Sunday, April 15, 2012


Try not to be too jealous when I tell you that this is where I'm going on Wednesday.

It's not as if we have our own private chef or anything. Oh wait, we do.
Now that my business trip is behind me, I'm finally able to get EXCITED for this trip! The timing isn't perfect because I have a Very Important Event to coordinate just 2 weeks after returning from this vacation, but I've procured extra daycare for tomorrow and Tuesday and will be cramming as much work in as I can before we leave for the airport at 4AM (Blap) on Wednesday. And if any of you robbers are getting ideas about my house being vacant all week - thank again A-holes! I have the most vigilant (read: nosy as shit) neighbors you can imagine (x100) and also PS we have nothing worth robbing. Like nothing. Well, unless you really want a second hand dollhouse and big box of sticky Legos. Then we are your place.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Christmas 2011

So, 6 comments on the harmonica post will just have to do. Thank you to my loyal commenters; I guess I know who my real virtual friends are! Kidding. Truth is, I'm back from my work trip, but we are headed to Mexico on Wednesday (woot woot!) so in the meantime I will try to put a few ancient photo updates here. Since I'm a total blog failure, here are some photos from December of 2011. These are the ramp up to Christmas. I'll post Christmas photos next.

Hanging the Christmas lights was incredibly exciting for Edie.
She was all about "helping" by moving Dad's stepping stool for him.
The advent calendar was a big hit all month. Many of the little toys from Archie McPhees and the dollar bin at Target are still getting play around here...
Random moment in which we pretended to be baboons with orange slices tucked in our mouths. Then we shared a special baboon kiss. Other photos from this moment are more entertaining, but also include full frontal nudity (Edie's, not mine).
The Christmas tree hunt. Every year we go to Hunters Tree Farm in Wedgwood and for whatever reason, we've made it a tradition to go at night time when the lights are all up. Then head home for some pajama tree decorating. We usually get lights up the first night before hitting the bed.

Then the following evening comes all the Christmas decorations and ornaments for the tree.
Decorating Christmas cookies with my Mom (ie Grandma Toby).

Visiting Santa with Darrah and Reid. Reid was feeling a little uncertain and wasn't terribly impressed with Santa. In fairness, I wasn't impressed by the UVillage Santa this year either. He had creepy bug eyes and a scraggly beard.

Reid however, was THRILLED with this animatronic Rudolph sitting across from Santa.

Wax lips courtesy of the advent calendar. She enjoyed wearing them on the way to visit Candy Cane Lane with Grandma Fifi and Grandpa Mustache (ie; Jeff's parents).
Mediocre photos that don't capture the festive quaintness that is Candy Cane Lane. This will be new tradition for us.

The Culver family has an annual "Cousins Christmas" event that goes back farther than Jeff's memory. Here she is with cousin Sophie at the 2011 Cousin's Christmas slash Grandma Jean's 95th Birthday.

Someone found something chocolate.
My side of the family has a similar tradition with 3 other families - The Annual Progressive Dinner. From which I have no photos except this adorable one. The biggest of the little kids was reading Fancy Nancy's Splendiferous Christmas to the littles. This is 2 days before Christmas. We celebrated Christmas morning the next day with my family on the 24th.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I feel that not enough people have acknowledged how weird and funny the two videos below are - 2 comments!? I'm not posting again until everyone tells me that my child is a future harmonica prodigy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Strong Finish

To tide you over until my return, I offer you these videos from 4 months ago.

Heading out

Heading out tomorrow morning for another business trip to sunny California. Poor me. Will report back on our fabulous Easter weekend with family upon my return.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Edie - Two and a Half Years Old

I wrote this letter at the end of February, but then saved it to add photos to later. But once the flu and ear infection hit our house, it was all but forgotten until today when I unearthed it. I still don't have the time to add photos, but here's Edie's 2.5 year letter, as is.

Dear Edie,

You are two and a half years old this week and this milestone seems worthy of a letter. The months are passing quicker than ever and I don't want to forget the little things that make this time so amazing/challenging/special/exhausting/hilarious.

Living with you at this age is a little bit like sharing a house with a really adorable bipolar monkey with selective deafness and authority issues. You say the most charming and hilarious things at two and a half - just today you were parading around with your green blanket tied around your waist saying, "This is my ball gown. I'm going to the royal ball." When asked what you planned to do at The Ball, your reply was, "Kick it (presumably "the royal ball") to my friend Cinderella!" A month or two ago, you were drawing with a ball point pen, furiously scribbling fine lines all in a tight corner of a large piece of paper. Your Dad complimented you by saying, "I like all the detail here in the corner." You practically sighed and rolled your eyes, explaining, "That's not detail Dad, it's spiderwebs."

You have entered a "why" phase so extreme this last month or so that it almost seems a parody of the real thing. I wasn't expecting the relentless "whys" this early in the game and I frequently have no response other than exhausted and defeated laughter. Because seriously Edie, sometimes there is no answer to the question "why?" A sample conversation will go like this:
Edie: Mom, is that your book?
Me: Yes
Edie: Why?
Me: Because that's the book I'm reading for book club
Edie: Yeah, why?
Me: Because everyone voted and choose this book
Edie: Why?
Me: It was everyone's favorite?
Edie: Why?
Me: Lots of reasons.
Edie: Why?
Me: (screaming inside, laughing on the outside) Just because honey, just because.
Edie: But why?

Now multiply this conversation times eleventy billion and that's how many times we do this per day. Jen, who runs your daycare says you've taught all the other kids this new habit. Sometimes it works to turn the game back on you, but not always. I will often answer by saying, "Why do YOU think?" and I'm frequently surprised by the number of times you are able to stay on subject and continue the line of questioning with YOU as the interviewer. One time I even responded to your why question with, "Why did you ask why?" just to see what would happen and you answered, "I don't know Mom, why?"

'Somewhere Out There' from the 1986 classic film, American Tail has become your anthem. You have the entire thing memorized and love to watch the song on Youtube while singing along. Anytime you hear a ballad-type song you like on the radio, you ask, "Mom? Can I sing Somewhere Out There?" as if to compete with the singer on the radio. Other musical interests include James Brown's 'Ants in my Pants', Lisa Loeb's 'Big Rock Candy Mountain', anything by Feist or Adele and Elvis' singing 'Lucky Penny'.

You've been sleeping in a twin bed since late January and truthfully, it hasn't gone very well. Things seem to have leveled out now, but the transition combined with a variety of cold and flu season type illnesses really disrupted your sleep. For a while I was certain you were having nightmares and wondered whether they were associated with the new bed, but after re-reading the Ferber sleep book that helped us so much when you were a baby I discovered that nightmares don't occur during the 10:30-11:30pm time frame during which the bulk of your upsetting awakenings were happening. It turned out to be a sleep phase transition thing, likely triggered by the new bed and illness and has finally tapered off in the last few weeks.

You are now fully potty trained; we haven't bought diapers in a while now and it is FANtastic. You were very quick to take to potty training - after the first 2 weeks you've really only had 1 accident and it was waiting in line for the potty at daycare. A week or two ago we ran out of pull ups for bedtime and decided to just go with it - you've been dry at night ever since and only once or twice have you asked to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

You gave up your high chair and then your booster seat months ago, preferring to sit in a regular chair for all your meals.

You just had your second ear infection since December. It seems like most of your colds do tend to end in ear infections but your doctor recently said we've made it through the worst and advised against having tubes put in your ears - cue sigh of relief.

You are showing interest in the very early stages of literacy. You memorize your favorite books very quickly and recite them while running your finger along the words as if you're really reading them. You are also very interested in what words "start with" - frequently asking out of nowhere, "Mom - what starts with Dad?" and then clarifying, "What letter does Dad start with?" When you ask this question, I always suggest we sound the word out to guess and you love "sounding words out" with me. If the word you're asking about happens to start with P, T, D, or B you can always guess it after I make the first "sound" in the word. I know every parent thinks that their child is brilliant, and really, they all are - but I do find that your language skills are particularly impressive. You whip words out (in context) that surprise strangers in public places - words like disgusting, glimpse, fascinating, delicious, interesting... and not only that, but your pronunciation is almost always impeccable, so strangers rarely have any difficulty catching your meaning.

For all your brilliance it's only fair that I say how incredibly stubborn, temperamental, and bossy you are right now. You say things that are funny, but super rude all the time.
"I don't want this cake! It's rotten! I need FRESH cake!" (for the record the cake was most definitely not rotten, you were just being bratty)
"I don't like this dinner, it's yucky. It is NOT delicious."
"That snake is DISGUSTING." (at the zoo)
"I don't want that milk - it's STALE! Pour me NEW MILK."

You've started stomping one foot flat onto the ground and screaming, "NO!" at the top of your lungs when you don't get what you want. Which happens all the time, because you are always wanting stupid, unreasonable things like to dance at 2am (this really happened), watch Sesame Street when it is not on, to eat Pirates Booty in the car when the bag of Booty is at home, cookies for dinner, to watch a movie we just returned to the video store, cookies for lunch, to read "one more story" at bedtime when we clearly agreed to only 2... you get the idea. You are pushing boundaries, pushing my buttons, learning limits and too smart for your own good.

I tell you all the time, but I love you to pieces and you make me laugh like nobodies business. I look forward to your third birthday when we've tentatively planned to take a family trip to Disneyland for the first time. You are SO totally into everything Disney, and while I thought I would feel guilty about this, it brings me incredible nostalgia to watch Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella with you. I think seeing Sleeping Beauty's castle in real life might make your head explode. In the meantime, we'll have to make do with your first international trip - we are headed to Mexico in April with the extended family for Grandma and Grandpa Toby's 40th anniversary. I've been hoarding cute sundresses for months :)