Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nonny Cam

My Mom, aka Nonny, arrived last Friday to help with the kids, and we enjoyed her company for a lovely five days. We ended up having a really busy time, with the usual weekend activities plus several special excursions for Clio. It was fabulous to have an extra set of hands, and especially wonderful to have so much Clio-doting going on (not to mention, Clio was thrilled with all the presents.) Another great thing? Well, for some reason one of the biggest casualties of the 2-kid thing seems to be my camera: among the double diaper bags and double car seats and sippie cups and burp cloths, I can't seem to remember to bring my camera. Luckily, Nonny remembered hers, so I made a little photo essay of a selection of her snapshots.

Right off the bat on Saturday morning, Nonny got to experience Clio's high energy at the Y for her Gym 'n' Swim class.



We also headed to the brand new Brooklyn Ikea to get Clio interested in "Big Girl Beds," but as always, she had her own ideas.



And as usual, there was some focus on food. Above, that's Clio waiting for her lunch in the Ikea cafeteria (she fell in love with this "tiny little mouse," and Nonny wisely suggested she tuck it away so as not to get the white fur dirty. Clio proceeded to snub the mac and cheese she ordered in favor of half my meatball plate.)
There was peanut butter toast at home, and special snacks at the grocery store. She would have eaten the whole bag, and there was no way she was sharing.


Fairway also has a little cafe with great seating right on the water, so we enjoyed some lunch and boats. Oh look, Eleri was with us too, sleeping in the front pack. (She came along for, and slept through, all of these activities.)


On Sunday, we went out to CT to visit Jim and Missy and Patrick and Lauren. Clio did a great job of entertaining us all. Here she is yucking it up in the high chair during dinner. Earlier in the day, the adults had been discussing gandparent names, and Jim said he would never want to me "Grandpa." So needless to say, Clio had us all cracking up when she looked at him and said, "you don't want your food... Grandpa?" (She really did pause like that, I'm not adding it in here for dramatic effect. The girl's got excellent comic timing.) I guess anyone with a little grey hair is "Grandma" or "Grandpa" now.


Clio also enjoyed many, many trips to the various playgrounds in our neighborhood, where she re-discovered the water features. Yesterday, Nonny took Clio on her own while I tried to get a little sleep (Eleri did not cooperate.) When they came home, Clio was completely drenched. This is the first time this summer that she has shown interest in the fountains- usually she thinks water is a great idea until she gets it on herself- so I guess I'll have to start traveling with a bathing suit on top of everything else!


Clio obviously had a fantastic time.
This morning, she came downstairs and said "I want Nonny back."

I feel the same way.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

All About Eleri

video

Now, I recognize that just a few posts back, I myself said that infants aren't so interesting and that I'd try to keep perspective on that here on the blog. But over the weekend, my sister in law asked, "what's Eleri like?" and I realized that, of course, each baby is his or her own person from the start.

So, a few things we know about miss Eleri Ruth:

She was born with eyelashes (apparently most babies are not).
She's a pretty calm baby (perfect for a second child!).
When she's not calm, she has a very, very loud cry.
She has very intelligent eyes, and often furrows her brow to create a concerned expression.
She can really sleep. In the hospital, they were worried about her glucose, so she had about 8 heel-sticks in 24 hours. By the end they were doing them while she was asleep, and she didn't even stir. (She didn't stir for her entire newborn screen!).
She particularly loves to sleep on her belly, even better if it's on someone's chest.
When sleeping on your chest, she kicks your belly with her feet- whether to curl her way into fetal position or try to climb up your shoulder is unclear.
She makes very noisy breathing sounds, like a pug.
When she's hungry, she stretches her neck and makes her mouth into a little "o" and she looks like the wise old turtle in the Neverending Story. This is my favorite expression so far.

Perhaps most importantly, she's patient with her big sister, who would like to love her and hug her and poke and prod her and "boo" her awake, all day long.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This and That



We've taken to referring to the girls as "this one" and "that one," as in "this one needs a bath," or "that one needs her diaper changed." This is an excellent system because it is really based on proximity- whoever is closer to you is "this one" and whichever child is across the room or upstairs is "that one"- and takes the pressure off actually remembering the correct name for whoever it is you're talking about. I remember my mom talking about her own mother going through the list of all six names in search of the child she was after: "Molly-Terry-Jim-Eileen-Larry-Lael!" and how sometimes the pets or my granddad got thrown in for good measure. (And I can only imagine how things went in my dad's house, where there were close to a dozen kids to keep track of.) Granted, I only need to remember two names, but somehow even that is too much in certain moments.

Yesterday, in the blazing heat, we decided to take one little outing to see if we could get something, anything accomplished. Dave wanted to look at ceiling fans to replace the one in our living room, and I had been to a lighting superstore deep in Brooklyn some 8 or 9 years ago that, in my memory, had a huge selection of unique fans. So Dave tracked the place down and off we went to a lighting showroom. With two little kids.

Apparently, we're not the only idiots who have
had this brilliant idea before. In one corner of the showroom (which was chock full of beautiful and surely fragile standing lamps and glass coffee and console tables laden with expensive table lamps), there was this fish tank with two little chairs.

This one was in heaven.

The other one just slept.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What a Difference a Year Makes

Clio at Perch Babies turn one:


Clio at Perch Babies turn two:


In a way, nothing has changed. This year Clio attacked the snacks with every bit as much gusto as she attacked this glass of water last year. You'd think we didn't feed her or something.

Perch Babies Turn Two

Who are the Perch Babies?

I know I've made many references to my mom's group in these pages, but I've never explained how I came to be part of such an amazing group of women (and husbands and children).

Perch is the name of a restaurant in Park Slope where "kid-friendly" is not jut reflected in high chairs and kiddie menus, but in the very business plan, which encourages groups of moms to gather in the back room at off hours. When Clio was a tiny baby, my friend Emily and I took her son Abe and Clio there for lunch. As we ate (and the infants slept in their car seats), a woman came in with a stroller, and as she passed, asked us, "Are you here for the mom's group?"

There is a maternity and baby store in Park Slope called Boing Boing, where you can buy nursing bras and take classes to learn how to use various baby slings, and where you can sign up to be part of an email list of mothers whose children are born in the same month as yours. When I was pregnant with Clio, I bought a maya wrap sling there with my friend Liza after pre-natal yoga one day, and when asked if we would like to be on the June babies list, we politely declined (having both learned at Vassar how not to be joiners.)

Sure enough, what Emily and I happened upon at Perch some months later was one of the first meetings of the July babies group, and knowing better than to look a gift horse in the mouth, we moved to the back of the retaurant, met a slew of women with babies in all shapes and sizes, and began to compare stories. Every Tuesday through my maternity leave, and plenty of Fridays after I had returned to work, I drove to Perch and enjoyed delicious decaf coffee and the comfort of talking to woman facing the very same issues as I: breastfeeding and pumping, sleep trouble, the best high chairs, separation anxiety, exhaustion, and so on.

Eventually, the lunches at Perch became a thing of the past, but we began a google group called Perch Moms, arranged regular movie nights and craft nights and mom's nights out, started swapping free babysitting and borrowing equipment, and became a support network, especially for those of us with no local family. These are the women whose blogs are linked to at the right, who I call on when I have kid questions practical or emotional, and who were literally on call for the graveyard shift every night for a week leading up to Eleri's arrival, waiting for the phone call that I was in labor, that they were needed at my house to be with Clio while her parents went to the hospital. Despite having met just two years ago with nothing in common but the month of our babies' births, these are the women who, it sometimes seems, make being a mom in Brooklyn possible.

Today we got together in the park to celebrate two years of parenthood. It was amazing to all of us to see how much our children have changed- last year they were babies, this year they are truly kids. And as kids, they tore the place up. Statia recalled that last year, only Melissa's daughter Eva was walking, and how impressed the rest of us were. Melissa remembers wishing she could sit like the rest of us, rather than running after a new walker. This year, run they did. Up and down the hill, after various balls, pushing strollers. A good time was had by all.



But it was also a little bittersweet: since the perch babies' first birthday party, Rebecca, Anneliese, Cari, and Christine have all moved away, and Stephanie and Melissa are next. At the same time, we have welcomed three new additions to our family, Amanda's son Sam, Eleri, and Millie's son Ibrahim (below, with big sister Zuzu); Statia is due in a month, and Stephanie and Jennifer are both due in October- Jennifer with twins! It is my hope that I will meet and get to know all of these children, and that Clio and Eleri will count all of the "perch babies" as friends for some time to come.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Size Matters

Both Creative Time and WORK architecture company (our places of business) sent us extravagant bouquets to congratulate our family on its newest addition. I think it's hilarious that each bouquet is about 5 times the size of Eleri!

Presents

Clio recently figured out the whole concept of presents. Needless to say, she was thrilled when the postman delivered a big, beautiful box of gifts from Great Granddad and Great Bonnie. She actually did very well with the idea that some of the gifts were for Eleri, too, and later, when she went back into the box of ribbons and bubble wrap, showed me "Eleri's box," which did indeed come with a very special set of ceramic baby dishes for Eleri. (Clio uses the bowl from the adorable enamelware baby set that Great Bonnie gave her as a pouring device in the tub.)

Clio's favorite new item (so far) is this charming fabric umbrella.

video

I missed it when she picked up the umbrella and said "This is my umbrella. Good bye, I'm going to Titi's House!" (Titi's House is Day Care), so here I am trying to recreate it. In my haste, I forgot, once again, that video does not go vertical. There must be plenty of other idiots like me out there, though, because Windows Movie Maker has a "video effect" that rotates your movie the perfect 270 degrees.


video

Two unrelated updates with no photos

Clio has a new friend. An imaginary friend, Ant. She's been obsessed with ants ever since Marco, a 6-year old at Day Care who, quite frankly, I think Clio has a little crush on, showed her how to spot them on the sidewalk in front of his building. Now, she'll carry "My Ant" around in her cupped palm, or say we need to wait for Ant to come with us before we leave the house. It's actually kind of tender and sweet. (Let's see if I still think so several years down the line when we've indulged this little fantasy and have a houseful of terrariums, or whatever.)

Clio also tried a cupcake for the first time. Usually, Dave manages to avoid the big dessert moment at birthday parties, but this weekend, at Zoe's disco dance party, all the kids were sitting at a long, low table, and Clio was watching with great interest as all the other little faces got covered in chocolate icing. I convinced Dave to cave, and he presented her with a mini-cupcake (from which he had removed all the frosting.) Watching her eat the thing was hilarious, and I wish I had it on film: it was sitting in front of her on the table, and she leaned forward, hands free, to take a bite directly with her mouth. She continued to do this, and despite a deliciousness factor that was clearly off the charts, Clio refused to get her hand dirty to get it all into her mouth.

I ate the leftovers, and Clio has a sugar rush that resulted in an hour of wild dancing with her Dad. It looked like a lot of fun!

Vital Stats

We took the girls to the Doctor this morning for their 2-year and 1-week well visits. Everyone is healthy and happy, and it was quite an adventure juggling the two in one Doctor's office, even with two of us parents (Eleri pooped all over everything, twice, while Clio played a little game of Escape, dashing out of the room many, many times.)

At any rate, here are the basic stats:

CLIO= 27.5 pounds, 35 inches
ELERI= 9 pounds, 21 inches

Dave, in particular, was shocked to discover that Eleri is "only" in the 75th percentile. "You mean 25% of babies are BIGGER than 9 pounds at 1 week?" He couldn't seem to wrap his head around it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Second Child Syndrome

Is it starting already?

I was checking our photo archive to see whether or not Eleri looks like Clio as a newborn, and noticed that at this stage in Clio's existence we had taken over 100 pictures of her; we've taken maybe half that many in the last five days, and truthfully, most of them are in some way of or about Clio.


So I just snapped this one to share a rare glimpse of Eleri awake.


We went to Zoe's disco dance birthday party yesterday, and I took Eleri to pick up our veggies from the CSA Saturday morning, and everyone I ran into was surprised that I was out already (WITH the baby), and commented about how cautious we are with first children; indeed, I don't think I left the house until Clio was about a week old, and she didn't make a real outing until my mom and I took her with us to lunch on her 10th day. In a way, this change in attitude definitely has to do with the confidence we've earned over the past two years of raising a daughter, and our faith that ordinary outings are not going to "break the baby." There is also a related casualness, stemming, I think, from the gradual understanding that perfection isn't possible in parenting, and often "good enough" will have to do. Take Eleri's name. At Zoe's party, our friend Peter asked where it came from, and if it is pronounced "el-AYE-ree." He'd never heard it before, and so looked it up. Funny thing is, the name, spelled Ellery, had been on our early list and removed for a handful of reasons. But when I saw what I thought was the Celtic (read: Irish) spelling of the name, I was sold. Plus, I had been discharged from the hospital, transport was on the way with a wheelchair, and the last piece of business was putting a name on the birth certificate. So we made a fast decision, and only AFTER we came home did I discover that the name is not Irish but Welsh, that it is, as Peter asked, pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, and that it doesn't really mean anything at all. Luckily, we love the name and think it suits the girl, but this kind of thing would NEVER happen with a first child.

Finally, of course, second-child-syndrome has everything to do with the demands of parenting the older child: Eleri just had to cry and wait for a few minutes tonight when she got hungry while I was doing Clio's bedtime ritual; and after the 100th time of telling Clio to be "careful," you realize that there's only so much you can do to keep a baby safe from her siblings. Right?


Now, a disclaimer. Despite Missy and Jim's claim that babies are like fires and the ocean in that you can watch them forever, I understand that photos of infants aren't that interesting, and stories about them, even if they are your own, are even less so. But so far, to me, becoming a parent of two does have its tales to tell, and I just might indulge them here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How's Big Sister?


When Clio came home from the playground after day care yesterday, she was so thrilled to see me that I almost cried. (There's really nothing like the love of a 2-year-old, is there?). She came into the house and gave me a huge hug before laying eyes on the baby.

The moment of truth.

Eleri was in the car seat in the middle of the living room, sleeping. Clio went right over and looked at her, and said, "there's my baby brother. He's sleeping." (We're working on the "sister" thing, and Clio has been working out the pronoun problem in general lately). She touched Eleri's hat and helped put a blanket over her and Dave said "gentle!" a hundred thousand times.

While Clio had a snack, she told us all about her baby brother-sister, how cute, how tiny, and we breathed a sigh of relief.

This morning, same story: Clio came down for breakfast and Eleri was asleep in the car seat. Clio was again nonchalant, and we sat and ate breakfast together. Until the baby started to cry. It's lucky that the baby part is so much easier the second time: I was able to pick her up and get her nursing with one arm while standing over Clio helping her with her breakfast.

And we had what may be the real Moment of Truth:

Clio took one look at this new scenario, pointed at the car seat, and sort of whimpered, "put her back." I explained that she was eating breakfast too, that babies drink special milk their mommy's make, and Clio said "you're MY mommy," and didn't seem to like me telling her that I am Eleri's mommy, too.

After breakfast, Clio spent some time trying to get into the car seat, and ultimately settled for putting her own baby in there.

She did wear her Big Sister shirt today, wanted to help with Eleri's diaper, and ultimately didn't want to leave for Day Care until she had "fed" Eleri some "peas."
So I'd say we're off to an auspicious start, all things considered. I'm glad to have a day or two to transition, and it will be interesting to see what this weekend brings. (While I say that the baby part is easier, this simply comes from the knowledge of having done it before. If we could isolate just that part, it might be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, I'm sure the new terrain called "parents of two children" is highly complicated. Any special advice from the pros is welcome.)

I'll say this much: I've heard all the cliches about worrying whether there will be enough love to go around, but I think having another baby has made me love Clio double. Or triple. My heart goes out to her as her world changes, but I look forward to all the funny, wonderful things she will do and say as a sibling and important member of our expanded family.

And Baby Makes Four


Eleri Ruth Peterson
9 lbs. 20 1/2 inches
July 9, 2008, 8:32 am

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Birthday Present, Take Two

After her unhappy encounter with the little razor scooter I originally picked out for her birthday, Clio, Dave and I headed back to Lulu's to check out the tricycles. A trike had been our original plan for her birthday gift, but apparently 2 is an in-between age in trikes, and without her there to test them out for size, I couldn't quite decide. And since Clio has now figured out the concept of presents (she keeps finding the wrapped Big Sister gifts we're planning to bring to the hospital and saying, "present for me?"), it seemed important to let her actually open something. She's still warming up to the "Classic Flyer," but I think it was a good choice in the end.



We did eventually take all the packaging off, too. It just seemed better safe than sorry.

One Last Field Trip

Since this was a holiday weekend PLUS Clio's birthday weekend and, quite likely, her last weekend as an only child, it seemed like a good idea to do as many special things as we possibly could. We've been thinking about going to the Children's Museum of Manhattan for ages, but it's way up on the Upper West Side, and between the anticipation of traffic nightmares and parking woes, we never quite got up the gumption. But a Sunday morning on a holiday weekend is the perfect time to breeze into the city, so off we went.

In a way, the Upper West Side is a whole other world, and I felt a little bit like an anthropologist exploring a foreign culture. First of all, the museum was PACKED. (This is one of the problems with New York City: there are 11 million people here, and whenever you have a really good idea for an activity, it seems like about 1 million of them have the very same good idea.) Interestingly, half the crowd didn't speak English. The other half spoke a LOT of English, shouting out their kids names over and over again. Dave and I made a pact to cross any name we heard in that place off our list. Luckily, Audrey and Chase were never on our list in the first place. Beyond the shouting, we were also surprised to find that the parents were in fact much more of a problem than the children: they blocked other kids from slides, bridges, and puzzles, having eyes only for their own precious little ones.

I've also noticed that people are much fancier uptown. (Okay, so this is nothing new: Billy Joel famously sang about it, etc. etc.) Today, I noticed it especially in the high volume of patent leather and metallic footwear: pink patent clogs on a new mom, black patent wedge heeled espadrilles on a grandma, and every shade of silver, gold, and bronze sandal you can imagine. Dave and I were not only decked out in Target and Old Navy, but we were both wearing Birkenstocks. How very outer borough.

Anyway, the museum itself is kind of a nice place, though we really only made it to one exhibit. Can you guess what it was? Why, yes, Dora the Explorer. Clio was beyond thrilled. Here's a sampling of photos that speak for themselves:





Breaking News

This morning, Clio requested pants.
And she meant it.

Perhaps our days of "no pants, only legs" are in the past?

Oh, you thought there might be some other "breaking news"?
Not a chance.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Letter From Your Mother on the Occasion of Your Second Birthday

Dear Clio,
You are two years old today. It amazes me how grown up you can be at just two: how communicative, opinionated, loving, and funny. Today was quite a day. We went to pick up our vegetables at the playground, and Daddy took you on the swings. You sat in his lap on the big-kid swings and shouted "Mommy, look at me!" so the entire neighborhood could hear you. Daddy took you to the Y for Gym and Swim; you loved it, but by the end of the hour you were a "hot mess," and when I came to pick you up I could hear you wailing in the locker room. I hear you're the best swimmer in the class though, even though you're the youngest: with a floatie on your back, you can swim all the way across the pool, "by all yourself." You are determined, that's for sure. You swam across that pool again and again to get to the steps, because you wanted to climb up and down them. You're determined not to wear pants these days, and sometimes you'll pretend to have a poopy diaper, just to get stripped down. When you don't want to go to bed, your new trick is to ask for milk or water after the stories have been read, the songs sung- the first few times, I almost fell for it, concerned as I was that you could get dehydrated in this heat. When you want to hear a book again, you plead "just one more times," and when you want more of a snack but someone has told you no, you'll reduce your request to "just a tiny little bit?" These tactics may be manipulative, but they are charming, and the often work. You are more clever every day.
You are also more and more adventurous. We've been going to the playground every day after day care, and you are popular with the bigger kids. You wave and say hello to everyone, and really, who could resist that? You tip your head way over to the side when you so it, and your voice is very sweet- clear and high. There are two third graders at the playground, Jessica and Rajri, who try to take care of you (they tell me that I should not let you suck your thumb because the playground is dirty; that you are two small for the ladders), but really you just want to do what they do, and so you can be found swinging from the bar above the slide or climbing right up, no matter how slippery its silver surface. You also try to emulate Marco and Isabella from day care. You love to chase Marco around the sidewalk, and you an Isabella have quite a time screaming together (I'm not sure who picked it up from whom.)
There's a downside to this screaming, too. You are two in every sense, and lately that also means stubborn and occasionally tantrum-prone. You can't decide what you want (milk or water, to wash your hands or not, to get in or out of your high chair; you want to call people on the phone but not talk when they pick up); sometimes I think it's not about the thing, you just want to get what you want, even if you yourself can't quite keep track of what that is. It's confusing, navigating this world and all its various boundaries, isn't it?
You can also be impatient, or quick to judge. At the zoo yesterday, you quickly declared "No fishies," but then went on to spend much of your time circling back to the aquarium. Today, we gave you a scooter for your birthday (you always pick them up at the playground); you got on it once and said "I can't do it." You put a second foot on and fell over, and cried. I think you would eventually have loved it, but this time we gave in and got you a bike instead. You're warming up to it, although you'd rather push it than ride it.
This is one of my favorite things about you right now: you want to be the one in charge, the one taking care of things, and because of this you are going to be an excellent big sister. Once the initial shock wears off (I fully expect the same impatience or quick judgment of this new sibling who will change your world), I know that you will be as caring and loving as any big sister could be. I know this because you push your animals around on the mickey plane, and lay out a blanket in the new baby's cradle and tell me this is where your brother-sister will sleep. I know it because you rock your baby doll in her own cradle and sing her Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, just like I sing to you before bed. And I know it, too, because I got you a Dora balloon for your birthday, a balloon as big as you, and as much as you love Dora, when I tried to put her in the infant car seat to get us all home, you screamed "no! that's where my brother-sister sits."
You will be an excellent big sister for many of the same reasons that you are an excellent daughter: your easy, big-hearted laugh, your spontaneous hugs and kisses, the way you frequently sing and dance when you're just walking across the room, how often you say "and me, too" in your quest to participate, to try new things, to help.
It is amazing how much of a personality you have already, how you are so very much yourself; as your mom, it's so much fun to watch you grow into yourself a little more every day, with every task, encounter, or conversation. It may not always be fun that I'm the one you need to test things out on, but I think I can take it. And I know how much your dad and I look forward to watching you become yourself, through whatever you may have in store for us. Know that we will always try to do what's best for you, but give you the freedom, when you're maybe just a little older, to help us figure out what that might be.

Love,
Mom

Happy Birthday from the Duggans

Brian and Maud really know how to do birthdays. Not only did they send Clio an adorable wood cradle for her baby Stella (great for a 2 year old, perfect for a 2 year old about to become a big sister), they also left a message singing happy birthday. I put it on speaker phone and it completely delighted miss Clio.

Then, to add to the fun, they emailed us a "making of" video.

Here's Brian, Maud, and cousins Finn and Lucia making their birthday tribute.

video

Friday, July 4, 2008

Staten Island Zoo; or, Still Waiting


Lately, Clio loves all things water. Swimming is her very favorite activity, she loves to stomp in puddles, and washing her hands has become an obsession reminiscent of OCD. This morning, thinking about fun things to do on a holiday weekend when you're stuck in town waiting for a baby to come along, Dave offered her two choices: The Aquarium or the Zoo. She chose the Aquarium. Twice. She also chose the "fishies" and the "ray," the latter of which I think Dave was bringing out to scare her off the aquarium (remember the last trip?)

But Dave took no stock in this answer, and we went to the Zoo.


So where did we spend most of our time there? In the aquarium, saying hello to the fishies. The big
fishies and small fishies and mommy fishies and baby fishies, and the big green fishy who opened his mouth "like this" (at which point Clio demonstrated the open wide, pop closed, open wide rhythm of the big green fish.) The Tropical Rainforest and Jungle are both branches off of the central aquarium, and we kept bringing her in to each, thinking she'd really want to see the "cats" (leopards and servals) and monkeys, but she kept circling back to see the fishies.

Outside, she was content to watch the river otters for quite some time, which makes some sense as they are excellent little swimmers.


On our way to the Kiddy Korral, she even stopped for quite a while to check out this
empty pool of water,

which was, apparently, much more interesting than the bantam chickens and rabbits that were right behind her. (She did, eventually, with some coaxing, give them a chance.)


She also had a heck of a time feeding the ducks, but we didn't capture that on film.


The Kiddy Korral is basically a petting zoo, where you can buy rye crackers to feed the goats, donkeys, and llamas.

The animals were hungry.


Clio thought it best to get herself up above their reach, letting Daddy do all the work while she observed.

I think the very best part of her day, though, was washing her hands in this industrial sink.

Unlike at home, where she needs to stand on a step stool, she could walk right up to this thing and get to the soap "by all myself," and reach down into the basin for splashing.

We had to tear her away.

Incidentally, if you're wondering how I'm doing, well, I'm still waiting. As we were leaving, another mom passed
by and we exchanged smiles. Then she said "looks like you're going to have that one before you leave the zoo!"

(To be fair, I am wearing a broad horizontal stripe shirt which emphasizes the fact that I am 41 weeks along, and counting.)


As for her comment? Well, no such luck.
Dave is now really interested in having the kids share a birthday, so we're going out for lobster tonight. It worked on Clio!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Outfit of the Week; or, A Chip off the Old Block


This morning, Dave was upstairs getting Clio dressed while I made some pasta for her lunch. He called down to me, "If Clio picks out the outfit, do I let her wear it, no matter how bad it is?"

Yup. Yup, you do.
Especially considering the battles that surround getting dressed as of late.

"It matches in a way," he called. "I had something much more matched picked out, but she didn't want it."

For those of you who knew me oh, 30 years ago, you'll see that Clio has picked up my penchant for "matching" patterns by scale or color. I've discussed this in these pages before, but this is a truly excellent example. Despite the fact that red and peach pretty much clash under any circumstances, somehow the matched scale of the graphic pattern makes it work.... more than other selections I could have imagined.

Clio came down the stairs "by all myself" and said "look at my pants, Mommy!" Yes Clio, I see.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Some Action, but not of the New-Baby Variety

I broke bedrest on Sunday to attend Isaac's birthday party. (I've found that I can do about one thing a day, whether it's a trip to the midwife, a mani-pedi, or a party, and then it's back to the couch.)

Clio has really embraced the whole party thing, and with all the perch babies turning 2 between late May and early August, it is high season.
The best thing about these parties, for me, is the chance to catch up with friends from my Mom's group. At Isaac's, in particular, the pregnant contingent was in effect, and it was great to see Stephanie and Jennifer, both due in October.

For Clio (and apparently Dave), the best thing about these parties is other people's toys.
She and Dylan practiced sharing while cooking in Isaac's Kitchen, and she and the Daddy checked out Isaac's great little armchairs. (Do you think I could get her a chair of her own already, or what? I think this subject has been topped in regularity on this blog only by references to Target.)


I'm not exactly sure what happened to Dave's balloon there, but Clio got to take one home as a favor.


It was quite a feat getting it to and from the car without losing it, as Dave and I were NOT allowed to help; as of today, it is a withered little ball on the floor, which she continues to insist on smothering with love and affection. This morning she was sort of biting it to make the most awful sound. I guess we needn't have worried about the trauma of it popping- this thing is resilient! Dave drew the line at bringing it to day care. At least from there it may not have made it home!