Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our California Adventure, Part 2

A few more pictures from California, thanks to Kati.

Maisie wasn't always happy about being posed for pictures.

Sometimes she just wanted to be silly!

She really wanted to climb around on the rock. It was pretty steep, though, so she needed a little help.

This picture is my desktop background on my computer at work. So beautiful!

Hiking on Saturday - one of the few times she allowed Aaron to hold her.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Our California Adventure

We stayed at our friend Rachel's grandmother's cabin, high up in the eastern Sierra mountains. If you have a map that has teeny tiny towns, we were in between Bridgeport and Lee Vining, in Mono County.

Here is the view from our cabin.

We were really up in the mountains! The road up there was very steep. Our poor rental car had quite a difficult time with it. We were also surprised by how bone-dry the air was. Coming from a swampy Minnesota summer, it was a huge change!

We took a million pictures of the beautiful scenery, and I won't repost them all here - I'll probably upload them to kodakgallery and I'll put up a link here when I do that. But in the meantime, of course, Maisie pictures!

On Saturday we went for a hike.

Ben and Kati, seen here, hung back with us slowpokes. They were really nice about it... I think it helps that Maisie is Kati's #1 fan! (Well, after Ben, of course!) Maisie always wanted to say hi to Kati, play with her, and show her things, and in the car on the way back to the airport yesterday, she kept asking for Kati. So cute!

Okay, well, I have to post one scenery picture because it was just so amazing.

Just so you know, this picture does not even begin to do justice to the beauty of this place. But Ansel Adams I am not, so this is what I have to show you. You can probably tell that we were pretty high up, which is impressive (to me) because we started down on the lakeshore, and Maisie had refused to walk or to let anyone other than me carry her. The lake is Big Valley Lake, and we were hiking on Dunderberg Peak.

So after a long hike, you of course need ice cream.

Maisie really enjoyed that part, perhaps more than the whole hike!

home again...

We are all home, safe and sound, after a wonderful vacation. As it turns out, Maisie was a fantastic traveler, and even slept on the plane both ways.

One I get the pictures off the camera, I'll share some of them here. But for now, I will just tell you that 1) my friends are lovely people and fantastic parents, and great co-vacationers; 2) 10,000 ft. altitude is really awfully high, and one can get out of breath very quickly; but 3) the stars never looked more beautiful than when you have neither light pollution nor very much atmosphere in between you and them. Last night we saw the Milky Way stretch from horizon to horizon. It was breathtaking. (Or maybe that was the altitude?)

Monday, August 18, 2008


When our daycare took a week off, we thought, who will take care of Maisie during the day?

The answer, for at least two days, was Auntie Laura and Dylan!

They took really good care of Maisie. They hung out and played all day, ate yummy corn on the cob (Maisie's fave, of course!), and they even put up with Maisie's silly smell-my-feet games.

Maisie and Dylan are so sweet together!

He really is careful and gentle with her, and loves to show her how to do things. And she really looks up to him, and loves to copy his every move.

They are so sweet!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Today was a beautiful August day: 88 degrees with low humidity. What could be better than hitting a nearby park with a wading pool?

There's a great park just a few blocks from our house that has multiple swings and slides, and best of all, a wading pool. The weather was perfect, so we headed over there this afternoon.

Maisie had a ton of fun splashing, walking around, and especially being twirled in the water by her daddy!

We had to keep a close eye on Maisie, because she's really not very cautious in the water - she kept trying to run, stumbling, and almost going under.

So Aaron and I took turns wading in the water with her as she ran around and splashed.

Eventually she got chilled to the point where she was shivering pretty strongly. She didn't want to come out of the water even then, so we had to distract her. Instead of going back in the pool, we pointed her towards the slide that was in full sun.

One thing she's learned to do from Dylan is to hang off the bar that's at the top of most slides. She has so much strength! She'll grab on and just dangle there until she decides it's time to finally go down the slide.

Maisielicious fans, we are about to head out on vacation! We'll be heading to a friend's cabin in a remote part of California, just outside Yosemite in the Sierra National Forest. We're leaving on Wednesday and returning on Sunday. I don't think we'll be able to update much in the next week as a consequence. But we'll take lots of pictures, and give you a full update when we get back!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Maisie is getting really good at imaginative play these days. She drives her little matchbox cars all around, changes her doll's diaper, and puts Elmo on the potty. But her favorite imaginative play has got to be cooking.

This girl loves to cook! Which makes sense, because she also loves to eat. I think her love of cooking started over 4th of July weekend, when we stayed at our friends' cabin and she and Sophia played cooking, but it's really taken off since then. Now it's pretty much her favorite thing to do.

We have started to get Maisie her own cookware, because she was taking all the measuring cups and steamer baskets and various other things out of the kitchen to play with, and it started to get annoying. Where did I put the potato masher? Oh yeah, it's in the toybox.

We got her some wooden utensils at IKEA, some toy metal cookware at Target, and our friends Jen and Jo got her a wooden stovetop at a thrift store. She loves to cook "eggies" and "noodles," and pretend to feed them to us and to her dolls. I can't wait until she's old enough to really help us in the kitchen - I hope she is still interested!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Backyard bbq

Our friend Brian had friends over on Sunday for grilling and general hanging-out good times. It was really fun!

We knew our friends Wally and Mary Jo would be coming with their little boy, Jack.

(they actually brought both their little boys, but Charlie is just a wee thing and slept in his carseat the whole time. Good baby!)

So we brought sidewalk chalk to help keep the kids entertained while the grownups watched the Olympics and chatted. Because even though Jack's a little older than Maisie, all kids like sidewalk chalk, right?

First, of course, Maisie had to instruct Jack in the proper use of said chalk.

Finally, and with some parental involvement on both sides, they were able to resolve their issues ("MINE!" "Maisie, share...") and draw together.

I like to think they enjoyed each others' company, at least as far as the sidewalk chalk and drawing goes. Or maybe I am just hoping and projecting, because I like MJ and Wally, so I want our kids to be friends? It's hard to say.

It's especially difficult to figure because, when they got tired of the chalk and we broke out the Tigger kickball, it was an entirely different story - there was no sharing to be had at all!

That's right - Maisie took her ball and tried to go home. Sigh. Sharing is a lesson we're still working on!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This week

This week has been (is) a busy one. It's the Fringe Festival, yay! Which means that I'm often running off to see a show and leaving Aaron to do solo bedtime duty. Thanks honey! As mentioned before, it's also Aaron's last week of work, also yay!

Complicating those two yays are that our daycare providers have taken this week as a vacation. It's not that I begrudge them the time off - heaven knows they've got a tough job, and I certainly need vacations from my job too. But it's just poorly timed for us, since Aaron can't really take much time off and I can't either, as one other attorney in our (small) office is already out.

So what this means is that we've been cobbling together daycare, thanks mostly to my family. Maisie hung out Monday and yesterday with Auntie Laura and Dylan, and she's with my mom today and Friday. Aaron conveniently has a use-it-or-lose-it personal day to burn, so he's home with Maisie on Thursday.

All this ALSO means that I do not have recent pics! So, I'm going to illustrate a story with older pictures that I just got (so they're new to me!) from Uncle Chris. Thanks Chris!

When we left this morning, my mom and Maisie were talking about going to a park.

She was very excited! As soon as my mom mentioned it, she said "shoes! hat!" and ran to get and put on those items. It was really cute. She loves to slide, and swing, as you can see!

The only thing she doesn't really like about the park is that sometimes, you have to share the swings. Sorry kiddo!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

As promised...

a full Maisie update to start your week off right!

On Saturday, we went to the Uptown Art Fair. Maisie wasn't really interested in the art, but she is interested in getting on the other side of the camera. So here is her first picture, a portrait of her daddy (with stroller).
While we're talking about Aaron, for those who don't know, this is his last week at his current job! Yes, he's finally leaving the ticket office after six and a half years. He'll be taking a few weeks off (yay!) and then going back to school at the end of the month! We're all very happy.

After the Uptown Art Fair, we went home and strollered up to the Powderhorn Park art fair where we met Dylan and Gramma. We saw some art, played with puppets (Open Eye Figure Theater had a booth), and perhaps most exciting for Maisie, had some roasted corn on the cob.

Maisie really loves corn on the cob, much more so than almost any other food. She wasn't at all interested in my delicious fried rice or spring roll. Well, maybe that's because we let her have all those mini donuts earlier. Anyway! She ate almost the entire cob by herself! Although she is getting pretty good about sharing.

It's cute - she will hold it up to you and say "Bite?" Then once you have a bite she says "My turn!" and takes it right back. She's sharing... but not much. Which, for an almost-two-year-old, I think is pretty good.

Maisie is 21 months old today! She really is looking grown up, isn't she? She's a good sleeper and eater, and is social and funny and smart. She has a lot of words, and is even putting together three- and four-word phrases! She says "hi" and "bye" to everything - when we leave in the morning, it's "bye bye kitties, bye bye house," and she says "Hi!" to pedestrians as we're driving. Her favorite toys are her crayons, her blocks, and her cars, and she also really enjoys pretending to cook. If you ask her what she's making, she will always say "eggies!" She pretends to feed the eggs to her Elmo, and to me and Aaron. It's ridiculously cute.

It's hard to remember what our life was like before she came around. I'm pretty sure we got more sleep. But I'm equally sure that we laugh more now, and that our lives have a lot more love in them.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy August!

Hi all! Sorry it's been so long since we updated last... life gets busy and all of that. So I promise a full blog post this weekend. And in the meantime, here's a Maisie grin from this morning's commute to keep you smiling on a beautiful Friday.

Say cheese!