Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Llama Llama Red Pajama,
her mama,
and her hard-working, rushing-home-just-in-time-Papa.

p.s. When people gave Wugs candy tonight, she would give them a piece already in her trick-or-treating bag back. Such a giver! I LOVE THIS GIRL.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Things Wugs learned this Halloween season.

She definitely knows pumpkins.

She digs those bats I made.

She loves up on her sweet homemade ghost

After all, when else will we have a chance to hang up fall leaves? Not in Florida.

Gourds. Honest. She pointed them out to me when we were at the Academy of Sciences last week.

For next year: witches and spiders.

p.s. Mila likes to pull that chi iron around our apartment like a dog on a leash. I promise she has real toys, they're just not as exciting to her. Go figure.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Then and now.

 In the 1st picture, she's turning her nose up at homemade applesauce. 
Applesauce. It was delicious and velvety.
In the 2nd photo, she is inhaling the roasted seaweed from Trader Joe's
which I now buy no less than 10 bags of at a time.
Isn't there a scene in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
when Grinchy is stealing all the gifts
and all you see is a hairy green hand snatching something away?
I see flashes of that as we're barreling down the road,
me handing sheet after sheet of seaweed every 1/2 mile
to keep happy this chubby, little, and demanding hand
that's peeking out from around the car seat. 

p.s. Sorry for the weird haiku-like format. It is driving me nuts as well but I really want to go to bed now instead of trying to battle html.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Things that have made me smile the last couple days.

The way Wugs smelled like butter after downing a Miette graham cracker (nicknamed coma cookie by my friend for the stupor that ensues).
Thinking about having a little girl to dress for Christmas Eve mass.
Wugs choosing broccoli over anything else on her plate for lunch (and believe me there were some not-so-great options).
All-day playdates with our favorite people that are so fun you can't help but pass out for the ride home (giving Mama a peaceful drive from San Francisco, thank you Wugs).
Mila literally stops to smell the roses these days.
Texas Roadhouse rolls (we are all fans here).
Steve watching the World Series with the chair pushed right up to the TV screen.
Online yarn shopping.
Halloween costumes. Done!
Having coffee at home that's better tasting than the stuff I could buy out.
Mila's animal sounds. Lately her MEOOOOOOOOOOOW has given her baaaaa BAAAAAAAAA a run for its money.
Steve surprising me with kolaches from Weikel's Bakery in La Grange, Texas.
The animals that intimidated Mila at Ardenwood today: the turkey and rabbit. Not the huge horses. Not the cows kicking up dust.
Helping Papa to push the stroller.
Wugs walking around in her new suspender-ed waders, looking like the newest crew member of Deadliest Catch.
Finger-painting. Watching Steve try to suppress his cringes at the potential mess.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Perfect start.

I got to sleep in an extra hour this morning. When I woke up Steve was just putting my coffee on the table. and bacon. and runny eggs (how I like them).
We all love his days off.

Monday, 24 October 2011


One week to go, lots of costume dress rehearsals going on around here. A certain someone walked around with a tail all afternoon.

Immortalized (in doll form)

Sunday morning we skyped with everyone in Italy and they saw their dolls. I made them for Wugs' birthday while Italy was still fresh in our minds from Angry Chicken's awesome tutorial, except my bodies were just drawn on with a fabric pen. I figured Mila would have fun coloring them in when she's a little older. For now she's busy just holding and kissing them...we say give Nonna love and she runs over to grab her Nonna doll. The sweetness is almost too much to bear.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Her pa.

We stumbled upon a huge local soccer game this morning and Wugs was heartbroken, nay, devastated that she could not join in. She says pa for ball because the Italian word is palla. I made sure to bring along her pa on our walk this afternoon.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Whoever does bathtime in our house does the following after dinner, in no particular order (and with a fabulously adorable helper/sidekick underfoot):

Start the bath. Which reminds me, I need to buy more bubble bath. 

Toss a few bathtime toys in. This is Mila's favorite (don't worry, she is 100% supervised, blah blah blah blah).

Make sure the tub doors are closed so that Curious Girl does not accidentally fall in. I don't think she would, but still. Don't wanna find out.

Set her towel out. Bonus points if the dryer is free and you remember to warm the towel beforehand.

Put Wugs' toothpaste and the bulb syringe thingy on the counter for teeth-cleaning and booger suctioning after bath, respectively.

While you're at it have the finger toothbrush rinsed and ready because Wugs isn't too thorough in her dental hygiene.

Go in the bedroom, lay out Woogus pj's, diaper with nighttime insert, lotion, booty balm, and some kind of distracting toy on bed. Dental floss if you're feeling particularly ambitious.

Turn on soundscape in Wugs' room: soothing ocean waves.

Turn on fan.

Locate Llama llama and Mama Kitty and make a big Goodnight, see you soon! production about it involving lots of kisses and hugs.

Pick out a bedtime story and put on chair, just out of Wugs' reach so it doesn't walk off in the next 5 minutes before she gets in the tub.

Fill dropper with fresh water and put on table next to chair, to squirt in her mouth after that last feeding. Keep this out of Woogwamicus' reach as well.

Put bedtime candle/matches on table also (do I have to say it?).

Most likely you'll want to bring into the bathroom that cup of milk Wugs was sipping on during dinner, to fill up that potbelly that much more and buy us all a little more sleep.

And if she turned her button nose up at dinner, go ahead and bring in the backup--good ole toast with almond or peanut butter. You know, so she can nibble on it in the tub before inevitably dropping throwing it and taking pleasure at the sight of bloated bread floating in bathwater.

Bathtime! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your Wugs.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Left my wallet in our other car today and couldn't scrounge up enough tollbooth change to pay for my purchases. But then I see her quiet focus as she sweetly gives Mama Kitty bits of food and drink and realize the only thing that matters is the human being we are raising.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Field trip.

The Academy of Sciences in San Francisco was our destination today. Butterflies that sneaked up and made Papa shriek like a girl, snakes who were forthcoming with their tongues, and a stunning floor-to-ceiling aquarium were just a few of the things that delighted Wugs.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Monday, 17 October 2011

Bliss is...

...being able to strip down to your underwear because it was Africa hot at the pumpkin patch today. I know it's been awhile since I was in Africa, but trust me on this one.

Bliss is also finding that perfect pumpkin just your size.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Stuffing mouth with food.

New discoveries here: caramel apples and donuts, both the glazed kind and the apple cider donuts found everywhere on Apple Hill. We don't dangle sweets in front of Wugs like a carrot, there's no 'if you eat your broccoli, I'll give you x'. I don't want her to have that perception of sugary food. Right now the sweets are on a level playing field with everything else--even if we are just starting to dip our toes in that water.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hello, apples.

On Wednesday we corralled She Who Runs, loaded our car with yummy snacks, and timed a little road trip {coinciding with nap time = smart parents} to Apple Hill. Wugs, time to see where apples come from. Trees! And after meandering along the sweet country roads and thinking out loud about how awesome it would be to live in the country we found a u-pick farm. We surprised Mila with her wagon; she hasn't used her wagon in months since starting to walk, but oh, was she thrilled at the little reunion. Hey wagon, look what I can do now! I can step away from you and I don't fall!

We set off into the apple orchard and Mila seemed to know exactly what to do. She picked up apple after apple after apple off the ground, setting them in her beloved wagon. Pointing and squealing, walking and stooping and picking. We didn't have the heart to tell her that the apples off the ground weren't good so in a sneaky switcheroo move I distracted her while Steve dumped her apples out and put his basket in. I think she was onto us, though. That Wugs is a smart cookie.

And now let the apple-picking pictures commence. After all, it's another first for us.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

I went there.

My daughter and I wear matching sandals. And I'm going to keep doing this, every year, until the day she will inevitably turn to me and tell me she doesn't want to anymore.

I know that day is coming but for now will relish the way her face lights up when I walk into the room.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Allowing another blueprint.

:) One day last week I burst through the door after an agonizing workday to find a blanket fort. A Papa-made honest-to-goodness blanket fort. AND news that Wugs took a two-hour long nap, impressive since I pretty much do backflips if she naps for an hour. Hold the phones! Fun times beneath a blanket fort and a long nappy nap?

Months ago I read a Leaky Boob post that talked about allowing your partner to leave their blueprint on your children. Stepping back, letting go of the alpha parent role and giving them a chance to guide, to take the lead, to trust in them doing a fantastic job. When I am at work and find myself worrying if Mila's going to be able to nap without me there, or am saddened to hear her crying as I walk out the door--I just remember the importance of another blueprint to make its mark on our daughter. Even if it may not be the way I would have done it...does not mean it's not a good way. It would be pretty boring if Steve and I were exactly alike, no? Mila is going to be a better person by having both of our influences. Besides, I have known he would be fantastic as a father since before children were even on the horizon. These days are just a confirmation of that. 

p.s. Today was Mila's first time out playing in the rain. She stomped her feet in delight, but missed the puddles. I really really love that girl.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Book Week

Wugs reading to Hoodes
In honor of National Book Week (all right, it was last week), here are a few of Wugs' favorite books of late:

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly: Is it wrong to say that I have a 3-times-limit for singing this book? After that I...hide it. Wrong? I mean, that book is exhausting. But on a sweet note, it always brings me back to Marmousch singing it to me when I was little.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or equally loved Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?: Both Steve and I do the animal parts each with different voices.

Mama's Milk/ Mama Me Alimenta: Touching and heartfelt English and Spanish book about babies--human and animal--getting their Mama's milk. Wugs goes crazy over the cover, which is why I bought her Nursing Nina for her birthday. Nina Kitty is now held in regard nearly as high as Llama Llama. Which brings me too...

Llama Llama Red Pajama: It will always hold the distinct honor of being the first book Wugs wanted to hear again and again and again. And again. And again. And again. And--oh please, not llama llama again. Ask Papa to read it to you this time.

Where is Baby's Belly Button?: The book that led to Mila discovering Mama's belly button. Mama's belly button is Mila's happy place. Is that weird? I think she would enjoy her own belly button just as much except that little chugalug of a belly just gets in the way of effective umbilical exploration.

Global Babies: Oh Global Babies, you are awesome. What with your Fijian baby who sticks his tongue out at my daughter and makes her squeal, or Peruvian baby with his ruddy cheeks that beg to be pinched. Babies love other babies and Wugs is no exception. This always comes with us to church without fail to buy us a little quiet pew time.

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!: I think I have a wee crush on Mo Willems. I have no idea what he looks like. But he writes as a father first (a good one). Mila loves this book so much that Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is definitely going to be under the Christmas tree. 

The Monster at the End of This Book: Chip off the old (but he's not old!) block; this was Steve's favorite book when he was little and now it's his daughter's as well. We actually read from his worn, much-loved copy. Also, I'm told that my Grover voice sounds Bengali. Hmmph.

On the Night You Were Born: When we moved away Marmousch recorded this book in Italian. All Mila has to do is open the book and she's instantly transported to Nonnaland. So she opens it. A lot. A sweet way for Mila to hear her voice even though she's far away (I couldn't open it those first few weeks we were in California or I would end up in tears).

So many great books, such little time. I just placed an amazon order for a few more on our wishlist. Happy reading, Wugs!