Lunch with the Smiths


Kris and I met up with the Smiths for lunch today. Though Meter was wary of Kris-Stranger-Danger, she cuddled up to me, which made me very very happy. Yes, having lunch with two little girls who have a balloon and a tiara between the two of them, is a fabulous way to start a new year.




Yeah, and, about that tiara, I couldn't resist.

The tiara looks good on me.

MMMM housewarming!


Kris and I went over to Mark and Megan's for their house warming party. I tragically didn't remember the invite correctly, and missed that it started at 11:00 AM, thinking it started at 1:00 PM and showing up at 2:00 PM would be fine. It was supposed to end at 3:00 PM, so I was dumb.

We arrived some time soon after 2:00 PM, and chatted for a moment with Brynne and Chookie and Shirley and Martha and Doyle people before Megan walked in with Meter on her hip. Oh, little kid, please tell me you've forgiven me, please, oh, please, I thought, as I asked Megan if I could hold Meter. Megan said sure, Meter resisted. I eventually won her over, and she let me hold her and play with her.

With her pigtails, oh my goodness, does Meter look like Mirabelle.


Eventually, Mark came over from socializing with other guests, and sat down with us to talk. When I handed him Meter, Mark commented that she's been having a rough week. He brushed aside her bangs and showed us a lovely flower of a bruise. Aside from Meter's gum dive, she rode her tricycle off the deck and managed to land on her head.

Either that kid is going to be the toughest kid on the block or Evel Knievel's logical successor.


Communal dinner at Brynne's


Brynne is back in town, on holiday from her East Coast business school adventure, and hosted an "Old Skool communal dinner, inviting the whole crowd over for dinner. I think unfortunately her dinner was less "old school" where everyone brought something and the host cooked only the main dish, and more "new school" where one person does all of the cooking. Well, unfortunate may be the wrong word. She spent a lot of time cooking. If she enjoys it as much as I enjoy cooking, it wasn't really that unfortunate.

What WAS unfortunate, however, was Meter's spectacular nose dive into the coffee table. Except it wasn't really a nose dive, so much as a gum dive into the table, and I feel about 1" tall about it.


Earlier in the evening, I had managed to snag Meter from the ice bucket she was playing in, where she had snagged a giant ice cube and was sucking it down. She was doing a good job of melting the cube in her mouth, losing it only a couple times to dump it down my shirt (brrrrrrr!) or on my pants.


When the ice cube was done, Meter wanted to walk downstairs, so down we went, to find Brynne's mom and toys, toys, toys! Fun! We played with the boxes and the stars for a few minutes until Meter just turned around from what she was doing, and threw herself into my arms, scrambling up my lap and into my arms.

Although I found the move adorable and endearing, it confused me, too. When I set her down, she immediately scrambled back up into my arms and held on tight.

Ohhhhhhh..... kaaaaaaaaay. Adorable kid, you're confusing me.

I took her upstairs to hand Meter to Mark and ask if this was a sign for something, anything, or was she just being cute?


Mark let me know she was just being Meter, and that she was fine. He set her down, and walked away to be social with some group. I watched Meter as she stood up and started walking towards a glass coffee table.

Now, earlier in the evening, I had a conversation with Katie about learned helplessness, and how many children in today's society can't do anything because their parents do EVERYTHING for them. There's no sense of try, there's no resourcefulness. There's only this prevasive helplessness that will be the death of this society.

As Meter started walking towards the table, I had a HUGE urge to pick her up and turn her away from the table. I had horrible visions of her falling into the table. I recalled the conversation from before, and thought, let the kid go, she'll be fine. At this point, she was only about 8" from the table, she'd be fine.

Until she tripped.

And wasn't fine.

Her forehead hit the table corner, bounced and her upper gums hit the corner again. Her arms went just under the table, missing the save.

HOLY CRAP. I swooped in and grabbed her before she even knew she was hurt, and picked her up. She started crying and screaming, I turned and thrush her into Mark's arms, while people in the other room called out to me, "Kitt, what did you do now?"

I felt so bad. Beyond bad. Horribad.

Meter had cut her upper gum and was bleeding a lot. Mark calmed her down, stopped the bleeding and held her for a while. Me? I just wanted to be very, very small.

And gone.


Even earlier in the evening than all of this, I had also managed to break one of Brynne's mother's chairs, when I put my feet on the rung that seemed footrest-ish when I put my feet on them. The loud CRACK! when I propped my feed up let me know how mistaken I was about the chair, with the deafening silence that followed letting me known that everyone else knew it, too.

With the chair incident and Meter's crash, I was no longer in a holiday, social mood, wanting just to crawl under that rock over there (right over there, see it?) and hide, so I left early. Hopefully I'll time my visit at Mark and Megan's housing warming this weekend with Brynne's and have the opportunity to catch up with her.

Meter on a rampage


One of the reasons I didn't want to stay in Indiana yesterday was that Meter was coming over to visit me this morning. We had talked about getting together, and she agreed to convince her mom to drive her over this morning, where we could garden, feed the dogs, and chat about life in general.

So, when she arrived this morning, mom Megan in tow, I figured the day was going to be good.

Megan handed me Meter's new toy when she arrived. I have to say, I was a little freaked out by it. It's a mechanical duck that quacks when you feed it its bottle. It isn't the soft, cuddly duck like Aunt Jemima from my youth, oh no, it's a plastic duck that contained in its feathers hours of entertainment.

Yes, entertainment. Tasty, tasty entertainment.

Tasty entertainment

Bella was quickly intrigued by the tasty entertainment, and came over to investigate. In reality, I think she was interested in the possibility of eating a small duck, which happened to be quacking over in this general direction, but that's part of the tasty entertainment, eh?

Meter was fabulous with Bella. She petted her without grabbing. The two were quickly fast friends.

Bella being patient for Meter

Part of me can't help but wonder if Bella had moved on from eating the small duck to eating the small child next to her. I mean, come on, anyone that cute HAS to taste good, no?

Bella and Meter

After a while, I decided that Bella needed a treat for being so good. I don't know if Bella really understands the concept of rewards, or if life is just what happens between rewards, but she was good enough to reward.

As I was in the kitchen, I heard a roll of thunder outside. The sound had me perplexed, as sun was shining in through both the front and the back windows. I looked around me, only to realize that Meter had followed me. The thunder was her announcing, yo, lady, here I am.


We played with the various balls I have around the house. Meter liked the basket ball, but I have to tell you, the 4.4 pound, soft, squishy ball I have really confused her. It was smaller than the other ball, but ugh, she couldn't pick it up very well.

She did, try, though. And managed a few times. After a while, though, the basketball was more fun.

Eventually, though, even the basketball can be boring, so we went outside to garden.


Although we did make it as far as the garden, and smelled a lot of flowers, the act of walking seemed to entertain Meter best. We walked around for a while...

Meter walking

until Annie joined in.

Annie kissing Meter

Then it wasn't so much fun.

Except that it was.

Annie and Meter became the best of friends, having in depth conversations comparing and contrasting foods and health care, swapping tips on hair styles and what to do about excess facial hair, even the best way to convince "the others" in the household to do their bidding.

I felt so left out.


Eventually, Megan came by and rescued me from the loneliness.

I swear, it is impossible for me to take a bad picture of Megan.

I want that superpower.


Hanging out with Meter


Megan needed a little help this morning, with the handful known as Meter. When she asked me to help out, I jumped at the chance, er, gracefully accepted. Megan needed about an hour, so she helped me fit Meter into a front sling and off the two of us went.

We wandered down the main street of Los Gatos, looking into windows, wandering into various stores. The first store we went into was the one I was looking for: Williams Sonoma. We went in, wandered through the baking items, the various fancy glasses (which I dashed away from quickly when I realized that Meter's reach was greater than I thought), the mixes and sauces, the knives, and the cooking implements. I was looking for some small pie dishes, similar to the ones I received from Max and Rosa at our wedding: a set of four 5" pie plates for mini pies.

Alas, Williams Sonoma didn't have them, but they did have a set of four towels that match Andy's kitchen and a spatula that doubled nicely as a Meter chew toy.

Fifteen minutes down, another 45 minutes to go.

We managed to find a health food store which carried rice protein powder. I was momentarily discouraged when I first looked at their selection, as it was about 90% whey protein, 6% soy protein and 2% "tastes like crap" egg protein. Fortunately, I found the rice protein and was all set.

We wandered down to the end of Main Street, before turning around and wandering back to the other end of town. That trip included a detour into the Apple store. Meter was fascinated with all the colors and buttons. Not that I blame her. Have to start these kids early, so that they know quality.

Eventually, Megan was done, and the three of us wandered to a cafe to pick up lunch and, the best part, dessert. I ate mine before lunch, as all good dessert should be eaten first.

We then walked back to Mirabelle's day care, and waited for her class to end so that all of us could have lunch together.

While we were waiting, Megan had to head into the office for a permission slip, so I continued to wait for Mirabelle's class to be over. Megan was still gone when the classroom door flew open and a rush of little people came pouring out of the room into waiting arms of crouching parents.

Mirabelle, however, stood just inside of the room, as everyone else ran around. She stood there, looking down, looking so sad. I had intended on waiting for Megan, but seeing Mirabelle standing there, all by herself, the tiny little girl looking so sad, I just had to go and say hello.

After I said hello, Mirabelle looked up at me, very confused. Recognition danced across her face after a few seconds, and she smiled, launching into an excited tale of kittens on a pillow, kittens on a PILLOW, KITTENS ON A PILLOW!

Megan, Meter and I sat down to eat lunch, but Mirabelle kept running around excited about the map of the complex, and the KITTEN on a PILLOW, and the acorns, and oh, oh, oh! The DRINKING FOUNTAIN! How exciting was the drinking fountain? She kept running to us, then running back to the drinking fountain to take a drink, then back to us, then back to the drinking fountain. Every once in a while, she would also return to us and announce she used the DRINKING FOUNTAIN!

So much fun.

Eventually, Meter ate Mirabelle's quiche, minus the hot pepper parts, thereby earning both Mirabelle and Meter their just desserts.

Gingerbread men were never so tasty.

Not so faire


Megan and I went with the girls to the Maker Faire today. Only, we didn't quite make it. And Mark came along.

Our original plan was to head up around 10:30, head into the faire around 11, and leave around 1:30 or 2. The cost was $25 a person, but, well, two crafty women tooling around with two small kids in tow? Yeah, we'd see what we needed to see in those three hours, and boy, would it be worth the $25 a head, kids free!

Only, we didn't figure on the lines. The lines, the lines, the lines.

The first line was on 101 N to get onto 92 W. Megan pretty much said "screw this!" in a much nicer way, and went north on 101 to 3rd St. Megan's navigational abilities are impressive, as she turned left on Delaware after crossing 101, and voila! we were on our way to the fairgrounds, which were ON Delaware, about a mile south. We managed to bypass about a hour of sitting in traffic with the detour, and find a great parking space on the parking shuttle bus route, so we didn't have to walk to the fairgrounds.

We arrived, to discover two lines: the 45 minute credit card line, and the 30 minute cash line. Mirabelle and I jumped in one line, as Mark and Meter jumped in the other, and Megan went off to figure out which line we wanted to be in, and how long we would be in the line.

After looking at the line, seeing the next line inside, realizing it would be 12:30 before we managed to actually get into the fair, we gave up, and went off for a different adventure.

We ended up at Central Park in San Mateo, mostly because the park has a train for kids to ride around on, but also because it was close, and we were hungry and ready for lunch.

The great thing about parks is that they enable you to learn, without really trying. Take, for example, the cork tree that I learned about. I thought it was just a weird tree. Turns out, it's actually a weird, FUNCTIONAL tree. How's that for learning?

I also learned that, hey, you know what, people do go to the park for lunch and resting by a tree in the shade.

Who knew?

After lunch, the only appropriate thing for a two year old to do at a park is, well, you know, break the law.

So, with a little encouragement, Mirabelle did just that.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't "a little." It was, however, certainly appropriate. Civil disobedience at a young age! Ah, it warms the heart!

What? What did Mirabelle do?

Well, the sign behind her reads:

"It is unlawful to enter or use the elevated stage area at CENTRAL PARK without a CITY permit."

The sign is actually quoted like that, too.

Of course, Mirabelle was by far NOT the only person up on the stage, sharing it with a runner, an old dude and a dog, but she was the cutest. And! She was up for a continuing adventure. Like, battling the bathroom wind monsters. I tell you, Mirabelle's wind kung fu knows no limit!

Neither does how much she's able to impress me. Without hesitation, when we arrived at the playground, she wanted to go up! So, up she went to the top of the playground equipment. "Ladders? They're for climbing. Even if the rungs are slippery, and I have to hang on with one pinky while I manage to get my footing." That's what she was telling me.

Clearly she's done this before, as neither Mark nor Megan worried about her zooming up to the top. Me? I was a wreck during her climb.

One of the best parts of climbing up, is coming back down.

After the junglegym, we had to leave for other afternoon plans. We buzzed through the Japanese gardens, seeing the small japanese maple trees, the pagoda, a couple bridges and, of course, the fish.

All in all, a pretty wonderful day with the Smiths. Who needs a faire when you have a Mirabelle to keep you company?

Meter and me!

Daily Photo

Baby love


Growing up


Megan, Mirabelle, Meter and I (oooooo, you could say the four lady M's!) went to Ikea today for lunch, because Ikea is just where you go for lunch with a 2 year old and a 2 month old. It's true. You knew that, right?

Mirabelle surprised me several times on the trip by asking me full questions complete with the proper intonations. Imagine a fifty year old woman projecting the question, "How are you, Kitt?" through a two year old girl's vocal cords, and you might get a hint of how wigged out I was at her questions.

It's neat watching her, though, seeing her develop a personality, much like watching Liza go from a toddler to this amazing little person. Not that I'd call her little to her face - she's practically to my shoulder already! Don't I feel short.

At one point during our Ikea adventure, Mirabelle and I decided to "run this way!" and off we went. Megan called after me a few moments later, "Hey, Kitt, do you have one of my kids?" I'm not sure how sheepishly I had to answer, "Yes, but she started it!"

My first noogie

Daily Photo

Megan, Mirabelle and Meter came over today for breakfast. Breakfast was, of course, pumpkin waffles.

After breakfast, we sat around and talked for a while. When Mirabelle started insisting, "Mayanna lap? Lap? Mayanna lap?" I had to pull out my camera.

When Mirabelle gave Meter her first noogie, well, I had to laugh.