Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ode to Avedon ...

stage left
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
Well it's been that kind of weekend. One of my favorite groups on flickr ... pitched another one of its famed tribal photography weekend projects. We were supposed to choose a photographer (or several) and try to emulate their work. I contributed some archive works from two summers ago in tribute to Jock Sturgis and Julia Margaret Cameron, and also tried a few portraits with Annabel in the styles of Diane Arbus and Richard Avedon.
For those of you wondering, while she's not really posing, she did stand where I asked her to stand for brief moments in time. She also reminded me that I promised her a surprise if she would do it.
So she got a tablet of chocolate with our afternoon tea. She didn't even eat it.

ode to arbus ode to arbus ... II
... salvo to Arbus

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Disinfect your mail

disinfect your mail
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
Annabel has decided the best thing in this world at the moment is sending people mail. This morning as I wrote cards and letters to folks, she helped me address the envelopes and lick them closed. She did an excellent job, but the papers got very soggy. I did my best to spray our outgoing mail with Lysol (as she has a runny nose) but I suggest you all wash your hands after opening any mail from us for the next decade or so. ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bathtime blues

She throws her head back and howls, a high, piercing cry on its way to a shriek.
I've told her she will have to remove her clothes if she wants to have a bath.
The battles have begun. TV. Books. Toys. Chocolate. ... Broccoli. You never know where the battle line is drawn until you cross it. She stamps her feet and looks up with unimaginable ire, her eyes telling you she's made her move and now it's your turn. A steely glint tells me she fully expects to win.
It's kind of a sad moment for me when I have to pick her up and deposit her in her crib so she can cry it out on her own. I only win because of my size.
It's so hard to be two.
As I close the door to her room, I tell her when she's ready to be calm she can call me and I will come back and get her.
In a few minutes there is silence, and small voice. "Mommy, tum peas."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

All the rage ...

the two of us
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
Well this weekend was interesting. I came home with a new treat from the nuthouse - kefir, a cousin of yogurt with, count 'em, 10 active cultures. Who wouldn't love it? So what it's got a weird sounding name. It took some doing to get Annabel to try some, but by Sunday she was likeing the pinkish, pourable potable. We even poured it for our morning tea party.

On Saturday the revelers in us were out and about, lauging it up with some Omi staff members at a dinner at Ledig house. Annabel had a lovely time playing with May's toys and eating the yummy pork. She especially liked the ice cream with pears and pommegranates. Mmmmmm.

Although she was in a wonderful mood, and has been for several weeks, sleep deprivation from the late nights and early mornings took its toll on Sunday evening. She was NOT her usual self. Almost unconsolably crying and carrying on. She finally fell asleep. Two is a difficult age, she's so happy most of the time that these fretful occasions are especially tough on everyone.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


the tricycle
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
Annabel has been ramping up her communications skills, and some of us have been struggling to keep up.
Recently, when handed the phone at the babysitter's house, Annabel took off with a torrent of words strung together in an overflowing river of thoughts.
As I struggled to make sense of this jumble I just started guessing at the words.
"Blow your nose?" I ventured.
"NO!," and she repeats the mystery word again.
"Is it something blue?" I reply.
"NO, NO, NO!"
There is laughter in the background, and Annabel gives up, says goodbye and is gone.
"You should have seen her," laughs Lori into the toddler abandoned receiver. She looked as if she'd thought you'd gone nuts. She had the phone in front of her face as if she were trying to get eyecontact with you, while she yelled "No Mommy, BOOK. BOOK."

Saturday, January 07, 2006

There's more to life than 'tookies'

Wants a tookie, peas.
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
Playing on the porch next to this year's Charlie Brown Christmas tree, Annabel reached in and extracted an ornament she'd made this year with Lori. It was a heartshaped cookie sprinkled liberally with confetti. She knew better than to eat it, but she wanted to all the same.
"I wah tookie, peas."
So, having enough of the correct ingredients left over from the holidays to make one batch, we set out to do just that. She helped sift flour, measure powders, cream sugars and slice pineapple. The hard part was letting go of the bag of chocolate chips she kept pilfering.
Then into the oven they went, and when they came out she was tickled pink to have a tookie of her own.
She took two bites and the magic was gone.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

We don't do this enough ...

Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
There's something so wonderful about tea parties that I missed growing up a consumate "tom boy." It's fun to watch her grow different from me, from her father and into a person who is some lovely combination of both of us with a healthy dose of herself mixed through.

I had that feeling sitting down on the front porch with her for this late afternoon tea time. So much is changing, and it seems so fast. Her vocabulary just seemed to burst into full sentences over the Christmas vacation. She seems taller and broader, and even her hair looks longer to me.

I suppose the strangest change for me has been her transition from calling me "Mama" to "Mommy," which happened over the winter break as well. I'm not sure why, but out of the blue she just started calling me mommy ... over and over and over again.

Monday, January 02, 2006


o the mess we made
Originally uploaded by toyfoto.
Ok ... I haven't taken any New Year's pictures yet, and I missed my chance to meet flickrati Sesame Ellis in New York City because of a NASTY bout with gastrointeritis, which had me spending the day in bed while Jed (also feeling a bit under the weather) spent the day entertaining Annabel.
I suppose we're really startin the new year out with a bang, aren't we? Oh well. I am feeling less achy and Jed has Annabel all bundled up and searching for kitty cats outside, so I suppose we'll all be right as rain soon enough.