February 19th, 2009

Vibble and I are off on a red-eye cross-country tonight. After a one-day stop in the Atlanta area, it’s on to visit the Kinkers at Lakeview Terrace, the retirement community. Not to be confused with Lakeview Terrace, the unpopular suspense thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson.

More Pics of Vibble’s Birthday

February 19th, 2009

Click here.

Now That She’s One, She Must Attend Social Functions of Her Own

February 19th, 2009

Two days after her own birthday party, Violet attended the party of some friends’ little one, Morgan. I couldn’t go, but I’m all caught up since Jeremy put together this little video. Check it out.


February 17th, 2009

The book “Still Life with Rice” by Helie Lee. One of those great, personal, true stories that fill in history about something I never could put a human face on before (Korean history). Two bucks on

How to Raise a Hick in L.A.

February 14th, 2009

Not saying we DO all of these things, but … OK, we do.


Let her wear the same outfit for up to 48 hours.


Make sure she never appears in public with more than one sock on. When every third person urgently alerts you to the missing sock, reply, “Oh. Yeah, she always takes those things off.”


Play her plenty of Dwight Yoakam, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Trisha Yearwood, George Straight, Pam Tillis and Crystal Gayle. Enough so she learns the lyrics by preschool.


Give her baths in the two-sided kitchen sink. When she poops, just move her to the other side of the sink. (I know some of you are horrified right now and making a note to never step foot in our kitchen again. Oh ye who have not had children. Poop in the sink = poop I can bleach away, versus poop on things-ruined-by-poop.)


Feed her plenty of beans. Babies love them some beans.


When you need to divert her attention away from something dangerous or valuable, grab a different, desirable nearby object and toss it. Say to the kid, “You want it? Fetch-it.”


If she doesn’t like to have her face wiped off, just don’t wipe it off. If around her mouth and nose and in her hair there is crusty breakfast cereal mush, sticky dried juice from lunch, dinner’s beans, or all three, just leave them there.


When she crawls by you with a used tea-bag in one hand and an empty yogurt cup in the other, both clearly pilfered from the kitchen trash, do not confiscate these items. Rather, say to her, “I see you got yourself some new toys there.”


When food falls on the floor, the correct response is this: “Ah, the kid can still eat that. Gotta build up her immune system!”


Pants are optional.

To Tide You Over

February 9th, 2009

Because our friends at Vibble Photography are spending this week in midterm-study mode, the photos of their namesake’s first birthday party will understandably take a back-seat until after the last Scantron bubble has been darkened. Meanwhile, I give you a few shots from friends of the big event, as well as some snaps from around the house, including one of the Bread Crumb Massacre of 2009: Click here to look at photos.

(Many thanks to Mark, Jeremy, and Sarah for their photos!)

Celebrating 365 Days of Poop

February 7th, 2009

She’s one! Everyone keeps saying, “Can you believe she’s one already? Don’t they grow up so fast?” And I have to say in response: No, I can’t believe it … JUST ONE??? Wait. She’s only been around for a year? I can’t remember life before her.

She took a couple of steps last night. Do they count as walking? Not really. But they were steps nonetheless. She has also said “Mom” a few times. Does it count as talking? Not exactly. But it’s a word. It’s clear now she understands a lot of what we say—when she wants to. I am a broken record: “Sit down, Violet.” She’s quite the Houdini with any stroller or high-chair seat-belt, and keeping her from standing up in the bathtub is futile.

She waves goodbye and says “Ba.” When you say, “Hooray!” she claps her hands. And smiling, ALWAYS SMILING. It really gets us a lot of attention when we go places. No cashier, waiter, or fellow diner fails to comment and talk to us. She is always making new friends.

I say she is always smiling, but that’s not entirely accurate. Her scream-volume continues to increase, and she now has little tantrums when I take something away from her (where does she FIND all of these life-threatening objects!). Her tantrums often begin with her grabbing the pacifier from her mouth and throwing it forcefully to express her anger. Step two usually involves the quick retrieval and replacement of said pacifier. She HATES to have her diaper and clothes changed. It is always an ordeal. She’s whiny and squirmy about it, and she often wails the whole time.

And the dancing! I’ve seen little ones dance, and it’s awesome, and this kid has been moving to the music since day one. She cannot help herself. Her head starts to bob, her shoulders start to shake, and if she’s on the floor, she is up on her knees with her hands in the air bouncing up and down.

Her favorite things to do right now … climbing the stairs! She LOVES to go up the stairs and giggles the whole time. Every few steps, she turns around to see if we are there, points a finger at us, and continues on. She also still loves to unpack things. Drawers, bags, boxes, trash cans, laundry baskets. The other day she helped herself to an entire container of bread crumbs from the pantry and got it open, spreading bread crumbs across the entire kitchen and all over herself. My day now involves going in circles, cleaning up one thing while she undoes something behind me.

She also loves to hang out with me while I take a bath, play in the water, and throw things into the bathtub. She enjoys her many noise-making toys, and honestly, we don’t mind them. Maybe she is musically gifted, because every time she plays her “piano,” I feel serenaded. She likes to “read” books now and while I wish it wasn’t so, this kid LOVES TV. Oh man. When I turn on the upstairs TV, which she can reach, she literally makes out with it.

But nothing pleases her more than snuggling. If she could hug my arm all day, she would.

She’s gotten very long, but her waist doesn’t quite match her length, so her pants are always sliding down. She eats a lot of vegetables, a lot of various foods in general. She’s a good eater. Often while she eats, she makes loud sounds of pleasure the entire time: “Mmm. Nmm. Mm mm.” Hilarious.

She loves to see older kids playing and talking. We just joined the Y, and I can’t wait to get her into some of the programs. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, we’ll be celebrating tonight with friends at a local restaurant. She’ll have pizza and cake and all the attention she could ever want. She deserves it, she’s very special.