The Little Mommy

Penelope is obsessed with all things baby doll right now.
When I pick her up from the church nursery she has gathered every doll in the room and put them all to "nigh-nigh." When I pick her up from school she has taken over the kitchen area and is in the middle of giving all the dolls a feast.
At home she's constantly pushing around her baby dolls in her stroller and pausing to give them a "baba nilk" (bottle of milk) or "appa juice." This morning she got down from her high chair after eating breakfast and promptly fixed her doll a bowl of "punk soup" (pumpkin soup) and fed it to her spoonful by spoonful, exclaiming "go-go" (here you go) and "yum!"
Every so often Penelope turns her doll over and inspects its bottom and declares "poop" to us, as if we should stop what we're doing and change the doll's diaper. She also tries to make the doll do whatever she is doing by moving their arms and legs. She makes them clap, dance, push buttons and play peek-a-boo with her, letting out a squeal of glee each time.
Last week I gave in and let Penelope take a baby doll to the grocery store. I held Penelope's hand and Penelope held the baby's hand while we walked across the parking lot. Then Penelope suddenly stopped and bent down with her doll and declared "ma baby walk." Pretty soon cars were lined up waiting while Penelope bent down and tried to make her doll's legs walk across the street. Thankfully the drivers were laughing at the sight instead of laying on their horns.
The sweetest thing Penelope does with her baby dolls is rock them to sleep. While swaying back and forth and holding her baby close to her chest, Penelope sings in the clearest voice (albeit a bit off tune), "rock-a-bye baby" over and over until they are asleep.



We finally had a weekend nice enough to coerce us out of our winter hibernation. In honor of the nice, sunny day I pulled out this water table that a friend of mine gave us. After filling it with a bit of water, Penelope dove right into the business of playing.

The very, very serious business of playing.

Except for the repeated declarations of "Wawa!" Penelope worked diligently at moving water from one place to another.

When Penelope was soaked from the elbows down and we started losing sunlight, we called it a day. 

The only problem is that now whenever we talk about water, Penelope immediately runs to the back door and begs for her "wawa" table. 

And it is very difficult to say no to this sweet little face.

Let's hope we have some more nice days coming our way.


Impromptu Bath

You leave the room for a minute and....

When we were playing in the living room with her baby dolls I made the mistake of mentioning that her baby doll needed a bath. As soon as I left the room Penelope made a beeline for the bathtub and took it upon herself to wash that doll from top to bottom.

The look of guilt. 

It appears that the line between pretend play and reality is fairly fuzzy in the toddler years.


For Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

I have a very important message for you...

I searched high and low for the perfect gift...

I decided on a very big HUG

wrapped in lots of love!




Family Hike

For our last day at Lake Travis with my family we went for a hike in one of the many nature preserves in the area (the name escapes me at the moment).

Penelope atop Daddy's shoulders

Trying to fit through the boulders crowding the trail

Uncle Trevor's ears proved to be the perfect handlebars for when the goings got rough.
(By the way, happy almost-birthday little bro!)

The warm 70 degree natural pool--the highlight of the hike  

Penelope exploring the "grocks"

Cousin Evie taking in the view

Cousin trouble

The hike must have gone downhill after exploring the big pool because a few minutes after this picture Penelope was sound asleep in the Ergo, making this Mommy, who already had terrible hiking shoes on, very hot and and very tired and very nearly slip and fall several times due to the 30-pound dead weight attached to her.


An Austin Christmas

We spent the week after Christmas lounging around with my family at a house on the shores of Lake Travis. It wasn't easy getting everyone's schedules to mesh, but for a day or two I think we were all together at the house at the same time.

(Dad-behind the camera, Mom, Evie, Jocelyn, Matt, Trevor, Ali, Penelope, Me, T.J.

Opening presents (for the fourth day in a row). Penelope pretty much had the hang of it by then. 

Cousin Evie lending a hand

Penelope's favorite present was the doctor kit from her R.N. Aunt Jocelyn

Listening for Baby Mary's "ba-bump" heartbeat

Penelope made everyone line up for their checkup.

Penelope's other favorite gift was the cookware to compliment her new kitchen. "I'm gonna cook" is the phrase de jour at our house now.

My favorite gift is this cute little fabric doll house.

Penelope is particularly fond of the toilet.

Penelope and Grandma exploring the back porch of the lake house. 

The EXTREMELY dangerous back porch of the lake house. (The house sat atop a cliff by the edge of the lake, and I was constantly scared that someone wouldn't lock the gate to the stairs and Penelope would decide to navigate the stairs down the cliff by herself.)

Lounging on the porch with Aunt Ali

Evie chewing on Evie

We took it upon ourselves to dress the cousins alike just as often as possible. (I now question the logic of this.)

The plaid get-up

Complete with matching bows

Hey little E!

The jammies ensemble, with complementing pacies.

More matching dresses.

And matching birthday suits

Penelope had so much fun spending time with family, especially Grandma and Grandpa.

Grandpa always tells such exciting stories.

Climbing trees with Grandma