Saturday, February 26

Big Boy Haircut, Big Treat

Porter's shaggy hair finally made it to the barber shop today and got a proper cut. Without his silly bowl cut he looks so much older. He also got his first lollipop, which eclipsed the thrill of the haircut for him.
I'm excited for it to grow out and we can try again.

Thursday, February 24

A Cow in Sheep's Clothing

It is farm week at school so Matilda decided she needed to go dressed in her cow suit today. We also took in a sheepskin, some carded wool, string made by Grandma Kathy and many photos of the farm animals to share. Porter was pleased to meet the fancy baby chicks there and they are both looking forward to the mini goats due to visit tomorrow.
Originally the goats were scheduled to come today but the mom bringing them was feeling ill this morning, so it was postponed. Matilda cracked me up all morning wondering what the goats were doing that they were too busy to attend school. You know those goats must have a busy social calendar.

Portrait of a Brother

I cannot describe how much I like this.

Sunday, February 20

The Many Faces of Gemma

And, she's done with her photo session.
After I finished with Gemma, Porter hopped right up and wanted his picture taken too just to remind me it's not just about the baby.

Guest Post: By Gemma's Dad

Another exciting guest post by Uncle Brian. It has been great having Kristen and Porter here the last couple days. Kristen has been helping with the baby and forcing Gia to take naps while I cook up meals and try to keep everyone fed. Dad came up today with Grandma Kathy and saw the little bundle for a bit. Looking forward to Mom and Grandpa Chris heading in tomorrow. She is changing so fast I want everyone to get here quick and see her. Its nice having people here to distract us from the long winter days of staying indoors with a new baby.

Snowy Saturday in Rochester

We started the day off first thing with a new refrigerator. Porter was pretty excited to supervise the delivery and installation of Gemma's big new fancy fridge. When the first delivery guy came in Porter accused him of looking like G-pop. It was so funny, Porter looked up and Brian and I all confused saying, "G-pop?" Luckily, we get the real thing later today when Dad and Kathy arrive so no one is too disappointed.
Gemma perfects the art of napping in the Ergo, while I enjoy my morning coffee.
Really mom, more burping?
Porter discovered a previously unknown big truck to be on the lookout for: plows!
We ventured outside for some snow play and lasted approximately 90 seconds due to the frigid wind. Porter just kept saying, "Cold! Cold. Mama pick up. Cold!"

Friday, February 18

Windy Rochester Days

It is crazy weather here, warmer than normal but so windy. At one point this evening hearing the wind noise outside Porter thought it was a helicopter, city boy! Mostly we spent the whole day at home staring at the baby and barely ventured out into the weather. Gemma isn't quite smiling on purpose yet, but I think she is close!
Porter was thrilled to get out and play around in the quickly melting snow. I particularly like how the dirty snow he was eating left a mud-beard on him. Grammy also popped by to play for a little while and meet the newest baby.

Thursday, February 17

Baby Gem!

What a great day: Porter got to watch planes and carts all manner of airport equipment & I got to sniff my niece!
Porter is really sweet calling her "baby gem" all the time and turning on all her bouncy seats so they are always vibrating and at-the-ready.

Monday, February 14

Marco's Moving In

Well, at least he thinks he is moving in. Our friendly pigeon friend is getting friendlier every day. Or possibly just more desperate to join our flock. Today he decided perching on the easel was too far away and came down on the ground to watch the kids play. They, of course, moved themselves closer to the window and started involving him, at least as much as possible through the screen.
Marco and Porter have a heart to heart.
After a bit we all went outside and Marco finally got brave enough to hop up and ride my shoulder for a bit. I kept asking the kids if I had poop on my back but no one would answer me.
Here's some live action pigeon-car-play. Marco seems quite bold and somehow does not get spooked much by all the raucous kid noise and quick movement. Needless to say, I think this bird is really funny.

Valentine Cuties

Everyone wore their red finery today for the lovey holiday:
Porter in some mis-matchy red and black. Here he's taking a break on the walk back from dropping Matilda at school, trying to convince me we should ride a bus somewhere.
Matilda with a backpack full of Valentine cards on her way to school.Here's the newest little cutie in Rochester, Gemma, all decked out in her holiday finest! We took our carrot tops to Bunny Rabbit the bunny and Donut the guinea pig at school. They happily polished them off in no time flat.
While Matilda was at school Porter and I made some pink cookies. (At some point I remembered that I melted the red heart cookie cutter so instead Porter choose bats, dinosaurs, dolphins, sharks, and butterflies.) Then late afternoon we drove around to a whole bunch of our kid buddies and delivered Valentine cookies to their door.
It was super fun and everyone was so excited with the surprise. I highly recommend this type of activity. (Stella, Matilda thought I should mail you a cookie to India but I think we'll just owe you one.) The only problem was convincing my kids that we weren't going to settle in and play dress up or ransack the toy bins at each stop.

Sunday, February 13

Valentine Prep

Porter decided to pull a late-night party as we did some Sunday night catch up. As a reward (because we want to encourage staying up until 11pm and rendering our night completely unproductive), he got custody of his Valentine balloon prematurely.Here you can see him in action chasing and thrashing it. I think this will provide a lot of entertainment over the next several days!
You can also get a glimpse of Tim addressing Valentine cards to 50 of Matilda's closest school friends. She actually did about 20 on her own and more than that would have been torture for everyone I think. We mixed up sugar cookie dough yesterday and Matilda is all set to decorate some very pink cookies tomorrow. If only I could find that heart shaped cookie cutter that I swear we own.

Thursday, February 10

Avian Babysitter

Our building manager found this injured pigeon in Griffith Park and has nursed it back to health. It must have been someone's pet that escaped because he is really friendly. Everyday they let the pigeon, now named Marco, out into the courtyard to sit for a while (he can't fly well, 7 feet or so), and if we are out he'll come over to check us out. He doesn't seem to like to be touched but wants to be quite close by. Today we were inside with the door open and Marco heard our ruckus and came right over to say hi. The kids were so thrilled and they stood at the screen door talking with him forever. I think he could be like Nana in the tale of Peter Pan.

Wednesday, February 9

International Days at Preschool

Matilda's school has been inviting parents to come in the past week to share about their culture. Any culture Tim & I actually have real blood-line heritage tie to was well covered by other parents who've much more recently emigrated. The teachers enthusiastically encouraged people to come in and share any country really; since we've had a fair amount of Indian influence in our lives (my visit there in '95, years of tutorage from Gaurav's, and Matilda's numerous fancy Indian dresses) I decided to share that.

With not very much effort, I was able to pull together quite a bunch of fun things to contribute. I found some fun, free printable coloring pages at this website. Matilda wore one of her traditional Indian outfits from Sarah and Gaurav, and we brought a whole bunch of fancy embroidered dresses for the dress up corner. Tim dug up his Bollywood music hits cd and the teachers had Matilda do an impromptu dance. She looked perplexed by the request momentarily, but then danced right along so cute.
Since food is my forte, of course I got all sorts of fun things for the kids to try and really regret not taking pictures of the snack plates. It was awesome to see 20 little cute plates lined up with tiny snack portions on them. I made mango lassi, but bought everything else from our local Indian grocery store/deli where we got naan, rasgulla, pakora, mango juice, and candied fennel seeds. The runaway hit was the candied fennel seeds with all but one kid trying them!

For the outside time I brought along chalk and flour to do traditional decorative floor drawings, rangoli. The idea was to draw a design and then fill it in with flour. The kids briefly drew with chalk and then it turned into a flour-bomb-dust-bowl. It was spectacularly fun, here's M sitting in the flour chaos laughing at her buddy.
Porter was thrilled with it all because he finally got to stay at school and get his fill of the fire trucks and digging out back in the sand box.

Sunday, February 6

Quiet Sunday Events

Porter opened this snack cup and soon covered himself in strawberry juice.
I roasted these vegetables and made yummy borscht.
Matilda got new suspenders and loves them a lot.
(I am sure Tim did something of note too, but he did not provide me with photographic evidence.)

Saturday, February 5

Laughing Hard Enough for Everyone to Pee Their Pants

Tonight, I was driving the 4 of us from our dinner out on to the next stop (harassing local businesses into donating for our preschool fundraiser). Suddenly, Tim's two Shiner Bocks at dinner caught up with him and he really needed to pee. He did a few deep breaths and I started haranguing him about was he breathing like that, it was freaking me out, and I felt like I needed to drive super crazy to get him to a bathroom. Tim immediately turned it around and started recounting the night he drove me to the hospital before Porter was born. We left for the hospital around midnight and drove through Hollywood with the windows down because it was really hot that night. There weren't tons of people around but Tim was recounting one particular red light when I was moo-ing in the throws of a contraction and he was left to endure the looks from the car of strangers next to us, also with their windows down.

His recounting of the tale had me laughing so hard that I couldn't see and had to pull the car over. It was that hard, choking laughter where you can barely catch your breathe. Matilda made it even funnier because she was so concerned about the whole thing. She had a frozen-fake smile on her face, like she knew she was supposed to laugh along, but really she wanted some reassurance. Porter was doing lots of fake laughing along with me and eventually Matilda got in on the joke. The worst part was, no matter what Tim said, it just made me laugh more and the whole time he still had to pee!

Wednesday, February 2

List of Fun Things

  • Porter & I are flying to NY in 15 short days to see Gemma!
  • Gemma is a pro-nurser and gaining weight like gang-busters. Chubby baby leg nibbles, here I come.
  • G-pop and Grandma Kathy got a super-duper cute puppy Labradoodle.
  • Grandma Marge got a bonus day with us (thanks snow storm and closed Detroit airport) and we sent her back home tonight after a good week of sun charging-up.
  • Everyone in our household is finally healthy and this may be the first week all year Matilda makes it to school all 5 days.
  • Summer camp! I am getting all excited thinking about camp fun for our gal and reliving my own summer memories.
  • At work today I had my first experience where I was supervising a dietetic intern. The best part was I kind of felt like I knew what I was doing and didn't freak out to be teaching someone else.