Monday, December 27, 2010

16 Months

I'm writing this letter a few days shy of your 16 month mark because this is a hectic month and we will be out of town on the 30th. I only make note of the few days because it seems like so much is changing lately; your Dad didn't see you for 3 days recently and remarked that you weren't even the same kid he'd said goodbye to. Perhaps 3 days from now you'll be speaking in full sentences! I honestly wouldn't be very surprised. Well, maybe a little surprised.
The most important milestone worth mentioning this month was Christmas, which was so different from last year.
Last year you weren't even able to sit up on your own and this year you tore through both of your grandparents' houses, dragging all your presents with you whenever possible. You loved pointing out the Christmas tree, lights, and the ball ornaments we dangle from our chandelier. At least 5 times a day you would run into the living room and point at the "tee!", then run back into the dining room to look at the ornaments - "ball!!", then back to the tree to point at the "liiiight!" One by one you would remove the non-breakable ornaments that we hung low on the tree and hand them to me, patting your chest proudly and saying "hep" (meaning you were being a big help) when I took them.
Your words get ever more impressive these days and everyone comments on your chattiness. We spent 5 nights in Bellingham visiting both of your Grandmas and Grandpas for Christmas. During our trip you learned to say most everyone's names - You've got "gumma" and "gup" for Grandma and Grandpa, "wenny" for great aunt Wendy and uncle Javi's name is always pronounced perfectly and in conjunction with "ball! kick!" because he gave you a soccer ball and spent hours kicking it around Grandma and Grandpa C's house with you. You didn't get to see your uncle Scott and aunt Emily for very long, so these names will probably come later this week when we get together to exchange gifts with them. Aunt "kati" made the list of your words on the tail end of our trip and you enjoyed going around the table and pointing at each of us during Christmas dinner, trying to correctly identify everyone. Hilariously, Grandma and Grandpa's dog Toby is STILL a topic of discussion at home. We've been home for a few days and you still ask me about Toby regularly. When we were staying at Toby's house, you would wake up from your nap every day by calling for "Tobo!", eventually getting the pronunciation correct by the end of our stay.

I'd list all your other words, but I had to stop keeping a list. You essentially say EVERYTHING now; I'm hard pressed to think of a word that you can't or haven't said yet. I suppose that's not really true. It isn't as if you're reading the dictionary, but when it comes to everyday words, you've become quite the parrot. I'm just waiting for the day you wake up and shout a full sentence from your crib, totally shocking your Dad and me.

We haven't been playing your game of "wawa" as much this month, I think much of your energy has shifted to playing with your stuffed animals and baby dolls - baby stella, sweet pea, and Minnie Mouse. Your Dad and I gave you a baby doll and a tiny stroller for her at Christmas. I often find you flinging baby out of the stroller and climbing in yourself, then you throw a fit when you find yourself stuck and can't get out. Perhaps your favorite gift this year was the tiny broom and dust pan set. You love to sweep and say to yourself, "swep..... ceaning.... brooma"

Many of your other interests have a definite lean in the tomboy direction - fire trucks are a passionate topic for you, buses and motorcycles are very exciting, and you seemed more interested in the rubber snakes your older boy cousins were playing with at the Culver Cousins Christmas party than the dollhouse nearby. Soccer is also very popular right now.

Your love for bath time has doubled this month with the discovery of "shwimming". To "shwim" is to roll onto your back and float while your Dad holds you up on the surface of the water. You also like to shwim by laying in the bath on your belly and dipping your face into the water to take a "sip!" (cringe). You were in the tub the other day and I was sitting nearby when I accidentally let a fart slip. You looked at me in a concerned manner and said, "Poop?" I said, "No, just a toot" and now every time you toot, you look at me very seriously and say, "Tut".

You had a nasty cold this month that started a week before Christmas and lasted forever, in fact your nose is still dripping a bit. You never sleep well when sick, even a runny nose will send you into a fury when the middle of the night comes and you can't breath easily. The first 3 nights or so are always the worst. I caught your bug this time so we were both drippy (but in good spirits) for Christmas. We've recently recovered in the sleep department, which is such a relief. Your Grandpa C was also sick over Christmas and every time one of us would cough, you'd look at everyone and say "cough" in a very adult tone - just in case none of us was familiar with what a cough was.

You are still rather defiant and I still feel like I'm spending a lot of time asking you to get down, sit down, be careful, or be gentle.
We were in the bathroom last week while I was brushing my teeth and while I turned away for approximately 5 seconds, you managed to empty the garbage can of all your snotty tissues. When I saw the mess, I asked you to please pick up the toilet paper and put it in the garbage. I laughed so hard when you went over to the roll of toilet paper (which was resting on top of the toilet where you can't unravel it), picked it up and stuffed the entire thing into the garbage can, all the while looking at me for approval.

The one area in which you (thankfully) are cautious is with regard to anything hot. You like to point out all the hot items in a room multiple times so that I (and everyone else) can be aware of them. At the annual progressive dinner last week, you would point to each candle and tell everyone, "HOT" as if simultaneously warning and chiding everyone. Same with fireplaces and tree lights.

Your temperament is the same as always - highly energetic and adventurous, extremely social and never shy, always proud, and affectionate in tiny bursts. You've started to really grasp the concept of playing with others this month.
You and Mae during a playdate. You with Reid at the annual stocking exchange party.

We've had quite a few family get togethers this month that included older children and you've had the best time chasing them, being chased, squealing when caught, falling to the floor together very dramatically and giggling, racing up the stairs together, petting dogs, playing with fridge magnets together, being lifted by the older kids, and just generally being a kid. Because you really are a kid these days and not so much the baby I used to have. Here's to another month of adventures.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Merry

Edie sat for her photo with Santa last week. Having our Santa photo taken was a big tradition growing up, and despite moaning about it as a teenager, I plan to subject my child to the same torture. Edie was lured in by Santa's jingle bells and sat happily for a minute or two before getting a wee nervous. No tears were shed though, so I'd consider it a big success. How sweet does she look with her rosy cheeks?

PS - I wore this same dress while posing for my Santa photo when I was just 4 or 5 months older than Edie is now.

PPS - we didn't get it together in time for a real holiday card, but please know that we are sending happy holiday thoughts to you and yours in the coming weeks. We are busy busy - Edie and I leave tomorrow after a birthday brunch with Heidi to head north for holiday gatherings and family time -- our annual progressive dinner, Jeff's arrival, dueling slide shows with Jeff and my fams, 2(!) Christmas dinners, and 2(!!) Christmas mornings... capping it all off with a child-free New Years in Vancouver while we celebrate Jeff's birthday.

When we return, I hope to post a video of Edie admiring her Santa photo and shouting about "Sat!" meaning Santa and "Llllap!" and finally, proudly saying her own name - "E-D". SO CUTE.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sick Rick

Edie hasn't really slept the last two nights. It's been really confusing and exhausting because we've grown used to full nights of sleep. Finally, the sleeplessness explained itself this morning when Edie woke up with a snot faucet instead of a nose. Then she face planted on her chair and got a bloody lip. Which is extra gross when mixed with snot. What's extra, extra gross is when I gave her an ice cube to suck on for her lip and she dropped it on the rug, then picked it back up and put it in her mouth with cat fur on it.

She keeps pointing at her nose and saying "nooooooo?" when it drips too much. The silver lining? This is her first cold where she can blow her own nose! I hold the tissue and say "blow!" and SHE DOES. This may not seem like a big deal, but those of you with children know - it totally is.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chatty Cathy

This is both an example of Edie's chattiness as well as my desperate need to repeat her every word so as to ensure that no one is left wondering what my kid just said. This video isn't particularly special, it was just a candid moment of Edie chowing down on TJ's mac and cheese and talking with her mouth full. Most of the words she says in this video are harder to understand than normal as a result of the noodles she's stuffing in her face. My favorite moments:

1. The general fact that while eating she is obviously thinking to herself about her favorite thing right now - her singing lamb.

2. I love the moment when she gets the idea to clap. It's like she's just had the smartest idea EVER.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


One is just her standard game of wawa, the other is one where she drops a rock and says "nut".


Edie has started taking leaps and bounds in the talking department. She's become obsessed with her stuffed toy lamb and says "lamb" in the cutest voice ever. Her lamb has a music box that plays the tune of mockingbird (which happens to be the song I sing her on the rare occasion I need to comfort her in the night) and we refer to it as her lamb singing. The other night we were listening to Christmas music and when it ended she said, "Mo shinging!" (more singing). This is only the second time she's put two words together, but it was pretty adorable.

I do fear however that we have entered the phase where only I can understand my child. You know what I'm talking about. When a kid comes up to you and excitedly tells you an entire story of which you understand approximately 2 words? Edie certainly isn't telling whole stories, but she does have A LOT to say these days. Just to list a few (I've lost track), she's saying:

bop (indicating she bopped her head)
reindeer ("reinee")

She's fascinated with fire trucks and sirens right now and has taken to calling them "firema" (sounds remarkably like farmer) and asking for "more firema" when she hears a siren in the distance. At random moments she decides she wants fire trucks (you can imagine her excitement when we blew a tire this weekend and the tow truck came with flashing lights - she totally thought it was a fire truck).

One of the other cute new words she has is "hep" meaning, "help". She likes to give people things and then pat her chest and say "hep". It seems important that she get credit for her helpful behavior which cracks me up.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Light Bulb Moment

Lately the only time I feel like I have thoughts worth typing is late at night. Sometimes I lay (lie?) in bed after I've turned my bedside light off and compose entire blog posts in my head. Articulate and thoughtful posts. Then I think about getting out of bed to type them out and convince myself that these thoughts are so interesting, of course I'll still remember them tomorrow. But I never, ever do.

The other night I had the most profound Oprah-type "light bulb moment" about living life in the moment. It sounds terrible now that I'm trying to put this down, but maybe by the time I finish this paragraph I'll have found my way. Or maybe the next paragraph.

Jeff and I have been watching West Wing episodes on DVD for the last few months and when I commented on how much I love Danny Concannon, Jeff reminded me that the actor playing Danny used to be on the show Thirty Something. Thinking about that show blew my mind a little because all my memories of that show are in one way or another, tied to the fact that I thought the characters on that show were SO OLD. I remember babysitting once and flipping past that channel and thinking, "This show is so boring! It's all about people my parents' age!"

And now here we are and Jeff is turning 35 in three weeks. I'll turn 32 shortly thereafter. And I don't feel old enough to be on that show. Sometimes it's shocking to realize how quickly the last 10 years have gone. How much of my life has changed in that time. Something about the first year of parenthood requires you to just keep your head down and focus on survival, getting sleep when you can and trying not to bicker with your spouse about who's doing (or not doing) what for the baby. But since Edie's first birthday (or thereabouts) I'm looking up and around more.

I was laughing to myself the other day when I thought back to how important, how pivotal I thought it was that I make all of Edie's food from scratch. I can't believe that I thought what she ate at 6 months old would actually have any bearing on what kind of eater she'd be at 4 or 5 years old! I had this idea that because she ate mango at 6 months, she would be one of those children sitting at the table in a restaurant, happily eating her fish tacos with mango slaw. With the wisdom of 15 months now under my belt, I'm realizing that most of the things I was doing at that age had no bearing on her behavior the very next week, let alone at 15 months of age, and 4? Right. This realization made me value the present so much more. I've stopped stressing out when Edie drops every single green bean I hand her on the floor during dinner. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do? I wouldn't be surprised if next week she ONLY ate green beans - I mean this girl is anything but predictable. And isn't that true of all children?

Anyways, this isn't just about Edie's eating habits. I'm talking about a bigger picture thing - my light bulb moment! It's hard to articulate, but essentially I realized that this IS my life. It's no longer - in fact it likely never was - about what I want to do or be when I grow up. I AM grown up and what I do every day is what I am doing with my life. And I realize this is perhaps easier to say when you have a child and you can wrap your identity up in a nice package called Mother, but it's not just about that.

I think I've just spent a lot of time in the past worrying about what's next. And even now it seems like I get asked at least once a week when (not if) I'm planning on having my second baby. And the amount of late night thinking this FAQ brought on was epic. But then I had my light bulb moment. And I'm trying harder to live in the present, focus less on what I think the picture of my life should be and how to make it so, and more about what the picture looks like right now. And appreciate it. Because dude, it feels like I could wake up tomorrow and be turning 40.

With Edie this means focusing more on teaching her to be a polite and curious person. And if she eats mango slaw one day, that can be a bonus. For now I'm just celebrating that she put two words together tonight - and laughing at the fact that those two words were "Cookie Please". And for myself, I'm just trying to enjoy my life as it is. Because if I spend all my time trying to decide what's next, then the only thing that's next may be more thinking about what's next.

yours sincerely,
Zenmaster Culver

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Edie just said "funny" with perfect pronunciation! It was .... FUNNY. Grandpa B will be happy to hear that Jeff pointed at the weird amoeba creature from Nepal that he bought Edie and said, "That thing is funny!" and Edie looked at him and just said, "Fuuneeee" Now she keeps repeating it for the laugh it gets out of us.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Edie has developed a passion for taking out the garbage.

It's weird.

At first I thought she was trying to say Grandma, but (sorry Mom) I realized recently that she's saying "garbage" when she says "gaba".

This is awesome because Jeff's hatred for taking out the garbage is epic. All of a sudden he has someone other than me begging him to take it out. Like someone he listens to. She likes him to take a bag and be carried by him out to the curb to watch him throw it away. Our garbage cans have never been so regularly emptied. Is it wrong that I'm enthused by my daughter's likely future as a garbage man?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

15 Months

I think I would best describe this last month as having been one of transition. For you and for us. You are incredibly verbal now, with well over 20 words at your disposal, but aside from telling me that you want milk or noodles, your ability to communicate your specific desires is still limited. I think you are finding this increasingly frustrating and so am I. I feel like we are close but still some months away from me being able to ask, "What's the matter?" and you being able to respond with an intelligible answer. And the wait in the meantime is not one that either of us seems to be enjoying. Let's just say the day involves more moaning and whining than it used to.

This month has been filled with immense joy for me as a parent, but it's also been a time of struggle. Some of the self doubt that plagued me in the first months of your life has returned now that you are a real toddler. How often can I say "sit down" when you stand on a chair before it means absolutely nothing to you? Twice? Is there a better way for me to teach you safety? Why do you climb right back up to a standing position on the chair just after tipping the chair over, falling and sobbing for 5 minutes? Do you not understand me when I ask you to "come here" or does that request just not interest you? And will it ever interest you to follow my directions? How do I avoid becoming a rule monger?

We had your 15 month check-up yesterday and you measured 31 inches and 21 pounds - which means you are in the 75th percentile for height but only the 25th for weight - Daddy's girl if ever there was one. If I had one word to describe you this month it would be BUSY. The fact that you never (ever) stop moving might be contributing to your skinny minny proportions, but a another factor could be that you are still a pretty picky eater - subsisting primarily on noodles ("nunals"), copious amounts of fruit (satsumas are a current favorite, as are "APah" (apples)), cheese and crackers, and the occasional feast of guacamole or bite of broccoli.

You've become quite adept at what I'm told is called "symbolic play" this month - kissing your stuffed animals and making them kiss each other (while saying "Mwa!"),
feeding your stuffed animals when snacking (you repeatedly tried to make Sophie eat your french fries at The Counter this week), holding your sippy cup to your Baby's mouth and putting your beaded necklace on her, then yourself, then back on her.

"wawa" - this is what you call the activity where you stand at the sink in the downstairs bathroom and throw rocks in the sink while the faucet drips water. The frequency with which you request this 'game' is ridiculous. At least 5 times per day you throw yourself dramatically at the bathroom door and beg "Waaaaaawaaaaaa!!" And the passion you feel when we say no to your request is hilarious (and irritating). But the times when we do 'play' (typically after dinner) are so cute.

Dad noticed that you clearly set an agenda for yourself each time - it may not be clear to us what it is, but you seem determined to drop a certain number of rocks into the sink, remove them and re-drop them before the 'game' can be considered over. If we end it too soon... well, it's best we not talk about what happens then. Let's just say it involves much discontent.

You saw your first snow this month! Watching the first fall was mesmerizing

but you didn't like walking in it one bit. We drove north in the snow and had a wonderful Thanksgiving with both sets of grandparents and aunts/uncles.

Your word list is expanding daily and you've become an excellent mimic. It seems like you essentially try to repeat the last word of every single thing I say. For example, yesterday morning Dad suggested that he needed to replace the batteries on the fire alarms and you repeated, "Firaaaa". You typically get the first consonant correct, but that's usually about it. Dad showed you a book with a beetle the other day and you said, "belelelel" in this hilarious imitation of the word beetle.

The newest words this week seem to be "kick" - accompanied of course by an actual kick, "oh no" said with a strong midwestern accent, "rock" which refers to the rocking chair and the rocks that go in the sink, "brrrr" which is said with a fake shiver when I say the word cold (which I did a lot during the snow flurry we had last week), and lastly, "pea" which means please - and boy am I pleased when you remember to use it.

I will sign off this letter with my favorite story of you this month:

You were looking at a printed ad in a magazine with your Dad the other day. The ad featured a picture of a man from the waist down, wearing short-shorts and running barefoot. You pointed at one of his feet and said "Foof", then pointed at his other foot and said, "foof". You then carefully pointed at his shorts and said, "Poop".

Seriously, you are hilarious.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Dress Up

Edie had a 24 hour stomach bug that started at 1am Sunday night with an out-of-nowhere throw-up in the crib. She nursed a fever all day yesterday and was extremely clingy and unhappy pretty much all day. By bedtime she seemed to have perked up, but I wasn't sure if that was luck or Motrin... thankfully she was fever free today and aside from a bizarre nap that involved a 30 minute break for crying in the middle, she was one happy camper. Except for when I put her down in the snow thinking she'd have fun walking in the powder. Not so much. She flapped like a bird and begged to be picked up. As if I'd suggested baby torture instead of a frolic in the snow.

Anyways, we're hoping to brave the icy roads tomorrow and head north, so wish us luck. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of Edie wearing my dance shoes and halloween mask.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Edie is talking up a storm these days. I keep waiting for her to start stringing words together, but for now it's just one word at a time. I thought I'd save "the list" for her 15 month letter, but I'm realizing that the list is growing longer each day this has become a post of its own. Perhaps I'll just tell some more specific stories about her using the words in my monthly post. Plus, at the rate she's going I'll have new ones to report by the time the 30th rolls around. I've started keeping a little list in her room where I write new words down and currently the list is well and above 20!

1. Up/Down - Up is very well articulated at this point and in use very frequently. Whenever she wants to go upstairs or for me to pick her up, she clearly comes over and demands, "up!" When climbing the stairs she says "upa upa upa" with each step. Down sounds a bit more like "dow" and she especially likes to point out the people on the down escalator at Target by saying "dow" every time someone gets on the down direction.
2. Shoe - pronounced "shew"
3. Boot - "boop"
4. Hot - said pretty much every time she walks by the stove/oven, but also used the other day when my Mom put a sweater on her (at my request). She pulled at it and said (dramatically), "hot - hot - hot" until it was taken off. She also likes to point out the microwave or steaming food and say hot.
5. Baby - obsessed. Like totally obsessed.
6. Kitty/Cat - frequently known as "kiyeee" or "cack". Sometimes "cat".
7.Mama/Dada - boy does this melt my heart every single time. She's saying both all the time. Sometimes just while we're eating, she'll stop and point at Jeff and say "DAda" like she just wants us to know SHE knows.
8. Noodle - Pronounced "nunal" she picked this up with my Mom last week when she made her some chicken noodle soup. This kid loves her some noodles and now says it all the time. After I'd put away lunch the other day, she came running up to me and asked "nunal!?" I heated up more and she wolfed them down. So exciting to know specifically what she wants and be able to give it to her!
9. Window - "wiwo". Unsure why this is so cool, but she's super into windows. Perhaps her father's love for architecture?
10. Key - loves my keys and throws a tantrum when I can't give them to her (like when I'm using them to open doors and start cars)
11. Poop - this is a new one. Mixed feelings. On one hand it's hilarious and sometimes helpful, on the other slightly embarrassing. She now announces when she's pooped ("poowp") and pulls at her diaper like picking a wedgie. I suppose this is exciting and might indicate easy potty training when the time comes. But then lately, she's just started saying poop all the time, and not necessarily when pertaining to the diaper (although the diaper pulling is starting to go hand in hand with the word, regardless of whether the act actually occurred). Just tonight I heard Jeff say very casually to her "Thanks for the update". I asked "What's the update?" and he responded, "Poop". We act very blase to her face, but secretly the 12 year old boy in me wants to giggle.
12. Nuts - she just says "nut" but it's SO FUNNY because it's said with such passion in this fast, irritated way. She says it all the time now, whenever something is dropped or when something happens she doesn't like.
13. More - it typically comes out "mah mah mah!" and coincides with the sign for more
14. Ball
15. Hat
16. Pen - for some reason she calls pens and pencils "peps", which is not the same as saying pen, but she says it every single time she sees a pen or pencil, so it obviously means pen to her.
17. Pumpkin - "pump". I think she's going to be very disappointed when we finally have to dump the pumpkins.
18. Foot/Nose/Knee - "foof"/"no"/"neee"
19. Cake/Cookie - "cack"/"cook". I wish she'd never learned these words.
20. Bee
21. Water - "wawa". Obsessed. Completely.
22. Bye - she no longer says "bye bye", just a casual and very bored sounding "baaah" when people leave.
23. Milk - "mimi". She's totally having a love affair and her lover is named Mimi. She begs for her all the time.
24. Gate - "date" is what she says every morning when I tell her I'm putting in her baby gate (we have the tension kind that's not permanently installed)
25. No - she mostly just chants it to herself while doing something she knows I hate (like standing on chairs) "nahnahnahnah"

She's got a few others that are up her sleeve but not in regular rotation yet, my favorite that seems to be on the way is "please" (coinciding with the sign). The day she says "mah peese" will be a very proud one indeed.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More photos

I seem to have come down with my first winter cold. Because it is certainly winter around here. We had a brief Christmas shopping excursion downtown tonight and BRRRR. The biting cold was enough to make Edie actually wear a hat. Like, almost the entire outing.

A few more photos from earlier this month:

Like many couples with young kids, Jeff and I each get a sleep-in day on the weekend. This was on one of mine. You can always tell how hard Edie slept by looking at how crazy her hair looks in the morning. I like the side cowlick on this particular morning with Jeff in their pjs.
Edie on a particularly cute day. Playing with her bumble bee finger puppet from Grandma and Grandpa B. She's very proud of being able to correctly say "Bee" now, so she loves this toy.

My mom took this picture on one of her babysitting days with Edie. I'm posting it because it perfectly captures her mania lately - she doesn't go anywhere without her trusty "Baybeee" (seen in left hand), is obsessed with water ("wawa") hence the tiny bottle of water being trotted about. She also apparently asked my Mother to dress her in the tutu, jean leggings, vest and "boops" (boots). The whole combo is cracking me up.
And speaking of being obsessed with water. Edie now begs at the downstairs bathroom door and cries "WAWA!!! Wawah!" All. The. Time. Jeff created a bit of a monster (unknowingly) when he showed her how the faucet worked with her on a stepping stool. We have a bowl of wishing rocks that we've collected over the years and she likes for Jeff to hand her one at a time while she drops them in the sink. We try keeping this to a post-dinner activity, but sometimes it's more often.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finally, some photos

We finally uploaded our photos from the last few weeks. There are quite a few, so I think I'll post them in small batches. But first, I urge you to stop everything you are doing and bake these pumpkin chocolate chip bars.
The photo doesn't do them justice, but was taken more to document how many we ate BEFORE dinner last night, approximately 10 minutes after being removed from the oven. They are part brownie, part cake, and completely and totally addictive. Already half the pan is gone and this is only because I have exercised extreme restraint today by not standing at the counter and eating the entire thing straight out of the pan. Recipe here (thanks Alison!):

Edie got her own tiny table and chairs recently. In fact, I sat in these very chairs when I was probably about Edie's age as we inherited them from Steve and Julee Johnson, my childhood (and adulthood) friend Kristin's parents. The Johnson's used to live directly across the street when I was growing up and the Johnson kids were my primary playmates. Edie loves her table and spends at least 7 hours per day standing on the chairs and laughing at me while I say "DOWN. SIT DOWN!" Sigh.
She also spent a week or so obsessed with wearing this hat. But only indoors.
Edie and Jeff went for the rainiest walk in all of history earlier this month. I'm not sure if you can tell from this photo, but they are DRENCHED. They walked for miles and miles in the pouring down rain (and Jeff carries her instead of using the stroller because he's a weirdo). I kept calling Jeff to see if he wanted me to pick them up in the car and he wouldn't answer. Apparently (and despite the look on E's face in this picture) they had a smashing time singing-in-the-rain-style.

My little Mexican wrestler:
If we thought there was a chance in hell she'd wear a face mask, we totally would have dressed her in full wrestler regalia for Halloween.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Edie Bee

Sometimes after Edie goes to bed I look at photos of her on the camera and/or computer. As if I don't get enough of her face during the day. But I guess I don't. Because DUDE, she just gets cuter (and funnier) every day. I seriously have a hard time believing I made this kid sometimes. We have so many photos to take off the computer, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Until then...


Our bedrooms are all upstairs so we use a baby monitor after Edie goes to bed and we hang out downstairs with the stereo or TV on. The reciever is set up so that it doesn't activate unless noise levels elevate above the norm in Edie's room. For example, we often have Edie sleep to white noise, but because the white noise is at a constant level, it doesn't turn the receiver on downstairs and we don't have to hear static while watching TV. Sometimes if Jeff walks by her room, the noise of his shoes on our wood floors will turn the system on downstairs and I'll hear his footsteps on the receiver. When the downstairs receiver activates, it lights up with little LED lights, 1 light for minimal noise, 4 for an epic scream fest.

I was remembering today this one time that Jeff decided to take on a personal challenge - to see how hard he would need to smack my butt before it set off the monitor. As in, the monitor in Edie's room upstairs would have to hear him smacking my rump all the way downstairs (we were standing in front of the receiver) and turn on the whole system from the noise.

It took 3 tries.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cake Part 2

This was taken about a month ago:

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Two cake recipes I'd like to share with you:

1. The chocolate buttermilk cake recipe I used for Edie's birthday cake. I don't think I've posted this yet, so I'm doing it now. This seriously was the best plain-old-chocolate cake I've ever had. I also liked it paired with the cream cheese frosting recipe they recommend, but it would be good with chocolate frosting too. The only credit I can take is for finding the recipe and following it to a tee, but it came out ridiculously moist and lasted for days post-party. I recommend trying it the next time you're thinking of picking up a box mix:

2. Spiced Applesauce Cake from the Smitten Kitchen blog. I saw this recipe and knew I must make it. It was a simple, falltastic cake that's great for a weekday. If you have homemade applesauce I bet it would be even better (I used store bought unsweetened applesauce)!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It Worked!

Years ago, one of my friends dated a guy that we used all go bowling with (back when Seattle had bowling alleys). Every time he missed a pin he would exclaim, "Nuts!!" We all found this hilarious and endearing.

So, a while ago I had this idea that it would be really funny to have a kid that was trained to say, "nuts!" when they dropped something. You know, rather than the conventional "uh oh". Except it turns out the reason why all the kids say "uh oh" is because it's way easier than "nuts". So I gave up on that. BUT! A few weeks ago I revived my efforts. My thought was that Edie seems to be picking up a lot of words lately and doing more and more mimicking. It was worth a shot, right? Well, just tonight Edie dropped a rock and totally unprompted exclaimed, "NUT!"

Poop Snake

Parents of young children likely know - when you use a Diaper Genie the resulting trash bag that comes out of it is super long and skinny. You know, like a snake. It is also filled with poopy diapers. Jeff coined it "The Poop Snake" long ago as a joke and it stuck. He probably wouldn't approve of me writing this post because Jeff doesn't believe in publicly discussing issues involving BMs, but Jeff! It's funny! And also as a PS I would like to note that we do use cloth diapers during much of the day at home, but we missed our garbage pick up last week so we had an extra full garbage can this week.

Jeff - I'm going to take the garbage out to the curb tonight, because it's filled with about 80 pounds of poop snake.
Me: That's your band's name - "80 Pounds of Poop Snake"
Jeff: Lots of people would come to see us.
Jill : Hmmm

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Edie has developed names for some of her books this week.
- Her book about animal babies underwater is called "goo goo" because the first page features a clown fish saying "Glug Glug!"
- "Go Go" (not to be confused with Gooo Gooo) is Goodnight Gorilla
- Her book called ABC Helpers features a photograph of two kids frosting cookies together on the cover and she calls that book "Cook!" (her word for cookie)
- Her book called "Buzz Buzz Busy Bees" is gleefully referred to as "BEEEEE!" when she hands it to me

Friday, November 5, 2010


Cutest word Edie has mastered this week - Baby. She says it perfectly and with such enthusiasm, "BAYBEEE!" She found a baby doll in a consignment shop we visited earlier this week and exclaimed 'baby! baby!" then walked around with it clutched in her arms like a real baby. She's also good at spotting pictures of babies in books. I recently started reading a developmental book about toddlers that features a picture of a pediatrician (the author) holding a baby on the cover. Edie likes to find it in my room every day and show me the baby. She also likes to point at the pediatrician and say "Dada!". She's killing me with cuteness with all her words. Which is a good thing because it outweighs being barfed on in public on Wednesday afternoon.

Least cute word Edie now uses? "no no no no no" which she repeats back to me in a mocking tone when doing something unsafe. It sounds more like "nanana " or "ninini" sometimes, but it's clear what she means.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dress Up

Last week at playgroup we put the kids in their Halloween costumes. Except I brought a few extras. And then everyone wanted to dress their kid in everyone else's outfit. So it essentially turned into our first Dress Up party. Edie refused to sit like all the other children.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

We bought Edie a second hand monkey costume about a month and a half ago in the 6-12mo size thinking it was baggy and would fit despite being 14 months old. It was very cute. It had a felt banana sewn into the pocket!

Except then she outgrew it.

Thankfully we'd also purchased a "skeleton suit", which was a low maintenance alternative (I think meant to be a set of pajamas) that probably allowed Edie to be happier than the mandatory monkey-hood the earlier option required (Edie is not so much the fan of hats and hoods).
We had a lovely halloween with slightly warmer temperatures than expected, actual sunshine, and more importantly, NO RAIN (it's been a bit of a monsoon this last week). We visited the Fremont and Ballard markets, ate chowder and fish and chips at Ivars, I winterized the yard while Edie took a delicious 2+ hour nap (and Jeff took a short Vespa ride), we briefly visited Edie's great grandma in Seattle, and then we trick or treated at a few neighbor's houses (her first trick or treat experience!). She loved it. She did try to run into our neighbor's house when they opened the door, but thankfully she (the neighbor that is) found it charming.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

14 Months

Biggest item of note: I think this is the month I will remember as the month you started talking.

Words: Most importantly, just this last week or so you've started calling me Mama and Dad, Dada. It's SO SWEET. We were downstairs the other day and you heard Dad's footsteps on the wood floor upstairs, coming towards the stairs. You pointed at the stairs and exclaimed, "Dada!!". Since then you have basically become obsessed with Dad and trying to find him in his office any time we are home.

You say "ni ni" now when we go upstairs to do our bedtime routine, "pump" for pumpkin, "buba" for bubbles, and "buh bye" is in frequent use. The other day when we were in the grocery store parking lot, you said, "buh bye woof" and waved a shy wave. I looked around and saw that a dog had just walked by - you were saying goodbye to him! This was the first time you had put two "words" together like that. Ball is also a very popular word around here - at a party last week you took me into the bathroom at least 20 times to show me the "balls" on the shower curtain (it was polka dotted and you pointed at every single polka dot and said "ball").

You like to identify cats at every opportunity - even the half inch sized tiger on the side of the diaper box - by exclaiming "Cack!", and when in public you point at every single person wearing a hat and proudly say "hat" while slapping your head.
In more ambitious news, you just tried saying window yesterday for the first time. You like to point at the window and say "wiwo" and have been repeating it all morning. I'm not entirely sure how the window became such a source of fascination, but it certainly has this week. In particular, you LOVE to pull the curtain aside on our front door to see if the cat is sitting on the front porch.

It has become virtually impossible to get a good photo of you this month; you just move way too much and have no interest in looking at the camera, let alone smiling for it.
The only non-blurry shots we have of this month are of you reading or sleeping.

In feeding news: You now say buh bye to your food when you're all done and want me to take your food away. You also say "dow" for down when in your highchair (frequently while pointing down) and you consider your meal time over. This just started recently and is so helpful- we've cut back quite a bit on food dropage because I'm able to get you down quickly before the food throwing starts.
When you hear the word "hot" in conversation or grab a piece of food that feels hot to the touch, you blow as if to cool something down, but not anywhere in the direction of the hot food, which cracks me up. You've stopped signing for "more" as often as you used to (preferring to point dramatically at what you want and acting like you might die if you don't get more of it), but have started regularly signing for food when hungry. All this communication is tremendously helpful for me as I no longer try to feed you snacks all day long - I'm mostly able to just wait until you tell me you're hungry.

Skills: Just three days ago, you blew a kiss for the first time when we were Skyping with Katherine in LA. We've been trying to teach you to blow a kiss for a little while, but when Katherine blew you one on the computer screen, you just upped and did it back.

You know where many body parts are and correctly point to them, with the exception of eyes, which you are convinced are on the side of your head. Your favorite parts to identify are your head, nose, hands and tongue. When teeth are mentioned, you always use your finger to motion as if brushing your teeth. You now pretend brush your teeth when I open to the page in your book, "The Bedtime Book" that depicts animals brushing their teeth. Before I even read the words about brushing teeth, you're manically brushing yours with your finger.

Which reminds me that this month seems to be the month where you made a lot of connections between books and real life. When we see the moon in Goodnight Moon you always point out your bedroom window to where we can see the real moon. When Dad pointed out his real life clock after you kept showing him the clock in your book, I think your mind was totally blown.

The other day you pointed at the tiny toy giraffe that sits on the bookshelf in the Goodnight Moon book and then pointed at your Sophie giraffe toy. When we were reading upstairs the other day, you pointed at an apple in a book and then pointed to the stairwell. I didn't know what you meant, so I carried you downstairs asking, "Apple?" and when I set you down, you went running and pointed at the apple core I'd set on the bookshelf that morning after snacking on it. You'd pointed at the apple while I was eating it a few times that morning and I told you what it was - it's amazing how much you're absorbing!

You've become pretty obsessed with "doing work" on Dad's weird, vintage gears and gauges in his office. You never miss an opportunity to dart into his office and meddle with his vintage oscillator. Which basically means I lost a bet 10 years in the making because when your Dad brought all those gears home to our tiny apartment I was annoyed and told him we had no need for them. He responded by saying he thought our kids would one day find them really fun to play with.
You are a crazy little monkey who love love loves to rough house and giggle hysterically (especially with your Dad)

and you amaze us with your smarts and quirks. Here's to another month!