out of our arms) to convince us to place him back in eating range.

Keeping both eyes and one finger on the sea gulls at all times.

Holiday Greetings

So now that everyone has gotten our (very late) Christmas greetings, here are some outtakes from the photo shoot. It is as difficult as you would imagine to get two kids to look at the camera but we had a lot of fun with it.

I think she's driving somewhere.
2009 Holiday Card Shoot at Old Zoo 12-14-09

And now he needs the mud wiped off his face.
2009 Holiday Card Shoot at Old Zoo 12-14-09

Ta da!
2009 Holiday Card Shoot at Old Zoo 12-14-09

Hello, anyone, over here!
2009 Holiday Card Shoot at Old Zoo 12-14-09

It's a wonder we pulled out a few decent shots!
2009 Holiday Card Shoot at Old Zoo 12-14-09

They love each other just a little bit.
2009 Holiday Card Shoot at Old Zoo 12-14-09

Wednesday, January 27


Since getting over her cold, Matilda has been quite grouchy. Here I was trying to get a picture of the cute monochromatic ensemble she picked out and she wouldn't give me the time of day. As with all phases, Tim & I just keep up our mantra of "this too shall pass."

Shoppers Beware

I think I might regret letting Matilda discover that these cars mounted on grocery carts exist. She had a blast riding in it, but the ginormous contraption was next to impossible to drive. I was quite a hazard lurching around the store, crashing into things. The only saving grace is that they don't have them at our regular store so it can be a very occasional indulgence. Which also means I'll never get better at steering!


Matilda's buddy came over for a playdate before school today.
She brought her tutus with her, so together the two of them had lots of tulle dress up stuff to change in and out of. Even Porter got pinked when Matilda threw a skirt over his shoulders.

Monday, January 25

Fresh Air

Everyone was finally well enough, and beyond stir crazy, so we headed to the playground today. Matilda was in so much better spirits after getting out to play. We all were, actually.
Porter is still recouping from his cold a bit so he rested for most of the time.
But then when he woke up we all had some swing time fun.
With a fair amount of coughing and nose wiping still. Sorry to scare you off, other mothers at the playground.
Matilda also discovered that she can touch her toes now while in the baby swing; she declared it her walker.

Saturday, January 23


On this night a few years ago, I had my first date with this really funny, fun guy from biology class. Tonight we celebrated the anniversary eating take out with our kids listening to the Pearl Jam album from that year. It's been an amazing 17 years, my dear. Thank you for every minute.

Friday, January 22

Lamb Season

Matilda's G-pop and Grandma Kathy are having new barnyard babies born daily and have requested some names. Tonight over dinner Matilda brainstormed a bunch of options for them to choose from. She has strong ideas about which names are for girl or boy lambs so to be clear I will separate them.

Potential Boy Lamb Names:
Ursli (After this story)
Billy (After the elephant at our zoo. Although I think Billy Jean might be a fitting tribute for this year.)
Lambie (This is Matilda's standard cop-out name if you ask her to name an animal. Swans become Swanie, Pigeons become pidgie, Basilisks become Bassie, etc.

Potential Girl Lamb Names:
Bunny (The pet rabbit at school is named Bunny Rabbit. You can guess who voted on that name!)
Alfie (After her favorite Macaw at the bird show)
Josie (After a school buddy)

Tim threw out Kristen & Brian as ideas (my & my brother's name). The big joke there is that the first sheep Dad & Kathy got they named Ivy. Ivy is a very old sheep and is still around today. Ivy was also a name that Tim always loved and wanted to name a daughter someday. Thankfully the sheep can't get all the blame there since I was never on board for Ivy as a kid name, regardless of the presence of our barnyard friend named Ivy.

Thursday, January 21

Til Da!

Porter is turning into quite the little parrot these days. Tonight we realized he is saying "Til Da" as he points to his sister ( in this case her picture). How fun!

It is kind of high pitched and squeaky but I think you can make it out:

Worst Cold Ever

This is what the kitchen counter currently looks like. It seems we have timed our sick week perfectly with the rain to avoid missing any outdoor fun. The forecast says it will stop raining Saturday so hopefully Matilda's awful fever & cough will subside then too.

Nap Attack

Both my kids are napping. This never happens! Of course, it's because everyone is ill and fevery and was up half the night, but still. I must go join them immediately.

Wednesday, January 20

To the Family Bakers

I have a confession: I never baked any Christmas cookies. I will understand if I am disowned. At some point in the holiday madness I promised Tim his favorite holiday cookies: Rich Filled (page 85 in the family cookbook). As I attempted to make good on that promise tonight there was one error after another. I know my Mom wanted to know the outcome, but figured the rest of the cookie baking crew might be interested in the improvisation as well.

The problem started when I decide to halve the recipe. I of course didn't remember to halve all the ingredients as I added them so I scooped an arbitrary amount of baking powder and baking soda out after adding the full amount. Blasphemy! Then I immediately messed up again by adding the full amount of sour cream. Oops. So, I added a bit more flour to attempt balance it out. Who says baking is an exact science? The cookies were (predictably) too sticky to roll out as is tradition. Instead I made these (amazingly unattractive) lumps filled with jam, rather than two neat rolled out circles filled with jam. They were delicious!
Then I got tired of rolling sticky jam balls & decided to try the mini muffin tin, fashioning the dough as tart shells:Some jam filling, some chocolate chips, some nutella! They turned out a bit more cakey tasting but quite good as well. Looks like all those food science classes might have helped out! Although I suppose I should still owe Tim the cookies I promised since these weren't quite up to standard. Or maybe I will just make my person Christmas favorites instead, the chocolate pudding raspberry cookies!

Tuesday, January 19

Dry So Far

With the rain we have had these past few days it seems like any leaks would be apparent by now! The big storm this afternoon came with some of the loudest thunder that I have heard in quite some time; Matilda was not pleased with it. We are keeping warm by testing out lots of soup recipes from a soup cookbook I borrowed from the library. It seems like good weather for soup, plus it is easier to feed Porter the same as us with soups. He was a big fan of the Spinach, Corn & Quinoa chowder while Matilda preferred the pasta e fagioli. My favorite so far is the Cream of Barley soup we made tonight with leeks and mushrooms. Next up, Lentil soup with pounded walnuts and cream.

Sunday, January 17

A Test

The weather forecast calls for rain all week. Looks like we'll see how watertight the new place is. Last week when it rained lightly for 1 day they had a leak in the apartment directly upstairs. They have not had leaks in that apartment before. I suspect the leaks might be chasing us!

Saturday, January 16

Saturday Recap

Just another busy Saturday. It started off with some bike riding at the park. Porter looks like he's been caught red-handed here. The only question is whether he's going after her wheels or her snack. Then lunch at an old friend's which featured the most amazing persimmon pudding ever (recipe coming soon!). Porter chased a soccer around the backyard while Matilda tried to throw herself into the fish pond and generally terrorized the old cat. She did manage to successfully throw the skimmer net into the pond, and came to sweet talk me into retrieving it saying how I had "nice, long arms to reach it better than her." I was just thankful she didn't go in after it.
Then we were off to Gracie's 2nd birthday party where Matilda got to live the princess dream & we ate amazing blue velvet cake from Milk.
Also, I finally finished the hand sewing parts of M's pigeon shirt this week so she was super excited to finally wear it today. All in all a great day.

Friday, January 15

Water Baby

Tim & Porter went to P's first swim class today, at the aquatics center where Matilda used to take classes. Porter seemed to really enjoy it, aside from the dunking part. When I took M there for lessons they never did any dunking, which I thought was good. The swim lesson philosophy back then was to let the kids get comfortable to put their face in the water on their own. I didn't realize anything had changed, and neither did Tim, who hadn't attended the classes with baby Matilda. Regardless, I think we will be skipping the dunk portion next week, much to Porter's relief.

Porter's reaction to the pool was to go limp like a noodle.
Pop goes the weasel. Matilda was super excited for Porter & went crazy when they started singing "Pop Goes the Weasel" because she remembers that from her swim days. M was fairly insistent that she was going to get in the pool, too, so after watching Tim & Porter for a few minutes we disappeared to the playground next door. We were majorly distracting Porter, I was feeling bad about depriving M of pool time, and I was also really sure that if we stayed there long enough M would end up somehow falling into the pool. She was so amped up about it all (picture her vibrating) and couldn't manage to sit still to watch or stop fussing with all of the toys/floaties/safety equipment.
Porter enjoys the warm pool.
I cannot refrain from making a man-boobs joke here. I think the best part about swim class was seeing Porter in his little swim trunks. A topless baby is always a funny thing.

Thursday, January 14

WIsh List

Over the holiday's Matilda picked up on the idea of a wish list. Good Idea! 1-12-10
After trying out her buddies new Christmas bike at the park, you can guess what has made it to the top of her birthday list!

Mr. Big

P's 8.5 Mos Check-Up 1-11-10
Stats from Porter's 8.5 month check up:
Weight: 23lb, 90th percentile. (Tim at that age: 22lb 4 oz)

Height: 29.5", 92nd percentile (Tim at that age: 29.25")

His head circumference is still off the charts, but not a concern. The pediatrician DID measure Tim's head though to verify the big-headed genes!

Porter is astounding us lately with his skills. In between sessions of shaking things, he is doing new stuff hourly it seems. Yesterday we heard "bye bye" very clearly to finally claim as his first word. He's been babbling up a storm of late so we knew he was saying stuff but hadn't picked anything out of the stream yet. Today he was clapping together some musical blocks & drumming along with Tim & Matilda's jam session. A few days ago he started waving & now is a mad fool waving at everything: his bites of food, toys he is holding, his sister, the ceiling fan.

Tuesday, January 12

Here He Comes, Spelled With a Capitol T

I submit these as evidence in the need-more-babyproofing column. Porter really likes to shake things. It makes me think we need to fasten down every piece of furniture with earthquake straps, not just the heavy stuff. (I promise that I check the sweetened lime juice bottle regularly to ensure it is screwed on tightly. P has learned to go for that one specifically; I see a future margarita fan in the making.)

In other "Trouble" news, yesterday our pediatrician actually seemed concerned when we told her that while we were all in the bathroom getting ready to go to Porter's check-up, he learned how to flush the toilet. Dr. K is so laid back & has never batted an eye at anything, but she really seemed disturbed to hear about Porter's repeated flushing of the toilet. Although she did laugh upon hearing of the grin he had & how proud he seemed. She quickly regained her composure and pleaded with Porter to stay out of trouble in the bathroom & for us to keep the door closed!

Monday, January 11

Just Another Normal Dinner

The comedienne:
Her biggest fan:

Sunday, January 10

It's Super Baby

He's handsome.
He wears a cape.
He can free-stand.
It's true: he's super!
(Cute shirt/cape credit goes to the Kilts clan. Thanks, guys!)

Only in Hollywood

Friday, January 8

Missing Thank You Notes

Today Matilda was running around the apartment with an extra computer mouse (unattached to any computer), aiming it at the computer and claiming she was sending emails. When I asked who she was emailing M claimed it was a note to Grandma Marge to thank her for the great Legos she got for Christmas. She's like a little Miss Manners getting her imaginary thank yous out on time!

Jelly Belly!

We went on an awesome factory tour at Jelly Belly last week. The best part of it was that they were making licorice flavor that day so we all left smelling delicious (or terrible if you ask Tim). Here we are sporting the mandatory tour headgear.
Like any good tour, it had a mosaic of Reagan. I guess Ronald Reagan was a big fan of the beans, so when he became president they got lots of publicity and the company really took off.
The whole place felt like Vegas for kids to me. The waiting areas, store and cafe were filled with these flashing, blinking jelly bean dispensing machines. Matilda quickly learned to check the dispenser spouts for freebie beans.
The wait for a (free!) tour was quite long so we ended up sticking around to eating lunch there since we were all in dire need of sustenance after smelling all that sugary goodness. Here everyone waits for their bean-themed food.
Jelly bean shaped personal pizza and jelly bean shaped burger patties! Only slightly less bizarre than the hideous smiley face fries.
This is the color of Matilda's favorite flavor: mint toothpaste. It is supposed to be a joke flavor in the "Bean Boozled" line of beans but don't tell Matilda that. I tried the diaper wipes flavor and it was gross but not terrible.
Tim fills up his bag with soda shoppe flavors. 7 Up is good, but root beer is better!
The gals were running on pure sugar power by the end and had loads of fun.