Date Night

Meet Chora. Thanks to Chora and her parents, T.J. and I finally got to go out on a date a couple weeks ago. (Funny how what you took for granted before kids suddenly becomes such a special treat!)

Two weekends ago, we took care of Chora while her parents went for a night out on the town. Penelope was super excited to show off her pad to her little friend. The evening started with a dance off.

Two-Steppin' Penelope vs.

Hand-Jivin' Chora

Followed by some quality time on the kitchen floor (don't ask).

Then T.J. and Chora had a roaring contest.

We ran into some problems with the ever-popular baby stroller.

After a heart-to-heart, the girls finally reconciled.

And then it was off into the bath tub.

You're all clean now!


Nestled in the Woods

is one of our favorite places to play as a family. Our nieghborhood park. Sometimes crawling with young families, sometimes deserted.

Little by little, Penelope has learned how to navigate the equipment by herself.

Very proud indeed.

And dont forget the swings. "Look Mom! I can fly!"


Hey there, little monkey!

Usually Penelope quickly tires of the little equipment meant for her and heads straight for the tallest, curviest slide. And without so much as a blink of an eye, down, down, down she flies.

With a squeal of delight, she runs back over to the steps and asks for more. Over and over the sequence repeats. Until she takes a tumble or her parents get tired of the routine.  


Under the Weather

We've spent the past week up to our eyeballs in used kleenex and bottles of infant tylenol. A nasty virus that caused four straight days of fever for Penelope and several days of missed work for her parents made for not such an enjoyable week for this little family.

Fortunately, Penelope is quite a good little patient when she's sick. Her desire to be held and snuggled and doze on our chest took us back to those precious days of her early infancy which now seem so long ago. Penelope was even good for her visit to the doctor. She proudly sported her Dora sticker (which I referred to as "the girl" since I'm still not ready to embrace all those kiddie cartoons which I find quite annoying). I caught her patting it periodically throughout the day just to make sure it was still there.

Penelope also used this weak moment to convince me to buy her a couple of new toys. Sick children must have some special power over me, because somehow I came home with this singing farm animal toy--this after swearing that I'd never purchase a tacky plastic music-blaring toy. But we were all thankful for the entertainment qualities of this toy after a long week cooped up inside the house. One press of the button, and Penelope was instantly hosting a hoe-down in our kitchen--fever or not.

Penelope didn't have much of an appetite while she was sick, but she did show quite an interest in gnawing on her new set of pretend food.

Being sick didn't keep Penelope from learning some new things. After I got out my doll from when I was little, wrapped her in a blanket and said "Ssh! The baby is sleeping," Penelope started telling anything that resembled a baby "SSSSHHH!

The only problem is that she doesn't have very good control over where her finger lands. Most of the time, it went straight up her snot-filled nose. A few times, she got really off track.


"Go to sleep baby!"

Thankfully, Penelope was fever-free and mostly back to normal today. So we took off for our weekly trip to the Durham Farmer's Market. After picking out some of our favorite fresh veggies, we enjoyed a breakfast picnic on the grass close to a group of local musicians. While we munched on blueberry muffins, Penelope made a bee-line for the music. After eyeing the toy piano for several minutes, Penelope made a lunge for it.

Then Penelope used her new-found instrument to round up a few more kids and really got the party going.

 She even organized a drum line.

And preformed a drum solo.

That is when we knew that Penelope had truly bounced back from her illness.


Picnic in the Park

Penelope and I commemorated Labor Day by meeting some friends for a picnic in Duke Gardens.

Before our friends arrived, we took a few moments to stop and smell the roses.

Hopefully the Duke Garden Police didn't notice the rose that went missing when Penelope mistook smelling for plucking.

In true Penelope style, the sand held greater interest for her than the beautiful flowers.

When Chora arrived, the little girls quickly became reacquainted with one another.

"Oooh. What a nice shirt Chora."

"Why thank you, Penelope."

"Uh, Penelope. What are you doing in my pockets?"

"Just checking for loose change."

"Look Penelope! I have a belly button."

"Cool Chora. Me too!"

Then the girls went off in search of adventure.

After some hardcore playing we had a nice picnic lunch.

Then things started to go downhill.

It all started when Penelope decided to share her banana chips with Chora.

And then, two seconds later, decided she didn't want to share afterall.

Penelope stuffed her face with the sweet chips as fast as she could, hoping Chora wouldn't notice.

Chora noticed.

After we pulled them apart and soothed away the hurt feelings Penelope promptly crawled into her stroller and declared the picnic over.

So we all headed home for a well earned nap.



We picked up these itty bitty tomatoes at the local farmer's market. Aren't they precious?

Penelope managed to polish off the whole bowl in less than 24 hours.

She couldn't stuff them in her mouth fast enough.

That's Penelope sign language for "more!"

"I said MORE!"

Don't get between Penelope and her tomoatoes.