Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alice Music

Just so you know, I took some of the below photos on a Friday visit to Santa Cruz, some during a weekday trip to the neighborhood park, and the rest on Easter Sunday. None of what I wrote has anything to do with any of those adventures, so I just hope you can keep up. This blog ain't for simpletons.

Alice has discovered the CD shelf in the fantastic library here and can't get enough. I am actually typing this in the dark while the rest of the family sleeps because the songs (using that term super generously here) from the Super Why! soundtrack that we got at our last visit keep running through my head.

One of the most annoying catchiest songs on the CD goes like this: "Youuuu haaave the power. You can do anything you want to doooo." Alice and Matt actually got into an argument the other day because he told her that she had the power and she got angry and told him that she definitely did NOT have the power. He got a kick out of her irrational insistence on not having the power and continued to tell/taunt her that she did, in fact, have the power. We're going to have to find a body shop to fix the forehead-shaped dent in the dashboard I created during this most ridiculous exchange.

A few weeks ago we borrowed an old school Sesame Street soundtrack, and what I wouldn't give to have Oscar the Grouch running through my head at midnight instead of this Super Why! baloney. Don't even get me started on the song about Woofster: "He's smart and he's strong. Woofster!" And why does the title of the show have an exclamation point at the end of it? It makes writing a sentence with Super Why! in the middle so awkward. Why!?, I ask you.

Alice will fall asleep in the car with the "Alice music" (her term) playing and, when we think it's safe, we'll switch to something a little less similar to Chinese water torture.  We know the nap is over once her eyes spring open and she croaks, "Where's the Alice music?" Either that, or, occasionally, "Hey, I need a snack."

I realize that out of all the photos in this post, I only have one that features Joanna. It's not that she's any less photogenic or that we're any less enchanted with her than we are with Alice, it's just that sometimes I forget to aim my camera at the cheerful little nugget in the stroller or infant carrier when we have a whirling dervish to contend with.  Also, what in the world did I find interesting enough to blog about when Alice was this small? Obviously important updates and showstopping antics. It's true, unfortunately, that Joanna did have to have her Dream Baby status temporarily suspended for a few weeks, but I think we're getting back on track with more regular nights now.

Dream Baby status: reinstated, subject to a two-week probationary period.

The shoes. Oh, the shoes. They are Alice's princess slippers, sized two sizes too large, purchased in a moment of weakness at Target.  I was just trying to zip in and out for some sneakers on our way somewhere else. That was my fatal mistake: she could smell my desperation to leave the store quickly and knew I would agree to nearly anything to just get out.

She loves them and we're pretty sure that she's slept the night in them a few times. And, it only took one tumble down the stairs for her to agree that it's probably for the best if she takes them off and walks barefoot down stairs from now on. 

In retrospect, I guess we should have anticipated that fall down the stairs. 

No, she doesn't always call him "Matt", sometimes she calls him "Mr. Dad."

Dora the Explorer still looms large around here, and if you're wondering how Smiley Jo is fitting into our Dora-themed bizzaro universe, you should know that she now proudly bears the alternate identity of Baby Jaguar, so she can join the family with Dora, Boots, and Back-cack.


But, when we get tired of hearing all about which one of us is Dora and which one of us is Boots, etc. over and over in close sequence (I'm still Backpack? Got it. Who's Dad? Still Boots? Okay I think I can remember that. Oh, you're Dora. I see. And Joanna is Baby Jaguar? That's neat!), we can switch over to our alternate alternate identities à la Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in which guess-who stars as Minnie Mouse. Joanna was very generously assigned the made-up role of Minnie Baby, I scored the coveted role of Clarabelle* and Matt, inexplicably, Goofy. I think our girl knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

I think she has the "lunatic chic" look down.

*Not familiar with Clarabelle? No need to look her up! I'll just tell you she's Minnie's BFF and sometimes lady-friend of Goofy and leave it at that. What? You Googled her? Okay, yes, I can confirm that she is, in fact, a cow.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cozy House

Thanks to Matt's parents, a.k.a. Grammy and Grampy, a.k.a. The Most Helpful People in the History of People (TMHPitHoP), we are very close to being settled in our new place. No, I didn't get any photos of their visit; I was too busy asking them to do things and not changing any diapers.


After a month and a half of transience, it feels really, really good to once again have a home we can deface with crayons and turn into an obstacle course of laundry piles and shoes.

Between (among, Mom?) the house we left behind in Denver, the temporary apartment, the bedbug exile at the Residence Inn, and now this new town house in Mountain View, Alice has become a little confused about what we mean when we tell her it's time to go home.


When we toured this place, we were charmed by a few small storage spaces that looked like the perfect spots to throw a few pillows and read a book.  Inspired by those nooks, we began calling this house "the cozy house."


Cozy is right - we have stuff that fit easily in our Denver home (and garage) stuffed into every possible corner (including those inviting storage spaces that looked perfect for snuggling with a book, unfortunately).  But, I'm hoping it also begins to feel like a cozy house because it's comfortable and comforting and homey.

I'll consider it a good start that we've only broken one window and one toilet, and only accidentally locked Joanna in her bedroom one time.  So far, so good!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Well, just one babe named Alice.

Licking/french kissing the wet staircase railing outside the hotel after a rain shower, while keeping one eye on me because, even though she's never specifically asked, she has a hunch that rail-licking is a no-no: "Mmmm! This water is so YUMMY!"

At the library: "I don't want to check out ANY books! I juss want to steal them. OKAAAAY?"

As the four of us are getting ready to leave the hotel: "Daddy! Mommy! Jojo! Awice! Togever we are... THE FAMIWY!"

At four in the morning, two hours into an awakeness bender, as I lie next to her in bed on the strict condition that she also lie down with her eyes closed. Eyes very energetically clamped shut and head aggressively pressed onto the pillow, she gropes around in the dark for my tangled, greasy ponytail. "I like your hairdo, Mommy. How did you do that?"

And, disgustingly:

Me: "Here's a tissue, sweetie. We don't play with our boogies."
Alice: "But I have to. It's my trick! I made a smile!"

Admiring her handiwork from a successful visit to the potty: "I made a nine!"


I'm posting this from my phone because our desktop is being held hostage by the bedbugs in our temporary apartment (which, for obvious reasons, turned out to be more temporary than we had planned). We move into our rental house tomorrow and we can't wait to have a bedroom door and more than two changes of clothes again. Don't feel too sorry for us though- we're being put up at a Residence Inn with free breakfast, housekeeping, and thrice weekly dinner. We're crying into our solo cups of free wine.

The girls and I have been exploring the area while Matt gets settled in at work. Alice was thrilled to learn that Matt now helps to create her beloved "Neckflicks." I have some real photos to share, but they're stuck on the camera until we get the computer set up in our new place.

Until then, below are some phone snapshots of our vagabond life of late.

Top grid, starting from the top left corner and moving clockwise: Alice feeling at home in the Neckflicks theater; princess shoes two sizes too large (only took about 30 minutes for her to trip down the steps in them); reading Berenstain Bears on Easter Sunday; pushing her bestie Dora on the swing; spa treatment; legwarmer baby - the eighties are back!

Bottom grid, going the same way: car nap, California style; pollen nose from sniffing every.single.flower in Mountain View; airport shenanigans en route to California; happy baby; sisters in sunlight; tallest gore in the wored.