Sunday, December 30, 2007


Now, I don't want to play favorites or anything. But the undeniable fact of the matter is, Clio is totally smitten with my Dad. So much so, in fact, that The Mommy was often playing second fiddle to the ever-great Papa. All day long, we heard "papa papa papa." "Papa up." "Papa yadoo (color)." "Papa's Chair."

In looking through our pictures from the trip I have to say, who can blame her?

Papa was a very attentive grandparent, forever carrying her around, up and down stairs and around the house and inside and outside. He was forever listening to her talk, and even, I suspect, deciphering her language (or understanding it instinctively) and carrying on with some on-going stories. He did let her sit in Papa's Chair, and Clio reciprocated by kicking anyone else out of it. (Look at the proprietary look of "go away"):

But my very favorite sight from the week was encountering Papa and Clio making a little train around the basement, each with a pull toy, so a little duck followed Clio who followed a chain of ducks who followed Papa.

Clio could play this game for hours. And Papa, bless his heart (and patience), was happy to indulge her.

First Haircut

It was time.

The last time I cut Clio's bangs, I tried for my original technique of simply pulling them up and snipping across while she was distracted. However, I forgot one crucial little thing: the need for Clio to be still. What ensued essentially amounted to running with scissors... at the baby. Fortunately, the results were no worse than a butchered bang job., which you can kind of see here:

With all the family events of the past week, and adorable holiday outfits for each, it seemed fitting that we clean things up a bit. (Plus, of course, there was the trouble with the vaseline-sticky face.)
So we went to Kid's Cuts, a chain in MN recommended by the Hewitts for their expertise in distraction methods as well as actual hair. Clio took the whole thing VERY seriously.

The Before ( agorwn-out, scraggly mess):

The Setup:

The Process (serious business!):

The After (like a Campell's Kid from the 40s!):

The Reward:

She also got a certificate of First Haircut, which I would consider scanning and including here if our scanner had not broken, ironically, the day Clio was born.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The View From Minnesota

It's true what they say: it's cold in Minnesota. Lucky for us, over the 9 days we were there, it snowed about 10 inches, giving us a very white christmas.

With nowhere special to be but home, this winter wonderland was a delight- one that we enjoyed mostly from inside.

Snowy Day is one of Clio's current favorite books, and we did try out her new snow pants for a little backyard adventure.

She wasn't so into the snow itself, but thought the shovel was pretty cool. She also spotted the swing we mounted under the deck for her birthday party, and as an equal-opportunity swinger, thought it would be a good idea to check it out in spite of the snow and ice in the seat. (I guess that's what snow pants are for, huh?)

Of course, what comes with snow and cold but the occasional runny nose? We're not actually sure if the weather or teething is to blame, but during our first few days, Clio's nose and cheeks got so raw, I had to slather them with vaseline on a regular basis. Clio actually thought this was great, and would point to her nose and say "nose," which usually just means that she is identifying a body part, but somehow she created new intonation to mean "I need cream on my nose, please." The only bad side-effect? Her hair kept getting stuck to her face, so we had to try pigtails, which she hated, but I kind of loved.

(more on the resulting haircut, later.)

Luckily, she got two fabulous hats for Christmas, a cool bear hat that Uncle Derek picked up in Japan (he liked that wearing it backwards created "two people" - except, of course, that one of them is a bear)

and a gorgeous hand-knit vision in orange from great-aunt Molly, which Clio repeatedly took on and off for the next two days.

Due to technical difficulties, it has now taken 3 days to actually load all of these photos. I just re-read this post and discovered that it is pretty boring. I'm rusty, I guess. But it was great to hear from several of you that you have missed reading Clio Confidential on my little hiatus. Once I sort through the 400 pictures from our trip (that's right, 400 pictures in 9 days), I should be able to put together a few of the better stories. Bear with me!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas with Cousins

We got the annual Christmas card from my brother, Brian, and sister-in-law, Maud this weekend, with this great picture of Finn and Lucia.

Clio has been carrying it around and asking about these people (memory is short when you're a toddler, and she hasn't seen her cousins since September). She's been repeating after me:





I think, if she understood that we are going to Minnesota on Wednesday, she would be VERY excited to see them!

Happy Birthday to Cousin 'inn (12/15), and see you this weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh, Baby

So, I've been a little worried for the past few weeks about how Clio will take the major life change that is coming her way: the introduction of a new sibling. We've heard plenty of stories of the resentment: my aunt Molly trying to smother her baby brother Jim with a pillow while he innocently rested in his crib; my cousin Ryan trying to cart baby Connor out with the trash. Even Clio's own Grandma said over thanksgiving that the oldest never quite gets over it.

I alternate between sadness that Clio's protected status as the center of our universe will be drastically altered, and the joy I have at the thought of the kind of adventures siblings will have together, and the way they will teach each other how to operate in relationships in this world. Everyone says that your capacity to love actually grows with each child, but what I'm really worried about is time: there will be no more hours in the day, just twice as many children to love and nurture within them. (well, actually, a few more- since we'll be sleeping a lot less!). How do you make enough time to develop relationships with each person in your family independently? How do you carve out special time for each parent with each child, not to mention for parents together without children, to remember that they are grown ups with common interests outside of the small people they brought into the world?

These are the things I've been thinking about. So much so that I considered starting another blog,, to air my thoughts in the weeks before this pregnancy went public.

You know what though? I'm reassured by Clio's interest in mothering her own dolls. Over Thanksgiving in particular, she spent a lot of time feeding them from a toy milk bottle, tucking them in, and shushing everyone when they were "sleeping." She carries them around, puts her shoes and bibs on them, and reads them books. This seems to be a good sign. (On the other hand, I reently witnessed her pushing a smaller child down at day care when he got in her way. She hadn't had a nap and was very tired, but still.)

My cousin Jesse and his wife Catherine are expecting their second child in June as well, and their daughter Mira (adorable photos just a click away, in the links list at right) just turned one. Catherine asked me if Clio knows about the new baby yet, which she doesn't- it seems awfully big and complicated and abstract- and, maybe, threatening. But I'm constantly amazed at how much Clio understands, and a new friend in my mom's group, Janna, did give me hope on this front. She has two daughters herself, 2 years and 9 months apart, and gave me some great advice about bringing the baby into Clio's world: once I start showing, we'll start talking about "our" baby, in a way that makes the addition something that joins us all together, rather than making Clio apart. I love this idea: so simple, so natural, but maybe not so obvious. "our" baby will enrich not only our lives, but certainly- mostly- Clio's, too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The editors of this blog have discovered an error in the most recent post. It was not Dave Peterson but his wife Heather who dressed their baby Clio in her outlandish golfer outfit. Please excuse this egregious error.

Outfit of the Week

It's almost like a pint-sized cartoonish version of a Scottish golfer (or something), don't you think? (Either we are desperately behind on laundry, or Dave dressed her, or both.)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ode to Myself

Like most moms, I spend far more time on any given day thinking about Clio (and many other people) than I spend thinking about myself. But ever since September, when I attended my 15-year high school reunion, I've been thinking about a post with this narcissistic title. Finally taking a moment to toot my own horn was prompted by a convergence of several things:

1. Tomorrow I turn 33

2. At my reunion, I heard the surprising terms "tiny" and "chic" used to describe me. I have never been tiny or chic in my life, but have been known to hope and strive for one or the other, if not both

3. When I went for my annual exam around the same time, my midwife, who originally met me in the 24th week of pregnancy and had last seen me 6-weeks post-partum, told me I was sexy. Yes, sexy.

And finally, since I'm giving up my body again and heading towards this:

And, unfortunately, lots of things a bit less beautiful and amazing, like nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, and (please, not again), edema:

I felt like it was a good moment to reflect on myself, and put forth evidence that motherhood has been good to me in ways that go beyond the general happpy fulfillment stuff. That's right, despite the fact that there's less time in the day, I exercise less, and probably eat worse, I actually look better since Clio came around than I ever did before.

Let's just hope this holds for number two. Here we go again!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Clio Goes to Church (or, Happy 85th Birthday Great-Grandpa Peterson!)

While in Morrison, Clio had her first encounter with God's Church. (For the record, we discussed our collective confusion about this term- I mean, who else's church would it be?) Great-Uncle Ray seemed a little shocked when I admitted Clio had never been to church before, but Barb assures me the Petersons are not all regulars. In fact, one of the church ladies remarked that she hadn't seen Barb in "quite a while...."

Clio made it through about 20 minutes in the nursery until the teenaged boy running the place brought her upstairs and very politely handed her over to Dave; she lasted 5 minutes in the chapel before Dave needed to remove her to less ceremonious environs. I'd say she did quite well, for a
first-timer. This may have been my first Lutheran mass as well, and it was quite lovely. Lots of music (and they sing ALL the verses), a friendly sermon, a kids intermission, and, after the mass, cake.

Normally the snack runs to cheese and crackers, but as a very special surprise for Grandpa Peterson, his daughter and two daughters-in-law descended on the church with a homemade cake each, leading to a spread of sweets that the congregation clearly appreciated. Vicky made a "Better Than Sex" Cake, which Ray, her husband of 33 years, broadcast to anyone who would listen.

(That's Ray on the left. He and Viky celebrated their anniversary on the 30th, so another shout out to longevity!)

As for the birthday boy, he seemed beside himself to have so many family and friends around him, and to have a number of celebrations all for him. (All told, i count 5 or more desserts that were made and consumed in his honor. Yum!)

To capture the moment, we did our best to get a portrait with Clio

But Grandpa settled for me.

He had other chances with Clio, though, with happy results:

Meanwhile, Clio spent the rest of the church after-party taking ornaments off the low branches of the tree. Mom, consider yourself forewarned for Christmas!