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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Granny & Lolie

Grany & Lolie
Originally uploaded by taylorkydd.

Whilst we were in Cuba my Mom came to stay. Whenever we go away, if it’s more than just an overnight, I like to try and get one of the grandparents out for a visit. I don’t have any qualms about leaving the children with our wonderful Nanny, Bianca, it’s not that. It’s just inviting someone they love, takes away from any negative feelings they might have about us going away. Transforming what could be seen as a period of loss or uncertainty into something exciting and new. That’s my theory anyway.

Mum stayed for a couple of weeks so we could spend time with her after we got back and it was a great visit. She and Bianca get on like a house on fire and the kids of course love it when Granny is here. Oliver was very excited about the prospect of her visiting - talking about the games of flying dogs and cooking that was to come!


Friday, December 28, 2007


Originally uploaded by taylorkydd.

We had the best of Christmases this year. Oliver is getting to the age where it is all making sense, and he is getting the wonder of it all. There was a fair bit of preparation what went into Santa’s visit this year, from the trip to the mall, to the full-on Santa Kit!

Oliver, Lola and I headed down to Third St to meet Mr Claus, and they were miraculously patient as we paced up and down Third St promenade, waiting out the couple of hours til Santa’s appearance. It was going to be Lola’s first Xmas, so I was determined she’d have her moment with the big man. I wonder to this day how we got through that morning with no tantrums or over-excitement, but they were both great - and they didn’t even cry when we sat on Santa’s knee. Success!

That evening saw the annual pilgrimage to Candy Cane Lane - it’s this street in El Segundo where they go all out on the decorations. It’s always a fun trip and this year one of the houses even had snow - so Oliver and Lola got to check that out for the first time. Not quite like the real thing, but close enough to get the idea. Was a very Californian moment though I have to say.

On Christmas Day we had lamb for dinner - so much easier than Turkey. I’m starting to like this idea of doing the turkey on Thanksgiving and having Christmas be something a bit simpler. Means you’re not spending the whole day cooking in the kitchen. The day was very mellow. Beckett, Carter and Michelle and Damon came over to exchange gifts the day before. So our Christmas extended a couple of days in the end. There’s no Boxing Day here of course which I miss, but at least it means you don’t end up gorging yourself quite the same way we do back in the UK. I missed the UK this year. Not sure why, perhaps with the kids getting older. You just miss your family at these times.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Tis the Season

It’s true that I am an unapologetic sentimentalist, especially when it comes to Christmas. And now with Lola and Oliver it’s even more fun. The tree is up, the presents bought, not wrapped and cards are in the process of winging their way to their intended recipients.

Work is going well. I’m settling into the groove of the whole consultancy thing and getting the hang of organizing my time.

Oliver and Lola have the made the transition to sharing a room. We redid Oliver’s room - removed the built ins and it has made the room so much bigger. I’m very pleased. They are doing really well with sharing. Although Oliver has been a bit irritable these last couple of days. I imagine he’s just not sleeping as well and needs to get used to having a snuffly baby in the same room as him. He’s such a sunny boy generally though. Is talking up a storm, starting to ask questions and assert himself. Some funny mispronunciations that always make us smile “Wook Mama wook!” instead of “Look” is always enjoyable.

Lola is a unstoppable! She is one assertive little girl - always going after poor Oliver, grabbing his toys and generally getting in his face. She is making some noises, simple words are not far off, we think she is saying “duck” in the bath, that’s what it sounds like anyway! She’s also trying to take a couple of steps. So much going on, at 10 months she is a precocious one. Still no teeth tho, I’m in no hurry for that. Once the teeth come through that’s one stage of babyhood that will pass, it will be a little sad.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Greetings from Austin

Sitting in the lobby of the unabashedly gorgeous Hotel Driskill in Austin, Texas. Steven had a business trip so I came along for the ride. This, of course, is where the magic of working for myself comes into play, I can work from anywhere! It’s only really sinking in, but it’s a terrifically liberating feeling. Trite to say, but it really is true, all I need is a connection, a laptop and I’m away. More productive than ever!

I like Austin. It feels like a big town more than a city. The weather is crisp and bright and the food amazing. Although these people do like their meat! I’m really enjoying the architecture, all those brick buildings, just two stories high in many areas, it feels familiar to me. We’ve only been here for a day and we leave tonight, so it’s not enough time, but I had a chance to catch up with Noah and Suzi which was great, checked out some restaurants and did some work. Sweet. Now we just need to see if we can do a quick pilgrimage to where they shoot for Friday Night Lights and we’ll be all set!

Good times. Good to get away with Steven too, it’s amazing how a change of place can be so reinvigorating.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

OUr 4th July has been a fine old affair so far! We were up and at it first thing - heading off to the beach at 9am. Easy parking, perfect spot, even the weather had cooled off a bit since yesterday - thank goodness! So I thought I’d give Blogger’s new video upload feature a whirl. Pretty nifty I must say! Mom is staying with us at the moment and we’re having a great time. It’s been hot and humid these last few days so I’m relieved today it’s easing off. I decided to take the whole week off and take the time with the kids., life’s too short.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Valentines

Wonderful Valentines day - exhausting as ever - but one of the best ever too! We decided not to go out and Steven cooked a wonderful meal - risotto - superb! Loring and Claudette were also with us so we had a very festive meal. I was SO sleepy though. The night before had been just exhausting - I was so tired at night I’d started skimping on the night feeds - which meant Lola didn’t settle. Not my best plan. So that day was a bit of a blur. he highlight was my son coming in my room with flowers and a card from him and Lola - then Steven came home early with some gorgeous flowers from the farmers market. and we all watched the Jungle Book. Happy happy happy.


Saturday, January 6, 2007

Xmas 06

What a wonderful holiday it was. Claudette and Loring were over for the holidays and we had a fine old time together. The really great part was doing things with Michelle, Damon and the boys - be it the Aquarium, the pier to ride the carousel, or the Rose cafe. All exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable and a great opportunity for the boys to spend time together. I think Oliver still needs to spend more time with other kids, but that too will come. He is so quiet sometimes - seems like a different boy altogether.
Despite my excitement at the imminent avalanche of language, things have quietened down somewhat on that front - I think he can make himself understood quite well as it is, so there’s no real impetus right now to go the next level. Especially when he is so busy and on the go all the time.
Xmas day itself was very chilled. Oliver was overwhelmed by the gifts, but the nap happened on schedule and that was everyone’s saving grace :) Next year I think we need to limit the gifts though. It all got a bit insane. The weather was fabulous though and sipping mimosas on the Oliver’s new sand box, courtesey of Loring was a nice way to herald the holiday. I get so sentimental at this time of year - John Lennon’s Happy Xmas War Is Over gets to me every year. So much to both feel grateful for and still to hope for.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa meet Oliver

Santa meet Oliver
Originally uploaded by taylorkydd.

It was a big day! An outrageous trip down Candy Cane Lane - a crazy St in El Seguendo with insane Xmas displays. Was so worth the trip - thanks to Brian and Cerentha for the tip! Ended up being an extremely late night for Oliver - past 8pm - heavens!!
Everyone is getting very excited about the upcoming festivities - we got the tree and we’re all decorated. Still got to make the mince pies tho. And brown packages just keep arriving. Poor wee man is going to be spoilt silly.

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Sunday, December 3, 2006

The Rough with the smooth

Well it’s been a tough old time of late, but there is always a silver lining to the most trying of days and that’s what keeps us smiling - right?

Dad went in to hospital on the Friday after Thanksgiving to have his toe operated on - diabetic ulcer of all things. I say of all things - but it should come as no surprise really as he has had one before - but I never really knew the cause. Thankfully they were able to operate and even tho he did lose a part of the toe, it wasn’t as much as feared. He is now though - a diabetic, not pre-diabetic. So some real changes will have to take place with diet etc to help him manage. The Drs say he can go home on Monday which is such a relief to everyone, especially Esther who I think has missed him and worried terribly.

Mom came over for Thanksgiving which was wonderful. It was the first time she has seen Oliver since we were in the UK over a year ago. So of course he has changed - now he is a little person, no longer a wee baby. Altho always a wee one to me. Unfortunately Oliver had a bit of a fever and wasn’t right all weekend - really needy especially with Steven. It has been a cold snap so I think everyone has been fighting off some bug or other. But that was hard, as his Mama I wasn’t the one he wanted. Had to take a deep breath on that. I guess it’s inevitable - 6 months pregnant I’m not going to be the one throwing him around the garden and being a lot of fun, whereas Steven really is super-Dad with seemingly inexhaustible reserves of energy and patience. But it was a bit of an eye-opener. I kept remembering the old saying - you only get out of things what you put in - and nowhere is that more true than with kids.

Work-wise this last week had some highs and distinct, well, if not lows, then certainly challenging times. We launched the new version of the site, Yahoo! TV - not everyone is pleased with some of the changes we’ve made, and we had some techical issues on the day of launch. So we’re working hard to respond as quickly as possible. Onward and upward, improve iterate, improve, iterate.

On a brighter note, this last weekend though was, I think Steven would agree, one of our best ever with Oliver. He was in such fine spirits, slept well, eating well, we had a lovely time. I cooked a bunch today - made the rice pudding recipe from my childhood and scones would you believe. Don’t think I’ve quite got the recipe right there but it’s a work in progress.

The words are coming fast and furious now, his comprehension really amazes me - as I’m sure it does every new parent. We now have “ca” car, “ba” ball, “wawa” water, “doh” dog and baba “bottle” - as well as mama and papa. Today I asked him to put his shoes in his room and he did! I was quite astonished, 17 months, it’s incredible to me. He really is a joy.

The pregnancy is going really well. Feeling so much better and my energy levels are improving. Still no name, but a tentative short-list is emerging. I’m starting to feel excited about how Oliver and she will interact - I think it’s going to be fun! Crazy, exhausting, chaotic fun.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mama & O face the ocean together

Mama & O face the ocean togetherForgive me blog for I have not written, it’s been over a month since my last post!

I don’t think I have much to offer by way of excuses, apart from it being hot and muggy and so much happening it’s hard to know where to begin.

Our 4th of July was an adventure to put it mildly. We ended up spending the entire time here in Venice - why oh why we did not get a sitter for any of the time I don’t know - and it was hot as hell. We had our first “incident” with Oliver - I think that is the real reason for not writing. For a while I couldn’t even bear to think about it. So what was this catastrophe? A small thing really - he cut his finger - but the results were quite dramatic. Steven and I were both there - it was in the kitchen - and we believe he did it on the grill at the bottom of the stove. The cut itself was small, so we knew immediately we weren’t talking the ER here - but it was high drama. There was blood EVERYWHERE, our boy is a bleeder. I was shaking so much I couldn’t get a band-aid on him - it was a nightmare. Eventually he calmed down, the band-aid was applied and the house got back to some degree of normality. But I think it took us the entire weekend to recover. Needless to say we are now overly stocked on all manner of first aid supplies - anything hits - we’re ready!

Oliver was a bit sick last week - mouth ulcers which was quite painful for him, but other than that we are all hale and hearty. He is walking up a storm and there have been lots of exciting developmental stuff going on.

- Points to planes as they fly overhead - this has become annoyingly frequent - but for Oliver it’s an endless source of delight
- Points to the light and today I swear said “light” when pointing - both Bianca and I bore witness it was HUGE!
- Much “Dad da Da da” - he definitely knows who his father is and demands him on a regular basis - this is no plaintive mewling - but a definitive demand for his Papa
- Loves watermelon, crackers, beans, guacamole, rice pudding and drinking water from a cup
- Makes a “ahahahaha” noise - similar to that you’d make after quenching your thirst when particularly excited about something

And last, but not least. Oliver had his first one-on-one encounter with the Pacific ocean and lived to tell the tale! Tomorrow we leave for Maine - a whole host of adventures to come. Will endeavour to post more often dear readers, if there are any of you left still out there!
26th July, 2006
more photos…

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