Tilda and Ursula, summer to pre-birthdays, enjoy!
enjoying the summer bounty
with all the fake imagery appearing behind political candidates- we wanted to green screen in some flowers and ocean pictures, but realize that some reality is the best medicine (here is a great green screen clip- from Colbert)
Ursula gets into a box of clothing and the flour container...
Daddy points to the giant rock coated with decades of bird poop
Ursula was for the bridge...
...before she was against it.
Early spelunking skills (Tilda hides in the easel)
Ursula is going to make a mean architect.
Trying to make the girls look like 1973 (getting them ready for the super-oil crisis just around the corner)
School has started...back to crazy time. We've enrolled Ursula in soccer and Spanish classes for the semester....Tilda is taking lumps...from her rambunctious big sister who forgets her strength.
Eventually, Ursula and Matilda will be placed on the named-storm list for the NOAA...at least the popularity of the name Ursula will remain very low on social security baby name list because of the new Lil' Mermaid movie. [e]
Ursula goes crazy hot for the Tea Leaf Salad and Samosas at Burma Superstar
Mommy has game
Daddy and Tilda return from a hike to the new studio
Goodnight mittens, Goodnight potato, Good noises everwhere
Ursula is fascinated with stories about Peter Rabbit right now, so her fire fighter puppet has been recast as a Mr. McGregor.
Been making masks out of boxes (that's what I get for reading her "Two Boxes" from Where the Sidewalk Ends) and paper bags (that's what I get for reading her Olivia).
... tempera paint, toilet paper tubes, strawberry basket, masking tape, and Costco milk box ...
Fruit Motivational Roll-Ups are even better than Peppermint Motivational Patties. Still workin' out the kinks on that whole potty training thing.
The image below is the result of providing some lines, pointing to each, and requesting the respective letter. I actually didn't think she'd write her name. It was just for kicks. But now we can determine her personality! Thorough analysis reveals that she is a "thinker who uses an analytical approach to solve the problems of love and life." [s]
After a gruelling few days, it looks like we'll be buying fewer diapers.
You may be thinking how did we do it (at least for three days so far)? And do I need to buy a Dr. Phil pee-pee doll?
No. But the following props will help:
- Beer helmet - I think this one has the best
picture. Although using the beer is tempting, juice is probably the more
responsible option. Or if you're too cheap to buy one, like us, just get the child full of juice, milk, water, tea, and cocoa at every opportunity. Be sure to talk about waterfalls and rivers. And we even tried dunking her hand in warm water while she was on the potty (it didn't work).
- A few Peppermint Motivational Patties - in the shiny, crinkle package. Marshmallows, for when you start getting desperate. And I don't know, fudge?, for when you get even more desperate.
- Comfortable toddler underwear, at least six pair. Before each accident layer
with several pairs of leggings, a couple sweatpants, and then plenty of expandable shorts with sewn-in kitchen sponges, perhaps a wet suit for the final layer. Have enough of these "outfits" on hand to get through an entire day of accidents.
- Cover all carpeting with shiny tin foil and carry a loud buzzer for each time the child has an accident. On the other hand we found a calm, matter-of-fact attitude seemed to go far ... "ohh, you peed your pants? That must be uncomfortable."
Rumble at the Studio - that's Ursula trying to set up her train track and Tilda about to go Godzilla on it. Toppling her block constructions is apparently even more fun.
Tilda found some babies at a downtown gallery.
Sampling food at our fabulous, but horrendously crowded Farmers' Market. We never seem to have enough bags, so mommy has designed a new one (check out the Locavore Market Bag).
We even got some "ugly shitakes" from the mushroom people. Someone please start a band with that name.
Did you get the impression that Ursula could make her own bed? Apologies. She CANNOT make her own bed. Begging and pleading for 15 minutes straight will simply get the following response, "no, YOU make the bed." Even threatening to make the bed for her isn't working so well either. She has, in fact, perfected the Blank Stare.
On observing Ursula's daring quarterback moves around the swimming pool and daddy's new grey hairs, Great Grandma Judy reminded everyone that Ursula's mother was also a "difficult child." [s]
We have returned from a family reunion in Spokane, Washington. We heard Hornsby's "That's Just the Way It Is" on every take-off and landing of each of the four flights. Is it Alaska/Horizon Airlines' philosophy of air travel or is it meant to keep all of the people calm in the plane? About two songs later you'll hear "As," to which Ursula would shriek "Stevie Wonder!! That's Stevie Wonder Mommy!" [s]
Ursa is VERY proud that she has her own suitcase.
I like this photo because my thighs look unrealistically slender. I believe it's the same special-effect used by Peter Jackson to make the hobbits looks small in Lord of the Rings. Which means I am sadly pathetic AND geeky. So I have a plan. I'll just carry the picture around with me constantly and let people know that, sure, my thighs may look enormous to you right now, but check out this photo.
It was actually summer in Spokane, but the Riverfront Park fountain was San Francisco cold.
Great Grandma Esther cuddles Tilda. Apologies that the photo does not do justice to her style. She dresses way better than I do.
Something about a crawling baby gets everybody crawling (Gia and Tilda).
Great Aunt Martha worked hard putting together this bucket of weapons.
Great Grandma Judy pushes that whole reading thing.
Some very friendly geese at the park were instructed to keep their distance.
Great Uncle Bob makes off with a pair of toddler shoes, infuriating Ursula.
Ursula (dressed as the tooth fairy) discusses Korea with Uncle Nate.
They are coming for your teeth (tooth fairy wings for the costume party).
Pilgrimage to The White Elephant.
Don't forget your Bubble Gum Bobbers one aisle over from the ammo, two down from the Legos.
Daddy studies the local typography.
Waiting for the vanilla malt at Dick's drive-in.
Tired? Thirsty? Hungry? Annoyed that your parents won't let you hang out the door of the "Skyride"? We can't really tell you why she's crying. She was perfectly happy on the ferris wheel and roller coaster that scared the *%#* out of her mommy.
Ursula is tormented by desire after Daddy hands her a graham cracker and warns "DON'T EAT THE COOKIE" before take-off. That was originally an entire graham cracker. Here she is right before take-off with the remaining nibble that she successfully (barely) reserved for the moment. She's really concentrating hard on that cookie.
There's this advice out there to feed your kid colorful meals so that they won't become a picky eater. I like that advice. It sounds good. I just have the hardest time rising to it, especially with youngest, who is not yet supposed to be indulging in the common allergens like tomatoes, egg whites, nuts, and crabcakes - I mean shellfish. Okay, fine, so she got ahold of some crabcake that one time ... and a peanut ...
So I wind up with monochromatic poops. And sometimes it's just the thing I need to make my day interesting. A meal of black beans, blueberries, and black olives became next day's purplish tar sludge. Then there's daddy's beets and raspberries. Or my sweet potato, egg yolk, cantaloupe, and steamed carrots. Poor thing must have a hard time telling what she's eating. [s]
found another cool playground for the girls- this one is next to the Stern Grove- nice eucalyptus smells
this tunnel entrance for a kid must be frightening
"must climb rope"
Most of the time I feel like I'm doing everything wrong. That I don't have enough food groups in this meal, I'm not doing the "time out" right, or that it's my fault Ursula has a short attention span when she gives back rubs. But then we drove by this guy last we that was fussing with his iPod earbuds before stepping onto his skateboard, while wearing a (maybe 6 month-old?) baby in a Bjorn, on the hilliest section of busy Market Street. We haven't seen him since, phew.
When I was a child visiting family in the big city, Gramma Esther used to take us to The White Elephant. I thought the place was awesome. It seemed to be an enormous store with tiny aisles with the whole world crammed onto the shelves, floor to ceiling. There were lots of toys, but for some reason I remember fawning over the camping and fishing paraphernalia. I remember begging my grandmother to buy me some rubber worms from quite an impressive assortment. I assume you use them to fish ... for something. I couldn't tell you. I don't even know how to fish. But I really thought those rubber worms were awesome, and likewise any store that would think to sell such an awesome thing.
We will be in Spokane next week and I'm sure I have to expose my oldest daughter to the awesomeness of The White Elephant. I know I can't hope for the place to be the same warren of aisles or that my daughter will beg me to buy a rubber worm, but I can tell you that they have a promisingly bizarre web page with animated pictures of a flickering neon toy sign, a child bumpily riding a mechanical elephant (FOR FREE), and various large guns and rifles being cocked over and over and over again. [s]
A hand-painted cardboard box is the next best thing to a carnival.
"I want a marshmallow! I want a marshmallow!"
"I can't give you a marshmallow right now. If I gave you a marshmallow right now I'd be a bad mother."
"Be a bad mother! Be a bad mother!"
About 10 minutes later someone became a bad father, marshmallow-speaking.
Teaching a 2-year-old to make the bed involves unrelenting, mind-numbing rivers of encouragement. Every morning while my eyelashes are still glued together I grunt some enthusiastic praise.
"Awesome ... good job ... wow ... look at that"
But, I am so happy to say, she gets it done. She slowly, imperceptably learns. I savor triumph.
Often this leaves the bed so enticing that Ursula crawls right in. Then little sister tries to crawl right in after. Sister 1 pushes sister 2. Sister 2 starts to bawl. Mommy growls "Stop pushing your sister. Stop kissing your sister. Stop pushing. I mean it. Do you want a time out?!" That sort of ravishes any sense of triumph.
Ursula can expertly unload the dryer and I don't even have to squeeze into the cheerleader outfit. I usually tell her that, no, maybe I'll do it, which infuriates her. "No, no, no, I-I do it!"
Tilda has taken to sleeping with her lower lip tucked in, as if to protect herself against those teeth that keep popping out. It's adorable. It makes my fingers itch to stroke her eyebrows or kiss her nose. [s]
Helping daddy out in the art studio.
Tucking her teeth in while exploring the Headlands studio
We had a good holiday week and have successfully done the commute to the new studio. It's a real pleasure having square footage for painting and for Ursula to spread out with her toys and finally her first railroad trainset.
Tilda is working on another tooth and is learning the differences between saying 'mamma and dadda' to the right people...her humming, mumbling during dinner is so cute...we forget those little moments in the development of a baby.
pikku suomalainen in the cloverfield atop the Diamond Heights neighborhood (FYI- Tilda is only 1/4 Finn- true Finns don't smile;)
trying to eat fast in the westerly winds at the Headlands
count 'em...4 bambi's cleaning up the local lawns in Marin County
Beer, Cake and Coffee trifecta...what a special treat
as shown by the prepared boxes..this just might be the best take out Dim Sum in the city...
I guess this homeowner really likes yellow (or dislikes their neighbors)
Ursa gets her first haircut!
Olive my love 4 you
the blur of rising food prices
We've been hearing loud complaints from Ursula's room at bedtime that her new nap buddy (Ruby) "won't close her eyes!" and go to sleep.
We've been trying to explain to Tilda that it's gauche to put your feet up on the table at lunchtime.
... well then ... I suppose we do have a bit of work to do with Ursula as well.
A babysitter told Ursula about a broken leg when she was younger and it left quite an impression. Here daddy is tending Ursula on her "hospital bed" of toilet tissue and fitted her with a pair of leg braces.
There is alot going on in this picture ... clearly there is some sort of secret plot being hatched by a shadowy group of conspirators on the right hand side (the circles usually represent pairs of eyes or people's heads). I mean, that's obvious, right?
Yay! Ursula and Tilda have a new cousin...Benjamin Scott Wolsborn has joined the Fairfax clan making the family a perfect half-dozen. Congratulations to John and Ashley with their new bundle.
"I made a robot"
free foamcore (and some cutting) equals a million dollar mansion for the playmobil family
Shh! Don't tell Ursula, but we've heard that Mommy is building a gambrel roofed barn (it even has a loft and cupola)
A little protection from Tilda (check out this incredible cat lime helmet)
dots and stripes
it's a mystery that any food gets eaten...
Enjoying the Occidental sunbathing chair with Aunt Erin
A trustworthy Grampa lets Ursa have complete control of the hose
Going on road trips is easy while Tilda still fits
Tilda sizing up a work in progress
Congratulations to our friends with the new summer babies:
Porter Thomas Wagner born on Wednesday June 11. 6.2 pounds and 18 inches
(Kimberly and Matt)
Charley Martin Hergert born a whopping 10 lbs. 3 oz., 21" long on June 20th.
(Marty and Amy)
Clio Naomi Wachtel was born on June 12, 2008, at 7:00 AM, weighing in at 6 pounds 11 ounces, and measuring 20 inches long
(Seth and Alexis)
and we're anxiously waiting for the birth of Ursula and Tilda's cousin down in Fairfax VA. In a quick note, Tilda now has her two front teeth (4 months earlier than Ursual did...)
2030 Olympic training
Walk with caution towards the little old Fort under the Golden Gate Bridge...yes, there is a homeland security guy with binoculars watching every car that approaches this most sensitive spot...
the family love books...
full speed for an hour
feeding celery to the milk cow at Tilden
the original renewable pacifier
During a wonder week, lil' ones can seem irrational, upset and need some extra loving...this week Tilda is beginning to cruise up on objects and can pull a lever (cause and effect.)
Sorry for the lack of updates lately; we've been watching Frontier House again...and dreaming of that romantic life in the country with acres of potatoes and squash...'cause the freakin' oil apocalypse is coming. (Nah, just teasing, but seriously Mom and Dad need to stop reading about how the Saudis are lying about their oil reserves and why we need to buy 50 acres and a mule now.)
Ursula had a great trip to the dentist- no cavities etc. and she is a real trooper with the cleaning, flossing and fluoride treatment. Tilda has no teeth...Ursula didn't get a single tooth until 11 months.
Yay!!! School is finally done... [e]
We had a Dim Sum feast on Mother's Day!
She giggled and had a great time...we have an alien child
retreating into her cool new dog tent (but she steals Tilda's toys in the process)
Ursula gets her first +80 degree day of the spring/summer and enjoys it thoroughly
got federal rebate check? Sorry Bush (and China), but we've decided to buy food and save the rest of our coming rebate check.
Ursula surveys the community garden at USF...we're really excited to help out with this summer project!
She kept asking where 'dennis' was and why we weren't playing baseball.
Wearing her puppet's firefighter jacket. Click on that link - it's crazy that she fits into this jacket!
Did you miss the last couple weeks of pictures?