Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Morning

One big stretch

A few nibbles on the puzzle

Some snuggles with Baby

A  trip to the park to enjoy the sunshine

A couple of face-first slides...

...And we had a very merry Christmas morning!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cozy Crib Tent II

Let's see, where were we?

Oh, yes.  Alice was adjusting beautifully to her new arrangement sleeping on just her mattress on the floor. We were taking everything in stride. Life was good.

I'm sure this won't be the last time that I eat my words as a parent, but let's just say that I was a little hasty in deeming the transition out of the crib to be a success.  After many missed naps and three nights in a row of being awake with Alice for hours at a time, we declared the mattress-on-floor experiment to be a failure and picked up one of these:

The Cozy Crib Tent II.

Doesn't it just sound like fun? I mean, it has the word "cozy" right there in the name.  Who doesn't like cozy stuff?  And would you just look at that kid in the promo photo? She's having a blast! And, bonus alert: in addition to keeping your kid in the crib, the Cozy Crib Tent II also keeps cats and insects out! Too good to be true!

Well, I am here to tell you that your child, if she is anything like mine, will not see this new contraption as something fun and worth celebrating.  Instead, she will scream in horror the very first time you put her in the crib with the Cozy Crib Tent II attached.  She will be wailing as you, in a strained, high-pitched voice, try to persuade her: "Isn't this so neat? Look! It's your very own fort!".  You will have to hold her sad little face out of the way as you're zipping the tent closed so that you don't get her chubby cheeks caught in the zipper.  But then.  Then! You will leave the room and you will sigh the exhausted, grateful sigh of a parent who knows that her child will be contained for the next 10-12 hours.  You will drink some wine and smile.  You will sleep the whole night through.

Things will go along swimmingly for a few days.  Order will be restored. Your under-eye circles will begin to fade from purple to sky blue. Then, the Cozy Crib Tent II, after worming its way into your heart, will start to turn on you. You'll notice that the zipper is opening up in a few places, that the fabric seems strained in others.  And then, one nap time, a few minutes after you leave the room, you'll hear a thud, a pitter-patter, and then a door creaking open.

Your child will have broken the zipper on the Cozy Crib Tent II.

And when that happens, let me just tell you, don't panic. You'll be fine.  But, you're gonna need some coffee.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monkey Business

It's been an interesting couple of days, folks.  On Friday night, when Matt and I were chatting with the babysitter after coming home from Matt's office Christmas party, we both laughed hilariously when she suggested that Alice had been trying to crawl out of her crib earlier in the evening.  Boy, did we laugh! Then we shifted uncomfortably in our seats and changed the subject. On Saturday afternoon, Matt put Alice down for her nap, only to be greeted, 30 seconds later, by Alice standing triumphantly in the doorway exclaiming, "hi!".  Twice. On Saturday night, I put Alice into her crib and then watched with horror from the door as my 17-month-old threw her leg up onto the crib rail with the ease of a cowboy mounting his horse, hoisted her whole body over the crib rail, and then let herself down onto the floor as gently and soundlessly as a bank robber.  It was actually pretty impressive.

Not wanting her to get hurt, Matt and I each shed a tear for our old friend, the crib, and took the mattress out of the frame and put it on the floor.  Then, very simply and in a loving yet authoritative tone, we explained to Alice that she would be sleeping there from now on, and that it was time to go to sleep. She nodded her head, snuggled onto the mattress, and drifted to sleep, waking the next morning at 9:30 with a delightful giggle.  Or......we said "good night" and plopped her on the mattress; she started screaming bloody murder; we tried to sprint as fast as we could in order to beat her out of the room and shut the door; she breezed past us and and booked it into the hall.  We picked her up and put her back on the mattress. She leaped up and ran into the hall. We put her back. She ran out.  We did this only about nine more times (I consider this a victory: I've seen enough Supernanny to know that could go on for hours) and then she thankfully got the point. We could hear her puttering around in her room for about an hour, occasionally proclaiming "no, no, no!" or "uh-oh!" to her books and/or stuffed animals, and then, miraculously, she fell silent.  When I peeked in at about 9:00, I discovered her fast asleep like this:


About half an hour later, I peeked in again to see if it was possible for a human to stay asleep while half-standing and half-face-down in a recliner without having previously consumed at least 3 forties, and I found her like this: 


I was trying to get a better, less blurry picture when her eyes snapped open.  Crying, consoling, and reading books followed. 

Speaking of reading, should I be concerned that this is Alice's very favorite thing to read these days?

Not the whole The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, mind you.  Just the Saturday page.  You know, the day the caterpillar eats all the junk food and then gets a stomach ache. Do we not eat enough Goldfish crackers and Christmas "coo-coos" and bacon around here?  She points to each food on the page and makes us tell her what it is.  Over and over and over and over.  She even said "pee-kul" once.  

Wanting to be sure that Alice wasn't feeling too deprived, we decided to hit the ice cream parlor before going to the zoo to see the Zoo Lights display on Sunday night. 


Alice is all about the smooching these days. 

And she's none too picky about whom she's smooching either.  (Again, should I be concerned?)

We're not sure what was up with this lights display that spelled "Alice", but you bet we took a picture in front of it!

It's a good thing that Alice knows how to say "light" (which comes out more like "liiiiiiiigh") and "wow", because those two words were repeated alternately pretty much the whole night. 

She liked the snakes.

And was captivated by the fish.

If only she had been so inspired by our trip to the zoo that she had decided to remain in her crib for all future bedtimes as a display of solidarity with the animals in confinement.  No such luck.  But actually, she is getting used to the new arrangement much more quickly than we expected.  It's Matt and I who are having trouble adjusting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Homework #2

This week for photo class, our assignment was "hands". The instructor said that we could be as literal or as interpretive as we wanted.  For example, he said we could shoot the hands of a clock. Or, say, farm hands.  All the farm hands that pass through my house.  You know, I had been biding my time for a believable pretext to take their picture, but instead of bugging them to move around for the best light and all, I decided to just look around the house for a few inanimate objects that I thought would fit the bill.  I got enough photos to fulfill the assignment, when I noticed that these two pudgy, dimpled little hands had been busy that whole time drawing, dipping in macaroni, and making cheesy, inky fingerprints all over my wall. Who needs to get figurative, anyway?

Monday, December 5, 2011


The week before last, we traveled to Zionsville for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful to be able to visit with so many members of the Jacobs/Rodgers/Denny clan at once. I don't think Alice had one minute of boredom between all of the relatives that were eager to entertain her and all of the dogs that were practically begging to be terrorized. 


Grammy Karen had been baking and planning for weeks so that everything would be just right for the weekend.  Alice even had her own name card to direct her to her designated high chair for Thanksgiving dinner.

The cherry pie looks lovely, but the pumpkin also looks quite nice. What's a girl to do? 
We took advantage of the timing and celebrated Grandma Denny's birthday a little early on Friday night with an Italian feast.

There were rousing games of Quelf, Trivial Pursuit, and Mexican Train (I think that's what it was, and I think it was rousing; I was too busy eating Chex Mix to join in).


And there was pajama playtime out back too.  


All in all, it was a perfect holiday!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This afternoon Matt and Alice very generously humored me by letting me drag them out into the front yard to take photos.  I wanted to kill two birds with one stone by taking a Christmas card photo and also completing this week's homework assignment for the photography class I'm taking.  Matt signed me up for the class as a birthday gift. Wasn't that thoughtful? Also, can you believe I'm not waiting 'til the last minute to do the homework? Boy, things have sure changed since my paper writing days.

Anyhow, here are some of the outtakes from today's shoot.  Don't think I'm going to spoil the fun by posting our Christmas card photo on the 'net.  You'll just have to wait for the snail mail for that (and for me to get organized enough to order them, address them, and send them out).

Assignment #1: Freezing motion

Assignment #2: Capturing blurred motion
Assignment # 3: Small depth of field (still working on this one)

We messed around for at least 45 minutes trying to get a good family photo using the self-timer.  Every time I got up to check the latest shot, Alice would get up too, so then I'd have to set the camera timer, sprint towards Matt, scoop up Alice, arrange myself in a figure-flattering beveled position, and then try to get Alice to look delighted rather than utterly confused all in time for the shutter to release.   After I uploaded the whole set of photos onto the computer to confirm my suspicion that none was passable, we headed back outside for round two (I told you that Matt and Alice were good sports about this).  Just as I was readjusting the camera (precariously teetering on top of our two living room poufs stacked one on top of the other), our neighbor passed by and took pity on us offered to help us out by taking a few.  Just a couple of snaps and a few "look, Alice, a squirrel"s later, and we had ourselves a photo in which all three of us were in the shot and looking at the camera.  Maybe next year we'll even get one of all of us smiling!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This past weekend Vola and Jason paid us a little visit.  They arrived late on Friday night, after Alice was asleep for the night, and they hit the ground running on Saturday morning.  A visit to the Denver Biscuit Company for humongous biscuit sandwiches gave us the necessary fuel to conquer the Alderfer/Three Sisters Trail hike in Evergreen. 






We toasted ourselves afterwards with some wine, Italian soda, and juice box at Creekside Cellars and nibbled on cheese and crackers.


A long afternoon nap for everyone primed the adults for dinner out, while Alice stayed home with a new sitter.  This is only the second time since our move that Matt and I have been out without Alice at night.  It's like a whole other city out there! And it all happens after 7pm.  We went through our whole evening routine and had Alice asleep before the sitter even got there.  Then we went to dinner and then had drinks.  I can't believe how many hours in the day there are that I haven't been utilizing.  You know, all those hours that start with 9, 10, and 11.  Unfortunately, the next morning found me utilizing all those hours that started with 6, 7, and 8, and then I remembered why I'm usually in bed by 10.  Anyhow, we had a lovely evening, and this sitter had better remember where we live, 'cause we're calling her back.  Maybe next time she'll even get to meet Alice.


After a stroll around our neighborhood and then some football watching for the guys and napping/movie watching for the girls, we squeezed in a quick trip to Washington Park before dinner and goodbyes.

We did some Jacobs family roughhousing (caught on film by Vola).

And, I captured a sequence of photos of my most favorite of all of Alice's expressions: the excited/bashful/giggly face with hands smashed on mouth and nose.  I dare you to watch her do it in person and not smile.

I hope Vola and Jason come back soon!